Thursday, September 30, 2010

Mixes from the Heartland’s Gluten Free Harvest Chicken and Rice Soup Review

Fall is in the air and it’s time to get our ingredients together for homemade soup. Or maybe you’re in a hurry or sick as was my case and need a quick meal something simply homemade. I have been battling a head cold and just feeling awful. I told Honey that some homemade soup sure would be good and then I thought about the mixes I had won had several soups included in them so I went to the pantry and decided that we would have MFTH “Chicken and Rice Soup”.  This was so easy that even though I was coughing, sneezing, stopped up with a headache I could pull it off. I simply had to cook 1 lb of chicken and put the ingredients together and then let simmer for a while. I also substituted chicken broth for part of the water as the package suggested. Honey was not sick but he enjoyed  it along with me. We had more than we could eat so I froze a few individual servings to have on a cold blustery day for lunch.

Product Description

Harvest Chicken-n-Rice is cholesterol free, fat free and vegan friendly. A great tasting soup with a rich chicken flavor which you can make on the go.
View Nutrition Fact Sheet


Instant white rice, freeze dried mushrooms, mixed veggies (dehydrated celery, carrots, red and green bell peppers, onions, parsley, tomatoes), garlic powder.


In large pot add 9 cups water, 2 cups chicken broth and bring to a boil. Add dry mix and 1 lb. cooked chicken. Return to a boil, reduce heat, cook over medium heat 20 minutes.

If you want an easy quick healthy gluten free meal check out what they have to offer you will not be disappointed I promise.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

A Bittersweet Thought

The celebrating is over what a bittersweet thought. Bitter because I can't believe a year has passed so quickly but what a SWEET year it has been! We've had two big birthday parties the last two weeks to celebrate Punkin's 1st birthday! I wouldn't have missed them for anything but I am so tired; I think it's a mixture of celebrating and allergies. Honey and Ben had the worst of it they had to work all day, shower and then travel for two hours to get there late on Saturday night but I'm sure they wouldn't have missed it for the world. The first celebration was on Sunday afternoon at the farm; it was held outside in the back yard of the camp house. The second celebration was in my hometown H'ville; in the home of my cousin sister. Since my family live so far away and we are farmers we don't get to visit with them very often so it was really special to be able to celebrate Punkin's birthday and see some of our family at the same time. not to mention the great friends who attended.

Here are a few photos to share our weekend celebration.

 On Punkin's birthday we had fun playing but after trying for literally hours we gave up on a nap. She was so tired you can see her here carrying her blanket everywhere.

Isn't the cake the cutest? My cousin made it.

After Gage tried giving me one of his jerseys I agreed to wear it to Punkin's birthday party so that we could have a photos taken. I then slipped it back to his Mom before they left. 

My Dad with our birthday girl.

First thing my cousin sister fed us lunch and it was great, thanks 
Darlenia. This is Honey and Pop after eating.

Darlenia with her newest grandchild Sam.

My cousin, Darlenia's sister Carlia with her newest grandbaby Logan.

Let the party begin, we always open gifts before we eat, in a minute you'll see why!

This girl LOVES books. This is all the photos I have of her opening gifts 
because then I switched to Ash's camera.

Punkin's personal cake

Punkin with her personal cake she had a blast.

After a good bath she was ready to go again although she sneezed for quiet a while.

Then Sydney enjoyed what was left on the floor.

Playing after the party

One of Punkin's new babies it is so cute she loves it.

Now we are back at Punkin's house and I am watching her once again
while Mom goes to church and Dad works. Notice her books crazy!

She has to take all this book stuff from the Good's I can't remember 
Ash liking books so when she was this age.

Punkin with Violet, her talking dog.

Violet even says Punkin's name

Punkin struggling to pick up Violet to go with her.

More book time notice the puzzle laying by her she really likes it too. 

Sometimes Punkin just pushes all her toys, I guess it's easier that way.

Punkin with her first ride toy, Mom set it up so that she can 
push it for now.She pushes it front ways and side ways.

Punkin will be walking any day now. She takes a few steps then stops catches her balance and takes a few more after a short while she sits down and crawls, I think it's just easier.

 It's time for Gammy to say goodbye and head home. This has been a fun weekend but I need to get some work done of my own and rest before returning to the farm.

