Homemade Granola Bars: Build A Menu

Homemade Granola Bars

 

This week’s Cooking With Kids recipe is almost too simple, yet the results are fantastic. It’s also a recipe that is very easy to sub Gluten Free/Allergy Friendly ingredients if needed. They last up to a week in an airtight container, making it super easy to make on the weekend and have ready for snacks all week long! Ready to get started? Check the recipe below for your list of ingredients and then follow these simple steps to make your own homemade granola bars.

Homemade granola bars

Ingredients: 

Healthy Granola Bars from Scratch

Directions: 

  • First, dump ALL the ingredients together in a mixer.
  • Add in any of your favorite ingredients like chocolate chips, nuts, etc.
  • Mix well.
  • Spread the granola mix out on your baking sheet, making sure to keep it about the same thickness all the way across.
  • Once it’s done, cut it while it’s still warm because once it cools it’s crunchy and harder to cut. Use a pizza cutter and cut into “bars.”  
  • Let the bars cool on the pan. Separate once they’re cool enough to touch and have hardened.
  • Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week.

Print a copy of this recipe from Build A Menu HERE

Build A Menu  is an online menu planning service that makes meal planning and grocery shopping fast, easy and budget friendly. Not familiar with them? Take a minute to browse the site and see how they can save you time and money, too!

Molly Members get free access to their Dine on a Dime planner and shopping list from the member page – and a special discount to the full service. See benefits here. 

Oven Roasted Fresh Green Beans with Thyme

Oven-Roasted Fresh Green beans by Build A Menu

 

Delicious Oven Roasted Fresh Green Beans with Thyme are a real treat any time of the year, and perfect for spring!

Have you visited our friends at Build A Menu.com yet?  If you are working on your Spring meals for the family or Easter Dinner for a crowd – they can help you get your ducks in a row.

Here is one dish from B.A.M. that looks good and tastes great on any table: 

“There are only three ingredients in this simple yet elegant side dish.  Fresh green beans, olive oil and thyme.  Inexpensive, healthy, and so yummy.  You can find this recipe and many other delicious side dishes in our menu planning website.” ~ Lisa Holcomb 

Try the delicious Oven Roasted Fresh Green Beans with Thyme on a week night or a special occasion and it may just become a new family favorite!

Hop on over to check out their full list of services and various menu planning options here. 

Enjoy regular recipes and meal planning ideas from the ladies at Build A Menu in each new issue of Molly Green Magazine! Have you joined yet? Get the details and become a Molly Member here.

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Teach Kids About Work and Money: Free Online Chore Chart

*affiliate links may be present

 

I just love this free online chore chart!

The chore list

The chore list (Photo credit: demandaj)

I’m always on the lookout for specials and free deals to improve our lives on the home front. MyJobChart.com is a valuable resource for families. Teaching kids about work and money is an important part of  family life. Having tools that make it simple can take the sting of chore time as they tend to build motivation.

FREE online chore chart that motivates your kids and earns them rewards that they can save, donate to charity, or spend on toys!

Motivating Your Kids Is Easy: Just 1-2-3:

1) Sign-up for MyJobChart!

2) Assign Chores to Your Kids

3) Reward Your Kids For Great Work!

 

Chores in a children's home

Chores in a children’s home (Photo credit: theirhistory)

A Chore Chart makes it easy to assign chores, and makes it more motivating for children to fulfill them.  It facilitates fun, engaging, hands-on learning and teaches children the principles of sharing, saving, and spending.  MyJobChart.com gives parents the tools they need to instill a strong work ethic and teach financial responsibility.

For me, an effective resource needs to be both frugal and simple to use – in order to be worth the time and effort of using it. As long as you are reasonably familiar with using online services, you should not have trouble with this one. I believe it can be especially beneficial in organizing large family chores.

Once your basic information is in place, it only takes a short time each week to add additional information to personalize any particular week or month for your family.

Do you use chore charts in your home? Have you tried an online version? 

Molly Green Magazine members gain wisdom and knowledge from years of practical application in the arts of household management from FlyLady.com  - Find out more about the extra benefits of becoming a Molly Member HERE. 

 

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Garlic Pretzel Hearts: from Build a Menu

Garlic Pretzel Hearts

Garlic Pretzel Hearts? Yes, please! Our friends (and columnists for Molly Green Magazine) from Build a Menu – have done it again with these super simple, tasty treats for your favorite pretzel lovers!

Garlic Pretzel Hearts

Ingredients:

1 roll refrigerated garlic breadstick dough (8 oz)

1 egg coarse salt (also called kosher salt) note: if you are unable to find garlic breadstick dough you can use plain breadstick dough and replace the coarse salt with garlic salt.

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350°.  Open roll of dough, and separate strips of dough. Fold each strip in half lengthwise and gently roll the strip so that the edges pinch together; try not to lengthen the dough while rolling.

rolling pretzel dough

Make a circle by crossing over the ends of the dough rope, twisting the two ends together, and slightly pinching the tip into a point. Somehow we did not get a picture of this part; I guess we were so engrossed!

Put the circle onto a parchment lined cookie sheet, make the twist point into the center, and shape into a heart. Repeat with remaining ropes of dough. Beat the egg.

