I found four huge wire thingamajigs behind our fence. I was excited and decided to try them out as tomato cages. So behold, rusty metal in the garden bed
The tomato plants are only about two feet tall, but I’m getting the first cute little tomatoes on them. Awwwww
This is another tomato area; they haven’t been in the ground as long. I’m trying a grid out of bamboo to support these ones. I’m also trying pruning for the first time this year. I’m curious to see how they fair, especially trying a few different kinds support.
Pole-Bean Tee-Pee! I have pole beans planted all around the base and ran string between all but one of the gaps. So hopefully it will fill in and look like an actual tee-pee. This little girl is excited about it. She calls it her “own house.”
Speaking of LG, I’m having a time keeping her from poaching the sweet peas before they are ready
On to the fruit. How cute are these little peaches?! I need to thin the fruit, but I keep putting it off because they are adorable.
My strawberry patch. Doesn’t look like it from the first view, but they are loaded. We got to eat the first of this years crop today. So good!
The blueberries are happy, too.
My 2013 garden is 90% planted now and I adore it. Adore it, I tell you. I’m going to try to track its progress on here, but I’ll only post about a few things at a time.
This year I’m trying potatoes! I probably shouldn’t even admit how excited I am about this, but the mere fact that I feel the need to blog about my garden probably outs me to some extent…
I’m trying out three methods, hopefully one, if not all, are successful and I can start growing them every year. I have red, white, and Yukon gold. The Yukon gold is so far the poorest performer in who actually came out of the ground to join the party.
This is the traditional (mostly), in the ground and hilled up potato plot. This mess is in the back, and if I’m being honest, I am kind of neglecting the hilling bit more than I should.
This is the current fad in potato growing, the oh-so-popular grow bag. I really didn’t foresee the mess they make. I need to get them off my porch (the place said bag is supposed to be perfect for.) I have done “hilling” in this as well. Also known as filling up the bag as the plant grows.
And last but not least, my great hope in the potato race: Square foot gardening potatoes. I contacted someone else that throws them in the bottom of her raised bed, no hilling required, and gets a great harvest every year. Oh please, oh please work for me. That’s all I do for my sweet potatoes and I’d love an equally easy potato harvest.
Last year I couldn’t for the life of me get my lettuce going. This year I had a few casualties, but for the most part? Boom. More lettuce than I can use- it’s everywhere.
My broccoli did really well earlier this winter. I was surprised because I couldn’t get it started last year in the house. Turns out I still can’t get it started in the house. I can only grow broccoli outside. Underneath that little plant are some broccoli volunteers (unintentional seeding from previous plant). I always feel terrible guilty ripping out the volunteers, but I’m not sure there’s enough time for them to mature before it gets too hot.
Upon searching it out, I found that a few other people had done this, but I wasn’t able to find a recipe that matched, well… mostly what I happened to have in the house when I was struck with the desire to cook this.
This is all my guesses on the measurements after the fact.
- Half an onion diced
- 1/2 cup orange bell pepper diced
- Half package of mushrooms cubed
- 1/4 cup carrots cubed
- 8 0z water chestnuts cubed
- 1/2 uncooked quinoa
- sesame oil
- soy sauce
- ground ginger
- romaine lettuce
In one pot, get your quinoa cooking. In a pan, start cooking your onions and bell peppers with a generous drizzling of sesame oil. Once they are closing in on how cooked you’d like them, put your mushrooms and garlic in
This is what mine looked like at this point. Then I put in the carrots and water chestnuts. I wanted them to still be a little crunchy. I sprinkled ground ginger on top, and then mixed in the cooked quinoa. Pour in soy sauce to taste and serve on romaine lettuce.
Everyone loved it. Next time I’m planning on putting in a little honey, and the rest will vary based on what’s in the house, but the bones of the recipe was awesome.
I got the idea to cook pancakes in the oven from a friend, but then I decided to make it a little more fun.
Preheat oven to 400.
- Use whatever recipe you want and mix up a batch.
- Grease a cookie sheet (jelly roll pan? You know, the type with edges) and pour batter into it.
- Bake for 10 minutes
- Here’s where my version comes in- grab the cookie cutters and go nuts.
- Watch the toddler enjoy the shapes while eating the yummy crusty edges.
I went fancy pants with just add water mix this time.
Here they are before going in the oven
The tops won’t look pretty after baking and cutting out shapes
Just flip it over to serve
I’ve been meaning to do this for a very long time, but I’ve somehow ended up with free or crazy cheap detergent for the last two years. (Tough life, right? ) I actually still have some from the store, but I got impatient.
I made this in the beginning of December and this is how much I have left. Most of the recipes I read said 1 tablespoon per load, but I always 2 because that seems so teeny. The second picture is of my tablespoon scoop to give you an idea of just how much detergent is left. I’ll be using this forever! That said, my laundry always smells so fresh now. It’s been especially nice for my towels, which I always felt like I was fighting the water funk smell with. Not anymore.
This is what I ended up doing after reading- I don’t know how many recipes.
- 1 4lb? box Arm & Hammer Washing Powder
- 1 4lb box Borax
- 3 bars Fels-Naptha
- 1 3lb box of oxi-clean
I wish I had written down the exact pricing, but as I recall, the total came out to something under $20 and I figured out that using 2 T would make it 2 1/2 cents a load. It would be even cheaper if I had used off brand oxi clean or had a coupon, but I was afraid to try on off brand for something I knew nothing about, on a project that would produce this much stuff I would have to use….
