Stand Upon Grace

Homesteading with heart~Cultivating the art of intentional living

Sourdough: My Nemesis


I have discovered my elusive homesteading unicorn–sourdough.

Embarrassingly enough, I have thrown countless jars of sourdough starter to the chickens, and some that I didn’t even dare throw to them, went back to the earth in the compost pile.

For years, quite literally, to my great distress, I have tried without success, for one reason or another, to create a fabulous sourdough starter. Sure, there has been promise, even an ordered starter, which I promptly killed after several weeks of babying it along with my absent-minded neglect. Just when I thought I was almost there….

Sourdough is my nemesis.


Well folks, I am persevering.  I am convinced that a fabulously rich and tangy sourdough is worth it in the end.  This time I’m serious.  This time it’s gonna work out.  I am giving it another go this week, gluten-free, for me.

I am living on the wild side.  Yes, I know that.

Sourdough and gluten-free don’t exactly seem the likely couple.  However, I have been intrigued by the idea, sparked by an article in Taproot Magazine, Issue 12: BREAD.  Excellently written by Tara Barker, a pastry chef with a celiac diagnosis, the unlikely union of sourdough and gluten-free, really caught my eye.  I even tried a starter, with substitute ingredients–white rice flour, instead of brown, but did not achieve an active culture, for various reasons, albeit my cold kitchen, or the over-processed flour being absent in good flora.  Whatever the reason, my sourdough hopes were dashed again.

Like I said, sourdough is my nemesis.


Fast forward almost exactly one year later, after my failed gluten-free sourdough starter, I found myself struggling with feeling fabulous.  I understood my body’s need to detox, and immediately started eliminating things from my diet that were not elevating my health and wellbeing.  Processed dairy went first, then the gluten.  I began noticing that I was starting to feel well again, much more like my former self, whose vitality had been slowly slipping away, until it became un-ignorable.  I came to a place where I realized I really needed to stop and relearn how to nurture myself.

That was 9 months ago.  I have been gluten, processed dairy, and sugar free since January, since the new year.  My gut and my body has slowly been healing itself, with my attention directed at restoring my vitality.  I feel vibrant again.  I have energy in reserve, and the pain and inflammation that had taken up residence within my cells has vanished.  The hell I experienced monthly is gone, and the lifetime of severe migraines has come to a near disappearance, I feel more fully awake, fully alive, more fully myself.


I am committed once again to the healing benefits of sourdough.  It’s beautiful, tang, and healing cultures are more appealing to me now than ever.  On this healing journey, sourdough seems to be the next step on the path to wellness.   I have let go of the old belief, that glutinous whole wheat bread is a health food.  Perhaps not for all.  Even when it is properly prepared and fermented.  I am ok with that.  I have made my peace.

I am embracing the new belief that whole grains, minus the gluten, when properly prepared and fermented, are the next level health food.  There is a whole diverse universe of whole grains out there that are gluten-free, and prime for the making of fabulous sourdough bread, I am so excited to explore.

So in great homesteader/pioneer spirit and courage, I begin again.


My sourdough culture has been blessed, prayed over, and named, quite appropriately I might add, Violet.  I know she won’t let me down.  We are both all in, in this sourdough venture, Violet and I.  With my best intention, I lovingly ground the brown rice flour in my grain mill.  The extra boost of lactic acid the recipe called for was fulfilled by the last of my beautiful Coco’s keifer.  Her spirit lives on through the sourdough starter, which has the most beautiful sweet, tangy smell I have ever observed in all my sourdough experience.

Perhaps this is the culture that will cross oceans, generations, and live on timelessly as a living tribute to health and wellbeing in my family.  Perhaps, this is the sourdough that ceases to be my nemesis.


Link to back issues of Taproot Magazine, here.

Eat Well. Be Well.


There is a connection with how we choose to nourish our bodies to both our energy levels and vibrancy.  When we eat beautiful whole foods, we have more energy to live and enjoy life and do the work we are called to do.  We radiate health and wellbeing both inwardly and outwardly.  In contrast when we eat prepackaged, industry made, processed food, our energy levels wane and we have less to share with ourselves, our families, and community.


