National Spinach Day: Cheesy Spinach Roll-Ups

spinachMarch 26th is National Spinach Day and we’re celebrating it because there are so many reasons to celebrate spinach. It’s one of the world’s healthiest foods — it keeps our eyes young, our bones strong and our blood pressure low. It’s also pretty tasty — though, for a period, it did have a reputation of being one of the most disliked vegetables. These days, it’s a little less feared and more liked and we want to share our easiest spinach recipe for National Spinach Day: Cheesy Spinach Roll-Ups.

Cheesy  Spinach Roll-Upsspinach

Cream Sauce:

  • 1 TB butter
  • 2 TB all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • ½ cube chicken bouillon
  • 3 TB Parmesan cheese, grated

Roll-ups:

  • 8 lasagna noodles, cooked
  • 8 oz mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • 9 oz package of frozen spinach, thawed and drained well
  • 15 oz container ricotta cheese
  • 1 egg
  • ¼ tsp garlic powder
  • ¼ tsp onion powder

For the sauce, make a roux by melting butter in a saucepan over medium heat and whisk in the flour. When you have a really thick paste (almost dough), lower the heat and whisk in the milk and bouillon cube. Keep stirring until the bouillon is dissolved and you have a creamy sauce. Whisk in Parmesan cheese and set aside.

spinach

Preheat oven to 350℉.

For the roll-ups, stir together the spinach, ricotta cheese, egg, onion and garlic powders. Lay out your cooked noodles on a flat surface.

Spoon out even portions of the spinach mixture onto each of the noodles. Spread the mixture so there’s an even layer of spinach on top of the noodles. Sprinkle about half of the mozzarella cheese onto the noodles.

spinach

Gently roll up each of the noodles so that the spinach is on the inside of the rolls. Place the rolled noodles in a casserole dish prepared with cooking spray.

Pour all of the cream sauce over the noodles. Top the noodles with the remaining mozzarella cheese. Cover the dish with aluminum foil. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove the foil and continue baking for another 15 minutes or until the top is slightly browned and the sauce is bubbly.

spinach

This is a kid-friendly recipe — not only will they love to eat it, but they might just be able to make it themselves! Of course, it’s tasty enough for an adult as well and it’s great for leftovers if you can’t eat it all in one sitting.

spinach

Easter Recipe: Hot Cross Buns

Hot-cross-bunsWe’re close to the end of Lent with Good Friday and Easter just ahead of us. With the spring holidays, traditions abound and they come in all forms — our favorite form is food! Easter is loaded with fun food traditions, but Good Friday holds one of the more interesting one: hot cross buns.

Hot cross buns are more common in the United Kingdom, but there are a few Americans who carry out the ritual of making the buns and hanging one in the kitchen for a year for good luck or sharing one with a friend to protect the friendship. Though they’re made for the symbolism, they also make a pretty tasty treat. However, there are many more versions of the recipe than there are superstitions. Here’s our hot cross buns recipe.

Hot Cross Buns

  • ¾ cups milk, room temperature
  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted (but not hot)
  • 1 teaspoon active dry yeast (about half of a packet)
  • 2 TB light brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoons salt
  • 1 tsp  baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1 egg (if you want extra moist hot cross buns, use two yolks in place of the one egg)
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries (traditionally, currants are used, but cranberries are tastier)

Hot-cross-buns

In a bowl fitted to a stand mixer, add butter, sugar, milk and sprinkle the yeast on top. Let stand for five minutes so the yeast gets foamy. Whisk together the remaining dry ingredients and add it all to the yeast mixture. Using the hook attachment, mix on medium-low speed for five minutes.

Hot-cross-buns

Add the egg yolk and continue mixing until it’s all well-combined to make a sticky dough. Add the cranberries and mix until they’re distributed evenly in the dough. Cover the bowl with plastic and set aside for one hour. Divide the dough into six balls and place in a prepared pan. Cover with a clean kitchen towel and let rise for one hour.

Hot-cross-bunsEgg Wash

  • 1 egg white
  • 1 TB milk

Preheat oven to 375℉. Whisk together the milk and egg white. Brush egg wash on each ball of dough. Bake for 25 minutes or until the tops of the buns are golden brown. Let cool for about ten minutes.

Hot-cross-bunsIcing:

  • 2 tsp Lemon Juice
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar
  • Pinch salt

Mix together all the ingredients. It will be a thick paste. Place in a sealable plastic bag. Pipe icing onto each bun in a cross. This recipe makes six muffin-sized buns, but it can easily be doubled or tripled for a big breakfast to celebrate the end of Lent.

