Monthly Archives: February 2011

Lasagna Roll-Ups

Happy Monday, everyone!  What an Oscar weekend, huh?  I’m just so happy that The King’s Speech took best picture.  What a phenomenal movie.  If you haven’t seen it yet, please, PLEASE check it out.  It deserved every award it won and more (um…probably should have gotten best score, in my humble opinion).

And may I say A+ to Mila Kunis for her flirty, yet romantic, lilac gown.  Best dressed, I thought…by far.

Okay, back to food.  Lasagna is maybe one of the best dishes ever.  It’s comforting and cheesy and just hits the spot on cold wintery days; however, I’m just one person…so I rarely make a whole lasagna because then I’ll be eating it for a month.  So I’ve resorted to lasagna roll ups…which are great because you can make 1 or 20…and if you’re not a huge fan of sauce, mushrooms, meat, etc., you can customize each roll to suit the needs of you or your diners.

Lasagna Roll Ups

LASAGNA ROLL UPS

10 lasagna noodles, cooked and drained

1 container ricotta cheese (15 oz. should get you through 10 noodles…depending on how much you use)

2 cups shredded mozerella cheese

1 cup shredded parmesean cheese

salt

pepper

garlic powder

canned tomato sauce

Lay your cooked noodles out on a flat surface.  Spread each noodle with ricotta cheese and lightly sprinkle with mozzarella and Parmesan.  Add salt, pepper, and garlic powder to taste.  Repeat for each noodle.

Ready to Roll!

Slowly roll up the noodles and place in a 9×13″ pan.  Bake for 20-25 minutes at 375 degrees…or until the cheese is melted and your roll ups are warm all the way through.

Remove from oven and top with sauce.  Tah dah!

For left overs, try this:  Reheat roll ups on the stove top to give the lasagna noodle a crunch.  It’s like a totally different food!

Every Monday is a “Reci-bee” post, where I share my favorite recipes, recipe collections, and cooking and baking hints and tips. 

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Sinatra Book Review

He almost didn’t survive.  The birth was complicated, difficult on mother and child.  It was a home birth, so the doctor didn’t have access to many of the tools he required.  Forceps were forcefully used to rip the baby from the mother, permanently scarring the baby’s neck as a result.  When he finally immerged, he was pronounced dead…that is until his grandmother held true to an old wives’ tale and ran his head under cold water.  Suddenly, the child was brought back to life and released its first of many vocals into the world.

Life was gifted back to this young New Jersey boy…and he did nothing but live it to the fullest.

Of the many Frank Sinatra books I’ve read in my life, this one may be the definitive one.  SINATRA, by Richard Havers, is not only the biography of one of the most talented performers to ever grace our TV’s, radios, and movie screens, but a historical look into the world during Frank’s lifetime.  Journey to Hoboken in the early 1900’s when Frank was born.  Learn what life may have been like for his Italian parents who stepped foot in America with hundreds of thousands of other immigrants.  Travel through his career with him…learn about other singers of the day and people who changed Frank’s life…both for the good and the bad.

Interspersed with tons of sidebars, stories, quotes, and vignettes are hundreds of beautiful full-color photos of Frank’s life…photos I’ve never seen anywhere else.  By the time you’re a quarter of the way through this epic book, you’ll feel like you know Sinatra personally and intimately.  You’ll know what made him “tick” and you may discover a new appreciation for Ol’ Blue Eyes.

This book is great for Sinatra fans and those who want to know more about him.  If you love his movies, flip to the section where Havers talks about the many issues filming Young at Heart, the intimate moments he had with Grace Kelly while shooting High Society, and what he went through to get that infamous role as Maggio in From Here to Eternity. If you love his music, you’ll enjoy the special record highlights randomly scattered through the book.  Each one of Sinatra’s popular albums gets it’s own recognition, including a rundown of track listings, dates each song was recorded, and a brief discussion of what went into creating each album.  His TV appearances, shows, programs, concerts, and specials are discussed in great detail throughout the book, as is his complicated love life, his devotion to charity and friends, and personal stories from those who loved him, helping highlight and honor a man who did it ‘His Way’ up until the very end.

NEXT WEEK:  Every good wine connoisseur knows that wine is alive, it breathes and moves with the flow of life.  However, as Jay McIntosh is about to discover, his wine holds more than just flavor…it has secrets.

Looking for a new book to read? Check in every Friday for a “Bee Happy” post, where I share reviews of books I’ve read or other book-themed lists.

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9 Clever Uses for Floppy Disks

Anyone out there in the digital world remember floppy disks?  How obnoxious were those things?  I don’t even think computers and laptops nowadays have floppy disk drives…so what to do with all those disks that contain the last shreds of various middle school and high school papers?  I have some ideas…

Floppies!

  1. Floppy disks make great and durable coasters.  Cover with padding and fabric and give as gifts or keep for yourself.
  2. Stick them under your table or chairs to keep them from rocking.
  3. Decorate them with a photo and hang on the wall for a 3-D style art piece.  Here’s a great example (http://mjcdn.motherjones.com/preset_16/floppyframe-master.jpg)
  4. Superglue a handle on them and you’ve got a makeshift spatula!  Great for mod kitchens.
  5. You could use them to scrape ice off your car or motorcycle.
  6. Hard to believe, but many schools, churches, and older businesses still have use for the floppy disk.  If you can’t think of a way to use them creatively, consider donating them to those who could put them to use.
  7. Make a cute pen holder, fake flower holder, or photo cube by gluing floppy disks together in a square.
  8. Make a planter (http://craziestgadgets.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/Floppy-Disk-Planter.jpg)
  9. Those with great patience, talent, and time can turn hundreds of floppy disks into stunning curtains or brief cases by creating holes in the corners and attaching the disks together with wire or clips.

