March 30, 2013

Indoor Garden Update

An update on my indoor garden.  :)

The grape tomatoes are doing great.  They are on day 26.  Still lots of growth.

The other grape tomatoes are doing much better than this pot.

My celery is on day 25 of growth.  It's very healthy and has beautiful green leaves.

My potatoes are on day 26.  I only have 4 potato plants.  I did have 5.  When I re-potted one of the potato plants the stem broke and it killed the growth so I put it in my compost pile.  I'm going to need to re-pot these potato plants soon because they are growing very fast.


I decided to keep my hydrangea here at the house instead of at work.  Harley has gotten to the flowers two times now.  This morning he decided to take his rage out on the flower plant and knocked it down, chewed on some of the leaves and ate some petals.  I found the petals he ate which he puked up later.  :|  BAD KITTY!!!  I've moved the flowers so they are not within his reach.

When I came back from the shed this afternoon, I noticed some ladybugs on the steps of the deck.  I then lifted the grassy area next to them and there were a bunch of ladybugs walking about.  I found about 10 total.  That means good luck 10x for me.  :)

Two of which were mating.  :)  

March 24, 2013

Indoor Garden Update/ Replanting

It's about day 20 of my indoor gardening.  I made my way over to Lowe's today and picked up 2 big bags of container potting mix.  I also got 2 little plastic pots.  Oh and microwave bulbs because the lights were out.

After I got home I got right to work on the gardening.  I needed to re-plant my little grape tomatoes.  Look how much growth they've had.  Compare to day 1 or day 12.

I put the grape tomato plants, eggshells and all in medium size pots.  Only 3 eggs shells had no growth.  I didn't plant those 3.  Not sure what happened with them.  I left them outside in compost in my shed.  There are 8 in the left pot and 7 in the right pot.

I then looked at my potato.  It's growing pretty good.  Read about Day 15.

I dumped out the plant and soil because I noticed more potatoes were trying to poke up and there was lots of roots.  I replanted them into little pots to give them more room.  I put 2 in each and then the one with the leaves I left by itself.  I was careful with the plant but I might have accidentally broke the stem.  It seemed flimsy to me.  I guess we'll see how it does.  I hope I didn't damage it.  :(

I then grabbed my celery and decided it was time to plant it in soil.  Today is day 19.

I planted the celery in a small pot and made sure the entire base was covered in soil.

I brought everything inside and placed in front of the window.  The potatoes are on the window sill.  You can't really see them in the picture.  I hope everything continues to grow.  :)

I picked up a small hydrangea plant to put at my work desk window.  :)  Right now it's sitting in a window sill.  I might leave it there.  Not sure yet.  :)

March 19, 2013

Indoor Garden update

I'm excited to give you an update on my indoor garden.  I have a bunch of grape tomatoes growing in the egg shells.  I started the tomatoes from store bought grape tomatoes.  I can't believe how good they are doing.  :)  I have 18 egg shells here.  All but 2 have far.  I hope the other 2 shells get some sprouting but if not it's okay because I have 16 others.  :)

There's a lot of sprouting going on....

I also noticed today.....I have some growth with my potatoes.  They are on day 15.  Look at the little speck of green.

Look at that little sprout.  I'm going to have to transfer the potatoes in a bigger pot soon and cover them with some more soil so the sprouts stay buried.  Note to self:  Buy more container soil.  :)  Might be making a trip to Lowe's this weekend.

And day 14 of my celery.  :)  It just keeps growing and growing.  This will need to be re-potted soon too and I'll add some soil covering the base but leaving the leafs clear.  I do notice the base starts browning but every re-grow your celery blog has the browning on their bases too.  As long as the middle doesn't brown then I'm good.

I still have my cooking onion growing.  It's covered in soil so it's hard to see what's happening with it.  I had a white onion just sitting in a clear bowl with water.  I changed the water out every day but it just wasn't growing.  I came home today from running an errand and the whole house reeked of onion.  It was the white onion, so I threw it out.  It was disgusting.  We'll see how the cooking onion does.

March 16, 2013

Re-Growing your own celery: Update

Did you know that you can re-grow celery from celery.  Earlier, this month I tried re-growing celery.

Here's an update.

Day 1

Day 6

Day 11

I've been changing the water daily.  Pretty soon I will need to put the celery in a new dish/pot.  It seems that it grows overnight.  It's so fun to check on it each morning to see how it's doing.

Grape Tomatoes from Seeds- Day 12

I started grape tomato seeds in egg shells back on March 4th.  Yesterday, as I watered my plant babies, there was still nothing.  My sister, Ashley said to give them time b/c they will grow.

As I watered my plants today, I saw tiny little green sprouts.  Today, marks day 12.

YEY!  They are growing!!!!

Look at the little green leaves.  :)

There's only about 4 that have sprouts so far but I'm really excited to see them growing.  :)

Homemade Mints

My sister, came up yesterday to use my kitchen to do some baking for some things she wanted for her baby shower.  I was supposed to help but I've been sick all week with bronchitis and a severe sinus infection so I did more watching than actually helping.  Ah well.  Ashley made French Macarons and I think they turned out much better than last time.  She used a different recipe this time and used store bought buttercream which made the process easier.

Ashley found a homemade mints recipe on Pinterest and knew she wanted to make these.

You will need:

3 oz cream cheese (softened)
1 tsp peppermint
3 cups powdered sugar

Ashley doubled the recipe.

