Life is good in the trailer hood!

Archive for the ‘Frugal Living’ Category

How to Store Leftover Pasta

Yesterday I posted a recipe for the  spaghetti sauce we served in our restaurant…

which got me to thinking about noodles…

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then time savers and saving money.

I know…

I am random!

If you are short on time during the holiday season, (or anytime) you can save some valuable meal time by preparing a spaghetti meal ahead of time!

Spaghetti sauce is better the next day, no matter what recipe you use. Mine makes several gallons, although you may have a recipe you love with less servings.

Or you can grab the spaghetti sauce recipe and can some, it will save a lot of time when you need it later!

Same thing with noodles, cook them ahead of time. This should work with any kind of pasta.

After cooking your spaghetti noodles al dente, immediately stop the cooking process by immersing in ice-cold water. This will stop the breakdown of the starch, and the pasta won’t get gummy and  stick together.

Cook and store in the fridge in a container of water just covering the pasta. It will keep for a good while.

To reheat noodles…

  • Immerse in boiling water until noodles are hot, then use a colander to drain or a slotted spoon.
  • Or drain noodles and heat it in the microwave on a plate.

Throw together a quick salad, or open a packaged bag of salad, grill some garlic bread and you are good to go! (The kids can help do this!)

Try it and let me know what you think!

Share your kitchen time saving tips!

Have a great Christmas season! ~Evie

Holiday’s Are Coming!

As a child I remember going to our grandparents’ home. My grandfather managed a dairy, his father owned Pippin’s dairy when he grew up.

Just a blast from the past I thought I would share!

My great grandparents on the Pippin/Sams Branches of our Family Tree.

Made me think back, then forward. Family memories rock. Period. No one has your family and your life time memories. They are tucked away somewhere in your mind,  just to jump back in there right at the holidays. I know, right?

I love to make memories with my grandchildren and my children!

Last year while at my daughter’s, I had a wonderful time with my grandchildren, Ashley and Cooper doing “random acts of  Christmas kindness“, which from now on, will be referred to as RACK.

From making cookies for the neighbors and the fire fighters to picking up trash in the neighbors yards, we did an act of kindness from Thanksgiving through Christmas.

It’s the beginning of the holiday season, and I am looking forward to some family and friends’ time!

Every year at this time when my Thanksgiving cactus blooms, I start thinking about the fun ahead.

Last year we had a blast making gingerbread houses with Brittnee and Kye, two more of my grands who were visiting from Oklahoma. The kids had fun, the left over Halloween candy is history, and we made some precious memories.

This year’s holiday season started off sad, with an unfortunate accident that took the life of my nephew. My sister in law’s sister passed away, and there is lots of sickness going around.

Our local VFW Post and our auxiliary make Thanksgiving dinner for our community who don’t have family, or can’t afford to make such a meal. We take donations to help cover the cost.

Mr. M and I usually contribute by pitching in where ever we can. It’s such a little thing to spend your time making peanut butter sandwiches for those in need. Then we feast on a meal that is blessed by many doing RACK. Oh, yeah!

Then Countdown to Christmas! Check out my Pinterest board for a fun, easy inexpensive Christmas craft to do with your kiddos for teachers’ gifts, or for party favors.

Hot chocolate, anyone?

The number of cakes in the jars for my troop and family Christmas gifts is increasing, if I can keep the man out of them! 😉 I am making extras to have for when company drops by! My favorite so far is the egg-less, milk-less chocolate cake!

Remember the reason.

Enjoy the season.

Give thanks.

And RACK on!

Mint

When Jennifer was referred to me as to the person to go to about the herbs she wanted to grow, first, I told I would re-pin some pins from my boards.

Then, I thought I should write my post about it, and share it with more of you.

So here goes.

The first herb I want to share is Mentha, also known as mint. There are many types of mint from apple to wooly,  probably  a lot more that I don’t know about. It smells good, it is wonderful to cook with, and it’s good for your health!

Mint is very easily rooted, just top it off leaving about four leaves and a couple of leaf joints below that intact. Stick it in the ground, making sure the bottom leaf joints are buried. Keep moist and it will root. It will also root if you pull up a stem, strip most of the leaves and bury it sideways, shallow. Actually it can be very invasive, so be careful!

Personally, I love it as a ground cover, and I don’t care if it spreads. In fact, on any given day, you might see me tucking some in the ground, spreading that joy around!

Mint thrives in partially shaded, moist soil, but also does well in the sun.

If you don’t want it to spread, bury a twelve inch deep barrier of some sort in the ground between your plants and where you don’t want it to grow. Mint makes a great container plant.

I love to brush across it and spill the fragrance. I am particularly fond of chocolate, lemon, and pineapple mints. What am I saying? I love them all. Spearmint, peppermint, the works.

Basil is even related to the mint family, and just as easy to grow.

Most prefer using mint leaves fresh, but you can dry them also for teas, potpourri, and other uses.

I harvest mine by cutting the tops off with a pair of scissors when it gets taller than I want it. This makes it bushier and it seems to spread faster! Some say harvest twice a year, some say harvest throughout. I do it when it is convenient for me.

Grab sicssors and cut a handful of peppermint with stems and leaves. Bunch together and turn  the bundle upside down. Secure with a rubber band, or whatever you use. (I use clean pantyhose cut in one half inch circles from the legs of the pantyhose.)

Hang upside down to dry in a dry place. It doesn’t really matter where. Dry them over your kitchen sink, in the window, in the pantry… just so it’s a dry place. When  completely dry, store in a airtight container.

Here again, frugal me… I recycle Folger’s coffee cans.

Mint is repellent to many pesky insects. I keep it in my cupboards to repel mice. Some say ants don’t like it. On my DIY board there is instructions for making your own insect repellent using peppermint essential oil.

Here is a link for making your own essential oil with herbs. Sounds fun. Maybe when I get back home I will attempt this.

I do enjoy cooking with peppermint oil, and always have some drying for uses around the house. I love peppermint tea.

Come on over, I will make you a cuppa! I’ll even make you a peanut butter sandwich!

Wikipedia has quite a lot  about mint, so instead of repeating what they say I will link you in!

If you have any good tidbits about mint, please share in the comments.

So what do YOU want to know about next?

God bless you and have a great day!

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