All posts by jthegr81

About jthegr81

Female from Alabama. Mom, wife, sister, business owner and foodie.

Jar Sewing Kits


In exploring pinterest I found this idea but I was having a hard time finding a how-to on this. I spent most of my time investigating prices to find the best deal to keep these as inexpensive as possible.


Price breakdown

Click the link to visit the item on Amazon. Please note the prices on Amazon do vary.

Total Expense $35.66 for 12 gifts. Each gift costs $2.97


Do You Food Prep?

Great cheap food blog. I am blessed to be able to meal prep. I normally spend most of Monday  large batches of vegetables typically gifted to me from our farmers near by, or purchased from the market. Once a month I do chicken or any meats I find on sale.

I had some time tonight so I cooked 10 lbs of sweet potatoes, a bag of carrots, and made homemade applesauce. The prep was only 20 minutes.

I heated my oven to 450 degrees.

I washed the potatoes, they were a gift from my neighbor. I poked them with a fork and plopped them on a tray.

I cored a bag of apples, it took about 5 minutes. I wash my fruit in a vinegar soak when it enters the house so it just needed a rinse before coring. Then I threw it in a pot in the oven.

I then cut up a bag of organic carrots that were in their prime. I added 2 tablespoons of coconut oil and put them in the oven.

I cooked everything for 30 minutes. The gas oven is hotter or cooks more quickly than any previous oven we’ve owned.

I moved my potatoes to the Dutch oven and cooked and additional 30 minutes, I would have started them there but it was otherwise occupied with my dinner at the time I started.

Once everything was cooked (30 minutes), I left them on the stove for a while to sweat. A while was long enough to bathe the baby and get her ready for bed, Skype her daddy, and put her down.

I returned to the kitchen to put the carrots and Potatoes in containers and mash the apples.

While the oven was busy and the baby was napping, I used the time to cut up mushrooms and open a bag of kale. I used food dehydrator to preserve the kale and mushrooms before they went bad.

It took me 20 minutes to prep the food 30-60 minutes for it to cook. This will save me a ton of dirty dishes this week.

Why Food Prep?
Food prep makes weekday dinner easier when I just have to heat a side, or mix up several ingredients. The best benifit is knowing what is in our food.

We try to stay away from wheat. I have a problem digesting a chemical used in the harvest of wheat.

Tomorrow I will cook 10 lbs of chicken and 1 lb each of rice and lentils. It’s easier to use these items in meals when they are pre cooked.

I use dinner leftovers for lunch the following day, if I cook too much I tend to freeze the extra, and use it another month.

Do you food prep? What are some of your tips for saving money and eating well? I would love to know.

When Life Gives you Lemons

My neighbor has a fruit tree in the back yard and thru the course of the last few months we determined they were lemons. I know that sounds silly,  the spherical objects were green and many are the size of a grapefruit. Over time they turned yellow which gave them away as lemons. I gathered about 25 of them and started on a quest to gather recipes to use them. I also received several at Thanksgiving from an old neighbor so I used about 30.

Since February of 2013 I have been trying to be a bit more organic and natural. I have been cleaning with vinegar and lemon juice (add these to baking soda and you can clean just about anything). Since my husband hates the smell of vinegar I use lemon juice when possible but it’s expensive in comparison.  These lemons were an absolute blessing.

I found many ideas for them on the web and wanted to share them in this entry.  If this is your first experience with lemons this is a great blog entry on what you may need to make some or all of the recipes below.

I started by cutting the lemons in half and juicing them with a hand citrus juicer.  I have a Kitchen Aid Citrus Juicer. I purchased it from Target for 15.99 but used my red card for an additional 5% off. I should have started by zesting or peeling them but hind sight is 20/20.  In juicing them I filled a quart mason jar.  I saved the pulp from them as well and have about 1 and 1/3 quart of pulp that I will further strain for more juice.

I took each of the peels that were left and placed them in a gallon glass pickle jar and put them in the fridge until I was able to work with them.

After zesting and peeling the lemons you have a white pith left, many recipes say to discard it however I am trying to not waste these days. I used the remaining pith to make the all-purpose cleaner.

Tip: Wear gloves latex, nitrile or otherwise my hands are raw from two afternoons of playing with this acidic monsters.

Blog Resources:

I am still searching for a great sugar scrub recipe and a delicious lemon bar recipe. I will share them with you when I find the perfect ones. When life gives you lemons, make stuff!

Happy days ahead.