Friday, January 29, 2016

Jewelry For Grandma

We used:
Necklaces 18' and 30' from Micheal's
Bedazzle Me Glass Beads
Needle nose pliers

  1. We opened the clasp with needle nose pliers and took it off the necklace so we could thread the beads through.
  2. The kids choose the beads and we just matched them up on each side the best we could.
  3. Thread them though and return the clasp and close it again with the needle nose pliers.

My kids love to make something for grandma for Valentines day. Her favorite color is pink, but they couldn't remember what shade of pink. They went with what they liked and what they hope she will like as well, along with some greens and tan.

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Thursday, January 28, 2016

Valentines Mounds

14 oz bag coconut flakes
14 oz can sweetened condensed milk
1 bag Ghirardelli white, milk or dark chocolate chips
A couple of drops red food coloring

Mix milk and coconut flakes together
Form mini footballs with the mix & place them in the fridge for 30 min.
In a microwave safe bowl pour chocolate chips, place in microwave for 30 seconds then stir.
Keep doing 30 seconds increments till melted.
Dip rounded sides of mini footballs into chocolate, let cool.
If you have used white chocolate, keep some and place it in a Ziploc bag with a couple of drops of red food coloring to make your drizzle color.
Drizzle over the top, let harden.

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Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Whole Chicken Crock-Pot Meal

1 whole chicken
2 tablespoons olive oil
Lawry's season salt

Slather both sides of the chicken with olive oil.
Sprinkle both sides of the Lawry's season salt.
Place chicken in Crock Pot with lid on low, for 8 hours. Check with meat thermometer until internal temperature reaches 180°.
When it's done, remember to save the broth from the Crock-Pot. There will be about 4 cups, and you can use it with the leftover chicken to make Chicken Broccoli Slaw, or as a stock for Turkey and Dumplings.
*The skin will not crisp in a Crock-Pot since there is a lid, it's steamy.

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Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Homemade Peanut Butter

2 cups dry roasted peanuts
2 teaspoons peanut oil

Pour peanuts in Ninja and pulse.
When it starts to look like sand (about a min) scrap the sides down and add the oil.
Pulse another minute to a minute and a half it should start to become creamy.
That's it you are done.

I kept asking myself. "Why do I keep buying peanut butter? I don't know what most of the ingredients are, and the ones I do know are, peanuts and oil." I could go to the stores that let you make it right there, but they are so expensive it's not in the budget. So I decided to make it myself at home with the kids. I bought a container of peanuts, the only ingredients were: peanuts and sea salt. We put them in the Ninja food processor and gave it a go. It came out so good and not at all oily either like the all natural ones you can buy. My kids loved it, I loved it, and I don't think I'll ever go back to buying peanut butter!

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Monday, January 25, 2016


So we have celery starting to grow in the garden that was bought in the grocery store and then used and recycled basically. My kids have found this to be fun and educational, especially since we bought celery seeds but couldn't get them to grow no matter what.

Celery after a week in the bowl. You can see we have leaves growing:

After 3 weeks if you don't transplant it, it starts to die:

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Friday, January 22, 2016

Valentines Day Gifts

All you need is:
Black fishhook earrings which I got 60 for $1.99 at Micheal's 
I used Heart toggle clasps which were also $1.99 at Micheal's 

Use a pair of needle nose pliers and open up the ring on the fishhook earrings.
Then hook the top ring of the heart on the earring and close it back up.
I made two pairs one for each of my daughters for Valentines and they will love them. 

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Thursday, January 21, 2016

Easy Hummus

2 (15 ounce) cans garbanzo beans, drained, liquid reserved 
2 tablespoons lemon juice 
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 cloves garlic roasted and diced
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon salt
4 drops sesame oil

Blend garbanzo beans, lemon juice, olive oil, 2 clove of garlic, cumin, salt, and sesame oil in a food processor.

Pour reserved bean liquid into the mixture as it blends until preferred consistency is reached. 
Top with remaining garlic.
Serve with veggies, crackers or use as a spread on a sandwiches.
Store in an airtight container for up to a week in the fridge.

