Tuesday, 30 September 2014 07:24

8 Ways to Embrace the Wonder of Fall

Savor the small joys of the new season with these ideas for home and the outdoors.  Melisa Bleasdale, a Houzz.com contributor, says "There is something about the change in the weather, the calm before the holiday chaos and the clear night skies that makes fall the perfect time to take stock of where you’ve been and what the coming months may bring. This season take pleasure in the small, simple things, like collecting acorns, pressing oak leaves and wrapping up in warm blankets to count the stars overhead. These suggestions will help you feather and enjoy your nest."

Read more: http://www.houzz.com/ideabooks/31701570?utm_source=Houzz&utm_campaign=u684&utm_medium=email&utm_content=gallery8


Fire pit ideas, Winnetka, IL., Schmechtig Landscapes

Published in Landscaping
Monday, 29 September 2014 07:43

10 Simple Ways to Personalize Your Front Entry

Set a welcoming tone for your home with stylish updates to your doorway, pathway and porch. Kerryn Ramsey, a Houzz Contributor, shares how you can make your front yard a welcoming prelude.  Read more: http://www.houzz.com/ideabooks/32004587?utm_source=Houzz&utm_campaign=u684&utm_medium=email&utm_content=gallery9


Front Yard Entrance Landscaping Ideas, Schmechtig Landscapes, Lake Bluff IL.


Published in Landscaping
Thursday, 25 September 2014 12:48

Recipe Thursday - Apple Crisp

A traditional autumn dessert that's delicious!

15 to 20 apples, in a variety of brands, peeled and sliced
1/2 cup cinnamon and sugar mixture
1/2 to 1 cup apple cider or orange juice
2 cups bleached flour
2 cups sugar
2 sticks cold margarine

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Layer sliced apples into an ungreased 13 by 9 by 2-inch pan. Sprinkle cinnamon and sugar mixture in between each layer. Use enough cinnamon and sugar to cover each layer. Once apples are to the top of the pan, cover with final layer of cinnamon and sugar and then pour either your apple cider or orange juice over the entire mixture.
Mix the 3 toppings ingredients together with a mixer until it is crumbly. Cover the apples with the topping. Bake for 45 minutes. Cool and serve.

Total Time:55 min
Prep:10 min
Cook:45 min
Recipe courtesy of Bobby Flay and foodnetwork.com

Published in Landscaping
Tuesday, 23 September 2014 07:13

7 Creative Pumpkin Carving Ideas

Check out these 7 cool carvings to transform the fall vegetable into cool decor pieces.
Read more:  http://living.msn.com/family-parenting/raising-kids/7-creative-pumpkin-carving-ideas-1#8

Published in Landscaping
Monday, 22 September 2014 07:33

14 Simple Fall Pleasures for a Special Season

Have a meaningful, enjoyable autumn by getting closer to nature, being thankful and more.  Here are 14 fall traditions to consider from Laura Gaskill, a Houzz Contributor.  Read more: 


Published in Landscaping
Thursday, 18 September 2014 10:25

Recipe Thursday - One Pot Mac and Cheese

It's a lightning-quick stovetop version of mac and cheese, made with spaghetti. No spaghetti? Use ziti. No ziti? How about shells? We can change this recipe every time or keep it the same but one thing won't change: the great taste!
•1 pound spaghetti
•1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
•1/2 cup all-purpose flour
• 4 cups (1 quart) milk
• 6 cups (24 ounces) shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
•1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 1 teaspoon black pepper        

In a soup pot, cook spaghetti according to package directions; drain and set aside in colander.
In the same pot, melt butter over medium heat then stir in flour.
Gradually stir in milk and cook 3 to 5 minutes, or until thickened, stirring frequently.
Add cheese, dry mustard, salt, and pepper and stir for 3 to 5 minutes, or until cheese is melted.
Add spaghetti and cook 2 to 3 minutes, or until heated through, stirring constantly. Serve immediately.
Serve with steamed vegetables or a tossed salad.
Serves 4
Courtesy of mrfood.com

Published in Landscaping
Friday, 12 September 2014 08:23

28 Outdoor Projects Everyone Should Know About

Fall is when the scorching summer temperatures finally ease to allow comfortable outdoor living. For others it’s a time to start planning for outdoor projects for spring. Either way, there’s a lot you can do to make your outdoor space more inviting. Mitchell Parker, from Houzz's Editorial Staff, shares 28 projects. Read more: http://www.houzz.com/ideabooks/31524419/list/28-outdoor-projects-everyone-should-know-about


