Category Archives: New England Patriots

Super Weekend!

It just doesn’t seem right that the Patriots are not in Super Bowl 50. Still, it’s a great event, and we will be tuning in for Lady Gaga’s national anthem, the game (go Broncos), the commercials and Cold Play’s halftime show.

Food is always a great part of Super Bowl Sunday, and in this week’s blog, we share our Crispy Baked Shrimp, served with our Amped-up Coleslaw.

We also feature this week’s Amaryllis report, our indoor/outdoor garden update and, of course, the bears!!!

CRISPY OVEN-BAKED SHRIMP

This tasty, oven-baked shrimp looks and tastes fried, but has a lot less fat and calories. Easy!

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Delicious as a sandwich, too!

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Ingredients;

  • 1 lb. bag large, raw, deveined shrimp, 31- 40 ct.
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 cup Panko bread crumbs, separated – 3/4 cup and 1/4 cup
  • 1 egg beaten
  • 1 teaspoon Mrs. Dash Garlic Herb Mix
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder

How to prepare:

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  • Defrost shrimp, peel and remove tail.
  • Pat shrimp dry and place in bowl.
  • Mix flour, chili powder and Mrs. Dash.
  • Coat shrimp thoroughly with dry mix.
  • Add beaten egg to shrimp mixture and toss.
  • Add 3/4 cup bread crumbs to the bowl and toss to cover shrimp completely.
  • Place coated shrimp on parchment-lined sheet tray.
  • Sprinkle remaining 1/4 cup crumbs over shrimp.
  • Bake 10 minutes.
  • Flip with spatula.
  • Bake 5 more minutes.
  • Serve and enjoy!

Hearty Coleslaw

This coleslaw is delicious. The broccoli slaw adds crunch and fiber.

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Ingredients:

  • 1/2 of a 12 oz. bag of Dole’s Classic Coleslaw
  • 1/2 of a 14 oz. bag broccoli coleslaw (we use Mann’s)
  • 1 cup of light mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon grainy Dijon mustard

How to prepare:

  • Mix the 2 coleslaw blends together.
  • Combine mayo, mustard and lemon juice.
  • Toss dressing with slaws and chill.

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Great with the crispy baked shrimp!

ST. VALENTINE’S DAY IS COMING!!!

Woven Paper Heart Baskets

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Roy learned these woven paper heart baskets from the PBS show “ZOOM!” Here is a link with details on how to make these baskets:

http://www.enchantedlearning.com/crafts/Heartbasket.shtml

Check next week to see how we decorate and fill these charming hearts for St. Valentine’s Day.

PATIO & PLANT UPDATE

The bears ventured out onto the patio during today’s snow storm to clear off a sign!

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Good thing they were able to warm up afterwards.

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Weekly Amaryllis Report

The Amaryllis we received as a gift is thriving!!!  It travels with the light throughout the day – early morning light on our office printer; mid-day light on the office counter and sunset in the apartment. Amazing growth in one week! Thanks Chris and Bernard!

This is where we started:

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Here is this week’s growth! (Feed me Seymore!!!)

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FOOD ART

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The Bears

The bears have packed up their PATS gear and said goodbye and thanks for a great year! Now, they are focussing their energy on the UCONN Huskies! (The bears are always so um … subtle… with their decorations! (Yeah it’s the bears who do that!) GO HUSKIES!!!

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Enjoy!!!

Roy and Kevin

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Let’s Play! Creativity, food and football – GO PATS!!!

After an unseasonably warm December and beginning of January, winter finally has arrived. With Rhode Island bracing for its first measurable snow storm, we share our warm artichoke dip with homemade bagel bites (perfect for the Patriots game on Sunday), offer thoughts on restocking art and craft supplies, playing creatively, a patio update and, of course, the bears!

WARM ARTICHOKE DIP

Here is one of our favorite recipes. Great for halftime! GO PATS!!!

