Hi everyone, welcome to my new website The Kitchen And The Garden Patch. Check back tomorrow for more content. Thanks for stopping by!

Gardening and home cooking offers lots of health and therapeutic benefits besides physical and emotional satisfaction for those who enjoy it.

Growing your own natural foods and watching them blossom into fruits and vegetables can enhance your well-being is a very satisfying wholesome experience. Families, people with disabilities, children, seniors and individuals with special dietary needs will find gardening and cooking to be a rewarding way to spend time as they tend to plants and grow their own food as my good friend Julie at sterlingheightsphotobooth.com has found. During the day she has a great job she thoroughly enjoys and then retreats in the late afternoon/early evening to her small garden which looks like something you would see on HG TV. Julie finds this to be a great way to relax and raise healthy food which she knows is pesticide free. She has created quit a stir at work by bringing in some of the vegetables she has grown, folks are now standing in line hoping to get a small bag of her fresh work!

Whether it is your first attempt at a gardening project or are a passionate gardener looking to gain more knowledge and tips here and there, you have come to the right place. With all the hullabaloo of genetically modified foods and the effects of processed foods in the human body, we advocate for everyone to at least take a shot at starting a small edible garden with a few containers and pots—or in the least with a window box suitable for a few cuttings and herbs.

The blog provides the tips, guides, news, reviews and general information in several categories including:


Have you ever been out shopping for cookware and got struck with the indecision on whether to buy a pot made of stainless steel or an anodized pan? Well, we all find ourselves in such situation every now and then. This blog covers the important factors such as the pros and cons of different cookware materials, their suitability, the popular brands, and how each materials work. Bookmark this blog to get regular reads on how to take care of your cookware to extend their life, how to clean them, which cleaning agents to use, and know to tell the facts from fiction when it comes to popular conspiracies surrounding cookware such as non-stick technology.

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children playingThe article that I picked to do my critique on was “The Importance of Play in Promoting Healthy Child Development and Maintaining Strong Parent-Child Bonds” written by Dr. Kenneth R. Ginsburg and published in the American Academy of Pediatrics.  Dr. Ginsburg wrote about the importance of individual play in the development of a child. The main point of this article was that “play is essential to development because it contributes to the cognitive, physical, social, and emotional well-being of children and youth” (Ginsburg, 182).

“Play is so important to optimal child development that it has been recognized by the United Nations High Commission for Human Rights as a right of every child” (Ginsburg, 182). One of the main points that were made was that children today are living such a busy life that play, an extremely important part of development, is being pushed to the side. The United Nations are so concerned about this that they have issued it a right of all children to have. As I was reading this I found it to be an extremely interesting fact, and I wish that they had gone into more detail about what lead up to the making of this right. The article did a very good job of capturing the readers attention as soon as they started reading, It gave the importance of play, without overwhelming the reader with an abundance of information.

“The inter- actions that occur through play tell children that parents are fully paying attention to them and help to build enduring relationships“(Ginsburg, 183).  This was gained from watching parents interact with their children. They were able to see how this affects the children not only in the moment but also the lasting effect that it has on the child. Free-play, that plays that is solely led by the child without any instruction from adults, causes children to develop imagination, as well as work with other kids to develop problem solving skills, as well as how to interact with other kids.

I am a pre-school teacher in a Montessori school, one of the main concepts of this is that it is child led and that they have freedom within boundaries to pick what they will like to do. This causes the kids to interact with each other and develop coping skills.

We often let the kids work out their problems themselves, and the only step in when we need to. I have first hand seen how a child will grow from this. We have had students come in that have never interacted with anyone besides their parents before, these kids are often shy and unable to play with other kids without there being issues, after spending time without having an adult there to direct their every move they learn how to not only be more confident but also how to make friends. I think that the article did a nice job of giving general facts about the cause of not enough play, but I think that it would have been much more beneficial to have examples of a control group that has been able to directly prove the point they were making.

So many children these days do not have the time to play, they over committed to so many different things. There is such a pressure on parents to make sure that their child is in all of the right activities, and taking all of the courses that will set them up for success in their future. I completely understand that, but studies have shown that to “some children, this hurried lifestyle is a source of stress and anxiety and may even contribute to depression , a survey by the American College Health Association reported that 61% of college students had feelings of hopelessness during the previous academic year, 45% felt so de- pressed they had trouble functioning, and 9% suffered suicidal ideation.

