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Monday, October 20, 2014

Ravioli Lasagna With A Mexican Twist


This recipe was a huge hit with my family so I really wanted to share it with you.  It is also very quick to assemble. 



Ravioli Lasagna With  A Mexican Twist

2 - 24 ounce jars spaghetti sauce - I used Delallo Tomato Basil (use 2 1/2 cups sauce in each layer)
2 - 9 ounce packages of ready made spinach and cheese ravioli
1 container of fresh spinach
1 cup shredded mozzarella
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar
1 pound chorizo sausage (used Detroit Sausage Factory fresh sausage - found at Nino's) - cook chorizo like you would ground beef, drain the oil

Spray a 9 x 13 baking pan with olive oil.

Add 1/4 jar of pasta sauce and cover bottom of pan.

Make a single layer of ravioli.
A single layer of fresh spinach leaves
a layer of chorizo
add 2 1/2 cups of pasta sauce
add layer of mozarella cheese
repeat the layers using the sharp cheddar on this layer.

Bake uncovered at 250 degrees for 50-60  minutes.

Let rest 10 minutes and serve.

This is a very large amount of food so you could easily use a smaller pan and make a half batch.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

One Of My Favorite Outfits - Head to Toe



More than anything I really like to be comfy - if my clothes feel good and are easy to wear I am just overall more relaxed.   Another thing to know about me is I like my denim.  Most days that is what you will find me in.  I also love dresses over my jeans.  Sometimes I look at fashion decisions and just think - lose at least one thing.  Like have the great handbag or the fancy shoe - but not both at the same time.   Watching a lady hobble out of church with the sunglasses, giant bag, and high heels - all before noon - that's just not me even on a night out with friends - I felt uncomfortable just watching her.  So here is a casual look I have been enjoying.  The dress above is a simple dress from Target.


I just picked up this pair of jeggings at American Eagle.  I went in to get Noah some school pants, and it was buy one get one half off so I tried on a bunch of jeans.  I really do like a few holes in my denim - this pair I love.  My other favorite pair is from Loft, but they don't have a thing like them.  It seems like they have a lot less jeans to choose from right now.


This clutch is from Heist - it is made from a old army tent - the yellow zipper sold me!  I have used this all Summer - it goes well with most of my things.
 

This may be my favorite nail polish ever!  Sally Hanson Batbano Blue - I was looking for the brightest blue I could find - I have received so many compliments on this polish.  It has been on my toes all Summer!


This pair of shoes - comfortable and cute.  Ivanka Trump Sunny.  They go well with so many different outfits.  Even are nice with just the dress minus the jeans.

So, that's a little fashion post of some of my most used items.  I also have a Mossimo Supply Company junior's open cardigan from Target in grey that I toss on if it is chilly out.  I couldn't download a photo - and that might be alright because the model is wearing a half shirt with it :)

Happy Thursday!


Sunday, August 24, 2014

Orzo With Mandarin Oranges And Candied Sliced Almonds


Because it seems the most creative thing I have been doing lately is cooking here is another favorite recipe of mine.  My friend Michelle made it for a gathering at my house a few years back.  The flavors work together so well.  It has a nice and simple sweetness to it.  I just took this orzo to a pig roast and those who tasted it really loved it.  If you look with your eyes you just might pass it by, but really this is a keeper kind of recipe.



Orzo With Mandarin Oranges And Candied Sliced Almonds

1 box orzo (I used Barilla)
3 celery stalks, chopped into small pieces
3 bunches of green onion (white part only) chopped into small pieces
(I used some of the green as well)
2 large cans mandarin oranges, drained

Mix all of the above ingredients together.

For dressing combine the following:
1/2 cup vegetable oil
4 tablespoons sugar
4 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 teaspoon salt
parsley flakes for color
dash of pepper

Add dressing to salad.  Put in fridge.  It is best to make this orzo the night before or early in the day you will be serving it.

To make the almonds:
 1 larger bag of sliced almonds (about 1 1/2 cups)
3/4 cups sugar

Put almonds and sugar in pan and cook on medium until sugar melts.  Stir constantly or the almonds will burn.  And trust me they burn quick:)  Next, place the almonds on wax paper to cool.  Once fully cooled, break into pieces and store in a Ziplock bag until you serve the salad.  Right before serving stir in the almonds.  If you mix them in too soon they wont stay crunchy - which is partly why they taste so good in this salad.


Hope you enjoy!

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Chicken Salad Sliders With Goat Cheese & Asparagus


Here is a unique kind of slider.  The roasted asparagus and goat cheese pair so well.   Hope you will give them a try!


