Baked Beans From Scratch

white beans

Baked Beans From ScratchThis Baked Beans From Scratch recipe is another winner from the Mennonite Girls Can Cook Cookbook. I’ve been using this cookbook like crazy lately and loving it.

Their recipes are so wholesome and just good old fashioned home cooking goodness. No frills, no fluff. Just honest to goodness food my family has been gobbling up. These beans are no exception. I whipped these up in crock pot and they were sooo easy to make!

white beansIngredients

1 pound dried small white beans
1 pound bacon, diced
2 medium onions, finely chopped
1 jalapeno pepper, finely minced
1/3 cup tomato paste
1/3 cup ketchup
2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup molasses
1/3 cup barbecue sauce
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
4 cups water {reserved from beans}
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper

bacon

Directions

Rinse beans, tossing any discolored or shriveled beans. In a medium pot, cover beans with a few inches of water and bring to a boil. Continue boiling for 2 minutes and then remove from heat, cover and let stand 2 hours.  Drain beans, reserving water.

Fry bacon in a large pan and drain excess drippings. Add onion and saute until the onions have softened.

Baked Beans From Scratch

 

Toss bacon and onion mixture along with the remaining ingredients into a crock pot and cook on low for 8 hours.

Baked Beans From Scratch

Serve hot or cold!

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10 Cool Ways to Reuse Your Tea Bags

10 Cool Ways to Reuse Your Tea Bags

10 Cool Ways to Reuse Your Tea Bags

If you are a tea lover like me, you probably discard tea bags like they are going out of style. Here are some great ways to get a little more life out of them. Those little tea bags are way more versatile than you ever knew!

1. Tea Bath: Run your bath water over used tea bags and then have a good soak. Your skin will be left feeling super soft and silky {plus, it’s an excuse to soak in a bath!}.

2. Tea Compress: Place your used tea bags in the fridge for a bit and then lay them on your puffy, dark-circled eyes. The tannins in the leaves help reduce the puff and dark circles and will leave you looking all bright-eyed and bushy-tailed!

3. Tea Healer: Have a sunburn, bruise or bug-bites or stings? Press a used tea bag {you can chill these, too} over the area and let the healing begin!

4. Tea-peat: Reuse your old tea bags alongside a new bag to make a stiffer cup of tea. It’s the perfect way to give your tea a little extra something without spending more money.

5. Tea Fertilizer: Let your used tea bags dry out and then sprinkle into the soil of houseplants, your garden, the base of your trees or your compost pile. Not only will it act as a fertilizer, but it will also help deter little pests and critters from gobbling up your garden.

6. Tea Band-aids: If you’ve ever nicked yourself while shaving and plastered your legs or face with little bits of toilet paper, here’s a great alternative. Press a used tea bag over the bleeding area and hold it there for a few minutes. The tannins in the tea will accelerate blood clotting. Who knew?

7. Tea Tenderizer: Use used tea bags to tenderize meats. I’ve done this with a whole turkey and it was so moist and delicious. I just threw a tea bag in with some water in the bottom of the pan. Easy as that!

8. TeaDye: Like tie-dye only cooler. You can use tea bags to stain wood, dye wool, and color cardstock to name a few. It’s a great natural dye alternative.

9. Tea Degreaser: If those hard to clean pots and pans are making you crazy, fill them up with hot water, throw a used tea bag in the pot and then let them soak overnight. In the morning the stuck on junk and grease will rinse right off.

10. Tea Deodorizer: Those little tea bags pack a pretty smell-removing punch. Place them in your fridge, in your smelly shoes, in your car, or hidden all over your teenager’s rooms to absorb odors.

Do you use your used tea bags in any other cool ways I’ve never heard of. Please share in the comments below!

 

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FDA Bans Trans Fats

man holding oreosDid you hear the news?  The FDA announced this month that they are rolling out a 3 year initiative that will BAN trans fats in food.  Which basically means no more partially hydrogenated vegetable oil, no more margarine—it’s all got to go.  The FDA cited that trans fats are directly connected with heart disease, and no longer fall under “the generally recognized as safe for consumption” category.  Did you know there was a classification like that?!

