September 2017   •   Licensed/Bonded/ROC #178018    •   (480) 491-3077
Welcome to our September Newsletter.

In This Issue:

Now That's Outdoor Living

September is Honey Month

How to Get a Fall Garden Going Fast!

Healthy Joints Are Happy Joints

Read on and don't forget to share with your friends and family.
When you were growing up, was there a “cool house” that everyone wanted to go to because there was always food, fun, and laughter? Set the stage of yours gaining that reputation by having beautiful outdoor living spaces that double as a great place to quietly retreat into your corner of nature, and a great place to entertain friends and family.

Do you find yourself spending most of your time indoors? That’s a problem. We benefit from being outdoors enjoying the breeze, birds chirping, and my father would always say, food tastes better eaten outdoors. Outdoor spaces extend the function of the house without the cost of an addition. What would enhance your lifestyle that your house doesn’t offer? Would you like a place for intimate conversation looking at a fire, to curl up with a good book? Or do you need a place where you’ve got control of the remote and can watch sports and invite buddies? With smart design, you can plan an outdoor living room for both!

You may not be able to offer rooftop dining but the next best thing, eating outdoors surrounded by softly billowing outdoor curtains. Nothing says party more than string lights, and the creature comforts of a ceiling fan, misters, or patio heaters to get more year-round use. Having a glass door wall that can open up your home to the outdoor space really extends the home. Remember to plan for how you will include music for your enjoyment.

What is the real magnet for people? Food! More people are adding an outdoor kitchen for entertaining and adding functions their current kitchen cannot offer, like a grill, cooktop or a pizza oven.  Evo , the circular cooktop shown in the above photos won a national innovative award and is made in the USA. It quickly fires up, is easy to clean, and one can sear, sauté, roast, steam, even bake. It is easy to cook all sizes of vegetables—which one can’t do on a grill. It is a healthier alternative to grilling, since meat that is smoked, charred, or cooked over an open flame can increase the risk of cancer. Design the outdoor kitchen that will meet your cooking style, that people can gather round, sit, and even participate in the cooking! Imagine the fun orchestrating others cooking a brunch for a crowd. Be practical, you will probably want a double sink which one can be used as an open ice chest. Have an outlet for electrical appliances such as a blender or crock pot. Protect your outdoor kitchen from the elements. One of the best benefits might be using the outdoor kitchen in the summer to cook up dinner so you can keep your house cool. What if you want to cook up something aromatic, like onions, cabbage, or fish and don’t want the smell in your home? Problem solved!

Dear children, let us love not in word or speech but in deed and truth. 1 John 3:18
An energizing kitchen where you gather and nourish the body and spirit.
A luxurious bath where you begin and end the day.
A space for retreat and enjoying the great outdoors.
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As nature’s most versatile sweetener, honey is used in a variety of different recipes, from delectable desserts and soothing drinks to savory meats. This September, celebrate Honey Month by making a healthy Carrot Ginger Dressing that can also be used as a dipping sauce or addition to a dish for an Asian flair with recipe from Want a high protein snack that’s salty and sweet? Have some Roasted Honey-Cinnamon Chickpeas ! If you eat them too fast, add a dash of cayenne pepper for some heat.


⅓ cup extra-virgin olive oil
⅓ cup rice wine vinegar
2 large carrots, peeled and roughly chopped (about ⅔ cup)
2 tablespoons peeled and roughly chopped fresh ginger
2 tablespoons lime juice
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon honey
1 ½ teaspoons toasted sesame oil
¼ teaspoon salt, more to taste

Suggested side salad components: Fresh greens of choice, Red onion, Cucumber, Carrot, Cherry tomatoes, Red cabbage.


  • In a blender, combine all of the salad dressing ingredients as listed. Bend until completely smooth. Taste, and add additional salt if the dressing doesn’t make your eyes light up. If it’s too sour (it should have some zing to it), blend in a bit more honey.
  • Serve over greens and any other ingredients you’d like (I offered a few more suggestions in the post). Recipe keeps well in the refrigerator, covered, for 1 to 2 weeks.


15-ounce can organic garbanzo beans
1/2 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon honey
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon sea salt


  1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a Silpat silicone mat.
  2. Drain and rinse the chickpeas in a colander. Place them on a towel to dry off.
  3. Spread chickpeas on a baking sheet in a single layer. Bake for approximately 45 minutes or until crispy. Test one, and if it's still soft, bake for longer.
  4. While the chickpeas are still hot, toss them in a bowl with the oil, honey, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Enjoy as is, or for a caramelized effect, place them back in the oven for another 10 minutes or so.
  5. Store leftover chickpeas in an airtight container.
The house of Israel named this food manna. It was like coriander seed, white, and it tasted like wafers made with honey.  Exodus 16: 31
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There is nothing that is better tasting nor more nutritious than just picked home grown food. If you gave a taste test for people to pick which tomato was store bought, and which was home grown, I bet 100% of the people could tell which was vine ripened! There is an increasing number of people who are growing their own produce, but there is a large number of people who want to have their own garden, but think they can’t.

Phoenix has such an extended growing season for gardening! So many types of plants do well here. You can be growing all kinds of lettuces, greens (chard, mustard greens…), celery, cauliflower, broccoli, eggplant, beans, bok choy, cabbage to name a few. And another great benefit about being a gardener? You can grow heirloom and specialty varieties that you would not find at the grocery store.

What are common obstacles?