Paint egg onto each heart until covered.

Sprinkle salt onto the pretzels (if you are using plain dough, sprinkle garlic salt now.)

Bake for 10-12 minutes.

 

fresh baked heart pretzelsCool on rack – and ENJOY!

This is a wonderful semi-homemade gift idea for little bakers.  Help them create as a treat for the family this Valentine’s Day! Of course, they are simple enough to be enjoyed any day.

How are you showing the family some love this week?

For more great ideas, visit the ladies of Build a Menu today – download a printable copy of this recipe here. 

Get a membership for Molly Green Magazine and receive menu planner and shopping list from Build a Menu’s popular Dine on a Dime here.  Get the full details on what the all New Molly Green membership is all about!

Looking for our $800 Giveaway for All-Clad cookware?  Find it here. 

Homestead How-To: Simple Composting

Homestead How-To -composting

 The basics of homesteading are not difficult to master and can play an important role on the homestead.

Whether you live on a big farm in the country, or manage a roof-top garden in the city – simple composting can be the most important supplement you can give your soil.

Composting enhances the soil as it provides a nutrient-rich humus and helps the soil to hold vital moisture.

What can you add to a composting bin? Table scraps, fruit and vegetables, and grass clippings add nitrogen.  Weeds that have not yet seeded can provide additional nitrogen. Mix the nitrogen rich items with carbon healthy items such as dried leaves, hay, and pine needles.

Recycling coffee grounds and tea leaves are excellent sources of additional nutrients for your homestead compost, but you may be surprised to hear that even your dryer lint and old newspaper can be added to the pile.

Begin your composting bin in the ground where earth worms and other natural organisms can do their job.  A layer of straw or twigs will help to aerate the contents.

When adding to your compost bin, alternate layers of wet and dry ingredients.  Grass clippings and other greens should be added, but avoid clumping. Aim for a mixture of 1/3 green and 2/3 brown materials to strike the correct balance in your composting materials.

composting

 

Cover your compost bin with wood, plastic or other materials to maintain heat, and to keep compost moist. A cover will keep your bin from being over-watered by rain, yet maintain moisture.

Turn your compost with a pitch-fork or a shovel to add oxygen and to mix in new ingredients.

Composting is a wonderful way to maintain your garden. It is good for the earth, green, and an affordable way to fertilize your soil.

Learn more about natural composting HERE!

Do you have a garden and/or a composting bin at home?

Link up your own frugal tips for home and homestead and share ideas to help others:

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Valentine Ideas For Your Spouse that won’t break the bank

Valentine Spouse ideas

Go Digital

Remember mixed tapes? This Valentines Day, make your husband or wife a cd with all their favorite music.

Send them a You-Tube video with a song or a poem singing their virtues!

Send a special Skype video message instead of a traditional love note, listing all the reasons you love them still.

No sitter?

Take a family walk – be sure to hold hands and talk about the good old days.

Put the kids to bed early and share a candle light dinner with your favorite foods.

Love Notes

Bring them breakfast in bed with a handmade card.

Place sticky notes around the house – like on the bathroom mirror, by the coffee maker, on a breakfast tray, in a briefcase – all with different messages telling them why you love them.

Coupon Book 

Create a coupon book full of favorite date night ideas and romantic notions that can be redeemed monthly, weekly, and daily.  These don’t need to be expensive to be appreciated. Think: evening picnic, a foot rub and a favorite movie,  a drive in the country, or a stroll through downtown and out for coffee.

Create a practical book with redeemable coupons for the chores they hate to do. How about: wash the car, cut the grass, or weed the garden? Use whatever may be a small sacrifice on your part, but will mean the most to them!

homemade chocolate peanut butter cups

Homemade Goods

Bust out the apron and get to baking! No need to spend lots of money on chocolate candy when the homemade kind is even better.

Get a recipe HERE for Giant Peanut Butter Cups

Homemade Lotion

Women aren’t the only ones who need good moisturizer! Using natural ingredients and essential oils, you can create lotion and bath/shower products your man will love.

See recipe HERE for a manly lotion

Go HERE for homemade scrubs

homemade lip balm

Subscription 

For an affordable gift that will encourage and inspire all year long – give a subscription membership to Molly Green Magazine

Member benefits include cottage industry web site hosting where you can network and sell your products for home industry and small business! You can’t beat the cost – (Launching in March).

Members also enjoy exclusive access to Dine on a Dime menu planner and shopping list by Build a Menu (downloaded right from the member page)!

Learn about beginner homesteading, gardening, bee keeping, and valuable information to run your home and family life in a more simple, back to basics style. Wonderful for city dwellers who want to make steps in that direction or down home on the farm!

linking with Works for Me Wednesday & Fabulously Frugal Thurs

 

Do you have more ideas to share? I’d love to hear about them – in the comments!

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! 

 

DIY Cornhole: frugal family football fun

DIY Cornhole

There’s a whole lotta’ buzz about football right now as families across America prepare for the Big Game!

