Foodie Tuesday with Smarty Marty -Vegetable & Chicken Lasagna

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Noodles Chicken and Vegetables… a delicious combination. This week Smarty Marty is cooking up Lasagna utilizing chicken tenderloins and fresh vegetables. To get started with this dish we need to gather up the following ingredients.

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Ingredients

  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • 2tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 1/2cups very thin bite-size carrot strips
  • 1cup chopped onion (1 large)
  • 4cloves garlic, minced
  • 14 – 16ounces frozen broccoli florets, thawed
  • 12ounces shredded cooked chicken breast
  • 3cups fat-free milk
  • 9tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 3 1/2cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 1/2teaspoons salt
  • 1/2teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4cup snipped fresh basil
  • 115 ounce carton fat-free ricotta cheese
  • 1cup shredded low-fat mozzarella cheese (4 ounces)
  • 12no-boil lasagna noodles (about 8 ounces)
  • 1cup whole wheat panko (Japanese-style bread crumbs)
  • 1/4cup grated Parmesan cheese (1 ounce)

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Cooking up the tenderloins on the stove top 35287257_2322734951070774_4289738598518882304_o

Chopping up the fresh vegetables and the cooked chicken35229365_2322735251070744_995468020715356160_o

Directions

  1. Lightly coat a 3-quart rectangular baking dish with cooking spray. Set aside.
  2. In a large nonstick skillet heat 1 tablespoon of the oil over medium heat, swirling to coat the bottom of the skillet. Add carrots, onion, and garlic; cook about 6 minutes or until softened, stirring frequently. Remove from heat. Stir in broccoli and chicken; set aside.
  3. For sauce, in a large saucepan whisk together milk and flour. Add broth, salt, and pepper, whisking until smooth. Bring to boiling over medium-high heat, whisking constantly. Boil about 1 minute or until slightly thickened, whisking constantly. Remove from heat. Stir in basil. Set aside.
  4. In a small bowl stir together ricotta cheese and mozzarella cheese.
  5. Spread 1 cup of the sauce in the prepared baking dish. Arrange three of the lasagna noodles crosswise over the sauce in baking dish. Spoon another 1 cup of the sauce over the noodles, spreading evenly. Dot with one-third of the ricotta mixture, then one-third of the chicken mixture. Repeat layers twice. Top with the remaining three lasagna noodles. Spread the remaining sauce over the top. Cover baking dish with foil. Cover and chill for at least 8 hours or up to 24 hours.
  6. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Bake, covered, for 1-1/2 hours. Remove foil. Bake for 30 minutes more.
  7. Meanwhile, in a small bowl stir together panko and Parmesan cheese. Sprinkle panko mixture over lasagna. Drizzle with the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil. Bake, uncovered, about 5 minutes more or until the top is lightly browned. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.

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Preparing to bake in the oven 35102667_2322734784404124_3194182279140212736_o

Food Styled and Prepared By Smarty Marty

Recipe By – www.bhg.com

Atlanta Based Photography Elisha Akram (Kustom Kreation Photography) weekly food/recipe contributor Smarty Marty(My Older Sister) combines her love for cooking, photography and plating meals each and every Tuesday for this Segment entitled Foodie Tuesday. Join us each week for a variety of dishes prepared by Smarty Marty

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“Leaping, Falling, Tail Tucking & Getting Back on the Horse!”

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Six years ago, I walked away from my six-figure job to pursue my dreams to empower women and girls.  I found this picture and I blogged about that moment when I walked into my boss’s office and boldly said “I quit!”. You can check out my original blog post here: http://empowerherinc.blogspot.com/2012/08/ps-i-quit-step-closer-to-my-dream.html.  That person that took that leap seems so foreign to me now. I’m in tears just thinking about that moment and even sharing my thoughts in this week’s blog post.

 

I quit my job to have more flexibility for my family and to walk in my passion and gifts. I took on some contract work to supplement my income and set off to change the world.  I had no plan just – a 501 (C) 3 and a dream. My oldest daughter was entering high school and I knew that I wanted to be home when more.  I was very successful at work but my job was very demanding and offered little flexibility. Prior to my quitting I had helped to run a community based organization for girls for 5years.  I created great programs and events for girls in our community and was ready to branch out to help women and create more events that would spark social change on a full-time-basis.

 

I launched my organization and hosted several events.  It started out great – then life happened.  A close family member got sick and passed away, we experienced unexpected financial issues and many other challenges.  A year later I tucked my tail between my legs and returned to my 9-5, so ashamed that I was back where I started.  I was back to being overworked, stressed and embarrassed that my plan did not work.  I tried to keep things going with my dreams on the side but I got busy being a mom and wife.  Empower Her, Inc. had a “Closed” sign on its virtual door.  I have tons of dust covered boxes in my attic right now full of my Empower Her, Inc dreams, visions, etc.

