Studio412 Design Web Design :: Web Development :: Web Tutoring Thu, 22 Oct 2015 18:32:03 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Myrtle Beach Birth Services Thu, 22 Oct 2015 18:01:13 +0000 Myrtle Beach Birth Services was born from an overwhelming need in the Myrtle Beach area to have a resource for expecting and new families. “If I don’t know my options, then I don’t have any.”  Diana Korte After moving to the Myrtle Beach, SC area in 2011 I very quickly discovered the lack of support, information and options for growing families.  Having a heart and a passion for pregnancy, childbirth and breastfeeding, I set out to connect with as many others as I could that shared my passion.  My first connections were made through the Myrtle Beach chapter of La Leche League International and from there I kept running into more and more professionals, advocates and activists that noticed the same issues as I did.  It was so exciting to discover that there are, in fact, plenty of wonderful resources out there for families that want to make informed choices, take control of their own birth experiences and make evidence based decisions regarding pregnancy, birth and parenting.

]]> 0
Journey Christian Church Tue, 22 Sep 2015 18:31:22 +0000 Being engaged in church is about more than merely attending Sunday services. We want to be a church unchurched people love to attend. In order to be that kind of church, we need the help of people who share our passion for leading people into a growing relationship with Jesus Christ. If you share that passion, you can fully engage in the life of the church by doing four things: Connect. Serve. Give. Invite.

]]> 0
Events at College of Physicians Tue, 22 Sep 2015 18:06:35 +0000 I get this feeling that my clients love me… I say that because I don’t just get to build one site for them, most times I get to build many!  Case in point, last year we built Catering By Design, and this year they have contacted us to redesign and build a site for a venue they work at frequently, the College of Physicians of Philadelphia.  Exciting!

The site, which you can find here, needed a major update and that’s what we gave it!  We simplified the majority of the content down to one page, with the addition of a blog for showcasing the events that are held there.  We also gave special treatment for every room in the building that is able to be used for events, including the ever creepy Mütter Museum, the medicinal herb garden, and many others.

This site is really fun with bright colors and engaging images.  It was an absolute blast to work on.  I really hope you dig it as well.

]]> 0
Bolingbroke Mansion Sat, 22 Aug 2015 18:16:33 +0000 Fifteen miles from where America declared its independence, Bolingbroke predates that event by about half a century.  The Spring House bears the inscription “1727”. The house’s original fieldstone, some of it still intact, was brought from Colonial gristmills along Gulph Creek. In 1901 the property was purchased by Ledyard Heckscher, and two paintings by Mrs. Heckscher still hang in the living room.  Mr. and Mrs. Heckscher retained the noted Main Line architect, R. Brognard Okie, to renovate, remodel and enlarge the home to what you see today. In 1949 Bolingbroke was bought by Mr. and Mrs. Roy J. McKee.  Ten years later, St. Martin’s Episcopal Church acquired the property and grounds from Mr. and Mrs. McKee for their parish house.  St. Martin’s Church is proud to make Bolingbroke available for wedding ceremonies and receptions, parties and corporate meetings and events.

]]> 0
Hall Groat Wed, 22 Jul 2015 18:23:15 +0000 Painter Hall Groat II, professor and chair of Art and Design at SUNY Broome Community College, teaches foundation courses in painting, drawing, color theory, and computer graphics. Groat earned a master of fine arts degree in painting and drawing from City University of New York at Brooklyn, a bachelor of arts in art history, minoring in studio art at Binghamton University, and attended graduate and certificate programs at Buffalo State College, Syracuse University, and Savannah College of Art and Design. He also attended summer sessions at Chautauqua School of Art, Chautauqua, NY, and Vermont Studio Center in Johnson, Vt.

Groat has had one-person exhibitions at Everson Museum of Art, Roberson Museum of Art, Finger Lakes Community College, Cazenovia College, Jasper Rand Art Museum, Lemoyne College, Wadsworth Athenaeum Museum of Art, and Washington and Jefferson College, and has participated in dozens of group shows throughout the United States.

In 2004 Groat was included in the Roberson Museum Center’s exhibition, “The Cosmos and Chaos: a Cultural Paradox,” with artists Lucian Freud, Eric Fischl, Jerome Witkin and several other contemporary artists. His work is included in private and public collections internationally, including Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta Jones, Clear Channel Communications, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Cellular One, House and Garden, LTD., Sheraton Hotel Corporation, Binghamton University, Everson Museum of Art, Munson-Williams Proctor Institute of Art, The State University of New York system, Roberson Museum and Science Center and Washington Jefferson College.

