Photo Girl Travels

Taking the Road Less Traveled

Vegetarian BACON Lasagna!

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For those of you who know me – you know I LOVE bacon. I’ve been in this relationship since I was a child. It wasn’t one I had to constantly work on.  No, no, no… It seems to always just be there. In my drawer, at the store, on a plate on my desk….So it just made sense one day, bacon would be the perfect 5th food group – in lasagna! And hence it was born… My special Vegetarian Bacon Lasagna.

I hope I’m not posting this too late for those of you trying to decide what to cook for Super Bowl Sunday. As I sit at my desk it’s early morning on that exact day. I’m sure men and women had sleepless nights, tossing and turning, and dreaming the color of the team they are hoping to win. But as you check your email, Facebook, Linked In pages – wrapped under your covers, I hope this will give you the perfect recipe. Imagine sitting in front of the TV with a huge plate of steaming Bacon Lasagna, ice cold beer in your hand, watching your favorite team play. This recipe is packed with fresh vegetables, multiple cheeses and a few surprises, capers being one.

My Vegetarian Bacon Lasagna Recipe

Your shopping list:

  • Package of bacon – cooked so it’s crispy (pre-cooked, microwave ready, or standard is fine)
  • Lasagna noodles – 1 box – I like the kind you don’t have to boil but if you like to boil then go for it
  • Ricotta cheese – larger sized container
  • 2 eggs
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Mozzarella cheese
  • Sour cream
  • Jar of capers
  • Vegetables: Whatever you like but here are some ideas: These are ones you’ll want to sauté first: Eggplant, mushrooms, zucchini, onion, garlic. I also love spinach but don’t cook it first. You’re just going to layer it raw.
  • Pasta sauce: Either make it yourself or get a jar. I like Newman’s tomato basil
  • Can of chicken broth to sauté things in
  • I think that’s it

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How To:

  • Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees
  • First I prep everything, sauté onions, add sliced zucchini, mushrooms and whatever else you think you’d like
  • I slice the eggplant into thin discs and sauté them with a little chicken broth
  • Cook the bacon (I guess you could cook it first and then use the oil to sauté the veggies but that just doesn’t seem quite right)
  • Prepare the Ricotta cheese by adding 2 eggs and mixing it up
  • Once everything is ready, you just layer. I put the pasta sauce on first, then the noodles, then the ricotta cheese, veggies, bacon, other cheeses, a few capers, spinach, a dollop of sour cream.
  • If you use the no boil noodles you need to make sure they are by something moist (pasta sauce or ricotta cheese)
  • The last layer should have pasta sauce and cheese on top.
  • Save out a few pieces of bacon to put on top

Cook!

  • Cover with a sheet of non-stick foil and place the dish on a cookie sheet. I do that so that if it bubbles over, your oven still stays clean
  • Bake at 375 degrees for around 30-45 minutes. It’s hard to say because it depends on how large your baking dish is. It should be bubbling. I also take the foil off when it’s ready and let it cook just a bit longer to brown the top.
  • Let it sit for about 10 minutes to let everything absorb together
  • Put your bacon garnish on
  • Voila! You’re done!
  • Serve with a fabulous red wine or super cold beer!!!  And of course, GO NINERS!!!

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AT&T Pebble Beach PRO-AM Golf Tournament

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I grew up across from the 9th hole. As soon as I could hold a spoon, my Dad placed a tiny golf club in my hands. Now you think I’d play pro with a story like that but my only claim to fame is a fairly graceful swing. Where the ball ends up going is an entirely different story. As Hank Aaron said: “It took me seventeen years to get three thousand hits in baseball. I did it in one afternoon on the golf course.” Or as I say: “If you don’t play often – you swing more often”

I had a wonderful opportunity to attend the 2013 AT&T Pebble Beach PRO-AM Golf Tournament during the practice session yesterday. This was also called the “Crosby Clambake”, established by Bing Crosby out of his love for golf and his personal interest in helping young people. Due to my most excellent “tour-guide” I learned quite a bit about the tournament and golf. The combination of great company, stunning views, good food/drinks and some fun celebrity sightings made for a fabulous time. There is still time to watch the tournament as it runs from February 4-10, 2013. Monday – Wednesday they practiced (and the celebrities, aka amateurs, rubbed clubs with the pros.) Thursday – Sunday is the actual tournament. If you love golf, views, the ocean and good wine – this is for you.

Quick terms you really must know

  • BIRDIE – A tiny flying animal or a score of 1 under par for a hole. (i.e. a score of 3 on a par 4 hole)
  • BOGEY – A score of 1 over par on a hole. (i.e. a score of 5 on a par 4 hole)
  • BITE – What you should do when you see a piece of bacon, and a term used for the action of the backspin on the ball stopping it very quickly on the green
  • BUNKER – Another name for a sand trap or a hill in some battle
  • CADDIE – The guy carrying the really big bag
  • CHIP SHOT – A short approach shot with a low trajectory usually hit from close to the green
  • DRIVER – The person who got you to the PRO-AM and the club known as the 1 wood. It is usually the club that hits the ball the farthest
  • FAT SHOT – An XL shot of alcohol after a bad game of golf, or a bad shot where the club hits the ground behind the ball and results in a poorly struck shot that usually doesn’t go very far
  • MULLIGAN – An extra shot which your opponent may allow you to take if you hit a really bad first shot

