Jul 29 2014

Recipe: Summertime Strawberry Lemonade – The House Plan Shop

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Category: Recipes

Strawberry LemonadeDon’t let the dog days of summer drag you down. Kick back, relax, and enjoy a tasty glass of strawberry lemonade. This cool drink recipe is one the whole family will love!

 

Summertime Strawberry Lemonade

 

Ingredients:

3 cups cold water, divided

2 cups frozen sliced or whole strawberries, partially thawed

½ cup fresh lemon juice

½ cup sugar

Ice cubes

 

Preparation:

  1. Place strawberries in a blender or food processor container with 1 cup water. Cover and blend until smooth. Add remaining 2 cups water and blend until smooth.
  2. Pour mixture into a large pitcher.
  3. Stir in lemon juice and sugar. (Add more sugar if necessary to taste.)
  4. Pour into ice-filled glasses.
  5. Serve and enjoy.

 

Servings: Approximately 5 1-cup servings.

Prep time: 15 minutes

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Jul 17 2014

Featured Colonial House Plan: Elegant and Simple – The House Plan Shop

Colonial House Plan, 027H-0169What’s old is new again. The elegant simplicity of this Colonial house plan will never become obsolete. Stunning details like the treatment of the windows and gables, plus the sturdiness of a brick exterior lends to its historic appearance. George Washington didn’t sleep here only because you haven’t built it yet. If he did, he would find plenty of room with four bedrooms on the second floor. He would be impressed by the modern interior, beyond the convenience of indoor plumbing, which by the way includes two full baths and laundry. Whether dining on mutton at the kitchen food bar or the dining room table, or warming himself at the great room’s fireplace, he would be at home with the warmth and coziness of this two-story home plan. What a great place to begin your own history.     

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Jul 08 2014

Recipe: Easy Baked Beans for Your Summer Barbecue – The House Plan Shop

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Category: Recipes

Baked Beans

It seems like everyone has their own recipe for tweaking canned pork and beans. But in case you don’t, this easy recipe is a good one to get you started

 

Baked Beans 

½ to 1 pound of bacon

1 onion chopped

2 16 ounce cans of pork and beans

½ cup brown sugar

¼ cup ketchup

3 tbs of prepared yellow mustard

1 tbs of lemon juice

 

Cook the bacon. Cut it into pieces and set aside. Add the chopped onion to some of the bacon grease and cook until it is soft. In a large bowl, mix everything but the bacon. Put the mixture in a baking dish. A Dutch oven works great. Top with the bacon and cooked covered in a 350 degree oven for 45-60 minutes.

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Jun 17 2014

Lawn and Garden Tips for Dealing with Summer Drought – The House Plan Shop

Sprinkler

The summer sun is high in the sky. As the temperatures soar, Mother Nature decides to hold back on rain. Your grass, garden, and trees are beginning to suffer. Below are a few tips for keeping your green space green throughout the summer.

Mulch
Did you know that unmulched soil can lose up to twice as much water as mulched soil, due to evaporation? Three to four inches of mulch around your plants will not only reduce soil temperature and keep moisture in the soil, but it will help to smother those pesky weeds that want to steal any available water. As a bonus, organic mulch will break down in the soil building up its organic content and preventing compaction. That gives your soil a better chance to soak up water for your plants use. When mulching around trees, pull the mulch back a bit around the trunk to allow air to reach it.

Water
It is best to water in the morning when the humidity is high and the temperature is cooler. Less water is lost to evaporation this way, and it prepares your plants and lawn to face the hottest part of the day without wilting. In the heat of the day, water evaporates faster causing you to use more water to get the job done. Also, water droplets on the plants work like a magnifying glass for the sun and could cause “sunburn” on the leaves. Watering too late in the day doesn’t give the plants time to dry properly and could promote fungus growth. Since shade is so important in keeping down the temperature of your lawn, don’t forget to water your trees. To help the water reach deeply to the roots, drill holes 24 to 30 inches deep around the base of the tree and fill them with compost. Water your lawn and trees slowly to help the soil absorb the water. This will also help to prevent water loss through transpiration which is a way that grass and plants “sweat” through their leaves. Finally, be mindful to deal with pests that will sap your precious plants and lawn of their strength.

Conserve
Plants use about one inch of water from the soil per week of the growing season. Use a rain gauge to estimate your watering and listen to the weather forecast to decide when to water. A soaker hose will help allow the water to soak in slowly without runoff.  Allowing your lawn to grow taller will help retain moisture by preventing water loss through transpiration. Consider directing the downspouts from your gutters to flow toward your trees or shrubs. Or even better, collect rainwater that flows from your roof into a barrel to use on a not so rainy day.

Keeping these tips in mind will help your plants, lawn, and trees stay a healthy green all summer.

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Jun 07 2014

Recipe: Fried Corn for Your Summer Barbeque – The House Plan Shop

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Category: Recipes

Fried CornGrilling corn on the cob is a great treat at summer barbeques but might take up too much time and precious grill space, especially if you are hosting a large crowd. Here’s an easy way to deliver a tasty side dish of corn that your guests will surely appreciate.

Fried Corn

1 pound of bacon

1 bell pepper chopped

1 onion chopped

2  16 ounce bags of frozen corn

½ cup sugar optional

In a deep skillet fry the bacon. Remove from skillet, crumble it and set aside. Save some of the bacon grease, and add the pepper and onion to the skillet. Cook until soft and then add the corn. If you prefer to sweeten the pot, add some sugar to the corn along with a little salt and pepper to season it. If you like things hot, use a little cayenne pepper. When the corn is thoroughly heated through, return the crumbled bacon to the skillet, stir and serve.

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