BANANAS N’ NUTSCAKES

it’s been a while since i baked anything other than emergency microwave brownies and muddy buddies (which aren’t baked at all, actually), so today i decided to make something yum. enter banana cupcakes with vanilla frosting topped with wet walnuts. they’re sweet and moist and purdy good if i do say so myself.

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TIE DYEING WITH NATURE PART II: THE REVEAL

so it’s been a few days and my shirt is dry. i rinsed out the dyes after about 18 hours and were both disappointed and pleasantly surprised with the result.

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WORK WITH WHAT YA GOT: CONTAINER GARDENING

“when i am working on a problem, i never think about beauty but when i have finished, if the solution is not beautiful, i know it is wrong.” – r. buckminster fuller

i’ve been container gardening for pretty much my entire gardening career. we have a pretty big yard, but we’ve also got deer, rabbits, squirrels, slugs, birds and countless other munchers that annihilate everything on the ground and render any attempt at productive gardening endlessly frustrating an ultimately pointless. fortunately, i have some pretty decent patio space right off my bedroom, and that’s where my vegetable garden has lived for some time. i started with a few containers that were already out there and not so slowly added more and more (including a 4-foot diameter kiddie pool). this year, however, there’s a slight chance of some raised bed action in my yard and i’ll probably plant most of my guys downstairs, but i’m still dying to rearrange my container garden and have it make sense for once. here is the hideous, very early spring, before. forgive me.

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GINGER GLAZED MATCHA MUFFINS

i don’t love green tea, but for some reason i’ve really wanted to bake with matcha green tea powder for a long time. when i took my first bite of these muffins they were surprisingly tea-y, and by the second bite i was hooked. they’re very subtle and faintly sweet with a nice leafy green color. nummmmm.

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MAKE YOUR OWN HYPERTUFA PLANTERS

concrete planters are very cool. they can also be pretty expensive. fortunately, they’re SO CHEAP to make at home. i made some hypertufa planters for a friend for our low-budget diy secret santa swap last christmas and she flipped for them. i’ve been wanting to make my own ever since, and have very slowly been collecting plastic containers to use as molds.

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TIE DYEING WITH NATURE

it has been a million years since i tie dyed anything. a million meaning almost 20. holy crap that makes me feel old. anyway, this time i went natural. i came across woad, a plant i had never heard of, on SESE and once i read that the leaves can be used to make a blue dye i knew i had to have it.

well i planted those seeds yesterday, and since it’s gonna be a while before i can try it out i decided today was the day to work on my natural dye game.

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CHARRED CHICKPEA POPPERS

i tried a few things with the fresh chickpeas, and my favorite by far was charring them. i didn’t really have high expectations for them, but they were great. they’re even more fun to eat than edamame because the pods are filled mostly with air and they pop as you squeeze the chickpea out.

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SUNDAY MORNING CHICKPEA SHUCKIN’

just me, my meow, the mac demarco salad days leak, some roasted dandelion root tea, and a whole mess of fresh garbanzos. oh ya.

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ON “MAY CONTAIN TRACES OF MILK”…

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you would think that the veganness of a product would be fairly obvious. honey and gelatin? not vegan. whey and rennet? not vegan. dairy, fish and meat? obviously not vegan. peanut butter? yes vegan. i would add “obviously,” but i’ve been asked so many times whether or not peanut butter is vegan that i guess some people just don’t get it. anyway, it seems pretty black and white, right?

but sometimes you’ll get through the ingredients ok, only to find this waiting for you at the end:

MAY CONTAIN TRACES OF MILK.

shit.

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CHOCOLATE SALTED ALMOND COOKIES

these cookies were inspired by an especially yummy chocolate bar i once had. they’d be REALLY good with chocolate chips (or chopped up dark chocolate ritter sport, my choco of choice) but it was 10pm when i made these and i didn’t have any. these really did the trick though, and they’re especially good fresh out of the oven.

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