Spinach Basil Pesto

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Spinach Basil Pesto

Have you ever tried making pesto with spinach and basil before? How about red pepper flakes? Holy cannolis people if you like to mix things up a bit you’ve got to try this awesome combination. It will knock your socks off.

Ingredients

2 cups fresh spinach leaves, well-washed and stemmed
1/2 cup fresh basil
1/2 cup pine nuts
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
3 garlic cloves
¼ – ½ cup extra virgin olive oil {depends on preference}
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/8 teaspoon red crushed pepper flakes {totally optional}
1/8 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

how to make pesto

Directions

Toss the spinach, basil, garlic, salt, pepper, Parmesan, red crushed pepper and pine nuts into a food processor and pulse, slowly adding oil until the mixture is nice and smooth.

how to freeze pesto

I know it’s hard to imagine, but if you make more pesto than you can eat, try freezing it. I like to freeze my extra pesto in my mini muffin tin. I use a 2 tablespoon scoop so the portions are all the same. Then I simply pop the filled muffin tin in the freezer for a few hours until the pesto is frozen, then pop the cubes of pesto in a zip baggie to use later.

The next time you need a little pesto, simply pop a cube in the microwave for a few seconds to thaw, then mix in to your favorite recipe.

Pestos, Tapenades, and Spreads

Looking for more recipes? Be sure and check out the book Pestos, Tapenades, and Spreads. Amazon currently has it in stock and it has awesome reviews. Yummalicious!

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 Vegetables in a Greenhouse

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Growing Vegetables in a Greenhouse

Growing food in a greenhouse is cool!

I thought I would give you a quick tour and show you all the goodness we have growing in our greenhouse. I was able to snag a few free containers over the weekend so I’ll be planting those and lining the sides of the greenhouse this week.raised garden beds greenhouse

Gnome Lady has been doing a fantastic job taking care of the raised garden beds alongside the greenhouse. The chives, lilies and potatoes all seem to be growing well together.

use gutters to grow food

Over the weekend I was able to replant the gutters on the left side of the greenhouse. We now have cucumbers, basil {just planted seeds last night} Swiss chard and hot peppers growing.

cucumber seedslings

The cucumber seeds we started a few weeks ago and I forgot to label them. I have no idea what variety I planted in the gutters but it’s either Marketmore, Lemon, or Burpless. I’m hoping they are the burpless ones because the vines are nice and long.

swiss chard seedlings

Swiss chard. Yipee! Are you as excited as I am? Ha! I planted the extra starts in the bed next to the greenhouse along with the cabbage. Hopefully they are good companion vegetables.

pepper plants

Although I grew peppers last summer in the greenhouse, they were planted in pots. I think it will be interesting to see how they do in the gutters. I noticed last summer their root systems were not especially long so we’ll see. I’ll also growing some pepper plants in pots as well.

grow strawberries in gutters

Strawberries LOVE growing in gutters. If this idea is new to you, read — How to grow strawberries in gutters. It will tell you how I planted mine.

strawberries in gutters

So far there are 2 red ones! Wahoooo! Strawberry Bruschetta can’t be too far behind.

growing tomatoes in a greenhouse

And last but not least, here is a look at the green zebra tomatoes that were transplanted to the old chicken brooder a few weeks ago. Tomatoes, carrots. onions and basil have been planted.

Yee-Haw! Now we’re farming!

~Mavis

You can see more pictures of our greenhouse and the progress we are making, in my Growing Vegetables in a Greenhouse Series.

Greenhouse Gardener's Companion

Greenhouse Gardener’s Companion

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 Should America Do with Their Food Waste?

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food waste in america

A big thanks to One Hundred Dollars a Month reader Em who sent me an article from the L.A. Times, with this description,

“Mavis, I thought you’d be interested in this article on how a grocery store chain is using unsold produce.”

