I have a confession.
Deep down inside I love crafting. I’m not very good at it but I would like to start trying. I’ve been perusing Hobby Lobby far too often, now that it is only a few minutes from my house. You can only go in there so many times without getting the feeling that you can actually make something.
I finally decided I would try my hand at something and decided to make a wreath for my front door to jump start my fall porch decorations.
I started off with a wreath that was $6.99 and a roll of burlap that was $4.99 both from Hobby Lobby. I also purchased this metal hanging sign from Kohl’s that was half off and ended up costing $9.99
I’ve been doing pretty good with keeping us on a schedule since we’ve moved. What I haven’t managed to do is put much diversity into our meals lately. We’ve been eating the same old things and I’m getting tired of it. Last week I went on a mission to find some other quick and easy meals to whip up and I came across this recipe for baked ziti.
I know, baked ziti isn’t an earth shattering, palette improving meal but it’s quick and this recipe was one of the best that I’ve tasted. Of course I did a little tweaking! Find the original recipe here.
The recipe calls for a preheated oven at 400 degrees. My oven is convection and the converted temp is 375.
The recipe called for making some type of quick Tomato sauce that had sausage in it. I didn’t have time for all of that so I took some lean turkey meat and pre-cooked it with some seasoning.
then added in some jar tomato sauce. Don’t be like me, make the sauce from scratch. I’m sure it was delicious.
While that was simmering I cut up some fresh Mozzarella cheese. Now this I will tell you probably made the difference in this recipe. Normally I just use the one in the package but this was life changing. I cubed half of it and thinly sliced the other.
While I was slicing and cubing the cheese the noodles were going for a little boil.
Once the noodles were done, I added in the cubed portions of the cheese, the turkey mixture, a little pepper, Parmesan cheese and mixed it all together.
Put it all in a baking dish, covered with the thinly sliced Mozzarella and topped that with a little shredded Parmesan and stuck in the over for about 30 minutes.
Voila! This picture is a little bit of a struggle but I didn’t get a photo once I cut it. Trust me this was really good. I’m sure the fresh cheese made all of the difference.
….cause you have to let the edge cheese burn just a little. Not a lot. Just a little.
Have you tried a new recipe lately? Do share!
If you were one of the 10 people who read my blog in the beginning you know back then I absolutely hated to cook. Within the past two years I have really learned to love cooking except in the summertime. I despise cooking in the summer. Summer is all about relaxation not slaving in a hot kitchen. I would totally eat watermelon and cold pasta salad for the next 2 months but since I have little people and a husband that needs to eat….
Seeing that I have no choice I went on a hunt to compile a list of 5 easy recipes for summer cooking.
Weight Watchers Slow Cooker Lasagna: I’ve tried this and it is de.licious. My sister in law sent me this recipe a few months ago. I will say I cheated and didn’t use skim anything but I’ve tried it both ways and it is really good. I was under the impression that people only used their crock pot in the winter. Thank goodness for my FB page fans who got me right about the year ’round use of the crock pot.
Seared Steak Fajitas: Yummy. Made this one as well. Super easy and quick. The steak is marinated in soy sauce and while you would think soy sauce and Mexican food doesn’t go together….trust me. I also learned how to warm my tortilla shells on the fire from the burner, which added a great smokey taste to it. Less than 30 minutes from chopping to plate.
Shrimp and Penne with Spring Herb Pesto: This recipe took a bit of time because the pesto was made from scratch but the extra time was so worth it. Outside of the pesto for the most part this was a one pot dish. Very light and perfect for a summer dinner.
New Orleans Style Barbecued Shrimp: I’m not native to the New Orleans region so I’m sure someone from this area would likely tell you that this is a main stream version. If this is a watered down version then let me find my way to New Orleans to try the real deal. This was a little spicy but the lemon really paired well with the spiciness. This required minimal prep and everything except for the rice cooked in one dish.
I will be trying new recipes and will continue to share them with you. Hope they help you get dinner on the table with minimal effort.
Are you like me and despise cooking in the summer?
I was at it again. I made granola from scratch.
It was good, easy and best of all it was cheap!!
I used this recipe I found on allrecipes and I did few tweaks
Started off with organic oatmeal, sliced almonds, and bran. Since I didn’t have actual bran flakes I just used Raisin Bran and plucked the raisins out…What?!!
I poured I mean Addison poured all the dry ingredients into a bowl. Who doesn’t love a little helper
Then I took these products in which I substituted olive oil for vegetable oil
…and brought them to a rolling boil
and poured the mixture over the dry ingredients and mixed it all together
I baked the mixture at 350 for about 20 minutes, tossing lightly to make sure the bottoms didn’t burn. Once I pulled it out of the oven I added in some raisins and dried cranberries. I later molded some into bars and stored the rest in an air tight container.
Over the course of the week I just added a few spoonfuls to some greek yogurt for breakfast and gave them to the kiddies for snack. Turned out really good with just the right amount of sweetness. Will definitely be making this again.
Time taken from start to finish was about an hour.