Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Strawberry Lime Soda Slushy...


I'm a Fall kinda-girl, but after living in the PacNorWest for almost a year now, I am soooo ready for Spring, and Summer, for that matter!

The birds are starting to chirp, I'm seeing baby lambs and calves around and about, and THE SUN IS SHINNING!


Whatever season, I love incorporating those ingredients into my recipes, and because I'm so excited for warmer weather, I decided to incorporate strawberries and lime into a recipe.

When I think of warmer weather, I think of slushy-like drinks and refreshing drinks. This drink is just that!

There is a sweetness from the strawberries and the lime will certainly quench your thirst. Another great tidbit about this slushy is that it only has 4 ingredients!

What foods or drinks do you like to make/eat/drink in warmer weather?

Please ponder, while sipping on one of these slushies...

Strawberry Lime Soda Slushy

  • 16 oz Frozen Container of Sliced Sweetened Strawberries, Thawed
  • 1 Lime, Zested and Juiced, Plus Lime Wedges
  • 1 Cup Lime Soda
  • 2 Cups of Ice Cubes
In a small heavy duty saucepan, combine the strawberries, lime zest and juice. Cook on medium low heat and bring to a boil, lower the heat as needed. Once the mixture has reduced down to about half of what you started with, and has thickened a bit, remove from the heat and cool. Makes about a cup of syrup.

To make the soda slushies, add the strawberry lime syrup, the lime soda, and ice cubes to a blender. Blend on high until well combined. Pour into cups, and using one lime wedge per cup, squeeze the lime juice into the slushy and stir. Makes about 4 cups.

*If you want it even slushier, add more ice to the blender. 


I'm sharing this post on I'm Lovin' It!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

DIY Photo Board for Food Photography...


A few months ago, I decided to make my own photo board to use for all of my food photography. Honestly, it was sooo much easier than I thought it would be!

I wanted a simple DIY project that did not include me building anything. This photo board was completed in only a few simple steps......

...... SCORE!

Mama loves an easy project! I still need to get in gear and finish three other boards. I'm planning on making a white board, a teal blue board, and an espresso stained board.

Let's start off with what you will need!


  • One, 2ft. x 4ft. piece of plywood, cut in half to make two, 2ft. x 2ft. square boards. 
Home Depot will cut the wood for FREE! I bought two pieces of plywood and had them cut, to total four boards.
  • Sandpaper and/or a sanding block. 
The roughness of the plywood will determine what sandpaper you use. I used 120 (medium) grit and 220 (finishing) grit.

  • Tack cloth.
  •  Non-toxic acrylic paint, one base coat color and one accent color.
I used Delta Creative Ceramcoat Acrylic Paint in Pearl Finish for my base and Martha Stewart Multi-Surface Satin Acrylic Paint in Wet Cement for my accent.
  • Paint brush or a large foam brush.
  • An old (clean) rag or old (clean) t-shirt.
  • Safety glasses and a sanding respirator
You certainly don't want any of the sanding particles getting in your eyes or lungs!


1.) Sand the best side of the board and the sides of the board down, starting with the lowest grit of sandpaper. Sand until smooth and there aren't any more splinters. Finish sanding with the higher grit of sandpaper.

2.) Wipe the surface of the sanded board with a tack cloth, or other clean cloth, to get any fine sanding particles off before painting.

3.) Using a paint brush, paint the board using the base coat, in long strokes. Painting with the grain of the board. If applying a second coat, allow the paint to dry completely.

4.) Either on the first coat or second coat (depending on how many coats you apply) of the base coat, when it is still a bit tacky, apply the accent color using the rag or t-shirt. Squeeze small amounts of the accent color in different areas of the board and wipe along the grain of the board. Apply the accent color in as many areas as you like.

5.) Allow the board to dry completely before using.

Now how easy is that!?!

I don't have an exact total on the cost... since I can't find my receipts. I already had the paint brush, tack cloth, and respirator, so those were of no cost. With the cost of the other items, I'm pretty sure I spent around $28 for this project. That includes the other half of the unfinished plywood. So with the cost of some other paint, you have potentially two finished boards!

