Grow Your Own Veggies

I decided to plant a vegetable garden this year.  I have fond memories of my grandparent’s garden when I was growing up, and I remembered the taste of a tomato straight from the garden.  There’s nothing like it.  I want Xavier to experience his summer’s in Mama’s garden and enjoying the taste of fresh veggies and fruit.  He loves apples, pineapples, and strawberries.  I’ll be planting an apple tree next year and a strawberry patch in the fall so we can have fresh strawberries next spring and summer. 

This year I planted tons of tomatoes for canning and salsa, green beans, peppers, eggplant, squash and zucchini.  He’s not fond of veggies yet, but I’m adding a little to my sauces so I can sneak some in.  I’m also looking for recipes that I think he may like without there being a hint of veggies.  So far Zucchini Bread without the walnuts, don’t trust him eating those yet, is at the top of the list.  He loves spaghetti, so I’m finely chopping and I do mean finely chopping peppers and onions to add, lol.  He saw a carrot in some sauce once, and it ended his entire meal. 

Planting your own garden is also a great way to save on the grocery bill, and there’s no pesticides used.   It’s also a great family activity.  Xavier is picking hot banana peppers for Mama’s hot pepper ring mix.   He loves a hot banana pepper, cauliflower and jalapeno mix that I purchase from the store.  I’m going to can a few quarts for his enjoyment. 



After picking the peppers, Xavier watered the garden for Mama.  He now understands the importance of sunshine and water to a garden.  I didn’t leave out weeding either, lol.  We’re going to put a little patch for him next year to include strawberries, raspberries and colorful carrots.  Check out his gardening boots.  He loved them so much, he took them home with him to wear when he waters his mother’s flowers.  Aren’t they adorable, I’ll be doing review on the boots in another post.

Because I acquired poor eating habits growing up, I want to teach my grandson the importance of eating fresh veggies and fruit.  What better way than to walk into your back yard and pluck them off the vine.  I must saw that Michelle Obama’s Get Moving program and White House garden inspired me to plant mine.  What an excellent idea to get children involved in an outside activity, and one that is so important to their health.  We need to get them off the computer and sofa and back outside to get some physical activity and fresh air.  I’m grateful that Xavier would rather be outside than in the house.  He runs an entire acre catching fire flies, making mud pies and cakes, swinging from trees.    Do you have a garden?  What outside activities are your children involved in?  Leave us a comment, we may want to try it. 

Should Parents Be Blamed for Their Obese Child

I heard an interesting question on CNN, and I’ve really been pondering the answer.  The question – Should obese children be removed from the home?  I’ve taken time to really think about the question.  Is the obesity due to a medical problem?   If it is a medical problem no, if it’s because the child is being allowed to eat and eat and eat, maybe.  Good eating habits have to be taught, and of course that is our responsibility as parents.   The American Medical Association believes it is the ethical thing to do.  They believe the child should be removed from the home and taught the proper eating habits and the importance of getting physical activity.  Once this is accomplished, the parents and child can be reunited.  Do you agree?  Why can’t the child remain in the home and they be taught healthy eating as a family?

Because children spend so much time on the computer or playing computer games, they rarely get physical activity these days.  The lack of physical activity along with unhealthy meals has lead to severe obesity in this country.  There are approximately 2 million obese children in the United States.  This is a serious problem wouldn’t you say?  I can count on 1 hand the number of times that I’ve seen kids in my neighborhood out riding a bike or walking.  Do we hold parents accountable and remove the children from the home?  I’ve seen children so obese, doctors have told parents that they are literally killing their child.

Parents complain that they can’t afford the healthier foods.  It’s cheaper to buy soda and other junk than all natural juice,  veggies and better cuts of meat.  I decided to plant a garden this year.  I will be canning fresh veggies and tomatoes for sauces, salsa, soups and chili.  Great meals that can be heated quickly by a child.  Not everyone has room for a garden, but there is container gardening that can be done on a patio or balcony.  The prices in the grocery store are ridiculous and the vegetables taste like cardboard.  I don’t blame the kids for not eating them.  I can barely get them down.  There’s a million recipes for chicken, which is the one meat that is not that expensive and considered healthy.   

I’m not sure about removing the child from the home, but I am sure that we have a child obesity problem in this country and it is leading to high blood pressure, diabetics, and other health problems.  Do you promote healthy eating and physical activity in your home? 

I’m Starting A New Blog

I’ve started a new blog.  One of passions is gardening so I decided to start a blog about my gardening journey.  I would love for any moms who follow Mother 2 Mother and have the same passion to join me.  The new blog is A Diva’s Garden.  You can find it at http://adivasgarden.blogspot.com

Hope to see you there!

