Lunch for 20 People? No Problem

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lunch for twenty people messy kitchen{How many tea cups can you find?}

Let me ask you something.

Would you rather volunteer to make lunch for 20 people in April and 600 cupcakes in May, or would you rather park your keister in a 2 hour committee meeting each month and get sucked into volunteering for even more stuff you really don’t want to do in the first place.

Hmm. Tough choice I know.

Now don’t get me wrong, I think volunteering is RAD. But let’s face it, sometimes we say YES to too much stuff and it can be overwhelming.

puggle dog

So this morning, Lucy the sample dog and I whipped up 3 heaping platters of goodness; Classic Chicken Cesar Salad, Spinach Salad and my favorite Qunioa salad. What you see in the first photo is what was left over from the lunch. Apparently the Classic Chicken Cesar Salad was the crowd favorite followed by the spinach salad and then the quinoa salad {maybe it’s an acquired taste?}

We also served giant slices of  bread, and made 2 fruit crisps as well. Oh, and we made a jug of lemon iced tea too. But we forgot that on the kitchen counter.

sink with dirty dishes

So guess what’s for dinner at Mavis’ house tonight? Salad, fruit crisp and iced tea.

Yee-Haw!

So tell me, when it comes to volunteering  do you run and hide, or do you jump right in and say YES to everything?

Mavis want to know!

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Spinach Salad with Cranberries, Walnuts and Feta

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Summer Salad recipes Spinach Salad With Cranberries, Walnuts and Feta

I was craving a spinach salad the other day so I picked some spinach up on my latest shopping trip and made this spinach salad with cranberries, walnuts and feta for lunch.  The spinach  in our greenhouse is just about ready to be picked and I couldn’t be more excited. The HH loves adding spinach to smoothies and I love it in a salad.

Here is my easy peasy {and delicious} recipe:

Ingredients for the salad

1 pound spinach leaves
1/2 cup feta cheese
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup toasted walnuts, chopped

Ingredients for the dressing

2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
2 garlic cloves, minced
3/4 tablespoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh coarse ground black pepper

Directions

Place the spinach leaves on a platter or in a large serving bowl. Sprinkle feta, dried cranberries and walnuts over the top of the leaves.
In a small bowl whisk all the dressing ingredients together in a small bowl. Drizzle over salad and serve.

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.

Container Gardening with Andy the Plant Whisperer

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Container-Gardening-with-Andy-Plant-Whisperer

So I’ve really gone and done it:  In additional to having my neighbor help me in the garden this summer I’ve also rented/bartered {?} out the basement to a guy named Andy {HH, if you’re reading this, I promise, it’s all going to work out fine}.

Container Gardening with Andy the Plant Whisperer

Andy is from Miami, Florida and is here for this years growing season to help me with my container gardens. Word on the street is he is a plant whisperer {seriously, he talks to them, people}, which is great because I can really use all the help I can get around here while I try to grow 2 tons of food this summer.

Container Gardening with Andy the Plant Whisperer

Andy’s partner Gladys will be joining him a little later in the growing season, but had to stay behind in Florida to tie up a couple of loose ends {something about a medicinal herb farm–I decided not to ask}.  Andy can’t wait to experience a summer in Seattle.  He claims he’s never seen a pine tree until now, but swears he could grow anything with his beloved containers, so we’ll see if the Washington growing season will give him a run for his money.

Container Gardening with Andy the Plant Whisperer

I asked him to write up a little description of himself for you all, so without further ado, meet Andy:

Hello fellow growers.  I am honored to be coming to you live from…Mavis’s basement.  Can you hear the cheers?  I can!  No wait, that is probably the dirt calling to me.

Real quick like, here’s a little about me:  I love Pina-Coladas and getting caught in the rain…Ba, ba, so come with me and escape.  Ha! Oh man, and I love a feel good tune.  Seriously, though, I do love Pina-Coladas.

I have lived in Florida for the past 18 years.  I strive for stress-free living.  Nothing, and I mean nothing gets me down.  Typically, I practice Yoga on the beach every morning, with my guru, Yolanda.  Then, I pop home for a sponge bath and a little time with my plants.  I am a self-proclaimed herbivore.  My plants are my babies.  I love each of them individually–and unconditionally.  Out of respect, I am going to ask you to do the same.

