Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Can you "DIGGIT"?

My new Diggit tool and Diggit Hori knife

I am such a tool geek. At last weeks farmers' market in Burien, there was a vendor selling Digg It's- a garden tool that easily uproots taproot weeds like dandelions. And a Hori Hori knife that she claimed was an improvement over other Hori's. Anyway I was interested and let continue her spiel... The Hori knife is stainless hardened stainless steel, and the (strong selling point if you are me)blade wont rust if you leave it outdoors. In fact the way to store the tool, by her suggestion is to leave it in the ground! Wow a tool designed for me! The diggit tool and I are familiar acquaintances,  And it is really a great tool. But the HORI will dig, cut roots, and act as an ad hoc weapon in a pinch. And the great things about these tools they are made right in Seattle, Washington. USA
Check out the DIGGIT website!-

Monday, July 30, 2012

Stuffed Patty Pan Squash

I think patty pan squash gets a bad rap. It is actually one of my favorite summer squashes, and with a little imagination can be a tasty part to any summer meal. I took advantage of the Farmers' Market and bought my squash and hamburger there. The tomatoes are cherry toms that I grew, as well as the onion.

Stuffed Patty Pan Squash
  • 6 patty pan squash
  • 1 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery
  • 1 can (14.5 ounces) diced tomatoes
  • 1 can (8 ounces) tomato sauce
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1 teaspoon dried leaf oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried leaf basil
  • 2 teaspoons salt, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper, divided
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 1/2 pounds lean ground beef or chuck
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked long-grain rice
  • shredded mild Cheddar cheese, about 1/2 to 3/4 cup, optional
Cut tops off squash and scoop out with a melon baller or spoon. Rinse squash under cold water.
Heat olive oil and butter in a large skillet over medium heat until hot. Sauté chopped onion, and chopped celery for about 5 minutes, or until vegetables are tender. Add tomatoes, tomato sauce, crushed garlic, oregano, basil, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper. Simmer for about 10 minutes.
In a large mixing bowl, combine egg with remaining 1 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and Worcestershire sauce. Gently stir to blend; add ground beef, cooked rice, and 1 cup of the tomato mixture. Mix well. Stuff squash with meat mixture and place in a 3-quart baking dish or place in a muffin tin to keep upright. Pour remaining tomato mixture over the stuffed squash. Bake at 350° for 55 to 65 minutes. If desired, top stuffed squash with a little shredded Cheddar cheese just before squash are done; bake until cheese is melted.Serves 6.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Independence Days Challenge Update for the week of July 27th

Plant:Turnips; radishes
Harvest: plums, cherry tomatoes
Preserve: Put some plums on the dehydrator
Prepare:  Bought a locally made Hori Knife and a weeding tool at the farmers' market. Found a source for local grass feed beef, pork, chicken etc., Blue Valley Meats out of Walla Walla, WA, order online and it is delivered to a store within walking distance from my house.
Local Foods: Bought some peaches, blue berries, patty pan squash and hamburger at the Farmers' Market
Community: Found a Rummage sale right in downtown Burien, I purchased two large stainless steel steam pans, a serving plate and a few odds and ends, all for $12!
Making Do (Repair, Re-use, Reduce, Recycle): Made a soda bottle bird feeder;

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Carrot Chips

This could be a great way to enjoy "fries" with out a lot of guilt at your next BBQ. Or make up a batch or two before a campout. They are tasty!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Soda Bottle Bird Feeder

Picture from Bird Feeder Plans .Org

There are some really cool DIY Bird feeders out there in the inter webs. Here is one I found and made my own. The Clear instructions are here

My Version:
I took an ordinary soda bottle and drilled two small holes in the cap. Run a small wire or some jute string through these holes and tie off Then I cut two larger holes (about 1” in diameter) straight across from each other, near the bottom. Then I made two small holes directly beneath them (no more than an eighth of an inch). On the smaller holes on the bottle, shove a stick through them (I used a chopstick because I always have old chopsticks hanging around, in the Birdfeeders.org plans they use wooden spoons) to give the birds something to perch on.. Fill the bottle with bird seed and let hang wherever.
You can use a scissor to cut the holes on the bottle… or a trick to do is purchase a cheap soldering iron and melt the holes. CAUTION: if you use a soldering iron, make sure you have good ventilation.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Yogurt Spoon Markers