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Wednesday, January 20, 2016


So the Living Lettuce has finally been eaten and has been planted. Now to see if this really works. I can do all the leg work of looking things up and seeing what others have said it does, but I am skeptical. "I'll believe it when I see it."

Here it is day 1:

Here is day 3:
So now I am a believer! For those who want to try it, check out the previous blog Live Lettuce  and remember it only takes a week to have a full head of lettuce. Saving you $120 yearly.

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Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Homemade Pizza Sauce

4 Cups of ripe cherry tomatoes
2 tablespoons garlic
1 teaspoon olive oil
1/8 cup water
4 leaves of basil chopped

In a medium sauce pan add olive oil, and garlic cook on medium till the garlic is translucent.
Pour in your tomatoes and basil.
Cook the tomatoes till they split open about 12 min.
You may need to add the water so they don' stick after they open, but it will have to boil off later so do it a bit at a time.
Let it cook down till it's the consistency you like. I like mine thick so I let it cook probably 20 to 30 minutes stirring constantly so it won't stick.
Then let it cool to room temp.
*This isn't a necessary step but my youngest doesn't like to eat skins of tomatoes so I do this:
Pour contents into blender and pulse till smooth.
It can be used right away or refrigerated for a week.

The pizza was a hit my family they didn't even wait to let the pizza cook before they were gobbling it up!

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Monday, January 18, 2016

{Polly's Pies Copycat} Banberry Pie Filling

1 box banana pudding
2 cups milk
2 bananas
1 tsp strawberry jam
1 pint fresh strawberries
2 Graham crackers broken into 4 pieces

Mix pudding mix with 2 cups milk.
Place in fridge to chill for 10 minutes.
While it chills mash the bananas in a small bowl.
When the pudding sets mix the bananas in the pudding.
Cut the strawberries and mix them with the jam.
Scoop the pudding into the glasses.
Scoop some of the strawberry topping on top.
Then just garnish with the 2 of the graham cracker per glass.
Makes about 2-3 servings depending on how full you fill the glass.

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Friday, January 15, 2016

(Copycat Jamba Juice Chocolate Moo'd) Chocolate Moo"d Smoothie

2 banana
3 tablespoons peanut butter or almond butter
1 tablespoon Ovaltine
1 1/2 cups soy milk
1/2 cup ice

Place all ingredients in blender.
Set blender to ice crushing setting.
Blend till smooth.

My kids love making this as an afternoon snack or dessert. But if it's going to substitute a meal, like we do sometimes on Saturday mornings we double the recipe - just so we aren't starving two hours later.

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Thursday, January 14, 2016

Garlic Steak Fries

3 Idaho Russet potatoes
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons crushed garlic
Lawry's season salt to taste
Apple divider

Preheat oven to 375°
Wash potatoes, then pat dry.
Cut the potatoes with the apple divider.
Mix the olive oil and crushed garlic in a bowl.
Toss the potatoes in the olive oil mix.
Place the potatoes in a single layer on a baking sheet and sprinkle with season salt.
Cook for 20-25 minutes or till lightly golden brown.

We used the apple divider because it made it easier and faster to cut the potatoes all at once. Then they were all about the same size, this way they would also cook evenly. When we use a knife it takes about 5 to 7 minute but this way it takes 2 minutes.

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Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Chicken Alfredo

3 chicken breasts
4 tablespoons garlic
1 teaspoon garlic salt
2 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup cream
32 oz chicken stock
2 teaspoons black pepper
1 lb bow tie pasta
1 tablespoon butter melted
3 1/2 cups fresh shredded Parmesan cheese

Cut the chicken into bite size pieces and sprinkle with garlic salt.
In a large pot heat up the olive oil on medium-high heat.
Add the chicken to the olive oil in the pot.
When the chicken is done add the garlic, just till it lightly browns up.
Pour in the chicken stock, cream, black pepper and the pasta.
Stir the whole thing, lower the temperature to medium-low then put a lid on it.
This will cook down for about 20 - 25 minutes.
Stir every once and a while making sure the pasta isn't sticking.
When the pasta is cooked take it off the heat.
Add the butter, mixing it in.
Then finally add the cheese, mixing it with the the pasta.
We added cooked broccoli after the pasta was done cooking.
*This was weekly challenge 1 making Chicken Alfredo from scratch. They said they never knew that Parmesan cheeses was already in it, so guess we are already learning.

