Frittata? Yes, Please!

Recently I've been dying for some new recipes.  We never eat out...ever...so even though my repertoire is quite large, I get bored not only eating the same things, but also I tire of cooking the same old things.  At a garage sale a couple of weeks ago, I bought 20 cooking magazines for only $2 and I've been perusing them fastidiously since.  I've earmarked about a million recipes, but I just couldn't wait to try this one.  Of course, I totally tweaked it from the original because it called for stuff that our small-town Wally World has never heard of (tarragon, for instance).  Let me just say that this is hands down the most delicious thing I've eaten in a very, very long time.  Here's the recipe for my version:

10 eggs
3 tbsp milk
salt & pepper to taste
3-4 tbsp dried parsley (I never measure anything, sorry)
1 small onion, chopped
8 strips bacon
2 small potatoes, very thinly sliced (I use yukon gold, so I don't peel them)
1 small tomato, diced
2 cups shredded cheese of your choice (I used monterey jack)

  1. In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, salt, pepper, and parsley.  Set aside.  Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. In an oven-proof skillet, cook bacon until it is cooked through, but not crispy.  Drain all but about 2 tbsp of grease, and tear bacon into rough chunks.  Add potatoes and onion and cook covered until potatoes are tender, stirring occasionally.
  3. Spread out potato and bacon mixture to evenly coat skillet.  Sprinkle cheese evenly over top.
  4. Pour egg mixture over top, making sure to evenly distribute it over surface of potatoes & cheese.  Sprinkle tomatoes over the top.
  5. Pop into oven for 20 minutes, or until eggs are set.  Let stand for 15 minutes before serving.
Not only is this delicious, but it's a whollup of protein, and it's super cheap to make!  Wyatt even ate it!


If Men Ruled the World: A Recipe

I'd like to preface this post by telling you a couple of things:
I love my mother-in-law.
I am a good cook.
I cook every single meal we eat.  Every single day.
I cook healthy meals 90% of the time.
I love my husband.

Okay, now on to the recipe.  Jason calls it Hamburger Gravy.  I call it a heart attack on a plate...or poor-people food...either is a good descriptive term.  Not that I have any preconceived notions about poor people...I came from very humble roots...just sayin'.  Jason grew up eating this meal, and his entire family loves it.  When she was giving me the recipe a little bit ago, she mentioned that she still makes this about once a week.  I thought I'd throw the hubby a bone and fix it for him tonight since he always tries all of my frou-frou recipes that I find in magazines.  Looks a bit like pig slop, but it actually tastes pretty delicious!  And it took all of 15 minutes to prepare! 

What you'll need:
Buttered mashed potatoes, seasoned to your taste. (I use yukon gold & leave the skins on)
Buttered corn seasoned to taste (drained of juice & butta).
1 lb hamburger meat
1 onion, chopped
1 1/2 cups water
2 tsp corn starch
Season salt and pepper to taste...gotta be Lowry's!

In a skillet, brown hamburger meat and onion.  Season with season salt and pepper.  If grease is excessive, drain all but about 2 tbsp, otherwise, leave it.  Add water and cornstarch (you'll need to mix the cornstarch into the cold water thoroughly before you add it).  Let simmer on low heat until gravy forms.
Meanwhile, prepare your mashed potatoes and corn (as little or as much as you need for your crowd).  Place potatoes on plate and flatten out.  Cover with hamburger gravy.  Sprinkle with drained corn. 
Last but not least:  remember to add your cardiologist to your Christmas card list.

