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Archive for April, 2010

We are big fans of casseroles.

Spring, summer, autumn, winter – we need our weekly dose.

That and strawberry smoothies, they make us go on…
 
 

These are the ingredients. Yummy already.
 
 

1. First, we will prepare a lovely mushroom sauce.

Start by melting 1 tablespoon butter in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat.
 
 

2. Add 3 tablespoons flour and stir until smooth.

Remove from heat.
 
 

3. Add the mushroom broth and milk.

Stir.
 
 

4. Then stir in the drained mushrooms.
 
 

5. Add a little salt and pepper.
 
 

6. Return the pan to heat and stir until the mixture thickens.
 
 

7. In a larger pan or pot, pour 3 tablespoons vegetable oil.

Place over medium heat.
 
 

8. Chop the onion, add to the pot and sauté for about 3 minutes.

Add 1 tablespoon flour and continue cooking and stirring for another 2 minutes.
 
 

9. Whisk in the milk, the mushroom sauce we have prepared, salt and pepper, and cook, stirring, until the mixture begins to simmer and thickens.
 
 

10. Cook the noodles in salted water, according to directions.

Drain, rinse in cold water, and add to a large mixing bowl.

11. Add the cooked mixture, drained tuna, peas and half the cheese (these are cooked peas – the frozen and thawed ones look much greener and nicer).
 
 

12. Then find some very old dish (pretend it’s a casserole dish and hope that nobody finds out it’s for lasagna), butter it and pour the mixture in.
 
 

13. Top with the rest of the cheese.
 
 

14. Mix the breadcrumbs and olive oil…
 
 

… until combined…
 
 

… and spread evenly over the casserole.
 
 

15. Bake for 35 minutes at 356 F (180 C), …
 
 


… until bubbling and browned.

Yummity!
 
 

Enjoy dear friends!

Love,

Petra
 

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First of all – this is a picture of me… thinking.

Because when I think, I think hard.

And it is such an experience that I usually want to take a picture of myself… just to remember this memorable moment.

So far, I have one.

Anyways, I used this special picture to try out The Pioneer Woman’s Actions – I mean the Photoshop Actions created by The Pioneer Woman.

Pioneer Woman is awesome, her site is awesome, her family is awesome and her actions are nothing less than awesome, indeed.
 
 

On the left side, there is the original picture that I took with my camera. Let’s call it the SOOC (Straight Out Of Camera).

And on the right, there is a picture which has undergone certain beautifying process – the result of applying particular Photoshop action.

I used two actions here – Boost and Bring Out The Eyes.
 
 

Here I’ve used the Slight Light action. The new picture looks much more positive and fresh then the original one.

I think I will use this action all the time – I need to lighten up my pictures almost always.

And I even dare to think that most of us do.
 
 

This is the action called Colorize.

It’s made my skin look more matte.

I like that.
 
 

The Heartland action – I love the color tones, especially the color of my lipstick.

Very ‘fairy-tail-ish’.
 
 

A dreamy and lovely action called… Lovely!

Very aptly named. Not that I look lovely, the effect is lovely.
 
 

Here I used the Beauty Black and White action – originally, it resulted in a black and white picture, but I decreased the opacity and saved some color.

And I love that!
 
 

Oooooooh, and here comes my all-time favorite – Seventies, everybody!

I love, love, LOVE that – anything vintage makes my soul happy.

I really don’t know why, but I have always been a granny in my heart – since I can remember… since 3, I guess.

Three years old granny, that’s what I was… in my heart.
 
 

This is Slight Light and Seventies, both together.

Impressive!

Yeah, you can combine the actions – use one on top of the other.

You can mix three or four and see what you get.

Isn’t that great?

I think it is more than great – it’s ÜBER-GREAT!
 
 

And here I’ve combined the Slight Light and Soft Fade actions.

Using actions is so much fun.

The Pioneer Woman’s action are free to use – so if you have Photoshop (even Elements), just go grab these treasures.

And thank you, Pioneer Woman, you are the best!
 

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Just a few days ago, my boyfriend looked me straight in the eyes… and with a very sweet tone in his voice he said: ‘Could I ask you something?’.

Uuu-hu-huh, I thought, get ready girl… this might be something really memorable. Just breath, breath, keep on breathing.

So with the trembling voice I replied: ‘Yes, sure!’.

And right then my ears got to hear a question that will probably forever remain number one on my most-romantic-sentences list.

Will you go grave hunting with me?’, inquired my boyfriend.

After a moment of confusion I started to laugh straight from the heart… and answered – ‘Yes dear!’.

Sometimes things get waaaaay better than you thought they would.
 
 

The thing is that my boyfriend is trying to find out who his ancestors were.

And in this family-tree-building quest he is trying to get as far and deep as possible.

The whole process requires a lot of traveling and many hours spent in the archives.

Luckily, I get to travel with him and visit places I never knew existed.

Just recently, for instance, we found this 300 years old church built solely of wood.

One of the UNESCO Heritage sites.

It is a magnificent building… and OLD, man.

I was standing there – just staring at it – for quite some time.

Because it is MADE OF WOOD ONLY, with NO NAILS used.

WOW!

HOW?
 
 

First I thought it was not functional… but then I saw this – a weeding must have taken place here just recently.

Can you imagine getting wed in a place like this?

I think it has to be like extremely romantic.

Anyway, the church is still in service. Amazing!

But what really got me was this church’s story.

Some folks from the evangelical church really wanted more churches of their own.

However, the circumstances then weren’t very convenient for this particular church.

Eventually, after many talks and negotiations, they were allowed to build their own church, but only under these restricted conditions: the whole church must be built withing a year; it can be built of wood only, it may not have a tower and the entrance may not be directly from street.

This building was definitely thought to last much shorter than it has.

To me, it is a perfect symbol of strength and resistance.
 
 

It was locked at the time of our visit, so we couldn’t get in.

But conditions like that didn’t stop me.

I reached my hands up and pointed my camera to look through one of the windows… which allowed me to take a picture of the interior.

‘Cause nothing is going to stop Petra-the mighty photographer from taking a picture of what she wants to capture.

That’s how things work in her world.

Let the STRENGTH and RESISTANCE rule!

Yeah!

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Earth Day – Yay!

To celebrate this wonderful day I am posting a few snippets from my Mom’s garden.

Because my Mom and Dad’s garden could possibly be the most beautiful place on Earth.

This is an apple tree in bloom.

If I were a bee, I’d land on one of those wonderful flowers right away.

But I am not.

So I won’t.
 
 

A lovely tulip.

 
 

Pear tree just about to bloom.

 
 

And guess what this is…

Oh, you don’t have to ’cause I’m gonna tell ya.

It’s a gorgeous walnut tree that is coming into leaf and flower soon.

Have a wonderful Earth Day everybody… and enjoy!

And now, please, excuse me, I am going to buy some eggnog (… to celebrate the day properly. No, I am not an alcoholic, I just like eggnog. Or, dang…, is that what all alcoholics say? Hm… doesn’t matter… CHEERS!).

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