I’m always looking for light summer pasta salads and this is one of those recipes! We enjoy it so much I usually double the recipe!

6oz of pasta (I used bow ties)
2 cups torn fresh spinach
1 cup grape tomatoes

salad, pasta, recipe box

Grape Tomatoes

¼ cup sliced scallions

green onions, prudent living


2 Tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp Dijon mustard
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
½ tsp salt
½ tsp sugar
Toasted pine nuts

nuts, salad

Toasted Pine Nuts

Cook pasta according to the package directions.

noodles, pasta salad

Bow Tie Pasta

In a large bowl, combine pasta, spinach, tomatoes and scallions. In a small bowl, combine all the remaining ingredients except the pine nuts; mix well. Pour dressing over the spinach-pasta mixture; toss well. Top with toasted pine nuts.

pasta salad, spinach

Pasta Salad with Spinach

Serve immediately. Serves 6-8 servings.

This salad paired well with grilled pork glazed with my rhubarbeque sauce!

pasta salad, pork, spinach

Pasta salad, yellow beets and grilled pork!

Linked to: DesignsByGollum, NotYourOrdinaryRecipes, SimplySweetHome, HomeMaidSimple, AnnKroeker, MomTrends, SimpleLivingwithDianeBalch, ComfyInTheKitchen, JulieJewels1, KBandWhitesnakes, SixSistersStuff, MakeAheadMealsForBusyMoms, RuthsRealFood, TwoMaidsaMilking, MrsHappyHomemaker, OurDelightfulHome, PreMediatedLeftovers, NaptimeCreations, BlessedwithGrace, Mandy’sRecipeBox, InsideBruCrewLife, 33ShadesofGreen, BeautyandBedlam, RealFoodForager, MamalDiane, ItsaBlogParty, KellytheKitchenKop, ThisChickCooks, Earning-My-Cape, FrugalFollies, MzHelensCountryCottage, ALittleNosh, Kadie-SevenAlive, EasyNaturalFood, runDMT

This has been an incredible season for rhubarb. Despite the fact that I have shared my rhubarb and even bartered for bread I still have plenty to pick. I’m not even sure you can tell that any rhubarb has been harvested!

canning, prudent pantry, prudent living

Rhubarb after harvest.

In searching though my recipe books, I found this recipe for Apple Rhubarb Chutney. Sounded good to me!

Apple Rhubarb Chutney

Make 4 pints

4 cups diced peeled cored apples, treated to prevent browning and drained. (Basically soak the diced apples in a mixture of 1/4 cup lemon juice and 4 cups of water.)

chutney, prudent living

Diced apples in lemon juice.

4 cups sugar
2 cups diced rhubarb, fresh or frozen
½ cup water
Grated zest and juice of 1 lemon

zest, lemon, chutney

Lemon zest.

½ cup dried cranberries

chutney, prudent pantry

Dried Cranberries

1 tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp ground nutmeg

spices, chutney

Fresh nutmeg

In a large stainless steel saucepan, combine apples, sugar, rhubarb, water, and lemon zest and juice.

fruit, apples, rhubarb

Apples, rhubarb and lemon juice.

Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring constantly. Reduce heat and boil gently, stirring frequently, for 15 minutes. Add cranberries, cinnamon and nutmeg. Boil gently, stirring frequently, until thick enough to mound on a spoon, about 15 minute.

Chutney, canning

Apple Rhubarb Chutney

Meanwhile prepare canner, jars and lids.

Ladle hot chutney into hot jars, leaving ½ inch headspace. Remove air bubbles and adjust headspace, if necessary, by adding hot chutney. Wipe rim. Center the lid on jar. Screw band down until resistance is met, than increase to fingertip-tight.

Place jars in canner; make sure they are completely covered with water. Bring to a boil and process for 10 minutes. Remove canner lid, wait 5 minutes, then remove jars, cool and store.

If you don’t have a canner I’m sure this sauce would freeze well.

I found this recipe in the Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving. This book is available in our Home Front Store.

This sauce is delicious; it would be wonderful on toast or served with grilled pork.

chutney, prudent pantry

Finished product, ready for the pantry (and a little extra to sample!)

Linked to: FrugalFollies, HomeMakersChallenge,Gnowfglins, Alli-n-Son, LittleHouseInTheSuburbs, CarnivalofHomePreserving, LilSurbanHomestead, FrugallySustainable
TheMorrisTribe, HomesteadRevival, Gnowfglins.com, MadeFromScratchMonday


I love creating new garden beds. When I divide my perennials I hate to throw them away so I just create a new garden bed to move them to. I’d much rather have more garden beds and less lawn! When you want to turn an area of your lawn into a new garden bed you must get rid of the grass.

expanding your garden, gardening

Garden bed - early spring.