 

Fast forward to June 12th, 2018.  My friend sent me a screenshot of plans I made in 2013 for a leadership camp for girls. She read me the details of my proposal for this program and the requirements that I was requesting for a space to host the camp.  I could not believe that it had been 5 years. The details were so specific.  At the time I knew that I would get that space, register tons of girls and provide a camp that would also help my girls! The camp was a big part of my plans but it never got off the ground due to not finding a space and the resources.  I had forgotten about that dream and about my plans.  It’s funny how God brings things to your attention at the right time.  Especially as my 14-year-old is settling into her summer routine and is too old for camps but needs some type of enrichment.

 

The same thoughts of wanting to put together amazing programs for girls and women has crept back into my spirit as well as fear. The thought of putting something together again and relaunching has me shaking in my boots. Just to even write again on this blog started out as a struggle. I enjoy blogging as a guest on this blog because it is under the safe covering of someone else’s dream. I have my own blog that I started over six years ago that I have not touched instead I am sharing my thoughts here where it is safe. It’s like I have “Leaping for Your Dreams PTSD”, lol.

 

God has been telling me over the last few months that it is time to share my journey and gifts with the world again. I want to stay hidden and quiet but He is pushing me to move forward. So,I am leaning into Him more, praying, planning and strategizing to launch some new programs/events in the fall.  I am at the end of this week’s Power Hour Blog post and I realize I did not have much to share – just my journey, where I am today and where I want to be.  I guess that is okay too.  I would ask for prayers and support as I get the strength to get back on the horse again.  For those of you that have scrapped up knees from your recent leaps I am here to provide band aids, to be scared with you and to be your biggest cheerleader when you are ready to leap again.

 

Feel free to share your recent leaps, falls or tail tucked between your legs moments in the comments section.

 

Cheers to leaping, falling and getting back up again!

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By Kara Norman- Empower Her, Inc.

Kara Norman Atlanta Based Women Empowerment Thought Leader and bi-weekly blog contributor.

Kara Norman has been working with Women and Girls for a number of years. Her nonprofit organization Empower Her Inc , have led to many opportunities in the space of making social changes as it deals with women and their many roles in society. You can learn more about Kara Norman and Empower Her Inc. at http://www.empowerherinc.com/

Foodie Tuesday with Smarty Marty- Shrimp Fried Rice

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Smarty Marty Foodie Tuesday recipe idea this week is a takeout favorite… She’s cooking up some shrimp fried rice. 1st and foremost we must gather up the ingredients needed for the dish.

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups uncooked white rice
  • 3 cups water
  • 4 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 cup fresh bean sprouts
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked medium shrimp, peeled and deveined without tail
  • 1/4 cup chopped green onion
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 4 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon sesame oil

Shrimp Fried Rice

  1. In a saucepan bring water to a boil. Add rice and stir. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 20 minutes. Set aside and allow rice to cool.
  2. Heat a large skillet or wok for 2 minutes. When the skillet or wok is hot, pour in vegetable oil, bean sprouts and onions. Mix well and cook for 3 minutes.
  3. Mix in cooled rice and shrimp and cook for another 3 minutes. Stirring constantly.
  4. Mix in green onions, eggs, salt, pepper, soy sauce and sesame oil. Cook for another 4 minutes, stirring continuously, until eggs are cooked and everything is blended evenly.

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Food Styled and Prepared By Smarty Marty

Recipe By – Allrecipes.com

Atlanta Based Photography Elisha Akram (Kustom Kreation Photography) weekly food/recipe contributor Smarty Marty(My Older Sister) combines her love for cooking, photography and plating meals each and every Tuesday for this Segment entitled Foodie Tuesday. Join us each week for a variety of dishes prepared by Smarty Marty

40th Birthday Celebration in the Garden!

You’ve heard of a vegetable garden, a flower garden, and even a secret garden. So with all that in mind earlier this year we were contacted by Ronda, she was putting together her birthday celebration and she decided to have an intimate dinner with friends in her private home. The theme of the dinner party was Garden.


Friends, How many of us have them? Well for Ronda, she has quite a few that joined her for a private chef table experience. It was a milestone birthday and she decided to celebrate with her closest friends over some delicious dinner paired up with the best-tasting wine for the entree. We were so happy to be apart of the beautiful celebration and we totally appreciate being able to take a delicious plate home.Official Ronda's Birthday Celebration 2018 copy

A very welcoming tablescape with customize menus fresh flowers and paired dinner wines for the meal. Official Ronda's Birthday Celebration 20181 copy

Appetizers and drinks were served as the guest awaited the time to be seated for dinner.Official Ronda's Birthday Celebration 20182 copy

Check out the private Chef Aleem in action to learn more about the chef and his services click  here! 