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Ingredients:

  • 2 and 1/2 cups light mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese (freshly grated is best, but the green can works)
  • one 14 oz. can artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
  • 1 teaspoon garlic herb mix
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

To prepare:

  • Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Combine all the ingredients, reserving 1 teaspoon parmesan cheese.
  • Sprinkle mixture with reserved parmesan.
  • Bake for 45 minutes until golden brown.
  • Serve with chips, including those shown below.

Bagel bites

Slice 2 whole marble rye bagels into quarter-inch rounds. Bake at 350 degrees for 8 minutes, flipping halfway through. These crispy dippers are great paired with the artichoke dip. (They also make great croutons for your favorite salad!)

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We also enjoy the artichoke dip with our easy, healthy pita chips. Here is the link :

https://funclesarts.com/2015/01/18/game-time/

 RESTOCK AND PLAY

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Winter is one of our favorite seasons for crafting, but most of our craft materials were used prepping for the holidays. January is a great month to take inventory and re-stock your supplies. Good timing, because craft stores are offering deep discounts. Take a look at your supplies and, if you need to, restock! Don’t forget to use craft stores coupons, easily found online.

 When you do restock, why not play?

Just playing with craft materials can be inspiring. One of the goals we have for this blog is to create new things, and sometimes the best ideas come during play, when one idea leads to another. The “Create Peace” collage and the “Let’s Grow!” patio sign from last week’s blog evolved from this technique – covering your work space with a variety of materials and playing creatively.

In the photo above, Roy tried out our new Sharpies and crayons on a big sheet of newsprint. It was just for fun, sort of like the new adult coloring book trend. We probably won’t use the paper for anything (although Kevin thinks it would be cool gift wrap) but either way, that’s ok. Have fun – you just might create something!!!

Take some pictures

Speaking of playing, we continue to play with and learn about our new(ish) camera.

Still looking for Tippi Hendren from Hitchcock’s, “The Birds”!

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PATIO UPDATE

We got some snow earlier this week. The Flamingo looks cooold!!!

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PLAY AND PLANTING

We received an Amaryllis bulb as a Christmas gift and planted it this week. Turns out we didn’t need our potting soil. Who knew the small brown disc in the picture on the left would become three cups of the nutrient-rich soil pictured on the right!

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Amaryllis updates to come. Looking forward to some beautiful blooms to brighten our indoor winter garden! Thanks, Chris and Bernard!

New door

After some false starts, we are pleased that our new sliding glass door is installed. We’re looking forward to spring and summer, when the screen door will allow us to enjoy our patio garden even more!

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FOOD ART (Roy played with photo editing on this one – background is actually a gray cabinet!)

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THE BEARS

The bears are enjoying browsing through our recent library finds. Hmm . . . shouldn’t they be hibernating?

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No!!! They are too excited to sleep! GO PATS!!!

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Enjoy!

Roy & Kevin!

 

Positively 2016!!!

Happy New Year!  In the northeast, the new year brings cold weather. Our white bean chicken chili will positively warm you on a cold winter’s night. We also offer a couple of upbeat craft projects, our garden update, and of course, the bears, who share their New Year’s resolutions!

WHITE BEAN CHICKEN CHILI

We were surprised when we looked back at our previous 64 blogs and saw that we hadn’t shared one of our favorite recipes, white bean chicken chili. It’s a healthy, warming comfort food, perfect for a cold winter night!
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This chili is easy to make and delicious.

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Ingredients:

  • One teaspoon olive oil
  • One lb. boneless, skinless chicken breast
  • Three 15.5 oz. cans cannellini beans, rinsed
  • One 16 oz. can fat-free refried beans
  • One 32 oz. carton low sodium chicken broth
  • One small onion, chopped
  • One 4 oz. can chopped green chilis
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon Mrs. Dash garlic herb mix
  • One teaspoon cumin

How to prepare:

  • Chop chicken breast into 3/4 inch pieces.
  • Warm olive oil over medium heat in a 5-quart Dutch oven.
  • Saute onion in olive oil until soft.
  • Sprinkle chicken with chili powder and add to Dutch oven.
  • Cook chicken until lightly brown, about 3 minutes.
  • Add cannellini beans, refried beans, chilis and cumin to pot.
  • Stir to break up refried beans.
  • Cover mixture with chicken broth.
  • Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer.
  • Simmer 20 minutes or until thickened.
  • Serve with tortilla chips, guacamole, olives (Kevin’s favorite), green onions, salsa, sour cream or any of your favorite toppings.

