Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Tutorial Tuesday: Italian Delight

This easy recipe was passed down to my mother from my grandmother, and it is the epitome of comfort food! My mother remembers this being her favorite meal when she was a little girl. I hope you enjoy this crowd pleasing dish as much as my family does!

Italian Delight


-1 lb ground sirloin
-1/2 lb elbow macaroni
-1 jar spaghetti sauce
-1 1/2 cups frozen corn
-Pepper, to taste
-Italian seasoning, to taste 
-Cheese of your choice; the original recipe called for Kraft singles. (optional)


Cook pasta according to package directions, drain and set aside. Brown ground sirloin and season to taste with the pepper and Italian seasoning. Add corn, spaghetti sauce, and macaroni to skillet with meat. Stir and heat through, about 15 minutes. Top with cheese and serve.

From my family to yours, enjoy!

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Tutorial Tuesday: 5 Tips for Amazing Photos with Nature as your Background

As you might already know, I enter a board of ten photos in my county fair every year. This year, I have earned the opportunity to also enter a large individual photo (like something you might see in a museum). Since my ten pictures are pretty much all nature shots, I teamed up with my long-time friend Grace to enter a different sort of picture for my larger photo!

For today's TT, I'm using those photos to give y'all a couple of my best tips on taking portraits outside!

Tip One: Plan Ahead.

Think about what you want to capture in your photos. Since it is summer, I wanted to show the beautiful light and airy vibe that nature produces this time of year. Therefore, we did the photoshoot on a sunny day, in a nature park; and Grace wore delicate-looking clothes with light hair and makeup. 

Tip Two: Pose your Model Naturally.

Candid shots usually turn out the best, so make sure that your model isn't too posed. Looking away from the camera, or just barely glancing at it, makes your photo look more natural and comfortable.

Tip Three: Use Nature as your Props.

This tip goes hand-in-hand with the previous one, and here's why: extra props in your nature photos give away the secret that it's posed! 

Tip Four: Get the Big Picture

Although your model is the star of the show, make sure that you capture the beauty of your background! If I had just zoomed in on Grace's head/shoulders or feet, you wouldn't have seen the interesting surroundings.

Tip Five: Look  for Interesting Backgrounds

Since nature is full of amazing things, keep an eye out for unusual trees, flowers, fields, etc. to add interest to the background of your photos. Both the picture above and below are of the same huge tree, which we hopped a fence and ducked under branches to reach! The pictures turned out mysterious and interesting, so it just goes to show you how a creative eye is a photographer's best friend!

Let me know which is your favorite photo in the comments! 

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Mediterranean-Insipired Salad with Garlic Oregano Dressing

Let's talk about salads. You can put anything on them, just as long as you have some sort of leafy green underneath. I like to think of the salad as a road to what you would rather be eating, for example: craving a gyro or some other sort of yummy Mediterranean dish? Make this awesome Mediterranean-Insipired Salad!

Seasoned chicken, carrots, red bell pepper, crunched pita chips, chickpeas, and shredded parmesan cheese are the toppings I used, but you can put whatever you like on your salad! Recipe below!

Mediterranean-Insipired Salad with Garlic Oregano Dressing


-2 small chicken breast, diced
-1 tablespoon olive oil
-1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
-1/2 teaspoon oregano
-pepper, to taste

-1/4 cup olive oil
-2 tablespoons fresh oregano
-1 1/2 teaspoons minced red onion
-3/4 teaspoon minced garlic
-1/4 teaspoon black pepper
-1 1/2 teaspoons lemon juice
-1 tablespoon parmesan cheese, grated
-1/2 teaspoon honey

-Chicken (above)
-Dressing (above)
-Romaine lettuce
-crunched pita chips
-shredded carrots
-shredded parmesan cheese
-red bell pepper, diced


Saute chicken in olive oil with herbs until cooked through. Set aside. Place all ingredients for dressing in a jar. Seal lid tightly and shake until combined. Set aside. Prepare desired salad ingredients and arrange on plate with chicken. Drizzle dressing over and toss. Serve.

I hope you enjoy this healthy and delicious salad as much as I do!

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Tutorial Tuesday: Sun Tea

When I think about summer, the first thing that always comes to mind are the heat waves that usually last from early July to mid August. The grass turns yellowish brown, fire and water bans are put into place, and Independence Day fireworks become a bit nerve-wracking for those of us who actually listen to the fire ban.

Luckily, we Hoosiers have a foolproof way for staying cool: always keeping a big jug of ice-cold sweet tea on hand. My grandmother has shown this fun way of letting the sun brew your tea for you, so now I'm showing y'all! Tutorial below!

1)First things first, get yourself a quart-sized jar. Put two family sized tea bags inside aforesaid jar. (I use Luzianne brand.) 

2)Fill the jar with water.

3)After that, simply seal the jar and sit outside in a very sunny area. 

When the tea has finished brewing (about 6-7 hours) it will be similar to this color:

4) Pour jar of tea into a 2-quart pitcher. 

5)Add desired amount of sugar/sweetenter. (Optional)

6)Fill empty jar with water and add to pitcher of tea. Refrigerate.

Pretty easy, am I right? Hope you enjoyed this Tutorial Tuesday!