Thursday, October 4, 2012

Veggie Lasagna





















I have been craving some delicious Italian food, like manicotti, lasagna, and tortellini. I have been looking for an easy and delicious veggie recipe that wasn't horrible for me, and I finally just decided to attempt one.

I made a veggie lasagna for my husband and I, and guess what? It was delicious and easy! It took about an hour to make (1/2 was baking time),

Ingredients:

(Serves 3-6 people. Double recipe as needed).
  •  3/4 cups shredded Mozzarella & Parmesan
  • 15 oz container of low-fat ricotta cheese
  • 1 24 oz jar of your favorite marinara sauce
  • your favorite veggies (I used spinach, onions, and green onions).
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • Dash of nutmeg (optional)
  • Lasagna noodles (about 9 noodles) for a 9 x 13 pan.

Directions:

1. If using frozen spinach, thaw and drain of all liquids before anything.
2. Cook the lasagna noodles in a large pot of boiling water for 10 minutes, or until al dente. Rinse with cold water, and drain. (or if you buy quick-cook noodles, follow directions on box).
3. In a large saucepan, cook and stir vegetables, including onions, garlic, green onions the pasta sauce. If using spinach,   
4. Mix together ricotta frozen spinach.I also put the salt, pepper, oregano and some garlic powder in as well. (Also a dash of nutmeg, cause why not?!



5. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Spread 1/4 pasta sauce into the bottom of a greased 9x13 inch baking dish. Layer 1/3 lasagna noodles, ricotta mix, sauce, and Mozzarella/Parmesan cheese. Repeat layering, and top with remaining the remaining mozzarella/parm cheese.



6. Bake, uncovered, for 30 minutes. 
7. I put the broiler on for about 5-10 minutes and let the top get really cooked to be crispy. If you like a gooey top, then take it out!

Crispy top... mmmmmm.....

8. Let stand 10-15 minutes before serving.





















I hope you enjoy!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Motivation of the Day

"Just breathe, relax, trust God, and get things done." I have to tell myself this probably once every two days, especially when I am feeling overwhelmed. I like to remember that millions and billions of people have somehow survived certain situations, and that my problem or work is not the end of the world. Hope this motivates you to de-stress, and know that you can handle your life!


Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Staycation in Tulsa, Oklahoma

Hello readers (all... 10 of you or so?)! If you remember, several weeks back I told you that my husband and I had a "staycation." This, of course, is where you stay at home and have a cheaper vacation than going out of town. We were originally going to go to Dallas or Oklahoma City, but we could not find a dog-sitter (and I cannot imagine putting my dog in a kennel). So, we decided to hang out in our wonderful city of Tulsa, Oklahoma, and see what new adventures we could find in our own backyard.

First of all, one of our main objectives of our staycation was to eat at local places that we had never tried before. One such place is Queenies Plus, a local joint that is known for its desserts and brunch. Here is a vegetarian eggs benedict that WAS TO DIE FOR. Seriously, look at that. Yum! I am going to try to figure out a way to make a home-made version, and will have to post the results in the future!






















Next thing we decided we should do was to check out local attractions - like art museums and garden areas. First, we went to our favorite local art museum - the Philbrook Museum. It's a museum that was made from a converted old mansion left by the very rich Phillips family in Tulsa.  It's absolutely gorgeous for its art, architecture, and gardens. Here are just some of the pictures I took while touring the museum.






































































I heard about a green house garden open to the public from a friend, and we jumped on the chance to check it out. We found a big room full of cacti - which made me feel really at home. Seriously. I grew up in Phoenix, Arizona, and whenever I see cacti, I get really nostalgic. Usually this isn't a problem since I live in Tulsa (where there is no cacti), but this greenroom was amazing! I could have stayed in there by my little pointy friends all day.






































I also thought I should add a picture of my silly, wonderful husband. He seemed to like the greenhouse also!

Well, that's about it, actually. Most of the rest of the staycation was us being lazy, enjoying life, and being sweaty due to the hot weather. It's cooled down since, but that weekend was especially hot, so we stayed inside for most of it.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Motivation of the Day



























Love your neighbor as yourself. It's a pretty simple statement, but it's not so simple to put into practice. Today, be motivated to truly love your neighbor today, even if your neighbor is a drug addict, a prostitute, or a tax collector.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Eat - Free Kitchen Printable


I have another offering for a free kitchen printable! It's simple, teal, and says, "eat." Could you want anything more? I do not really think I need to be reminded to eat in the kitchen, but I still like it!

You can find the printable pdf version here.

Friday, September 7, 2012

End of an Era

Isn't this a cheesy picture?
I make reference to my law firm every now and then, as I am sure you have noticed. This week I have been unable to blog as much, because my wonderful law partner is leaving the firm to join another firm. It is an exciting opportunity for her, and I will miss her greatly. We've worked together for about a year, and it's been fantastic! She has inspired me to cook and create more things than I ever thought I could, and I thought I should give a shout-out to her. She has also started her own blog, and I would advise you to read it (she's a pretty fantastic cook). It's called eatshop, check it out.

Next week I hope to be my normal blogging self. I have a lot of posts about my 'staycation' and other goodies. See you then!

Monday, September 3, 2012

Happy Labor Day!


Happy Labor Day!

Today,  my husband and I are going to work around the house, relax, and maybe enjoy a cookout tonight with some friends. I hope your labor day is just as relaxing and non-laborious!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Relaxing Afternoon



























One of my favorite things to do is relax at a local coffee house and enjoy the atmosphere. It even helps when you enjoy it with a friend!

I am preparing for a "staycation" with my husband this weekend. We had plans for an actual vacation this weekend, but the plans fell through when we could not find a dog-sitter. Owning a dog can be hassle! I'm still excited to shut the world away and hang with the hubby!

What are you doing this labor day weekend?

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Findings Around Target

While out shopping at Target, I often dream about what I would buy if I had unlimited money. Today on my blog, you are going shopping with me. Here are some finds I found at my local Target that I would snatch up if I had the money. 

First, I should warn my readers that my husband and I have a clock obsession. We have at least one clock in every one of our rooms, except the kitchen. We are actively seeking out a clock to fit in with out kitchen decor... but that's another story.

While this clock is not a good fit for our kitchen, we have been looking at it ever since Target put it on the shelf for $9.99. It's a perfect little clock for a small, unoccupied area. I think we'll buy it soon. It comes in many different colors, but I think I like the red the best. Cute, amiright?




Next, I found a bunch of lamps that I love. All kinds of colors and shapes! I really love the simple silver lamps, but a little punch of color in a room never hurts!

I love the coral color and simple shape of this lamp! It ran around $20.



































Same lamp but in another color, more neutral. Still love it!


































Fun and funky yellow lamp with a cool shape!


































More expensive, but pretty awesome lamp!







































Next, I moved on to amazing pillows! I have no idea why pillows are so expensive, but I would take any of these off of Target's shelves if they were about 1/4 of the price.



























I think that last pillow is my favorite. The shape and simple sewn-in design is really eye catching. I might be dreaming about that pillow for a while! I also really like the blue coral pillow, and I think it would be great in a sea-themed room. What do you think?

I hope you enjoyed my small shopping trip to Target. What have you found there or at any other of your favorite stores lately?

Monday, August 27, 2012

Gluten Free Pumpkin Cranberry Muffins


I have decided to dive into the world of gluten free baking. I have some friends who cannot eat gluten products, and I would love to be able to cook for them, or just learn more about gluten free products. Really, it's very interesting! I am finding out that people have been able to make flours out of so many things! Tapioca? Almond? Coconut? Sure, no problem! It's fascinating. 

I am already craving some fall foods, since I really really want it to be fall already. Hence, I recently made some pumpkin cranberry gluten free muffins with some gal friends of mine (25th and Skillern and Lisse Livs Life). I was really skeptical of these muffins, first because I had never made any gluten free product, and I was slightly changing a recipe that I found online, and I know the dangers of changing recipes (especially gluten free ones!). However, these turned out FANTASTIC. I cannot stop eating them! My husband loved them as well, and my friends each took a bundle home with them, too.

