Check out Dolly's blog, - she is a "True Southern Lady"  Excellent tips, household helps, and recipes!   I can't even come close to her when it comes to the home or being a "Lady"!

Garden looking dingy?  It is never too late to plant to fill in those areas in your garden... Now is the time that many plants go on sale..... my favorite for fill in - is the Cosmos - and herbs.... sure herbs don't necessarily bring color... but you can eat them!  Closer to Fall I add Chrysanthemum.

Morning walks in your yard to survey trees, and planting beds... I am always on the lookout for pests...  I prepare my beds and trees in the fall with a good dose of Diatomaceous Earth!  So when the worms lay and eat - they die... this has really helped on my apple tree... I still will sprinkle a bit during the summer months too. 
Bird baths - this is an excellent way to attract wildlife to your yard.. I keep mine clean, especially with our days being so hot...(finally, a summer without torrential rain!) -  I have more than one bath too, I have a smaller one with stones - this helps out the butterflies.

How to pick a good watermelon? - Gee I really don't know - But an old timer says - place your watermelon on a flat surface and give it a nice knock -  when you tap it, you should hear a full, tenor-like sound rather than a bass. It may seem silly, but this one is no old wives’ tales?? -  Look for yellow circles on them - Avoid shinny - Let me know what works for you?

A small share of my yard - little shy of an acre - but boy, I have it packed! 

Love my Lily - first flower I planted 13 years ago
Happy and Healthy

New Additions this year

Love these

Wild flower area

Cosmos - my fav! I have three wildflower areas this year

New addition this year

Roma - Waiting on them

My unruly girls! these chicks are NOT friendly!

added this flower to fill in where one of my herbs died


Each season brings new excitement!  

My Talk About is - managing living on a hilly property..... what are the challenges?

  1. Envision.... Your "Vision" - Don't make it too big (at first)
    1. Plan, Plan, Plan and take a year or two to figure out water issues 
  2. Know drainage issues, how to fix 
    1. What I did is take a video when it 'down pours' this helps me determine how to work on the problem (done this a few times :(..)
  3. Knowing what to plant & where
  4. Pick your plants based on soil, climate and adaptability
  5. Best places for Steps, fences, and sheds and retaining walls 

Walkway with flower border - keeps the water flowing - where it should flow 

Mint - a Weed-Gone-Wild 

Retaining wall - place for strawberries - I use all the space I can to grow

Add new garden beds to grow herbs...

We live on an acre in Northern Virginia in the Blue Ridge, a community not far from the "city."  Off a paved road, but once you turn into our development .... you enter "goat trails"..... hilly, muddy roads - awful...

Mistakes I made: 

Moving to this community
Thinking too big
Planting invasive trees and plants in my yard - Not knowing!
Planting trees to close to house

This year we have removed damaging trees, excess rock, put in efficient retaining walls.... Planted flowers that are not as acceptable to veggie planting, and put veggie planting in raised beds in a more manageable part of the yard.


My dad made poundcake often, many times to accompany strawberries.... a nice food memory for me.

Today is my 20 year wedding anniversary and I wanted to switch up the dessert and give my husband his favorite Ice Cream Cake..... Poundcake is hearty.....

I researched several cakes and I found this one.... Easy, Rich and Delish..... I broke up the recipes to add a few pound muffins.... for his lunch tomorrow.

Grandmother's Pound Cake II 

Grandmother's Pound Cake II

Rated as 4.62 out of 5 Stars

"This recipe is over 100 years old and is the original kind of pound cake: it contains 1 pound each of butter, sugar, eggs and flour and contains no salt, baking powder or flavoring (but flavoring such as vanilla extract or almond extract can be added if desired!)"


  • 2 cups butter
  • 3 cups white sugar
  • 6 eggs

  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup milk


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease 3 - 8x4 inch loaf pans, then line with parchment paper.

  2. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time. Beat in the flour alternately with the milk, mixing just until incorporated.

  3. Pour batter evenly into prepared loaf pans. Bake in the preheated oven for 70 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cakes comes out clean.

  4. After removing them from the oven, immediately loosen cake edges with a knife. Allow to cool in pans for 10 minutes, then remove from the pans. 

  5. Strip off the parchment paper and cool completely on wire racks.
(I added vanilla - only change)



Chicken Tenders
I Tested a few air fryers and I give my vote to Phillips brand.  cooking a meal is easy, making healthy French fries!!!

I have made dessert too, but I can't recommend for that!


Money can be tight this time of year; Bills like property taxes! life etc... BUT, I have some fairly inexpensive ideas.... 

Homemade is Always Better - here are some ideas....

MY favorite gift to give is Granola and the feature of this Blog. - My recipe came from Alton Brown, from the Food Network..... I just 'perfected' it... add what I have on hand and it is SO very good by itself, with ice cream or yogurt.

