Archive for the 'Seasonal' Category

Oct 08 2013

Profile Image of M.K. Tenney

Autumn Home Maintenance Checklist – The Garage Plan Shop

Filed under Maintenance,Seasonal

Gutter CleaningGetting your house ready for winter begins as the leaves begin to fall. Inspecting your home and performing routine maintenance now can prevent costly repairs later. Below is a suggested checklist of home maintenance tips you can use this fall:

 

Gutters – Keeping gutters and downspouts clear of debris prevents them from backing up and damaging roofing especially when cold temperatures cause freezing. Water running behind the gutters can cause problems with rotting, pest infestations, foundation damage and wet basements, so repair or replace gutter hangers and brackets if needed. Check where the water drains to make sure it isn’t collecting in a place that will be damaged or dangerous when frozen.

Chimneys – Make sure the flue is operating properly and the chimney gets cleaned properly if you plan to fire up that fireplace this winter. Also, inspect outside to determine if any tuckpointing or flashing needs attention. If you use a chimney cap to protect the top of your chimney, make sure that it is still attached securely.

Doors and Windows – Lower your heating bills by repairing air leaks around windows and doors. Don’t forget to replace the screens the storm windows and doors. The cooler days of autumn are an ideal time to replace peeling paint and caulk as well.

Plumbing – Drain the spigots and close the valves to outside faucets to prevent freezing and bursting pipes. Insulate the cavities and don’t forget to drain the hose of water.

Attic -Look in the attic after a good rain. This is one way to catch any leaks especially around chimneys and vents. Also check for adequate insulation and seal any air leaks.

Heating – Replace the furnace filter. Do a test run before it gets extremely cold, to ensure that everything is working properly. In the long run, it may pay to have your heating and cooling company clean and inspect your system.

Yard – This is a good time of year to fertilize and reseed lawns. Pay attention and trim any limbs that are close to the roof or power lines. Heavy snow and ice can cause them to fall and do great damage during winter storms. Bring in or protect your outdoor furniture, umbrellas, grills, etc. Make sure all of your outdoor lights and motion detectors are working properly and change their schedules if needed as the days get shorter.

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May 18 2011

Profile Image of Curtis Cadenhead

7 Summer Vacation Road Safety Tips – The Garage Plan Shop

Road TripSummer is finally here! Changes are you just might be taking a road trip this summer. Whether you are heading to the beach the mountains or Grandma’s house somewhere in between it is important to practice safe driving and travel habits. The Garage Plan Shop recommends following this helpful tips from a traffic safety researcher.

 

1.    Get your car in shape – Before you set out on your road trip, make sure your car is in tip-top shape. Have your oil changed, check your tire pressure and make sure your radiator is working.

2.    Map your route – Map your route before you leave. Know which highways and roads you’ll be taking. Check traffic websites and other sites like Google Maps to help you plan your route and navigate construction zones. If your road trip is going to take more than a day’s travel time, check travel websites and book hotel rooms along your route. Don’t forget to pack your maps and any hotel confirmation numbers.

3.    Know the safe times to travel – Studies show roadways are most dangerous late and night and early in the morning when drivers are more likely to be intoxicated or tired. Plan to depart around 7:00 AM and arrive at your hotel or destination no later than 10:00 PM.

4.    Plan for kids and pets – If you’ll be brining your kids or your pets on your road trip, it takes a little extra planning. Pack a cooler with snack and drinks for the little ones. Also bring card games, books, handheld games, favorite music CDs, books on CD or a few small toys to entertain the kids. Plan on playing travel games in the car to pass the time. Do not for get to bring food and water for your pets.

5.    Plan to take breaks – Plan to pull over every 2-3 hours to stretch your legs, give your eyes a quick break and recharge. Take a restroom break. Let the kids run around for a couple minutes and walk the dog. Everyone will feel better about getting back in the car again. If you are traveling with another driver, take turns driving in shifts so no one experiences fatigue.

6.    Do not drink – It is illegal and it is not safe to drink and drive. Research indicates just one alcoholic drink may cause important changes in cognition affecting your ability to drive and make good judgments. Avoid any alcoholic drinks while your road trip is in progress. Wait until you get to the beach or the mountains and enjoy your favorite adult drink with dinner.