Mallards Visiting My Backyard

Mallards

mallards

mallards

I stepped out on my deck this morning to sip a cup of coffee and found these little guys taking a swim in my creek.  Aren’t they adorable.  One of the pleasures of living in the country, you never know what you will find in your backyard.  Happy Wednesday everybody. 

Mariah Carey’s Nursery

I had to share this celebrity nursery.  It’s a picture of Mariah Carey’s nursery for her soon to be twins.  Is it not adorable!  I would have never thought to use this shade of green in a nursery, but it makes the cream pop.  Mariah and Nick are expecting a boy and girl.  I love how she incorporated neutral colors instead of the usual pink and blue that we’re so stuck on.  The small touches of pink and blue are just enough.  Just in case you can’t see it, there are touches of blue in a vase and stuffed animal on the far right.  Most of us wouldn’t be able to duplicate this nursery; however, their may be certain ideas that could be used in the homes of us ordinary folks. 

I love the off white furniture.  Furniture in this tone could be reused if a family decides to have additional children.  If it turns into a toddler bed, that even makes it better.   For more information on Mariah’s nursery, pick up a copy of Life & Style magazaine. 

How To Start A Home Vegetable Garden

Yep, this diva is turning into a gardener.  I’ve staked off my vegetable garden, purchased a compost bin, and drawing plans to install additional flower gardens over the course of the next year.  I’ve decided to start small and gradually add in various gardens. 

Right now I’m going to start with the beds around my house and the vegetable garden.  The soil is great for edging my beds and clearing out weeds, so that will be my week-end chore depending on the  weather.   I pulled out a spade that I had in the storage building to see if I had the stamina to make the edging around the beds, this is something that I normally pay to have done, snap – I’ve figured it out.  I must also say, that my trench is better than the landscaper’s too.  I’m so glad that I tried this spade, I was heading to Lowe’s this week-end to buy one of those half-moon edgers.  This will do just fine!  Oh, please disregard the weeds, I’m getting to them.  Can you believe that I’ve had this tool in the storage building for 20 years, lol.  I’m debating on whether I should pull up this Alberta Spruce.  This is suppose to be a dwarf.  I didn’t know that a dwarf would reach 6 feet, lol.  I love it, but it has become too big for the spot that it’s in and it’s overshadowing my Azalea.  I would love to relocate it, but I don’t know if it would survive the shock of moving it.  I want to place Double Knockout Roses on that corner and a few other places in the border. 

I’ve staked off my vegetable garden.  I’m using the tarp to kill the grass, but it is as green as ever underneath.  I may have to resort to Roundup.  I debated on a raised bed, but decided to go with the rich soil in my yard.  My development used to be a farm, and my little acre of ground used to be a pig pen.  Everything grows!  I’ve decided to do some container gardening as well.  I’m going to plant a few tomato plants, cucumbers and herbs in pots on my decks.  In the garden I’ll plant squash, zucchini, lettuce and a few pumpkins.   

Another project that I will be working on is putting up a privacy fence.  My neighbors have a dilapidated barn behind me, which is another story.  I want to hide the ugly barn and use the fence as a backdrop for my gardens.  As soon as the rain stops, we’ll clean the fence line, till the garden and install a 6 foot wooden fence.  I’ll be planting shade, butterfly and a cutting garden as well as a little reading area where I can admire the fruits of my labor.   I’m going to use field stone to use as a border.  I got lucky, there’s a couple who has a retaining wall made out of field stone and they no longer want the walls.  I can take as much as I want for free.  I’m having a few garden benches, birdhouses and a tree house made for my grandson.  I’m in search of old benches, bird baths, and old watering cans so I’ll be attending auctions this summer in search of a few fabulous finds.  As a matter of fact, I’m heading to a flea market in Amish country next month.  I love Lancaster, Pa. and try to spend a few days there every year.  It’s such a peaceful way of life, the food is great and I always find a few treasures.   

Stay tuned for my adventures in gardening.  I’m actually thinking about starting a gardening blog to chronicle my growth as a Zone 6 gardener?  Do you garden?  If so, please leave me a comment with a name for my gardening blog.  If you have a gardening blog feel free to leave a link.  If you don’t garden, please leave me a comment/suggestion anyway.  I love them!

 

Reuben Casserole

Do you like Reuben sandwiches?  If you do, you will love this easy and delicious casserole.  It has the makings of a Reuben sandwich, corned beef, sauerkraut, swiss cheese, but you bake it.  

