My Newest Project

Bruce Cormier, Arizona’s best spray paint artist and I have finally collaborated on something together. It didn’t turn out to be art, but we are really proud and excited. We are expecting to bring our daughter, Dailey Cormier into the world in just 2 1/2 weeks.
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Turkey and Veggies with Chickeny White Sauce and Pasta

Creamy Turkey and Veggies Pasta

This was a little bit involved and a little different than a lot of what I’d been doing around that time for cooking. It was one of those occasions, that I just kept adding things until I had something I thought was good.  I was surprised by how much my family loved this dish though.  At dinner that night, they asked me to be sure to save the recipe to be able to make it again.  I said I didn’t write anything down that I did and I wasn’t sure I’d be able to remember it all to do it again.  They each looked at me with blank faces and my daughter said, “you mean, you’re never going to make this again?!   I felt a little bad.  The next day, I got out all the ingredients I used and was able to remember the order of things and write it all down after all.  My husband said this dish was like chicken pot pie and pasta in one, two of his favorites.  I’ll be making this again.

Chickeny White Sauce Ingredients

  • butter, 6 Tbsp
  • flour, 1/3 Cup
  • salt, 1/2 ts
  • pepper, 1/4 ts
  • milk, 2 Cups
  • 1/2 & 1/2, 3/4 Cup
  • parsley, 1/2 ts
  • onion powder, 1/4 ts
  • garlic powder, 1/2 ts
  • chicken bouillon, 1 ts
  • cooked boneless, skinless chicken or turkey cut into bite size chunks, 1 pound

Veggies Ingredients

  • brocoli 2 1/2 Cups, chopped to med.-big pieces
  • carrots 3 , peeled and chopped
  • mushrooms, 1 Cup, sliced
  • onion- 1/2 of a medium to large one, diced

Pasta

  • penne rigate pasta, 1 pound, cooked

Directions

Turkey

Bake or skillet fry one pound of boneless, skinless turkey (or chicken).  Cut into bite size chunks. (I used leftover turkey from Thanksgiving that I deboned, skinned, chunked and weighed into 1 pound baggies and froze.  It’s a great way to use up all the leftovers at the pace you want to and have pre-cooked meat for faster meals.)

Chickeny Whice Sauce

Put 6 tablespoons of butter into a sauce pan.  Turn the burner to medium or 5.  Melt the butter and stir in the flour, salt and pepper.  Add the milk and stir.  Stir in the 1/2 & 1/2.  Add the parsley, onion powder, garlic powder, and chicken boullion.  Stir and cook until thick and bubbly.  Add the turkey.  Turn the heat down to low and put a lid on it.

Pasta and Veggies

Fill a large pot with hot water and boil the pasta.  While the pasta is cooking, chop up the brocalie, carrots, (a bag of pre-chopped frozen would work great) mushrooms and onion.  Put the veggies into the pot with the sauce and turkey.  Turn the heat back up to medium and cook until the veggies are tender.  Drain the pasta and put back into the big pot.  Combine the contents of both pots into the big one.  Stir together and serve.

Progress on my Colors and Lines Study

I’ve been working feverishly to finish this painting.  I want to finish it while I have the time, before my baby is due- in 3 weeks.  After that- painting will happen during nap time if I’m not too tired and need a nap myself.

IMG_3078

I’ve been working on this project for over a year now.  It’s a study that shows what happens when each basic color is mixed with each other basic color, half and half.  I wanted to have a visual reference of each color’s relationship with each other color.  Some of the results have surprised me.  When I finish the painting stage I plan to write about my findings.

I started with solid blocks of color vertically and then overlayed them with a single line in the same colors (as best I could using paint markers) going horizontally.  The negative space in each colors block is the solid base color and the line is the overlay.

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My paints and palettles as they are beside my easal.

I’d better get back to work- I don’t have much time.

Frida Kahlo

Frida-Kahlo-Self-Portrait-with-Thorn-Necklace-1940[1]

Frida Kahlo, Self Portrait with Thorn necklace, 1940

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frida_Kahlo

Frida was a lady who really lived. She was not dull in anything she did. I love that she was so fearless in her paintings and in life. (This is how she inspires me.) The images and themes in many of her paintings were intense and not what most other artists of her day were doing.  She really followed her own desires and stayed true to them.   She was not trying to impress any people or any movement, she did not follow what others did to try to fit in. She went her own way.  Some thought that she was a surrealist, a popular movement at the time. Really, she didn’t identify with this either. She couldn’t be put into a category as far as her style went. Perhaps, she was her own movement.

I’m sure her extremes both helped and hindered her fame.  But certainly, it is why she is so well known and remembered.  It’s funny how during her life, her husband Diego Rivera was the famous artist and she was in his shadow and seeking to be more known.  They have both long passed now and it’s she who is more commonly talked about.  Diego, not as much, apart from her.  I wonder what she would say about that.

