Garden for Bees & Butterflies

Most of us are aware of the importance of bees in our natural world, and are anxious to do our part to help them. The most important thing that bees do is pollinate.  Why not try to give them lots of opportunities to do just that? And who doesn’t love to see butterflies in their garden? So, in lieu of vegetables, that have become increasingly more difficult for me to grow, I am creating a garden for bees & butterflies.

Herb gardens are a haven for bees. I already grow several perennial herbs and I want to provide bees with even more “food”. I have a big patch of mint, oregano, horseradish, lemon balm and chives that I let flower. I also have a  good size raspberry patch. These are all big bee attracting plants.



Bees are drawn to plants with open or flat flowers with lots of pollen and nectar. The scent of a flower can have particular appeal to bees, and bright colors may also attract them. Avoiding herbicides or pesticides is very important, both of which are not good for bees.ChiveBlossoms

To attract even more bees, I added phlox, coneflowers (echinacea), and bee balm (monarda) where I use to grow tomatoes and squash.


Did you know that there are over 200 species of butterflies in Michigan? They are attracted to red, pink, and purple flowers that grow in the sun. From over 100 different kinds of plants in the Midwest that attract butterflies, nearly 50 of them are also excellent for attracting bees. It’s nature’s win-win scenario!


Every Spring I plan to add more perennial plants that will attract bees and butterflies. You can create a bee and butterfly garden too. Try to plant at least 3 different types of flowers to have blooms through early spring and late summer. Join me and together let’s make our gardens, and our world a healthier place for bees.

Very Berry Ice Cream

On Valentine’s Day I made berry ice cream. It’s a simple homemade ice cream recipe with mixed frozen berries. My ice cream maker is a Cuisinart, so to start, I looked up a few recipes on their website. Then I chose the ingredients I liked and combined the recipes into the one that I am sharing in this post.Ice cream recipesThe recipe for ice cream is so easy if you have an ice cream maker. Just mix the ingredients, add them to the machine, step back and watch the magic happen. It’s that cream ingredients

As for the ingredients, heavy cream, milk, vanilla, a pinch of salt and frozen berries is all you need. I prefer to use vanilla bean paste.

mix liquidsUsing a hand mixer helps, but it’s not really necessary.

frozen berries crushedI pulse the frozen berries in my blender  before I add them to the mixture.

berries in liquidYou don’t need to mix for very long if you use agave nectar, but granulated sugar takes longer to dissolve.

chill mixtureJust cover and refrigerate the mixture for at least an hour, or you can even leave it over night.

ice cream maker

I have a quick video on my Instagram profile of the ice cream maker at work. It’s noisy, but worth the “sound pollution” and the wait.

very berry ice cream frozenHere’s the very berry ice cream after a few hours in the freezer. You should remove it from the freezer at least 10 minutes prior to serving. One quick caveat: you will love this so much you may not want to buy ice cream from the grocery store again.

Very Berry Ice Cream
Prep time
Total time
This is a simple recipe for mixed berry ice cream sweetened with agave.
Recipe type: Easy
Cuisine: Dessert!
Serves: 6
  • 1 cup of whole milk
  • ½ raw agave nectar
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt
  • 10 oz frozen mix berries
  1. Pulse frozen berries in blender.
  2. Using a hand mixer on low, combine milk, agave, and salt.
  3. Stir in heavy cream, vanilla and berries.
  4. Cover and refrigerate at least 1 hour.
  5. Turn on ice cream maker.
  6. Pour mixture into the frozen freezer bowl.
  7. Mix until thickened approximately 20 - 30 minutes.
  8. If served at this point, ice cream will have a soft texture.
  9. For firmer texture, put ice cream in an air tight container and freeze.
  10. Remove from freezer 10 minutes before serving.

Peach and Berry Crumble with Walnuts

Peach Crumble with ice cream

I bought some peaches that turned out to be not as sweet as I expected. Isn’t that disappointing? What to do with all that fruit? Here is a wonderful solution. Bake a fruit and nut crumble dessert. It’s easy and now all the fruit you purchased won’t go to waste. Serve it warm with vanilla ice cream.

