PROSPER Magazine | August 2019

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Prosper Prosper’s Community Magazine Since 2012


August 2019

Pull-Out Varsity Football Schedule Inside The Town | The People | The Pride We Are Prosper


2440 East Prosper Trail, Suite 70 | Prosper, TX 75078



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C O N T E N T S 8



August 2019 | Issue #97 Published By Cedarbrook Media Group, LLC

New Year, New Season Prosper Children are our Responsibility

Editorial/Marketing Director Heather Reynolds


Community Calendar

Creative Director Jason Reynolds


More Than a Stadium

Contributing Writers Ray Smith | Celso Martinez | Heather Reynolds Jimmie Gibson | Joyce Godwin | Rachel Watson


2019 Eagle Football Schedule


Back to School Bash


The 407 Rec Center


Cameras at Railroad Intersection


Simplify Back-To-School Dinners


Let’s Talk Ground Cover


Vacation 2019

Photography Contributors Jason Reynolds Cedarbrook Studios Brad Collins Production/Design Cedarbrook Media Group, LLC Editorial Please send editorial considerations to Advertising Information For media kits, contact Heather Reynolds at


or email her at Visit our website at PROSPER Magazine PO Box 405, Prosper, Texas 75078 972.347.6231 | A Cedarbrook Media Group, LLC Publication

On The Cover:

Prosper ISD’s new Children’s Health Stadium Cover Photo by Brad Collins

CEDARBROOKMEDIA Magazines | Photography | Design

FIND OUT MORE ABOUT PROSPER! For up to date news, events and web-exclusive content visit

6 | August 2019

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PROSPER Magazine is wholly owned and published by Cedarbrook Media Group, LLC. PROSPER Magazine is published 12 times a year. No portion of this publication may be reproduced or copied whole or in part without expressed written permission from the publisher, Cedarbrook Media Group, LLC. ©2019. All Rights Reserved Worldwide. The title and all material are protected by international copyright laws and are reserved. Although the greatest of care has been taken to ensure the accuracy of the information contained in this magazine at time of going to press, neither PROSPER Magazine nor Cedarbrook Media Group, LLC can be held liable for omissions, inexactness or errors.

From the Publishers

New Year, New Season Usually, when I sit down to write this letter to y’all each August, it’s just after a very LONG summer break with the kids…they’re ready to go back to school and we’re READY for them to go back to school! It’s hot…they are bored…and my patience is thin. But not this year! This letter has been looming over me for the last 3 months…truthfully, it’s been on my mind for the last year! In less than a week, we are sending our baby off to Kindergarten, sending our middle daughter to High School and are packing our oldest darling up for college and she is moving 305 miles away. Our family is about to change in ways that we probably can’t even imagine today and I’m not totally sure how I feel about this new season of our lives. They are all so excited they can’t stand it. Their new year comes with new experiences, new friends, new challenges…but our new year comes with a longing for the days when they would lay contently in our arms and stare up at us like we were the most important people in the world to them. It was so hard back then to imagine that a day would come that would signify that we had done our job and it was time for them to spread their wings and fly…and yet here we are. In seven short days, our baby won’t be a “baby” anymore…she’ll be in school, REAL school. Our 9th grader will start on the path to her future – high school, I can barely choke those words out. And the oldest? She’ll be 4 hours and 47 minutes away from home learning how to navigate life on her own. Without us…this new season is heart wrenching. There’s an old saying that talks about how the days are long and the years are short, and lately that just keeps resonating with me. I remember so vividly the day I brought my first daughter home from the hospital eighteen years ago…it seems like yesterday. And now she’s about to embark on the best adventure of her life with more potential and desire than I could have ever dreamt for her. It happened just like that. So fast, almost without warning. And the scariest part for me is knowing that there are two more behind her that will be gone even faster…it’s like the train is rambling full speed ahead and has no intention of stopping at the station, no matter how desperately we need it to. All we can do is hold on and pray that we catch a few moments here and there. Our girls are smart and sweet and dramatic and funny and beautiful…they are everything to us, our entire lives wrapped up in three sassy little packages. They are strong and stubborn and resourceful and tenacious…the best qualities you could ever hope to have as an adult, but man are they tough to raise! They will succeed in anything that they do, and they have a charisma about them that just lures people in. They are caring and sensitive and we couldn’t love them more if we tried. They are going to be the ones who lift us up during this new season, of that I’m sure! When you see me around town these next few months and I look like I’ve forgotten something…it’s because my sidekick will be in Fayetteville. If I burst into tears when you ask how she’s doing, it’ll be because she’s killing it up there, having the time of her life and I’m so dang proud of her. And if any of my fellow friends are in this same season…please reach out, I’m starting a support group for us! Here’s to our new year and to new seasons… we’ve got this! With Prosper Pride,