]]> 0
Apply High Tue, 14 Jan 2014 16:50:22 +0000 I’ve built quite a few websites in my somewhat short career as a web developer; I’ve made some simple sites, and I’ve also built some complex sites.  Apply High is by far one of, if not the most complex site that I’ve built to date.  At the beginning of the project I was presented with a beautiful design by Tony Goff, of Ganda London, that I knew was going to test my development chops.

Tony’s vision for the site had a very light and open feel, and every page had a slightly different ebb and flow of content that was never in the same place twice on any two pages.  Building every page in html would have defeated the purpose of using WordPress and the ever awesome Genesis Framework, as it would not allow for flexibility for the user.  One thing I noticed about the layout was it seemed to have “modules”.  So we decided to build the site in just that format …modules. Every section of a page is an individual module that when put together can be customized into thousands of combinations.  The input for the modules is a simple drop down selection that then reveals options for that particular section. Modules can easily be rearranged simply by dragging and dropping them.  There was a lot more than went into this site, in regards to maps, university managers, video mangers, heat mapping, email list managers, and a few other pieces, but at the end of the day that module system is what makes this site shine from an admin perspective and ultimately presents Tony’s design in all it’s flexible glory.

So now you’re asking yourself, “What is Apply High?”

Apply High is an educational services firm that helps students maximize their chances of gaining admission to universities in the United States and the United Kingdom, including Ivy League universities and Oxford and Cambridge colleges. They offer expert advice and guidance to students all over the world.

Michael Motto, the Founder and Director of Programs, served as assistant Director of Undergraduate Admissions at Yale University, Michael reviewed more 3,000 undergraduate applications. He has evaluated more than 6,000 student essays, over 7,000 letters of recommendation and more than 3,000 secondary school reports.

If you are a high school student, or a parent of a student getting ready to apply to college, please check out Apply High, they have a great product and the experience to boot.

I’m so excited to finally see this site launch, it’s been a very long development process. I think Tony said it well:

Indeed, freelance for the win!

]]> 57
Cyber Ninjas Wed, 18 Dec 2013 19:33:44 +0000 Some clients you know right away that “this is going to be awesome!” Needless to say, when Doug, CEO of Cyber Ninjas, and I had our Discovery Meeting to figure out what the vision for his site was, we hit it off instantly. We’re both tech guys, we have large families, and we both remember the days of dial up internet. Almost all of our meetings ended with a good hour of chatting about life, kids, technology and our businesses. More than a client, I feel as though I’ve gained a new friend.

So now that the mushy stuff is out of the way, let’s talk about the site and what is going on in this beast. As usual, this site is built on WordPress and the ever magnificent Genesis Framework. There is quite a bit of custom functionality by way of custom post types for the testimonials (which are not live currently, but soon) and custom fields for the general layout.

We decided to make a flexible content system to allow us to change the layout of the site on a whim. Some options include custom hero control, conditional adding of subscribe boxes, variable passing for form auto-completion, testimonial sections, and call to actions. We also created a system for different content types: staggered content, plain content, parallax content and grid content. The content blocks can be used in any order and even rearranged to make uber customized layouts but retain the style of the overall brand.

The site is fully responsive and ready for any device to gaze upon it’s glory. We made some cool adjustments to the navigation that allows for a user to call the company just by clicking the phone button if they’re on a mobile device. If they’re on any other device, it reveals the phone number to be copied and saved for later. Clever, clever.

Overall I’m very pleased with how the site turned out, and that I have a new friend, that lives half way across the country and that I may never actually meet in person. Hooray for the internet!

]]> 56
Gethrr Thu, 14 Nov 2013 19:47:36 +0000 Remember our good friends at M2 Photography?  Well they just can’t stop building websites and coming up with new companies to start.  This adventure they are launching is called “Gethrr” it’s a play on “Together”, in fact their contact email is, classic!  Gethrr is a community movement inspiring good and bringing together people to help those in need.  They are doing this through a membership site that is only $1 a month.  Members contributions go towards a community project that Gethrr picks on a monthly basis.   Members and non-members alike are asked to submit a pledge to make their community a better place. Not just the community they physically live in, but also to the bigger community that is the world, in which many people are now connected through the wonderful thing we call the internet.

