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.



Blackberry Ricotta Scones

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Blackberry Ricotta Scones

Since blackberry season is in full swing, I’ve been searching for some good blackberry recipes. I adapted this scone recipe, made it and then shoveled scone after scone into my mouth. It wasn’t pretty, but holy pork and beans people, these were GOOD!

They have berries and milk in them, so I don’t feel bad eating one, ahem, or three. Seriously, if you are a scone person or have ever considered becoming a scone person, these scones are where it’s at.

bowl of blackberries

Ingredients

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, frozen
1 1/2 cups fresh blackberries
3/4 cup whole-milk ricotta
1/3 cup 2% milk

Blackberry Ricotta Scones

Directions

Preheat oven to 425 F. Line a baking sheet with a silpat or parchment paper and set aside.

Combine dry ingredients {first 5} in a mixing bowl. Carefully grate frozen butter into flour mixture using the large holes of a box grater. Toss the mixture thoroughly to combine until it resembles a coarse meal. Add in the blackberries.

Add the ricotta and whole milk to the butter mixture and stir to form a wet dough. Using a 3 tablespoon cookie scoop, scoop generous portions of dough onto your silpat {I was able to get 8 scones} and bake about 15 minutes or until golden. Enjoy!

Blackberry Ricotta Scones

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.

DIY Concrete Stepping Stones Using Cake Pan Molds

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how-to-make-stepping-stones1Sometimes your DYI projects turn out even better than expected. That’s what happened this week when I found some old cake pans  and decided to make some stepping stones out of them in my latest eHow post: How to Make Stepping Stones From Old Cake Pans.

I was cleaning out my cupboards the other day and came across a boatload of old cake pans. How did that happen? Seriously, how does a one acquire seven cake pans? I don’t even bake cakes very often.

Oh well. So what’s a girl to do with so many pans? Use those old cake pans to make stepping stones, of course!

Read the full article 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.

Friday Night at the Movies – Second Hand Lions

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We are pretty busy around here, so no movie for us this Friday, but if you are looking for a movie the whole family {older kids, at least, it’s rated PG} can watch, I recommend you check out Second Hand Lions.

It’s about a little boy that has a less than desirable life with his flighty irresponsible mother.  The mother decides on a whim to drop him off to spend the summer with two uncles he has never met.   It is such a great story about a boy {and ultimately the uncles} getting what he needs, when he needs it most.  It’s one of those surprisingly feel good movies, with quirky humor.  It really is great.

second hand lions

Let me know what you think if you decide to watch it–or if you have already seen it.

Peace out Girl Scouts & have yourself a great weekend,

~Mavis

PicMonkey Collage

Looking for more movies?

Check out the full list of my Friday Night at the Movies Selections or click on over & look at all the movies on Amazon Instant Video. There are a ton of videos to choose from that will cost you absolutely nothing {nada, zilch, free-o} with Amazon Prime; like thousands of regular movies & TV shows & hundreds of documentaries {Wahoo!}. Get all the details 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.

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.

Would You Eat Bugs…by Choice?

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eating crickets

Apparently the insects as protein revolution is really starting to take flight {pun intended}.  Remember when I asked you if you would be willing to eat deep fried crickets?  Well, according to this article, the Denver County Fair featured several cleverly disguised insect treats this year.  In fact, several companies are popping up in an attempt to breakdown the taboos we Americans have against consuming insects.

The “bugs as food industry” is trying to win over the public with bars, protein powders, and clever Harry Potter-esque names, like Sky Prawns and Hopper Bars.  On the upside, insects are a pretty environmentally low-impact way to get protein {when compared to livestock}, and the downside, I’ve eaten several bugs while riding my bike, and not once do I remember saying, “Oh, that was actually quite tasty.”

I have seen bug suckers at the gas station before, but I have to be honest, I thought they were a gag gift, literally.  I’m not sure if I would be willing to actually eat them–I think for now, I’ll stick to tootsie pops.

So, what do you think, would you scoop some cricket powder into your morning smoothie?

~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, 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

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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!

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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.


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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.

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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.

Fee-Free National Parks Admission Days

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Mt.-Rainier-National-Park-waterfallYou know I love to travel, and while I’d hop a flight to London every month if I could swing it, there are so many cool places in the US I love exploring too. Some of our national parks top my list of awesome places to vacation to. I might not be much of a camper, but I love to hike. And I’ve seen some pretty amazing views while hiking through some of our national parks.

Did you know there are over 400 national parks in the US? Wowzas. Some of the best ones charge admission fees, so you’ll want to pay attention to the list of 2014 fee-free days below if you’re planning on visiting one of the fee-based national parks anytime soon:

Free National Park Admission Dates:

  • January 20- Martin Luther King Jr. Day
  • February 15-17- Presidents Day weekend
  • April 19-20- opening weekend of National Park Week
  • August 25- National Park Service Birthday
  • September 27- National Public Lands Day
  • November 11- Veterans Day

Other agencies participate in fee-free days as well. See the full list and participating agency below:

Dates Event Participating Agency
Jan. 20 Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Bureau of Land Management
National Park Service
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
U.S. Forest Service
Feb. 15-17 President’s Day Weekend Bureau of Land Management
National Park Service
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
U.S. Forest Service
April 19-20 National Park Week’s opening weekend National Park Service
June 14 National Get Outdoors Day U.S. Forest Service
Aug. 25 National Park Service’s 98th Birthday National Park Service
Sept. 27 National Public Lands Day Army Corps of Engineers
Bureau of Land Management
Bureau of Reclamation
National Park Service
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
U.S. Forest Service
Oct. 12 National Wildlife Refuge Day U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Nov. 8-11 Veteran’s Day Weekend Army Corps of Engineers
Bureau of Land Management
Bureau of Reclamation
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
U.S. Forest Service
Nov. 11 Veteran’s Day National Park Service

Mt. Rainier National Park vacations

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.

