Category Archives: sweet potatoes

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

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We Fall for Halloween!!!

 

Halloween approaches! This week, we share two ideas for easy-to-make decorations, a recipe for sweet potato salad and, of course, our garden update and the bears!

HALLOWEEN TREE

We created the Halloween tree pictured above using easy-to-find items, most of which were purchased at our local dollar store.

You will need:

  • 1 tree branch with some off shoots – our’s is 22″ tall
  • Two 8-eight foot strands of black garland
  • Decorative plastic Halloween figures
  • Plastic Halloween rings (ours are bats, skulls and spiders)
  • One 18-inch square of fabric. We used fleece, but burlap would be great, too!
  • Gravel to act as stabilizer in the pot
  • Newspaper and/or plastic bags for filler
  • Curling ribbon
  • Basket, flower pot or the vessel of your choice

 

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We foraged our yard for a spooky-looking tree limb with offshoots on which to hang our decorations. The branch was wrapped in the black garland. The garland had pumpkin and skull images on it, which we removed and saved for another project (see below).

How to create your tree:

  • Line flower pot/basket with cloth.
  • Put gravel in cloth-lined pot.
  • Nestle tree in gravel.
  • Fill pot around tree base with newspapers and/or plastic bags.
  • Gather cloth up around base of tree and secure with ribbon.
  • Arrange the Halloween rings and decorations on your tree.

This tree can be made any height, depending on the size of the tree branch and container used. It would make a great addition to a children’s Halloween party. At the end of the party, kids can take tree decorations home as favors. Do your own variation with light-weight candy, toys or whatever says “Happy Halloween!” to you!

GARLAND WREATH

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The first step in this easy-to-make decoration is to line a 12-inch wire wreath form with black garland (shown). Next, cover the wreath with an orange and black pumpkin-themed garland (thanks, dollar store!). To finish it off, a larger pumpkin (leftover from the tree project above) represents the moon, lighting the sky for one of our cute clip-on witches from last week’s blog.

SWEET POTATO SALAD

This sweet potato salad is a delicious side dish for your Halloween and fall celebrations!

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Tricia Yearwood (yes, that Trisha Yearwood!) had this recipe on one of her recent Food Network television programs. We tweaked the recipe by using non-fat sour cream, doubling the hot sauce and topping with toasted chopped walnuts. Very tasty. Like all potato salads, it’s even better the next day!

http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/trisha-yearwood/sweet-potato-salad-recipe.html

GARDEN UPDATE

With frost warnings predicted for our area last Sunday night, we brought our flowers, basil, chocolate mint, and pepper plants indoors. We also picked most of the tomatoes, even though they were still green (see veg art below). Temperatures have risen, the plants are now back outside, and they are having another resurgence. One more unexpected comeback!

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VEG ART

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JOKE OF THE WEEK

What is one room a ghosts’ house doesn’t need? A living room!                                                      source: Halloweenjokes.com

THE BEARS

Hmm . . .  we didn’t know the bears were expecting company! Not sure they did either!

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Enjoy!

Roy & Kevin

Thanksgiving -The Third Blog Post

Wow – this is our 6th blog entry already and next week is Thanksgiving. We are focusing on the meal and table today. Every celebration needs a nice centerpiece, and we saw one which showed a flower arrangement in a pumpkin. We did our own take on that. Also, we have a recipe we got from Rachael Ray a few years ago. We’ve changed it up a bit to make it healthier, yet still delicious! Enjoy!

PUMPKIN & FLOWER CENTERPIECE

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Looking for pumpkins the week before Thanksgiving can be tricky. In our area, they are not easy to find (or else we are looking in the wrong places – hmm, could be). Anyway, we adapted and created the pumpkin vase (pictured above) using the plastic pumpkin in the photo to the left.

For an 8-inch plastic pumpkin, you will need: 80 inches of orange (or the color of your choice) twisted paper cord (one brand available in most craft stores is called creative twist), hot glue gun and glue, small pot of mums or your favorite fall flower that will fit into your pumpkin. Our plant is 4 inches in diameter and 12 inches high.

  • Untwist paper cord and cut into eight 10-inch strips. When untwisted, the paper cord is about 4 inches wide.
  • Cover the Jack-O-Latern’s face with one of the crepe paper strips. You may have to cut the strip in 2 and piece them together, depending on the Jack-O-Lantern design. Secure with hot glue. (The face needs to be covered twice for this project so it will not show.)
  • After the face has been covered once, and starting next to a handle, cover the pumpkin by applying the strips vertically. Glue top of strip 1/2″ into inside of pumpkin. Add glue to middle of crepe paper strip and then glue to the bottom. Overlap strips by about a 1/16th of an inch as you go around.
  • Insert plant.

 SWEET POTATOES WITH BANANAS

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We tweaked a great recipe we saw Rachael Ray make so it would be healthier. Go to foodnetwork.com for the original recipe for Rachael Ray’s wonderful Mashed Sweet Potatoes.

Here is our version with less fat and sugar:

Ingredients:

  • 3 pounds of sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks.
  • 2 tablespoons light margerine (with no hydrogenated oils)
  • 1 sliced banana
  • 1 orange, zested and juiced
  • 1 cup low sodium chicken stock
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup chopped pecans or walnuts

Directions:

Boil potatoes about 20 minutes until tender, drain and put potatoes aside. In the original pot, add margerine and banana slices.  Cook the banana 5 minutes on medium heat and add the juice of the orange. Allow the orange juice to cook out for about 1 minute. Add the potatoes back to the pot with the stock and brown sugar. Mash together until its well mixed. Season with nutmeg, salt, pepper and orange zest to taste. Mash to combine, top with 1/4 cup of chopped walnuts or pecans.  WE LOVE THESE SWEET POTATOES!!

JOKE OF THE WEEK:                                                                                                                                       Can a turkey jump higher than the Empire State Building?                                                             Yes! A building can’t jump at all!

Joke source:  Kidsactivities.net

FUN FACTS: According to the website Life123 the first Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade took place in 1924. It was known then as the Macy’s Christmas Parade. Today, the parade is attended by an estimated 3 million people and is viewed by approximately 44 million people all over the country.

Thanks so much for reading, following and sharing these blogs. We have been having fun creating and writing.

1 more blog post before Thanksgiving! Gobble Gobble!

Roy & Kevin