August 31, 2014

Melt In Your Mouth Apple Cinnamon Pancakes

My husband is the pancake maker in the family and apple cinnamon pancakes are my favorite! He always makes me apple cinnamon and reserves some batter for our daughter and puts chocolate chips in hers (she doesn’t like cooked apples). While these pancakes have a definite fall flavor they are delicious anytime of year. Soft with lightly crisped edges (the secret of the edges is to use butter to grease your hot pan) you will find they quickly disappear off the plate!

Melt in your mouth apple cinnamon pancakes made from scratch

Making pancakes from scratch is really easy (and a fraction of the price of boxed mix) but you could of course use a mix and just add the apples and cinnamon. :)

Melt In Your Mouth Apple Cinnamon Pancakes

Ingredients:

1 medium apple
1 tsp. apple pie spice
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 cup plus 2 Tbsp. All Purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
3 Tbsp. Brown Sugar
1 egg
1 cup milk
2 Tbsp. canola oil
pinch of salt

chopped apples for making apple pancakes

Directions:

1. Peel and dice apple finely.
2. Whisk milk, oil, and egg together well.
3. Stir in flour, baking powder, sugar, cinnamon, apple pie spice and salt until well combined.
4. Fold in diced apples.
5. Place butter in a large skillet or on a griddle over medium low heat.
6. Scoop about a  1/4 cup of batter into hot pan and cook until air bubbles are popping in the batter and edges are becoming lightly browned- this is roughly two minutes.
7. Flip and cook on the other side for 1-2 minutes.
8. If desired top with additional diced apples (fried or uncooked) and a sprinkle of cinnamon.

Makes about 8-10 pancakes.

apple pancake recipe

Warm your syrup before serving for a special touch!

Melt In Your Mouth Apple Cinnamon Pancakes
 
Delicious apple cinnamon pancakes made from scratch
Author:
Recipe type: Breakfast
Ingredients
  • 1 medium apple
  • 1 tsp. apple pie spice
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 cup plus 2 Tbsp. All Purpose flour
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 3 Tbsp. Brown Sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 Tbsp. canola oil
  • pinch of salt
Instructions
  1. Peel and dice apple finely.
  2. Whisk milk, oil, and egg together well.
  3. Stir in flour, baking powder, sugar, cinnamon, apple pie spice and salt until well combined.
  4. Fold in diced apples.
  5. Place butter in a large skillet or on a griddle over medium low heat.
  6. Scoop ¼ cup of batter into hot pan and cook until air bubbles are popping in the batter and edges are becoming lightly browned- this is roughly two minutes.
  7. Flip and cook on the other side for 1-2 minutes.
  8. Heat syrup for a special topping.
  9. If desired top with additional diced apples and a sprinkle of cinnamon.
  10. Warm your syrup before serving for special touch!
Notes
Makes about 8-10 pancakes.

 

Creamy Chicken Potato Chowder-Great Frugal Fall Meal!

Fall is coming and this creamy chicken potato chowder is the perfect fall meal! It’s easy to make (uses a rotisserie chicken from the grocery store), can feed a crowd, and is wonderfully hardy.

Yummy frugal fall meal - chicken and potato chowder

This is also great for a rainy day!

Take a look below at how to whip up a comforting pot of this chowder yourself. I’m sure your family will love it!

Chicken Potato Chowder

Ingredients needed:
2 lbs. of white potatoes, cleaned and cut into cubes
3 Tbsp all-purpose flour
1 qt chicken stock
¾ cup half and half
2 cups of shredded cheddar cheese (I like sharp)
1 pound of bacon, cooked crisp
½ cup of chives, chopped fine
2 cans of golden sweet corn
1 rotisserie chicken, shredded (or use leftover chicken or turkey even)
1 cup of 2% milk
Salt and pepper to taste

ingredients for chicken potato chowder

Directions:
1. In a large soup pot, add your chicken stock, half and half, and milk. Keep on a low heat.
2. You can now add the potato cubes, and allow them to simmer until softened. A one inch or less cube is the ideal size, as they will cook quickly.
3. While the potatoes are cooking, cook your bacon in another pan, reserving the grease as you do. Set the bacon aside to drain further.
4. Mix the grease and the flour into a gravy before adding it to the soup mixture. This is the trick to some really excellent flavor!
5. Add the corn, shredded rotisserie chicken, and bacon to the soup pot. Continue to heat on a medium heat so the potatoes continue to cook and the ingredients continue to mingle. Continue stirring so the ingredients to do not stick to the bottom of your pot.
6. Add in the two cups of cheese, chopped chives, and salt and pepper to taste. Give the chicken corn chowder a good stir so the ingredients are well mixed.