This project is so worth it if you do a ton of food photography! Now, to get to those other boards.....

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Three Cheese Macaroni...

Is anyone else out there finding it hard to fit in all the TV shows they like to watch!?!

I most definitely am. Yes, we do have a DVR, but there are just so many great shows that have premiered, I can't keep up with them all.

I am a TV fanatic. The good in that is I do know a lot of TV trivia. The bad in that is I obviously could be doing something a little healthier, oh say, working out!

Here are some of the shows I'm watching this season:


This is a nostalgic one for me. My grandparents would watch this every night, followed by Wheel of  Fortune. They would go out to dinner every Saturday night and stop by our house to visit. We would all watch Jeopardy together, while my sister and I would snack on the left-overs my grandma would bring back from the restaurant.

Dance Moms

Don't ask me why, but I love that crazy dance teacher Abby Lee Miller and those crazy dance moms. I guess I'm a sucker for mama drama... not in my life, of course.

The Voice

I wasn't so sure about Cee Lo Green and Christina Aguilera leaving the show, and how that would affect the dynamic between all of the judges, but after watching, I LOVE Usher and Shakira as their replacements! It's a great program to watch with the family.

Game of Thrones

Definitely NOT a program to enjoy with the family! This is strictly for mature audiences. It has a wonderful plot and so many diverse characters. The book series, of which the TV series is based on, are very entertaining and the TV series closely follows the storyline of the books. 

Mad Men

Oh how I love thee. A throwback to a time before I was even born, but somehow I feel like I can relate to the characters in a way. When watching I feel like I'm apart of the story.

Call the Midwife

Did I ever mention that I use to want to go into nursing. Yeah, I did, but my fear of needles pretty much ruined that one for me. Anyway, the interaction between the characters and their personal stories keeps me coming back for more.

That's not all of them either, but I won't delve into all of my favorite shows any further. We'd be here all day! For real.

Well, maybe one other mention that premieres soon...... The Killing. It's dark and dreary, but exciting too... a great who done it!

Something you can definitely find time for though......

...... this macaroni recipe.

Three Cheese Macaroni

For the macaroni:

  • 1 Pound Uncooked Large Pasta Shells
  • 4 Tablespoons Butter
  • 1 Tablespoon Good Quality Olive Oil
  • 1 Onion, Finely Diced
  • 2 Cloves Garlic, Finely Minced
  • 4 Tablespoons Four
  • 4 Cups 2% Milk
  • 1 Cup Colby Jack Cheese, Shredded, More if Needed
  • 1 Cup Sharp Cheddar Cheese, Shredded, More if Needed
  • 1 Cup Parmesan Cheese, Shredded, More if Needed
  • 1-1/2 Teaspoons, Fine Sea Salt or Regular Salt
  • 2-3 Pinches Fresh or Ground Nutmeg

For the topping:

  • 1/2 Cup Italian Bread Crumbs
  • 1/4 Cup Shredded Parmesan
  • Good Quality Olive Oil
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees (F).

Prepare the topping. In a small bowl, mix the bread crumbs and parmesan together and set aside.

Boil a large pot of water and cook the pasta shells according to the al dente instructions. Drain well.

Meanwhile, heat the butter and olive oil on medium heat in a large saute pan, then add the diced onion. Cook until transparent. Add the garlic and cook a few seconds, or until fragrant, do not burn. Turn the heat down to medium/low. Add the flour and coat the onion and garlic. Cook about a minute, stirring all the while.

Begin alternating 3 cups of the milk with the three different cheeses, whisking continuously, and adjusting the heat, lowering if needed. Once the 3 cups of milk and cheeses are combined, slowly whisk in the last cup of milk. Add a little more of the cheeses if the sauce needs to thicken. Keep whisking until the cheese sauce is smooth and coats a spoon, dripping only a little, season with the salt and nutmeg then remove from the heat. 

Add the drained pasta shells to the cheese sauce and coat well. Transfer the mixture to a 13x9 dish and top with the bread crumb parmesan mixture. Drizzle a bit of olive oil over the top and bake for 30-45 minutes, or until bubbly and hot. Serve with a salad and/or bread and butter.


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