Thursday, April 14, 2011

Cooking with Denise: Super Quick Pasta with Sauce & Italian Sausage (ready in about 30 mins)

I am so excited to post my first ever guest blogger:
Denise from Dublin, California! Here she is! With a thumb up to the greasy fried Hungarian dough called "Langos" which is Oh so delicious with sour cream and cheese on top! Yummm! (Not for those weak at heart though!)
We met many, many years ago in a chat room if you can believe it? No, no it wasn't a dating site, but rather a Hungarian chat room, where everyone knew each other. I seriously can't even recall if we ever met in person??? Denise? Have we? (Photo below! Unbelievable! :) Nevertheless, we remained in touch through the internet and FB mostly these days.

I always wonder what's cooking in everyone else's kitchen (I know well that our neighbors eat bacon with bacon on bacon, because we sometimes wake up to a smell of it in the bedroom, then we take a shower doused in this aroma also, as it penetrates these two rooms of our apartment the most ... ). 
So,  I thought to make my friends the stars of the cooking page and bring you easy, quick recipes from the girl/boy next door.

Super Quick Pasta with Sauce & Italian Sausage (ready in about 30 mins)
1-2 Tbsp Olive oil (EVOO)
1 package hot Italian sausage (Italian turkey sausage would work too if you are watching calories and or spiciness)...I find this works the best though
1 can Tomato sauce
1/2 can water (once you empty the sauce out)
Basil leaves, extra garlic - to taste
1/2 box of mini farfalle (bowtie) pasta
2 Tbsp heavy cream
Italian/French - dense- bread slices
butter and or EVOO
garlic or garlic powder
some shredded mozzarella cheese
some fresh Parmesan cheese 

Heat the Olive oil in a large pan. Remove sausage from casing and place in hot pan. As it's browning, start breaking them up into smaller lumps with a wooden spoon. You can also add in some additional garlic if you like extra garlic, otherwise all the flavor you need will come out of the sausage and you really don't need anything else.

Once the sausage chunks are browned, pour the tomato sauce over it and add 1/2 can water. Stir well. Add extra basil (fresh or dry) or any other Italian seasonings. Not really necessary though as I mentioned. Let this simmer for about 20-30 mins. Stir occasionally.

While the sausage and the sauce are cooking and coming together, you can start prepping the pasta. 
Boil the water and cook the pasta according to the directions. I prefer to use the mini bowtie pasta, it just works so well with the sauce and the sausage.

While the pasta water is coming to a boil and pasta is cooking, prep the bread. Italian, French, something dense basically. Put some butter on it, drizzle the olive oil, some mashed garlic or garlic powder and then top with the 2 kinds of cheeses...if you only have one kind, that's fine too..or just butter and garlic is yummy too! Place the prepped bread slices on a baking sheet.

Drain the pasta once it's cooked and the sauce should be just about ready by now. Add a good splash or 2Tbsp of heavy cream to the sauce, or not. It takes the acidity down a bit and makes it even tastier. 
Stir and cook/heat another 1-3 mins...

In the oven, turn the broiler on High, and broil your prepped bread slices for a few mins (3) - 
but watch it, it  melts/toasts real quick!

Finally, add the drained pasta to the sauce and sausage ... 
serve with the hot cheesy garlicky toasted bread slices and voila ...
Dinner is ready!

Such an easy recipe, can easily be altered to various can use Italian turkey sausage, regular mild sausage, whole wheat pasta, whole grain bread... Great as lunch leftovers next day!

Thank you Denise for cooking for all of us! Yummm! 

Do you have a recipe to share? 
I'd love to feature your recipe here, so email me or send me a message on Facebook to LoLoVie. 

LO(lo)V(i)E till next week from Guatemala, 

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Ring a Ring o' Roses giveaway

While persuading hubby today to leave his earflap summer hat behind, instead of taking it with us on vacation, I took photos of all my big rings I've made ... Well, those kinds that I haven't yet given away.

Large rings are such a great accessory! You know, it doesn't always have to be about diamonds, right?! How about some ribbon, buttons or some leftover cotton fabric from your last project???  May not be as blinding as those rocks, but surely they call for attention and admiration. Just have your nails done for added effect, though this twin momma is really not a great role model in this department, I admit.

Fabric and ribbon rings ... 

Large buttons glued to a base with added beads and pearls (fake kind, of course). 
These are the easiest rings to make. 

My first ever big ring ... just beads and wire ...

One of my favorites ... 

My latest creation ... a PomPom ring made out of cotton fabric ... I love this one the most ... 

Do you have a favorite?

Hey, you can have it! 

If I were you, I'd share this link on Facebook, "like" LoLovie on Facebook or become a follower here or on FB or both, come back, tell me you did so and which ring you can't live without :)
Then, on May 2nd, I will choose the winner via and send the ring your way. 