On the technical side of things, the membership functionality is powered by Premise which is made by the same folks that make my favorite WordPress framework, Genesis.   We created a custom post type to manage all of the pledge submissions and use some custom fields to make management easier for the admins.

I’m very pleased with how everything turned out with this site and I really hope that it gains some traction with people that are interested in making their world a better place, to Gethrr!  (see what I did there?)

]]> 65
Team Jud Kuhn Chevrolet Mon, 14 Oct 2013 18:04:53 +0000 If you’ve followed my work at all you know I’ve done quite a bit of work for Jud Kuhn Chevrolet in the past. I’ve helped him with many campaigns and adventures in the past. Our good friends at Jud Kuhn are at it again, this time in the form of a fishing team! Jud is an avid outdoorsman; this guy lives fishing and hunting, in fact he’s a pro hunter on the hunting show DropZone TV on the Outdoor Channel. So it’s no surprise that he would eventually take that passion and talent, and apply it to competitive fishing.

This site is really fun to look at, as well as to build it. At it’s core it’s really only one page. But it gives you everything you need right there! Landing pages for the win. We used a combination of plugins and custom fields to allow for Jud’s team to edit all of the content on the page and give them maximum control where they need it. Jud really wanted to have some music from his good friend Colt Ford on this site, which I’m honestly not a huge fan of music on websites that autoplay. However, we came up with a clever way of turning off the music, scrolling! That’s right, as a user scrolls down the page, the music slowly fades out over the course of the scroll. I had a lot of fun playing with that while we were building it. It’s fun to scroll up and down and listen to the music get louder and softer. Give it a try!

There are a few neat little things like that through out the page, take a look and see what you can find.

At the end of the day I’m really happy with this site turned out, especially with the very limited time we had to put it together. Show your support for Team Jud Kuhn Chevrolet by checking out his site, maybe hitting up a fishing competition or catching him on DropZone!

]]> 42
Catering By Design Sun, 14 Apr 2013 19:32:40 +0000 Let just start this post off with, Catering by Design is a very fun company!  We had a blast designing and building this site together.  CBD as they sometimes go by, is one of Philadelphia’s premier catering companies.  But they don’t just cater…

Catering By Design is the purposeful manifestation of pairing food and design in every last detail of an event. The menu, décor, entertainment, and facilities are all crafted specifically for each occasion. They approach every menu and design element with you in mind, integrating flavors to represent you and your needs.

You see, they’ll take your event and they will take beyond the next level, and into the stratosphere.  Check out some of the events they have done on their blog to get a sense of the awesomeness they bring to the table, pun intended.

From a development standpoint there is quite a bit of integration and cross linking going on here.  They wanted to showcase their events, but in true CBD fashion it had to be taken a step further.  Every event can be tagged with the staff members that worked on the event as well as link in vendors that worked on it as well!  So not only are they linking in their own team profiles, but they’re sharing the love to the other vendors they work with on the job, who also have profiles on their site.  How cool is that?  To take things a step further even, every staff member is able to add recipes to the site that can be linked to their profiles.  Link love for the win.

There are quite a few other things to check out on the site, go explore it and see what you can find.

]]> 65
Mike Hall – Part Duex Sat, 09 Feb 2013 22:13:57 +0000 You may remember this dude from a couple years ago when I built his original site.  Well the Mizza returns for round two with a smokin’ site.  We decided to go all out on this one and make it HUGE.  It’s what I like to call “Appy”  it fills the entire screen on just about any computer or device you go on. (iMacs not included, it actually maxes out at 1500px.)  But, that’s still freaking huge!  By the way, my site is the same way, go ahead, resize it, I dare you.  :)

So Mike wanted this site to work on every browser, screen size, device you could possibly imagine.  Well he called at the right time, because responsive design is taking off like a rocket at the moment and I’ve been studying it pretty heavily for about a year now.  So I was ready to roll!

Other than making it super wide and fun for all devices, we added a new testimonials system for him that is powered by a … wait for it… wait for it… a custom post type and custom fields!!! ding ding.  Mike has a couple fields to fill in and he’s done.  The site takes that info and pushes it all over the place.

If you like engaging websites, definitely check out Mikes, it won’t disappoint.

]]> 59
M2 Photography 2012 Redesign Sat, 09 Feb 2013 21:56:53 +0000 Let me just say, I love Michael and Melissa.  It’s too bad we live so far away, because we would hang out, a lot.

You may remember M2 from a previous post, well that’s because this is a redesign I just did for them.

M2 had this cool idea to make everything look sketchy, papery, and “what not.” ( my word not theirs).  They had a decent color palette picked out, so it was just up to me to figure out a layout for them.  We opted to keep the browns and green and add some linen texture to it to make it papery, as well as adding the tear where ever the brown and white meet to reinforce the paper feel.

M2 is very busy, in fact, I think they’re already completely booked for 2013.  I might be wrong, don’t let that stop you from trying to hire them.  haha.  Anyway, they have a lot of repeat customers, a lot of them will have an engagement session, then hire them for their wedding, then each of those have portals to buy the images and sneak peak posts… one client could potentially have 5 or 6 posts or pages they might need to go to.  So they needed a system to keep all of their clients “stuff” organized.  Enter the “Client” system, clever name huh?  I came up with it all on my lonesome.

So the client system is exactly that, it’s a custom post type that allows M2 to add a new client then attach any links or posts they want to them so that the client can then go to one area and retrieve all of their goodies.  Awesome.

M2 also do workshops, which in turn have inspired my own WordPress Tutoring service.  So we built them a super slick event management system to do payment processing, keep track of students, etc.   It’s pretty rad.

So if you’re in the north east hire M2 for all your photography.  You won’t be disappointed.


]]> 74
Roadstar Mobile Billboards Sat, 09 Feb 2013 21:35:35 +0000 As you may have read, I grew up in the sign industry, one of the things we used to do was vehicle graphics.  I remember the first time I did a full wrap on a large box truck.  It was insane to say the least.  It’s not a quick process, and there is a lot of attention to detail needed to make sure everything fits perfectly.  Well, Roadstar takes the same truck and does this over and over and over, and not only that, but then they drive the truck around for you as well!

Roadstar is kind of an ongoing project, we like to meet up every few months to do a little work on it and improve it.  This last round we cleaned up some code and made it more efficient in it’s delivery of content.  I’m hoping the next upgrade we do will be to make this thing responsive!

We also built a cool system called “Photo Journal”  that allows the Roadstar team to document all of the marketing made by one of their trucks and present it to the client in a clean way.  It’s powered by a (surprise!) custom post type and a few custom fields.  The insertion and management process is super easy, just what they were looking for.  :)

]]> 61
CFAI Sat, 09 Feb 2013 21:21:03 +0000 One day I get a phone call from an artist in Texas who says she needs some help building an ecommerce site for a group of artists.  I thought, ok this should be pretty easy.  Wrong.  :)  CFAI is a massive site, well at least it is now.  This is one of those projects where you start off with a scope the size of a baseball and by the end of the project you look back at it and say “Wow, we just built the Death Star, how cool is that?!”

So some of the details on this project, I like to call it “Etsy for Fine Art.”   That basically sums it up.  This is a collaboration of, at the time of this post, over 340 artists.  Each artist has their own “site” within CFAI.   It’s actually a multisite install that allows them to make blogposts, add art to sell in the main gallery, as well as set up workshops for other artists to attend.  This is a multi-level site as well, meaning not everyone can sell their work, some can just display it.

The ecommerce platform is setup so that a sale is a percentage split between CFAI and the artist, which is all automatically handled through Paypal.   It’s rather slick.

On top of the sales features, CFAI also does monthly contests and features one of their artists.  For these systems we opted to build custom post types with some custom fields to make the job a lot easier for their admins.

It’s a rather cool site, if I don’t say so myself.  Have a look :)

]]> 79
Build A Truck Website Sat, 09 Feb 2013 21:01:01 +0000 About two years ago, Jud Kuhn asked me to develop a brand for a website that he was thinking of building, Build A Truck.  He’s into “monster” trucks, if you will.   He builds these insane trucks with all kinds of customizations and showcase them on a website.   At the time I wasn’t experienced enough in this type of site to even come close to building it for him.  However, just recently Jud contacted me and asked if I’d be willing to rebuild the site for him.  With out hesitation I was ready to go!

This site was really fun to build, it’s built on WordPress and Genesis Framework, as always, and it has a bunch of custom functionality.  It’s basically two custom post types working together as one.  There is a vehicles post type and a class post type.  You can filter vehicles into classes and sub classes for organization, the information pages are controlled by these as well.  Each vehicle has a very simple custom menu to build out all of the options.   It’s rather intuitive from a users perspective.  They were able to take that system and run with it right out of the gate with a very low learning curve.

