Donalyn Ketchum

I'm 58, and along with my husband of 37 years, I live in rural Upstate NY. 

I blog about our adventures in gardening and cooking, as we work to grow and produce as much of our own food as possible.  I believe that anyone can learn to make great food for themselves and for their family, and do it without the use of prepackaged or highly processed food.  I create recipes using the freshest ingredients I can lay my hands on, and share with my readers how they can recreate these simple but deeply satisfying dishes at home.

In addition, I seek out interesting products to share with my readers, often partnering with small, interesting companies to showcase their products.  I also blog for the Great American Spice Compay, creating recipes using their products.  I am available for recipe development for other companies, so long as they are not direct competitors of companies I am curretnly partnered with. 

I have been working with some local food based companies, photographing their products for use on their websites, and at their locations, and I have done some photography for menus and publicity materials for them as well.

I also enjoy photography [my photography site is] and in addition to our vegetable gardens, I have large flower and perennial gardens where I work off my small frustrations with life.  We have two daughters, two sons-in-law, and two grandkids - all fabulous beyond description.   Family is very important to us, and part of that is passing along our gardening and cooking mojo, which is enduring through the generations.

Quick and Easy Chocolate Snack Cake

Snack Cakes are a very good thing to have in your bag of tricks. A snack cake implies a fast prep, probably without a mixer, and fairly simple ingredients. This Chocolate Snack Cake is all that, and results in a cake that is richer, moister and with a more refined texture than you might expect ....more

Lime Buttermilk Bars

Happy Thursday! Wait – you say you aren’t having a happy day? I think I know why ....more

Creamy Feta Cheese Salad Dressing

We eat a lot of salad all year, but this time of year it seems especially good. Not because we have our own homegrown veggies yet, but we know they are coming, so all salads have some anticipation added, which seems to make them taste even better. Obviously, we don’t have a whole lot of local produce this time of year ....more

Healthier Homemade Granola

Making granola, like making yogurt or tofu, was practically required for the Mother Earth News reading, funny cigarette smoking, barefoot live off the land types that we once were. I never bought granola back then, mostly because it was more expensive than making your own. Even the stuff in the co-op or health food store didn’t compare in either price or flavor to what I could make myself ....more

Best Ever Oatmeal Cookies

I realize it is a pretty big claim, but I stand by it – these are the Best Ever Oatmeal Cookies! Packed with yummy things like coconut and butterscotch chips, not to mention toasted walnuts and raisins, they have a nice crispy exterior and a very chewy interior. My taste-testing panel has been increased significantly lately ....more

Roasted Garlic Hummus

One of Larry’s favorite things to grow is garlic. Once you get the basics down, garlic is quite easy to grow. And you plant it in October for harvesting in July of the following year, so it’s out of the way as a chore when there is so much else that needs doing in the springtime ....more

Dark Chocolate Fudge Brownies

We have lots of big changes going on in our family. Mostly because our younger daughter and her husband are expecting their first baby, and he is starting a new job and they are moving from Georgia to Pennsylvania. Besides general moral support, we get to be involved to the extent that we are keeping Sammy the super-jowly dog while they get moved, as well as having them stay with us off and on through the process ....more

Applesauce Whoopie Pies

Sitting here, writing this post today, I am enjoying a sight out the window that is dear to the heart of any Upstate New Yorker – there is a male robin enjoying the fermented chokecherries and crab apples from the trees in our yard. A robin! Did you know that the male robins always migrate ahead of the females? ...more

Guinness Beef Stew

Okay, so we aren’t Irish. I did go to a Catholic grade school called St Patrick’s when I was a kid, but since probably half of the students were Italian, I don’t think I gained any Irish points there. We had to wear scratchy green uniforms, but that was about it ....more

Brown Sugar Lemon Crinkles

I have to admit that I am really tired of seeing nothing but snow outdoors. Good golly we’ve had a lot of snow this winter! With the exception of places we have plowed or shoveled, there is still not a single bare spot anywhere on our property ....more