7 Tips for Surviving a Red Eye Flight

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7 Tips for Surviving a Red Eye Flight

There’s no doubt about it, I love to travel, and when I do I actually prefer taking a red eye flight {gasp!}.

You can save time because it doesn’t cut into one of your vacation days…and obviously, you can save money.  Over the years, I’ve kind of mastered the red eye hangover.

Here’s 7 ways to survive a red eye, and still feel ready and refreshed for your vacation:

  1. I always pop a couple of ibuprofen right before take off so that I don’t get a headache from the airplane noise.  It is that whole ounce of prevention thing.
  2. Drink water or juice instead of soda or alcoholic beverages.  It’s not as fun, but believe me, your body with thank you for it.  Flying dehydrates you anyway, add poor quality sleep to the mix and you will feel like garbage.  It’s best to just avoid that altogether.
  3. Have your toothbrush handy and pop into the bathroom before you land.  That way, you don’t feel gross.  You can hit the ground running.
  4. Bring a jacket or a sweater.  If you get cold you can wear it, but a jacket/sweater = a pillow in my book.  You can wad it up and rest easy knowing you aren’t sharing drool with the last passenger from one of the shared airplane pillows.
  5. Get a window seat.  This is essential.  That way, you’ll have a wall to lean up against, and won’t have to rely on the guy that smells faintly of bologna sitting next to you. :)
  6. Dress for nappy time.  Yes, this is the time when sweats and comfy clothes are totally acceptable in public.  Being comfy will make sleeping sooooo much easier.
  7. Eat before you get on the plane.  Skip the in-flight $7 meal and try, if possible, to go straight to sleep.  This is about getting the most out of your sleep so you can enjoy your vacation.  It will also communicate silently to everyone around you that  you are not there to chit-chat.  It’s bedtime.

Do YOU take red eye flights?  What are your tips and tricks for surviving them?

~Mavis

See more of my travel tips 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.

James Madison’s Montpelier

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James Madison Montpelier

I was going through some photos of our trip last to Virginia and realized I forgot to share our trip to Montpelier {James Madison’s estate}.  Since we went to Monticello and Mount Vernon last time we were back east, I thought I’d better keep up the themed history lesson and check it out.

James Madison Montpelier

Quick history lesson, in case you’ve forgotten everything you learned in sixth grade:  James Madison was our fourth president.  His estate is massive, to say the least, covering about 2700 acres.

James Madison s Montpelier Barn

First off, let me start by saying, Montpelier is a MANSION.  They call it the mansion, and it definitely lives up to its name–it has something like 22 rooms.

We toured the first floor, which had the drawing room and library.  The estate was sold several times after Madison’s death, so historians have been busily trying to recreate the interior of the mansion as it might have looked during his life.  Historians are also trying to acquire original artifacts, etc. of Madison’s.

James Madison Montpelier

The estate also has a garden, called the Annie duPont Garden.  During Madison’s life, he maintained {well, probably his slaves maintained it actually} a vegetable garden of 4 acres {I wonder how many pounds of food I could grow on 4 acres?!}.  The 2 acre Annie duPont Garden is a replica of the gardens that Madison and his wife Dolly would have had during their lives.

James Madison Montpelier Garden

About 500 yards from the house, is the original homestead site called Mount Pleasant.  Madison’s grandfather originally acquired the land {about 4000 acres at the time} and built a home he called Mount Pleasant.  Madison’s father later built the framework of Madison’s house, James and Dolly continued to add onto Montpelier in phases throughout their lives, creating the mansion it is today.

James Madisons Montpelier Cemetery

The Madison family cemetery where James is buried is also on the grounds.  Dolly moved to Washington D.C. after Jame’s death and was buried there.  She has since been moved back the Montpelier cemetery.

A couple hundred yards from that lies the slave cemetery.  Madison had slaves his whole life–they ran the plantation {mostly tobacco}, maintained the gardens and house, and did some blacksmithing.  Historians at the site are trying to uncover the lives, names, etc. of the slaves that lived at Montpelier so that their stories can also be part of the estate.

James Madisons Montpelier Horses

Their is an old growth forest that is open to the public for hiking.  It is almost completely undisturbed, so it looks just as it would have during Madison’s time.

James Madisons Montpelier Slave Housing

The South Yard and Stable Quarters are framework replicas of the slave quarters that have been unearthed by archaeologists.  They have found glass window remnants near the South Yard where domestic slaves {slaves who worked in the mansion} lived, indicates that they lived a much better life than those who worked with the horses or on the estate and lived in the stable quarters {with clay floors and horse equipment}.

Overall, the estate is pretty impressive.  How nice would it be to just be gifted an automatic 2000 acres?  Life has sure changed a bit since James Madison’s time, huh?

~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.

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