You can serve your chicken potato chowder with a topping of additional shredded cheese, chives, and even bacon crumbles. This chowder is even better served the second day, when it has had the chance to sit and the flavors have mixed well!

Serve with garlic bread or rolls and a salad.

Give this cheesy chicken potato chowder a try for your next meal and see what a tasty hit it is!

Linking to: Thrifty Thursday

warm, comforting homemade chicken potato soup

 

Homemade Chicken Potato Chowder-Great Frugal Fall Meal!
 
Creamy chicken potato chowder
Author:
Recipe type: Soup
Cuisine: American
Ingredients
  • 2 lbs. of white potatoes, cleaned and cut into cubes
  • 3 Tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 1 qt chicken stock
  • ¾ cup half and half
  • 2 cups of shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 pound of bacon, cooked crisp
  • ½ cup of chives, chopped fine
  • 2 cans of golden sweet corn
  • 1 rotisserie chicken, pre cooked and shredded
  • 1 cup of 2% milk
  • Salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Directions:
  2. In a large soup pot, add your chicken stock, half and half, and milk. Keep on a low heat.
  3. You can now add the potato cubes, and allow them to simmer until softened. A one inch or less cube is the ideal size, as they will cook quickly.
  4. While the potatoes are cooking, cook your bacon in another pan, reserving the grease as you do. Set the bacon aside to drain further.
  5. Mix the grease and the flour into a gravy before adding it to the soup mixture. This is the trick to some really excellent flavor!
  6. Add the corn, shredded rotisserie chicken, and bacon to the soup pot. Continue to heat on a medium heat so the potatoes continue to cook and the ingredients continue to mingle. Continue stirring so the ingredients to do not stick to the bottom of your pot.
  7. Add in the two cups of cheese, chopped chives, and salt and pepper to taste. Give the chicken corn chowder a good stir so the ingredients are well mixed.
  8. You can serve your chicken corn chowder with a topping of additional shredded cheese, chives, and even bacon crumbles. This chowder is even better served the second day, when it has had the chance to sit and the flavors have mixed well.

Homemade Reese’s Pieces Brownies

Here’s a yummy recipe that uses Reese’s Pieces and butterscotch chips to give a fun fall look to homemade brownies (with frosting). Enjoy!

Contributed by Jill Schultz

Delicious homemade brownies with Reese's Pieces and Butterscotch chips for a fun fall dessert!

Homemade Reese’s Pieces Brownies

Ingredients

¾ C. flour
2 C. semi-sweet chocolate
2 tbs cocoa powder
4 tbs. butter
3 eggs
1 ½ C. sugar
½ C. packed brown sugar
1 tsp. Vanilla extract
1 tsp. Baking powder
½ tsp. Salt
1 C. Reese’s Pieces + more to sprinkle on top of the frosting
½ C. Butterscotch chips to sprinkle on top of the frosting

8×8 or 9×9 baking pan

Frosting ingredients -

¼ C. butter or margarine, softened
1/3 C. cocoa
2 C. powdered sugar
1 tsp. Vanilla
3 tbs milk

Directions -

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line your 8×8 or 9×9 baking dish with foil and spray with a non-stick spray.

#1. Combine the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt. Set aside.

#2. In a microwave safe bowl, melt the butter and chocolate in 15-20 second increments, stirring until completely melted. Let cool 2-3 minutes.

#3. In another bowl, combine the eggs, sugar and vanilla. Add in the melted chocolate mixture and then slowly add in the flour and cocoa mixture and mix well.

#4. Pour batter into your baking pan and evenly spread with a spatula. Sprinkle the 1 cup of Reese’s Pieces into the batter. Bake for 25-30 minutes. Insert a toothpick around 25-26 minutes to check them. If the toothpick comes out ‘clean’ they are done.

Let the brownies cool completely.

Frosting directions -

#1. Combine the cocoa powder, butter, sugar and vanilla. Slowly add in the milk 1 tbs. at a time. You may want to add in more milk depending on how thick you like your frosting. Using a hand mixture, beat on high for 2-3 minutes.

#2. Once the brownies have cooled completely, lift the foil out of the pan (love the super easy clean-up!) Evenly spread the chocolate frosting over the top of the brownies.

