Category Archives: foodie

lost & found summer

Scenes {from my lost blogging month!} from Summer at Le Homestead and around Kentucky…




Glass Gem

UPDATE: 10/21/15 We do not have seeds this year. You can find Glass Gem corn seeds at Native Seeds. Cheers!

Now available in our Barren River Emporium shop:

Glass Gem Corn Seeds, 60 Seed Pack. Shipping Included for USA orders. Organic, Non-GMO, Heirloom.

This beautiful, multi-colored heirloom flint corn is used for making flour or as a popping corn. Unlike sweet corn, it is not typically eaten right off the cob. However, it was likely bred as an ornamental variety.

After wait-listing our seeds for a year, we grew the seeds available here last Summer 2013. Grown without pesticides or synthetic fertilizers; Organic. Each ear was like opening a surprise gift – each more colorful and unique than the last.

We wanted to spread the Non-GMO corn love to you. They make beautiful seasonal decorations and delicious & super-white popcorn.

Glass Gem Popcorn by OliveLoaf Design

Grown in South Central Kentucky, USA.

Glass Gem Growing by OliveLoaf Design

Via"Its origin traces back to Carl Barnes, a part-Cherokee farmer living in Oklahoma. Barnes had an uncanny knack for corn breeding. More specifically, he excelled at selecting and saving seed from those cobs that exhibited vivid, translucent colors. Exactly how long Barnes worked on Glass Gem—how many successive seasons he carefully chose, saved, and replanted these special seeds—is unknown. But after many years, his painstaking efforts created a wondrous corn cultivar that has now captivated thousands of people around the world." 

"Approaching old age, Barnes bestowed his precious seed collection to Greg Schoen, his corn-breeding protégé. The weighty responsibility of protecting these seeds was not lost on Schoen. While in the process of moving in 2010, he sought out a place to store a sampling of the collection to ensure its safekeeping. Schoen passed on several unique corn varieties to fellow seedsman Bill McDorman, who was owner at the time of Seeds Trust, a small family seed company then located in central Arizona. (Today, Bill McDorman is Executive Director of Native Seeds/SEARCH.Curious about the oddly named Glass Gems, he planted a handful of seeds in his garden. The spectacular plants that emerged took him by surprise. 'I was blown away,' McDorman recalls. 'No one had ever seen corn like this before.' "

Rainbow Corn by OliveLoaf Design

Click here to order!

2013::Crafty & Bright

“We will open the book. Its pages are blank. We are going to words on them ourselves. The book is called Opportunity and its first chapter is New Year’s Day.” ~Edith Lovejoy Pierce

Welcome to a new year friends! I fell behind in my postings for most of December so in an effort to catch-up & and to jump-start the new year, I thought I would post a wrap-up…

Forest Findings Glitter Ornaments

Acorns & black walnuts found in le woods

Forest Finding Ornaments

Under Construction: Gold Leaf Papier Mache Trinket Bowls

Paper Mache Gold Leaf Bowls by OliveLoaf Design

Inspired by artist Kelli Murray’s DIY

paper mache bowls by oliveloaf design

I loved gold leafing so much I may gold leave everything!

paper mache bowls by oliveloaf design2

A papier mache whale ornament for my new nephew

Paper Mache Whale Ornament by OliveLoaf Design

Homegrown & Harvested Seed Packets

Compostable envelopes, washi tape {a new favorite}, stamped & up-cycled paper bags

seed packs by oliveloaf design

Wildflower Seed Bombs

Made with newspapers & the bags are compostable too! The picture on the tag is of our 2012 wildflower patch.

seed bombs by oliveloaf design

A Blooming Hippeastrum

Just in time for Christmas & New Year!

Christmas Flower

Vegan Pho & Vietnamese Summer Rolls

Mr. d & I celebrate being 8 months plant-strong!


May Your Days Be Crafty & Bright



garden fresh


i had to share this beautiful display of garden fresh goodness

and the gorgeous meal mr d. & i created…


it’s sort of a deconstructed eggplant parmesan ~ minus meat, dairy AND oil.

the mister and i have been on a plant~based diet for 2½ months and going {plant} strong!

we were inspired by forks over knives, prevent and reverse heart disease & engine 2 diet


i don’t need to go on & on about how great we are feeling,

how much we’re reducing cholesterol & blood pressure

& how much weight we are losing…

 i’ll just say, if you don’t know about the above ~ check them out yourself.

i like to do a food post from time to time so from now on they will be plant based.

i just wanted to show you what you can do with all veg!


cheese is art


“…Blessed are the cheese-makers”  ~Monty Python, Life of Brian


my family & i had the pleasure of visiting a local favorite

& soon to be a nationwide fave kenny’s farmhouse cheese 

a 200 acre family farm, located in the rolling hills of barren county, kentucky.


kenny himself gave us a little tour & enlightened us on artistry that is cheese-making…


a cheese-maker shows us an aromatic & tasty tomato basil cheddar…


a plethora of varietals await their debut…


kenny’s prides themselves on creating new & exciting cheeses like Cup O’ Joe

a coffee infused cheddar…


future cheese-makers…



look for kenny’s farmhouse cheese at the  2nd Annual Pastoral Artisan Producer Festival

at my beloved chicago french market {ohh i miss it so!}


rocky road brownie cakes


oh what the heck – it’s friday ~ how’s about a recipe!?




i whipped these up because i needed to use up some mini marshmallows

that were just sitting  in the pantry & mr. d wanted CHOCOLATE!!


i’ve made them a couple times & they are delish!

i’ve even tweaked the recipe le tad in case you want less sugar and/or butter {see *}

{and it makes a more cake-like brownie}




1 cup sugar *

2 eggs

½ tsp vanilla

½ cup butter – melted *

½ cup flour

⅓ cup cocoa powder

¼ tsp baking powder

¼ tsp salt



combine the following:

½ cup chocolate chips {I used Ghirardelli milk chocolate chips – delish}

1 cup mini marshmallows

½ cup chopped walnuts {or nut of choice}


Heat oven to 350º.  Spray cupcake pan with cooking spray or use cupcake liners.

