Author Archives: Kayla

About Kayla

I am a senior at the university that embarrassed itself at the Orange Bowl. I love photography, baking, and all things Detroit. I am currently trying to learn how to cook on a college budget.

Apple Bread


After a trip to the apple orchard, my boyfriend and I were disappointed that they only had raspberries left for picking. Luckily, they still had some bagged apples for sale, and I picked some up on our way out. I decided to try my hand at apple bread using my great grandmothers recipe. I can (almost) assure you, you won’t find anything like this in the blog world and/or Pinterest. The recipe was super easy to follow, and I had all the ingredients on hand (unless you count the apples). The only think I had to go out and buy were bread pans! Not bad!

The first thing I did was chop and peel my apples. Seeing as I almost never eat apples, I don’t have an apple peeler, so I had to rely on a serrated knife. This worked just fine, but it was time consuming. It took me 45 minutes just to chop and peel just over 5 cups of apples!

Next I mixed together oil and sugar. What horrible looking mess does that produce? Check it out below:

After wondering how on earth this becomes bread, I beat in three eggs and vanilla. The mixture became much more, well, appetizing afterwards.

Next all the dry ingredients were mixed together, and then added into the oil-sugar mix. The dough at this point is very sticky. I had my mixer going almost at full power and it was struggling to keep up. I had to hand mix the last bit to make sure the flour mixture was fully combined.

I was a bit worried about how I was going to hand mix the apples in, seeing as it was very thick and hard to work with. The apples though added some extra moisture and the dough became much thinner and easier to work with. Next I greased and floured the pans, and split the dough between the two bread pans. The final touch was sprinkling on a little extra sugar and cinnamon on top.

Pop them in for about an hour at 325 degrees, and you’re left with some amazing bread!

Apple Bread: 

1 cup oil
2 cups sugar
3 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
3 cups flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
4 tsp cinnamon
5-6 cups apples, peeled and chopped

Mix oil and sugar.  Add eggs one at a time and beat.  Add vanilla. Mix dry ingredients and add to oil-egg mixture. Add apples and mix. Pour into 2 greased and floured loaf pans.  Sprinkle with additional cinnamon sugar. Bake 325 degrees for about an hour. Let cool for 10 minutes before removing from pan.


Crafts Away!


I have a friend who is so crafty. While driving home one weekend, she found a table on the side of the road. She picked it up, sanded it down, painted it, and put it on her balcony. This summer her parents were remodeling and she came up with gluing three pieces of the old wooden siding and painting a palmetto tree with a crescent moon on it. It’s so stinkin’ cute. After seeing her palmetto tree art I decided I HAD to do something crafty this summer. And of course, what better place to go then Pinterest? When I saw the canvas photo art I knew I found my summer project. To see where I got the idea from, check out the blog here!

This was such an easy project! I did two canvases, and each one only took a couple hours. I spent more time waiting for the mod podge to dry than I did actually working on it. What’s great is that this project was not expensive. All you need is:

  • A photograph in the size of your choice (I did an 11×14)
  • A canvas that is the same size as your photo
  • Scrapbook paper
  • Mod podge with a matte finish
  • Acrylic paint (in any color)
  • Sponges
  • Scissors
  • Ruler and pen (optional)
  • Wax paper (this keeps your canvas from sticking)

It’s not much at all!


To start, I cut strips of the scrapbook paper to go along the edges of the canvas. I would make sure you cut them so they were slightly thinner, and a little shorter than the edges so you don’t have ends poking up (or out). It was at this point I realized I bought scrapbook paper with an 8×10 canvas in mind. So my long sides have two strips of paper on them (my bad). Being a perfectionist, I used the ruler and pen to mark my lines before cutting them out. If you have a large paper cutter, I suggest using that instead. If you do use a pen and ruler, draw your lines on the back of the paper. I did not think that one through and you can see lines on the edges. Luckily they are faint, but when I did canvas number two, I did not make that mistake again!