#3. Sprinkle the extra Reese’s Pieces and the butterscotch chips on top of the frosting and cut into **12 squares.

*Makes 12 servings is cut into 12 squares – 1 square = 1 serving. Store in an airtight container up to 1 week.

Delicious from scratch brownies decorated with Reese's Pieces for a fun fall look

A Delicious Summer Fruit Dessert – Rustic Plum Tart

Isn’t it wonderful that we have so many fresh fruits available in the summer! I love making fruit crisps but this rustic tart is just as easy and it’s just as adaptable to other summer fruits like nectarines, peaches, and apricots if you don’t like plums. I just like the slightly tart & sweet flavor of cooked plums.

How to make a delicious rustic plum tart from scratch!

This is also a great way to use plums if you get a batch that aren’t sweet enough to eat fresh (it happens).

Rustic Plum Tart

Ingredients

Rustic plum tart ingredients

For Filling:
1 tbsp flour
¼ cup sugar, 1 tbsp and 3 tbsp sugar separate
2 ½ pounds plums, ½ pound kept to the side (chunked), the rest cut into thin slices
3 tbsp unsalted butter, cut into pieces
½ cup water

For Dough:
1 ½ cups flour
¾ cup unsalted butter, cut into pieces
⅓ cup cold water
¼ tsp salt

Also needed:
baking sheet
potato masher

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 F. Grease a baking sheet (or use parchment paper as the juices might run out and it’s easier to clean up) and set aside.

Begin by making the dough for your tart (sometimes  I cheat and use refrigerated pie crust)

dough for rustic plum tart

In a medium sized bowl combine the flour, salt, and butter . Use your hands to mix well. Slowly add cold water to the coarse dough until it is pliable and able to be shaped into a ball.

Place your dough ball onto a greased baking sheet and roll out flat to about ¼ inch thick. Place sheet in the fridge for ten minutes so that it firms up.

Rustic Plum Tart Recipe

Remove dough from the fridge and combine 1 tbsp flour with 1 tbsp sugar and sprinkle this all over the tart dough. On top of the sugar and flour mixture, lay out the plum slices, fanning them out in a circle. When laying your fruit on the dough, leave an inch clear of fruit all around the dough.

Gently fold the edges of the dough over the ends of the plum slices. Drop the cut up butter pieces over the fruit and place in the oven for about 45 minutes (until crust begins to brown and filling bubbles).

While the tart is baking, prepare some quick plum jam that is going to be spread over the plum slices. In a small saucepan, combine ½ cup water, 3 tbsps sugar and the half pound of plums that you kept aside, cut into chunks.

Cook over med high heat for ten minutes, pressing with a potato masher and then mixing continuously with a spoon. As soon as the fruit starts frothing, lower the heat to low and cook while stirring for another 15 minutes. This will make a thick jam. Yum! Try not to lick the spoon! Set aside to cool.

make some quick plum jam

As soon as your tart is done, remove it from the oven and immediately spoon the plum jam over the fruit slices. The jam will spread out and cover the entire top of your tart.

Delicious fresh plum tart

Let your delicious rustic tart cool entirely before serving (if you can wait – I never make it).

Enjoy!

 

A Delicious Summer Fruit Dessert - Rustic Plum Tart
 
Delicious rustic plum tart
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Ingredients
  • For Filling:
  • 1 tbsp flour
  • ¼ cup sugar, 1 tbsp and 3 tbsp sugar separate
  • 2 ½ pounds plums, ½ pound kept to the side (chunked), the rest cut into thin slices
  • 3 tbsp unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • ½ cup water
  • For Dough:
  • 1 ½ cups flour
  • ¾ cup unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • ⅓ cup cold water
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • Also needed:
  • baking sheet
  • potato masher
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 F. Grease a baking sheet (or use parchment paper as the juices might run out and it's easier to clean up) and set aside.
  2. Begin by making the dough for your tart (sometimes I cheat and use refrigerated pie crust)
  3. In a medium sized bowl combine the flour, salt, and butter . Use your hands to mix well. Slowly add cold water to the coarse dough until it is pliable and able to be shaped into a ball.
  4. Place your dough ball onto a greased baking sheet and roll out flat to about ¼ inch thick. Place sheet in the fridge for ten minutes so that it firms up.
  5. Remove dough from the fridge and combine 1 tbsp flour with 1 tbsp sugar and sprinkle this all over the tart dough. On top of the sugar and flour mixture, lay out the plum slices, fanning them out in a circle. When laying your fruit on the dough, leave an inch clear of fruit all around the dough.
  6. Gently fold the edges of the dough over the ends of the plum slices. Drop the cut up butter pieces over the fruit and place in the oven for about 45 minutes (until crust begins to brown and filling bubbles).
  7. While the tart is baking, prepare some quick plum jam that is going to be spread over the plum slices. In a small saucepan, combine ½ cup water, 3 tbsps sugar and the half pound of plums that you kept aside, cut into chunks.
  8. Cook over med high heat for ten minutes, pressing with a potato masher and then mixing continuously with a spoon. As soon as the fruit starts frothing, lower the heat to low and cook while stirring for another 15 minutes. This will make a thick jam. Yum! Try not to lick the spoon! Set aside to cool.
  9. As soon as your tart is done, remove it from the oven and immediately spoon the plum jam over the fruit slices. The jam will spread out and cover the entire top of your tart.

