Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Sprouts Follow Up

This was one of those pictures that just had to be taken this morning. Hubby made himself a salad, topped with his own purple basil vinegar (which has the most delicious smell), adding in a healthy helping of fresh homegrown sprouts!

Is this yummy looking, or what?

A wonderful Welcome to Spring, for sure!

Have a happy, healthy, and warm First Day of Spring!


Cowland Studio

Monday, March 19, 2012

A How-To on Growing Sprouts

Growing and eating your own vegetables has come back to life, and at no better time. What's not to like about going out to your garden and picking a basketful of veggies for a stir fry meal? How can you resist a stroll around your garden, smiling, remembering how much fun you had playing in the dirt? And what did playing in the dirt get you? Healthier!! Yummy, flavorful food loaded with vitamins, nutrients, and best of all- no chemicals!

In many places, it's too early to get out and plant. I know the feeling of wanting to go out and will those seeds to grow. You can picture the plant loaded with produce, can't you? You gaze down the row of fresh turned soil, willing those little seeds to pop through and give you what you've been drooling for all winter. Right?

Well, if it's too cold to plant outside, try growing some green inside!

When you just have to have some green, there's nothing better than sprouts to help curb that craving. There are many kinds to choose from and you've probably had them at least once in your life. Here's a simple little tutorial on growing your own.

You will need:
a wide mouth quart glass jar (you want to get them OUT when they're done)
a square of nylon stocking to cover the open end
a large, strong rubber band
sprout seeds
clean, fresh water

Make sure your glass jar is very clean: rinse it out with very hot water and let it air dry. Next, add two level teaspoons of sprout seeds and about a cup of room temperature water. Cover the open end of the jar with your nylon square, holding it down with the rubber band. I use the stocking piece because the seeds have less of a tendency to stick to it. You'll understand why in a minute.
Pull the stocking piece taut, making sure the rubber band won't come off accidentally. Let the water and seeds sit together for about an hour or so. There is no exact time to this step, but the seeds don't need to sit in the water for a long time, just enough to get them started.
Next, tilt your jar carefully, emptying almost every drop of water out. That little bit of water will keep the seeds from drying out and stopping the germination process. Now, lay the jar on its side on a clean paper towel or cloth, making sure to keep it out of the sun. Your counter top or a shelf will do nicely.

For the next three to five days, rinse your seeds with fresh, clean water two to three times a day, laying your jar back down on its side after you have drained the water out. If the seeds bunch up near the nylon, gently tap them back into the jar. They need space to grow and air to breath!

If you find different types of sprout seeds, you can mix them together at the start of the process of sprouting, and if you are familiar with sprouts, you know they are great everywhere and on just about everything! My favorite is a tuna sandwich on toasted marble bread, with a huge splash of sprouts inside!

This post is the first of many that I hope to be writing in the future, to pass along  my experience in living as healthy as possible. Did you like this post? Any thoughts or suggestions? Pass them on in the comment section below!!


Cowland Studio.com

Saturday, March 10, 2012

A Busy Time Lately

We have a lot to catch up on here in Cowland. As always, projects are being created, techniques are evolving, and there always seems to be something to do. With a change in my dialysis schedule, I'm finding much more time to be in the studio, and even manage to find time to do nothing but read a great book. It's not easy getting up at 3am three times a week, but being home very early (in fact, before I used to leave) has marvelous benefits.

I love cows. I have cows across the street

that like to watch you shoveling snow, and cows that sit quietly in the kitchen, like Daisy, featured in this next photo.
Do you have cows?

Still in the farm category, food comes to mind. What's better than fresh cow's milk for breakfast, but bacon. Right? Who doesn't love bacon? So, in honor of our favorite food (not necessarily for breakfast), I painted up this Tshirt the other day.
A close up of my work:

Eventually, I'm going to make a new backsplash for the kitchen, so I've been experimenting and playing with faux finishes that I might paint on it. This is a recycled plastic tray that I painted to look like wood-
And a close up:
These river cobbles were painted on a 5x5" tile (it was handy and cheap). It's my first attempt at these little guys, and I'm not sure if I like them or not, or if they would fit well in the kitchen decor.

Marble is a wonderful surface to recreate and I've repainted a small three legged table top to resemble gray marble (which has since met it's demise), but this green tinted bottle needed some green marble to jazz it up.

Then, to break up the faux painting, I painted this hawk one day. I might just give it to a friend who was instrumental in getting me an earlier on-time for dialysis.

We've had a shelf in the kitchen for a long time, and it was a nondescript dark brown with no interesting grain, as you can see:

I had so much success painting glass votive holders to look like bamboo, that this shelf just had to change. My husband calls this his 'shrine'. His favorite chef knives are above the shelf, attached to a bamboo magnetized rack. The 'bamboo' votive holders house battery operated votive candles, and the shelf just sits there beautifully, happy to have a new image!
The small cutting board is actual bamboo. Below, on the counter, is a bamboo knife block, and we also have a bamboo napkin holder. It's an eco-friendly product, but it's also FUN to paint!

The little creek is up from snow melt, but the weather is supposed to warm up into the 60s this coming week. It's almost time to plant some seeds and build some raised garden bed sections.

As always, feel free to drop a note in the comment section below. I love to hear from my readers! You can also catch me on Cowland Studio's facebook page.


Cowland Studio