Are these ladies just the most gorgeous creatures you’ve ever seen?? We just HAD to get to Turnipseed while the poppies were in bloom and I’m so glad we did! They loved wearing flower crowns and except for the ticks we found on ourselves later, it was like being in a fairy wonderland 🙂
Are these girls just the most precious things you’ve ever seen?? I taught Autumn for four years and Lila for one and they are just the sweetest girls. I miss seeing them, so it was lovely spending some time before Easter with them at Turnipseed! They loved wearing flower crowns and getting to smell all the flowers in bloom.
Little Miss Annika turned one in October and we finally got around to doing her session! She loves walking, playing with her brothers, climbing into and sitting in chairs by herself, and giving kisses to her mommy. What a doll! Is there anything sweeter than a little girl in an Easter dress & bonnet? I doubt it!
What a beautiful, perfect day to get married! This gorgeous couple picked the most amazing venue in Augusta, GA to tie the knot. I first met Lindsay in 2010 when I did her senior pictures and now she’s all grown up! And I have to say, between her, Oliver, and all the people in the bridal party who were already married, it was one of the easiest weddings I’ve ever been part of and quite possibly the most cooperative bridal party I’ve come across lol. And that’s saying a lot, since there were 22 people in the party besides the bride & groom! Lindsay was lovely, Oliver was a sweetie, the flowers were beautiful, and the whole day just went by like a dream. Congrats, Mr. & Mrs. Mongrue!
It was such a beautiful day out at Line Creek with these lovely little sprites!! Julia is super helpful and full of sunshine and Avery is very interested in everything and quite a thinker. They loved dressing up and even though Julia fell in the creek at the end, she stopped crying so quickly and was a good sport about it! Love these girls.
Well this was a twist for me: we started out our session at Line Creek Nature Center in Peachtree City, only to return to our cars halfway through (for an outfit change) and find my clients’ car window smashed and most of their valuables gone, and the police already waiting for us–other people had also had their cars broken into and it literally happened within ten minutes of us walking down the trail. So, lots of sad faces from them and angry faces from me and we decided to finish another day. In the meantime I made a couple flower crowns and discovered that it’s AWESOME!!! and Lauren was super excited to wear them at the re-shoot. A week later, we met up at Turnipseed Nursery and spent a lovely–albeit chilly–hour amongst the daffodils and new leaves. I can’t wait to meet their little girl when she comes in April! These two are super patient, kind people–as evidenced by the fact that they’re both teachers and also handled the whole mess with their car with grace and good humor–and will be awesome parents.
This is going to be a slightly different sort of post because it’s not so much a recipe so much as an example of a yummy sandwich made with my special spice mix and the list of ingredients for the spice mix. The story behind this particular mix of spices is that when my bestie’s youngest sister got married, they gave out a bottle of spices (as favors) to each guest; it was a spice mix that her dad always has on the table for them to use. They’re South African, so they don’t just dump salt and pepper on everything and consider it done like Americans do lol. I will admit that I am a huge fan of garlic pepper and Tony Chachere’s Cajun seasoning but it is REALLY salty and I don’t like it on meat–I mostly put it in chicken pot pie and chicken soup.
Anyways, this mixture is AMAZING on meats and sandwiches–I also love using it on burgers–and when I recreated it for myself (after I used up what they’d given me) I made a new batch and added a couple more ingredients to it to really tailor it to my taste, and now I’m passing it on to you! I’m going to put a relatively small quantity so that you can mix it together and tweak it to your own palate before filling a big bottle. Yum!!!
HAPPY SPICE MIX
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- 1/2 tsp + 1/8 tsp garlic flakes
- 1/2 tsp + 1/8 tsp curry
- 1/4 tsp coriander
- 1/4 tsp lemon pepper
- 1/4 tsp + 1/8 tsp thyme
- 1/4 tsp + 1/8 tsp oregano
- 1/4 tsp cloves
- 1/8 tsp cinnamon
Mix them all together in a bowl and then pour into desired dispenser.
