Search Results for: zucchini

36 Back to School Breakfast Ideas

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36 Back to School Breakfast Ideas

Those big yellow buses are ready, the crisp new clothes laid out and lunch boxes have been packed. But before you kiss those little cherub cheeks and send your littles out the door, they need a healthy breakfast to start their days. I’ve collected some of my very favorite breakfast recipes for you to choose from. Bring on the school bell!

Gingerbread-Waffles1Pancakes, Crepes and Waffles:

Corn Pancakes – {Pin for Later}
Bacon Pancakes – {Pin for Later}
Best Ever Oatmeal Waffles - {Pin for Later}
Savory Crepes with Ham, Spinach and Egg – {Pin for Later}
Heirloom Carrot Pancakes – {Pin for Later}
Strawberry Syrup – {Pin for Later}
Chocolate Crepes with Bananas – {Pin for Later}

Dutch-Breakfast-Puff-recipeMuffins, Breads, etc.:

Dutch Breakfast Puff – {Pin for Later}
English Muffin Bread – {Pin for Later}
Almond Lemon Poppy Seed Biscotti – {Pin for Later}
Homemade Poppy Seed Muffins – {Pin for Later}
Raspberry Buttermilk Muffins – {Pin for Later}
Raisin Bran Muffins - {Pin for Later}
Vanilla Pear Coffee Cake -  {Pin for Later}
Homemade Scones – {Pin for Later}
Traditional Raisin Scones –{Pin for Later}
Rustic Apple Galette – {Pin for Later}
Vegan Zucchini Bread w/Chocolate Chips – {Pin for Later}
Blueberry Scones – {Pin for Later}
Nutella Banana Nut Bread – {Pin for Later}
Rhubarb Walnut Muffins – {Pin for Later}

baked-oatmeal-recipeOatmeal and Granola:

Baked Oatmeal with Blueberries – {Pin for Later}
Granola with Walnuts, Pumpkin Seeds and Mango
– {Pin for Later}
Peanut Butter Banana Granola{Pin for Later}
Cranberry Coconut Breakfast Cookies – {Pin for Later}
Crock Pot Steel Cut Oatmeal with Apples and Brown Sugar – {Pin for Later}
Strawberry Almond Granola – {Pin for Later}

Farmers-Breakfast-Skillet-with-Sausage-and-Eggs1Eggs, Potatoes, etc.:

Farmers Breakfast Skillet w/Sausage and Eggs – {Pin for Later}
Fried Potatoes with Peppers and Zucchini 
{Pin for Later}
Mini Quiche with Bacon – {Pin for Later}
Easy Spinach Frittata – {Pin for Later}
spinach-power-smoothie-recipe1Smoothies and Drinks:

Blueberry Banana Smoothie – {Pin for Later}
Spinach Power Smoothie – {Pin for Later}
Blueberry Kale Smoothie – {Pin for Later}
DIY Smoothie Bags – {Pin for Later}
Pina Colada Smoothie –  {Pin for Later}

This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting One Hundred Dollars a Month.

How I Feed My Family for $100 a Month – Week 33 of 52

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mavis butterfiled

Swimming upstream. That’s what this past week has felt like.

When I rolled out of bed on Sunday morning this is all I could find to wear.

I arrived home late Saturday night after being on the East Coast for 10 days to find hardly any food in our cupboards. Half a loaf of bread, some miscellaneous cans, a couple of boxes of pasta and a few drops of orange juice were all that was staring back at me in the fridge.

I also left my sneakers accidentally behind some 3,000 miles away. And now my only choice in footwear is a pair of garden boots or my favorite pair of brown leather Keen’s that have had the backside chewed out of them thanks to Lucy the Puggle Dog.

Cool beans.

Note to self: Wash all dirty laundry before going on vacation so that when you come home exhausted from 10 days of travelling, you’ll have something decent to wear. Because HELLO, all the clothing you bring home… will be dirty too.

fresh garden vegetables

Hulda’s daughter kept the garden watered while I was away and when I rolled out of bed on Sunday morning I was able to harvest some fresh veggies. Zucchini bats, and heirloom tomatoes. My favorite. ;)

But grocery shopping? Ha! I didn’t get to it.