Now that I’ve decided to trade in the sun and surf for one little summer in the Northwest,  I am going to show you all how easy it is to grow an impromptu garden from just about anywhere.

Andy

Container Gardening with Andy the Plant Whisperer

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.

Egg Labels and What They Really Mean

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Egg Labels - What Do They Really Mean

Have you seen the egg aisle of the grocery store lately?  Wowza, there are a lot of different choices for eggs.  And in case you have decided being a backyard chicken farmer just isn’t for you, here’s a quick overview of all of your egg choices–each of them appear to be clearly labeled on the egg cartons:

Omega 3 Enhanced Eggs:  These come from chickens whose food has been enhanced with Omega 3 enriched supplements {think flax seeds, flax oil, walnuts, etc.}.  The resulting eggs have a higher amount of Omega 3 fatty acids {you know, the ones they say we don’t get enough of}.  They also have a higher amount of cholesterol, so if that is a concern for you, be aware.

Humanely Raised:  These eggs are from hens that have been humanely raised, as opposed to conventional eggs where the hens are kept in tiny pens.  The carton should have a certified human label.  The chickens may or may not have access to the outdoors.  There are some regulations on this label that limit the density of the birds in their barn/warehouse.  They must also be allowed enough space to “perform natural behaviors”.

Organic:  Organic eggs {certified organic, at least} come from chickens that have not been given antibiotics, hormones, and their food has not been exposed to pesticides.  The thing to remember with these is that “organic” does not necessarily mean the chickens have a nice happy life–the chickens must be cafe free with some outdoor access, but federal regulations does not define that amount.  Conditions for the chickens can be awesome–or not.  It just depends on the producer.

Free Range:  Chickens are not in cages, and might roam freely for part of the day, but there are no regulations whatsoever on this label, so it is hard to say whether you are flushing extra money down the toilet.  Also, there are no restrictions on the birds’ diets.

Cage free:  This one is similar to free range, but chickens do not have to have access to the outdoors.  Conditions can be a bit abysmal for the chickens and still get this label.

Animal Welfare Approved:  This label is much harder to find.  It is for independent family farmers with up to 500 chickens.  The chickens are free to spend unlimited time outside on pesticide-free pasture.  The chickens cannot have their beaks cut {ALL of the previous labels can and typically do cut the chickens beaks}.  The best place to find these is to contact your local farmer’s market and/or go out to the farm to check out the conditions.

how to raise chickens

What kind of eggs do YOU buy?  How do you feel about how the chickens are treated?  Do you wish the better options weren’t so dang expensive?

Feel free to “lay” your comments out below,

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.

How to Grow Your Own Food – 4/24/2013 Garden Tally

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herb container garden organic

This year I’m on a mission to grow 4,000 pounds of fresh fruits and vegetables in my suburban backyard. In 2012 I was able to grow 2,028 pounds, and in 2013 I’m going double or nothing. I have absolutely no idea if I’ll be able to achieve my goal. But, as with any adventure, half the fun is getting there.   ~Mavis

*******

gardening in gutters romaine lettuce

Guess who harvested romaine lettuce last night? We had homemade lasagna and mini Cesar salads and it was awesome! Could I have waited a little longer to harvest the lettuce? But of course darrrrling,  but I just couldn’t wait. Nope.

I also harvested a wee bit of oregano from the container herb garden, sampled some spinach and brought in a boatload of eggs this week too.

But that isn’t the coolest part.

Are you ready for a story?

Last night I called my neighbor. I asked to speak to her older daughter who is about to graduate. She will be studying nutrition in college and I thought I’d see if she would be interested in helping me this summer in the garden.

What I didn’t know was that I had actually called her mothers cell number and not their home phone {it was meant to be I tell you!}.

Unfortunately {but good for her!} the daughter had  just accepted a summer job someplace really, really cool. I was happy for her, but also a wee bit disappointed because I could really use a farm hand.

Then something awesome happened.

Her mom had been thinking about approaching me and asking if she could work in my backyard garden in exchange for fresh veggies and eggs but wasn’t sure how much time she could commit and a weekly basis. And plus, we live in suburbia so the whole I can afford to buy my own food, but can I eat yours instead because I like working in the garden and want to learn more about canning and some other stuff – might come off as a little odd.

