Planning meals and gardens and sharing some {beautiful cards}

wildflower design_courtney khail for kim


Hello friends,

Today I would like to enlist your help as I am working on a few projects.  One involves food- planning healthy tasty meals for my boys.  I am doing a bit of an overhaul around here as we have removed wheat from one diet, excess wheat from the rest of us, and lowering our dairy intake.  Thus there are days when I feel as if I am in a bit of a meal-planning rut.  To that end, I would love for you to answer any or all of the following questions.  I think that many of you may also be interested and inspired by the answers (as it is no secret that I have amazing, creative, generous and inspiring readers!).

1.  What 12 items would you keep on hand at all times to help prepare  your favorite meals?  Some of my current staples are rice, good canned tomatoes, grated cheese, eggs, onions, potatoes and homemade stock (chicken and vegetable).

2.  What are your favorite bean or grain recipes?  (I have far too much quinoa , farro, and a gorgeous variety of beans in my pantry with absolutely no idea what to best do with them…)

3.  Do you pack your children’s lunch- or yours?  If so, what do you like to put in it so that it is interesting and appetizing?  Right now we do a lot of fruit leathers, cheese sticks, nacho chips, apple slices, mandarines, and dried fruit.

4.  If you live in France and continually post amazing photos of creative stews, soups and meals- would you please share your recipes?  Okay fine- that was specifically meant for a dear friend whom I bug daily to send inspiration.  However, if you enjoy hearty stews or slow-cook meals, what are your favorites?


honeycomb design_courtney khail for kim


5.  I am in the process of planning our gardens for the coming season.  Currently we are adding blueberry bushes (which will bring our count up to 7) and moving raspberries to a sunnier spot.  I plan to do a large teepee to grow beans up where #4 can play.  We have expanded our rhubarb as it is something I use a lot of.  We have espalier asian pears as well as some really old apple trees.  One of these days we will plant a proper orchard.  We always grow a lot of peas – shelling and sweet.  How do you trellis yours? We also grow a number of rows of carrots- do you have a favorite? Tomatoes can be tough because while I always get a lot, they often don’t ripen in time to beat the cold of autumn.  Any suggestions on types that ripen early that you like?  I am adding asparagus this year, and plan to grow them in a box with jerusalem artichokes.  Thoughts?

6.  We are also adding some baby chicks in about a month.  We have had such an awful run with the coyote as of late so I am planning ahead and getting a few more chicks than I normally will so that come Autumn I won’t have to go buy pullets for a ridiculous price.  We really love eggs around here and #s 2 & 3 have gotten pretty proficient at making themselves some pretty tasty egg dishes.  Do you have a recipe that you love- frittata?  baked eggs?  fabulous scrambles?

If you have any thoughts, answers to my questions or input, please leave it in the comment section for all to share.  I love the idea of sharing knowledge and feel a bit more like we are sitting around over coffee talking about our plans together~


peony design_courtney khail for kim


I also want to share a new project my friend Courtney has recently released.  Courtney is an incredible watercolor artist whose paintings are now available on cards!  Now this isn’t a new thing- Courtney has had cards for some time- but they used to be hand-painted.  The problem was people wouldn’t send them!  Seriously- they would hoard them as pieces of art.  So she decided it was time to make them less precious, in hopes that people would then send them out.  However, Courtney being Courtney, she had to make even having printing her cards difficult!  Because she wanted them to have a rich high-quality feel she found a process where the watercolors would be vibrant and the ink would be bold and raised.  Thus, each card is printed TWICE.  Trust me, these cards are wonderful.  If you are looking for some really special cards to send to those you love, these would be perfect.  You can read more about them from Courtney herself here.  But visit her shop – you will see for yourself~


garden rose design_courtney khail for kim


Finally, I wanted to make sure you have had a chance to visit my new site which will be where you find all the information and latest updates on my new non-profit, The Grow Hope Foundation, which I am SO EXCITED ABOUT!!  I hope you will visit, and, if you are so inclined there is a donation button at the bottom of the main page.  I am heading back to Uganda this summer and I hope to raise enough funds to bring as many supplies as possible when I go.  I would be so grateful if you were able to help in that goal~
Have a fabulous week friends,



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6 Responses to Planning meals and gardens and sharing some {beautiful cards}

  1. Laughing — and smiling mon amie. So subtle. I have three solutions for you:

    1. A phone call — “free consultation” –anytime!
    2. Something coming your way via snail-mail to help you with both the meal planning and garden planning.
    3. Come and stay at Rabbit Hill (in YOUR bedroom!) and I will give you unlimited live tutorials on how to eat less or no wheat (gluten) and less dairy–although we are in France so that part is tricky — (but as a substitute I will teach you how to drink more wine…) and give you some pointers on meal planning even when you are doing it for 4 different types of eaters…

    xx I miss you. Time for that visit. NOW –there is not waiting for April!

    xx Cat

  2. i simply adore you kimberly taylor! so on it…does your queen bee become frantic in competing with your busy whirlwind energy? {just kidding, but i do love your thirst and zest for life!}

    so in response to kids lunches, here are a few items that keep my girl happy {i have to keep every thing nut-free as there is a child in her class who has severe nut allergies}:

    quinoa tortillas filled with cheese and apples
    hummus and pita chips
    cherry tomatoes when in season
    raw kale {don’t ask…she eats it by the pound!}
    popcorn popped in coconut oil with brewer’s yeast
    celery and sunflower butter
    quinoa and black beans tossed with olive oil and sea salt
    rosemary roasted chicken
    roasted sweet potatoes cut into ‘french frie’ like wedges…at room temperature they are still yummy.
    pumpkin seeds, raisins and cranberry mix
    dried mango
    baked apples with cinnamon and honey
    gluten-free carrot muffins
    raw carrots
    cucumbers sliced thin and long

    oh my…i’m so hungry now!

    and please make sure your canned tomatoes are in BPA free cans or purchase in glass jars instead.