Hopefully today.

smith brothers milk

Thank goodness for local milk delivery!

Ahh the crazy days of summer. I’m going to miss you. {Not!}

~Mavis

Total Spent This Week $0
Total Spent This Year $ 1001.23
Total Spent This Year on Garden Seeds/Supplies $38.98

Go HERE to read more Shopping Trip Stories.

Smith Brothers Farms Logo

One Hundred Dollars a Month is proudly sponsored by Smith Brother’s Farms, my family’s favorite milk. Check out their website HERE and learn about the over 100 top quality products Smith Brothers Farms can deliver to your porch box.

This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting One Hundred Dollars a Month.

Weekly Meal Plan – Menu Plan Ideas Week 33 of 52

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menu plan ideas

Even though I don’t make a weekly menu plan, I still love the idea of having a bunch of recipes right in front of me to choose from. Here are a few recipes from my recipe collection I thought you might like:

Homemade Granola with Blueberries, Cranberries and Ginger

Breakfast Ideas 

Raspberry Buttermilk Muffins – Raspberries are back on.  Time to whip up some muffins.  {Pin for Later}
Homemade Granola with Blueberries, Cranberries and Ginger - If you are still buying granola, seriously, try this recipe out.  Homemade granola is sooooo much better and it’s a heck of a lot easier on the budget.  {Pin for Later}
Italian Brunch Casserole – This casserole microwaves really well, so you have have a yummy breakfast plate all week long.  {Pin for Later}
Bacon Pancakes – Because bacon makes everything better.  {Pin for Later}

how to freeze pestoSlow Cooker  and Freezer Meal Ideas

How to Freeze Pesto - It’s time to preserve all of that delicious basil you’ve been growing.  Whip up a batch of pesto and freeze it for later this year.  {Pin for Later}
Ham and Cheese Casserole - We eat this crock pot meal for dinner all of the time–yes,  it’s a breakfast meal.  No, I don’t care.  Breakfast for dinner is delicious.  {Pin for Later}
Vegetable Soup with Beef – I love this soup.  We are getting married in the fall.  {Pin for Later}
{Pin for Later}

Freezer Meals - Ground Beef Pot PieSoups , Salads and Main Dish Ideas

Orzo Salad with Fresh Peas, Carrots and Pine Nuts – This is one of those make ahead sides that you will probably end up munching on all day long and then have nothing left when dinner comes around. {Pin for Later}
Simple Summer Pasta with Roasted Vegetables – Another awesome way to use up zucchini.  {Pin for Later}
Homemade Sloppy Joes – This recipe is a kid favorite.  {Pin for Later}
Ground Beef Pot Pies – Ground beef makes these a completely affordable and delicious freezer meal.  {Pin for Later}

recipe garlic spinach dipCookies,  Snacks and Desserts

Homemade Peanut Butter - This stuff is AWESOME.  Serve it with some apple slices, and you’ll have an instant filling snack.  {Pin for Later}
Cheesecake Brownies – It’s cheesecake and brownies.  Combined.  Enough said.  {Pin for Later}
Bacon Wrapped Jalapenos – It doesn’t have to be football season for these bad boys to find their way to your mouth.  I could have a plate of these for lunch–or just a pre-lunch warm-up. :)  {Pin for Later}
The Best Garlic Spinach Dip - I could drink this stuff, but usually I settle for dipping bread cubes into it–like the classy broad that I am.  {Pin for Later}

Heirloom Tomato Sauce RecipeCanning Recipe of the Week

Heirloom Tomato Sauce - This sauce should be renamed:  How to Win Friends and Make Neighbors Envy Your Culinary Prowess.  It’s that good.  {Pin for Later}

What are YOU planning on making this week?

~Mavis

Looking for more recipes? Check out my recipes boards on Pinterest

Also, be sure to check out:

This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting One Hundred Dollars a Month.

Canning 101 – How To Make Zucchini Relish

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If you have never given zucchini relish a try, I want to encourage you to make a batch this summer.  I’ve been using this zucchini relish recipe for years and the funny thing is, you can’t even tell you’re eating zucchini.   It really does taste like regular relish.

