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Strawberry Season

Strawberry season for us in New England is a few weeks away.

There really is something about sitting in a field full of strawberry plants, the sun shining down on your face, the birds singing and the smell of life in the air.

I’ve always loved quiet moments, those moments you smile to yourself because you just know they’re special. Like when the sun shines down at a certain angle and you swear you see angels coming down from heaven.

Or when you smell lilacs in the air or when you hear waves lapping on the shore, those simple pleasures in life that so many of us take for granted.

Do me a favor and go strawberry picking this year. Go when there’s not a lot of people, when your family will have a row to yourselves. Sit or squat down among the berries. Feel the warmth of the sun and listen to the birds up above, watch the wind blow the leaves all around and pick those bright red juicy strawberries.

Maybe try one of these recipes with your bounty:

Strawberry Skillet Cake

Strawberry Pie

Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp

Strawberry Lemonade

French Strawberry Cake

Jodi xo



Maple Walnuts


I set out to make a snack that would be healthy but still a bit decadent. What I came away with was a memory of my great-grandmother, Grammy Pray.

My dad’s father’s mother lived in a little house across the driveway from my grandparents. Us grandkids would go over and visit with her, while she sat in her chair and peeled apples for a pie or threw her legs up with joy as she reminisced about skiing down a big mountain when she was just a girl.

She was a spry, happy lady and she lived to the age of 96. I remember trying to keep my little brother from playing with the white lace doilies she kept on the side tables next to the couch.

Grammy Pray told great stories of her youth and she always wore a smile on her face. She was so proud of her only son, my grandpa. She talked about her memories of him as a little boy, always with a gleam in her eye.


I started the morning with a recipe for maple covered walnuts.


It’s not much of a recipe, really.


Toss a cup and a half of whole walnuts with 2 tablespoons of pure maple syrup and a pinch of salt.


Bake at 325 degrees F for 10-15 minutes.

The kitchen was filled with scent of walnuts and maple syrup baking. That scent reminded me of Grammy Pray and the house I so often visited while I was a little girl and I’m so glad it did.

We miss you Grammy Pray!


Myrtle I. Pray

BRISTOL – Myrtle I. Pray, 96 of Beech Street, died Friday Jan. 28, 2005 at the Mt. Ridge Center in Franklin.

She was born in Boston, Mass., the daughter of Frank and Florence (Whiteway) Hinds. Prior to retirement Mrs. Pray had worked at The New Hampton School and the Laconia State School.

Mrs. Pray had been a long time resident of both Gilmanton and Bristol. In January of 2004, Mrs. Pray was awarded the Boston Post Cane as the oldest resident of Bristol. Mrs. Pray was an accomplished pianist and organist. She had played with a six-piece band at the Gilmanton Iron Works Town Hall, and had served as organist at the Baptist Church in Hill. In her spare time Mrs. Pray enjoyed the Lawrence Welk Show as well as Everybody Loves Raymond.

She was the wife of the late Norman C. Pray. Family members include one son and daughter-in-law Donald & Ruth Hislop of Gilmanton; one step daughter Myla Jacquith of Alexandria; two brothers Raymond Hinds of Tilton, Frank Hinds of Iowa; one sister Dottie MacDonald of Cape Cod, Mass.; four grandchildren; Betty Hughes, Michael Hislop, David Hislop, and Susan Ward; 10 great grandchildren, one great great grandchild. She was predeceased by one brother George Hinds and one sister Edith Hinds.




Free Kindle Edition


If you are interested 51YRHmPGqdL._BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-v3-big,TopRight,0,-55_SX278_SY278_PIkin4,BottomRight,1,22_AA300_SH20_OU01_in free books (and who isn’t), check out Homemade and Wholesome’s kindle version, free until Halloween. When you finish checking out the recipes and maybe making a few of your favorites, let me know what you think by giving it a review on Amazon.

Try the Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Pancakes or the Blueberry Cake Donuts for breakfast. Check out the Bison Lasagna for dinner and for dessert, you can’t go wrong with the Caramel Apple Tart.

Just as in the book, I want to thank you all, the wonderful people who follow and support this little blog.

Homemade and Wholesome – the book!


If you haven’t heard yet, there’s now a Homemade and Wholesome book available!

You can purchase it through my createspace estore and through Amazon!

A perfect gift for yourself or that special someone in your life.

As always, I thank you for being here!

A while back I was asked to be a part of a new app for people in the kitchen, which I of course thought was a worthy pursuit.

It just launched and while I don’t have an ipad to use the app myself, I can let you all know how to be a part of it.

SideChef believes cooking can be fun for everyone and I do too.

Here are some of the highlights and unique features of SideChef:

·       Step-by-Step Recipes: Hundreds of recipes from well-known food bloggers and chefs with audio and visual instructions as well as voice-command technology, making it easy to navigate the steps without having to touch the screen.

·       Cooking Timers & Notifications: Built-in automatic timers ensure nothing is ever left to burn or boil over – SideChef keeps track of what’s on the stove so you can relax.

·       Recipe Building Tool: Sharing personal recipes is simple with the built-in upload tool, which also allows chefs to add their own step-by-step photography.

·       Diverse Cuisine Options: Recipe search tool makes it easy and fun to discover new regional eats or cater to special diets including gluten-free, vegan, kosher and more.

·       Easy Menu Planning for 2 or 10: Recipes dynamically change to increase or decrease ingredient amounts and cooking instructions based on the number of servings you wish to prepare, taking the guess work out of adjusting recipes for a crowd.

·       Smart, Sharable Grocery Lists: Grocery list feature gives you the option to cross off items that you already have in the pantry and makes it easy to print or share via email.

·       Robust International Community: Active community of home cooks, professional chefs and food lovers eager to explore new foods and try new things. Follow your favorite chefs, ask them questions, and grow your own fan base to reach “celebrity chef” status.

·       Gain Recognition and Shoot for the Stars: Earn tokens while cooking to gain recognition and credibility among community members. Try advanced techniques and master new cuisines to collect badges, rewards and bragging rights.

When you download SideChef for free at the ipad store, enter the code HWHOLESOME250 and you will receive 250 SideChef tokens and an additional recipe upload slot so you can share your own recipes.

Here is a shot of what my page looks like:


SideChef combines the best of cooking and social elements to create a unique gamified cooking experience designed to reward and encourage users to experiment with new cooking techniques and to master a variety of culinary skills. SideChef is the brainchild of video game industry veteran and former global manager for community development for World of Warcraft at Blizzard Entertainment, Kevin Yu, who leveraged his extensive technology and gaming expertise to reimagine the cooking experience. The company is backed by a diverse team of tech, finance, and culinary geeks, all united by a passion for game-changing innovation and great cooking.

Please download it and let me know what you think. I would love to hear your feedback!

This is it!

For months I have gone back and forth with the idea of starting a blog. I have created a few but then changed my mind about how they looked or sounded. This is it though…this is the one I will stick with. This blog (having a readership) will help with my newest obsession, getting published.  I have always loved writing.  I am eagerly submitting my short stories to various children’s magazines and thinking about writing a memoir of sorts. I love books and the written word. I guess you would call me a book worm. This past weekend my husband, Thomas and eight year old son, Ethan went yardsaling and I bought seven books and that was me holding back. I just cherish them. Ok, so this won’t only be about my love affair with all things wordly. I also love to bake and share my recipes with friends and family. In order to hone your skills you have to practice them, right?