Ok, as far as my eating gluten free. I ate great before the party, I had taken my own bread so I had a hamburger with avocado. Darlenia insisted that she open new mayonnaise etc so that I could eat some with out any cross contamination. What a blessing for us when people really care! I didn't have cake but had some of the Blue Bell ice cream and a cliff bar. After looking at my bar a while and all the cake running around my bar ended up in the garbage, it was just one of those days when a bar wouldn't do. Most of the time it doesn't bother me but after having two parties and not tasting even the icing I would have paid big bucks for some of that cake. But, hey I did survive and I will survive again. I guess this is the reason I have no patience with people on a special diet who eat what they want regardless of what damage might be done.

Now I am home washing, shopping and packing to return to the farm with Honey and help out there once again.

Thanks for stopping by friend!

Friday, September 17, 2010

We Need Help Mississippi!!!

I recently received a message from this sweet lady (Karen Broussard) who is the founder of which is a wonderful tool for those of us who have to eat gluten free. It appears that Mississippi was the only state that had no reviews. I mean there were absolutely NO reviews of restaurants, hotels/resorts, cruise ships, or grocery stores within the state. So she asked that I try to get the word out and that I submit some reviews of my own. I'm now working on submitting reviews but as the wife of a farmer I don't travel much so I need your help. If you or a family member have to eat gluten free for any reason at all please go to and submit a review of your experience. It's not hard and takes only a few minutes of your time. Please pass this message on we need to put Mississippi on the map.

Here is more info about Karen and her site.


Here I am with Ryan, my son and the inspiration behind both this blog and our sister website It's hard to believe this beautiful little boy was once so very sick -- and from something so prevalent in most people's diets: gluten.

In the 3 1/2 years since Ryan was diagnosed with Celiac Disease, our family has ascended the learning curve of preparing gluten-free meals quite successfully. Our one big challenge remained keeping Ryan's diet safe when dining out and traveling. Thankfully, awareness of Celiac Disease has grown tremendously with each passing year, and with more people getting diagnosed, there's more demand for good gluten-free foods -- both in grocery stores and in restaurants. The key is FINDING these grocery stores and restaurants -- as well as hotels, resorts and cruise ships.

That's why I started to give people with Celiac -- and others on gluten-free diets -- a way to learn from others experiences dining and traveling around the world. It's a way to connect to others in the worldwide gluten-free community and read their personal reviews of places they'd recommend (or not). With this first-hand knowledge, you get great ideas of where to eat in your own area -- or when traveling anywhere around the world. And by having this information at your fingertips, you cut down on the planning and research you have to do yourself and can take a true "vacation from worry." Best of all, you can help spread the word about the wonderful places you've been by submitting a review yourself. You'll be helping other Celiacs as well as rewarding those establishments who've taken the time to learn about safely preparing gluten-free meals.

I hope you get some great ideas of where to dine both from this blog -- and from reading the personal reviews on Happy Gluten-Free Traveling!

Karen Broussard
Founder and President

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Salmon with a Yellow Pepper Jelly Glaze

Let's get something straight I don't claim to be a chef but I enjoy cooking. The only one who I want to sell my cooking too is my family. If they like it then I'm happy.

Yesterday I was wanting salmon, I went to the freezer to get some out and on the way thought about Honey doesn't like salmon, except at "Hometown" and they have quit serving it there. But I wanted it so bad and since I had never cooked it for Honey I decided to get some out and give it a try.

While the salmon was thawing I thought of a dozen ways to prepare it then while reading my twitter I ran across this "Quick and easy salmon recipes". I took that as a sign I was on the right track. Honey loved it by the way and that made me smile!

So if you're interested here is how I prepared my salmon. I didn't measure the ingredients so I am telling you what I think I used, adjust to your own taste.

 Salmon with a Yellow Pepper Jelly Glaze
  • 2 salmon steaks
  • 1 large yellow bell pepper
  • 1/3 cup chicken broth
  • 1 tbsp. butter
  • 1 tbsp. jelly of your choice (I used Muscadine Jelly)
  • 1 tsp. cornstarch
  • salt and pepper to taste
Spray a non-stick frying pan with butter flavored Crisco non-stick spray. Pan fry salmon 4 to 5 minutes on each side. While cooking cut up 1 large yellow bell pepper into strips. When you can flake the salmon with a fork set to the side. Add 1 tablespoon of real butter to fry pan when melted add bell peppers let cook while you mix 1 teaspoon of corn starch, 1/3 cup of chicken broth or stock and jelly. Add mixture to pan and cook on low just until starts to thicken. Add salmon steak back to the pan and let simmer on low until hot through and through.  I paired it with a mix vegetable, brown rice medley. Enjoy!!!

