Southwest Crock Pot Chicken

Southwest Crock Pot Chicken

Southwest Crock Pot Chicken

I was looking for a new recipe to throw in my slow cooker when I stumbled onto this recipe over at Skinny Taste. I had all the ingredients on hand, so I figured I’d try it. It looked simple {it was}, it looked delicious {it was} and it looked like something my whole family would love {they did}. I made it for dinner the other night and it was an instant hit. Seriously put this on your menu for the week!

Southwest Crock Pot Chicken

Ingredients

1 1/2- 2 lbs chicken breast
1 can {14.4 oz} diced tomatoes with mild green chilies
1 can {15 oz} can black beans
8 oz frozen corn
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
2 cups chicken broth
1/4 cup chopped onion
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp cayenne pepper
Salt and pepper to taste

Directions

Combine all ingredients in a slow cooker. Cook on low for 8-10 hours or high 4-6. Before serving, remove chicken, shred and place back in Crock Pot.

Serve over rice or wrap in tortillas. You can top with cheese, sour cream, fresh cilantro, salsa, green onions or anything your little heart desires. Enjoy.

Looking for more easy crock pot meals? Check out my Crock Pot Meals recipe index. slow cooker crock pot cookbook My favorite Crock Pot – Crock-Pot Cook’ N Carry 6-Quart Portable Slow Cooker My Favorite Slow Cooker Cookbook – Fix-It and Forget-It Big Cookbook: 1400 Best Slow Cooker Recipes!

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DIY Garden Projects For Kids – How to Make a Seed Tape

how to make a seed tape

how to make a seed tape

These simple seed tapes are so much fun for little kids to make. I wanted to share the tutorial again for those of you with young ones who might have missed it the first time around. 

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

If you’re looking for a fun rainy day garden project to do with your kids, or if you are a new gardener and are concerned about planting tiny seeds like carrots and lettuce in the garden, I have the perfect project for you.

A seed tape. You can typically find seed tapes in the gardening section of your local store this time of year, but they usually run about $3 to $5 and half the seeds a a normal seed packet would.

make your own glue

How to Make a Seed Tape

Supplies

  • Toilet Paper
  • Flour
  • Water
  • Seeds
  • Bamboo Skewer or Toothpick

First figure out how long you want to make your seed tape.  My garden boxes are 8 feet long so I used 8 feet of toilet paper.  The great thing about seed tape is you can make it as long {or as short} as you need to accommodate your garden space.

Seed tapes can be made with any type of small seeds. Peas and beans are easy for children to plant with their tiny fingers, but seeds like carrots, lettuce and radishes are quite a bit harder for them to grasp.

how to make a seed tapeDirections

Make a simple paste out of flour and water.  You want the “paste” to be the consistency of glue. Next use a chopstick or a bamboo skewer and carefully dab a little paste onto the toilet paper.

Add 2 seeds to the dab of paste {I like to use 2 seeds just in case one does not germinate}. If you are unsure as to how far apart to paste your seeds, simply look at the back of the seed packet for instructions.  Most carrot seeds need to be planted 3″ apart.

Once the paste has dried, roll up your seed tape and head out to the garden.

how to make a seed tape kids projects

Lay the seed tape down and cover with dirt {refer to your seed packet to find out how deep}. For carrots cover with 1/8″ of soil. Water and care for your newly planted seeds just as you would had they been sowed directly in the garden. The toilet paper should dissolve in about a week.

Yee-Haw! Gardening is cool, even for kids!

~Mavis

gardening projects for kids

For more simple garden ideas to do with kids, check out Gardening Projects for Kids.

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10 Tips to Bake the Perfect Cupcake

10 Tips to Bake the Perfect Cupcake

10 Tips to Bake the Perfect Cupcake

If I thought I could actually pull it off, I would get cupcakes added as a staple to the food groups.  I love them.  Everytime I think about giving them up in pursuit of a trimmer waistline, I ask myself, “Self, would you rather die happy with your pants a little snug?  Or would you rather die having forgone one of life’s simplest pleasures?”