Heat her & Jason Reynolds #WeAreProsper #WeAreOne #TownPeoplePride

8 | August 2019


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Prosper Children are Our Responsibility By Mayor Ray Smith

There is nothing more precious to us than our young people, especially of course, our own children or grandchildren. In fact, whether they’re our biological children, our adoptive children, foster children, nieces, nephews, or kids from the neighborhood, we look at each and every one them as our hope for a better and brighter future. We care for them and take care of them. We fret over them and worry that we’re not doing enough for them. We look at them and often see a better version of ourselves. And, we look forward with a mixture of excitement and a little sadness to the day when they grow up and leave. But while they’re with us, every Prosper child is our responsibility. I bring that up because August is Back to School month. Our kids will be walking, biking, being driven or riding the bus to school starting at the end of this month, and we must be extra vigilant about driving through school zones. As you know, schools have different start and end times based on their grade level, so the school zone hours for an elementary school are different than those for a middle school, and those are different from the high school’s hours. It’s always best not to depend on your memory but rather to look for the flashing lights and school zone signs at each location and adjust your speed accordingly. In addition to maintaining the proper speed, drivers are prohibited from using any kind of device while driving through school zones, unless used in the hands-free mode. Even so, carrying on a conversation through the car’s speakers is still distracting. Every driver navigating a school zone should be completely attentive to their surroundings, looking for kids

10 | August 2019

who may thoughtlessly cross the street unexpectedly, whether walking, running or on a bike. Our Police Officers are the friendliest and most pleasant peace officers you will ever meet, but they are under a notolerance policy when it comes to school zone violations. Please be aware of your speed going through school zones and avoid any distractions. While on this topic, please remember that the same care should be exercised in our parks’ parking lots and driveways. Kids will be playing and practicing sports after school hours and might be too excited to stop themselves from darting out from behind parked cars. Also, the school district’s new football stadium is nearing completion, and events there will attract lots of students and parents, often in the evening hours. Drivers should pay the same attention to pedestrians during games and other events as they do in school zones during school days. Again, our Police Department, in conjunction with the Prosper ISD Police Department, will be very visible. And speaking of our fine Police force, construction of the Public Safety Building that will serve as the home of our Police Department is underway. The preparatory work on the site is in its early stages, and work on Safety Way, the road connecting Cook Lane with the Dallas North Tollway, is moving forward as well. When completed, the 23,000 square foot Public Safety Building will house the Police Department, Dispatch and a Community Room. It’s scheduled for completion in late 2020. The staff is planning a ground-breaking for the site in the near future, and I hope we get a large turnout for it. Public safety has always been a high priority for the Council, but remember, it’s also everyone’s responsibility.

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Community Calendar

August 17 Prosper Talonettes Mini Dance Clinic 9:00am – 12:00pm at Prosper High School Hosted by the 2019-2020 Prosper Talonettes and open to Kindergarten – 8th graders. The cost is $35. Please visit to register. Walkups are accepted but may not receive a shirt.

August 8 PISD Kindergarten Information Night 6:00pm – Held at the campus to which each child is zoned.

5:00pm – 6:00pm. All other elementary grades will go to their assigned campus from 6:00pm – 7:30pm.

Prosper Parks and Recreation Board 6:00pm The Parks and Rec Board is comprised of seven Prosper citizens appointed by the Town Council and meets in the Council Chambers, 200 S. Main, Prosper. The agenda and packet are posted by 5:00pm on the Friday prior to the meeting and can be found at

August 13 Prosper Chamber Cultivate Networking Meeting 7:00am – 8:30am All attendees have 30 seconds to give their “business commercial” and there is a presentation from the sponsor. It is an excellent way to network with members and breakfast is always served. Location is Lighthouse Christian Fellowship Church, 4331 W. Prosper Trail, Prosper.

