Thursday, April 28, 2011

Finals Date

I am done with all of my classes, except one. I finished all of my critiques/studio work this week and just have one final next week. Jayden has a final tomorrow and on tuesday, so close to being done! I wanted to enjoy the nice weather today, and was getting antsy being inside. I asked Jayden if we could go on a lunch date, even though he was a little skeptical because of studying for finals, but he said yes. We went and got subway and took it to Liberty Park where we ate, and then we went to the Tracy Aviary. The aviary is under a lot of construction right now, but there were some really cool exhibits. It was fun, and I got some cool pictures ( I wish I brought my good camera), but they still turned out pretty good. It was a good start to the weekend and I needed some fresh air. I think Jayden needed a break from studying and finals too haha (even though he probably wouldn't admit it!)

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Chicken Parmesan

Last weekend, Jayden and I made dinner together. We both love Italian food and have been wanting to try to make chicken parmesan, because we have never made it before. I went on a search to find a recipe online, and it took me a while, but I found a winner. This recipe is to die for, I have never tasted a better chicken parmesan. It isn't that hard to make either, and includes a lot of ingredients we already had. I guarantee you will not be disappointed by this recipe. We found it off of


  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus 3 tablespoons
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/2 cup kalamata olives, pitted
  • 1/2 bunch fresh basil leaves
  • 2 (28-ounce) cans whole peeled tomatoes, drained and hand-crushed
  • Pinch sugar
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 skinless, boneless, chicken breasts (about 11/2 pounds)
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 cup dried bread crumbs
  • 1 (8-ounce) ball fresh buffalo mozzarella, water drained
  • Freshly grated Parmesan
  • 1 pound spaghetti pasta, cooked al dente


Coat a saute pan with olive oil and place over medium heat. When the oil gets hazy, add the onions, garlic, and bay leaves; cook and stir for 5 minutes until fragrant and soft. Add the olives and some hand-torn basil. Carefully add the tomatoes (nothing splashes like tomatoes), cook and stir until the liquid is cooked down and the sauce is thick, about 15 minutes; season with sugar, salt and pepper. Lower the heat, cover, and keep warm.
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
Get the ingredients together for the chicken so you have a little assembly line. Put the chicken breasts side by side on a cutting board and lay a piece of plastic wrap over them. Pound the chicken breasts with a flat meat mallet, until they are about 1/2-inch thick. Put the flour in a shallow platter and season with a fair amount of salt and pepper; mix with a fork to distribute evenly. In a wide bowl, combine the eggs and water, beat until frothy. Put the bread crumbs on a plate, season with salt and pepper.
Heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil over medium-high flame in a large oven-proof skillet. Lightly dredge both sides of the chicken cutlets in the seasoned flour, and then dip them in the egg wash to coat completely, letting the excess drip off, then dredge in the bread crumbs. When the oil is nice and hot, add the cutlets and fry for 4 minutes on each side until golden and crusty, turning once.
Ladle the tomato-olive sauce over the chicken and sprinkle with mozzarella, Parmesan, and basil. Bake the Chicken Parmesan for 15 minutes or until the cheese is bubbly. Serve hot with spaghetti

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Self Portraits

For my photography classes this semester, I really focused on self portraits. One reason I wanted to do self portraits, is that I am not very experienced with taking portraits, so I could use myself as a model and also could play around with the lighting on my own time. Taking self portraits is hard. It is hard being in front of the camera when you are usually behind it. It was also hard not to critique all of my flaws. Anyway, these are my self portraits for my final. Let me know what you think!

Uganda Part Two

I love the people of Uganda. Everyone we met was so nice and hospitable. The children were adorable  and wanted to be your best friend. The people are so happy but do not have much. I was amazed at the children in the orphanage, how they have so little but can be so happy.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Uganda Part One

I want to do a series of three post about my experience in Uganda. This first post will be about the place, the second will be about the people, and the third will be my story. The first two posts will mainly be pictures, and the third I will tell in words and pictures about my time there. Uganda is a beautiful country located in the East part of Africa. It is called the "Pearl of Africa". These are some of my favorite photos that I took of Uganda itself.

Over looking the Nile River

On our safari, beautiful giraffe!

Sunrise over the Nile

On our boat trip down the Nile

Elephants on the banks of the Nile

Boats on Lake Victoria

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Nest Rest

A company called Dedon Collections makes this beauty, called the nestrest :

I think it is incredible and so dreamlike. This is what Dedon has to say about it: An over-sized bird’s nest offering you a secluded, suspended sanctuary and unusual meeting place: it’s the perfect place for relaxation, meditation and open-air conversations - NESTREST.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Worlds Best Lasagna

A couple months ago, I had a lasagna craving. I love Italian food, and wanted to try a new recipe. I found a recipe on called, "The World's Best Lasagna". I was a little skeptical, because there are too many recipes with that title. We had my family over for dinner, and everyone loved it! It was one of the best lasanga's I have had! Try the recipe, it is a little time consuming, but totally worth it. 


  • 1 pound sweet Italian sausage
  • 3/4 pound lean ground beef
  • 1/2 cup minced onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
  • 2 (6 ounce) cans tomato paste
  • 2 (6.5 ounce) cans canned tomato sauce
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons white sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried basil leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 4 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 12 lasagna noodles
  • 16 ounces ricotta cheese
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 pound mozzarella cheese, sliced
  • 3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese


  1. In a Dutch oven, cook sausage, ground beef, onion, and garlic over medium heat until well browned. Stir in crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, tomato sauce, and water. Season with sugar, basil, fennel seeds, Italian seasoning, 1 tablespoon salt, pepper, and 2 tablespoons parsley. Simmer, covered, for about 1 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally.
  2. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Cook lasagna noodles in boiling water for 8 to 10 minutes. Drain noodles, and rinse with cold water. In a mixing bowl, combine ricotta cheese with egg, remaining parsley, and 1/2 teaspoon salt.
  3. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
  4. To assemble, spread 1 1/2 cups of meat sauce in the bottom of a 9x13 inch baking dish. Arrange 6 noodles lengthwise over meat sauce. Spread with one half of the ricotta cheese mixture. Top with a third of mozzarella cheese slices. Spoon 1 1/2 cups meat sauce over mozzarella, and sprinkle with 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese. Repeat layers, and top with remaining mozzarella and Parmesan cheese. Cover with foil: to prevent sticking, either spray foil with cooking spray, or make sure the foil does not touch the cheese.
  5. Bake in preheated oven for 25 minutes. Remove foil, and bake an additional 25 minutes. Cool for 15 minutes before serving.