I’ve been inspired by spring! I’ve never been very good at growing things (see here), but I decided that I wanted to try gardening this year. Part of my reason is that I’ve been cooking more, so the idea of having fresh herbs just a few steps away is pretty tempting.
A friend loaned me The Bountiful Container, which is an incredibly helpful and informative book. I decided I wanted to grow flat leaf parsley, oregano, basil, chives, and bell peppers.
When it got to the actual planting, I realized I really didn’t know how much space each of the plants needed, so I did what I thought looked good and we’ll see how it turns out! I did a container with the parsley, basil, and oregano, another with a pepper plant and chives, and the last with two pepper plants.
I also picked up some gerbera daises that I just couldn’t resist – we’ll see if I can keep them alive!
Also, for anyone who is concerned about my ficus, here it is today. Still not fully recovered, but definitely doing much better!
And here’s my little garden!
Any gardening tips for a beginner? Please share!
My family makes maple syrup, so I’m always looking for opportunities to add its wonderful flavor into food. I recently made some cookies with maple syrup, and they turned out okay, but weren’t anything special. Here’s the recipe I used (its basically just an adaptation of the Tollhouse recipe).
- 2 1/4 c. flour
- 1 t. baking soda
- 1 t. salt
- 1 c. butter, softened
- 3/4 c. sugar
- 3/4 c. pure maple syrup
- 1 t. vanilla
- 2 eggs
- 12 oz chocolate chips
Beat butter, sugar, syrup, and vanilla together. Beat in eggs, then add dry ingredients. Mix in chocolate chips. Bake for 10 minutes at 375.
I actually made a half batch, which was a little tricky (see here for more about my issues with cooking for one person). The dough seemed a little liquidy to me, so I added another 1/4 cup of flour or so and then chilled it for a while before baking. Next time I’ll definitely use Grade B syrup (its darker and has a stronger flavor), because the maple flavor wasn’t very noticeable in the cookies.
Do any of you have a good maple cookie recipe? Or any another maple recipe? Please share!
I’ve spent the last few weeks trying to eat better. Not necessarily healthier, but more interestingly. When you live alone, its easy to fall into a very boring pattern. A chicken breast, a sandwich, a frozen pizza, a bowl of pasta.
It’s not quite as fun to try out new recipes when you don’t have anyone to share them with, but its definitely still worth it. In the last few weeks I’ve made Italian Wedding Soup, a delicious stuffed pepper filling (ground turkey, orzo, romano cheese, onions, and garlic), meatloaf, and pesto from fresh basil. But since I’m only one person, I had way more than I could eat of all of this. So I froze a lot of it, which is great, because now I can have a delicious homemade meal in about 5 minutes.
However, my freezer is only so big, so I really do wish there were more recipes out there for only one person. I’m actually quite surprised there’s not. So many people live alone or eat alone regularly – its a huge market waiting to be targeted! I do make just one serving of chicken or pasta frequently, but its not very exciting. And occasionally I mis-measure and end up with way too much – like the time I made pasta with carmelized onions, toasted walnuts, and romano cheese. At the last minute I decided I wanted some leftovers, so I added some more pasta to the pot without really thinking. I ended up with so much that I ate it for at least one meal a day for about a week and a half. I wish I was exaggerating.
But anyway, my biggest challenge is baking. I have a huge sweet tooth and love to make cookies, brownies, cakes, and anything else that sounds good. Unfortunately most recipes make at least 2 dozen cookies/brownies and they’re very hard to cut down. I need 1/8 and 1/6 measuring cups (and a way to split an egg in half accurately)! And I’ve just given up on making cakes :(. It’s not quite as enjoyable when you have to force yourself to eat it before it goes bad! I’d love to find some good one-person desserts.
So do any of you have any advice about cooking or baking for just one person? I’d love to hear your thoughts!!
An ottoman has been on my project to-do list for a long time. I don’t even have a before picture because it was so pitiful – I was using the cardboard box that my sewing machine came in with a random piece of fabric thrown over it (and not even a pretty one). I had an elaborate plan in my head of building a box with a lid and upholstering it all, but it was a long way from actually happening. Then I saw this ottoman at Target for only $20.
It wasn’t exactly what I had in mind, but it had the storage I wanted and the price was hard to beat, so I bought it. When I got it home, it seemed a little bland, so I decided to cover the top with a more interesting fabric. I just cut out a piece of fabric a little larger than the top and stapled it around the sides.
It took me about 10 minutes and now I have a much more interesting personalized ottoman for under $25!