A Little Bit of This and a Little Bit of That!

We are between holidays and special events, so we decided to post a mashup of various things. Included are two of our recipes – one for chicken salad and another for easy apple crisp. We also have a garden update and a few thoughts we want to share about the arts and creativity.

SMALL CRAFT WARNING

No completed craft projects in this week’s post, but we have assembled materials (see above) for a craft challenge Kevin is about to embark on using mulberry paper (of all things) and watercolor paints. We will keep you posted!

TASTY CHICKEN SALAD

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This chicken salad is very juicy. Oven-steaming the chicken is something we came up with, and it comes out great! Perfect for sandwiches or as a main dish.

Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.

Ingredients: 1 & 1/2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breast, 1 cup mayo, 1 teaspoon spicy brown mustard, 1/4 cup chopped green onions, 1 & 1/2 tablespoons of both Mrs. Dash (or your favorite) garlic herb mix and chile powder.

To prepare the chicken: Spray baking pan with cooking spray, place chicken breast halves in pan, sprinkle with chile powder and garlic herb mix to coat chicken. Cover with foil and bake for 1 hour. Allow pan to cool for 1/2 hour and place in fridge to cool completely.

To make the chicken salad: Chop cooled chicken into 1/2 inch pieces. Add mayo, spicy brown mustard, and chopped green onions. If desired, chop a small tomato and add to chicken salad mixture. Enjoy as a sandwich or salad topper!

APPLE CRISP

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Have you ever bought a bag of apples at your local supermarket, brought them home and been disappointed? You know the ones – brown spots, bruises, etc. When that happens, we make this easy apple crisp.

What you will need: 8 medium apples peeled and sliced, 1 cup of quick oats, 2 tablespoons of flour, 2 tablespoons of sugar or Splenda, 2 tablespoons of brown sugar, 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon, 2 tablespoons butter or light margarine, 1/2 cup raisins, 1/4 cup walnuts (optional).

Preheat oven to 375.

Place apples in an 8-inch square pan sprayed with cooking spray. To make crumble topping, combine oats, flour, sugar or Splenda, brown sugar and cinnamon. Add butter or margarine, raisins and nuts to oat mixture and sprinkle on top of apples. Bake until top is brown, about 45 minutes.

We top warm apple crisp with vanilla ice cream the first night and then sprinkle leftover apple crisp on ice cream the 2nd night – if there’s any left!

GARDEN UPDATE

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Our seeds are in! This year we are experimenting with marigolds, pansies and basil. This is our first attempt at growing plants from seed. It will be interesting what happens. We will keep you updated!

the earth

SUPPORT THE ARTS AND ARTISTS

The main point of this blog is to encourage creativity. We are so grateful to our families and friends for giving us encouragement and praise. If you know people who are creative, and everyone is, support them! It is crucial to support the arts, because the arts make the world a better place.

Here are some ways you can support creative people and the arts:

Tell creative folks you like what they do, or that you think it is great they do it.

Give young artists, and the young at heart, books, arts supplies and gift cards to buy materials.

Be encouraging and forgiving of less than stellar results. The mere act of creating is positive, regardless of the end results. The process is what matters!

Resist the impulse to discourage young people from creative careers. Encourage them to get a good education and some marketable skills in addition to their artistic ambitions, not instead of them. Be positive!

Encourage – encourage – encourage!!!

Support the arts by attending concerts and plays at all levels. Today’s high school performer could be tomorrow’s star, and if not, they’re having a great time!

Donate to arts organizations.

Create! Create! Create! Share your creativity with the world!

PEOPLE ARE NICE!

Speaking of supporting your arts and artists, here is a picture from a Worcester area newspaper featuring Roy and his puppet friend, Buddy, announcing their recent visit to the Uxbridge (MA) Free Public Library. Thanks to all for the many kind comments after this was published.

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Enjoy!!!

Roy and Kevin

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