Once your strips are cut out, apply mod podge with a sponge and glue them to the edges of your canvas. Then apply mod podge to the back of your photograph, and lay it on top. I found it helpful to push down on the photo in the middle with my arms, and gradually work my way to the edges (as a side note, I ordered my prints from Snapfish and they held up great! No smearing and great quality). At this point it should look something like below. I used wax paper to lay it on as it was suggested by the blog I got the project from. This was definitely a wise decision. Newspaper would of stuck to the canvas and ruined it.

At this point I noticed either Snapfish, or the canvas company can’t measure. I had an edge of the photograph hanging over which bothered me. However, by the time I finally got the edges to stay down (due to Snapfish sending them rolled up in a tube), I was too irritated to try trimming it. Wait about 15 to 20 minutes to let the mod podge dry. Once that time is up, apply mod podge all over the photograph, as well as the sides with the scrapbook paper. There really is no right amount of mod podge, but you can see how mine looked below.

I let my canvas sit for about an hour at this point and went grocery shopping. When I came back, I added black paint along the edges where the scrapbook paper didn’t cover. If you don’t use black scrapbook paper, I would advise using an acrylic that is a similar color. On my second canvas I had pink scrapbook paper with black paint, and it looked odd. Now, I’m a sucker for the vignette look, so I also took some black paint and rounded the corners of the photograph. That part is completely optional of course. Once you let that dry, you have a great final project that is ready to be displayed! Like I mentioned earlier, I did two canvases.  I think they turned out well – what about you?

The canvas I gave my boyfriend!


The canvas I kept for myself!

Chicken and Spinach Flautas with Parmesan Roasted Zucchini


Ok, I know. These two don’t sound like they would go together. However, we had zucchini that was going to go bad soon, so hence the side dish. They were both delicious. The best part? Both pretty healthy items. The second best part? I managed to cook these suckers without burning anything! Considering I have burned couscous before (no joke), I was pretty concerned with how well I could do with these. With just a little help from Alex we had an awesome dinner, with leftovers for today!

I found both recipes on Pintrest. Props to the Budget Savvy Diva, who posted the Parmesan Roasted Zucchini. To see her post (and find other great recipes) you can check her out here. Kudos go to Lauren at Healthy Delicious for the Chicken and Spinach Flautas recipes. I have pinned multiple recipes by her, and so far her recipes are awesome! To take a look yourself, you can head on over here.

For the zucchini, the hardest part was actually just slicing the darn thing into fourths. Alex and I actually ended up cutting them thinner, which made them super mushy. They tasted great, but next time I would want a little more crunch. The prep for these took all of five minutes, and they only had to cook for 15. With only 5 ingredients, these are awesome for people on a college budget. I know I keep all the ingredients aside from the zucchini at my apartment at all times. Plus all these ingredients are items you use in other dishes, so you will get your use out of them. Don’t believe me? Check out the recipe below.

The chicken and spinach flautas were also super easy, just time consuming. I made a couple of modifications based off of what I had in the house. For starters, I used chicken breasts instead of chicken thighs. Which makes it a wee bit healthier because there’s less fat. I cut each breast in half to cook faster, but it still took 15 minutes, instead of 10 to cook the chicken like the recipe said.  The recipe calls for 16 oz of beer. With neither Alex or I being 21, we had to make do with the one 12 oz bottle of Coors my dad had in the house. To make up for the missing liquid, we just added more water. To us there was not any difference. We also did not put in the jalapeno at my request. For the cheese I used a light Mexican blend because that is what I could find at the grocery store. The hardest part of the whole thing was actually putting the flautas together. We had to ration the meat for 10 flautas, which would have been much easier could we of just laid all 10 out and put the meat on them. Due to limited space (and a hungry doggy who was just begging for a bite) we had to make one at a time. Rolling them up and putting them on the sheet was definitely easy. To save a few calories, we sprayed them with cooking spray instead of using olive oil. I should note I forgot to spray the pan – DON’T MAKE MY MISTAKE! It was not fun getting the flautas off the cookie sheet. Finally, if you have salsa on hand, I would use that as dipping sauce. The flautas were great plain, but the salsa just made them that much better. Again, the recipe is posted below, but feel free to check out both of these wonderful food blogs!

Excuse the Soma catalog up in the corner, but other than a little crispy edges, I think this turned out great! And it was pretty simple.

Super yummy and super easy!

Parmesan-Roasted Zucchini

2 zucchini

1 tablespoon olive oil


garlic powder

black pepper

13 cup  parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 400. Cut off the ends of the zucchini and cut lengthwise into fourths. Lay zucchini on a cookie sheet covered with parchment paper. Brush olive oil on each and sprinkle: salt, pepper, garlic powder. Top with cheese. Bake for 15 minutes.

Baked Chicken and Spinach Flautas

  • 1 pound boneless, skinless Chicken Thighs (about 4)
  • 16 ounces Beer
  • 2 cups Water
  • 1 teaspoon Paprika
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher Salt
  • 1 teaspoon Garlic Powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground Cumin
  • 1 teaspoon Chili Powder
  • Jalapeno Pepper, minced
  • 3 cups Baby Spinach, chopped
  • 5 burrito-size Flour Tortillas (9 inches)
  • 6 ounces Queso Quesadilla or other melting cheese, shredded
  • 1 tablespoon Olive Oil, or cooking spray
  • Salsa, for serving


  1. Preheat the oven to 450*F.
  2. Put the chicken thighs in a deep sided saute pan and cover with the beer and water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove the chicken from the liquid and shred it. Mix together the chicken and seasonings.
  3. Pour out all but 1/4 cup of the cooking liquid. Add the jalapeno and spinach and cook over low heat until for 2-3 minutes, or until the spinach is wilted.
  4. Cut the tortillas in half. Spoon 1/10th of the chicken (about 1 tablespoon) along the long edge of a tortilla. Repeat with the spinach and cheese. Roll the tortilla up, starting with the straight edge. Place seam-side down on an oiled baking sheet. Repeat with remaining tortillas.
  5. Brush the flautas with olive oil or spray with cooking spray. Bake for 10 minutes, then turn them over and bake for until 10 minutes, or until crispy. Serve with salsa.

A Mini Rant


So my intentions are for this blog to showcase recipes I’ve taken from Pintrest (and other sources) to see 1) how good they actually are 2) how college budget friendly they can be and 3) how healthy they are. I must first however, get these thoughts out of my head.

I started dating my boyfriend Alex when I was a senior in high school. That was almost four years ago, which is a long time considering how long most high school relationships last. We were best friends a year before that, and I truly believe that is why our relationship has been so successful. Sure, we have our ups and downs, but for the most part, we have a solid relationship. When we first started dating and had those “I’ll be with you forever” thoughts that most teenagers have, we planned to get engaged around my 21st birthday. That’s at the end of this month. Needless to say, as we have grown up, we realized how ridiculous that thought was. Especially since he has another whole year of school after I graduate. While we still talk of getting married, we have decided to hold off on an engagement until sometime after I get my degree in May. We want to know we can support ourselves, without help from our parents. The two of us also know marriage is a huge commitment, and I think we get a little wiser about it everyday. In all honesty, I’m ok with waiting as long was we need to. I  know we love each other, and if it’s meant to be, an extra year or two won’t kill us. This is where my little rant begins.

A little over a year ago, a girl I went to high school with ended a two year relationship with a guy she met in college. Within a few months, she started dating a guy she met through church. Fine, ok, all good. That part wasn’t annoying. I myself dumped my first boyfriend of almost two years only to pursue a relationship with Alex a few weeks later. What really shocked me was that after maybe five months of dating, these two were ENGAGED! Even so, I assumed it would be a long engagement. WRONG! They were getting married in about 7 months (their wedding was today actually). I was flabbergasted. She still has another year of school and she is getting married! I blame this in part to living in the bible belt, where everyone rushes to get married so they can sleep together, but that is a totally different story. To me, I cannot fathom getting engaged to someone I had dated for less than a year – let alone marry them after only a year of being together! It’s obvious through facebook these two are still in the honeymoon phase of their DATING relationship. I only hope that once that period ends (which it will), they still are happy with their decision to get married so soon.

