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Entries in small space entertaining (3)

Monday
Apr232012

WINDOW gardening - grow your own SALAD

You know you should eat leafy greens, which is why you routinely add a bag o' salad to your shopping cart. But really, nothing beats fresh salad greens. Fortunately, growing your own lettuce, spinach or radishes is easy to do, even if you live in a small space. It’s also a great project for children to teach them how plants grow and where food comes from.

 

Where to plant

To start, you’ll need a bright sunny window. Usually an east or south-facing window will give you the good six or more hours of sun needed for most greens. Think about where your heating vents are placed. Most plants prefer to be away from vents as they blow drying air on their pots, which can dry out tender roots and foliage.

 

What to plant

Pick out your seeds or transplants. I prefer to grow salad greens from seed as they germinate within about a week and I can get more bang for my buck. As you are choosing types of plants, remember what your family prefers to eat. I like to do a mix of peppery varieties, sweet lettuce and a few with red leaves to add color. Radishes go in a separate pot for easy snacking. Radish greens can add a wonderful zing to salads, too.

 

Pick a container

Crops do best when their roots have plenty of room, so a deeper container is usually best. Be creative! A square of burlap over a colander makes a great salad bowl that can be featured as a centerpiece. Use new potting soil to fill your containers. A soil with slow release fertilizer ensures your plants will have the nutrients they need.

 

Grow plants, grow!

It's time to plant! Read the directions on the package of seeds for planting depth and spacing. You can crowd your pot if you plan on using the plants as micro-greens. Space out a bit more if you plan to let them mature. Thin out seedlings to provide enough room for roots.

Keep the pot evenly moist, but not sopping wet. As your plants grow, you may choose to use the whole plant or harvest just a few leaves. Pick leaves from the base, leaving a few to keep the plant going. You may also pinch back the first or second set of leaves of leggy lettuce to keep it more compact.

 

Reaping the rewards

As you harvest your greens, you can keep adding seed to stretch out your crop. Lettuce and spinach are cool-weather crops, so they may bolt or become bitter when temperatures rise. The good news is you can start a fresh batch around Labor Day for fall salads.

 

 

Gardening by Heather Prince

Part of the Second City Soiree Contributor Series. Heather is on Twitter @FearlessGarden. Read her full bio here.

Wednesday
Dec142011

Small Space Tip: Use nature's refrigerator

Just a quick reminder for all those living in a small space. To make the most of your set-up, sometimes you have to think out of the apartment...

...and onto the back porch or balcony!

Of course, there are much prettier ways to do it (I'm fairly certain this is the work of a resourceful young man not too concerned with aesthetics), and you don't even need to have snow. Keeping drinks outside - just on the other side of the door - is something to consider when you think you're short on space.

Monday
Nov072011

How to host THANKSGIVING in a SMALL space

Today's post is part of the #HolidayHQ Blog Hop. See the links below for more posts from the best party and entertaining experts!

Dinner a la coffee table.
This recipe is from the Junior League of Chicago cookbook. I'll share the recipe and do a book giveaway next Wednesday!

There's no doubt about it - small houses are the trend! Whether it's due to the economy or eco-consciousness, Americans are settling into cozier nests. For all the pluses of small-space living (easier to maintain, often close to more shopping, culture, restaurants, etc.), entertaining can be a challenge. Thanksgiving is a particularly tricky holiday, what with all the expectations of recreating that Normal Rockwell moment around the turkey. How to do it in your petite pied-à-terre? Let's address the issue of table space and kitchen space...

 

Table Space

No table? Remove the doorknob and hinges from a closet door and place it over two sawhorses (sometimes available for rent at a home improvement store). Cover with a festive tablecloth and no one's the wiser. OR arrange tray tables in a tight circle. Cover each with solid-colored fabric in different autumn hues for a pretty "fall leaves" effect.

Tiny table? Cover your dinette set with a protective piece of fabric. Put a large piece of plywood over that, and then a decorative tablecloth over the plywood. Voilà...bigger table!

 

Kitchen Space

Want to keep beverage-seekers out of the kitchen? Set up soda, wine, and craft beer in a cooler in the living area. I know, plastic coolers are not chic. So keep the cooler open and nicely arrange the bottles within. Cover the outside of the cooler and the open lid with festive fabric. You might have to replenish the ice once, but no one will mistake your Thanksgiving soiree for a tailgate BBQ.

Itty-bitty oven? Use your crockpot, darling! You can cook multiple Thanksgiving menu items in a slow cooker, including a turkey breast.

Not enough stovetop burners? Supplement with a hot plate or portable induction cooktop. Induction cooktops do not get hot to the touch, although you do need a clad pot in order to make the induction magic happen.

 

Housewife Bliss  |  Maple Whipped Sweet Potatoes
Celebrations at Home  | How to Host a Fall Pizza Party
The TomKat Studio | Delicious Pumpkin Whoopie Pies
Tatertots & Jello |  DIY Thanksgiving Place Cards
Second City Soiree  | How to Host Thanksgiving in a Small Space
With Style and Grace | Small Bites for a Thankful Crowd
Party BluPrints  |  The Thanksgiving Kids' Table
The Daily Basics  |  Fall Door Decorating and the Best Recipe for Pumpkin Pie
The Gracious Girl  |  The Gift of Gratitude

Join us on Twitter this Thursday, November 10th 8pm EST for another #HolidayHQ chat. Get Thanksgiving ideas, recipes & tips from top crafting, foodie & entertaining experts

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