Household Tips

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…

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…

12 Unusual Christmas Wreaths

12 great Christmas wreaths

A Christmas wreath is a popular way to decorate your entry for the holiday season.  Christmas Wreaths are also used on mantles and in other areas of the home and garden such as garden gates.  Nothing quite sets the mood for your party guests like a front door decorated with a Christmas Wreath. Decorate Your…

Easy Holiday Party Ideas

These 15 holiday party ideas will make sure that your gathering is stress free and much more fun. #ad #sharisberries

Entertaining this time of the year is so much fun.  I love to celebrate with our friends and family during the holidays.  Everyone is always in such a good mood, and it gives me a chance to try out new recipes and decorating ideas.  Setting up a pretty festive table does not have to be…

Cleaning a Dry Erase Board and Eraser

Cleaning a Dry Erase Board

A dry erase board can be a useful household tool for keeping the home organized.  But Cleaning a Dry Erase Board and eraser can be a challenge, depending on how long the marks have been left on it. I have a dry erase board in my kitchen.  I use it to keep track of the…

DIY Cutting Board Holder for a Cabinet Door

DIY Cutting Board Holder for a Cabinet Door

Are you looking for a place to put your cutting boards?  I have been storing mine on my counter tops, but I have been wanting to de-clutter the look in my kitchen lately, so I came up with this nifty idea for a DIY Cutting Board Holder that fits neatly behind my cabinet door. My…

Grocery Bag Dispenser Tutorial – Super Easy DIY Project

Grocery Bag Dispenser

Are you a grocery bag hoarder?  I have always been one.  They have so darn many uses, that it is a shame to just throw them away when you come back from a shopping trip.  But keeping them tidy can be a problem. This DIY Grocery Bag Dispenser Tutorial gives me a place to keep…

Pantry Closet Makeover Tutorial

Finished closet pantry

My kitchen is small.  It’s a gallery kitchen with very little counter space, so I am always optimizing it for extra storage.  The pantry is the size of a small closet and every single thing in it plays hide and go seek with me when I try to cook.  I have had enough of this…

How to Season Cast Iron Cookware

Seasoning Cast iron cookware is easy with these steps

Cast iron cookware is my new best friend.  My daughter has raved about the benefits of cooking with it for years and I only started using it recently.  It is important to season cast iron cookware before using it, though.  It’s also important to season it if the cookware gets rusty and loses it’s non…

Tips for Growing Heirloom Seeds

Tips for growing heirloom seeds

  Thank you EcoFarms for sponsoring this post. All opinions are mine.  #ecofarmsonline. It’s time to learn about growing heirloom seeds! Heirloom vegetable seeds have so much going for them.  They end up giving you plants that you can’t go to a big box store and buy, they cost less than hybrid vegetables and you…

10 Tips for a Dog Road Trip

10 Tips for a Successful Dog Road Trip

For my husband and me, summer is a time for family road trips. i have a large family in Maine, and my husband and I love to visit them each year about this time.  And since Baron, our German Shepherd, is a part of our family, what would a family trip without our best buddy?…

Regrow Your Food From Kitchen Scraps

Regrow food from kitchen scraps

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?   The chart above shows some of vegetables that you can use to regrow your food. I’ve been doing…

Uses for Parchment Paper- 30 Creative Ideas

30 creative uses for parchment paper

I love anything that makes my life easier in the kitchen or around the home.  I’m always on the lookout for products that will help me do just that.  One item that I use all the time is parchment paper.  This wonderful paper is heat resistant, which makes it perfect to use in the oven…

Cooking in Parchment Paper to make Fish en Papillote

Cooking fish in parchment paper is a great way to make flavorul, low calorie meals in very little time. thegardeningcook.com

Cooking in parchment paper is a method of cooking fish, chicken or other proteins in their own cooking bags. It is also called “en papillote” (French for “in parchment”) or “al cartoccio” (Italian for baked in foil or aluminum.) Typically, folded parchment paper is used but al foil, paper bags or other materials can also…

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…

DIY Essential Oil Mosquito Repellent Spray

This DIY essential oil mosquito repellent works wonders on bugs on the patio.

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #StimulateTheSenses #CollectiveBias It’s time to make some DIY Essential Oil Mosquito Repellent Spray! Summer is here. The days are longer and it’s so nice to sit outside in the evening, enjoying the last rays of the summer sun.…

12 Tips for Summer Time Gardening

Summer time Gardening Tips

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Banana Boat® and OFF!®. The opinions and text are all mine. Time for some summer time gardening tips. Summer has finally arrived for real at my house and I couldn’t be more thrilled. I really enjoy spending the summer tinkering around in my garden, especially…

15 Tips for a Fun Indoor Camping Party & Free Printables

Indoor Camping Party

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Tyson Foods, Inc. The opinions and text are all mine. It’s time for an indoor camping party! We love to camp at our house, but sometimes it’s hard to find the time to get away for a real camping weekend. For times, like this,…

Get into the Gardening Spirit with Plant Something Day

May 19 is Plant something day. Find out what other gardening days are celebrated in the Month of may on thegardeningcook.com #PlantSomething #MrsMeyersInspires #ad

Thank you Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day® for sponsoring this post and for sponsoring Plant Something Day, as Well. #PlantSomething #MrsMeyersInspires AD. It’s time for Pant Something Day! Do you remember those days from years ago when May baskets were added to a friend’s doorway on May Day, the First of May?  I remember those days, fondly,…