A home for all things crafty, health-conscious, cake-related, or in need of a wagon!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Gardening Update

It was so gorgeous yesterday, I thought I'd go out and snap a few pictures for y'all.

Primroses that survived the winter!

This is a mystery plant. I thought it was wandering jew, but after a google image search- that's not it! But.. this is the first time I've seen it produce flowers, so here's hoping it will be a warmer/sunnier summer than last year! This is one of my favorite plants, because it appears to be a native plant and it spreads like CRAZY. I just wish I could split it and get it all over the shady bits of our yard.

The new bed along the driveway! I am gradually pulling out all of this awful juniper-like shrubbery, and replacing it with herbs and edibles; esp. strawberries! It's coming along really nicely.

As I pull out bits of the shrub, I cover it with planters so it doesn't look so ugly. This is a mint plant, and this great blue bulbing plant whose name I can't remember; I got them both at PCC.

Rhubarb, strawberries, lavender, scabia (?), pansies, and sage.

Chives! Overwintered and came back full force; great plant from the farmer's market last year, I think it was $3.

Last year's rhubarb; even bigger!

New English daisies; I think these are so cute!

Tulips and mystery plant from backyard; since we're changing a lot of things back there, every plant I want to save is moving to the front yard for a while.

Mystery bulbs!

Peonies! Maybe they'll actually bloom this year. (crossing fingers)

Lilac's starting to come around.

So is my blueberry bush; hoping for actual berries this year!!

Long view of upper garden; in a few days, all of this ivy will be tilled and covered with bed liner to make a new giant bed! YEA!!

Those little puffs are actually purple, and they are surprise grape hyacinths that snuck into this gifted coral bells from last year. I didn't even know!

I leave you with happy Lulu, in the sunshine!

Thursday, April 21, 2011



This may not be so exciting to you, but I plan out lists of things to buy at this sale every year. I'm a bit obsessed, actually. Last year I spent waaaay too much money at all 3 sales combined. This year, I'm taking it a bit slower; but I'm really angling for a fig tree if I can find a good sunny place to put it.

So excited!! May 7 & 8 at Seattle Tilth in Wallingford!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Greek Spaghetti Squash

This is based on an old recipe from my Weight Watcher days. It is ridiculously tasty, and I've found an easier way to prepare it. Here we go...! Greek-style Spaghetti Squash 1 large spaghetti squash 1 onion, diced 3 cloves garlic, diced 1 tsp. olive oil 1 large can crushed tomatoes (28 oz?) 1/4-1/2 c. feta 1 can garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained 1 tsp. oregano 1/2 tsp. thyme fresh mint and basil (about 1 Tbsp. each) salt and pepper to taste To start with, we need to roast this spaghetti squash. The day I planned to make this, I woke up extremely late for work, so you get to have that version! I poked some holes in the squash, then microwaved it for 5 minutes on high. While that was going on, I preheated the oven to 400*. After microwaving, place the squash (still uncut) in a pan with about 1 inch of water in it. Bake at 400* 30-40 minutes. Remove from pan, and put in a cold one (or metal one; I didn't want my ceramic one to break) and place in the fridge on a towel. Go to work for 6 hours, then come home. (or just bake it for an hour; this is for the time crunched!) When you take out your cold spaghetti squash, it will be entirely cooked, easy to cut, and you won't waste any squash. AMAZING!!! Remove seeds and put squash into a large bowl for now. In a large LARGE pan, place the oil, onions, and garlic. Cook until the onion is translucent, then add the tomatoes and dried spices. Slowly add the squash, and mix until it is all covered with tomatoes. Then add the garbanzo beans, stir, and add the feta. Top with the fresh herbs, and lemon zest if you like. Serve with bread or a nice salad.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

PMS Popcorn? Yes, please!

This easy combination came to me in a dream a while ago; ok, not a dream, but an inspired moment of need for both salty and sweet at the same time. You're welcome. #1, Find some great chocolate chips. #2 Make some popcorn. #3 Melt some butter (or margarine) #4 Pour butter on popcorn

#5 Add salt #6 Add chocolate #7 Mix and eat!!

(In hindsight, this really didn't work as well as I would have hoped. I think it's because I ate it in the dark, watching a movie, and couldn't see all the chocolate bits. Hopefully, you will fare better!)

