December 19, 2018
From Our Family to Yours…
 
We want to wish all of our customers a very Merry Christmas.  May you enjoy time with friends and families, and remember why we celebrate the season. 
Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Warm Honey Glaze
Article Courtesy of Bon Appetite
 
Photo Courtesy of Chelsea Craig, Food Styling Courtesy of Kate Buckens
These roasted brussels sprouts get a fair amount of spice from the crushed red pepper flakes, which cuts through the acidity and sweetness of the glaze, but if you’re spice-averse, feel free to leave them out!
INGREDIENTS
  • 1½ lb. brussels sprouts, trimmed, halved
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • ½ tsp. kosher salt, plus more
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • ¼ cup honey
  • ⅓ cup sherry vinegar or red wine vinegar
  • ¾ tsp. crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 3 Tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 3 scallions, thinly sliced on a diagonal
  • 1 tsp. finely grated lemon zest
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RECIPE PREPARATION
  • Place a rimmed baking sheet on bottom rack of oven; preheat to 450°. Toss brussels sprouts and oil in a large bowl; season with salt and black pepper.
  • Carefully remove baking sheet from oven. Using tongs, arrange brussels cut side down on baking sheet. Roast brussels on bottom rack until softened and deeply browned, 20-25 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, bring honey to a simmer in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook, stirring often, until honey is a deep amber color but not burnt (it will be foamy, that’s okay), 3-4 minutes.
  • Remove from heat and add vinegar and red pepper flakes, if using, and whisk until sauce is smooth (it will bubble up quite aggressively when you add the vinegar before settling). Return saucepan to medium heat, add butter and ½ tsp. salt, and cook, whisking constantly, until glaze is glossy, bubbling, and slightly thickened, 3-4 minutes.
  • Transfer brussels sprouts to a large bowl. Add glaze and scallions and toss to combine. Transfer to a platter and top with lemon zest.
9 Holiday Travel Safety Tips for Your Next Getaway
Carolyn Heneghan | Nov 1, 2018 |
Article Courtesy of SafeWise, Author Carolyn Heneghan
 

The holidays are a popular time for travelers. However, the winter weather and extensive travel time can present certain safety hazards that you should be aware of before taking your trip. Here are 10 tips for safe holiday travels to consider while planning your trip this year.
1. Prepare your home for optimum safety while you’re away.
If you have a security system installed in your home, ensure that it is working properly, including all alarms, motion detectors, cameras, and other monitoring equipment. Check with your alarm monitoring company for any last-minute safety tips for your
security system. If you have a DIY home security system
 with optional monitoring, consider adding monitoring to your plan for the month in which you’ll be traveling. Have someone check on your home periodically while you are away, especially if you are leaving on a long trip.
2. Have your car inspected and/or serviced before you leave and keep an emergency kit in it.
One of the most common issues that travelers experience during the holidays is car trouble. Being stuck on the side of the road in cold weather is the last thing you want to do on your vacation, but it can also be dangerous, such as if you happen to blow a tire while driving on a highway at high speeds. To help deter some of these incidents, bring your car in for an inspection and any necessary maintenance, particularly on your tires, which need to be winter-ready and properly inflated for the long drive.
Prepare an
emergency kit with necessary tools, such as a spare tire, carjack, and jumper cables, for car troubles you could experience on the road. Also, be prepared for first aid and other types of emergencies. Keep the emergency kit in your car as well.
3. Know how to drive safely on icy roads.
You should  

study up to ensure you know how to maneuver your vehicle on icy roads, which could potentially be dangerous. Tips include not driving until snow plows and sanding trucks have done their job, allowing yourself extra time to get to your destination to prevent rushing on the road, decreasing your speed, and leaving yourself plenty of room to stop.
4. Plan the drive ahead of time and know alternate routes.
As with travel at any other time of year, extensive planning ensures that you are prepared for whatever might happen during your trip. If you’re driving down a highway and hit construction, a road closing, or severe traffic, it’s important to not only know your route but to also know alternate routes so you always feel confident in where you’re going. Also, if you want to avoid traffic, plan to leave at a specific time when you might be able to drive through that area before or after peak traffic times. A  

GPS navigation system can be a huge help when it comes to staying on track, avoiding road closures, or finding your way back to the main road if you get lost.
5. Make frequent rest stops.
Driving in the winter can  

