Friday, July 29, 2011

Aquatic Dreams Show

Great News! Several of my paintings are being featured in the exhibition at Daniel Day Gallery/Dream Mecca Studio, here in downtown Birmingham. When I got the invite to be in the show and saw that the title of the show was "Aquatic Dreams," I couldn't believe how well this title fit my work! The show is opening, Friday August 5th from 6-10 pm.

Along with my work, there will be artwork, jewelry, and clothing by other local artists as well is live music by Leisa Renfro. Over 20 artists!

It feels good to be getting my work out there (instead of it sitting in a stack on my studio floor). When they posted the event on facebook, I was tickled to see that they used one of my paintings as the main image!

Here is the painting they used. Come out to the show! Next Friday, August 5th from 6-10 pm. The gallery is located at 3025 6th Avenue South, Birmingham AL (in the Lakeview District).

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Western Leather Purse

During my recent trip to New Orleans, Liz and I hit up a couple of local thrifties and got some great finds. She found the cutest 80's swimsuit and a funky vintage red dress (pleats and all). I got some cool items to display my jewelry, a gorgeous milk glass bowl, a squirrel and nut ceramic container, and more (so much cool stuff, I might have to post it all)! The best find though, is the Native-American/Western leather purse I got. It was originally priced at $7, but Pelican Thrift where I got it has half off of clothes and accessories on Thursdays. So, I got this gem for a grand total of $3.50. I'm including a picture of the back, because it has a super cool profile of a Native-American in headdress!
Even better, we went to Urban Outfitters later that day, where I found a not vintage version for $130. I'd say I got a deal!

Monday, July 25, 2011

New Orleans Warehouse Arts District

I just got back from visiting my friends Ben and Liz in New Orleans. They moved there just this month and I was impressed with how well they were already navigating the city! On my third day there, we took a trip down to the warehouse arts district. We visited about five galleries and a great coffee shop/cafe. If you are visiting the area and want to see some great up and coming contemporary artists, make sure to get down to Julia Street.

The coffee shop/cafe we visited is called Carmo. They have a Brazilian/Carribean theme. I had a bowl of Edemame and Potato soup that was divine. Ben and Liz both enjoyed some fresh coffee. Check them out!

Here is some of my favorites from our art gallery tour:

The "Arthur Roger Gallery" was featuring works by James Barsness. Wow! These large scale paintings were the first pieces of art I had seen in a long time that floored me. Very impressive. I could have stared at them for hours. As always, you can never capture all of the beauty of a piece of artwork in a photo, and unfortunately this is especially so here. In person, the figures are covered with tiny iridescent dots that follow the natural curves and contours of the body. His work combines traditional religious iconography of the Renaissance and ancient India with a very modern color palette and use of line. He takes the usually serious topic of religious art and adds a sense of humor to it. One piece in the exhibit is titled Weight Loss Jesus. These cacophonous configurations have your eyes darting all over the canvas; yet you still feel a sense of relaxation by the time you walk away.

One piece (I believe it was Runaway Train) had a tiny, somewhat hidden, message at the bottom that read, "If you buy this painting I will donate the proceeds to Jesus Christ the very next time I see him." The piece below is titled Adam and Eve. For more images and information about the exhibit, visit their website (or better yet, visit the gallery).

"LeMieux Galleries" had a lot of art on display. In fact, the gallery seemed never ending with rooms and niches popping up around every turn and corner. My favorites here were the two featured artists. Christine Sauer created very intricate textile cluster constructions. Up close, you can see all of the tiny beads, strings, and layers of lush fabric that compose each circle. Shannon Landis Hansen created intricate mosaic sculptures, like the Red Chair below. There were even a couple of lamps, that were complete with lampshades that had collaged fabric and cutouts that mirrored the collaged mosaics of below. Her mosaics, which incorporate numerous fragments of ceramic figurines remind me of the laundry room wall in the 90's movie, How to make and American Quilt (if you have seen the movie, you know). Here is the link to the gallery website.

Last, but not least, is the "Heriard Cimino Gallery." There are two pieces here by Monica Zeringue. They are graphite drawn female figures, covered with hand-sewn Swarovski crystals. I'm not going to say much about the image, because I feel it speaks for itself! The website for this gallery is here. This piece is titled Glisten.

Cuckoo for Cute Clocks!

