Category Archives: patio

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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Washington, DC – What a Trip!

“The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.” Saint Augustine Source:Brainyquotes

Last week, we took a vacation to Washington, DC. This was Kevin’s first trip to our nation’s capital. Roy has been there a few times, but not for many years.

It was so exciting to go together and see the monuments, museums and more!

This week, we share some of our trip photos, a couple of ideas for recording travel memories, a garden update, and, of course, the bears!

TAKE NOTES

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We took daily notes about what happened during our travels and sightseeing. At night, we would review our day, jotting down the details we remembered on the hotel’s notepads, in our case, the highly recommended State Plaza Hotel.  This resulted in a pile of notes, which are great reminders of our DC adventures.http://www.stateplaza.com/?src=ppc_yahoobing_brand&utm_source=yahoobing&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=brand

Notes were about:

  • Airport TSA screenings (Roy got patted down because he forgot to remove his metal bracelet)
  • Fun layover in Charlotte, NC, with folks from Shelton, CT (great package deal took us way out of way)
  • Learning the Metro system in DC
  • Talking to the hotel desk clerk trainee named Simone about the Olympics and Gold Medal gymnast Simone Biles and Gold Medal Swimmer Simone Manuel (it was Simone day!)
  • Getting upgraded to a deluxe suite in our hotel (thanks, Simone)
  • Trying fresh beets, which we actually liked! (So much better than canned!)
  • The free gallery exhibit of miniature architectural models we ran across unexpectedly in downtown DC
  • The monuments
  • The Smithsonian
  • The Library of Congress
  • Macy’s – DC (a.c. was welcome – plus we needed socks)
  • Dupont Circle – enough said!
  • The Disarm Hate Rally
  • Metro employee who thought Kevin smelled good (he had sprayed some sample cologne at Macy’s)
  • The New England folks we met everywhere (thanks Red Sox hats!)
  • Visit to the Kennedy Center
  • The singing bar back
  • The singing flight attendant on the flight home
  • So many people from so many countries speaking so many languages. As Maya Angelou wrote, “We are more alike my friends than we are unalike.”
  • Two fun visits and great food with Kevin’s nephew Mark, his girlfriend Richelle and their cat Babou (Thanks!!!)
  • How much we love vacationing
  • And much more!

TAKE PHOTOS

OUR VIEW

This was the view from the hotel window in our kitchen (thanks, again, Simone!). Walking distance to the monuments!

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THE MONUMENTS

A little bit closer to the Washington Monument than our window view. Thanks to the beautiful young Russian woman who offered to take our photo while we were trying to selfie without a selfie stick.

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THE LINCOLN MEMORIAL

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Kevin reading one of Lincoln’s speeches engraved on the wall of the Lincoln Memorial

and Kevin in front of the reflecting pool.

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THE SMITHSONIAN

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Roy in front of the American History Museum. A little Ice cream would have been nice on this hot day. This Good Humor truck is from 1967.

THE KENNEDY CENTER

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When Roy was a theatre major at UMass in 1991, he acted in a production of The Playboy of the Western World by John Millington Synge. Out of 500 plays judged nationwide, it was one of just five chosen to be performed at the Kennedy Center. On the left is Roy back then, and on the right, Roy last week. Good memories both times. Very special – and walking distance from the hotel!

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Stunning sculpture of JFK in the lobby of the Kennedy Center. Awesome!!!

SHARE YOUR TRIP

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We know how much children love receiving mail. With this in mind, we sent a postcard from DC to each of our great nieces and nephews. This nice postcard book from the Smithsonian gift shop had photos of a lot of the places we saw. We got 33 beautiful postcards for $8.95!

GIFTS

During our travels, we came across plenty of tempting items that would have made great gifts. We travelled light this trip – only with backpacks (highly recommended if possible), so the postcard idea worked well for us. Had we had more room in our bags, the museum gift shops would have been the place to fill them.

Travel without travelling! Explore your favorite museum’s gift shops on-line for interesting and unusual items.

ACTIVISM

We care deeply about many issues. While planning our trip, we discovered that the Disarm Hate Rally was scheduled for Saturday, August 13th, a date we would be in DC. The Disarm Hate Rally was sponsored by the LBGT community in response to the Orlando massacre. Its goal – sensible gun law reform.