If we want to be well, we must eat well.

For many of us this can be confusing with all the mixed messages from the media and government.  The act of demonizing certain foods in order to make monetary gain from another has become commonplace in modern society, with certain “science” to back it up.

However, what is now being discovered by doctors, health, wellness, and nutrition pioneers who are invested and investing in, privately-funded, independent research is this:  We are much healthier and vibrant beings when we eat an organic, plant-based and naturally pastured diet.


Processed food has got to go to feel amazingly vibrant, holistically energetic, and live our best, healthiest lives.

So let’s keep it simple.


Eat Well.  Be Well.

Nothing crazy here.  No fads, no gimmicks, just pure, simple, honest food.  Food in it’s most natural form, as it was intended to be.  Not laboratory created.  God created.  Grown in dirt, raised on grass.  Simple glory.  Farm to table.  No stops in between.

Whole food, traditional food, prepared by hands and hearts.

This is what it means to Eat Well.  Be Well.



Fire-Roasted Green Tomato Salsa


As frost permeates both air and earth on our little homestead, I take inventory on the stacks of baskets, heaps of buckets, and enamelware burgeoning with garden glory.  I never can quite seem to let the green tomatoes go to frost.  I think maybe I am holding on to the hope in the green, the promise of ripening.  This has been a tough tomato year in our homestead garden.  The extreme and wet weather was not a friend to my beautiful heirloom plants.  We enjoyed several meals with the freshly sliced tang of sunshine on our tongues accompanying as a side dish.   However, I was only able to put up about eight quarts of our thick country style tomato juice.  This contrasts to closer to 100 quarts most years.

Naturally, I was anxious to preserve as many of the green tomatoes gifted from our friends’ garden as possible, so I decided to give a green tomato salsa a try.  You can make green tomato relish, why not salsa?  Tomatillos are green, I reasoned.

So I got to work.



I had about thirty pounds of green tomatoes to work with, a beautiful bounty.  I am so glad our friends called before the last hard frosts this past week because this fire-roasted green tomato salsa is superb.  I loosely used my mom’s salsa recipe, which is fabulous by the way, with a couple of modifications to account for the acidity of the green tomatoes.

Roasting the green tomatoes on the grill enhanced the flavor and gave additional sweetness to the chartreuse globes.  The gentle char gave the perfect amount of smokiness to the overall flavor profile of the salsa.  Roasting all the vegetables whole also made for a quick and easy way to blast my way through a very large amount of produce.

This is a creative recipe. Be loose with it, it’s a basic guide ready for customization.   It’s  a fun time to spend together in the kitchen, and a good project to share with friends, or your teenage boys.  It is not tedious, there is not a ridiculous amount of chopping, the food processor and the grill carries the burden of the labor.  Just be sure you have plenty of tortilla chips available…especially if you are creating with teenage boys!


I encourage you to taste as you go.  Start with the basic roasted veggies, whirled in the food processor, and taste them before you add any seasoning.  This will give you an idea of the base flavor you are working with and give you a starting place.  This is your canvas.  The flavors you add will enhance and bring more color to those that you begin with.  Taste after each addition of herb or seasoning, and allow the flavors to slowly build as you simmer and create together.  Enjoy the process, make it an event, maybe even a salsa making party!

It’s that good, and a great way to celebrate the bounty of the harvest!



 Fire-Roasted Green Tomato Salsa

makes about 5 pints

5 lbs. green tomatoes

2 cups yellow or white onion, quartered or halved

2 cups mixed peppers, sweet, red, jalapeno, etc.*

1 head of garlic, cloves, separated, peeled, and left whole

1/4 cup fresh, cilantro leaves, washed and removed from stem

2-4 Tablespoons lime juice

2-3 Tablespoons salt

 1/2-1 teaspoon black pepper

Wash, core, and remove any bad spots from green tomatoes, place on large baking sheet.  Preheat grill to approximately 400 degrees, and turn down to low, to maintain heat.** Place baking sheet of green tomatoes directly on the grates.

