You can grow vegetables and herbs in your home, fill your house with some beautiful foliage this winter and put inexpensive vegetables on your table. And, if you maintain a schedule of reseeding every two weeks you can enjoy a steady harvest of your favorites throughout the entire winter! What can you grow inside your home? Herbs are great but peas, beans, garlic, onions, lettuce, peppers, carrots, tomatoes—even corn—can grow to maturity inside your house! Tougher plants to grow indoors are those that spread, such as squash or cucumbers.We're all seeing food prices rise. Interesting to me is the fact that the prophets have commanded us for years to plant a garden and fruit trees whenever and wherever possible and now fruits and vegetables are soaring in price. SOIL: Most indoor gardeners recommend a potting mixture that contains potting soil, peat moss, vermiculite and perlite. Most gardening stores sell such mixtures already bagged and ready to go. Can’t afford it? Go dig in your garden and bring in that soil. Mix it with some kitchen scraps (no meat, grain or dairy products) and use that. It will be better than nothing. POTS: Try to use pots at least six-inches wide and six-inches deep. Make sure they are all well drained with a hole in the bottom. Place a layer of rocks or gravel in the bottom of each pot and cover the gravel with soil. Put your pot in a dish or pan to catch excess water and keep dirt from spilling onto your floor. LIGHTING: A south or west-facing window is best, where your plants can get 8-10 hours of sunlight everyday. If you do not have that kind of natural light, you can substitute with artificial lights (fluorescents work better than incandescent). However, be aware that plants under artificial lighting will need even more light…up to 12-16 hours a day. A floor lamp works great because you can move it around your plants. Since plants tend to turn toward the light, be prepared to rotate all your pots to keep the plants healthier. In the winter, daylight hours are shorter. Plan to use both daylight and artificial light to grow your plants. Note: If your plants start to look tall and spindly, they need more light and are reaching out trying to find it. WATER: During the winter, furnances circulate heated air and cause potted plants to dry out quickly. Water them regularly. A layer of peat moss on top of the soil can help retain moisture. Feed your plants a plant food if needed or desired. SEEDS: Plant foods you like but see if you can find dwarf varieties available. Miniature carrots, dwarf tomatoes, green onions inside of larger varieties. When planting your seeds, sow them directly into the pot and lightly cover with soil. Until germination, use a spray bottle to keep soil moist without disturbing the tiny seeds. Consider covering them with moist peat moss until they sprout. POLLINATION: Thankfully we don't have bees in the house during the winter, but some plants need bees to help pollinate the blossom. You can help the plants with this need by mearly shake any flowering branches lightly every couple of days. This will cause the ripe pollen to fall from an upper flower to a lower one. You may even see the pollen falling. Or, every couple of days you can take a Q-tip and go around your plant, wiping it gently inside each flower. This helps transfer pollen from flower to flower. Do all your tomato plants with the same Q-tip. When you pollinate the pepper plants, use a different Q-tip. This only takes a minute or two every couple of days. Growing even a few edible plants inside during the winter can be fun. It can also help young children see and enjoy the process of gardening in a warm, snug environment while snow piles up outside.
Why Pineapple Hill?
Likewise, we hope Pineapple Hill Designs boutique will make you feel “Welcome”! We know how important it is to find something special for that certain someone or just the right accessory to complete a room. We believe everyday is a day to celebrate, and we have just the thing to help you create something special out of the ordinary.
Monday, March 30, 2009
perfect for Spring! Here's How to Win:
- Visit our SHOP and comment on what you like + 1 point
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- Share this giveaway on your blog + 5 points
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Friday, March 27, 2009
photo courtesy Country Home
- Cost: $50
- Time: one day, including drying time
- Supplies: hollow- core door, decorative molding and appliqué pieces, hammer, finish nails with small head, nail set, wood glue, paintable wood filler, primer, paint, paintbrush, wallpaper and wallpaper paste, miter box with saw, and safety glasses
Pick a style, any style. If it’s wallpaper you want, select that first. It will inspire your choice of decorative moldings. If your existing doors are too dingy to redo, get to the home center and buy a new, unfinished hollow-core door ($30 from The Home Depot).
