Cilantro Lime Chicken Salad: Build A Menu

Cilantro Chicken Salad

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Doesn’t this Cilantro Lime Chicken Salad look spring fresh and amazing? It is a colorful and deliciously healthy way to welcome in the new season.

Just in case you haven’t noticed … we are big fans of the Build A Menu program! If you are a Molly Green Magazine member, you can download their Dine on a Dime menu and shopping list right from your member page.  You also have a discount code – exclusive for Molly Members to join and start using this fantastic program today!

From Build A Menu

Who says eating on a budget has to be boring? One of our goals here at Build A Menu is to give our members plenty of mouth-watering choices that are surprisingly low cost to make.

Take this recipe for example: Cilantro Lime Chicken Salad on Avocado Serves 4-6 people and costs under $6 at most grocery stores (that’s for the entire recipe, not per person!).

Not only does this recipe look fabulous and taste scrumptious, it costs less than $1 per serving to make! Want more low-cost recipes to feed your crew? Check out what’s on our menu this week.

How does Build a Menu work? Just choose your grocery store, select the recipes you want for the week, print your customized shopping list and you’re done. You’ll always know how much your groceries will cost before you ever get to the store.

This is an “S” meal if you follow the THM plan. We make grocery shopping fast, easy and budget friendly!

Bon Appetit!

~ The Team At Build A Menu

Cilantro Lime Chicken Salad

Cilantro Lime Chicken Salad on Avocado

Recipe type: Main       Cuisine: Chicken        Serves: 6

Ingredients
  • 3 chicken breasts, cooked and shredded
  • 3 Tbsp mayo
  • 1 Tbsp brown mustard
  • 1 Tbsp lime juice
  • 5 Tbsp cilantro, chopped
  • 3 avocados
  • salt and pepper, to taste
Instructions
  1. Half avocados and remove seeds.
  2. Mix all ingredients together (except avocados) in a small mixing bowl.
  3. Spoon into each avocado half and serve. Enjoy!

 

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linking with Works for me Wed 

6 Major Benefits of Family Homesteading

benefits of family homesteading

There are many aspects of homesteading, and the challenges are great, but the rewards are even greater! These are only a few of the major benefits of family homesteading:

Homesteading shows you what matters most

Homesteading brings you back to basics. It changes the way you look at things, the difference between wants and needs become much more clear when in most other modern day life, the lines are much more blurred.

It is a Journey towards self-sufficiency

Homesteading is a lifestyle, a way of thinking, getting back to nature, back to the land, a journey towards becoming self-sufficient. There are many different levels of homesteading, and even for those who live in the city, changes can be made which will set you on that journey and enable you to incorporate various aspects of the homestead life into daily activities.

Homesteading is a Rewarding endeavor 

Homesteading moves away from the “instant gratification” that comes along so often in today’s culture. There is a lot of hard work that goes in to the entire process of becoming a homesteading family.  There are plants to be tended, animals to care for, and always plenty of work to be done. It is also one of the most rewarding endeavors one can ever undertake!

Satisfying and Healthy 

When you sprout seeds, nurture and harvest them and place them on the table – there is not much that is as satisfying as this back to basics, provision for the family and honestly, well, the food just tastes better!  Although it takes a lot of hard work – it also creates joy and provides a deep feeling of satisfaction in knowing you are making healthy choices for the family. Growing your own food is one of the healthiest life choices you can make these days.

family homesteading

Homesteading Teaches Respect 

Most people rush off to the grocery store each week and fill the cart full of various meats without ever fully appreciating what it means. There is a loss of life, a sacrifice which has taken place to put that meat on the table. Sadly, most people never have a full appreciation or develop respect for what it means to be a meat eater. It is easy to forget where the food we so often take for granted, comes from.

There are sometimes hard choices and difficult tasks that must be done to maintain a sustainable lifestyle – but in the process, there is a respect for the animals God created. There is a connection between the animals and the sustenance, an appreciation.

Deep Sense of Gratitude and Belonging 

There is an attitude of gratitude which comes from investing time, work, and effort into homesteading projects. The end result is something to be proud of. For children, participating in the work to feed the family, can produce a strong sense of belonging. They understand early on that each member of the family plays an important role. It builds self-esteem, and deeper character.