  • Not enough time to prepare the soil, to monitor, deal with pests, irrigation
  • Not enough space
  • Do not have the tools
  • Not enough knowledge, or tried and did not have good results
  • Do not want to have to kneel and bend to plant and weed

What if all of them can be easily solved?

I bought my first home in Mesa, and I always wanted to have a garden. When the winter was over I bought gardening tools and quickly discovered the soil in Arizona is not like the soil in Nebraska! It was a lot of work to break up that clay, and took a lot of amended dirt to try to get a topsoil. I thought, with all this work, I will really appreciate the fruit of this labor! But everything ended up crispy-fried by the heat. So after I met and married Jeff, I wanted to try it again. We built raised beds, filled with good dirt, new irrigation, and I tried to figure out companion planting…. I thought the raised bed would be easier on the back and I found weeds LOVED the dirt and water. It still was a lot of work, and my back was not spared by raised beds. We just let it go with the thought, when we retire…

I was so excited when a friend showed me a few years ago a futuristic vertical gardening system that needed no dirt, no weeding, takes little space and only 10% of the water compared to traditional gardening. It was idiot-proof! The plants grew earlier and longer in the season, faster, and we got more harvests. One can even use it indoors! Another surprising benefit is when the nights there were going to be a freeze, we could roll it under our patio next to our house to protect it—couldn’t do that with our raised bed garden! Want to learn more about it, and the Fall Special of 20-28 free starter plants for a jump start?  Email me, Janet Cook for more information!

As they say, growing your own food is like printing your own money!

Everything growing on earth, bless the Lord; praise and exalt Him above all forever. Daniel 3:76
"We were quite pleased with the quality of construction of our master bedroom addition. Cook Remodeling’s designer made such good suggestions that covered everything, including aspects we had not even thought of! Talking to someone experienced really makes a difference in the design. The Lead Carpenter did outstanding work, and worked very quickly to get it finished for us.

I can’t thank everyone enough for a great experience, for a beautiful master bedroom. The best way I can think to thank you, is to tell everyone call Cook Remodeling. They know how to take care of you and do a great job for you."

Cliff & Karen T.
Master Bedroom and Bath Addition in Scottsdale, AZ
As we age, tendons and ligaments lose elasticity, joint cartilage wears down, and the years of use and demand without proper nutrition for repair and recovery can haunt us in the form of soreness, stiffness, pain and disease. Fortunately, our body is programmed to heal, given enough whole food plant nutrition and a healthy lifestyle. Be aware and respect symptoms as signs of not getting adequate support to fuel cellular health, and know it will take time for symptoms to lessen or subside. Here are some strategize to take care of your health.

Stay Hydrated. As we age, we lose an awareness of thirst. We need to be smart stewards of our one body that is about 60% water. Each day fill a half gallon container with the goal to drink it by the end of the day. Every time you use the bathroom, have a glass. Thirty minutes before a meal, have a glass. Mid-morning and mid-afternoon, have a glass. During and after exercise, have a glass. Before you shower, have a glass. Two hours before bed have a glass. Always carry water with you, and have a glass near you to keep drinking through the day. If your urine is pale to clear, you are drinking enough.

Stay Active. Moderate physical activity decreases joint pain and stiffness by increasing the circulation of synovial fluid and strengthening muscles and bones, which in turn provide protection to the joints. Try to do some form of physical activity every day, and keep these considerations in mind.

  • Warm-up and stretch before exercising.
  • Practice good posture to decrease strain on the joints and keep bones aligned.
  • Maintain a healthy weight to reduce pressure on the joints.
  • Allow your body time do repair and maintenance by getting enough sleep.

Examine Your Diet. Certain foods can lead to systemic inflammation, which is considered the silent killer. The most common culprits are processed foods that contain alcohol, artificial additives and sweeteners, fried foods, and refined flour. Read labels! If you don’t recognize an ingredient, your body won’t either. Our body is made for whole plant foods. It is recommended we eat 9-13 cups of a variety of raw, vine ripened, fresh picked fruits and vegetables every day. No one food has all we need, so that is why we need to eat a variety every day. We find anti-inflammatory properties in leafy green vegetables, red peppers, broccoli, beets, pineapple, cherries, blueberries, apples, and whole ancient grains, to name a few.

Consider Supplements. Drugs have many adverse side effects. Research has even found multivitamins do not help and can be harmful and are NOT recommended because they are not food and our bodies are make for food. Hippocrates said, “Let your food be your medicine, and your medicine be your food.” Since it is tough to eat the recommended 9-13 cups of raw fruits and vegetables of all colors every day, find a quality whole food supplement with a blend of enzyme live whole fruits and vegetables in capsules. The better we take care of our health, the more we can enjoy life! Choose a supplement that is third party certified to be pure with gold standard research on the product published in peer-reviewed medical and sports journals that documents that it delivers key antioxidants and phytonutrients that are absorbed by the body, and lowers systemic inflammation. Need help finding research proven supplement?  Janet Cook , a Dr. Sears Certified Health Coach can help.

The law of the Lord is perfect, refreshing the soul.  Psalms 19:8
My oldest son had a pattern of being my shadow in the kitchen when he was hungry. I will always remember one evening when my son was young and he was quietly hovering around waiting for dinner. He spoke up as we started to set the table and surprised me by asking if he could help. I was ready to get dinner served and envisioned his first attempt including knocked over glasses, etc.

I said, "No, but I appreciate you asking."

He thought about it a moment, and responded which such patience and sincerity, "Well, I appreciate you saying, no."
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