Tag

summer

DIY “Christmas in July” Garland Decoration

Celebrate Christmas in July with this festive garland! An easy and fun craft for young children and the young at heart, this garland will brighten your day! Click here to download our printable template with three designs: Vacation Santa, Palm Tree with Lights and Beach Snowman. Print the designs of your choice on cardstock, hole punch, then hang with string or yarn.

VP Trish: Summer Recipes

The kids and I love to be outside enjoying their swings, the sprinkler, their climbing dome, gardening, digging in the mud or simply running around. When we take a break from the heat, we often enjoy inside stuff for a bit. Painting and playing Ninja Warrior is always fun, but we still love to bake. Ryanna and I think more of summer fruits and veggies as opposed to the traditional treats and fall items.

John loves pineapple so I found this pineapple pie recipe. Ordinarily, I am not much of a pie baker but with Cheryl’s (Paterni) pie crust recipe and this pie recipe, I am baking pies more often.

LATTICE PINEAPPLE PIE

Combine in a saucepan:

  • 1 (20 oz.) can crushed pineapple (including the juice)
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoon cornstarch
  • ¼ teaspoon salt

Cook, stirring until thickened.

Stir in:

  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice

Cool slightly.

Pour filling into unbaked 9-inch pastry shell.

Cut remaining pastry into 1-inch wide strips for lattice top.

Weave strips crisscross over pie to make a lattice top.

Pinch edges.

Bake at 400 for 25-30 minutes until golden brown.

PIE CRUST

Cheryl Paterni gave me this recipe years ago.

Using your hook attachment on  your Kitchen Aid Mixer, Mix:

  • 4 cups flour
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 teaspoon salt

Add:

  • 1 ¾ cup Crisco (regular, white)

Mix until crumbly.

In a small bowl, Beat:

  • ½ cup water
  • 1 tablespoon vinegar
  • 1 egg

Add to flour mixture and combine.

Divide the dough into two, wrap in plastic wrap and chill for ½ hour.


I am always looking for new recipes and years ago, Emilie Baker shared her Mom’s zucchini bread recipe. It is an easy one, very good and continues the pineapple theme using the zucchini from your garden!

PINEAPPLE ZUCCHINI BREAD

This recipe was given to me by Emilie Baker, daughter of Violet Zielinski.

Beat:

  • 1 cup oil (I use butter)
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla

Add:

  • 3 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon salt (I don’t use this much)
  • ¾ teaspoon nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon cardamom (I always add a bit of cardamom when using cinnamon and or nutmeg)

Stir in:

  • 2 cups shredded zucchini
  • 1 (8 ¼ oz.) can crushed pineapple, undrained

Fold in:

  • 1 cup raisins
  • 1 cup chopped nuts

Pour into greased loaf pans, I always add granulated sugar to the bottom and sides of the pans as well as sprinkle a bit on the top of the batter.

Bake at 325 for one hour.


Ryan enjoys blue cake and for some silly reason, we can’t find blue cake mix. Yes, I know I could add blue food coloring to a white cake mix, but we found this recipe. In the past, I didn’t like to bake cakes from scratch, but these days we do.

BLUE CAKE

Whisk together and set aside:

  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla

Blend and set aside:

  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder

Beat:

  • 1 cup butter
  • 2 cups sugar

Alternate between the milk mixture and the flour mixture adding to the butter mixture.

Once blended, add 5 egg whites.

Then add 3-5 drops blue food coloring.

Pour batter into prepared pans (greased and a bit of flour).

Bake at 350 for approximately 25 minutes.

WHITE ICING

Ryanna likes really sweet icing!

Beat together:

  • ½ cup butter (1 stick)
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2-3 tablespoons milk

Frost the cake once it is cool!


Enjoy your outside fun! Don’t forget to submit your walking information to Druhna Chris as she continues to change the fun with our Walking Program. June’s challenge is to walk with your Nest! Contact Druhna Chris at cpuskar@polishfalcons.org for more information or to get involved!

Czolem!

Strawberry Recipes

Celebrate the final months of summer with these easy and delicious strawberry recipes by Robert Strybel, our Warsaw Correspondent.