Umm, yes, yes, I am interested. We’ve been collecting “unsold produce” for just over a year now. Each week my daughter and I sort through the fruits and vegetables, keeping some for ourselves and feeding the rest of the quality produce to our chickens. When we come across something that’s past it’s prime, we simply compost it in our backyard. We then work the compost into our soil in late fall after all our crops have been harvested.

But the article Em sent me describes how one store is taking care of their food waste differently.

ear of corn

Ralph’s Food Stores are using their unsold leftovers to convert them into a methane producing sludge that generates power to their 359 stores in Southern California.

There is a lot of detail to the how, but the basic idea is that they take the food they cannot sell {wrappers and all} and put it into a huge composting facility, which turns it into liquid sludge and deprives the sludge of oxygen.  Without oxygen, the sludge produces methane gas, which in turn powers the stores.

The whole process appears to have very little waste, because they use the leftover sludge as fertilizer.

food waste in America pictures

What do you think?  It is a responsible way to manage food waste?

Do you think there is really one simple solution to food waste in America?

~Mavis

Would you like to see what else we have brought home over the past year?

Head on over HERE to read all the past stories and to see all the pictures.

If you have just stumbled upon this series and are wondering how I got all this food for free, you’ll want to read this story first.

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.

Mornings with Mavis – Organic Gardening, Canning Set, Cool Golf Gifts, Boston Running T-Shirt, Lobster, Coupons

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mornings with mavis

Over the weekend the nozzle on my hose broke so the HH went to you know where {the Home Depot} and bought me a new one. Which was very sweet. When he came home with it I didn’t have heart to tell him the nozzle he bought wasn’t going to work.

Maybe he thought I wanted to pressure wash the vegetables, or wash the car with it, I’m not quite sure. Anyway, if you are looking for a garden nozzle {with a sprayer/soaker setting} I just ordered this Gilmour Pistol Grip Nozzle from Amazon. It’s kind of spendy, but the reviews rock and hey, if it keeps me away from the Home Depot for another week, I’ll be thrilled.

Have a great Tuesday everyone!

 ~Mavis

The Gardener's A-Z Guide to Growing Organic Food

My all time favorite gardening book - The Gardener’s A-Z Guide to Growing Organic Food By Tanya L.K. Denckla is on sale for $18.47 right now on Amazon.com. I really like how this book is laid out, and there are lot’s of tips and tricks for growing fruits and vegetables as well as natural alternatives to getting rid of pests.

zaycon foods Fresh Super Lean Ground BeefZaycon Ground Beef Now On Sale!

  • The beef cattle have a grass diet which is supplemented by grain after they reach approximately 700 pounds.
  • There are no hormones or antibiotics in the beef and it is 100% grown in the US
  • This ground beef product is 93% lean and 7% fat
  • Comes in a 40-lb case with four 10-lb chubs per case
  • Only $3.49 per pound!

Go HERE to place your Zaycon Order

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 Mail – Vasi From Romania Sends in Her Garden Photos

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start seeds in egg shellsHow to Start Seeds in Eggshells

A big THANK YOU to everyone who has sent in their photographs and stories. I hope by sharing other peoples pictures and stories here on One Hundred Dollars a Month we can all have a rock star garden this summer. Keep them coming!

Check out these beautiful pictures reader Vasi sent in from Romania!!!

sqaure foot garden

Vasi is an amateur gardener but has become addicted to growing. She likes to start her crops from the seed and she advocates everyday for organic gardening through her blog Vasi-Gioni.

Here is what Vasi had to say:

garden plants

This year I have grown 15 varieties of tomatoes, 5 varieties of capsicum and, in addition to the last years, Kiwano, american cucumbers, pak choi, red giant mustard and white  cucumbers.

dandilions

I discovered your blog last year and I learned a lot of things from you, everyday I take an impulse for organizing my garden as good as possible.

man holding pepper plants

The photos represent the beginning of the 2013 gardening season.

cucumber seedlings

~Mavis

If you would like to have your garden, chicken coop or something you’ve made featured on One Hundred Dollars a Month, here’s what I’m looking for:

  • Your Garden Pictures and Tips – I’d especially like to see your garden set ups, growing areas, and know if you are starting seeds indoors this year. If so,  show me some picture of how you are going about it.
  • Your Chicken and Chicken Related Stories – Coops, Chicks, Hen’s, Roosters, Eggs, you name it. If it clucks, send us some pictures to share with the world.
  • Cool Arts & Crafts - Made from your very own hands with detailed {and well photographed} pictures and instructions.
  • Your pictures and stories about your pets. The more pictures and details the better.
  • Garage Sale, Thrift Store and Dumpster Diving pictures and the stories behind the treasures you found including how much you paid for them.