I found a new frozen yogurt shoppe near my house. I love their fat free and no sugar added offerings. But don't love so much their disposable spoons. They appear to be a heavy Bio-Degradable corn/starch polymer, which is kind of cool, but not perfect. So of course I needed to find a use for them. And the use was so easy- Plant Markers! Even if they don't Bio-degrade, they are re-useable. They look really cool in Mom's mini-garden!

Monday, July 23, 2012

#2 Mexican Corn Salad-

The City of Burien has a very diverse ethnical population, with a large Latin representation. One of the great things in Burien, at our Farmers' Market, is the Corn On the Cob vendor, a delightful latin woman who offers Corn on the cob 6 ways, The Number 2 being "Mexican Style- With Mayo, Chile powder and Parmesan Cheese" and it is very delicous. Thus the inspiration (and name) for this quick summer salad.

#2 Mexican Corn Salad
1 pkg. Roasted Corn or 4 ears of roasted corn, decobbed
1/4 cup of Mayonnaise
2-3 Tablespoons of Chile Powder
1/4 cup of Parmesan Cheese

Cook the corn, let it cool. In a bowl, combine corn, Mayo, Chile Powder and Parmesan cheese. Stir. Refrigerate. Before serving sprinkle a bit of Parmesan and Chile powder. Serve. Serves 4

Friday, July 20, 2012

Independence Days Challenge Update 7/20

Plant: Beets, radishes, beans,
Harvest: radishes, peas, plums
Preserve: Froze a bunch of herbs  (mint, thyme, parsley) into Herbal Ice cubes
Prepare: Made a SWP using the 5 gallon water bucket that the top was sawed off for another SWP.
Local Foods: Some Chicken.
Making Do (Repair, Re-use, Reduce, Recycle): Repaired a trellis to use as a cucumber support; Made a SWP using a 5 gallon water bucket that the top was sawed off for another SWP. Made a No Sew Shopping Bag. The usual recycling, composting. Made a couple of fruit fly traps

Thursday, July 19, 2012

REPOST- How I Make Snow Cones

From June 24, 2009- With the weather getting hotter, seemed like a timely re-post for a refreshing summer treat.

Summer is here and time for a refreshing treat. To me summer means street fairs, and snowcones. I recently was playing around with my Cuisine Art and crushed some ice. And I had been watching a shaved ice vendor at the Burien Farmers' Market. I put two and two together , and came up with this recipe- You don’t need and Ice crusher or any other fancy gismos. All you need is a Cuisine Art or a blender and some syrup:

About 2 cups of Ice cubes
Some type of flavored syrup

Put ice cubes into a cuisine art or blender.
Pulse for about a minute.
Until Ice is crushed smooth

Scoop ice into a martini glass or cup or juice glass. I like to use martini glasses because, well I have them. 
Pour syrup (about 1 jigger or one ounce) over the top. Enjoy!

Note: I used TORIANI SUGAR FREE SYRUP (raspberry flavor), I would imagine you could use any flavored syrup. But using sugar free makes it a guilt free treat!
And please - no comments on the messy kitchen! (I have been in school all week and had no time for cleaning!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

More fun with SWP's

Beets planted in my new SWP.

You know how much I love making different SWP/SIP Planters. My favorite is the one where I take the top off a 5 gallon water bucket in place of a second bucket. But that leads me to ponder… What to do with the bottom part I cut off.