Adjust seasonings to make it more hot or mild according to your own taste!

COLLAGE

The new year is a hopeful time and one way to maintain that feeling is to surround yourself with positive messages. We combined two uplifting thoughts into one inspirational piece of art.

We cut out letters from old magazines and newspaper inserts, choosing contrasting sizes, colors and fonts. If you can’t find all the letters you need for your project, use stickers or print letters from the computer. Once all of our letters were gathered, they were attached to a piece of specialty scrapbook paper cut to fit the size of the frame. Gift wrap or construction paper also could be used as a background. Total cost for our framed project was about $6.00! This easy and effective type of collage has many applications. It’s a fun project for kids and adults alike. We’d love to see your positive messages for 2016!

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SPEAKING OF POSITIVE MESSAGES

People appreciate being remembered. We make a point of mailing birthday, anniversary and holiday cards to family and friends throughout the year. To make this easier, one thing we do at the beginning of the year is to note special occasions on a wall calendar that hangs in our living room. It’s an easy way to keep track of card-worthy events throughout the year. Who doesn’t like to be thought of with a card? We recently received a touching, handwritten thank you note from Kevin’s 5-year old great-niece, and it made our day. Positivity bounces back and forth!

PATIO UPDATE

We removed the decorative holiday items this week, but left the greenery and lit tomato cages. The greenery will be removed when it starts to dry out. Hoping the tomato cages will be glowing on the patio all winter.

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Sign for the Patio

While we were designing the “Create Peace” collage, we came upon a beat up old door from a long-discarded cabinet. A quick paint job and fun message adds a bit of whimsy! Let’s grow!

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Hitchcock’s view from our patio:

Is Tippi Hendren in town? (Rizzolty rozzolty now now now) This photo from our patio reminds us of Hitchcock’s classic movie, “The Birds”.

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FOOD ART

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THE BEARS

The bears are doing pretty well with their resolutions!

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Enjoy!

Roy & Kevin

Happy and Fun Thanksgiving to All!!!

“Gratitude is the best attitude.” – Unknown                                                                                    Source: Quotegarden.com

Happy Thanksgiving! As Turkey Day approaches, we revisit updated versions of a couple of our favorite side dishes, a hostess gift idea, some of our favorite Thanksgiving things, what we are thankful for, the garden (now patio) update and, of course, the bears!

FAVORITE HOLIDAY SIDE DISHES

Sweet potatoes with bananas

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Check out the recipe here!

https://funclesarts.com/2014/11/22/thanksgiving-the-third-blog-post/

Cranberry sauce with jalapeno peppers

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This zingy favorite is sure to surprise!                     Heat one 14 oz. can of whole berry cranberry sauce over medium heat until it liquefies. Finely chop one jalapeno pepper (remove seeds and ribs to make less spicy if desired) and add to cranberries. Simmer for 5 minutes. Cool at least one hour until mixture solidifies.

Check out last year’s post, where this recipe first appeared, to find a crunchy cranberry sauce variation with a touch of citrus!

Click here for the post and recipe:

https://funclesarts.com/2014/11/14/thanksgiving-continued/

HOSTESS GIFT IDEA

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Baked goods are great hostess gifts, but time constraints around the holidays can make baking from scratch difficult. We suggest using quality mixes. This pumpkin bread was made from a boxed mix. Add dried cranberries, raisins, nuts or whatever you think will work to personalize your goodies. Make it your own! It’s a great gift when wrapped and paired with specialty tea. You can find delicious mixes and ready to bake treats at any supermarket. Easy and appreciated!