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Here is a link to learn more about Disarm Hate:

http://www.disarmhate2016.info/

GARDEN UPDATE

The garden hung in there pretty well during our four-day absence.

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We came home to a bounty of red and orange peppers and tomatoes ready to pick and enjoy! The flowers continue to grace us with their beauty!

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WATER

We watered the plants the morning of our trip at about 4:15 am.

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We bought these watering globes for about $8.00 each. They helped keep our plants watered, and they are pretty, too!

TIN CAN MAN UPDATE

As we hoped, our garden tin can man is weathering. Let’s call him Rusty!

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Check out our previous blog for directions on how to  create your own tin can man!

https://funclesarts.com/2016/04/23/help-the-earth-yes-we-can/

FOOD ART (all from our garden) 

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THE BEARS

The bears are enjoying showing off their DC postcards and hats!

Enjoy your world!

Roy & Kevin

 

An Olympic-Sized Post

“If you dream and allow yourself to dream, you can do anything, and that’s what the Olympic medal represents.”  Clara Hughes – Canadian cyclist and speed skater and 3-time Olympian with 6 medals won in 1996, 2000, 2012.*

We love the Olympics! It’s a month-long celebration of great sporting events, drama and human interest stories. Opening ceremonies for the Summer Olympics 2016 in Brazil are tomorrow, Friday, August 5th. But the Games have already started. Glad to see the U.S. women’s soccer team won their first match, 2-0! Go USA!!!

This week, we feature an easy chicken nacho recipe perfect for watching the Olympics, family-friendly Olympic activities, a garden update, and, of course, the bears!

CHICKEN NACHOS FOR OLYMPIC-SIZED APPETITES!

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These chicken nachos are easy and delicious – a gold-medal snack!

Ingredients:

  • two cups diced rotisserie chicken
  • 1/3 cup water
  • one tablespoon low sodium taco seasoning mix
  • 3/4 cup fresh or frozen corn
  • 6 oz. tortilla chips
  • one can fat-free refried beans, heated
  • 1/4 cup pickled jalapeno slices
  • one cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • one small tomato, diced
  • one cup shredded lettuce

Toppings:

  • olives
  • guacamole
  • taco sauces
  • sour cream
  • salsa

To prepare:

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  • In skillet, heat to combine chicken, taco seasoning and water.
  • Spread chips on parchment-covered sheet tray.
  • Heat chips in oven for 5 minutes.
  • Remove chips from oven.
  • Spread with refried beans.
  • Cover beans with chicken mixture.
  • Sprinkle corn over chicken.
  • Dot with jalapeno slices.
  • Top with shredded cheese.
  • Heat in oven for 7-10 minutes.
  • Remove from oven and top with lettuce and tomatoes.
  • Serve with your choice of toppings.
  • Makes 6 delicious servings.

FIVE TIMES NEAT!

“I always thought it would be neat to make the Olympic team.”* Michael Phelps, five-time Olympian and 2016 USA flag bearer at the opening ceremonies in Rio on Friday.

FAMILY OLYMPIC ACTIVITIES

The Olympics make for great family television viewing. They also can be educational and fun! Here are a few ideas:

Geography: There are many websites online where you can find free maps to print. Print out maps and have your kids find host country, Brazil, and competing countries on their maps. You also can have a geography competition. As athletes and their countries are announced before events, who will win the race to find the athelete’s country?

Culture: Go online to explore the culture of the nations represented, including their foods, history and arts.

Inspiration: Use the Olympics to discuss goal setting and how working towards your dreams can be rewarding.

Athletics and fitness: Use the Olympics to encourage youngsters and yourself to be more physically fit and try new sports. Play and hold your own mini-Olympic games.

Here is a fun link from Real Simple about hosting your own Olympic games!

http://www.realsimple.com/work-life/family/olympic-games-kids

GARDEN UPDATE

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Its been quite hot lately and our garden is doing very well. We just picked our first batch of 15 tomatoes, and have had one each of our red and yellow peppers. We should have listened when the package said “spicy red peppers”!

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Our coleus is thriving, and we didn’t expect it to bloom! A nice surprise!

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The herbs are doing well, too. The flamingo is impressed!

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The “Let’s Grow” sign from our last blog has found its outdoor spot.

FOOD ART

Our first crop of tomatoes (can you find all 15?) with a fun background.

