Friday, January 28, 2011

Recipe - Oven Roasted Tomatoes

My late harvest of garden tomatoes and a pepper from last October.
Tomatoes.  Not exactly a wintertime vegetable.  But this recipe will turn a mediocre tomato into something delicious.  It is a handy solution for an over abundance of garden tomatoes.  It is also a quick fix for what to do with the tomatoes that are in your fridge - with no plans to use them.  Slow roast them in the oven.

Oven Roasted Tomatoes
2 cups tomatoes (cherry tomatoes, grape tomatoes, or Roma tomatoes)
1 T olive oil
1 t dried rosemary (or basil or oregano)
kosher salt
fresh cracked pepper

Pre-heat your oven to 250 degrees.  Cut grape tomatoes or Roma tomatoes in halves.  Cherry tomatoes or smaller grape tomatoes may remain whole.  You may want to quarter larger tomatoes. 

Toss tomatoes in olive oil.  Spread in a single layer on a baking sheet.  Sprinkle with crushed dried herbs, salt and pepper.  Don't overdo the salt, it will  become more concentrated as the tomatoes roast.
Bake in the oven for 2-3 hours.  (I know, 2-3 hours is a big range. Larger tomatoes will take a longer time, smaller ones may be done more quickly.)  After 2 hours, give your tomatoes a stir, and decide how much farther you would like them to roast.  They should be shriveled, but still moist.  They shrink quite a bit, so be sure to make plenty.

The result is a sweet tomato-y bite.  They are a bit chewy, and filled with concentrated tomato flavor.  They are similar to sundried tomatoes, but better.

Store your tomatoes in a container in the refrigerator for up to a week.

What to do with your tomatoes:
  • serve them on a french bread crostini with a smear of goat cheese
  • toss with fresh basil and pasta
  • put them on top of a salad
  • use them in a veggie sandwich
  • add to your cheese plate to compliment Italian cheeses
  • make a roasted tomato pizza with fresh mozzarella
  • chop and mix with feta cheese, chopped kalmata olives and fresh herbs to make a tapanade
  • puree them with a touch of olive oil to make a spread
  • add them to your Antipasti Platter
  • eat them plain, they are yummy!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Recipe - Spicy Roasted Garbanzo Beans

This spicy, crispy, chewy snack is just what to make to have a relatively guilt free snack around the house.  Made from Chickpeas, also known as Garbanzo Beans, this recipe is filled with protein and fiber, and low in fat.  Its a snap to make.

Roasted Garbanzo Beans
2 cans Garbanzo Beans
2 T olive oil
1 t onion powder
1 t garlic powder
1/2 t chili powder
1/2 t ground cumin
1/4 t chipolte powder
1/4 t cayenne pepper
salt (to taste)
pepper (to taste)

Rinse and drain the beans in a colander.  Spread the wet beans on paper towels to dry.  Dry the beans as much as you can so they roast, not steam, in the oven.  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Place beans in a medium bowl.  Add olive oil and all the seasonings.  Add more or less as to your taste.  Toss the beans to coat evenly with the oil and spices. 

Spread beans onto a large baking sheet.  Roast in the oven for 50 minutes to 1 hour.  They will turn golden and shrink slightly when done.  For crispier beans, cook longer.  For a chewier result, bake for less time. 

These are vegetarian, vegan, gluten free, and terribly delicious. Enjoy!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Blank Canvases

It occurred to me that the name of my blog is art + food + friends.  I haven't talked a lot about art lately.  Er, I haven't talked about my art, lately.  Reason #1: my studio is cold.  That little one room, standing in my back yard, can get pretty darn cold in the winter.  Reason #2:  the holidays sucked up all my time and energy.  Ok, those are excuses.  Maybe even good excuses, but excuses nonetheless.
I have been sneaking time in my studio when I can find a glimmer of a warm-ish afternoon and crank up the space heaters. 
5 x 7 canvas, with woman theme - assembled from inchies. 
I want to add the right quote or word or element in the space above the bottom row. 
I have a gazillion ideas but I  have started on 3 or 4  6 or 7 canvases.  They are still "blank" canvases.  I have a background, I may even have some elements, but they are not finished.  They are all in progress.  I am waiting to find the right word or quotation or element or image to make these come together.

5 x 7 a Cheery canvas, background made from paper inchies
Looking for the right kistchy image and quote
Just to give you a peek, so you'll really believe that I do work on my own art, here's what I've got.
8 x 10 assembled from black and white inchies of various papers.
 I will keep you posted as these canvases evolve.  I hope to get some more time in the studio - but the forecast isn't looking good.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Tea Cup Wisdom

Another bit of wisdom...
found on the tag of my Good Earth tea.

"Artists who seek perfection in everything
are those who cannot attain it in anything."

