Monday, February 22, 2016

Quick and Easy Lasagna

Hey Peeps!

"___________ is for supper!" The mention of some foods just brings a smile to your face and a tug at your tummy. Around here, Tall Guy's eyes light up when he hears that Lasagna is on the the menu. Unfortunately for him, that word has not been uttered for a while, so when I was telling him about a recipe I found for it over at  South Your Mouth, well,  I knew right away I was making it.

 Quick and Easy Lasagna

I was so excited to find Mandy's recipe!  Thanks to Stacey Little at Southern Bite for sharing her recipe on Facebook.  I recently spent a couple of days with Stacey and Brandie Skibinski at The Country Cook at an blog retreat, and let me tell you dear readers that I have never met nicer people, and these two CAN cook!

A big thanks to my good friend Cris at Recipes that Crock for bring us all together for that wonderful retreat. (She is at the bottom the staircase in the picture below.) We all learned so much from each other!  All these bloggers have wonderful blogs and Pinterest boards for you to pour over ONCE you finish reading my post of course! (wink wink)

Boy, this been a crazy weather week for us here in northwest Indiana.  We saw windchill numbers registering about -15 to -20 below last Saturday night, and this Saturday I believe the high was in the upper 60's!  Only in Indiana, my out-of-state friends.....  Our motto is: "If you don't like the weather, just hang in there; it will change in a couple hours!"  It was a first on the Wallpe Farm....We washed our 4-H calves in our shirt sleeves!!  Our girls and their cousins had fun, but I'm not too sure the calves can say the same.  It's been a long time between baths for them!  Just in, I 'm seeing preliminary predictions of 4-6 inches of snow by Thursday!  See what I mean?  Lordy!

Meanwhile, back at the kitchen......Earlier last week, while our teeth were still chattering, I made this yummy lasagna based off of Mandy's recipe.  I tweaked it here and there to make it satisfy our tastes and what I had in the house.  It was delicious!  It was also super easy and took very little time to make.  I'm not sure why I always think it takes forever to make lasagna.  From start to finish, I was pretty much ready to serve this meal in about an hour and a half!  I even cooked the noodles!

The two major substitutions I made in this recipe is ground sausage for the ground beef, and ricotta cheese for the cottage cheese.  I also left out the onion to please one sensitive tummy.  I always us the "good" cheeses made with whole milk, not skim.  I figure if you are going to make lasagna, you have to make it full on lasagna.

Printable Recipe

Quick and Easy Lasagna

  • 1-1.5 pounds ground sausage, plain or spicy
  • 24. oz. jar spaghetti sauce
  • 2 Cups ricotta or cottage cheese
  • 3/4 Cup Parmesan cheese
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 9-12 cooked lasagna noodles
  • 16 ounces mozzarella cheese
  • 2 T. olive oil
Cooking Directions

1. While noodles are boiling, brown the sausage on the stove, drain fat, add sauce, and let simmer for 20-30 minutes.
2. Drain noodles, and combine the ricotta/cottage cheese, 1/2 C. of the Parmesan cheese, egg, and garlic.
3. In a 9 x 13 pan drizzle the olive oil on the bottom.  Layer ingredients in thirds: noodles, cheese mix, sauce, 4. oz. mozzarella cheese
4. Top with last of mozzarella cheese and Parmesan cheese.
5. Cover dish with aluminum foil and bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes.
6. Uncover and continue to bake for 15-20 minutes until top is golden brown.
7. Let sit for 15-20 minutes before serving.

 Quick and Easy Lasagna

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Storytelling in Pictures:Snowy Cows.....

Right now we don't have cattle out on the lots.  They are mostly behind the scenes as some need to be close to food and some, our mommas and their babies, need to be closer to shelter.  I miss the days I could watch them out in the snow.  Here are a few of the pictures that tell this story.

One heifer I do NOT miss is Ol' Miss 300T!  What a "bitty" she was. And then there was Miss 4 who tried to on up her in "bittyness.  You can read more about that story HERE  Preview:  It didn't turn out so well for me that day.

Do you have cattle near you or on your farm?  Grab your camera or smartphone and snap a picture of them. You can share them with me on my Facebook page, Walking the Off-Beaten Path.  I can't wait to see them!

Thursday, February 11, 2016

6 Ways to Create Photo Art with the FotoRus App

I have been playing quite a bit with my smartphone lately.  It's an awesome little camera once you figure it out!  Then I was cruising around Pinterest and found loads of camera apps to make my smartphone camera even smarter!   Since this is February, and we all need a bit of a distraction from tax papers and filings (BLEH!), I thought I would share one great app that has endless possibilities when it comes to giving your pictures greater dimension and style  The app is called FotoRus!

While you can head to Amazon and get the latest and greatest books on social media and smartphone secrets,
(Click on the picture)
 Social Photography on Amazon

I am also compiling my own lists as I find them and read through them on Pinterst.  You can follow along on my Smartphone Photography Board by clicking here.

Ok now let's get to this new app.  First of all this is a FREE APP!!!!  It is also an app that can be used by Android and iPhones! There is even an app for your PC!!!  How cool is that?  I have a Samsung Note 5 that I am really loving.  Once you download the app, you just run any photo on your phone through one if its SIX editing choices, and let your imagination take you a way!

Let me walk you through this first section on FotoRus.

Collage Section:  Magazine Shot:

Chose where you want to get your photos, and then you can select 1-10 pictures to use.

Next, select the layout you like, and the pictures will populate in the spaces.

You can move your pictures around and re-size them to get the look you like.

Ta Da!

In homage to Jane Jetson, that lovely future generation housewife who was able to put on her morning face mask before answering her visual phone, the Beauty shot can turn a scary selfie into a presentable version of you, or me as seem below.  I added foundation, blush, mascara and lip gloss in about one minute.

Without any makeup....                                                   With digital makeup  :-)
Just in time for Valentine's day or any day when romance is in the air, you can jump into the Sticker part of the app and add stickers from their vast collection to your picture.  These two were so curious about each other!

I think the section that most intrigues me is the PIP or Picture in Picture.  How fun is this????

And finally.........this one that I am going to print off this afternoon and frame for a certain Tall Guy we all know and love.  What a unique and yet simple gift, and all I had to do was print it off and frame it!

All of the these pictures were completed within a minute or two.  NO FUSSING!!!!  The remaining two sections are the InstaBeauty Section for a more intensive touch up for face shots and the Pro Edit Section so you can make edits right in the app and then play with it in the other sections.  Easy Peasy!!!  SIX ways to create beautiful fun pictures at your finger tips.

Ok, now it's your turn.  What is your favorite go to photo app on your phone?  Maybe you have heard of one and want to know what it does.  Shoot me your answer in the comment box below, and I will add them to my list of apps to try.

Have a great weekend!