Biweekly Menu Planning Form (Free Downloadable)

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This year, with my son in preschool, mornings are spent shooing two kids along and getting everyone out the door on time. The AM has to be far more regimented, and fast breakfasts and easy, (often make-ahead) lunches are essential. We are also doing a lot more freezer-meal cooking to streamline dinner these days and [Continue Reading...]

Mini-Money Challenge: Occupy Your Brain (Why You Don’t Really Want What You Want)

What We Want From Our Purchases Chart

I had a dream the other night. I was working some corporate job and my boss lent me his car to run errands over the weekend. In the dream, I didn’t know what kind of car it was, and somehow Homebrew Husband ended up driving it to pick me up from this job. This was [Continue Reading...]

How To Make Pectin-Free Jam: Ditch The Box and Increase The Creativity In Your Preserves

How To Make Jam Without Pectin (3)

Do you need pectin to make jam? I used to think so. I followed the recipe on the inside of the pectin box slavishly for 7 years before I broke free of the pectin bonds. Every year, my strawberry jam tasted exactly like the strawberry jam of everyone else who wore the Sure-Jell shackles. The [Continue Reading...]

Create Your Own Signature Jam By Mixing and Matching Flavors

Apricot Jam with Lime, Ginger and Tequila

It’s unofficial Preserve Week here at Northwest Edible Life. I know because my floor is sticky with canning syrup and my refrigerator smells like pickle brine. It’s hard for me to think of anything else but putting food by right now, so I’m going to be talking jams and pickles all week long. I hope [Continue Reading...]

Seven Great Things You Missed On Facebook: Peanut Sauce, Peaches and More

Peach Ice Cream

It’s been a busy week over on the Northwest Edible Facebook Page. We blew through the 5,000s in no time and are currently sitting at over 6,000 smart, bad-ass and very attractive community members. Thank you guys! Homebrew Husband captured the exact moment of the 6,000th like on his phone. Not that we are total [Continue Reading...]

When She Got There, The Cupboards Were Bare: Assessing Your Larder

Larder Assessment (7)

How’s your larder looking? Mine is pretty spartan. This is a great time of year to assess your larder and see what you’ve eaten tons of and what hasn’t been a hit. If you make some notes now about what your family really eats, before the furor of canning season comes upon us, there’s a good chance [Continue Reading...]

Planning For A Year-Round Harvest: When You Need The Big Picture

Northwest Edible Year Round Vegetable Planting Guide

The detailed month-by-month lists are great and all, but sometimes you need the overview, the synopsis, the big picture. This is particularly true at the beginning of the growing season, like now, when all the little details are popping up: what plants do I grow? How many? How long till I can eat them? Where do [Continue Reading...]

Seed Organization For Gardeners With Too Many Seeds

NW Edible Seed Inventory Organization Database

On Monday I talked about seeds for beginners. Well, after a season or two of growing from seed you may become (like many of the commenters on Monday’s post) a Gardener With Too Many Seeds. You have become a G.W.T.M.S. when you have file boxes dedicated to your seeds and you debate with yourself every season [Continue Reading...]

How To Plan Your Harvest Based On What You Eat (Plus The Winner of The Urban Farm Handbook!)

Annual Produce Harvest Planner

One you you awesome readers has won The Urban Farm Handbook. But before you shoot right to the bottom of this post to find out if it’s you, read on to discover a great way to plan your harvest from the plate backwards. This is a technique straight out of The Urban Farm Handbook, so [Continue Reading...]

Last Minute Stocking Stuffer: "Get Out Of A Chore Free" Santa Cards – Free Download

We do chores around here, kids included. So the gift of not having to do those tedious chores is always appreciated. I’m trying to get the last of the holiday gift stuff together today – wrapping presents, stuffing stockings, etc. – and I put together some “Santa Slips to slip in my daughter’s stocking. These are [Continue Reading...]

Easy No-Stick Canning Jar Labels

Last week, just in time for a massive can-o-thon over the weekend, I followed a Facebook recommendation to some fantastic, customizable canning jar labels on Etsy. I’d link to them, but my aging memory and the fast pace of digital life don’t always play nice, so I’ve completely forgotten where I saw them.  The neat thing [Continue Reading...]

Frugal Friday: Fun Card Budgeting For Non-Budgeters

I spent most of my post-college years with a checking account that was perpetually overdrawn by $300. I once went on a three-week trip to Scandinavia and spent the entirety of my food money on my first dinner outside of the U.S. In my defense, food in Reykjavik during the holiday season is unbelievably expensive. [Continue Reading...]