Rhubarb’s peak season is from April to June. It is such an underused ingredient and often dubbed the "pie plant".  Rhubarb’s stalks are soft and delectable when baked and make a divine pie filling. But pie is by no means the only way to experience rhubarb. It's delicious in all kinds of desserts.  This recipe has a 5 star rating on the food network site, is courtesy of Anne Burrell and easy to make.  Don’t forget to serve with whipped cream or ice cream.

Ingredients

Filling:
1 quart strawberries, stemmed and quartered
4 stalks rhubarb, cut into 1/2-inch lengths
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
1 orange, zested and juiced
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
Topping:
1 1/4 cups whole-wheat flour
1/2 cup rolled oats
1 cup brown sugar
1 1/4 sticks butter, cut into pea-sized pieces
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Pinch salt
1 to 2 tablespoons water
Total Time: Prep: 30 min ; Cook: 30 min

Yield: 6 servings  Level: Easy

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Filling:
Combine all of the ingredients in a large bowl and stir to be sure everything is well combined. Spoon the filling into 8 individual ramekins or 1 wide shallow baking dish.

Topping:
In a food processor combine the flour, oats and brown sugar and pulse to combine.
Add the butter, vanilla and salt and pulse pulse pulse until the mixture looks dry and crumbly.
Add 1 tablespoon of water and pulse until the mixture starts to come together and look crumbly.
If the mixture still seems dry add 1 more tablespoon of water and pulse to combine.
Crumble the topping over the filling.
Bake in the preheated oven until the filling is hot and bubbly all the way through and the topping looks crispy and light brown, about 25 to 30 minutes.
Serve warm with whipped cream or ice cream.  It's berry delicious!

Published in Landscaping

Stop fearing that dirty dumping ground and start using it as the streamlined garage you’ve been wanting
Read More from Laura Gaskill, a Houzz contributor,

http://www.houzz.com/ideabooks/27581684?utm_source=Houzz&utm_campaign=u521&utm_medium=email&utm_content=gallery4

 

Published in Landscaping
Tuesday, 03 June 2014 07:03

Your June Home Check List

These to-dos from Laura Gaskill, a Houzz contributor, will help get your home and yard in shape so you can fully savor the months ahead. Make summer easy by getting your home and outdoor gear in shape now. Read More: http://www.houzz.com/ideabooks/25486546?utm_source=Houzz&utm_campaign=u521&utm_medium=email&utm_content=gallery2

Published in Landscaping
Monday, 02 June 2014 07:49

Gyroscope or Sculpture?


"Is It a Gyroscope or Sculpture?

 It’s a Chair!", says Mitchell Parker, Houzz Editorial Staff. 

Read and See More: http://www.houzz.com/ideabooks/27836028?utm_source=Houzz&utm_campaign=u521&utm_medium=email&utm_content=gallery0

Published in Landscaping
Friday, 30 May 2014 08:30

33 Spectacular Landscaping Ideas

 33 photos - use gravel, pebbles and bark chips for practical, versatile garden design. Enjoy.

See the photos:

http://www.hgtvgardens.com/photos/landscape-and-hardscape-photos/a-soft-touch-landscaping-with-gravel-and-other-soft-surfacing?affiliate=blocker&omnisource=SEM&c1=RSS_Outbrain&c2=Outbrain&c3=RSS&c4=33-Spectacular-Landscaping-Ideas-33-photlandscaping-gardens-003

 Landscaping Ideas with Blue Stone, Crushed Blue Stone and Plants, Schmechtig Landscapes, Glenview, Illinois

landscaping-gardens-001

Lake Barrington, IL. Schmechtig Landscapes, Landscape Design Idea: Gravel Path and Paver Patio

Published in Landscaping

It's time to bring back Recipe Thursday since the weather has turned warmer, finally! Here's a wonderful salad from my friend Laurie Bakke, author of Laurie Bakke's Cookbook and owner of Sage Gourmet Kitchen Store in Hendersonville, NC. which just opened and includes a fabulous wine shop.  To get Laurie's Cookbook visit http://lauriebakkeskitchen.com and follow Laurie on Twitter @LaurieBakke 

This is a fantastic main dish to serve as an entree or on a buffet menu. It is best served with some very crusty grilled homemade bread It is packed full of flavor and will be sure to please your guests time and time again.

