Thursday, April 22, 2010

40 years and a winner

Happy 40Th Earth Day...(?!)

~ Some Earth Day relations....If you missed the American Experience ; The seeds of a Revolution ; which included, a history of the American environmental movement by Robert Stone, on PBS this week you should check it out....Oh Jimmy Carter why did we go so wrong. I love that Georgia peanut farmer

' "In part, said Robert Stone, a independent documentary filmmaker whose history of the American environmental movement is being broadcast on public television this week, the movement has been a victim of its own success in clearing up tangible problems with air and water. But that is just part of the problem, he noted."“Every Earth Day is a reflection of where we are as a culture,” he said. “If it has become commoditized, about green consumerism instead of systemic change, then it is a reflection of our society.'newyorktimes 4/22/10

Also the graphic novel, As The World Burns, by Derrick Jensen and Illustrated by Stephanie McMillan, was a quite satisfying Earth Day week read. Another cool book I got via Austin public libraries this week was Creative Recycling in Embroidery. It takes a look at some quite beautiful ephemeral art pieces and sort of tells you how to make your own, an interesting take on a how-to book.

And now the contest. Thanks to all who entered the Eco smart giveaway!!! The Random Number generator picked # 8; which was Blue Mama. Congrats Blue Mama hope it helps with all your hard work in your new garden.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Strawberry Shortcake Muffins

I ate way to many of these last week! they just kept calling to me, and it probably didn't help that I made 2 batches of them. This recipe is adapted form the Jammy Fig Muffins recipe from this book that I raved about a few weeks back. She suggests subbing berries if you do not have figs but I went a little further; changing up the butter and sugar ratio slightly, As well as switching out the brown sugar for white. I also dropped the cinnamon all together. Her big secret I believe is the buttermilk . It seams to keep everything super moist as well as adding to the baking sodas action. We are a strong strawberry clan and I was searching for a special treat for my little sick boy. To me these tasted way more like little cakes than real muffins so I added the whipped cream and strawberry garnish and called it dessert.

Ingredients muffins

1 c flour
1/2tsp baking soda
1/4tsp kosher salt
1/2 c buttermilk
1 lg egg
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 c sugar
5 TB butter cubed room temp
1 c chopped strawberries sprinkled with sugar

whipped cream
1/2 c whipping cream
1 TB powdered sugar
chopped strawberries for garnish

Makes 12 muffins
preheat oven to 350º F. Grease muffin tins or use liners.
Sift together flour baking soda and salt
separate bowl whisk together milk egg vanilla
In larger bowl beat butter and sugar until well combined about 5 min.
With mixer on lowest speed add a 1/3 of wet and 1/3 of dry at a time beating until just combined . Gently fold in the strawberries.
Divide batter evenly among the tins. Bake for 25-30 min rotating halfway through. they should be golden and firm .Cool Tin on wire rack for 10 min then turn them out and let them cool completely. Put them in the fridge in an airtight container till time to serve.

Whipped cream
either with a whisk or mixer beat cream in a bowl 30 seconds then add powdered sugar. Beat till soft peaks . cover and chill until serving.

The first batch we just ate straight up really fast. The next dozen I ....Carefully remove papers( they like to stay on so maybe do the greased tin route). Serve on a plate upside down with a dollop of whipped cream and strawberry garnish.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Summer gardening and Earth Day garden giveaway

~Well we have been busy in our new yard cleaning and trying to have at least a small spring/summer garden. I am facing new challenges because for the first time in this decade there is almost nothing but shade in my yard. I am seeing an abundance of flowers and herbs and less veggies in our gardening future. Luckily the herbs will flourish, like basil and penny royal (guarded by the tiny T Rex)~So as far as the flowers go I finally can have impatiens ( one of my mothers favorite bedding plants, as seen behind the giraffe above). Begonias that won't get burned and all sorts of pretty things like these lovely geraniums I picked up in Lockhart this week. I have also planted some of my favorites hoping they can adapt . I think the Nasturtiums will definitely thrive but I might only have foliage. Which is kinda OK, cause I really adore the nats foliage...are they not the sweetest little sprouts!I have also planted zinnias, the ones I planted last year were on 2 ft stems...lovely( fingers crossed). Our strawberries are still looking pretty but only 3-4 actual berries so far ~In our tiny back yard, we do have a little sun (the front is huge and shady). So I am going to do some experimenting with these Topsy Turvey things my mama has been raging on for a few years. I planted the last of our tomato seeds we bought 2 years ago, from heirloom seeds ( I had them in the freezer), and they actually sprouted. I also have California bells to plant, I got one little sunny patch for peppers and squash. All I need now is a place for couple cucumber vines. I cannot fathom summer without cucumbers from the garden.