The second thing I’m going to share here is how to make a killer ham + cheese (or in my case, turkey + cheese) sandwich. Seriously. You’re going to wonder why you’ve been doing it wrong all these years.
- 4 slices honey-smoked turkey or ham
- 3 slices havarti cheese
- 1 slice provolone or mozzarella
- 1 slice pepperjack
- Italian herb bread (I really need to post the recipe!!)
- dried onion flakes
- cream cheese
- Spread cream cheese onto 2 slices of Italian herb bread.
- Drizzle honey over each and then sprinkle with onion flakes.
- Shake some Happy Spice Mix over it all.
- Place pepperjack & provolone (or mozzarella) cheese onto slices, then follow up with turkey or ham. Put havarti on last, follow up with more Happy Spice Mix if desired.
- Toast in a toaster oven for 5-10 minutes or until cheese is all melty and bread is toasty and crispy. Allow to cool a bit before noshing.
- You’re welcome. 🙂
Need to cook for a crowd? Want them to be impressed? Don’t have a lot of time? Than this lasagna recipe is for YOU. It only takes about 20-25 minutes of easy prep (less if you multi-task), has yummy pepperonis in it and only bakes for 20 minutes and is ready to serve! Note: get the lasagna noodles that are not pre-cooked or oven-ready.
LASAGNA (SERVES 8-10)
- 2 pounds turkey sausage
- 1 24 or 28 oz jar spaghetti sauce (I like chunky vegetable)
- 1/2 cup water
- 2 eggs (beaten)
- 2 15oz cartons of ricotta cheese
- 1/2 cup parmesan cheese
- 1.5 tbsp parsley flakes
- 1 tsp oregano
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- 1 box of uncooked lasagna
- 2 cups shredded mozzarella
- 1 7oz jar sliced mushrooms & mushroom pieces
- 1 3.5oz pack sliced pepperoni
- Put a large pot of water on the stove and turn heat to high to start heating up the water. If you want to save time, put the pasta in before you move on to step #2, since the pasta will need 10-12 minutes to cook.
- Brown sausage and break up so that it’s crumbly, then drain.
I couldn’t find actual turkey sausage, so I used plain ground turkey and added extra Italian seasoning, garlic pepper & Tony Chachere’s seasoning. Hopefully you can just find turkey sausage!
- Pour sausage into a bowl, add spaghetti sauce, water and mushrooms and mix together. Set aside.
- In another bowl, beat eggs, add ricotta cheese, parmesan cheese, parsley, oregano, and pepper and stir til blended. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Drain noodles, and then either leave in the colander or place back into pot for easy retrieval. Place the first layer of noodles into a 9×13 pan. My pan was rather narrow so only 3 fit in each layer but many pans can accommodate 4 noodles wide.
- Put a couple spoonfuls of the cheese mix onto the noodles and spread evenly, followed by a generous scoop of the meat sauce. Sprinkle mozzarella cheese over it and then add a few pepperonis (spaced a couple inches apart–you’ll want to pack them in when you get to the top layer).
- Repeat layering of noodles, cheese, meat sauce, mozzarella cheese and pepperonis until all noodles are gone, then put all the remaining pepperonis on top.
- Place lasagna on the middle rack of the oven and bake for 15 minutes. Remove from oven, cover with foil to keep cheese from burning, and bake for an additional 5-10 minutes. If you have a convection oven like I do, you probably will only need 20 minutes of baking time total.
- Remove from oven, allow to cool for 5-10 minutes, then serve. So yum! I brought it plus my pull-it bread (recipe here) to my lovely friends Kaye & Jon’s house on move-in day for their first meal in their new home! Together with Jon’s parents, there were five of us pigging out (while my husband installed a ceiling fan because he doesn’t like lasagna). Both the bread and lasagna got many thumbs up! Love feeding a crowd 🙂