It’s time to get your garden ready! Or at least the soil and the early and more hardy plants. I love having a garden and I cannot wait until we have fresh fruit and vegetables. Our strawberries are already blooming and the blackberry bush has buds. The peach tree is also looking hopeful this year! We have been debating to do a traditional in the ground garden or to go back to raised garden beds this year.
We went back to raised garden beds this year since last years crop was a bust (for many reasons but the soil was part of it). Since our garden area is quite large, building raised garden beds can be costly. My husband and I and big proponents of using what you have. We had a garage built this year and we decided to use the leftover scrap wood to build the raised beds. It’s not perfect, but it works!
My husband continued with his creativity and made me an herb starter box. He used a leftover piece of gutter to make the herb box and some scrap wood to secure it. Isn’t that clever?
We did have to bring in top soil and compost as we have clay. The soil was a bit of an expense, but the rest of the garden is pretty frugal. I planted potatoes, onions, green beans, sweet peas, carrots and lettuce this weekend. I will wait a couple more weeks to plant the squash, tomatoes, cucumbers and watermelon.
I encourage you all to make some sort of garden this year. It can be as small as a container on your deck or an herb garden on you window seal. Having fresh homegrown produce is wonderful! My boys enjoy the process too. And there is nothing better than a homegrown tomato!
Have you started a garden yet? What are you planning on planting this year?
I am attempting to start menu planning again! There is less stress during the week if I take the time to write up a menu plan. The last few weeks have been hectic so meal planning took a back seat. One thing to note, I have not grocery shopped in over a week! My freezer and pantry were stocked so I decided to take a shopping break. I will have to go this week for fruits, vegetables, bread and dairy products.
Homemade Banana Bread– This recipe comes for Erin at $5 Dollar Dinners Cookbook. It is very healthy with no butter or oil. I used my home canned cinnamon applesauce. The boys love it!
Cereal and Milk
Sandwiches, Chicken Nuggets, fruit, yogurt, cheese and pretzels
Monday– Freezer mashed potatoes, grilled chicken, corn and biscuits
Tuesday– Pork Lo Mein (Use leftover pork from Sunday night)
Wednesday– Chicken Alfredo- I made Connie’s Alfredo Sauce recipe a couple of weeks ago and the boys LOVED it! It is much healthier than traditional Alfredo sauce and it is only takes a few minuted to whip up.
Friday– Grilled steak, baked potatoes
Saturday– Beef Stroganoff using leftover steak
6 Tbsp butter
1 pound of top sirloin, cut thin (or use leftover meat or chicken!)
1/3 cup finely chopped shallots or onions
1/2 pound mushrooms (can be fancy variety or just white)
Salt to taste
Pepper to taste
1 cup of sour cream
1) Melt 3 Tbsp. of butter over medium-high heat. Add steak, season with pepper and salt. Cook until browned. Remove steak and keep warm. (If using leftover meat, just skip this step!)
2) Add shallots or onions, mushrooms and remaining butter to pan drippings and cook until tender over medium heat. Add a dash of nutmeg.
3) Reduce heat to low and add sour cream. Mix sour cream in thoroughly and then take off heat. Do not boil the sour cream as it will curdle. Add the beef back in.
4) Serve over egg noodles.
Sunday– Not sure! I will have to see what is on sale this week and what I find at the store!
What is on your menu this week? Do you have the grill out yet? I love grilling season!
This post is linked at Org Junkie.
I have to say this week I am so busy I do not have time to make anything new. I know sad ha? I thought I would share a quick dinner idea that I used last night since we had Karate at 4:30-5:30 and then basketball 6:00-7:00. I mean sometimes you just have to do what you can.
1 bottle of your favorite BBQ sauce
1/4 cup of water
as many ribs as your family can eat or will fit in your crockpot
Place 1/4 cup of water in the crock pot add ribs $4.18 and pour on the sauce $1.00. Place your crock pot on low for 8 hours… Voila dinner!
I threw in some Uncle Ben’s rice 90 seconds (free) in the microwave and a bag of Dole Salad mix ($1.00). DONE for under $7.00!
I have had a couple of requests for the Sweet Potato Custard recipe. This recipe came from a crock pot cooking class I took several years ago. It is a simple recipe and great to make for Thanksgiving or Christmas. I really like that it cooks in the crock pot instead of taking up room in the oven. It almost tastes like dessert! The original recipe was by Debbie Duggan.
5 Cups chopped, peeled sweet potatoes or yams
2 tsp. fresh lemon juice
2 Tblsp. unsalted soft butter
3/4 Cup packed brown sugar
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
Dash ground cloves
1 large egg
1/4 cup sour cream
In a pot of boiling water, cook sweet potatoes for 15 minutes or until tender. Drain and transfer to a blender or food processor. Puree or mash sweet potatoes until smooth. Add lemon juice.
In a bowl combine butter, brown sugar, spices, egg and sour cream. Beat until smooth. Fold in sweet potato puree. Transfer to a lightly buttered crock pot. Cover and cook on low for 4-6 hours or on high for 2-3 hours. The sweet potatoes will be slightly brown on the edges when done.
Tip: You can boil, mash and add the lemon juice the day before if you want. Just place the puree in the refrigerator until you are ready to cook in the crock pot!
Disclaimer: The reviewer has been compensated in the form of a Best Buy Gift Card and/or received the product/service at a reduced price or for free
Spring is a time of new beginnings. For many, it’s also the time when a large income tax refund comes in. Some may use those extra funds to pay off debt, to plan for a much needed and deserved vacation, or to put toward savings. This year we plan to use those funds to replace our dishwasher, refrigerator and stove. After over ten years, these appliances have outlived their usefulness. The dishwasher leaks and our last attempt to repair it proved worthless. The refrigerator is not defrosting and is loud. As for the stove, it’s an older electric burner version which I have dreamed of replacing with a ceramic flat top since we moved in a number of years ago. It looks like it’s time to check out the home appliances sales.Continue reading