There has been 57 several studies have linked feelings of anxiety and depression with that of perfectionism and an overly critical self-evaluation” (Ginsburg, 186).   In this paragraph right here they gave more factual information than they did in the rest of the article, the statistic they had driven home the point that was being made. One thing that I think would have made it a little more personal was if Dr. Ginsburg would have spoken to some of the college students that were affected by this directly.

Overall I think that this was a very interest article. There was a lot of useful information, as well as practical tips as to what parents can do to help instill the importance of play in their children’s lives. What I think it was lacking were more actual statistics and facts. It had plenty of quotes from doctors and schools, but I think that being able to give a fact would have given it a lot more weight. It was a very interesting read and I would absolutely recommend it to parents and teachers, but I do think that it could have had to potential to be much more informative than it was.


1) Elias MJ, Arnold H. The Educator’s Guide to Emotional Intelligence and Academic Achievement: Social-Emotional Learning in the Class- room. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press; 2006

2) Elkind D. The Hurried Child: Growing Up Too Fast Too Soon. 3rd 
ed. Cambridge, MA: Perseus; 2001

3) Ginsburg, K. R. (2007). The Importance of Play in Promoting Healthy Child Development and

Maintaining Strong Parent-Child Bonds. American Academy of Pediatrics, 182-191.

4) Gurian M, Stevens K. The Minds of Boys: Saving Our Sons From Falling Behind in School and Life. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass; 2005

cherry-167361_1920There are is an abundant amount of young fruit trees in our back yard, unfortunately bearing no fruit. Our latest tree which was planted was a cherry tree which was promised to bring forth wonderful fruit by the young man which sold us the young twigs. Needless to say, we were very excited as we waited for the cherries to show themselves. As you can imagine when the budding began and shortly thereafter the fruit began to fall off we were devastated. As I draw the similarities

As I draw the similarities of our cherry tree to the fig tree not bearing any fruit for our Master. The purpose of this cherry tree is to bear fruit and not only was this tree not bearing fruit it was not living up to its purpose and in addition, it was taking up valuable space in our yard.

This is a parable which has been read many times with the same conclusion. Up until this morning, I saw the same perspective over and over again. today was a different story, the gardening perspective.

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Brussels sproutsEnjoying Brussels Sprouts

Found this great article by Jan Ross, I hope you enjoy…..

I thought ours was growing well. At least until recently!

This article talks not only about gardening but also includes the preserving of food at home which has its advantages. Number one you know what’s in your food and there is no worry about eating bugs, or other less-than-desirable items found in store bought produce.

Our attempted at growing Brussels sprouts

Up to now we’ve not attempted to grow Brussels sprouts before until this year. We figured we’d try the unknown by also adding turnips and a few extra delicacies we all enjoyed.  Their heads look like cabbage but their stalks are very unique. Stepping out on a limb here I think it’s quite safe to say no two stalks are the same.  The small heads are as distinctive as a thumbprint, such as our creators imagination is.

This afternoon my husband harvested our first batch of home-grown Brussels sprouts. I couldn’t have been more excited to bring those little perfectly formed gems into my kitchen and being the preserving process. New challenges lie ahead.

As I sorted each box, washing each and manicuring the outer leaves and placing the inner core in a solution of salt water I could just taste the butter and a pinch of salt being cooked just right.  Now I started to peel the outside leaves and to my astonishment, I noticed little bugs lying under the green sprouts. I was horrified!

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Carne AsadaNo other dinners are as looked forward to in our house as our weekly “Taco Tuesday” night.  With a husband and 3 college age daughters still living at home, and a very special girl we caregive for by the name of Alli, finding meals that everyone enjoys can be challenging.  As a caregiver for Caregivers Metro Detroit, I have, many times, resorted to the standard due to the lack of time, “This is for dinner, if you do not like it you can have cereal or make your own.” line, I do thoroughly enjoy the times our family can come together and everyone enjoys the meal.  That is one of the reasons I love Mexican food so much.

