About Me

Posted by LeAnn Kurtz on

Cooking School in Cambodia 
I have been fascinated with food my whole life.  I grew up in a household in the 60s and 70s where my mother did all the cooking and she was a master! I didn't realize it at the time, but we were blessed with amazing, wholesome food all around us. We had a 37 acre fruit orchard in the Napa Valley filled with plums, prunes, apples, and pears. Every summer  as little kids, we would pick lugs of fruit to  sell  at our roadside stand. My parents had invested in some cattle with one of the neighbors and we had fresh, grass fed beef from happy California cows. We had a pond on the property stocked with Bass and Bluegill and my Dad would take us out fishing all the time in our little row boat. I learned to clean a fish at the age of 6. We had two creeks, one on each side of the house filled with blackberry bushes where we would pick cans full of juicy blackberries all summer and try not to return too bloody from all the thorns.
Dad and Me fishing circa 1965
My Mom was a wonderful cook. We had tacos every week, at a time when tacos weren't the staple food of Californians. She insisted on fresh, green salad with every meal. I would go to dinner at friends' houses and their mothers would serve up some canned vegetables or frozen peas, or something I wasn't used to and although I was polite, and ate it, I remember thinking how awful it tasted.  When I got older, my parents got chickens. I never realized how different and delicious fresh, grass fed, free range chicken eggs are! The yolks are orange, the fats are healthier, they're full of omega 3s which are fantastic for you and the shells are actually hard to break.
As I have been getting older, I've been much more aware of the importance of quality food, and sustainable agriculture. I'm a bit obsessed with gardening lately. My husband tells me I need a 12 step program for plant nurseries! It seems I can't pass by a plant for sale anywhere without at least stopping to inspect them, and usually buying at least something for my gardens, whether it be food or flowers.
I'm newly semi- retired, and part of the reason I quit working full time is so I can stay home and nurture my gardener's heart growing a great variety of foods, and tending to my back yard chickens, who are Tillie McPeckerson, Twinky Dink and Ginger.  They give me three beautiful eggs every day, which is more than my husband and I can handle, so we end up giving lots away to family and friends.
My Grandson Logan with my three girls.
My other passion in life has been travel. I have been fortunate to travel to 6 continents, and eat a lot of amazing food from other countries! I even snuck in some cooking classes in India and Cambodia.
Watching and helping my Mom in the kitchen taught me most of what I needed to know to start me on a lifelong exploration of food. I have never liked following recipes, and feel I have a natural (or learned, not sure) instinct when it comes to seasoning and mixing flavors. Up until this point, I have not been writing down my recipes, just throwing stuff together every night for dinner.
 I've decided it's time to tie together my homegrown harvests and some very simple, farm to fork recipes, gardening tips and ideas for producing organic, sustainable food. I will be recommending products, books and movies to expand your knowledge base as well. Click on my store to see my beautiful Home and Garden wares, and sign up for my blog!
Join me on my food adventure!
(One more picture of  my grandson...
just because he's adorable and he loves to cook with his Bubby!)
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Gardener's Mediterranean Roasted Halibut

Posted by LeAnn Kurtz on

I found a large Halibut fillet in the fridge from Costco, and a garden ripe with harvest vegetables so I decided last night was the perfect time for this!

The tomatoes are so sweet this time of year they just turn to candy when you roast them, and the green beans so fresh and delicious. All blended with a lemon, garlic, olive oil sauce that creates a succulent dish and adds a lot of nice moisture and texture when eaten together.  Perfect for a warm late Summer evening, and super easy!



  • Zest of 2 lemons
  • Juice of 2 lemons
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tbsp freshly minced garlic
  • 2 tsp dill weed
  • 1 tsp Old Bay seasoning, or any seasoning salt you like
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp dried oregano


  • 1 lb fresh green beans
  • 1 lb cherry tomatoes
  • 1 large red onion sliced into half moons
  • about 1 1/2 pounds Halibut fillet (I use Halibut, but Salmon would work nicely too)


  1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk the sauce ingredients together. Add the green beans, tomatoes, and onions and toss to coat with the sauce (you can do this in batches if the bowl is too small).
  3. With a large slotted spoon or spatula, transfer the vegetables to a large baking sheet. Keep the vegetables to one side or one half of the baking sheet and make sure they are spread out in one layer.
  4. Now, add the halibut fillet to the remaining sauce, toss to coat. Transfer the halibut fillet to the baking sheet next to the vegetables and pour any remaining sauce on top.
  5. Lightly sprinkle the halibut and vegetables with a little seasoned salt.
  6. Bake in the 450 degrees F heated oven for 15 minutes. Then transfer the baking sheet to the top oven rack and broil for another 3-5 minutes, watching carefully. The cherry tomatoes should begin to pop under the broiler.
  7. When ready, remove the baked halibut and vegetables from the oven. Serve immediately. And If you’re looking to add a side, we recommend rice.


And while you're here, check out all our latest sustainably sourced home decor goodies from Delectable Garden !
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LeAnn's Veggie Tart with Ricotta

Posted by LeAnn Kurtz on

This Spring Garden Tart is so quick and easy and it's perfect for Easter brunch, dinner, or anytime! 


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Oil Poached Tomatoes

Posted by LeAnn Kurtz on

It's tomato season! They are ripe, sweet and so delicious this time of year, and sometimes we get so many we have to find new ways to use them. I absolutely love this delicious recipe I found in Bon Appetite Magazine. Whenever I find recipes, I add a little personal touch to make it my own!

And the smell is like heaven! Sweet garlicky, tomato-basil-rosemary goodness that will make your tummy growl!

Use this on crostini as a Bruschetta, pasta or for a rich, delicious sauce. Easy and yummy!



  • 1 head of garlic, cloves separated
  • 4 sprigs rosemary
  • Chopped, fresh Basil
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • About 1 pound of cherry tomatoes, plum tomatoes, or really, any tomatoes, but in half.
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt


Preheat oven to 300°. Toss tomatoes, garlic, rosemary sprigs, and basil, olive oil, and salt in a large baking dish.

Bake tomatoes until they are soft and skins begin to shrivel, 35–45 minutes. Let cool slightly, then discard stems of Rosemary. 



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LeAnn's Slow-Cooker Lentil Soup

Posted by LeAnn Kurtz on's hot, and you don't want to turn on the oven. And it's so nice to come home to a dinner already made! Serve this healthy delicious soup with a nice cool cucumber and tomato salad. It's perfect for a lazy, healthy summer meal!
2 cups green lentils, rinsed
4 cups chicken broth (or vegetable broth)
1 med yellow onion, diced
2 carrots, diced into large pieces
1 med yam or sweet potato, diced into large pieces
1 28 oz can diced tomatoes, drained
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 bay leaf
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/8 teaspoon turmeric
1/4 teaspoon ground coriander (or, you can use Tandori Spice in place of the tumeric and coriander if you happen to have some)
1-2 large jalapenos, diced (To your taste. You can leave these out if you don't like it spicy)
  1. Rinse the lentils thoroughly (1-2 times).
  2. Add all ingredients to a crockpot, turn on low and cook for 5-6 hours. 

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