April 12, 2013 by Jenn
Now that spring is here, everyone is posting ideas on fun ways to make planters or DIYs for gardening. The problem is that no one really explains the boring part of gardening, the actual specifics of the plants and how to plant them properly. There are certain things that everyone should know in order for your plants to be their best.
1. Pick out your plants.
I picked two different succulents, a tiny fringe palm, and a zee zee plant. I chose these types of plants because they’re all typically indoor plants that don’t require a lot of light or water. The zee zee plant that I’m going to show you how to pot is actually called the eternity plant because they last a long time.
When deciding what plants you should buy think about your living situation. Are you putting the plants indoors or outside? Do you have a busy schedule or do you have the time to cater to finicky plants. Since mine were going to be inside my apartment which is usually pretty warm, I chose plants that thrive on indirect sunlight and warm temperatures. Once you decide which plants you want, there are a few more things you need such as a nice aerated potting soil and planters. Why aerated soil? In nature rocks and bugs and other roots all play a part in aerating the earth’s soil. Since your plant will be inside a pot and not exposed to natural elements, the soil needs to be aerated to insure the plant is absorbing water properly.
2. Prepare the plant for the planter.
I picked the zee zee plant first. In a separate container I mixed my potting soil with a few sticks and small rocks I found outside. The soil was already aerated with bits of materials but I add extra. Once your dirt is ready you’ll want to remove the plant from the container it came home in. Gently. Very gently. Plants are alive and they get stressed out just like people or animals. It’s important to be gentle when moving them around. Twist the plant a little to separate the sides from the pot and then lift it out.
3. Clean the plant.
Once the plant roots are exposed, remove the dirt that is clumped onto them. Expose as much of the roots as you can and very gently separate the roots from one another. You want the roots to go into the new dirt being able to spread out, this’ll help your plant thrive as it grows. The more the roots can expand, the higher your plant will grow. Be sure to make sure there are no tangles in the roots as well.
Now you’re ready to put it into the planter. I added a few inches of soil and set the plant on top. Next I filled in the sides. It’s important to remember: DON’T pack the soil. You want water to be able to reach the roots properly and packing the soil will make your pot like a brick. Make sure all roots are covered and place a little extra soil on top and done!
Most plants come with a little stick inside that tell you the name of the plant and how much water/sunlight it requires. If you’d like to go the distance, take the Latin name of the plant and google it for even more information. Good luck and happy planting!
April 9, 2013 by Emily
I was never really a fan of tea parties until I discovered all the lovely snacks that come with a real tea service… which the crustless sandwiches aren’t my bag, I’m all about the pastries. One classic that’s gone from tea service to coffee shop with ease is the scone, half biscuit/half muffin and 100% delicious!
What You’ll Need:
2 Cups All Purpose Flour
1 Tablespoon Baking Powder
1/2 Teaspoon Salt
1/4 cup Sugar
Zest from 1 grapefruit (orange or lemon works great too!)
6 Tablespoons Cold Butter, cut into small cubes
3/4 Cup Dried Cherries
3/4 Cup Milk
1 – Move your oven rack to the center of the oven and preheat to 425 degrees. 2 – In a bowl whisk together the dry ingredients and the citrus zest. 3 – Add the butter to your flour mixture and begin cutting in the butter with forks or your fingertips until it looks sandy…. a few larger pieces of butter will remain, thats perfectly fine. 4 – Stir in the dried cherries, coating with the flour mixture then gently stir in the milk. 5 – Turn out dough onto a flour surface and press into a sheet about 3/4 – 1 inch thick. 6 – Cut the dough into 6 squares, then cut each square diagonally to make triangles. 7 – arrange on a sheet pan with at least 1/2 inch between each piece and bake for 12-15 minutes of until the tops of the scones are just getting golden. 8 – Allow to cool for 5-10 minutes before enjoying, otherwise you’ll burn your mouth!!
April 9, 2013 by Jenn
Spring is finally here! I wore shorts today for the first time in months. Now comes the time when we can enjoy outdoor projects again. Recently I decided to add some color to my apartment and make it feel like spring. The easiest way to do this is with plants and flowers. Today I’m going to show you how to make a mason jar planter. Planting in mason jars is easy and makes an adorable edition to any windowsill.
1. Clean out your mason jar and add a layer of rocks.
2. Add the dried moss.
3. Gently remove your succulents from the pot it came in. This is important, be gentle. Gently pull away any soil from the plants and spread out the roots. You want the roots to be able to breath in the new soil. One of my succulents was already dying when I purchased it. The way to tell if your plant is a dud is simple. The soil it comes in will be a red or orange color and it’ll smell bad, like rotting eggs. Once you’ve separated the roots plant your succulent in new soil in the mason jar.
It’s that easy! Make sure that your succulent is in a warm room with indirect sunlight. I only water mine twice a week with very little water. The mason jar makes a great planter because you can see the roots of the plants and the moss helps retain water. If there is water in the bottom of the jar, it’s not time to water it yet. Place it in a cute spot in your home and enjoy.
April 7, 2013 by Jenn
So let’s talk dessert. A lot of people get confused about what the difference is between a crumble and a cobbler. They are basically the same idea, the only difference is that a cobbler has hunks of plain biscuit dough on top whereas a crumble has literally crumbs of dough on top that are usually made out of butter, flour, and some kind of sweet ingredient. For my crumble I used gingerbread crumbs and brown sugar because, well, gingerbread is awesome and I think its the perfect amount of sweet without being overwhelming. This is one of those desserts that is perfect for any occasion and it’s versatile. You can swap out the blueberries and peaches for whatever is in season and wow the pants off of your friends.
Yields: 1 Crumble
2 pounds peaches
1/3 C sugar
1 1/4 TSP cornstarch
2 TBSP lemon juice
1 TSP cinnamon
1/4 TSP salt
1 TSP light brown sugar
1 C blueberries
1 C flour
1/4 C sugar
1/4 C light brown sugar
1/4 TSP cinnamon
1/4 TSP salt
2 TSP vanilla
6 TBSP unsalted butter*
1 C gingerbread crumbs
*I’ve made this crumble before with earth balance to make it vegan. It works but the results are different. You’ll have to bake it longer and watch it carefully. For some reason earth balance can make the top burn in like 2 seconds.
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Boil the peaches until they are super soft then peel, pit, and cut them into small slices. I’ve heard a lot of people say “Every time I make anything with fruit is doesn’t work out, it gets so watery.”. That’s because when you have juicy fruits like peaches, you have to drain out a lot of the juice. Once you’ve sliced the peaches, toss them in the sugar and set them into a colander. Let them drain for about 25 minutes. You’ll want to save 1/4 cup of the juice for later.
- Mix together cornstarch, lemon juice, cinnamon, and salt with the reserved peach juice. Place peaches in a large bowl and toss them in the mixture. Gently add in the blueberries as you place in a pie dish.
For the crumble:
- First cut the butter into cubes and set aside until it’s room temperature. Whisk together all crumble ingredients then mash in the butter using your fingers.
- Mix into a crumbly mass and smash it flat onto a piece of parchment paper. Pre-bake the crumble at 375 degrees for about 20 minutes.
- The fruit part of your crumble should look something like this.
- Place the pre-baked crumbles onto the filling. Smash any crumbles that are too large. None of them should be larger than a quarter. Tamp them down to adhere them to the filling. Sprinkle the gingerbread on top with a tablespoon of brown sugar and bake until it bubbles. It’ll take about 30 to 40 minutes.
Voila!!! You’ll be the talk of all your friends. Believe me.