How to Use Weck Canning Jars

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How to Use Weck Canning Jars

I posted a picture of my raspberry jam on instagram the other day, and someone left a comment “Please tell me it’s a tutorial with those gorgeous jars!”  I had used Weck canning jars for the jam, and thought that there might be other people who wanted to know what they were and how to use them.

I’ve always adored the beauty of Weck canning jars.  Last year was the first time I used them and let me tell you Bob, I AM IN LOVE.  You can use them over and over again, without having to buy new lids.

weck canning jars

Here’s a quick guide on using Weck canning jars:

  1. There are 4 pieces to Weck jars.  The lid, the jar, the rubber ring, and the clamps.  All four components will need to be washed and sterilized in hot soapy water.How to Use Weck Canning Jars
  2. For a hot water bath canning method, follow recipe instructions.  When it comes time to put your goods into the jars, place the rubber seals in boiling water for a few minutes, just as you would disposable lids.  This will soften them up and prepare them to seal.using weck canning jars
  3. Fill your jars with whatever you are canning.  Place the rubber seal on the lid of the jars and wipe the rims of the jars to ensure a good seal.  Place the lid on the jar and click the clamps into place.  The clamps will take the place of the rings in Kerr or Ball jars.
  4. Process your jars as you would regular canning jars.  When the timer goes off and you remove your jars, be careful not to disturb the clamps when you remove the jars from the water.How to Use Weck Canning Jars
  5. Allow the jars to cool completely.  Remove the clamps and check for a good seal.
  6. Store jars as you would regular canning jars.

raspberry jam in weck jarsI’ve bought Weck jars from both Amazon.com and Williams-Sonoma.  They are a little expensive up front, but since you can use them over and over, I think I’ll come out ahead in the end.

~Mavis

See all my Canning Recipes HERE

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.



12 Goals for the New Year – Week 30 of 52

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I came up with 12 goals I’d like to accomplish this year with the hopes of being able to cross one off my list per month to make them more manageable. I thought a great way to hold myself accountable to the things I want to accomplish this year would be to do a weekly update.

After all, we all need a little help staying motivated sometimes. Here’s how I am doing so far:

packing for college

1. Clean, de-clutter and organize my entire home in 30 days or less. – So far this year I have cleaned my closet, organized my kitchendecluttered my bathroom, organized my office, gutted the garage, and tackled the laundry room. We are still purging! It’s amazing how many clothes you can have when you don’t wear the same thing everyday. Sheesh, they should teach kids about minimalism in high school. ;)

lucy the puggle dog

2. Fit into the same jeans I wore 8 years ago when we moved into our house. Would you believe I can actually fit into my shorts without spillage? Must be all the walks the puggle princess and I have been going on lately.

sherlock homes 221b baker street london

3. Travel.   So far this year The Girl and I have been to Boston, London, Paris, Portland, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Maryland, West Virginia and Virginia and now Victoria B.C.

Would you believe my next little mini adventure is already planned? It will be more work than adventure, but I’m still hoping to sneak in a little fun.

smith brothers dairy

4. Send my daughter to college without having a nervous breakdown thus spending a week in bed sobbing. I wonder if she’ll be eating out of tin cans when she goes to college…

crappy british teeth

5. Get 3 new teeth. – I went to the oral surgeon and got the GREEN LIGHT to go back to my dentist and get my new teeth. Wahoooo! Now I just need to make an appointment.

lucy the puggle dog

6. Pay off my car. Done!

Lucy is the most well behaved dog on the planet when she thinks she might be on the way to the vet. ;)

primitive hooked star rug

7. Finish this primitive folk art rug I started 4 years ago. Finished! It took me 6 months but I’m done. When I started I had no idea I was making a rug for Lucy. ;)

primitive hooked rug turkey

I started another rug and I’m making some pretty good progress on it too. I’m hoping to get it done in time to set out for Thanksgiving this year and you know what, I think I’m going to make it. My goal this week is to get all the flowers completed.

poster board

8. Do something together as a family ever Sunday. Naps. Do naps count? Also, the HH and The Girl started mapping out their road trip to college adventure.