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JOKE OF THE WEEK

Q; Why does the Olympic torch always start in Olympia?

A: Because its hard to put out a Greece fire.

source: Chetchatblogspot.com

THE BEARS

The bears love the Olympics! They made their own medals from cardboard, ribbon, wrapping paper and scotch tape. Try this easy craft for all your winners!!! In what Olympic events do you think our bears will medal?

Enjoy the Olympics!

Roy & Kevin

*Quote source: Brainyquotes

Summer Garden!!!

“The most lasting and pure gladness comes to me from my garden.” – Lillie Langtry*

We have had a busy July with some extra work responsibilities. It’s nice to have the beauty of our patio garden to enjoy!

This week, for our 80th blog post, we feature a quick shrimp & vegetable recipe, stencilled signs, a garden update, and, of course, the bears!

EASY SHRIMP AND RICE

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This dish is a perfect weeknight meal. It’s quick, easy and delicious. An added bonus on a hot summer night – no oven required.

INGREDIENTS:

  • Two cups of instant brown rice, cooked according to package directions
  • 1 lb of 41-50 shrimp, peeled and deveined with tails off
  • 2  tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 lb frozen mixed pepper strips
  • 1/2 lb frozen broccoli and cauliflower mix
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (or to taste)
  •  Two tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1/2 rib of celery, chopped
  • 1 cup sliced mushrooms
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas

HOW TO PREPARE:

  • Saute onion, mushrooms and celery in one tablespoon of oil until tender.
  • Remove and place in a Dutch oven.
  • Cook frozen peppers and broccoli/cauliflower mixture in microwave for 5 minutes and add to Dutch oven.
  • Toss shrimp with garlic powder and red pepper flakes.
  • Saute shrimp over medium heat in second tablespoon of olive oil until just pink.
  • Add shrimp to vegetables.
  • Stir in cooked rice.
  • Add frozen peas and soy sauce.
  • Stir, cover and cook on medium low heat for 5 minutes.
  • Serve and enjoy!

Make your own combination, add water chestnuts, bean sprouts, cooked carrots or whatever you like!

TRYING SOMETHING NEW: PAINTED SIGNS

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Inspirational or humorous stencilled signs are very popular decorating items for home or garden, but can be very expensive. Why not try making your own?

A found piece of aged wood, and some inexpensive stencils, foam stippler brushes and acrylic paints from Michael’s (look for coupons!) made this project easy. Our stencil set had a full alphabet, punctuation marks and a leaf pattern, which went well with our, “Lets Grow”, message.

A couple of tips:

  • If your stencils come with directions, read them. (Maybe we will next time!)
  • Don’t rush. Do a letter at a time and allow it to dry. Acrylic paint dries quickly, so this crucial step will not take too long.
  • Sand paper and accent paint can help correct smudged letters.

We love how this sign came out and it has a special place in our garden. Which leads us to:

GARDEN UPDATE

“The Earth laughs in flowers.” Ralph Waldo Emerson*

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We got this beautiful bird house, expertly painted by Roy’s soon-to-be five-year old great-niece, Kinsley, with the assistance from grandma, Lyn. Kinsley has a great eye for color combinations. After seeing photos of our garden, she knew where the bird house needed to go. It color-coodinates perfectly with our pot-full of pink and white petunias! (Thanks Kinsley and Lyn!)

This is a fun craft for any age. The unpainted birdhouses are available at craft stores. (This one came from Michael’s.) Acrylic paints do the trick. They dry fast and hold up pretty well outside. As an added bonus when working with kids, they wash off easily with soap and water.

Add embellishments to make your bird house festive; customize for different themes and holidays!

The Plants:

The warm summer weather has been a boon for our garden. The pepper plants, especially, are responding to the hot, humid weather. The flowers also are thriving – as long as we remember to water at least once a day!

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GUEST GARDEN PHOTOS

We visited Kevin’s brother, Warren and sister-in-law, Sharon, this past weekend. They have a beautiful assortment of flowers. Here are a few pictures:

Kevin was pleased to see that they have a tiger lily plant, which they grew from a clipping taken from Kevin & Warren’s childhood home In Meriden, CT.

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A second recent addition to our garden landscape and a nice surprise from this visit was Roy’s belated birthday gift, a trio of beautifully blown glass solar garden lights. (Thank you Sharon & Warren!)