August 9 - 10 Varsity Volleyball Tournament at Rockwall August 11 Jack and Jane Furr Elementary Ribbon Cutting 1:00pm Join us as Prosper ISD cuts the ribbon on its 10th Elementary School. Location is 551 S. Bluestem Drive, McKinney, Texas. Chuck and Cindy Stuber Elementary Ribbon Cutting 3:00pm Join us as Prosper ISD cuts the ribbon on its 11th Elementary School. Location is 721 Village Park Lane, Prosper, Texas. August 12 Prosper ISD Meet the Teacher Night 6:00pm PreK and PPCD at Hughes and Windsong from 12 | August 2019

Prosper Town Council Meeting 5:45pm The Town Council meets on the second and fourth Tuesdays of each month in Prosper Town Hall Council Chambers, located at 200 S. Main Street. The Agenda Briefing begins at 5:45pm, with the Regular Meeting beginning immediately afterward. All agendas are posted at least 72 hours prior to the meeting and are typically posted on the bulletin board outside Town Hall, as well as on the Town’s website by 5:00pm on the Friday prior to each meeting week. Prosper Volleyball at Reedy 5:30pm – JV/9A 6:30 – Varisty/9B

August 14 FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL!!! Kindergarten Tears and Cheers 7:15am – 8:00am At each assigned elementary campus. August 15 Prosper Community Library Board Meeting 6:15pm The Community Library Board is comprised of seven Prosper citizens appointed by the Town Council and meets at the Prosper Community Library, 200 S. Main, Prosper. The agenda and packet are posted by 5:00pm on the Friday prior to the meeting and can be found at August 16 Prosper Volleyball vs. Denton Guyer 5:30pm – Varsity/9B 6:30pm – JV/9A August 17 Prosper Talonettes Mini Dance Clinic 9:00am – 12:00pm at Prosper High School Hosted by the 2019-2020 Prosper Talonettes and open to Kindergarten – 8th graders. The cost is $35. Please visit to register. Walkups are accepted but may not receive a shirt.

Community Calendar Meet the Eagles Tailgate Party 5:30pm – 8:00pm Join Cedarbrook Media and Bodine Orthodontics for a fun tailgate party outside the new Children’s Health Stadium at Prosper ISD!! Celebrate the opening of the stadium with music, food trucks, inflatables and tours of the new stadium beginning at 6:30pm. PISD Meet the Eagles 8:00pm Join the excitement of the 2019-2020 Prosper High School season as we recognize students from the Cross Country, Volleyball, Swim & Dive, Talonettes, Band, Trainers, Cheer and Football teams at the annual Meet the Eagles event. This event also marks the opening of the brand new Children’s Health Stadium at Prosper ISD. Seating and concession stands will be open to the public. After students are recognized on the field, a fireworks show will take place to celebrate the upcoming season.

August 19 Prosper ISD School Board Meeting 7:00pm – 8:00pm The Board of Trustees meet on the 3rd Monday of every month. Meetings take place at the Central Administration Board Room located at 605 E. 7th Street, Prosper. It is a meeting of the Board in public and not a public meeting. Audience participation is limited to the portion of the meeting designated for that purpose and those that wish to address the Board of Trustees shall register before the meeting begins. Mixer Monday at CHARRED 380 5:30 – 7:30pm Mixer Monday is a social group who network to promote business opportunities among the Prosper community. Location is at CHARRED 380, 1411 N Custer Rd #1200, McKinney.

August 27 Prosper Chamber Cultivate Networking Meeting 7:00am – 8:30am All attendees have 30 seconds to give their “business commercial” and there is a presentation from the sponsor. It is an excellent way to network with members and breakfast is always served. Location is Lighthouse Christian Fellowship Church, 4331 W. Prosper Trail, Prosper. Prosper Town Council Meeting 5:45pm The Town Council meets on the second and fourth Tuesdays of each month in Prosper Town Hall Council Chambers, located at 200 S. Main Street. The Agenda Briefing begins at 5:45pm, with the Regular Meeting beginning immediately afterward. All agendas are posted at least 72 hours prior to the meeting and are typically posted on the bulletin board outside Town Hall, as well as on the Town’s website by 5:00pm on the Friday prior to each meeting week. August 30 NO SCHOOL!!! Prosper Volleyball at Lovejoy 5:30pm – Varsity/9B 6:30pm – JV/9A Varsity Football vs. Rowlett 7:00pm – Children’s Health Stadium @ PISD

