Monthly Archives: May 2016

Memorial Day and More!

QUOTE FOR MEMORIAL DAY:

“True heroism is remarkably sober, very undramatic. It is not the urge to surpass all others at whatever cost, but the urge to serve others at whatever cost.”  – Arthur Ashe

Source : inspirational quotes and quotations.com

This week, we offer some picnic food ideas, a garden update, thoughts on Memorial Day and, of course, the bears.

PICNIC FOODS

Memorial Day starts the picnic season and even though we can’t grill outdoors at our home, we enjoy grilling indoors on our grill pan. Here’s a nutritious twist on bacon-wrapped hot dogs which still offers great grilled taste.

Zucchini Wrapped Hot Dogs

Skip the bacon and add some vegetable goodness to your hot dog!

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Hot Dog Wrap

You will need:

  • Your favorite hot dogs – turkey, beef, whatever you like. (Tofu?)
  • Medium zucchini, washed
  • Vegetable spray for grill pan

How to prepare:

  • Using a vegetable peeler, cut zucchini lengthwise into strips.
  • Place zucchini strips on oiled grill pan.
  • Grill zucchini for 1 minute on each side.
  • Wrap one or more grilled zucchini strips around each hot dog.
  • Grill zucchini-wrapped hot dogs to your preferred level of doneness. (Double grilling the zucchini gives it a meatier flavor.)
  • Serve with your favorite toppings. (See below for one of our new go-to relishes.)

Giardiniera Relish

Giardiniera is a spicy mix of pickled vegetables. We saw this tip on Rachael Ray’s show and decided to give it a try. It is delicious!

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Place the contents of a drained 16 oz. jar of giardiniera in the food processor. Pulse until consistency of pickle relish. It’s a delicious topping for hot dogs or your favorite sandwich. Also great as a topping for chicken or fish.

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LOOK BACK

Check out last year’s blog for more ideas:

https://funclesarts.com/2015/05/24/memorial-day-weekend/

GARDEN UPDATE

It’s been a cold spring, and we are just beginning to put our garden together. Last weekend, we bought a cherry tomato plant, 2 pepper plants (one hot, one sweet) and 2 trays of Impatiens.

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Kevin enjoyed starting the planting. He planted the red Impatiens below the hummingbird feeder because the hummingbirds are attracted to the color red.

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Memorial Garden Decorations

In our garden, some of our ornamental items are in memory of loved ones no longer with us.

Our garden bee is in memory of our niece and dear friend, Christine, who was, among many things, an avid gardener and beekeeper. The flamingo watering can is in memory of our beloved friend, Sondra, who always had flamingos in her beautiful garden.

The angel below is in memory of Kevin’s mom, Irene, who had a special relationship with angels. It sits on a shelf created by Roy’s late father, Bill, who also owned the wind chimes pictured to the right. We think these mementos, coupled with a garden of flowers and vegetables, make a beautiful tribute to life and those we love.

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Plant Stands? Perhaps!

We are planning to use these two ladders as plant stands. The bears want to paint them.   (Hmm – not sure how that will work out!)

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GROWING GREEN ONIONS 

Kevin’s sister, Christine, told us about this fun idea.

Buy a bunch of organic green onions from your local grocery store. Put in a glass of water, root side down. Trim onions as needed for your favorite recipe. The onions will grow back remarkably quickly. Change the water as needed. Could not be easier!

Here is our plant and some pictures of the growth after cutting the three stalks on left:

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1 day’s growth after an initial trim:

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2 day’s growth:

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3 day’s growth:

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4 day’s growth:

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Amazing, instant success – great for kids!!!

Food Art: PEPPER PETALS

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The Bears

Our furry friends were successful! With a quick coat of paint, the small old ladder makes a great plant stand!

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OUR HEROES:

Last, but not by no means least, we salute our fathers, both of whom served our country during World War II.

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Roy’s father, William J. Drew, Jr.

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Kevin’s father, Warren Wollschlager, shown with new bride, Irene.

We thank all those who serve to protect our freedom, past and present.

Enjoy

Roy & Kevin

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Celebrating Mothers on Mother’s Day!

 

“… love as powerful as your mother’s for you leaves its own mark.”

J.K. Rowling – Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

Mother’s Day is a day of celebration nationwide. Billions are spent on flowers and candy and taking mom out for her special day.* For those of us whose mothers have passed away, this day can be difficult. To make it better, we choose to focus on good memories of our moms and to suggest ways for others to make Mother’s Day special. Both of our mother’s loved celebrations – guess that’s where we got it from!