“Thanksgiving, man. Not a good day to be my pants!” – Kevin James (comedian)

THANKSGIVING TREASURES

Cornucopia

This cornucopia has been in Roy’s family for as long as he can remember. It was the subject of a recent “veg art” photo!

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Pilgrim candle

Kevin’s family has had this pilgrim candle a long time, too. His mom gave it to us for Thanksgiving just a few years ago. A treasure for sure.

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“Family gathers to share good noise and good food, gratitude abounds!”

poet Alexandra Elle (source goodreads.com)

PATIO UPDATE (FORMERLY GARDEN UPDATE)

The bee is bee-fuddled by the change in the impatiens.

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The tomato cages are waiting to be transformed into Christmas trees or some other holiday creation!

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Bonus picture: We love bittersweet, a fall vine with berries which grows abundantly on our property. Bittersweet make a great fall decoration, but be warned, if you use it indoors, the berries can stain!

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FOOD ART (FORMERLY VEG ART

Fruits and vegetables ready for Thanksgiving!

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JOKE OF THE WEEK

What sound does a space turkey make?  Hubble . . . Hubble . . .Hubble!!!                                       source:101thanksgiving.com

THANKSGIVING TRIVIA

Here is some interesting trivia about Thanksgiving!

http://www.examiner.com/article/50-family-friendly-thanksgiving-trivia-questions-and-answers

Thankful

We are thankful to have wonderful, supportive families, great friends and fun and creative lives. Plus, the 10-0 Pats!!!

THE BEARS

The bears get in the act with their own turkey hats.

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Last but DEFINITELY not least, we are thankful for your support and kindness!

Enjoy!

Roy & Kevin

Last Minute Halloween Mayhem!

It’s Halloween week and we’re adding last-minute decorations to our house – a little late, but festive, nonetheless. As Halloween approaches, we share easy ideas for our lollipop ghosts, creepy pins, and tasty treats. Also, check out photos of our decorations, a garden update and of course, the bears!

LOLLIPOP GHOSTS

Ghosts made from lollipops covered with white napkins, fastened with a rubber band.

These lollipop ghosts are fun and fast. Simply wrap a napkin around a lollipop, tie with a ribbon and add a face with a marker. Fun favors that kids love!

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EASY PINS

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From the craft store, we bought 1.5-inch bar pins which have adhesive strips built-in. The pins were secured to the back of these small, plastic decorations for instant, creepy fun! Use flat-backed items for best adhesion. Note: The spider was a little heavy for the pin to support. A little hot glue solved this problem!

The pins pictured above were attached to a piece of cloth for display purposes, but they look great on a jacket or sweater. Crank up the creepy factor – add a little glitter or glow-in-the dark paint to your pin.

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PORTABLE COSTUMES

We often take a cab to Halloween celebrations. One concern is – do we really want to ride in a cab wearing full costumes? When the answer is “no”, we opt for “portable costumes”.

Portable costumes are festive, wearable items that can be tucked into a pocket, purse or backpack, then easily put on before you make your grand entrance!

Some examples are:

  • Silly hats (note our turkey hat – upper left)
  • Campy glasses
  • Halloween ties
  • Boas
  • Clown nose and makeup kit. (Apply makeup when you get there!)
  • Foldable character masks
  • Plain masks with embellishments. (We glued bats and spiders to inexpensive masks.)
  • Lights: Battery operated lights can add a lot of pizzazz to any outfit!

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HALLOWEEN CARD DECOR

Holiday cards received over the years make great decorations, and hanging cards each holiday is one of our favorite traditions. We enjoy reading them and thinking of the family and friends, both here and gone, who sent them. Some of our favorite saved cards surround a Halloween wreath (see last week’s blog for wreath instructions).

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Here’s a small sample of our Halloween decorations.

