August 26, 2007

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A New Recipe to Try

Filed under: Cooking Tip,Gardening,Save Money — sandilarson @ 9:14 am

This time of year, we do our best to take advantage of all our garden produce.  Last night I tried a new recipe with zucchini. Our plants were prolific this year, so I have lots to experiment with.  This was so easy and so tasty if you can get your hands on a couple zucchini you should try it.  Very inexpensive too.  I just cut a couple zucchinis into julienne strips, chopped up a couple cloves of garlic, toasted some pine nuts, shredded a cup of parmesan cheese, and chopped fresh basil.  Then, I started a pot of pasta.  Any kind would probably work, but I used  a combination of mafaldi and fuslli  because I had a little of each left in a package.  While the pasta was cooking, I put a little olive oil and a little butter in a hot skillet and tossed in the zucchini and fried it up until it started getting slightly caramelized.  I  removed it from the pan with a slotted spoon and set it aside.  OK… I added a bit more butter and olive oil to the pan then tossed in the garlic and the toasted pine nuts and stirred them around just until the garlic started to smell good… less than a minute.  I added the zucchini back into the pan and stirred.  When the pasta was done, I drained it, then added the zucchini mixture, the shredded cheese and the basil to the pasta.  Toss it all well and serve.  Salt and pepper to taste.  6 ingredients, 2 pans, and it was absolutely delicious.  It cost us under $2 too, since the zucchini, basil, and garlic came straight from the garden.  Oh, and it only took me about 15 minutes to make, and that included picking the zucchini and  basil.  You could serve this with a good artisan bread if you wanted, but it wasn’t necessary. 

I simply can’t resist sharing good recipes with you when I find them, because if you can serve a family of 4 a great meal that they will all love and only spend a few dollars (and a few minutes) you are going to save so much money.  For those of you that are saying, “I cant stand zucchini”, in this recipe you’ll hardly even notice it.  The other flavors are so intense and the textures all blend to make this a fantastic pasta dish.  Even the kids will like it and won’t even realize they are eating the dreaded zucchini unless you tell them.

July 30, 2007

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Look for Gardening Stuff on Sale

Filed under: Gardening,Save Money,Shopping Tips — sandilarson @ 7:16 am

In most areas, garden tools, supplies, seeds, and flower pots are being marked way down.  If you have a gardener on your Christmas list, go out and buy an attractive, (on sale) garden pot, a few inexpensive tools, maybe a pair of garden gloves, and a few packs of flower seeds.  When you get home, put everything in the pot, wrap it up, and you have a wonderful gift that should have cost you under $10.00.  You can also write down the names or links to a couple local seed companies so the recipient can order a seed catalog.

July 7, 2007

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Plan a Family Craft Night

Filed under: Craft Project,Gardening,Save Money — sandilarson @ 7:48 am

For the balance of the summer, plan a family craft or project night once a week.  You’ll find that the first one or two might be difficult to convince every family member to participate, but even teens and husbands will enjoy themselves once they get started.  In addition to spending quality family time together, you and your kids will save money since you won’t be going out, renting movies, or other things to fill the same time.  You’ll also be making nice things you can give as gifts, or use yourself.  Another money saver.  Add a wish to the wish tin for each family member each time they participate.  Remember to add money savings to the tin as well.

May 28, 2007

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Gardening can Save Money

Filed under: Gardening,Save Money — sandilarson @ 7:29 am

Even if you’ve never gardened before, this year may be a good time to start.  Just plan a small garden if this is your first time.  If you are experienced, consider enlarging your space.  Yesterday, we finished digging out some lawn to double the size of our small suburban garden.  All fruits and vegetables will be more expensive this year, and a well planned garden will save you money.  Plant only those items your family loves, and when your crop is ready eat, can, freeze, and dry all the produce.  Seeds and small plants will already be on sale in most areas, since planting time is short

April 30, 2007

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Get Ready For May Day

Filed under: Craft Project,Gardening — sandilarson @ 6:13 am

            Tomorrow is May Day.  Help your children participate in an old tradition that has nearly died out by making little baskets or cones from paper.  Early in the morning, gather little blossoms from your garden, and help the children fill each basket.  (even dandelions are appropriate)  Then, under your supervision, have them hang the baskets on the door knobs of neighbors homes.  They don’t need to knock or ring the bell. The little gift has so much meaning when left anonymously.  This is such a simple gesture, and will bring so much pleasure to each person when they open their doors and find a “basket” of flowers waiting for them.

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