Hot-cross-bunsThe Lakeside Collection has dozens of products and ideas to make every holiday fun, tasty and memorable. Whether you need cookware to put together a spectacular holiday meal or you’re looking for delicate decor for the big day, shop The Lakeside Collection for great products at discount prices.

The Lakeside Selection: Our Choice of Garden Items

Spring has sprung! We’re celebrating the first day of spring by planning our gardens and we are looking for fun ideas to make our outdoor space lively. We came up with a few things we want to put in our own gardens and thing we think you’d like, too. Here’s this week’s The Lakeside Selection: Our Choice of Garden Items.

gnome-tree-house

Put a smile on the faces of passersby with a Solar Gnome Tree House in your yard. This whimsical garden accent features windows that light up using the power of the sun.

humming-bird-feeder

Hummingbird Feeders will encourage these delightful birds to hang around so you can enjoy watching and listening to them. Completely functional and decidedly decorative, these feeders come ready for use–just fill them with sugar water and hang. Put them near a window or porch to attract hummingbirds for an up close and personal look!

rail-mount-planter

Dress up your deck or add color to your front porch or balcony with this Coco-Lined Rail Mount Planter. The metal hanger slips right over the railing and adjusts by hand without tools to fit rail widths up to 2-1/4″. Won’t blow away or fall off!

garden-bells

Add colorful decor to your landscape with a Set of 4 Beaded Garden Bells. The dainty bells provide a touch of melodious embellishment to your shrubbery. Each piece features bronze toned bells and colored beads and tassels.

cooks-vertical-garden

Enhance your meals using fresh herbs, fruits and vegetables you’ve grown yourself with this Cook’s Vertical Garden. You can add zest to pasta, make homemade salsa or eat fresh strawberries right from the vine.

5 Garden DIY Walkway Ideas

garden-walkWith spring nearing, we’re looking for all sorts of ways to make our gardens unique. We have ideas of what we want to plant, now we’re moving on to how to showcase our vegetables and flowers. A DIY garden walkway is one way we can make our garden one-of-a-kind. Here are 5 garden DIY walkway ideas we’ve come across we think you might like.

Pallet Path Wooden pallets can be upcycled into many useful items around the house. In the garden, a dismantled pallet gives you the slabs to lay down for a flat and sturdy path. You don’t have to be a master woodworker, but you should know how to use a saw at the very least. The wood can be cut so it’s all a uniform length or you can get creative and stagger planks at different lengths to give it a unique style.

wood-slice-walkWood Walk Laying down little slices of wood can turn an unused bit of land into an adorable path. Celebration Generation takes you through each step of the process — clearing out the space, lining it properly and then placing each of the slices of wood along the path. It actually looks nice as a regular dirt path, but the wood makes it look classy.

wine-bottle-garden-edgingWine Bottle Way Upcycling wine bottles to make a path is one of the more popular ways to add character to your garden. VertAustin does a quick tutorial on using wine bottles as garden edging, but the idea could easily be expanded to line a garden path. If you’re good at cutting glass, the bottoms of wine bottles can also be transformed into tiles to smoothe out a dirt path.

Pop Bottle Cap Passage A more labor-intensive way to give your garden walkway character is to apply bottle caps (plastic or metal work) to the tiling idea. It would take quite a while to collect them and lay them all out, but if bottle caps are something you happen to set aside for no good reason, this may be a way to put them to good use.

stepping-stoneUncommon Concrete DIY stepping stones are surprisingly easy to make. You can use just about anything as a mold for your ready-to-mix concrete. A cake pan, pizza box, shoe box — you can make it any shape you want and you can make it as fancy as you want, too! Break old dishes to make a mosaic or use glass craft beads to add color and character. The hardest part about making the stones yourself is waiting for the concrete to dry.

However you decide to build your garden, The Lakeside Collection has more products and ideas to make your garden just right. From garden stakes to bird feeders, we have what you need to make your garden brighter.

5 Clever Ways to Upcycle Mason Jars

Mason-jar-soap-dispenserReuse, recycle, upcycle — we want to make the most of everything we have! At Lakeside right now, we’re thinking about all of the amazing things we can do with mason jars. Mason jars are so simple and, even as drinking glasses, they add rustic appeal to decor. But there are so many other ways you can use mason jar other than as a beverage container. Here are 5 clever ways to upcycle mason jars.

