May 31, 2011

Gnocchi Supreme

I LOVE gnocchi. I hate saying the word because I'm not Italian and butcher it every time.

My mom speaks Italian (a little) and has instructed me on the proper way to say it. Still, I butcher it. I pronounced it no-kie, like okie with an n. That's wrong. The g an n are supposed to make the sound in canyon, the nya and the o is soft, like, "ahhh, that is good gnocchi." (Quoted from my mom.)

Anyway, now that you know how it's pronounced, let's talk about how good they are! Gnocchi are like little dumplings - I love dumplings and they are super fast to cook. You just put them in boiling water and wait until they float to the top, like 2-4 minutes, and then they're ready! You can make them yourself, I have yet to try this but I plan on it in the near future, or you can find them pre-made in the pasta or freezer section.

I recently had a pasta bake that was a lot like supreme pizza but instead of pizza crust, there was rigatoni. I immediately wanted to try to make something similar but with gnocchi instead of the pasta. A couple of weeks went by and I finally decided to give it a shot and let me tell you, folks, it was really good. The husband loved it and Sweet P couldn't shove fist-fulls in her mouth fast enough.

It's super easy and can pretty much be tweaked to your liking. We like supreme, but no olives here, so I went with pepperoni, sausage, bell peppers, onion and cheese. Next time I'll add fresh mushrooms but I just used a bell pepper and mushroom pasta sauce this time.

Ingredients for Gnocchi Supreme

In a medium bowl, I combined 1/4 C diced bell pepper, 3 small onions from the garden (also diced) which came to about 1/4 C, about 4 oz of pepperonis cut in half and 2 minced garlic cloves. I added 3/4 of a log of cooked sausage and stirred it all together. Then I added 1 1/2 C of Italian cheese blend and half a jar of pasta sauce. Stirred it all up. I cooked and drained the gnocchi and dumped it in a casserole dish and then poured the meat mixture over the top, stirred it around a little more.

Making Gnocchi Supreme

I baked it at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes. Then I pulled it out and added 1/2 C of colby jack cheese and baked it for another 10 minutes or so until golden and bubbly.

Gnocchi Supreme

I have tried several different recipes with gnocchi and in my experience, you can pretty much replace any pasta with it and it's amazing.

I saw a recipe for gnocchi and cheese and I think I'll have to try it next:

May 30, 2011

CrazyJoy = patient revealed

Friday Anna announced our challenge word for the weekend and it was patient. Here's a peek at my photo, check out her blog for the full photo, to see what she came up with and to link up!

I should also say that I kind of broke the rules this weekend, not that there really are any rules, but I used an old photo. I had a plan of a shot I wanted to get and intentions of getting it but, we had our air conditioner was installed over the weekend (hooray, hooray, hooray, I'm sitting in a room with cool air blowing through the vents - thanks to the husband and uncle!!!) and my plans kind of fell through. Hope you don't mind.

I also added a page where I'll put each week's photos up. You can check it out here.

Happy Memorial Day! Now it's time to hit the lake.

May 27, 2011

CrazyJoy ...

Today is Anna's day to post our new word for the weekend so head over to her blog and get the details.

While you're there, check out our favorite entry from last week, here's a peek.

Also, thank you guys for joining us! We thought it would be fun to do together but it's even more fun to do it with you guys and see what all you come up with too!

I had so much fun last weekend thinking about last week's word, twist, and what I wanted to do with it. I looked at everything through the eyes of "twist" and it was kind of fun. I was working on Clean Slate last weekend and went to the car to head home to change into painting clothes and realized I had a flat tire. It was quite the twist to what I had planned but a little difficult to explain in one photo. Thankfully, my brother-in-law and a muscled up friend of mine were there to change the tire. I had to mention that he had muscles because the wheel was rusted to the car and he had to pry it off.

Anyway, all that to say I'm excited about our new word for the weekend and hope you guys will join us again!

Happy Friday and hope you all have a great weekend and awesome Memorial Day.

May 26, 2011

Asian Chicken and Lime Rice

I found another food blog that I've been following for a little while now: Our Best Bites.  I love the design of the site and they always have great photos of the recipes (a must for me to decide if I want to make it).

Anyway, I finally tried one their recipes, two actually. I saw the recipe for Asian BBQ Chicken and it looked simple enough and they also posted rice ideas to try with it. I looked at the coconut rice but didn't want to get coconut milk so I decided on the Lime-Cilantro Rice with Pineapple. I have fresh cilantro in the garden and had bought a pineapple this week so it seemed perfect.

Asian Barbeque Chicken with Rice

It turned out really good. I marinated the chicken overnight and used our rice steamer so there really wasn't much mess. Score! We don't typically eat a lot of Asian food but that may change after this meal.

And happy 10 month Birthday to my Sweet P!!

May 25, 2011

Lunch and Creamy Corn

The weather here in Oklahoma has been crazy. Last night there were tornado warnings for much of the state and thankfully nothing was sever in our area or where my family lives. In a matter of a couple of weeks we have seen 95 degree days and then cooler temps in the 70s on others. I'm fine with the cooler days.

