Category Archives: Christmas

September’s Bounty!!!

This week’s blog highlights a new (for us) kitchen gadget, a classic tomato salad, a garden update, and of course, the bears! Plus, we are announcing an exciting venture for the holidays!

SPIRALIZER

We just bought a spiralizer, a cool gadget that makes noodles out of vegetables.

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Our new Oxo spiralizer is easy to operate and clean. If you get one, read the instructions and handle with care because the blades are sharp.

The first time we used it was with a combination of zucchini and yellow squash. We sautéed our “noodles”  with olive oil, salt and pepper. Next, an English cucumber got spiralized. We tossed the cucumber noodles with vinaigrette and served it cold.

Both dishes were delicious! We highly recommend this kitchen tool. It is easy to use and makes healthy eating fun!

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CAPRESE SALAD

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In Rhode Island, it has been a GREAT year for native tomatoes! They are delicious with a sprinkle of sea salt or in salads, but with our basil plant thriving, this year’s tomatoes called for Caprese salad.

Caprese salad is made with tomatoes, basil, extra virgin olive oil, fresh mozzarella cheese, balsamic vinegar (hint: warm vinegar for a few minutes – it will thicken and sweeten), sea salt and ground pepper to taste.

GARDEN UPDATE

“I’ve always felt that having a garden is like having a good and loyal friend.”                                  C.Z. Guest – Actress/designer (Source: Quote Garden)

Sea grass we planted years ago has returned. The bee looks bee-fuddled!

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BONUS PHOTO:

We had a visitor on the top of our patio fence. (This grasshopper is much smaller than it appears here, thank goodness!)

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VEG ART

This year’s edibles – a great crop!

Another version of the picture at the top of the blog with our 2 types of peppers, tomatoes, oregano, basil, sage, rosemary, and thyme. (Surprisingly, the parsley didn’t make it!)

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JOKE OF THE WEEK:  “Gardeners know all the dirt.” (Source Bing.com /images)

THE BEARS

The Bears feel like stars, because this week, on September 9th, they celebrate Teddy Bear Day!

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ANNOUNCING: HOLIDAY CRAFTING MINIBLOGS

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It is never too early to begin holiday crafting. This fall and winter, in addition to our regular posts, look for our weekly holiday crafting mini-blogs. These mini-blogs will offer some of our favorite craft and decorating ideas for the upcoming holiday season.

Check out the blogs which feature the decorations shown above:

https://funclesarts.com/2014/10/29/halloween-blog-3-the-final-chapter/

https://funclesarts.com/2014/12/06/the-christmas-season-is-here/

 

Enjoy!

Roy & Kevin

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Merry Christmas!!!

This week, we share a couple of ideas to simplify your holiday preparations. Included are an easy recipe for minty fudge brownies, last-minute gift tips, more of our decorations, a patio update, and, of course, the bears, who are our featured image this week.

FUDGE BROWNIES WITH CHOCOLATE MINT CANDY TOPPING

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These delicious and easy brownies are always a hit!

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Ingredients: 28-piece box of Andes candies mints, 18.3 oz. box of brownie mix.

How to prepare: 

Bake brownies according to package directions.

Top the warm brownies with 25 unwrapped mint candies (the baker gets the remaining three candies). Allow the candies to melt for a minute and spread them like frosting with an off-set spatula or knife. Cool the mint-covered brownies for 15 minutes and then place in the refrigerator for one hour. Candy will harden to its original consistency, making a delicious chocolate mint crust on your brownies.

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Cut, serve and enjoy!

A FEW LAST-MINUTE GIFT IDEAS

You’re driving to a holiday celebration and realize you forgot someone on your list and need to get a last-minute gift. Here are a few suggestions, including two places open Christmas Day.