Anyway, I grated the bar soap in the food processor, and then I send it through again with the blade to make it powder. After that I poured it, along with everything else into a trash bag and mixed it up. Don’t do this in the kitchen, by the way. No reason, other than the powder that will try to escape everywhere.
That’s it! It was very fast, and I LOVE the final product.
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 1/2 cups chopped onion
1 cup (1/4-inch-thick) slices carrot
1 tablespoon curry powder
1 teaspoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground ginger
2 teaspoon garlic
1 serrano chile, seeded and minced (I’ve used many different things for this…)
1 can or so cooked chickpeas (garbanzo beans)
1 1/2 cups cubed peeled baking potato
1 cup diced green bell pepper
1 cup (1-inch) cut green beans
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper
1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained
1 cup water
1 cube veg bouillon
3 cups fresh baby spinach
1 cup light coconut milk
Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add onion and carrot; cover and cook 5 minutes or until tender. Add curry powder, sugar, ginger, garlic, and chile; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly.
Place onion mixture in a 5-quart electric slow cooker. Stir in chickpeas and next 8 ingredients (through broth). Cover and cook on HIGH 6 hours or until vegetables are tender. Add spinach and coconut milk; stir until spinach wilts.
Since we have a little family, I take half of it right away and put it in the freezer. This freezes very, very well. Make sure to let it thaw before reheating or you’ll have mushy vegetables. I also go ahead and freeze the rest of the coconut milk. It effects the texture a bit, but it doesn’t matter if you’re going to cook with it.
1 can drained corn
1 can rinsed black beans
1 can diced tomatoes
1 packet of taco seasoning
2 veg bouillon cubes (could use anything I suppose)
water to taste
Combine everything in a saucepan and let simmer. We like it chunky so I don’t add very much water at all. Serve with regular tortilla soup fixings.
The next day, I drain what little liquid there is off, add some cottage cheese, and I roll it into corn tortillas. I put it in a casserole dish, and cover with cheese and enchilada sauce. Tada, easy dinner for two days.
I wish I had taken a picture of dinner, it looked so fancy, and tasted even better. I realized too late that I didn’t have everything I needed for dinner today, so it was a oh-junk-what-will-we-feed-everyone kinda day.
In one pan we had onions and bell peppers sautéing in bacon grease. I know, not my usual go to. And in the other I had purple potatoes cubed. I cooked them for about 10 minutes in blood orange EVOO (so good!), then combined the two pans, also throwing in crumbled bacon. The now empty pan took on the task of making scrambled eggs. There was two of us in there cooking, hence the slightly less than clear series of events, but I just want to remember that those home fry potatoes with eggs, were to die for. Yum.
I can’t tell, is this a little girl’s room?
That blue dresser is the fruit of my white feet. She adores it
And just could not be stopped from putting her clothes away in it
I spray painted this time. I loved that it was fast. Not only because I, like the rest of the fast food nation, love immediate satisfaction, but because it disrupted family life a lot less than dragging out the paint can everyday. I got this all done in one afternoon. However, I did not like that no matter what you do, the paint will get everywhere. Everywhere. I may or may not have had blue snot for days, despite wearing a mask. Eeeeeeeeeew. I’d spray paint again though. Convenience for the win. Blue boogers tolerated.
I’ve been making our bread for a bit now. In a bread machine. I’m not Betty Crocker. Anyway, since this has become our only bread, I’ve had a conundrum- How to store the bread. Should I use a new gallon ziploc every week? Try to wash it? Use an old grocery sack? Most weeks the bread sat under a hand towel on a cutting board while I pondered this. I was experiencing an undo amount of worry (and crumbs) over this issue. One day the solution hit me though.
Bam, bread in the cookie jar.
Takes up less space on the counter than a gallon sized plastic bag or a cutting board draped with a makeshift cover, and looks about a hundred times better.
I started making our fabric softener some time ago. It was one of those, hit-me-at-11pm-most-do-now things. It tends to happen around here.
I wasn’t worried about this because I have been using just vinegar forever, so I figured, how could a little water and conditioner ruin it? I made it from this website, but I use half the conditioner. The first time I tried to skip the whisking step. Don’t do that. You’re only making more work for yourself:)
Without further ado- cellphone pictures.
I use an old gallon vinegar bottle and it works perfectly.
I also ripped up an atlas from 1926 to put it on my wall. Don’t look at me like that, it was already in pieces and I saved it from the trash bin
I have a desk that I reeeeeeally didn’t want to repaint. It has a hutch (so much to paint!) and it looks just fine in my room! Except for the drawers. The previous owner tried to paint the recessed part a different color and it was ugly. Very ugly. Even without the sharpie marks. So I got creative to avoid having to paint the whole thing
Turns out we DO use that menu board. Go us.
And I painted the toddler’s dresser today. Pictures, not of my feet, to come.
And do you see that paint covered bandaid on my toe? That’s from stepping on a nail that fell out of the dresser (GHFMSNWKGHJEK!!!!!) and dangled from my foot for a little bit while I stared in shock. And if you can believe it, I forgot that if a nail was wedged into my foot- it might bleed. I stepped down after I took it out, thinking to get on with my project… only to bloody the floor.
I might be the most ridiculous person on the planet.