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Helping you revive homemade, real food meals with less junk (not fewer calories) and processed ingredients.

  • You dream of “doing better” for your family--eating less processed food and cooking more from scratch–but you’re overwhelmed with where to start. It’s just always been easier to open a box.
  • You read labels but so much of it doesn’t make sense. How do you know what ingredients to choose?
  • You believe in good health and want feed your family well, but don’t have the budget for grass fed beef and all organic vegetables–and you’re not some health food vigilante. You just want to do better where you can.
  • You believe that cooking has to take forever, use a ton of dishes and be frustrating (at least that’s what it has always been in the past!) and you’re reluctant to try again.

I believe today’s typical American diet is robbing you of your health and longevity.

I believe you can eat well on a budget.

I believe you can empower yourself so you can make confident choices in the grocery store that don’t cost you an arm and a leg at checkout.

I believe that with practice and the right recipes, you can sit down to a meal each night feeling relaxed–not stressed–and serve something everyone will enjoy.

What others are saying

“My husband said your dish was the best he had ever eaten and coming from him that’s saying a lot. Thank you so much for this recipe.”—Wanda

 “I made your recipe for a cookout with friends, and they have been BEGGING me to make it again ever since! They even DEMANDED that I bring it to our Christmas potluck! Thanks for creating such an awesome and tasty recipe!!”

Imagine having the time to make more wholesome food that brings you praise from your family and friends. The food that leaves everyone scraping the pan and asking you for more–and it didn’t come from a box or a drive through. And the best part? You did it with simple, easy to find ingredients that only took a few minutes to put together. Yes, it really is possible.


About Rachel, and the pumpkin cookies that shaped this blog

There was a day in 2010 when my 6-year old daughter stumbled off the school bus. Her speech was slurred, she was off balance, and erratic.

“Heeeeyyyyy mommmmmm!” she wailed as she got in the car.

I glanced sideways at her, wondering what in the world was going on.

As hours passed, her behavior became more erratic. We went out for dinner and all she could do was grunt and bounce in her chair. Her dad and I were frustrated. I threatened to discipline her if she didn’t sit still and then it hit me–I don’t know why it hadn’t earlier.

“What did you have to eat at school today?”

Triumphantly and a little manic she shouted “Pumpkin cookies!”

Pumpkin cookies. Those pre-packaged sugar cookies with the half inch layer of orange icing on them. I immediately knew what was wrong. I asked for a glass of water from the waitress and had her drink as much as she could in an attempt to flush the artificial colors and chemicals that had shifted her behavior.

That was the moment when a lot of things came full circle for her and for me. Over the years I had been aware that store bought yogurt smoothies kept her up all night as a toddler and that a couple of handfuls of M&M’s meant hours of hyperactivity. She was sensitive about touch and sensations–having to approve every set of sheets before I bought them and every sock for appropriate softness.

As time passed, she was diagnosed with ADD and sensory processing disorder and we knew the role that artificial colors and additives played in her ability to focus, socialize and control her impulses.

She is a glorious, kind child and I have been determined since that time to make sure everyone else could see her the same way.


Cuttin’ the junk for my family and for you

That’s why I’m serious about avoiding those ingredients for her, the rest of my family, and for you. I was already a scratch cook for the most part before, but I had no problem with a blue box of macaroni and cheese on crazy nights or letting the kids enjoy Kool Aid on a hot summer day.

I  know that homemade meals are a luxury for most busy schedules and we’re not about being snobby around here–we’re real. I’ll never ask you to buy grass fed beef from cows whose poop doesn’t stink, reverse-filtered water from Saudi Arabia, or cheese from a private farm you have to drive an hour to find and give a secret handshake to buy.

But together we can make changes that cut the worst stuff, we can choose to make meals ahead, choose naturally sweetened desserts over a store bought cookie, and keep the decadent stuff as a special treat and not an everyday event. Around here, it’s only gonna be:

  • Everyday ingredients
  • Basic cooking techniques
  • Simple kitchen tools, and lots of success for you!  

 I’m here for you!

You can do this, and I want to help you get there. If you have any questions or want to celebrate your new success in the kitchen I’d love to hear from you. You can reach me at or reach out to me on Instagram or Facebook. I can’t wait to get to know you!

Mikki Cleveland

Friday 4th of February 2022

My daughter and I love your YouTube channel and have used several of your recipes. Thank you for sharing the knowledge the Lord has given you.

God bless, Mikki & Ruby from SE Texas

Rachel Ballard

Saturday 5th of February 2022

Thank you Mikki! I'm so glad you enjoy it. --Rachel


Friday 24th of September 2021

Are you on Facebook?

Rachel Ballard

Friday 24th of September 2021

Nope not anymore Gaile. You can find me on Instagram and Youtube!


Saturday 29th of May 2021

Your balance and wisdom is balm to my soul! I’m tired of the extremes on every side. I cook a lot myself and your food looks so delicious! Excited to try the recipes!

Rachel Ballard

Sunday 30th of May 2021

Ah thank you so much Susie! That's how I want this site to be. A place for real food for real people. We aren't perfect. We just do the best we can. Thank you. :)

Donnie Yuzak

Thursday 4th of February 2021

Nice share. Great philosophy on cooking.


Friday 31st of October 2014

This is such a great story!Your space is so lovely!

Rachel Ballard

Tuesday 4th of November 2014

Thank you my friend Bea!