September 26, 2016

Dear Friends,

There are a lot of changes taking place, summer is turning to fall and I am changing the date for my Open House. I am holding it earlier this year so I can spend more time with my family and get my house back in order for the Holidays, both for Thanksgiving and Christmas.

People have often commented, “Your house is all ready for Christmas and it is only November.” However, it was ready for Open House, not for my family Christmas. The older I get the more energy it takes to both set up and take down for the Open House and be ready for Christmas. I am therefore moving it to October 19, 20, 21, and 22, with Open Hours the next week, October 26, 27, 28, and 29. We will still have all of our 60 different mixes, gift boxes, stocking stuffers, herbal vinegar, and the other things you have found at our Open House.

So mark your calendars and get ready for some early Christmas shopping. For more information open the attached file. Feel free to copy it and share the information with your friends.

See you soon, Donna

P.S. I am just emailing invitations, I am not mailing them out, so if you know of someone that was on the mailing list, please let them know about the change of date. Thank you.



May 20, 2015

Since I retired from the Midland Farmers’ Market I have decided to have some Saturdays open at the shop.  I will be able to cut some fresh herbs right from the garden (you can’t get much fresher than that).  This week I will have: Chives – both regular and garlic, Oregano, Lovage, French Tarragon, Applemint, Peppermint, Spearmint, and Lemon Balm.  I will also have my 60 culinary mixes, vinegar, tea, gift boxes, blends, Gourmet Sea Salts, etc.  The address is: 4613 Lund Drive  Midland, MI.  I hope to see you Saturday.



The Mexican dinner party was lots of fun.  Here are the recipes I used.

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1 can black eyed peas

-1 can black beans

-1 can pinto beans

-2 cans shoepeg corn (11 oz. each); if you can’t find it, use a can of white and yellow corn

-2 oz can of chopped pimento

-1 medium onion (I used a red onion)

-1 cup chopped celery

-1 cup chopped green pepper (or red or yellow is fine too)

-Add all the beans and corn together, drain and rinse well.   Then add the chopped pimento, onion, celery and pepper.

In a small saucepan bring the following ingredients to a boil:

-1/2 tsp salt

-1/2 tsp pepper

-1 T water

-3/4 cup sugar

-3/4 cup cider vinegar

-1/2 cup vegetable oil

-Cool the sauce and then add it to the bean mixture.  Stir well and refrigerate overnight.  Serve with tortilla chips. Enjoy!!

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1 ½ cup coarsely chopped peaches

1 cup coarsely chopped honeydew

2 to 5 jalapeno peppers (depending on how hot you want it leave in seeds), finely chopped

1 ½ cups coarsely chopped fresh pineapple

½ cup chopped red bell pepper

2 tablespoons snipped fresh cilantro

2 tablespoons fresh squeezed lime juice

2 teaspoons sugar

¼ teaspoon salt

In a food processor, chop peaches, honeydew, peppers and pineapple.  Put in a bowl and stir in remaining ingredients.  Let set at least 1 hour.  Serve with tortilla chips (Tostidos Gold by Doritos is especially good).


1/2 cup Fiesta Black Bean Mix

1/3 cup boiling water

2 tortillas

1/4 cup shredded Mexican cheese

1/4 cup shredded lettuce

Sour cream, salsa and cilantro to taste

Stir Mix and boiling water together.  Let sit while you warm or lightly toast one tortilla in a fry pan.  Spread black bean mixture on tortilla, top with cheese.  Top with other tortilla and flip over so unheated tortilla is down in fry pan.   Heat until cheese melts.  Top with lettuce, sour cream, salsa and cilantro.  Cut into 4 pieces.


1 – 16 ounce can refried beans

1 cup sour cream

1 cup Mexican cheese

1/2 cup Salsa (your favorite kind)

1 – 2 Tablespoon TACO SEASONING MIX

Put all ingredients in a medium saucepan.  Heat until hot and bubbling and cheese is melted.  Serve warm with tortilla chips.