Delicious & Easy Chilled Breakfast Idea

We love hot oatmeal for breakfast but it doesn’t really appeal to us in the summer. With our days being super busy getting our house ready to put on the market…well most days we hit the floor running! Here’s a healthy grab and go breakfast that’s perfect for busy summer mornings. Delicious refrigerated make ahead oatmeal and strawberry breakfast in a mason jar
This is a yummy cold “porridge” and you can change the fruit out to whatever you have on hand.

Make ahead strawberry and nut oatmeal.

You Need
1/2 cup of Old Fashioned Rolled Oats
3/4 cup of milk (we use almond milk)
1/2 cup of fresh cut strawberries (you could of course use any fruit that you like instead of strawberries)
1 oz of your favorite nuts or seeds (optional)
2 tablespoons of sugar (optional)- Can substitute with honey, agave, maple syrup, jam etc.
sprinkle of cinnamon

Put your rolled oats and milk into a microwave safe bowl. Stir and heat for about 30 seconds in the microwave.  Don’t worry if it seems runny. The oats will absorb the milk overnight.  Add  some sweetener of your choice and taste test to see if you want to add more. Add nuts/seeds (like chia, sunflower, hemp) and sliced strawberries and stir gently.  Sprinkle with some cinnamon. Cover your bowl and refrigerate overnight and eat chilled. If you like,  you can transfer to a mason jar and then sprinkle cinnamon on top and refrigerate.  *I’ve kept them in the fridge for 1-2 days and they were fine (depends on the fruit you use). makes 1 serving

grab and go oatmeal breakfast in a mason jar

It’s so convenient to just be able to wake up and grab a healthy breakfast! Mason jars are so easy to take to work with you and they make it easy for overnight guests or kids to get they’re own breakfast!

Mini Pumpkin Bread S’more Trifle

We love pumpkin treats all year long not just in the fall. As a matter of fact I just made pumpkin pie last week! It’s my husband’s favorite pie. I buy cans of pumpkin when they’re dirt cheap after the holidays (and I usually grow a few pumpkins every year that I cook). So I always have plenty of canned pumpkin on hand. Here’s a tasty take on a summer time campfire treat that uses pumpkin!

Delicious Mini Pumpkin Bread S'more Trifles

I’ve included a easy pumpkin bread recipe but of course you can use your own favorite pumpkin bread recipe.

Mini Pumpkin Bread  S’more Trifle

Ingredients -

1 15 oz. can of canned pumpkin
1 C. oil or applesauce
1 ½ C. sugar
2 tsp. vanilla
3 eggs
3 C. flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
2 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. cinnamon

For the trifle -
chocolate chips
mini marshmallows
whipped cream (I used Reddi-Wip but make your own from scratch if that’s what you like)

Directions -

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees

#1. Combine all the wet ingredients: pumpkin, oil, sugar, vanilla and eggs. Mix well.

#2. Slowly fold in the dry ingredients: flour, baking soda, salt, baking powder and cinnamon. Mix well.

#3. Pour the pumpkin batter evenly into the two greased loaf pans.  The bread will pop right out!

#4. Bake for 45-50 minutes. Bread will turn a light golden brown color.

#5. Remove the two loaves from the oven and let cool completely. Turn the pans over and remove the loaves onto a large cookie sheet. Using a knife and fork cut the bread into small chunks. *If only doing a few trifles only use what you need – cut the loaves in half if needed.

