MemorialDayExecs2015Today we honor the brave men and women who have given their lives for our country. As we reflect on their sacrifice and courage, we also celebrate the freedoms they preserved and the opportunities they made possible. We are grateful for their valor and service.

In Remembrance-

Pot – in – Pot Landscaping

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I don’t know about you, but I’m not a huge fan of redoing the landscaping every time the seasons change. Don’t get me wrong, I love the time outdoors, but the shovel and I are not best friends. Here’s an idea that was a bit of an “aha” moment for me.  Dig a hole for your seasonal plants and fill it with an empty plastic pot. Now you can just drop your seasonal flowers (or herbs and veggies) in there and easily switch them out once they’re ready to retire.

Annual Maintenance

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Annual Maintenance

A common expectation of homeowners is to want the components and systems in their home to work when they need them. Periodic maintenance is just as important as having a trusted service provider to make necessary repairs.

Victims of Murphy’s Law can attest that their air conditioner goes out on the hottest day of the year or the water heater fails when you have out of town visitors.

If the convenience of having things work doesn’t justify maintaining your home’s systems, consider that it can be less expensive than the results of neglect causing repairs or replacement.

  • Replace burned-out, dim or missing bulbs in light fixtures and lamps. Consider switching to LED bulbs.
  • Dryer exhaust vents build up lint even though you may be cleaning the filter regularly.
  • Fire extinguishers need to be recharged or replaced after expiration date.
  • Establish a recurring appointment on your calendar to change filters in your HVAC.
  • Replace missing or damaged caulk around sinks, bathtubs, showers, windows and other areas.
  • Clean gutters.
  • Schedule an inspection with a pest control a minimum of once a year unless you have a service contract.
  • Schedule a chimney cleaning prior to using the fireplace for the first time in the season.
  • Keep all tree branches and shrubs trimmed away from the home.
  • Pressure wash exterior, deck, patio, sidewalks and driveway.
  • Keep levels of insulation in the attic above your ceiling joists.
  • Check appliances with water lines for leaks or worn hoses.
    • ice maker  • washing machine   • dishwasher   • others
  • Test all GFI breakers and reset.
  • Inspect all electrical outlets for broken receptacles, fire hazards or loose fitting plugs.
  • Have furnace and air conditioner serviced annually.
  • Test smoke and carbon monoxide detectors and change batteries.

The early fall is a great time to take care of these items before the weather becomes harsh.

Lemon-Rosemary-Garlic Chicken and Potatoes

Wine down Wednesday

Nicknamed “Anytime Chicken” by Test Kitchen Specialist Vanessa McNeil Rocchio, this winner of a chicken dinner is our new favorite roasting-pan supper for weeknights or easy entertaining with friends.

Wine Pairing:  Try this with a Bright Pinot Noir

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Yield: Makes 6 servings
Ingredients
• 1/3 cup olive oil
• 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
• 1 (3.5-oz.) jar capers, drained
• 2 lemons, sliced
• 10 garlic cloves, smashed
• 3 tablespoons fresh rosemary leaves
• 2 teaspoons kosher salt
• 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
• 3 tablespoons olive oil
• 6 chicken legs (about 1 1/2 lb.)
• 4 skin-on, bone-in chicken thighs (about 2 1/2 lb.)
• 2 pounds small red potatoes
• Crusty French bread
Preparation
1. Preheat oven to 450°. Stir together first 8 ingredients in a medium bowl.
2. Place a roasting pan on stove top over 2 burners. Add 3 Tbsp. olive oil, and heat over medium-high heat. Sprinkle chicken with desired amount of salt and pepper; place, skin sides down, in pan. Add potatoes. Cook 9 to 10 minutes or until chicken is browned. Turn chicken, and pour lemon mixture over chicken.
3. Bake at 450° for 45 to 50 minutes or until chicken is done. Serve chicken with sauce and French bread.