I would love to revisit this site some time this year and make it responsive, I may have to send Jud some emails. :)

]]> 66
Wellspring Church Fri, 09 Mar 2012 22:19:06 +0000 In early 2010, I was at a crossroads. I had just left a staff position at Barefoot Church, I really needed time to focus on reconnecting my relationship with God, strengthening my marriage, playing a larger role in my boys lives, and getting my business up and running. God was telling me to stay away from “ministry work” for a year.

The year that followed was a stressful one, as we were starting a new business, having a new baby, and moving into a new house. In the same year, we started going to Wellspring Church, we found a fantastic group of like minded individuals that were on fire for seeing Myrtle Beach changed by Christ. I followed Gods Will and did not go near the idea of a “staff job”. I just played drums with Wellspring for the first year. Which by the way… is awesome, anyone that knows me, knows I love playing drums.

At almost the exact year mark, my relationship with God had been stronger than ever. My marriage was on fire, my boys were strong, healthy and seeing their dad every day. I had received a ton of recognition for my work with Studiopress and secured myself a steady amount of work to the point of having to turn some down. Success. :)

I heard God speak to me very clearly… He told me that I should ask Trey if he needed any help with their website. Of course, he immediately jumped at the chance to get a new site done.

Side note: I’m not, nor do I have any plans to go on full time staff at Wellspring. God has given me a great gift and blessing in my business. However, I have committed to helping Wellspring at a high capacity… Web Design, Series Design and whatever else they need really.

So anyway, over the next 5 months, we brain stormed, plotted, planned, and created a very remarkable site …

There are a TON of features on this site and we’re building more every month.  To get a real feel for it, please check out the site. It will blow your mind.

Home Page

We actually use two homepages, one is the standard , but at the start of a new series, we flip it over to a custom designed landing page to help drive the invitations.

Sermon Archive

The sermon system is custom built to be easy to use for the staff as well as the congregation. Every sermon ever preached is available in either audio or video, in some cases both. The individual sermons are hidden “inside” the graphic, hover it to reveal the list. Some cool CSS3 transitions power the fading.

Single Sermon

We really wanted to make the sermons an experience, we have a lot of time into making sure this section was awesome. This is the gem of the website in my opinion. This is the Single Sermon page. From here you can watch or listen to the message, share it with Twitter and Facebook, subscribe to iTunes, take notes, read the bible, find sermons that are related to this one, and have quick access to all the sermons from the past 3 years.

The backend system is quite simple to use and is completely automated so that iTunes, Facebook, Twitter, RSS, etc are updated simultaneously. I love this system, and the staff love it too.


Clearly I’m excited about some of the more technical aspects of the site. However, this is the most touching section. This is the stories section. We have a form setup where people can share their stories of how God has changed their life through Wellspring. (User generated content is a win/win) It’s something we are all very excited about. There are some amazing stories already on there, and I can’t wait to see more.

In conclusion

This church rocks. This site rocks. God rocks. Check it out.

]]> 63
Mike “Mizza” Hall – Motivational Speaker Mon, 07 Mar 2011 18:55:26 +0000 Mike has a brand new design for 2013:  Check it

Have you ever heard of Young Life?  if( yes() ) { skip_2_sentences(); }  else  {continue_reading(); }  …. sorry nerdy php joke…

ANYWAY!  It’s basically a youth outreach that does all sorts of cool events and camps and what not.  ( If you live in the Myrtle Beach area, they actually just brought it down here. )  Well when I was in high school, one of the Young Life directors in my area was this super cool guy, Mike Hall.  Mike was a skateboarder, listened to punk rock, and was just an all around great guy.   I never got really close with Mike in high school, but I would attend some of the events he put on, he’d come see my band play shows and we’d talk every now and again.    After I graduated I think he moved down to the Jersey Shore to be on some tv show or something where he gained the nickname “Mizza”…. lol, just kidding.  But he did move to the Jersey Shore.

Well at random, in late 2010, I get a Facebook message from Mike that said he was on vacation in my area and wanted to grab some coffee and breakfast.  So we caught up and had some awesome conversation and parted ways.  Well I got another random message a few weeks ago, this time he wanted to talk shop and get himself a fancy interwebs site.

