Sorry I've been AWOL for the past few months. I've been deep into putting together some presentations for our Michigan education technology conference (MACUL). It is so much fun to be able to share all the creative things that our students have put together on the iPad! Here are the 2 presentations that I gave at the conference:
I have tried several recipes over recent months trying to upcycle that comfort food standard, the old tuna casserole. The February issue of Better Homes and Gardens had a recipe for using gnocchi with tuna. Wow, I have made it twice - easy and creamy and yummy. The gnocchi are like soft little comforting pasta pillows as you bite in! I added my own twist to the recipe by adding fresh spinach and some grated Romano cheese. I also added a crunchy panko crust on top. I think you could mix in your choice of vegetables - maybe roasted red peppers, olives, or even the traditional frozen baby peas.
Be sure to use good canned tuna in olive oil for this recipe. I love this Italian Tonno tuna - a bit more expensive but worth it for the flavor. I used one can of the Tonno and one can of white albacore tuna in olive oil from Trader Joe's which provided a rich balance of flavors.
Gnocchi comes in packages in the pasta section of the grocery store. At better stores you can find it in flavors - I really liked the cheese flavor that I tried. This tomato was pretty good, too.
Gnocchi with Tuna, Mushrooms, and Spinach
1 16 package of gnocchi (shelf stable, not fresh)
1 package fresh sliced mushrooms (I cut them into bite sized pieces)
2 teaspoons chopped garlic
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 cup half and half
2 cans tuna in olive oil, crumbled into pieces
1/3 cup grated Romano/parmesan cheese
2 cups fresh spinach, chopped roughly
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper (optional)
1/2 cup cheese (your choice, I used shredded parmesan)
3/4 cup panko bread crumbs
1/4 cup grated Romano cheese
1 teaspoon olive oil or melted butter
1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Cook the gnocchi in boiled water according to directions. Drain and set aside.
2. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, saute the mushrooms in the 1 teaspoon of olive oil for a few minutes over medium heat until softened.
3. Add the garlic and red pepper and stir for a minute, then add the half and half. Simmer for about 5 minutes or until the sauce starts to thicken. Add 1/3 cup grated romano/parmesan cheese and blend. Turn off the heat.
4. If your skillet is large enough, you can toss the tuna, spinach, and gnocchi right into the pan. Mix together.
5. Put the mixture into a 9 x 12 inch pan. Bake for about 10 minutes.
6. Remove the pan from the oven. Top with 1/2 cup cheese. Mix the panko, 1/4 cup grated Romano, and 1 teaspoon olive oil in a bowl. Sprinkle on top.
7. Bake for another 5 - 7 minutes or until heated through and the topping is golden.
I've had fun the past few days making several stretchy bracelets using odds and ends of turquoise beads in my stash. I mixed in some charms, some Chinese crystals, a large fluorite bead, a quartz bead, and other bits.
I started with these two together.
A third bracelet with some soft aqua stone beads mixed with a bit of turquoise.
I especially love this one with the large fluorite stone bead - you can see a bit of purple mixed in the stone.
Sometimes the knots come loose when you use the stretchy plastic cord. I always do a tight triple knot and then add a dot of super or gorilla glue on the knot. I've had pretty good luck using this trick to keep the bracelets from falling apart.
A few months ago, a good friend of mine retired from her job as a computer programer. I had to come up with something clever and appropriate as a retirement card for her! I recycled some computer keys from some old keyboards at school to make this "card" for her.
The top picture is a bit blurry, so above are a few closeups. Here is the text:
It's a beginning, not the END
DELETE At&t and never RETURN
ESC your old job
SHIFT your way of thinking
Explore each new OPTION
Relax at HOME
I thought I came up with some pretty clever and appropriate ways to use the special keys!
I made the background using PrintShop software and printed it on glossy computer paper. I taped the keys onto the paper. I used tape rather than glue because...
...if you turn the keys over, they are MAGNETS!
I know the IT guy at work thought I was crazy when I asked him to save the old keyboards!
I'll post in a few days how to make this fun little magnets - so easy!
My new photo gallery in my living room using photos from my summer travels printed in black and white.
I used a combination of cheap frames from Target and the dollar store.
The larger photos are Celtic crosses taken in Ireland.
The smaller are shots of the Eiffel Tower. (Lots of editing done using the Snapseed app to add drama!)
This was one of my favorite photos from Ireland. I love this cross, the angle, and the dramatic sky!
The small photos are statue close ups, mostly from the Vatican Museum printed in a slightly grungy sepia. There's a larger silhouette of a tower and gargoyles of Notre Dame in Paris against puffy clouds.
This photo of me taking a photo was taken by my good ADE friend, Jim, and is my favorite! (Thanks, Jim, for catching this moment!)
I think it is brilliant - the light outlines my body with a warm glow.
My arm echoes the point of the Gothic arch.
It reflects my passion for my Christian faith, my love of being creative, and how my heart is filled by travel. I look at it every day and it reminds me how blessed I was to have such an amazing summer!