Classic Cobb Salad Recipe

cobb salad

I’ve probably been to the Cheesecake Factory about 50 times {it’s my parent’s favorite restaurant}. The first time I went I ordered their Cobb salad and LOVED it. And now, even though their menu is the size of a novel, I order the same exact thing every time we go there.

So the other day when I realized I had a bunch of people to feed and a whole bunch of leftover hard boiled eggs to use up, my mind immediately went to the Cobb salad. It was a total hit, and as a bonus, it looks so pretty! Makes the perfect luncheon recipe for a crowd.

green eggsIngredients

Salad:
1/2 head iceberg lettuce, washed, cored and shredded
1/2 head romaine lettuce, washed and shredded
1 large cucumber, peeled and diced
3 oz blue cheese crumbles
6 strips cooked bacon, chopped
4 hard-boiled eggs, peeled and chopped
1 avocado, peeled, pitted, and cubed
20 cherry tomatoes, cut into fourths
2 small boneless skinless chicken breast, cooked and cubed
Salt and pepper to taste

Dressing:
3/4 cup canola oil
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
3 cloves minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Directions

Whisk together the dressing ingredients and set aside. Lay lettuce on the bottom of a platter and arrange remaining salad ingredients in pretty rows on top of lettuce. Drizzle with dressing or serve dressing on the side. Serve chilled and enjoy!

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Money Saving Tip – Put a Dry Towel in the Dryer to Reduce Drying Time

Put a Dry Towel in the Dryer to Reduce Drying Time

Put a Dry Towel in the Dryer to Reduce Drying Time

Drying clothes has to be one of the biggest energy sucks in the whole house.  I live in a neighborhood where clothes lines are a no-no, so my dryer and I have to learn to work together.

One way to significantly cut down on drying time is to toss a super absorbent DRY towel into the dryer along with the wet clothes.  The towel will absorb a lot of the excess moisture.  The key is to remove the towel about 15 minutes into the drying time, though, or it will redistribute the moisture as it drys.  Having one towel just for this purpose in the laundry room works pretty well.  Then, you can hang the towel on a hanger and allow it to dry before you need it for the next batch of laundry.

~Mavis

Want to save even more money?  Try making your own laundry detergent.  Here are my favorite recipes:

DIY Homemade Laundry Detergent Tabs DIY Laundry Detergent Tabs

DIY-DIY-How-to-Make-Your-Own-Laundry-DetergentDIY Laundry Detergent

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If All My Tomato Plants Die, It’s Totally My Fault

mavis garden blog

mavis garden blog

Yesterday I woke up at 2 am. Crazy, I know, but I had to pick Hulda up at 6:30 so we could catch the 7:20 ferry to Seattle for our segment on New Day Northwest and there was a lot to get done before we left.
garden dirt

So when I got home around 2pm, it was no surprise that I totally crashed for a couple of hours.
tomato plant

And when I woke up, all I could think about were the heirloom tomato plants sitting in the greenhouse waiting to be planted. So what did I do? I planted 8 of them in the garden even though I know it’s totally too early to be planting tomatoes outside.growing tomatoes in the garden

I don’t know what came over me. running with dogs

What is it about this time of year that has me so hopeful?
lucy the puggle dog

It’s like I have no self control and I have open all the seed packets I’ve been staring at all winter long and get them into the ground before my heart explodes. lucy puggle dog

I love this time of year. And who’s to say tomatoes, beans and cucumbers need to all be planted on a particular day? What if this is the year we’ll have a perfect summer and it will pay off to get those plants and seeds into the ground a few weeks early?

lucy the puggle dog

I don’t know about you, but I can’t stand it anymore.

I going to get all my seeds in the ground this weekend.

All 52 million packets of them and hope for the best.

~Mavis

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Free Kindle Books, Anne Klein Watches, Tea Gifts, Wahl Haircutting Kit, Kik Step Rolling Stool and More

anne klein watches

mornings with mavis

Happy Thursday everyone. Yesterday morning my neighbor Hulda and I were on New Day Northwest and we made a hanging basket. You can checkout the video HERE in case you missed it and get the tutorial HERE.

It’s been a crazy week, and I think things are just going to get even crazier as graduation creeps up on us. I hope I can hang in there. 😉 Yikes!

Have a great day everyone,

Mavis

anne klein watches

Amazon Gold Box Deal of the Day – Anne Klein Watches Starting at $34.99

gifts for tea loversAny tea drinkers out there? 😉

super hero belts

These Superhero Belts would make a great {practical} gift for a little boys birthday presents. Jane has them on sale right now for $9.99 and there are 5 Superheroes to choose from.

american flag

Amazon has the US American Deluxe Heavyweight Nylon Flag (3′ x 5′)  on sale for just $9.85.

