Category Archives: Spring

All Things Spring!

Mark Twain wrote: “In the Spring, I have counted one hundred and thirty-six kinds of weather inside of four and twenty hours.” Source: QuoteGarden.com

Mr. Twain (or Clemons) had a point. Weather in spring is very changeable. The season started off nicely in Rhode Island, with some great weather for Easter. But last weekend, we got several inches of heavy, wet snow! This fickle weather makes it difficult to have a “springy” attitude. This week, we offer a couple of ideas to get in the spring mode, or mood, no matter what Mother Nature has in store.

Hope you enjoy our shrimp pizza recipe, some basic tips on spring cleaning, a quick spring decor idea, a patio update, and, of course, the bears!

MINI SHRIMP PIZZAS ON ENGLISH MUFFINS

We did a web search for spring inspired recipes, and 2 items came up. The first was a white pizza, and the second, a shrimp dish. One of our long-time favorite recipes, our Shrimp Pizzas on English Muffins, combine these two ideas. Quick and tasty.

DSCF2512 (2)

Ingredients:

  • 6 whole wheat English muffins, split
  • 1 lb. bag raw, peeled and deveined shrimp, tails removed
  • 3/4 cup sliced mushrooms
  • 3/4 cup spinach, chopped
  • 1 lb. package of shredded 4-cheese Italian blend
  • 2 tablespoons garlic & herb mix (we use Mrs. Dash)
  • 1 tablespoon (or to taste) red pepper flakes
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

How to prepare:

  • Pre-heat oven to 375.
  • Place split English muffins on a parchment-paper covered sheet tray.
  • Bake muffins for 5 minutes until lightly toasted.
  • While the muffins toast, saute shrimp in olive oil for 2 minutes on each side until just pink.
  • Remove muffins from oven and top with cheese blend.
  • Top English muffins with mushrooms, spinach and shrimp.
  • Sprinkle with herb mix and red pepper flakes.
  • Bake muffin pizzas for an additional 10 minutes.

Serve with a salad for a tasty meal.

Our sheet tray of English muffin pizzas look like one big pizza because we like cheese!

l.DSCF2500 (2)DSCF2507 (2)

SPRING CLEANING THOUGHTS

DSCF3037 (2)

We are not cleaning experts by any stretch of the imagination, but this spring we’ve developed a more focused cleaning routine. Here are a few things that work for us. Extra benefit – cleaning is good exercise!

Do something daily

Make a point of cleaning every day for 45 minutes to an hour, or whatever amount of time you have available.

Timer

Set a timer for your desired length of time and clean until the timer goes off.

Hit list

Make a list of those areas and tasks which could use some attention.

Wear cleaning clothes

Lesson learned: If you are using products with bleach, make sure you wear clothes that you don’t mind getting bleach on. Nothing is more annoying than spotting a pair of jeans or shirt with bleach because you were cleaning!

Put on music and lights 

What? It’s not a disco! Put on some of your favorite music to keep you moving and turn up the lights so you can see what you’re cleaning.

Good motto for cleaning 

Improvement not perfection.

A TOUCH OF GLASS (SPRING EDITION)

DSCF3051 (2)

For Easter, we decorated using glass bowls and vases filled with plastic eggs. For spring, we use artificial flowers the same way. Wow – a vase with flowers, what a concept!!!

We prefer using monochromatic displays of various types of flowers. Above, we filled a trifle bowl with some pretty blossoms and surrounded it with other flowers, glass and lights. Forsythia and daisies make a taller display in the photo below. With the weather in Rhode Island so far this spring, artificial flowers suffice; of course, the same ideas work beautifully with fresh flowers.

DSCF3020 (2)

PATIO UPDATE

This photo was taken this past Monday, 04/04/16. Not too spring-like!

DSCF2998 (2)

Coming soon – an interesting addition to the patio! The bee seems curious!!!

DSCF2975 (2)

FOOD ART

The asparagus at the top of the page makes a great centerpiece, and delicious side dish! Check out the link below from our 2015 post, “Spring into Spring” for a delicious asparagus recipe:

https://funclesarts.com/2015/04/12/spring-into-spring/

THE BEARS

The bears are using the Easter lily plant for shade. The plant is hanging in there, and all of the buds have bloomed. The bears seem to like it!