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Tuesday, January 12, 2016

DIY Valentines

With all the no's in school it's hard to know what to send to school and what not to. Well I decided to take the guess work out and make our own Valentines. It's something most schools ask for about this time of year anyways, and something every student can use, pencils. This DIY  is so easy your kids can do it themselves.

1 38 count of  #2 pencils (you can get fancy ones), I used glitter ones
4 sheets of card stock
1 marker
Stencil of a heart
Pencil sharpener (if you want them sharpened before you give them out)

  1. Cut out all the hearts for each of the students in the classroom. I included my own daughter since she needed a pencil too.
  2. Then bend your heart in half.
  3. While in half cut 2 small cuts (about a cm apart) from the folded side toward the curve of your heart as you see here:
  4. Unfold your heart and on the inside write: You're The Write One for Me or You're The Write Valentine 4 Me [or another pun/sweet message]
  5. Then on the back make sure to write From: (your child's name)
  6. Then fold your heart in half again, push the cut portion up, and slide the pencil into that section. 
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Monday, January 11, 2016

Butterbeer Experiment

We found over a thousand recipes online for making butterbeer can you believe that? One of the simplest and tastiest ones we choose to try was really good. Then we decided to combine it with something we already enjoyed to come up with this experimental recipe. It turned out great, I hope you enjoy!

  • 1 can of Cream Soda per person
  • 1 teaspoon Caramel Syrup per person (not the kind for ice cream, the kind for coffee)
  • 4 teaspoon Butterscotch Syrup (not the kind for ice cream, the kind for coffee)
  • 1 pint Heavy Whipping Cream 
Combine butterscotch and whipping cream in a mixing bowl.
Whip the cream with hand mixer, when soft peaks form, it's done.
Slowly stir caramel into the cream soda.
Then place a dollop of the whipped cream on top of the soda.
Careful it kinda bubbles over a bit if its close to the top.
That's it enjoy.

I would love to meet you on Facebook. or on Twitter Garden 2 Plate@GardenTwoPlate

Friday, January 8, 2016

Shell Pasta Sausage Salad

1 lb shell pasta
1 lb mild Colby Jack cheese
1 lb of ripe Cherry tomatoes
1 (8oz) container of alfalfa sprouts
1 lb ground sausage your favorite flavor
1-2 avocados
1 cup mayo
*Top with precooked bacon

  1. Cook pasta per box instructions, then rinse with cold water to stop it from cooking set aside is strainer.
  2. Cook sausage, drain grease, and let it cool till it's room temperature.
  3. Cut cheese into small cubes.
  4. Cut avocados into small cubes as well.
  5. Cut tomatoes in half.
  6. Open Alfalfa sprouts and mix them in with the pasta.
  7. Start mixing all the other ingredients in with pasta and alfalfa sprouts as well, till thoroughly mixed.

*Topped with precooked bacon for more color and crunch.

I would love to meet you on Facebook. or on Twitter Garden 2 Plate@GardenTwoPlate

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Shredded Crock Pot Chicken

4 Chicken Breast
1 cup chicken stock
Salt and Pepper to taste

Rinse chicken breast off.
Pat dry.
Lightly salt and pepper the chicken.
Spray Pam on the inside of the Crock Pot.
Place the breasts in the bottom of the Crock Pot.
Pour the chicken broth over top of the chicken.
Top with lid.
Cook on low for 6 hours.
Remove lid when done, take 2 forks and tear the chicken up.

*This can be used for any of my recipes Chicken Broccoli SlawChicken burritos, Stuffed Pepper, Enchiladas, or you can substitute the turkey for chicken in my Turkey and Dumpling recipe.

