Weekly Meal Plan – Menu Plan Ideas Week 50 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:

Raisin-Bran-Muffins-recipe

Breakfast Ideas 

Strawberries and Cream Baked Oatmeal - I love baked oatmeal.  It takes on a whole new, less gooey texture, and is so satisfying.  {Pin for Later}
Baked French Toast - I must be in the mood to fire up the oven as the weather has cooled, because I feel like baking every meal–it turns every meal into comfort food.  {Pin for Later}
Raisin Bran Muffins – Don’t let these fiber packed muffins fool you…they are delicious.  {Pin for Later}
Mini Quiche with Bacon – Mini quiche are the perfect brunch food.  They are easy to serve and even easier to eat.  Incidentally, these are just as delicious for dinner.  {Pin for Later}

Easy Crock Pot Recipes - 13 Bean Vegetarian SoupSlow Cooker  and Freezer Meal Ideas

Savory Chicken with Tomatoes - This recipe takes all of about 5 minutes to throw together…and then another 5 minutes for your family to scarf it down when it’s done.  {Pin for Later}
13 Bean Vegetarian Soup – This is another cheap protein-packed meal that makes itself all day in the crock pot while you do things that are a heck of a lot more fun than slaving over a hot stove.  {Pin for Later}
Freezer Meal Peach Crisp – I love having a couple of these on hand this time of year.  If we get invited to a late-notice potluck or have impromptu company, I’m prepared.  {Pin for Later}
Sweet and Sour Meatballs Freezer Meal - I could drink the marinade that goes on these meatballs–so yummy!  Plus, it gives me an excuse to make rice, which I could personally eat for every meal.  {Pin for Later}

asian chicken wrap recipeSoups , Salads and Main Dish Ideas

Asian Chicken Wrap – These make for a delicious gourmet-like lunch.  {Pin for Later}
Corn and Tomato Quiche - Quiche for dinner is where it’s at.  It’s a cheap protein and still delicious.  {Pin for Later}
Maple Soy Chicken Thighs - Sometimes it’s the simplest recipes that are the best.  {Pin for Later}
Butternut Squash with Spinach and Pasta – This is one of those recipes that seems eccentric at first, but let me tell you, pasta and butternut squash should get married…they belong together.  {Pin for Later}

Reindeer Doughnut BitesCookies,  Snacks and Desserts

Christmas Reindeer Donut Bites – If you are looking for a fun classroom treat {that takes almost ZERO time}, look no further.  Kids will love these.  {Pin for Later}
Homemade Marshmallows - The kids will think this is the coolest science experiment ever, and you will have uh-mazing marshmallows for your hot chocolate. {Pin for Later}
Hershey Kiss Candy Mice Ornaments – These fun little treats make perfect gifts for the kids to give to their friends.  {Pin for Later}
Microwave Cinnamon Peanut Brittle - Yep, you read that right, you do this whole stinkin’ recipe in the microwave.  Don’t worry, though, it doesn’t sacrifice on taste one bit.  {Pin for Later}

Cranberry Cinnamon Pear SaucePreserving Recipe of the Week

Cranberry Cinnamon Pear Sauce – This is the perfect make and freeze until needed cranberry sauce.  It is super tasty, and it will be one less thing you have to worry about Christmas day. {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:

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Mavis’ Affordable Kitchen Remodel Before and After Pictures

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orlando

Holy cow, what a difference 10 weeks makes!

white kitchen dark floors orlando

Here I am with Orlando {Chino the Handyman’s right hand man} about half way through the remodel.

before and after kitchen photos

For the most part, I liked the original u-shape of the kitchen. But that was about it. The kitchen cabinets, blue counter tops, 1990′s space sucking soffet above the cabinets and the warped yellow wood floor were all pulled out. We were able to recycle/donate all the cabinets, sink, and all the hardware, so that part was nice.

White kitchen cabinets remodel

Since all the appliances were in working order {although not ones we would have chosen if given the choice} we decided to keep them. Because really, they looked fine and spending a bunch of money for flashy new appliances wouldn’t have increased the value of the kitchen {in my mind} significantly. So why bother.

kitchen demo before and after photos

Thanks to Chino and his crew, we were able to turn the outdated kitchen from drab to fab with some new kitchen cabinets, counter tops, a funky back-splash, new flooring, an updated pantry and some crown molding. white kitchen dark floors remodel

I don’t know about you, but I think it turned out great.

