Household Tips

Window Box Planters – How to Plant Window Boxes

Window box planters

I have recently discovered a love for window boxes.  During my summer vacation, we toured 10 states and visited many Botanical Gardens. Seeing how many ways there are to dress up your home with window box planters was inspiring. They are a fabulous way to create curb appeal and are easy to take care of. Window…

Tips for Making Perfect Fudge Every Time

Making fudge is a holiday tradition, until yours does not set well. Follow these 15 tips for making perfect fudge and yours will turn our great every time. thegardeningcook.com

How are your fudge making skills?  Do you end up with beautifully set fudge that forms nice little parcels, or do you find it a challenge?  These cooking tips for making perfect fudge will have you getting wonderful results every time from now on. Tips for making perfect fudge One of my favorite things to do…

Regrow Your Food From Kitchen Scraps

Vegetables that will re-grow

I love to save money and I don’t like to waste things that can be reused or recycled in another way.  Did you know that many common vegetables are very easy to regrow from ordinary kitchen scraps?   I love the idea that you can use to regrow your food. What a great way to…

50+ Tried and Tested Uses for Vinegar

vinegar uses

Vinegar is a versatile and effective household product that is more useful than just for making salad dressing. There are dozens of vinegar uses in the home. From soaking your sponges to keeping your counters free of ants, this product is a must have. I recently had to deal with ants in my kitchen and tested some…

Testing 5 Borax Ant Killer Remedies – Which ones Work?

Testing 4 Homemade ant killers against Terro. Which one works best? Find out at http://thegardeningcook.com/testing-borax-ant-killer-remedies/

Do you have a problem with ants in your home as soon as the warm weather arrives?  I know that I do and I don’t like it at all. I decided to test 5 different Borax Ant Killers against the more toxic retail version of Terro to see which one works the best for me.…

Tips for Dealing with Invasive Pests

Do your share to help fight invasive pests

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of the United States Department of Agriculture – Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service. The opinions and text are all mine.  It is time for some tips for dealing with invasive pests. Anyone who spends time in the garden knows how disheartening it can be…

16 Gluten Free Replacements and Substitutes

15 Gluten Free Replacement and Substitutes

One of the latest trends in the diet industry is a gluten free diet.  And for many of those people a gluten free diet is not necessary at all. The Diet was designed primarily for those who suffer from Celiac Disease. If you are someone who follows this diet, either to lose weight or for…

100+ Recipe Substitutions – Replacements

1-1+ recipe substitutes.

Are there times when you are missing just one ingredient and can’t make a recipe?  Perhaps you are following a meal plan or trying to lose weight and you can’t have certain foods. If so, you will find these recipe substitutes and replacements a big help in getting your meals on the table in no time at…

Dos & Don’ts Tips for Growing Great Tomatoes

Healthy tomato tips

In the world of vegetable gardening, there is nothing quite like the taste of fresh home grown tomatoes. The flavor of the ones you grow leaves the store bought variety far behind. Home grown tomatoes are so plump and sweet, just full of flavor and freshness.  However, growing great tomatoes doesn’t happen just by putting a…

Composting Tips – Tricks for Creating Nature’s Black Gold

Compost pile

If you enjoy vegetable gardening or growing flowers, adding organic matter formed by composting will give you great results.  Have you always thought that making compost is difficult?  These Composting Tips will take the mystery out of it for you. Composting may seem like something that only our ancestors did, but many modern gardeners take…

Dieffenbachia Poisoning – How Toxic is this Houseplant?

Dieffenbachia plant

Dieffenbachia one of the most common indoor plants, is easy to care and great as an office plant. However the plant can be poisonous so there are some situations where it might not be a good fit. Dieffenbachia poisoning is talked about all the time when the plant is reviewed on line, but how toxic is it,…

Borax Weed Killer for Creeping Charlie

Borax weed killer

Are you looking for an effective weed killer to control Creeping Charlie? Instead of resorting to chemical herbicides or Round Up, why not try this Borax Weed Killer? Established lawns are tolerant of Borax and this formula works well on them. Glechoma hederacea, also known as Creeping Charlie, Creeping Jenny or ground ivy, is a common…

Mosquito Repelling Plants – Keep Those Bugs Away!