DSCF3016 (3)

SPORTS UPDATE

Congratulations to the UCONN Huskies women’s basketball team for winning their 4th straight NCAA National Championship!!! Record-breaking accomplishment!!! GO HUSKIES!!!

Enjoy!

Roy & Kevin

 

Advertisements

Happy, Bunny-Filled, Colorful Easter and Spring!!!

This week, we share some colorful Easter and Spring ideas. Check out our Easy Easter Cupcakes, quick holiday decorating tips, a plant update, our healthy Bunny Dip Crudite Platter, one of our special Easter traditions, and of course, the bears!

EASY EASTER CUPCAKES

Get the kids involved in this easy holiday dessert. The Peep Bunnies seem intrigued!

DSCF2918 (2)

Prepare your favorite flavor of cake mix according to package directions for cupcakes. For Easter, we use carrot cake. Frost them with canned white frosting. Of course, you can make your cupcakes and frosting from scratch, but the cake mixes and canned frosting are quite tasty and save time. Save even more time – decorate store-bought frosted cupcakes!

To make the “grass”: mix 2 or 3 drops of green food coloring into one cup of shredded coconut.

DSCF2888 (3)

Sprinkle the frosted cupcakes with the dyed coconut and top with jelly beans, malted milk eggs or the candy of your choice. The Peep Bunnies add whimsy to the plate! Fun for kids!

Bonus tip:

If you’re Easter Cupcakes are travelling and you don’t have a cake cover, invert a dutch oven over your dish of cupcakes. Great in a pinch!

DSCF2921 (2)DSCF2920 (2)

 A TOUCH OF GLASS

Plastic Easter eggs make a simple, fun display in various glass containers. Mix and match the colors you want. Use white or clear lights to add a little more sparkle. Festive!

DSCF2848 (2)

DSCF2842 (2)

The forsythia is not yet in bloom, but this faux forsythia adds a touch of Spring to this early Easter holiday. The hummingbird on the pillow is looking for nectar!

SOME OF OUR OTHER DECORATIONS

This bookcase is filled with rabbit figurines we’ve collected over the years. The hanging ornaments in the back row on the top shelf never come down – Red Sox, Patriots, UCONN, sand dollar and rainbow flag. (On a side note – UCONN women’s basketball team going for 4th straight national championship. GO HUSKIES!!!)

DSCF2894 (2)

LIKE A FINE WINE, LAST YEAR’S IDEAS GET BETTER WITH TIME!

Check out our post from Easter 2015 – some fun ideas for Easter baskets.

https://funclesarts.com/2015/03/29/baskets-for-both-easter-and-the-final-four/

PLANT UPDATE

Our beautiful Amaryllis blooms are gone, but the leaves stand strong and our patio is being prepped for Spring planting.

DSCF2924 (2)

FOOD ART/BUNNY DIP CRUDITE TRAY

DSCF2900 (2)

This week’s food art is a great appetizer for Easter celebrations. To balance out Easter’s sweet treats, we created this Bunny Dip Crudite Tray. Place a bowl of dip on a sheet tray covered with parchment paper and decorate it to look like the Easter Bunny.

Details as follows:

  • Ears: Endive, split, rinsed and sprinkled with chili powder.
  • Nose: Olive
  • Eyes: Capers
  • Eyebrows: Celery leaves
  • Mouth and whiskers: Chives
  • Bow tie: Bell pepper and a cherry tomato
  • Dip: one 16 oz. container of fat-free sour cream and 2 – 3 tablespoons of Mrs. Dash Garlic Herb Mix. This is one of our favorite, healthy and quick dips. Any light-colored dip will do.

Surround with celery, carrots and other veggies.

EGG CRASHING GAME:

Kevin’s family plays this every year. It is traditional holiday game with roots in many cultures. Read more about it:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Egg_tapping

A TRIO OF EASTER JOKES:

You’ll be the hit of the party with these comic gems!

Who is the Easter Bunny’s favorite actor? Rabbit DeNiro!

Where do the Easter bunnies go for new tails? The re-tail store! (When Roy asked this question to Kevin, he said the tuxedo store – take a minute.)

Why is Easter like whipped cream and a cherry? Because it’s always on a sundae!

Source: Fundootimes.com

The bunnies, er, we mean the bears, shown above, have gotten into their Easter baskets!!!

HAPPY EASTER!!!

Enjoy!

Roy & Kevin