Try It Tuesday

try it tuesday new

Because I have such awesome friends, when they try new things, they take pics and document it so I can use it for a Try It Tuesday since my life is a tad more chaotic now. Enter: Guest Blogger Anthony Mount! Take it away, Anthony!

As many of you know, Jess has been enjoying the relaxing life of having a newborn and a toddler at the same time. This has meant that she can’t pry herself away from her stories on daytime television to do a new Try it Tuesday. (This may be my last guest blogger appearance, hee-hee)

Anyway, I saw this picture of stuffed pasta shells on Facebook and thought it may be a cool, quick meal for my family. Since my wife, Jess’s best mate, is big time preggers and practicing early to join Jess for her relaxing time of daytime television, I get the honor of making delicious meals for the family. (This may be the last time I get to sleep in my own bed, ha!)

Here’s what you need:

~package of large pasta shells

~cheddar cheese (or, your favorite cheese), shredded (We buy block cheese so I grated my own)

~1lb hamburger meat

~your favorite seasonings for the hamburger meat

~marinara sauce

There were not any instructions with the picture so I created my own:

First, bring a pot of water to a full boil and the cook noodles for 7 minutes. (According to Gordon Ramsey’s rule of “all pasta takes 7 minutes to cook.”)


Once the pasta is cooked, set it aside while all other ingredients finish.

Next: season and brown your hamburger meat. I use equal parts Lawry’s, paprika, and herbed poultry.


Once this is finished, preheat oven to 380 degrees while prepping the rest of the meal.

Next, spray a casserole dish with PAM and lay a thick layer of marinara sauce on the bottom of the dish (I prefer Prego).


Next, grate cheddar cheese.


Add a little marinara sauce to the meat.


Now it is time to stuff the shells.This is the technique I used: I placed the shell in a ladle and then used tongs to insert the meat.


Once the meat is in the shell place it in the pre-marinara’d (is that a word?) casserole dish and then cover with cheese.


By this time the oven should be pre-heated to 380 degrees, so place in oven for 10 minutes. Then serve. (No need to let cool)


Final thoughts:

~This was NOT a quick meal. All in all, it took about an hour to cook. (Though, it may be because my hamburger meat started out frozen and I was learning as I went along.)

~This also created a ton of dirty dishes. So be prepared (meaning make sure your dishwasher is empty before starting).

~My wife (Jess’s Best Mate) loved it, as did my picky-eater daughter. (She did ask for me to use less cheese next time, but I love cheese.)

~I do recommend it when you need something new and different for dinner.

Good luck!

(Now, time for me to go buy some roses to get out of the dog houses I put myself in for writing this blog!)

Try It Tuesday

try it carpenter

Happy Tuesday, Tryers!


Sometimes, I can’t think of a Try It or I’ve just been so busy that I can’t do one. Enter: my awesome friends and family (aka, “Guest Bloggers”). Today’s GB is Huff the Hubs’ bestie (aka, my bestie’s hubs), Anthony!


Take it away, Anthony!


Jessica’s father is a master carpenter. I happened to see a sliding barn door he made at his daughter’s house to separate the kitchen from the laundry room and it gave me an idea to make one to separate my master bedroom from my master bath. Below are the steps I took to accomplish this.


First I had to make a “header” in the opening for the barn door track to it attach to:





Then I had to paint it, but since I hate to paint; I recruited help:



Next, I had to build the door: Materials: 5 – 1X10s, 4 – 1X4s, 4 1X2s, lots of screws

IMG_1016 IMG_1017 IMG_1018


Be sure to trim and stabilize both sides.


The next step is to attach the brackets (that allow the door to roll on the track) to the wall. This is so the center of gravity is correct and the barn door does not lean or sway. You can purchase some online for around $100.00 or more. But then you are not doing it yourself and that is weak sauce. Luckily, Jessica’s dad gave me extra rollers he had because I’m in the Circle of Trust.



I only used the wheel, nut, and bolt. I then purchased a strap of 3/8’ X 2” X 3’ steel, cut it in half and drilled all but 1 hole in each piece.


As you can tell I got into a hurry and did not clamp the steel down and that was unsafe. More on that later.



The next step is to bend the metal to make the bracket that will align the roller to be offset to the center of the barn door while it can be attached to the barn door at the same time.






When you are finished it should look something like this:



Now you have to drill the final holes in the bracket that will allow you to bolt in the wheel.



This needs to be done with caution.



As I mentioned before, the first time I drilled I was careless and did not clamp it down. In the photo below you can see the drill bit actually bending a little between the first hole and the new one.



Well this caused the first on I drilled to spin uncontrollably and hit me in the wrist.



This picture doesn’t look to bad, but for 15 minutes I could not move my hand, and it took a few days to get all the feeling back. So CLAMP IT DOWN EVERY TIME. It was a scary few moments. Moving on…We stained the door, and painted the bracket.



And, once again, I recruited help.


Then, you attach the bracket to the door, making sure there is a 2-inch gap for the metal track to run through.



Next you mount the 2” wide, 3/8” thick strap to the wall, using a 2×4 that has been cut down to an inch and seven-eighths by 8 feet as a spacer to keep the track off the wall. I used 5/8” X 4” lag bolts to secure all this into wall studs.



The last step is to hang the door and enjoy!











Disclaimer: This project is not for the novice craftsman, but I am not a master by any means; I run a camera for a living and do these types of projects for fun.


Try It Tuesday

Has anyone else noticed the annoying little flies that buzz around and seem to never go away?


Before I had Hermione, my buddy Anthony wrote a Try It Tuesday post about how to deal with these annoying little bugs.

What you will need:

Apple Cider Vinegar

1 bowl, jar, or bottle

1 piece of plastic wrap

Tricks of the trade.

Tricks of the trade.


Fill the bottom of the bowl about a ¼ of an inch with vinegar.

Place a piece of plastic wrap on top and wrap around the bowl.

Poke 7 – 10 holes into the top of the plastic wrap with a ball point pen. The holes need to be big enough for the fruit fly to climb in.

Once in, it will not be able to fly out.

Get ready, flies. We're coming for ya!

Get ready, flies. We’re coming for ya!

Then, place your bowl or jar out in the open. Preferably near any fruit you have sitting out on the counter. Then, let the vinegar do its job!

BAM. Take that.

BAM. Take that.

This really does work, guys! I have a jar sitting out on our counter and the flies have VANISHED!