What? Did I just hear that right? You want to barter weeding and garden chores for vegetables and eggs? Are you kidding me? When can you start?

Tomorrow apparently. Wahooooooooo!

Life is good.

Here is what I have harvested so far this year:


beets

Beets - 14 ounces

carrots

Carrots – 3 ounces

chives growing in spring

Chives – 4 ounces


fresh eggs

Egg Count – 856

The chickens are egg laying machines. What can I say?

romaine lettuce
Lettuce
– 10 ounces
Microgreens 5 ounces

oregano container herb garden

Oregano - 1 ounce

potatoes

Potatoes – 2 pounds 9 ounces

grow your own sprouts

Sprouts -11 ounces

Rainbow-Swiss-Chard-picture

Swiss Chard 11 ounces

cut-wheatgrass

Wheatgrass - 7 ounces

Total Food Harvested in 2013: 6 pounds 11 ounces

Total Eggs Collected in 2013: 856

Get out there and grow!

~Mavis

Urban Homesteading Heirloom Skills for Sustainable Living

Urban Homesteading -Heirloom Skills for Sustainable Living

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Mornings with Mavis – Free Kindle Books, Smart Pots, Ranch Dressing, Keep Calm, Superhero T-shirts and Socks

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garden gnome

Today is going to be a busy day. On the agenda — make lunch for 20 people, open a bunch of boxes {thank you everyone!} play with Lucy and get some gardening done because it’s suppose to be around 70 degrees today. Wowza!

Holy cow, I’m going to need a nap by noon.

 ~Mavis

free kindle books

Available Kindle Books I think are cool…

Survival Gardening FREE
Essential Vegetables Box Set FREE {GRAB THIS!!}
Build a $1500 Portable Greenhouse or Garden Shed
$3.97
Quesadillas: 40 Simple, Quick and Easy Authentic Mexican Quesadilla Recipes FREE
Simple Sourdough: Make Your Own Starter $0.01

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

smart pots organic gardening

Amazon has Smart Pots starting at $4.49 each. These are soft sided containers and a pretty darn awesome for container gardens. Check out the reviews. They rock!Ranch buttermilk light dressing coupon

Amazon currently has Hidden Valley Bottled Light Buttermilk Ranch, 16-Ounces Plastic Bottles (Pack of 6) on sale for $7.36/ $1.22 each!

keep calm ask mom t-shirt

Tanga has some super cool LOL Mother’s Day t-shirts available for only $5.99! Use code MARIE1 at checkout to save an additional 10% off your order.

Forget about Halloween.  Being a real superhero is a 24/7 job. So for all you Super Moms and Super Teenagers out there, here are some back up socks and t-shirts {with capes!} I found on Amazon for you in case you are running low.

Adult Knee High Cape Sock
Supergirl Juniors Royal V-neck Cape Tee

Batman Glitter Juniors Black V-neck Cape Tee

DC Comics Wonder Woman Glitter Juniors Red V-neck Cape Tee

maxi dresses plus sizes

Totsy has a ton of new Maxi dresses in stock in misses and plus sizes.

Dr. Martens boots shoes coupon

6pm has Dr. Martens boots and shoes on sale for up to 60% off. Plus you receive FREE SHIPPING too!

amazon local logo

Amazon Local has some great deals this morning, here are my favorites:

$10 for $20 to spend on tickets at goldstar.com {Awesome Deal!} -Found under Seattle
$20 for $40 to spend at RedEnvelope.com – National Deal
$15 for $30 to spend at PersonalCreations.com – National Deal
$25 for $50 to spend at Vermont Teddy Bear – National Deal

natural health magazine

Discount Mags is offering a 1 year subscription to Natural Health Magazine for only $4.49 a year when you use code 1503 at checkout. This deal will expire tonight 4/24/13 at midnight EST so be sure and grab your subscription before then.

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

Gevalia

Get 4 bags of Gevalia coffee or tea, FREE Shipping and a FREE Stainless Steel Canister and Scoop for just $19.99.