This week, enjoy a tasty artichoke dip, simple ways to make Mother’s Day flowers more special, some ideas for creative gifts, a garden update, and, of course, the bears.

*According to statisticbrain.com, total spent for mother’s on Mother’s Day: $20.7 Billion!

NEW ARTICHOKE DIP

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This Easter, Kevin’s niece Corinne, who is a great mom herself, made this delicious artichoke dip. We are pleased she let us share her recipe here. We’ve actually had this dip as a side dish with dinner more than once. Great way to get your veggies!

Make it for your Mother’s Day celebration!

Ingredients:

  • 8 oz. softened cream cheese, cut into manageable chunks
  • 1/3 cup mayo (we use Hellmann’s Light)
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • two cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese
  • 3/4 cup parmesan cheese
  • two 14 oz. cans artichoke hearts in water, drained
  • chopped scallions
  • seeded, chopped tomatoes

How to prepare:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Have a large mixing bowl ready to place the ingredients in after they have gone through the food processor.

  • Mince artichoke hearts in food processor and pour into bowl.
  • Mix cream cheese, mayo, and garlic powder in processor until smooth.
  • Combine cream cheese mixture with chopped artichokes.
  • Finely grind cheeses in food processor, add to mixing bowl and stir all ingredients until thoroughly incorporated.
  • Spread mixture in glass pie plate.
  • Bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes (should not be too brown on top).
  • Top with scallions and tomatoes.
  • Dip can be served warm or cold. It also reheats well in the microwave.
  • Serve with corn or pita chips.

VASES

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Here are three easy and inexpensive ways to make a gift of flowers more special! Cute glass vases from the dollar store are easy to decorate. Cut out three 2-inch squares of decorative card stock, and spell MOM out on the cards, one letter per square. (We used stickers, but the letters can be handwritten in crayon or magic marker for a child’s personal touch.) Tie the squares onto the vases with jute (top photo). You also can use a single vase and do the same technique with one piece of 3″ wide x 5″ long piece of cardstock. The third example is the easiest. Simply spell out MOM in stickers on the vase itself. We got these lovely tulips on sale at a supermarket and using stickers and cardstock we had on hand, this gift cost under $10.00!

Last year’s post:

Here is last year’s Mother’s Day post with some additional ideas and thoughts.

https://funclesarts.com/2015/05/09/mothers-day-is-a-special-day/

GIFT IDEAS

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There’s still time to get a great gift for mom!

Here are a few ideas:

Photo gifts:

  • Print out a new or old photo that is special to your mom and put it in a nice frame. Instant keepsake.
  • Offer to scan your mom’s family photos to the computer or onto a disk. She will be able to print those she likes or share favorite photos with others from her computer.

Gift cards:

Gift cards to theaters, museums, craft and fabric stores or other creative venues will thrill the creative-minded mother. Practical gift cards for supermarkets or department stores also are great. Kevin’s mom loved getting gift cards to her local dollar store to stock up on greeting cards and gift wrap. No time to shop in-store? E-cards can be bought online!

Gifts of time and service:

  • Help mom clean her basement or garage.
  • Take mom food shopping or to the mall.
  • Enjoy a show or lunch with mom.

The garden:

  • Pick up some of your mom’s favorite plants.
  • Help her plant her flowers.

Kevin’s mom used to plant her patio and window box flowers on Mother’s Day. She enjoyed doing this with her daughter, Christine, who would gift her with the flowers and help plant them. This became a very special yearly tradition.

GARDEN UPDATE

We are starting to plan our garden for this year. Most years, Mother’s Day is a good time to start planting, but this year it is too cold and wet. We’re looking forward to getting our patio planting done soon!

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Looks like the flamingo has started helping with clean up by pulling a weed! (This photo is not staged.)

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Flowering food art (baby carrots, celery and grapes)

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JOKE OF THE WEEK:

What did the momma broom say to the baby broom? “It’s time to go to sweep!”

Source: Jokes4us.com

THE BEARS

The bears are celebrating Mother’s Day, too! Shown above and here with Irene’s handmade “MOM” pillow.

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We end this post with photos of our own mothers, always in our thoughts and in our hearts.

Kevin’s mom, Irene, with some of her loved ones at her 85th birthday lunch a few years ago.

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Roy’s mother, Phyllis, with new baby Roy and the rest of her family – quite a few years ago.

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HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY!!!

Enjoy!

Roy and Kevin