Monday, March 29, 2010

Tomato Plant Restraint. I have none.

Pretty Costoluto Genovese

Tonight I started transplanting my tomato seedlings. Way overdue. They were growing into the growlights....oups.

I thought I was showing some real restraint this year by only doing 4 or 5 plantings of each type of tomato: Costoluto Genovese, Hungarian Italian Paste, Yellow Pear Cherry, Riesentraube Cherry and German Pink.

The problem is/was that both seeds in each soil block germinated. Sometimes a third one that slipped in germinated too. And I am so NOT a tomato plant killer. I just can't do it. I let them grow and then tonight I started separating them. Successfully I hope. So I end up with 8 - 10 of each kind.

Basic math: 5 varieties of tomato plants X 10 plants = 50 tomato plants.

Hungarian Italian Paste Tomato

Friends- you had better come out of the woodwork right this minute and demand that I give you tomato plants for your garden. And I was laughing (silently) at a fellow blogger writing she had over 40 tomato plants. What a crazy person, I thought. Well here I am, just as crazy (and loving it!).

German Pink Tomato

Now I'm out of pots. And out of transplant mix. Sigh. Home improvement store at lunch tomorrow. Just think of all the salsa we'll be making...and I promise to show an equal lack of restraint in eating whatever we end up producing. This gardening season is off to a GREAT start! Hooray!

That's great, mom. Could you come back inside and feed me now? I'm like...starving here.

Hoping everyone's garden is off to a great start. If not, you know where you can find free tomato plants now.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Chocolate Sticky Cake

Raise your hand if you have a relationship with chocolate!

I do. I love chocolate. It rewards me through taste, but hangs around in the most inconvenient places. :-)

I also love to bake. When I need a quick chocolate fix without a ton of work, and a recipe that doesn't make oodles and oodles of cake, I refer back to my Swedish Sticky Cake recipe.
I have a small recipebook where I write down my favorites, and next to this cake recipe is the name of my childhood friend Anna J. She's a Facebook friend now, just welcomed her second child into this world, little Amelie, and has a good life with a husband and a young son. We baked this cake A LOT way back when. We even formed an organization, whose name is written down next to the recipe: The Organization for Spreading the Word of Sticky Cake's Greatness
We had some lofty ambitions, let me tell ya....

I would love it if you would join our organization and make this recipe:

2 eggs
1 stick of melted butter
1 1/4 cup sugar
2/3 cup all purpose flour
a pinch of salt
3-4 tablespoons of cocoa

Preheat your oven to 390F.
Mix all ingredients in a large bowl. I usually just mix with a spatula.
Refrain from eating the mix. :-)
Place a heaping tablespoon full of mix into muffin cups in a muffinpan (or regular cookie sheet).
Bake for 15 minutes.

You can also make this cake in a small ovenproof dish, just bake it for about 20 minutes instead and make sure you grease the sides of the dish before adding the sticky cake mix. This version of the sticky cake tastes great with a scoop of icecream.

Dig in with a glass of milk, or tea, or coffee....

Welcome to The Organization for Spreading the Word of Sticky Cake's Greatness. We are so glad you could join us.

Friday, March 19, 2010


My blog-friend, the author of YD's A Little Bit of Everything Place and her husband Mike stopped by on their way back from Florida. She is every bit as lovely, friendly and generous as her blog. And her husband is the perfect match!
I will say that I was a little bit nervous about meeting someone I really didn't know, but it turned out we knew a lot about each other already....and we have so many good and joyous things in common, that it was like we were never strangers. Our shared love of our dogs, cooking, blogging, our husbands ... as well as both of us being foreigners to the US. Of course those countries are as far apart as can be (she is from Malaysia and I'm from Sweden!).

We ended up in the kitchen, all of us including Kane, and made some excellent homemade pizzas. Homemade pizza dough recipe from Farmgirl Fare and a somewhat BBQ chicken pizza loosely based on Pioneerwoman's recipe. It was great fun, and I'm so appreciative of having friends that pitch in for dinner. Mike was an excellent pizzamaker, and showed us some of his professional(!) tips for yummy pizzas, and Sean even brought out the coveted roasted green chiles from New Mexico. Not everyone gets to share in his New Mexico roasted green chile stash!

For dessert I had made Pioneer Woman's best chocolate sheet cake ever, cut it in 4 pieces slathered raspberry/blueberry/strawberry jam in between 4 of the layers, stacked them with strawberries in between, added some whipped cream and our awesome local strawberries. YUM!

Kane was played with, loved on and petted. He was a very good boy and sent some treats back to his friends Samantha and June.

Now Sean and I have to plan a trip up to see them! Maybe in the fall, who knows?
Thank you for the flower, YD! Hope you all had a safe trip home!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Sprout Update

Here's an update from the kindergarten room: This year we have invested in a heating pad for the tomatoes and peppers, hoping to get some faster sprouters and some stronger plants. I haven't really had a problem with strength, more so that it takes FOREVER to get pepper seeds sprouting. Since my husband LOVES hot peppers, this is a must in our garden.

I purchased my heating pad and thermostat at Fast delivery and the product worked really nice. My pepper seeds were started a week after the tomatoes, and they really came up in about a week and a half. The tomatoes were fast as always! I've also started eggplant, broccoli, kale, some flower seeds (bunny tails! I just couldn't resist the name....), and all the herbs (basil, bergamot, marjoram, thyme, oregano etc).

It's almost time to feed the hungry little sprouts, and the tomatoes are already developing 3rd set of leaves! Time flies - my how my little sprouts have grown! :-)