I love cuckoo clocks. A few years ago my dad got me one of my very own for Christmas. I loved it, but sadly it fell off of the wall last year and shattered into a million tiny pieces. I was very upset about it.

On my recent beach trip, I found a cuckoo inspired clock that was so adorable, I couldn't pass it up. It doesn't actually cuckoo, but it does have a window that opens with a dancing bird inside. Aren't the squirrels and mushrooms too cute? It was made by Allen Designs Studio. The artist has an etsy shop here. Check out the shop, lots of cute stuff!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

New Ring

So, my mom gave me this gorgeous ring that has quickly become my favorite everyday go-to ring to wear. It's the one on the left with the pretty green stones and swirling silver flowers and patterns. Only mystery left to figure out is what is that green stone? Anybody know?

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Silly Owl Expressions

I found these funny pictures of owls making silly expressions. Had to share!

Click here to see more!

Monday, July 18, 2011

The Strength in Numbers

Art of the Day
This is painting I did when I got back from India. The yellow "om" stamps are from a hand carved wooden stamp I bought from a street vendor. The"map of the human head" up top was a collage piece from a very cool book called You are Here: Personal Geographies and Other Maps of the Imagination. The other collage images of Hindu deities came from some beautiful cards I picked up in the bookstore at the huge five star hotel in Mumbai, India (the same one that sadly got bombed months after our return). The mehndi hands came from a notepad a fellow teacher gifted me. I loved creating this painting and I love looking at it now, it reminds me of my time in India and it warms my heart!

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Saag Creamed Spinach

Saag is my favorite dish with Spinach. Saag Paneer is the most common way the dish is served. Paneer is a fresh curd cheese that usually comes in blocks at Indian markets. Usually the paneer cheese is chopped into cubes, pan-fried, and then immersed in the creamy spinach saag sauce. The only bad thing about it, is it can be hard to find and often pricey when you do find it. I did a little research on the internet, and apparently it is pretty easy and cheap to make your own. I haven't tried it yet, but I plan trying to make my own the next time I make Saag for dinner. I will report back when I do.

To start, defrost your spinach and squeeze out all of the excess water. To make the sauce, saute the first four ingredients in a pan for 5-10 minutes. In a separate pan, bloom the whole spices (cumin seeds, cardamom seeds, fenugreek, mustard seeds, coriander seeds and fennel seeds) by quickly frying them in oil in a skillet. Transfer them to a mortar and pestle and crush them up a bit. Add to the onions, garlic, and ginger. Add the rest of the ingredients, except the yogurt and stock. Cook for another 5-10 minutes, then add the yogurt, stock, and chilies. Mix well. At this point, use an immersion blender to cream up the spinach with the other ingredients. Get in there real good and spend enough time blending it up, so the spinach with get chopped up well and the sauce will be yummy and creamy. Add the chilies and cook for another 5 minutes. Take off of heat. Add cilantro if you decide to use it. After you put the sauce in your heated and sterilized jars, process in your hot water bath/canner for 35 minutes. Let cool on top of towel on counter top for 12 hours, screw lids tight, label, and store. This recipe makes about 3- pints of sauce.

*If you don't have an immersion blender, you can use a regular blender at the end or just to break up the spinach more before you add it to the pan. If you use a regular blender at the end, just be careful since you will be pouring hot liquid into your blender (make sure the lid is on).

  • vegetable oil, enough to coat the pan
  • 2 onions, finely chopped
  • 5 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1" piece of ginger root, peeled and minced
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon cardamom seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon coriander seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon fenugreek
  • 1/2 teaspoon mustard seed
  • dash of fennel seed
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon tumeric
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon vinegar
  • 2 cups plain yogurt
  • 1/2 cup vegetable or chicken stock
  • 3 small green chilies, finely chopped
  • chopped cilantro (optional)
*If you don't have all of the whole spices and seeds or you don't want to go the trouble of stocking up on them, you can use a ground spice blend that has basically the same stuff in it. I have used the vegetable blend from "Mohini."

Friday, July 15, 2011

Vindaloo Sauce

Vindaloo is a traditional Indian curry dish from the region of Goa. It is very spicy! Traditionally, it is served with pork, but you could also do it with chicken or lamb if you want to make something really special. This recipe uses a "vindaloo paste" that you can pick up at your local Asian market or more specialized Indian market if you can't find it in your Asian market. Using the pre-made paste makes this a really simple and easy recipe. If you are a purist, then by all means do some research and make your own homemade paste...nobody's stopping you!

