June 30, 2011


REMINDER:  Get your FREE fresh brewed cup of coffee on the 1st of every month at Xtramart.  Visit their website for more monthly specials by clicking here.

Stock up and save with Dollar General Coupons!

Dollar General is offering 6 coupons on their website.  One of the coupons is for $5.00 OFF when you make a $25.00 purchase valid until July 2nd.  Visit their website by clicking here to get your coupons today.

Happy Shopping,


Gardening with Mr. C. - Save money with DIY Gardening

This week Mr. C. shows us how to "prune"  a "plum" tree (and other kinds too).
To protect your investment and to get the best yield, trees should be pruned each year, especially, but not limited to the spring and fall. All fruit trees grow "water sprouts" (yes, that is really what they are called). They are vigorous growths (similar to suckers on tomato plants) which usually grow straight up from the trunk or branches.  Remove them easily by snapping them off  - don't cut them as that will stimulate regrowth. You can usually spot them by the lighter leaf color. Obviously I wasn't watching for them becauce these should have been removed before they got this large.  See the before and after shots below.



Even for trees planted this year, you should lop off any dead, diseased, inward growing, and overlapping branches. I apply a "pruning & wound dressing" to seal the cuts. Also remove any suckers from the parent root below the graft. During this routine maintenance, I discovered some ugly brown/black growth on several branches. I consulted with a tree expert at Agway (Master Gardener Joe). In their book of plant diseases, we found a matching picture of a fungus called "Black Knot". It is said to be very contagous an is most apt to affect cherry trees (I have one 10 feet from this plum tree). He said to cut back 4 to 6 inches, then dip the shears in clorox between and after each cutting. Wipe and oil the shears before storing them. Then apply an anti-fungal spray (which is available in a organic formula) to the entire tree to limit it's spread to other branches and to adjacent trees.  I took the following picture before I burned them.

                                                          Black Knot Disease 

There are more aggressive methods which commercial growers employ to boost production, sometimes disregarding beauty.  Ex. a local grower just topped (cut all out-of-reach branches) from their full size cherry trees while they have ripe fruit on them.  To view an excellent government website covering pruning methods, click here

I hope you have enjoyed the two non-gardening articles on fruit trees, even though many of you don't have any trees (yet). I will probably sprinkle in other subjects (like lawn weed control, etc.) from time to time, but next week I plan to talk about herb gardens.

Till then - Happy Gardening - Mr. C.

Pizza Pick of the Week!

Due to the holiday weekend, we will not have a Foodie Friday Pizza Pick for the week. We will resume again with a new pizza pick on July 8th. I hope everyone has a fun and safe holiday weekend.

June 27, 2011

Give your mouth that Aquafresh feeling!

Aquafresh is offering $12.75 worth of manufacturers coupons on various products from children's training toothbrushes and toothpaste to teeth whitening kits.  Click here to visit their website and get your coupons.

Make Ahead Monday Dinner Review!

My family gave this dinner a 4 out of 10.  Tonight we had Thai Chicken.  The Chicken tasted okay, but I would recommend you only cook it for 4 hours on low.  Any longer and it starts to burn around the edges of the slow cooker.  There wasn't a lot of sauce left so I took the chicken out of the cooker and put it in a pan and made more sauce.  I served it over rice noodles.  I spend more time then I wanted on a slow cooker meal, so we probably won't make this one again.
If you have a recipe you would like us to try, let me know.




As a busy mom on the go having all or part of dinner ready when we get home is a huge time saver. 

Today's Make Ahead Monday dinner choice is Thai Chicken.


3/4 cup light coconut milk
2 Tbsp. creamy peanut butter
1 Tbsp. red curry paste
1 tsp. grated ginger
1 1/2 lbs. boneless chicken breast
2 red bell peppers, sliced
1 large onion sliced
1 lb. rice noodles
1 cup frozen peas

In a slow cooker, combine the coconut milk, peanut butter, curry paste and ginger; mix in the chicken, peppers and onion.  Cook, covered, until chicken is cooked through, on low for 5-6 hours or on high 3-4 hours.  Twenty minutes before serving, cook the noodles according to the packaged directions.  Stir the peas into the chicken mixture and cook, covered until heated through, about 3 minutes.  Spoon chicken and vegetables and sauce over the noodles and serve.
TIME SAVER:  Use a large crock pot liner in the crock pot for easy clean up.  Don't forget to get your coupon to purchase these liners from the Reynolds website. 

Stay tuned for our families review of this Make Ahead Monday dinner later today.