Happy first day of August!
How did August get here so fast? If you’re looking for a nice refreshing snack for the few hot summer days we have left, you’re in the right place! This is definitely one of my favorite summer snacks. My mom used to make these for me all the time when I was young. If you love watermelon you will love this recipe! Not only will you love eating them but you they are fun to make as well! Watermelon has always been one of my favorite fruits, not only is it tasty by itself but there are so many recipes out there that make this fruit even better!
This recipe will make 6 popsicles. Feel free to double (or triple!) the recipe for even more frozen treats!
- 3 Cups cubed watermelon
- 1/2 Cup Yogurt (Greek,or plain)
- 1 Tbs Lemon Juice
- 1/4 Cup Granulated Sugar
- 6 Popsicle Sticks
- In a blender combine the Sugar, watermelon, yogurt, and lemon juice
- Blend it all together until it is perfectly smooth.
- Next pour the mixture into popsicle molds and insert sticks.
- Put into the refrigerator and freeze for about 4 hours (or overnight) until firm and frozen all the way through.
- Best part of all ENJOY these nice cooling treats
Authentic Enchiladas Verdes
My mother-in-law is from Mexico City, Mexico, so naturally, she is an incredible cook. From homemade salsas to quesadillas to tamales, she can make it all, and it’s all positively mouthwatering. I’m going to share with you one of her most favorite recipes for Enchiladas Verdes – translated from Spanish to English just for you!
- 1-2 chicken breasts
- 1/2 large onion
- 1 pinch salt
- 3 or more serrano or jalapeño chili’s (depending on how spicy you’d like it)
- 25 tomatillos
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 branch of cilantro
- 20 to 25 corn tortillas
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- Shredded or crumbled fresh cheese (mozzarella or queso fresco work great!)
- Optional: sour cream, avocado, and extra cilantro for topping
Cook the chicken with onion and salt in boiling water for 25 minutes. After it is thoroughly cooked, strain out the chicken and shred it. Be sure to reserve the water and onion for later use.
In a separate pot, cook the tomatillos and chiles for 5 minutes in boiling water. (Note the cute little sister-in-law photobombing the tomatillos. 😉 )
Then in the blender, add some of the reserved water and onion and liquefy the tomatoes and the boiled chili peppers along with the garlic cloves. (Add water little by little when necessary.) Pour pureed salsa back into stockpot and bring to low boil.
Pour the oil into the bottom of the frying pan and heat it up so that you can fry the tortillas lightly on each side (do not leave the tortilla in the oil for a long time).
Dip each fried tortilla into the boiling salsa, then place on a plate and put the shredded chicken on top of the tortillas placed on the plate or roll them in. Pour additional sauce on top of the enchiladas, and finally, adorn with crumbled or shredded cheese, onion, cilantro and sour cream to taste.
Stains happen. They happen if you have kids. They happen if you have pets. They definitely happen when you’re wearing your whitest shirt and your co-worker happens to trip next to you while holding a takeout tray full of uncovered, brim-full coffee cups.
There are many ways to get stains out of clothes. Soak them in cold water overnight. Use a small washboard in the sink to hand scrub the fabric that’s stained. Wash them a million times in the washing machine. Eventually, a stubborn stain will resist all attempts to clean it up, and we will find ourselves reaching for the stain remover. Oh, you don’t have any? (I actually didn’t until my second kid was 14 months old…no idea how we managed that!) Well, pause before you head to the store to buy some and try making your own with just two ingredients I bet you already have sitting in your kitchen or bathroom cabinets.
- 1 part blue Dawn dishwashing soap
- 2 parts hydrogen peroxide
Pour into a spray bottle, shake it up, and that’s that! Why does this work so well? Blue Dawn brand soap is well known for cutting straight through grease and other stubborn substances in a way that other soaps just can’t do. Often, environmental agencies even use pure Dawn to gently clean up animals affected by oil spills. Hydrogen peroxide’s bubbly action helps loosen up stains as well—oxygen bleaches are basically a form of hydrogen peroxide.
