Saturday, September 24, 2016

Simple Saturdays Blog Link Party 9/24


Welcome to Simple Saturdays Blog Hop!

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Make Baking Mix And Pancake Mix Last Longer - Kitchen Quick Tip

When you stock up and have food storage you have to stay on top of expiration dates to prevent food from spoiling. If you freeze your baking and pancake mixes you will help them to last longer.

frugal tips, save money, pancake mix, homemade pancake recipe

Many pancake mixes and baking mixes like Bisquick can spoil after a while because of the oil and dairy content. Here is what I do to make them last much longer.

How To Keep Pancake Mix and Bisquick From Spoiling:

1. When you get home from the store, first take a marker and put the expiration date on the box.

2. Next, put the newest box in the back of your stocked pantry and move the older up to the front.

3. Periodically check your pantry for expiration dates and when one has passed, pull that one and pop it in      the freezer if you won't use it right away or in the fridge if you will be using it up within a month or so. 

Monday, September 19, 2016

Homemade Pumpkin Pancakes

It's pumpkin time. I love pumpkin pancakes so I came up with an easy way to make homemade pumpkin pancakes. They were so good I want to have them way more than I should.

pumpkin recipe, pancakes

Homemade Pumpkin Pancakes

  • You need to mix up your regular pancake recipe. I have a great scratch pancake recipe if you need one but  boxed mix will do as well.
  • Into your batter, add 2 tablespoons canned pumpkin puree per every two pancakes your recipe is making.
  • Add a couple dashes or more of pumpkin pie spice depending on how much spice flavor you want.
  • Mix and cook as usual.

Served with real maple syrup, this is such a great fall treat. I think I was yumming the whole time I was eating them. Any leftover pumpkin puree can be frozen until next time.

I made my pancakes in my new ceramic non-stick fry pan. I had been wanting one of these healthier non stick pans and I love it. You can cook without oil too but I find things brown and cook up better with a little oil or butter in the pan. So if you have been wanting to try one of these, I really think they are worth it and not very expensive either.
non-stick pan, ceramic pan

Friday, September 16, 2016

Growing Sweet Potatoes, Dehydrating Tomatoes & New Soft Inexpensive Sheets - Frugal Friday

Now that summer is over we are back on a regular blogging schedule and it is time to bring back Frugal Fridays. I love saving money and sharing our frugal tips with you and a little bit of daily life in our home.

I checked the sweet potatoes we grow in the old wheel barrow this week. I have more out in a front planter but they need at least another month. I think the sweet potatoes out back can be dug up in another couple of weeks. I want to have them cured by Thanksgiving. Here is the post on how we grow sweet potatoes in an old wheel barrow.

Last Christmas I asked for a Nesco dehydrator so I could try dehydrating some of our garden surplus to save for our pantry and long term food storage. First, I did a bunch of herbs and when I had a bumper crop of tomatoes one week, I did tomatoes. Four trays dehydrated down to a quart sized mason jar of dehydrated tomatoes.

Aren't they gorgeous? I used some the other day in a pot of pasta and they tasted so good. I just soaked them in some hot water and put them in water and all.

food storage, gardening

I needed new sheets for our bed and I picked up these from Walmart. I had bought them in blue for my girls and when they were so soft and cozy, I snagged some for us. I think they were around $30 for a queen set and they are so soft so if you need a set of sheets and don't want to spend a lot of money, I recommend these. I don't have the package still but they are their mid priced sheets.

floral sheets, country bedroom

Thursday, September 15, 2016

How To Save Tomato Seeds

One way I save money and garden frugally is by saving my own seeds. Here is how to save tomato seeds.

Growing your vegetables and even flowers from seeds saves so much money. One pack of seeds around 
$1 to $2 can give you many plants where even at our local garden center, one plant is over $3 now.

gardening tips, tomatoes, tomato seeds

How to save tomato seeds:

1. Make sure you are using a tomato where the seeds will actually germinate. Grocery store tomatoes might not germinate if they are gmo so try heirloom plants and organic ones to start with. You can try with anything though because what do you have to loose.

2. Pick a great tomato at the peak of season. When you slice it just save some of the seeds in a dish. 

3. Rinse the seeds under cool water in a strainer.

4. Now lay out the seeds on a plate to dry thoroughly. I like to dry them on a plate and not paper so they don't stick.

5. Store in a cool dry place to save for planting next season. These printable seed packets are perfect for saving your vegetable seeds.
saving seeds, frugal gardening, tomato seeds

You might like these other posts:

Here's how to grow tomato plants from cuttings.
Tomato plant gift idea.
A guide on how to plant tomatoes the right way.

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Monday, September 12, 2016

Grilled Bacon Wrapped Mushrooms

My older girls suggested we make grilled bacon wrapped mushrooms and let me tell you they are our favorite food of the summer. So easy but oh when you bit into these bacon wrapped mushroom delights, you will make them all the time.

bbq, mushrooms, recipes, bacon

Bacon Wrapped Mushrooms

  • You will need small or medium mushrooms. White or cremini are fine.
  • Bacon - We have used regular and turkey. Both are good but regular is of course tastier.
  • Wood skewers
If you have larger mushrooms cut them in half like the picture below. I cut the stems off of larger mushrooms as well. 
Cut the bacon in half lengthwise. Wrap around and secure the bacon as you slide it onto the skewer and that is it. Grill until bacon is done.

bacon, mushrooms, grilling
You could also make these in the oven turning once to cook bacon on both sides. You can find many more grilling recipes on our recipe page.

Friday, September 9, 2016

What Vegetables To Plant In Fall & A New Raised Bed

If you are wondering what vegetables you can plant in fall then check out my detailed post. This year for us a couple new things are going in as we now have the old coop fence repurposed in the garden to use along the back and I am excited to have two varieties of peas put in. We also made a new raised bed to grow more food.

southern california garden, making a raised bed garden

Here is my list for this year of What Vegetables To Plant In Fall:

  • Peas
  • Snow Peas
  • Bok Choy
  • Asian Greens
  • Swiss Chard (Two varieties)
  • Green Beans
  • Parsley (Germinates better in cooler weather)
  • Cauliflower
  • 1 Black Beauty Zucchini
  • Beets (Chioggia and Bulls Blood)
  • Buttercrunch Lettuce

In Containers:

  • Carrots

Making A New Raised Garden Bed:

making a raised bed garden, newspaper in garden

Around and between our two newest fruit trees, the hubby dug out some of our lawn and framed with pressure treated fencing he cut and nailed into shape. We have a small wire fence to keep pests out. Our plan is always to have less lawn and more vegetable gardening space. This is not a large bed but again it is more space to try a couple new rows of fall crops.
After the frame was cut and put in, we made sure we had no more lawn in the area. For us we have invasive St. Augustine so we wanted to make sure we removed it all. Not as bad as crab grass but I didn't want any roots down in there. I then framed all the edges with thick layers of newspaper. This will help block any new grass I might have missed and also decompose and attract worms. They love paper.

Then I filled each bed with a mix of steer manure and planting mix.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Front Yard Vegetable Garden Update

Because of lack of sun we have our main vegetable garden in the front yard. As the season winds down, here is a vegetable garden update.

I feel the continued drought has affected the Southern California garden somewhat but I still managed to produce some good results this summer growing season.

small front yard orchard