$1.00 off ONE Excedrin 24 ct. product or larger $2.00 off (1) Excedrin 100 ct. product or larger $1.00 off any 1 LISTERINE Mouthwash 1L or larger$2.00 off Non-Drowsy Children's Claritin Syrup $5.00 off any Non-Drowsy Claritin 24ct or larger $3.00 off Non-Drowsy Children's Claritin Chewables

Find More Printable Coupons

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Roasted Garbanzos

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Roasted Garbanzos recipe whole foods

I spotted this recipe over on the Whole Paycheck Foods website and thought I would give it a try. The verdict?  Tasty! Tasty! Tasty!

You need to make these.

Roasted Garbanzos whole foods recipe

Ingredients

2 {15 ounce} cans garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Roasted Garbanzos Tossed with Paprika

Directions

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Place all the ingredients in a large bowl and toss until the garbazos are evenly coated.

Place the garbanzos on a rimmed baking sheet in a single layer and bake for 40 minutes tossing occasional so the garbanzos cook evenly and do not burn.

Cool slightly and serve.

The Whole Foods Market Cookbook

Looking for more simple Whole Foods recipes? Check out The Whole Foods Market Cookbook. Amazon currently has it in stock and ready to ship!

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 Grow Vegetables in a Greenhouse – Lettuce, Spinach, Tomatoes, Basil and More

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magnum glass greenhouse gardening

Lucy and I have been working out in the garden this morning and we snapped a few pictures to show you how the vegetables are coming along in the greenhouse.

greenhouse gardening eliot coleman

The plants are growing like crazy! I need more hours in the day to get all these seedlings planted.

growing food in gutters

Check out the gutters. Pretty cool huh?

We have spinach in the top gutter followed by Swiss chard, mesclun lettuce and romaine lettuce on the bottom. Click here to see what the gutters looked liked 1 month ago. What a difference a few weeks make!

romaine lettuce

I think I’ll harvest some of that romaine lettuce tonight for a mini salad.

growing food in gutters swiss chard

Swiss chard!

strawberries in gutters

The strawberries we planted in gutters are looking great too.

organic tomatoes

Now, if we could just speed up time 3 weeks I could set my latest batch of tomatoes into the raised garden beds.

organic vegetables seedlings

So many plants, so little time.

~Mavis

Looking for a great gardening book?  You Grow Girl is a hip, humorous how-to for crafty gals everywhere who are discovering a passion for gardening but lack the know-how to turn their dreams of homegrown tomatoes and fresh-cut flowers into a reality. I own a copy and love it!

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 Garden Blog – Planting Chinese Cabbage

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raised garden beds

After I discovered my broccoli raab had bolted while we were away, I had to pull it up and plant something else in it’s place.
Chinese cabbage seedlings organic garden

Luckily I have a bunch of seedlings growing in the greenhouse and indoors. Since it’s still a wee bit chilly out, I thought Chinese cabbage seemed like a good fit for the space. Even though we have 16 raised garden beds, I am trying to hold off on planting the rest of them for now. It’s hard, but I want to be able to maximize the space by planting a boatload of tomatoes, cucumbers and beans in the beds. If I fill them up with more cold weather crops now, I won’t have room when I set out the warmer crops in about another 3 weeks or so.

It’s a tough call, but I think it’s the right one for now.

Chinese cabbage raised garden bed

Now, I suppose the question is, what am I going to do with all this Chinese cabbage when it’s ready to harvest? Ha! I guess I’ll have to cross that bridge when we get to it.

Unless YOU have some ideas of course!

~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.

Food Waste in America – What Am I Suppose to Do with All this Watermelon?

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food waste in America

This week there were only 2 boxes of free produce from our local grocery store. I just about fell over when I saw all the watermelon. I mean really, we can only eat so much.

Has anyone ever tried freezing watermelon? Can it be done? If so I’m thinking a few chunks of watermelon might go nicely in a smoothie or something. I’ve dehydrated watermelon before, but I don’t think I have tried to freeze it.

fresh cut watermelon

We kept 5 giant tubs of melon {so far we have polished off 3 tubs} and a small bowl of strawberries for ourselves and gave the rest of the reclaimed produce to our  flock of backyard chickens.

No matter how you look at it, free is free. And even though the pickings this week were slim, we are still happy to have them.

Peace Out Girl Scouts, have a great day.

~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.

Recipes Garden Frugal Canning Chickens Travel