Soap Dispenser This is a fabulous way to dress up a kitchen sink! Blissfully Content Life swapped out her squeeze bottle of dishwashing liquid for this awesome mason jar. All she did was punch a hole in the top and put in a pump. It gives the kitchen a fun country flair without spending a lot of money.

mason-jar-craft-storageCraft Storage It All Started with Paint came up with a practical way to sort all the supplies she needs to create fun crafts. Mason jars keep all of her buttons, rubber bands, glitter, and bows neat and in place. It’s such a simple idea we can’t believe we didn’t think of it! It’s an easy way to add a vintage style to your craft corner.

mason-jar-lightsLuminaries Mom Spark put some sparkle in her mason jars by turning them into luminaries! These are super-cool — all she did was add glass craft beads to the outside using hot glue. So easy and so brilliant! You can use tea lights to illuminate them to make any room shimmer. If you want something a little more homemade looking, you could decoupage colored tissue paper to light up your room with shades of your favorite colors.

mason-jar-terariumIndoor Garden Mason jars are great for indoor gardens. You can go about them in two ways: 1) a simple herb garden or 2) a terrarium.

Herb gardens are great in mason jars because it’s basically one herb per jar so you can grow only the ones you want — and the jar adds a little bit more character to your kitchen than a terracotta pot would.

Terrariums take a little bit more coordination, but the same amount of time. Scissors and Steam takes you through the process of making a terrarium with a mason jar. With a little soil and some accouterment, you can get your terrarium together in an hour.

mason-jar-bathroom-cannistersBathroom Canisters Liz Marie knows how to give a bathroom a makeover with style. Not only does she use her mason jars to hold her cotton balls and swabs, she takes upcycling a little further and add knobs to the lids to make them easy to handle. It’s decor with functionality.


The Lakeside Collection has hundreds of items and ideas to help you change up your decor. Keep checking back for fun finds at unbeatable prices.

The Lakeside Selection: Our Choice of Easter Items

It’s finally starting to feel like spring in most parts of the country! Soon, flowers will be blooming, birds will be chirping and the Easter Bunny will be on his way! To celebrate the end of the week and the upcoming holiday we’ve picked out a few items to remind of the new season! Here’s this week’s The Lakeside Selection: Our Choice of Easter Items.

easter-bunny-figurines

Get ready for spring by displaying this adorable 3-Pc. Figurine Set on a shelf or tabletop. The friendly-faced characters are tall and slim and hold props in their hands that set a theme. The Butterfly Fairies are tending their garden, and the Bunnies are getting ready for an Easter egg hunt.

easter-garden-flag

Celebrate the changing seasons throughout the year with the Debra Jordan Bryan Flags with Stake. You get 4 seasonal flags and a stake. Features colorful artwork on both sides of each flag and has a rod pocket.

easter-dresses

Welcome springtime with the adorable flowers of the Girls’ 3-Pc. Dress Set. The pretty dress is easy to wear with a button-up back and a tie waist for a comfortable fit. The headband is elastic with an attached bow. The adorable bunny is made of matching fabric, and girls will love to carry it around while wearing this outfit.

easter-bulbs

Plant the Easy-to-Grow Bulbs in the spring, and you’ll have beautiful blossoms in the summer–no experience required. Simply choose a spot with good drainage and follow the instructions.

door-bunny

25″ Lighted Bunny Door Hanger is a charismatic decoration for springtime. Hang it on your front door to welcome guests or display it inside your home. Made from twigs for a handcrafted look, it has 15 white LED lights, beaded accents and a festive polka dot bow.

 

 

Learn About Butterflies Day: Fun Facts About Butterflies

ButterflyThe days are getting longer, the temperatures are rising and birds are singing the sweet songs of spring! Pretty soon we’ll start seeing butterflies fluttering around the trees and flowers and,  since, March 14 is also dedicated as Learn About Butterflies Day, we dug up few fun facts about butterflies to get you excited about the season.

Eating and Drinking According to the San Diego Zoo, there are a few ways butterflies get their nutrients. Before they transform from from caterpillar to butterfly, they eat leaves to survive. After they go through metamorphosis and change from a squirmy insect to a beautiful flying bug, they only sip on liquids — juice from fruit, nectar from flowers and sap from trees. Those things give butterflies most of what they need, but they don’t provide minerals, so male butterflies sip water from mud puddles — it’s called “puddling.” They share those nutrients they get from puddles with females during the mating process.