I found articles on treehugger and NPR that both highlighted the basics of the ban.  Basically, companies will have three years to completely remove trans fats from their products.  Both articles were unclear as to whether they will still allow any trans fats under .5 grams to be labeled as zero trans fats {apparently that is the current policy}.

So, here’s what I am thinking:  It takes A LOT for the FDA to get around and outright ban something that is bad for public health.  So, how bad has trans-fat got to be to get the ax?  Pretty dang bad, I am guessing.  Also, for the record, I have consumed my fair share of partially hydrogenated oils—it used to be in EVERYTHING, including Oreos and my beloved Crisco {luckily Crisco has moved away from it, so I can still do my baking with it}.

Although the use of trans fat has been on the decline since mandatory labeling began in 2006, I still think it’s a good thing that it will be one less thing to have to worry about in our food supply.  Now I guess I can put that worry away and move on to solving world peace.

What are your thoughts on the ban?

~Mavis

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Henrietta From the Pacific Northwest Sends in Her Garden Pictures

cedar planter boxes

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!

garden boxes
My name is Henrietta  and I live here in the Pacific Northwest (not to far from you).  I started my first container garden using plastic Rubbermaid totes 4 years ago.  Every year my garden has evolved and gotten bigger.  My gardening skills have also evolved and improved.

That is half the fun of gardening isn’t it?  Learning from our mistakes and improving with each passing year is part of the journey towards becoming more self sufficient.  I grew up on a farm, however I never really took an interest in gardening until I became interested in eating healthier and feeding my family organic foods.

About 6 months ago I quit my job working as a Nuclear Project Engineer and found myself at home with no clue as to what I would do with my new-found freedom.  So I decided to put my energy into things that make me happy and gardening was at the top of that list.  When I quit my job our family was reduced from two paychecks to one paycheck.  I quickly became motivated to be more self sufficient and to find additional ways to save money.  Luckily your blog is filled with great advice on saving money!

cedar planter boxes
I devised a plan to turn half my backyard into more garden space.  It took a little bit of time to convince my husband to come on board with this plan, but like all good husbands, he came on board and did most of the labor to make my dream come true.  The result was pretty amazing!  Both my husband and I are engineers, so every raised bed was designed with cost, stability and aesthetics in mind.  We started digging up our backyard in April and finished our raised beds in May, just in time for seed planting.
cedar garden boxes

All together I have 15 different varieties of tomato plants.  All this hot weather has been good to my tomato plants, which is very unusual for this time of year here in the Pacific Northwest.  I have never canned in my life, but I expect to learn later on this summer so keep those canning recipes coming!

growing lettuce in cedar beds

I have been growing a lot of lettuce and have 3 varieties growing right now, butter crunch, romaine and Boston lettuce.  My family has been eating lettuce practically everyday and we are not able to keep up with it so I have been giving lettuce away to friends.  My kale plants are also doing wonderful.

growing zucchini in cedar garden boxes

I also have 9 zucchini and squash plants growing.  The zucchini plants may look like they have fungus growing, but they are a different variety of zucchini including Caserta and Round Zucchini.  I’ve already harvested 3 medium size black beauty zucchini’s so far. The raised bed in the back also contain cucumbers, bush beans and snap peas.

pea trellisI made my snap pea trellis using twine and washed up beach wood I found on our beach.

cedar garden boxes

So far I’ve harvested lettuce, cilantro, zucchini, broccoli, Swiss chard, kale and strawberries.  Not too bad considering it is only mid June!

cauliflower

I’m also about ready to pick this gigantic head of cauliflower.

growing beets in raised bedsMy beets are also ready to be harvested!  Can you tell I love beets?

potatoes

I also have a potato patch that I am really excited about!  I grew Yukon and red potatoes this year and I am hoping for a high yield.

plum tree

My plum tree is also looking amazing!  Every year I let my friends pick my plums, but this year I am planning on picking as many as possible to keep, plum jam perhaps?

strawberries growing in a raised garden bed

On the other side of my property I also have 3 additional 4 X 8 raised beds that I use for strawberries, pole beans, asparagus and more potatoes.