Football and food aren’t all the fun to be had during the Super Bowl – cornhole goes hand in hand with tail gate and back yard parties surrounding the game. As a matter of fact, cornhole is so popular, it is officially a sport in it’s own right. Cornhole even has it’s very own National Association.

Watch the Video by the American Cornhole Association HERE

To purchase these game sets – you will spend, on average of about $124 – $250 . . . . . . or you can go the frugal route.

Get step by step instructions on how to build your own cornhole board paint it and make bean bags HERE. 

Be sure to check out these fun ideas from Pinterest for Super Bowl Food!

super bowl party food

Big Game Food

 

Super Bowl XLVIII Viewing Information

DateSunday, Feb. 2

Where: MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J.

Start Time: 6:25 p.m. ET

TV Info: Fox

Live Stream: FoxSports.com

Mobile: Fox Sports Go Mobile App

Spread: Denver -2 (via ScoresAndOdds.com)

 

Are you making frugal family football plans for the Super Bowl?

Molly Green Members – be sure to check out the yummy SUPER BOWL 2014 Dine on a Dime menu and shopping list – You can download right from your member page now!!

If you haven’t signed up yet for our newsletter – be sure to do so on the side bar. You will receive updates on Friday including freebies and more!

Come and link up your own frugal tricks and tips to share ideas and encourage each other. Please grab the Frugal Friday button from the side bar or use a text link back to this post.  

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Homemade Furniture Oil: Works for Me Wednesday

homemade furniture oil

*affiliate links may be present

 

Homemade Furniture Oil

This very simple mixture of olive oil and essential oil is a great furniture polish, and is so easy to make! Take
one of your old canning jars (with lid) or sour cream containers, and add 1 cup of olive oil and 5-10 drops of
sweet orange oil (or lemon, lime—I like the citrus oils here). Put your lid on, shake well, grab an old rag, and
polish away! Don’t have any citrus essential oils? Grab a whole lemon or lime, cut in half, and just squeeze half
of the lemon/lime juice into your olive oil!

Cut up the other half and use in another of your homemade cleaners. A half cup of baking soda and the juice
of half a lemon or lime mixed together makes a great paste to clean sinks, tubs, counters, etc.! Or just toss
your leftover citrus fruit in your potpourri pot on the stove, or cut into slices and run through your garbage
disposal to clean and freshen it.

Using homemade cleaners like this in your household is a healthy, green, and frugal way to take care of your furniture and your family homestead.

Learn more with Molly Green eBook: Molly Gets Organized – All in One Place -   only $7.95

FREE for Molly Green Members

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Homemade foaming hand soap: DIY project you will love-Frugal Fri

*affiliate links may be present
homemade hand soap

This homemade foaming hand soap is a DIY project you will love!

Our special recipe today comes from one of the new authors of the all new Molly Green Magazine. Lisa blogs at Homestead Originals.com on topics we know and love. Frugal homesteading, DIY projects, and much more can be found there.

homestead originals blog

Use an empty foaming soap bottle, a bottle of Dr. Bronners Castile Soap, and your favorite essential oil to make this lovely homemade foaming hand soap. Lisa used an up-cycled bottle to make her hand soap and saved even more money.

foaming hand soap

One suggested essential oils combination is a Lemon/Lavender mixture (naturally antibacterial, smells out of this world!)  OnGuard Essential Oil blend (smells ‘fall-ish’ – spicey) and is unparalleled at fighting germs and bacteria, perfect for cold and flu season!

Lavender doTerra Oil

Making your own Foaming Hand Soap is just smart. It takes only a matter of minutes, it’s frugal, healthy, and super fun!

 

There is something really cool about the way it foams up and something even more special about knowing that it is wonderfully healthy for your family. The fact that you are saving money is almost an after thought. This recipe costs less than 50 cents to refill the Foaming Hand Soap Dispensers.

The hand soap is completely non-toxic. It smells DIVINE, you can obviously customize it, and Castille Soap is wonderful on the hands.

It’s a winner all the way around– Lisa loves to use this all over the homestead– bath, kitchen, wiping down counters…..it’s wonderful!  Give it a try!

Visit Lisa’s blog – Homestead Originals  to gain insight and information on cooking from scratch, homestead gardening, and much more.

You can enjoy another great recipe from Lisa, exclusive to Molly Green Magazine in the January-February “Hearth and Home” issue. Get it here. 

If you get my Friday newsletter, you most likely read Midge’s question about cooking with “exotic spices” (if you don’t get my FREE newsletter be sure and subscribe via the sticky note in the upper right corner). Read below to see my response.  Molly

Dear Midge,

There are quite a few recipes that use paprika, don’t be intimidated of this yummy spice! I think most people are familiar with using paprika on deviled eggs, here’s a great recipe. Some other recipes you might enjoy are: New Orleans Jambalaya, Paella and/or Baked Paprika- Parmesan Chicken. There are many more recipes out there, give one or two a try and see what you think.

Happy cooking! Love ya, Molly

 

Linking with: Simple lives Thurs Fabulously Frugal  BlackFoxHomeStead

Link up your own Frugal Friday tips and tricks! Grab the button for Frugal Friday on the side bar – or use a text link back to this post. Encourage others by visiting their links – I’ll be Pinning away. 

 

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