Roast for 25-35 minutes or until tomatoes are fragrant, have a nice char, and are slightly soft to the touch. (Be careful not to burn yourself!  Use a spoon, or utensil to press into the side of the tomato if you have any concerns.)

Remove from grill.  Allow to cool while you roast the peppers, onion and garlic.

While the tomatoes are roasting, wash and prepare onions, peppers, and garlic.  Place on large baking sheet.

Roast onion, pepper, and garlic mixture on hot grill 20-30 minutes, until fragrant, nicely charred, and slightly softened.

Remove from grill.  Allow to cool slightly.

With a slotted spoon, lift the cooled, roasted green tomatoes into the food processor, and process 30-60 seconds, until tomatoes have a relish consistency, or is the consistency that you and your family likes.  We all have a preference as to how chunky we like our salsa!

Pour processed tomatoes into a large kettle, 6-8qt, gives you plenty of simmering room.  Continue processing until all roasted veggies are processed, (add cilantro leaves to your onion, pepper, and garlic mixture when you process),  and added to the kettle.

Place kettle on stove over medium high heat.  Bring to a slow boil, turn down heat to medium low to maintain a nice slow simmer.  Taste.

Add minimal amount of lime juice, salt and black pepper.  Taste and adjust according to your liking.

Simmer 45-60 minutes, tasting and stirring occasionally so salsa doesn’t stick and scorch.

Prepare boiling water canner.  Heat jars in simmering water until ready for use.  Do not boil.  Keep warm.

Warm lids in small sauce pan until bubbles begin to form on the rubber edges.  Do not boil.  Turn off heat and keep them in hot water in the saucepan, until you are ready to seal your jars.  Set rings aside, but keep them at the ready.

Ladle hot salsa into hot jars, leaving 1/2 inch headspace.  Remove air bubbles.  Wipe rim.  Place hot lid on jar, secure into place with ring.  Keep jars in a warm place.  Repeat until all jars are filled.

Place jars in a boiling water canner, process for 15 minutes, adjust for altitude, if needed.  Turn off heat; remove lid, and let jars stand 5 minutes.

Carefully remove jars with a jar lifter from canner, place on a clean dishtowel on the countertop, and allow to cool.  Check lids for seal after 24 hours.  Lid should not pop or flex, when center is pressed down.

You may also pressure can this recipe following manufacturer’s instructions.


 *adjust the heat of your salsa by adding more or less hot peppers, such as jalapeno, habanero, etc. The heat of the individual peppers may vary, so taste and decide how hot you want your salsa to be.  That is why I do not include an exact measurement of jalapeno, or hot and spicy peppers here.  Heat is variable to people, make this your recipe, add what tastes good to you.  Just remember that while the salsa is cooking the peppers won’t have quite as much heat as they do as it cools down, leave a little margin for the final heat of the salsa to rise.

**I use a gas grill.  Times and temperatures will vary with any grilling experience.  Adjust accordingly for what type of grill you have, and how you use it.

The Accidental Food Activist


So, I never set out to be an influencer.  Only a homestead mama sharing the joy.  However, sometimes, somewhere along the way, purpose finds you.  You can choose to step into the moment, lean in hard and listen good, or you can shrink back and shy away from it.

One choice will feel right, good, like it was meant to be, even if while  beginning to share your authenticity, your truth, you may feel uncomfortable,vulnerable even.  Little beautiful moments light the way to allow you to know that you are on the right path, that you are helping, empowering and uplifting others in your own brave kind of bold.  While the other path of not stepping forward in faith will just be uncomfortable.

So here we are friends, me stepping out, faithfully hopeful that my brave sharing in this space continues to uplift and empower each of you to step into your own kind of brave bold.

Life sometimes has a way, God, has a way, to take little moments of broken and turn them into brave.  Turn them into bold.  Refine and polish while you are busy living, so that when you pause to turn back over your shoulder, reflect on the time gone by, you see how that broken was used to make you brave, to embolden you to step onto a path you didn’t even see you were following, until now.