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3 boxes of Near East Spanish Rice mix

Chicken broth instead of water

2 tablespoons butter

1 chopped onion

1 jar artichoke hearts (I usually cut in them in half)

1 small can (8 – 10 ounces) of red enchilada sauce

1 handful each frozen corn and peas

¾ cup to 1 cup medium salsa

1 cup to 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese or Mexican cheese

Prepare rice as per package instructions substitute chicken broth for the amount of water called for.  Put cooked rice in 9 x 13 pan that has been sprayed (you might need something deeper). Sauté onion in butter, brown and set aside.  Layer artichokes on top of rice.  Drizzle enchilads sauce over artichokes.  Add corn and peas and sautéd onions.  Evenly distribute salsa and cover with cheese.  Cover with sprayed foil.  Bake at 350 for 40 minutes uncovering for last 10 to 15 minutes.

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DELUXE CHICKEN ENCHILADAS   Makes 8 enchiladas          Total Time: About 1 ½ hours

2 whole chicken breasts                                               


½ small onion                                                               

1 bay leaf                                                                                 

8 peppercorns                                                                 


½ medium onion, chopped                                            

3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese                           

4 ounces Monterey Jack cheese, shredded (1 cup)      

1 (4 ounces) can green chilies                                        

1 (13 ounces) can tomatillos, drained or 1-3/4 cups drained canned tomatoes                         

¼ cup cilantro leaves

¾ cup whipping cream

1 egg


Vegetable oil

10 – 12 corn tortillas

4 ounces cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese, shredded


1 cup dairy sour cream

3 or 4 radishes, sliced

2 cups shredded lettuce                                                                     

12 ripe olives

Place chicken breasts in a large pot or Dutch oven.  Add water to cover, onion, bay leaf, peppercorns and salt to taste.  Bring to a boil; reduce heat.

Cover and simmer 45 minutes or until tender.  Cool chicken in broth.  Drain, reserving broth for another use.  Shred chicken with 2 forks or with your fingers. 

Mix shredded chicken, chopped onion, Parmesan cheese and 1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese.  Taste and add salt if needed.  Set aside.

In blender or food processor, combine green chilies, tomatillos or tomatoes, cilantro, whipping cream and egg.  Blend until smooth.  Add salt to taste.

Preheat oven to 350 deg F

Heat vegetable oil in a small skillet.  With tongs, carefully place 1 tortilla at a time in hot oil.  Hold in lard 3 to 5 seconds until softened.  Quickly turn tortilla and soften other side, 3 to 5 seconds.  Drain over skillet or on paper towels.

Place 1/8 of the chicken mixture on each tortilla, pressing the mixture to make it compact.  Roll tightly and place seam-side down in a 12”x7-1/2” baking dish.

Pour chili-cream mixture over enchiladas and sprinkle evenly with 1 cup shredded Cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese.  Bake 20 minutes, or until heated through and bubbly.

For each serving, place 2 enchiladas on a plate and top with about 3 tablespoons sour cream.  Place a mound of Guacamole over sour cream.  Garnish with radish slices.  Place ½ cup shredded lettuce next to enchiladas, if desired.  Place a mound of Guacamole on lettuce.  Top Guacamole with 1 tablespoon sour cream and 2 ripe olives if desired.


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QUICK GUACAMOLE (The Herbal Home Companion by Theresa Loe)

2 ripe avocados, peeled and pit removed      

2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice                                

1/2 onion, finely chopped      

2 – 4 Tablespoons chunky salsa

1 Tablespoon freshly chopped cilantro                                  

salt to taste

Chop the avocados and place in a medium-sized bowl with the lemon juice.  Use a fork to mash the avocados.  Add the onion, salsa and cilantro.  Mix well.  Add salt to taste.  Store covered in the refrigerator until ready to serve.


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6 ounces unsweetened chocolate

1 cup sugar

½ cup butter

¼ teaspoon salt

3 tablespoons brandy

½ cup heavy cream

1 teaspoon mint (either peppermint or spearmint)

Dippers: strawberries, bananas, maraschino cherries, pineapple, pound cake, angel food cake, etc.

Combine all the ingredients, except dippers, in the crock pot.  Cover and cook on High for 15 to 20 minutes; then turn to Low and cook, covered for 2 to 4 hours.  Serve with dippers.