Although it takes a lot of hard work – it also creates joy and provides a deep feeling of satisfaction which can be hard to find otherwise in today’s society and fast paced lifestyle.

 

These are but a few of the many benefits of family homesteading. Most often, it does not happen overnight, the change of mindset to that of a homesteader. Even taking small steps towards a more back to basics lifestyle can make a positive difference in your life. One step at a time – works for me!

Do you have some simple tips for those who want to begin a journey towards a more back to basics lifestyle?

Linking with Works For Me Wed

Learn more about family homesteading, homemaking, and all things home industry with the all new Molly Green Magazine and enjoy the many benefits of  a MG Membership – find out more HERE! 

 

Build a Menu Anniversary Special

build a menu special

The Build a Menu Anniversary Special is here!

Have you “met” the ladies from Build a Menu? We have a special word from them today and we are excited to celebrate with them on their 2nd Anniversary.

Find out more about who they are and what they are all about in the guest post below:

Trying to get dinner on the table for your family and keep your grocery budget under control can be frustrating. Any busy mom can tell you menu planning can be one of the most frustrating jobs we have! Fortunately, there are services such as Build a Menu that can help you plan a menu your family will love. Build A Menu not only provides you with new recipes to choose from each week, each recipe shows the current cost to buy its ingredients at the store, making it super easy to keep a handle on your grocery budget.

BAM helping families

What makes it even better is that you can design your selections around the grocery store where you shop. Choose from different recipe categories based on your family’s individual preferences. You’re not locked in to just one menu, but rather you can mix and match any way you like!

BAM 3 easy steps

 

In three easy steps you can select the store you like to shop at, pick your recipes and print your customized shopping list. Voila! You’re done menu planning for the week!

Build a Menu has a variety of recipes to choose from for breakfast, lunch, dinner and even snacks and desserts as well. Simply select the store where you want to shop, choose the recipes you want, print out the recipes and shopping list, and you’re ready to go…including the prices for the ingredients that you will be purchasing.

How great is that!?

BAM categories

You can choose recipes from any of these categories to create a menu that’s perfect for you family:

Family Friendly
Trim Healthy Mama
Low Carb
Gluten Free
Low Fat/Sensible Portions
Allergy Friendly (No gluten, dairy, nuts)
Vegetarian
Slow Cooker
Soups On
Crowd Pleasers
Manly Meals

Not only is Build A Menu committed to helping families save time and money thru menu planning, they also donate a portion of their proceeds to orphan care charities, so when you join Build A Menu, you’ll also be joining in their effort to support these charities!
To save you even more money, use Coupon Code 12for35 and get ½ off a year membership making it only $35 for the entire year.  Hop on over and get started now!

Molly members – Get a 3 month membership for Only $15 (regularly $8) See your Membership page for special code and link.  Molly members also have exclusive access to the special downloads from BAM’s Dine on a Dime menu and shopping lists – RIGHT from your Molly Member page!

All Molly readers can get a special $4 off on your first month with coupon code SaveMeMoney – or take advantage of the SUPER 1/2 off the annual membership with Coupon Code 12for35 – Go here to get started today! 

Guest Post~ Promoting Healthier Meals for the Family

 Guest post by Liz Nelson

 Have you ever wondered why organic foods at the grocery store are so much more expensive although less money was spent in the insecticides and growth additives? You’d think that organic means of eating would be cheaper. Well, they can be. Growing your own edibles can go a long way to eating healthier while spending less money. However, what are some ways that you can entice children to eat these healthier vegetables and fruits if they aren’t accustomed to the idea?

1. Spinach - Many children are less likely to eat boiled or canned spinach based purely on the texture of this plant. Although experts say that boiled spinach may be better for you than it is raw, it’s far easier to coax a child into eating a salad prepared partially with spinach leaves and lettuce. In fact, don’t even mention what is in the salad for the thought of eating spinach may be more than the child can bear.

2. Desserts - A great deal of families will often have a desert after dinner. Instead of preparing a sugar-loaded treat, why not prepare something along the lines of pineapple or strawberries? Many fruits can easily be substituted for deserts simply because they are naturally sweetened. Not only can fruits be used to sooth the sweet-tooth in your family, but they are very healthy most of which containing anti-oxidants, vitamin C, and a great deal of other physical benefits.

