April 30, 2012

A Walk A Day Keeps The Boys Happy

I have been playing a ton with my new camera lens. I really really love it. I thought I would never enjoy it since it is a fixed lens but I am learning more and more of its capabilities. Jon and I have been busy cleaning up around the house and garage these days. I need to get some storage bins to get my second closet in order. Then I will be able to items in that closet more organized. Since it really really need it. I started on my wall again which has all my photo's and P's on it. Almost done! Yeah! It is coming along but only a few more small photos can go up. I re-planted my vegetables in bigger pots since it is still not time to plant them in the ground yet. Only two to three weeks until I can plant them. This year I will be planting ALL my vegetable plants. The previous year I gave some of them away and only kept the about two or three plants but I need to harvest as many vegetables as possible this year. That is the whole reason why we have the garden in the first place.  Jon and I have been watching a ton of movies last week that were on demand. I think our favorite one so far is Horrible Bosses. It was a funny movie. We have also been taking a walk every night as well with the boys. They love it and Jon and I are feeling it since we are not use to being pulled for the whole walk... Well almost being pulled the whole walk. The boys end up getting exhausted 3/4 into the walk. So we get to rest for a little bit. Well time to get some things done around the house. Till next week...

April 28, 2012

Meatball Sub Pizza

Meatball Sub Pizza

  • Your favorite pizza dough (or mine), ready to stretch and bake
  • Olive oil, for brushing
  • 1/2 cup marinara
  • 8-12 leftover meatballs, cooked (and thawed, if previously frozen)
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 4 oz grated mozzarella
Place a pizza stone in the top 1/3 of your oven and increase oven to 550 (500 if your oven doesn't go that high), letting it hold at temperature for at least 30 minutes. (If you're not using a pizza stone, just have your baking sheet nearby.)
Dust a pizza peel or your baking sheet with a light dusting of flour and a couple of generous pinches of cornmeal and set aside.
Cut each meatball into 3-4 slices.
Gently stretch the pizza dough in to a 12-14 inch round or divide into 3 portions and stretch, for individual-sized pizzas.
Brush a ~1-inch border of olive oil around the edge of the pizza dough.
Spread a thin layer of marinara over the pizza crust (depending on how thinly you stretched your pizza, you might not use it all).
Sprinkle with 3/4 of the mozzarella, top with meatball slices, and then the remainder of the cheese.
Transfer your pizza from the pizza peel to baking stone (or place your baking sheet in the oven).
Bake for 7-9 minutes for a single large pizza (5-7 for individual pizzas), until the dough is blistered, the edges are golden brown and crispy, and the cheese starts to brown.
Remove from oven, slice, and serve.


Chicken Bacon Ranch Wraps

Chicken Bacon Ranch Wraps
  • 1 package Kraft Fresh Take, Cheddar Jack and Bacon
  • 1 1/4 lb. chicken tenderloins
  • 10 soft taco size tortillas
  • 10 pinchfuls of lettuce
  • 1 tomatoes, sliced, or 1/2 cup grape tomatoes, halved
  • Ranch Dressing
Preheat oven to 350.
Prepare the Fresh Take breading, coat the chicken and bake for 25-30 minutes. Chicken breast can be used too, will likely need to bake longer to ensure they cook through. Follow directions on packaging.
When chicken is finished, let cool slightly before assembling wraps.
To each tortilla, add 1 Cheddar Jack and Bacon chicken tenderloin, pinchful of lettuce, tomato and drizzles of ranch dressing.
Serve Chicken Bacon Ranch Wraps with fresh fruit.


April 26, 2012

Baked Ziti

Baked Ziti
Spoon Fork Bacon

  • 12 ounces rigatoni pasta
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 spicy Italian sausages, casings removed
  • 1/2 yellow onion, diced
  • 1 green bell pepper, seeded and diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 1/2 cups homemade or store bought marinara
  • 1 cup part-skim mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 parmesan, grated
  • salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Fill a large pot with water and bring to a boil. Add a small handful of salt and pasta to water and stir. Boil pasta for 7 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until pasta is al dente. Drain, toss with a teaspoon of oil, pour into a large mixing bowl and

Pour 1 tablespoon of olive oil into a large sauté pan and place over medium- high heat. Add sausage and break apart with a wooden spoon. Cook sausage for about 5 minutes or until evenly browned. Drain and add to pasta.

Discard grease and add remaining oil to pan. Add onion, bell peppers and garlic to pan and sauté for 3 to 4 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Pour onion mixture over sausage and pasta mixture and toss together.

Add marinara, 1/2 cup mozzarella and 1/4 cup parmesan and gently fold together until fully incorporated. Adjust seasonings.

Pour mixture into a lightly greased 8”x 8” baking dish and top with remaining mozzarella and parmesan.

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until the cheese bubbles and browns.

Allow ziti to cool for 5 to 7 minutes before serving.