It’s light, bright and has a CLEAN look about it. Totally worth it in my book.

~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.

Kid’s Christmas Craft Roundup: 10 Easy Crafts

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Easy Kids Christmas Crafts

So many Christmas crafts, so little time. Good thing all these crafts are easy peasy. In fact, you could gather a bunch of ingredients and have a big craft day, and I bet you could get through most of them in a day. I mean that’s extreme craft overload, but it’s totally possible! And even though most say they are “kid’s crafts,” with the exception of a few The Girl helped me with, I did these all on my own and enjoyed every minute of it. So I guess they are for Kids at Heart, too!

Go get your craft on, whether you choose to do one or all of these very Christmasy crafts.

Reindeer-Root-Beer-BottlesReindeer Root Beer Bottles:   Bottled root beer is the only way to go. Throw some antlers and a red nose on it, and you have the perfect, hip Christmas gift for friends and neighbors. {Pin it for later}

Easy-Christmas-Crafts-Bird-Seed-Ornaments2
Bird Seed Ornaments:  I love these little ornaments.  They are a great way to decorate the bare winter branches outdoors, and the kiddos will love the fact that the birds are there because of them. {Pin it for later}
Easy-Christmas-Crafts-Candy-Cane-Reindeer2 Candy Cane Reindeer: This craft is a great way to get rid of leftover yarn and is pretty easy for little fingers.  The whole project will only take you about 10 minutes–now that is my kind of commitment.  {Pin it for later}
Easy-Crafts-For-Kids-Potato-Stamp-Wrapping-Paper1 Potato Stamp Wrapping Paper:  Such a fun craft to do with the kids that you can actually use!  They will have a blast “playing with their food” while making the potato stamped wrapping paper, and you can use their creations to wrap gifts. {Pin it for later}
Easy-Kids-Christmas-Candy-Craft-Ideas-–-Rudolf-the-Reindeer-Candy-BarRudolph the Reindeer Candy Bars:  These decorated candy bars are like a craft, treat and wrapped present all in one.  And since I’m all about getting the most out DIY, this craft is genius. {Pin it for later}
Easy-Kids-Christmas-Candy-Crafts-–-Candy-Cane-Sleigh6
Candy Cane Sleighs: These candy loaded candy cane sleighs will not only make great gifts for your kids’ friend, but will probably make you the most popular mom on the block {with the kids, at least, the parents may hate you when their kids are climbing up the drapes-ha!}. {Pin it for later}
Hershey’s-Kiss-Candy-Mice-Ornament Hershey’s Kiss Candy Mice Ornament: First off, what kid doesn’t love a project that involves chocolate?  Second, these Hershey’s Kiss candy mice ornaments are so cute and would make great gifts for their classmates without breaking the bank.  {Pin it for later}
how-to-make-a-candy-train How to Make a Candy Train: These little old school candy trains have been a tradition in our house for years. The Girl Who Thinks She’s A Bird has been making them and gifting them to friends for as long as I can remember. I bet it’s a tradition she passes on to her kids.  {Pin it for later}

Paper-Bag-Reindeer-Puppets Paper Bag Reindeer Puppets:  This little craft is totally awesome, because once you have helped them make their puppets they can create puppet shows for hours and you get much needed guilt-free time to get the holiday chores done. {Pin it for later}
Waterless-Snow-Globes Waterless Snow Globes: These waterless snow globes are a perfect place for kids to use up their prized trinkets {you think are junk!}.  They can immortalize all of their treasures in a snow globe, and you only have to pull it out once a year. Plus with no water, it’s mess free and you don’t have to worry about breakage! {Pin it for later}

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.

Cranberry Coffee Cake

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Cranberry Coffee CakeIf you’re looking for the perfect bake ahead breakfast recipe for Christmas morning, look no further. This little cake takes the, um, cake?

I’m quadrupling the recipe {the only option really once you realize how tasty this cake is} and giving a few loaves away to my neighbors, as well as having a few on hand for a hearty breakfast after Santa has delivered his goods. I mean opening presents is exhausting and should be rewarded with something tasty to refuel you, don’t you think?

cranberriesIngredients

2 cups flour
2 cups sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 stick unsalted butter, cubed
1 cup buttermilk {How to Make Buttermilk}
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
Zest from 1 orange {I used a satsuma orange}
Zest from 1 Meyer lemon
2 cups frozen cranberries

For topping:
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

cranberry coffee cake recipe

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 F. Thoroughly butter a 9×13 baking dish and set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, nutmeg, and salt. Cut in butter and fork until mixture is crumbly.