We like to use it on hot dogs, hamburger and mixed in with potato salad.  It’s delicious!  Try it, you’ll see.  This recipe yields {4} 1/2 pint jars

Ingredients

2 cups chopped zucchini
1 cup chopped onion {I used Walla Walla Sweets}
1 cup chopped sweet peppers {I used green peppers}
2 tablespoons salt
1 cup cider vinegar
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons celery seed
1 teaspoon mustard seed


Directions

Place the chopped zucchini, onions peppers and salt in a large bowl and cover with cold water and let it sit for 2 hours.  Drain liquid, rinse throughly and drain again.

Combine the remaining ingredients in a large pot and bring to a boil.  Add the zucchini mixture, reduce heat to simmer and cook 10 minutes.

Pack hot relish mixture into 1/2 pint jars, leaving 1/4 inch head space.  Remove air bubbles.  Adjust 2 piece caps, and process in a boiling water canner for 10 minutes.

Carefully remove jars, place on a towel in a draft free area and let cool over night.  Check seals after 24 hours.


If you are looking for a canner, I used the Granite Ware 11-1/2 Quart Covered Preserving Canner with Rack to can my zucchini relish. If you need a tool kit, I use one similar to this one.

Looking  for a great canning book?  I recommend The Joy of Pickling: 250 Flavor-Packed Recipes for Vegetables and More from Garden or Market By Linda Ziedrich.  Amazon currently has it on sale for only $11.41

 

This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting One Hundred Dollars a Month.

Free Kindle Books, Coupons, Herbal Essences, Sewing Deals, Recipes and More

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monarch butterfly on yellow flower

Ahh Friday. I love you. :)

Have a great weekend everyone, and be sure and get a little r&r if you can.

Mavis

Amazon Gold Box Deal of the Day - Up to 85% Off “Stargate Atlantis: The Complete Collection” on DVD and Blu-ray

free kindle books

Available Kindle Books I think are cool…

The prices on Kindle Books can change quickly, so grab them while you can. Don’t have a Kindle? Download the kindle app on your other devices. It’s easy!

herbal essences color me happy
Get a 2 Pack of Herbal Essences Color Me Happy Color Safe Shampoo  for just $1.70 shipped when you clip the $3.00 off coupon and use the subscribe and save option at checkout. Wowza! That is a great deal! Learn About Amazon Subscribe and Save
pink stylus pens

Get 10 Stylus Pens for your iPad or iPod for just $1.87 shipped!

sewing deals

garden sign

Have you ever turned trash into treasure? Check out how to Make a Recycled Wooden Garden Sign. Find more cool projects on my Arts and Crafts Pinterest Board.

ibotta

Ibotta allows you to earn cash each time you shop. Here’s how: Before shopping, choose your offers by completing tasks in the Ibotta Product Gallery. Once you complete at least one task per product offer, the product offer is automatically added to your shopping list on the Ibotta app so you can earn money for purchasing the item.


Affiliate Exclusive! $1.99 Grandparents Day Cards + FREE Stamp when we mail it for you at Cardstore!

Get a Grandparents Day Card for just $1.99 plus FREE SHIPPING when you create it online at Cardstore.com. Simply use Code: CAK4296, Valid through 8/29/14. :) Go HERE to get started!

saveur-magazine-coupon-dealDiscount Mags is offering a 1 year subscription to Saveur Magazine for only $4.99 a year when you use code MAVIS at checkout. This deal will expire tonight 8/22/14 at midnight EST so be sure and grab your subscription before then.

vegan-zucchini-bread-recipe

This Vegan Zucchini Bread w/Chocolate Chips has veggies in it so it’s totally healthy, right?? Find the recipe HERE or Pin it for later.

gymbore

Gymboree has great deals on fun Fall styles at just $5, $10, $15, and $20. Plus spend an additional 20% off any order of $100 when you use code HOORAY at checkout.

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Check out these New Printable Coupons:

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This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting One Hundred Dollars a Month.