- Gather supplies (see list, above). Prime and paint the door and moldings, allowing them to dry between coats.
- Mark your design on the door with pencil. Cut wallpaper pieces to size and adhere; smooth and let dry.
- Cut all the pieces of trim using a miter box and handsaw. Arrange them on the door before attaching, making sure to get a nice fit at the corners. Apply wood glue to the back of the trim and attach to the door using a hammer and finish nails. Tip: Use wood filler to help join gaps at the corners. Once it’s painted you won’t see the imperfections.
- After the pieces are attached, use a nail set to sink the nail heads below the surface of the molding. Fill the nail holes with wood filler; let dry. Touch up holes with paint and hang door.
- Dress up with vintage or salvaged knobs and hardware.
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
- 2 heaping tablespoons of sugar
- 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 4 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) of butter
- 2-4 tablespoons milk (depending on the mositure of the potatos)
- 3/4 cup mashed cooked sweet potatos
- 1/2 teaspoon salt Directions:
- Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
- Sift together flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.
- In a separate, large bowl, mix the sweet potatoes and butter.
- Add the flour mixture to the potato mixture and mix to make a soft dough.
- Then add milk a tablespoon at a time to mixture and continue to cut in.
- Turn the dough out onto a floured board and toss lightly until the outside of the dough looks smooth. Roll the dough out to 1/2-inch thick and cut with a biscuit cutter.
- Place the biscuits on a greased pan and coat tops with melted butter. Bake for about 15 minutes. (Watch your oven: If the biscuits are browning too fast, lower the temperature.) Yield: 15-18 biscuits Preparation time:15 minutes Cooking time: 15 minutes Ease of Preparation: easy L&S TOO pg. 133 Recipe courtesy Paula Deen
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
Unsure about the age of those eggs in your fridge? Place them in a bowl of water. If they sink, they’re still fresh; if they float, deep-six them.
- Ripen tomatoes by placing them with an apple in a paper bag or covered bowl. The apple emits ethylene gas, which quickens the ripening process.
- Cilantro, also known as coriander or Chinese parsley, often comes with roots still attached. Buy it in this form if you have the chance. The roots, when finely chopped, add authentic Asian flavor to stir-fries.
- Spray measuring cups lightly with cooking spray before pouring in things like corn syrup, honey or molasses. Even the stickiest ingredient will slide right out.
- Take the hassle out of potato salad by using red-skinned or new potatoes, which don’t need to be peeled.
- Got a bunch of overripe bananas? Freeze them, then microwave on high for one minute. The skins slip off and the fruit is ready for baking.
- Here’s to your health! Thicken soups with a puree of rice and vegetables in place of heavy cream. Have patience:
- Resist the urge to peek when using a slow-cooker. Removing the lid releases heat and can lengthen the cooking time.
- Roll sugar cookie dough out between two sheets of wax paper. This way you won’t have to add the extra dusting of flour that can often toughen cookies.
- Freeze cooked meatballs with sauce in a sealable plastic freezer bag. Reheat and it’s dinner.
- When making brownies, line the pan with foil. It eliminates cleanup and makes it easy to cut neat square servings rather than having to pry them out.
- Cast-iron cookware provides even cooking and does everything from searing meat to baking bread. A well-seasoned pan has a nearly no-stick surface, which keeps oil use to a minimum.
- Clean your blender with a “soap shake.” Partly fill the glass jar with hot water and a drop of dish detergent. Let the blender run a few minutes, empty the soapy water, rinse with hot water and let drain.
- Tart apples like Granny Smiths provide optimum flavor in Waldorf and other salads.
- To seed tomatoes, cut in half cross-wise and gently squeeze out seeds or scoop out with a spoon
Friday, March 20, 2009
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
Monday, March 16, 2009
Friday, March 13, 2009
We use it to hold recipe cards too!