ButterflyAfter mating, when butterflies are ready to lay their eggs, they scope out leaves and plants by tasting them with their feet! If they find leaves tasty enough for their offspring, they’ll lay eggs on the leaves. When the eggs hatch, the caterpillars will eat the leaves on which they are born and the life cycle begins again.

Flying While we usually just see butterflies fluttering from flower to flower without urgency, they can fly quite fast. Most butterflies fly about 5 to 12 miles an hour, but some skipper butterflies can reach speeds of up to 35 miles an hour! Skippers are a little bit different from other butterflies — you can tell them by their antennae; they look like little crochet hooks.

But butterflies can’t fly all the time — they are ruled by the weather — which isn’t a surprise since we usually only see them during the spring and summer. Temperature is very important in their travels. They don’t take off if the air temperature is less than 55℉ and if their body temperature is less than 85℉.

ButterflyLifespan Butterfly life span varies. The brimstone butterfly lives the longest with an average of 9 to 10 months, but some species live only a week or two. But that is over-simplifying the complicated lives of butterflies. There are many things to consider when calculating the lifespan of a butterfly: how long they’re in the larval (egg) and pupal (cocoon) stages, hibernation, and weather conditions. Butterflies and Moths of North America goes into detail about how long butterflies live.

Defense There are many ways butterflies protect themselves from predators. As caterpillars, they either roll themselves up in leaves or burrow into fruit or wood to hide — some even make themselves look like twigs. As winged adults, they can hide the brightly colored side of their wings and show only the dull side to make them less visible. Some butterflies can even disguise themselves as dead leaves. The more beautiful butterflies — like the Monarch — don’t taste very good to predators — of course one has to die for a predator to learn its lesson, but the death of one beautiful butterfly means many more will survive.

We’re excited about all the life spring brings to our gardens! Butterflies, flowers and birds — we’re working on making homes for them in our yards and The Lakeside Collection has dozens of products and ideas to make your garden attractive for all your favorite critters.

6 Easy to Grow Flowers for Plant a Flower Day

Sunflowers

Sunflowers

March 12 is Plant a Flower Day! Most of the country is still either covered with snow or the ground is too cold to start gardening, but that doesn’t mean you can’t start your planting — you’ll just have to start your seeds indoors and transfer them to your flower beds when it’s a little warmer. Of course you’ll have to figure out what you want to plant. We’ve put together a list of 6 easy to grow flowers for Plant a Flower Day so everyone can plant something no matter how green your thumb is.

Sunflowers One of the most impressive flowers to grow from seeds is the the sunflower. They’re generally drought tolerant but require a lot of direct sunlight. They also grow to be quite tall — some can reach heights of 16 feet — so they’ll need plenty of space when they’re transferred to their outdoor home.

sweet-pea

Sweet Pea

Sweet Peas Sweet peas are great because they germinate fast and they bloom early so you can get a little instant gratification in your garden as soon as the sun starts shinging. They grow best in cooler temperatures, so you want to start them as early as possible before they shy away from the heat of the summer. They also need a trellis to climb.

Columbine

Columbine

Columbine Columbine are easy to grow, but they’re not made for every climate. They thrive in cooler environments with a lot of sunlight — which is probably why it’s Colorado’s state flower. They can grow in warmer climates, but it’s best to plant them in spots with a little bit of shade so they don’t get too hot.

blanket-flowers

Blanket Flowers

Blanket Flower Blanket flowers have a faint resemblance to daisies — they can add sweetness to any garden. They’re native to Mexico which means they like loose, sandy soil and, after a moist germination period, they like a dry, hot, sunny climate which means they’re drought-tolerant. They also bloom all summer long so you’re guaranteed constant color in your garden.

Veronica

Veronica

Veronica Veronica seeds love sunny spots and can grow well in many types of soil. They bloom all summer long making them a favorite for birds, bees and butterflies! The average germination time is two to four weeks, so right now is a good time to start those inside. By the time it’s shorts weather, you’ll have beautiful blue blossoms in your garden.

Nigella

Nigella

Nigella Nigella flowers are also known as Love in a Mist, which, you will see when they bloom, is an appropriate title. They’re cute little blue flowers framed by whispy fronds similar to fennel. They’re also hardy plants, so they will be around quite a while after you plant them. Their flowering time is relatively short, but when they’re not blooming they have great seed pods that are great filler for dried flower arrangements.