Mix the cream cheese and peppermint until combined and smooth.  Then mix in 1 cup of powdered sugar at a time until all mixed.

Take a little bit of the mix and roll it into a ball and place on some parchment paper with a light dusting of powdered sugar.  Ashley, asked if I had any stamps that would work and I told her I had a letter 'B' which was just the perfect size.

Aren't they adorable??

Put them in an air tight container to let them firm up overnight.

My sister bagged up the mints and gave them out as favors at her shower.  I hear they were a hit!  :)

March 11, 2013

Homemade Orange Chicken

I wanted to make Orange Chicken and for dinner tonight I did.  I used this blog and this site as guides.

2 chicken breast

Orange Sauce:
3/4 cup low sodium chicken broth
3/4 cup Orange Juice
half the juice of an orange (I used the one I zested)
Zest of 1 whole orange
1 tbsp Rice Wine Vinegar
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
minced garlic
1 tbsp water
red Pepper flakes
tbsp water

For Chicken coating:
black pepper
peanut Oil

I cut up the chicken breast into cubes.  Then I coated the cubed chicken with corn starch and black pepper. I cooked up the chicken in peanut oil.  It only took a few minutes.  Just watch it.  Once the chicken was cooked, I drained it onto a paper towel and let it cool.  

I whisked up the sauce.  I then added the cooled (cooked) chicken to the sauce and refrigerated for about an hour.

When I was ready to cook the Orange Chicken I put everything in my skillet and added some corn starch for thickening.  I put the lid on and let it simmer together.  I cooked my rice right before serving.  The sauce was great.  

Next time, I make this dish, I think I will bake the chicken instead of cooking it in the oil.  I might also add some red and green peppers as well.  :)

Indoor garden update

Garden update.....Today is day 6 of my re-grown celery.  Here's the before pics.  Look at the celery growth in the middle.  How awesome is that?  Makes me happy to grow my own foods.

Last week, I also started growing cooking onions.  I started growing a white onion this past Thursday.  It's growing in water.  If it doesn't start to grow I will put it in soil.  

I haven't seen any growth yet in my potatoes or my grape tomatoes.  But they are being watered daily and seem to be happy.  Hopefully, I'll have some growth soon.

While out and about today I picked up some seed packets.  I got carrots, zucchini, and squash.  :)

Zinnia seeds.  :)  They will help keep bugs away from my tomatoes I plant this spring.

March 9, 2013

Homemade Brownies with Chocolate Chips

Baking something with chocolate was calling my name this evening.  I immediately went to Pinterest to find a homemade brownie recipe.  I found Lynn's Kitchen Adventures Blog with this easy homemade brownie recipe.  I went right to the kitchen to start dinner and while dinner was cooking I whisked up the brownies.

Brownies hot out of the oven.  And the best part....your house will smell divine for hours.  MMMMM


They are so good.  I will never buy box mix again.  From scratch brownies is so easy and so much more delicious plus you know everything that's in them.  :)

Brownie Mix:

*1 1/4 cup flour (all-purpose)
*1 tsp baking powder
*1 tsp salt
*2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
*2 cups white sugar

I mixed the brownie mix in a big bowl with a fork until everything was well combined.  
Note: If you aren't making the brownies right away, you can add the dry mix to a jar or container to have it ready when you want to make them.  :)

If you're making brownies right away, then you add......

*1 cup butter (I used 2 unsalted butter sticks and melted them in the microwave, and then put it in the fridge for a little while to cool down).
*3 eggs
*1 tsp vanilla extract (I of course used my homemade vanilla)

Blend the wet ingredients with the dry with a hand mixer until everything is combined.
****I like to add chocolate chips to the brownie batter.  My friend, Dave taught me that years ago and it's GENIUS!  I just added a few handfuls to the batter and then mixed them in.

Add the brownie batter evenly to a pam sprayed brownie pan and then bake on 350 degrees for 22 to 30 minutes or until done.  Use a cake tester to check them.  I think it took my brownies about 30 minutes.  Every oven is different so just keep an eye on them once it's past 20 minutes.  

Once the brownies are done and have cooled, cut into squares, eat and wash them down with a cold cup of milk.  :)  Enjoy!

Do you like the fabric??  I have some big plans for it.  :)

March 5, 2013

Re-Grow your own Potatoes

Okay, so I've just gotten in the growing mood lately.  I started with grape tomatoes, celery, then an onion, and now potatoes.  I'm so glad all this information on 'how to' is on Pinterest.  :)

I took out potatoes for dinner.  I was a little angry to see a 5lb bag of white potatoes that I just bought last week with eyes (sprouts) on them all ruined.  But then I thought to myself  "grow potatoes from the sprouts" and I did just that.

I took a few of the sprouts and cut them off the potatoes leaving some potato on them.  The blog I read about growing potatoes says to let them dry out for a few days.  I didn't do that.  I figured they would get wet anyway when I watered, and they were kinda already dry when I took them out the bag.

I placed the soil in a small pot then placed the sprouts inside.  Make sure the eyes are facing up.  I fixed mine after the picture.  :)

Then cover completely with soil.

Here's the potatoes in a pot next to the onion.

I brought them inside and put in a window.  They are next to my grape tomatoes that are growing in egg shells.

Now with all these future veggies, I have to remember to water them so my plant babies grow.  :)