There are different ways to go about this, some methods give you quick results while other take a bit longer. There are four basic ways to go about this.

Digging a new bed. This method produces the quickest results and allows you to plant your garden immediately. It also takes a bit of hard work. Using your spade or fork you must remove all the sod.

gardening, my garden

Removing sod.

If the sod is in good condition you can use it elsewhere in your yard. Use an edger or a sharp spade to cut small sections of the sod. This makes it easier to remove. If you don’t plan to move the sod and are just going to compost it try to remove as much of the soil as possible. Inspect the soil for any hiding grubs and decide whether or not you want to add any compost before planting your garden.

Another method to create a new garden bed is to break up the sod with a tiller. One advantage of using this method is that the organic matter is retained in the garden as the sod is turned under. You can also add compost or manure before tilling. This bed can also be planted immediately but you may have to do some weeding as you may have turned up some weed seeds.

A third method to try is smothering the sod or unwanted plants.

gardening, gardens, prudent living

creating garden beds by smothering

I have used the first two methods but I have never tried this. You just cover the grass with plastic, newspaper or cardboard.  Depending on the type of material you use this method could take several months. The newspaper and cardboard will decompose but the plastic will have to be removed eventually. This is relatively simple; lay your material down over the sod you want to eliminate. Cover it with grass clippings, mulch or compost to hold the layers in place. You will want to lay down six to eight pieces of newspaper, use only the black and white sheets. Your objective is to eliminate light, causing the chlorophyll to break down. Once this happens, photosynthesis stops and the grass will die. After this happens you can begin to plant your garden, if you’re using cardboard or newspaper just plant your plants into holes that you have punched through the paper to the soil. When we were out hiking earlier this week I happened to spot this garden. A perfect example for smothering the weeds!

The last method I will mention but I wouldn’t recommend it. You can also use herbicides to kill the grass. The downside of this method is that you may injure or kill nearby plants; it can also result in environmental contamination or harm beneficial organisms if used improperly. We have kept beehives near our gardens and for this main reason we do not use this method.

I have been working on expanding a garden on the east side of our house. It is shady and the existing garden had a curve in it which was hard to mow. I wanted to increase the garden bed, transplant some hostas and have less lawn to mow as well as having the existing lawn easier to mow. First I marked off the new garden area.

removing sod

old lawn to be removed

I dug up the hostas I wanted to divide and transplant.

perennials, dividing plants

hostas to be divided

Used some river rock to edge the new garden bed.

creating gardens, prudent living

Edging the garden

A little mulch and my new garden is finished! I am so pleased with the result. Plus other than the cost of the mulch and some hard work it was an inexpensive project!gardens, perennialshostas, perennials

Linked to: AnOregonCottage, DigInDirt, SomeDayCrafts, AGlimpseInside, AllieMakes, DelightfulOrder, Kadie-SevenAlive, FishtailCottage, MsGreenthumbJean, SideWalkShoes, AtThePicketFence, Stuff-and-Nonsense, TootsieTime

I’m sure many of you are familiar with FreeCycle. It is a network of 5,042 groups with 8,961,499 members around the world. It’s a grassroots and entirely nonprofit movement of people who are giving (and getting) stuff for free in their own towns. It’s all about reuse and keeping good stuff out of landfills. Local volunteers moderate each local group. Membership is free. To sign up, find your community by entering it into the search box on their website or by clicking on ‘Browse Groups’ above the search box.

I am a big fan of FreeCycle. We have gotten rid of numerous things as I have also gotten things all for free! When you sign up for a group you’ll get an email anytime someone posts about something they are looking for or something they want to get rid of. Last winter I was lucky enough to get two dozen canning jars!

As you might remember I have a lot of rhubarb.

barter, FreeCycle, Prudent Living, Frugal Tips

Rhubarb - Before

Last Thursday I saw on FreeCycle that someone was looking for rhubarb! They just wanted to come harvest what I didn’t want. After a few emails back and forth it was set up that the woman’s husband would stop by on Saturday to pick some rhubarb. Oh yes and did I want any bread as she’d love to barter! I wasn’t expecting anything but after her husband had picked a large bunch of rhubarb we had two loaves of French Bread, two packages of large grinder rolls, a package of sandwich rolls and a loaf of sandwich bread for the freezer! I just love bartering!

barter, Frugal Tips

Just some of the bread!

Even after all the rhubarb he picked I still have more. I found another recipe for Apple Rhubarb Chutney that I’m going to try this week. Look for it on Thursday’s post!