You can use this homemade cleaner straight, or mixed with water if you want to dilute it or soak some fabric for a while. As always, be sure to test a little spot first to make sure it doesn’t change the color of or eat holes through the fabric you are using it on, though overall this is a pretty safe concoction. It’s also fairly safe to use around kids and pets as long as they’re not chugging it or licking the carpet directly after you apply it or anything. Happy stain lifting!
So you bought ten pounds of pork for only $1.50 a pound, or scored a few whole chickens from your backyard homestead neighbor. Dinner for weeks!… you think, but… now what? How to cook all that cheap meat you just got, assuming you are a meat eater?
Slow cooking has been a time saver for families for ages. Tough meat that would otherwise be hard to eat can simmer for hours in a pot, growing soft and tender. The trouble was that someone had to be watching the pot all day, something that’s hard to do in our modern, busy lifestyles. When the slow cooker, or Crock-Pot, as the brand name is, was invented a few decades ago, it was instantly popular. Because it cooked food at a low, constant, heat, without needing to be warmed by a flame or oven, parents could flip it on in the morning, go to work, and return home to a warm, nearly effortless meal. Since most cheap cuts of meat and vegetables generally require somewhat long cooking times, a slow cooker can be a great help to a thrifty lifestyle, as you can cook a cheap, nutritious meal very easily. Below is a basic recipe that works for nearly any cheap cut of meat, but this is only a guide—feel free to add your own vegetables or spices, and adjust cooking times to your preference.
- Chop up veggies. Onions and carrots go with almost every meat. Celery is cheap and is often used with poultry. Toss those in the bottom of the crock pot.
- You don’t need to add liquid, since fat will melt off the meat when cooking, but if you wish to, pour in a cup or two of water or broth.
- Pat dry your meat. Shake on some spices. Salt, pepper, and garlic powder are good basic flavors that go with almost everything.
- Turn on the slow cooker! If you need a meal within 4-5 hours, flip it on high. Otherwise, especially for tough cuts of beef or pork, cooking on low for an average of 8 hours will yield a more tender meal.
There you go! You have an extremely basic slow cooker meal! Again, this is a just a starting point—part of the fun is being able to experiment on your own! What are some of your favorite slow cooker recipes?
It may be that you want to make your bread and know it will save you money, but you just aren’t sure how to go about doing so. You may be worried that you don’t have the time or a machine. You may also be worried about how to build it into your meal plans. Here are a few tips to get you started saving money by making your own baked goods.
Not having a bread machine is not a problem at all. In fact I have found that it is easier for me to make bread from scratch in my oven than in a bread machine. I can make it in various shapes and sizes. This comes in handy when tying to fit your homemade bread into a lunch for school or work. all you need is a detailed but simple recipe with ingredients you usually have in your kitchen every day.
Find a recipe that works for your time schedule. My favorite bread recipe is Amish White Bread. It takes about two and half hours to make and a good portion of that time is waiting for the bread to rise. I can go about my daily routine while the bread dough does its thing. What also is a time saver for me when baking is to double the recipe. I end up with four loaves of fluffy white bread rather than two. You may think that’s too much bread, but home cooked bread seems to go faster in my home than store bought bread.
Fitting It Into Meals
Store bought bread to go along with a chili or stew seems a little sad, but homemade bread is heartier and seems to go better with a crock pot soup, chowder, stew, or chili. It’s also a great stand alone snack.
You can also add your homemade bread to a lunch box. There is an easy fix if you are worried your cut bread is too big for a sandwich bag or that it will crumble to bits before lunch time. Make bread muffins in a muffin pan. They will fit in a sandwich bag and has a crust all around it to keep it from turning to crumbs. Just add a small container of butter and a cooling block and you are set to go.
The words “healthy” and “cake” are rarely ever used in the same sentence, much less the same title for a recipe. It doesn’t seem real or right to have cake that tastes good and is good for you, but it’s true and it’s possible.