.. tissue, tissue, all fal dooowwwwwnnnn ... 

LO(lo)V(i)E, LV

P.S. My SLR camera is now officially out of order, so this is a temporary attempt at decent photos via point and shoot. I am hoping to come back though with better photos than ever, so watch this space .. 
a photographer is about to emerge :))))) 

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Trash to wall

Let's see what went wrong today ... Well, the contractor didn't show up as agreed upon for the SECOND time, my camera fell on the floor right before taking photos of my latest project (below) thus blurring my entire world aaaaand I got peed on by London, which wouldn't have been that bad if it wasn't for my favorite jeans I was going to wear out. At the end of the day, one learns the skill of directing a tiny boa constrictor only by experience and experiment and I still haven't figured it all out ...

Oh and my "Brother" and I are also having issues as the upper thread keeps breaking and I keep threading and re-threading the machine, cleaning it inside out and reading the manual front to back. Do you sense how much my world has shrunk sans a functioning sewing machine and a camera that needs begging, lots of TLC and magic to take a photo at all? My world is so limited, that I actually proceeded with a project I've been putting aside since we've lived here - our photo gallery wall in the bedroom!

When we moved to Brooklyn, I dreamt of a feature wall behind the bed with retro wallpaper and raised flower pattern. I knew wallpaper can get expensive, but how much really can a single wall cost in a rather small room? Well, 800 USD as it turns out! Appalled by the price, I collected all the  "throw away" picture frames, put them on the floor, played around a little bit arranging them and finally arrived at what we now have.

It is hard to find good photos and going with the "budget theme", I went to a few fancy paper stores, bought wrapping paper and here is what came out of it ... Paintings! :)))

Added a few photos ... This one is by my friend, a well-known Czech photographer Jiri Turek
And yes, it's Prague ... 

An old, ooold photograph of my grandma in a play. She is standing in the middle row right next to the King. She was an actress in the village's volunteer theater and I just find it so glamorous, I had to place her right above the bed (though her being herself RIP, she would surely disapprove and would want to be switched for a cross ... ) 

And here is my newest 5 minute project that took me three years! A shadow box bought for 5 USD at Ikea, a butterfly hole puncher, scrap paper and glue dots ...  Introducing: The most unique butterfly collection in the world that any lepidopterologist would envy! (Don't be impressed by the word - I just googled it myself :) Ooops one butterfly got away ...

The entire collage ... I keep wanting to put a black and white photo in the middle of the green field ...  

And the wall with one frame still missing that special photo or something else ... Also notice the smooching couple on the upper right corner! Cute huh? I LoLoVe detail!  

   Hope you got inspired! Don't forget to LO(lo)V(i)E each other, LV

P.S. For more inspiring wall galleries visit The Inspired Room.
See my gallery featured again if you have the desire to at #119

Look what another creative pair of hands made using a paper punch:
Visit whipperberry for a quick and easy tutorial ... So beautiful!


Friday, April 1, 2011

Tutorial for toddlers on how to get cookies

First of all, you have to throw the cutest face at your mom/dad/grandma/pa or anyone who can be charmed by a smile and has access to the cookie cabinet or can bake. 
In this case, Lola is showcasing a lemon face.

2. Set up your station! You'll need chairs to reach the counter, 
so choose the most comfortable once around your house! 

3. Proceed with whatever step appeals to you the most. London and I like to smear butt cream all over our hair and the apartment, so we thought buttering the baking sheet would also be enjoyable ... 

4. Mix sugar and melted butter. If you behave well, your mom won't reduce the required sugar amount by half, as ours does for the fear of bad teeth and/or sugar high ... 

5. Find some old Halloween candy that got spared from daddy only because it was in a skull shape and hiding underneath packets of seasoning. Add to the mixture. Lola is great at stirring and making a lot of noise banging her wooden spoon against the bowl. 
Mom stopped her after a while though, because she said she'd go insane otherwise ... 

6. You need to taste the ingredients, so lick anything you put your hands on ...
Also make small piles of the oats and butter and flour mix and chocolate.  

7. Sit in front of the oven for 12 minutes while they are baking. It is crucial that you don't leave your spot at this time, as your mom may take advantage of the situation and tell you that the cookies are only after dinner. This tactic worked for us really well!

8. OK, we could finally put our hands on them! 

9. Always eat them with milk! It tastes the best and your mom will feel less guilty for all the sugar 

No recipe today! Mom says it's not worth to write it up, because they are not that great (good enough for most daddies though) and she only wants to publish worthy stuff here ... We'll try again! And please leave her a message or "like" her on facebook or follow her - she keeps staring at the screen as if she was expecting to win the lottery, then we whine and tell her we prefer Sesame Street to blog, so we get to watch that a bit ...
Hope you'll come back here to cook/bake with us again ... LOVE LOLO