9.  Secret Plan #1 - Done! – I’ll tell you about it at the end of the month.

10. Secret Plan #2 Making progress.

11. Secret Plan #3

Walton Mountain Museum Earl Hamner House

12. Convince the HH we should buy a Salt Box Style House in Colonial Williamsburg. Our 20th anniversary is coming up and I keep hinting…. we’ll see how it all pans out. ;) At this point I will settle for any type of home on the East Coast. Maybe I should contact the peeps who own Earl Hamner’s House and see if they want to sell. How cool would that be?

botanical interests seed packets

13. Spend at least 1 hour a day working in my garden. This week I harvested all our beets and then went back and planted more beets and 2 packets of chives in the same garden bed. I’m hoping to be able to beets for Thanksgiving dinner. We’ll see.

So there you have it, my goals for the new year.

How about YOU? How are your 2014 goals coming along?

~Mavis

P.S. YES, I know I wrote down 13 goals. I’m fairly certain I won’t be able to attain one of them. {gee, I wonder which one?} :) But I wanted to add it in there anyway because I believe in miracles. 

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, Lucy the Lazy Dog, Bedding Deals, Kut From the Kloth Jeans, Coupons and More

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lucy the puggle dog

Oh Lucy, she’s been such a lazy pup lately. I think she may have actually learned to relax and not be on the go 24/7. Which is pretty awesome if you ask me. We have passed the toddler stage people… and I couldn’t be happier. :) Yay for lazy dogs! :)

Have a great Wednesday everyone,

Mavis

Amazon Gold Box Deal of the Day - Up to 35% Off Select PC Components and Accessories

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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! :)

nordstrom anniversay sale

The Nordstrom Anniversary Sale is here!  FREE shipping and FREE returns with no minimum. Head on over HERE to check out all the deals.

evenflo booster seats

Amazon has the Evenflo Amp High Back Booster Car Seat, Carrissa and Green Angles on sale for $39.99 shipped!

kut from the kloth jeans on sale

Kut from the Kloth … The only jeans I wear are on sale today on 6pm.com. :) :) :)

How-to-Tell-if-Eggs-Are-Still-Good

Do you know how to tell if your eggs are still good? There’s a super simple way to tell. Check it out HERE before you toss them or Pin it for later. Find more cool tips on my Easy Kitchen Tips Pinterest Board.

REI Outlet Deal of the Day - ALPS Mountaineering Breeze Pack 

cotton duvet set

Looking for an inexpensive duvet set? Amazon has the Utopia Bedding Queen 3pc Duvet Set on sale for $29.99 Queen and $33.99  King with a variety of colors to choose from.

babeAre you tired of the junkity junk movies out there? If you’re looking for good, wholesome movies your whole fam can watch, sign up for a FREE 7 day trial of SpiritClips. SpiritClips from Hallmark is a family-friendly movie subscription service showing films that inspire and entertain audiences of all ages. Start your FREE trial HERE.

urban farm magazine

Discount Mags is offering a 1 year subscription to Urban Farm Magazine for only $8.99 a year or Country Living Magazine for $5.99 a year when you use code MAVIS at checkout. This deal will expire tonight 7/24/14 at midnight EST so be sure and grab your subscription before then.

Freezer-Meal-Recipe-Cilantro-Lime-Chicken

Check out this freezer meal recipe for Cilantro Lime Chicken. It just might be a perfect way to use up some of that cilantro that’s growing in the garden. Get the recipe HERE or Pin it for later.

chocker necklace

Amazon has these Vintage Flower Crystal Bubble Bib Chokers for just $4.09 shipped. These would make a great gift for stocking stuffer and come in 4 different colors.

french manicure stickers

Love the look of a French Manicure but can’t seem to get the lines just right? Now you can get 10 sheets of Nail Art Designs French, Chevron & Teardrop Nail Tip Guides Stickers for just $1.76 shipped and the reviews are great!

sams club coupon

$45 for a One-Year Sam’s Club Membership, $20 Gift Card, and Free Fresh-Food Vouchers ($91.23 Total Value)

  • One-year Sam’s Club Savings Membership (a $45 value)
  • Complimentary membership card for a spouse or other household member
  • $20 gift card valid for any in-club, online or fuel purchases
  • Four Fresh-food vouchers, redeemable at the time of membership activation through Monday, October 27, 2014 (a $26.23 value), including:
    • Sliced oven-roast turkey (22 oz. – $7.98 value)
    • Ciabatta rolls (8 ct. – $3.99 value)
    • Black bean five-layer dip (28 oz. – $7.98 value)
    • Apple pie (10” – $6.28 value)

Go HERE to see this Sam’s Club Offer

kellogg's sweepstakes

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.

