Wednesday, February 24, 2010


I've been feeling pretty uncreative in the kitchen lately and have wanted to make some healthier things that the kids like as much as we do. Renna (who is two) is pretty sensitive to any kind of spice or sauce and since I was the same as a kid I really understand. Certain things would make my tongue feel like it was burning, like.. on fire. Cinnamon gum was completely out for me.

I got an idea on Sunday at potluck when I had a stir-fry veggie/sausage dish made by Heather Shaver (so I was told) and it was just so fresh and flavorful it made me feel good. So when I got my own ingredients the basic idea was to cook some meat and then throw veggies in (lots of color!) and let the veggies just cook in a little water and the juice from the cooked meat. Hence, the kids would like the "no spiceness" of it and actually, it didn't need anything more. (The meat that I used was turkey ham and then turkey bacon... the turkey bacon was cheaper and I didn't have to bother with tons of hot grease to pour out of the pan, but you could use any meat or mushrooms instead or just veggies... or more meat.. you get the idea.)

I'd picked up a few things at Walmart for just such a mean when I saw the "Mandarin sauce" for not very much and it didn't have MSG or High Fructose corn syrup. (It does have sugar, but a little sugar isn't a big deal and the drizzle over the veggies was probably much less than the amount of sugar I'd put in a cup of tea.)
The other thing that is super yummy for this meal is the whole wheat linguine to act as the chow mein noodles... I picked up that idea from Rachel Ray.

I call this quick and easy recipe the "Rainbow-veggie whatever-kind-of-meat steamed stir-fry with whole-wheat-linguine and mandarin-sauce drizzle" OR the RVWKMSSFWWLMSD.

That's right folks! AND it's so quick that you can make it even before you say it's name.

Definitely a winner. I should write a cookbook. ;]

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Art work...

This was a commission from last February 2009... I couldn't remember if I'd posted pictures.. or could find them and I have a hard time explaining what my art IS. Of course, even if people see this in person they often still don't know how I'm doing it. Which.. of course is perfectly fine! I like being original. :]

The lady that bought this wanted a floral arrangement that was Victorian in essence. I pulled out my old books from school when I took a quarter of floral design and "arranged" the flowers in an asymmetric design. Victorian floral arrangements liked to have arrange the flowers in a very overflowing way. The Peony and status and Lilies and old fashioned baby's breathe are all pretty appropriate for the period as well.

The colors that she wanted were a gold (hence the Lilies) and rose pink and sage green... the purple I just added because I liked it.

As you can see, the black poster-board paper is the closest thing to the viewer. First I cut all the shapes from the black and then layer the strips of paper on the back side. And this next picture is what the back looks like. Yes, this is what I see the whole time I'm working. I do sections at a time and then flip it over to make sure I didn't make a mistake (as in let the raw edge of any of the paper show... just the folded edges are supposed to show) and if what I was envisioning actually worked.

I use photo safe tape over the paper strips after I've glued each one down one at a time. Sometimes I have to take out a section if it is totally weird looking and other times I turn it over to check and it's different than what I've planned but it still looks good. In that way the art sometimes has a mind of it's own which is pretty fun for me. :]

And there it is... not as impressive as seeing a giant version in all it's dimensions on the wall, but you get the general idea. :] Some day these are going to be worth a lot more than I'm able to sell them for right now.... why are artists usually only appreciated after they are dead?