Spring, Vermont, rhubarb

Rhubarb - After


Linked to: LearningTheFrugalLife, PremeditatedLeftovers, Raisinghomemakers, FrugallySustainable, WeAreThatFamily, TheThriftyHome, FemineAdventures, Thrifty101, LifeAsMom, RaisingArrows

Recipe Box, Prudent Living, recipes

Chicken Salad with Berries

This makes a delightful summertime salad. I had some leftover grilled chicken which I sliced up to use on the salad. If you don’t have any grilled chicken on hand grill some up! I served this for a Prudent Living meeting we had at our home (one of the benefits of working out of the house), judging from the empty plates I think it was a success!

4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves (4 ounces each)
¼ tsp salt
¼ tsp pepper
6 ounces fresh baby spinach
1 cup fresh blackberries or raspberries
1 cup halved strawberries
2/3 cup crumbled goat cheese
3 Tbsp chopped pecans, toasted
¼ cup prepared raspberry vinaigrette

Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper. Grill chicken, covered over medium heat for 4-7 minutes on each side or until juices run clear. Let cool.

In a large bowl, combine the spinach, berries, cheese and pecans. Divide among four serving plates. Slice chicken and arrange over spinach mixture; drizzle with vinaigrette.

Serves 4

Featured on:[hana-code-insert name=’Foodie Friday’ /]

Linked to:
DesignsbyGollum, ThesePeasTasteFunny, SimplySweetHome, HomeMaidSimple, AnnKroeker, MomTrends, SimpleLivingDianeBalch, JulieJewels1,
AtThePicketFence, Stuff-and-Nonsense, 21stCentruyHousewife, Alli-n-Son, DwellOnJoy, LifeAsMom, KBandWhiteSnake, SixSistersStuff, MyFavoriteFinds, TheBetterMom, RaisingArrows, DelightfullyDowling,TwoMaidsaMilking, MrsHappyHomemaker, OurDelightfulHome, Nap-TiimeCreations, BlessedwithGraceMandysRecipeBox, InsideBruCrewLife, 33ShadesofGreen, RealFoodForager, ItsABlogParty, MamalDiane, InsideMyPresent,KellytheKitchenKop, ThisChickCooks, TheKingsCourt4, GingerSnapCrafts, EarningMyCape, EverydayTastes, MizHelensCountryCottage, ALittleNosh, KatherinesCorner, LifeAsMom, EasyNaturalFood, NaturalMothersNetwork, SecretRecipeClub, bizzybakes, CarolesChatter, LifeasMom,  MeetPenny, GodsGrowingGarden, JugglingAct, AddictedToRecipes, SpringAndKids, FoodieFriendsFriday, ThemedBlogHop, GooseberryPatch


The rhubarb in my garden is finally ready to be picked. It has come in in such abundance this year that no matter how much I pick I don’t make a dent!

gardening, spring, Vermont

Time to pick the rhubarb!

My favorite way to enjoy rhubarb is by making Victoria Sauce or as we call it in our family Rhubarbeque Sauce! It is a wonderful sauce that is perfect on grilled chicken or pork. It’s very easy to make and the recipe makes exactly four pints so you aren’t overwhelmed. I usually double the recipe and make eight pints. We enjoy it throughout the year.

This recipe can be processed in a water bath canner for storage in your pantry or frozen for storing in your freezer. Follow your manufacturer’s directions for using your water bath.

prudent living, prudent pantry

Rhubarb stalks

2 quarts chopped rhubarb

rhubarb, victoria sauce

Chopped rhubarb

1 ½ cups raisins
½ cup chopped onion

onion, canning

Chopped onion

3 ½ cups brown sugar
½ cup vinegar
1 tsp allspice
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ginger
1 tsp salt

Combine rhubarb, raisins, onion, sugar, and vinegar in a large saucepot.

canning, rhubarb, prudent living

rhubarb onions and raisins

Cook until thick, about 25 minutes. As the mixture thickens, stir frequently to prevent sticking. Add spices; cook 5 minutes longer.

spices, rhubarb


Ladle the hot sauce into hot jars, leaving ¼ inch headspace.

rhubarb, cannin

Canning rhubarb

Adjust two-piece caps. Process 15 minutes in a boiling water canner.

Yield: 4 pints

canning, rhubarb, prudent pantry

Processed Rhubarbeque Sauce


Thank to all my faithful readers who have taken the time to check out the new On The Home Front Facebook page and “Liked” it!

Linked to: FrugalFollies, HomeMakersChallenge, EverydayTastes, MizHelen’sCountryCottage, ALittleNosh, AGlimpseInside, KatherinesCorner, DelightfulOrder, Kadie-SevenAlive, FemineAdventure, TheBrambleberryCottage, ChickenScratchy, LittleHouseInTheSuburbs, NoOrdinaryHomestead, TheMorrisTribe, AddAPinch, Gnowfglins.com

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