Pumpkin S'more Mini Trifle Ingredients

How to Build the Trifles

Next, begin layering the trifles -
Layer 1: pumpkin bread – enough to cover the bottom of your trifle dish.
Layer 2: chocolate chips and mini marshmallows – I just went by eye and sprinkled a small handful on top of the pumpkin bread.
Layer 3: whipped cream
Layer 4: pumpkin bread
Layer 5: chocolate chips & mini marshmallows – again, I did this by eye, it doesn’t have to be perfect.
Top Layer: Whipped cream with some chocolate chips on top.

These are so good! Mini pumpkin s'more trifles

*Serve immediately. I do not recommend saving (the whipped cream melts quickly). If you have any bread leftover you can save that in an airtight container up to 1 week.

*Makes approximately 16 mini trifles.

 

Mini Pumpkin Bread S'more Trifle
 
Mini pumpkin bread s'more trifles
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Ingredients
  • 1 15 oz. can of canned pumpkin
  • 1 C. oil or applesauce
  • 1 ½ C. sugar
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • 3 eggs
  • 3 C. flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 2 tsp. cinnamon
  • For the trifle -
  • chocolate chips
  • mini marshmallows
  • whipped cream (I used Reddi-Wip but make your own from scratch if that’s what you like)
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees
  2. #1. Combine all the wet ingredients: pumpkin, oil, sugar, vanilla and eggs. Mix well.
  3. #2. Slowly fold in the dry ingredients: flour, baking soda, salt, baking powder and cinnamon. Mix well.
  4. #3. Pour the pumpkin batter evenly into the two greased loaf pans. The bread will pop right out!
  5. #4. Bake for 45-50 minutes. Bread will turn a light golden brown color.
  6. #5. Remove the two loaves from the oven and let cool completely. Turn the pans over and remove the loaves onto a large cookie sheet. Using a knife and fork cut the bread into small chunks. *If only doing a few trifles only use what you need – cut the loaves in half if needed.
  7. How to Build the Trifles
  8. Next, begin layering the trifles -
  9. Layer 1: pumpkin bread – enough to cover the bottom of your trifle dish.
  10. Layer 2: chocolate chips and mini marshmallows – I just went by eye and sprinkled a small handful on top of the pumpkin bread.
  11. Layer 3: whipped cream
  12. Layer 4: pumpkin bread
  13. Layer 5: chocolate chips & mini marshmallows – again, I did this by eye, it doesn’t have to be perfect.
  14. Top Layer: Whipped cream with some chocolate chips on top.

9 Scrumptuous Crockpot Slow Cooker Desserts

I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to heat up my kitchen in the summer! Yet I don’t want to stop making our own baked goodies. Enter the crockpot! I love using my crockpot and I know most of you do too! Since the temperatures are heating up, I thought I’d put together a few dessert recipes that you can make in the crockpot/slow cooker.

9 Scrumptious desserts that you can make in a crockpot/slow cooker!

Did you know you could bake in your crockpot? Well you can!  All recipes can be found at the linked sources.

9 Crockpot Desserts

Dreamy Crockpot Hazelnut Cupcakes by Crockpot Gourmet

Dreamy Crockpot Hazelnut Cupcakes by Crockpot Gourmet

crock pot 7 layer bars by Tammilee Tips

Crockpot 7 Layer Bars by Tammilee Tips

Crock Pot Carrot Cake by Moms With Crockpots

(From Scratch) Crockpot Carrot Cake by Moms With Crockpots

White chocolate raspberry cream cake by Betty Crocker

White Chocolate Raspberry Cream Cake by Betty Crocker

Slow Cooker Lava Cake by Easy Slow Cooker Meals

(5 Ingredient) Slow Cooker Lava Cake by Easy Slow Cooker Meals

apple butterscotch crisp by Crockpot Ninja

Apple Butterscotch Crisp by Crockpot Ninja

crockpot candy by Cookies and Cups

Super easy Crockpot Candy by Cookies and Cups

slow cooker monkey bread by Passionate Penny Pincher

Slow Cooker Monkey Bread by Passionate Penny Pincher

Crockpot S'more Dessert by Mummy Deals

Crockpot S’more Dessert by Mummy Deals

Don’t let the summer heat keep you from baking desserts. Pull that crockpot out and try a few of these desserts. They’re super easy!

Linking to: Thrifty Thursday

Refreshing Strawberry Lime Basil Infused Water

With the weather getting hotter and hotter it’s important to stay hydrated! I’m really loving the infused waters I’ve been drinking all summer. Here’s a new one – strawberry lime basil! I have a ton of basil growing in containers and in raised beds plus strawberries are in season so those two ingredients were just naturals. The lime gives it a refreshing citrusy flavor. Give it a try – it’s a delicious way to get your daily water requirement in!

