Monday, July 31, 2017

Lemon honey bee cake

I made this lemon honey bee cake for a garden dinner party 
that I had this summer. It was Bee-licious.

Friday, July 21, 2017

Color Inspiration: mixed border

Holy smoke—that's a whole lot of scrumptious color and texture happening here. The giant rhubarb leaf alone has that rusty mauve groove happening, and the leaves of the deep purple huchera (coral bells) is divine.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Garlicky broccoli salad

Sometimes you just crave a big ol' bowl of broccoli. Well, don't you? This is a quick and easy Italian broccoli salad that's super to make. The dressing is a basic vinaigrette with Parm. cheese added in. The raw broccoli has a fab crunch, and serving it this way us nice, especially on these hot summer days, but if you prefer your broccoli cooked, you could quickly blanch the broc and serve this as a warm or room temp dish, they way the Italians like to serve their veg.


1 bunch of broccoli, cut into florets
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp red wine vinegar
1 tsp Dijon mustard
4 cloves garlic, peeled and finely diced (if the raw garlic is too much for you, then sauté it quickly in olive oil first)
a dash of red pepper flakes
1/4 of a red bell pepper, diced finely /
     (can omit, but the contrasting color is pretty)
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese to sprinkle on after it's dressed

To make the vinaigrette
Mince garlic and red pepper, put into a jar with the oil, vinegar, mustard, salt and pepper. Put cover on jar and shake like mad to emulsify.

To assemble salad
Chop your broc and add into a bowl. Drizzle the dressing over it, mix well (can let sit for an hour or so) then sprinkle with Parmesan cheese right before serving. How easy was that? Mmm, dragon breath.

*Note—occasionally I also like to add sunflower seeds to this salad.

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Swiss Alps paintings

Recently I had an interesting commission to paint. A woman who spent her high school exchange in a chalet, nestled in the steep alps of Switzerland, many moons ago, wanted this painting as a gift for the father of her host family who will be 90 this summer. The chalet was so remote that supplies had to delivered to the chalet by helicopter drop. I had little to work with regarding reference photos so I patched together several photos in my mind's eye. I made two paintings with different color palettes and will let my client choose the one that she connects with the most. I truly hope that her 'Swiss Papa' will be happy with his gift.

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Flags for the 4th!

Flag Day, Fifth Avenue, July 4th, 1916, by Childe Hassam 

detail from Flags on the Waldorf, by Childe Hassam 

On this—our day of independence—let your flags fly! American impressionist Frederick Childe Hassam loved painting our American flag. He was born in 1859 in the Boston area—in Dorchester, MA., as a matter of fact. After World War I Hassam painted a series of roughly 30 Patriotic "American Flag" canvases. Here are a few of my favorites, and a few other artist's works as well.

 Flags on the Waldorf, by Childe Hassam

The Avenue in the Rain ,by Childe Hassam

Allies Day, May 1917, by Childe Hassam

+ + +

Below, something completely different by artist Jasper Johns.

Three Flags (1958) by Jasper Johns

Okay, this last painting is of French flags 
and was painted by Claude Monet, 
but since we were in the red, white and blue spirit...
Rue Montorguiel, Paris 1878 by Claude Monet

Click here to see to read more about this last painting.

Sunday, July 2, 2017

An ombré of lettuces

Home grown lettuce—that's a satisfaction that you just can't get by buying lettuce from the green grocers or from a farmer's market. I have two small symmetrical plots on the ends of my veggie garden that are reserved just for salad greens. In front I am growing a mix of microgreens, then above them there I've planted a few rows of about 6 types of lettuces, and above that I have 4 types of kale. I've also just planted some nasturtium seeds—their baby leaves are nice and peppery. I just wish my tomatoes were ready to pick now too, then we'd really have a party in a salad bowl.