Easy Cheesy Zucchini Rice

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Easy Cheesy Zucchini Rice

Things I loved about this recipe in no particular order:

It was freakin delicious.
It was so simple.
It reminded me of making Rice-a-roni except I can pronounce every last ingredient.
It’s fast.
It’s delicious (wait, did I already mention that?).

This is a great sneaky chef-type recipe. You can insert the healthy stuff without anyone even noticing because it’s so flavorful and yummy!

green zucchini

Ingredients

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup long-grain rice
2 cups chicken broth
2 tablespoons butter
2 small zucchini, finely grated
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 teaspoon garlic powder
Salt and pepper to taste

Easy Cheesy Zucchini Rice

Directions

In a large skillet, saute rice in olive oil over medium-high heat, frequently stirring the rice until it’s a golden brown. Add the chicken broth and bring to a boil. Lower heat, cover and cook for about 20 minutes or until rice is tender and almost all the broth is absorbed.

Remove from the heat and add the butter, zucchini, cheddar, and garlic powder. Salt and pepper to taste. Stir until well combined. You can always add a dash of milk if you think the rice is too sticky and you want more of a creamy consistency.

Easy Cheesy Zucchini Rice

This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting One Hundred Dollars a Month.

Weekly Meal Plan – Menu Plan Ideas Week 32 of 52

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menu plan ideas

Even though I don’t make a weekly menu plan, I still love the idea of having a bunch of recipes right in front of me to choose from. Here are a few recipes from my recipe collection I thought you might like:

apple coffee cakeBreakfast Ideas 

Apple Coffee Cake - Enjoy a lazy Sunday as you flip through the back-to-school ads with this yummy coffee cake.  {Pin for Later}
Hawaiian Egg Bread – I know, it doesn’t really seem breakfast-y, but it is.  I promise.  Slather this fresh out of the oven bread with some butter and jam, or a bit of honey.  It’s heaven, I tell ya.  {Pin for Later}
Strawberry and Nutella Crepes with Bananas – Crepes are really pretty simple, but make breakfast feel like a decadent event.  {Pin for Later}
Sausage and Apple Cheddar Biscuit Bake – This is one of those hardy, stick to your ribs sort of breakfasts that will fill your kitchen with the most amazing smell.  {Pin for Later}

Freezer Meals - Breakfast BurritosSlow Cooker  and Freezer Meal Ideas

Slow Cooker Pear and Ginger Applesauce – I could eat this stuff all by itself for lunch–it is delish.  {Pin for Later}
Chili Verde Soup - With peppers on, this soup is a must.  It makes for a great lunch.  {Pin for Later}
Black Bean Taco Soup – This recipe combines my love of my crock pot with my love for freezer meals.  You make it in the crock pot, and then freeze some for later.  {Pin for Later}
Breakfast Burritos – If you have kids headed back to school in the next couple of weeks, you’ll be so happy you made these.  They make the morning rush a breeze.  {Pin for Later}

Savory Garlic and Herb CornSoups , Salads and Main Dish Ideas

Strawberry Focaccia with Balsamic Onions – Strawberries will be on soon, this is a great alternative way to use them up.  {Pin for Later}
Savory Garlic and Herb Corn - Corn is on, and if you have kiddos with braces this is a yummy way to still enjoy it.  {Pin for Later}
Maple Soy Chicken Thighs – These are easy and tasty.  A winning combination, if you ask me.  {Pin for Later}
Butternut Squash Pasta – If you grew butternut squash in your garden, you should try this pasta.  It is nutrient packed goodness.  {Pin for Later}

double-chocolate-zucchini-brownie-recipeCookies,  Snacks and Desserts

Double Chocolate Zucchini Brownies – When you put zucchini in brownies, it’s basically permission to eat two helpings, several times of day.  It’s basic food pyramid stuff :) {Pin for Later}
Zucchini Hummus – Are you noticing a theme here?  Zucchini is probably taking over your life if you have a garden, so here is another tasty way to use it up.  {Pin for Later}
Lemon Ice Cream – This ice cream tastes exactly like a creamsicle.  It is heaven and your mouth will thank you.  {Pin for Later}
Pretzel Cookies with Chocolate Chips & Peanut Butter Chips – These are sweet and salty in the perfect combination.  They. Are. Awesome. {Pin for Later}

dehydrated-carrots-how-to-dehydrate-carrotsCanning Recipe of the Week

How to Dehydrate Carrots – Ok, so this is not exactly canning, but it is preserving.  If you grew carrots, this is a great way to store them for the produce-scarce months. {Pin for Later}

What are YOU planning on making this week?

