Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Featured Cook

So I have decided to be nice and occassionally share the works of the love of my life on here as well. So let me introduce you to Nick. He is my best friend turned boyfriend and I can't say enough about him. We enjoy the same things, but we take different avenues in doing those things. For example, cooking. Through trial and error, we have found that when cooking together, one person needs to be the lead.

We have two totally different cooking styles. He measures, I don't. He uses a timer and the correct oven temperatures, I don't. It is quite comical to those who have had the chance to watch us work our magic in the kitchen. Mini arguments, but generally a good outcome.

Nick also is a great photographer. He has an eye for composition that makes me a little jealous! We have a darkroom in the basement that is an ongoing process, but I am hoping that when it is completed, he can get back into doing what he loves and is so talented at!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009


I love drawing faces. Ever since I was young, I would see faces in things. Go ahead and insert 'wierdo' comment now. I would see faces in trees, clouds, and other natural objects. I have always been intreagued by the human form. How the whole body is in proportion and how the body moves.

This is a piece I did on a whim. I was in my studio, in a great mood, with no idea what to draw. I know I said earliet that I have trouble painting white people. I find it much easier to add values when I don't feel so constained by using the natural colors.

This is a piece that I have always enjoyed. I enjoyed making it, and there is just something about the expression on her face that I can relate to. It is done in watercolor and charcoal. It makes me wonder if I am going the wrong direction by trying to work with oils.

Saturday, September 12, 2009


I make this recipe quite often because it is so easy. You can really stuff the inside with anything, but I like a pepperoni, mushroom, onion and sausage combo. I have also made them with spinach, artichoke and chicken. I use the same base for the cheese though for both. With the pepperoni combo, I use a marinara for the dipping sauce. For the chicken, I use an alfredo. I also make a just cheese option when my friend Dan, who is a super picky eater comes over. I still would like to make a breakfast calzone using eggs in the near future. The most important thing is to keep the sauce on the side and not put it on the inside!


1 (.25 ounce) package active dry yeast
1 cup warm water
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon white sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, divided
1 teaspoon olive oil

For the filling:
1/2 cup ricotta cheese
1 1/2 cups shredded mozzerella or provel
1/2 cup diced pepperoni 1/2 cup sausage
1/2 cup sliced fresh mushrooms

1 small onion
1 tablespoon dried basil leaves
1 egg, beaten


To Make Dough: In a small bowl, dissolve yeast in water. Add the oil, sugar and salt; mix in 1 cup of the flour until smooth. Gradually stir in the rest of the flour, until dough is smooth and workable. Knead dough on a lightly floured surface for about 5 minutes, or until it is elastic. Lay dough in a bowl containing 1 teaspoon olive oil, then flip the dough, cover and let rise for 40 minutes, or until almost doubled.

To Make Filling: While dough is rising, combine the ricotta cheese, mozzerella cheese, pepperoni, mushrooms, sausage, onion, and basil leaves in a large bowl. Mix well, cover bowl and refrigerate to chill. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

When dough is ready, punch it down and separate it into 2 equal parts. Roll parts out into thin circles on a lightly floured surface. Fill each circle with 1/2 of the cheese/meat filling and fold over, securing edges by folding in and pressing with a fork. Brush the top of each calzone with egg and place on a lightly greased cookie sheet.

Bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes. Serve hot.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

My First Attempt at Carrot Cake

I love carrot cake, but I have never made it. Nick makes fun of me all the time because I never measure. Especially with baking. This one I did, I just made my own changes as usual. The only mistake I made was not allowing it to cool completely before I added the icing. It is a really good carrot cake though. It was super moist and the carrots, pineapple, coconut and raisons were a great combination.


3 eggs
3/4 cup buttermilk
3/4 cup vegetable oil
1 1/2 cups white sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 cups shredded carrots
1 cup flaked coconut
1 cup chopped walnuts
1 (8 ounce) can crushed pineapple with juice
1 cup raisins

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour an 8x12 inch pan.
In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. Set aside.
In a large bowl, combine eggs, buttermilk, oil, sugar and vanilla. Mix well. Add flour mixture and mix well.

In a medium bowl, combine shredded carrots, coconut, walnuts, pineapple and raisins.
Using a large wooden spoon or a very heavy whisk, add carrot mixture to batter and fold in well.
Pour into prepared 8x12 inch pan, and bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 1 hour. Check with toothpick.

Allow to cool for at least 20 minutes before adding icing and serving. These also could make great cupcakes!

Saturday, September 5, 2009


This is what I am currently in the process of painting. It is such a challenge for me to draw white people. Who would have known. Something with the values, and the lighter tones I suppose. I posted the sketchbook drawing earlier. This is always the interesting stage for me as an artist. In using oils, I feel like it is so permanent even though I know its not. I have used watercolors for such a long time, it takes a little getting used to, but I think I am getting there.

Friday, September 4, 2009

New Beginnings

I love to start a new piece. Especially when you are working on one that is not going your way. It is like a fresh beginning. The only problem is that the last few pieces have not been going my way, so I keep starting new ones. This new sketch on canvas is based off of a student that I have in class. I haven't got to know her very yet, but, I can tell that she is an interesting character that is hiding something. It's only a couple weeks into school, but I am determined to find out what it is. I am interested to see how this painting continues to change as she continues to come out of her shell.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Wedding Present Commission

Last year, I was commissioned by a good friend, Amanda to do a piece of artwork for her best friend getting married. Her only stipulations where that she wanted to do a large piece, colorful, have some representation of the couple, their love and appreciation of wine, and some place that she can add the date and the couples names. This is what I came up with. Though most of the piece has been finished for sometime, Amanda was having difficulty finding the perfect quote that represented what she wanted to say to her friend. We finally got it together, and here is the final piece.

The most difficult thing about doing commissions is that the client can see your style of artwork, but at the same time, they have it in their heads as to how they want it. The more commissioned pieces I do, the more I am able to ask the right questions so that my client and I are on the same page.