Since I am about to give you tips on how to bake perfect cupcakes, I am pretty sure you can guess how I answer those questions.cookie scoops

  1. Use a 3 tablespoon scoop so all of your cupcakes are the same size.  I could list a million uses for my scoops–all of which end up with people assuming you are perfect.  Seriously, they are awesome.
  2. Only fill 11 of the 12 cups in your tin.  That way, you can easily remove the pan from the oven with your oven mitt without accidentally touching and crushing a precious cupcake.
  3. I always bake my cupcakes at 350 for 18 minutes.  It turns out the perfect cupcake, every time.  Once you know that sweet spot for your oven, write it down, memorize it, chant in twice a day, and practice it.  Forget what the recipe says, forget what the box says.  Know thine oven.
  4. Always use cupcake liners {These are my favorite ones}. The cupcakes pop out easier.  They bake more consistently.  They are easier to hold.  Everything is better with cupcake liners.
  5. If you aren’t using a scoop {see suggestion #1}, fill your cupcake liners 3/4 full.  If you overfill them, the cupcakes will spill out over the top and bake funny.  If you underfill them, they will be overdone.fresh eggs
  6. Always bring ALL ingredients to room temperature.  Eggs, milk, buttermilk…whatever, just bring it to room temperature.  If everything is the same temperature before you start mixing, you will have less clumps and be less likely to over mix.
  7. Don’t over-mix the batter.  When you over-mix, you mess with the amount of air in the batter, which can seriously affect the final product {cupcakes caving in at the center, heavy cupcakes, etc.}
  8. Don’t peek.  Opening the oven door while the cupcakes are baking is a no-no.  It can cause the little cakes to fall and mess with the temperature of the oven–which needs to remain constant to cook consistently.
  9. Don’t allow the cupcakes to cool in the pan.  Wait only a few minutes and then get those suckers onto a wire rack, otherwise, they will continue to cook in the hot pan.cupcake decorating ideas
  10. Frost the entire top of the cupcake if you are not eating them immediately.  I know, they look so pretty when they just have a dollop of frosting, but if you are not eating them soon, the frosting will seal in the moisture on the cupcake–frosting the entire top will ensure a tasty moist bite everytime.

What are your cupcake secrets?

~Mavis

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Mavis Garden Blog – Window Boxes and Raspberries

window box flowers spring

window box flowers spring

I was milling around The Home Depot yesterday when I spotted the most gorgeous purple viola plants and knew I had to buy them for my front window box.

When I was a kid my mother always planted pink, white and purple flowers in our yard. And now as an adult, I tend to gravitate to those colors as well. Funny how things work out that way.

spring window box flowers

Even though the temps are still pretty chilly and there isn’t a whole lot to choose from at the garden center, my window box is still jam packed with flowers. Right now I have daffodils, violas, cyclamen and moss planted. I’m not sure if those other little sprouts are weeds so I don’t want to pull them just yet. 😉

washington raspberry canes

Well, I decided to finally do it this year. I’m finally going to re-stake the raspberry plants.

deas raspberry canes

But first I have to clean up, prune and weed seven rows of raspberry plants before I can begin. It’s a total pain, but if I don’t get it now, it won’t happen this year. So that’s my big project for this week, sprucing up the raspberry patch.

washington state raspberry leaves leafSpring, it’s finally here.

What are your garden plans for this week? Do you have any leaves on your raspberry plants yet?

Mavis wants to know.

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Peanut Butter Puggle, Kettle Chips Coupon, Crystal Puzzles, Workout Gear, Dansko, Earrings and More

CedarFresh 71-Piece Cedar Value Pack

lucy the puggle dog

Lucy fell asleep yesterday on the deck with her nose in the peanut butter jar. Seriously, does it get any more awesome than that?

