planting bulbs indoors – all winter long…

This is a post from a few years ago, though timely nonetheless…

 

Ripe Red Berries

Do you miss the scents and sights of flowers outdoors? I do. I live in Maine and winter is quickly approaching, thus flowers are but a distant memory…so what is a flower lover to do? Plant flowers indoors. It’s easier than you think, low maintenance and inexpensive. I personally love Paperwhite Narcissus and Amaryllis.

While Amaryllis are more common to find, boxed with ‘everything you need’ – paperwhites (above) are just as simple, with less waste (no packaging and no plastic pot). You only need four things – of which, two may be used year after year – bulbs, rocks, vase and water – that’s it.  Simple beauty, love it!

Now to start. Gather what you’ll need;

The bulbs (about .80 each), a small vase (think individual bud vase), small stones/rocks (5 lb. bag white rocks $2.99) and water. The stones can be rinsed and re-used for years – I’ve…

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Who screams for ice cream?

Everyone right?

Though, what’s a mom to do if her child needs to be dairy free?

Make dairy free ice cream! That’s right, ice cream – without the cream…

A friend from work shared her recipe with me and it is amazing! It’s easy, doesn’t require any special equipment and has a great consistency.

If you can’t do soy milk, try coconut milk.

Sean’s Peanut Butter Ice Cream

Recipe by Kristynwho needs a spoon

Ingredients;

ingredients

2 1/3 cup soymilk (or coconut milk)

3/4 cup sugar

1 tablespoon cornstarch

1/2 cup peanut butter (smooth or chunky)

1 egg, beaten

1 teaspoon kosher salt

How to;

In a large saucepan, whisk together sugar, cornstarch, soy milk, and peanut butter.

Bring to a boil over medium heat, whisking frequently – once to a full boil, continue whisking for one minute…remove from heat.

Whisk several large spoonfuls of hot milk mixture into egg, then whisk egg back into saucepan of hot milk.

Return saucepan to heat and cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, until mixture returns to a boil. The liquid will start to gain in volume and rise – keep whisking. It will also thicken slightly. Continue whisking for a few more minutes then remove from heat and add kosher salt. Mix well.

Place saucepan in cooling bath – I just use a big bowl half filled with very cold water. Let sit for about 5-10 minutes. Occasionally stirring.

Then pour mixture into a shallow dish and place in freezer for another 10-15 minutes – mixing occasionally as well.

Finally scoop mixture into a small freezer safe container with lid and allow to fully freeze. Can take up to 12 hrs.

Once the ice cream has frozen fully (usually takes 12 hrs. or so) – remove from freezer and let rest at room temp. a few minutes prior to serving.

Top with dairy free chocolate chips – chocolate sauce – coconut whipped cream…or simply enjoy as is.

Peanut butter ice cream

Yum!

How do you like your ice cream?

the end of June is here

The end of June is here which means picking fresh strawberries, enjoying garlic scapes and the the first harvest of swiss chard and kale…plus, the 4th. of July is just around the corner!

strawberries

 

more strawberries

 

strawberries 2

 

garlic scape

 

garlic scapes

 

Yeah for all things homegrown!

 

Enjoy.

gardening in Maine, in the rain…

I’m surprised by how well my little backyard garden is doing, despite all the odds against it…

carrots

curly kale

Time constraints, a precocious three year old, fluctuating temperatures, heavy rains, Maine mosquitos (bad for me, not the garden) and the constant threat of insects (particularly slugs and snails right now)… makes gardening this year a bit of a challenge, to say the least. Granted there are always variables out of our control when growing one’s own, though this year, the wet and cooler temperatures are certainly above and beyond the ‘norm’…

borage

While Finn naps, I try to get out there – little by little more seeds are sown, weeds are pulled, additional mulch is laid and insects are picked off one by one…for me the key to having and enjoying my garden is simply getting out there, once a day, even if only for 15 minutes…to keep an eye on things and say ‘hello’. Yes, I do talk to my plants…why not?

lettuce leaves

I want to garden. I want to eat fresh organic greens. I want to pick (and then enjoy) fresh homegrown, veggies! I want super fresh, real food. My current budget won’t allow me to buy locally grown, organic tomatoes, but it does, if I grow them myself, from seed. Lucky for us, I like to garden. And I have space to garden…

one half of garden

Not only do I like to garden, I need to garden. For me, it’s innate. It always has been. I like to eat what I grow. Plus, the taste, is impossible to achieve with store bought vegetables. Nothing is more fresh than ‘just picked.’ Seriously.

freshly picked lettuce and kale

So, I garden.