Monday, September 13, 2010

I just want to crash!!!!

I just returned home to the Hills and I am really tired. Punkin's party was outside yesterday it was perfect weather and we enjoyed the time of relaxing and catching up with family and friends. I didn't think about allergies at the time and I'm glad that I did not, I'd probably have gone inside and set alone. But I did think about them at four this morning when I woke up with a pounding headache. At about the same time I got up to take something Ash texted me (which always wakes me up by the way) to tell me not to leave until we talked. Apparently Punkin had too much excitement for one day and was up all night.

We started celebrating when I arrived on the farm Friday, Punkin was really good, she acted like she knew that it was a special weekend! After lunch we went shopping to buy Punkin a baby swing for her new swing set her Dad and Mom bought her for her birthday. You know how it is you set off to do a quick run and it takes all afternoon. While we were picking out the swing Dad called that they needed parts from John Deere so after our two stops we went back to Punkin's house to get ready for supper. We always enjoy going out to eat at a local restaurant when we are in town because not only is the food good but we are able to see many of our friends while there.

On Saturday I cleaned the camp house, the party was to be held in it's back yard. Then I ran to the local grocery store and bought some items for Honey and I and the party so that we could settle down and watch nothing else but football. We have a family tradition when there are football games on tv we eat football food so Saturday afternoon I made gluten free chocolate chip cookies and they were fantastic. I used a Betty Crocker Chocolate Chip Cookies mix, added 1 Tbls of corn starch and 1/2 bag of semi-sweet chocolate chips. I've found the if you make the mix exactly as directions state then the cookies are thin and crumbly with not many chips but this way they are ggrrrrrrreat!

Saturday night Ash grilled hot dogs, now this is how their hot dogs looked. Yes, we always have grilled onions on our hot dogs, we like grilled onions on just about anything. Well, some of us do, Honey is allergic to onions!!!

Don't laugh.......
this is my hot dog. I just can't find a way to eat a hot dog gluten free and it taste this good. This is made with "My Favorite Sandwich Bread". I love the bread, the onions were caramelized and very sweet and that made my hot dog wonderful. It ran a close race with the cookies.

Call me doctor love.....
We also had these little Dr. Pepper's that Ash had picked up for Saturday night football! They seemed small but they were just right I actually had some left over after the meal.

The party was a success and we had loads of fun spending the weekend with Punkin and I'm already looking forward to next weekend. Sorry I videoed for Ash so I have no photos of the actual party. Ash is supposed to send me some via e-mail so I can share them.

Just a peep, here were her cupcakes.
I was able to sneak this photo before the party actually started.

Stay tuned in to see photos of our two celebrations and the way I continue to live gracefully gluten free.

Thank you friend for stopping by you are the absolute best!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

History of Carrollton

There's not much happened with me since attending the Thacker reunion. I'm getting ready to go to the farm and celebrate Punkin's 1st birthday so stay tuned I know there will be lots of photos coming soon.

I've been reading up on the history of Greenwood and Carrollton. Here is some of the information I have found that I thought was really interesting. Enjoy

The town the railroad bypassed in 1889 is almost untouched by the twentieth century, thanks to the commitment of the citizens of Carrollton to revive and restore their historic town. Their appreciation of its past has inspired many residents to restore buildings a century and a half old, and a love for historic Carrollton has even brought former residents home to open new businesses.

"Carrollton was on the stagecoachroute from Memphis to New Orleans, " said Wilton Neal, tax assessor. That's the sort of thing you grow up knowing if you grow up in Carrollton, or in North Carrollton as Wilton did. And it's the sort of thing that rolls off your tongue whether you grew up there, lived there in the summers, or adopted Carrollton as your own town.

In recognition of the community's efforts to preserve Carrollton's history, the whole town was added to the National Register of Historic places in 1976 as an historic district. As an historic district, Carrollton's buildings, landscaping, fences, setting, and the confederate monument on the courthouse grounds, are on the register. But even as the town strives to preserve its past with museums and restored homes, the historic buildings are housing thriving new businesses, as well.

