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Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Baking on a Sunday...

This is an art journal page about comfort food. I often end up baking something on Sunday afternoon. It is one day when I have several hours at home.

This past Sunday, I was looking through a art project from my childhood. It was a collection of mimeographed recipes we had made as a third grade class in order to give our moms a cookbook for Christmas. [by the way Mom, I have that cookbook here!] among the recipes was this easy recipe for a cherry cake, AND I just happened to have a can of cherries sitting on my counter!
It was obviously meant to be that I should try this one! [It is rather like a cherry clafouti, just simple and wonderful!]

If you move your cursor and click, the photo of the page will enlarge and you can read the recipe. [You will also see that turning to baking for comfort food is BIG with me! My current stress??? We have been short-handed at work, but as of yesterday (Monday) we have someone else to help us, so I can relax!]
NOTE: I used only 3/4 c sugar and it was plenty. Be sure to add natural almond flavoring if you have some, almond flavor compliments the cherry flavor so well!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

I finally have a copy [from the reserve system at our library] of this book, The Forgotten Garden, by Kate Morton. It is very enjoyable! I've read for hours this weekend and am saving Part Three for the next few days. The mystery is unfolding!

First Sunday in autumn, garden update.

Still lots of green tomatoes, I hope some of them will ripen now that we are having some sunny days!

A bloom and a baby cucumber. I don't know if this one will mature, but maybe.

This is my resident garden assistant. He is helping me figure out were the sunniest location is for next spring's "Lasagna Garden".

Today I harvested what basil I could, leaving the plants still growing and hoping for more in a week or ten days.

It is time to make Ina Garten's pesto ! I freeze it in ice cube trays, then in freezer bags and have pesto for cooking all winter!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

A good friend, of many years, had a birthday this week. I had made this little English cottage quilt block with her in mind several years ago. It has now become one side of a tea cozy for her.

The other side has a little Kate Greenaway girl embroidered on it. I think it came together very nicely. Now for that pot of tea!


I am working on some watercolors of pears and peaches...they are so gorgeous I have to paint them before I can eat them! Also copying some Mary Oliver poetry in long hand to use as collage backgrounds.
Our garden has lots of green tomatoes. I harvested a cucumber and large beefsteak tomato this week. I have planted some beets...a few only came up...and some turnips...lots of those came up. We will see if they produce any wonderful beets and turnips for me to watercolor! [There is always the farmer's market here!]
This is my day off, I really feel like hibernating with this cool cloudy fall weather we are having.
Perhaps just read a book, or do a collage, or cook something to go with the tea!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Better than armchair travel!!!!

A fabulous new travel business opened on the internet today! Our daughter, Laura, just launched TRIP CRAVE! Laura has years of experience with an internet site selling travel to the Caribbean. [ AND, see my family links on the side]

I hope you will visit and bookmark this new site which will bring you wonderful travel ideas at great prices!!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Something new to practice....

Marilyn knits by "throwing". This is how I learned and have been knitting.

Anna-Liza knits by "picking", this is what I am practicing.

I really enjoy knitting and handwork. I have "produced" so many items because it is so much fun! Now, instead of making something, I am allowing myself just to practice. I want to learn to be a "picker" as well as a "thrower". After doing English knitting (throwing) for many years, I want to learn continental knitting (picking)...(it is faster and easier, uses different finger muscles so hands are less tired!)

I had assumed that I "was what I was", ( a thrower) until I read this post from Knitting Daily.

It is very peaceful just to sit and practice this technique while watching public television series or DVD's from the library. Whether I produce any knitted items or not, I am enjoying this. I think it IS rather like yoga, especially when the pressure to make something fabulous has been removed.[Variegated yarn in "Rose Bouquet" from Patons Decor, wool and acrylic blend.]

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Getting practical this week....I found a great bargain!

If you love Kashi cereals and grains, go to and JOIN! You can then print out great coupons for their products!
This week, thru Saturday, Walgreens is offering boxes of Kashi cereal 2/$5.00. With the coupons good for $1.50 off/ box from the Kashi website, I ended up paying $1.00/box! Now that was fun!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Somedays at work things are fun!

We have used machines here which are sometimes ready to sell. Here is a rare Singer model 337. These were made in 1963 to 1964 in Scotland. They are all medal except for the tension dial which is plastic. But the most wonderful thing about this is its color!!!! Aqua, turquoise....just wonderful!

So today, I tested and demonstrated that this machine does still sew well.
I could take it home....but I already have 4 restraint is called for.
We will find a good home for it!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Lasting images of summer.....

My grandson enjoying perhaps his first corn on the cob! [I'm not the only "foodie" in this family!]

August day in front of the Plaza. [I wasn't on the trip, but love the photos!]

My grandchildren snuggling on a colorful sofa with Manhattan in the background! [To me this is almost like a collage, the many shapes, colors and elements crowded together, making it a challenge to find their faces. The warm sunny tones in the foreground contrast with the cool blue grays of the skyscrapers outside the window with its strong vertical black bar elements.
I love this photo! Great job, Laura!]
note: click on photo for closer view!

Riding around in the city, my daughter and grandson. Hugs to you both!

NOTE: Just posted today's collage!

Monday, September 07, 2009

Simple pleasures for Labor Day....

Finding another fresh tomato and picking it this morning... [destined to be part of our evening meal]!

Smelling apple crisp as it bakes with apples from a friend (thanks, Cheryl!)!!

