Saturday, October 29, 2011
Friday, October 28, 2011
Jimmy Turner, senior director of gardens at the Dallas Arboretum in Texas, knows mums. He and his staff plant close to 20,000 each fall both in the ground and in pots. Here are his tips.
When night temps drop (mid-September), buy plants as they start to break bud. You’ll maximize bloom time. To find the color and type of flower you’re after, check plant tags and cross-reference with already opened blooms. Garden centers usually group like selections together.
For impact, sport no more colors than are on your team’s jersey. You will stretch your dollars by choosing darker shades such as bronze and burgundy. They look better longer; spent flowers are less noticeable. The same is true for mums with double, as opposed to single, daisy-like blooms.
What you see is what you get: Buy the bigger plant. Once buds start to open, you’re pretty much guaranteed flowers―no matter where you display them. They’ll be happiest in sun, but if you’re planning to compost them once the show is over, it’s fine to bend this rule.
Tip 4Keep flowers coming by watering and pinching. Soil should be moist, but never wet. Check daily while weather is warm, every other day when it’s cooler. Fertilizing is not necessary. Remove faded blooms to encourage even more buds to open and you’ll have color through October.
Thursday, October 27, 2011
roll (16.5 oz) Pillsbury® refrigerated chocolate chip cookies
cup creamy peanut butter
cup Halloween-colored candy-coated chocolate candies
cup dry-roasted peanuts
cup vanilla creamy ready-to-spread frosting (from 1-lb container)
- Heat oven to 350°F. Line 12-inch pizza pan with foil; grease foil with shortening. Break cookie dough into 2-inch pieces; arrange evenly in pan. With floured fingers, press to form crust.
- Bake 16 to 18 minutes or until deep golden brown. Cool completely, about 30 minutes.
- Use foil to lift crust from pan. Carefully remove foil from crust; place crust on serving platter or tray. Spread peanut butter over crust. Sprinkle with chocolate candies and peanuts.
- In small microwavable bowl, microwave frosting uncovered on High 10 to 15 seconds or until thin enough to drizzle. Transfer to small resealable food-storage plastic bag. Cut small hole in 1 corner of bag; drizzle over cookie pizza. Cut into wedges or squares.
Wednesday, October 26, 2011
- Chocolate-covered cream-filled snack cakes (such as Ring Dings)
- Mini chocolate cream-filled snack cakes (such as 100-calorie packs of Hostess chocolate cupcakes)
- Black licorice laces
- Chocolate and vanilla icing
- Assemble spiders:
- 1. Use a toothpick to poke eight holes in cake, insert licorice laces into holes and trim ends to desired length.
- 2. Attach M&M's as eyes using dots of icing. Pipe dots of chocolate icing for pupils and create fangs by piping small bits of vanilla icing.
Tuesday, October 25, 2011
Monday, October 24, 2011
Several times during the year, I bake a favorite apple cake recipe I received from a family friend, Tori. Here is a tip to help choose apples for baking.
The best apples for baking include Rome, Pink Lady, Granny Smith, and Golden Delicious. Avoid using Red Delicious and Empire apples since they break down when baked.
Sunday, October 23, 2011
can (8 oz) Pillsbury® refrigerated crescent dinner rolls or 1 can (8 oz) Pillsbury® Crescent Recipe Creations® refrigerated seamless dough sheet
slices American cheese, quartered (2.5 oz)
large hot dogs
Mustard or ketchup, if desired
- Heat oven to 375°F.
- If using crescent rolls: Unroll dough; separate at perforations, creating 4 rectangles. Press perforations to seal. If using dough sheet: Unroll dough; cut into 4 rectangles.
- With knife or kitchen scissors, cut each rectangle lengthwise into 10 pieces, making a total of 40 pieces of dough. Slice cheese slices into quarters (1/2 slice cheese, cut in half).
