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Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween!

Hi friends!

I wanted to hop on and say Happy Halloween to everyone!

Still no computer, hopefully she will be out of the hospital this week and I can catch you up on all the things I have been making. There have even been a couple DIY projects to get ready for the holiday season!

Matt and I completed our Halloween 10K race this past weekend. I will post pictures and the yummy snack I made to reward us as soon as I can! :)

I also wanted to let you all know, this Friday, November 4th, my cousin, Cindy Fiester, will be on ABC’s Extreme Makeover: Home Edition. She got to spend an exciting two days in Yosemite National Park shooting pictures of the Hill Family from Kansas. On this show you will not only hear this family’s story, but also see my cousin shooting pictures and see some of her work! I hope you can check it out! For more information on her photography, please see .

I hope everyone has a safe and Happy Halloween! Enjoy! :)

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Tuna Steak Marinade

I have some bad news. My home computer has a virus. {Insert sad face}

This is why there haven't been any posts lately. It is also the reason why this post has no pictures. I guess there is one positive thing that comes from having a job where I sit and do nothing- I can at least share something with you! I also have three posts just itching to be shared! Hopefully my computer will come back from the IT hospital (aka Matt's Friend's house) all in one piece and I will be able to share what I have been working on lately!

You really don't realize how often you are on your computer until it doesn't work (isn't that what people say about everything?) Thank God hockey season has started! Kris Letang.... call me.

This week I made Matt and I Ahi Tuna Steaks with a marinade that just has to be shared! It was inspired by a marinade I found on

Tuna Marinade

1/4 Cup Orange Juice
1/4 Cup Low Sodium Soy Sauce
2 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Juice from 1 Lemon
1 Clove Garlic, Minced
1/2 Teaspoon Dried Oregano
1/2 Teaspoon Black Pepper

Whisk all ingredients together and pour over tuna steaks.

I let the tuna marinate for 30 minutes but I think the longer you let it sit the more flavorful the tuna will be! When cooking, I poured a little bit of the marinade in a skillet and cooked the tuna in the pan. I think if you have a grill it would taste excellent that way too!

Enjoy! :)

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Fall Festival at Trax Farm

Over the weekend Matt, Mary, and I had a fall extravaganza! Nevermind that the weather wasn’t “fall like” (it was 78 degrees, sunny, and beautiful, which I will take this late in Pittsburgh any day) we all hopped in the car and headed to Trax Farms for their annual fall festival!

This is something Matt and I did last year also and both years it has blown me away. 
This. Place. Is. Awesome. 

I have been looking forward to going back for weeks… I mean, it’s not like I let Matt know this everyday (or maybe I did, no big deal). I know he was quietly just as excited as I was, he just didn’t show it by jumping up and down and running around the house like a 5 year old.

What is the Trax Farms fall festival you say? Well let me share this wonderful experience with you, friends…

Fun Things to do at Trax Farms Fall Festival
By Stacy

1. Hayride to a 4-acre corn maze, pumpkin patch (where you can pick your own pumpkin), petting zoo type animals, corn hole, ladder golf, and other yard games/toys.
2. Huge mounds of pumpkins you can climb all over.
3. TONS of kid activities.
4. Trax Farms apple cider and all the fresh apple products (Matt and I might turn into an apple after this weekend) .
5. Decorations galore for Halloween, Thanksgiving, and even Christmas.
6. All the free samples: apple cider, pumpkin butter, apple butter, sweet potato butter, and wine (which were all phenomenal!).

I think you get the point. It’s a great time, and next year you should all come with us!

One of the top things on our list to buy is the homemade apple caramel dip. This year, however, they offered free apple inspired recipes and this was one of them! I will take one of those please.

Trax Farms Caramel Apple Delight

8oz. Cream Cheese, Softened (I used 1/3 less fat)
1/3 Cup Brown Sugar
1 tsp. Vanilla Extract
1/2 tsp. Caramel Extract

Blend first four ingredients together. Use apples for dipping. I dare you to try and not eat all of this in one sitting.