Chicken Salad Sliders With Goat Cheese & Asparagus

3 large chicken breasts or a deli-ready rotisserie chicken
salt and pepper
5 oz. goat cheese
1 teaspoon honey
1/2 red onion, minced
1 bunch of asparagus, cut into 1 inch pieces, and roasted with olive oil, salt, and pepper
Slider Buns (I made a mix of garlic butter & then broiled the buns until browned)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Place chicken breasts in a baking pan; season with salt and pepper. Bake for 20 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through.  Let cool for 10 minutes.  I have been in a hurry each time I have made this recipe so I purchase a rotisserie chicken from the deli counter, and use all of the meat from that.  When chicken is cool I just shred it up into small pieces.  Chop if needed.

Meanwhile I roast the asparagus.  Basically preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Break off the tough ends of the asparagus, and for this recipe cut stalks into 1 inch pieces.  I put a sheet of aluminum foil on my cookie sheet.  Place asparagus in a single layer, drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Roast until tender, but still crisp.  I just keep checking every few minutes,and stirring until I think they look good.  For long spears this would take around 25 minutes.  Not that long when they are cut up into bite sized pieces though.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the warm chicken, goat cheese, honey, red onion, and roasted asparagus. Serve the chicken salad on the slider buns.  Refrigerate leftovers.


They are so good!  The goat cheese will pretty much melt into the other ingredients since the chicken and asparagus are warm.  Feel free to add more cheese.  This is one of those very forgiving recipes where you can add extra this and that (cheese, onion) and it will come out tasting fantastic!



Linked to:
Inspire Me Monday at My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

A Day At Yule Love It Lavender Farm & Check Out Their Chicken Coop


Hello again!   It has been awhile.

I am so behind in showing photo's of the finished office building I worked on.  Next week - crossing my fingers!

Until then I wanted to share a special place my mom and I just visited.  It is called the Yule Love It Lavender Farm.  This is their tenth year of business, but this Friday and Saturday will be the last days of operation.  If you haven't enjoyed a day at this farm you just might want to plan your visit.  There is a farm tour at 10:15.  You can enjoy the tour or just do u-pick, and enjoy the grounds.


There were many varieties of lavender.


I adored this structure.  This is where lunch is served, and you don't want to skip it.  We enjoyed lavender lemonade, the freshest organic salad with feta, beans, and corn on it.  Also, a chocolate chip lavender cookie.  I want to go back this week for the lunch alone.
  


The owner, Iris, is also a writer.  She is learning more and more about farming, and growing her own food.  She wants to live off of her land.  As the lavender dies off - which in Michigan that happens - she will be planting more and more crops for her family to harvest.
  

The chicken coop is adorable.  Love the yellow door.  See the chandelier?  It really works too!




These are her older hens.


Here are the hens that came to the farm this past Spring.


Our day at the lavender farm was one of the most peaceful days I have a had in a long time.  Just pure peace and enjoyment!


Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Herbed Waffles and Chicken Salad - A Unique Blend Of Ingredients Makes This Really Special!


Good Morning!  I have a great recipes to share today!  This is my very favorite chicken salad recipe.   I have been making it probably longer than I have been a Mom.  The chicken salad is so good with the grapes and the tarragon vinegar.  It makes it a little different than the norm - just so good.  Not overly mayo at all.  I make it for myself, and I make it for gatherings.  Always delicious!  Paired with the herbed waffles it just becomes that much more special. 

The recipes below are adapted from a little book called The Best Of Waffles and Pancakes by Jane Stacey.  I also make both of the dishes at times with dried herbs I have on hand by pretty much just following what seems right - using less of each than this recipe calls for in fresh herbs.  Probably like half as much.  You can also simply make the waffles and use them to make sandwiches.  We made roasted chicken and bacon sandwiches with chipotle mayo.  I think a BLT on them would also be a great idea. 

I hope you make this, and love it as much as I do!



Herbed Waffles and Chicken Salad

Chicken Salad

5 cups cubed cooked chicken (just boil the chicken for this recipe)
2 scallions, chopped (white and tender green parts)
1/2 c. red seedless grapes
1/3 c. minced fresh parsley
1/4 c. minced fresh basil
1/4 c. toasted sliced almonds
2/3 c. mayo (I use Hellman's Light)
2 tablespoons tarragon vinegar
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
salt and pepper
lettuce leaves (optional)

Herbed Waffles

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 c. minced fresh parsley
1/4 c. grated Parmesan cheese
2 scallions, chopped (white and green tender parts)
2 tablespoons minced fresh basil
2 tablespoons minced fresh rosemary
1 tablespoon sugar
1 3/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/3 cups milk
2 large eggs, room temperature
2 tablesppons butter, melted
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard



Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Office Design - Professional Staff Break Room




I think this is my last board of ideas. 

The break/lunch room is really simple.  I lucked out in that I didn't know what the kitchen finishes would be - but the furniture I chose totally worked.  I needed the furniture to be easy to take care of - and to fit into the budget.

I just need to finish off the walls and art.  I hope to add some decals to the walls, and some bright and cheerful artwork.

Getting everything in place in the building is going well.  I'm just waiting for my House of Belonging artwork - then I can take some real photo's and show you how it all turned out!

Thanks for reading!
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