~Mavis

Looking for more recipes? Check out my recipes boards on Pinterest

Also, be sure to check out:

This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting One Hundred Dollars a Month.

How to Get Rid of White Powdery Mildew on Squash Leaves

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How to Get Rid of White Powdery Mildew on Squash Leaves

I’ve received a bunch of questions recently from people wanting to know how to get rid of that awful powdery mildew on their squash leaves lately, so I thought I would go ahead and repost this cool trick reader Veronica sent in. 

***********************

After I told you all about the powdery mildew on my pumpkin patch, reader, Veronica, wrote in about her success in getting rid of powdery mildew.  {I would totally try this if my pumpkin patch wasn’t so big, it would take hours to apply!}, but I thought it was an AWESOME tip that I would share in case some of you are dealing with powdery mildew.

Veronica wrote:

My zucchini plants got powdery mildew this year and I got rid of the mildew! As directed by my mother, I combined a tsp of baking soda with a quart of water in a spray bottle; shook it up real good so all the soda dissolved. Then sprayed each infected leaf each morning until the spots when away. My plants are now back to producing (albeit slowly) zucchini. I live in Mukilteo, WA, so it should work for you too, if you want to spray your pumpkin plants each morning. Good luck with that!
That’s awesome that you were able to save your plant, Veronica.  And thanks for sending in the tip!
white powdery mildew leaves
As a sidenote, powdery mildew can overwinter too, so make sure to clean up all the leaves and plant debris out of your beds in the fall.  Also, in the interest of prevention for next year, avoid overhead watering {i.e. sprinkling the leaves} and try making plant spacing less dense to increase air circulation.
Does anyone else have this problem? How did you get rid of the white powdery mildew on your squash leaves?
~Mavis

This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting One Hundred Dollars a Month.

Mavis Mail – Heidi From Vancouver Island Sends in Garden Photos

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A big THANK YOU to everyone who has sent in their photographs and stories. I hope by sharing other peoples pictures and stories here on One Hundred Dollars a Month we can all have a rock star garden this summer. Keep them coming!

Check out the incredible garden Heidi from Vancouver Island is growing:

1I am a long time gardener. We live on a 1/2 acre and have super sandy/gravelly soil, so after fighting with this for years, we started building raised beds. My husband put in automatic watering with soaker hoses and some mini sprinklers, so it is nice to not have to worry about watering all of the raised beds located all over the yard. The garden in the front is doing well because of our decision to use fall rye for the past 3 years, so we will leave this one as an in ground garden. I can’t believe what a difference it has made to the soil to put the fall rye in.

We have a fairly large family {5 kids} and are growing our own produce because we love to garden, but also because it costs a lot to feed 7 people with organic produce.

You can see from how dry the lawn is that we have very poor soil and a lot of trouble keeping things watered. This is one of the main reasons we started making raised beds.

Pictured above is the back garden that we converted into raised beds. There is a fence because we have very friendly rabbits in our neighborhood. Our newest friendly creature is a raccoon that ate all of our Beauty Plums! We have a live trap, and have relocated 3 raccoons this spring, but the last one doesn’t seem to want to go! In this bed, we have lemon cucumbers, spaghetti squash, onions, leeks, celery, peas, bush beans and Warba potatoes that I am going to harvest any day now! Surrounding the garden is a jungle of raspberries that love our soil {I think that they are the only thing that loves our soil}. This was an excellent year for raspberries!

3We built some raised beds 2 years ago so that we could have asparagus {which is the big fern looking thing in the second bed}. We also have brussel sprouts just coming up in the closest bed, and beyond that there are zucchini, carrots and peppers. On the left is my herb garden, and behind that is a garden that my girls have planted.

