Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Tuesday Garden Update ~ August 23, 2011

Good morning everyone! Welcome to a walk through my garden this beautiful summer morning!

The exciting news is that the eggplants are flowering. Beautiful!
All the tomatoes are ripening, more every day. We have a couple slicing tomato plants. I think the boys have plans for these on grill night.
The snow peas are also flowering. It won't be long until they are in a tasty stir fry!
It looks like it's time to dry some more basil!
The lemon cucumbers are ripening fast. I need to start planning meals with lots of cucumbers.
I'm not sure if I've talked about our beets before. These have been growing in a part shade spot near the herbs. I like these cylinder shaped ones as they are easy to slice for salads or pickling.
I need to get seeds started for fall plants.. I'm already behind! Are you planning anything for a fall or winter garden?

Monday, August 22, 2011

Monday Meal Planning ~ August 22, 2011

Hello and welcome! Thanks so much for stopping by!

It's the second week of school and we're getting a handle on this new schedule. My meal plans are revolving around what's coming out of the garden, so I add fresh tomatoes, carrots, kale, parsley, and basil wherever I can. As the temperature is a little warmer this week, I'll be using at least one meal from the freezer to cut down on cooking. Here's my plan for the week:

Sunday: Chicken, Broccoli and Mushroom Stir Fry, served with steamed brown rice

Monday: Shrimp and Black Bean Salad

Tuesday: Taco Soup from the freezer, served on tortilla strips and shredded cheddar cheese and topped with chopped fresh tomatoes.

Wednesday: Polenta Lasagne with Feta and Kale

Thursday: Grill night

Friday: Homemade Pizza night

Saturday: Pork and Red Pepper Lo Mein

What are you having for dinner this week? If you need some more inspiration, check out Menu Plan Monday at I'm an Organizing Junkie.

Friday, August 19, 2011

One More Friday Freebie: Free 8x10 Collage Print from Walgreens until 8/20 only

Oops, forgot to include this one! Through 8/20/11, get one free 8x10 collage print from Walgreens with coupon code PRINTONE when you choose free in-store pickup. Go to http://photo.walgreens.com.


Frugal Friday Freebies ~ August 19th 2011

Happy Friday everyone,

We've just about made it through the first week of school. Busy, but exciting! Still I'm looking forward to the weekend and a little time relaxing. Today, I have a few fun freebies for you to enjoy. A free day at a museum of your choice, a book that might just come in handy if you know someone heading off to college, and free internet for those on a very tight budget.

Free Ticket for Two - Smithsonian Magazine Museum Day

In the spirit of Smithsonian Museums, who offer free admission everyday, Museum Day is an annual event hosted by Smithsonian magazine in which participating museums across the country open their doors to anyone presenting a Museum Day Ticket...for free.

The Everything College Survival Book, 3rd Edition. 

  • Ace your papers and exams
  • Deal with loud, rude, or eccentric roommates
  • Prepare for financial shock--and manage student loans
  • Plan an incredible study abroad experience
  • Take care of yourself and keep your sanity

Don't forget that you can get free Kindle reading software for your PC, iphone, iPad, Blackberry, Android, and Windows 7 phone here.

If you need basic internet access, Netzero still offers Free Dialup Internet Access:
  • Free Internet Access - Surf the Web free for 10 hours a month*
  • Reliable Connections - Thousands of access numbers nationwide*
  • Email with Mobile & Web Access - From any Internet-connected PC or mobile phone.*
  • Video Mail & Video Chat - Send a smile or chat face-to-face with anyone, anywhere.*
  • Multiple Email Addresses - Create as many email addresses as you want -- all free!

Have a great weekend everyone!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Tuesday Garden Update ~ August 16, 2011

Welcome to a walk through my garden this week! I love this time of year.. so many things to enjoy just a few steps from our back door.

Last week, I mentioned powdery mildew on our acorn squash. We removed the leaves with the worst powdery mildew, which allows the plants to have more air. We still have a few spots here and there, but it seems to be minor at this point. We'll keep watching it to keep it from getting worse. If need be, I plan to spray with a solution of 1tsp baking soda in one gallon of water, per one of my old gardening books. I'll keep you updated!

This week I harvested basil, parsley, lemon cucumbers, tomatoes, and strawberries.

Our main strawberry beds (two clawfoot tubs converted to planters) are flowering, so while we've had a few berries from the smaller pots, I'm looking forward to enough to make a pie or some sorbet.

The San Marzano tomatoes are now towering over our six foot fence. I'll bet our neighbors will have some tomatoes on their side, too!

Our acorn squash has a few fruit that have made it to that beautiful dark green color. While I could harvest one or two now for use right away, I'm leaving these on the vine to fully ripen for storage. We've got plenty of summer veggies so these can wait at least a couple weeks.