Hearing the song of a cardinal just outside my studio door. [A watercolor painted last month for another friend!]
I have given myself a day off. I will do what I enjoy with no pressure, so now I will THINK about doing a collage/art journal page about Botswana or whatever it evolves into as I work on it.

Sunday, September 06, 2009

The newest in the #1 Ladies Detective Agency series. I am reading this today. I have tomorrow off too [Labor Day] and hope to do some art work....maybe use Botswana as an inspiration for a collage.

Saturday, September 05, 2009

I'm liking my haircut.....and here is a look at it, sort of! LOL!

All are real photos of me but altered with Photoshop! [and really, my hair looks just about like it "always" big change!]

Thursday, September 03, 2009

I think it is the change in the weather, a new month or maybe the full moon coming soon....

.....I want a new I've been on-line, looking. These were 2 of my favorites!!! Now, is that really a before and after above???? The bone structure seems to be right. A real glamour photo! Hmmmm....wonder if the eyes are colored contact lenses???? The artist in me loves all these colors!
Having purple spiky hair is a definite fantasy of mine, but I wouldn't like the up-keep nor the comments it would bring. I'll save it for a fantasy self-portrait.[maybe the self-portrait to go with the popular, "THE WITCH IS IN" idea!]
This (below) is closer to my reality, it is the color my hair often is...but of course, I look nothing like Katie Holmes. (Look at the graceful long neck!)
I almost pulled into a "walk-ins welcome" salon today....but the reality of it set in....I was in search of a fantasy which salons always fail to deliver!!! So, as I have done for most of my life, I will get out the barber shears and the Clairol and see what I end up with later today!!!!

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

I'm finding wonderful recipes on the internet. It started with my e-mail newsletter from Dorie Greenspan. Soon I had more creative cooking and baking ideas than I can ever accomplish in just one day off which is what I have this week.

Take a look at these!

COCONUT MACAROONS From Modern Spice by Monica Bhide
Yield: 35-38 small macaroons

Cook Time: 30 minutes (plus 30 minutes to cool)
1 (14 oz) package shredded sweetened coconut
10 oz. sweetened condensed milk from a 14 oz can (I like Eagle brand) (Note from Dorie - this measures out as a scant cup)
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cardamom
1 teaspoon saffron threads, crushed
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 small egg whites, whipped to stiff peaks (Note from Dorie - you can use the whites from medium or large eggs; Monica told me she just doesn't want you to use extra-large or jumbo egg whites)
1. Prepare a sheet pan by lining it with parchment paper and lightly spraying with nonstick spray.
2. Heat the oven to 350 degrees.
3. Combine the coconut, condensed milk, saffron, cardamom and salt in a bowl. It will form a mixture that is not like typical cookie dough. But once the egg whites are folded in, the mixture will stay together during baking.
4. Gently fold in the whipped egg whites.
5. Using a spoon, mold the mixture into tablespoon-size balls and place 1 inch apart on the prepared pan.
6. Bake the macaroons for about 14-16 minutes until the exterior is very slightly brown, the middle is still soft and the bottoms begin to turn golden brown.
7. Remove from the oven. Allow to cool for about 20 minutes. (Note from Dorie- I cooled the macaroons on the baking sheet because they were too fragile to move while they were hot.)8. Serve at room temperature. These can be stored in an airtight container for up to a week.

It is funny how once you start trying one recipe which may seem very new and unsual at the time, you will soon find more that are similar. I have been baking various citrus, olive oil cakes...some with fresh rosemary chopped up for a lovely taste. I have also been making a yogurt cake. NOW here is a recipe, I followed a link in Dorie Greenspans current "Sweet Times Newsletter", for EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL and YOGURT cake. Of course, I'll have to try it!

EVO and Yogurt Loaf Cake
Makes 8 servings
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
Pinch of salt
1 cup sugar (I may use less sugar!)
Finely grated zest of 1 lime
1/2 cup plain whole milk yogurt
3 large eggs
1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup evo (extra-virgin olive oil)

Getting ready: Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Generously butter an 8 1/2-x-4 1/2-inch loaf pan, place the pan on a lined baking sheet and set aside. Whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt and keep near by.
Put the sugar and zest in a medium bowl and rub the ingredients together until the sugar is fragrant. Whisk in the yogurt, eggs and vanilla. When the mixture is well blended, gently whisk in the dry ingredients. Switch to a spatula and fold in the oil. The batter will be thick and shiny. Scrape it into the pan and smooth the top.
Bake the cake for 50 to 55 minutes, or until it is golden and starts to come away from the sides of the pan; a knife inserted into the center of the cake will come out clean. Cool on a rack for 5 minutes, then run a knife between the cake and the sides of the pan. Unmold and cool to room temperature right-side up.
Storing: You can keep the cake at room temperature for at least 4 days or freeze it for up to 2 months.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

How wonderful to have some time together! Below, 2 of my favorite guys, chatting while waiting for the "take-and-bake" pizza to be ready on Wednesday evening.

Time quickly passes,before we know it, it is time for a good-bye hug on Saturday morning. [He is leaving early so someone is still in her pj's!]

Now thank-goodness that I have my job to go to, or I'd feel like this little dog, watching out the window for the truck to come back!

We truly savored every minute, from an outing to a local construction site, [ The Walmart heiress is building a fabulous art museum near here.] to games of Scrabble with my Mom in the evenings. Good memories!

This oil painting by Deborah Elmquist of Port Orange, FL is called "Sew Many Memories".
I couldn't see the old SINGER at first glance. As someone who learned to sew on a similar machine, ( and still do at times with my little Singer Featherweight) I truly understand her painting!

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