3. Soda Pop - Soft drinks should be viewed more as an uncommon treat for the family instead of a staple. If your family simply has a hard time of letting go of flavored drinks with meal time, why not try offering flavored waters? Brands like Mio can add a variety of flavors to water without adding saturated fats or calories to the drink. In fact, a slice of orange or lemon in the water can make the drink look fancy while flavoring the beverage.

4. Barbeque - One of the best ways to prepare meats is by throwing it on the barbeque. When you’re cooking on the grill, you don’t use methods in which to prevent the meat from sticking to the pan such as butter or sprays. Fats and greases drip off of the meats decreasing the amount of these that your family will consume. This is aside from the fact that barbequed meats have a flavor to them that simply can’t be duplicated.

5. Cereals - One of the reasons why most households has a box or bag of cereal in the cupboard is because of convenience. It is quicker to allow your family to quickly fill up a bowl than it is to prepare a nutritious breakfast. Try to make time to prepare eggs, wheat toast, and orange juice for breakfast. The proteins themselves will help the family feel better throughout the day.

Having healthier habits doesn’t have to mean that more money is spent on items you need in order to promote this lifestyle. In fact, a great amount of eating healthier shouldn’t cost you much, if anything at all. Growing your own fruits and vegetables can be accomplished year round if you set up your own indoor kitchen garden. By reusing the seeds from most of them, you can create a continuous flow of edibles within the home that are as natural as you can possibly get them. Enjoy the “fruits” of your labor.

This is a guest post by Liz Nelson from WhiteFence.com. She is a freelance writer and blogger from Houston. Questions and comments can be sent to: liznelson17 @ gmail.com.

Guest Post — Cash is Hiding in Your Home!

Cash Is Hiding In Your Home - www.Econobusters.com

© Les Cunliffe | Dreamstime.com

Cash is hiding in your home, and we don’t mean the couch cushions

You calculate and budget for your mortgage and monthly utility bills, but the unexpected expenses really begin to add up! You can coupon clip and check couch cushions for quarters, but true moneymakers in your home might just be hiding right in front of you.

So if you’re packing your lunch, making your own coffee, and using home remedy cleansers instead of the expensive products at the grocery store, but still feel like your home is costing you more than you would like, check out our tips to see where cash is likely hiding in your home.

Here are some easy ways to save money in your home that may not have crossed your mind:

Sell your cell

If you’re looking to upgrade your phone, tablet, iPod, etc., but don’t have the cash, look into trading in your old ones! Businesses such as NextWorth make it easier to upgrade to the latest gadgets by offering top dollar for used electronics, regardless of their condition. To get a quote on your outdated gadgets, visit www.nextworth.com. Not only are you saving money by recycling your old products, but you’re saving the environment too!

Toasting your dollars

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, anywhere from 5-10 percent of residential electricity is used by devices that are plugged in 24 hours a day. Even when your appliances and electronics are turned off, they’re still using energy, costing you money in the long run! By simply unplugging the household appliances you aren’t using, you can save money! Start by unplugging these energy-wasters: toasters, lamps, coffeemakers, DVD players, stereos and radios, televisions and desktop/laptop computers.

Dimes in the dryer

While rummaging through the dryer for loose change might earn you a quick 50 cents, there is now an even simpler way to save money when using your large appliances and electronics. Enervee, an energy-smart scoring platform, ranks products based on their energy efficiency. By learning the “Enervee Score” for each large appliance in your home, you can see exactly which product(s) is sucking the most electricity, and therefore money out of your home each month. In some cases, it may be more cost-efficient in the long run to buy a new, energy-efficient product than continue to use your current model. Enervee can help you make those buying decisions and save some serious cash.

Filter for savings

A dirty air filter in your car can cost you up to 7 percent of your gas mileage! By taking five minutes to clean your filter at home, you’re increasing your car’s overall fuel efficiency. Don’t know how to clean your car’s filter? Follow these easy steps and save money on your car! It is recommended to do this every 5,000 miles to keep your car’s fuel efficiency at an all-time high.

Eliminate bills to get bills

Cell phone companies are notorious for charging you fees that you had no idea existed. Take the time to go through your next cell phone bill, and look for any services you don’t use or charges you don’t understand. By calling your service provider you can often easily drop these fees, saving you more money monthly! And if you decide to change phone carriers, consider a no-contract, pre-paid plan such as Solavei, which has no hidden fees and costs just $49 per month for unlimited text, talk and data.

