Thursday, December 15, 2016

Peruvian Inspired Rice Bowl

On a recent trip to Washington DC we ate at CHINA CHICANO, a Jose Andres restaurant its contemporary Peruvian cuisine and showcases the influence of Japanese and Chinese cuisine in Peruvian cooking. In fact trying new cuisines and foods when traveling is such a gift, time and time again it inspires me to try and recreate a dish when returning home. I adore this about my husband he often finds restaurants books them and takes us there. This weekend alone we ate Chinese, Peruvian, Middle Eastern and Russian. 

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Homegrown Peanuts

 I planted a small patch of peanuts over the summer and harvested them a couple of weeks back. I got the plants at a local greenhouse. I wanted to share as it was so much fun and easy to do on a small scale, they do well in loose soil and you pretty much plant and leave them until they start to die back then pull them up! I was a little too eager and roasted them the first day and they were so so, after a message with a local farmer I learnt you really need to let them dry out first. 

But if you have space they are a fun item to add to your late summer/ fall garden, I might plant some in the school garden next year.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Fig and Mixed Green Salad

This is a simple salad, using figs from my garden and salad greens and tomatoes from my farm. My little fig tree that is about 5 years old, produced weeks of amazing figs and saved us money buying them. If you live in a region that gets colder winters its good to plant a fig tree close to your house so it gets a little micro climate. 

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Food is Love

A while back I was asked if I wanted to be featured in the documentary of Registered Dietitians Nutritionists they feature at the beginning of FNCE (The Food and Nutrition Conference and Expo) I was so humbled and truly touched to be one of the featured Dietitians. In August a film crew came from Chicago and spent a whole day with me filming it was a fun but surreal experience. The clip is awesome and I am proud to be a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist along with the other amazing professionals. 

Monday, October 10, 2016

The Rhine Valley, Germany

On our trip to Germany this summer we stayed in the Rhine Valley, the river is the second longest in Europe after the Danube at over 700 miles long, its a wide river with currents and historically since Roman times has been a method of transportation and trade. Even today you will see huge boats carrying coal, passenger ferries, car ferries and shipping containers. Along the river north of Rudesheim you will be treated to beautiful vineyards, lovely little towns and ancient castles as you head North. 

Many of the castles would have chains across the river and charge people to cross. Over the centuries many lay in ruin but quite a few were purchased and restored. One of these is Burg Rheinstein just to the North of Bingen. I stumbled upon this castle while searching for castle stays. What a gem its a restored castle ran by the Hecher family featuring a museum in the castle, and a couple of apartments at the back. 

It has a wonderful restaurant and hosts many weddings. The apartments are modern and the view at breakfast is amazing. The family is very polite and I would say it makes a good base to explore this area. 

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Corn and Banana Pepper Salad

As summer winds down and we move into fall, you may be on the last of the local corn in your community. This is a simple garden salad, that allows fresh summer corn to shine. I do think it will also work well with frozen corn so no worries.


  • 2 corn on the cob cooked with the kernels removed.
  • 1/2 a red onion finely chopped
  • 10 cherry tomatoes chopped
  • a handful of fresh cilantro chopped
  • 10 small banana peppers chopped. If you garden I recommend these they are mild in flavor and easy to grow. 
  • a dash of olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • a pinch of cumin
  • one medium cucumber chopped

  1. cook corn and remove the kernels. 
  2. add all the ingredients to a big bowl and mix.
  3. eat as a light lunch or as a side dish.

In other news I sold a few flowers to a local produce store. I also sold fresh herbs to a couple of local restaurants, so happy the farm is coming along nicely, slowly but surely. 

Farm fresh herbs.

Hope your well, hugs.

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Sunday, September 18, 2016

Fort Thirumayam, Tamil Nadu, India


In the Summer while visiting family in Southern India we drove from Trichy to Chettinad on the way we spotted this old fort and decided to stop and visit. I am all about stopping and checking out sights on road trips. When I asked the kids what their favorite part of the trip was they mention the bullet cart and climbing on these ancient rocks. 

Fort Thirumayam, Tamil Nadu, India was bult in 1687 by Vijaya Raghunath Sethupathi it was originally a ring fort and has historical significance as an important stronghold of rebel chieftains in the Polygar Wars. Oomathurai, the brother of Panchalankurichi chieftain Kattabomman was captured in this fort. There is a British cannon at the top, so I am sure the British used this too. It offers a great view of the surrounding area. It also features cool big rocks to climb and hide under a fun stop on a journey and part of history. 