If I feature your pictures and the stories behind them on One Hundred Dollars a Month, I will send you a $20.00 gift card to the greatest store in the world: Amazon.com.

Go  HERE for the official rules.

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.

Peach Ginger Glazed Grilled Chicken

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Peach Ginger Glazed Grilled Chicken

Yesterday we fired up the BBQ and cooked some delicious peach ginger glazed chicken thighs. Normally I just use Zaycon chicken breasts when we BBQ but I was able to pick up some chicken thighs for a great price at Albertsons.

I don’t know why, but everything seems to taste better on the BBQ. This recipe is no exception.

Peach Ginger Glazed Grilled Chicken  Recipe

Ingredients

6 – 8 chicken thighs
1 cup peach jam {Peach Jam Recipe}
2 tablespoons honey {My Favorite Honey}
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon soy sauce {I use low sodium}
1 teaspoon dried ginger
1 teaspoon garlic, minced
1 teaspoon sesame seeds

Directions

In a large bowl mix together all the ingredients except the chicken. Place chicken thighs in a shallow pan and pour the marinade over the chicken. Turn to coat.

Refrigerate for 2-3 hours.

Remove from marinade and cook over a medium hot grill until fully cooked {about 6 to 8 minutes on each side}.

Big Bob Gibson's BBQ Book
Big Bob Gibson’s BBQ Book is the #1 selling BBQ book on Amazon. Get it while it’s hot!

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.

How to Defrost Your Freezer

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How to Defrost Your Freezer

Every year about this time I like to defrost my freezer and get ready for all the vegetables I will be freezing once it’s time to start harvesting from our backyard garden.Plus, it’s a chance to take inventory on our food situation.  I try to do it when the weather is still kind of mild, but warm enough to help the melting process along.

If you have never defrosted your freezer, it’s super simple.  Before you start, get your supplies ready:

  1. A cooler with ice, an empty inside freezer, or a borrowed space in the neighbor’s freezer to store the food while you clean
  2. Towels {and lots of them}
  3. A bucket
  4. A fan {if you plan to hurry up the melting process–I usually don’t}

To start, empty the food from your freezer.  You should have a cooler stocked with ice ready to go for the food you will need to keep cold while your freezer is melting.

Then, unplug your freezer or turn it all of the way down.  I just unplug mine, because I don’t want to pay for electricity I am not using. But if you are pressed for time, set up a fan to help melt the ice.

If you don’t have a frost-free freezer, get the towels.  There is going to be water–and a lot of it.  You can put towels down on the floor all around the freezer and put some in the bottom of the freezer as well.  This will help contain some of the mess.  {Eventually, you will need to wring the towels into the bucket.}

Once the freezer is dry, I typically spray it down with vinegar and wipe it clean.  {Usually there is some sort of unidentified spill that I can’t get clean until it’s completely melted.}

That’s it, now plug it back in.  Just remember, it will take several hours before the freezer is cold enough to put your food back in.

How often do you clean your freezer?  Any tricks you’ve learned to make it easier?

~Mavis

how-to-freeze-soup-lay-flat-1

If you are looking for a way to maximize your freezer space, check out my post on How to Freeze Soup, Sauce, and Puree. It’s super easy to do!

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.