Monday, January 17, 2011


I am not good at making New Year's Resolutions.  Or should I say, I am not good at keeping New Year's Resolutions.  I suppose I am like most of the crowd in that way.
I like to take a different approach.  Make lots of them, then there's a chance that I will meet some of them.  I took this approach with my friend Kerry several years ago.  We made 30 resolutions, together.  I think that we kept most of them.  Well, truth be told, most of them were easy - many even silly.  But actually it was fun to make the list and have something to shoot for - even if it was silly. 
Maybe I will take a more serious approach - ok, somewhat serious approach as I compile a long list of things I want to do this year.
In the year 2011, I want to:
  1. make more artwork.
  2. hang some of my own art in my home.
  3. try new and different recipes to expand my cooking horizons.
  4. eat less cheese.
  5. exercise on a regular basis - and not get frustrated with the scale.
  6. sew some things to use in my home.
  7. drink less wine.
  8. use up some of the art supplies and fabrics left from our business.
  9. be positive.
  10. have my daughters do some art projects in the studio.
  11. use the things I sew on a more regular basis.
  12. not argue with my daughters about the little things.
  13. not complain about doing the laundry.
  14. find a way to take calories out of cheese.
  15. be kind.
  16. spend less time on the computer.
  17. spend more time in the studio.
  18. save money by not shopping.
  19. get better at taking, posting and/ or printing photographs of my family.
  20. eat more good cheese.
  21. find great deals by shopping the sales.
  22. send more letters and cards, in the MAIL, to the people I care about.
  23. make the cards I send and use.
  24. spend more time with extended family.
  25. spend more time with special friends.
  26. put art into my daily life.
  27. be grateful.
  28. use special things, everyday.
  29. share art.
  30. drink more wine.
  31. walk with friends often.
  32. gracefully handle the fact that I have a middle school aged child.
  33. travel.
  34. appreciate the people and things around me. And tell them.
  35. sell at least one piece of art.
Ok, so it is not a lofty list.  But if I do these things I will improve the quality of my life.  I could also improve the quality of life for my family.  It is not lofty, but it is meaningful.  Isn't that what a resolution should do: be meaningful and improve your life or the life of another? 
So, my goal is to make my world - and that of my family and friends - a kinder, gentler, more artful place.
Happy New Year!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Sunday Sculpture Series

Named Matriarchal Moon, This sculpture suggests dance, celebration and natural harmony. 

This nighttime shot captures the bright colors used on Matriarchal Moon.  Photo courtesy of C.A. Crandall.
This kinetic steel sculpture spins 15 feet above the ground, presenting a colorful moon for all to see.  Sculptor Reven Swanson hopes to speak for the universal woman and show a balance of the instinctual and modern day woman in this whimsical sculpture. 

Measuring 15'6" x 9'5" x 5', this steel sculpture weighs 50 pounds.

A daytime shot of Matriarchal Moon.
You may see Matriarchal Moon in person at the back of Festival Plaza, located at Public and Chester Roads in Old Town Lafayette.  This is one of 12 sculptures installed as part of the Art on the Street Sculpture Walk.  This work is available for purchase for $9,000.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Recipe - Chicken Saltimbocca

from Cooking Light January/February 2011

In an attempt to make meals more interesting and fulfilling, I have been trying out a lot of new recipes this month.  I love my Cooking Light subscription, and found tons of recipes this issue that I want to try out.  Last night I tried Lemony Chicken Saltimbocca.  It happened to be the cover recipe, and part of their quick and easy meals feature. 

4 (4-ounce) chicken cutlets
1/8 teaspoon salt
12 fresh sage leaves
2 ounces very thinly sliced prosciutto, cut into 8 thin strips
4 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1/3 cup fat-free, lower-sodium chicken broth
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon cornstarch
Lemon wedges (optional)

1. Sprinkle the chicken evenly with salt. Place 3 sage leaves on each cutlet; wrap 2 prosciutto slices around each cutlet, securing sage leaves in place.
2. Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add 1 tablespoon oil to pan, and swirl to coat. Add chicken to pan; cook for 2 minutes on each side or until done. Remove chicken from pan; keep warm.
3. Combine broth, lemon juice, and cornstarch in a small bowl; stir with a whisk until smooth. Add cornstarch mixture and the remaining 1 teaspoon olive oil to pan; bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Cook for 1 minute or until slightly thickened, stirring constantly with a whisk. Spoon sauce over chicken. Serve with lemon wedges, if desired.

The recipe won two thumbs up all around the table!  It was easy to make, it took about 20 minutes.  It was juicy and delicious.  Lemony sauce was great with angel hair pasta and broccoli.  Although my food styling skills may be lacking, my photo looks pretty close to the original in the magazine.  Definitely one I will make again.

Also in this month's issue:
Chicken with Mushroom Sauce:  we had that last week, two thumbs up!
Sauteed Chicken with Sage Browned Butter:  that's for tonight.  I will let you know how it goes.
Italian Beef Stew:  I will try this one next week.  It looks delicious!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Eerie Resemblance

I spent part of today scanning old postcards and photo cards for my Postcards, etc. Blog.  I came across this interesting photo card.
It's just another vintage photo card - a bit blurry because the dog moved.  It has no distinguishing markings on the back, but it was sent from my uncle to my parents in 1960's. 

What is interesting about this card, is that the woman looks remarkably like my mom, although she wasn't the woman in the photo.  

What do you think?

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Art to Share

One of the beautiful things about exploring blogs is that you often run across some very talented and creative people.  Some of them are even willing to share their art. I found this fabulous share on I am Very Mary.

Owl Lover 2011 Calendar

My Owl Barn is offering a free downloadable Owl Calendar, with a variety of incredible art. 

I made one, you should, too.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Discovering the undiscovered - Vivian Maier

Do you ever go to yard sales?  Sometimes I do.  Do you ever flip through someones forgotten stuff at an estate sale or flea market.  Sometimes I do.  What if you saw this photograph?
What if it was only in a negative?  Or maybe unseen, in a film canister?  And if there were boxes of them?

Would you recognize the quality and talent?  Would you take a second look?  Would you ask who had made these?  Would you want to find out more?
This is the story of the amazing discovery that John Maloof made as he was at an auction one day.  He found some old photos; and he realized they could be important.

He looked for more from the photographer. He has now accumulated over 100,000 photos, negatives, and film canisters from the until now unknown photographer, Vivian Maier. Maier may turn out to be one of the best street photographers of all time.

Working as a nanny and domestic in Chicago in the 1950's, 60's and 70's, Vivian Maier lived a seemingly uneventful life, but took photographs of everything. Her body of work, still being discovered, is being acclaimed as one of the best collections of street photographs ever compiled.
Eccentric, private and quirky, Vivian Maier was an amazing photographer. I am excited to see her story unfold.

What would you do?

(Photos printed with permission of John Maloof)

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Sunday Sculpture Series

This sweet, gangly dog, On the Rise, was sculpted by Colorado artist Louise Peterson.

photo courtesy C.A. Crandall
Peterson was inspired by her own Great Dane, Bella.  In the combination of animal form and movement, she captures the regal and goofy qualities of this breed.  This bronze sculpture measures 3'4" x 2'6" x 2' and weighs 140 pounds.  You may visit On the Rise at the corner of Baseline and Public Roads in front of Mojo Coffee in Old Town Lafayette.  For more information about Lafayette's Art on the Street Sculpture Walk, visit the city's website.  This work is available for purchase for $16,000.

Another, not snowy, view of this playful sculpture.

 This sculpture won the Jean Melblom People's Choice Award for the 2010-2011 Art on the Street.  Congratulations Ms. Peterson!

Friday, January 7, 2011

Recipe - Protien Bars with Oatmeal

Protein Bar Recipe

2 c chunky peanut butter
1 ¼ c honey
3 ½ c raw oats
¼  c wheat germ
¾ c sunflower seeds
2 ¼ c chocolate protein powder (I use whey based powder)

Melt peanut butter and honey in microwave.  Mix in remaining ingredients.  Spread into cookie sheet (I use on large sheet pan and one medium sheet pan) refrigerate for 4 hours.  Cut to desired size, 2"x4".  Wrap in foil.  Store in refrigerator.
  • you can add different nuts, try chopped almonds, pumpkin seeds, or chopped peanuts
  • add dried fruits, cherries, cranberries or chopped dried apricots
  • eat as a quick snack or energy booster; they are great to take on a hike
This is a great recipe to make as you are trying to keep up with your healthy New Year's Resolutions!  It is a great pre- or post- workout snack. 
This one is particularly timely for me, as I am trying to boost my workout to lose what I gained over the holidays (darn that cheese and wine!).  And timely for my community as my small town, of Lafayette, Colorado, hosts it's annual Oatmeal Festival this weekend.  This weekend you can run in the Oatmeal 5k, enter the oatmeal baking contest or eat at the Oatmeal Breakfast Bar, with the world's largest oatmeal toppings bar.  Who could beat that!  Gotta love living in a small town!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Happy New Year!

So, I've been a little slow to keep up with the blogging during the holidays (and also the laundry).  The hustle and bustle of the busy season has been so fun this year.  We had lots of family to visit, celebrations with friends and family, dinners and parties.  I am exhausted.
When the routine sets in next week, I am looking forward to a slower pace.  A little more predictable time.  Perhaps, back to exercising and making art.  A little less baking and eating.
I hope the holidays treated you and yours well this year. 
Happy New Year!