New Garden Location = Success!

The garden in the front yard is flourishing! I finally feel like a real gardener! Everything I planted is growing. I’m thinning plants. Already there are baby cucumbers. There is a nice butternut squash growing. I already harvested radishes. There are little and big sprouts of things everywhere!

Although, there is one problem in paradise. One side of my garden is not growing as well as the other. I know it’s not the sun or water, so it’s got to be the soil. My thoughts are either too much compost or not enough. Something ain’t right. So my first solution will be to get some good organic miracle grow soil and put it down. I’m not complaining, though!

So here are some pics of my first harvest. I had to thin out some of the greens, and the radishes were peeking their little tops above the soil, saying “pick me, pick me!”. So I did.

baby Red Russian kale and Cherry Bell radishes

 

baby kale, radishes, and TONS of baby bok choy!

See the basket of greens to the left in the pic above? That’s all bok choy.

Can’t wait to try out this recipe for Sausage, Potato and Kale Soup. And this Kale and Parmesan Frittata. Now to find recipes for bok choy!

5 Minute Chocolate Mug Cake

You must go make this. Now. It took me 5 minutes from start to finish, and I had a warm, gooey, chocolatey chocolate cake on my plate. In fact, the entire process from start to consumption was only 7 minutes. (disclaimer: this pic is not of mine, but mine did come out just like it!)

5 MINUTE CHOCOLATE MUG CAKE

4 tablespoons flour
4 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons cocoa
1 egg
3 tablespoons milk
3 tablespoons oil
3 tablespoons chocolate chips (optional)
A small splash of vanilla extract
1 large coffee mug (Microwave Safe)

Add dry ingredients to mug, and mix well.  Add the egg and mix thoroughly before pouring in the milk and oil in.  Keep mixing.  Add the optional chocolate chips next (who makes that an option!) and vanilla extract, and mix again…

Put your mug in the micro wave and cook for three minutes at 1000 watts.  The cake will rise over the top of the mug, but don’t be alarmed!  Allow it to cool a little, and tip out onto a plate if desired.

Uh-may-zing.

via New Dress a Day

From my Kitchen

You’d think with all my fidgeting in the kitchen lately I’d of made some gourmet Easter dinner. Nope. I pulled out good ol’ Betty Crocker and made some cinnamon rolls. Yum. All I need now is a hot cup of coffee.

Inspired to Go Granola

Yet another inspiration to bake.  I found this recipe from lifehacker. It was a simple recipe with most ingredients on hand. I did have to make a special trip to get wheatgerm and wheat flour. As I was baking, I thought the mixture looked suspiciously like oatmeal cookie dough and thought, “Well, this is no different.” Even after I pulled them from the oven I thought, “This just looks like a giant square cookie.”  But then I bit into one…heavenliness. They are chewier than cookies and taste like a true granola bar. They also have this delightful buttery taste, even though there is no butter in the recipe.  I put extra cinnamon in them, of course.

This recipe is amazing because you can adjust it anyway you like. Chocolate chips, dried fruit(s), nuts of your choice, flax seed, bran, egg substitutes, honey substitutes…whatever suits your fancy or dietary needs. I decided to be a little healthy and forgo the chocolate chips, despite how tempting it was.

It was not time-consuming at all, and results were fantastic. Phil and I plopped down with one (or two…or three) and a big glass of cold milk. So go ahead, dig in!

Inspirations of Blueberries

Given the praise “The best blueberry muffins you’ve ever had” (by smitten kitchen) they are indeed the best blueberry muffins I’ve ever had. However, I am going to make them better! By the by…no, that is not a stock photo. Yes, those are MY muffinitos. And yes, those are flower pots.

What made these muffins uncommonly tasty was, I believe, the use of plain yogurt, lemon zest, and a substantial amount of butter. My variations to those were the use of unsalted butter, plain greek yogurt (hey, it’s what I had on hand), and a little less lemon zest than called for. There were also some specific directions in how to mix the batter, which through my experience with cookies, does make a difference.

As I munch on these mouth-melting muffins, I am already thinking of adjustments for the next batch. I realize while the lemon zest gives the muffins a unique “zest”, I am not the zestiest lover of zest. It calls for 1 tsp. I used 3/4ths. Next time I will use only a pinch.

My next thought is to use vanilla yogurt instead of plain. Yes, more sugar, but I also really like the taste of vanilla, and I also have a sweet tooth.  I guess a non-sugary option would be to add a generous amount of vanilla extract.  But when writing this, I realized that I do enjoy the thicklyness and creamlyness of greek yogurt, and I wonder if sweetening it with a little honey and/or vanilla extract first would also produce delightful results (because I love the taste of greek yogurt with honey)? Maybe I will split the batter in half and test both.

Last, I absolutely love cinnamon in my muffins. I think every muffin needs cinnamon. So therefore, regardless of the above attempts at adjustment, I will be adding a generous amount of cinnamon to the next batch of batter.

I challenge you to try this recipe – try the original or  try an untested variation of mine or yours!

Inspirations

just gotta smileSince the name of our blog is “InspiredMumblings”, I’m currently  inspired to mumble about my inspirations. And, I think to myself, what a witty theme to flavor my future blogs. Because, yes, I’m going to write more entries.

So, I’ll start with some of my inpirings from the last two months.

Veggies

I have a delightful crop of spinach, although I’m learning you need to plant a lot of it to have a constant supply. I also had one random head of romaine pop up.  Must have been leftover from my attempts last spring.

I also planted a red bell pepper, but have failed to see them reach the large sizes you are used too. While waiting for them to grow more, they end up wilting and dying. I let them just die, hoping they will drop seeds.

I recently bought a yellow pear tomato plant and have lots of greenies on there, so I’m excited for those. I have never tasted a yellow pear tomato (they are grape sized).

I highly recommend a lemon thyme plant. I do not like thyme, but I love this lemon thyme! Delightful to throw into almost any dish you cook! Which leads me to my next inspiration….

Cooking

I have this cookbook, The Naked Chef Takes Off, that I’ve had for years and have never used, mostly because of its daunting recipes and hard-to-find ingredients. However, I finally delved in and found the recipes not too daunting and the ingredients not too hard to find! Such endeavors have included:

Mary’s Saturday Soup: A soup with dumplings that included lamb, sweet potatoes, yams, butternut squash, carrots, coconut milk, okra and chilies! As he (Jamie Oliver) says, “scrummy”.

Pan-toasted almonds with a touch of chili and sea salt: Just what it says. Delightful, except I burned my mouth off with the red chilies. Should’ve seen that coming, since I do not handle spicy well.

Mozerella, prosciutto, and basil pizza: using a pre-made dough from Sunflower Market, fresh mozerella balls, and well, the other ingredients in the title….yum.

And finally… many various pasta recipes using pancetta, proscuitto, and pangritata. All delightful.

One more recipe from just good ol’ Betty Crocker – My brilliant version of chocolate chip muffins. I used 60% cocoa chips in the recipe. Then I took the cinnamon streusel topping from the blueberry muffin recipe and sprinkled that on top. The results? Addictive. I have now made two batches which I have consumed almost entirely by myself.

Bulbs:

For the first time I tried planting bulbs. Guess what are peeking their shoots out of the ground? Irises and daffodils! I currently have four blooming daffodils in a jar on my counter, cheering me up every time I look at them.

No iris blooms yet, but I’m waiting impatiently!!! I planted these bulbs in the fall, but I recently planted the rest of the bulbs into little containers and they are sprouting inch by inch. This was not planned, but will stagger my blooms well into the spring (I hope!).