In a stand mixer with whisk attachment, mix buttermilk, eggs, vanilla, and orange and lemon zest. Add the flour mixture and stir a few seconds or just until moistened. Fold in the cranberries.

Pour batter into prepared pan and spread evenly with a spatula. Mix the sugar and cinnamon together for the topping, and sprinkle evenly over batter. Bake for 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into center comes out clean. Cool completely before cutting or serving.

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, AreoGarden $99.95, Hoodies, Free Christmas Music, Recipes and More

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mornings-with-mavis1

Happy Sunday!

We are headed to our local tree farm today to pick out our Christmas tree today!!! It’s my year to pick out the tree {last year The Girl got to pick it out} and I’m hoping to find a tall, skinny Nobel Fir for our family room. :) :) :)

Peace Out Girl Scouts, have a great Sunday,

Mavis

*This deal post will be updated throughout the day so be sure and check back for deals. 

aerogarden

Amazon Gold Box Deal of the Day - Miracle-Gro AeroGarden 7-Pod LED Indoor Garden with Gourmet Herb Seed Kit for $99.95! The AeroGarden 7 LED grows so simply and easily that no gardening experience is required.

  • LED lights use 60% less power than traditional compact fluorescent lights, yet deliver up to 30% more growth!
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  • Grows herbs, flowers, lettuce, peppers, veggies and more
  • Includes LED Lighting System, AeroGarden unit & Gourmet Herb Seed Pod Kit

free kindle books

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! :)

clara clark bed sheets

Amazon has my favorite Clara Clark Bed Sheets on sale for as low as $22.71 {Sage, Queen}. We have these sheets on every bed in our house and I LOVE them!!

Mr. Heater Buddy 4,000-9,000-BTU Indoor-Safe Portable Radiant Heater

If you’ve been waiting for the Mr. Heater Portable Buddy Propane Heater to go on sale, now is your chance to snag one for $69.99 shipped! That is almost 50% off! These are great for keeping warm while sitting int he stands at football, soccer, and baseball games.

barska
Amazon has the BARSKA 10×25 Compact Waterproof Binocular on sale for $21.35 {was $59.99}. Sized and priced just right, this versatile binocular will give you great views of the outdoors, athletic events, or whatever activity you choose.

izze

Get the 24 Pack of Izze Sparkling Juice Variety Pack shipped to your front door for just $13.77 when you use the Amazon subscribe and save option at checkout. I love this stuff!

Get 6 Boxes of Nutri-Grain Cereal Bars, Strawberry, 8-Count Bars for $11.68 shipped when you clip the 25% off coupon and use the subscribe and save option.

*Keep in mind you can cancel your Subscribe and Save membership at anytime. To cancel or change your items, simply click on “My Account” and then click on “Subscriptions.” You can easy peasy modify or cancel any of your Subscribe and Save items at anytime, no obligation at all.*

toys

Toy Deals:

free tea samples

 

Head on over to the Twinning’s Pantry Page where you can request 3 FREE SAMPLES or tea. Wahoo! garden and gun magazine

Discount Mags is having a HUGE Pick Your Price Magazine Sale with lots of popular titles to choose from:

$3.99 and Under:

$5 Magazines:

Freezer-Meal-Recipe-Chicken-Cacciatore

If you like freezer meals then you’ll love my recipe for Chicken Cacciatore. It’s simple to make and makes meal time on those busy weeknights a snap. Get the recipe HERE or Pin it for Later.

christmas books for kids

Christmas Books for Kids:

rei sweatshirt

REI Outlet Deal of the Day - Threads for Thought Solid Zip Hooded Sweatshirt $17.73 shipped.

timberland brown leather wallet

6pm has the Timberland Fine Break Passcase on sale for $14.99 shipped!

cabelas mary jane shoes

The Cabela’s Women’s Destination Mary Jane Shoes are on sale for just $19.99! {was $59.99!}

botanical interests seeds

My favorite seed company Botanical Interests is offering FREE SHIPPING on all seed orders over $50 and a free desktop calendar on orders placed by December 23rd. See the seeds I’ll be sowing in my 2015 garden HERE and check out their 52 New Varieties for 2015 HERE.

ebates $10 banner

Do you shop online? Have you signed up for Ebates yet?

