January 2015 archive

Succulent Cuttings and Centerpieces

Succulent 3

I learned from my succulent-topped pumpkin DIY, as well as my succulent-extraordinaire friend Steph, that succulent cuttings are amazing. A succulent cutting is simply a cut of the plant. There are all sorts of ways you can get a cutting to make roots, but I’ve found the easiest is to put them in a pot of soil. In this manner, hardy succulents root quite easily, which means that I can take clippings from my own garden and use them to create brand new plants!

Succulent 1

I did this very thing, clipping a few rosettes and leaves and potting them in vases. Because I want these to stay inside, I made sure to layer a good amount of sand and pebbles at the bottom, and then topped that with soil. With proper watering and light, the cuttings begin to take root and turn these pretty displays into living centerpieces.

Succulent 2

 

To create such a lovely piece, all you need is the following:

  • Succulent cuttings (or mini succulents if you don’t have large ones to use – you can get your garden going this way!)
  • Sand and pebbles for the bottom layers
  • Soil
  • A glass container – I used an old candle jar and a vase, and I found that those with an upside-down taper work the best, allowing the “blooms” to overflow at the top

Start with your sand, then a layer of pebbles, then a layer of soil. Stick the cuttings in and press the soil around them nice and tight. You may need to use little rocks to prop them up, but as soon as they begin to root, they’ll stay on their own. Water them regularly at first until the cuttings root well (you can do a gentle tug to see how they’re doing), then water 1 time a week or once the soil is completely dry. Be sure and keep your lovely piece in a well-lit spot, such as a windowsill. I hope you enjoy yours as much as I enjoy mine! I’ve had them over a month, and they’ve already grown!

Favorite Crunchy Granola Recipe

Granola

Last year, I began a hopeful tradition of having a New Year’s Day brunch. Even though my parents were out of town this year and the holiday happenings had barely wrapped up on December 31st, we still enjoyed homemade cinnamon rolls, a tasty egg scramble, and yogurt parfaits at my home with my local siblings and a few friends.

While few things beat gooey cinnamon rolls, I’m still always a sucker for a good granola. You just can’t go wrong with it. I’ve been making ATK’s granola recipe for some time, although I’ve made a few changes to it – namely less sugar and more ingredients. I love the recipe I’ve settled on. If you don’t have a good granola recipe, give this one try!

Perfect Granola

Ingredients
1/3 cup maple syrup
1 tablespoon vanilla
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon cardamom
Zest from an orange
3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1 cup sliced almonds
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/4 cup chia seeds
1/2 cup unsweetened coconut
2 cups dried cranberries

Directions
Heat oven to 325 degrees and oil a half-sheet pan.
Whisk together the maple syrup, oil, vanilla, salt, spices, and orange zest in a large bowl. Stir in the oats, nuts, seeds, and coconut but not the dried fruit. Once it’s mixed well, spread onto the sheet. Bake for 20-25 minutes (longer if you like it more done), rotating halfway. Take out and let cool. Once it’s cooled, break up into pieces and stir in the dried fruit. Homemade granola, done!

Granola 2