Archives for the month of: March, 2015

DIY greenhouses to protect your plants from rabbits and deer - I just used stuff from our recyle bins - awesome!

Spring is here! My tulips are sprouting, hurrah. Apparently, however, the rabbits think of them as an all you can eat salad bar. They have chewed a bunch of them down to nubs.

To try to keep the wasscaly wabbits from eating any more, I made some DIY mini greenhouses. I grabbed some empty containers from our recyle bin and cut them so the bottoms would be open, and poked some air holes in. I attached them to the ground with push-in gardening staples that I had leftover from a landscaping project.

I ended up reusing a strawberry clamshell container, a little milk bottle from a happy meal, a couple of soda bottles, a gallon milk jug, and an apple juice container. The white milk containers look “unique” in the flower bed (AKA not a lot of curb appeal), so I plan on replacing them with clear containers that blend in a little better and don’t look so obvious.

Sun, and air, and water can go in, and (fingers crossed!) rabbit teeth will stay out. Happy gardening!

DIY mini greenhouses - upcycle milk containers soda bottles and more

gardening tips and tricks - reuse containers and attach with lawn staples - awesome way to recycle AND keep rabbits away

DIY Garden Markers - laminated seed packets so you know what you planted, and where you planted it

DIY Laminated Seed Markers for gardens and containers!

Did you know you can freeze apple crisp? I tried it and it works!

I made up some batches and stored ’em in the freezer – we baked one recently and it was yum-to-the-E. The kids loved helping peel the apples with our slicer/corer/peeler tool.

Apple Crisp Recipe - Includes freezer instructions - make a bunch during apple season and freeze extras - enjoy all winter long

Did you know you can freeze Apple Crisp - so easy and delicious - make a bunch in the fall and enjoy all winter

Here’s What You Do:

1. Prepare Apple Crisp Recipe according to instructions (I used this one from tastesbetterfromscratch.com), except do not bake. I split mine up into little square foil pans from the dollar store, so we would have smaller batches.

2. Wrap unbaked crisps in plastic wrap then a layer of foil, and label.

3. Freeze.

4. To prepare, thaw and bake according to the directions in your recipe.

apple peeler

Here’s an easy one-pot recipe, with just three ingredients: Teriyaki Pork Chops. I used a bottled teriyaki sauce as a marinade, and seared the pork chops in a skillet with some EVOO. With just 200 calories each, these pork chops are just 5 WW PlusPoints each! The portions were quite large so you could always slice each pork chop in half (or even cut into slices and divide them into however many servings you want).

3 Ingredient Teriyaki Pork Chops Recipe - pork chops plus fresh fruit just 5 WW +Points for the entire plate!

3 Ingredient Teriyaki Pork Chops

WHAT YOU NEED:

  • 3 (1-lb. total) uncooked boneless pork chops, seasoned with salt and pepper
  • 4 Tbs. teriyaki sauce
  • 1 tsp. extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)

WHAT YOU DO:

  • In a gallon ziplock bag combine pork chops and teriyaki.
  • Refrigerate 45-60 minutes to allow pork chops to marinade.
  • To prepare, heat EVOO in large skillet over med-high heat. Remove pork chops from marinade and sear for 3-4 minutes. Reduce heat to medium, flip, and sear 3-5 additional minutes or until cooked through. Serve.

Number of Servings: 3

Weight Watchers PlusPoints Per Serving: 5

Estimated Nutrition Information – Per Serving:

207 calories

4.2 grams fat

9.2 grams carbohydrates

30.5 grams protein

0 g. fiber

Cuisinart 12-Inch Skillet

Woo hoo, another delicious freezer meal perfect for the slow cooker! This one is super easy; you just put everything in a ziplock bag and freeze. When you’re ready, just thaw it, and dump it out in the Crock Pot to cook.

This is perfect to serve over a salad, on tortilla chips, wrapped in a burrito, or over rice.

You can even make up a bunch of batches; prepare one right away and freeze the extras.

Easy Chicken Slow Cooker Recipe - Just add taco seasoning, corn, beans, and salsa - freezes well

Easy Slow Cooker Chicken Recipe - just add beans, corn, taco seasoning, and salsa

Slow Cooker Black Bean & Corn Salsa Chicken Recipe

WHAT YOU NEED:

  • 1 lb. uncooked, skinless, boneless chicken breasts
  • 1 c. salsa
  • 1 can (15-16 oz.) corn, drained
  • 1 can (15-16 oz.) black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can (15-16 oz.) red chili beans in mild chili sauce (do not drain)
  • 1 packet (approx. 1 oz.) reduced-sodium taco seasoning

WHAT YOU DO:

To freeze:

  • Combine all ingredients in a gallon freezer bag. Label with the following:

– Thaw

– Slow cooker LOW for 7-8 hrs (or HIGH for 3-4 hrs)

– Shred before serving

  • Freeze

To prepare right away:

  • Combine all ingredients in slow cooker. Cook on low for 7-8 hours (or high for 3-4 hrs). Shred with two forks before serving.
recipe adapted from sixsistersstuff.com

Slow Cooker Recipes - perfect for freezer meals

Slow Cooker Bacon Ranch Garlic Chicken – I made up some freezer meals and ended up with this. It’s similar to Crock Pot Garlic Ranch Chicken, except, well, BACON. There are only 6 ingredients but tons of delicious flavor.

Some people don’t like to freeze milk or mayonnaise, so you could always add those later when you put the chicken in the Crock Pot. I’m too lazy for that (ha!) so I put it all in the freezer bag.

You can always make a bunch of these at once; make one right away and freeze the extras.

Slow Cooker Bacon Ranch Garlic Chicken Recipe

WHAT YOU NEED:

  • 1 lb. uncooked, skinless, boneless chicken breasts
  • 1 oz. dry ranch dressing mix
  • 2 oz. crumbled bacon bits
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 c. mayonnaise
  • 1 c. milk

WHAT YOU DO:

To Freeze — Combine all ingredients in a gallon freezer bag. Label with date and instructions. Thaw and cook.

To Prepare Right Away — Combine all ingredients in slow cooker. Cook on low 6-8 hours (or high 4-6 hours).

Slow Cooker Bacon Ranch Garlic Chicken Freezer Meal Recipe

P.S. I recently discovered these at Trader Joe’s. They make fresh garlic so easy; you just open the packets and chop! No annoying papery peels. They are in the refrigerated section, with the produce, hanging down in a row on little hooks. Love ’em!

easy garlic - recipebookandmore.wordpress.com