All you do is stir fry the paste in your pan with oil for about 30 seconds, then add the onions and garlic and saute for another 5 minutes. Add the rest of the ingredients (except chilies). Mix them well, and let simmer for about 30 minutes. Add the chilies during the last 5 minutes. Take it off of the heat. After you put the sauce in your heated and sterilized jars, process in your hot water bath/canner for 35 minutes. Let cool on top of towel on counter top for 12 hours, screw lids tight, label, and put on the shelf for a rainy day! This recipe makes about 3-3.5 pints of sauce.

  • vegetable oil, enough to coat bottom of pan
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 an onion, finely chopped
  • 6 Tablespoons vindaloo paste
  • 5 medium vine-ripened tomatoes, roughly chopped
  • 1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 1 (12-ounce) can tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup chicken or vegetable stock
  • 4 large green chilies, chopped (I used jalapenos)
Serving suggestion is to brown your chopped meat (chicken, pork, or lamb) in a skillet. Add some green bell peppers and saute for a few minutes. Stir in prepared vindaloo sauce and let simmer for a 5-10 minutes on low heat for flavors to meld. Serve with a side of plain yogurt or raita to cool your palette from all the spiciness!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Sweet and Spicy Green Thai Coconut Sauce

Long name I know, but this Thai sauce I completely made up, so I tried to name it based on what is in it. There is a lot of spicy green curry paste and coconut milk. This one has a real sweet taste at first, but the spice creeps up on you!

When I set out to make this sauce, I had the sauce that Surin uses in their Eggplant Noodle dish in mind. However, as any creative process might go, the end result was far from the inspiration. But it is still delicious, sweet and spicy! All you have to do is saute the first three ingredients together for about 10 minutes, add the rest of the ingredients and simmer for 20-30 minutes (if you have been reading my other sauce recipes I have been posting this week, you are probably noticing a pattern here). Then, take it off of the heat. After you put the sauce in your heated and sterilized jars, process in your hot water bath/canner for 35 minutes. Let cool on top of towel on counter top for 12 hours, screw lids tight, label, and put on the shelf for a rainy day! This recipe should make about 2-3 pints of sauce.

* I picked up both of the curry pastes at my local Asian market. The ones I got come in 4 ounce cans and are made by the brand "Maesri." I got this one and this one.

  • Vegetable oil, enough to coat the pan
  • 1 1/2 cups of finely chopped onions or shallots (or a combo of both!)
  • 1/2 of a 4 oz can of green curry paste (see note above)
  • 1/2 of a 4 oz can of sweet thai noodle sauce (see note above)
  • 1 shoot of lemongrass, chopped (watch this video if you don't know how)
  • 1 1/2 cups coconut milk
  • 1 1/2 cups coconut cream (use mostly the solid stuff that rises to top of can)
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons brown sugar (palm sugar if you happen to have it)
  • zest of 1 lime
  • 2 Tablespoons fish sauce
  • Add vegetable stock or water as needed to thin sauce to desired consistency
My serving suggestions would be to saute some sliced eggplant with some vegetable oil in a wok for 3-4 minutes until seared and tender. Serve with rice or noodles. Garnish with fresh torn basil.

*Dont' forget to place your chopped eggplant on a paper towel and salt both sides, letting it sit for 30 minutes. This will take some of the unnecessarily moisture out of them so they will cook better and get rid some of the natural bitterness of the eggplant.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Thai Massaman Curry Sauce

I made this recipe in hopes of recreating the Massaman curry sauce from Surin West, here in Birmingham. I love that dish! To start you will want to toast your cashews in the oven on a baking sheet so their flavors are brought out and so they hold up in the sauce. Then, all you have to do is saute the first three ingredients together for about 10 minutes, add the rest of the ingredients and simmer for 20-30 minutes. Then, take it off of the heat. After you put the sauce in your heated and sterilized jars, process in your hot water bath/canner for 35 minutes. Let cool on top of towel on counter top for 12 hours, screw lids tight, label, and put on the shelf for a rainy day! This recipe makes about 2 pints of sauce.

The word massaman is believed to be a variation of the Thai word for "Muslim." This sauce got its name because alot of the spices in it were originally brought to Thailand by Muslim traders.