Square Foot Gardening – Slugs Ate My Cucumber Plants

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Square Foot Gardening

I think it’s been raining now for about the last week and a half. At first it was kind of nice but now, it’s getting a little depressing. Why can’t it just rain at night while we are all sleeping? Think how much more we could all get done outside in our gardens. Seriously.

brown slug

Mr. Brown Slug decided to slime his way over to the cucumber starts and eat them all. I hope he know this means war and that I will be going out there later today and salting his slimy little arse to death.

I’m not into pesticides, but salt, heck ya. Bring.It.On.

kale plant

I think when Ryan my online boyfriend comes to town later this week I am going to make him a kale smoothie. Yep, that’s one way to get rid of the leafy greens. ;)
broccoli plant

I don’t know about you, but I am having a heck of a time growing broccoli this year. Last year I was able to harvest a nice sized basket of the little green trees, but this year? No such luck. Boooo!

green bean seedlings

Check out the green beans. They look like little soldiers standing tall.

radish

I do believe it’s time to harvest the radishes! This will be our first harvest from the square foot garden. I’m excited to keep track of how much food we can produce this year from a 4×8 raised garden bed.

red leaf lettuce

And take a look at our red leafed lettuce. Isn’t she lovely? Award winning for sure.

sugar snap pea flower

The sugar snap peas vines are covered with tiny white flowers. It won’t be long now until stir-fry is on the menu. How are your peas doing? Do they have any flowers yet?

garden gnomes strawberries

And last but no least, Mr. Gnome Guy.Poor thing, he’s been getting soaked all week outside in the rain. It’s a good thing he’s a hardy little bugger. This being our first square foot garden, I think everything is looking pretty good.

I must say though, I am pretty surprised at how all the plants are getting along with each other. So far, so good.

~Mavis

Read more about my adventures in Square Foot Gardening.

Are you thinking about putting together a Square foot garden? See the how I built a square foot garden grid HERE.

All New Square Foot Gardening

For more information, check out All New Square Foot Gardening.  It is an amazon bestseller and the author, Mel Bartholomew is basically the king of square foot gardening.

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.

Mondays with Mavis – How to Feed Your Family for $100 a Month

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albertsons shopping trip

I only went to the store once last week, but here’s what I picked up:

Albertsons $16.98

I ran in for milk and weenies {for the boys} and was cruising past the meat section to look for manager markdowns when I spotted $3.00 off stickers on a couple of packages of chicken thighs and drumsticks. Normally I just stick to Zaycon boneless chicken breasts but decided to pick up the discounted meat on a whim. Stay turned for some recipes.

food waste in america pictures

Mr. Produce Guy – FREE

Seriously, who needs to shop at the grocery store when you can get all of this fresh produce for free? I made a few loaves of banana bread, grilled some corn, made a blackberry cobbler, whipped up a batch of strawberry smoothies, used the tomatoes for chicken soft tacos and snacked on everything else.

fresh rhubarb

Farmer Ted – FREE

The Handsome Husband came home with a 30 pound box of free rhubarb for me.  His co-worker Farmer Ted had given it to him. Ted knows I’m all into gardening and growing food and thought I’d like to have a box. But 30 pounds? Holy stalks! What am I suppose to do with all of it?

I did end up giving about 10 pounds of it away to my neighbor Hudla, she has guests this week so I’ll have to find out what she’s doing with hers, unless YOU have some recipes for me. I know a rhubarb crisp is on the menu but I’ll have to do some digging in my cookbooks to see what else I can whip up.

Please, if you have any suggestions, let me know.

Total Spent This Week $16.98
Total Spent This Year $979.04

Total Spent This Year on Garden Seeds/Supplies $893.99 {I bought a Meyer Lemon Tree, Rhubarb crowns, 6 Fruit Trees , 16 yards of soil}, Walla Walla Onions and 90 pounds of seed potatoesPlus, supplies to make my own potting soil. I also picked up a boatload of heirloom tomato plants at the Seattle Tilth sale.

Go HERE to read more Shopping Trip Stories.

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.