How to make refreshing strawberry basil lime infused water.  A delicious way to stay hydrated this summer!
Wouldn’t this be pretty to serve your guests for the 4th of July!

Prep time is short but for best flavor they do need to steep for a while. Overnight is ideal but at least a few hours if you can’t do the overnight steep.

Strawberry Lime Basil Infused Water Ingredients

1 16 oz. canning jar
3-4 fresh strawberries, halved
¼ cup fresh basil leaves
3-4 lime slices

strawberry basil lime infused water recipe in a mason jar

Directions

Add all the fruit to the canning jar and use a spoon or a fork to gently mash the fruit and leaves down – this will let the juice out to infuse your water (it’s called “muddling”). You can strain them out later or leave in – it’s up to you.

Next, fill the jar with filtered water, place the cover on and refrigerate overnight for the best flavor.

I strain mine and then I add some more fresh sliced strawberries, lime slices and basil (looks prettier if it’s not just you drinking it).

**If you’d prefer to use a larger or smaller canning jar, simply double or cut the recipe ingredients in half and refrigerate overnight.

***This will keep about 2 days in the fridge.

These infused waters really taste as great as they look. Plain water can get boring so give this a try!

15 Mouth-Watering Homemade Ice Cream Recipes

Summer is here! With summer comes many lazy and hot days ahead. This is the perfect reason and season to enjoy homemade ice cream! If you have never tried homemade ice cream, you are in for a real treat! I’ve collected 15 delicious homemade ice cream recipes for you to try this summer.

15 Mouth-Watering Homemade Ice Cream Recipes. Some don't even require a ice cream maker

There’s  no need to run out and buy a ice cream maker if you don’t have one, either. There are some non-ice cream maker techniques for creating the same result, it just takes longer. Here is a good link for 6 different ice cream making techniques that do not require an ice cream maker and several of the recipes included here do not require one as well. ( Six Ways to Make Ice Cream Without an Ice Cream Machine)

15 Mouth-Watering Homemade Ice Cream Recipes

Cinnamon Crunch Ice Cream by SugarHero

Homemade Oreo Nutella Ice Cream (No Machine Required) by Chef In Training

Red Velvet Cheesecake Ice Cream by Erica’s Sweet Tooth

Avocado Kiwi Ice Cream with Carmel Swirl by Lori’s Culinary Creations

Cinnamon Pecan Ice Cream by My Turn For Us

Apple Cider Ice Cream By Frugal Living Mom

3- Ingredient Creamy Coconut Ice Cream (No Machine required!) by The Kitchen is My Playground

Strawberry Basil No Churn Ice Cream by Architecture of a Mom

3-Can Peach Ice Cream by Homemaking Hacks

Birthday Cake Batter Ice Cream by All in All

Strawberry Cheesecake Ice Cream (No Machine Required!) by Gator Mommy Reviews

Peanut Butter & Chocolate Chip Ice Cream by Lipgloss and Crayons

Fresh Mint Homemade Ice Cream by Carrots for Michaelmas

Chocolate Peanut Butter Ice Cream by Four Marrs One Venus

Homemade Almond Joy Ice Cream (No Machine Required) by Mom On TimeOut

Making ice cream at home is so much fun. I hope you give it a try!

Two-Tone DIY Wooden Spoon Plant Markers

I was looking for a cute new idea for some plant markers (last year I did paint stick plant markers) and came across several ideas using wooden spoons as plant markers. Which I thought was a good idea as wooden spoons are very inexpensive. You can find a bag of them just about anywhere. I found a bag of 8 at TJMaxx for $3.99 but I know the dollar stores have them as well as the big box stores.

DIY Wooden Spoon Plant Markers - so easy to make and inexpensive!

Last year I didn’t seal the paint stick plant markers I made and most of them didn’t make it  through the winter (I probably shouldn’t have left them in the garden). So this year I used some outdoor Mod Podge to seal my new plant markers because even though they weren’t hard to make they were a bit more labor intensive than just writing a plant name on a paint stick! So I want them to last!