Knowledge is power!  Learn fun facts, hints and tips, and creative ways to use every day items with “The Buzz” posts on Thursday.

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DIY Mini Cupcake Holder

For me, egg cartons are just too unique an item to throw away once the eggs are gone.  I often hang on to a few for craft and bead organizing, jewelry storage, and making slam bang awesome tacos…but here’s a fun way to deliver your next batch of cupcakes.

Granted, this will only work for mini cakes when the frosting doesn’t cover the edges like mine do here…but you get the idea.  How cute would it be to show up to a brunch with an egg carton full of mini muffins?!?  You’d get an A+ in my book, that’s for sure.

I did find, however, that egg cartons are kind of hard to decorate…depending on the shape and material.  If you can get plastic or Styrofoam ones, those work best…the cardboard ones are okay, but the random holes make decorating a little sloppy.  I did hear once that you can buy blank egg cartons…but why spend more money?  You’re gonna need the eggs anyway to bake…so get the most for your morning meal.

Mini cupcakes in an egg carton

Knowledge is power!  Learn fun facts, hints and tips, and creative ways to use every day items with “The Buzz” posts on Thursday.

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The Difference Between Baking Powder and Baking Soda

Nothing warms up your home and comforts your soul like a little baking adventure in the kitchen.  By now you should be over your holiday baking comatose and ready to start crankin’ out those cookies.  You gather your ingredients and bake away, only to discover that your cookies are flat!  Don’t worry…you’re not getting rusty.  It’s most likely a chemical problem…and the solution will cost no more than 5 bucks a year.

The secret to a rise in a cake or cookie is the chemical reaction between your baking soda and baking powder.  While they both ultimately do the same thing (they are leavening agents that produce carbon dioxide and cause your baked goods to rise), they are used under different conditions.

If you are using BAKING SODA, keep this in mind.  When baking soda combines with an acidic ingredient, there’s a chemical reaction that produces carbon dioxide bubbles that expand under oven temperatures, causing your cookies to rise.  This reaction happens immediately upon mixing the ingredients…so bake products using baking soda immediately, or they will fall flat.

While you should keep the same in mind while using BAKING POWDER, you can get double-acting baking powder, which allows some gas to release at room temperature…so they waiting time between batches won’t affect the rise in your goodies.

To insure that you get the best chemical reaction possible in your baking, make sure you replace your baking powder/soda once a year.  I usually buy fresh boxes before my Christmas baking and use until right before the next Christmas.  After about a year, the reaction weakens and, even if you bake immediately, your goodies will still fail to rise because the gasses are not being released.

Also, a quick note about baking soda…baking soda is an odor-eater…so it retains all the odors surrounding it.  Therefore, do not use the baking soda in your fridge for your baked goods, unless you want them tasting and smelling like whatever is in your fridge.

Every Monday is a “Reci-bee” post, where I share my favorite recipes, recipe collections, and cooking and baking hints and tips. 

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Happ-BEE 200th Post!

Happ-BEE 200th!

Okay, so I’m switching it up again (food stuff will come tomorrow)…but I just wanted to thank you ALL for making The Hobbee Hive what it is today!  I know I couldn’t have done it without dedicated readers like yourself…so keep on buzzin’ around and we’ll see if we can hit another 200 🙂

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I Like You Book Review

I like you

Oh, the good ol’ days…remember when throwing a party meant wearing fancy pearls, finding aprons that matched the meal you were serving and decorating your apartment with the theme of the party?  Well, as society and technology move us forward, the need for comfort and friends is pushing us back to a time when “entertaining” meant “charmingly old-fashioned courtship”…and who better to lead the way than Amy Sedaris?

I Like You:  Hospitality Under the Influence is a side-splitting guide to good ol’ fashion entertaining.  A great gift for the hostess with the mostess, this gem of a book is filled with Amy’s favorite recipes, hints and tips, party theme ideas, and proper party hosting/attending etiquette.

Her spot on advice is both practical and hilarious and even the most advanced of party entertainers are bound to benefit from Amy’s suggestions on how to remove a vomit stain, how to deal with the pesky drunks, and how to entertain kids and out of town guests.

One of my personal favorites was Amy’s suggestion for an indoor garage sale.  Whenever you have a party, fill a table with knickknacks you don’t want anymore.  They can be anything from ugly statues to half-filled shampoo bottles.  Put a jar marked $0.25 and sell your junk to your friends!  I mean, who’s going to turn down shampoo for a quarter?  Brilliance.  Plus, your friends walk away with unique party favors that they like, you end up making a few dollars entertaining your friends and family, and you clean your apartment in no time.

Filled with adorable illustrations and photos, I Like You is a treat for anyone who loves entertaining, cooking, or is looking to become the next “Hostess with the Most-ess”.

NEXT WEEK:  Dean Martin once said, “It’s Frank Sinatra’s world…we just live in it.”  Next week, we’re traveling back in time to see just what that world was really like…

Looking for a new book to read? Check in every Friday for a “Bee Happy” post, where I share reviews of books I’ve read or other book-themed lists.

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