*You can look up ingredients to make your own massaman curry paste, but that is a lot of extra steps. I picked up a can of the stuff at my local Asian market. This is the one I got.

  • Vegetable oil, enough to coat the pan
  • 1 1/2 cups of finely chopped onions or shallots (or a combo of both!)
  • 1 4 oz can of massman curry paste (see note above)
  • 4 Tablespoons cardamom seeds, crushed in mortar and pestle
  • 1/2 cup roasted cashew halves
  • 1 1/2 cups coconut milk
  • 1 1/2 cups coconut cream (use mostly the solid stuff that rises to top of can)
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons brown sugar (palm sugar if you happen to have it)
  • 1 cinammon stick
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 3 1/2 Tablespoons fish sauce
  • 3 1/2 Tablespoons tamarind paste
*Make sure to remove the bay leaves and cinammon stick before pouring sauce into jars for canning!

When you get ready to make dinner with the sauce, you can brown some cubed chicken breasts in a skillet, add some of the prepared jarred sauce and serve over rice. I like to add fresh, sliced avocado and extra cashews with it like they do at Surin. However, you could add anything really. Potatoes or bell peppers would be good too. Also, I do it with chicken; but it is more traditional to do it with beef. Whatever you put in it, you will be licking your chops for more. I promise you!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Pad-Thai Peanut Sauce

I love Thai food, pretty much all of it. This is the Pad-Thai peanut sauce I made and canned. All you have to do is saute the first three ingredients together for about 10 minutes, add the rest of the ingredients and simmer for about 20 minutes. Then, take it off of the heat. After you put the sauce in your heated and sterilized jars, process in your hot water bath/canner for 35 minutes. Let cool on top of towel on counter top for 12 hours, screw lids tight, label, and put on the shelf for a rainy day! This recipe makes about 2 pints of sauce.

  • Peanut oil, enough to coat bottom of pan
  • 2 large shallots, finely chopped
  • 6 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 4 Tablespoons fish sauce
  • 5 Tablespoons tamarind sauce
  • 2 Tablespoons rice wine vinegar
  • 4 Tablespoons crunch peanut butter
  • 1 Tablespoon sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon ground ginger
  • Juice of one lime
  • 1 cup chicken or vegetable stock (add more or less to thin out to desired consistency)
When you get ready to make dinner on another night with the pre-made sauce, you will need some "rice-stick" noodles (you can pick these up at your local Asian market, or I have even seen them at Big Lots). Follow the directions on the packet to cook them, you don't actually "cook" them. Instead you place them in a bowl of hot water and let them sit while you prepare everything else and then add them to the sauce in the wok at the last minute to lightly pan-fry them. The trick to the noodles is to make sure they are not completely soft when you place them in the pan, they should be pliable but not so soft they will become mushy.

To complete the meal you would want to have the following ingredients on hand (feel free to adjust to suit your taste): shrimp, bean sprouts, 1 egg, chopped green onions, and 1 lime cut into wedges. Cook your shrimp first in some peanut or vegetable oil in your work for about 2-3 minutes. Then add prepared peanut sauce and rice-stick noodles (that have been soaking according to package directions). Stir around wok to just to combine ingredients. Push noodles to the side and crack egg into bottom of wok. Stir for a couple of minutes to scramble, then stir to combine with noodles, shrimp and sauce. Stir in bean sprouts and green onions. Serve with lime wedges on plate. You may add additional chopped peanuts on top if you like. Eat it up!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Spaghetti Sauce

This is the recipe I made when I made my own Spaghetti sauce and canned it. All you have to do is saute the first three ingredients together for about 10 minutes, add all but the last three ingredients and simmer for an hour or two. Then, take it off of the heat and add last three ingredients-the fresh herbs. After you put the sauce in your heated and sterilized jars, process in your hot water bath/canner for 35 minutes. Let cool on top of towel on counter top for 12 hours, screw lids tight, label, and put on the shelf for a rainy day! This recipe makes about 3-3.5 pints of sauce.

*I made my sauce in my hefty dutch oven, but you can just use a large pot if you don't have one.

