Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Tooth Fairy

I would like to give a quick shout out to Jamaal Dean Jr.
A couple of days ago he lost his first tooth!

And the tooth fairy left him $5 and he took a trip to Chucky E. Cheese!  Ok wait.....$5..I remember losing my tooth and checking under my pillow to only realize that the tooth fairy only left me 50 cents *sigh*     Times sure have changed (lol)


What's Cooking - Lasagna

This weekend I had the pleasure of receiving a personal cooking lesson from a good friend of mine who can throw down in the kitchen...and shall I was a very interesting evening to say the least:) A couple of weeks ago I was discussing my BLOG with him and expressed how I would like to step out of my box when it comes to cooking and try some new receipes. So I attempted making Lasagna. This recipe was extremely easy and with a couple of glasses of wine in my system plus great conversation, it seemed as though we were done in no time. Italian food is one of my favorite cuisines and I have to say that this lasagna is definately one for the books. It turned out absolutely delicious. Check it out for yourself!


1 pound of sweet Italian sausage
1 pound of ground beef
1/2 cup of chopped onions
2 cloves of garlic chopped
1 (28 ounce) can of crushed tomatoes
2 (8 ounce) cans of tomato sauce
2 (6 ounce) cans of tomato paste
1/2 Cup of Water
2 tablespoons white sugar
1 teaspoon fennel seed
2 teaspoons fresh Basil leaves chopped
4 tablespoons fresh Italian parsley chopped
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon Italian Seasoning
1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
23 ounces of ricotta cheese.
1/2 teaspoon fresh grated nutmeg
1 egg
1 pound shredded mozzarella cheese
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
12 lasagna noodles

Start with the following in a pot:

1 pound of sweet Italian sausage
1 pound of ground beef
1/2 cup of chopped onions
2 cloves of garlic chopped

*The flavor of the Italian sausage varies from brand to brand. You may need to try a different brand the first couple of times. Find the flavor/brand you like the best.

Brown the ground beef, Italian sausage, onions and garlic in a pot until they start to cook. It takes about 6 to 9 minutes to brown the meat.  I used a medium low temperature to brown the meat. It is optional to remove the grease from the meat once it is finished browning.  (I removed the grease)

Add the following:

1 (28 ounce) can of crushed tomatoes
2 (8 ounce) cans of tomato sauce
2 (6 ounce) cans of tomato paste
1/2 cup of water
Gently stir this into the cooking meat.

Add the following:

2 tablespoons white sugar
1 teaspoon  fennel seed
2 teaspoons fresh Basil leaves chopped
2 tablespoons fresh Italian parsley chopped
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon Italian Seasoning
1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
Gently stir these seasoning into the sauce

Cover the pot and let the meat sauce simmer. Simmer on low heat for 1 hour and 30 minutes This is the ideal simmer time but not mandatory. If you don’t have time simmer for atleast 1 hour.

Soak lasagna noodles. The lasagna noodles need to be soaked in hot tap water for 15 minutes. While the noodles are soaking you can make the cheese filling.

Put the following in a mixing bowl:

23 ounces of ricotta cheese.
1/2 teaspoon  fresh grated nutmeg 
(Grate fresh nutmeg over the Ricotta cheese)

Now start building the lasagna layers.
Use a 9×13 inch baking pan.
Spread 2 Cups of meat sauce on the bottom of the pan.
Remove your lasagna noodles out of the water bath. Shake water off wet noodles.
Lay noodles across the layer of sauce.

Spread half of the ricotta cheese mixture over the layer of noodles.
Spread 1/2 of the mozzarella cheese over the ricotta layer.
Sprinkle half of the Parmesan cheese over the mozzarella layer
Spread 2 cups of meat sauce over the cheese layer
Lay down the next layer of noodles
Spread the remaining ricotta mixture over noodles
Spread the mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses saving some cheese for the top of the lasagna
Put the last layer of meat sauce on the cheeses
Sprinkle the remaining cheese on top.

Cover with foil
Bake in preheated oven at 350 F  for 25 minutes
Remove foil and bake uncovered for another 25 minutes


Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Carrot Pineapple Cuppies

Ok...for some reason, this particular post re-posted.  So for those of you who missed it, here is one of the best carrot cake receipes I have ever tasted! The prep time was about 10-15 minutes and bake-time was 30 minutes. A receipe definitely worth trying.

Carrot Pineapple Cupcakes
{Adapted from Ina Garten}


2 Cups Sugar
1 Cup Applesauce
1/3 Cup Vegetable Oil
1 1/2 Teaspoon Pure Vanilla Extract
3 Large Eggs
2 Cups All Purpose Flour
2 Teaspoons Ground Cinnamon
1 Teaspoon Nutmeg
1 1/2 Teaspoons Baking Soda
1 1/2 Teaspoons Salt
3 Cups Grated Carrots
1/2 Cup Pineapple

1/2 lb Butter
8oz Cream Cheese
1lb Box Confectioners Sugar
1tsp Pure Vanilla Extract


Preheat oven to 350

Beat oil, applesauce, vanilla, and sugar either with a mixer [paddle attachment], or by hand with a rubber spatula ~ Slowly add eggs one at a time.

In a separate bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. With the mixer set to low speed, add half of the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients ~ If you are mixing by hand, use slow, steady strokes, as you don't want to over-mix the batter causing it to be dry, and tough.

Add the carrots, and pineapple to the remainder of the dry flour mixture, and mix well. Pour that mixture into the batter, and mix until just combined. Again, making sure not to over-work the batter.

Line your muffin pan with cupcake liners, and pour until just under full, they don't rise entirely too much, so don't be afraid to add a little more batter than you normally would.

Bake the cupcakes on 350 for about 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

For the frosting: cream together butter, cream cheese, and vanilla, then slowly add confectioners sugar until mixed well.

Shoe Candy

Nicholas Kirkwood

While checking out, I ran across this shoe candy on the Editor's Lust List that left my mouth watering and wanting more.  These shoes are HOT HOT HOT!  I would absolutely love to have all of them in my life!!  Happy Tuesday!

Emilio Pucci

Nicholas Kirkwood

Alexander McQueen

Alexander McQueen - Geometric Stripe Pump

Monday, June 28, 2010

Jill Scott - Staples Center

Lil Miss Sunshine

A couple of months ago I caught an episode of America's Next Top Model and Tyra Banks was the photographer for the day. Tyra had an idea to place various objects over the ladies heads to create shadows over their face and bodies. This was one of my favorite episodes because  I loved the way the patterns of the objects projected against the ladies skin. While sitting in my living room, I glanced over and saw how the light from the sun was hitting the blinds and decided to take a couple of flicks quickly before the sun went down.  I will definitely be trying this concept again in the future with different objects, lighting and more extreme patterns.


Check out Tyra's Photography below! 

Friday, June 11, 2010

Chocolate Chip Muffins

I've been doing a lot of baking lately and I must say.... I'm the most "Popular Girl" at work (lol)  All the goodies I bake I take for my co-workers to enjoy.  I baked these delicious Chocolate Chip muffins last week and took a batch to my aunts for the Laker game.  GO LAKERS!  This recipe is very easy and the muffins are delicious.  A great recipe worth trying out.


1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon (optional)
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
1/2 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 375°. Lightly grease or line 12 muffins cups.

In a large bowl, mix flour, sugar, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. Set aside.

In a separate bowl, beat the eggs. Stir in melted butter, milk, and vanilla. Add to flour mixture, stirring just until dry ingredients are moistened. Stir in chocolate chips. Spoon batter into muffin cups, filling each about 2/3 full.

Bake for 20-22 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into a muffin comes out clean. Serve warm