square foot garden

I should also mention that I used the square foot gardening method along with companion gardening in all of my raised beds.
I love checking your blog everyday and a lot of my ideas I generated from your blog, so thank you for the inspiration.  It wasn’t too long ago I was sitting at a job I hated, daydreaming about gardening and homesteading full time. Little did I know that I would actually get the chance to pursue this dream.  Next year I plan to include chickens and rabbits on our little urban homestead.  Thank you Mavis for letting me share my garden and dreams with you.
You can find more of my story at my personal blog which I’ve appropriately titled “Taking My Life Back” 
Sincerely,
Henrietta
Send Pictures of Your Garden For a Chance to Win a $20 Amazon Gift Card

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.

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Free Kindle Books, Zucchini Recipes, Linen Deals, FitFlop Women’s Sandals, Kettle Chips and More

rei waistepack fanny pack

mulctsWord of the Day: Mulcts Definition: Deprives by deceit Used in a sentence: The swindler mulcts the public of the money they need.

lucy the puggle dog

Greetings from the laziest puggle dog ever. 😉 I think Lucy is officially on summer vacation mode. Sleeping late, morning and afternoon naps and just the occasional walk outside. WHAT A LIFE this dog has. 

Have a great Wednesday everyone!!

Mavis

FitFlop Sandals

Amazon Gold Box Deal of the Day – 45% Off FitFlop Women’s Sandals

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! :)

amazon subscribe and save deals

Amazon Subscribe and Save Deals:

How to Save Tomato SeedsDo you save your tomato seeds to replant next year? You should. Here’s How {and Why} to Save Your Tomato Seeds. Find more cool tips on my Gardening Tips and Tricks Pinterest Board.

Tomatomania

Tomatomania!: A Fresh Approach to Celebrating Tomatoes in the Garden and in the Kitchen $18.37. I can’t wait to get my hands on a copy.

crock pot with snapping lid

My favorite Crock Pot is on sale!!

the home depot applicance sale

The Home Depot Appliance Sale is happening right now. Save up to 30% off and zero percent interest for up to 6 months if paid in full when you use your Home Depot Card.

summer movie express

Looking for something fun {and inexpensive} to do with the kiddos this summer? Regal Cinemas is hosting the Summer Movie Express on Tuesdays & Wednesdays at 10am for nine weeks. Admission is $1 and a portion of the proceeds will benefit the Will Rogers Institute. Go HERE to see movies listings in your area.

national geographic

Amazon has National Geographic Kids Magazine on sale for $15 for a one year subscription. This is such a fun magazine for kids! Learning is COOL!

studded earings

Cents of Style is offering a Set of 3 Studs – $7.95 & FREE SHIPPING w/code STUDSTEALS at checkout.

Original Featherstone Flamingo

Amazon has the Union Products Original Featherstone Flamingo’s, Pack of Two on sale today for $20.30 and they ship FREE with Amazon Prime. 

linen deals

Deals on Linens:

dwell magazine

Discount Mags is offering a 1 year subscription to Dwell Magazine for only $4.99 a year when you use code MAVIS at checkout. This deal will expire 6/25/15 at midnight EST.

The Best Zucchini RecipesThe great zucchini harvest is never ending around this time each year. But I’m here to help with lots yummy zucchini recipes, like these. Here are All the Best Zucchini Recipes. Get the recipes HERE or Pin it for Later. Find more recipes on my Zucchini Pinterest Board.

rafting tube river run

Amazon has the highly rated Intex River Run I Sport Lounge, Inflatable Water Float, 53″ Diameter on sale today for $19.99. Just in time for summer fun!rei waistepack fanny pack

REI Outlet Deal of the Day – REI Journey Waistpack $19.73 {was $39.95}

REI Toddlers' Grip-N-Gulp Water Bottle - 12 fl. oz.