Wahl 79300-400 Color Pro 20 Piece Complete Haircutting Kit

Save Money on haircuts this year with the Wahl Color Pro 20 Piece Complete Haircutting Kit. On sale right now for just $17.99.

Freezer Meal - Beef Enchiladas Recipe with Photos

In case you didn’t know, freezer meals are AWESOME and this recipe for Beef Enchiladas is always a hit a my house. Get the recipe HERE or Pin it for Later.

silacone baking mat set

Get a Set of 2 Artisan Baking Mats for just $16.78. I use these all the time for baking and my cookies always turn out great! No more scrubbing pans.

fine cooking magazine

Discount Mags is offering a 1 year subscription to Fine Cooking Magazine for only $7.50 a year when you use code MAVIS at checkout. This deal will expire tonight 5/8/14 at midnight EST so be sure and grab your subscription before then.

Kik Step Rolling Step StoolAmazon currently has the Kik Step Rolling Step Stool on for as low as $54.25 shipped. I’ve had my red one for about 10 years now and use it practically everyday.

FRED Chimpsticks Chopsticks

Fred & Friends Chimpsticks Chopsticks $7.00

Okay, so I’ll admit it, I cannot use chopsticks very well but we do own a few set of the Chimpsticks and let me tell you, they are fun to use!!

tide boost coupons

Print a coupon good for $2.00 off TWO Tide Detergents or Tide Boost

Find More Printable Coupons

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Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp

strawberry rhubarb crisp recipe

Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp

Have you started harvesting rhubarb yet this season? Well if you have  a couple of extra stalks of rhubarb {well, okay, 4 to be exact} you’ll want to gather up some strawberries too and make this strawberry rhubarb crisp.

I brought one of these to a pot luck dessert last year and it was gone within 5 minutes. I kid you not. I don’t know if it was because those people had never tried rhubarb before and they were all curious, or if they knew exactly what it was and knew exactly what they wanted.

It’s good, trust me. 😉

fresh strawberries

Ingredients

4 cups fresh rhubarb, cut into 1 inch pieces
4 cups fresh strawberries, stems removed
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup oats {I used quick cooking oats}
1/2 cup cold unsalted butter, cubed

strawberry rhubarb crisp recipe

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Butter a 9×12 inch baking dish and set aside.
In a large bowl toss together the strawberries, rhubarb and 3/4 cup of sugar. In a small bowl mix the orange juice and cornstarch together and pour over strawberry/rhubarb mixture and mix until the fruit is coated.

Pour fruit mixture in to the buttered baking dish.

In a small bowl combine the flour, brown sugar, 1/2 granulated sugar, salt, butter and oats together until it resembles small pebbles. Sprinkle topping over the fruit and bake at 350 degrees for 50 – 60 minutes or until the juices are bubbling and the top is a nice golden brown.

Serve warm with vanilla ice cream.

rhubarb recipes

Find More Rhubarb Recipes

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Using Marigolds in the Garden to Control Pests

Use Marigolds in the Garden to Control Pests

Use Marigolds in the Garden to Control Pests

I love the idea of using natural gardening methods to deter pests.  One, because I am too cheap to pay for expensive chemicals, and two, because I don’t want chemicals on my food anyway.

The thing that  you have to remember with organic gardening is that it kind of takes a little more patience and tweaking than just obliterating the problem with a quick solution of chemicals.

One of the ways you can control the pest population in your garden is to use plants and flowers that naturally deter and/or attract the pests.  While there are lots of potential plants you can use, Marigolds are kind of the gold standard.  They both deter some pests from even entering your garden, and attract others {kind of like the Pied Piper of flowers, leading the pests away from your edible vegetables}.

slugs cabbage leaves

If you want to use Marigolds in your garden as pest control, make sure you get a highly scented variety.  The smell is what offends most pests.  Also, it’s kind of important to integrate the flowers right into the garden beds, not just in pots on the front patio.  In All New Square Foot Gardening, the author suggests integrating Marigolds right into one of the square foots of the garden.  That way, they are on the front line.  **Remember, though, that Marigolds are a much less intensive way to control pests, so it won’t eliminate them entirely, just deter them.

marigolds in garden

Marigolds attract pests like snails and spider mites–which can be problematic, if  you want your Marigolds to be purely for aesthetic reasons.  When I use them, I kind of use them like the sacrificial lamb of the garden.  I know that they will attract certain bugs, but it keeps them off of my edibles, so I am okay with them being under attack.

