A Summer Salads

The Summer Salads

Hello all, Helpful Hank here. Labor day will be here soon and with it the last big weekend of the summer. I wanted to share some simple Ideas that will help make that last Bar B Que a success

Dressing your Summer Salads

I like a good salad in the summer. There is nothing quite a good garden salad with lot’s of fresh vegetables and fruits in them. I love to add fresh Nectarines, Mango’s and Strawberries to a garden salad, or maybe a fruit salad with Blueberries, Strawberries, Blackberry’s, Mango, Pineapple and more.

great salad dressing can make a salad come alive. I want to share with you today one of my favorite salads and one of my favorite dressing.

Tropical Ambrosia

To make this salad here is what you will need

2 Mangos (1 slightly ripe)

2 good sized Nectarines

1 Small Basket of Strawberries

1 to 1 ½ Cup Blueberries

1 to 1 ½ Cup Blackberry’s

½ of a smallish Fresh Pineapple

1 cup grated or shredded coconut

1 cup Heavy whipping cream.

1 cap full of Vanilla Extract

1/8 cup + 1 Tablespoon Agave Nectar

1 Tablespoon fresh Pineapple juice

½ to 1 cup Sunflower seeds (Optional)

Cut up your Strawberries and Nectarines, then cut your Blackberry’s in half. Place strawberries, Blackberry’s and Blueberries and Nectarines in a strainer and rinse and place in large salad bowl. Add ½ of your Agave Nectar into the mixture and mix with a wooden spoon then set aside.

Cut the top and bottom of your pineapple off and then slice off the outer shell until you have nothing but pure pineapple. Slice the pineapple away from the core and cut into chunks. Take a few chunks and juice 1 Tablespoon of pineapple and place in a medium sized bowl and refrigerate. juice from them and place rest of pineapple chunks in the salad bowl. Add in your shredded coconut into bowl. Using the lesser ripe mango of the two, slice Mango in to 4 slices and cut away each slice from seed. Remove the skin from each slice then cut into chunks and put in salad bowl.

Cut up the second Mango in the same way and put into a blender and blend until liquid. Pour into a strainer and strain mango so that you remove as much of the Mango fibers from the pureed Mango.

Once you have strained your mango add it to the medium size bowl with your Pineapple juice add 1 table spoon of Agave Nectar and 1 cup of heavy whipping cream and your vanilla extract and set bowl in an I bath ( Larger bowl with ice so that the ice surrounds your bowl.) blend until you get nice whipped peaks. Add your whipped cream and Sunflower seeds (optional) to fruit and mix in well and serve.

Casual Dress(ing ) Friday’s

Years ago I had this dressing on a spinach salad that was one of the best I had ever had. It wasn’t just Balsamic Vinegar and Olive Oil. It had a sweet and tangy taste to it that made it perfect for the salad and wasn’t to heavy. I set out to try and recreate this dressing. This is the recipe I came up with. I found that this goes well with any garden salad and is not to heavy

½ cup of chopped up and strained Blueberries (no skin)*

¼ cup brown sugar

¼ cup honey or 1/8 cup Agave nectar.

1 cup Olive Oil

1 cup Balsamic vinegar

pinch of pepper

pinch of salt

two shakes lemon Pepper

A clean dry jar with lid.

Place all your ingredients in the jar shake well chill before using and shake again before serving

*Note you can also use ¼ cup of fresh lemon Juice instead of the Blueberries.

Labor day retriever

The dog days of Summer are coming to a close as is summer. Growing up as a kid I had mixed feeling about the month of August. While on the one hand my Birthday is in August, it August was also the last month of summer and that meant back to school. August is indeed the last month of summer but at the end is one of the big 3 day weekends labor day. Labor day is a day for BBQ’s and Picnics, Boating and more. In our house we take our dogs everywhere with us. Because of this it is important to make sure that where ever we are they are safe. Here are some tips for keeping you and your Dog safe this labor day weekend.

Labor Day BBQ are a tradition in many homes. Whether you keep it simple or you invite a large group over.

It is fun to make the place look festive for the occasion. Why not put some brightly colored umbrellas around for shade or even go with a them say red white and blue. Learn how from The Every Day Artist

they are great for create a shady spot for Fido as well.

Here are 5 things to remember when having your Labor Day BBQ that will help keep Fido Happy and sane.

    1. Always have a place where your dog(s) can chill away from the crowd.
    2. Let your guest know rules about table scraps.
    3. Keep Fido in an area away from the front door as the first few guest arrive. Then introduce Fido to everyone. It is a much gentler introduction (have multiple dogs bring them out one at a time so guest aren’t overwhelmed.)
    4. Always be aware of where Fido is and how he is acting around your guest. Crowds can become to much for Him/Her and you may need to put him in his chill spot.
    5. Feed Fido when you serve dinner to your guest, this way everyone eats at the same time and guest aren’t dealing with begging dogs. (I like to feed my dogs in an area separate from my guest.

6 things to remember If you are going out hiking with your dog

  1. make sure that they are protected against fleas and ticks.
  2. In the desert here it is best if you wear long pants or a long sleeve shirt. (it will keep you cooler)
  3. the best time to hike is at dusk and dawn in the desert.
  4. Always carry a leash for each dog that is on the hike and keep them on the leash if it is required.
  5. Stay on trail, remember even your dogs feet can disturb sensitive echo systems.
  6. If hike and it get’s dark have a light tag you can attach to your dogs collar or better yet, a collar that lights up

7 things to remember when camping with your dog

If your dog is not well socialized and is not good with open areas that have no real boundaries then camping may not be for them. But if your dog minds commands, is a social creature then here are some simple tips for camping with Fido.

    1. Always be aware of and respect campsite pet rules (and all campground rules.)\
    2. keep your dog with you don’t let them wander off.
    3. Make sure they have plenty of water to drink
    4. Feed them when you eat that way they are occupied while you eat
    5. Make sure they have a shady place to rest
    6. Keep them a safe distance from campfires.
    7. At night make sure to light them with a collar tag that lights up or a light up collars so you can see them in the dark

Going out on the lake?

Here are 4 tips to keep your dog safe on your boat.

It can be nice to out on the lake with Fido. Some dogs like our Lab are natural swimmers and love the water. Other like my Sheltie cringe at getting wet. What ever the case maybe, if you want to take fido out on your boat here are things you should remember.

  1. Some lakes and water ways are no contact this means Fido’s in a no swim zone, you will have to be mindful of this and choose a place that you both can enjoy.
  2. If Fido does not swim then a doggie life jacket is in order. You can find them on line or various pet stores. The average doggie life jacket runs anywhere from $12.00 to $20.00
  3. Have a safe place they can chill away from the crowd or action.
  4. Engage Fido. Hold him/her make them feel safe. If they are swimmers and it is O.K. For them to swim encourage them to swim and swim with them it can be a lot of fun. 

It seems that your e-mail doesn’t have to be hacked to be hijacked

For most of us these days our e-mail address is our calling card and a way of branding ourselves or our product(s). We don’t like to change them as it only means we have to re brand. Sometimes though we maybe left with no option other then to change our e-mail address. The crazy thing is that it is not because your e-mail as been hacked but rather Hijacked and cloned.

I got an e-mail from a friend last night and it had been like many others I have recently received. It was out of character, and unexpected. I replied to my friend and let him know that I wasn’t sure what this was so I wasn’t going to click the link. I received a reply back this morning saying thank you that he had no idea. I had this happen to me in may and I received a reply telling me the same thing. “They wouldn’t click on the link because the whole e-mail sounded fishy. They were right it was phishy and I appreciated that they let me know.

It seems that your e-mail doesn’t have to be hacked to be hijacked these day’s. The new thing that is being done is Spoofing. I don’t mean doing a funny take off on someone or some situation. Spoofing is when someone tweaks the standard setting on an e-mail provider like Outlook Express or others and basically clones your e-mail address so that the emails look authentically from you. There are even websites that will do it for you. All you have to do is put in the persons e-mail address.

So what is the purpose? Most times Marketing. Sometimes though it can be for vicious reasons.

It is pretty easy to find out the originating source of the spoofing. The following link can provide you with the information needed to do so.

sad thing is, unless the speech becomes “Hate Speech” or there are violent threats contained in the e-mail being sent under your e-mail address, there is not much you can do about it as the sender hasn’t hacked your e-mail but rather cloned it for lack of a better term.

I was spoofed in May. I found out right away not because I received a reply but because I got the e-mail from me in my own in box. Why? Because I have list in my contacts my e-mail address but the name associated with it has my middle name first. This sends up a red flags.

Folks, it’s a shame we have to deal with Hackers and Hijackers but, like any super highway there can be pot holes and putzes along the way we just have to protect ourselves as best as possible and information is key.

Well that about wraps it up for now. Remember easy,elegant and inexpensive are not exclusive to one another and can create some beautiful music together when you use your Imagination.



3 quick tips

  1. Use white vinegar or dry borax soap to get rid of hard water on dishes. Pour about a ½ a cup of white vinegar or Borax powder in the bottom of the dishwasher before each load. With in a few loads you’ll start to see the hard water satins go away.Tip Rating 3 ½ Hank Hammers as this works but it takes time. Total time for results several washes
  1. Summer heat got your pool looking spotted? Is the chemical balance on your pool correct yet you are seeing moss spots grow here is what you do. 1. Make sure to run your pool filter during the hottest parts of the day (9-4 is ideal) when the pool is at it’s warmest. This keeps water flowing. Sweep Sweep Sweep all the moss caps off. 3.after the filter has shut off for the day add dry chlorine broad casting it over the pool making sure to hit all the areas with spots. Let set over night. You will notice the spots are gone the next day (When using dry chlorine use one with an algi ban you will use about 2 ½ pounds, A 5 pound container is good because it leaves you ½ the container to hit some of the tougher spots.)

Tip Rating: 4 ½ Hank Hammers because this is the best solution I have found and you wake up to a spotless pool the next day total time till results: 8 to 15 hours or over night.

  1. Quick blueberry syrup. 1 cup blended strained blueberries (just the juice), ½ cup sugar, ½ cup honey ¼ cup of water 1 cap full maple syrup. Combine all ingredients in a sauce pan bring to a boil stirring occasionally. Boil 5 minutes and remove from heat and use or store in a jar.Tip Rating: 4 ½ Hank Hammers. It is quick simple and tasty total time to use 15 minutes

Do you have any summer salad recipes you’d like to share leave a comment here or drop me a line with your favorite summer salad and will make sure it get posted on the site.

If you have a Quick tip you would like to share send it to me I’ll give it a try and it it is great I will post it.

You can contact Helpful Hank with Questions, Comments, Tips and, Deals at


Helpful Hank is written by Russell E. Bertlow © 2009 All rights reserved. No portion of this blog may be reprinted in part or whole without the express written permission from Russell E. Bertlow


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