The first bud has emerged on the eggplant. I'm eager for this plant to be successful!

Our peas are now climbing up the trellis. Can't wait to be able to add snow peas to our stir fry!

Soon to come... many, many tomatoes! I've been checking my canning supplies so I'm ready. How is your garden doing this week?

Monday, August 15, 2011

Monday Meal Planning ~ First Week of School 2011

Hello everyone! Thanks for stopping by today!

Today is the day we shift from Summer to a new school year. It's always exhilarating starting afresh and learning new things. Both my boys love learning and are looking forward to seeing friends they haven't seen over the summer --  they are looking forward to being back. Of course, they would dispense with the homework and tests given the choice!

I looked in my frig yesterday and noticed I have a lot of broccoli that needs to be used up, so I've planned my menu this week around that. We've got kale and tomatoes in the garden to use, as well as some carrots. Also, I wanted some leftovers for lunches and one meal. Looking at what we have on hand and looking at our schedule for the week are key factors in my process for planning our meals to make the best use of money we've spent and using my time wisely. Here's my plan for this week!

Sunday: Broccoli and Carrot Lasagna

MondayPulled Pork and Coleslaw ( a favorite of the kids' for the first day back at school!)

Tuesday: Ground Turkey and Kale Enchiladas. I'll be substituting Kale for the spinach in this recipe, using fresh anaheim peppers from our garden, and making my own enchilada sauce.

Wednesday: Chicken and Broccoli Lo Mein

Thursday: Leftovers

FridayHomemade Pizza Night -- we'll be putting some sliced fresh tomatoes from the garden on these, yum!

Saturday: Grill night. Probably burgers with salad and baked potatoes.

What are you having for dinner this week? If you need some more inspiration, check out Menu Plan Monday at I'm an Organizing Junkie.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Garden Update, August 10, 2011

Hi everyone,

We are busily preparing for the first day of school, so I thought I'd take a moment and show y'all what's going on in our garden. Overall things are looking beautiful, though we have some issues as well. On to the pictures :)

My Anaheim peppers are gorgeous! I wish I had room for more of these. I love these for a little "kick" in my crockpot "refried" beans.

The tomatoes of course, are coming along. Nothing quite like running outside when you need a tomato for your sandwich or salad. Soon... sauce....

We still have kale. This bed is pretty shady, so it continues to be happy in this spot. I had expected it to get bitter by now (and I could replace it) but as long as it's producing lovely tasty leaves, I'll keep it!

My lemon cucumbers are starting to ripen. I love these, so cute and tasty!

The acorn squash isn't done yet! It had stopped producing new female flowers, but it's going again. Some are too high on the trellis to reach.. but others I've been able to pollinate. The big problem is a few spots of powdery mildew. I'll be cutting out some leaves today... we gotta fight this early to beat it.

Finally, my (mostly) herb bed is doing well. I am continuing to pinch back the basil and dry it or use fresh if possible, as well as dry the parsley.

How would you combat powdery mildew? Wish me luck, I don't want to lose these lovely plants!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Monday Meal Planning ~ Gearing up for School

Welcome everyone! Thanks so much for stopping by.

Well the countdown has begun. It is two weeks until school starts here. That means a drastic change from our lazy summer days! This is when planning makes a huge difference and reduces the challenge of feeding my family healthy and frugal meals. With that in mind, I'm thinking ahead on putting aside a few meals in my freezer, and trying out some new recipes that are both frugal and fast. Here is my plan for this week!

Sunday: Polenta and Kale Lasagna. I am going to double this recipe and make two of these, with one going into the freezer for later.

Monday: Pasta e Ceci (Pasta, Tomato and Chickpeas). This is my class night, so I always keep it simple Mondays. This is a great tasting, satisfying and frugal meal. If you've never made anything like this, I encourage you to try it!

Tuesday: Pork and Sweet Potato Stew. I'm planning to use fresh tomatoes from the garden in this one.

WednesdayMake your own Burrito Night with refried beans, rice, cheese, lettuce, shredded carrots, salsa, and homemade yogurt in place of sour cream.

Thursday: Grill Night -- hamburgers and veggie burgers, coleslaw, and baked potatoes.

Friday Homemade Pizza Night. Now that our tomatoes are ripening, we'll be enjoying fresh sliced tomatoes on top!

Saturday: Stir fry with Chicken, broccoli, red peppers, and mushrooms; and rice. Welcome home dinner for my younger son who has been at Boy Scout camp for two weeks.

What are you having for dinner this week? Do you have any quick, easy and frugal meals your family loves on busy weeknights? If you need ideas for your menu planning, check out Menu Plan Monday at I'm an Organizing Junkie.
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