One new business located on Highway 17, off Highway 82 between Winona and Greenwood is the Peppercorn Grill, owned by Shelly and Andy Rone.This bustling restaurant serves just about everything you could want, and the menu says if you don't see something you want, just ask. If you aren't craving a burger, chicken, or Philly cheese steak sandwich, a waitress will quickly tell you that kabobs and frog legs are available.

At the entrance of town is the Merrill Museum. The museum is proud to possess the largest collection of photographs and memorabilia from the family of Senator John McCain, the Republican presidential hopeful. Senator McCain's great-grandfather and namesake, John McCain, Sr., was once sheriff of Carrollton. Recently, CNN filmed the museum and aired the show before the election in November.

Sheriff McCain was also the grandfather of Elizabeth Spencer, a critically acclaimed novelist, who wrote her memoirs in Landscapes of the Heart, which offers a look at Carrollton when its population was 608--twice what it is now.

The home where Spencer wrote her memoirs is not far from the recently renovated Sullivan House in Carrollton. The Sullivan House, was restored this past summer by Carrollton resident Wessie Gee, and "when the preservation ladies Carrollton Historic preservation, heard about the renovation blessing, they began planning," says Gee. They served cold fruit punch, homemade sandwiches, and cookies to thank the many people who helped Gee with the restoration.

"There was no blueprint," Gee recalls. "We had to figure out how to redo it as we went. The house is as original as possible, other than the addition of the kitchen."

Gee's Store 
Lexington St. Gee's Store is the oldest business in Carroll County under the same name.

This community-wide passion for restoration has drawn attention from around the state. Todd Sanders, architectural historian with the Mississippi Department of Archives and History, claims that "Carrollton is one of my favorite places to be because of the energy and all the restoration. Not too long ago we were worried about Carrollton. Then citizens began to realize what a special place it is."

Carrollton received media attention this year when the first new business on the square, Carroll County Market, was featured on the Mississippi Roads show during Walt Grayson's visit to Carrollton. Co-owned by three relatives who have come home to Carrollton, Carroll County Market is a unique dining and music venue.

"We've had tremendous success on Saturdays," says part-owner Glenda Jones. "People come from all over--Jackson, Greenwood, Grenada--and they all say the same thing: 'We love this place'."

Saturday nights, Glenda's brother, Cecil Abels, and her son, Greg Jones, also part-owners, book live bands. Nash Street, a bluegrass band from Starkville, played at the Carroll County Market before capturing the $100,000 top prize in a national contest in Nashville. The blues, bluegrass, and country music are a good fit both for the customers and the Carroll County Market decor. A sign inside reads, "This is not a museum ... all this junk is for sale."

Nestled next door to the Carroll County Market is another new business that opened in April. Miss Sippy's Coffee Shop and Mercantile, owned by Betty Ray, was named with her grandfather in mind, as he once was in the mercantile business in Carrollton. Although the name says coffee shop, sandwiches, salads, plate lunches, and desserts are served as well. Ray's guest book has visitor's signatures from towns all over Mississippi and out of state documenting the shop's popularity. When Ray moved back to Carrollton, she also purchased her great-great grandfather Captain William Ray's house.
Captain Ray House
110 W. Washington St. The home was built prior to 1844. Remodeled for William Ray during the 1850's adding a second story. Scenes from the movie "The Reivers" were filmed here.

Neighboring Miss Sippy's is Zona Studio and Gallery. Zona Pilgreen opened the studio as an outlet for local artists, channeling her desire to restore the building and give it a function.

Offering art classes for children and adults, the shop also hosts painting workshops conducted by instructors from New York.

The last storefront on the square is the newest business, Merganzers, named after the Merganser duck, is owned by Paige and Scotty Thornton. The gift and novelty shop features the work of local potters and artists, jewelry, body care products, designer tote bags with umbrellas to match, and many other items.

Across the street, Ye Olde Town Water Department has gotten a face-lift. The building, owned by Linda McGregor and leased to the city, was eligible for a renovation grant from the Mississippi Department of Archives and History because at one time it housed the city hall.