Cooler days mean we have lunch outside on a blanket and there's nothing to sweep off the floor.

i guess it's better to go for the middle of the bread then start from a side

And it also means I can use my oven.

Side note here, our air conditioner has been broken since last year. It kind of died on us in the super hot 106 degree summer last year when I was hugely pregnant with 2 weeks to go before my due date. That was not fun. I'd share a photo of my sweaty hugeness but I'll spare you. We thought we had it fixed but the "fix" only lasted a couple of weeks. We are replacing the entire unit this weekend so we have removed all the old stuff. That means no air flow at all. It hasn't been that bad because spring has been very kind to us this year but when it gets about 80 degrees, I don't want to turn anything on that will create extra heat in the house, especially not the oven!

Anyway, I have been able to do a little cooking this past week and wanted to share a new recipe I found (and love).

 Pork Tenderloin and Creamy Corn

I was on this blog and got this recipe for Southern Skillet Corn. I used to love creamed corn but haven't had it in years. The recipe takes a little longer than just boiling some corn on the cob, but it was a nice change.

Happy Wednesday and I'm linking up here today for What I Ate Wednesday.

May 24, 2011

Clean Slate 2011

I mentioned last Thursday that I would be taking part in Clean Slate by helping paint murals at a school so here's some of the stuff that happened over the weekend...

The school we were working at was Wright Elementary. It's located in midtown and was in dire need of some updating. I am so happy to be part of the amazing group of volunteers that gave their time and talents for 3 days to totally transform the school. My brother-in-law oversaw the entire school project and was so organized and so full of excitement and inspiration and totally made the weekend unforgettable.

Here's a little pic I got of him and the principal talking to the volunteers before the big reveal.

My mom was a project leader in charge of re-doing the office and did an amazing job! I'm telling you folks, we keep it in the family :) Speaking of family, my sister was the photographer at one of the four houses that were renovated and her team did an unbelievable job. Check out her post and watch the slideshow, but make sure you get some tissues!

My part, aside from helping paint murals, was to design a logo for the school, that was my secret project! Here's the final logo.
Wright Elementary was named after Orville Wright so it was fitting that the school had a bunch of little plane replicas throughout the halls. The project leader for the murals drew up 12 different murals for each stairwell relating to flight. The first floor was themed with different flight methods including a hot air balloon, biplane and helicopter. The second floor had murals based on flight in nature including a hummingbird, butterflies and bird. The third floor was all outer space murals.

Here are some shots I got during the weekend...

Along with all the murals in the staircases and throughout the school, the entire cafeteria had a "history of flight" mural that included all forms of flight.

There were also 4 nooks on the first floor by each stairwell for the students to sit and read, create and dream that were full of boxes but were transformed to creative spaces with 3-d elements like a hot air balloon basket to sit in or chairs and desks covered in chalkboard paint to draw in.

I can't remember the exact number but I think there were over 40 murals painted over the weekend.

Not only was renovating going on inside the school, but volunteers also came out and planted a global garden for the students to tend to. The Tulsa Shock (the WNBA team) came out for a bit to help with this project. You know I love gardening so I really loved this part of it all.

I didn't get a before or good after shot of the teacher's lounge but I did get a couple reaction shots. This is when they first walked in. I love all the women with their hands over their mouths!

And when they saw the flat screen tv!

The school was transformed for both the faculty and the students and I'm pretty sure most of the volunteers were transformed as well. Amazing folks, amazing.

Check out the slide show for the school! There are a ton of before/after shots of everything done at the school.

May 23, 2011

CrazyJoy = Twist (revealed)

Time to reveal how Anna and I interpreted "twist".

by lesley

by Anna

Anna and I decided to change up the submissions a little. If you want to join us in our little creativity challenge we want you to have as much time as we do to think about it and post your pics so instead of asking for your submissions by Saturday so we can post your pic with us on Monday, we want you to have the entire weekend too and post your link on Monday. Then on Friday when we announce the new word for the challenge, we'll also post of favorite image from the week before with a link to your post. Does that make sense? I hope so! So if you did the TWIST challenge, link up today and we'll let you know this Friday what our favorite was.

And don't forget to check Anna's blog on Friday for the new challenge word and our favorite twisted submission!

And we made a little button for you too.

recipe for crazy

May 20, 2011

CrazyJoy = Twist


Happy Friday people!!

I'm so excited to announce a fun little weekly creative challenge I'll be doing with Anna from The Joy Cottage!

But first a little back story. I was introduced to Anna through my sister. Anna had never met me (we still haven't met in person, but will one day) and had seen some maternity shots my sister did of me on her blog. She made an embroidered hoop for me for Mother's Day and sent it to my sister to give to me.

Sweet P's Nursery - Circles 
It's the one in the lower right corner.

I also own the world's cutest boppy cover that she made as well. Anyway, it was my very first Mother's Day gift and I just thought it was so amazing that she would do that for a stranger.

Fast forward a little bit, we both have blogs (duh, you know I do cause you're here) and have gotten to know each other a bit better through that. Add some emails and we realized we have a lot in common.  I'm pretty sure we'd hang out if we lived in the same town.