Scavenger Hunt Sunday

Hope you all had a fun week!  We had a really great time on a field trip to an animal santuary, we played with all of our friends at the park, and we thoroughly enjoyed being outside in the gorgeous weather!  Unfortunately, Wyatt decided to celebrate all of our fun with a round of strep throat.  He's pretty cranky...not his usual self...and unconvinced that we shouldn't go anywhere so as not to contaminate anyone else.  Fun times.  
Here are my Scavenger Hunt items for the week:

1.  Classic Still Life
When I think of this prompt, I literally picture a vase with fresh flowers, but I couldn't swing it this week, so I pulled this one out of my jewelry photo archives.  This chalcedony and brass necklace was my favorite project for a client.  It took several months to find all of the components and put it together to create an heirloom piece for her.  This was my first rendition...it was exactly my style, but not my client's, so I redid it with gold, making it a bit simpler.  She's been rumored to wear it with sweatpants...I think she likes it! 
Because I know someone will want this, here's the final product:
If you'd like to see my entire jewelry portfolio, please visit WyBeadery on facebook.

2.  Self-Portrait
I'm not shy, but I am weirdly insecure about taking pictures of myself.  But, a prompt is a prompt, so here's my self-portrait.  This is my favorite little spot in the corner of my sitting area.  I spend my quiet time here, work on bible studies here, read magazines here, visit with good friends here.  It's my spot.

3.  On the Floor
Okay, so admittedly, not my best work.  It was late at night, and I had to step over this on the way into the kitchen...weird lighting, sleepy Mom.  Wyatt collects seashells, rocks, etc, and then he amasses them into huge land mines all over the house.  My hope is that the extra high contrast exacerbates the sharp quality of his impromptu art.

4.  Lines
Consider this a sneak peak!  The hubby and I have finally started my patio garden in the back yard!!!  It's slow going because he's had to work all of his days off for the last month, but we've edged out the two patio sitting areas and have started laying the bricks!  If...I mean when...we get past this phase, we're going to go hog wild at a local nursery!

5.  Fresh
I just love it when God delights me with His wonders in creation!  These sweet babies were nested right at eye-level in a birch tree near our pond, and Momma Bird nervously let me sneak a peak!  Not only are these babies "fresh," but I'm guessing by the way they excitedly gaped their beaks open in anticipation of a meal, so is anything Momma brings them to eat!


Project 64: Yellow Orange

My favorite miniature person playing with his favorite miniature construction trucks.
P.S.  Whatever was in that cement mixer was rancid.  I think he put some grass, mud, and water in there and let it stew for a few days in the hot sun.  Eeeewww.

This shot is SOOC...a thunderstorm was rolling in that day and the clouds cast an eerie glow over everything.  I really liked the way the camera captured the colors in an exaggerated way!

project64 button

Extra Nature, Free of Charge

Any of you who follow my blog know that my 4 year old's love of nature provides me with more photo ops than I'd ever find on my own.  This last Thursday, we went with our MOPS group to Safari's Sanctuary to see all of the exotic animals.  Click here to see my blog entry about our wonderful experience and to see all of the lovely animals! 
Anyhoo, when we got home, the weather was too perfect to wither away indoors, so we headed right back outside.  While searching for frogs at the pond, I heard the tell-tale sound of baby birds screeching for their momma.  I saw the momma bird coming in and out of a little birch tree right behind me, so I investigated carefully, and look what I found:
 They were nested at eye level to me, so I was able to sweet talk them a bit and take a few pictures.  Don't worry, I didn't touch them, and I apologized to the momma, who was nearly on my shoulder chewing me out about the whole thing.  I'm entering the above photo as my Favorite Photo of the Week over at Through a Photographer's Lens.
 Aren't they adorable?  I love birds.  Below is Momma, perched atop of a purple martin house nearby.  She was super ticked at me, but even when given the opportunity, she never attacked me.  I think she accepted my apology, too.
 After I had all of my fun, Wyatt spied a few big kids and their big brother fishing across the pond.  Off he went.  We rounded the dam just in time to hold this crappie!  Wyatt was ecstatic!  He also played with the minnows and earthworms they were using as bait.  A cornucopia of smells, let me tell you.
 I know it's kind of gross, but I love the color of the slimy algae that's around the pond right now.  Plus, the water lilies are pretty, too.
This wasn't even the end of our adventure!  After the pond, we headed back to the house to rehydrate, then Wyatt wanted to ride his bike around the block.  I thought I'd been graced with every glorious creature to photograph for the day, so I left the Rebel at the house.  Boy was I ever sorry.  Down the road from our house, we saw three baby killdeers crossing the road...one of which came right up to us! 
What a day!