You can see more Rod Iron gifts in Rusty Rustic a favorite spot in our shop!
Thursday, March 12, 2009
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
Let in the light! This is a great time to begin opening your shades and window coverings and cleaning your windows. Do you have velvet drapes or a heavy corduroy sofa? Spring is the time to change them out for lighter looking alternatives. Slipcover the sofa or chairs with paler tones or floral fabrics. Changing the pillows can make a huge difference as well. Adding seasonal pillows will welcome a new beginning. If you have heavy drapes remove them and replace them with sheer curtains. Windows with shutters need no drapery at all. Let the great spring sunshine into your home!
3. A Room With A View
If your furniture is centered in front of a fireplace, think about ways to rearrange the look for summer. Change the focal point away from the mantel to a view of a garden, placing the conversation grouping to take advantage of the garden scene just outside.
4. Create an Inviting Porch Indoors
Summer living often moves out to a porch or deck. Why not get the look and feel of the porch inside. Introduce a few garden chairs, accessories, and floral fabrics into a family room, for example. You’ll get the feel of the outdoors every time you’re in the room.
5. Add Fresh Flowers and Plants
Bring on the green! Now is time to get rid of those old dusty silk plants and flowers and bring out some fresh flowers and pretty green plants. Some of our favorites are fresh green plants, flowering pots, or elegant orchids. Spring is a great time for brightening up the home. These lively touches can breathe life into winter-weary spaces.Martha Stewart Living
Milk Pail Garden Pots Old-fashioned enamel milk pails, available at flea markets and farm-supply stores, have a rustic charm. Place sword ferns (Nephrolepis obliterata 'Kimberly Queen') or similar plants in 10-inch pots inside large buckets (above); consider ferns in 4- to 8-inch pots for smaller pails. If the bucket is too deep, put an upturned plastic pot inside, and stand the plant on top. Remove plant to water. (Martha Stewart Living)
6. Accessorize For Spring
Spring is the time to rework your knick knacks and makeover your shelves. Check all of your accessories. Look around your home at your wall décor and other deocrating items. Why not re-think the decor in your home by changing a few simple things. Add fresh designs, colors and patterns. Clean winter dust off the shelves and begin to replace objects with an eye toward keeping the look light. Martha Stewart Living
Bring out your floral china or white ironstone, set up a collection of pitchers or glass. Add plants and personal photos in pretty frames.
7. Think Sheer
Sheer curtains, sheer tablecloths, sheer bedskirts, and pillows – all of these say “summer” louder than almost any other element. Look for plain, embroidered, or printed sheer designs that complement your interiors.
8. De-Clutter Now
Clean out the clutter or as mom alwasy called it "Spring Cleaning". Spring is a time of renewal and new beginnings. Look for organizing solutions for your home. Any spot that is overcrowded or unorganized can drain your energies as it swallows objects and fills your life with clutter. Use baskets and boxes to contain clutter wherever it exists. Open up the drapes, get some sunshine in your room and clean out all that extra stuff that’s lying around!
9. Clean out the Fireplace
Now is the perfect time to sweep away the ashes of winter fires and start fresh. If you have a fireplace that you’ve been using all winter, now is a great time to clean it out. Even if you still need to use it on a few chilly nights, it’s still a great idea to clean out all those old ashes and soot. When you no longer need this place for fires, fill your firebox with silk plants, an arrangement of candles, or an attractive display of beautiful birch logs. Another fun way to brighten the room is to cover the box with an attractive folding screen decoupaged with summer florals.
10. Freshen Up The Front Door
Got curb appeal? The first impression to your guests is the front door.
Martha Stewart Living
Welcome guests -- and reassure them that they're ringing the right bell -- with a mat displaying your house number.
Take this time to clean out the front doorstep and make it more inviting for people. Sweep the stoop, dust out the mats, clean the windows, etc. Bring the look of summer to your front door by cleaning up the area. Wash the door and windows and touch up the paint if needed. Hang a door bucket or wreath on the front door . If you have a large porch you may also have room for pots of colorful spring flowers.