Lum Reek, another historical fixture in Carrollton, was recently restored by Libba and Tommy Goodman. Tommy is a retired architect and teaches at Mississippi State University. Their home was named after a Scottish toast, "Lang may ye lum reek," which means "long may your chimney smoke."

"About all we had to start with was smoke," Goodman said. "The floor was dirt and termites had eaten the floor boards. We had to tear everything out, number the wall boards, save the nails, re-insulate, and put the boards back the way they were."

Lum Reek was originally a two-room dog-trot when it was built in 1839-1840. The second floor, added in 1850, gave the home a neoclassical look. The Goodman's added a kitchen, den, bedroom, and bathrooms to the house, but they were careful to retain elements from the home's origins. The home's original faux grain doors are in the upstairs bedroom, and pieces of wood from the back porch walls line the walls of the den.

The Carroll County Antiquities Society recently obtained ownership of the Conservative newspaper office off the square, and they have a 99-year lease on the old jail that is no longer in use since the building of the new jail in Vaiden. "We've talked about making the Conservative office into a welcome center and the old jail into a place for artists; maybe with some rooms fixed for out-of-towners," said Glenda Jones. "But the Merrill Museum is in the worst condition. We have to concentrate on that first."

Masonic Lodge  
Located on Lexington Street. Organized in 1834. The present building was constructed in1899. 

 The work is ongoing to restore, protect, and treasure the buildings in Carrollton. The Masonic Lodge, one of the oldest buildings still being used in the state, is currently being restored. Wessie Gee is also working on another home, Seven Gables. Did new businesses come because of the restoration of old buildings or vice versa. Whatever the answer, the result is preservation of a remarkable, historic Mississippi town.

Carroll County Courthouse
Lexington St. Built in 1876 after the first building burned. It houses a complete set of County records.

.J.Z. George Law Office E. Washington St. Built in 1838

Community House
Lexington St. Built in 1936 out of native pine logs with WPA labor. Mr. W. D. Felts was the contractor. The Community House is jointly owned by the Town of Carrollton and the Board of Supervisors for the County.

McEachern House
Lexington St. Built in 1907 for the McEacherns. The roof of this house was to be steep enough that no leaks would ever occur. Now owned by Farrish Jenkins and used as an antique shop called "Antiques and Stuff". 

Vance House - Old Hotel
801 Lexington St. Probably built by Dr. Hart circa 1880. 
Used as a boarding house and hotel until circa 1930. 

Carrollton Presbyterian Church 
604 Green St. Organized in 1833. Present building built in 1897.

Grace Episcopal Church 
301 E. Washington St. The church was organized by
Bishop William Mercer Green. The present building erected in 1884.

Carrollton Baptist Church
The church was established as a house church of 9 members in 1833 near Coila, Ms.
By 1838 land had been purchased where the present church was built in 1894 and 1895, and the name of the church changed from Bethel Baptist Church to Carrollton Baptist Church. U.S.Senator J.Z. George was probably it's most prominent member.

Carrollton Methodist Church
Located on Green St. The church was organized in 1833. The present church building was built in 1885. The annex was added in 1976. 

Bear Marsh M.B. Church
Prior to 1869, most blacks in Carroll County worshiped with the whites. As their numbers grew so did the desire for their own church. Bear Marsh M.B. Church was established as the first black church in Carroll County. Bear Marsh M. B. Church is still a vibrant and active church.
112 W. Washington St. The present home was built circa 1860. This is a fitting name for this rambling 2 story house whose owners have been many. It was remodeled in the 1990's by the present owners.

Woodson Hall
(James A. Young House) 904 College St. The home was built prior 1841. This was once the home of Dr. Holman whose family started the Jitney Jungle grocery store chain. Remodeled in the 1980's and enclosed with a wrought iron fence.

The Oaks
1001 College St. The Oaks was built in 1848 for Green Jenkins. The Oaks has a framework built of hand-hewn materials pegged together. Nails were used only in the roof and weatherboarding. There are seven sets of double entrances in the original rooms.

Bingham House
106 W. Washington Street. Built prior to 1869 and remodeled by R.L. Bingham. The opening scene of Faulkner's "The Reivers" shows Steve McQueen appearing on the upper balcony.

Browning House
The Browning House is sometimes called the Buckland House after the builder of the house. It dates to 1891. It sits on the site of the first Carroll County Courthouse built in 1836.

A lot of the photos are my own, most of the information was taken from: