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All-America Selections

Garden

The annual announcement of the latest All-America Selections means spring can’t be too far away. Any variety holding the coveted AAS-winning title has been through rigorous trials by volunteer judges from all over the country. Founded in 1932, with the first winners announced the next year, it’s the oldest independent seed- and plant-testing organization. For […]

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Plan ahead to ensure a fun camping vacation

Outdoors

It was the only vacation that ever made my wife cry. She wasn’t alone. This camping trip had been my friend’s idea – though I admittedly eagerly signed on — and before it was all over his wife cried, too. Not to be left out, their son and both of our kids joined in regularly. […]

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Think outside the box when calling coyotes

Outdoors

The secret is that there’s really no secret. Oh, lots of predator hunters wish it were so. They want there to be a single key, a mystic answer, a largely unknown, otherworldly, hush-hush tactic that regularly brings more coyotes to the gun. So they ask. Over and over and over. Like seekers after knowledge from […]

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Outdoor Extras, including a maple toast egg cups recipe

Outdoors

You want outdoor extras? We’ve got outdoor extras… Gear of the week Gear name: Zippo rechargable Company: Zippo (https://www.everybodyshops.com/zippo-2-hour-rechargeable-hand-warmer.html) Gear type: Hand warmer Product description: If you know Zippo, you know the company has long made hand warmers that run on lighter fluid (Zippo is a lighter company after all). But it’s now making rechargeable, […]

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Moldy foods that are still safe to eat, according to the USDA

Food

Americans waste more than $160 billion in food every year — yikes! Of course, no one buys food with the anticipation of throwing it in the trash, but once something gets moldy, we have little choice. This might be true of most foods — but not all. According to the United States Department of Agriculture, […]

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Tomato basil and gnocchi soup warms cold winter days

Food

Need to thaw out from the winter weather? This recipe combines two of the most delicious cold weather comfort foods on the planet — pasta and soup. A big bowl of this filling soup and you’ll be toasty for hours. What’s even better? It’s ready in less than a half hour. Seriously. A food this […]

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Hydrangeas Demystified

Garden

Hydrangea expert and author Lorraine Ballato has just spent 10 minutes telling me how difficult it is to make the plant bloom in a northern climate. Asked then why her property was filled with countless varieties of the shrub, she laughs and says, “because my heart belongs to them.” The No. 1 garden question in […]

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Protecting your cell phone and electronics outdoors

Outdoors

It was easy to enforce early on. When my oldest son joined his Scout troop, the leaders had a rule: no cell phones on campouts. The idea, they said, was to make sure the boys played outside, learned new skills, interacted with others and generally escaped screens and video games for the weekend. That was […]

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Develop a year-round trail camera strategy

Outdoors

Call this time of year phase four. Mike Stroff, the host of Savage Outdoors TV, is also a professional outfitter. He manages properties in Texas, South Dakota and Illinois. Combined, those lands account for nearly 90,000 acres. He monitors the whitetails on all of them using trail cameras. Hundreds of them, no less. The man […]

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Outdoor Extras, including a squirrel wings recipe

Outdoors

You want outdoor extras? We’ve got outdoor extras… Lure of the week Lure name: Viper Sunfish Company: Daddy Mac Lures (https://daddymaclures.com/) Lure type: Crankbait Sizes and colors: Available in a 4-inch, ½-ounce model with a lip and a 4-inch, 1/3-pounce model without a lip. Both are colored like a bluegill… Target species: Largemouth, smallmouth bass, […]

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The Best Broccoli salad for dinners, potlucks

Food

This creative broccoli salad combines veggies, fruits, nuts and dairy with a crumbling of turkey bacon for a delightful side dish that everyone will enjoy. It’s the perfect make-ahead meal that can store in the fridge for up to three days — and I swear, it gets even tastier with a little bit of time. […]

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A Celebration of Seeds

Garden

Warm morning sun filters through the windows of a conference room at the Grow Pittsburgh office in Pittsburgh. It’s 10 degrees outside, but around the table everyone is thinking about the upcoming gardening season. Alyssa Kail, the sustainability coordinator for the nonprofit, is thrilled to talk about a great free gardening event called A Celebration […]

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10 Delicious facts you never knew about Girl Scout cookies

Food

Just in time to spoil your New Year’s Resolution, badge-covered vest wearing Girl Scouts arrive at your door with their brilliant fundraising idea — cookies. Thin Mints, Samoas, Tagalongs: You know you can’t resist. If you haven’t placed your order yet this year, better hurry. More than 2.6 million Girl Scouts in the United States […]