  • Olive oil (enough to coat bottom of pan)
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 5 medium vine-ripened tomatoes, roughly chopped
  • 1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 1 (12-ounce) can tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 Tablespoons Italian seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 2 fresh sage leaves, chopped
  • leaves from one rosemary sprig, chopped
  • 6 basil leaves, chiffonade chop

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Echolyric Design Blog

My friend Casey recently posted a link to her blog on Facebook and I curiously clicked on the link. To my surprise and delight, I found that she too collected owls. A kindred spirit? I believe so! She has a lot of really great craft ideas and blog entries are fun to read. I like her sense of humor.

here are some of her owl. Jealous! I really like the tall guy in the back!

Casey and I met back in 2006 when I we were both getting our Master's degree in art education. At the time, she lived in Tuscaloosa, so I rarely saw her outside of school. A couple of years later, I started running into her much more frequently. Our paths began crossing at art teacher events (she now lives in Birmingham and teaches art in the same school system as I do). Then, I would go visit friends in Tuscaloosa and run into her out and about. She has some great art and crafting ideas on her blog and I love how I associate her with everything cute. She would fit right in Japan's cute-obsessed culture. She also tends to reference her 80's childhood, which I find endearing!

If you want to check out her blog, it is

She has an "etsy" shop full of various handmade cute things that you can buy for your very own, or they would make great gifts. So check out her etsy shop here. Her etsy shop, like anything creative, is ever changing. So check back often for new stuff. Currently, her shop has jewelry made from recycled materials, ultra cute handmade doggy envelopes, cute tiny embroidered plushies and pincushions, t-shirt scarves (I saw these on another craft blog and have meaning to try making them, they are very chic). My favorite thing she has in her etsy shop though, are her handmade crayons in various shapes including: stars, hearts, fish and even mickey mouse!

The best part about all of the stuff in her etsy shop? Great prices and currently she is doing free shipping on a lot of her items for her "Christmas in July" sale. She will also have a table set up at Bottletree this Saturday, July 16th from 11 am - 4 pm for their craft/art/vintage sale. So, go by and give her a visit and a kiss on the cheek. Tell her Lindsay sent you! :)

Super cute summer wreath Casey made to adorn her front door! Fun and elegant all wrapped up in one wreathy package. :)

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Owl Switch-plate

Look at this cute little owl buddy switch-plate cover I picked up at the thrifty. He is keeping my wood paneling room all nice and cozy!

Friday, July 8, 2011

Monster Bikinis

Check out these super cute monster-themed bikinis. If I could pull of a bikini I would want one, now! Talk about having a sense of humor about your figure and fashion. Super cool. You can purchase one of your very own at Iron Fist.

Canning Recipes

Starting next week, I will be posting a different canning recipe each stay tuned! The recipes I will be posting include a Spaghetti sauce, 2 Indian sauces, and 3 Thai sauces. I have recently gotten into canning because it makes cooking dinner a lot easier and quicker; but you still have the joy of knowing you made it! With these sauces, you can just saute your vegetables and or meat (and cook noodles if needed) and stir in sauce and cook for five minutes. Now, how easy is that?! I would rather cook and can all day if it saves me oodles of time later.

Check back daily, next week, for the recipes!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Chill It!

We are leaving for the beach tomorrow, and I couldn't be more excited! I was looking through Rachel Ray's magazine a couple of weeks ago and came across this must have "chill it" bag that holds 6 drinks. Too often I show up at a friend's place for a get together and there is no room in the fridge for my beer because it is already full. So, my poor 6-pack is left all by itself on the counter to become warm an unappetizing. Gross! No, more! Now, I can chill it in my bag and just leave it on the counter. They come in green and blue. I ordered one of each. I will be trying them out for the first time on our beach trip. I ordered it from this nifty website mxyplyzyk. (It also comes in a taller thinner design; suitable for toting chilled wine). Check out their website, they have lots of great gift ideas and whimsical tid-bits.

Go Away Birds!

Usually I am tickled to see lovely birds milling about my yard, but not recently. For the past couple of weeks, a huge swarm of birds takes flight each time I open my back door. Why? They are pillaging my lovely vegetable plants (mostly my heirloom tomatoes) and stealing fruit off of the vine as soon as they ripen. How sad to slowly tend and watch as a plant grows a lovely delicious food item only to have it stolen and pecked to death upon ripening.