In addition to repelling certain bugs, Marigolds do their fair share in helping with feeding the beneficial bugs.  They provide nectar and contribute to the overall pollination of your garden.  The bugs that they provide nectar for, in turn, prey on pests you don’t want in your garden.  It’s the circle of life all in one little flower.

Do you use Marigolds in your garden?

~Mavis

Pictured above is One Hundred Dollars a Month reader Anastasia’s mother in her Glazov, Russia garden. You can see more photos of her parents garden HERE

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DIY Hanging Flower Basket Made with Chicken Wire and Moss

Moss Lined Hanging Flower Basket Made Chicken Wire

Cone Shaped Hanging Basket

One of my favorite things about living in the Pacific Northwest is the moss. Weird, I know. So when I was asked to do a Mother’s Day segment on New Day Northwest I was reminded of a moss lined hanging basket I saw earlier this year at the Northwest Flower and Garden Show. The vendor was charging $99. I made mine for a fraction of that {under $10!}.

Luckily we have about as much moss as one could ever want growing in our backyard, so putting together a few moss lined hanging baskets was a snap.

Moss Lined Hanging Flower Basket Made Chicken Wire

Supplies

  • Chicken Wire {Home Depot sells it}
  • Wire Cutters
  • Garden Gloves
  • Moss
  • Potting Soil
  • Flowers
  • Pattern Piece {Draw out a large circle, make an X in the center and cut it in to 4 pieces}

Moss Lined Hanging Flower Basket Made Chicken Wire

Directions

Put on a pair of thick garden gloves. Place your 1/4 circle pattern piece on top of the chicken wire and cut along the edges {give yourself about an 1″ allowance}.

cone shaped basket made from chicken wire** Notice how I left the edges squared off? If you do that you will have a little extra wire to work with. You don’t have to do it but I find that shaping the basket is a little easier when I do. chicken wire hanging basket for mothers dayFold chicken wire into a cone shape.

cone shape chicken wire basketTuck the pointy bits of wire over one another to create a cone shape.

moss lined chicken wire hanging basketStuff wire cage about 2/3rd full with moss.

moss lined hanging basket cone shapedAdd a wee bit of potting soil to the center and then tuck small bedding plants {alyssum and lobelia work great} out of a few of the chicken wire combs.

making a cone shaped chicken wire basketAdd a larger, more showy flower to the top {geranium, gerber daisy, etc} and viola!

Cone Shaped Hanging Basket
An inexpensive but awesome looking masterpiece!

Now, how easy was that?

~Mavis

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12 Goals for the New Year – Week 19 of 52

lucy the puggle dog digging up cabbage plants

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:

weeds

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. Last week I cleaned up the back and front porch areas and  this week I’ll be pulling the boatload of weeds that suddenly popped up overnight on the hillside next to the house.

weeds

How does that happen anyway????

omron pedometer2. Fit into the same jeans I wore 8 years ago when we moved into our house. Well, after last weeks show and tell I thought I better jump back on the pedometer bandwagon again. 😉 There was one day last week when I looked down at my pedometer and noticed I had only taken 1,300 steps {it was 3 in the afternoon} so I hit the road and took Lucy the Puggle princess for a long walk.

The goal is to walk at least 10,000 steps a day but I’ve been a little lazy in the walking department so hopefully next week I’ll have some better number to show you.

10 Things to Do in London buckingham palace

3. Travel.   So far this year The Girl and I have been to Boston, London, Paris and now Portland, OregonNow I’m just waiting for a phone call from the Discovery Channel saying they want me to be their new travel writer. 😉

4. Send my daughter to college without having a nervous breakdown thus spending a week in bed sobbing. I am in total denial. I’ve actually got a countdown calendar going on my phone letting me know how many days, hours and minutes until she abandons us for higher education.

5. Get 3 new teeth.

6. Pay off my car. Done!
primitive hooked rug stars

7. Finish this primitive folk art rug I started 4 years ago. Moving right along. I’m hoping to get this done by the end of June.

8. Family Day. Do one thing together as a family every Sunday. I can’t remember what we did last week but I know we did something. Note to self: I need to start writing this down on a sticky note and put it on my desk so I don’t forget what we did}.

9.  Secret Plan #1 – Working on it. 

10. Secret Plan #2 – Still Plotting away.

11. Secret Plan #3

12. Convince the HH we should buy a Salt Box Style House in Colonial Williamsburg. This is actually harder than I was anticipating. :(

lucy the puggle dog digging up cabbage plants

13. Spend at least 1 hour a day working in my garden. I don’t know what Lucy’s fascination with cabbage plants is but man oh man does that pup love to dig in the cabbage patch. She doesn’t dig anywhere else but the there which is kind of strange if you ask me.

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. 

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