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FOOD ART

Light on the red onion.

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JOKE OF THE WEEK: 

How well is your garden going to grow? Only thyme will tell!                                                         Source: Nestinstyle.wordpress.com

THE BEARS

The bears are admiring our new “Let’s Grow” sign (featured image).

Enjoy & stay cool!

Roy & Kevin

*Quote source-brainyquote.com

Father’s Day, Pride and the Garden!

This week, we focus on Father’s Day, Pride Month, a garden update, and, of course, the bears.

FATHER’S DAY

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“Any man can be a father, but it takes a special man to be a dad.” – Anne Geddes*

We are both grateful and blessed to have had wonderful, dedicated fathers, to whom family meant everything. Applause to all great fathers and their lucky children.

Here is a simple idea for a great Father’s Day gift:

GIFT BOWL

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A great way to present a gift is to use a bowl like a gift basket. In the example above, we placed three different bottles of hot sauce in a bowl with some colorful, shredded paper, and spelled out “Dad” on the bowl in stickers. Let the kids get creative with the stickers! To finish this and make it more transportable, wrap it in cellophane and tie with a ribbon. This doesn’t have to be expensive. We got this bowl and hot sauce trio at an outlet store for under $6.00! You also can add a gift card to a favorite restaurant, if desired. A Buffalo Wild Wings gift card would work well in our example. Customize your gift bowl for your special dad!

Find more Father’s Day ideas from last year’s post:

https://funclesarts.com/2015/06/20/fathers-day/

“My father gave me the greatest gift anyone could give another person; he believed in me.”           – Jim Valvano*

FATHER’S DAY JOKE:

What did daddy spider say to baby spider?  You spend too much time on the web!                 Source: jokes4us.com

OUR DADS

Here is a picture of Kevin’s father, Warren, and his mom, Irene, at a family celebration . . .

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. . . and here is a picture of Roy’s father, Bill, who enjoyed taking care of his home (perhaps not so much during snow storms).

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PRIDE – Love Conquers Hate

June is LGBT-pride month nationwide, and we were proud to celebrate our 18th year together on June 6th. As everyone probably knows, on Sunday morning, June 12th, a horrible tragedy occurred at The Pulse, a LGBT nightclub in Orlando, FL, when 49 people were killed in the worst mass murder shooting in our country’s history.

But love conquers hate, and we will be among the more than 40,000 participants this Saturday, June 18th, at Rhode Islands’ 41st annual Pride Fest, a day-long celebration in Providence ending with an amazing illuminated parade. Check out http://www.prideri.com for more details.

Rainbow Flag Sign:

This rainbow sign was made from a piece of scrap wood. Measure out 6 even horizontal spaces (in this case, each stripe is 3/4 inch wide) and paint them with acrylic paint in the colors of the rainbow.

Here is the before picture:

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and after:

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GARDEN UPDATE

This year’s garden got off to a late start due to weather, but we now have most of our plants potted. (Clockwise from top left) Basil, peppers & tomatoes, zinnias, and variegated tiger lilies are some of this year’s offerings.

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Ladder Plant Stand

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This colorful plant stand was created out of 3 different-sized ladders and a few boards we had on hand. Standard rung heights for ladders simplified this project. Paint your ladders to match your garden’s color theme. We did rainbow colors this year. Choose plants that take full sun for top of ladders and partial sun or shade for the lower levels. Check out future blogs for the development of this work in progress.

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The shelves were cut from scrap wood with a saber saw. Two inverted storage bins of the same size (shown below) made great saw horses. (Use care with power tools, or better yet, buy new lumber and have it cut to size at the store.)

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The ladders and shelves were painted with leftover paint and some new indoor/outdoor spray paint. They were painted quickly and imperfectly to create a distressed look. Since we had the ladders and boards (sometimes it pays to run a storage facility!), this project cost under ten dollars. You can find used ladders at tag sales or flea markets for your project.

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Gardening can be a wonderful way to focus on something positive. Last Sunday, when we were still absorbing the tragic news from Orlando, we decided to go out and pick up some plants to complete the garden. It helps to do something positive and life-affirming during difficult times.

FOOD ART! 

Take pride in your tasty food (flag)!

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THE BEARS

The bears are admiring the results of their hard work!

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Enjoy!