Outdoor Design Ideas: Outdoor Fireplace, Outdoor Kitchen, Outdoor Living Room, and Outdoor Dining Room - HGTV Project, Schaumburg, IL., Schmechtig Landscapes


Outdoor Kitchen Ideas, Winnetka, IL., Schmechtig Landscapes


Outdoor Fire Pit Design Ideas, Winnetka, IL., Schmechtig Landscapes


Published in Landscaping
Thursday, 11 September 2014 08:45

Recipe Thursday: Mardi Gras Jambalaya

Celebrate the tastes of the Bayou tonight with our simple and quick 45 minute recipe for anytime you want to celebrate Mardi Gras.

Mardi Gras Jambalaya

•1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into 1-inch chunks
• 1 pound smoked turkey sausage or andouille sausage, cut into 1-inch slices
•1/2 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined
• 1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes, undrained
• 1 3/4 cup chicken broth
• 1 cup uncooked long- or whole-grain rice
•1/2 cup dry white wine
• 2 green or red bell peppers, coarsely chopped (If you've got them, use 1 green and 1 red bell pepper for a very colorful jambalaya.)
• 1 large onion, coarsely chopped
• 4 teaspoons Creole seasoning
• 1 teaspoon garlic powder         

In a soup pot over medium heat, combine all ingredients; mix well. Cover and cook 15 minutes. Reduce heat to low and simmer 30 to 35 minutes, or until rice is cooked. Add hot peppers or hot sauce to taste. There are other Jambalaya Recipes you can make that will take hours...but for a weeknight dinner this is simple, quick and yummo.

Serves 6
Courtesy of mrfood.com

Published in Landscaping

Back to school is here and with all the after-school activities an easy dinner is just what you need!


3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 1/2 pound lean ground sirloin (you can substitute ground turkey or chicken)
2 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
3 tablespoons tomato paste

6 cloves garlic minced
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 1/2 cups dry red wine
1 pound dried pasta (Campanelle or Fettuccini or Fusilli or Shells medium size)
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
1/2 cup heavy cream

1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus extra for serving



Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.

Add the ground sirloin (you can substitute ground turkey or chicken) and cook, crumbling the meat with a wooden spoon, until the meat has lost its pink color and has started to brown.

Stir in the garlic, oregano, and red pepper flakes and cook for 1 more minute.

Pour the wine into the skillet and stir.

Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, and stir.

Bring to a boil, then lower heat and simmer 10 minutes.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil, and cook according to the directions on the box. While pasta is cooking, go back to the sauce.

To the sauce now add the nutmeg, basil, cream, and simmer 10 minutes, stirring occasionally until thickened and making sure the sauce doesn't stick to the bottom of the pot.

When the pasta is finished cooking drain according to directions and put into a large serving bowl. Add the sauce and 1/2 cup Parmesan and toss well. Serve hot.  Add Parmesan to individual servings to taste if wanted. 

Serve with tossed salad.


Published in Landscaping

Nothing better than Zucchini.

Enjoy this week's Recipe Thursday.

Grilled Zucchini Pepper Salad

•1 1/2 pounds zucchini, cut lengthwise into 1/4-inch-thick slices
•2 red bell peppers, quartered
•1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided
•2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
•2 teaspoons packed light brown sugar
•2 tablespoons chopped basil


Prepare grill for direct-heat cooking over medium-hot charcoal (medium-high heat for gas); see Grilling Procedure , or heat a 2-burner grill pan over medium heat until hot.

Toss vegetables with 2 tablespoon oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Grill, turning occasionally, until tender, 6 to 8 minutes total. If using grill pan, grill in batches, 10 to 15 minutes per batch. Transfer peppers to a bowl and let stand, covered, 10 minutes. Peel peppers and cut into 1-inch pieces. Cut zucchini crosswise into 1-inch pieces.

Whisk together vinegar, brown sugar, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/8 teaspoon pepper, and remaining 2 tablespoons oil in a large bowl. Stir in vegetables and basil. Let stand 15 minutes for flavors to blend.

 From Gourmet | September 2009 by Ruth Cousineau

Nutrition Information
per serving (4 servings)
POWERED BY EdamamCalories183
 Carbohydrates13 g (4%)
 Fat14 g (22%)
 Protein3 g (5%)
 Saturated Fat2 g (10%)
 Sodium19 mg (1%)
 Polyunsaturated Fat2 g
 Fiber3 g (12%)
 Monounsaturated Fat10 g

Published in Landscaping
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