Well, I feel better now. I needed to vent my confusion on the matter. I do not understand those who get married while still in school, to someone they know less than a year. While I hope it works out for them, I know that’s not the route I will be going.

Classes are over!!


Who would of thought this semester would of gone by so fast? I swear just last week I was working on my website for this class. Now I’m just three semesters away from graduation (eek!). This last week has been a pretty chill one. Monday I got to take my studio portraits, which Alex agreed to help me with. He was a good model, and didn’t complain about anything I made him do. He didn’t even whine (that much) when I didn’t warn him I was turning on the studio lights. I was able to finish that project Tuesday, so I didn’t need to go to lab on Wednesday. The rest of my classes have been pretty laid back too. I had my last exam in both marketing and AAH 210 (woo!). I gave a presentation in environmental science Tuesday so today I just got to enjoy the rest of the classes projects. Now I just have one paper to write for art (since it knocks out an eportfolio requirement), and study for a COMM final on Monday. Then Tuesday I’m heading home for break since I can take this final online. I already knocked out my paper, and am ready for three weeks off of school!

Two weeks to go


It’s hard to believe we are essentially done with the semester!!  I remember as a kid, Christmas seemed to take forever to get here, and now we are just 25 days away! It’s scary to think that after this semester I just have three semesters of college left. I swear I was just starting kindergarten yesterday. Anyways, this week we worked on product photography. Our guest speaker in lab was really interesting and I loved his studio demo. Taking the product photographs the next lab was trickier than I thought. Lighting really plays such a huge difference in how the photographs turn out! I think my ad turned out pretty neat. It’s simple, but simple can be good.

It’s Almost Thanksgiving!!


It’s hard to believe it’s almost Thanksgiving break. Which means finals and the end of the semester are right around the corner. Just two exams, two group projects, and one speech to go. Then finals of course. I’m getting ahead of myself though. This week I started (and finished) my photojournalism assignment. I actually drove to Greenville on Tuesday to get the rest of my pictures. It was pretty cloudy and it was hard to get a good exposure, but I think it all worked out in the end. I got a few pictures on campus and I think it looks really good. I chose to spell out my last name, and am going to frame it for my parents for Christmas. I hope they like it. It’s going to be bigger than I intended but I think it turned out great. I will feel better once the poster is in my hands, because then I know I can go ahead and buy the frame.

A Slow Week


This week I only had to go to lab once since I finished the color management assignment on Monday. Now we’re moving into photojournalism which I’m pretty excited about. I plan on using my last name as my word, and am going to have it framed for my parents for Christmas/birthdays depending on the price. I’ve been thinking about things around my house that could relate to our last name, and so far I have the I and G figured out. The I is going to be a candle in the window that we do every Christmas season, and the G will require a little creative interpretation. My mom has a rod iron thing that hangs in our living room and is the first thing we bought when we moved to South Carolina. The design can be made out into a G so hopefully that works out well. That leaves an H, A, R, T and an N. Hopefully I can come up with things to make up our last name between Clemson’s campus and our home.

It’s Registration Season


So this week wasn’t too bad in graphics. I finished my photo composition project on Monday, and was able to work on my self portrait. I thought my self portrait turned out pretty well. I blurred the main photo of myself and let my “magic crystal ball” do the talking which I created in photoshop. With such a tight deadline I think it turned out pretty well. I am glad that next weeks assignment will only take one lab.

In other news, I registered for fall classes. I got almost everything I wanted, when I wanted. I am also knocking out one of my 3 required hours of technical requirements which is such a pain!

Diving into Photography


So this week I REALLY got a chance to put my camera to work. The photo composition seemed intimidating at first but I think I’ve done pretty well with it. I will admit I was stressing out when it was originally due Wednesday (that’s just how I am), but now that we have an extra lab I feel much better about it. The project has definitely given me respect for people who make their living with photography. A photographer, I am not, nor do I proclaim to be (unlike some people I know…) but I am still having a blast learning how to use my camera and make attempts at getting good photos. I will say my two favorites have been my selective focus on my boyfriends dog tags, and a landscape of Godfrey. I love Godfrey with a passion and I think this photo does a good job of capturing the majesty of it.