Mornings with Mavis – Free Kindle Books, Kleenex Facial Tissue, FREE Father’s Day Card, BBQ Gifts, Zulily Blow Out

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tacoma city marathon

My buddy Amberlina and I were fortunate to hook up with Nick, a solider from Joint Base Lewis-McChord while we were participating in the Tacoma City Marathon earlier this month. I hope you’ll join me in taking a moment to honor, remember and thank those who gave so much to make this country we live in great today.

Have a safe holiday everyone.

 ~Mavis

free kindle books

Available Kindle Books I think are cool…

How to Grow Squash FREE
Tomato Container Gardening Tips  FREE
How to Choose the Right Plants For Your Garden  FREE
Fresh from the Farmstand Cookbook  $1.99
The Ultimate Dandelion Cookbook FREE

The prices on Kindle Books can change quickly, so grab them while you can.

amazon daily deals

Amazon Local is offering a Grass-Fed Organic Steak Sampler and a Free Voucher for 40% Off Select Kindle Accessories in their National Deals section.

Be sure and Sign up HERE so you’ll know what the daily deal is each day.

Check out these Amazon Deals - 

Kleenex Ultra Facial Tissue (8 Boxes)

Need tissues? Amazon has Kleenex Ultra Facial Tissue (8 Boxes) on sale for a little as $8.63 shipped when you clip the $1.50 coupon and use the subscribe and save option at check out. {You must be logged into your account to view the coupon}.

amazon subscribe and save

Maidenform Sale

Maidenform is having a huge Memorial Day sale with 25% off everything on their website and 50% off all clearance items PLUS FREE shipping on all orders today! Wahoooo! Time to stock up on bra’s and panties!

fathers-day-free

Treat is offering all new customers a FREE Father’s Day card on May 27 and 28.

Upload some pictures, play around with what you want to say and use promo code TREATDAD when you checkout. It’s that easy!

BBQ-Fathers Day-Giftsfor-Men

How to Grill: The Complete Illustrated Book of Barbecue Techniques $13.16
Cuisinart CGS-134 3-Piece Grilling Tool Set with Grill Glove $20.06
Fire Wire Stainless Steel Flexible Grilling Skewer, Set of 2 $9.4

Insect Lore Live Butterfly GardenLooking for something fun to do with the kids this summer? The Insect Lore Live Butterfly Garden is on sale on Amazon.com for $12.99! The Girl Who Thinks She’s a Bird hatched butterflies for about 5 summers in a row when she was younger and loved this kit!

zulily deals

Zulily is having a HUGE Memorial Day Blow Out Sale with savings in every department. Now would be a great time to stock up on clothing and gifts.

zulily sale

Already a Zulily Member? Go HERE to Get This Deal

memorial day sales

6pm is also having a huge Memorial Day sale with savings up to 65% off. Plus you receive FREE SHIPPING too!

mother earth news fair

A big thank you to everyone who entered the Mother Earth News Fair Ticket Giveaway.

The winners are:

Amy who said – Hi Mavis. Definitley no yodeling skills in my repertoire, but I CAN do a pretty good turkey call!

Jenn who said - I don’t know if I can yodel, because I have never tried to yodel, because I fear what might happen in the world if I did. I do wish I had a boyfriend who had access to free radish seeds, but I promise not to move in on your man.

Sue V. who said - I’m willing to learn how to yodel and want to learn how to play the accordion! They go together, right?!

Denise who said - I would dearly love to go to the Mother Earth News fair!!! I don’t think I can yodel, but I sure could give it a try!

Julie2 who said - Sure I can yodel, who can’t ? Of course I’m kidding. I would totally love these tickets, talk about a down-home good time.

Please check your emails for instructions on how to claim your tickets. :)

$10.00 off (1) Philips Norelco StyleShaver $5.00 off Philips Norelco Razor, Replacement Head $50.00 off Philips Norelco SensoTouch 3D razor$20.00 off Philips Norelco SensoTouch 2D razor

Thinking about getting Dad a new razor for Father’s Day? Check out these new Phillips Norelco Razor Coupons.

Find More Printable Coupons

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