Our homestead is my brave bold.  We arrived here a bit accidentally, a bit by default, or so I thought, but in reflection I can see a very intentional life.  Created by us, although sometimes out of necessity, or out of what felt like extenuating circumstances. However, now I see perhaps it was just opportunity.  Opportunity to step onto the path that uplifts, or to choose to stay stuck in the muck, so to speak.

Our Artisan Kitchen is my brave bold.  Embracing whole nourishing food, seasonal eating, traditionally prepared, holistic, God-given food straight from the garden has been nothing but beautiful.  Hard, yes, sometimes, but still beautiful.  It has been a slow awakening, an evolution along the way, created by us, but influenced by this gift of a life that we have been given.  In the beginning, we planted the garden from one part passion to feed our babies good, nutrient packed food, and one part necessity.  We couldn’t afford the options from the grocery store.  We were young and in love with each other and our growing family.

Looking back, I had no idea how passionate I would become about providing whole, nourishing, honest food for my family.  I also had no idea how industry would change our view of what that meant.  I never knew it would propel me headlong onto a path of growing and raising,  creative, simple, beautiful food for our family table.  I never knew I would become an accidental food activist.

What I do know now, is that there is a difference between wholesome nourishing food, prepared in a traditional and loving way, and prepackaged, industry prepared food.  Real, holistic food as God intended it to be.  Simple, honest, and beautiful. Food that doesn’t need fancy colors or additives to elevate and nourish you and your family.

It is the food itself that brings us together, creates connection, gathering hearts around the family table, satiating both body and soul.  Cooking and creating simple satisfying food, with love, for yourself and your family is a gift that brings you together in the kitchen, in the garden, or in the coop, celebrating life, and working through the muck.

It’s just all so good.

Whether you grow ‘yer own, or source your food from farmer’s markets, homesteaders, neighbors, or others, really doesn’t matter.  What matters is that you take the time to connect, to cook, to open yourself to the possibility, that yes, you can do this–you can create beautiful nourishing food for yourself and for your family.  I want to embolden you to take that step, take my hand, friend, and walk into your kitchen, welcome yourself with a latte or a glass of wine, and create something simple, something honest, something pure, and something good.

Keep it simple.  Find passion and joy in the sourcing of ingredients, whether you gather in the garden, the market, or the store.  Look for the beauty, and don’t be afraid to try something new.  Grilled cheese maybe?  A seasonal twist perhaps, of cheddar and apples with a little spinach topped by a slathering of Dijon?  Go to the bakery for your handmade bread, or try a new recipe, do something out of the ordinary.  Make it an event, a joyful occasion to gather, rather than a dreaded chore of shopping, or harvesting from the garden.

Make something to share, whether it’s with co-workers, or dropped by the neighbors. The sharing creates connection, brings joy in the giving of yourself to others.


It is my hope and purpose in sharing here, that you will take your own leap of faith, your own kind of brave bold, to start where you are, gather in your kitchen with friends and family around a heap of fresh greens, veggies,  and other beautiful whole foods, to enjoy the process of creating your own artisan meal and memories.  And yes, a salad counts!

Perhaps, before you know it, your passion and confidence may grow you into an accidental food activist as well!

Eat well.  Be well.

Quick Pickles


If you are looking for a way to share the bounty of the season, this recipe from Marisa over at Food in Jars, is a fabulous way to do just that.  It is different from many pickle recipes, in the use of both mint and cilantro, which combine to become a dynamic duo.  With a hit of heat from spicy red pepper flakes, tantalizingly mingled with a little sweet, rounded out with the low notes of garlic and onion, these quick pickles steal the show.  This recipe makes a large bowl, easily big enough to share for a potluck, or friends for dinner.



Quick Pickles

recipe from Marisa at:

Click on the link above for the original recipe!*

2c.  Apple Cider Vinegar, with the mother

2c.  Water

1/2c.  organic evaporated cane juice

2t.  Redmond real salt, or sea salt

1 small onion, chopped

3-4 cloves garlic, slivered

1/4c.  Cilantro, roughly chopped

1/4c.  Mint leaves, torn

1t.  Red chili flakes

10-12 Kirby cucumbers, sliced, or a bowlful of thickly sliced, small to medium sized cukes of any variety.  (I used what I had in the garden).

