Thursday, September 1, 2011

This Is Calzone Territory

So… What do you do when you want to impress a boy? You make him food. Tasty foods- foods that will make him associate you with pleasure and satiation.

I think this is especially effective when he eats tasty food of yours while you two are not together. Like making lunch for him to take to work.

Am I right?

Hot pocket of love right there
This works very well in our favor. Not only does he think about you and appreciates your lunches, but while he’s at work he can’t watch you stuffing your own face, getting crumbs in your hair and sauce down your shirt (let’s get real here).

…Doubly so when you can freeze it and then throw it in the oven, while you brush your teeth and beautify in the A.M.

(Assuming you and he wake up in the same household. Boys should not operate stoves or ovens too early in the morning. Let’s face it.)

Or maybe you planned a picnic lunch and are having a difficult time finding portable food that is mess free and delicious enough so that you two can focus on each other instead of the sandwich filling that just fell onto your lap.

This recipe is time consuming but easy, and worth it if you can make enough to freeze. And if you don't make your own dough, it's not even time consuming. Just easy. And that boy will fall hard. For you. Promise. It’s a done deal.

Oh, and please don’t mind the ugly plates. I swear to you that they are not mine.

Calzones (makes 4)


¾ cup ricotta cheese
1 ½ cups cheddar cheese, cubed
1 large bunch spinach (fresh)
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium onion, white/yellow, minced
½ tsp chili flakes
1 ½ cups button mushrooms, sliced
olive oil, for sautéing & baking
2 vine-ripened tomatoes, diced
Pepperoni, to taste

Pizza crust (Adapted from the Foodie Bride) (or your own pizza dough, cooking time will depend on the dough)

After the dough is ready to be rolled out, sauté all except the cheese. Then mix it all in with the cheeses and spread onto circles of dough, then fold over and pinch the sides shut.

Poke holes in the pocket to let steam escape. Rub pocket generously with olive oil and bake on tinfoil for 20 minutes at 425 degrees, or until golden brown. Flip pocket over and bake for another 10 minutes.

My love... it asploded

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Curtains, curtains, curtains. (Part 1)

If you’ve ever rented, you know that one of the major disadvantages is the inability to truly decorate.  Some places let you paint the walls, but that can be more money and time than it’s worth because you just have to repaint before you move out.  So with a no-go on the painting, I had to find other alternatives.  The solution: curtains.  I went curtain crazy.  Which brings us to the post.  The first installment, with two more to follow.

I had three sets of windows that I wanted to make curtains for.  There was one window that took precedence over the others…


As you can see, that’s our bathroom window.  I can’t imagine why anyone would have an entirely transparent window in the shower of all places.  So, we made a desperate fix.


So I took measurements and embarked on a journey for the perfect fabric (which always takes me forever, but I was happy with what I found).  Of the three sets of curtains, this one is definitely the simplest (but there is definitely beauty in the simplicity).

Step One.

Cut out fabric strips for the curtain loops.  These can be whatever size you want, I decided to go for a skinny/narrow loops.  So my strips started at 4” by 8”.  I cut out 8 strips.


Step Two.

Place the fabric right side down on an ironing board.  Fold the fabric in half (see step 2).  Iron fabric and pin in place.


Step Three.

Sew along the edge opposite the fold to create the loops.


Step Four.

Turn the loops “inside out” so that the right side of the fabric is on the outside.


Step Five.

Iron the strips flat.  Then, iron them in half (see picture below). 


Step Six. 

Depending on your window size, determine the measurements of your curtain panels.  I decided on two panels, at 20” x 22”.  So I cut out fabric panels at 21” x 23” to allow for a 1/2 inch seam allowance.  Hem the panels accordingly.


Step Eight.

Sew the loops onto the panels.  I decided on a zig-zag threading just to make sure that the loops were extremely secure.  I am an extremely novice sewer, so the lines ended up a little funny, but I don’t mind the odd quirks in projects.


Step Nine.

Slip the curtains onto a rod, hang them up, and done!




Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Meet the Fowlers/Lorimers

I am really excited about this post.  It has been almost 1 year in the making, but it was time sensitive.  I didn't want to reveal any wedding gifts prior to the big day... So, here goes.

During 2010, I attended a total of six weddings.  In 2011, I have been to two weddings with one more to go.  For 2012, there is a tentative 2 already planned.  From this, I have learned one thing…Wedding gifts are expensive.  (Ok, I’ve also learned love is beautiful, love is kind, etc etc etc).  I also learned that buying presents off of their wedding registry can be really boring, especially if you procrastinate and there is nothing good left on their list (or the only things remaining are somewhere between $5-$7 or $100). 
Austin and I have friends who got married in September 2010.  They are wonderful people, and I wanted to make them something personalized—and also something that they would actually enjoy.  So Austin and I embarked on a project that was inspired by my brother’s high school photography project from about 3 years ago.  For his project, he had to take pictures of random objects that looked like letters.  He needed one picture per letter of the alphabet.  I wanted to take pictures in nature that spelled out there last name.  I’m sure you have seen similar art work, I think Target recently carried a similar piece of art that spelled out “believe” or “hope” or something like that.
A how-to on creating a personalized wedding present for a couple that you love.
Step One.
The first thing to do is decide on a location.  Yes, you could take all of the pictures at various places, but I wanted to gather them all from a meaningful location.  So I settled on a park in our college town.  This park was perfect for many, many reasons.
1.      Marissa and I went on a field trip to this park in our Earth Science class our freshman year of college.
2.      It’s located in our college town. 
3.      It’s a memorial park for veterans.  Mark is not a veteran, but his father is, and they did get married at the Air Force base, so it just seemed appropriate.
Step Two.
Take pictures!  At times, you have to get very, very, very creative.  Especially for the difficult letters.  Their last name is Fowler.  Basically, “o” was the only super easy one.  We found tons, and tons, and tons of usable o’s. "L" and "e" were also pretty simple to find.

“F”, “w”, and “r” were not quite so easy.  There were lots of tree branches that resembled an f, but there was not enough of a contrast against the background for it to really stand out.  

Step Three.

Upload pictures onto your computer.  Pick the best options.  I used Picasa 3 (it's free!) to crop photos (it's important to keep all the dimensions of all the individual photos the same to ensure that they will all be equal sizes in the final product), manipulate lighting, etc.  Then I used Microsoft Publisher (not so free...But I'm sure there are many, many other programs that would work) to put the letters in the right order. 


Step Four.

Look into printing options.  I used Snapfish.  But I found that my dimensions of the final product was not really available for a large sized print.  So I added a top and bottom border and "Welcome to the [Fowler] home".

Additionally, Austin and I were privileged to both be in our friends' wedding.  Jeff proposed to Katie at a park, so it seemed fitting to take all of the pictures at said park...The end result:


I personally really liked the goose head...  probably my favorite component of this one.  I'm still learning the fine art of balancing photos so that they work nicely together and are close to the same size.  So far, I'm fairly happy with the results.  It's a fun gift, personalized gift to make and one that I am happy to give.  For the Lorimer's, I gave them the choice to determine what they wanted to do with the print.  I gave them a 4 x 6 copy and told them I would order whatever they would want (poster, cards, etc...) 

I'd love to see if anyone has completed similar projects!!
Blogging tips