You can easily substitute or add in your favorite muffin ingredients! I did not add in any nuts into this recipe, but walnuts or almonds would be fantastic! Any type of berries or dried fruit would also be an amazing addition.

Enjoy!

Friday, August 24, 2012

Give Us This Day Free Printable




































Today I am offering you a free printable of one of my favorite parts of the Bible - The Lord's Prayer. This is just a snippet, as it is made to be in the kitchen (but you do not necessarily have to put it there).

You can get the full version for download here

Enjoy and God Bless!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

New Art Piece for A Friend



I have finished a painting for my friend Melissa of Lisse Lives Life.  I used mostly house paints again, so it was a cheap gift! One of my secrets to painting cheap is to buy really crappy looking paintings at the thrift store, prime them, and paint over them. It is much cheaper then buying full prices new canvases at the craft or art store. 

I don't really have much to say about this painting other than that I like it a lot! It's abstract and fun, and that was my goal. I hope you like it, and sorry about the poor pictures. My camera apparently hates taking pictures of my art. Oh well!


























I hope you enjoy my art! God bless!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Motivation of the Day

























I have struggled to seek out ares in my life boldly. It's more like I approach things I am doing with a timid disposition, afraid I may fail or disappoint someone else. 

I feel like time for boldness, especially since I have realized how short life really is. I need to seek God's will for my life boldly. I need to seek success with my career boldly. And I need to seek marital bliss with a bold and aspiring attitude. I want to carry on this saying with all the areas in my life, and I hope you do too.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Apricot Whole Wheat Pancakes























One thing my husband and I love doing is eating breakfast for dinner. We probably indulge in this fine tradition every two weeks or so. Since I have been trying to eat healthier and more low-calorie foods, I thought some homemade whole wheat pancakes would be wonderful, especially if you sprinkle in some dried apricots for sweetness and nutrients. 

I used unbleached whole wheat flour that I got at Whole Foods. It was so cheap! I used organic dried apricots. I will warn you to get the darkened color dried apricots, as they are not treated with sulfur dioxide preservative, which the beautiful orange ones are to preserve the color. While the orange ones are much prettier, the dark colored dried apricots are better for you and I think they taste better. As I always believe, natural is better.

As for the recipe, it is very, very simple. I mixed up a second batch in about a minute. They are not very fluffy, but they are really delicious in flavor. I am not exactly sure how to get beautiful fluffy pancakes, but I do know how to get great tasting ones (or at least I like to think I do).  

You can use almond, soy, or regular milk. I used almond milk because I think it is delicious (and very low calorie!). I also used an egg, but you can always substitute with an egg white or an egg substitute. I normally leave sugar out of recipes like this, but I love brown sugar in pancake batters. I don't use much, so do not feel too guilty when adding it. Lastly, feel free to use any of your favorite spices. I used some cinnamon and maybe a dash of nutmeg, but that is completely up to you.

Enjoy and God Bless!

Friday, August 17, 2012

Cherry Tomato Sauce with Spaghetti




































I should warn all my readers (oh, because there are so many of you) that my husband and I have decided to start eating healthy. This means that most of my recipes will be low-calorie or healthier than I would normally make. I will gladly tell you of suggestions to fatten my recipes up, so don't worry my readers who love full-fat recipes.

I recently bulked up on whole-grain spaghetti when my local grocery store was having a great sale on it. I've been trying to figure out a sauce to use for my spaghetti that won't make it too caloric, since the spaghetti is caloric enough. I also realized that I had a package of cherry tomatoes that were about to go south, so I thought I would attempt to make my own low-cal spaghetti sauce. It turned out great!

This is also a great recipe for those gardeners out there who are left with hundreds of tiny tomatoes and do not know what to do with them. You can freeze the sauce and use it later, or make it in bulk and eat it up for a couple of days. Spaghetti is one of those amazing meals that gets better the longer it sits (within reason of course).

This recipe is also amazing because it takes little time and effort. I am not even going to provide you with any how-to pictures, since it's pretty obvious and easy. I hope you make it and enjoy it!

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