Monday, April 11, 2011


My "so cheap they were almost free" seeds showed up today!! At first it kind of freaked me out because there was no return address or label on it. I thought, "What if someone sent me anthrax? Do people even do that any more? Who would I piss off with access to biochemical weapons?" and then I decided that it was a pretty good chance that it was safe. So, I opened it! Flowers! (aka "flow-flows" said "flough floughs", like "ow!" because someone punched you.) (Yes, this post is getting stranger by the moment.) Vegetables!
Greens! (and look at that crazy red Aztec spinach! I'm extra excited about that one!)

Herbs and some French "core-less" carrots. Not sure exactly what that means, but I can't wait to find out! If you'd like to order some seeds of your own, I'm sorry, but it's too late! :( They've given away all 100 million packets of seeds... so crazy!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Creamy Potato Soup

For some reason, when I opened the fridge the other day, we had 3 packages of cream cheese: I will not disclose who the culprit was, but it for sure was not me! So... I searched Tasty Kitchen for some recipes that might help me use up this pile of cream cheese. Now I really like cheesecake, but honestly it makes me kind of sick; so that was out. Then I found a recipe for potato soup that used some cream cheese! I went with it. (or rather, I took the idea and made up something healthy from that.) Creamy Potato Soup: 1 leek, washed and sliced 1 red pepper, diced 1 medium onion, diced 1 tsp. olive oil 2 pounds potatoes, scrubbed and diced (weight before discarding bad parts) 5 c. veggie broth 1/2 c. red lentils 1 c. kale, sliced very thinly (you could also use spinach) 1 package reduced-fat cream cheese (8 oz) In a large stock pot, heat up the oil, and start cooking the leek, pepper, and onion. After about 5 minutes, add the potatoes.
Then add the broth and lentils, and let cook for about 20-30 minutes; until the lentils are cooked and the potatoes are soft.

In small batches, remove the soup from the pot and blend it in a blender or food processor. When all of it is blended, serve! (and salt and pepper to taste)

(If, like me, for some reason you are out of broth, use water and add in: 1 Tbsp. soy sauce, 1 tsp. basil, 1/2 tsp. marjoram, 1 tsp. oregano, 1- 2 tsp. chile powder)

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Crafty Covered Lanterns!

I decided a while ago that I wanted to make something like this for the wedding. So, last weekend, I bought a few white Chinese lanterns at Cost Plus, and set to work. First off, while informative, that link gives you NO IDEA how much fabric you'll need. (Maybe you can see this and maybe you can't... but I had to use 2 different fabrics in order to cover this lantern.) My scientific (read: trial and error) methods led me to calculate that you need around 1.5- 2 yards of fabric to successfully finish this project. I cut my fabric into 5"x5" squares, then folded them in half a few times, and cut them into circles. It was a long process! Then I started gluing the circles; first in half, then in quarters, then to the lantern. It took a very long time for this project! (like 3 hours) Then the light wouldn't work. I changed the lightbulb, opened new batteries, and still nothing. Did you know that rechargable batteries can be dead before you even open them? Yeah, me neither. So, I charged them up, and then finally FINALLY it worked!! Light!!
I plan to make them in a couple of other colors, so we'll see if it gets easier with more practice.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Seattle Tilth Edible Plant Sale, 2011

I missed the one a couple of weeks ago, but I will surely be at the one on May 7-8. (If you can hold out, go the last day towards the end to get some bargains... otherwise, if there are things you can't live without, go at the beginning. So many great plants! Even fig trees!) It will be from 9:00-3:00 at Meridian Park, behind the Good Shepherd Center, 4649 Sunnyside Ave. N. Seattle, WA 98103. Hope to see you there!

Stacked Eggplant Amazingness

The other day I had this for lunch, and it was SO GOOD! I thought it would just be like an ordinary eggplant parmesan type of thing... but as I was heating it up, I smelled. Is that pesto? OMG IT IS!! So, yes, it's from Trader Joe's, and it has layers of eggplant, ricotta, peppers, and pesto. If you live in Redmond, you might have to travel to another TJ's to get some, because I plan on buying out the store! A good option for an occasional frozen lunch, for sure! (It's about 460 calories, which is a bit high for lunch for me; but ridiculously tasty!)