To Make the Brine:

Combine vinegar, water, evaporated cane juice, and salt in a small saucepan on the stove.  Heat and stir until sugar and salt are dissolved.  Remove from heat and allow to cool while you prepare the cukes, veggies, and herbs.

To Prepare:

Chop onion into bite sized pieces, peel and sliver garlic, chop and tear herbs, add all to medium sized mixing/serving bowl.  Top with red chili flakes.

Gently pour prepared brine over bowl filled with cukes, herbs, veggies and spices.  Give a little stir to be sure all are combined.  Cover, and refrigerate overnight.

Share with friends or take to a potluck dinner.  Also, if there are any leftovers, these quick pickles will keep in the refrigerator for several weeks.


*Recipe changed to reflect my kitchen pantry.  Make do, use up & use what you have!

Rosemary + Sea Salt Crackers with Traditional Hummus (Gluten Free)


Fall is here in big ways!  We have been emptying the garden and putting up the bounty for winter with unabashed fervor.  A hard killing frost several weeks ago, had the kids and I stashing the tender tomatoes, summer squash, cucumbers, peppers, and melons into baskets, buckets, and dishpans, mostly anything we can get our hands on that will hold produce.  The bounty has been lined up in the kitchen on floors and counters, and spilling over into the dining room, with apples, pumpkins, and keeping squash, taking up temporary residence in the garage, until we have a chance to sort and float the overflow into the root cellar.


Can you say abundance????

It’s all good.  And beautiful.  There is comfort in the process of harvesting.  The bold assurance of filling shelves before snow flies.  There is joy in the sharing of abundant garden glory.  Passing along a bountiful harvest to friends, family and neighbors, creates grateful connection between Giver and Receiver.

It was through the sharing that I was the gifted receiver of another homesteader’s bountiful rosemary.  She had used all she needed, and passed along the excess joy.   It was so fragrant and beautiful, I couldn’t resist making something wonderful that really showcased rosemary’s bold, aromatic flavor.  I have loved working alongside the drying rosemary in the kitchen, with its heady, uplifting aroma.

I have been working on incorporating more beautiful whole grains, that are also gluten-free into our diet.  Sounds like an oxymoron, right?

Whole Grain and Gluten Free???? 

Not something that automatically pairs in my brain.

However, I am pioneering my way through a whole new world of whole food, whole grain cooking that is also gluten-free.  I am so excited about this.  It is a new frontier for me, even though I have used whole grains for years, there are so many less mainstream grains, seeds, nuts, and legumes, that are beautiful whole food, and can be holistically utilized in the kitchen in a healthful manner without the added wheat.


I have been working on perfecting this cracker recipe, and it is the perfect match with rosemary to embolden and elevate the tasting experience.  I am also including my favorite traditional hummus recipe that has become a no-fail go-to recipe.  Even if you think you don’t like hummus, make this.

It is that good.

The Rosemary and Sea Salt Crackers, paired with Traditional Hummus are a match made in heaven.  Together they are the perfect fall flavors, complimenting all of your cozy soups, stews, and chili recipes, or as a stand alone snack with a glass of wine.




Rosemary + Sea Salt Crackers

adapted from the back of a King Arthur Almond Flour bag

1 3/4 c.  Almond Flour, not almond meal*

1  flax egg  (1 T. ground flax + 3 T. tepid water, mix in small bowl, and let set 3-5 min.)

2 additional Tablespoons tepid water

1/2 t. sea salt, or Redmond real salt

1/2 t. freshly ground black pepper

1-2 T.  fresh rosemary, chopped**

Extra Sea Salt for sprinkling

Preheat oven and baking stone*** to 350 degrees.

Whisk together dry ingredients:  almond flour, sea salt, black pepper, and chopped rosemary.

Add flax egg and two additional tablespoons of water.

Stir together until a stiff dough forms.  I usually end up mixing with my hands to allow the dough to come together quickly and thoroughly.