Mosquito on a leaf

With summer comes lots of outdoor living.  Sadly, that can mean lots of mosquitoes. I don’t like to use chemical products but, thankfully, Mother Nature has the perfect answer – Mosquito Repelling Plants! We can grow annuals and perennials that will keep the bugs away naturally. With all the hype about West Nile Virus, it…

How to Keep Ants Out of the House

It is ant season again! As soon as the weather starts to heat up, and particularly after a warm rainy day, ants decide that indoors is a good place to be. Sure, you can kill ants with various home remedies, but are there are lots of other things that you can do to keep ants…

Natural Ant Killer Remedies

Effective, Natural Ant Killer Remedies

I am so looking forward to the return of warm weather. With the sunny days come flowers, gardening and time spent outdoors.  Unfortunately, with the warm weather also come ants!  These natural ant killer remedies will help to control the ants in your home in a non toxic way. It is fun for kids to…

Using Candles in Your Home – It’s Time for Some Decorating Ideas

It's bath time. Prepare to relax with a good book, a glass of wine and an aromatic candle.

This post is sponsored by Chesapeake Bay Candle, but all opinions are 100% my own. Let’s get some tips for using candles in the home. There is just something really warm and inviting about a room with the look of a flickering candle in it.  Using candles in the home creates an intimacy that sets a mood to…

What are Shallots?

Red shallots have a milder flavor than onions and are smaller in size

Recently, I have been seeing shallots more and more often at the grocery store.  I’ve never used them in the past, so I picked up a bunch of them on a recent shopping trip so that I could see for myself what they are all about.    I have been growing onions in pots lately, so the…

Why do Onions Make you Cry?

Why do onions make you cry? The answer may surprise you, and it starts in the soil.

For years, I wore gas permeable (hard) contact lenses, and I used to just laugh when people told me that chopping onions made them cry.  The hard contacts worked wonders for me in making sure that I never had that problem.  In my mid 30s, I stopped wearing contacts and since then I have rued…

11 Food and Drink Substitutes for Weight Loss and Health

There are lots of small changes that you can make to add up to big losses for weight loss. These 11 substitutes will help lose weight and gain better health. #Trop50FreshStart #ad

I had a scare late last year that had me in the hospital for a few weeks worrying about my heart and my health.  In the end, untreated high blood pressure was the culprit. I am managing it now with medication and diet, but it was a big wake up call for me.  All of…

Antipasto Platter Tips – Starting Dinner Italian Style

Antipasto Platter with specialty meats and cheeses

One of my favorite ways to start an evening with friends is to serve an antipasto platter. Antipasto, when translated, means “before the meal.” A good antipasto platter is a combination of small bites of tasty food and is usually accompanied by wine. An antipasto platter is meant to stimulate your guest’s appetite before they dig into…

Low Light Indoor Plants – My 20 Favorites

These 20 low light indoor plants can grow in less than optimal light conditions. Some require bright diffused light and other can do well even in dark corners.

With the cold weather out in full force, thoughts of gardening are often far from the front burner.  Those are the times that I turn to indoor plants.  Growing plants indoors gives you a sense of nature all year round and keeps you busy with some light gardening chores until it is warm enough to…

My 10 Most Popular Posts of 2016

See what made the list of the most famous posts of 2016 for The Gardening Cook. This year, household tips, gardening tips and one great recipe made the top 10!

Each year, at the end of December, I take stock of what worked (and what didn’t!) on my blog.  Sometimes, I am surprised when a blog post makes my top 10 list for the past year when I wasn’t expecting it.  Other times, I think “not you again” when a tried and true favorite post…

Tips for Cleaning Crusty Clay Pots

Cleaning Clay Pots is a job that is best done in winter

When the days get cooler and shorter, it is time to put the garden to bed for the winter.  Cleaning clay pots this time of the year keeps my garden still in mind and makes sure that they are ready to use when spring comes around again in a few months. Getting Rid of the…

Blog Planner Review – from My Joy Filled Life

Blog Planner Review for 2017 Sarah from My Joy Filled Life has a wonderful blog planner for sale.  The planner is the perfect addition to anyone who blogs, even if only party time.   I use her blogging planner on a daily basis and would not be without it.  It has everything you need to…