Quick facts about Pebble Beach

  • The longest hole at Pebble Beach is 14 (572 yards) That’s over 5 football fields long!
  • The shortest hole at Pebble Beach is 7 which was also my favorite hole (photo below, note all the people practicing their shots out of the bunkers)

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Where to eat

  • The Bench: There are a number of places to eat, but I would recommend The Bench. This is a hip and trendy bar/restaurant located by the 18th hole. You can sit by the fire, sip a glass of wine, have lunch and people watch. But that’s not all, if you’re looking for a good cigar; they have a fairly impressive menu (With one priced at almost $100. I think I’d try to find a way to wear it at that price). Quick tip – They’ll give you a bar menu but if you want to eat a great bacon burger, ask for their lunch or dinner menu.
  • Gallery Café: If you eat outside at the Gallery you can watch the Pros practice their putting. You’ll also have a birds-eye view as they hit off the first tee.

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So you can start planning early, here’s a map of Pebble Beach. (#7 is my favorite hole. It’s a tough par 3 as the green is perched out on a ledge, overlooking the water.) No worries if you decide to do this by yourself. Believe me, you won’t be alone!

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As I sign off I’ll leave you with this last quote: “Golf is a game in which you yell ‘fore’, shoot six and write down five.” -Paul Harvey

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Quick note for 2014: If you think you might go next year and you’re trying to decide between the practice tournament or the pro event (you can’t go to the entire event), I really enjoyed the practice tournament. There were no crowds, easy parking, you can take photos and meet celebrities.  Many things are closed Monday – Tuesday so if you’re only going one day next year, try Wednesday)

Would you like a print? Please click on “Contact”. My photography is printed on aluminum. Utilizing an advanced process which infuses dyes directly into the metal, the colors and saturation are really amazing. In addition, your print will be displayed using mount blocks which float the image ½ inch off the wall.

©2013 Shelley D Spray – No content on this site (including all photography) may be reused in any fashion without written permission from the author.

Super Bowl Cheesecake Plus Other Critical Prep Activities

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PhotoGirlTravels.com Cheese Cake

With the Super Bowl just a few days away, you need to get your things in order. Many of you know I live in Los Gatos – which is spitting distance from San Francisco – so you probably know which team I’ll be cheering for (if I make it back from the mall on time – seriously, I’m just kidding…or am I?) First, you’ll need to memorize a few facts to ensure you are the life of the party. Second, your game attire should be defined days in advance (I am catching you just under the wire). And finally, you need to figure out what you’ll take to the Super Bowl Party. Regardless of your team, I am serious about leading the charge on these three items starting with some quick facts.

#1: Super Bowl Facts you Must Memorize

  1. First venue: Memorial Coliseum, LA
  2. First MVP from the Losing Team (I’m not even sure how that’s possible) Chuck Howley, Dallas
  3. First team that failed to score a TD (Oh, for God’s sake) Miami Dolphins, Super Bowl VI
  4. First time a winning player said “I’m going to Disney World” (now this one will make you sound like a genius) Super Bowl XXI, Disney paid MVP Phil Simms $75,000 for an “impromptu statement” (I also hope they gave him a pass as they are quite expensive)
  5. First person to win the game as a player and a head coach: Mike Ditka

#2: Next, what to don during the big game??? What you wear is super important (And, I DO believe men think about this days in advance)  First, I would recommend wearing something loose to allow for “expansion-room” to help accommodate for the beer, wings, burgers, chips, beer and yes, double layer cheesecake you’ll eat. If anyone is too embarrassed to ask and are wondering what colors to wear – I’m here to help. First, if you don’t care which team wins, then please wear red/gold/black. If you have no idea which colors go with which team then pay special attention: 49ers: Red/gold/black. Ravens: Black/gold/red. 😉 Girls, I’ve just been informed that “loose” isn’t good so you’ll have to starve and wear something sassy.

#3: As for what to bring? (Always a bit stressful) Well stress no more! This year you should bring the double layer cheesecake which I’m going to teach you how to make. This has been passed down from one generation (my Mom) and it is killer. Not only can anyone make this, it will be the most amazing cheesecake you’ll ever eat.

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Here is Mama Spray’s Double Layer Cheesecake Secret Recipe

Crust

You can either use a pre-made graham cracker crust (sorry Stéphane!) or use this receipt:

  • 1 ¼ C graham cracker crumbs
  • ¼ C melted butter
  1. Combine crumbs and butter
  2. Press into buttered 8” pie plate, building up the sides

Filling

  • 8 oz cream cheese
  • ½ C sugar
  • 1 T lemon juice
  • ½ t vanilla
  • Dash of salt
  • 2 eggs
  1. Beat cream cheese until fluffy
  2. Gradually blend in sugar, lemon juice, and salt
  3. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each
  4. Pour filling into crumb crust
  5. Bake at 325 degrees for 24-30 minutes or until set

Top

  • 1 C sour cream
  • 2 T sugar
  • ½ t vanilla
  1. Combine sour cream sugar and vanilla
  2. Spoon over top of pie
  3. Bake 10 minutes longer
  4. Cool
  5. Chill for several hours

Finish – Serve with strawberries or cherries

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Photo of my Mom and me! <;3

PhotoGirlTravels.com with Mom

Please use the following to identify color pallet for dress attire…(red looks good on everyone)

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