August 20 Prosper Planning & Zoning Commission Meeting 6:00pm The Planning & Zoning Commission is comprised of seven Prosper citizens appointed by the Town Council and meets in the Council Chambers, 200 S. Main, Prosper. The Commission approves or makes recommendations on various land development applications. The agenda and packet are posted by 5:00pm on the Friday prior to the meeting and can be found at Prosper Volleyball vs. Byron Nelson 5:30pm – JV/9A 6:30pm – Varsity/9B August 21 Prosper Economic Development Corporation Meeting 6:00pm The PEDC is a Texas 4A sales tax corporation that invests its sales tax revenues on behalf of the community of Prosper. They meet regularly at 130 N. Preston, Prosper. Agendas and minutes of each meeting can be found on at economic-development-board/.

SAVE THE DATE! NO SCHOOL – September 2 Elementary Curriculum Night – September 5 Prosper Community Picnic – September 7 Cornerstone Golf Tournament – September 9 Middle School Curriculum Night – September 9 Submissions for the September Calendar must be received by August 15th. Please email

August 22 Ducks Unlimited Annual Banquet 6:00pm Held at Embassy Suites Conference Center, 7600 John Q Hammons Drive, Frisco. Tickets available at events/58749/frisco-dinner August 23 Varsity Football vs. FW Eaton (Scrimmage) 6:30pm at Eaton High School August 26 Prosper High School Open House 6:30pm – 8:00pm August 2019 | 13

Photos by Jason Reynolds - Cedarbrook Media Group

Arial Photo by Brad Collins

Eagle’s Nest

14 | August 2019

More than a Stadium By Joyce Godwin

It seems as though every eye in Prosper is on the new sports facilities and with good reason. The $48 million project is slated to open this month for the 2019 – 2020 school year at Prosper Independent School District. Introduced with elaborate architectural renderings in July 2017, the 12,000-seat stadium includes the district’s first natatorium.

WAYNE BARTLEY Car ing for Clients and Community

Located on the north side of Frontier Park and west of Prosper High School, the project was funded by a $710 million bond issue which passed easily in 2007. The new stadium will allow the district to move out of the current 2A facility at Reynolds Middle School; a move considered by most to be long overdue. Excitement is high at the superintendent’s office. “We are opening three new schools, a new stadium, and a new natatorium,” said Dr. Drew Watkins PISD’s superintendent. “These facilities are just another example of an amazing community coming together to provide the best possible experiences for our students and community at large. At the end of the day, it will always be about the relationships and human connections as our district continues to grow, but we are certainly proud of our newest facilities and all the opportunities they will provide PISD students.” To step into the new stadium gives one a peak into the 2019 season. Fans will truly be amazed. It has a digital ribbon that will rival any professional stadium. The high-resolution score board is as large as that of any other high school and larger than most.

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PISD Athletic Director Valerie Little wants people to realize the stadium is about more than football. The band will use it, as well as the Talonettes dance team, soccer teams and much, much more. The stadium even has a community room to be available for meetings and events; something seriously needed in Prosper. The natatorium is adjacent to the new stadium next to Frontier Park. This state-of-the-art facility will astound swimmers and fans alike. Its director came on board last May. Director Tommy Sacco says he expects to have 500-700 kids in the natatorium on a daily basis. “We have great design features here,” Sacco said. “Some I would have asked for and others I never thought about but am so glad to see.” Sacco has had to learn about the advanced systems to keep everything running correctly. Water runs through a UV light filter that will clean the water as it cycles through and thereby allow for a reduction in the need for strong chemicals. The complicated system controls everything from water temperatures in multiple locations to filtering the water. Sacco added that he feels the Prosper community is forward thinking and supports the district. “Everybody is on the same page and that is what is special about this place. Going to school in Prosper is like getting a private school education.” And since Sacco and his wife have two toddlers, he’s happy about that. Prosper’s new football stadium is named Children’s Health Stadium at Prosper ISD. Children’s Health will provide care to students on and off the field and will support the district with a 10-year sponsorship. Students will receive athlete-centered sports medicine services and care to promote wellness and mitigate the risk and effect sports injuries have on athletes, the hospital said in a press release. The hospital will also work closely with parents, coaches and athletic trainers to provide athletes with comprehensive medical, nutrition, sports performance, training, care and recovery services.

