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The difference between Girls and Boys

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Boysenberries, that is :)

Chocolate-Covered Snack:


Fresh-from-the-garden boysenberries and High-Protein Chocolate Cake

Every year since I can remember, we’ve grown a few fruits and veggies. Tomatoes, strawberries, peppers, and zucchini are favorites. But I definitely wouldn’t say I have a “green thumb.” Once, a cactus even died on me. How do you kill a cactus?!

And often, wild critters that visit our backyard will eat the garden veggies before they’re fit for human consumption. (Those greedy guys owe me a cantaloupe and a butternut squash, among other things. Pay up!)

Luckily, my very sweet neighbors do possess the elusive green thumb I lack. A few days ago, their little boy rang the doorbell and presented me with an overflowing container of dark purple boysenberries. He chattered away, informing me that soon he’d be back with zucchini, blueberries, and tomatoes! With neighbors like that, why even bother to plant my own garden?!

Katie is the baker, photographer, and author of the popular blog Chocolate-Covered Katie. Her favorite food is chocolate, and she believes in eating a balanced diet that includes dessert every single day. More about Katie—> 

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  1. Stefanie says:

    I try to grow a garden each year but it is never too successful. I got a couple tomatoes out of my tomato plants this year. Hopefully the couple of cucumbers on the plant will survive. My dream would be a large garden where I can pick fresh veggies when I need them but don’t foresee that happening.

    You cake looks so moist and rich. Have a great sunday. :)

    1. Stefanie,
      I love your dream. I’d love that too: to have an entire grocery store’s-worth of a produce section in my backyard!
      Happy Sunday back to you, sweet girl!

  2. anonymous says:

    i am OBSESSED with your high protein chocolate cake!!!! really i make it like every single day, its so good! cant thank you enough for creating this recipe!

    everyone: GO OUT AND MAKE THIS! :) :)

    1. anonymous,
      Awwww so glad you like it so much!!

  3. Danielle says:

    I’ve never even heard of boysenberries! They look like blackberries (which are a fav) 😀

    My dream is to one day have my own garden. My mom grows her own herbs and strawberries in a little pot on our deck!

  4. cookeatburn says:

    I’ve never had a garden and my family never did either, but I would love to have one someday! I’m a little worried that I’m lacking in green thumbs though, haha.

  5. Kate says:

    You killed a cactus? LOL you’re too funny, Katie :).

  6. Leslie says:

    We’re growing zucchini and tomatoes this year. Sounds like your gumbo would be perfect for us!
    Happy Sunday, Katie. And tell your dad Happy Fathers’ Day!

  7. abby says:

    ooh i could’ve written anonymous’s comment ;). you know how i love that protein chocolate cake. i don’t think i’ve ever had a boisenberry though!

  8. Stef says:

    I still live with my parents and they have a yard and plant lots of fruits and veggies. They are on vacation right now so I’m the lucky one who gets to pick a buckload of cherries from the tree. I made cherrie preserves yesterday because I just cannot see cherries anymore. But my friends really like it because they benefit from our overflowing tree.
    Among those we also have red and shite currants, plums, pears, strawberries and raspberries. And tomatoes. This year we didn’t go all out on the veggies but we used to have cucumbers or lettuce and stuff like that.
    If you don’t have a green thumb mine is even worse. You wrote that one cactus died on you I managed to kill 5!!! And I don’t have a clue on how I did it because I didn’t water them particularly often (seeing as they are cactus).
    But I really enjoy the fruits from our garden (usually but I do get sick of them eventually) as long as I don’t have to pick them myself ’cause I’m kinda lazy! But having neighbors growing stuff and sending me some sounds ideal to me!

    1. Stef,

      Cherries, strawberries, raspberries, pears!????
      If you see a prowler in your garden one day, don’t worry; it’s just hungry little me :).

      And LOL thanks for making me feel better about the cactus!

  9. Jennifer - jcd says:

    Are you sure you cannot read minds? We made vegan gumbo last night for supper! And I’ve managed to kill a cactus too, maybe 2 of them. Maybe we’re long lost twins of some sort.

    Boysenberries and fudge cake looks extremely delicious! Oh, yum! I cannot wait for berries to start growing here.

    Your neighbours are so sweet! Good neighbours are something to be cherished.

    Growing up, we always had a vegetable patch of some sort. It took me a few years after I moved out to start one of my own. We planted lots of fruit bearing trees and shrubs as permanent landscaping fixtures: a pin cherry tree, two apple trees, three plum trees, three saskatoon berry bushes, two gooseberry bushes, two red currant bushes, and some raspberry canes. I have a black thumb of death, I kill houseplants in record time, but these all seem to be growing well. In the vegetable patch this year I have zucchini, cucumber, beans, peas, carrots, spinach, chard, beets, tomatoes, sweet peppers, potatoes, kohlrabi, and lettuce. So far all I can see are small buds on the trees and wee sprouts in the garden, but it won’t be long until we can enjoy fresh fruits and veggies. (Last year most of my garden didn’t come up, but this year is looking much more promising.)