I supply the protein, soft and hard shells both, cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, cilantro and onions and everyone makes their own dish, exactly how they like it.  I always complete the meal with rice, refried beans and Tostitos with salsa. Finish it off with guacamole and sour cream and all I see at the table are smiling faces.  Everyone loves Taco night, especially when I make Carne Asada.  It is incredibly easy to cook, but still yields a mouth full of flavor.

One thing very important, like with any meal using beef, is to purchase a grade-A cut of meat.  For Carne Asada, I use a Flank Steak, usually purchased at Costco.  I apply a good quality Extra Virgin Olive Oil to the meat, rubbing it on both sides.  For season, I only use Salt, Pepper and a light dusting of Lawry’s season salt.  We only grill, mainly because we love that char-grilled flavor when done on a barbecue.  The key to getting the char-grilled flavor, without getting the meat too well done is to make sure the barbecue is very hot when you first put the meat on.  I char each side, just a minute or two on a very high flame, to seal in the juices and flavors.  We prefer our meat medium, so I lower the heat and finish cooking to the desired flavor.

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tumblr_lxamdksXzZ1qb2r6vo1_500In reviewing some of the older posts from The Kitchen & The Garden Patch I came across this one which brought back wonderful memories. It was sent by the mother of the original poster to this site which included: Apple Butter, Applesauce, Pickles, Tomato Sauce, and Strawberry Jam.

As mentioned in the original post it brought back memories of them sitting around the table with the family preparing all types of fruits, vegetables, and sauces for canning. It seemed like they had quite an assembly line going during this time, with mom washing and cleaning the jars and lids getting them ready for canning along with preparing the spices. Mom would always be referring to the handwritten pieces of aging paper which had garnered their fare share of unintentional stains over the years.

According to our original poster, the kids would sitting along the counter, again in assembly line fashion, helping dad cut and prepare the fruit and vegetables from their garden. The fun part, at least to my dad, was handing us pieces of the freshly cut produce to taste, because in his eyes ours was the most delicious fruit and vegetables he had ever eaten!

What a memory.  At the time I didn’t really appreciate the experience of growing and harvesting our own produce, which we grew in our own back yard. As the original writer reflects: “She treasures each and everyone of these jars, not wanting to open them in fear of not having them anymore”. No, it’s not silly as she writes, I totally get it!

In talking to my friend Rick at www.macombcountycatering.com he has similar memories while growing up which led him to start his own catering business. Much of what he prepares is memories and recipes from mom, dad and relatives which he as retained over the years. Rick recently catered a large event in Ann Arbor Michigan which he brought samples of the apple butter and tomato sauce which he canned based on the recipe and process he learned from his mother and grandmother, considering the response he received he will be canning in larger quantities next year!

Boy what wonderful memories she has.  I truly envy such a wonderful experience!

Cinnamon Swirl Raisin BreadWhen it comes to hot bread straight out of the oven, nothing says loven like Cinnamon Swirl Raisin Bread! Here is a wonderful recipe for cinnamon swirl raisin bread for bread machine. You can also use this recipe for great french toast.

Add to bread machine in this order:

Use egg replacer for 1 egg plus 1/4 cup of almond milk plus 3/4 cup of warm water (enough to make a total of 1 cup)

1/3 cup of sugar

1 packet of yeast

1 teaspoon of salt

3 1/2 cup flour

Adjust bread machine to Dough cycle

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The Kitchen & The Garden Patch Vintage Cookware

Here is an example of beautiful vintage ceramic enameled cookware which was part of a set that is in excellent condition. It actually looks like it’s never been used which was found on eBay by the husband of the original lady who posted this back in 2012!  I hope it has worked out well for her over the past several years!!

I also found a great article here on the history of vintage enameled kitchenware you might enjoy.


Cinnamon Swirl Raisin Bread


Here’s another little treat I found from the past, a wonderful Banana Coconut French Toast Recipe

It was made from a cinnamon swirl raisin bread recipe which is one of our bloggers favorites.


Banana Coconut French Toast Recipe

1/4 cup of raw cashews, ground

2 bananas, which are mashed

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon vanilla

3/4 cup coconut milk, canned

Best part here! 6 pcs. of thickly sliced cinnamon swirl raisin bread

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