(Piper at The Barefoot Indian, I'm sorry I let you down!  I promise, baby killdeers are the cutest things ever!  Hope you eventually see some!)


Momma In Focus Friday: Love

This week's theme over at Momma in Focus was "love." 

Pretty easy prompt for a picture with me and my little buddy in it:  there's no one I love more!  I took this picture last night during bathtime.   Bathtime isn't really my favorite time of the day because I usually get splashed until I'm soaked, and he wails when I have to rinse his hair out, but I love this shot!  I think you can tell we love each other...?
I set the timer to take a burst of 3 shots.  Wyatt's bathroom is itty bitty, and the only light source is the incandescent fixture above the sink, so it's pretty grainy, and even after adjusting the temperature, I still didn't like the color, so I converted it to black and white. 

One Day At A Time

LEM Photo Challenge: Vibrant Colors

The boy and I joined our MOPS group at Safari's Sanctuary yesterday for an amazing tour of more than 250 animals.  This big fella was part of their petting zoo...after everyone had a pat, he gave us a magnificent display!  If you'd like to see my blog post from yesterday with the full story and lots of other pictures, click here. 

Checking in a few days later...I was chosen as a TOP 3!!!  I'm super pumped about it! 


Safari's Interactive Animal Sanctuary

Today was a pretty special day:  our MOPS group went to Safari's Sanctuary in Broken Arrow to see all of the exotic animals.  Amazingly, each of these animals have been rescued, are from zoos that have overbred, or were confiscated from people who've kept them as pets.  Really, people?  What about a 500-lb meat-eating cat sounds like a good couch-mate?  Anyhoo, thanks to some really poor judgement of a few people, and the huge hearts of many more, these beautiful animals all call Safari's home.  I was amazed at the number and variety of animals we saw today.  And of course, I forgot to switch lenses on my camera, so I didn't get any great close-ups of the animals, but we were only about 5 feet away from them all anyway.    Here are a few of the pictures I took.

This big kitty is a Tabby Tiger...extremely rare.  He used to belong to Mike Tyson...he's lucky to have both of his ears intact.
 I didn't really take many pictures of the kids today, but I really like this one of most of the group watching the Liger (yes, just like in Napoleon Dynamite) eat his meaty breakfast.
 Here's the Liger.  We're talking over a thousand-pound cat here.  Who growls when he eats.  And someone had him in their house (if I remember right...I may be confusing him with someone esle).   Amazing.
 One of the mountain lions, going to town on some ground up rib-eye.  Yup, they're spoiled.
 Bobcat kitten.  He was very hungry...the handlers hadn't made it to these guys yet!
 This was the point at which Wyatt decided he needed a stick to either a) use as a walking stick, b) poke the animals & other kids with, or c) use as a last-ditch defense against any escapees.  He mostly rode it like a pony.
 A tiny little alligator.  He was found in a treatment plant, and the chemicals stunted his growth.  His counterpart in the pen with him (who evaded my attempts to photograph him) was about 4 times bigger, and they're the same age.
 On to the petting area:  Papa Peacock
 The hens were smart enough to roost themselves at the top of their coop to avoid being pawed all over.
After his petting session, the peacock decided to give us a glorious display.  He was breathtaking.
 Do they have a Biggest Loser: Pig Edition? 
 Wyatt giving some love to the bunny rabbit.
 Is your mama a llama?
 I wonder if she gets tired of the other donkeys asking her if she's having twins. 
 Wyatt did not want to do this.  I bribed him....
 ...by telling him he could then touch the snakes.  He's easy.
 You have no idea how disappointed Wyatt was that he wasn't allowed to hold this snake...only allowed to pet it.  He begged this man for five minutes, and even reassured him that he'd let him have a turn, too.  Sheesh, what am I going to do with this kid?
 Petting the ferocious, man-eating tabby cat.
 Many of you who know me know that I am a huge bird person.  I simply love birds.  L.O.V.E. them.  This pink cockatoo and I had a real thing going...until the keeper scolded me for petting him.  Apparently he bites people.  But I'm not just any "people."  He cat-called me.  You don't bite a girl you whistle at...
All in all, for $8 total, the boy and I had a fabulous time!  Aside from the animals in these pictures, we saw monkeys, goats, a camel, miniature horses, emus, iguanas, wolves, black panthers, lemurs, a white racoon, turkeys, parrots, a bear, deer, donkeys....you name it, they have it.  And if you're legally allowed to touch it, they let you.  Pretty spectacular.  We'll definitely be going back!