    AND i want baby chickens.


  3. first and foremost, i agree w melissa 100%. LOVE your energy & ZEST for life. it is inspiring, uplifting, & refreshing.

    THIS is why i started a blog, and why i named it, “a place to share…” this exact reason.

    so here are answers to the top 2 questions (working on #3 {i/we do prepare our kids’ lunches), so i really appreciate melissa’s detailed response on that one)… i will say~ a thermos for each of them has been a game-changer in the ability to shake things up a bit.


    1) eggs (oh, producing chickens have made this so much easier/better!)
    2) onions… (variety ~ green, shallots, yellow, leeks)/garlic
    3) cheese (feta, goat, sharp cheddar, parm/pecorino, mozz- during the warmer months, when grilled pizza is a regular thing ;))
    4) Canned tomatoes
    5) potatoes (sweet & red, primarily)
    6) brown rice/quinoa/quinoa or brown rice pasta/sprouted wheat or gf bread/tortillas (variety)
    7) lentils, variety of dried beans, but also canned chickpeas & black beans (love, love, LOVE this black bean ‘pick-me-up’ ~ )
    8) avocados
    9) salsa (this, plus a variety of pureed veggies in my freezer have been a huge staple/lifesaver in last minute quickie dishes… egg scrambles, stir-frys…)
    10) Stock
    11) Dates
    12) Greek yogurt
    13) tequila (CHILLED), & limes (my new favorite “healthy” cocktail ;)

    * a few givens (although some of the above are givens too ;))…
    Almond butter, peanut butter (organic… finally caved in and started buying this again)
    Coconut oil, grapeseed oil, of course~ olive oil, sesame oil,
    Braggs, dijon, vinegars, honey, agave
    Limes, lemons, herbs, frozen bananas (& other frozen fruit), VEGGIES/FRUIT (of course)
    Variety of flours, nuts… & chia seeds!


    Quinoa stir-fry (or any leftover grain) ie~
    Veggie stir-fry (w leftover grain, or mung bean or soba noodles (love mark bittman’s recipe and another favorite stir-fry marinade~ 2 T braggs, 1/2 lemon, 1/2 in grated ginger, 2 T sesame oil, 2 dried red chilies, 1 t agave (optional))
    Cooked quinoa + avocado, green onions, tomato, parsley, pine nuts, olive oil, salt OR…
    Cooked quinoa + avocado, cilantro, tomato, sweet onion, flaked/cooked salmon, olive oil, salt
    Stuffed sweet potatoes (beans, salsa, avocados)
    Black bean (or any bean) tacos (smitten kitchen/bon appetit)
    “” burgers (a great one on the ‘eat, live, run blog… or estelle’s blog too!)
    {SO GOOD~} cassoulet-style italian sausages and white (or any cooked) beans
    & 3 more favorite bean recipes~

    #5 & 6 ~ look forward to reading these responses as well!

    …will definitely subscribe to your new site, as well as look into those beautiful cards…

  4. You continue to inspire me to be better and do better my friend. Wish I could help with your meal planning and other than soups with beans ~ canned tomatoes and every veggie I have in the fridge I have not been very creative with meals myself this year.

    I do love eggs and my scramble is my go to dish for Sunday brunch. I always saute onions, peppers and mushrooms ~ thrown in some cubed ham or back bacon if I have it ~ then beat my eggs with a little seasoning salt & pepper ~ cube up some cheddar and thrown it in then scramble it up with the veggies. I do not make scramble any other way. Poached is a fav as well over some fried potatoes with my pepper, mushroom and onion combo ~ yummy ~ now I want eggs!

    I pack my lunch almost every day and eat a lot of wraps and pita. Always yogurt, fresh fruit and rice cakes. Yup ~ pretty boring!

  5. I love this post and your blog. I must admit, though, that after reading the comments, I feel a little inept! I continue to try to put lots of those interesting things in my kids’ lunches, but they return uneaten and complained about. :-( I’ll keep trying. One son wants a cream cheese and jelly sandwich every single day. The other wants a tuna and apple sandwich. I try to mix it up. I will pack leftover french toast as a treat. Sometimes leftover homemade chicken tenders. Quesadillas. Fruit always, depending on the season. Just moving from oranges pears to strawberries. I can sometimes get away with hummus, cheese, and crackers. Yogurt, raisins, carrots, grape tomatoes, pepper slices.

    Pantry items: Brown rice, coconut oil, oats, agave, black beans, sweet potatoes, veggie broth, eggs, onions, tortillas, cheese (goat, cheddar, mozz – I keep grated cheese in the freezer so I always have it), carrots, canned/boxed tomatoes, pasta.

    • Mary, the fact that your kids eat such interesting things in their lunches is fabulous! I am a firm believer in the motto “if it isn’t broken, don’t fix it”. One of my boys takes the EXACT same thing every single day- dried fruit, rice crackers, mandarin orange, fruit leather and some ham or cheese. However, he eats every single bite so for me, that is what matters. Love your pantry items! Thanks for sharing them~

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