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4×4 Garden Plan: Let’s Grow 100 Pounds of Food!
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Mexican Arugula Salad
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Glazed Carrot Cake Donuts
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Chocolate Avocado Baby Muffins
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Garden Cupcakes
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Tomato Cages for Tall Tomato Plants
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Chocolate Carrot Strawberry Garden
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Little Debbie Cosmic Brownies Recipe
9
Slow Cooker Caramelized Onions

4×4 Garden Plan: Let’s Grow 100 Pounds of Food!

This year we’re going back to garden basics.  And we’re back in Brooklyn y’all!  After spending 2 Summers gardening Upstate we’re going back to our garden roots – growing in a small space in the city!  Let me introduce you to this Summer’s experiment – how much can we grow in a 4×4 garden?

The 4×4 garden begins!

4x4 garden plot

This year we joined our Brooklyn neighborhood community garden and got a 4×4 garden plot.  We’re going to be using every inch of that 4×4 space, including the outside of the box with sub-irrigated containers!  Seriously, we’re going to use all the space that comes with our little growing area!  

So here’s my goal. I want to show you that you don’t need a lot of space to grow your own food!

I want to grow 100 pounds of vegetables in a 4×4 garden plot!

We’re not growing any heavy vegetables this year, such as pumpkins or watermelons, so the majority of the pounds would come from tomatoes.  Instead of growing 3 types of tomatoes like we did every year, we’re only growing roma tomatoes this year because that’s what we use and can the most.  

pink haired mom with baby in garden

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Mexican Arugula Salad

EASY Mexican Arugula  Salad with Olive Oil dressing!  This simple salad recipe is healthy and includes Arugula, Spinach, Tomatoes, Corn and a Olive Oil/Lime/Cumin dressing to give it a Mexican taste! This is a perfect side salad but could easily turn into a main course if you add chicken to it.  

I love this Mexican Arugula Salad!  The olive oil/lime juice dressing that coats the arugula greens, tomatoes and corn leaves me craving this salad for lunch and dinner.   I love Mexican flavored dishes, so the lime, cumin and dash of red pepper flakes gives this such a burst of flavor making this a exciting salad!

EASY Mexican Arugula Corn Salad with Lime Olive Oil dressing! This simple, healthy salad recipe includes Arugula, Spinach, Tomatoes, Corn and a Olive Oil/Lime/Cumin dressing to give it a Mexican taste! This is a perfect side salad but could easily turn into a main course if you add chicken to it. My family loves this salad, it makes healthy eating easy!

Healthy Recipe

With the weather turning to Spring and Summer (it was 70 degrees this weekend!) I’m taking a step back from hot soups for lunch and instead am craving something fresh and crunchy.  

What’s growing in the garden dictates our meals, so I’m looking forward to picking our fresh vegetables, dicing them up and having a big bowl of salad for lunch.  And what’s even better is there no time waiting for lunch or dinner to be heated,  this Mexican Arugula Corn Salad is made within minutes.  

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Glazed Carrot Cake Donuts

BEST Glazed Carrot Cake Donuts recipe!  These homemade baked donuts are made with carrots and taste just like carrot cake!  This recipe is easy to make and the donuts are moist and full of flavor!  

Do you love donuts? Do you love carrot cake?  Then I have the perfect recipe for you!  

The Best Carrot Cake Glazed Donuts! These homemade baked donuts are made with carrots (healthy!) so they taste just like carrot cake! This recipe is easy to make and the donuts are moist and full of flavor! These donuts are perfect for breakfast or dessert - they're so yummy!

This Winter we got very lucky with our carrots.  We didn’t have high hopes for them but upon one Spring cleanup day we were surprised to find pounds of carrots hiding under the soil waiting for us to find them.  It was a giant surprise and it created some giant garden smiles
Fresh Garden Carrots

Fresh Carrots Recipe

Aren’t they just beauties?  I just can’t get enough of fresh carrots.  There’s nothing like the taste of a carrot that was just picked.  Sometimes I nibble on one as soon as I pick it, I just can’t help myself.  So I took the carrots down to the kitchen and pondered… What to make? 

For dinner I made this Roasted Carrot Soup (by the way, it’s delicious!) but then I also wanted carrots for dessert!  

(Reminder: Never throw away your carrot tops! Make this Carrot Tops Vegetable Broth!)
Fresh Garden Carrots

I was going to make carrot cake, but I’ve had a real craving for donuts lately so I decided to mix the best of both worlds – cake and donuts!  

CARROT CAKE DONUTS

These donuts taste just like carrot cake with a sweet vanilla glaze on top.  Think of a bakery glazed donut + a carrot cake…. all as fresh as possible.   The freshness of the carrots really make these donuts something special!

