Cute Owl Craft

Owl Craft

How cute it this little guy?

To make you need:  White, Orange & Yellow card stock, 4 cupcake liners, toilet paper tube, scissors, tape, ruler, glue gun, black marker or wiggle eyes, pencil, large coin.

To make you need: White, Orange & Yellow card stock, 4 cupcake liners, toilet paper tube, scissors, tape, ruler, glue gun, black marker or wiggle eyes, pencil, large coin.

Cut 1 inch off the bottom of a toilet paper tube  (save the ring).  Fold in the top off the tube and tape it.

Cut 1 inch off the bottom of a toilet paper tube (save the ring). Fold in the top off the tube and tape it.

Cut the bottom ring off of a cupcake liner, cut it in half and glue it to the bottom of the roll.

Cut the bottom ring off of a cupcake liner, cut it in half and glue it to the bottom of the roll.

Add 2 more liner halves.

Add 2 more liner halves.

Using the ring that was cut off the tube as a template cut out eyes from the cardstock.

Using the ring that was cut off the tube as a template cut out eyes from the cardstock.

Using a slightly smaller object such as a large coin; cut circles for the whites of the eyes and draw the eyes and dots.  Cut a triangular piece from orange cardstock for the beak.

Using a slightly smaller object such as a large coin; cut circles for the whites of the eyes and draw the eyes and dots. Cut a triangular piece from orange cardstock for the beak.

For the wings cut a cupcake liner in half and flatten them.  Glue to the back.

For the wings cut a cupcake liner in half and flatten them. Glue to the back.

Decorate your Christmas tree!

Decorate your Christmas tree!

or your pumpkins in the fall.

or your pumpkins in the fall.

Originally published in Family Fun Magazine.

Saving Green by Meal Planning

Meal Plan Photo

Click Here for a Shopping List for the Following Recipes

This week’s menu has 2 cabbage dishes because my winter CSA has been blessing us with cabbage.  I will actually be using a Napa cabbage in the pasta dish. 2 of the recipes are made in the slow cooker and the others require less than 45 minutes to cook

Be sure to check out my Shopping List PDF.  I organize my list on a chart by recipe Why?  Well, sometimes I decide that I don’t want to make a recipe or I can’t find a main ingredient and by listing them by the recipe I avoid buying items that I don’t need.  The list is also to my blog reader’s advantage because if you don’t like some of recipes I use you can plug in your own in recipe in that spot.

Our meal planning starts on Tuesdays because store sales here run Wed. through Tues. The ads for the next week come out on Mondays. So I plan on Mondays, and shop on Tuesdays. By waiting until the end of the sale I can see what is on sale the following week so I don’t over pay on things I am buying today. Also, I find that stores have generally restocked sale items that often get picked over at the start of a sale.

Tuesday (today): Beef Stew
Wednesday: Penne with Cabbage from the September 2013 issue of Everyday with Rachael Ray
Thursday: Roasted Pork Tenderloin with Slaw.  Check out the slaw recipes I have 3 different types using celery, celery root (celeriac) or cabbage.
Friday: Go out to eat!
Saturday: Butternut Squash Risotto from the December 2013 issue of Family Circle.  Have it with a spinach salad.  Just make sure to save a cup of spinach for the stuffed squash on Monday.
Sunday: Middle Eastern Chicken and Lentils
Monday: Sausage Stuffed Squash

Chicken Bath Box

The Bath Box

The Bath Box

With winter upon us the ground is frozen and our chickens are suffering with dust bath withdrawal. The poor things are rolling around in the pine shaving litter in the coop and it just isn’t the same (or as healthy) as a good roll in the dust of a shady garden patch. To help them with their bathing I put together dust boxes for them and I put one in the coop so on cold days they can bath until their hearts are content. By being in the coop the bath also stays dry and doesn’t freeze hard like the garden dirt. The bins that I am using are actually my self watering bins, I don’t need them in the winter, the chickens can borrow them.

This is what is in them: 1 part peat moss, 1 part compost, and 1-2 cups of food grade diatomaceous earth.

Saving Green by Meal Planning

Meal Plan Photo

Click Here for a Shopping List for the Following Recipes

This week’s menu utilizes the last of the turkey from Thanksgiving (the soup brings out the best of all those little stubby pieces that no one wants to put on their sandwich).  The feature meal is latkes for Hanukkah, even though our family is Christian we like latkes too. Also, 3 of the 6 recipes are made in the slow cooker to decrease with the stress of Christmas shopping and concerts, at least dinner will be made in the morning.

Be sure to check out my Shopping List PDF.  I organize my list on a chart by recipe Why?  Well, sometimes I decide that I don’t want to make a recipe or I can’t find a main ingredient and by listing them by the recipe I avoid buying items that I don’t need.  The list is also to my blog reader’s advantage because if you don’t like some of recipes I use you can plug in your own in recipe in that spot.

Our meal planning starts on Tuesdays because store sales here run Wed. through Tues. The ads for the next week come out on Mondays. So I plan on Mondays, and shop on Tuesdays. By waiting until the end of the sale I can see what is on sale the following week so I don’t over pay on things I am buying today. Also, I find that stores have generally restocked sale items that often get picked over at the start of a sale.

Tuesday (today): Sweet Potato Latkes and Apple Latkes  that were in Sunday’s Parade Magazine
Wednesday: Leftover Turkey and Bean Soup
Thursday: Carne Guisada from December 2013 issue of Taste of Home
Friday: Create Your Own Frittata
Saturday: Slow Cooked Coconut Chicken from December 2013 Taste of Home
Sunday: Fettuccine with Spicy Sausage and Cabbage Ribbons from April 2013 issue of Food and Wine.  I use this Italian Sauce in place of the tomato sauce in the recipe.

Canning Ring Pumpkin

WARNING: Cute Kid Alert!!!

I am not a crafty person. I wish I was and I attempt often and I fail often. However, this year I wanted a centerpiece for my Thanksgiving table. Nothing fancy, just something besides a salt and pepper shaker. So I headed to Pinterest and I found the PERFECT craft/centerpiece so simple, reusable, and I didn’t even have to go to the store.  The genius behind it is Kristin at Yellow Bliss Road.  So my 3 year old and I made it today.

Canning Ring Pumpkin 1

Supplies: 20 canning rings, string, 3 cinnamon sticks, fabric leaves, and a hot glue gun.

Canning ring Pumpkin 2

String canning rings on string.

Canning Ring Pumpkin 3

Tie string and insert cinnamon sticks in the center. Glue on leaves.

Ta Da!

Ta Da! Don’t you love the peanut butter on his face!

Canning Ring Pumpkin

Italian Sauce and Meatballs

Italian Sauce

My husband is taking the boys camping this weekend so I will be taking the opportunity to make some sauce.  I like to make a big batch of it and freeze it in quart (freezer safe) canning jars.  It will keep in the refrigerator for 4 days.  The meatballs freeze beautifully as well.  After baking move them to a clean baking sheet and place in the freezer.  Once frozen place them in freezer bags or another freezer safe container, keep up to 6 months in a deep freezer.

Ingredients
2 (28 oz.) cans crushed tomatoes
2 (28 oz.) cans whole peeled Italian tomatoes (with liquid), crushed with your hands
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
2 pounds pork ribs or neck bones with meat
1 large onion, minced
1 large shallot, minced
3 ribs celery, minced
1 green bell pepper, minced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 carrot, peeled
1 teaspoon dried Thyme
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon black pepper
2 Bay leaves
Salt
4 tablespoons sugar

Directions
1. Place a mesh sieve over a bowl. Add the tomatoes; force through to remove the seeds.
2. In a large pot, heat olive oil over medium. Add the pork ribs/necks; cook until browned, turning as needed about every 4 minutes. Transfer to a plate.
3. Add the onion, shallots, celery, and bell pepper; cook over medium, 5 minutes. Add garlic; stir 30 seconds.
4. Add the tomatoes, carrot, thyme, oregano, black pepper, bay leaves, sugar and salt to taste; return the ribs to the pot. Bring to a boil, then lower heat and simmer until meat is tender, 2-3 hours; remove bones and carrot.
5. Meanwhile, make meatballs (below)
6. Serve over choice of pasta with meatballs and grated cheese.

Makes approximately 4 quarts.

Italian Meatballs
In large bowl combine:
2 pounds ground beef
1 pound ground pork
2 eggs
¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
¼ cup whole milk
¾ cup bread crumbs
2 Tbsp. dried parsley flakes or ¼ cup minced fresh parsley leaves
1 tsp. onion powder
1 tsp. garlic powder
½ tsp. salt
½ tsp. black pepper

1. Line a rimmed baking pan with foil
2. Form mixture into approx. 40 (2-inch) balls.
3. Place balls on lined baking pan and bake at 400° for 20 min. turning over halfway through.
4. Serve with Italian sauce and pasta

Click Here for a printable copy of Italian Sauce and Meatballs

Saving Green by Meal Planning

Meal Plan Photo

Click Here for A Shopping List for the Following Recipes

Here are the recipes I’ll be cooking in our house this week. Our meal planning starts on Tuesdays because store sales here run Wed. through Tues. The ads for the next week come out on Mondays. So I plan on Mondays, and shop on Tuesdays. By waiting until the end of the sale I can see what is on sale the following week so I don’t over pay on things I am buying today. Also, I find that stores have generally restocked sale items that often get picked over at the start of a sale.

Tuesday (today): Stuffed Peppers & Swiss Chard Au Gratin from Everyday with Rachael Ray
Wednesday: Brown Ale Braised Chicken from Oct. 2012 issue of Better Homes and Gardens
Thursday: Baked Pasta Shells from Nov. 2013 issue of All You.  I saved a quart of this Italian Sauce from the past weekend to use in this recipe.
Friday: Squash and Lentil Stew from Oct. 2012 issue of Family Circle need to use up the rest of the lentils?  Try this delicious salad: Hearty Barley and Cauliflower Salad with Manchego and Salami from the Nov 2013 issue of Real Simple Magazine
Saturday: Shrimp Scampi with mixed green salad.
Sunday: Smoky Pork Tenderloin