Shape dough into a ball.  Flatten into a thick disk.

Place round disk of dough onto a piece of parchment paper.  Cover with a second piece of parchment.  Roll out with a rolling pin into a rectangular shape, until about 1/8 inch thick.

Remove top piece of parchment.  Score dough with a pizza wheel into 1 inch squares.

With a fork pierce each cracker a couple of times.  This keeps the crackers crispness, by allowing steam to escape while baking.  Do not skip!

Slide the crackers with the parchment in place, onto a large peel, or rimless baking sheet.  This just helps keep your crackers steady on the way to the oven, but if you do not have one, just carefully lift both ends of the parchment, and transfer with care, onto the hot baking stone in the oven.

Bake 15-20 minutes, until the crackers are light golden brown.  The outer crackers may brown up a little more quickly, and that’s ok.  They won’t be uniform, the outside edges will get a little more color than the middle crackers.

Transfer to a cooling rack.  Allow to cool completely before storing in an airtight container.  The crackers will crisp as they cool.


*I have used both King Arthur brand almond flour, as well as bob’s red mill.  Both work well in this recipe, just be sure that you are buying super finely ground almond flour, and not almond meal.  They are not the same. 

**I used 2 tablespoons of chopped fresh rosemary, for a bold hit of herbal flavor, but if you are new to rosemary, or want a more subdued flavor start with 1 tablespoon. 

***I have discovered that a baking stone makes the best homemade crackers.  This works wonders with all my cracker recipes, I highly recommend it.  They crisp up better, and cook more evenly, but if you don’t have one, you can also use a regular baking sheet.


Traditional Hummus

recipe from:

2 c. soaked and cooked chickpeas* + one teaspoon of cooking liquid (reserve a few whole chickpeas for garnish if you like)

1/3c. extra virgin olive oil

freshly squeezed lemon juice (from 1/2 to 3/4 of a lemon in winter, and a full lemon in summer–yes, it’s seasonal, and yes, it matters)

1 T.  tahini

1 large roughly chopped garlic clove

1/2 t.  salt

Place prepared chickpeas into the food processor along with one teaspoon of the reserved cooking liquid.  Whirl for ten seconds.

Use a spatula to scrape rough chickpea mixture from the sides of the processor.  Add lemon juice and tahini.  Pulse again to incorporate.


Scrape down the sides again and add the roughly chopped garlic clove and salt.  Pulse until the mixture is quite smooth, taking breaks to fold in toward the center. If necessary add in a little more olive oil to help smooth it out.

Taste again.

Spoon hummus into a bowl and use  spatula to swirl it into a spiral.  Garnish with a tiny splash of olive oil, and a few reserved chickpeas.

*I prefer to use traditionally prepared chickpeas instead of canned for this dish.  To prepare dried chickpeas,  place in a mixing bowl, cover with water and 2 tablespoons lemon juice.  Allow to soak overnight, or up to 24 hours.  Drain chickpeas from soaking water, and place into a pressure cooker, or cook in a conventional dutch oven.  Cover with 4 cups of water, add 1 teaspoon salt.   

To pressure cook:  Add a teaspoon of olive oil to the chickpea, salt, and water mixture, bring to a boil, cover with the lid to the cooker, allow to come to 15 lbs. of pressure, reduce heat and pressure cook for 25 minutes. 

To cook conventionally:  Place chickpeas in dutch oven with the 4 cups of water, bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer for 50-60 minutes or until tender.   

Easy 3 Ingredient Peanut Butter Cookies (Gluten Free)


Fall is ripe for adventure.  There are football games and tailgating, extra friends home after the big game, bonfires under starlit skies, last minute sunny afternoon picnics, bike rides down winding gravel roads, apple picking, and hiking through fall colors.










All this activity calls for a little something to keep everyone well fed and nourished, a quick and satisfying, not too sweet treat.  So what’s a mama to do when she finds herself in need of a zippy little adventure treat???!