I would love to meet you on Facebook. or on Twitter Garden 2 Plate@GardenTwoPlate

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Weekly Challenge

I am going to challenge myself to get my kids in the kitchen to make a meal weekly. This is going to take patience and a willingness on both our parts. I will have to have a recipe, and a plan of attack. I have made our usual family meals so many times that I don't measure anymore; I just pinch, pour, and eyeball it. It used to be that they would ask if they could come help make dinner or bake cookies. But, since the teenage years have started, I can only get them in the kitchen to do the dishes. And that's only because they get paid to do it.

So to start with, I'm going to ask them what their favorite meals are for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. That way they can learn to make what they love. From there we will span out and go into more and more detailed cooking techniques. Make things that maybe they never thought they would like because it looked funny or smelled weird. The good thing about my kids is that they are willing to try new things at least once. If they don't like it that's okay, I won't force it on them.

I'm also going to include prices of things and show them how much it costs to eat the same thing at a restaurant. I think this will help them as they grow up and move out into the real world. Money doesn't grow on trees and eating out is expensive. They already know that when we grow our food it's cheaper than buying it in a store, but I don't think they know why. Schools don't really go over this kind of thing, but they should.

This will also give us some more one-on-one time. I've been missing this lately, and they'll be missing it too (I hope) when they leave for college, and later when they head out on their own.

I would love to meet you on Facebook. or on Twitter Garden 2 Plate@GardenTwoPlate

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Crock Pot Chili

1 lb ground turkey
2 (15oz) cans kidney beans with liquid
2 (15oz) cans white kidney beans with liquid
2 (8oz) cans pork & beans
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 small to medium onion, chopped
3 carrots, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1½ cups chopped tomato
½ teaspoon parsley (dried or fresh), finely chopped
¾ teaspoon basil (dried or fresh), finely chopped
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground pepper

In a frying pan, brown the turkey and caramelize the onions, carrots, and garlic (add garlic last; we don't want it to burn).
Drain all grease.
Pour the ground beef and caramelized veggies in the Crock Pot.
Pour all beans, tomato, and spices into Crock Pot, then top with lid.
Set Crock Pot on low for 8 hours.
Ready when you get off work, just top with whatever you like!

I would love to meet you on Facebook. or on Twitter Garden 2 Plate@GardenTwoPlate

Monday, January 4, 2016

Lovely Garlic Fire

Whether you’re a garden bed gardener, you use pots, pallets, or raised beds, we all are in the same boat. Pests! How do I get rid of them? How do I keep them away? What do I use? What’s safe? I have thought it all before.

I look up each pest that I find in my garden (or I look up each veggie to see what its particular pest is), and how to deal with it. It's time consuming, it's annoying, and it doesn’t always seem to help. I try to plant herbs around the outside boarder of my garden to keep pests out, and trust me, this helps. But it doesn't keep them all away.

Using pesticides means attacking butterflies, bees, and all sorts of pollinators, and putting god-knows-what into my family's diet, so that's not an option for me. But I've found the Lovely Garlic Fire recipe! It's made with old table scraps, boiled down and then just sprayed on your plants, and the smell drives the pests out with no toxic pesticides.

about ½ an onion; the scraps work well
2-4 garlic bulbs
1 tablespoon red pepper seeds that you have scooped out for a recipe
1½ teaspoons Eco-friendly liquid detergent
7 cups water

  1. Place all ingredients into a pot, except the dish soap.
  2. Boil about 5 min.
  3. Let mixture cool. As it cools, stir in dish soap.
  4. Strain through cheese cloth, and compost the leftovers.
  5. Pour the liquid into a spray bottle, and spray liberally over your garden plants. Be careful when spraying around the new plants; it can sometimes damage the very young ones, so just spray the soil around the base of the plant, not directly on it.
Lovely Garlic Fire is pungent stuff, but the smell dissipates quickly once it's been sprayed. This garlic fire mixture needs to be re-sprayed often, as well as after rain or if there’s heavy dew in the morning. It's best to spray every few days or until there are no sign of pests, then about every week to 10 days for any eggs or larva that may have hatched out.

I would love to meet you on Facebook. or on Twitter Garden 2 Plate@GardenTwoPlate