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Top Fall Flowers for Your Garden

Aster

New England aster bears loads of pink, blue, purple and white flowers that are great in the vase or in the garden. Butterflies love it — and we do, too.
Name: Aster novae-angliae
Growing Conditions: Full sun and well-drained soil
Size: To 5 inches tall
Zones: 4–8
Native to North America: Yes

Toad Lily

Toad lilies keep shady gardens from getting dull at the end of the season. This easy-care perennial offers intricate, orchid-like flowers from late summer to mid-fall.
Name: Tricyrtis hirta
Growing Conditions: Shade and moist, well-drained soil
Size: To 3 feet tall and 2 feet wide
Zones: 4–9
Native to North America: No


Goldenrod

Fall wouldn’t be fall without the cheery yellow flowers of goldenrod. It’s a tough, beautiful plant that looks good despite summer heat and drought. Note: Goldenrod isn’t typically a source of allergies; this is a common misperception.
Name: Solidago rugosa
Growing Conditions: Full sun and well-drained soil
Size: To 4 feet tall
Zones: 4–9
Native to North America: Yes

Russian Sage

It’s fun to have some contrast to all the warm autumnal shades. Russian sage does the trick with its airy blue flowers and silvery foliage. Another reason we love it: It’s tough as nails and both the foliage and and blooms have a great scent.
Name: Perovskia atriplicifolia
Growing Conditions: Full sun and well-drained soil
Size: To 5 feet tall
Zones: 4–9
Native to North America: No

Scallop-and-Asparagus Saute with Lemon and Thyme

INGREDIENTS

2tablespoons olive oil
1/4cup diced shallots
1tablespoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
2teaspoons finely grated lemon zest
1bunch asparagus (about 1 pound), trimmed and cut on the bias into 1-inch pieces
1 1/4pounds bay scallops, rinsed and patted dry
2tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/4teaspoon salt
1/4teaspoon black pepper
2cups cooked brown rice (optional)

DIRECTIONS

  1. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add shallots and cook until softened, about 2 minutes. Add thyme, lemon zest and asparagus and cook, stirring, until asparagus softens slightly, about 1 minute
  2. Stir in scallops, cover, reduce heat to medium and cook, stirring occasionally, until scalloops are opaque and asparagus is crisp-tender, 4 to 5 minutes. Drizzle with lemon juice, season with salt and pepper and serve with accumulated juices over brown rice if desired.

Tomato, Corn and Avocado Salad with Spicy Vinaigrette

INGREDIENTS

1tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
1/4cup diced pancetta
2ears yellow corn
1/2lime, juiced
1garlic clove, minced
1jalapeno, finely diced (ribs and seeds removed, if desired)
4basil leaves, torn
1/4teaspoon salt
1/4teaspoon black pepper
1/4cup thinly sliced red onion
1 1/2cups sherry, pear and/or grape tomatoes, halved
1avacado, chopped

DIRECTIONS

  1. Heat 1 teaspoon oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add pancetta; saute until crisp, about 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to a plate lined with paper towels to drain.
  2. Cut corn kernels from cobs. Add to skillet with pancetta drippings and saute over medium-high heat until cooked through, about 5 minutes. Set aside to cool.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk remaining oil, lime juice, garlic, jalapeno, basil, salt and pepper to make vinaigrette.
  4. In a large bowl, gently toss pancetta, corn, onion, tomatoes, avocado and vinaigrette to combine.

Sweet Potato and Chicken Fajitas

INGREDIENTS

2small sweet potatoes, well scrubbed
4teaspoons olive oil
2poblano chiles, stemmed, seeded and cut into thin strips
1medium onion, halved and sliced
12ounces boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1/2-inch-thick pieces
1/2teaspoon kosher salt
1teaspoon ground cumin
1teaspoon dried oregano
4garlic cloves, chopped
1/2cup chicken broth
8corn tortillas, warmed
2ounces crumbled cotija cheese (about 1/2 cup)
1/4cup fresh cilantro leaves

DIRECTIONS

  1. Pierce sweet potatoes with a fork and microwave on high until almost tender when pierced with a knife, about 3 minutes. Cool completely. Halve lengthwise, then slice each half diagonally into 1/2-inch-thick pieces.
  2. Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium heat. Add chiles and saute until softened slightly, about 8 minutes; transfer vegetables to a large bowl.
  3. Heat remaining oil in the same skillet. Add chicken and sprinkle with salt, cumin and oregano. Saute until chicken is browned and cooked through, about 6 minutes. Return vegetables to skillet; add garlic and broth and simmer until liquid is almost evaporated, about 2 minutes.
  4. Divide fajita mixture among tortillas. Sprinkle with cotija and cilantro.

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