Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Quince paste (all's well that ends well)

Quince paste was on the ever-growing-never-ending list of things I want to create. Have you tried it? It's addictive and it's it's been on my mind ever since I first tried it at a party right before I left California. A friend brought a small piece that a friend of hers had made and then just a few weeks ago my sister-in-law served some when we visited. It never fails to amaze me just how much yummy goodness is out there just waiting to be stumbled upon. Like the grilled corn and roasted delicata squash dish with a dab of garlic aioli I had a few weeks ago or the out of this world locally produced rosemary smoked bacon a friend got her hands on. In all my years of wine drinking and cheese nibbling I can't figure out how this luscious treat never revealed itself to me. Anyways, I checked a few cheese counters in my area and found lots of fig paste but no quince so I decided to try and make my own. Once I started researching recipes I realized just how magical this fruit is. It looks like a cross between an apple and a pear with very firm white flesh which is not edible raw. As the fruit cooks (with sugar and lemon juice) it transforms from tough and white to a rosy, velvety aubergine. Things seemed to be going pretty well in steps 1-5 pictured above but then things took a turn for the worse. After an hour of cooking I felt the paste was not deepening enough in color (it was a gorgeous pinky-apricot color but not aubergine) and it didn't seem to be "set" enough to pour into my mold. So I cross referenced a few other recipes and turned up the heat and stirred and in an instant it was "too set" and I had glue instead of paste. The pan, the wooden spoon, the mold I used all required repeated soaking and scouring to get clean (a big shout out to C for helping with that). I was determined to serve quince past to my company last weekend so back to the store I went. And right there prominently displayed in the cheese area was a lovely tower of "Membrillo" (quince paste). It didn't take more than a second for me to scoop a few packages up along with some Manchego cheese and a bottle of Cava....delish!

ps: if you've made quince paste and have any tips I'd love to hear them : )

Monday, October 25, 2010

a quick hello...

secrets revealed::the messenger

Two new painting for the shop this Monday. It feels so good to be back in the studio creating and pouring my thoughts into the wax again. I need to make this quick as someone in this house turned 14 today and is patiently waiting for me to wrap up on the computer so she can unwrap her birthday gifts (HAPPY BIRTHDAY SWEET PHOEBE!!!). Hope you are all having a lovely Monday and I see you later in the week with more work...

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

In the studio (painting and thinking)

Hi there. I'm just taking a quick break to have a bite to eat and clear my head. I've been in in the studio for the past few hours working on some new pieces which need to be submitted for consideration tomorrow (yeah i know the old me would have been more on top of this deadline thing but the new me likes to meander and explore on the way to completed paintings). The mash-up of image, idea and text is falling in place and after just a little more thought and work I should be able to finish these up and photograph them. I'll be back tomorrow to share the finished work....

Friday, October 15, 2010

friday happiness...

This is the family photo wall in progress (i love that the wall slightly resembles a denyse schmidt quilt right now). I'm using a group of frames I already own but spraying them all a muted gold to tie the wall together. Trying to choose the images to use is the hardest part to be sure but we are having lots of fun going through boxes of old photos. I am welcoming this weekend with open arms and looking forward to making scarecrows, a trip into the city and some studio time...

TGIF : )

Wednesday, October 13, 2010


i'm here
playing with wax
thinking about subtle shifts

i'm thinking about how amazing it is that i can notice something new in a thing that has been if front of me for like ever. in that moment it's as if a secret is unlocked. the fact that this happens over and over (when i least expect it) that's the best part.

what have you seen with new eyes lately?

Friday, October 8, 2010

Happy Friday...

Just checking in before we hit the road for a quick visit to my folks house in Michigan. The weekend is going to be full of family, food, football and a trip to the cider mill (it's nice to be within driving distance of family again). For the foodie festivities tomorrow I am making the decadently delicious Hush Puppies with Green Zebra Tomato Jam. I'm not usually big on frying but I came across this recipe in an issue of Food and Wine over the summer and had to give it a try. I've been smitten with the idea of tomato jam since I had a mind blowing version served with a cheese plate at Picco last year. Anyways, the puppies and the complex and yummy jam were a big hit and make great finger food for a crowd. I've tried this version as well (but i used fresh tomatoes) and it was perfect on sandwiches. So what are you doing with the last of this season's tomatoes?

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Tuesday already?

Well Monday kind of snuck up on me after a festive weekend full of old school shenanigans and soccer. So let's just say the Party Girls and Glamour Girls are fashionably late, shall we? The girls (and a few other new paintings and some works on paper) will find their way into my etsy shop later this afternoon. I'm so happy to have a group of work completed after what has been way too long that I feel inspired and energized. In addition to listing all of this completed work today (which always takes so much longer than I expect) I'm cooking up some chicken pot pie for supper (i actually have 3 different recipes for pot pie but hands down this is our favorite). I made the crusts this morning and will start the filling just before the kids get home from school so the house is filled with warmth and yumminess. See you soon...

ps: the curlers from my last post worked wonders on my curls : )

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Saturday Night

Three words:
Mad Men Party. Yep. Should be fun. I haven't seen the show but C is a fan and so he got us tickets for this school fundraiser. Not sure about the whole velcro roller thing. See you Monday with some new party girls for the shop...

Friday, October 1, 2010


Soup season has arrived. It's my favorite time of the year. All of my veggies mix and mingle and every bit of autumnal goodness is put to use. The idea of a one pot meal is timeless and comforting and communal. For this garden in a pot soup I combined onion, carrots, celery, tomatoes, zucchini, kale and cannellini beans. The broth really came to life with the addition of fresh basil, sweet paprika and a parmesan rind thrown in for good measure. It was delish! So, what's in your pot these days?