April 25, 2012

Grandma Pozniak's Ham and Noodles Updated

Grandma Pozniak's Ham and Noodles Updated
Grandma Pozniak
  • 1 package of egg noodles
  • 1 cup cubed ham
  • 2 Broccoli heads
  • 1 container of sour cream
  • A splash of milk
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Sriracha Sauce
  • 1/2 cup of Panko crumbs
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan Cheese
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Cook egg noodles according to package
Once noodles are cooked drain water and return noodles to the pot. 
In a seprate bowl place cubed ham, sour cream, milk, garlic powder, onion powder, salt pepper and siraracha and mix together. Note: siraracha is like a hot sauce so be careful.
Pour all mixed ingredients into the cooked noodle and stirred together. 
Pour into a oven safe 8x8 pan. Sprinkle Panko crumbs and parmesan cheese on top and bake for about 30-40 minutes until the top browns slightly. 


A New Lens

It's been a great week. I got a ton accomplished. But at the same time I ended up losing a few things around the house that for the life of me I cannot remember where I placed 2 items. First item is my Aldi re-useable bag. I had bought tow back when I started to shop there but for about a month I have only been using one since I cannot find my other one. Then I lost these alphabet stickers that I was going to use in a project. I torn the house apart with no results. I know they are here somewhere in tiny house but I will probably not find them until I got out and replace them. So that has me thinking once again to deep clean the whole house again. So maybe my project for next week.

Next I finally got a new lens. A 50mm f/1.8 lens. I have been waiting about six months going back and forth it I should buy one or not. So I took the plunge and got it. I also had bought a lens hood and filter for the new lens as well. Well only problem is that I never received my lens hood or filter. I has in contact with the post office calling them everyday asking where my package was. They basically told me that it was delivered in my mailbox and that someone stole the package out of my mailbox. I find that hard to believe but Amazon was nice enough to refund my order. So now I get to reorder those again or maybe I wont. Not sure yet but I really like my new lens. it is completely different since I cannot zoom in nor out but that it ok because I think that my photos for my food photography have improved I believe.

I forgot to tell you about my photo shoot for the new bike that was sold. It was great to get out and do something different or well out side of my box. I am normally just a food photographer or landscape photographer. So this was very interesting for me. I think that they turned out pretty well. I was super neverous and I think that I took photo overload but I thought that I would rather have more photos than hardly anything... So I took over 600 photos which we narrowed down to about 30 great photos. Crazy how that works but I think that most of them were blurry... Oh well...

Till next week...

April 18, 2012

Honey Glazed Roasted Chicken

Honey Glazed Roasted Chicken
  • 1 whole chicken
  • 1 T olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 T honey
  • 2 T apple cider vinegar
  • 1 t herbes de Provence
  • root vegetables–I used one onion, 4 medium potatoes, and a generous handful of baby carrots
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
Remove the bag of giblets from the chicken, if there is one.  Pat the chicken dry with paper towels, tie the drumsticks together, then rub all over with the olive oil.  Generously season with salt and pepper inside and out.

Place the chicken on a roasting rack–having a rack enables the air to circulate around the chicken so it cooks more evenly.  Toss the peeled vegetables in the bottom of the pan.
Cook the chicken for about 20-30 minutes until it’s starts to get nicely golden, then turn the heat down to 325.  Continue to cook for about 45 minutes or an hour longer.
If you have a meat thermometer, the chicken is done when the meat in the deep part of the thigh reaches 165 degrees.  Mix the honey, vinegar, and herbes de Provence together in a small bowl.
Brush the glaze over the chicken skin and return to the oven to finish cooking.  
Once the chicken reaches 165 degrees, take it out and allow it to rest for 15-20 minutes before slicing.


April 17, 2012

Country Frittata with Ham, Cheddar and Basil

Country Frittata with Ham, Cheddar and Basil

  • 1 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 red onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup diced, cooked ham
  • 6 fresh basil leaves
  • Salt and pepper
  • 6 eggs
  • 1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Gently whisk eggs in a medium bowl and set aside. Chiffonade basil and set aside.

In a high-sided ovenproof pan, heat olive oil on medium. Once oil is hot, add chopped red onion and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Add ham and cook for 1 minute. Add basil. Add salt and pepper to taste, and stir to combine.

Remove pan from heat and pour in whisked eggs. Place pan in the oven and bake for 12-14 minutes, or until the eggs are fully cooked. Remove from oven, loosen the sides with a knife and place whole frittata onto a cutting board or plate.

Top with cheddar cheese, slice into wedges and serve immediately.


April 16, 2012

A New Closet

This weekend I finally went through my closet. I had most of my clothes on the floor and in a laundry basket. My dresser drawers finally gave up. The two middle drawers broke and would not fit anymore. I have had this dresser since I still lived at my parents house. So for a long time. I was sad to give it up but I needed to move on. Jon had told me to look at Craigslist for a new one. I found one that I really liked but was an hour away and it was a little too much for what I was looking for. So I gave up and thought that maybe I could get away with not having one. I think that it works. Just need a couple of baskets or bins for some extra shirts.

It was nice to have Jon home on a Saturday even though he was busy in the garage while I was working on my closet. Most Saturdays Jon does not get home until 4:30. It was good just to have him around the house. He finished up some odds and ends on the bike like at midnight. But glad he was able to figure out what the issue was with the bike since the next day we were having a photo shoot. I was the one who actually was able to do this shoot since the guy we normally use was out of town and it was last minute. I was super nervous but I think I did a pretty good job. Here is a sneak peak of one of the shots that I did. Hope everyone had a great weekend!

Till next week...