I make these super simple, 3 ingredient peanut butter cookies, that also just happen to be gluten free.  Bonus.  They are quick and easy to whip up for a last minute picnic, or after a football game to satisfy and top off teenage boy appetites.  A great all around go-to recipe.


Easy Peanut Butter Cookies (Gluten Free)

makes aprox 1 1/2 dozen

1 c. Natural peanut butter*

1/2c. Organic cane sugar + a little more for dipping

1 farm fresh egg

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

In a medium sized mixing bowl, measure each of the three ingredients, and mix until well incorporated.

Using a teaspoon, or small cookie scoop, make small balls from the dough and set aside.

Add an extra tablespoon or two of organic cane sugar to a small saucer, and dip the tops of the cookie dough balls into the sugar to give them a pretty coating.

Place onto cookie sheet, evenly spaced, reserving room to flatten the cookie dough balls.  Using a fork, gently flatten the cookie dough balls making a crisscross pattern with the fork, or if you are especially short on time, use a juice glass or jelly jar to press cookies to about a thickeness of 3/8 of an inch.

Pop the baking sheet with prepared cookies into preheated oven and bake for 8-10 minutes or until golden brown.

Remove from baking sheet and allow to cool on a clean flour sack towel or cooling rack.

Pack these marvelously easy, scrumptious, 3 ingredient peanut butter cookies to fuel you and your bunch on your next adventure.

Happy Fall!

Zoodles And Easy Homestead Pesto


Zucchini + Noodles = Zoodles!


Fresh raw pasta, adorned with summertime flavors paints a new picture of zucchini.  One splashed with vibrant flavors, rich smooth oils, mingling with tantalizing tomatoes, all on a zucchini canvas.  Which as you know, if you have ever delt with summer’s most abundant vegetable, is ripe with opportunity to create any combination under the sun.

Imagine flavors that will uplift and ignite a new passion for pasta.  A pasta that picks you up, rather than weigh you down.  A pasta that may be even a little bit revolutionary.  I promise, you will never miss the grain.  You will wave good-bye with gratitude as you embrace this fresh, new take on homemade pasta.

Zoodles are the epitome of local, fresh, seasonal fare.  Zucchini’s abundance may be the bane of many a homestead gardener, but will soon be the boon of a zoodle lovin’ girl.  Often they are found in the free box outside of church, or dropped off secretly by some snickering neighbor, thinking they pulled a fast one on you when you weren’t home, but the joke’s on them once you discover zoodles.  You will grab every zucchini you can get your hands on to create this simple, delicate, flavor-bursting pasta.

All you need is a julienne peeler, and 2 minutes of your time.

Simple. Easy. Delicious.

My favorite flavor combination is simply zucchini noodles, or zoodles, topped with a dollop of homemade pesto, a drizzle of balsamic vinegar, and a handful of gorgeous heritage cherry tomatoes fresh from the garden.  A grating of black pepper adds a bit of bite and really unites the flavors together.  This combination is a blissful fresh spaghetti flavor that invigorates the senses.


Fresh Zoodle Summer Spaghetti

 1 medium zucchini, washed

5-6 heritage cherry tomatoes, quartered

1 Tablespoon easy homestead pesto (recipe below)

Splash of balsamic vinegar

Fresh ground black pepper, to taste

Using julienne peeler, prepare zoodles by running the peeler from top to bottom of the vegetable, lengthwise, to make long strips or noodles.  Peel onto a large dinner plate, or baking sheet.  Rotate the zucchini until you have gone all the way around removing the outer green layer.  Continue making zoodles by rotating and using long smooth strokes with the julienne peeler until the seeds are beginning to be exposed.

Compost, or give the chickens the core of the zucchini.  Some for me, some for you.

Toss the zoodles together, so that the green outer zoodles mix with the white inner zoodles, and all are mingling together nicely.  Nest zoodles in a pasta bowl, or on a large dinner plate.

Top with a dollop of homestead pesto, quartered cherry tomatoes, a splash of balsamic vinegar, and a generous grating of black pepper.


Simple. Honest. Good.

 Easy Homestead Pesto

Adapted from, Nourishing Traditions, by Sally Fallon

Makes aprox. 1 cup

2 c. Packed fresh basil leaves, washed and dried

4 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed

1/2 t.  Redmond Real Salt, or sea salt

1/4 c. Raw sunflower seeds

1/2c. Extra virgin olive oil

Place basil leaves in food processor, pulse until well chopped.  Add garlic, salt, and sunflower seeds, blend well, stopping and scraping down the sides with a rubber spatula as needed.

With food processor running, slowly pour in olive oil through the chute, or attachment for adding liquids, if you have one.  Allow oil to incorporate completely.  Pesto will become a thick paste.

Eat immediately, or store in a covered container, my favorite is a jelly jar with a lid, in the refrigerator, or freeze.



As I seek balance in the wake of abundant summer harvest my heart fills with gratitude.  I am learning to be still in the moment and lean into the presence of filling.  Learning to stand in comfortable awareness that there is much to do, yet allowing myself to be fully present with the task at hand.


Finding beauty in the moment, the way light dances across green shimmering vegetables in sinks and tubs, the sparkle of dew on webs and melons filling the garden abudant.  The dark seductiveness of first grapes on virgin vine allures my eyes and heightens my senses.  My hands fill and flow with much daily grace as I chant thanksgiving through each of my days.


Breathing deeply to expand my energy, filling jars of pickles and green beans confidently moving in the direction of autumn harvest.  Embracing the familiar knowing of apples and grapes patiently ripening on limb and vine.



Becoming aware of the cool edges on the wind, the familiar changes that begin to whisper breath-like in the sky.  Allowing stillness to enter in, a calm center, as my body continues in constant movement.  Contentment spreading gentle ripples on glass waters of my soul, the work at once both soothes and fills me up overflowing with abundant gratitude for all that is, and all that shall be.



Otherwise known as easy overnight oats.  


Bircher-Muesli is a simple, traditional, soaked & cultured, overnight oatmeal that takes just a few moments before bedtime to be ready upon your rising in the morning.  It is worth those moments, you are worthy of those moments.  Making this muesli in a mason jar makes it a quick and portable healthy breakfast choice whether you are heading out the door and into the car, or out onto the deck for a breakfast picnic.


Using keifer to soak your oats and seeds elevates this Bircher-Muesli recipe. You get the beautiful probiotic lovelies from the keifer, which also unlock the oat’s full potential within your body.  It is gluten-free, if you choose thick rolled oats that are processed in a grain free facility.


I love the addition of chia seeds to traditional Bircher-Muesli.  Paired alongside the addition of keifer and homemade almond milk, this beautiful breakfast becomes a creamy, nourishing delight to awaken the senses.  The thick, rich consistency is complemented by the crunch of nuts, seeds, and grated apple sprinkled over.


Add a handful of colorful, seasonal berries, a sprinkle of coconut flakes, a glimmer of honey or maple syrup to top off your morning, with the aroma of lovingly strewn cinnamon wafting gently amongst oats and fruit, Bircher-Muesli, is a raw, wholly nurturing way to enhance your wellbeing and elevate your day.



serves 1

1/2 c.  thick rolled oats

2 T.  chia seeds

1 c.  prepared keifer*

pinch of salt

the night before 

Place oats, chia seeds, salt, and keifer into a pint size Mason jar.  Stir well to combine.  Cover and let sit on the countertop, or in a cupboard overnight.

in the morning

Add to your soaked oats and seeds:

1/2 to 3/4 c.  Almond, coconut, or milk of your choosing

1 apple, grated

A handful fresh, seasonal berries

a sprinkle of coconut

a dash of cinnamon

a glimmer of honey or maple syrup

top with almonds, walnuts, pecans, an/or seeds of your liking, to add a little crunch

Stir and enjoy immediately, or place lid on the jar and store in the refrigerator.

*if you do not have prepared keifer at the ready, you may use 1/2 to 1 cup water mixed with 2 tablespoons of plain yogurt, buttermilk, or fresh lemon juice.  Just remember that the amount of probiotic loveliness will change when you use another soaking medium.





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