I made two tone wooden spoon plant markers using the same blue that I used on my vegetable garden gate and arbor and back screen door. I’m trying to unify the backyard with color – so I’m using that aqua color and sprinkling it around.

cute herb plant marker made from a wooden spoon

How to make wood spoon plant markers

Materials:

  1. wooden spoons
  2. 2 different colors of acrylic paint
  3. alphabet stickers
  4. Mod Podge Outdoor

Instructions:

1. paint your wooden spoon the color you want your lettering to be and let dry for a few hours

tutorial for how to make wooden spoon plant markers

2. spell out your plant name on the flat side of the spoon with your alphabet stickers

3. paint over the alphabet stickers with your 2nd paint choice. Let dry about 20 minutes.

how to make wooden spoon plant markers

4. Carefully remove your stickers. Use your fingernail and start at one edge and gently lift off.  As you remove the sticker you will see that the color you painted first will form your letter.

5. Seal with a few thin coats of Mod Podge Outdoor letting it dry 15 minutes or so between coats. Let your spoons dry for 24 hours before putting them outside (or skip the sealer part if you don’t care if they last more than one  season)

DIY wooden spoon plant marker

These are really easy to make and if you set up assembly line style you should be able to make these plant markers quickly!

I know what plants are what – the plant markers aren’t for me but for other family members who for some reason will not can not remember where the pepper plants are or what’s basil and what’s mint!

 

Linking to: Thrifty Thursday

Easy to make DIY wooden spoon plant markers

How To Grow Bell Peppers & 10 Delicious Bell Pepper Recipes

Bell peppers are usually so expensive in the grocery store that it’s one of those plants that you should try to grow yourself if you can.  I’ve grown them in containers and in raised beds and both methods have worked for me.

How to grow bell peppers and 10 bell pepper recipes

 Tips for Growing Bell Peppers

Bell peppers are a long season plant, so they require patience from gardeners before anything is ready to harvest in late summer, especially if you want red, yellow or orange peppers since green bell peppers are actually immature fruit.

Thankfully though, if you love peppers and want to be able to harvest a large number, each plant is able to produce multiples. Plants do not require a lot of growing space so you can pack a lot into a single bed, or like I said,  grow them in pots.

how to grow bell peppers

Setting Up Your Garden
Bell peppers like loose, well drained soil, so make sure that the soil in the garden bed or containers is not dense and heavy. Add nutrients to the soil with organic fertilizer or organic compost, that is well mixed in. Because bell peppers are vigorous growers, they need to be in a garden space that is located in full sun for at least eight hours out of the day.

Starting Vegetables
You can start bell peppers as seeds. You need to start your seeds 8-10 weeks before your last frost date. Then bring them out into the garden once all chance of frost has passed. Transplants are easier and can be added to a warm garden bed spaced approx 10-18 inches a part (check your tags)  or 1 per square if you’re doing Square Foot Gardening.

Caring and Maintaining Peppers
Bell peppers do not require a lot of oversight before they begin to flower and bear fruit. Water thoroughly and regularly but don’t overwater the plants. Pepper roots do not like to be wet all the time and rotting will occur at the base of plants that are left to grow in soil that is constantly moist. So allow the soil to dry between watering.

Bell peppers are good companions to many other plants but do not plant with the brassica family. I like to plant peppers with tomatoes, basil and eggplants as companions.   Support your plants with cages or stakes because they’ll start to bend once they are heavy with  fruit.

Tips for growing bell peppers

Harvesting Peppers
Once the peppers begin to flower they will begin to bear fruit.  There are always going to be peppers that are ready to begin growing, or are in the middle of growth, so it is important that you carefully remove each fruit from the stem. Use sharp scissors or a knife to cut your peppers off the stem, avoiding damage to the plant. The longer you let a pepper mature the sweeter it will taste.

If you have too many peppers to use at one time, they are easily frozen or dried.

10 Delicious Bell Pepper Recipes

  1. Quinoa Stuffed Bell Peppers
  2. Chicken Fajita Stuffed Bell Peppers
  3. Roasted Red Pepper Potato Soup
  4. Marinated Red Bell Peppers
  5. Hawaiian Style Sweet & Sour Pineapple and Bell Peppers
  6. Shrimp with Bell Peppers and Swiss Chard
  7. Crock Pot Beef Stuffed Peppers 
  8. Jalapeno Mac & Cheese Stuffed Peppers
  9. Roast Chicken with Balsamic Bell Peppers
  10. Turkey Stuffed Bell Peppers

You might also like to check out my Gardening 101 Series

Gardening 101 Series: How to start a vegetable garden

How To Get Started With Canning

Home canning is definitely experiencing a revival! Today I have Sadie Lankford sharing some tips for how to get started with canning.