Ebates offers cash back from any of 1,500 stores any time you start your shopping trip at Ebates.com. There are no points to redeem, no forms to mail in, and no fees. I LOVE this site! Stores pay Ebates a sales commission for sending shoppers their way, and Ebates uses the commission to pay you cash back and it’s pretty awesome if you ask me.

If you are new to Ebates, you will also score a FREE $10 gift card to Target, Macy’s, Walmart, Kohls, or Ebates.  How cool is that? Simply sign up HERE and you will receive the gift card of your choice in the mail after your first $25 purchase.

skull face mask

Amazon has the UrbanSource Black Seamless Skull Face Tube Mask for just $1.00 shipped!

Untitled

If you have Amazon Prime then head over HERE to get all sorts of FREE HOLIDAY Music from Amazon.com. The Piano Guys, Enya, Andy Williams and more.

printable coupons

Check out these New Printable 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.

Giveaway Roundup: $50 Safeway Gift Card, T5 Grow Lights, Bird Seed Donuts, Christmas Ornament Contest

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giveaways

It’s my favorite time of year to give, whether it be to family, friends, or YOU, my awesome readers. There are a bunch of fun giveaways going on all at the same time, so I posted them below in one convenient location in case you missed one! Head on over and enter away!

grow-lights11Hydrofarm JumpStart T5 Grow Light System Giveaway:

This is shaping up to be one of my most popular giveaways this year. I suspect it’s because word has gotten out about how awesome the T5 system is when it comes to helping you with start seeds. It’s my hands-down favorite. You have until Sunday December 21st, 2014 to enter.bird-christmas-ornament-2 Favorite Christmas Ornament Giveaway:

Simply shoot me an email telling me about your very favorite ornament {keep the submissions to a paragraph description if possible}, with a high quality picture of your favorite ornament and be entered to win a $50 Amazon gift card! You have until Saturday December 20th, 2014 to enter.8589532_273_donut-birdseed-tweets Songbird Tweets Bird Seed Donuts Giveaway:

You read that right. I’m giving away bird donuts! They are adorably packaged and you’re sure to be a hit with all the neighborhood birds if you win this unique prize! You have until Tuesday December 16th, 2014 to enter. safeway-gift-card-giveaway$50 Safeway Gift Card Giveaway:

One lucky winner will take home a gift card loaded with $50 to use as they please at any Safeway store (Safeway, Pavillions, Vons, Randalls, Tom Thumb or Carrs). If you’re anything like me, you’re probably making a few extra trips to the store this holiday season. Wouldn’t $50 extra dollars to spend help ease your shopping cart woes?! You have until Sunday December 14th, 2014 to enter. HURRY!

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.

Low Sugar Triple Berry Jam Recipe

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Low Sugar Triple Berry Jam

If you would like to give the gift of homemade jam this winter but don’t have any berries in your freezer, this recipe uses a bag of frozen fruit from Costco, is low sugar {without adding sugar substitutes} and was still good enough to win a blue ribbon at the Boulder County Fair in 2012.  My daughter made it for her professors for Christmas this year and it turned out great.

costco three berries

Ingredients {Recipe Credit}

  • 4 cups blend of blueberries, marionberries and raspberries, crushed {Costco sells a frozen bag of this blend}
  • 1 cup unsweetened apple juice
  • 1 tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 tbsp. low sugar pectin
  • 1 1/2 cup sugar

costco frozen berries

Directions

Bring a boiling-water canner, 3/4 full with water, to simmer. Wash jars and screw bands in hot soapy water; rinse with warm water. Pour boiling water over flat lids in saucepan off the heat. Let stand in hot water until ready to use. Drain well before filling.

Combine crushed berries, fruit juice, and lemon juice into an 8 quart saucepan.  Gradually stir in pectin.  Bring the mixture to a rolling boil, stirring constantly.  Then add the sugar all at once and return mixture to a boil.  Boil for one minute, stirring constantly.  Remove from heat.

triple berry jam canning

Ladle immediately into prepared jars, filling to within 1/4 inch of tops. Wipe jar rims and threads, cover with two-piece lids. Screw bands on {if using traditional jars, if using Weck jars wipe rims, add rubber gaskets and glass lid and clamp on both sides}.  Place jars on elevated rack in a canner. Lower rack into canner. {Water must cover jars by 1 to 2 inches. Add boiling water, if necessary.} Cover; bring water to gentle boil. Process 10 min. Remove jars and place upright on towel to cool completely.