Ways of the web

Take advantage of this crazy thing we call the Internet. Downgrade to basic cable (or none)—you can watch all of your shows for free on the web! Simplify your life and bills by using the Internet for all its worth.

Now that you’ve saved all this money at home, don’t go spend it all at once! You will only reap the benefits of these tips by becoming more disciplined in your saving and finances. Stay up-to-date with the trends of the economy, keep a do-it-yourself mindset and always think twice about your purchases!

 

My Cupboards are a Mess!

Midge copyGuest Blog by: Midge

It is amazing the flurry of activity which occurs just before you host some house guests. You begin to look, REALLY look, around at your house and notice the trouble areas right away. It is as if you have been living your life in an airplane with a bird’s eye view of your surroundings but then you start to clean before a friend visits and KAPOW! How did I not notice all of this accumulated dirt and disorganization?

Before Pic ~ A small peek into my crazy cupboard!

Before Pic ~ A small peek into my crazy cupboard!

One of our main issues has been our pantry. We actually are blessed with a very large pantry but this pantry has also become a “catch-all” for the appliances we don’t use on a regular basis, odds and ends from the kitchen, craft supplies, and even storage (on the floor) for my little one’s Play-Doh toys. I went to double check our food storage for my friend’s visit and all of a sudden noticed how incredibly disorganized this area had become!

Everything came out of the pantry so the shelves could be thoroughly scrubbed...

Everything came out of the pantry so the shelves could be thoroughly scrubbed…

So, this is the first BIG project of the summer/spring . . . Pantry Organization! First, everything came out of the pantry and the shelves were given a thorough washing. Next, I had to decide what went back in the pantry out of the “mishmash” of oddities which had made their way into the hallowed halls of my food storage. Many things were re-sorted and placed into our craft closet, which is next on the list of organizing! Finally, I organized the items based on loosely thought-out categories and made a thorough list (in my head!) for the grocery store.

And where would you store the candy eyeballs?  LOL

And where would you store the candy eyeballs? LOL

It ended up taking a lot longer than I thought and I also sought out help from those who happened to be online when I mentioned my cleaning frenzy on MOLLY GREEN FACEBOOK.

Here were three main ideas I followed while sorting and cleaning the pantry:

  1. If it doesn’t belong there, remove it!
    (Exception to my rule: the Play-Doh toys.  This is because it is actually the best place for them!)
  2. Canned food, boxed items, etc.  need to be in organized rows.
    Seriously, maybe this is obvious to you but usually mine just get shoved into a great mosh pit of unorganized cans with labels   facing whatever and whichever ways. My goal is to have all of my cans and other boxes face to the front so I can REALLY see what I have in my pantry!
  3. If you start it, keep it.
    My method of organization is not perfect, but the most important thing I have found is that no matter what method I select, keeping it consistent is the key to making it work. So, if all of my spaghetti products go into a clever little box, I should keep them there!

After organizing the pantry, I went out and bought all of the necessary groceries and odds and ends to serve to my upcoming house guests. Before I started, I had no idea where I was going to put anything! But then when I was done, I had plenty of room for those groceries plus more. I also cleaned out my refrigerator on the same day. It feels good to have relieved some stress which disorganization causes and not to have to deal with the mess while trying to prepare meals.

Next on my list, I need to conquer the freezers. Oh, and I did mention my crazily disorganized craft closet, didn’t I? Oh no . . .

What do you need to organize this summer? Any tips for our readers about your hints on organizing your household and cupboards?

 

Have you ever gotten lost in your pantry . . . not able to find what you need right now?  Maybe it was on the wrong shelf, or worse, it wasn’t there at all! You want to try a new recipe and a basic ingredient that you thought you replenished but didn’t is blocking your plans for a surprise dinner menu. Ever discover an expired canned good or boxed staple? Is the problem disorganization, a tight budget, or lack of creative ideas for making your pantry fun and purposeful? If this is you, check out this MOLLY GREEN MAGAZINE ~ The Well Prepped Pantry

Have you ever wondered what to keep stocked in your pantry?  Check out this past Molly Green blog:  WELL STOCKED PANTRY

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It’s Frog Leg Time

Midge copyGuest Blog by: Midge

A few weeks ago, I found a special on a package of frozen frog legs at our local grocery store.  As you may know by now, I am constantly on the hunt for new kinds of meats to cook or strange looking vegetables and fruits to try. The “try new things” concept almost got me in deep water when I brought up the subject of cooking frog legs to a friend of mine.

