japanese sweet potatoes and homemade garlic orange chicken

One night last week, it was my turn to cook dinner.  Armed with only some chicken and some Japanese sweet potatoes (never tried these before), I invented something new 🙂

My first hurdle was to figure out how best to cook the sweet potatoes.  I found a great website here that explained how to bake them…so bake them I did.  While the sweet potatoes were baking, I melted some butter in a saute pan and sauted some garlic.  Then I quickly cubed some chicken breasts.  To the pan, I added about a cup of orange juice (no idea where this inspiration came from!).  In the orange, garlic liquid, I poached the chunks of chicken.  Once the chicken was almost all the way cooked, I added zucchini and onions.  When these vegetables were almost tender I added a bunch of spinach, covered the pan, and simmered a few more minutes.  Voila!


The Japanese sweet potatoes were also fantastic!  I added nothing to them, just cut them up and served next to the chicken dish.  While the color wasn’t quite as nice as your standard, bright orange sweet potato, the flavor was so delicious!

Have you ever cooked with something that you would have never thought to use before?  (like orange juice!)  🙂


a homemade light box

Lacuna Loft sells product and activity kits to people undergoing cancer treatments.  This means that I currently have a picnic sized table full of the initial round of products to go into these kits.  And selling product kits means that I need pictures of product kits!  Here enters Brett 🙂  He found a really cool tutorial to make your own, homemade light box!  The light box allows for equal lighting all around the objects being photographed and results in some really great photos.  Brett mixed two different sets of directions together (found here and here) to make our very own light box 🙂

The whole process took about an hour and the box turned out really well!  We started with the box that our shop vac came in (seriously, shop vacs are an awesomely necessary household item…along with their box haha!).  Brett cut out windows on the top and two opposing sides, and the front.  I measured out white fabric to cover the top and sides, and Brett stuck them in place.

photo 1 photo 2 photo 3 photo 4

Inca had to come and check in on our progress 🙂

photo 5

Then white pieces of poster board were cut out in order to cover up the remaining corners of brown cardboard on the inside of the box.

photo 6

Finally, a strip of cloth was adhered to the top, back side of the box and slung towards the front, bottom side.  This softens the appearance of the inside of the light box as it removes any right corners that were visible.

photo 7

Once the light box is complete, we set it on the dining room table and surrounded it with lights.

photo 8 photo 9

And voila!  Brett took some practice shots with a vase that we have in the living room 🙂  It has been so handy having this light box around!  I’ve taken all of the product shots found in my business’s online shop in it.

photo 10What do you think?  Have you ever made a light box before?  🙂


skillet lasagna

Brett makes a killer skillet lasagna!  🙂  He made it just the other night using a recipe found here.  The end result is so delicious!

The skillet lasagna is made much the same way as a normal lasagna…but all of the cooking is done in a skillet.  It starts with plenty of fresh veggies.  They are cooked and pureed into a sauce.


Noodles are layered in the pan with more veggies and cheese.

blog_BrettLasagna_2 blog_BrettLasagna_3 blog_BrettLasagna_4 blog_BrettLasagna_5 blog_BrettLasagna_6 blog_BrettLasagna_7

At one point, Brett tried to actually flip the stacked lasagna….it didn’t work 😉


Yum!  Have you tried a skillet lasagna before?  Any other variations on this noodle-y, cheese-y classic out there?