Ingredients

  • Package Bob Evans Original Mashed Potatoes (24 oz)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/3 pound thickly sliced corned beef cut into 1/2 inch pieces (available at grocery deli)
  • 1 can sauerkraut, drained (4 oz)
  • 1 tablespoon spicy brown mustard
  • 1 cup shredded Swiss cheese, divided

Directions

Preheat oven to 400F. In large bowl, stir together potatoes, eggs and milk until well combined. Stir in corned beef, sauerkraut and mustard. Set aside 2 tablespoons of cheese. Stir in remaining cheese into potato mixture. Pour into a greased 8 x 8 inch oval baking pan. Top with 2 tablespoons cheese. Bake 15-20 minutes or until top is golden.  Serve with a tossed salad.  Yummy!  Recipe compliments of Bob Evans. 
 
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Would You Wear A Lettuce Dress?

Yep, it’s made from lettuce!  I had to do a double take when I saw this advertisement for PETA.  Quite creative.  First Lady Gaga and her dress made from raw meat and now a lettuce dress from PETA.  What’s next bread, lol?   This advertisement is for PETA’s vegetarian and vegan starter kits.  PETA is encouraging people to go vegan.  Whoever created the dress should head over to Project Runway and sign up for the next season.  It’s adorable

Don’t miss what’s happening on Mother 2 Mother.  Be sure to connect with me on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Flickr or Linkedin by clicking one or more of the Social Media buttons in the upper right hand corner and subcribe to Mother 2 Mother for future posts and give aways. 

Did You Know – It’s National Potato Chip Day!

It’s National Potato Chip Day!  Yep, March 14 is the day that American indulges in their favorite bag of chips and feels no guilt.  I love chips, so I love this day.  I confess, chips are my weakness.  I haven’t met a chip yet that I didn’t like.  My favorite store brought dip is Heluva Good French Onion,  but I have a yummy homemade dip that is much better.   I’ll take it either way.  My Xavier is a chip off the old block, he loves to eat chips and dip with Mama.  Here’s Xavier helping me make dip for our chips awhile back. It’s amazing how much he has grown since our last dip making session.  No more Nip Nip or Pull Ups.  

I love Martins and Grandma Utz chips.  If they are not available good ole Lays or Utz will do.  If they’re thin, crunchy, and flavorable you won’t get a complaint from me.  Did you know that potato chips were first created as a joke?  The history behind these delectable artery clogging goodness is that they were invented in 1853 by Native American George Crum.  Mr. Crum was a chef at a resort in Saratoga Springs, New York.  A dinner guest ordered french fries, but complained that the fries were too thick and sent the order back.  Well we all know that chefs don’t like their dishes returned.  Mr. Crum decided to get even by producing fries that were too thin and crispy to stick to the dinner guest’s fork.  It backfired, the guest loved the potato slices.  The rest is history, the slices became a hit and known today as potato chips.

I don’t know exactly when I fell in love with these potato slices.  According to the width of my belly, I’ve been loving them for many years.  I’ve given up many things over the course of the years, but I refuse to give up my chips.  I have learned to savour them rather than devour the entire bag at one setting.  Leave us a comment and let us know what you’re favorite snack is.  We would love to hear from you.    

Fabulous Baby Finds – Carter’s Tunics & Capris

Spring is here!  Yes, it’s time for me to get over my winter blues and start searching for what’s hot this spring and summer for our toddlers.  As my readers know, I’m a bargain shopper.  I want quality at a good price and one place that I find it is at Boscovs Department Store.   This establishment has been in business since 1921.  You can find a diverse selection of goods for purchase.  I shop at Boscovs for Xavier.  I’ve been purchasing bargains for him for the past 3 years.  The price is reasonable, the cloths are of quality and they wash up well.  

I’ve found these adorable capris and tunic by Carter’s while I was browsing and thought I would share my finds with you.   It’s so cute and bright.  The capri’s can be purchased in sizes 2T – 4T.  They’re regularly $14.00, but they’re on sale for $5.60.  No, $5.60 is not a typo.  It’s the real deal.  They come in turquoise, lime, gray, and pink.   The tunic is on sale for $5.60 too.  If I was a gambler I would play that number. 

This tee can be found at Boscovs too.  Isn’t it refreshing!  Guess how much is it?  You got it $5.60, lol.  You can be assured the items are quality.  I wouldn’t put anything less on my Xavier.  They’re made by Carter’s, a name that speaks for itself.   Hurry over and check everything out.  You won’t be disappointed.  I’ve purchased London Fog jackets for Xavier that are regularly $50.00 – $60.00 retail for $19.00.  He out grew the jacket before it wore out.   Carter’s offers a great selection of PJs for toddlers on this site too.   If you’re lucky they may have free shipping on orders over $59.00.  They offer this deal often too.  Stay tuned for more Fabulous Baby Finds from Mother 2 Mother.