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Earlier this year, we bought inexpensive projection lights from QVC. These lights create great effects, including the witches’ shadow on the ceiling, and the creepy glow to our hand-made ghost.

We made the ghost (shown above, left) more than 10 years ago. Here is a version you can make. Our ghost has easy-to-attach felt instead of the googly eyes mentioned in the link. Boo!

http://weefolkart.com/white-stiff-fabric-ghosts/

BE SAFE!!!

This link has some good ideas about Halloween safety. Have fun! Be careful!

http://www.cdc.gov/family/halloween/

TREATS TO MAKE

Here are some easy, last-minute Halloween treats you can make:

http://www.cookingchanneltv.com/shows/ros-tasty-treats-specials/specials/ros-tasty-treats-halloween.html

GARDEN

The garden is hanging in there despite some colder weather. The cold has hurt some of our marigolds and the tomato plants are droopy. But we picked 10 peppers this week!

For the first time, this week’s veg art is our featured image, as shown at the top of the blog.

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OUR NEW ADDITION

We picked up these fall-colored marigolds today. Inexpensive fresh flowers are a great way to decorate for the holidays. This plant should last through Thanksgiving.

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JOKE OF THE WEEK

Do zombies eat popcorn with their fingers? No, they eat their fingers separately!

Source: Psychology Today.

THE BEARS

The bears are ready for trick or treat after adding diddly-bopper headbands to their own portable costumes.

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Fall back

Dont forget to set your clocks back an hour this weekend. Looking forward to an extra hour of sleep this Sunday!

Oh and…

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Enjoy!

Roy & Kevin

A Super Bowl dip, lights and a recycling tip. (Now that’s poetry!)

This week, we have a couple of Super Bowl related ideas and a recycling suggestion.

“NO TELL” QUESO DIP RECIPE:  We love the Rotel Queso Dip you see on TV with the canned tomatoes with chiles and Velveeta. We decided to make it healthier. Our version uses light cream cheese and cheddar. It’s great to bring to parties because it can be made in advance and reheated in a microwave.

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Ingredients: 2 tablespoons of light margarine; 2 tablespoons of fine flour such as Wondra; 1 1/2 cups milk; one 8-oz. package of room-temperature light cream cheese; 2 cups of shredded cheddar cheese; one 10-oz. can diced tomatoes with mild chiles, drained; 1/2 teaspoon chili powder; chopped tomato; hot sauce (if desired).

How to make:

  • In a medium sauce pan, melt margarine and whisk in flour to create a roux
  • Add milk and stir until mixture begins to thicken
  • Stir in cream cheese until melted and smooth
  • Add cheddar cheese, mix to combine
  • Add chili powder
  • Add drained tomatoes to cheese mixture
  • Lower heat and allow to thicken – about one-two minutes
  • Spoon into serving dish, sprinkle with hot sauce and garnish with chopped tomatoes
  • Serve with tortilla chips or the pita chips from last weeks blog (shown with dip in picture above). This also is delicious with a small French baguette. (Kevin likes this dip with mini-pumpernickel bread from the deli department at the grocery store.)

    PUT A LITTLEIMG_3099 LIGHT ON THE SUBJECT:                                                      In our home, we use festive party lights year round. We have lights for St. Valentines Day, St. Patricks Day and Easter and, of course, Christmas. During non-holiday times, we love the warm glow the lights give our home and patio(Think Tavern on the Green!)     For the Super Bowl, we’ve decorated our patio with our tomato                                                 cage trees emblazoned in blue and red Patriots colors!  Go Pats!!!

 RANDOM THOUGHT:

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RECYCLING AND ORGANIZING IDEA:                                                                                                       We often buy pre-packaged cold cuts from the grocery store. They come in small plastic containers similar to Tupperware. We recycle these tubs by using them to store our sewing and craft supplies. (Love our glue sticks!) They stack easily and are transparent, so we can easily find the items we need. These work out great!

Have a wonderful week!

Roy & Kevin