The Lakeside Collection can help you get your garden started! We have outdoor decor and garden ideas to make your every summer minute count.

5 St. Patrick’s Day crafts

You have less than two weeks to get your plans set for St. Patrick’s Day! It’s only here for one day, so let’s make it count. While the adults are easy to please — slap a shamrock on them, serve them green beer, and dish up corned beef and cabbage — kids need some special attention. We’ve been putting together a list of crafts to keep them busy and happy. Here are 5 St. Patrick’s Day crafts we think your kids will like.Pot-of-gold

Pot of Gold You can’t celebrate the Luck of the Irish without a pot of gold! This one is adorable, reusable and easy to make (we love easy!). All it takes is painting a terracotta pot painted black, rainbow-colored pipe cleaners and chocolate disguised as gold. When St. Patrick’s day is over, you can plant a few flowers to sprout for Easter.

Leprechaun-traps2Leprechaun Traps Leprechaun traps may be an all-day project, but they’ll be worth it! Mrs. Byrd left no stone unturned when she came up with these ideas — not only did she make traps, but she also made shamrock ladders (which could be extended to make shamrock bunting) — and almost all of her crafts are made with repurposed items from around the house! So cute and so environmentally-friendly!

leprechaun-footprintsLeprechaun Footprints Leprechaun footprints are a hoot for little kids! If you’re strategic about the placement of them, you might be able trick your little ones into believing a leprechaun is on the loose and he’s lost his shoe! Or you can let them in on the fun and let them make their own. All you need is a hand, green finger paint and paper.

Pot-of-ShamrocksPot of Shamrocks We already have a pot-o-gold, but we couldn’t resist these pots of shamrocks! This one is fun because your kids can actually grow little clover plants. Chica and Jo used them as place cards by cutting out shamrocks from green construction paper and gluing them to toothpicks, but they can be made without a specific purpose other than growing shamrocks!

 

bag-o-luckBag o’ Luck Couldn’t everyone use a bag o’ luck? Pink Pistachio makes it look so easy but it’s a project you can spread over a couple of days — collect the perfect stones, paint them gold, add sparkly shamrocks, and put them all in a muslin bag with shamrock prints you made with apples! It’s a simple idea with a lot of components, but it makes adorable favors for our favorite Irish holiday!


We’re excited about St. Patrick’s Day — The Lakeside Collection has loads of products and ideas to get you excited about it, too! But this is just March — we take every holiday seriously! Keep checking back for more inspiration for every season.

St. Patrick’s Day: Irish Soda Bread Recipe

Soda-BreadSt. Patrick’s Day is just around the corner — a day in which millions of people wear green, attend parades and drink green beer. We love to honor the Irish — it makes sense since about 33 million Americans claim to have Irish heritage. There are dozens of ways to experience Irish culture, food is how we’re honoring the Irish today. Irish people love their soda bread — so much so, it’s served at almost every meal. It’s no wonder — it’s delicious and incredibly easy to make.

Soda bread has just four ingredients: flour, baking soda, salt, and buttermilk. Technically, because it uses baking soda rather than yeast to rise, it’s considered a quick bread — like zucchini bread or muffins. In the 19th century, yeast was hard to come by in Ireland and baking soda was cheap so it was the obvious solution for the need for bread. But, not only was it the means to an end, people could make it quickly because it requires no rising time and it could be baked in a big pot similar to a cast iron Dutch oven and set on the coals of a fire rather than baked in an oven. Add all of these benefits to a delicious bread and you have a win-win-win! Try out our recipe for soda bread this St. Patrick’s Day and you’ll want to make it every day, too!

Irish Soda Bread

Soda-BreadIngredients:

  • 4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 ⅔ cups buttermilk

Directions:

Preheat oven to 425℉. Line a round cake pan with parchment paper.
Whisk together the dry ingredients. Stir in the buttermilk until everything just comes together — do not over mix it! It will look messy, but it’ll work itself out in the oven. Gently form a ball. Place it in the cake pan and cut a cross into the top of the loaf. Loosely cover the pan with aluminum foil. Bake for 30 minutes. Remove the foil and return the bread to the oven for another 15 minutes or until it’s golden brown.

Soda-Bread

 

This bread is so easy and so good, you really have no excuse not to make it, but let St. Patrick’s Day be your reason to make it! Enjoy your bread and happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Soda-Bread