    1. JCD,
      Ooh we were on the same wavelength! Sadly for me, though, I haven’t made my gumbo yet. (The photo is of the last time I made it, when we grew purple peppers.) So, to save me some work, can I just come over and finish off your gumbo? :) Pretty please with chocolate on top?

  10. Gummy Bear says:

    The protein cake looks so yummy! And so does the vegan gumbo :) I’m also vegan and am now thinking of trying some of your recipes, they look really good!
    As for your question, no, I don’t grow any of my own foods ): I’d love to someday, though.

  11. Sarahishealthy says:

    That protein cake looks divine. I’ve had it on my list for a while now.
    I don’t grow my own food, but that’s because I live in an apt!

  12. Inspired says:

    I actually grow A LOT of my own food. There’s just something about eating the fruits of your labor (literally!) that is so satisfying. And I think home grown food actually tastes better too.

  13. Kiersten says:

    I grow my own basil, but that’s it. I manage to kill every plant I try to take care of. The basil would probably be dead too if it wasn’t for my boyfriend. I would love to try to grow some tomatoes and other herbs someday when I have my own yard. (I’ll probably kill those too though)

  14. Gina G says:

    my dad has a little garden….those sneaky rabbits love it though! We have only had success with tomatoes and horseradish so far, but we are trying again this year :)

    have a wonderful father’s day Katie! 😀

  15. I want to live where you live, awesome neighbours! :)

  16. emily says:

    when i was growing up, my parents had a raised garden in our backyard (not so common, considering i live in the bustle of northern virginia) for all sorts of vegetables, herbs, & some fruit. i requested my own garden, and to my delight i had a small little raised garden square for my own plants. i had fun before realizing how many bugs & creatures were involved…. ick. now i just grow basil for fresh flavor in things & homemade pesto. there’s nothing like fresh produce, though.

    p.s. i made your breakfast pizzert last night. :) i added a dash of vanilla, cinnamon, & chopped strawberries to the batter. i also threw together a sauce / dip with 116 grams fat-free cottage cheese (i’m not vegan, obviously), 83 grams chopped strawberries, sweetness, cinnamon, & vanilla whizzed away in my trusty magic bullet. it came out silky & pink and tasted like strawberry cheesecake. it was lovely with some more fresh strawberries on the pizzert. i’m definitely looking forward to trying it again sometime. :)

  17. There are only two kinds of people in this world: male and female

  18. kathleen says:

    I don’t have a yard, these days, but I have a basil plan and a tomato plant. In my dorm in college I had parsley and rosemary. My roommate was not a fan… “ew, bugs!!”

  19. Marina says:

    Yeah, I’m not so much into plants. Everything dies on me :/
    But my bf’s family grows all kinds of things, and I always make sure to leave them with a smaller number of fresh fruits and veggies 😀

  20. Sarah says:

    Your title is so cute :). Like you!
    Hope your having a good Sunday!

  21. Lindsey says:

    Well, I’m trying to grow basil this year, but I’ve been too lazy to get it started :/
    I would love to grow vegetables, but I live in a apartment, my growing space is limited to a pot on my small deck.

  22. I just bought a strawberry plant!! I can’t wait ’till it gets gowing :) Oh, and don’t feel too bad about the cactus..I couldnt get bamboo to survive. And apparently all you have to do is look at it for it to grow…

  23. Lindsay,
    Just don’t grow mint. That stuff will TAKE OVER your entire patio!
    (Good if you love mint… but not so good if you don’t have a lot of space hehe.)

  24. Mary,
    Maybe you have a mean “stare”?
    I’m sorry to say that I think panda bears wouldn’t like you very much :(

  25. Emily says:

    Oh, Katie. I definitely sympathize with the lack of green thumb. I have often been known to say that I have a black thumb. I can’t grow plants to save my life. Fortunately, my parents are good gardeners, as are some of my friends. Taking care of plants is definitely not a gift of mine!

  26. Anonymous says:

    Hey katie – let me know that you got my email? wanted to make sure it went through okay.

  27. BroccoliHut says:

    I love growing my own veggies! I have a knack for growing absurdly large zucchini. This year we have assorted herbs, tomatoes, chard, lettuce, spinach, and cucumber.

  28. Allison says:

    I’m working on my first garden ever! Tomatoes seem to be doing really well. There has been a lot of trial and error though. I just posted about it if you’d like to check it out. Oh, and in my latest food post there is a Chocolate Covered Katie inspired concoction!

  29. Anonymous,
    It’s definitely smart to check… but I get a lot of emails every day, so can you give me a hint as to who you are (or, if you don’t want to reveal your identity, what your email topic is)? Otherwise I can’t know if I got yours or not :-?.

  30. Ilana says:

    This year Im growing raspberries, blackberries, pears, figs, and some herbs! Yay!

  31. I’ve been DYING to plant my own garden! We finally moved into a house with a little land around it to plant some, so I can’t wait until planting season!

  32. Anonymous says:

    Hey Katie, its from, did you get my email today?