Recipe courtesy of Alton Brown:

    • 3 cups rolled oats
    • 1 cup slivered almonds
    • 1 cup cashews
    • 3/4 cup shredded sweet coconut
    • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
    • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons maple syrup
    • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
    • 3/4 teaspoon salt
    • 1 cup raisins


  • Preheat oven to 250 degrees F.
  • In a large bowl, combine the oats, nuts, coconut, and brown sugar.
  • In a separate bowl, combine maple syrup, oil, and salt. Combine both mixtures and pour onto 2 sheet pans. Cook for 1 hour and 15 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes to achieve an even color.
  • Remove from oven and transfer into a large bowl. Add raisins and mix until evenly distributed.

zest from one orange 
pinch of nutmeg 
vanilla powder 
quality honey (I use in place of brown sugar) 
quality maple syrup 
plus I omit raisins - why? many people don't like raisins.
Fresh warm Granola Hooterville Homestead 2018
Makes a Large Pan

Small jars of homemade jams, jellies, pickles are always a hit with me... I love getting them as well as giving them.... (pic's courtesy of the internet) - these are the easiest of all canning.

Fresh Garden Fruit Jam/Jellies - "IF" you can beat the rabbits to them!
Homemade Garden Pickles - Yummy

Ideas for Packaging!

I go after the holiday season and buy food gift bags!  so cheap!

25 Cents - all these cost - after holiday sale
I did this with Homemade Vanilla Cupcake mix

I do make my own Candles - Love his idea

Great idea for Jam/Jellies

Love the Family you have, give the gift of giving! 

Wishing all a beautiful, warm, thankful, blessed Christ filled Holiday!  All my love sent to you!


Fall, as I discovered... is most folks favorite time of year.... it stopped raining, we have had 8 days of beautiful sunny, warm weather.

I normally get the itch to cook & bake and scour over my recipes and cookbooks. - this year, I am not going to make candy or cookies - - - We will see how long this lasts?    I do plan to make stolen for Christmas, but just for my house - Selfish I suppose!

I did not put up apples or pears, we gave to a local horse farm.  Just me and hubby, and I did put up peaches!... Next year I do plan on making apple cider, that is, if we have a good crop.

I have made some 'mock' recipes, keeping with my low to no sugar and lowcarb lifestyle
Mashed Rutabaga!  Used my InstaPot to cook them down!

Zucchini Fritters
Crispy Goodness!

Pumpkin with rutabaga? Oh yes, so yummy and tastes just like pumpkin Pie!

Pumpkins Muffins - Pie on the go!!

A NO BAKE FALL for me!  or NOT?  I am debating!


This is a great fail proof recipe.... don’t be like me and used expired baking powder....

Fancy Muffins Cups  

 Yummy Goodness

 Gooey, Bursting with Berries


 In spite of all the rain this summer, I did have a good harvest, the peaches are a bit tart, but this lends to a balanced baked product.. not too sweet..

It was daunting looking at all I picked (just two trees, and I am thankful it was just two)  - What to do?  Jam was out, as many of my jam recipients do not prefer peach jam.
Harvest, trees are two years old!
Baked Crisp
Peaches ready for the topping

I made a peach crisp, using the Pioneer Women's Recipe from her very first cookbook.   - I gifted the crisp to the St. Dominic's Monastery, as it turned out it was a day of celebration for them.  

 I froze three trays of peaches to use during the winter months.... for use in oatmeal, pancakes and muffins and so much more!
Ready for flash freezer

My Winesap apple trees runneth over! - I have so many canned, frozen and dehydrated from past years.. I plan to give this harvest away...
One of 8 apple trees, so heavy they are on the ground!

Happy Harvesting to all you Gardeners!


I was recently gifted a hand cranked pasta machine.... from a friend who married into an Italian family from Pennsylvania...Laurie's husband -  Rich is deeply rooted in the Italian tradition, heritage and culture, and a good man! and one that knows his Italian Cuisine!....  It is an older machine made in Italy... came in the box with all the 'goods' (happy dance)...... My recommendation for anyone wanting an authentic tool... I recommend the Marcato Brand, and they do have a  Just make sure it is made in Italy...... (fakes out there)

Why make your own pasta?  first off, it tastes so much better, not that hard to do.....and you can store it (short shelf life) - but worth it.


1 - Use room temperature eggs and fresh is best (I have hens... good thing)
      Very important eggs are at room temperature.... I USED todays eggs for this goodness!


3 - If too sticky, add water, need water... add some (perfect dough should not stick to your fingers)

4 - As for the flour you choose, this is 'my' preference.... this is what I like - you can't go wrong with
     KA (but I recently ordered some from Italy to make some Pasta for Rich, cause Italians know
     there food. - which is a good thing!

Dough kneaded and resting
My suggestion on how to get a recipe and work the dough through the machine.... use the website..... or the instructions on the KA pasta blend bag.

put some dough through the 'stretcher'

Making a thick spaghetti

the dough lightly tossed in pasta flour, drying and will have for dinner - tossed in Olive Oil and Garlic  - 

That is it Folks!  this pasta will accompany some Beef Tenderloin for supper tonite!