They make most excellent buckets to hold water ( I use one to catch my warm up water in the shower) and when weeding the garden. But I figured out a new way to use them… make a second SWP. Totally by accident, I found that the Five gallon water bucket does not fit all the way into the outer bucket. Soooo that means I could saw a hole in the bottom of the water bucket to fit a strainer basket or seedling pot with holes in it (or you can use a yogurt container or a small can). And with some shifty planning and drilling I can shove the water pipe down the handle to fill the reservoir.
The other thing one could do with it is turn it upside down to make an ad hoc green house or cloche for the fall and winter to keep plants warm!
Farmer's Daughter Homesteading Link Up
I used strips of T-Shirt from my latest shopping bag experiment as water wicks. Very little gets wasted around here!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Fruit Flies and Mosquitoes? Trap ‘em!

I have been inundated with fruit flies. Don’t regularly get mosquitoes, but the fruit flies are irritating enough. After doing some research, I made a few traps… Simply cut a soda bottle into two parts, invert the top part into the lower part. And put in some liquid…

For FRUIT FLIES- Put in ¼ cup Apple Cider Vinegar to about ¼ cup of water

For Mosquitoes- Add 1 tsp yeast and 1/2 cup sugar to some luke warm water, and pour the mixture into the bottle. Mosquitoes are attracted to the carbon dioxide that you exhale. The yeast feeds off the sugar and emits the same gas, so the mosquito enters the bottle, thinking she will find food there.

I am also told would work for wasps with the yeast/water mix. I would think it would work better with a little hot dog piece in there, but who am I to mess with a good idea?

Farmer's Daughter Homesteading Link Up

Monday, July 16, 2012

Jazzed Up 'SMores!

Thanks to my cousin, Michelle, I got some great Ideas for jazzing up America's Favorite BBQ Dessert- Smores. Like, try using peanut butter cups instead of plain chocolate for a "peanutty" taste treat. Amd for my diet restricted friends, I have also used Sugar Free pecan delights (turtles) for a nutty change of pace. For Gluten free folks, you could try using gluten free graham crackers and gluten free marshmallows. And for my diabetic brothers and sisters, try sugar free chocolates and marshmallows. Mmmmm... Tastes like 'Smores!Of course I still think Peanut Butter Cup Smores with a strip of Bacon would rule!

Friday, July 13, 2012

Independence Days Challenge Update for week of 7/13

My poor pathetic peach tree... but wait... whats this? Looks like a peach! Yay... Success!

Plant: Zucchinni, tomatoes, oyster mushrooms
Harvest: radishes, peas, squash blossoms
Preserve: Bought 4 pounds of really ripe bananas for $2 and froze them for banana bread and banana sorbet
Prepare: Learned a new skill- grooming my dog myself;
Local Foods: Berries, beets at Farmers' Market; local beef and fish
Community: Delivered 3 -1/2 gallon cartons of milk that I can't/won't use to the food bank, rather than waste it.
Making Do (Repair, Re-use, Reduce, Recycle): Made a couple of shopping bags out of t-shirts; Repaired an Umbrella I found in the trash.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Stone fruit battles- successes and failures!

Okay my peach tree looks sick and pathetic... but wait... there is a peach on it. Yay 100% crop improvement over last year!

Not mych of a Peach crop- so FAIL! However, looks like a bumper crop of Golden Plums again! SUCCESS!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

REPOST: Ideas for recycling/reusing plastic shopping bags!

From 9/5/2011- Ok. Seattle now has a plastic bag ban and there is talk of a statewide ban in Washington, but for those who still get the occasional plastic shopping bag (guilty) here are some ideas on how to reuse them

Ahh The Plastic Shopping Bag... so convienient, so handy, So environmentally wrong. Unless you live in the Bay area, were local cities have banned them, or some other area where voters and politicians see the damage they do to the environment, what so you do with those little marvels of plastic engingeering?
While I believe in using Reusable bags for shopping, I have to be realistic. These bags get slipped into my life no matter how hard I try to use my shopping bag. And boy do they build up over time…
While most grocery stores collect old bags for recycling, some do not. So here are a few ideas for you to ReUse and ReCycle your own plastic bags…

ReUse your plastic Bags... Try taking them back to the store and re-using them! I even took one to Trader Joe's once and had a good laugh watching the clerk try to figure out how to use it!

