Tag

garden

VP Trish: A Garden Update

It’s been about five weeks since I talked about our flowers and garden. We actually planted things a bit late, but they are still so pretty. I am excited!

There are three big squash on our plant, but they seem to be holding tight so I did not pick them yet. A pumpkin has decided to grow as well! I have been wanting pumpkins for years but hadn’t done so yet!

As you read this, Christmas is exactly five months from today! Perhaps, the baking should commence!

See below for photos of lots of our flowers including those planted in a silly goose! My daughter-in-law bought me two of these years ago and the plants seem happy!

Keep safe, wash your hands, and enjoy the glorious days of summer!

VP Trish: Home Improvements During the Pandemic

There is always a positive to any situation (usually) and the pandemic is no exception. Even though John has worked at Lowe’s during this time, he has still done so much around the house.

I have the privilege of working from home so I have considerably more time here, no two-hour trip each day!

From the inventory depletion at Lowe’s and talking to my friends who own Root 88 Duprees (Greenhouse and Nursery), it is obvious people are doing so many more home projects than have been done in the recent past.

The most exciting is that the decorative deck became a usable deck! This required removing an entire doorway-sized glass block of windows, then installing a door! The deck is where I start and end my day.

Some of the things done were painting the living room, entry way and hall (even the ceilings!), installing new screen doors, landscaping, re-carpeting the basement steps, hanging a new chandelier above the steps, hanging Ninja warrior stuff off the deck (for the kids), building a climbing dome, cleaning out and power washing the gutters and the soffit and fascia.

John has a hang up about trees and shrubs too close to the house. He convinced me to have him cut out the holly bush that we had planted years ago. Now we have another flower garden and of course, we needed new railings to the side porch. Ryanna and I also planted a new garden around an old arborvitae. Ryanna repainted the chalkboard wall in their playroom.

Our neighbor calls Ryanna John’s apprentice as she is usually by his side working hard. They painted the concrete block foundation of the house, painted lawn furniture and built new drawers for the work bench he built in the garage. There is new lighting in the garage that is ridiculously bright! My Ryan is a helper often!

John gets to chop wood because the kids and I have quite a few campfires (along with s’mores).

Oh and new brakes on the car!

Would love to hear about your home projects? (Being nebby!)

Hoping you and yours are safe and are making the best of things. Life is quite interesting!

Keep safe and healthy! Now, go wash your hands!!!

Czolem!

VP Trish: Summertime Recipes

Even though it is summertime, I still love to bake. Ryanna and I bake almost every week.

I am sure Mark Puskar is going to want Chris to use every single one of these recipes!


My sister-in-law shared her Mom’s pineapple upside down cake recipe. It was the first time I had baked one, and it came out very nice. I’ve made it a couple of times.

Pineapple Upside Down Cake

  • In a large frying pan, melt ½ cup butter (one stick).
  • Add 1 cup brown sugar, spreading it evenly. Remove from heat.
  • Arrange pineapple rings over mixture, add a maraschino cherry in the middle of each of the rings.
  • Add whole walnuts (or pecans) around the pineapple. Then sprinkle chopped nuts over pineapple.
  • Set aside.

The Cake

  • Beat 3 egg yolks until light.
  • Add 1 cup sugar.
  • Add 5 tablespoons of pineapple juice.
  • Sift together and add to mixture:
      • 1 cup sifted cake flour (if you don’t have a sifter, use a colander)
      • 1 teaspoon baking powder
      • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • Fold in 3 stiffly beaten egg whites.
  • Pour batter over pineapples.
  • Bake at 365 for 30- 35 minutes.  I put foil on the handles of my skillet just in case!
  • Allow to cool about 5 minutes before you invert onto pan. It is beautiful and easy!

Ordinarily, I do not use cake flour but since this recipe called for it, I bought some. On the back of the cake flour box was a recipe for carrot cake. This carrot cake is the best carrot cake I have ever had.

Carrot Cake

Combine:

  • ¾ cup mayonnaise
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 (8 oz.) can crushed pineapple, undrained

Stir:

  • 2 ¼ cups cake flour
  • 1 ½ cups sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • Dash of cardamom (this is something I add to all recipes that require cinnamon; it is not necessary but adds a unique additional flavor)
  • ½ ground allspice or ginger

Blend into mixture.

Beat on medium for three minutes.

Stir in:

  • 2 cups finely shredded carrots
  • ¾ cup chopped pecans or walnuts, which ever you prefer

In addition to greasing the cake pan(s), line them with parchment or wax paper.

Bake at 350 for 28-32 minutes.

Cream Cheese Frosting

Mix:

  • 6 tablespoons softened butter
  • 1 (8 oz.) package cream cheese, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Gradually add:

  • 1 – 2 tablespoons milk
  • 4 cups powdered sugar

Once the cake cools, frost it.


My Mom used to love to garden and as most gardeners realize, you grow lots of zucchini. She found this recipe that is fairly easy and so good!

Zucchini Bread

Beat together:

  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup oil
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 cups grated, unpeeled zucchini
  • 1 tablespoon (not an error, tablespoon is correct) vanilla

Mix together:

  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon (again, not an error) cinnamon
  • Dash of cardamom

Stir in:

  • 1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
  • 1 (8 oz.) can crushed pineapple (including the syrup)

When I grease the pans when baking sweet stuff, instead of also using flour, I line the pan with granulated sugar and sprinkle some sugar on the top of the batter before I bake.

Bake at 350 for 50-60 minutes.


This is the perfect time of year for strawberries. Ryan and Ryanna love them, so we always have them. This cake is so good; I found this recipe almost 40 years ago!

Scarlett O’Hara Strawberry Cake

Clean and cut 1 ½ quarts strawberries, mix with sugar (use your judgement), and set aside.

Mix into a soft dough:

  • 4 ⅔ cups Bisquick baking mix
  • ⅓ cup sugar
  • ⅓ cup melted butter
  • 1 cup milk

Put in ungreased small baking pan.

Spread 2 tablespoons of butter on dough.

Sprinkle over dough:

  • ½ cup packed brown sugar
  • ½ cup slivered almonds

Bake at 400 for 15-20 minutes.

When cake is still warm, add a dollop of whipped cream (the recipe calls for adding ½ teaspoon almond extract to your whipped cream or cool whip).

Add the strawberries.

This is so good!


When my sons were little, I had to come up with unique ways for Jim, in particular, to eat or drink. Greg was and still is a good eater! One of their favorites was this drink recipe we found calling for Tang (I didn’t know if they still made Tang, so I looked it up and they do!).

Frosted Orange Crème

Combine all ingredients and mix in a blender:

  • ¼ cup Tang Orange Flavor Breakfast Beverage Crystals
  • 2 tablespoons of sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • ½ cup milk
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 cups crushed ice

Mix it up and enjoy!


I hope all of you and yours are doing well and enjoying your summer. It is going so fast; the 4th of July will be here before we know it.

We just registered for The FIVER! Hope you do as well!

Keep safe and healthy!

Czolem!