And guess what! I have another apple recipe for your pallet, this one is a drink. My favorite drink from Starbucks is the Caramel Apple Spice. (How do I survive without drinking coffee… I know, I know, people ask me all the time). Anyways… after I bought my apple cider from Trax Farms I thought, just maybe, I could recreate it. And boy was it good!

Caramel Apple Cider
(Recreation of Starbuck’s Caramel Apple Spice)

Apple Cider
Caramel Sauce (I use fat free, the kind in the ice cream isle)
Cool Whip, optional

Put a small amount of caramel on the bottom of the mug, fill the rest of the mug with cider. Heat in microwave. Top with Cool Whip and Caramel Sauce.

Happy Fall! Enjoy! :)

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Lasagna with Sausage

Every time I receive a text or email from someone telling me they are making my recipes it warms my heart. I equally love the recipes yall are sending me and telling me to try. Matt considers cooking the perfect hobby for all of us… me because I like doing it, him because he gets to eat everything, and blogging is the perfect way for me to share it with all of you. 

So thank you for your comments and inspiration with other recipe ideas. And for putting up with my rants.

This recipe came from Matt’s sister, Chrissy, who is a phenomenal cook and mom of three. I have always wanted to try to make homemade lasagna. When she told me this was possibly the best lasagna she had ever had I was hooked. And let me tell you… this is WAY better than the Stouffer’s family size lasagna you find in the frozen section (the one I was not used to). There is something about making the sauce and the cheese filling yourself…you just know it’s going to be one delicious meal.

Another perk…since Matt and I are a “family” of two, this lasagna was our post run dinner for a good 4 or 5 days.

It. Was. Awesome.

Lasagna with Sausage
(Thank you, again, to Barefoot Contessa and Chrissy Grainger)

2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
1 Cup Chopped Yellow Onion (1 Onion)
2 Garlic Cloves, Minced
1 1/2 Pounds Sausage, Casings Removed (Ina recommends Sweet Italian Turkey Sausage, I Went With Regular Sweet Italian Sausage)
1 (28-Ounce) Can Crushed Tomatoes in Tomato Puree
1 (6-Ounce) Can Tomato Paste
1/4 Cup Chopped Fresh Flat-Leaf Parsley, Divided

1/2 Cup Chopped Fresh Basil Leaves
Kosher Salt
Freshly Ground Black Pepper
1/2 Pound Lasagna Noodles (I Went With Whole Wheat)
15 Ounces Ricotta Cheese
3-4 Ounces Creamy Goat Cheese, Crumbled
1 Cup Grated Parmesan, Plus 1/4 Cup for Sprinkling
1 Extra-Large Egg, Lightly Beaten
1 Pound Fresh Mozzarella, Thinly Sliced

1. Preheat the over to 400 degrees.
2. Heat the olive oil in a large (10-12 inch) skillet. Add the onion and cook for 5 minutes over medium-low heat, until translucent. Add garlic and cook for one more minute.
3. Add the sausage and cook over medium-low heat, breaking it up with a fork, for 8-10 minutes, or until no longer pink.
4. Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, 2 tablespoons of the parsley, the basil, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper.
5. Simmer uncovered, over medium-low heat, for 15-20 minutes, until thickened.
6. Meanwhile, fill a large bowl with the hottest tap water. Add the noodles and allow them to sit in the water for 20 minutes. Drain.
7. In a medium bowl, combine the ricotta, goat cheese, 1 cup of parmesan, the egg, the remaining 2 tablespoons of parsley, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper. Set aside.
8. Ladle 1/3 of sauce into a 9 by 12 by 2 inch rectangular baking dish, spreading the sauce over the bottom of the dish. Then add the layers as follows: half the pasta, half the mozzarella, half the ricotta, and one third of the sauce.
9. Add the rest of the pasta, mozzarella, ricotta, and finally, sauce. Sprinkle top with 1/4 cup parmesan.
10. Bake for 30 minutes, until the sauce is bubbling.

Enjoy! :)