Gas stations

  • Gift card for the gas station – great gift for family and friends traveling over the holidays!
  • Scratch tickets or lottery numbers. They can’t win if they don’t play!
  • Gloves and hats – who knew they were sold at gas stations?
  • Make a quick car kit with an ice scraper, windshield wiper fluid, car air freshener and other related items.
  • Some gas stations sell gift cards for other stores just like major supermarkets.
  • Make up a tailgating kit: Buy chips, soda, Slim Jims and more for the sports fan on your list.

Movie theaters

Most movie theaters are open on Christmas Day. Buy movie passes and candy to make a great gift combo.

Online e-cards and gifts

The technology available today makes last-minute gift giving a lot easier than it used to be. You can order gifts online and have them shipped. Print out and give a picture of the gift to the recipient. Most companies also will send an e-mail notification that a gift is on the way. You can send gift e-cards directly to anyone’s e-mail address. One site we’ve used is giftcertificates.com, or go directly to specific company websites and see if they offer e-gift cards.

OUR DECORATIONS

More of our holiday vignettes, including snowmen, Santas, and New England sports teams.

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PATIO UPDATE

Even with the recent rain, the addition of fresh pine cuttings, faux poinsettia and holly on our patio add color and make a festive view from our kitchen. The basil plant and other plants on the window sill are hanging in as well!

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FOOD ART

NUTTY SANTA

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THE BEARS

The bears love to reunite with family and friends at Christmas time! Look what old friend is visiting with them at the top of the page!

We wish you all peace and joy this holiday season. Merry Christmas!!!

Enjoy!

Roy & Kevin

Cool Christmas!

Christmas is fast approaching and we are just about finished decorating.

This week, we feature pretty decorations using Christmas ornaments, an easy wreath project, a recycling craft, recipe ideas, a festive patio update, and of course, the bears!

SPARKLING DECORATIONS

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Fill clear glass vases and pitchers with Christmas balls. Keep it simple, one color per vessel. Add a string of holiday lights behind or around the vases. This technique makes a beautiful display! Really catches the light!

EASY AND SPECIAL WREATH

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Recycling was the inspiration for this wreath. We removed the original decorations and saved the metal form from an old wreath. Then, we wrapped it with the pretty piece of garland pictured below, which Kevin’s mom used to decorate her dining room chandelier during the holidays. The garland is not permanently attached and in future years, we can use it in other ways. Hmmm – maybe we’ll get a chandelier!

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GIFT TAGS FROM CHRISTMAS CARDS

Recycle your old Christmas cards into gift tags! Simply cut out your favorite images, hole punch the top, add a ribbon and you have these cute gift tags. Write the recipient’s name on the back. These also could be used as ornaments and even necklaces. This is a fun craft for kids!

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PATIO UPDATE

Evergreen cuttings trimmed from the large pine trees on our property add lush greenery to the patio. For additional color, we dotted them with faux poinsettia, unbreakable Christmas ornaments and pinecones.

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The tool box planter looks great filled with fresh pine cuttings. The bee and flamingo both seem to like it!

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We fashioned this swag by attaching a simple waterproof ribbon to an evergreen cutting and hanging it on the patio door. Cost: $1.25!

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Of course, we have our tomato cage trees again this year!

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Here is our post from last year with instructions on how to make these tomato cage trees.

https://funclesarts.com/2014/12/13/christmas-blog-2-the-celebration-continues/

SWEET HOLIDAY TREATS

All this decorating is making us hungry! Here are a few recipes for some easy holiday desserts.

http://www.realsimple.com/food-recipes/recipe-collections-favorites/desserts/easy-holiday-desserts

FOOD ART 

Our final harvest of garden tomatoes, which we picked green and ripened indoors in a paper bag for almost a month, are finally ready for their closeup!

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The tomatoes were roasted and served with baked fish – delicious!

JOKE OF THE WEEK

What does Santa suffer from if he gets stuck in a chimney? Claus-trophobia! Source:Theholidayspot.com

THE BEARS

The bears are hanging with some cool company this week!

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Enjoy!

Roy & Kevin