Mike is embarking on a similar path I recently took, he is going into business full time for himself.  With the exception he’s going to be a public/motivational speaker…. anyone that knows me, knows that I’m not a very good speaker in general, let alone a public speaker.   Mizza on the other hand, is well equipped for the task.  The dude is really good with youth, maybe partly because he still looks like a teenager?? haha.  Just playin’ Mike.

After talking it over for a few hours we had a pretty clear vision for what he wanted to accomplish.  Mike has some pretty big dreams for this site as we move through time, so be on the look out for some really cool features in the future.   We also built him a custom Facebook landing page with all the bells and whistles.  Pretty stylish.


]]> 55
TC Geeks Tue, 08 Feb 2011 19:13:19 +0000 Anyone that knows my family knows we are completely enamored with our iPad.  Daiden is an iPad wizard, Mason could (and has) literally wasted an entire afternoon playing Angry Birds, and I have WAY too many hours into World of Goo.  So naturally when Shane at TCGeeks (TC = Tablet Computer) approached me about redesigning his blog there was no way I could say no.

One of my favorite parts of my job is getting to become friends with my clients, and Shane is no exception.   This project was a lot of fun. Despite living on opposite sides of the country, we found plenty of ways to waste time chatting and goofing around on Skype.   I can’t tell you how many times we would start off talking about the project, then an hour or two later we realize we’ve been talking about Home Made Enchiladas or Hell’s Kitchen, for the last couple hours.

Shane wanted something simple, eye catching, not “too techy”, plenty of room for ads, and something that would speak to a larger community of tablet users, which is about to grow much wider than just the iPad. I think we did a good job allowing for the future expansion of more tablets as they are released. We even came up with a nifty coming soon graphic for the footer.

There are a lot of great articles on this site, if you have an iPad or are looking at buying one of the many tablets about to come out then following this blog will be a great resource for you.


]]> 38
Panko Encrusted Meatballs over Alfredo Florentine Penne Sun, 06 Feb 2011 00:02:00 +0000 Welcome to my first cooking blog post! Hopefully there will be many more to come after this.

Let me first tell you a little bit about why I am starting this. I grew up watching and helping my grandmother cook.  It was a great passion in her life, and to me she was one of the greatest chefs on the planet.   I never really got into cooking as a teenager or when I was a single adult.  But lately as an adult, with a wife and three kids, I find myself cooking a great deal.  Some of it is to save money on fast food and pizza, the other is because I’ve found I really enjoy it.

The goal of this blog is to take you through my cooking experience, as well as give me a place to make a pseudo cookbook.   I am not a trained chef, I’ve never been to culinary school, I don’t even remember taking a cooking class in high school.  Even though I’m pretty sure I had to… I don’t have mad knife skills and I am not a wealth of knowledge, I will probably tell you some things that I think are right and upon further research will probably be completely wrong.

I plan to share recipes that I know my family and I love to eat.  That includes my uber picky 2 year old Daiden,

Enough history, let’s talk about some food.

Panko Encrusted Meatballs with Alfredo Florentine Penne

Daiden and I make meatballs all the time, tonight we decided to make them with a Panko crust.  We had some Panko left over from cordon bleu, so we figured… Those would be great on meatballs too!

One of my things not being a trained cook, I don’t usually measure things, so giving you exacts to go off of will be difficult.  I’ll give you rough estimates… And in some cases odd measuring methods… I apologize in advance… It’s just how I roll.

Panko Encrusted Meatballs

  • 2 lbs ground beef
  • 1 cup milk
  • 3 or 4 slices bread (we had 2 pieces of Texas toast left over from French toast)
  • 2 cloves garlic – Sliced
  • 3 seconds of olive oil (what? I counted to three while pouring, it’s probably about 2 cups)
  • 3 tablespoons Oregano
  • 3 tablespoons Basil – Chopped
  • A handful flat leaf parsley – Chopped
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup Panko bread crumbs
  • 1 cup plain bread crumbs
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 3/4 cup parmesan cheese

We’ll start with the meatballs because they’ll take the longest.  We’re going to fry and bake our meatballs.   Doing both gives the meatball a nice crunch as well as helps seal a lot of the moisture in, similar to how you sear a good piece of steak.

Preheat your oven to 375.