Get the REI Toddlers’ Grip-N-Gulp Water Bottle – 12 fl. oz. for just $3.73 each {was $9.25}.

newman's own coupons

Check out these New Printable Coupons:

$1.00 off (1) Newman’s Own Complete Skillet Meal
$1.00 off any ONE (1) Newman’s Own Frozen Pizza
$0.75 off any ONE (1) Newman’s Own Salad Dressing
$1.00 off any TWO (2) Wish-Bone Salad Dressings
$1.25 off TWO Crest Kids Toothpaste or Mouthwash
$1.50 off (1) all product
$2.50 off 1 of Kibbles ‘n Bits 35lb or larger

Find More Printable Coupons

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Simple Red Raspberry Pie

frozen raspberries

raspberry pieOne of my all-time favorite pie recipes is this easy Strawberry Pie. It’s as easy as they come in terms of pie recipes, and that’s just why I love it. So I just knew that I would love my friend JJ’s Red Raspberry Pie recipe because it was equally as simple.  I was right. It was freakin awesome. Not that I was surprised. Mama JJ doesn’t mess around in the kitchen. Delicious food is all she knows! Here’s the recipe. I hope you love it as much as I did.

pie crust

Ingredients

Pie:
1 pie crust  {Homemade Pie Crust Recipe}
6 cups red raspberries, divided {frozen works great, too!}
1/2 cup water
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
1 tablespoon lemon juice

crumb topping

Crumb Topping:
3/4 cup flour
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup butter

frozen raspberries

Directions

Preheat oven to 425 F. In a small bowl, stir together the cornstarch and sugar, and set aside. Add 4 cups of the berries and the water into a saucepan.

fresh raspberry pie filling

Cook over medium-high heat until boiling. Add sugar mixture to the cooking berries and stir constantly until it thickens. Remove from the heat. Stir in the lemon juice and the reserved berries. Pour the berry mixture into the prepared pie shell.

fresh raspberry pie

Using your fingers or a fork, cut together the topping ingredients until you have a crumbly mixture. Sprinkle the mixture over the pie. Bake 10 minutes, reduce oven temperature to 375 and bake for an additional 30 minutes, or until the filling is bubbling and the crust is golden brown.

raspberry pie

Cool before serving. Enjoy!

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Donald Featherstone Creator of the Plastic Pink Flamingo, Dies

featherstone pink flamingos

featherstone pink flamingos

Yesterday, June 22nd, 2015, Donald Featherstone, the creator of the plastic pink flamingo died at the age of 79.

Donald studied art at the Worcester Art Museum in Massachusetts and created the pink plastic flamingo in 1957 for the plastics company Union Products Inc.  soon after completed art school. He worked for Union Products for 43 years {eventually becoming president} and made over 600 items for the company before retiring in 1999.

Did you know the original flamingo was modeled after a National Geographic photograph and sculpted out of clay? How amazing it must have been to know you created something LOVED by so many people.

pink plastic flamingo

Thank you Donald Featherstone.

Long live the pink plastic flamingo!!

~Mavis

pink flamingos in box

A big thank you to everyone who sent in flamingos for the Flamingo Sanctuary we started earlier this spring. I will cherish them always.

*Thank you Sue, Jill, Michelle, Heidi, and Mia for letting us know.

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Discounted Perennials From the Home Depot and Garage Sale Treasures

garage sale

garage sale

Over the weekend I stopped at 4 garage sales. 2 were total duds but two of the garage sales were fantastic. My first stopped netted a lamp for the guest bedroom, a cutting board and a funky end table that I plan on spray painting white and using in my office space. I think I’ll set the printer on top and place all my binders and magazines in the slats when I’m finished.

coffee signAt another sale I picked up a coffee table in the exact stain color I was looking for! The coffee table was $30 and it matches our sideboard and dining room table {which is just off the family room} perfectly. The seller was kind enough to throw in a cute coffee sign {which I hung above the pantry door} for free.

salvia

On the way home from checking out garage sales I stopped by The Home Depot to scope out the discount rack and scored a bunch of perennials for super cheap!

pink carnation plants

I was able to pick up 6 Salvia plants for $1.50 each, 12 pink Carnation plants for $1.50 each and 3 Tickseed plants for $2.50 a piece. It was a good day!!

the home depot discount rack

How about YOU?

Have you been to any cool garage sales lately?

Does your garden center have a discount rack too?

~Mavis

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