Sunday, May 31, 2009

As promised... Healthy Peanut Butter Cookies?

I am undecided on this healthy cookie idea... I tried the peanut butter cookies from 101 Cookbooks with mixed results. They taste like peanut butter cookies, but are light and fluffy!
I think that the texture is where my hesitation lies, but hey David (craving a traditional sugary peanut butter cookie) seemed to really like them, so what do I know?

Rant of a Master Gardener

Mom is out to be famous, she keeps sending me fancy plant things! Above, the All-About-Sprouts growing system, I started some Alfalfa, California blend, and Zesty Kitchen sprouts today, I will keep you posted on their growth!
This weekend we were on a tomato hunt. We have one determinate Patio tomato plant that is producing tomatoes and doing great, and two indeterminate Roma tomatoes that are going crazy! I had previously followed through on my threat to hack the Roma's off, but not even chopping off the tops tamed their beastly indeterminate nature, so while shopping at Fred Meyers, we consulted with a "Master Gardener" looking for a recommendation on some determinate varieties. The "Master Gardeners" said I couldn't grow tomatoes indoors! That I had to have bees!
David and I simply stated that I already had tomatoes growing, that you could in fact grow tomatoes indoors, thanked them for their time and walked away, but I was quite bothered by this experience, why would you call yourself a "Master Gardener" and not know that this could be done? Tomatoes are self fertilizing, or even if they have difficulties (and a little shake shake shake doesn't work), fertilize with a Q-tip!
I guess I don 't know what is necessary to classify oneself as a "Master Gardener". Could I call myself a Master Gardener?

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Weekend madness

It seems this week (and last weekend) have gotten away with me. Last weekend after reformatting the computer and cleaning like a mad woman, David and I toured my Grandmother about town during her layover in Seattle. We took her to the Japanese Koi pond in the Arboretum, out for a sandwich and then over to the Conservatory for more walking (and plant admiring). We had tea at my house and then whisked her off to the airport for her flight continuation (I don't need to mention that the airport drop off was a tad early because we had run out of things to do!). After dropping my brother off, we raced home for some last minute relaxation before the start of the week - I had my first alternating 6am shift on Wednesday, and to compensate spent the last 9 hours dead asleep. How are you all doing?
lol... Oh! I have also decided to start my own business illistrating greeting cards! I bought a sketch book yesterday and am going to try to build up a body of work... start a *real* website (also listing other art), bid for freelance jobs, and submit to card companies. Maybe this could work out to that stay at home artsy job I have always wanted? My fingers are crossed!

Sunday, May 17, 2009


Oh wait! One more thing before I head off to bed:

We bought more plants this weekend! lol... When David says "as long as they are food", I wonder if he realizes how many 'food' plants I can come up with? :)
Night all, I hope you had a wonderful weekend! :)

Things only Mom understands

How is it that Mom always has a way of making things better? When you were a kid she could fix a wound, bandage any hurt, and hug away any tears. Years later it's no different, she knows me inside and out, and is still saving the day. Thanks Mom, thanks for the advice, thanks for listening, and thanks for the egg plants!

Carrot Oatmeal Cookies

I have taken to weekend baking; I try to make some kind of healthy homemade snack each weekend, sack my loot up into individual bags, toss them into the freezer and distribute daily for workplace lunches. I have tried yogurt blueberry muffins, wheat and cranberry oatmeal cookies, and ginger snaps. Truthfully, while better than the candy and junk food these treats are helping me to avoid, they are not "healthy", but I have been reading a few new cooking/baking blogs, and this week I tried something a few steps away from my Betty Crocker cookies:

Carrot Oatmeal Cookies! No butter, no sugar, no eggs, just carrots, oats, wheat flour, coconut oil and maple syrup! (Well there are a few other things in there and I added flake coconut, but you get the idea! :)
The cookies turned out light and fluffy, I don't know if I would go so far as to say they remind me of a cookie because while flavorful, they are not sweet, but they did cure the craving for a cookie, so I'm going with it! :) I think next week I am going to try a peanut butter cookie recipe from the same website (read: as healthy as I have ever seen a cookie be!), I will keep you posted!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Worm poop!

David teases me that I like some of our plants better than him, I get so attached to their progress! So last year when my tomatoes had a rather unfortunate case of blossom end rot (this is where the end of the tomato turns brown and starts to rot before it even gets a chance to ripen) I had a mild panic attack! lol...
There are several things that can cause blossom end rot: extreme transitions between drought and over watering, high heat, too much sun, or a calcium deficiency.
Despite our fancy soil, our problems seemed to be due to a calcium deficiency, so I bought some calcium rich worm poop! How much fun is it to go around telling people about your forays in worm poop purchasing?
Check out the TerraCycle website - they have tons of great stuff (highly recommend the tomato fertilizer!), and they have made a great business doing good things for the environment - making trash into treasure!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Weekend painting

I love Spring, Summer and Fall for the outside time - Saturday I hiked around in the Arboretum (and bought a few more plants on the way home!), and today we tried for a jog, hit up the Broadway Farmers Market, and then went out for a bike ride. We defiantly made the most of the fantastic weather this weekend, though all this fresh air has made me lethargic, and my bed is calling my name.
I wanted to show you this painting that I have been working on. Saturday inspiration struck and I have finally added a bit to the Koi:

Also I have to strike out the goal of making the Broadway local farmers market a weekend tradition, we hit up opening weekend and while there was some great looking produce, it was so expensive! We sadly walked away without buying anything, but came home to our first pea:

Anyway, Happy Mother's Day Mom (I haven't forgotten the tomato fertilizer info request, I will post it soon!), I hope you guys all had a great weekend!

Friday, May 8, 2009

The first tomatoes of the season!

I will admit it, though an optimist, I am also a classic worrier. I will fret about anything! Which I guess translates to a desire to be in control, to be able to anticipate the outcome of events... however being that I am in no way God-like, I just worry. I want everyone to get along, to have a good time, to see the best qualities that I see, and while life doesn't always work out the way I hope, yesterday it did:

All of those "blooms" (lol.... thanks Mom!) are finally transforming into tomatoes! Those little green globes (and a particularly challenging yoga class) made for a great Thursday! :)

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Pizza Night

Recently David and I had a date night with some of our closest friends at this fancy Italian restaurant that I had been lusting after for ages. Imported ingredients, a wood fired oven, and pizza making classes in Italy; we had a great time with friends, and the restaurant was beautiful, but I make a better pizza! lol... okay, We make a better pizza!

The hardest part has to be the dough, but follow David's lead and buy it from your favorite local pizza place. With the pizza stone on the top rack in the middle of your oven, preheat to 500 degrees. Add a little cornmeal (this will prevent the dough from sticking to the stone) and your stretched dough. Close the oven and let the dough bubble up for a few minutes, this makes a fluffy thin crust! Add your sauce and olive oil, we sprinkle a little garlic powder, and spread out the toppings. When baking make sure to watch the pizza, it will cook quickly! About 10-15 minutes and ta-da! Fancier than an Italian restaurant pizza you can hang out in yoga pants while eating.