German Chocolate Brownie Bars

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German Chocolate Brownie Bars

I’ve never met a brownie I didn’t like. You can even soak a burned brownie in milk and it’s still awesome. So adding more deliciousness to the top of a brownie? I’m totally on board with that. They’re chocolatey and gooey and so full of awesome that if you try to bake a batch to gift to neighbors, you should probably bake a second batch just for you.

ingredients for German Chocolate Brownie Bars

Ingredients

Brownies
1/2 cup butter, melted
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

topping ingredients for German Chocolate Brownie Bars

Topping
2 egg whites
1 cup sweetened flaked coconut
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt

German Chocolate Brownie Bars

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 F. Place an overhanging piece of parchment paper in the bottom of an 8×8 baking pan and set aside.

In a mixing bowl, combine butter, cocoa powder, sugar, eggs and vanilla. Slowly add in flour and mix just until combined. Stir in chocolate chips and then pour into prepared pan, smoothing evenly and set aside.

In a separate mixing bowl, mix all topping ingredients until well combined. Spread topping over brownie batter. Bake 25-30 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool. One cooled, lift the parchment paper to remove the dessert from the pan. Transfer to a large cutting board, remove paper and slice into bars. Enjoy.

German Chocolate Brownie Bars

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 Butterfield | Backyard Garden Pictures 7/22/14

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fallen tree on garden

Over the weekend a tree fell smack dab in the middle of our pumpkin patch killing two plants. Luckily we were all inside when it happened. Living in a wooded area has it’s perks, but falling trees, isn’t one of them. growing green beans on a trellis

The rest of the garden is doing really well though. The second round of green beans should be ready in a few more weeks and I just planted our third and final round last night. onion braids

Onions. We harvested all of them. Our winter leeks are still growing like mad and with a little luck the chives we have planted alongside the greenhouse should be okay thru the middle of October or so. For some reason plants seem to hang on a little longer in that spot. Not sure if it’s because of the shade or what, but I’m not complaining.
cabbage plant

We are harvesting about a head of cabbage a week. Grocery shipping in your backyard is cool!zucchini plant

Zucchinis. Are yours growing like crazy this year too?harvesting beets

And last but not least beets. We harvested a tray full of beets last night and planted new seeds in the same spot for a late fall harvest. Call me crazy, but I think a 4′x8′ garden box should be just enough to last thru the winter. What do you think?

How is YOUR garden doing these days? What’s your favorite thing growing in your garden right now?

Mavis Wants to know.

This years garden is being sponsored by the folks at BotanicInterests Seed Company. You can check out their website HERE, order their new 2014 Garden Seed Catalog HERE.

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.

What Causes Blossom Drop in Tomatoes?

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What Causes Blossom Drop in Tomatoes

I recently received an email from One Hundred Dollars a Month reader, Kathy in Ohio.  She wrote,

Hi Mavis! Happy Wednesday to you!  Have you ever discussed blossom drop in tomatoes? It’s when the blossoms bloom then drop off tomato plants, with no fruit setting. Someone recently came to me asking about it, and luckily enough, after years of caring for acres of tomatoes when my step father was alive on the farm, I was able to help her.
I think your readers would like to know about this. After all, it has been hot and humid around most of the country lately and that can be a factor when dealing with blossom drop.

It can also affect other fruit bearing veggie plants like peppers, green beans, cucumbers, pumpkins and other squash, melons and eggplant
By the way, I’m in NE Ohio,  where it’s been near 90 or above, with super high humidity.

Have an excellent day!

Excellent suggestion, Kathy.  Thanks!