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Watermelon Salsa

Watermelon is so good in Salsa, be sure to make some before summer ends. This melon was bought in the country near Ladybird farm in Yadkin county North Carolina at a cute roadside place on an honor system. You can see a little clip below. Its a beautiful area with rolling hills, cows, horses and farms. If you ever want to visit my farm your always welcome. 

Monday, August 22, 2016

Summer Pasta

This is a simple summer salad, and one that needs good tomatoes. I roasted eggplant and golden beets and added to sautéed tomatoes with garlic, fresh basil also makes it special. 
Now is the time to savor the last of the summer tomatoes, on the farm we still have a few, fresh basil, cantaloupe, eggplant, okra and peppers but slowly we will transition into a fall garden.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Cochem, Germany

We recently visited Germany and spent our first night in Cochem along the Moselle river about 1 1/2 hours north of Frankfurt. Frankfurt is a great entry point into Germany and we often stop there en route to India. The scenic town of Cochem was founded in 886, it has a rich history and boosts many historic buildings. The castle is a jewel and sits majestically on the hill high above the town originally built in 1000 by the palatinate count Ezzo. The castle was passed down over the generations, but when  King Louis XIV (called Sun King) invaded the Rhine and the Moselle area it was destroyed and lay in ruins until 1868. Mr. Louis Ravené bought the castle and had it built in Neo-Gothic architectural style. In fact other castles in Germany have a similar history with many being in ruins being bought and restored. 

In many ways Cochem is picture perfect with a the river running through, quaint cobble streets, beautiful architecture and churches and the castle. The castle is a must visit its a steep but accessible walk up from the town and at the top you will be treated to amazing views and an interesting tour of the castle. Our guide only spoke German but I managed to pick up some. In fact this area is mostly a tourist destination for Germans from my observation I didn't hear too many other languages spoken.

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Kanadukathan, Chettinad, India

Before traveling to India, I came across an interesting article on Chettinad and its old mansion homes, I also have a friend here in North Carolina from this region who was telling me about her heritage and the culture of the area. When I discovered that a few of these old mansion homes had been converted into hotels I wanted to visit. I have seen them in Tamil movies and always loved the design with the central courtyard and grand pillars. 

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

The Miracle of Seeds

 In June my kind neighbor Mr. Collins offered to till me another garden area with his tractor. It was a kind gesture and I thought it would be fun to plant corn, sunflowers and pumpkins. We carefully added the seeds and watered through the dry spell to get the plants established before our big trip. It was amazing to watch the plants grow and returning from our trip to see sunflowers, pumpkins and corn. Our neighbors watched the chickens and another farmer friend watered the garden. So Grateful for the good folks and friends we have made in Yadkin county. 
I encourage you to plant some seeds and watch it reminds us of the magic and beauty of nature and Gods creation. 

 Planting the seeds and hoping for the best. 

 corn emerging. 

 I found this today - amazing. I hope to have a pumpkin patch for folks to come and pick their own.

 Butterflies, bees and birds love the sunflowers. 

So happy and if your ever in North Carolina and want to visit Ladybird Farm, drop me a line. 

We had a wonderful trip to the UK, India and Germany seeing friends and family stay tuned for pictures and insights of food culture and travel tips.

Much love 

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Saturday, July 2, 2016

Flower Power Salad

Flowers are grown for their beauty but many can be eaten as well, they make a beautiful salad, are great to freeze in ice cubes, fun in lemonades and a pretty garnish for deserts. This pretty and healthy salad was grown at the farm it features squash blossom, viola, and borage.

I have really enjoyed growing borage it was easy from seed, it has lovely edible blossoms and the bees love it, as I was planning the garden area I created new flower beds around the house and in front of the raised beds for the pollinators, if you plant they will come. Please plant flowers and minimize lawn chemicals to help our bees as they are in decline and these beautiful hard working insects are vital for our food supply.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Roasted Red Pepper Hummus

I just adore hummus and wonder why I don't make it more, there's a great local restaurant near Tanglewood park called Tanglewood Pizza Co. that make a great red pepper hummus this is inspired by theirs. Its easy to make and is great as a light snack or with other Middle Eastern foods, the day I made this I also made tabouleh and grilled vegetables. 


