Search Results for: zucchini

Weekly Meal Plan – Menu Plan Ideas Week 14 of 52

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Weekly Meal Plan , Menu Plan IdeasEven 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. I know this week is going to be a bit crazy for me, so I’m focusing on freezer meals and casseroles as main dishes and then pretty simple sides.

Here are a few recipes for you to choose from:

Weekly Meal Plan - Menu Plan Ideas breakfastBreakfast Ideas 

Weekly Meal Plan - Menu Plan Ideas main dishMain Dish and Freezer Meal Ideas 

Weekly Meal Plan - Menu Plan Ideas saladsSides and Salads 

Weekly Meal Plan - Menu Plan Ideas snacksCookies and Snacks 

Weekly Meal Plan - Menu Plan Ideas dessertsDesserts 

Canning Recipe of the Week
Fresh Tomato Sauce - Once you start canning your own tomato sauce, it’s pretty much impossible to go back to the jarred variety. {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.

Growing a Rainbow Vegetable Garden with Kids

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Growing a Rainbow Vegetable GardenYou know how all of the nutritionists always tell you to eat the rainbow?  {Not to be confused with the Skittles folks.}  Basically, your plate is supposed to filled with different colored foods to ensure you are getting the proper nutrients and all that.  Do you ever find it kind of difficult to teach your kids that basic idea when the grocery store is full of conventional varieties of green, orange and red?

peas in pod

Growing a rainbow veggie patch with the children is a great way to expose them to a whole different variety of foods, teach them the basic nutritional principles of eating the rainbow, and uh, I don’t know, maybe, just maybe, bond with them along the way.

Growing a garden from seed leaves you literally HUNDREDS of options you would never find in the grocery store.  Here’s some awesome, kid-friendly vegetables to try this year:

purple cauliflowerPurple

Cosmic Purple Carrots
Artichoke Green & Purple Artichokes
Sweet Purple Beauty Peppers
Royal Burgundy Bush Beans
American Purple Top Rutabaga {these taste like a sweeter version of a white potato}
Chef’s Choice Blend Cauliflower {these grow white and purple florets}

Pumpkin Jarrahdale HEIRLOOM Seeds pictureBlue

Dwarf Blue Curled Kale {try making Kale chips or putting this in soup to make it more palatable for the kids}
Jarrahdale Pumpkin {this has a gray/blue exterior and a standard orange interior}

heirloom beetsRed

Cherry Currant Red & Yellow Tomatoes
Cherry Belle Radish
Beets
Watermelon
Red Acre Cabbage
Romaine Garnet Rose Lettuce

sun gold tomatoesOrange

Tomato Cherry Sun Gold {these are literally the sweetest tomato EVER!}
Butternut Squash {use these instead of pumpkins to make pies–they kids will love them}
Cantaloupe
Sugar Pie Pumpkin

yellow crockneckYellow

Gold Rush Bush Bean
Summer Max’s Gold Zucchini Seeds {Zucchini bread anyone?}
Lemon Cucumber

Broccoli RomanescoGreen

Spinach {slip spinach in the kiddos smoothies, if they won’t eat it plain}
Broccoli Romanesco  {these have a crazy strange appearance that kids will be blown away by, but still taste like broccoli}
Butterhead Buttercrunch Lettuce {this is a mild tasting lettuce, but with more nutrition than plain old iceberg}

cherry-tomatoesMulti-Colored

Cherry Tomato Rainbow Blend {these sweet cherry tomatoes grow yellow, brown, red, green, white and pink and white striped tomatoes all on one plant}
Gourmet Blend Beets {these grow in a huge range of colors}
Calliope Blend Carrots

Seriously, the kids will have so much fun growing their edible rainbow.  Plus, how cool is it that they will learn that the grocery store is not the only place that they can get food?  It’s win-win.

~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.

