Tag Archives: mashed potatoes



In this blog, we share a monster craft and our tasty reduced calorie mashed potatoes with cauliflower and parsnips and, of course, our garden update.


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Halloween is a time when monsters run amuck, but these easy-to-create monsters are fun and functional.

We made these funny monsters with coffee cans, fabric fur scraps and googly eyes. Fun and easy!

You will need: furry fabric; googly eyes; cans, jars, or other containers; craft glue (we use Aleene’s Quick Dry Tacky Glue); rubber bands; felt, pompoms; cloth scraps; construction paper; chenille rope; and anything else that will create the perfect monster!

To Make:

  • Wrap fabric around can and secure at the top and bottom with rubber bands;
  • Glue eyes onto fabric to create face;
  • Add a nose and mouth if desired;
  • For feet, we cut out 2 egg shapes, which were approximately 2 inches by 1.5 iches and glued them to the bottom of the container.

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  • For the arms on some of the monsters, we used chenille rope found at fabric stores.
  • For the hands, we cut heart sharps from felt or construction paper.
  • Use your imagination and decorate with fabric scraps and whatever you like!

These cute monsters make great vases or containers for candy and silverware for your Halloween parties. Fill one with flowers or candy for a great hostess gift!


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We love mashed potatoes, but they have too many carbs and calories. We change them up by  adding cauliflower and parsnips.

You will need:

  • 2 and 1/2 lbs. potatoes, peeled and cut into one-inch pieces
  • One lb. bag of frozen cauliflower
  • One large parsnip, peeled and chopped
  • Butter or margarine
  • 3/4 cup milk

To Prepare:

  • Place potatoes and cauliflower in Dutch oven on medium high heat and bring to a boil;
  • Saute chopped parsnip in butter or margarine over medium heat until tender – 5-7 minutes;
  • When potatoes and cauliflower mixture comes to a boil, reduce heat and cook for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes add cooked parsnips to potato and cauliflower;
  • Cook an additional 10 minutes until tender;
  • Heat 3/4 cup milk until it is warm; milk, butter and salt and pepper to taste;
  • These potatoes are great at this point. But reheated at 350 degrees for 20 minutes and they tasted even better!



Summer-like October weather this week. Garden is looking good and still producing!

Here’s a night shot of our patio. Some of this summer’s favorites – shisito peppers, cherry tomatos and impatients continue to thrive.

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VEG ART – Welcome Apple (not the computer)

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JOKE OF THE WEEK                                                                                                                               What do monsters turn on in the summer? The scare conditioner!                                                source: Halloweenjokes.com


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Roy and Kevin


Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Happy Thanksgiving! This is the time to focus on those things for which we are thankful. One of the things we are thankful for is the interest people have shown in these blog posts and the nice comments we have received about the craft projects we have presented in the blog entries we have posted here.

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We were trying to come up with a craft for this week but we came to the conclusion that it’s a little late to make Thanksgiving crafts. People are busy cooking and they have their decorations up already. We decided to post pictures (above and below) of the three Thanksgiving crafts we shared in previous weeks. If anyone gets some last minute inspiration to create, you can find the Thanksgiving Banner in “Thanksgiving Post Number One” and the Centerpiece in                 “Thanksgiving – The Third Blog Post”.

Also check out the previous posts for recipes for cranberry sauce variations and sweet potatoes with bananas.

Our favorite craft project for this holiday is the Thanksgiving Tree. The directions are in the blog: “Thanksgiving Continued”. (Past posts are listed in the right hand column of this page – check them out!)

Here is our Thanksgiving Tree.

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Some of the things we put on our Thanksgiving Tree are listed below. We’ve added quite a few since the picture was taken.

  • Wonderful memories
  • Family
  • Friends
  • Good Food
  • Roof over our heads
  • Employment
  • The Arts
  • Creativity
  • New Car
  • New England Patriots
  • Boston Red Sox
  • UConn
  • Health
  • Healthcare
  • Gay Marriage
  • Our Summer Garden
  • Desserts
  • Reading mysteries
  • Vacation
  • Kevin
  • Roy
  • Our readers and followers

As we mentioned above, we are grateful for good food and for our health. We’ve improved our eating habits a lot in recent years. We’ve both lost a few pounds since the Turkey heads picture at the top of the page was taken of us in 2007. Here are a few healthy ideas for Thanksgiving and everyday.


  • In our stuffing we use a combo of half white bread and half whole wheat bread.
  • For mashed potatoes sometimes we use half potatoes and 1/2 cauliflower to lower the carb amounts and raise the fiber and nutrition factor.
  • Nonfat sour cream adds creaminess and no fat to mashed potatoes.
  • Buttermilk is low in fat and delicious in mashed potatoes. (Can you tell we love mashed potatoes?) Buttermilk is also great as a base for salad dressings.
  • We substitute low fat versions of mayo, margarine, cream cheese and sour cream in all of our recipes. We save lots of calories and have lost weight by doing so. Non-fat sour cream is pretty good, but otherwise we go low fat.
  • In recipes where teaspoons or tablespoons of salt are called for, we only use a pinch if any at all.

JOKE OF THE WEEK:                                                                                                                                         “Knock Knock”   “Who’s there?”   “Phillip”   ” Phillip Who?”                                                               “Phillip a plate and dig in!”  (Source: hubpages)

(Hmmm, maybe they should read the healthy tips first!) 

THANKSGIVING FACT: In 1941, Congress passed an official proclamation and made Thanksgiving a national holiday which would be observed on the fourth Thursday of November every year. (Source: Buzzle)

We wish you, your families and friends a happy, healthy and safe Thankgiving and a wonderful holiday season to come.

Next week – Christmas is coming!

Roy and Kevin