So, I devised my plan (with advice from my friend Brady and a little internet research). Them birds aren't the smartest things and get spooked by shiny things. So, I got a large sheet of shiny mylar (silver on one side, gold on the other) and cut it into thin ribbons. Then I tied a couple of strips onto poles and put them in the ground all over the garden. The idea is that when the sun reflects the shiny mylar and it blows in the wind, it will scare off the birds. Wish me luck!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Cactus and Succulent Obsession

To an outsider, my recent love and procurement of many cactus and succulent plants might seem to border on obsession. However, I prefer to think of it as simply making up for lost time. I picked up a couple more succulents and cacti today and planted them in some pots and a small tin trough I picked up at the thrifty recently. They are scattered all across the steps leading up to my front door; making a welcoming entrance for any guest! :)

Today, I imagined what my dining room table would look like this winter; swarming with the succulent plants taking refuge from the cold. It made me smile. It made me smile real big!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Tokyo Milk

Tokyo Milk makes some great perfumes, lotions, lip balms, etc. Honestly, they are one of the few perfumeries that has grabbed the attention of my nostrils and nose devices in a long time! Their scents are so exotic and multi-dementional. I love their all of their products really, and I love even more how I tend to find them at small locally owned boutique and vintage jewelry shops here in town (like Zoe's Consignment boutique in Forest Park, Birmingham and Charm on 2nd Ave. North's "2nd Row.") I find it not only boosts the economy, but also your consumer self-esteem to shop local. Sure, you can get them online, but you won't save much money, especially considering you have to pay shipping. So, support your local businesses.

I bought one of their perfume solids, in the scent Marie No. 56 (the scent reminds me of a contemporary take on the floral rose scents, think Victorian). Perfume solids are great because the scent is concentrated into a waxy/oily solid that lasts a long time once applied. It is also great for travelling or tossing into your purse because it doesn't take up much space and there isn't much of a chance of it leaking! Some of my other favorite scents are Poe's Tobacco, Sencha Bleu No. 57, Kabuki, and Sparrow.

Also, take note of their gorgeous labeling. Each product is like its own cabinet of curiosity. Viva la Wunderkammer!

Monday, July 4, 2011

Patriotic Berry Tart

A friend of mine is having people over for a cookout today in celebration of the fourth of July. He is making three different kinds of meat (wings, pork loin, and beef kabobs) and asked for all of his guests to bring a side dish. I decided to bring a dessert since this yummy course is sometimes forgotten. And, with all of the yummy summer fruit available I decided to try my hands at making a tart. In the honor of our national colors I did blueberries and strawberries. The best part about this tart is that you simply fold up the edges. This gives it a lovely rustic, down-home look. Also, I tasted it and it is oh-so yummy!

You need to make the dough a little ahead of time, in order for it to chill for an hour in the fridge before you roll it out.

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, chilled
  • 1/2 cup cream cheese
  • 2 tablespoons corn meal
  • 2-4 tablespoons ice water
  • 1/4 cups chopped pecans
  • 1/4 cup crumbled cookie
  • 1 1/2 cups blueberries
  • 1 1/2 cups strawberries, slice in half
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 1/8 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon ground cardamom
In a large bowl, combine flour and corn meal. Cut butter and cream cheese into about 1 inch cubes, still making sure it is cold/chilled. Add to flour. Use a pastry tool or fork to combine until it becomes crumbly, Slowly add ice water (only enough as needed to make dough). You can do this in a food processor if you like. Quickly press mixture into dough ball and form into circular disc. Wrap in saran wrap and chill in fridge for at least one hour.

After dough has chilled, place fruit into a bowl with juice, brown sugar and cardamom. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Stir and let sit while you roll out dough. Roll out dough on a lightly floured surface. It should be fairly thin, maybe 1/8 an inch and have a diameter of roughly 1- 1 1/2 feet. Carefully fold into half and place on a baking sheet. Sprinkle crushed cookie and pecans onto bottom (leaving a 2 inch margin all around for folding). This will help absorb extra fruit juices and keep bottom of crust dry. Next spoon berries on top of cookie and nuts. Throw out extra juices in bowl. Fold edges over (won't be perfect). Bake in oven for 30-35 minutes or until crust is golden brown and fruit is bubbly.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Illustrator Extraordinaire

Art of the Day
Matei Apostolescu is a current artist from Romania creating very interesting and quite vivid and detailed illustrations. Check them out. Check him out. Here is his link. Go there, then click on any thumbnail to enlarge. Mind blown.