Have a great day everyone,

Mavis

amazon kitchen deals

Amazon Kitchen Deals:

kettle chips coupon

Print a coupon good for $1.00 off TWO Kettle Brand Potato Chips

crystal puzzles

These 3D Crystal Puzzles would be a great Easter Basket Stuffer for the older kids:

 CedarFresh 71-Piece Cedar Value Pack
Keep your clothes nice and fresh with the CedarFresh 71-Piece Cedar Value Pack for $14.99
knorr rice pasta sides coupon

chalkboard pens

Jane is offering a Set of 8 Chalkboard/Dry Erase Pens for $12.99.

rustoleum chalkboard paint

Amazon has Rust-oleum Chalkboard Paint {30 oz can} for $9.67 and Chalkboard Spray Paint {11 oz} for $3.76 a can

weight watchers magazine

Discount Mags is offering a 1 year subscription to Weight Watchers Magazine for only $4.99 a year when you use code MAVIS at checkout. This deal will expire tonight 3/25/14 at midnight EST.

fitness deals

Here are some great deals on toning equipment:

Creamed Peas and Potatoes Recipe

I woke up this morning craving Creamed Peas and Potatoes. This dish is so good I’ve been known to eat it for breakfast. 😉 Get the recipe for creamed peas and potatoes HERE for Pin it for Later.

garden gloves

Looking for some new garden gloves? Amazon has a 6-Pack of Garden Gloves for only $8.90. I have a set of these and they are great!

earrings

Groupon has 18K White or Yellow Gold-Plated Princess Cut Cubic Zirconia Studs for just $5.99. These would be fun to stuff in an Easter basket or Christmas stocking.

dansko shoes

6pm has Dansko Shoes on sale with savings up to 60% off and free shipping. Prices start at $31.48. These has to be some of the most comfortable shoes out there.

pinzon towel sets

Amazon has the Pinzon Basics 100-Percent Egyptian Cotton 6-Piece Towel Set on sale for $19.99. We have these towels and LOVE them!

JOHNSONS Baby Bubble Bath & Wash coupon

Print a coupon good for $0.75 off JOHNSON’S Baby Bubble Bath & Wash

Find More Printable Coupons

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Slow Cooker Meatloaf Recipe

Slow Cooker Meatloaf Recipe

slow cooker meatloafMeatloaf in a slow cooker? Yes, please! We love a good meatloaf around here, but the “set it and forget it” way of cooking is so much easier. This combines both, so it’s practically a perfect recipe. Come to the dinner table hungry, cause you’ll want seconds!

Ingredients

2 pounds ground beef
2 eggs, beaten
3/4 cup milk
2/3 cup bread crumbs
2 tablespoons minced onion
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon sage
1 teaspoon crushed rosemary
1/4 cup ketchup
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground mustard
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

Slow Cooker Meatloaf Recipe

Directions

In a large mixing bowl, combine eggs, milk, bread crumbs, onion, salt, sage and rosemary. Add ground beef and fold in egg mixture until well combined. Shape into a loaf and place in the bottom of a slow cooker. Cover and cook on low 5 to 6 hours.

In a small bowl, whisk together remaining ingredients and spread over loaf. Continue cooking an additional 20 minutes. Enjoy.

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10 Serger Tips for Beginners

serger

10 Serger Tips for Beginners

For my birthday, I splurged and bought myself a serger.  I’ve always wanted one, but never really wanted to spend the money.  They are pretty much awesome for getting a professional, store-bought finish though, so I decided it was time.  Sergers sew, cut, and finish seams all in one step–it also wraps the thread around the front and the back of the fabric, which allows to to hold up much better through repeated washes.  It kind of takes the human error out of sewing.

serger handbook

If you’ve never used one before, here are a couple of tips and a great video to get you started:

  1. Read the manual and watch the video {if it came with one}.  I know, I know, it’s not a profound tip, but seriously, when is the last time you read the manual of something you bought from front to back?  This is one of those things you really need to read the manual on.  Get to know your serger.  Take it to dinner and movie if you have to–just really get to know it individually.
  2. Thread the machine over and over.  Unless you have a “self-threading” model, practice threading your machine over and over.  Threading a serger can take forever at first, getting proficient at it will help you actually get to the sewing a lot faster.
  3. You cannot sew on pins.  Because a serger sews and cuts, you will need to either learn to pin much, much higher than where you were actually sewing or sew without them.brother serger lock 1034D
  4. Go slow.  This is hard at first, if you are used to zipping through something with a sewing machine, but if you get going too fast, remember a serger cuts too, so you can’t just go back and rip out the seam and start over.  You have to be slow and calculated.
  5. Clean the lint out of the serger frequently.  Keep your investment {both the serger and the fabric  you’re sewing} in great shape by making sure the serger runs tip top.
  6. Practice on scrap fabric.  Pay attention how you line up your scrap fabric, how fast you are moving, how to accurately you’re sewing.  If you make a mistake with scrap fabric during the learning process, you won’t be out anything.toldi-lock serger thread
  7. Buy good quality thread.  It will sew soooo much better if you just suck it up and buy the higher quality thread.  No catching, no breaking–just happy, happy serging.
  8. Watch the blade, and not the needle as you sew.  The blade is doing the most permanent damage, so guide your fabric based on that.
  9. If you are in the market for a serger, make sure to choose one that is easy to thread.  Historically, people have dreaded getting a serger for that reason.  Technology has come a long way, though, and they are much, much easier now {especially if you do a little research}.  Once you have found a serger, make sure to do step #2.
  10. Sergers don’t backstitch, so remember to knot off your thread when you finish.