- Wrap 4 pieces of dough around each hot dog and 1/4 slice of cheese to look like "bandages," stretching dough slightly to completely cover hot dog. About 1/2 inch from one end of each hot dog, separate "bandages" so hot dog shows through for "face." On ungreased large cookie sheet, place wrapped hot dogs (cheese side down); spray dough lightly with cooking spray.
- Bake 13 to 17 minutes or until dough is light golden brown and hot dogs are hot. With mustard, draw features on "face."
Saturday, October 22, 2011
These Halloween appetizers are much more delightful than frightful. To make, use mini Halloween-theme cookie cutters to cut out pieces of cheese and meat. Place cutouts on top of various crackers, along with lettuce leaves; use olive pieces to decorate the faces.
Friday, October 21, 2011
Fill a wooden wheelbarrow with gourds, pumpkins, dried leaves, and berry sprigs. Work with a variety of shapes and colors to achieve a vibrant look that captures the essence of fall. Paint a "welcome friends" message on two large pumpkin and place on top of the wheelbarrow. Weave artificial berry vines around the wheelbarrow for a splash of stunning red.
Thursday, October 20, 2011
Wednesday, October 19, 2011
Haunt your house -- or at least your windows -- with paper bats flying every which way. Cut several sizes of bats from black poster board or cardstock. Tape fishing line at different spots on the backs and heads; hang the lines from a curtain rod or cup hooks. Here's the bat pattern download.
Tuesday, October 18, 2011
Sunday, October 16, 2011
Saturday, October 15, 2011
This is a great idea for a kid's party or sandwich meals. These are open-face bologna-and-cheese sandwiches. Use small cookie cutters to create the cheese faces. A basil leaf and bread-crust stem complete the pumpkin package. This is sure to put a smile on your child's face, especially if they can help make the cheese faces sandwiches.
Thursday, October 13, 2011
Wednesday, October 12, 2011
Tuesday, October 11, 2011
Step 1: Cut out top of pumpkin and scrape the inside clean.
Step 2: Using a real vine or a vine pattern, transfer design to pumpkin. (To create your own pattern, use varying sizes of your favorite leaf shape, and then draw a vine between the leaves.)
Step 3: Carve leaf shapes by cutting completely through the pumpkin or by scraping a shallow relief. You can combine the two methods, as shown here on the smallest pumpkin.
Step 4: With a scraping tool, carve vine stem about 1/4 inch deep, being careful not to break through the pumpkin flesh.
Sunday, October 9, 2011
Saturday, October 8, 2011
Friday, October 7, 2011
Thursday, October 6, 2011
B.) Dinner plate
C.) Salad plate
D.) Bread plate
E.) Water glass
F.) Red wineglass
G.) White wineglass
H.) Fish fork
I.) Dinner fork
J.) Salad fork
K.) Dinner knife
L.) Fish knife
M.) Soup spoon
N.) Dessert spoon and fork
Wednesday, October 5, 2011
Tuesday, October 4, 2011
To a gardener, December's fallen leaves and pine needles are just like manna. Each leaf and needle contains a larder of organic matter--absolutely the best material for loosening clay or improving the water- and nutrient-holding capacity of sand. Organic matter feeds legions of plants, earthworms, and micro-organisms.
Rake your leaves and pine needles into long, shallow rows about 6 inches deep. Then set your lawnmower on its highest setting and run over the pile, making enough passes to completely chop it up. The first time you run over the leaves, you'll invariably miss some which won't be chopped. So rake them all into a pile again, and run over them once more. You'll be amazed at how small that big pile of leaves becomes.
Carefully gather that finely shredded material--it's garden gold. Take it to your flowerbed, shrub border, or vegetable garden, and spread a 2-inch-thick layer over the soil surface and around any existing plants. The shredded leaves make excellent, attractive mulch--they stay in place and don't wash or blow away. Even more important, as the leaves slowly decompose, they add vital organic matter to the soil, improving its ability to support abundant life. Do this every fall, and before long, you'll have the richest soil on the block. And you won't have paid a dime.
At our new house we don't have to rake leaves yet, but hopefully in years to come this will be the way I mulch my flowers and shrubs.