Penne and Herbed Chicken with Vodka

Penne and Herbeb Chicken Vodka  

1 pound penne pasta

2 cups refrigerated marinara sauce

1 14 � oz can diced tomatoes with garlic in juice

1/3 cup fresh basil, chopped

� cup vodka

� tsp crushed red pepper flakes

1 tsp salt

� tsp pepper

1 whole roasted lemon-pepper chicken, skinned, meat shredded into bite size pieces

� cup grated parmesan cheese


Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and return to pot. While pasta is cooking, heat marinara sauce, tomatoes with juices, basil, vodka and red pepper, salt and pepper over medium heat until hot, about 15 minutes.


Add shredded chicken and stir until heated through, about 10 minutes. Add sauce to pasta and toss. Sprinkle with cheese and serve.






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Branching Out with Faith Appelquist



Questions, suggestions or comments are welcome.

Contact Faith at (612) 618-5244 or by email 


[Wally is cutting the Beaver's hair after
he "losted" his haircut money]


but I think I better stop.



Shear Madness  


Some shrubs can be cut nearly to the ground, leaving 4 to 6 inches of the stems. This is done on old plants that lack vigor, plants that are woody and lack foliage on the inside, or those that have become way too big for their location. When growth begins in the spring, new vigorous upright stems typically arise from the buds near the ground and from the pruning cuts. Plants look fresh and new following this treatment. This might kill some very old or unhealthy plants, but most can tolerate this and recover nicely.


When: Late winter or early spring. The worst time to do this would be late summer to early fall as growth could be stimulated and new stems injured in the first freeze.


Shrubs that tolerate this radical pruning are:

  • Willow
  • Spirea
  • Barberry
  • Dogwood
  • Smokebush (Cotinus spp.)
  • Lilac
  • Forsythia
  • Weigela


Lilac Prune 
This is not renewal pruning.
Stems should be cut at or near the ground.
Rejuv Pruning Lilacs
Lilacs following renewal pruning and regrowth 


For more information on pruning shrubs : Plant Amnesty

Rings on Trees Reveal More Than Just Age


What is the oldest living tree in Minnesota?

1,452 years, White Cedar, Boundary Waters (The Vikings came to power 250 years later)

Oldest tree in MN 

Oldest Living tree in Minnesota


How old is the oldest living tree on earth?

4,844 years, Bristle Cone Pine, California (The time of the ancient Egyptians)

Young and Old Bristlecone 

Young and Old Bristle Cone Pines


What is the oldest tree on record?

8,500 years old, Americas (Predates the beginning of recorded history)


Trees are long-lived organisms. A lot of information is locked in their rings. Trees record droughts, fire, frost, and flood events over the millennia. Tree rings help us understand changes over time spans that are unimaginable in a single person's lifetime. Only trees that are growing in temperate regions (a separate summer and winter) that put on a visible ring can be counted. And big is not necessarily the same as old; often you get very large trees that are just fast-growing. These are the trees that live hard and die young.


But dendrochronology (tree ring dating) is a lot more than just counting tree rings. It is a science that uses information that is encoded in the physical and chemical structure of these annual growth layers that trees lay down. By studying rings we can better understand how the environment affects trees and what trees can tell us about how our environment changes over time. Tree rings may eventually help researchers to recognize the magnitude and speed of climate change across the globe.


For more information, visit Keepers of Prometheus: The World's Oldest Tree. 



Thank's for reading. Happy Planting! 



Faith Appelquist

President & Founder



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