Great tips for how to get started with canning

Thinking of canning? Here are some tips to get you started.

Do your homework. Read books about canning for beginners (check your library before buying any books), watch YouTube videos, and read articles (like this one!). Take notes, so you can use them when you get started.

Buy supplies as you can afford them or ask around before buying. The basic supplies you’ll need (or might want) include:

– Canning jars. I use ones that I bought for $9 for 12 at Wal-Mart. The seals were included.

– A funnel and ladle, for filling your jars.

– Tongs/jar lifter ( to lift the jars from the water bath.)

– Large stock pot

– Pressure Canner and Cooker

–Non Metallic Spatula

-Cheesecloth to separate solids from liquids

canning equipment

Sterilize, sterilize, sterilize. This step is so important to me when it comes to canning. It might be because I’m overly-cautious, but I always recommend sterilizing your lids and jars in hot, soapy water. After they’re washed, place them in a boiling water bath for up about 8-10 minutes. You can leave the lids in the water until you’re ready to use them, just to be safe and reduce the risk of them coming in contact with something before you seal the jars.

Related article: Prep, Pick, Preserve

Slice and dice! Follow your favorite recipes (I find mine on Pinterest) and slice your fruits and veggies. Keep in mind that tomatoes should have lemon juice added to them before you can them to ensure they keep the proper pH level. Add ascorbic acid solution to fruits so they don’t brown before you can them.

Fill ‘em up! Fill the jars with your vegetables (and/or fruits), and cover them with your pickling solution or boiling water just so you can cover all of the produce. Grab the lids from the water bath, wipe down the rims of the jars with a clean, damp paper towel, and seal them. Next, is processing.

ball jar filled with pickles

Select the correct processing time. The processing time can vary, depending on your ingredients (are they hot or raw?), your jar size, and your elevation. Check out this chart to help you select the correct processing time. The lids of your jars will (or should) make a slight “pop” noise after they’ve been removed from the pot.

Do more research. If you’re still unsure on how to do something, check out books from the library (or buy them from Amazon), and read other how-to guides on canning, pickling, and preserving. It seems that while the basic steps are the same, each person does it a little differently so it’s always great to hear other perspectives.

Remember your why. Canning is a lot of fun, but it’s also work. If you get to a point where you start to get frustrated, remember why you started canning. Was it to save money? Was it so you could ditch the preservatives? Or maybe it was so you could make some extra money! Whatever your why, keep it in mind!

Sadie Lankford  blogs at Slap Dash Mom where she shares lots of different things like recipes, crafts, fitness tips & parenting stories.

20 Yummy Sweet Summer Treats

Summer is almost here, and I for one, am READY!  In my excitement and anticipation for June 21st (the first day of summer, in case you didn’t know), I am sharing 20 Sweet Summer Treats that I think would be fun to make. I’ve gathered treats that are not only great for summer, but also fairly easy for kids to make (or at least help you make).20 yummy & easy summer treats. Great summer desserts for kids

If you generally do most of your cooking solo, I would like to encourage you to consider bringing your kids or the grands into the kitchen, especially since they’ll be on break from school. Cooking can be such a great way to bond with your children or grandchildren, while teaching them a valuable skill.

So what are you waiting for? Start browsing the easy recipes below, and bookmark and pin your favorites so you can enjoy these sweet summer recipes with your family!

  1. 4th of July Ice Cream Cones
  2. Nutella Push Pops
  3. Fruit Pizza
  4. Strawberry Cheesecake Frozen Yogurt Popsicles
  5. Chocolate Peanutbutter Graham Sandwiches
  6. Chocolate Chip Cheese Ball
  7. Copy Cat Orange Julius
  8. Funfetti Rice Crispy Treat Fruit Kabobs
  9. Banana Cheesecake Chimichanga
  10. Mini Lemon Oreo Cheesecake
  11. “Frozen” Themed Snack Mix
  12. Key Lime Pie In A Jar
  13. Frushi – Fruit Sushi
  14. Honey Raspberry Parfait Pops
  15. Coconut Key Lime Pie Ice Cream Cups
  16. Lemon Curd Tartlets
  17. Rainbow Fruit Salad
  18. Double Dipped Oreo Cookies
  19. PB&J Shortbread Cookie Sandwiches
  20. No-Bake Flag Dessert

Do you have a favorite warm weather treat that you make every year?

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