If you'd like more information about Safari's Sanctuary, or you'd like to make a donation to support them (it is completely run by volunteers!), please head over to their website and check them out!


A Visit to the Pond (what's new?)

After a morning cleaning at the church, Pooh and I hit happy hour at Sonic and headed to the city park.  Neither of us were really feeling it, and the impending storms were starting to make me nervous, so we headed home.  The boy wasn't ready to sit in the house yet, so we walked across the street to the pond in our neighborhood (pretty much a daily occurence for the two of us).  I love how my camera captures colors when it's cloudy and broody outside, so the Rebel got to tag along.  Every one of these is SOOC...haven't touched them.

Typically, I don't tell him I'm taking his picture, I just snap away.  This is the face he gives when he knows he's been stalked.

I adore his pensive little profile.  Precious.

This very well could be my new favorite Wyatt shot.  He was being super clingy, right under my feet, so I teased him a little about being a momma's boy.  This is the face he gave me.  I guess he loves me?

And this is precisely why I should buy stock in Purell.  Some nice person discarded a minnow on the ground rather than in the water.  Wyatt found it.  Excellent.  It was only half as disgusting as you'd imagine...it was dried up like fish jerky.  Still.

We always have so much fun.  I love this kid.


Scavenger Hunt Sunday

I loved the prompts this week for Scavenger Hunt Sunday!  I pulled two pictures from my archives for this week because I just didn't like the pictures I took for those two particular subjects...but at least I did get out there and took some photos!  I actually had some spare time this week, and life seems to be getting back to a more manageable pace.  Phew!
1.  My Passion
While photography is quickly surpassing my love of jewelry-making, beading is the only hobby I've stuck with for more than a few months.  I've been creating handmade, custom jewelry for over a decade now, and I've been teaching college students Jewelry Design for a few years now.  Aside from being behind the lens of my camera, this is my favorite outlet for my creative energy!
This was an archived photo...it was my submission for scarlet over at Project 64: Out of the Box a month or so ago.
(If you'd like to shop some of my designs, hop over to WyBeadery on facebook and have a gander at my entire portfolio!)

2. Sound of Music
Harmonicas are a grandparent's way of getting back at you for any grief you gave them while they were raising you.  I'd take it away from him, but he loves it so.

3.  Inner Beauty
I wonder if anyone's tiring of my knock out roses yet...oh well, I'm not!  This rose bush was my mother's day gift from my husband last year...his way of giving me dozens of roses all season long! 
I love this tiny little bud.  It's hiding inside of it a gorgeous, bright pink bloom that's just waiting to dazzle passers-by!

4.  Ethereal
This is the other archived photo.  I cannot get over how much I love this photo.  I've been experimenting with it in photoshop, but I really don't know what I'm doing, so this is the original just tweaked a little in Photo Gallery.  This little darling belongs to my good friend, Kim, over at My Kids are Freaks.  Don't worry, she means that in the most endearing way.

5.  Sharp
Okay, so I know thistles are sharp, but when I was photographing this one, I guess I forgot just how sharp they can be.  The wind was blowing it all over the place, so I reached over to grab the stem to steady it...let's just say I could've given a blood sample with the prick I got!