Gardening in Small Spaces – Container Gardening

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container garden

Recently reader, Jennifer, contacted me asking about how to grow a garden in a small space with homeowner restrictions.  She wrote:

“Hi Mavis – I have a question. We live in an townhome complex with some pretty strict rules. We can’t plant gardens in the grounds or the flower beds. While we’ve looked at moving, for health reasons, this is the best place for my mum right now, and so we’re staying. That said, I’d love to create a garden for vegetables and maybe some fruits. We can grow in potted planters on our deck and patio, both of which get full sun all year round. Any suggestions/recommendations for how to get started gardening this way, what would work, and things not to do?”

container-herb-garden2

First off, let me assure you, container gardening rocks.  It actually helps with a lot of issues that come up in regular gardening beds–it allows you to control your soil, drainage, water, and it even helps to manage pests.  That being said, getting started is really the most important part.  If you are growing in containers, you want to consider three things:  drainage, sunlight, and soil.  That’s pretty much it.  If you can knock those three things off your list, you can have a successful container garden.

unusual garden containers lettuce

For drainage, make sure to get containers that you can drill/poke holes into the bottom, if the containers don’t already have them.  Make the holes about 1/2″-1″ on the bottom of the pot.  Water regularly, a good rule of thumb is to literally poke your finger into the soil.  If the top 1″ or so of soil is dried out, it’s time to water again.

It sounds like sunlight is not an issue in your townhome, but if it were, that is the beauty of container gardening:  you can totally move the containers around to “chase” the sun.

DIY - How to Make Your Own Potting Soil

Finally, soil.  You CANNOT use regular garden soil in containers.  It is waaaay too dense and prohibits proper drainage.  You need to splurge and get the potting soil mix, or make your own.

Container Gardening Idea - Grow Salad in a Pot

As far as plants that do well in containers, there are tons of choices.  Botanical Interests has a pretty awesome “set” you can buy of seeds that are specifically for small space or container gardening.  It’s called Container Vegetable Seed Collection {it includes carrots, cucumbers, kale, lettuce, onion/scallions, sweet peppers, spinach, and tomatoes}, which is a pretty well rounded garden, if you ask me.  herb container garden organic

In addition, you can grow most herbs:  basil, thyme, cilantro, sage, etc.  I have a friend who has been super successful growing larger plants, like zucchini in containers {she just uses tomato cages on the zucchini plant to train them to grow up instead of out}.

How to Plant a Meyer Lemon Tree in a Container Indoors

For fruits, you can grow strawberries {hanging baskets work well} or try a Meyer Lemon tree.   Our local nursery even has dwarf apple trees that could potentially be grown in large pots {though, I have never tried, so I can’t say for sure how successful it would be}.  I think your only real limitation with fruit would be melons–they need a lot of space, plain and simple.

Good luck Jennifer, and make sure to send me pictures of your container garden.

~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.

Gardening with Kids

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gardening with kids

Gardening with your kids is an awesome way to teach them about their food.  BUT, even more important, it’s one of those things you can do that you BOTH enjoy.  I don’t know about you, but when the kids were little, there were only so many games of Trouble or Sorry I could play before I started to question my mental health.  Getting the kids out doing your hobby is a perfect solution.  They get to play in the mud, you get to play in the mud.  Everybody’s happy.

spring-potatoesStudies show that when kids grow their own food, they are more likely to try new foods–that doesn’t mean they will love every bite, but at least it won’t be such a battle to get them to try it–and hey, maybe they will find a thing or two that they like.  Plus, they will be out getting vitamin D, exercise, and fresh air.  That can’t be bad, even if they don’t love every bite.

wood pallet garden lettuce

You don’t have to give the kids free reign over the garden to make it a hobby for both of you.  Give them a small section and pick a theme, like a salad bar garden for example.  Let them plant and care for all of the fixins in a salad:  a variety of lettuce, carrots, radishes, etc.  When it is time, let them help you pick, wash, and assemble the salad.  It will give them something to be proud of.