The Best Carrot Cake Glazed Donuts! These homemade baked donuts are made with carrots (healthy!) so they taste just like carrot cake! This recipe is easy to make and the donuts are moist and full of flavor! These donuts are perfect for breakfast or dessert - they're so yummy!

Carrot Cake Ingredients

These donuts basically require the same ingredients as carrot cake.  

 You’ll need egg, orange juice, melted butter, vanilla, brown sugar, flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and allspice. And then you’ll need shredded carrots!

The vanilla glaze on top is a tried and tested recipe that I use all the time!  You make it with milk, vanilla extract and powdered sugar.

The Best Carrot Cake Glazed Donuts! These homemade baked donuts are made with carrots (healthy!) so they taste just like carrot cake! This recipe is easy to make and the donuts are moist and full of flavor! These donuts are perfect for breakfast or dessert - they're so yummy!

These donuts are definitely a keeper in my garden notebook now. I can’t wait for our next carrot harvest to make (and devour!) some more Carrot Cake Donuts!

Hope you enjoy these donuts!

The Best Carrot Cake Glazed Donuts! These homemade baked donuts are made with carrots (healthy!) so they taste just like carrot cake! This recipe is easy to make and the donuts are moist and full of flavor! These donuts are perfect for breakfast or dessert - they're so yummy!

 

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BEST Glazed Carrot Cake Donuts recipe!  These homemade baked donuts are made with carrots and taste just like carrot cake!  This recipe is easy to make and the donuts are moist and full of flavor!  

Glazed Carrot Cake Donuts

BEST Glazed Carrot Cake Donuts recipe!  These homemade baked donuts are made with carrots and taste just like carrot cake!  This recipe is easy to make and the donuts are moist and full of flavor!  

Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 12

Ingredients

  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 1/4 cup melted butter
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon allspice
  • 1 ¼ cup shredded carrots

For the glaze

  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cups confectioners powdered sugar

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Beat egg in large bowl. Add orange juice, butter, vanilla and sugar, beat well.
  3. Stir in flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and allspice and mix till moistened.
  4. Gently fold in shredded carrots.
  5. Fill donut pan up.
  6. Bake for 9-11 minutes. Let cool for 2 minutes.

For the glaze

  1. Combine milk and vanilla in a saucepan and heat over medium heat.
  2. Stir in confectioners powdered sugar into milk mixture. Whisk slowly, until well combined.
  3. Remove from heat and dip each donut into glaze.
  4. Set on rack until cool enough to eat.

 

Chocolate Avocado Baby Muffins

CHOCOLATE AVOCADO Muffins – baby led weaning recipe! These muffins are so moist and creamy because we use avocado and yogurt in them!

Do you know what I love currently about motherhood? We’re starting to snack together!  Looking for a treat that we could both share together I made these Chocolate Avocado Baby Muffins which are a complete hit!

They’re perfect for breakfast and perfect for a snack!  After she finishes her dinner at night, sometimes we both sit down and eat a muffin together!  So these are great for parents, babies, toddlers or just anyone who is seeking a healthy muffin!

chocolate avocado muffins recipe

Baby Led Weaning Muffin Recipe

These are healthier than usual muffins because we aren’t using any oil or butter.  Instead we’re making them moist and creamy with avocado and yogurt.  Remember my avocado brownies? Yup, super creamy!  So are these muffins!  
avocado and cocoa powder

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Garden Cupcakes

The best flower and vegetable garden cupcakes! You will love these easy ideas for fun cupcakes! Perfect for a birthday or enchanted tea party!

Gardeners love their vegetables – but we also love our sweets! Enjoy this collection of pretty garden cupcakes!

Flower and Vegetable Garden Cupcakes!

Aren’t these succulent garden cupcakes beautiful?  Wouldn’t they look extra great with cupcake liners that look like fences?  Check out Jin Cho’s Instagram page for more beautiful creations!
Succulent Garden Cupcakes

Sometimes I wish my house plants looked this good! They use icing tip 352, 21 and 102 to get the leaves! Get the DIY step by step instructions here!
Cactus Cupcakes

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Tomato Cages for Tall Tomato Plants

How to use Double Tomato Cages for Tall Tomato Plants.  Easy step by step instructions on how to stack the cages.  This will help prevent your tomato plants from falling over and keep them growing big and strong!

Well it’s that time of the year where the heat hits and the tomatoes start to take off to the sky!

To make sure our tomatoes grow big and get the support they need we always add cages on almost as soon as they are planted.  It’s always easier to put on cages when the tomato plants are small rather then later when they are already bushy.  If you’ve ever attempted to put a tomato cage on a bushy tomato plant then you can probably understand the frustration that could be involved with this.  

Not only do we put 1 tomato cage on the tomatoes, but we double them up.   In the past our tomato plants often grow over 6 feet tall so to make sure they stay supported with the heavy wind and encourage their growth we stack a tomato cage on top of the other.  

This is done by using zip ties to attach them and then tying the tomato cages to our structure with twine.  Wind is a big deal on the roof so we always double make sure everything is locked down.

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Chocolate Carrot Strawberry Garden

EDIBLE Chocolate Carrot Strawberry GARDEN is the perfect DIY Mother’s day gift from kids! This simple craft uses chocolate cookies for dirt and chocolate covered strawberries for carrots! Place a few craft rabbits in the dirt and you have a beautiful edible vegetable garden! Great for toddlers,  preschoolers and older children to make for Mothers and Grandmas who love to garden!

This edible garden craft is TOO CUTE!  I was feeling crafty (and hungry) so I put together this chocolate covered strawberry treat that resembles a carrot vegetable garden – with rabbits and and all!  This is such a fun Spring project and would make the best Mother’s Day gift from kids!
Mother's Day Garden Craft Gift

Gift For Mothers who Love Gardening

This Chocolate Carrot Strawberry Garden won’t take long to make at all! From start to finish you can have this made in 15 minutes.  And of course the best part is helping eat those chocolate covered strawberries that are coated in chocolate cookies! YUM!
Chocolate Covered Cookie Strawberries

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Little Debbie Cosmic Brownies Recipe

HOMEMADE Copycat Little Debbie Cosmic Brownies – just like you remember as a kid! Each brownie is 150 calories! This easy to make recipe includes a rich chocolate fudge frosting and rainbow sprinkles on top! Make this brownie dessert to share with your family! 

These chocolate brownies covered in rainbow sprinkles bring back memories!  I have fond memories of picking out the weekly grocery store snack when I was a kid, most often reaching for a box of Little Debbie Cosmic Brownies!  What wasn’t to love about these brownies?  They were chocolate! They were soft! They had rainbow sprinkles! They had “Cosmic” in the title! They were so cool!

Little Debbie Cosmic Brownie Sprinkles

Whenever I’m in the grocery store now and I walk by the display of Little Debbie pastries, my eyes always dart to quickly find the Cosmic Brownies.  I usually smile quickly and move along.  This time though, I decided I was going to make my favorite childhood brownies!  Enjoy these Homemade Copycat Little Debbie Cosmic Brownies!

Little Debbie Copycat Brownie Recipe

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Slow Cooker Caramelized Onions

DELICIOUS Slow Cooker Caramelized Onions that are easy to make in your Crockpot! This 4 ingredient recipe is the best and will have melt in your mouth onions ready for your favorite dish in 5 hours! Serve them with soups, casseroles, grilled cheese sandwiches, salads, chicken, pasta, burgers, pizza and more – seriously, you can add them to almost anything!

These Slow Cooker Caramelized Onions came at a perfect time since we just planted our onion seeds for Spring, and I was able to use the remaining 3 pounds of last years onions for this recipe.    It’s always magical when the timing works out perfect and you can go from harvest to seed without much waiting in between.    

DELICIOUS Slow Cooker Caramelized Onions that are easy to make in your Crockpot! This 4 ingredient recipe is the best and will have melt in your mouth onions ready for your favorite dish in 5 hours! Serve them with soups, casseroles, sandwiches, salads, chicken, pasta, burgers, pizza and more - seriously, you can add them to almost anything!

These Slow Cooker Caramelized Onions are what dreams are made out of.   By slow cooking them we’re bringing out the natural sweetness of the onions as the sugar caramelizes.   What starts as a full crockpot of onions is going to turn into a much smaller amount as they melt down.  

Slow Cooker Caramelized Onions Recipe

What you’re left with (besides an amazing smelling house that is going to make your neighbors jealous) is savory, sweet onions that are ready for you to add anywhere – soups, casseroles, sandwiches, salads, pasta, pizza – seriously, you can add them to anything!   My husband came home and he started to immediately swoon upon the first smell of these sweet onions.   On the first bite, his knees buckled and I had to catch him!  The man loves his onions.      

DELICIOUS Slow Cooker Caramelized Onions that are easy to make in your Crockpot! This 4 ingredient recipe is the best and will have melt in your mouth onions ready for your favorite dish in 5 hours! Serve them with soups, casseroles, sandwiches, salads, chicken, pasta, burgers, pizza and more - seriously, you can add them to almost anything!

This recipe will be for sure one that will stick around with us for years to come after we pick our garden onions.  I hope you give it a taste – I think you’ll be really happy you did!

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