Low Sugar Triple Berry Jam

After the jars have cooled, check the seals by pressing middles of lids with finger. If lids spring back, lids are not sealed and refrigeration is necessary.  Allow jars to sit, untouched for 12 hours before storing.

canning cupboard

Looking for a few more canning recipes?

Search my Full List of Canning Recipes

Want to start canning, but don’t know where to start?  Here’s a guide to help you get started.

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.

One Hundred Dollars a Month – Mavis’ Weekly Highlights 12/13/2014

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charlie brown christmas tree

Mavis Butterfield on InstagramFollow me as I share some random goodness

east coast garden pictures

Garden Updates

Almond Joy Dessert Bars

Recipes

grow-lights1

Giveaways

hey girl

Mornings with Mavis 

10 Ideas for Giving Experiences Instead of Gifts

Tips and Tricks

white vanity

Weekly Shopping Trips and Other Stories

Videos

Peace Out Girl Scouts, have a great weekend!

Mavis

Don’t forget, you can stay up to date with the latest news by following One Hundred Dollars a Month on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Google+ as well.

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.

Melting Chocolate in a Crock Pot

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Melting Chocolate in a Crock Pot

So, I have an unhealthy obsession with my crock pot.  Seriously, I use it ALL of the time.  When people aren’t looking {even when they are}, I talk to it–like an old reliable friend.  So when a friend {not the crock pot} told me I could melt chocolate, butterscotch, peanut butter, etc. in a crock pot, I nearly squealed with delight.  Nearly.

I don’t know about you, but with all of the holiday recipes around here, this is going to make my life soooo much easier.  Basically, all you need to do is fill chocolate chips,  almond bark, butterscotch chips, peanut butter chips {and the list goes on} into mason jars.  I like to use the wide mouth pint sized because they are easy for dipping.

Melting Chocolate in a Crock Pot

Simply put the chocolate filled jars into the crock pot {you can put multiple jars in at the same time} then pour water in around the jars, until it is about half-way up the side of the jars.  Be careful NOT to get water INTO the jars.  It has disastrous consequences on the melting process.  Finally, turn the crock pot on high and LEAVE THE LID OFF, because again, you don’t want condensation dripping back into your jars.  Stir the contents of the jars every so often until they are completely melted.

That’s it.  Now you have melted whatever you need as you do your holiday recipes.  Genius, right?

~Mavis

Melting Chocolate in a Crock Pot

Find More Easy Kitchen Tips

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 Christmas Craft – Wine Cork Reindeer

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Wine Cork Reindeer diy Christmas craft

These little reindeer would make perfect place card holders for Christmas dinner…or tie a little ribbon on them and use them for ornaments.  Either way, they take all of about 5 minutes and are pretty darn cute, if I do say so myself.

DIY Christmas Craft - Wine Cork Reindeer supplies

You’ll Need:

2 wine corks
Several twigs
Gold topped push pin {red would work too}
Small screwdriver or needle nose pliers
White glue

DIY Christmas Craft - Wine Cork Reindeer

Directions:

Start by trimming 4 pieces of twig to the exact same length for the legs {about 3″}.  Using the screwdriver, gently poke four holes into the long side of one of the corks.  Poke another hole on the opposite side of cork, toward one end for the neck.

DIY Christmas Craft - Wine Cork Reindeer

Poke the leg twigs into the cork at an angle, securing with glue, if necessary.  Cut a smaller piece of twig {about 1″} and poke it into the hole for the neck.  Now, on the second cork, use the screwdriver to poke a hole where the head will connect with the neck.  On the top side of the cork, poke two more holes for antlers.  Cut twigs for the antlers {about 2″ long}.  Make sure the antler twigs have at least a fork in them, to make them look antler-like.  Secure the antlers in the appropriate holes, again using glue if needed.

DIY Christmas Craft - Wine Cork Reindeer

Now, push the gold pin into the other side of the “head” cork for the nose {you may have to trim the push pin a bit, depending on how long it is}.

Now you can put place cards in the antlers…or decorate with them however you like.

~Mavis

Wine Cork Reindeer diy Christmas craft

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