Tuesday, 24 February 2015 09:40

Gray Gardens: 34 Shades of Gray In the Garden!

Gray is a hot interior design color, so why not take the chic outdoors? There are plenty of ways to incorporate gray in the garden, from silvery pussy willows and thistle to galvanized metal says Felicia Feaster via HGTVGardens Crew.  Feaster says, Gray is the new taupe, and design fiends like the folks at freshome are heralding the appeal of gray in the home. "Modern and edgy, yet timeless and classic" are the virtues of this very "in" color says freshome. Take that tranquil, minimalist tone outside for a truly distinctive garden. See more:

http://www.hgtvgardens.com/landscaping/gray-gardens-39-shades-of-gray-in-the-garden

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Glenview, IL Landscape Company Schmechtig Landscapes, Using gray stone and crushed stone in your garden ideas



Published in Landscaping
Friday, 20 February 2015 09:27

16 Great Patio Ideas

Whether you are planning to redo your patio or want a few patio decorating ideas, consider adding features such as a seat wall, outdoor rug, new outdoor sofa or futon, fireplace or firepit, or pergola. Check out these tips and inspirations from Kelly D. Norris and Better Homes and Garden.

Read more:  http://www.bhg.com/home-improvement/patio/designs/patio-ideas/#page=1

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Firepit Idea, Winnetka Landscape Schmechtig Landscapes

 

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Backyard Design Ideas for your Patio Schmechtig Landscapes HGTV project- outdoor kitchen, outdoor fireplace, outdoor dinning room, outdoor living room 

Published in Landscaping
Wednesday, 18 February 2015 09:40

Keep Your Landscape Safe from Winter Salt

Winter weather, particularly snow and ice, requires some action on our part to keep our families safe from icy sidewalks and driveways. Pouring a bag of salt on the front walk might melt the ice, but it can damage both turf and landscape plants. While a de-icer might be necessary in harsh winters, using no more than the recommended amount, along with a few other strategies, can help minimize yellow lawns and injured plants says, Leah Chester-Davis.  Here are Leah's recommendations in Better Homes and Garden:

http://www.bhg.com/gardening/yard/lawn-care/keep-your-landscape-safe-from-winter-salt/

 

Published in Landscaping

Don't use Hamburger Helper and you can substiute the beef with ground turkey or chicken!

Here's an easy and quick homemade Beef Stroganoff Hamburger Dinner in a Skillet.  
 
Ingredients: * note below
1 pound lean ground beef (you can use ground turkey or chicken)
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon Essence, recipe follows see below
2 tablespoon olive or vegetable oil
1/2 cup chopped yellow onions
2 cup sliced white button mushrooms
2 teaspoon chopped garlic
1/2 pound small elbow macaroni or wide egg noodles, cooked
1 cup beef broth
1/2 cup sour cream
 Grated white Cheddar, optional
 Chopped parsley, for garnish
 
Directions: * note
 
Season the beef with the salt, pepper, and Essence. 
In a large cast iron skillet, heat the oil over medium heat.
Add the seasoned beef and cook, stirring, until well browned and all pink has disappeared.
(If using ground turkey or chicken cook thoroughly)
Drain off any excess oil in the skillet.
Add the onions and cook, stirring, until soft, 6 to 8 minutes.
Add the mushrooms and garlic and cook, stirring until the mushrooms have released their juices, about 4 minutes.
Add the macaroni (or egg noodles), beef broth and sour cream.
Cook, stirring, until the mixture thickens slightly, 10 to 12  minutes.
Remove the pan from the heat and spoon the mixture onto 2 large plates.
Sprinkle each portion with the cheese, if desired, and chopped parsley and serve immediately.
 

Prep: 15 min
 
Cook: 25 min
 
Total Time: 40 min
Yield: 4 servings
Courtesy of foodnetwork.com and Emeril Lagasse
 

* note:
 
We doubled original recipe and times to yield 4 servings. View original recipe here:
http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/emeril-lagasse/beef-stroganoff-hamburger-dinner-in-a-skillet-recipe.html
 
Emeril's Essence Creole Seasoning (also referred to as Bayou Blast)
You can make it yourself or purchase Emerill's Essence at your local grocery soter in the spice aisle:
2 1/2 tablespoons paprika
2 tablespoons salt
2 tablespoons garlic powder
1 tablespoon black pepper
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon dried thyme
 

Published in Landscaping

Landscaping for easy maintenance can help make your garden more manageable — and pleasurable to be in, says Frank Organ,
a Houzz Contributor.  There is no such thing as a zero-maintenance garden, but there are ways to create a stylish landscape that’s also low maintenance. Read more:  http://www.houzz.com/ideabooks/34895738?utm_source=Houzz&utm_campaign=u918&utm_medium=email&utm_content=gallery14

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Side Yard Design, Easy Landscape Garden Maintenance, Glenview, IL.