4Our raised beds, phase 2 have New Zealand Yam, Swiss Chard, and in the back that big plant is Jerusalem Artichoke. Beside it some kale that is just getting big enough to harvest. The Jerusalem Artichokes have been banished to this planter that is made out of cement because I hope that it will contain them. They took over in the last place that I had them, and I have spent many hours digging them out… I am still digging them out! The garbage can with the piece of plywood is full of my comfrey tea that is almost ready to be used as a fertilizer.

5This is my most exciting plant of this year…Watermelon! I put trays under the pots yesterday with the hopes that more access to water will result in bigger watermelons.

6This is the garden in our front yard that we will keep as an in-ground garden. In it we have potatoes, tomatoes, beets, cabbage and pole beans. We also put some everbearing raspberries in here as well. The big bush in the middle on the right hand side is a huckleberry bush. It was there when we cut down the trees and made the garden, so we decided to keep it because we love huckleberries! The beets are being attacked by a leaf miner bug, but I can’t decide whether I should do something about it or just leave them.

7These are my strawberry beds, and my neglected flower garden in front!

8The spaghetti squash plants have gone crazy! I tied them onto poles so that they would have more room, and they must have about 10 squashes per plant. One of the poles broke from the weight of the plant, so it’s kind of a mess back there!

We also have a bunch of fruit trees, some more berries like blueberries and currants, and have recently planted blackberries and kiwi. This year I am trying some winter gardening. I showed you the Brussel sprouts, and have also started cabbage, kohlrabi, cauliflower and a flat of peas for a fall crop.

And, that is my garden! Thanks again for the inspiration, Mavis,

Heidi

Send Pictures of Your Garden For a Chance to Win a $20 Amazon Gift Card

If you would like to have your garden, chicken coop or something you’ve made featured on One Hundred Dollars a Month, here’s what I’m looking for:

  • Your Garden Pictures and Tips – I’d especially like to see your garden set ups, growing areas, and know if you are starting seeds indoors this year. If so,  show me some picture of how you are going about it.
  • Your Chicken and Chicken Related Stories – Coops, Chicks, Hen’s, Roosters, Eggs, you name it. If it clucks, send us some pictures to share with the world.
  • Cool Arts & Crafts - Made from your very own hands with detailed {and well photographed} pictures and instructions.
  • Your pictures and stories about your pets. The more pictures and details the better.
  • Garage Sale, Thrift Store and Dumpster Diving pictures and the stories behind the treasures you found including how much you paid for them.

If I feature your pictures and the stories behind them on One Hundred Dollars a Month, I will send you a $20.00 gift card to the greatest store in the world: Amazon.com.

Go  HERE for the official rules.

This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting One Hundred Dollars a Month.

Ask Mavis – You’ve Got Questions, I’ve Got Answers

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ask mavis

The questions keep on rolling in and so I’m going to, once again, pretend I’m smarter than I am and attempt to answer them. Keep in mind my answers are not scientific, are my own opinion and might, in fact, confuse you more. You’ve been warned.

Of course if you are an expert on any or all of the subjects covered in these questions, pretty please, for the love of Frank, pipe up in the comments below and share your knowledge with the masses. I’ve always said my I have smartie pants readers. Now’s your chance to prove it to me. And go…

omron-pedometer-1

Hi Mavis, I am interested in the pedometer that you use. How long does the battery last? I’ve searched Amazon to find an answer and I can’t find anything consistent. I thought I would ask the expert! Is there anyway I can give you credit when I purchase it through Amazon? I love your blog!

~ Julie

So I haven’t had my pedometer long enough to see how long a battery would last, but I read in the reviews before I bought it and many said about 2 years. As far as giving me credit, all you have to do is use my Amazon link HERE when you purchase and they’ll throw me a few cents for referring you! Easy peasy {and a huge thank you for asking. So kind of you!}.

how-to-freeze-shredded-zucchiniI have a question for you since you garden and can. I have a ton of zucchini and I am going to make some relish (when I can find the time). Can I chop up and freeze the zucchini for canning later? I thought it would probably be OK since it is going to be cooked down in the canning process, but just curious if you might have any info. I have looked online and can’t really find any info about freezing before canning.