There’s been a learning curve for sure, but now that I am getting the hang of the different types of stitches, I think this serger thing is going to rock.

~Mavis

serger

Brother 1034D 3 or 4 Thread Serger with Easy Lay In Threading with Differential Feed

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Giveaway: THREE Aroma Digital Rice Cooker and Food Steamers

aroma rice cooker giveaway

aroma rice cooker giveaway

I love it when I get to giveaway one of my very favorite things. And thanks to the cool folks at Aroma, I get to do just that! Three of you will win my favorite Aroma Digital Rice Cooker and Food Steamer!

Rice Cooker Recipes - Sweetened Orange Rice

I honestly don’t know what I would do without mine. I’m telling you, rice cookers are where it’s at! I use it ALL. THE. TIME. If it broke, I’d probably panic because it would make dinner time so much more difficult. This baby makes it a snap. I’ll throw in some rice or some veggies while I’m prepping something else, or even while I’m writing up a quick post. Before I know it, side dishes are ready to eat. My favorite recipes using my Aroma are my Chicken and Thyme Rice w/ Carrots and my Sweetened Orange Rice. YUMMY!

Those recipes wouldn’t be nearly as easy without my handy dandy rice cooker. It’s seriously the coolest contraption to have. And now you have a chance to win one of your own!

rice cooker

WHAT YOU WIN:

Three lucky readers will win one Aroma Digital Rice Cooker and Food Steamer!

HOW YOU WIN IT:

Life’s pretty complicated sometimes, so I like to keep things simple around here. You have FIVE ways to enter: 1 required and 4 bonus entries. That means you can leave a total of FIVE comments below for FIVE awesome chances to win.

1. *REQUIRED ENTRY* What is your favorite side dish? Are you a big rice fan? Do you stick to veggies? Or are salads more your cup of tea? Leave a comment below letting us know your answer.

2. *BONUS ENTRY*  Do you like/friend/follow me yet? Pick one or all and like me/follow me/subscribe to me via one of these forms of social media: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, PinterestYouTube and/or Google+! Leave a comment below with the name of the site you followed, ie. “liked you on Facebook and Instagram.” Only 1 comment/entry regardless of if you follow me on all 6 sites. Which you totally should anyway.

3. *BONUS ENTRY*  Start spreading the news. Share this giveaway with your peeps via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and/or Google+! If you don’t do the social media thing, just send out an old fashioned email about this awesome giveaway. Leave a comment below letting me know how you shared it.

4. *BONUS ENTRY*  Head on over to my Facebook page and leave a comment on one of the posts or pictures there. Come back here and leave a comment below letting me know which post or picture you commented on.

5. *BONUS ENTRY*  Subscribe to my daily emailed newsletter. It’s an easy peasy way to make sure you don’t miss a thing. Plus, I’m way too busy gardening to spam you, so your email address is safe with me. Leave a comment below letting me know you subscribed.

THE FINE PRINT:

5 entries per person/ip address. If you cheat, you will totally be disqualified.

This giveaway is only available to US residents.

This giveaway ends Sunday, March 30th, 2014  and the winners will be announced in the Monday, March 31st, 2014 edition of Mornings with Mavis. You will be notified via email and have 48 hours to claim your prize. Prize will be forfeited if not claimed within 48 hours.

Good Luck! I hope you win.

Peace Out Girl Scouts!

Mavis

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