Look at that price!!!  Seem like a frugal choice, right?

Look at that price!!! Seem like a frugal choice, right?

I said something like, “Oh yeah, I should try frog legs next . . .  ha ha.  But, I would only try cooking them if someone else helped me with the cooking part.” That, my fellow blog readers, was the beginning of the end of my resolve to NOT ever cook these strange looking drumsticks. Not only did she agree to help me cook them, we made it an evening event with extra food (just in case!) and fun for our families.

Here is a picture of them defrosting.  I almost chickened out of trying them as I took this picture!

Here is a picture of them defrosting. I almost chickened out of trying them as I took this picture!

Frog legs are actually not very hard to cook. First, I defrosted them before we started. We mixed some of my favorite seasoning (DEEP PIT NO SALT ADDED SEASONING) into a bowl with about a cup of flour. Then, we put a cup of milk into another bowl. We recommend cutting the frog legs in half, although we did not do this, to make two drumsticks instead of leaving them combined.

Ingredients:

5 sets of frog legs
one cup millk (or buttermilk was suggested by a reader on Facebook)
one cup flour
3 Tablespoons of your favorite seasoning (or more depending on taste)
deep fat fryer with oil

Our final step involved three parts: dip the legs in milk, cover them with the flour mixture, then place them (carefully) into a deep fat fryer with tongs. When they turn crispy and brown on the outside and are floating at the top of the oil, you will want to check the meat to see if it is done. It should look white like chicken meat and pull away easily from the bone when you tug at it with a fork. It took us about five minutes per each set of frog legs.

They really just look like fried chicken... but don't be fooled!

They really just look like fried chicken… but don’t be fooled!

So, how does it taste? According to my husband, it tasted a little bit like chicken with pond water thrown in. ;) In my opinion, it tasted a bit more like fish than chicken. And in our little group of friends, three out of four of us really enjoyed it and would probably have it again.

Can you guess who wouldn’t try it again? Yup, that’s right, it was me.  I can officially say I have tried frog legs. And now, on to the next dish . . .

 

Have you ever eaten frog legs? Would you be willing to try it even once? What is the oddest meat you have tried to cook or eat? Did you like it? 

For more information:  THE HISTORY OF FROG LEGS AS CUISINE

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Oh My Mahi Mahi

Midge copyGuest post by: Midge

Mahi Mahi

I like checking out the freezer section at my local grocery store to scout for the newest meats they may have on hand. It is like an adventure into rarely seen foods at my dinner table. When selecting my Year of the Carnivore blog meats for this guest blog series, I have only issued myself a few rules. My favorite rule is that if I think to myself, “Oh my goodness, I could never make that!” then the next thing I have to do is put it in my cart!

I also try to make frugal choices so I am not BREAKING THE BANK while learning how to “chef it”. Mahi Mahi was a VERY frugal choice. The frozen package came with two partial fish that were the length of my arm. Mahi Mahi is often called the poor man’s lobster. While you do get a lot MORE MEAT FOR YOUR MONEY than lobster, the taste is not very similar.

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After I defrosted the Mahi Mahi, I discovered I had to cut the skin off the fish in order to cook it. The Tilapia I made earlier this year came nicely cut and ready for baking. But, eeeesh, this was not true with the Mahi Mahi, which may have been why I got the fish at such a terrific price.

Skinning the fish was a lot harder than I thought. I should have popped on the internet to search for a “how to” video. But, I kept thinking, “I can do this.  It can’t be that hard”. I ended up cutting and pulling then slicing the meat off the skin. In the end, the pan I was using for the debris looked like a mess but I was able to get most of the meat off the skin and now was ready for the rest of the meal preparation.

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For this recipe, I selected a Dry Jerk seasoning to add to my Mahi Mahi. When I was growing up, my father would sprinkle the spiciest seasonings on his rice or curry dish and then even add seconds of the spice. He would smile widely as he ate and refused to guzzle water to help mute the heat. That is definitely not my kind of spicy!