Teach them about the environment and how it relates to food.  I used to pay Monkey Boy a penny for every lady bug he caught.  I told him that they helped keep nasty pests out of my garden, so they were worth the money to me.  He had a blast hunting for lady bugs and then I would pay him once he released them into the garden.  The same goes for allowing them to pick out flowers that they love–teach them about the importance of bringing in the bees, and have them water the flowers they chose.  Make the flowers lives their responsibility.  Kids love to feel like they play an important role.

bean garden trellis

Make a craft out of gardening.  If you are growing beans, have them help you make a bean trellis.  Let them paint pots with chalkboard paint so that they can label what they grow.

heirloom vegetable stand

Share your harvest with friends and neighbors.  Bring a big, home-grown salad that your kiddo helped assemble to the next family function.  When people ooh and aah about how great it tastes {and they will, because homegrown always gets that response}, your kids will take notice.

Let the kids deliver the produce they grew to the neighbors.  Try growing zucchini–they are easy to grow and plentiful, so kids will be able to deliver them to friends and neighbors easily.  I think kids LOVE to share what they’ve done–this gives them a chance to do that and experience the power of sharing food.

cinderela pumpkins

If you have the space, try a pumpkin patch just for the kids.  Promise them that come Halloween time, they can sell the pumpkins lemonade stand style.  All of the kids in the neighborhood can get cheap pumpkins and your kiddos will have something they worked toward and earned.  Holy cow, is it just me or is gardening the perfect parenting tool?  Ha!

However you involve the kids, you won’t regret it.  You will be providing them with a lifetime of usable skills.

Happy growing,

~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.

Weekly Meal Plan – Menu Plan Ideas Week 7 of 52

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Weekly Meal Plan - Menu Plan Ideas Week 7 of 52Even though I don’t make a traditional 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 for you to choose from this week:

Weekly Meal Plan - Menu Plan Ideas Week 7 of 52 breakfastBreakfast Ideas 

Weekly Meal Plan - Menu Plan Ideas Week 7 of 52 dinnerSlow Cooker, Main Dish and Freezer Meal Ideas 

Weekly Meal Plan - Menu Plan Ideas Week 7 of 52 saladSoups , Salads and Sides

Weekly Meal Plan - Menu Plan Ideas Week 7 of 52 dessertCookies, Snacks and Desserts 

pear butter recipe

Canning Recipe of the Week

Old Fashioned Pear Butter Recipe - Best stuff on earth! {Pin it 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.

Giveaway – Enter to Win a Botanical Interests Seed Collection

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botanical interests seed packets curtis mavis ryan

Last year my friends and I were given a special behind the scenes tour of the Botanical Interests Seed Company in Broomfield, Colorado. It was really awesome to meet everyone who works behind the scenes and to hang out with Owner Curtis Jones and my on-line boyfriend Ryan.

botanical interests seed collections

Ryan recently sent me seeds for my 2014 garden and tucked inside the box were some extra goodness for me to giveaway. Wahoooo!

Who wants to win some seeds?

All you have to do to enter this giveaway is leave a comment below and let us know which seed collection you would like to win. Just answer that one question and you’re entered to win. Life’s pretty complicated sometimes, so I like to keep things simple around here.

botanical interests garden seeds root

Root Renaissance Collection

  • Beet Gourmet Blend Organic (2.5 Grams)
  • Carrot Carnival Blend Organic (700 Mg)
  • Carrot Cosmic Purple (800 Mg)
  • Parsnip All American (1 Gram)
  • Radish Watermelon Mantanghong (500 Mg)
  • Rutabaga American Purple Top (2 Grams)
  • Turnip Purple Top White Globe Organic (4 Grams)