Beat eggs, sugar, vanilla, butter. Add flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, salt.

Bake for about 15 minutes {depending on your stove and/or how you like your brownies}.


*To make a cakier brownie {with less sugar & butter}:

substitute ½ – ⅔ cup agave nectar for the sugar; and ¼ cup apple sauce for ½ the butter.


Remove from oven – let cool slightly.

Gently push down brownies to make room for rocky road topping.

Sprinkle on generous helpings of the Rocky Road Topping

on each Brownie Cake & melt for 5 minutes in oven.



click the link below for a fancy downloadable version


sowing the seeds of love

after many frosty & chilly days in kentucky

i sure am wishing for springtime right about now…how about you?


flowers of kentucky 2011 by oliveloaf design


i can’t wait for the flora & fauna to return.

and i am especially looking forward to working on le homestead garden 2.0!

the mister & i decided to take it up a notch this spring

so i’ve been perusing heirloom catalogs & ordering seeds

and studying & taking notes on growing techniques.

i’ve been inspired greatly by two thorough readings of

*animal, vegetable, miracle* by barbara kingsolver & her family

this book has been a great resource for a beginning gardener like myself

and ms. kingsolver is from kentucky {and farms in appalachia}

so many of her planting recommendations are apropo

to the area where i’m developing my green thumb

{and thankfully it’s indexed online}


there i found a very helpful diagram:

the vegetannual:  an imaginary plant that bears over the course of one growing season

a cornucopia of all the different vegetable products we can harvest.


i’ve been collecting heirloom seeds from a couple of etsy sources {see list below}


and testing them in the greenhouse {aka backroom/porch}


i’ve been completely enamored with a few beautiful heirloom seed catalogs

&  eager to start growing some of the wonderful seeds i have ordered ~ like:

 sweet dumpling squash

corne de belier snow peas

five color swiss chard

moons & stars watermelons

blue curled scotch kale

extra dwarf pak choy

listada de gandia eggplant

atomic red carrots


boule d’Or melon

pink oxheart tomato

and many more


in case you’re interested ~ here’s a list of the heirloom shops i dig:

Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds

D. Landreth Seed Company

Annie’s Heirloom Seeds

Cubits Organics

Heirlooms R Us Seeds


happy gardening!


hey wait! as i was going to press with this post – mr. mailman showed up

with a box of seeds from baker creek {super fast shippers!} yay!



something good

happy friday beautiful people.


SOLD::i’m thrilled to send *Sunshine-on-a-Stick*

off to shine in massachusetts!


MOVIE::oh i can’t wait to see Hugo. oh doesn’t it look charming?

steampunkish, magical & paris 1930’s…mais oui!

{and chloe grace moretz is an amazing young actress}


GREEN IDEA::i’m thinking about these unpaper towels/napkins. great idea.


BAKE::this pumpkin-banana bread recipe over at skinny taste is delish.

i’ve made it several times & it gets rave reviews.

oh, and i replaced the butter with applesauce {just cuz}



DRINKS & MUSIC::match your music to your drink at drinkify {via design crush}


CRAFTY::a pile of forest findings, some ribbon, a ton of glitter, and a glue-gun.

miss m & i are gettin’ crafty this weekend! {oo! i have candle makings too, hmmm…}

stay tuned!


have a magical & crafty weekend!


“every day may not be good, but there’s something good in every day.” ~unknown


Bread is Art

In an effort to eat natural, clean foods, I have ventured into bread baking for le homestead {have you seen the ingredient list on most store-bought breads?!}. Having mastered pretzel rolls {great recipe & instructional here}

and french bread loaves {ala Betty Crocker}

I tried my hand at a pâte fermenté & made crusty french boules – they were definitely worth the extra effort

Perfectly crusty & chewy with great flavor. I made these from a great recipe via Cooking Light here. Yeast, flour, water.  C‘est tout! I think I’ll just always have a pâte fermentée brewing in the fridge so store-bought will never be necessary. Enjoy!

“How can a nation be great if its bread tastes like Kleenex?” ~Julia Child

fall scenes

fall is interesting in south central kentucky.

you get some of the cooler weather here & there

{but much more temperate than other states i’ve resided}

with changing foliage & piles of leaves…

and yet, we’re still harvesting gorgeous heirloom tomatoes whilst carving pumpkins!

{with random jackalope sightings…stay tuned for them in the shoppe}


that’s about all i have time for today

i’ve got to finish up this special order paper mache turkey…


but i had to tell you about this recipe…

TRY THIS: the perfect fall breakfast dish:: cinnamon baked french toast {via the pioneer woman}


have a great day friends!


“Autumn is a second spring when every leaf’s a flower.”
~ Albert Camus