In a large pan pour your oil, but don’t turn on the heat yet, we’re going to infuse our oil with the garlic.  Peel and slice your garlic nice a thin.  Then drop it in the cold oil and turn your heat to medium high.  By keeping the temp low and increasing it slowly, the oil will extract the flavor from the garlic.  Opposed to starting with high heat, which will just fry the garlic and seal the flavor within. You’ll want to extract the garlic before it starts to burn, burnt garlic is not a tasty treat.  Don’t throw these tidbits away we have big plans for it!

Chop bread into small cubes and place in a large mixing bowl with the milk and let them soak up the milk.   Then add your ground beef, oregano, cheese, parsley, basil, egg, a good bit salt and some pepper.  Grab those left over bits of garlic chop ’em real fine and toss those in the mix as well.  You’ll be tempted to just eat them… I ate one, they were delicious… like mini bagel crisps.

Once you have a ingredients in the bowl, remove all rings… You don’t want want anyone eating your wedding promise now do ya?

Mix the ingredients together with your hands, don’t use a machine to do this… a mixer will destroy the consistency.  The meat should be pretty moist, definitely not dry and not too wet.  Just wet enough that it holds it shape you start forming the balls.

Pour your Panko into a small bowl.  Form your meatball and then dip it in the panko.  Normally you would use some sort of binder like egg to wash the meat first so the panko will stick… well there is already egg in the mixture and your meat should be moist enough that the panko will stick without any extra wash.

When forming the balls, don’t pack them too tight, they should be loosely packed.  You pack them too tight they’ll wind up really tough.  Not a tasty treat.

Make sure your oil is hot, if it’s not hot enough the panko will soak up the oil while it cooks.  Drop the balls into the oil for about 1 – 2 minutes per side.  Remember, we’re not cooking them we’re just sealing them and getting that garlic flavor into the panko.  Don’t crowd the pan either, let those puppies breathe!

Remove the balls and place them on a baking tray and pop in the oven for 15 – 20 minutes.  That time is really going to depend on how big you make the balls.

Alfredo Florentine Penne

Ok I cheated a bit on this… I like to make sauces, but I haven’t made Alfredo yet…. Shame. Next time I promise I will.

  • 1 jar Classico Alfredo (so much shame.)
  • 1 cup spinach
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 2 cups penne
  • some salt

My kids hate spinach… at least they think they do.  They actually love it, they just don’t like it in a big sloppy pile on the plate, or even large chunks of it in the sauce.  This is a easy way to disguise the spinach and make a pretty sauce at the same time.

Drop your spinach into a food processor and give it a few pulses.  Then mix that into the saucepan with your sauce, cheese and heavy cream.  Leave that on low heat just to heat up while the meatballs are cooking.

I didn’t tell you to do this, but you should already have a nice big pot of water boiling… yeah?  Please make sure you add the salt to the water.  My grandmother always said it should taste like the ocean.

Boil your pasta according to the instructions.  Usually about 9 – 11 minutes.  Mid way through add a tablespoon or two to the sauce.  That’ll help the marriage process of the pasta to the sauce.  A romantic thought…

When the pasta is just about al dente, strain but DO NOT RINSE the pasta and add immediately to the sauce to let it finish cooking.  If you have good wrist action, do this in a decent pan and flip that stuff around.  It’ll help aerate the sauce as well as combine it with the pasta.

Once your finished all that, you can begin plating.  Believe it or not, I like to plate our food at home.  It just adds something special to the meal.  My wife makes fun of me sometimes, but it’s ok.

There you have it.  I hope you enjoy them as much as we did.  I’d love to hear your feedback if you tried this recipe out or if you altered it in anyway.

]]> 56
Custom Default Avatar For WP Comments Thu, 20 Jan 2011 00:34:00 +0000 When it comes to branding your blog or website, there are many things in the default wp that can really hinder the flow of that brand you worked so hard to design and develop. One of them is the horrendous avatars that come in the stock version of wordpress comments.  There is always leaving it up to Gravatar, but most people who aren’t bloggers have no idea who or what a Gravatar is.  So instead, lets make sure the default looks good.

In this tutorial I’ll teach you how to change the default avatar to a custom one in 5 simple steps.

The Tutorial

Step 1: Create a png 48px by 48px and upload it to your theme directory. In this case I’m making mine part of the Studio412 logo.

Step 2: Add this code to your functions.php

Step 3: Change the required capitalized pieces to fit your site. You must provide a full quality domain name.

Step 4: In the WP-admin navigate to Settings > Discussion

Step 5: Change the default avatar to your custom one and you’re good!


It’s that simple… Comment on this post to give a try.


]]> 99