A few awesome quotes from Frida-

” I paint my own reality. The only thing I know is that I paint because I need to, and I paint whatever passes through my head without any other consideration.”

“I never knew I was a surrealist till Andre Breton came to Mexico and told me I was.”

“I never paint dreams or nightmares. I paint my own reality.”

“Feet, why do I need them if I have wings to fly?”

“…pain, pleasure and death are no more than a process for existence. The revolutionary struggle in this process is a doorway open to intelligence”

“Nothing is worth more than laughter. It is strength to laugh and to abandon oneself, to be light. Tragedy is the most ridiculous thing.”

“I hope the leaving is joyful, and I hope never to return.”
― Frida’s last diary entry.

My Favorite and Influential Paintings of Frida’s

The Best I’ve Ever had Chocolate Chip Cookies

Last Saturday, I woke up to the most wonderful smell coming from the kitchen.  My eight year old daughter had decided to make my favorite recipe of chocolate chip cookies and they were fresh out of the oven.  Oh my goodness, what a treat.  I had a couple with my morning coffee.  She is a baking savant and makes me proud.

Best I've ever had Chocolate Chip Cookies

The Best I’ve ever had Chocolate Chip Cookies                         makes about 4 dozen

  • 1 1/2 Cups all purpose flour
  • 1 ts cinnamon
  • 1 ts baking soda dissolved in 1/4 cup of hot water
  • 3/4 Cup softened butter  (1 1/2 sticks)
  • 1/2 Cup packed brown sugar
  • 3/4 Cup sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 ts vanilla
  • 1 1/2 Cups oats
  • 1/2 Cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Mix together the flour and cinnamon in a large bowl.  In a smaller glass bowl, melt the butter in the microwave.  Put the brown sugar, regular sugar, egg and vanilla into this bowl.  Beat it all together till blended.  Stir in the baking soda and water. Using a spoon and scraper, put the wet mixture into the flour mixture and stir together.  Fold in the oats and chocolate chips.  Butter 2 -3 baking sheets and drop 1 1/2  inch sized spoonfulls onto them, about an inch and a half apart.  Set your timer for 10 minutes.  The cookies are perfectly done when (they look like they aren’t) they’re golden brown around the edges.  Take the cookies out of the oven and set the trays on a trivet or pot holder.  Let the cookies cool for 5 minutes there and then move them to wire baking racks to finish cooling.  Put the baked and cooled cookies into a large airtight container.  A slice of bread placed on top will keep your cookies soft, moist and chewy.

This recipe makes about 4 dozen cookies, but they are so good and go very quickly- so I at least double it and have even quadrupled it!  (That was for a church bake sale.)  I’ve been using this recipe for about 18 years and never felt any need to use another.  I’ve been asked for the recipe so many times over the years, once I even made photocopies to have them on hand.

Banana Strawberry Oat Nut Bread

A few mornings ago, early while making the kids’ lunches, I noticed that we had a whole bunch of bananas going bad fast.  I came back from dropping the kids at school and simply had to make banana bread.  Can’t let those bananas go to waste, right?  I made coffee and pulled the creamer out of the fridge and saw we had just a few strawberries left.  Have to use those, they’d go great with the bananas.  And oats too, it needs to be a little heartier, I thought.  I already had my favorite banana bread recipe out and so adapted it to what I wanted.
The bread was about 1/2 way gone in one day. It is soooooo good, I’m glad I made a lot of it.  The kids are having no problem having this for breakfast.
Banana Strawberry Oat Nut Bread

Banana Strawberry Oat Nut Bread                                                         20 pieces

Wet Ingredients

  • 1 Cup sugar
  • 1/2 Cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 Cup butter (2 sticks)
  • 2 ts vanilla
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/4 Cup of hot water with 2 ts of baking soda dissolved in it

In a medium bowl, cream together all but the water with baking soda.  Mix well, then stir in the water and baking soda.

Dry Ingredients

  • 3 Cups all purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 Cups oats
  • 2 ts salt

Mix the dry ingredients together with a wisk.  Put the wet mixture into the bowl with the dry mixture and combine them together.

Additives

  • 5 ripe bananas
  • 1 1/2 Cups of strawberries cut in to 3/4 inch chunks
  • 3/4 Cup of walnuts or pecans, chopped in big chunks.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Mash the bananas in the empty wet ingredinents bowl.  Don’t overdo it- leave it a little bit chunky.  Chop up the strawberries and nuts.  Stir in the bananas, strawberries and nuts into the mixture until blended.  Butter a 13 x 9 inch baking pan and spoon the batter into it.  Bake for 45 minutes or until a knife inserted into the middle comes out clean.