Monday, March 9, 2009
This week we're adding a gift with every order.
This adorable ROBIN'S NEST . Gift with purchase Blog Offer
(minimum order of $25 required for gift)
Please use code: Marvelous Monday at time of checkout.
Saturday, March 7, 2009
Courtesy of Betty Crocker
- 1 box Betty Crocker® SuperMoist® chocolate fudge cake mix
- Water, vegetable oil and eggs called for on cake mix box
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1/3 cup rum or water
- 1 1/4 teaspoons instant espresso coffee granules
- 2 packages (8 oz each) cream cheese, softened
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 to 3 teaspoons milk
- 1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
- 6 tablespoons butter (do not use margarine)
- 1/3 cup whipping cream
- Heat oven to 350°F (325ºF for dark or nonstick pans). Grease bottoms only of two 8- or 9-inch round cake pans with shortening (do not use cooking spray); lightly flour. Make and cool cakes as directed on box for 8- or 9-inch round pans.
- Meanwhile, in 1-quart saucepan, stir granulated sugar, rum and coffee granules until coffee is dissolved. Heat to boiling, stirring occasionally; remove from heat. Cool completely.
- In medium bowl, beat all filling ingredients on low speed just until blended, adding enough milk for spreading consistency; set aside.
- In 1-quart saucepan, heat all ganache ingredients over low heat, stirring frequently, until chips are melted and mixture is smooth. Refrigerate about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened.
- Cut each cake layer horizontally to make 2 layers. (To cut, mark side of cake with toothpicks and cut with long, thin knife.) Brush about 1 tablespoon of the rum mixture over cut side of each layer; let stand 1 minute to soak into cake. Fill each layer with about 2/3 cup filling. Spread ganache over side and top of torte. Store loosely covered in refrigerator. High Altitude (3500-6500 ft): Follow High Altitude cake mix directions on box for 8- or 9-inch pans.
I think Next Year I'll try this recipe since she hearts raspberries! Chocolate Layer Cake with Chocolate-Raspberry Frosting
Bon Appétit -February 1999
- 2 2/3 cups cake flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (preferably Dutch-process)
- 1 teaspoon instant espresso powder
- 2/3 cup boiling water
- 1 1/3 cups buttermilk
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 cups sugar
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1/2 cup vegetable shortening, room temperature
- 2 extra-large eggs
- 10 chocolate wafer cookies, finely crushed (6 tablespoons)
- 4 1/2 tablespoons seedless raspberry jam
- 2 6-ounce baskets fresh raspberries
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter two 9-inch-diameter cake pans with 2-inch-high sides. Line bottom of pans with parchment paper. Butter parchment. Dust pans with flour; tap out excess.
- Sift 2 2/3 cups flour, baking soda and salt into medium bowl. Combine cocoa and espresso powder in another medium bowl. Whisk boiling water, then buttermilk and vanilla into cocoa mixture. Using electric mixer, beat sugar, butter and shortening in large bowl until fluffy. Beat in eggs 1 at a time. Add dry ingredients alternately with buttermilk mixture in 3 additions each. Beat batter until smooth, about 2 minutes. Divide between prepared pans.
- Bake cakes until tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 35 minutes. Cool in pans on racks 10 minutes. Cut around pan sides to loosen cakes. Turn cakes out onto racks. Peel off paper. Cool completely. Chill cakes 1 hour.
- Meanwhile, prepare the Chocolate-Raspberry Frosting. Place 1 cake layer on work surface. Place 8-inch-diameter cake pan or plate atop cake. Using serrated knife, cut around cake pan, trimming to form 8-inch-diameter cake. Repeat with second cake layer. Transfer cake trimmings to processor; grind finely. Place in bowl. Mix in cookie crumbs.