~OK now for the giveaway. I was hoping to have a lot to say about this bundle I am giving away but thankfully it has not been really hot here yet and the heat usually brings on my garden woes.( I wanted to get this bundle out to the winner before the summer needs are past) I have not tried all of the products yet but... The Eco Smart Insect Repellent worked just fine in our, as of yet, low volume mosquito dusk, I have extremely high hopes for its mid summer central Texas performance. I will up date you in July; I have yet to find an all natural repellent that can ward off our Texas summer mosquito armies. I was very interested in this bundle because it included Garden Fungicide and a Garden insect killer, because both of these problems have caused me much heartache in the past. The worst of my insect problems are always stink bugs , they put black holes in my tomatoes and make my cucumbers terribly bitter;YUCK! I have hardly found anything short of seven that can ward off these varmints when they are infested. I am hoping the ecoSMART Garden insect killer can bring some sort of peace to me and my stink bug situation. All of these plus weed and grass killer are included in the safe plant and garden bundle, I am giving away, courtesy of Eco smart

Safe  Plant & Garden Value Bundle
-- Weed and Grass Killer (24 oz spray bottle)
-- Garden Fungicide (24 oz spray bottle)
-- Garden Insect Killer (24 oz spray bottle)
-- Insect Repellent (6 oz bottle) Learn More

EcoSMART describes their company, technology, and their product goals on their website as....

"....the world leader in safe pesticide solutions, is a venture-backed company with patented technology and a world-class management team. Our mission is to create the world’s safest, most effective pesticides based on natural ingredients. We have 15 years of scientific research and a wealth of patents behind us. We make the only 100% safe insecticide that is proven to work. We offer the only complete line of EPA exempt pesticides sold in the US.

Safe around children, pets, and the environment

Since EcoSMART’s proprietary botanical oil blends attack attributes that are specific only to pests, they have no effect on people, pets or the environment. The primary active ingredients in EcoSMART products are approved as Direct Food Additives or classified as GRAS (Generally Recognized As Safe) by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration. These oils are commonly used to add flavor and aroma to many cosmetic, beverage and food products, including cake, candy, sweetener, gum, soft drinks, and lipstick. Children and pets are safe. No need to clear them out after application or be concerned if they are near our products. Our products have no adverse effect on mammals, birds, and fish and also will not contaminate water sources."

~So to enter the give-away just leave a comment on this post letting me know what is in your summer garden!( or you hope to have in your garden) Be sure to leave your email in the comment so I can let you know if you won!!!!!
...I will post the winner on Earth Day April 22nd right here!!*roaaaar! Just in case you were curious... I was given a bundle to review. These are my opinions, I was not compensated in any other way for this post.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

belle and burger on blogtalkradio

~ Just a reminder; I am gonna be on Favecrafts radio live craft talk show on Sunday at 7pm eastern time( that is 6 here in central Texas). I will be chatting a bit about belle and burger and talkin' craft. It is easy to listen if you to go to You can even get them to remind you of the show; all you do is click set reminder so that you don't miss the show! There are several other guests along with me,
as well as an online give-away. It all promises to be a crafty good time ..... I hope you guys will stop in for a listen.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Free Easter Crafts eBook from FaveCrafts

~Fave crafts have put together a new collection of Easter projects for 2010 and I have a project in it(yay). Along with the belle and burger project you will find find 18 other Easter craft projects to decorate your home, give as gifts and just enjoy making! Learn more and download the eBook for FREE here.

mini FC easter craft Easter Blogger eBook 2010

Bloggers Included in this eBook: