Thursday, June 16, 2011

Vegetable garden

Alert – this is a photo heavy post!

Two weeks back we had a weekend which seemed to herald that summer is here! Post that I think the clouds scared away the sun so much so that it’s only been a courteous visitor since! Not that I’m complaining – I like this perfect blend of cool temperature and light sun. I like it even more when I read about heat waves across the country! Anyways, coming back to what I was saying was the hot weekend inspired us to build our vegetable garden. So off we went to garden and nursery stores to get our stock. The good thing is we already had the pots and soil from our previous endeavors. So we just had to get the plants/starters. Here’s what we ended up with:

Petunia and geraniums

White Petunia and pink geranium – ok wrong start those are not veggies!


Basil (on the left) and mint (on the right). Those are big yogurt containers. My always-ready-to-help husband drilled some holes into them Smile. They now sit on my kitchen window sill. 




See that label – it says its an eggplant plant. Where’s the plant? – you ask me. Well the rabbit ate it away when the plant was only 3-4 days old!


Tomatoes. Heirloom tomato on the left and hybrid on the right. Can you see the difference in their size? The hybrid is twice the size of heirloom plant.


The strawberry plant. I actually planted this last fall with little hope that it’s going to bloom. Then towards the beginning of spring I saw fresh new leaves coming up and it made me so happy! Here are close-ups of the newborn fruits



Given that we’re not getting much sun these days I’m not sure whether these plants will be able to flourish, whether we’ll be able to eat red ripe juicy strawberries off of our garden. Even if they did get enough sun, there’s always the peril of rabbits and squirrels. If these poor little things are able to survive all these hurdles and make it to my kitchen – that would be the day!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Pecan Coffee cake

This is the first time I made a coffee cake. Over here a coffee cake is a cake that you eat with your coffee and not one that has coffee in it! It was amazingly delicious! Not only did my DH loved it but I gave it to my neighbors and they loved it too! It was soft, slightly moist and just perfectly sweet! The pecan and sugar topping added the right crunch. The original recipe is from


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 1/2 cups white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar (I used light brown sugar since that’s what I had on hand)
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • Directions
    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Line a 9x13 inch pan with aluminum foil, and lightly grease with vegetable oil or cooking spray. Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside.
    2. In a large bowl, cream the butter until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in sour cream, then beat in sugar. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then stir in the vanilla. By hand, fold in the flour mixture, mixing just until incorporated. Spread batter into prepared pan.
    3. To make the Pecan Topping: In a medium bowl, mix together brown sugar, pecans and cinnamon. Stir in melted butter until crumbly. Sprinkle over cake batter in pan.
    4. Bake in the preheated oven for 30 to 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Let cool in pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack, and remove foil.