2022 Garden Part One: Garden Journal

Today I woke up to snow. So, of course, it is time to plan the garden!  This annual planning of the garden could not arrive at a better time of the year. The holidays, and all that planning, is behind me with a long blank calendar ahead of me. I am trapped inside with depressingly cold, windy, and gray weather keeping me from venturing outdoors. I am longing for long sunny days, and I am not even halfway through winter. But alas, those bright, colorful, catalogs have arrived in the mail and today it is time to start ordering because next month, believe it or not, I will start planting seedings in the greenhouse. A smile brightens my face and settles in my heart. It’s garden planning time! (a.k.a. I just might survive another winter!)

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Decking the Halls

This year I am looking at Christmas a little differently. Some of that is due to being forced to stay home for an extended period and looking around and taking note. Another reason is the pandemic itself.  I, like many others, am looking at my world differently. With COVID, we saw process plants shut down, food and supply shortages, and a drastic change in the labor force. This has made me a little more self-reliant and that has crossed over in the way I am decorating for Christmas. Here are some of the changes I am applying to decking the halls:

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Mushroom & Leek Flatbread

Herb-roasted mushrooms, flatbread pizza, kale pecan pesto, and creamy melted muenster cheese. This recipe is a garden buster taking advantage of many fresh garden items: leek, kale, and herbs.

Mushroom & Leek Flatbread

Cedar Oak Farms
Course Appetizer, Main Course
Cuisine American


  • 8 ounces organic baby bella mushrooms, sliced
  • 3 – 4 tablespoons fresh herbs like oregano, sage, and thyme, chopped
  • 1 leek, root and outer layer removed and sliced
  • 2 cups kale, loosely packed
  • 2 tablespoons pecans
  • 5 tablespoons olive oil + more for drizzling, divided
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 package refrigerated flatbread dough
  • 4 ounces Muenster cheese, cubed
  • 1 tablespoon half-and-half
  • Cedar Oak Farms Smoked Sea Salt


  • Place the mushrooms and herbs in a medium bowl. Drizzle with enough olive oil to coat mushrooms. Season with COFarms Smoked Sea Salt and let sit for 20 minutes to absorb flavors.
  • Pour the mushrooms, oil and all, into a skillet and sauté for 5 – 8 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool slightly.
  • Meanwhile, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil and butter in a medium nonstick pan. Heat until butter starts to foam, add the leeks. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover with a tight lid, and let cook 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Season with COFarms smoked sea salt. Remove from heat and let cool slightly
  • Place the kale and pecans in a food processor and pulse until finely chopped. Add 2 tablespoons olive oil and the water pulse until combined. Season with COFarms smoked sea salt.
  • Unroll the flatbread dough on a 13×9-inch baking sheet with parchment paper down. Spread the kale pesto over the dough. Layer on the mushrooms and leeks. Bake at 425°F oven for 14 – 18 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown. Remove from oven.
  • Place the cheese cubs and half-and-half in a microwave safe bowl, and microwave for 1 minutes. Stir and continue melting at 30 seconds intervals until a smooth consistency. Drizzle over the flatbread.
  • Serve immediately.
Keyword Meatless, Pizzas & Flatbreads, Smoked Sea Salt