- Using serrated knife, cut each cake horizontally in half. Using 9-inch tart pan bottom as aid, transfer 1 cake layer, cut side up, to platter. Spread 1 1/2 tablespoons raspberry jam over. Spread 1/2 cup frosting over jam. Repeat layering 2 more times, using 1 cake layer, 1 1/2 tablespoons jam and 1/2 cup frosting for each layer. Top with fourth cake layer, cut side down.
- Spread remaining frosting over top and sides of cake. Press crumb mixture generously onto frosting on top and sides of cake. Arrange raspberries in concentric circles atop cake
- (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover with cake dome and refrigerate. Let cake stand at room temperature 1 hour before serving.)
Wednesday, March 4, 2009
- 12 oz. skinless, boneless chicken thighs 1 26-oz. can condensed cream of chicken soup
- 1 14.75-oz. can cream-style corn
- 1 14-oz. can reduced-sodium chicken broth
- 1 cup chopped carrot (2 medium)
- 1 cup finely chopped onion (1 large)
- 1 cup frozen whole kernel corn
- 1/2 cup chopped celery (1 stalk)
- 1/2 cup water
- 2 slices bacon, crisp-cooked, drained, and crumbled Directions:
- In a 3-1/2- or 4-quart slow cooker, combine chicken, chicken soup, cream-style corn, chicken broth, carrot, onion, frozen corn, celery, and water.
- Cover and cook on low-heat setting for 5 to 6 hours or on high-heat setting for 2-1/2 to 3 hours.
- Remove chicken from cooker; cool slightly. Chop chicken; stir chopped chicken into soup in cooker. Sprinkle each serving with bacon.
Makes 4 to 6 servings
Monday, March 2, 2009
- It will chase ants away when you lay a sheet near them.
- It also repels mice ... spread some sheets around the foundation areas of your home.
- In cars that are just sitting, leave some sheets around the interior, they will keep mice from entering your vehicle.
- It takes the odor out of books and photo albums that don't get opened too often.
- Tie a sheet of Bounce through a belt loop when outdoors during mosquito season, it will repel them!
- To eliminate static electricity from your television or computer screen, wipe the screen with a used sheet of Bounce to keep dust from resettling.
- To dissolve soap scum from shower doors, clean then with a sheet of Bounce.
- Freshen the air in your home by placing an individual sheet of Bounce in a drawer or hang one in the closet.
- To keep your vacuum cleaner smelling fresh, put a Bounce sheet in it.
- Prevent thread from tangling ... run a threaded needle through sheet of Bounce before beginning to sew.
- To keep suitcases from smelling musty, place an individual sheet of Bounce inside empty luggage before storing it.
- Freshen the air in your car by placing a sheet of Bounce under the front seat.
- Clean baked-on foods from a cooking pan. Put a sheet in a pan, fill with water, let sit overnight, and sponge clean. The anti-static agent apparently weakens the bond between the food.
- Eliminate odors in wastebaskets. Place a sheet of Bounce at the bottom of the wastebasket.
- Remove animal hair from furniture or clothes by rubbing the area with a sheet of Bounce. It will magnetically attract all the loose hairs.
- Eliminate static electricity from mini blinds. Wipe them with a sheet of Bounce to prevent dust from resettling.
- Wipe up sawdust from drilling or sand papering. A used sheet of Bounce will collect sawdust like a tack cloth.
- Eliminate odors in dirty laundry. Place an individual sheet of Bounce at the bottom of a laundry bag or hamper.
- Deodorize shoes or sneakers by placing a Bounce sheet in your shoes or sneakers overnight.
- Golfers put a Bounce sheet in your back pocket to keep the bees away.
- Put a Bounce sheet in your sleeping bag and tent before folding and storing them, it will keep them smelling fresh.
- Rainy day cure for dog odor ... The next time your dog comes in from the rain, simply wipe him down with a Bounce sheet. Instantly your dog smell springtime fresh.
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Congratulations!Random Integer Generator Here are your random numbers: 18 Timestamp: 2009-03-02 19:56:02 UTC