1. Dressing:
2. 4 Green Onions - peeled and chopped
3. 1 C. Fresh Cilantro - roughly chopped
4. 1/2 C. Fresh Basil - roughly chopped
5. 1 C. Lime Juice - freshly squeezed
6. 2 Tbsp. Lemon Juice - freshly squeezed
7. 1 to 2 Tbsp. Sherry Vinegar
8. 2 to 3 Tbsp. Honey
9. 1/2 Cup Canola Oil or whatever oil you prefer
10. 1 Tbsp. Each Sugar and Kosher Salt
11. 1 Jalapeño Chili - halved and seeded
12. 1 tsp. Red Pepper Flakes


13.  Salad:
14. 1 1/2 C. Fresh White Corn Kernels (frozen, if fresh is not available)
15. 15 Oz. Can Black Beans - rinsed and drained
16. 1 Medium Zucchini - medium dice
17. 1 Large Red Pepper - cored and medium dice
18. 3/4 C. Red Onion - medium dice
19. 1 Avocado - peeled, pitted and medium dice
20. 1 1/4 Lbs. Large Cooked Shrimp - peeled and deveined
21. Fresh Ground Black Pepper - to taste
 
Instructions 
1. For the dressing, blend first 7 ingredients in a food processor or with a blender stick until dressing is a smooth as possible. Slowly add the oil until emulsified. Add the sugar, salt, jalapeño and red pepper flakes to the mixture. Dressing can be prepared one day ahead. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
2. Combine the corn, black beans, zucchini, red pepper, and red onion in a large mixing bowl. Toss the salad with enough dressing to coat thoroughly and mix well. Add the avocado and shrimp and fold in gently. Add more dressing until it is well coated.
3. Season the mixture with salt and pepper, to taste. Cover and refrigerate at least 1 hour and up to six hours. If serving immediately, follow the recipe for avocado and shrimp be added. If making salad ahead, add avocado and shrimp when serving.
4. For garnish, sprinkle with chopped cilantro and basil.

Published in Landscaping
Wednesday, 28 May 2014 08:52

Curb Appeal - 20 Suggestions

Your home’s curb appeal makes a great first impression for everyone -- including potential homebuyers -- will want to see what's inside. Here are some suggestions from Better Homes and Garden.

Read More: http://www.bhg.com/home-improvement/exteriors/curb-appeal/ways-to-add-curb-appeal/

entrance-lanscaping-004

Curb Appeal, Schmechtig Landscapes, Barrington, IL.

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Curb Appeal, Winnetka, IL., Schmechtig Landscapes

Published in Landscaping
Tuesday, 27 May 2014 08:29

20 Ideas for Easygoing Summer Parties

Ditch the fancy and fussy in favor of laid-back entertaining that leaves you more time to enjoy the fun, says Laura Gaskill, a Houzz contributor.

Read and See More: http://www.houzz.com/ideabooks/27317567?utm_source=Houzz&utm_campaign=u514&utm_medium=email&utm_content=gallery18

patio-landscape-design-003

Outdoor Kitchen and Dining Room in Winnetka, Illinois by Schmechtig Landscapes

Published in Landscaping

Sustainable garden practices teach us that biodiversity, wildlife habitats and native plants are essential for a thriving, healthy environment. Busy pollinators, including bees, hummingbirds and some butterflies and birds, ensure that the natural processes of our landscapes remain in balance. Roll out a welcome mat for pollinators to keep your landscape in balance and thriving.  Annie Thornton, from the Houzz Editorial Staff looks at summer-blooming native plants hailing from coast to coast that will help keep your garden and its unsung heroes singing. Read More: http://www.houzz.com/ideabooks/11495784?utm_source=Houzz&utm_campaign=u512&utm_medium=email&utm_content=gallery20

 

landscaping-gardens-007

Winnetka, IL., Schmechtig Landscapes

Published in Landscaping
Thursday, 22 May 2014 16:30

7 Incredible Outdoor Kitchens

Here are 7 incredible outdoor kitchens from House Beautiful to inspire, amaze and innovative your outdoor cooking and entertaining. 

patio-landscape-design-007

Outdoor Kitchen, Dinning and Living Room with see through fireplace, HGTV Project, Schmechtig Landscapes

Read more: http://www.housebeautiful.com/kitchens/dream/outdoor-kitchen-design-ideas-0511?link=msn%3A7%20Incredible%20Outdoor%20Kitchens%5F10%20Summer%20Entertaining%20Essentials&dom=msn&tpc=Home&src=syn&con=art&mag=hbu#slide-1

 

Published in Landscaping
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