Roy &Kevin

*Quote source: Chiff.com

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

Help the Earth? Yes We CAN!!!

“Conservation is a state of harmony between men and land.” – Aldo Leopold, author and conservationist

Today, April 22nd, marks the 46th anniversary of Earth Day, reminding us of the importance of taking care of our home, the Earth!

This week, we offer our new recipe for three-bean vegetable chili, a craft using tin cans, recycling tips, a garden update and, of course, the bears!

THREE-BEAN VEGETABLE CHILI

For health reasons and to reduce our carbon footprint, we have been having more meat-free meals. Here is a recipe for a delicious, satisfying chili that fits the bill.

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Ingredients:

  • two tablespoons olive oil
  • one cup onion, chopped
  • one cup yellow squash, diced
  • one cup frozen corn
  • one lb. bag mixed pepper strips
  • one 16 oz. can vegetarian refried beans
  • two 15.5 oz. cans each of black beans, cannellini beans, red kidney beans, rinsed
  • one 28 oz. can diced tomatoes
  • one tablespoon tomato paste
  • one cup medium salsa
  • one 4.5 oz. can chopped green chilis
  • two tablespoons (or to taste – careful very spicy!) chipolte in adobo sauce, pureed. (Hint: puree a 7 oz. can in the food processor and freeze the excess for future use.)
  • two cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried cumin
  • two cups water

To make:

  • Saute onions and squash in olive oil for 2 minutes.
  • Stir in minced garlic.
  • Add corn and pepper strips and cook until they are defrosted and warm.
  • Stir in refried beans and heat until incorporated with other vegetables.
  • Add the remaining ingredients.
  • Salt to taste. (Canned items may have a lot of salt, so use caution. You can always add more later.)
  • Simmer for 20 minutes.
  • Serve with guacamole, sour cream, chips and your favorite toppings.

Here is an interesting post about the impact of beef on the environment:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/07/21/beef-environmental-impact_n_5599370.html

SAVE YOUR CANS!

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The chili recipe above uses a lot of canned items, and the cans should be recycled. As another option, why not make the cute tin can man, woman or robot (featured photo above)? Place him or her in the garden for whimsical decor. Over time, it will rust beautifully and add even more charm to the patio! (If that’s possible!)

We used:

  • One 16 oz. can for the head
  • One 28 oz. can for the body
  • Eight 6 oz. cans for the legs and arms (two for each limb)

You will also need:

  • wire
  • drill
  • wire cutters
  • silver duct tape

To make:

  • Remove labels from cans, clean and wash.
  • Drill holes at the areas where you want to attach pieces together.
  • Attach limbs and head to body with wire, twist to secure in place.

We used some colorful magnets for our face and buttons, but you could use screws, hardware, paints, stickers or whatever will show your creation’s personality! Use silver duct tape to cover wires and sharp edges on cans.

We have just started to work with this idea, so look for updated tin can creations in future blogs.

Warning! Will Robinson! Danger!!! This is not a toy! This is a decorative item we plan on using in our garden. The wires and can pieces are sharp. Use caution when assembling and displaying your creation. As with all of our projects, do this at your own risk!!!

A COUPLE OF INFORMATIVE, EDUCATIONAL EARTH-FRIENDLY LINKS:

Here’s one from the EPA about recycling and ecology:

https://www.epa.gov/earthday

Here is last years post with some good ideas and links:

https://funclesarts.com/2015/04/19/the-earth-is-in-bloom/

GARDEN UPDATE

Still a little early to plant our flowers and vegetables. Today was a beautiful summer-like day, so we brought some of our houseplants outside to soak up the sun and meet our tin can creation.

Repurposing is very earth-friendly, and the garden is a great place to make that happen. Here are photos of the toolbox we adapted into a planter, and the desks (no longer house-worthy) we used as garden tables.

Flash back to repurposing:

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FOOD ART

Don’t cry, the flowers will be back soon!

(Shopping day is tomorrow, so onions are this weeks star!)

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JOKE OF THE WEEK

Why are recycle bins optimistic? Because they are full of “cans”!

Source: amomwithalessonplan.com

THE BEARS

Inspired by this week’s craft, the bears wanted to get in on the act!

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However, they found it more comfortable resting on the Earth map pillow!

(Earth map pillow was made from a recycled fabric remnant years ago!)

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Enjoy!

Roy & Kevin