Dog Parks- While I advocate the use of biodegradable poop bags, I also know that the dog parks (at least the ones in my area) are always in need of bags for the dirty job. The local one here has stations set up were you can just put the bags in for others to use. Great recycle use for produce and bread bags!

Librarys- check with your library if they need bags for the patrons to use.
Schools- many schools use these bags for Art projects. Check with your school.
Food Banks- Local food banks need bags for their patrons as well.

Local Thrift stores- if you have a thrift store, in particular a charity thrift store, ask them if they want your old shopping bags. They can re-use them for their customers.

Make a Rug out them
- I am told you can strip the bags into 1” strips and start braiding them together to make ropes of material to make braided rugs. These would be good for by the door or in a mud room.

Make "plarn" out of them to make crocheted bags, maybe a rain coat!
Another "Plarn" Tutorial try using plarn to make your braided rugs, macrame, etc

Make a laptop case out of them

Fuse them together to make new reusable shopping bags, clothes whatever!:

Farmer's Daughter Homesteading Link Up!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Soggy Doggy

Well You know who got clipped. And this time, I did it.
I met the owners of this neat little store, the Soggy Doggy, at the Strawberry Festival, so decided to give it a shot after they told me they would walk me through the grooming. So what did I learn? Grooming your dog yourself isn't the hardest thing in the world, just takes a little patience, and Romeo isn't as bad as I had been lead to believe by one of his former groomers.
Rachel, who works at the Des Moines store is really great, taking the time to answer all questions and teach everyone how to do it right. And the cost? More than 50% Cheaper then his last groomer. You gotta love that! The end result? Romeo got a great haircut, I saved $$$, and learned a new "skill."- hat trick! If I wento out and bought the clippers, blades and shears I used at Soggy Doggy it would cost over $175. This way I get use of professional equipment, and I get to know how Romeo is treated. A fear of mine becasue, on time I walked into the groomers when Max, my yorkie, was there and he was being abused by the groomer.
Romeo showing off his new do!

Monday, July 9, 2012

Eating out with Romeo

We have a restaurant here in Burien, that is pretty good about remembering people have pets (dogs) The Mark is a cool little spot with front and back patios, where your canine family members can have a bite as well. Romeo and I had lunch there the other day... they even have a special menu for the canine crowd. The food is Stews from the Natural Pet Pantry up the street, and is made fresh for the pooches (yes this is the same dog food I was once tempted to eat) Mark Owner Debra George, a dog owner herself (She has a very nice LabraDoodle) always thinks of folks dogs. Her restaurant also hosts a Santa Photo Party for dogs and cats each year! Romeo now proclaims Mark Restaurant as his favorite.
Nom, nom nom- this is good!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Bike Racks

I thought I would post some unusual Bike Rack pictures... you know a city could combine these with an Arts program to kill two birds with one stone... I included some suggestions as to where they might go best!
 Outside a Race Track?
 Outside a Bakery?
 Outside A coffee shop?
 Near a park?
 Outside an Office Supply Store?
 A Public Park?
 Outside a Music Store?
  Outside a bike shop?
 General Shopping Parking?
Outside a pet store?

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Independence Day

Happy 4th of July

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

No Sew Shopping Bag

Plastic Bag Ban? No worries.
My friend Jenny posted this on her facebook page. An easy tutorial to make a shopping bag without sewing... so easy a plumber with fat, arthritic fingers can do it, as proofed in the photo

Monday, July 2, 2012

Walked 'N Talked

 Well Romeo and I led the WABI Monthly Walk N Talk yesterday - 12 People came out to walk what I lovingly call the Highline Hooky Route... A complete circle around my old High School, never actually going in. The weather was warm and overcast, perfect weather for a nice walk.
Romeo was actually exhausted at the end of the walk. A few stopped in at local establishments for a cool beverage afterwards. It is so good to meet local folks and have a good time walking through city neighborhoods.