Anyway, a bit about Anna, she's going to school for graphic design, she's a mom to an adorable little guy, an amazing quilter, embroiderer (check out her etsy store), has started a company and has a fabric line! I don't know how she does it all but she's adding another project to her list: CrazyJoy.

It can be hard to keep your mind creative when there's a lot on your to-do list so we decided to do something fun together via blogland to challenge our creativity. Every Friday one of us will choose a theme, or word to interpret and post it on our blog. We will each have the weekend to think on it, photograph it, draw it, make it, whatever we want to do to represent that word and then we will each post our interpretations on Monday! I'm excited to see how we interpret the same thing differently!

We're kicking it off today and the word we have (using is,


We would love for you to join us and see what you come up with too. If you want to join us in our little challenge, leave a comment and we'll figure out how to post links to your pictures here too.

Submit a link to your post (not just your blog) by Saturday night and we'll include our favorite on Monday!

So come back Monday and I'll post our photos on how we each interpreted twist. There's more to come on this project so stay tuned!

p.s. happy 5 year anniversary to the husband!

May 19, 2011

Embrace the Camera - Fishing with Daddy

I posted one of the photos from our recent fishing trip earlier this week but saved these for Embrace the Camera today.

I think P will love having these pictures when she's older!

And just so you can be grossed out with me. As I was typing this I reached over to grab my cup for a sip of Dr. Pepper and saw this GIGANTIC fly in my cup. GROSS. I'm just glad I saw it before I took a drink!

Alright, back to embracing, go check out Emily's blog and link up.

May 18, 2011

An Exciting 3 Days Ahead

For the next three days I'll be participating in my first Clean Slate!

For those of you who aren't familiar with it, Clean Slate is like Extreme Makeover. Usually several local homes are chosen and hundreds of volunteers go in and renovate the homes in a few days with a big reveal to the families at the end.

This year they added a school. I have been working on a secret project for the school that I'll share with you next week. Eeeep, excitement!

But for the next three days I'll be helping other volunteers paint murals on the walls!

Check out the website for more info on Clean Slate.

May 17, 2011

Embrace the Camera - Water Fun

This post was randomly deleted when blogger went down and has mysteriously reappeared! I love the pics so I'm reposting.

Yesterday I introduced my girl to her swimsuit! I love her girlie little suit and think she looks adorable in it.

I filled a bucket up with water and she was a little unsure of the cold water at first but then decided she liked it!

She splashed around.

And when she had enough of the water, we ate strawberries. She eats them so fast so to slow her down a little, I put them in the bucket so she could fish them out on her own.

It didn't take her long to finish them off.

And, for Embrace the Camera with Emily, one of me and my gal.

I Like the UPS Guy

Yes I do. He brought me this over the weekend!!!

And thanks to my sister for letting me borrow her backup camera until I get my new one (no, you're not the only one who thinks she's crazy for loaning me a camera after what I did to mine), I'm back to taking pictures (not that I really stopped, just slowed down a bit and the pictures I was taking were all crappy)!!

I didn't realize how much I really enjoy taking pictures until I couldn't. That's not true, I have my point and shoot but the quality is TERRIBLE. Anyway, it's nice to be behind a good camera again and catch moments like these:

sweet whispers
quiet moments
and that face when you tell her, "no, don't put the leaf in your mouth"

So, thank you UPS man and thank you, thank you sister!

May 16, 2011

Fishing with the P and a Recipe

One of my favorite things from my baby shower were the advice cards people filled out. I have a bunch of favorites and one is one my sister wrote:

"Don't let having a baby keep you from doing what you love. Take her along and she'll learn to enjoy the things you do."

So last week we headed her advice and took P along to do one of the things we love: being outside and fishing.

We drove out to the lake and Eric strapped on the baby backpack. We hiked along a little trail before heading to the water. It was so fun watching her eyes get big as she looked up at the trees and listened to the birds. She babbled and pointed at different things and we knew she was soaking it all in.

I showed her how to catch the biggest fish of the day.

Then Eric wanted to switch off and gave me the backpack so he could catch some fish. P has always loved being outside. Even as a newborn. When she would be a little fussy, we just walked outside and she would be happy. I love that she's an outdoorsy girl and hope she grows to enjoy it even more.

We had a blast with her at the lake and caught enough fish for dinner.

yes, his shirt says Math Sharks, he was quite the shark in high school :)

So here's a quick recipe for baked fish. We used crappie because that's what we caught but tilapia would be great too.

fish fillets
juice from one lemon
5 T butter
2 cloves garlic
1 T fresh dill - chopped
1/4 C fresh parslet - chopped
1/4 C mayo
3 scallions

Lay your fillets on a rimmed baking sheet.

In a saucepan, melt 4 T butter and saute the garlic, lemon juice, dill and parsley for a few minutes. Stir in the mayo and cook another 2 minutes, or so. Drizzle the liquid over the fillets and cook at 350 degrees until the fish starts to flake.

Turn the oven to broil and cook until the fish is golden brown. While the fish is baking, saute the scallions in the remaining T of butter, until tender and starting to brown.

Take the fish out and sprinkle the scallions over the top and serve with fresh lemon.

I hope you all had a great weekend and happy Monday!