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Photographing the Garden

Garden

It was 1979 when I landed my first newspaper job as a photographer at my local paper, The Aurora (Ohio) Advocate. I worked at various papers in Ohio and Pennsylvania for the next 25 years as a photographer, photo editor and director of photography; but it was gardening that eventually won my heart. I took […]

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Brush piles an easy way to help wildlife, spark a love of the outdoors

Outdoors

It wasn’t intentional and it didn’t last long. But as a first introduction to backyard wildlife habitat management, it was pretty cool. The two neighbors who lived behind us when we were children had orchards. Those grassy, tree-filled expanses perhaps 150 yards wide and 300 deep separated our home from theirs. A mix of things […]

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Orange rules changes get preliminary approval

Outdoors

This is proving the exception so far. In January, Pennsylvania Game Commissioners preliminarily changed the opening day of the statewide firearms deer season, expanded bear hunting seasons, shortened fall turkey seasons and more. All generated talk, some of it loud. But not this. Commissioners at their last meeting also preliminarily reduced how much fluorescent orange […]

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Outdoor Extras

Outdoors

You want outdoor extras? We’ve got outdoor extras… Gear of the week Gear name: Hydrolite Company: Matador (https://www.everybodyshops.com/matador-hydrolite-hydration-backpack.html#tab-product1) Gear type: Hydration backpack Product description: Here’s a case of two well respected outdoor companies – Matador and Sawyer – coming together to create one handy new product, the world’s first collapsible hydration pack. Matador, of course, […]

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Lemon lovers pucker up for this tasty tart

Food

I confess. I have a serious thing for lemons: on my clothes, in my decor, and definitely in my desserts. The more tart lemon flavor in foods, the better. At this point in my addiction, I’m just a step away from biting directly into the bitter fruit to get my fix. Yesterday I had a […]

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Fall in love with these 5 easy Valentine’s Day snack ideas

Food

Can you believe Valentine’s Day is right around the corner? Whether you’re looking for a healthy treat that’s classroom ready or something sweet to snack on with your S.O., here are 5 easy Valentine’s Day snacks to share with your loves this Feb. 14. CRUSH-WORTHY CLEMENTINES Just cut your clementine sections at an angle and skewer […]

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Winter Garden Checklist

Garden

Winter is tough for gardeners, as the season drags on, the gardening itch becomes more intense. Here’s a few ideas to get you through until spring. Even though temperatures outside are dipping below 30 degrees, the late afternoon sun streaming through a large picture window has little radish sprouts standing tall. Discovering the Chefn Microgreen […]

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Layering key to enjoying winter outdoors

Outdoors

You probably know Dagwood from the Blondie cartoon strip. Now there’s a man who knows about layering. At least when it comes to sandwiches, that is. He’s famous for monster-sized creations that involve stack upon stack upon stack. Anyone who ventures outside at this time of year – especially in the face of brutally cold […]

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Saturday opener for PA’s deer season inches closer to reality

Outdoors

It’s one day. Roughly 10 hours, really, figuring the amount of daylight from dawn to dusk. But, this year, it’s potentially a pretty historic day. In giving preliminary approval to 2019-20 seasons and bag limits at their meeting this week, Pennsylvania Game Commissioners agreed – unanimously no less – to open the statewide 2019 firearms […]

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Expanded bear hunting opportunities likely coming to PA

Outdoors

There was a time, just a few decades ago, when black bear hunting was limited to a few regions of Pennsylvania, and the number of hunters capped at 100,000. Boy, how things have changed. Pennsylvania Game Commissioners this week gave preliminary approval to hunting and trapping seasons and bag limits for 2019-20 at their meeting. […]

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Outdoor Extras

Outdoors

You want outdoor extras? We’ve got outdoor extras… Lure of the week Lure name: MVP Company: Secret Lures (www.secrretlures.com) Lure type: Swim jig Sizes and colors: Available in three sizes – ¼-, 3/8- and ½-ounce – in peanut butter and jelly, black and blue, candy craw, bluegill, chartreuse shad and whiteflash.. Target species: Largemouth and […]

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The Best Chicken Salad Ever

Food

The best chicken salad I ever had was from a little bistro up the street from where I used to work. Sadly, it went out of business in just a few short years, but I still believe they could have kept their doors open with their chicken salad alone had more people discovered their incredible […]

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Spicy Cauliflower, Arugula Salad

Food

I love when a restaurant dish inspires me to make something similar at home. It’s not that making it at home stops me from going back to the restaurant — the exact opposite, actually! I find that it keeps the menu item top of mind, so I actually can’t wait to return! This dish was […]

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