~Robin

I freeze zucchini all the time {cubed, diced, sliced, shredded}! When it grows like crazy and I can’t keep up, my favorite way to use the excess is to shred it up in 2 cup packages and freeze in my extra freezer. When winter comes and snow covers the ground, I thaw it out and feed it to my chickens.  They love it.  Or if I get overly ambitious, I make zucchini bread.

organic-garden-pictures

Do you think it’s possible for a mother of 4 to leave an office job and survive solely from my suburban back garden (yes the property is paid for except for monthly taxes and municipal fees). I am dying at my desk – literally. I sit the whole bloody day, pushing around paper – creating more pollution which I’m totally against. No exercise – too tired when I get home, and/or I think of excuses not to exercise. I’m totally anti-materialism and anti-capitalism. I SO WISH I had a backyard-mentor.

~ Magda

This is such a loaded question. On the surface, yes I do think it is possible. Do I think it’s worth it? Hmmm. You see if you love love love gardening and you convert that hobby to a full-time gig, that love might be lost and it might begin to feel like an awful chore. If you are just trying to feed your kids with your garden by consuming and/or selling/bartering your produce to buy other staples {rice, oats, wheat, meat, etc.}, it’s certainly doable.

But if you are thinking of growing a garden large enough to sell your produce to make  a living, that’s another story. It would require a lot of work, and then I’m not even sure you’d be able to support your family by doing that. So I guess the answer is, what you want to do is commendable but I’d need more info to give you a more definite answer.blueberry jam with mint recipe

So about 4 years ago I planted two small mint plants that I got from the local farm store. One spearmint and one apple-mint, and now they have taken over the herb garden!  What can I do with all this mint!?  Can I dry it for recipes or am I just doomed for the mint to continue to take over?  Now that it has flowered and the bees are dropping seeds I am sure it will come back bigger and badder next year!

~Jen

Oh man, mint plants are such aggressive spreaders! They’ll totally take over unless you show them who is boss! As your new mint seedlings grow, you will need to thin them, removing the weaker plants and allowing only the strongest to remain.
The best time to thin mint plants is when they reach 6 inches tall. You’ll want about 18 inches between them to help keep them from spreading {although they will anyway, so you have to be vigilant!}. You will probably need to go in there and cut a bunch out if you want your other herbs to survive! Oh and mint can totally be dried.

can you mail a peanut butter jar

Hey Mavis, I sent you an unusually shaped piece of mail and a regular card (to determine how much longer, if any, the unusually shaped piece of mail takes). The card came back to me today, undeliverable. Hope the non-card makes it to you. A regular piece of 1st class mail from Wisconsin typically takes 4 days to Seattle.

~ Jann

I got the unusually shaped piece of mail and it totally made my day. All I could think about was how long it took you to clean out that peanut butter jar! Ha! I so wish the letter would have arrived as well, because that would have been fascinating to see the difference in delivery times. Thanks for the fun surprise!

broody-chicken

What is causing my hens to lay eggs out in the compost.  I do not have a rooster and just 2 hens.  All of a sudden they won’t lay in their hen house.   This is the second time I had to hunt down their nest.  How can I get them to lay in their box?

~Linda

I’ve heard this is fairly common. Try plastic eggs or golf balls, because those are really handy for encouraging hens to lay in certain places.

Also, keeping your hens closed into the coop for a few days to get them used to laying inside again can be the answer {if weather permits, etc}. From everything I’ve read, they’ll probably just go back to laying in their nest on their own, if you have the patience to wait it out!

carrot cake jam

I noticed an orange tint to the water when I poured it out that I had used to sanitize and then can your carrot cake jam in. Turns out it was rust from the canning rack. Do you know if the jam is still safe to eat after sanitizing in this water with rust in it? BTW the jam is very, very good! Thanks.

~ Diane

Rust is really just iron oxide, a rather benign substance in small quantities. You probably shouldn’t eat a pound of it though! ;) But your jam should be just fine.

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