Ronda's 40th Birthday for Blog

Great night with close friends over delicious dinner and wine.

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your choice of drinks and champagne for a birthday toast DSC_4302 copy

Happy Birthday, Dear Ronda! This smile says it all as they closed out the night with the famous birthday song by friends. 

Elisha Akram (Kustom Kreation Photography) is an Atlanta Based Photographer Specialing in Social Events, Weddings, Families  High School Seniors & Business Headshots!

We also custom design party supplies for life’s celebrated moments! Live Love Create Go Kustom! 

A Moment with Mother!

A flash back to the  Saturday before Mother’s Day we travel approximately 60 miles to Serenbe Farms to capture a beautiful luncheon with daughters and their mothers. This event really had me feeling warm and fuzzy on the inside. Seeing the love between mothers and daughters. One delightful part of the luncheon was a video presentation that featured the daughters giving special Mother’s Day messages. For me it warms my heart to be able to capture these timeless images that will be cherished for generations to come. Official Mother's Day Brunch Images 2018 copyThe beautiful setup for all the mothers and daughters Official Mother's Day Brunch Images 20185 copy

The ladies were able to mix and mingle while we awaited the program to start.

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Captured Moments while they enjoyed refreshing drinks and home style muffins 

Official Mother's Day Brunch Images 20182 copyLadies enjoyed a beautiful video presentation of the daughters giving Mother’s Day messages to their mothers. After the presentation, they were gifted with beautiful charmed necklaces. Official Mother's Day Brunch Images 20183 copy

A game was played of how much you know about your mother which brought lots of laughs Official Mother's Day Brunch Images 2018_2 copy

Mother and daughter images were captured to cherish this day. 

Elisha Akram (Kustom Kreation Photography) is an Atlanta Based Photographer Specialing in Social Events, Weddings, Families High School Seniors & Business Headshots!

We also custom design party supplies for life’s celebrated moments! Live Love Create Go Kustom!

40 years of love A Beautiful love Story .

Way Back in 2016 (as though that was a lifetime ago 🙂 we had the true pleasure to capture this beautiful love story of Mr. & Mrs. Palmer.

So here goes the story…

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A true Blessing infeed to be able to capture the lives of many everyday people who are doing wonderful things that can teach you lessons to carry on in your life. Today was a day I was blessed to capture a beautiful 40-year-old love story and the offsprings of thhat union 40 years ago. This date was filled with beautiful stories of the couple a skit of how they came to be and the beautiful offsprings from this union…40th anniversary of the Palmers copyThis beautiful event was created by Rebecca Palmer the eldest daughter of the Palmers – Infinite Affairs 40th anniversary of the Palmers1 copyThis stunning couple were waiting for the grand entrance.40th anniversary of the Palmers2 copyThe Palmer’s made their grand entrance and was greeted by family & friends 40th anniversary of the Palmers3 copy

The children of the Palmer’s entertained their parents and guest with playing tunes from the instruments they played in school. They children also acted a full skit for guest and parents giving the history of how they came to be.

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40th Anniversary Celebration Skit of the Palmer’s 

Celebration Planned & Styled By Rebecca Palmer – Infinite Affairs

Rebecca Palmer is an Atlanta Based Event Consultant with over 10 years of experience planning memorable occasions for her clients.

Elisha Akram (Kustom Kreation Photography) is an Atlanta Based Photographer Specialing in Social Events, Weddings, Families  High School Seniors & Business Headshots!

We also custom design party supplies for life’s celebrated moments! Live Love Create Go Kustom! 

 

Christina’s 9th Birthday Celebration- Hop Scotch & Jacks Tournament

One two buckle my shoe three-four feet flat on the floor…. kiddie theme rhymes takes me back to times in the past when it seems like everything was so simple.  That brings me to this classic birthday celebration. Hop Scotch & Jacks Tournament!

We were thrilled to captured moments of Christina’s 9th Birthday Celebration.

This unplugged celebration engaged the attendees in classic games. They played Hop Scotch, Bingo Toss, Tic Tac Toe and we even played Hangman. Below is a few video highlights of celebration!

Party Created Styled & Planned By Helena Paschal –  CEP

Helena Paschal is a National Event Trainer & Personal Development Coach with over 15 years of experience in training professional event planners. Interested in Professional Event Training Learn more at correlationsllc.com

Elisha Akram (Kustom Kreation Photography) is an Atlanta Based Photographer Specialing in Social Events, Weddings, Families  High School Seniors & Business Headshots!

We also custom design party supplies for life’s celebrated moments! Live Love Create Go Kustom!