wear you out much more than in the summer. Making frequent stops to rest or just stretch your legs is important for keeping your energy level high enough to be alert on the road. Even just stopping for a few minutes every few hours can do wonders for your energy level.
6. Carry a cell phone and charger.
You never know when you might experience car troubles or where you might be when that happens, so having a mobile phone is crucial for utmost safety. Having a cell phone means having the ability to call for help with your car or for a taxi or other type of ride to get you to a warm location.
Along with your cell phone, you also need to carry a phone charger to be able to keep the battery topped up. A wall charger is good when you’re making a stop, but a car charger is better for being on the road. If you have a smartphone, you may also be able to download certain apps that can help you in a time of need, such as when your car breaks down in the middle of nowhere. Also, be sure to have contact information for roadside assistance on hand.
7. Stay hydrated.
While you may not think of dehydration as a holiday travel safety hazard, not having enough water during a long drive could mean fatigue or decreased alertness, which can be dangerous on the road. Keep a few bottles of water handy, and sip often to keep yourself hydrated throughout the trip.
8. Wash your hands frequently with soap or antibacterial hand sanitizer.
This is especially important if you are flying or riding a train or bus. Everything you touch has been touched by someone else, including armrests and door handles. In addition to typical germs that can be on someone’s hands, it is also flu season, which can be very contagious. Clean your hands frequently with either soap and water or antibacterial gel or wipes, particularly before touching your face.
9. Give someone close to you a copy of your trip itinerary and photocopies of important documents.
Before you leave, give a copy of your itinerary and all necessary contact information to a relative or friend. This way, in case something happens, this person will have a way to find you in cases of emergency, whether that is for you on your trip or back at home.
Also, leave photocopies of your passports, credit cards, and any other types of identification with this person in case something happens to your real copies and you need a photocopy sent to you right away. Keep a separate set of photocopies in your own luggage as well.
The holidays don’t have to be a dangerous time to travel. Follow these holiday travel safety tips, and you can rest easier knowing that you are better prepared for vacation.


LANDSCAPE & HARDSCAPE IDEAS
Cold weather worth-its: Fun activities to get the family outdoors.
The cold weather is no reason to stay indoors. This season holds lots of fun adventures for all ages.
Article Courtesy of EP Henry Blog


Dress for success
  
As the people of Norway say, there is no bad weather, only bad clothes. Having the right gear is the secret to enjoying the outdoors in winter. Outdoor experts at REI tell us the old “Layers, layers, layers” adage is the right one to stick with, but simply layering without taking the activity into consideration is not the way to do it. You must also consider the person’s metabolism – Those that heat up quickly should layer differently than those of us who take longer to warm up.
REI names three clothing layers for outdoor fun: A base layer that wicks sweat away from the skin; an insulating layer to retain heat and protect you from the cold; and an outer shell layer that fights the effects of wind and rain. The right clothing goes a long way in enjoyment of outdoor activities. Take a little time to research the appropriate gear for each person. Don’t forget appropriate footwear. Consider buying heated socks or hand warmers for extended outdoor activities.
Backyard fun
Fire and feast. A fire pit with s’mores can be a relatively quick activity that gets the family some fresh air. Provide adequate seating and cozy blankets to help lure them outside.
Snowshoeing. Snowshoe around the backyard is good practice for longer hikes. Today’s snowshoes are high-tech gear that look nothing like the old tennis-racket twins. Snowshoeing is fun and great exercise. Practice at home before getting out on those trails.
 
Build igloos. Many stores offer igloo brick molds. With a few tricks taken from the experts, an igloo is a fun project for the do-it-yourselfers in the group.
Coffee break. Sit with some specialty hot chocolate or a mocha latte. There’s nothing more invigorating than having a hot drink out in the cold air.
Adventuring out into the wild
Shoe the trails. Once your snowshoeing skills are up to snuff, you can venture out on some trails. Try to stay off the cross-country skiing tracks, as snowshoes tend to flatten the ruts the skiers work hard to establish. Keep the first hike shorter than you would think, to save some energy for the hike back.
Ice fishing. We’re not all ice fishing aficionados, but that doesn’t mean we can dip our toes in the activity. Search for local ice fishing tours and try your hand at this age-old tradition. Tours only last a few hours and can have you back at the lodge warming up next to a fire in no time.
Snowmobile rides. Some resorts with golf courses offer snowmobile tours during the winter months. No real experience is needed to drive one of these machines over the rolling hills. A few minutes of training and perhaps a driver’s license is required. Usually the machines can hold at least two riders each, sometimes 3. Although new snowmobiles can travel at speeds up to and sometimes exceeding 150 mph, tour machines typically have a cap speed for safety. Even at slower speeds, the open-air rushing past will make it feel like 150 mph.
Sledding. Slipping and sliding for snow-day fun has seen some revolutionary advances in the last several years. New snow sleds for kids and adults are worth checking out. Steerable mini toboggans, shin guard skis that allow the wearer to run and slide, ski-scooters and ski-bikes,  high-tech inner tubes, and high-speed snow-racer sleds all take sledding to a whole new level. Check out some of the latest inventions or break out the old standards. Feeling the wind in your face while whipping down a snow-covered hill is one of winter’s most exhilarating gifts.
Just do it
Getting outside in the winter can seem like a chore, but the more you do it, the more the layering and the cold air on your face will seem normal. Exercise is essential for a good mood and good health. Don’t let a little extra effort deter you from living a vigorous and joyous outdoor lifestyle.
Booking Now for 2019…
 
Have you been thinking about an outdoor living space?  Call us today to schedule a consultation.  We are already booking into Spring 2019, so now is the time!
 
330-628-9100

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