Blossom drop can be maddening.  The worst part of blossom drop is that several things can cause it.  It is an indication that the plant is under some level of stress, so you may have to trouble shoot a bit what could be causing it in your specific situation.  First off, blossom drop is when the flowers {that should eventually become tomatoes} wither up and fall off–which means no tomatoes.  Whah!

Typically, blossom drop occurs when temperatures spike very quickly or drop quickly.  Drastic changes in temperature really stress tomatoes out.  As Kathy mentioned, humidity can also do a number on potato plants.  If you live in a low humidity area, it’s an easy fix, you can try wetting the foliage a bit during the day to get a bit of humidity into the air around the plant.  If you live in a high humidity area, it’s pretty darn hard to control.

If the weather isn’t the problem, it may be a pollination issue.  If you don’t have bees buzzing around your garden, you may not have great pollination.  Without pollination, no tomatoes, plain and simple.

blossom drop in tomatoes

Lack of water or nitrogen in the soil can also stress out a tomato plant.  During the hottest months, it’s really best to give a deep water {like flood irrigation} once a week, rather than a daily surface sprinkle.  The water really needs to reach the roots, and if given the change, tomatoes like to lay some deep roots.  If you suspect your soil might not be very nutrient rich, try a quality organic nitrogen based fertilizer.  Follow the instructions on the fertilizer for application.

Inspect your plants regularly for insects or disease.  Again, an infestation or disease will stress out your plant, causing it drop flowers.

heirloom tomatoes

Finally, and this is probably the best case scenario, it can happen when you have a really heavy crop.

Yep, even too much of a good thing is not a good thing.  The good news is that after you harvest some of the tomatoes, it should resolve itself.  The plant only has so much nutrients to go around, so if there is an over-abundance of fruit, it will drop some of the flowers to concentrate on growing the rest of the fruit.

Once you know what is causing your blossom drop, you can easily address the issue {except for controlling the weather, I haven’t figured out how to do that yet :) }.

Thanks again for the suggestion, Kathy!  I can’t believe I haven’t thought to address the topic before.

~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.

One Grocery Store’s Solution to Food Waste

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A big thanks to my friend Heather who shared this video and article about a grocery store in France on a mission to reduce food waste with me.

Intermarche, a large grocery store chain in France, is taking food waste into their own hands.  Instead of only buying the “perfect” looking fruits and veggies {which as any gardener knows, leaves a lot of “imperfect” waste}, they are buying up the stuff the farmers would have thrown out.  They mark it down, give it its own showcase in the store, and then watch as people buy it up.  They also create in-house juices and soups with it, which apparently fly off the shelves.  Genius, I tell ya.

mutant carrots

I wish they would do something like that here in America {Maybe they do?  Does anyone know of a grocery store that sells the ugly fruits and veggies?}  In America, the average family wastes about 25% of the food they throw out.  That roughly equates to $1500 dollars a year just getting tossed into the trash.

food-waste-in-America-Saveitsunday

Click HERE and check out my food waste experiment.  Trust me, if you haven’t read about it, your mind will be blown.

Food waste is one of those things that just kills me–especially quality, nutrient packed food.  I go to some pretty serious lengths to make sure food doesn’t go to waste around here.  For one, I organize my fridge so that things don’t get lost in the abyss.  Fruits and vegetables that are about to go bad get pureed and frozen for smoothies, soups, etc.  And while I am terrible at meal planning, it DOES cut down on waste.  Plain and simple.  {Check out my tips on reducing food waste for more ideas.}

Preventing Food Waste - Freeze Extra Juice and Make Smoothies

I thought this was another genius solution to a HUGE global problem.  I would totally buy the misshapen fruits and vegetables–especially at a discount.  How about YOU?

~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.

Free Kindle Books, Labeler Machine, Foodsaver, Keen Shoes, Hunter Boots, Recipes, Coupons and More

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lucy the puggle dog

Lucy wasn’t at all convinced it was time to get up this morning. :)

Have a great Tuesday everyone,

Mavis

kindle fire tablet

Amazon Gold Box Deal of the Day - $100 Off Kindle Fire HDX 7″ 4G LTE

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!