container garden seeds

Container Vegetable Collection

  • Carrot Tonda di Parigi (1 Gram)
  • Cucumber Spacemaster (2 Grams)
  • Kale Dwarf Blue Curled (3 Grams)
  • Lettuce Mesclun Farmer’s Market Blend (1.5 Grams)
  • Onion Bunching/Scallion Tokyo Long White (2 Grams)
  • Pepper Sweet Cherry Blend (30 Seeds)
  • Spinach Lavewa (3 Grams)
  • Tomato Bush Better Bush (24 Seeds)

botanical interests garden seeds baby

Baby Vegetable Seed Collection

  • Bean Bush Tavera Organic (15 Grams)
  • Beet Early Wonder Organic (2 Grams)
  • Carrot Baby Little Finger (1.5 Grams)
  • Cucumber Homemade Pickles (1.50 Grams)
  • Lettuce Mesclun Gourmet Baby Greens Organic (1 Gram)
  • Radish Easter Egg Blend (4 Grams)
  • Squash Summer Baby Round Zucchini (3 Grams)

curtis garden shed2

Rules

1 entry per person/ip address. If you cheat, you will totally be disqualified.

This giveaway ends Sunday, February 16th, 2014 @6 pm PST and the winners will be announced in the Monday, February 17, th edition of Mornings with Mavis. You will be notified via email and have 48 hours to claim your prize. If you do not claim your prize within 48 hours, the prize will be forfeited.

Good Luck! I hope you win!

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.

Tips for First Time Gardeners

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Tips for First Time GardenersOne Hundred Dollars a Month reader Claudine recently sent me an email with a question about getting started with gardening, she wrote,

Hi Mavis, do you have a blog post on how to start a garden for the first time? I have a new yard (with grass) but plenty of room and is like to grow some food – but I have no idea where to start. Thanks!

organic fruitsI think I could probably go a million different ways with this question, but the first thing that comes to mind is grow what you will eat.  I know that seems obvious, but it’s not.  I think a lot of times, first time gardeners think that they “have” to have tomatoes, or whatever, in order to be gardening, but when you get right down to it, their family doesn’t even eat that many tomatoes.  So, think about what type of produce you buy most often at the grocery store.

organic romaine lettuce basil chivesIf you find yourself throwing lettuce into the cart every week, that’s the perfect place to start.

organic vegetablesSecond, don’t feel like you have to grow ALL of your produce in order to make a garden worth it.  You may not have the time/space/desire to grow everything your family eats.  Supplementing a few meals with garden fresh produce is still super satisfying.  Unless you go straight homesteader, you will still have to buy your produce—so garden to supplement and enjoy the hobby.  It will take a lot of the pressure off.

raised garden bedsOnce you know what you want to grow, consider your space.  If you have a sunny patch of grass you want to turn into a garden spot, perfect.  You can choose to go all in and make raised garden boxes, or start out by just having designated garden beds.  I find that I “tweak” my garden space every season, after learning from the previous season.

cherry-tomatoesA lot of gardening is like that, actually, something doesn’t do as well as you would have liked, so you move it the next year or you work on improving the soil, etc.  Even after years, my garden is constantly evolving.  And for those of you that don’t have space in your yard, consider container gardening—you can actually grow quite a bit in containers.  Plus, it is easier to control the quality of the soil and drainage.

DIY Potting soil recipeFinally, know your dirt.  If you are going to use the dirt you already have in the backyard, prepare to invest a couple of growing seasons in making it hospitable.  Test your dirt’s pH levels, and then amend it accordingly.  I usually end up buying garden soil every year for some spot in my yard as well as making my own potting soil.  Yes, it seems insane to pay for dirt, but I’m impatient, and want to start growing immediately.  I typically add a little homemade compost to enrich it even more.

zucchini plantAs a final word of encouragement, remember, you can do everything right and still get plants that will die or be poor producers.  This happens to experienced gardeners {read:  me, like all of the time}, so don’t let it discourage you.  Some years are better than others, some variables just can’t be controlled, etc.  Garden on.

Hope this helps you get started,

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.