Strawberries and Sour Cream (truskawki ze śmietaną): Hull, wash and drain 1 qt. ripe strawberries. Slice thin into a large bowl and sprinkle with several t. or T. (your choice to taste) granulated or confectioner’s sugar. Toss gently and let stand at room temperature (but not in direct sunlight) for 2 hours or more. Fill fruit bowls and top each portion with a dollop of sour cream (or top American-style with whipped cream).

Homemade Strawberry Soda (domowa oranżada truskawkowa): If using very ripe strawberries in the previous recipe, a good deal of syrup will form. You can drain it off and mix with cold club soda for a refreshing soft drink that is tastier and healthier than artificially flavored store-bought soda. Drop in a few whole strawberries for visual appeal.

Super-Easy Strawberry Torte (najłatwiejszy torcik truskawkowy): Even young children can prepare this dessert and have the satisfaction of saying, “I made it myself!” Prepare fruits as in Strawberries and Sour Cream recipe (optional: drain off syrup for use in homemade soda or as ice-cream topping). Spoon strawberries over plain store-bought sponge-cake and top with aerosol-type whipped cream. Decorate top with a few whole strawberries.

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: 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!

VP Trish: Gardening

Our yard greeted me with my Magnolia Tree in bloom, my Dogwood and Azaleas bursting, and the spring flowers – Lily of the Valley, Iris, Lilies and Hostas. The Hydrangeas are sprouting leaves, and of course – Tulips, Daffodils, Crocus, Pansies, Mums and Hyacinth. The cool thing is that most of my perennials have come from other yards of my family and friends. I think of them each time they bloom.

And now we’re getting into summer! Summertime and the living is easy! This is the perfect time of year to go outside and enjoy the weather. It is also fun (and great exercise!) to garden. It is good for the mind and the soul as well!

Ryanna & Ryan

Our house has lots of outdoor living space so I have more places to surround myself with flowers. The front porch is silly but still nice to have; there are pots of Begonia and Roses along with a plastic goose full of a variety of flowers. It has a huge American flag hanging, as does the side porch.

The side porch is covered; it was a great “playpen” when the kids were little. There are double Begonias hanging. The back patio is now covered thanks to the deck; next to the patio is our garden. This year, we planted vegetables.

Ryanna wanted me to plant all that she needs to make her pasta sauce (ask Ryan, it is the best sauce!). We planted five varieties of tomatoes, bell peppers, hot peppers, jalapeno peppers, cucumbers, zucchini and squash! The outside perimeter is lined with Marigolds and cayenne pepper (I hear deer don’t like Marigolds and bunnies don’t like cayenne pepper).

Ryanna with the Aloe plant

The deck has pots with basil, oregano, cilantro, parsley and mint as well as a potted Sunflower. There is also an aloe plant that fascinates Ryanna. She is also quite impressed with my Hibiscus plant; the flowers remind one of the tropics! I also just learned that the Rose of Sharon is a type of Hibiscus, I guess the northern version?

Most of our flowers are in the front yard and lining the side of the house. The kids and I planted Begonias, Ageratum, Vinca, Dahlias, Petunias (my Mom’s favorite and they still have a lovely scent), and Sunflower seeds.

The Magnolia Tree in the front yard near the right of the house has a decorative bench surrounded by flowers – Pansies, Vinca, Petunia and Ageratum plus rocks from Geneva. Two swings hang from the tree! One more flower bed to go! Perhaps Impatiens?

Trips to the local nursery, Root 88 Dupree’s, is always fun. The kids enjoy choosing their plants and flowers. Another project for the kids was making bags that fool carpenter bees and other flying insects into believing that it is a wasp nest. Supposedly, the others will respect their space and leave. We shall see!

There is now a birds’ nest under the deck (but clearly visible from the patio). It was so cool the first time the kids saw the babies! We were sitting on the deck playing at the sand table. We noticed mama bird with a worm and sure enough, three little beaks appeared.

Ah, the simple things in life. Even though life is so challenging these days, please try to enjoy! Sunrises, sunsets, the innocence of youth, the moon, fresh air, nature in full bloom. Hopefully, you are enjoying your yard as well. I would love to hear about your favorite plants and flowers!

Peace! Czolem!