I have had jerk seasoning before with varied results. I thought it would be more on the “medium” side of spicy. Boy, was I ever wrong! This jerk seasoning was hot! And it probably did not help when the cayenne pepper top caused too much seasoning to escape into my dry mix. I tried to salvage the mix and obviously did not do such a great job!

Before I go on, I need to clarify that my husband is a very willing guinea pig. He will eat almost everything I cook for him and most of the time is grateful I am getting adventurous in my cooking. However, this time almost became the exception!!

I made the jerk seasoning using this recipe: DRY JERK SEASONING. I loosely followed this recipe: MAHI MAHI TACOS for the actual cooking of the fish. Actually, I really used it as a guide to help me know when the Mahi Mahi would be done cooking.

Here is how I made it:  I dipped the sliced Mahi Mahi pieces into butter then liberally coated them with the seasoning. I grilled them in a pan until the fish became flaky under the seasoning. Then, after the Mahi Mahi was done, I folded the grilled pieces into a tortilla with ranch dressing, shredded cheese and a chunky made from scratch salsa my mother-in-law had made.

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Liberally coating them was definitely my problem!! As I look back at the recipe, I realize it gave a precise suggested measurement for each fillet. My husband took three bites and then almost dropped the whole thing in a dead run for the fridge to get a glass of milk! In his defense, he finished the rest of the fish taco and the whole carton of milk as well. Poor guy!

My dad loved it though and so did one of our neighbors who LOVES spicy food. And, did I mention I really liked it too? Even with the spice, the Mahi Mahi Jerk Seasoning Tacos were the bomb! I definitely recommend it!

Next time, I will make sure to not spill the cayenne pepper . . .

 

Have you ever prepared Mahi Mahi? What kinds of dry seasonings do you keep on hand? Do you have a story of a “too spicy for you” kind of meal? I would love to hear from you!

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First Class Meal on the Titanic

Midge copy

Year of the Carnivore Blog Series

Guest Post by: Midge

I am very intrigued with the RMS Titanic and the stories about the passengers on the boat on that fateful day of April 15, 1912 when the Titanic sunk after colliding with an iceberg. Recently, DRIVE THRU HISTORY posted a copy of the original first class menu of the Titanic and my curiosity was piqued once again. I started to also research the other meals provided on the Titanic for the lower decks and decipher what some of these recipes were all about? You can view the first class menu on this link:  TITANIC FIRST CLASS MENU FOR APRIL 14, 1912

lamb chops

For my “Year of the Carnivore” blog series, I chose to recreate the mutton chops, served to 1st class passengers, in honor of the 101st commemoration of the tragic sinking of the Titanic. Mutton is described as an older sheep which many may find odd tasting. I selected some locally-raised lamb chops instead. Never having cooked or eaten lamb before, I really had no idea how to even start planning this meal and serving these chops to my husband. I was grateful the grocery store actually carried this meat and the price was about $4 for each lamb chop, which I was told was a very large bargain.

I have enjoyed each and every meat I have tried to cook this year, yet none of them captured my taste buds like lamb. The aroma of the lamb while it was cooking was simply wonderful and yet at first, I was still a bit shy about tasting my finished product.  After my “just so-so” recipe with the tilapia last month, I was worried that my first trial with lamb would also be my second true recipe “bomb”.

A wonderfully helpful woman at our local grocery store shared her family recipe with me. She allowed me to share her recipe with all of you today. Without her assistance into my wide-eyed lamb ingredient spending spree, I would still be searching the aisles for mint jelly and some odd spices I have never heard of before!

IMG_4148

Lamb Chops grilled the old fashioned way:

Butter, basil, garlic, rosemary, and black pepper

I know, I know, I give you absolutely no amounts!!! It was actually the best part of this recipe! I threw a stick of butter into my pan and put about 2-3 cloves of minced garlic (I love garlic) into the pan to marry together with the butter. Then, I placed the lamb chops into the melted butter and spread a bit of basil, rosemary, and black pepper on top of the chops. I let them cook until browned on medium to medium low heat. Then, I turned them over and again sprinkled a bit more of the spices on the back side. But, don’t overdo it! You can always add more spices and you can always add a bit more butter to your pan if you need it too.