There are generally two main ingredients that make cake bad for our health and for our waist line: white flour and white sugar. Replacing those two ingredients with other fillers that may not be as bad (like wheat flour or even gluten free mixes) don’t necessarily transform a cake into something nutritious. However, if you use coconut flour, it is a good source of fiber, protein, and healthy fat. When you replace the sugar with raw honey, you reap the benefits of the raw honey. Raw honey has antibacterial, antifungal, and is full of antioxidant properties, all great for immunity.
Talk about having your cake and eating it, too. Once you have cake like this, you’ll have a very hard time going back to cake that’s full of empty fattening calories. Keep in mind that you can adjust any recipe to your preference. So, if you prefer it sweeter, just add more honey. If it’s too sweet, just cut the amount in the recipe.
Here’s how to make tasty, good-for-you cake!
1 cup coconut flour
1/4 tsp sea salt
3/4 cup coconut oil
3/4 cup raw honey
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. baking soda
In a bowl, mix the coconut flour, salt, and baking soda. Mix until no clumps are left.
Combine the coconut oil, vanilla extract, and eggs until well blended.
Combine the dry ingredients with the wet ingredients.
Grease a 9 by 13 inch pan (I like to use Pyrex).
Place a piece of parchment paper in the bottom.
Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan.
Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 25 to 30 minutes or until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean.
Let cool 15 minutes before serving.
Lately, I have been on a mission to make a healthy, tasty oat flour chocolate chip cookie. In my first attempt, the cookie tasted amazing. The only problem was that all the cookies melted into one big cookie. Again, not the worst thing in the world. The whole family loved the cookie(s). But, I didn’t want to bake one cookie; I wanted many cookies! So, I tried again. I tried a no bake recipe that I later transformed into a chocolate peanut butter oatmeal baked cookie. That was good but still not what I had in mind.
Then, last night, I tried again. I found another recipe. I modified the original to suit our tastes. So, here’s what I did.
1 3/4 cups oat flour
1/2-3/4 cup honey
1/3 cup coconut oil, melted
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
chocolate chips (as much as you like)
1. Preheat oven to 350 and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. Mix all the wet ingredients in a large bowl.
3. Then, mix all the dry ingredients in a smaller bowl.
4. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients until well blended. Then, fold in the chocolate chips.
5. Put the bowl into the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.
6. Then, scoop onto the baking sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes.
Remove and enjoy! They tasted amazing with my coffee this morning!
Now, I have to say that these cookies are a great improvement from the others. They are good and generally hold together (although they are crumbly). I don’t think that my quest is over. However, I’m happy with what we have today.
Does anyone else get on kicks like this? I am determined to find or create a recipe that tastes great, not just good, and holds together nicely. Trust me, when I find or make it, you will hear about it! 😉
You may have heard of the best selling business/leadership book called Good To Great: Why Some Companies Make The Leap… And Others Don’t. I only mention the title of the book because it’s what came to mind when a recipe I made (and considered quite good) was transformed because my husband didn’t think it was “great.”
This is the recipe I just tried yesterday. It’s a yummy, healthy no bake chocolate peanut butter oatmeal bar recipe. Here’s what happened. Rather than put it in the refrigerator, I left it out and it didn’t harden. And, while I was out running errands, our children dug in. I came back only to find that they had grabbed spoons and begun eating right out of the pan. (I wish I had taken a picture of that!) It was clear that they liked the non-bar bars, but my husband wasn’t a fan. He said he’d prefer baked cookies.
So, I took the remaining gooey bars, added a teaspoon of baking soda and a cup of white flour to form a batter.
Then, I spooned cookies onto a cookie sheet. I did this part quickly, as you can see (because I was fixing lunch at the same time. You know how it is, right?) By the way, another reason to do it quickly is to limit the amount of batter you “taste” while you are getting all that batter onto the baking sheet! 😉
I baked them at 350 for about 10-12 minutes and ta-da…Here they are! I transformed our “good” no bake chocolate peanut butter oatmeal bars into “great” chocolate peanut butter oatmeal cookies. I feel just as good about the children (and the hubby) eating them. And, by the way, now they are all eating them! 😉
Have you ever transformed one of your good recipes into a “great” one?