7.    Wake up or catch up on sleep – According to statistics, in 2009 over 100,000 car crashes resulted due to drowsy driving. If you are driving in shifts with another driver, take a nap while the other person is behind the wheel. If not, pull over in a safe well-lit place and take a quick power nap. Better yet, plan to check into your hotel early in the evening so you can go to bed early and be refreshed for the next day’s drive.

 

We all look forward to summer vacations and perhaps road trips make for the best memories. Take these precautions to make sure this summer’s road trip is safe and memorable.

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Dec 30 2009

Profile Image of Curtis Cadenhead

Easy Dips for Holiday Parties

Ranch Salsa DipThe holidays are here. Amid the hustle and bustle of the season, we are often asked to bring a dish, snack or appetizer to a holiday gathering. These recipes are simple to make and tasty to eat. Try one of these the next time you’re asked to bring something to a gathering.

 

 

Ranch Salsa Dip

 

Ingredients:

1 16 oz carton of sour cream

¾  cup thick and chunky salsa

1 packet of Hidden Valley Original Ranch Dip Mix

1 bag of nacho chips

 

1.    Mix sour cream, salsa and ranch dip mix in a medium bowl.

2.    Chill or serve immediately with nacho chips.

 

 

Hummus

 

Ingredients:

1 15 oz can chickpeas drained and rinsed

1 cup roasted red peppers drained and rinsed

½ cup sour cream

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

3 garlic cloves minced

¼ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon pepper

2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds (optional)

Crackers, veggies or pita chips

 

1.    Add chickpeas to food processor and puree.

2.    Add roasted red peppers and remaining ingredients. Puree until smooth.

3.    Refrigerate.

4.    Serve with crackers, veggies or pita chips

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Dec 22 2009

Profile Image of Curtis Cadenhead

Monkey Bread for Breakfast: A Favorite Children’s Recipe

Monkey BreadWhile the kids are off school for the holidays, serve this breakfast favorite. Everyone at The Garage Plan Shop has been enjoying this tasty breakfast treat for years.

 

Monkey Bread Recipe

 

Ingredients:

½ cup sugar

1 teaspoon cinnamon

3 (7.5 oz) cans refrigerated buttermilk biscuits

1 cup firmly packed brown sugar

¾ cup butter or margarine, melted

 

1.    Heat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease 12-cup fluted tube pan. Mix sugar and cinnamon in a plastic food-storage bag.

2.    Separate dough into 30 biscuits and cut each one into quarters. Shake in bag to coat and arrange in pan.

3.    Mix brown sugar and melted butter and pour over biscuits.

4.    Bake 28-32 minutes or until golden brown and no longer doughy in the center.

5.    Cool in pan 10 minutes.

6.    Turn upside down onto serving plate. Pull apart to serve. Serve warm.

 

Makes approximately 12 servings.

 

Visit our blog next week for more holiday recipes.

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Dec 15 2009

Profile Image of Curtis Cadenhead

Chocolate Lovers Easy Holiday Cookie Recipes

Pretzel TurtlesEveryone enjoys holiday treats. Here are a couple of The Garage Plan Shop’s favorite chocolate treats. They are quick and easy to make.

 

 

Pretzel Turtles

 

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: 4-5 minutes

 

Ingredients:

20 mini pretzels

20 Rolo candies (unwrapped)

20 pecan halves

 

1.    Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

2.    Arrange pretzels in a single layer on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.

3.    Place 1 rolo on top of each pretzel.

4.    Bake for 4-5 minutes or until rolo candies begin to melt.

5.    Remove from oven. While candy is still warm press 1 pecan half into each candy.

6.    Cool and serve at room temperature. Store in an airtight container.

 

 

Fudgies

 

Prep time: 10-15 minutes

Cooking time: 8-9 minutes

 

Ingredients:

1 stick real butter

12 oz. Nestle semi-sweet chocolate chips

1 14 oz. can Borden sweetened condensed milk

1 tsp. vanilla

1 ½ cups chopped walnuts

1 cup flour

 

1.    Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

2.    Melt butter and chocolate chips in sauce pan over low heat stirring until silky smooth.

3.    Stir in milk and vanilla.

4.    Remove from heat.

5.    Stir in flour and walnuts. Mix well.

6.    Spoon onto foil-lined cookie sheet.

7.    Bake 8-9 minutes. (Cookies will not look done. Take out before edges look crispy.)

8.    Cool on pan for 5 minutes before removing.

9.    Store at room temperature in airtight container. Cookies will be soft and chewy.

 

 

Be sure to check back next week for a few more of our favorite holiday recipes.

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