Brother Personal Labeler Machine

Gone! :(   Amazon currently has the Brother Personal Labeler Machine on sale for just $9.99. This is a great way to label all your kids back to school supplies {or your own stuff!}

Deals on Sharpies

I LOVE Sharpies!!!

How-to-Infuse-Oils-for-Cooking

If you’ve never infused oil for cooking before, check out how HERE or Pin it for later. It’s so good! Find more cool tips on my Easy Kitchen Tips Pinterest Board.

FoodSaver V3240 Vacuum Sealing System

If you’ve been thinking about getting a Foodsaver Machine Amazon has the FoodSaver V3240 Vacuum Sealing System on sale for $86.97 shipped. The reviews are excellent on this machine!

 

keen shoes on sale

Today Zulily Keen Shoes for the Whole Family on sale today with savings up to 65% off! Now is the time to stock up for back to school!!New to Zulily? Go HERE to Sign Up then HERE to get the deal.

hunter boots for kids

6pm currently has Kids Hunter Boots on sale for $45.99 shipped! Wowza!

tiny prints thank you cards

Through 7/28/14, you can create $1.99 personalized 5×7 folded cards, and Cardstore will mail them for FREE when you use code CAJ4106 at checkout! Wahoo! What a deal!

canvas people

I love me some Canvas People. They are still offering their FREE 8×10 offer. You just have to pay shipping! Get your FREE 8×10 from Canvas People HERE.

saveur-magazine-coupon-deal

Discount 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 7/22/14 at midnight EST so be sure and grab your subscription before then.

Easy-Crock-Pot-Recipes-Chicken-with-Orange-Marmalade

If the temperature is so hot outside that you don’t want to turn on your oven, try this oven-free Slow Cooker Chicken with Orange Marmalade recipe. Get the recipe HERE or Pin it for later.

strawberry pop tarts

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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.

Strawberry Basil Salsa

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Strawberry Basil Salsa

I made this and ate it with some tortilla chips. It was good. Then I made this and ate it with a thin layer of cream cheese on a toasted baguette {a few Triscuit crackers, too} and hold-the-phone, it changed everything. So that’s how I brought it to the next BBQ we were invited to and everyone scarfed it down. This salsa is a slam dunk.

holding-fresh-strawberries

Ingredients

2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
2 tablespoons white onion, minced
2 tablespoons fresh basil leaves, chopped
3 cups chopped strawberries

how to grow organic basil

Directions

In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together lemon juice, oil, and salt and pepper. Add onions and basil, and stir until combined. Add strawberries and toss to coat. Enjoy.

Strawberry Basil Salsa

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.

Remember When Your First Car Meant Freedom?

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Remember When Your First Car Meant Freedom

I was on cnn.com the other day and spotted an article about the thrill of owning your own car as a teen in the 1960′s.  The article described how one teen worked at the grocery store, delivered papers, and sold ice cream just so he could buy his own car by the time he turned 16.  Not only did he save enough {$200} to buy a car, but he also WORKED before he ever even turned 16.  The car meant freedom to him, in a time where most households had only one car, and 1 out of 5 households had none at all.

Back when I was in high school you were cool if you just had a car, but these days it’s less about having a car {any car} than what kind of car. My first car was a 2 door Ford Escort and I drove it into the ground. I literally had to stop on the side of the freeway because the engine was smoking about 5 miles from where I was trading it in for $500 {which was a gift let me tell you, that thing had run it’s course}.

Now cars, smartphones, and jobless teens are just kind of a given.  Part of it totally has to do with how much we expect from them academically and with their extracurricular demands, but still, it seems sad–like they are missing out on an earned right-of-passage.  The first set of bought-with-your-own-money set of wheels used to be a tell-tell sign that  you were transitioning into adulthood.  Maybe it’s our fault?  We buy them their first set of wheels so the WE can gain a little freedom.  They can drive themselves to and from practice, or whatever other commitments that have given us mini-van butt over the years.

Whatever the reason, it’s totally a cultural shift.  Don’t you ever just miss the good ol’ days?

So, what was your first car? I bet it wasn’t as sweet as a pale blue 2 door Ford Escort. ;)

~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.

Recipes Garden Frugal Canning Chickens Travel