I start seeds in the late winter/early spring, I compost, I save seeds, I read about companion planting and organic gardening. I teach myself and I learn as I go. Life is all about learning – it’s never ending – and for me, this years garden is teaching (and reminding me) that plants want to grow.

young corn

Every living thing wants to grow – despite set backs and challenges, we all want to and need to grow, vegetables are no different. So if you think you don’t know enough to grow a few plants, think again, they are forgiving (to a point) and they want to please you as much as you want to enjoy them…

green bean beginnings

So why not start a seed and see how it feels…you may just get hooked.

Don’t have a lot of space? Try plating vegetables/flowers in pots. A tomato doesn’t taste any better grown organically in the ground, in the country, in Maine as one grown organically, in a pot, on a fire escape in NYC…homegrown is homegrown, and that is always better than any store bought tomato…the best part of organic homegrown? Monsanto is not involved – at all.

Happy gardening – for yourself, your family and the earth!

enjoy.

unwanted ads

That’s what I recently found on my blog. I was horrified. Why are these ads on my blog? Who did this? I don’t support these companies! That would go against so much of what I write about, so much of what makes me – me. I was saddened. Here I am sharing my life and then (unbeknownst to me), some terrible video advertisement is imbedded at the bottom of my post. Gasp. I needed to know where it came from and more importantly, how to get rid of it. I did a little research and learned the ads were placed by WordPress.

At WordPress they sometimes display advertisements on your blog to help pay the bills. WordPress says,“this keeps free features free.” I get it. I realize (now) that I overlooked this fact when I agreed to start this blog with WordPress. Too bad for me, though I doubt I’m the only one who wasn’t/isn’t aware of this practice or has simply forgotten. I don’t agree with the fact that they place the ads without informing you first. Why can’t they send a computer generated message informing you that ads will start to appear on random posts, before the ads are imbedded? Offer the NoAd Upgrade/opt out option before placing ads – A friendly reminder perhaps? Not having full control over the content I am putting my name to, frightens me. I also find it a bit creepy. The ads aren’t visible to logged-in users or readers using AdBlock, they are only visible to non-wordpress bloggers; this is why I wasn’t aware (until two days ago) of the ads on my blog – I’m always logged in. This is also why you (if your a WordPress blogger) may not have seen any ads while visiting here…

What about all those folks who check out or follow my blog, that aren’t logged-in, or don’t blog with WordPress? They are subjected to these ads; ads which have not been placed by me, selling products I don’t support, misrepresenting who I am and what I blog about – they are an abomination. It’s a total conflict of interest and I’m signing up for the $30 NoAd upgrade. I’m not against advertising – there are a lot of incredibly talented people out there and some fabulous companies which I would support, but with a much different aesthetic and purpose.  The ads, currently seen on my blog, which have been placed by WordPress, reflect poorly on me. They are shocking – particularly as they directly oppose so much of what I write about. While WordPress says the ads are run in limited places, one place is too many for me. I would have preferred to have been notified prior to the adverts going live.

I would have happily paid the $30 for the No-Ads upgrade* and avoided all this. I understand why they don’t – they stand to lose more ad generated revenue if I opt out (and pay the $30 upgrade fee). Despite this unfortunate circumstance  I will continue to blog with WordPress. I like WordPress. I understand why they place these ads, I just don’t agree with how it happens…I will pay the annual $30 NoAd upgrade to protect my integrity. For those of you who did read all the find print prior to signing on, maybe you’ve just forgotten or perhaps it’s slipped your mind or maybe you run AdBlocker or maybe your unaware like I was – if your not aware, (for whatever reason), check your blog.  Log out, disable AdBlocker and see if you have ads. You just may not like what you see. Click on the following link for another example of a horrified blogger. piedtype.com/2011/03/23/ouch-wordpress-lesson-learned/

My apologies to anyone confronted with an ad while visiting here. It will no longer be the case.

*While this action (advertising) is explained in the ToSas well as in the advertising entry in the support documents after registering for a username and blog and the same is also stated on the  Store – My Upgrades page, (read more from Timethief, of one cool blog, in her post, ‘Bloggers: Beware of Adware’)  it is certainly not information widely shared or something always remembered…shame on me for not knowing. I need to become more tech savvy if I’m going to continue blogging…I am sharing this to be helpful, not to condemn WordPress – they are clear with their intentions – if you know where to look…live and learn, right?

One more fact – there are also ads which are not placed by WordPress, but by malware. This is explained, very clearly, by Timethief, from one cool site. She offers some fabulous advice and information there.

If you have any suggestions or corrections to add here, please do so in the comments section – I am always wanting to learn more about blogging and I am always wanting to share informations, isn’t that why we blog?

Enjoy the weekend!