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Photos By Jason Reynolds - Cedarbrook Media Group

Back to School Safety Bash By Sergeant Rachel Watson

The Prosper ISD Police Department hosts a Back to School Safety Bash each year for all elementary students and their families. The goal of the event is to greet returning students and families, meet new families, disperse important safety information such as school zones, traffic plans, and traffic laws, as well as enjoy a night of fun. One of Prosper ISD PD’s main goals is to building relationships, and this event is a great way to start that process each year. Prosper ISD PD hosts several PISD departments such as transportation, health services, athletics and transportation who distribute health and safety information related to their departments and students. Local vendors also participate handing out health information for students. This year’s event was the largest to date and included free food from PISD’s food truck, Kona Ice, inflatable obstacle courses, bicycle safety, games with prizes, emergency vehicles (police units, fire apparatuses, ambulances, and helicopters), Frisco Fire Department, Frisco Police Department, Department of Public Safety, Prosper Police Department, Children’s Health, Bodine Orthodontics, and Prosper Chiropractic.

18 | August 2019


Cornerstone Golf Classic


Monday, September 9, 2019 9:00 AM - 4:30 PM Gentle Creek Country Club Gentle Creek Golf Course Prosper, TX

How We Help

Cornerstone meets our Neighbors where they are in their cycle of need and walks alongside them to guide them toward a position of empowerment. Some Neighbors find themselves in a financial crisis due to a job loss, prolonged illness, or other unexpected event. Other Neighbors may be caught in a generational cycle of poverty and need a hand up to break free. By partnering with community businesses, volunteers, and other nonprofits, Cornerstone is able to provide coaching and resources to empower every Neighbor who is ready to make a positive, lasting change.


Amateurs and seasoned golfers alike take their shots during our annual Cornerstone Golf Classic . This highly anticipated sporting event for men and women takes place in the fall and has been bringing golfers together for a good cause since 2010. The name of the game during this lighthearted tournament is not only to win but to raise funds for the projects and programs that benefit our Neighbors in need. Golfers are eligible for raffle prizes, and awards are given for first, second, and third place, the longest drive, and more. Golfers can register individually or in teams of four, and many additional levels of corporate sponsorships are available from $100 to $10,000.

If you have any questions about this event or sponsorships, please contact us at or 972.689.9115. Cornerstone NCT is a 501 (c)(3) organization located in Prosper, Texas. Tax ID: 27-2535979 August 2019 | 19

Repurposed Building is Town’s First Recreation Space Open House for ‘The 407 Rec Center’ Held on August 7

When looking up the word “repurpose” in the dictionary, one might someday see a photo of the building at 407 E. First Street in Prosper. The one-story building, situated in the shadow of the Towns’ old water tower, has recently been repurposed as “The 407 Rec Center.” Serving the recreational needs of Active Adults aged 55 and over, as well as area youth, the building was recently dedicated to its latest purpose, after having some walls removed, receiving a new coat of paint, new flooring, appliances, and cabinetry. While it’s the first fully dedicated facility for Parks and Recreation programming in Town, it’s only the storied building’s latest repurposing. It was originally built to serve as the Town’s only fire station, staffed by an all-volunteer fire department, until the Central Fire Station was completed in 2004. Following the departure of the firefighting equipment, the building was repurposed, serving as office and meeting space for the Town’s Development Services department. The relocation of those employees to Town Hall last year virtually emptied the building, making it available for its latest repurposing. The Town’s Parks and Recreation Board seized the opportunity to establish “The 407 Rec Center” at their June meeting. “We’re delighted to begin this new chapter in recreational programming,” says Dudley Raymond, Director of Parks and Recreation. “The 407 Rec Center is the first building in town to be used solely for recreational activities. The capability to offer a dedicated space for youth and Active Adults is a culmination of vision and hard work and we look forward to getting started.” To celebrate the opening of the new facility, the public was invited to an open house on Wednesday, August 7, from 2:00pm to 4:00pm Refreshments were served, and staff was on hand to answer questions. 20 | August 2019

Two inaugural classes begin in August for Active Adults: Beginner Chair Exercise, and Strength-Core-Balance. Each class focuses on improving strength, balance and conditioning for those age 55 and older. Online registration, along with the monthly calendar of all activities, is available at Time slots are also slated for cards and games, including Canasta, 42/Dominoes, and Mahjong. Youth options are coming soon. A survey is being conducted by the Parks and Recreation Department to gauge the wants, needs and desires of the Prosper Active Adult community. To access the survey online, visit residents/parks-recreation/programs-sports/. Paper surveys are available at the Parks and Recreation Administration office, 409 E. First Street. The Town is dedicated to building programs and offering activities that enrich daily life in Prosper and the survey results will provide valuable information into the direction of future programming. A full listing of the year’s recreational activities is posted at www. The latest parks and recreation news can also be found on Facebook by searching for Prosper Parks and Recreation.

Prosper Frisco Celina Mckinney Gunter

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Cameras at Railroad Intersections to Save Time and Fuel Images help first responders, school buses and public

The installation of 24-hour video cameras at three critical railroad intersections will give Prosper emergency personnel, school transportation officials, and the general public the opportunity to plan their east-west routes to avoid delays. The cameras, installed at the railroad intersections of Frontier Parkway, First Street and Prosper Trail, send a wide-angle video image of the area to monitors at the Town’s emergency dispatch center for use by emergency personnel, allowing them to provide first responders with an unobstructed route to their destination. The video image will also be sent to where anyone with an internet connection can view the broadcast signal. Residents who plan to use these intersections may dial up the internet, check the appropriate image, and plan their route accordingly. The Prosper school district will also use the camera images to reroute buses where necessary and appropriate. “We obviously do not have control over the train schedules,” says Fire Chief Stuart Blasingame. “What we can do is keep watch on the trains as they pass and sometimes stop within the Town. Doing so allows our emergency personnel to avoid

22 | August 2019

delays, keeps school buses from getting stuck, and gives residents the ability to plan their routes more effectively.” Cutting drive time during emergency or medical responses can be lifesaving, and minimizing idling time at railroad crossings can save not only fuel but also lessen the frustration related to slow or stopped trains. Similar visual systems at railroad intersections are in place in various municipalities in and out of Texas and have proven their worth in time and resources saved. “The cameras are not connected to a recording device and are not keeping a video archive. They are not intended for any other purpose than to provide a real-time visual image of the three intersections,” said the Chief. A separated grade project has been approved for Frontier Parkway, paving the way for the construction of an overpass that will eliminate the intersection. However, project financing, the first of several steps in the construction process, is just being finalized, putting the project several years from completion.

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In Good Taste

Simplify Back-to-School Dinners with Nutritious Meal Plans

Pecan-Crusted Air Fryer Pork Chops Cook time: 22 minutes 1 1/3 2 1 1 1/4



ack-to-school season can be cluttered between afterschool activities, weekend sports and evening homework – as well as making dinner each night. Creating a master meal plan with quick, simple and nutritious meals is an easy way to take control of your family’s hectic schedule. Start by stocking the pantry with staple ingredients that amp up the nutrition and flavor of your family favorites. For example, American Pecans are a nutritious ingredient to have on-hand – among the highest in “good” monounsaturated fats and packed with plant protein, fiber and essential minerals – and “The Original Supernut” is versatile enough for breakfast, lunchboxes, dinners and on-the-go snacking. Adding one bag to your weekly grocery list provides a canvas for 24 | August 2019

exploring new dishes that are both nutritious and delicious. In fact, according to the Food and Drug Administration, scientific evidence suggests but does not prove that eating 1 1/2 ounces per day of most nuts, such as pecans, as part of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol may reduce the risk of heart disease. One serving (28 grams) of pecans contains 18 grams of unsaturated fat and only 2 grams of saturated fat. Updating your dinner repertoire doesn’t have to be complicated. Fuss-free recipes such as Pizza with Pecan-Herb Topping, Baked Pecan-Crusted Chicken Tenders and Pecan-Crusted Air Fryer Pork Chops can be ready in less than an hour and put a fresh twist on classic favorites to please parents and kids alike. Discover more back-to-school meal-planning recipe inspiration and cooking tips at

cup pecan pieces cup arrowroot starch teaspoons Italian seasoning teaspoon onion powder teaspoon garlic powder teaspoon sea salt, plus additional, to taste 1 large egg 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard, plus additional for serving 1 tablespoon water 2 garlic cloves, crushed 6 medium boneless pork chops, trimmed of fat Heat air fryer to 400 F. In medium bowl, mix pecans, arrowroot starch, Italian seasoning, onion powder, garlic powder and 1/4 teaspoon sea salt. In separate bowl, whisk egg, 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard, water and garlic. Cover pork chops in egg mixture then transfer to bowl with pecan mixture to coat all sides. Repeat with remaining pork chops. Place three pork chops in air fryer basket. Cook pork chops 6 minutes, flip, then cook additional 6 minutes. Set aside on plate. Repeat with remaining pork chops. Serve hot with Dijon mustard, if desired.

Baked Pecan-Crusted Chicken Tenders Cook time: 35 minutes

2 cups raw pecan halves or pieces 1 cup panko or gluten-free bread crumbs 1 teaspoon garlic powder 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper 1 teaspoon salt, plus additional, to taste 1 1/2-2 pounds chicken breast tenders or chicken strips 3 large eggs 1 cup all-purpose flour or gluten-free flour blend pepper, to taste Buttermilk Ranch Dip: 1/4 cup buttermilk 1/2 cup mayonnaise 1/2 cup sour cream 1 teaspoon parsley 1 teaspoon onion powder 1 teaspoon garlic powder 1 teaspoon dried dill 1/2 teaspoon salt Heat oven to 425 F. In food processor, pulse pecans until fine as breadcrumbs. In shallow bowl, mix pecans with panko, garlic powder, cayenne pepper and 1 teaspoon salt. In separate shallow bowl, whisk eggs until smooth. In third shallow bowl, add flour. Lightly season chicken tenders with salt and pepper, to taste. Working with one chicken tender at a time, dip in eggs, flour then pecan mixture. Be sure to press pecan mixture into chicken to be sure it is completely coated. Set chicken on baking sheet lined with cooling rack or parchment paper. Repeat with remaining chicken. Place chicken on center rack and bake 20 minutes until golden brown and cooked through.

To make Buttermilk Ranch Dip: In small bowl, whisk buttermilk, mayonnaise, sour cream, parsley, onion powder, garlic powder, dried dill and salt until smooth. Serve pecan-crusted chicken tenders warm paired with Buttermilk Ranch Dip.

Pizza with Pecan-Herb Topping Cook time: 40 minutes

1 store-bought pizza dough 1 cup raw pecan halves or pieces 1/2 cup fresh parsley 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional) 1 pinch salt 1 pinch pepper 1/2 cup jarred pizza sauce 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese 1/2 cup thinly sliced red pepper 1/2 cup thinly sliced Vidalia onion Heat oven to 400 F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper. Lightly flour clean surface. Using rolling pin, roll out pizza dough to 1/8-inch thick and transfer to prepared baking

sheet. Gently pierce dough with fork to prevent air pockets. Bake crust 10-15 minutes, or until lightly golden in color. In food processor, pulse pecans, parsley and garlic powder until mixture becomes coarse crumbs. Transfer to bowl and stir in Parmesan cheese, red pepper flakes (if desired), salt and pepper. Set aside. Using spoon, evenly spread pizza sauce over crust. Top with mozzarella cheese, red pepper slices and onion slices. Sprinkle 1/3 cup pecan mixture evenly over pizza. Transfer pizza to oven and bake 10-15 minutes, or until crust is crispy and cheese is melted. Serve with remaining pecan-herb mixture. Notes: If dough instructions differ from recipe, use package instructions. Additional topping options include: pepperoni, olives, ham, bacon and roasted veggies. Leftover pecan-herb topping can be used for pasta and salads. August 2019 | 25

Growing Prosper

Hard to Grow Space You’d Rather Not Maintain? Let’s Talk Groundcover!