Here is a link which will help you to know when your lamb is done cooking:  LAMB 101

It was super delicious! I served it with a side of baby potatoes which had been steamed in butter & garlic, and covered in cheese sauce.  I bought  pre-made bag. I know, I cheated. But, the night I was cooking, I could only handle one made-from-scratch dish at a time. The potatoes were just the right side dish to set off the flavors of the lamb.

IMG_4961Mint Jelly-

About a week later, my husband surprised me by taking me out for dinner. Guess what? I actually ordered lamb off their menu (see first picture above for my view at the table)!! It was delicious and came with a side of mint jelly. Um, I was not sure what to do with the mint jelly but it definitely did not seem to go well with my lamb. I made one big discovery during the meal, I must have done something right because the tastes were very similar.

IMG_4169The potatoes added just the right touch!

For an added extra I was going to make “COCKIE LEEKIE”, which was one of the soups they had listed on the First Class menu that evening, as well. This is a chicken soup which has leeks added in with a julienne of prunes too. But, after a randomly terrible experience with a five onion soup involving way too many leeks and a house that smelled like onions for a week, I decided I would just stick with the lamb.

Because, if you really think about it, why were they serving “leek” soup on a boat anyway?  ;)

If you are interested in trying to cook through the Titanic’s Menu in memory of the 101st anniversary of this tragic event, click on this link for more detailed recipes and descriptions: MAKING THE 11 COURSE TITANIC FIRST CLASS DINNER MENU. They also make a great recommendation for a book that provides a bit more background into the meals aboard the Titanic: LAST DINNER ON THE TITANIC

Have you ever seen a Titanic Historical exhibit? What captures your attention about this piece of history?

May’s Year of the Carnivore installment ~ What should I make next? I am open to suggestions! 

 

 

 

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Large Family Vacation Ideas

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Planning a vacation or a Spring Break getaway? That can sometimes be difficult for a large family, let’s explore some frugal travel options.

Family Vacation

Plan ahead, anyone traveling with children must plan ahead. Even if it’s a simple family-friendly vacation to visit the relatives, you might like to start planning two to three months in advance. For a big family vacation, plan a year or more in advance. Many resorts and cruise lines have deals for early bookings, allowing families to save money.

Family Vacation Time in the Low Season

Taking a family vacation during the “off” season is another option to help to save money. When everyone else returns to work or school, vacation cities and resort towns look for ways to fill empty hotels and vacation homes. Large family vacations may be cheaper if planned in early fall or right after Christmas.

Vacation Accommodations for Large Families

Staying in a hotel can be the biggest expense for a large family. Since most chains limit how many people can stay in a room, this usually means that two or more rooms will be needed. Places like Comfort Inn or hotels ending in the word suite, (Embassy Suites, Homewood Suites), are family-friendly and usually have hotel rooms for big families at reasonable rates.

Look at alternatives to staying in expensive hotels. Many large families go camping or own an RV. Consider buying a large family tent, pop up camper, or RV. Good deals on camping equipment can usually be found right after Christmas and after hunting season.

If camping won’t work for your family, consider renting a vacation home. Many resort locations offer the rental of a nice vacation home for around a $100 to $150 a night. However, renting a vacation home usually requires a minimum of a five-night stay.

Theme Parks 

For many families with children, a family vacation destination is often a theme park like Six Flags, Sea World, or Disney World. With a little planning, it is possible to enjoy a day at a theme park with a large family. As vacation season approaches, start looking for special deals, discounts, and group rates to the parks of your choice. Many national grocery store chains offer season passes to local amusement parks for just a little more than a one day pass!

State Parks and National Parks

Vacation destinations are sometimes planned around the locations of state parks and national parks. Every state has several parks to choose from. These parks offer camping and RV sites. A few offer the use of covered shelters and air conditioned cabins. This is a cheap alternative to an expensive hotel. Campground fees vary, but it would be rare to spend more than $80 a night even for the best accommodations. There are many fun, family activities to do while staying at a state park. Most state parks offer swimming, fishing, and hiking.

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Molly Goes Camping & Molly Saves on the Go!

Need a few more ideas? Check out my e-books Molly Goes Camping and Molly Saves on the Go. Both of these are full of resources for family travel and recreation on a budget.

Do you have a family trip planned this year? Where are you going and what frugal tips have you planned to the save while traveling?