Peach and Berry Crumble

You can substitute the peaches and walnuts for plums and almonds if you’d like. Any fruit and nut combination will work.

Peach and Berry Crumble 2

Here’s the printable recipe for you. Enjoy!

Peach and Berry Crumble with Walnuts
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Kitoula's recipe for Peach and Berry Crumble with Walnuts adapted from Ina Garten's, Barefoot Contessa.
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Serves: 8
  • 2 pounds peaches, cut in ½, pitted, and cut in 1-inch wedges
  • ⅔ cup granulated sugar, divided
  • 1¼ cups all-purpose flour, divided
  • 2 tablespoons orange juice
  • ½ pint frozen mixed berries
  • ⅓ cup light brown sugar, packed
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, diced
  • ½ cup quick-cooking oats
  • ½ cup chopped walnuts, plus extra for sprinkling
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. For the fruit filling: In a large bowl, combine the sliced peaches, ⅓ cup of the granulated sugar, ¼ cup of the flour, and the orange juice.
  3. Toss well.
  4. Add the berries and toss lightly.
  5. Pour into a 9 by 12 by 2-inch baking dish.
  6. For the crumble topping: Place the remaining 1 cup of flour, the remaining ⅓ cup of granulated sugar, the brown sugar, and the salt in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade.
  7. Pulse a few times to combine.
  8. Add the butter and pulse until the butter is the size of peas.
  9. Pour the mixture into a bowl.
  10. Add the oats.
  11. Work it with your hands until it's in large crumbles.
  12. Add ½ cup of chopped walnuts.
  13. Mix well.
  14. Spread the topping evenly over the fruit, making sure the fruit is covered.
  15. Sprinkle with some extra walnuts and sugar.
  16. Bake for 40 minutes, or until the fruit is tender and bubbly and the topping is golden brown.
  17. Serve warm or at room temperature.


How I start my mornings

Do you start your day with caffeine and sugar? Then just rush out the door? Ugh. I used to do that until I got educated. The first thing that you eat in the morning is very important.

Many of my friends are beginning to take their health more seriously. So, I thought they might be interested in how I start my mornings. I begin with a delicious smoothie that I make in my blender. I also take 10 vitamin and mineral supplements. Sounds like a lot? They are easy to wash down with this delicious smoothie recipe.

good morning

Smoothies are easy to make. It’s not an exact recipe. I use the following ingredients:
Frozen berries or other frozen fruit like mango
Unsweetened Non GMO Almond milk
Kefir – Probiotic
Pea Protein powder
Kale, spinach or other green leaf vegetable
and Bea Bread [bee pollen or royal jelly]
Just whiz it all up in a blender.

A list of the supplements I take are:
Isotonix® OPC-3® – a combination of highly potent antioxidants
Isotonix® Vitamin D with K2  – for vascular health and calcium utilization
Ultimate Woman 50+ Multivitamin – important to cover all the basics
Curcumin Extreme™ – anti-inflammatory and joint health
Co-Q10 – cardiovascular and immune health
Omega III Fish Oil with Vitamin E – mood and cardiovascular health
Flax seed Oil -antioxidant and heart health
Magnesium – overall health [too many reasons to list here!]

These supplements have been selected for me by Jean Cornell – Natural Health and Well-being Coach. I highly recommend her. Jean also advised me on the ingredients of this morning smoothie.

Morning Smoothie
Prep time
Total time
This is the recipe for my morning smoothie
Recipe type: Healthy Drinks
Cuisine: Healthy Living
Serves: 2
  • 1 cup Frozen berries or other frozen fruit
  • 1 Banana
  • 2 cups Almond milk
  • a splash of Kefir
  • 1 scoop Pea Protein powder
  • 1 cup Kale, spinach or other green leaf vegetable
  • 1 tsp Bea Bread
  1. Combine all ingredients in a blender
  2. Liquify until desired consistency

How you start your day makes a huge difference in your overall health. Smoothies are nutritious and help you feel full so you don’t over eat at lunch. Try my recipe and let me know how you feel after a few weeks. I bet – much better.