Groundcovers are low-growing plants, usually less than 12 inches tall, that spread to form dense mats which bind and hold the soil in place. Many also have a season of effective bloom. Turf grass is the most common ground cover. However, areas that are less suitable for turf grass, such as slopes, steep banks, and shaded areas, can often grow other ground covers successfully. A well-established groundcover generally requires less maintenance than the typical turf grass lawn. Groundcovers are not totally maintenance-free, nor will they always tolerate conditions that will not support a turf. There are many ways of trying to control weeds. We can remove them by hoeing them out or by burning them with a flame gun! We can try to prevent them from growing by putting down mulches. Each of these methods has advantages and disadvantages and each has situations where they are applicable. In this column we will look at another method of controlling weeds - by growing carefully selected plants that can spread to cover the ground and that will out-compete the weeds. Groundcover’s Primary Advantages: 1. By covering the ground with a carpet of vegetation it prevents the germination of weed seeds. 2. When established, it prevents the ingress of perennial weeds. 3. It protects the soil from erosion and water loss. This can be particularly useful on steep slopes. 4. It acts as an insulating cover for the soil, keeping it cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter. 5. It is living mulch that helps to build up humus levels in the soil. Selecting a Groundcover: When deciding which ground cover to plant, consider the plant’s height, spread, blooming period, seasonal foliage color, texture, drought tolerance, and whether it is deciduous or evergreen. The planting site also will affect your choice because each groundcover has specific requirements. Some of my favorites are: Liriope, Mondograss, English Ivy, Vinca Minor or Major, Asian Jasmine and Purple Wintercreeper. Many groundcovers develop crown rot in heavy clay soils that don’t drain well. Adding coarse organic matter, such as composted or aged manure, peat moss, compost or a good landscaping mix can improve the drainage of heavy clay soils and increase the water-holding capacity of light sandy soils. Roto-till or spade the soil to a 6-inch depth and thoroughly incorporate the organic matter at a rate of two to three bushels per 100 square feet. Soil preparation can cause serious erosion on steep slopes. Working the soil across the slopes in 12 to 24-inch wide bands alternated with undisturbed soil will help reduce erosion. Mulching the slope with a fiber mat or a landscaping fabric will further reduce erosion while conserving moisture and reducing weed competition. Planting Groundcovers should be planted in the spring or fall. However, 26 | August 2019

containerized stock can be planted anytime during the growing season if proper planting and maintenance processes are done correctly. The number of plants needed depends on the spacing of the individual plants their rate of growth and how fast you want the space to fill in. You may want to densely plant a small, highly visible area for rapid fill, but a large area may require sparser planting, with several years being allowed for covering the site. When planting rooted cuttings, don’t allow them to dry out. Plant them at the proper depth and firm the soil around the roots to ensure good soil-root contact. Watering small sections as you plant will prevent the roots from drying out. Ground covers can be planted in either straight or staggered rows. Staggered rows help reduce erosion on slopes by retaining run-off. Watering Water new plantings thoroughly and regularly until the roots become established. Once established, water as needed for the ground cover you’ve selected--each type has different requirements--but apply at least one inch of water at each watering to moisten the entire root zone. Applying less water results in a shallow root system which makes the planting more susceptible to drought injury. Controlling Weeds Control weeds to enable the newly planted ground cover to form a dense mat. When properly established, groundcovers can successfully compete with weeds. Hand weeding is effective but can be time consuming. Mulching is a practical way to reduce weeds. Nonaggressive annual flowers can also be used to fill in spaces in a new planting. They help shade out weeds but do not inhibit the spreading growth of the ground cover. Be sure to provide enough moisture for both plant types so competition is not an issue. Mulching Mulching serves many purposes in a groundcover planting. Two to four inches of mulch around the plants helps control weeds, maintains a more constant soil temperature, conserves soil moisture and reduces erosion on slopes. However, be aware that mulching groundcover areas can also result in significantly slowing the growth rate of your new groundcover. If you just absolutely hate the thought of weeding, then groundcover with mulch may be a good fit for you. Until next time…Happy Gardening!! -Jimmie

Send your landscaping and gardening questions to Jimmie Gibson Jr. at http://www. absolutelybushedlandscaping. com or jimmie@ Jimmie is a Prosper resident and the owner of Absolutely Bushed Landscaping Company, an award winning, family and veteran owned and operated business created in 1980 to provide the highest quality custom Outdoor Renovation available to homeowners in the Dallas Ft. Worth area.

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