  • one can of chick peas
  • 2 cloves of garlic chopped
  • 1 red pepper sliced 
  • a dash of balsamic vinegar
  • a pinch of sesame seeds (tahini would be best but I didn't have any)
  • a dash of olive oil
  • a little lemon juice 
  • salt and pepper to taste

  1. heat the oven to 400 
  2. slice the red pepper and add to a baking tray with the garlic a little olive oil, balsamic vinegar, the garlic and a little salt and pepper, roast for 10-15 minutes until slightly charred.
  3. add a can of chick peas to a blender with the roasted red pepper, a little lemon juice, more oil, sesame seeds and water as needed to get desired consistency,
  4. enjoy 

 The farm continues to grow, I am not producing a great deal but am at peace with that want to slowly grow and mostly feed my family the first year. My kind neighbor a farmer tilled another area for me and we planted corn, sunflowers and pumpkins really hoping it establishes and we can have a pumpkin patch in the fall.

A lovely sunset recently I just adore them, the kids are off for the summer so busy with them and we have some travel coming up, stay connected on social media I will share the journey :-) '


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Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Spicy Roasted Cauliflower

 I have seen roasted cauliflower a lot on the internet recently and like all roasted vegetables, roasting unlocks some wonderful flavors. I make a marinade with Indian spices, roast and serve as a side dish. 
I did my first farmers market a couple of weeks ago in Yadkinville NC all in all a good experience. It wasn't very busy on opening day and in truth I sold very little but its a start. It again showed me how hard farming is not only in working in the field to grow the vegetables but also finding a market for them and being able to sell them.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Indian Spiced Apple Coleslaw

Funny I alway enjoy coleslaw but hardly make it at home. Its a blank canvas really, allowing a variety of spices or fresh herbs to be added to impart different flavors. This one uses Indian spices and Greek yogurt two things we always have on hand. 


  • 1/4 of a red cabbage finely chopped
  • 4 small apples, a mix of gala and granny smith thinly sliced
  • one cup of Greek yogurt 
  • 1/4 teaspoon of cumin powder, salt and pepper to taste, 1/4 teaspoon coriander powder 
  • 1 tablespoon of honey 
  • a pinch of chili powder 
  • a handful of sliced grapes

  1. slice the vegetables 
  2. mix the spices with the greek yogurt and combine 
  3. it's that easy :) 

The farm is slowly progressing and I have even attended a local farmers market meeting. I am going to have a wee open house this week where folks can come pick their own arugula, bok choi, salad and swiss chard. Here's the link if your local to Yadkin County NC.

I harvested my first book choi last week, so exciting!

future salad 

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Sunday, April 3, 2016

Season One - Ladybird Farm

I thought I would do a little blog post, with a update on ladybird farm , we bought a property in Yadkin county NC a few months ago and plan over the coming years to slowly grow vegetables to sell. We paid a couple of guys one a farmer to build raised beds, in a closed area to protect from hungry wildlife and add a compost bin and rain barrels, about a fortnight ago we started planting we haven't yet harvested but are excited to share the journey as we go. 

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Speedy Rajma

 I confess with starting up the farm I have been creating less new recipes of late, just cooking routine healthy meals that I know the kids will eat. This is a simple recipe with Indian flavors, would be great with roti.


  • one can of dark kidney beans and a can of light kidney beans
  • one small red onion chopped
  • 3 cloves of chopped garlic 
  • a pinch of cumin seeds
  • 2 cloves
  • one cinnamon stick 
  • one red chili 
  • 1/4 teaspoon of masala powder
  • salt to taste
  • one can of tomatoes 


  1. heat a little oil and add the whole spices to temper them, then add the onions and garlic and saute for 5-7 minutes until translucent 
  2. add the tomatoes with the masala power and salt and simmer for 5 minutes 
  3. add to a blender and blend
  4. return the sauce to the pan and add the cans of kidney beans, simmer a few more minutes and adjust seasoning if desired. 

 This morning we planted strawberries, Swiss chard, pea shoots and lettuce at the Clemmons elementary school garden. I wanted to get them in early to have plenty of time for them to grow so the kids would enjoy them before school is out. In this picture the kids are weeding :-)

 future strawberry 

Then when I returned home me and the wee man planted spinach, lettuce and peas in our garden. I will be growing in three places soon. The work on the raised bed garden has been started at the farm its looking great. I will write a blog post with pictures really soon. 

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