The Best Super Bowl Appetizer Recipes

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The Best Super Bowl Appetizer RecipesBeing that I’m from the Seattle area, suddenly this Super Bowl matters {let’s not ever repeat that to the HH}. For the first time ever, I’m actually just as excited for the game as I am for the food.

But of course, Super Bowl Sunday is not complete without some awesome appetizers. I’ve included all my favorites in one spot so you can save time searching for them, and use that time to deck yourself out in green and blue {those are the colors you’re wearing, right?!}.


Homemade Guacamole
Recipe Bacon Wrapped JalapenosBacon Wrapped Jalapenos
Roasted Heirloom Tomato SalsaRoasted Heirloom Tomato Salsa

Chex Party Mix

recipe-Black-Bean-and-Corn-QuesadillasBlack Bean and Corn Quesadilla

Ham and Cheese Quinoa Bites

Ham and Cheese Quinoa Bites

easy-zucchini-recipes-baked-friesBaked Zucchini Fries

bacon wrapped water chestnutsBacon Wrapped Water Chestnuts

Smashed Potatoes with Bacon and ChivesSmashed Potatoes
Garlic Spinach Dip

White Bean Dip with Sun Dried TomatoesWhite Bean Dip with Sun Dried Tomatoes

032Ranch Style Deviled Eggs

corn-and-black-bean-salsaBlack Bean Salsa with Corn and Avocados

Baked Not Fried Pork Egg Rolls
Baked Sweet Potato FriesBaked Sweet Potato Fries

Zucchini Pizza BitesZucchini Pizza Bites


Baked Mozzarella Sticks

Looking for more appetizer recipes? Check out my Appetizer Board on Pinterest!

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 3 of 52

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Weekly Meal Plan - Menu Plan IdeasI love eating and trying out new recipes so here are a few of my favorites you may not have seen yet. If you have never tried making your own marmalade before, TRY IT because not only is it delicious on a piece of toast, it makes a great gift as well.

breakfast Menu Plan IdeasBreakfast Ideas 

crock pot recipesSlow Cooker Ideas 

freezer meal recipesFreezer Meal Ideas 

easy side dishesSalads and Side Dishes

weekly menu dessert recipesCookies, Snacks and Desserts

How-to-Make-Orange-MarmaladeCanning Recipe of the Week

Orange Marmalade RecipeGreat on your morning toast! {Pin it 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:

Weekly Meal Plan – Menu Plan Ideas Week 1 of 52

Weekly Meal Plan – Menu Plan Ideas Week 2 of 52

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.

15 Appetizers for New Year’s Eve

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Appetizers for New Year’s Eve

Since resolutions don’t start until the clock strikes midnight, here are some tasty appetizers your guests or your family will be sure to love. Make a few or make them all. Just forget about calories for the night and get your snack on, Mavis recipe style! My top 15 favorites in no particular order of awesomeness:

Recipe Bacon Wrapped JalapenosBacon Wrapped Jalapenos
Roasted Heirloom Tomato SalsaRoasted Heirloom Tomato Salsa

Roasted Garbanzos recipe whole foodsRoasted Garbanzos

easy-zucchini-recipes-baked-friesBaked Zucchini Fries

recipe-Black-Bean-and-Corn-QuesadillasBlack Bean and Corn Quesadilla

roasted-Red-Beet-White-Bean-HummusRoasted Red Beet and White Bean Hummus

bacon wrapped water chestnutsBacon Wrapped Water Chestnuts


Guacamole

zucchini-hummus-recipeZucchini Hummus
Garlic Spinach Dip
Bruschetta

corn-and-black-bean-salsaBlack Bean Salsa with Corn and Avocados

Zucchini Pizza BitesZucchini Pizza Bites


Baked Mozzarella Sticks

Baked Sweet Potato FriesBaked Sweet Potato Fries

Looking for more appetizer recipes? Check out my Appetizer Board on Pinterest!

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.

Recipes Garden Frugal Canning Chickens Travel