  33. aimee says:

    i have a fairly good sized garden this year, moving up from a ‘driveway garden’ (all the sun used to fall in the driveway area before i took a few trees out, so i put pots in my empty driveway since selling my car a couple years ago, and grew veggies in them). i grow garlic, onions, carrots, spinach, lettuce, peppers, basil, rosemary, thyme, lavender, chives, corn, peas, french beans, zucchini, pumpkin, and 11 san marzano tomato plants. new pix up at

  34. Yummy! Definitely craving something sweet after viewing the photos on this post!
    I have always been exposed to great gardens with my grandparents and my dad! I can’t wait to grow my own once I am settled. For now I am growing herbs in my place- basil, oregano and parsley and they are coming up quite nicely!

  35. Anonymous,
    Yes, I did get it :) :). But I want to take my time with the response, not just send you a hurried reply.
    If you don’t hear back from me within the week, please let me know again.

  36. Ugh, those critters owe me green beans, zucchini, carrots and squash! I love the critters, so I don’t eat them, then they take my food. They better be happy that I have a forgiving heart! We try some sort of garden every year and it fails do to the plants getting eaten. I wanted to do a raised one this year, but we are running out of time…oh well, maybe next year!

  37. lisa says:

    hahha i cant grow anything either. and no worries, cactus plants seem hard to grow anyway. hahha
    altho, when i was little, i took teh seeds from my apple and tried to plant them.
    that didn’t work out too well…

  38. Rebecca says:

    I DEFINITELY hear you on the not having a green thumb thing (I go so far as to say I have a black thumb!) Virtually every plant that people have said are IMPOSSIBLE to kill, well…they suffered a sad, sad fate (the only thing I have NOT killed is mint…I highly recommend mint!)

    But every year I try, try again…my gardening plot neighbor (community garden) has shared her spinach and cilantro with me…but boysenberries would be VERY VERY nice.

  39. shesarunner says:

    No, unfortunately, I don’t have a green thumb either. I once tried really hard with a tomato plant but my efforts didn’t pay off- most of it was eaten by a squirrel! I gave up on gardening and I stick to the farmer’s market now. One day I’ll try my hand at planting again.
    That chocolate cake looks delish!

  40. im looking forward to your personal post!!!

    i have so many wonderful garden memories growing up. we had a beautiful garden in our backyard. my parents are from the prairies so when they moved out to BC they NEEDED a garden to adapt. we had potatoes, cucumbers, tomatoes, rhubarb (made for great strawberry rhubarb crisp), raddishes, lettuce, onion, raspberries, strawberries, blackberries, pears. we ended up planting over it with grass because it got too hard to maintain and the berrie bushes ended up killing a lot of our flowers. but we still have a cherry tree (i know RIGHT!!), apple tree, fig tree (which has 10 figs so far!!), and a big old walnut tree (perfect for this squirrel) 😉

    we never grew peppers though, so it will be very interesting to see how that goes!! :)

    btw i always enjoy ur baking recipes. its nice to find ones that are simple, and i find theres so much oil in baked goods that its such a turn off. sure its really fun to make stuff with them, but not so fun trying to digest a lot of it. at least when u use stevia, and squashes to substitute the regular stuff, u can feel better about mixing it with ice cream hehe 😉

    xoxo <3

  41. Rebecca,
    LOL about the mint! Yes, it seems impossible to kill mint… even if you wanted to! That stuff multiplies faster than rabbits. Goo thing it tastes good! :)

  42. Lisa,
    I always heard that if you swallowed apple seeds, an apple tree would grow inside of you! Never was brave enough to try it, though :) :).

  43. Jess says:

    High protein chocolate cake? UMMM DELICIOUS. I must try!
    <3 jess

  44. Sydney says:

    Vegan gumbo?! Heck yes, I love me some cajun food. That will be making an appearance in my kitchen very soon.

  45. Anna says:

    I am so excited for this change in your blog! I mean, I love your blog as-is, also, but learning more about you and the fun people and places in your life will be exciting, too! I have also felt that way about adding friends and family to my blog, which is why I’ve given most of them nick-names to sort of shy away from giving out EVERYONE’S personal info, but I’m not sure if it makes much of a difference. I know that my friends enjoy having code names, though, just for fun. I’ve never grown my own food, unfortunately. One day, I hope to live in a place where all types of fruits and veggies flourish and I can have huge ass salads right from my back yard. Obviously, I will have to move out of Arizona for anything to flourish.

    1. Anna,
      I love your idea of giving friends code names! So cute. Now you have me trying to think up cute names for all my friends :).

  46. I love that protein chocolate cake, and I wish I had pumpkin so I could make it tomorrow! Oh well.

    What awesome neighbors you have! How sweet of them to bring you their homegrown fruits/veggies. Now if only I had those kinds of neighbors.. 😛

  47. Marianne says:

    We normally don’t have a garden, but have had herbs in the past few years. This year though, mom planted a bunch of tomato plants, as well as a 2 blueberry bushes, rhubarb, and squash. Yay!

  48. Sarah Marie says:

    This is my first full summer in my new house, and I fenced in a veggie garden plot and planted quite a bit of stuff – cukes, tomatoes, zucchini, okra, buttercup squash, delicata squash, herbs, strawberries, spinach, golden beets, broccoli, green beans, and garlic! Woohoo! I am really loving watching the plants grow and can’t wait until I can eat my own produce!