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Patio Design and Installation, Glencoe, IL., Easy Maintenance Landscape Design, Schmechtig Landscapes

Published in Landscaping
Tuesday, 23 December 2014 10:57

6 Rockin Red Plants for Winter Gardens

Use the bright berries or branches of these cold-climate favorites for outdoor garden interest or container arrangements anywhere, says Charlotte Albers, a
Houzz Contributor. Read and see more: http://www.houzz.com/ideabooks/21052145?utm_source=Houzz&utm_campaign=u891&utm_medium=email&utm_content=gallery16

 

 

Published in Landscaping

The Story Behind Mobiles:  Mobiles started as wind chimes and the artist Calder put them on the map as an art form. Besides freedom of movement, a mobile requires precisely balanced elements that communicate with each other, and sensitivity to slight, animating air movements.   Outdoors, a mobile must maintain its responsiveness while coping with extremes of wind, weather and elements; it must float on gentle breezes and ride out coastal gales. And do it all gracefully. Sarabande, the above photo, is a mobile – kinetic art made from copper, bronze and aluminum, standing six feet tall with a six foot radius. Whimsical wind mobiles, like garden sculptures, provide vertical and horizontal contrast — plus movement — to the surrounding perennials. Read More: http://www.rakeandpalette.com/sarabande-kinetic-garden-art/

Published in Landscaping

Nearly zero-prep time holiday dinner ideas will cut your prep time and not corners. These ideas include presentation.  Imagine eliminating hours of time preparing a holiday meal in record time.  The following ideas will spark your own creativity like subsitiute an Oven Roasted Turkey Breast (see recipe below) or Beef Tenderloin (see recipe below) for Ham. Read and see more, all courtesy of marthastewart.com: http://www.marthastewart.com/1043261/nearly-zero-prep-time-holiday-dinner/@center/276958/holiday-entertaining#224141

 

Oven Roasted Turkey Breast

(serves 8)
Ingredients:

 1 bone-in whole turkey breast (4 1/2 to 5 pounds), thawed if frozen
1/2 cup butter melted
1/2 cup dry white wine
2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme leaves or 1 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme leaves
1 teaspoon paprika
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 teaspoons cornstarch - for gravy
2 tablespoons cold water - for gravy


Directions:

Preheat oven to 325ºF.
Place turkey breast skin side up, in large shallow roasting pan.
Roast uncovered 1 hour.
Mix butter, wine, thyme, salt, paprika and garlic.
Brush turkey with half of the butter mixture.
Roast 30 minutes
Brush with remaining butter mixture.
Roast about 1 hour longer or until thermometer reads 165º F. 
Remove turkey from oven and let stand 15 minutes for easier carving.
For Gravy:
Meanwhile, pour pan drippings into measuring cup; skim fat from drippings.
Add enough water to drippings to measure 2 cups.
Heat drippings to boiling in 1-quart saucepan.
Mix cornstarch and 2 tablespoons cold water and stir into drippings.
Boil and stir 1 minute.

 

Easy Beef Tendeloin

1 (5 to 6 lb) beef tenderloin, trimmed 4 lb or untrimmed at 5 to 6 lb

Salt and pepper roast all around

Place in roasting pan. You might need to curve the roast to make it fit.

Preheat oven to 500 degrees

Once the oven reaches temp and stays at temp for ten minutes put roast in oven.

Bake at 500 degrees for ten minutes.

Shut oven off -DO NOT OPEN OVEN DOOR and continue to cook for 50 minutes.

The key to this recipe is DO NOT OPEN OVEN door.

The roast is to cook for a total of 60 minutes - 10 minutes with oven on at 500 degrees and 50 minutes with oven off not opening the oven door.

(I cannot stress how important it is not to open the door!)

When 60 minutes is up - take roast out of oven let it sit for 5 to ten minutes and then slice to desired thickness.

You will have slices to suit every palatte -meduim rare -to well done.

Serve with a prepared horseradish sauce such as Reese, Ingelhoffer, Boarshead or Coleman and rolls.

Published in Landscaping
Wednesday, 17 December 2014 11:00

17 Holiday Decor Inspirations

For those who have decorating on their to do list, here are 17 wonderful holiday decor inspirations from msn.com's Lifestyles Home and Garden section. Inspirations include: garland on staircase, winter dinning table themes, enchanting entrances and more:

http://www.msn.com/en-us/lifestyle/decor/winter-holiday-photo-slideshow/ss-BBafAma?fullscreen=true&ocid=DELLDHP

Published in Landscaping
Tuesday, 16 December 2014 09:03

Holiday Giving - Great Gifts for Your Pets

We treat our cats and dogs like part of the family, so why not put a ribbon on something stylish and clever for your furry babies this year? For playtime, mealtime or just lounging around, we’ve collected some of the best gifts for cats and dogs from the Houzz Shop and houzz.com.

See and read more: http://www.houzz.com/ideabooks/34483763?utm_source=Houzz&utm_campaign=u874&utm_medium=email&utm_content=gallery4

Published in Landscaping
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