Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Dinosaur Jump

I painted this for a friend of mine who just had a baby recently. She wanted to base his room around this book: It's a really cute book - my kids loved flipping through it. What was really cute is that my daughter wanted to make one too... and what she did I thought was really creative - she traced the dinosaur, cut it out, traced it again on her own paper, colored it and called it "Dinosaur Jomp". I thought I had saved it but I can't find it anywhere. I loved it. Anyway.... This painting was loosely based on the story. It started off with just palm trees, but I added the mountains, and I'm so glad, it really makes the painting. (and yes, as my husband points out - they are BLUE). They remind me of Kauai.


And since we have quite a few colored walls in our house I figured I'd try out a couple options...

light blue wall: (though it looks a little like periwinkle)


orangy wall: (but kinda blurry)


It would be interesting to see what a green wall would look like, but we don't have one... yet...

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Watercress Soup

Yes, it's been far too long since I posted. I've had some projects I'm working on that are taking me longer than anticipated... (even without all the interruptions)

But don't you love spring? I LOVE spring.

Spring has brought beautiful green bunches of WATERCRESS back to my local farmer's market.

I did some research of some health benefits to watercress (found at THIS website):

"Watercress is rich in fiber, anti-oxidants, vitamin C, beta-carotene, folic acid, potassium, calcium, phosphorous and iron, and is a good source of iodine as well. In fact, it has more calcium than milk and more iron than spinach."

When I first discovered watercress last year, I tried a few soup recipes, found one I liked and then tweaked it a bit - now I just love this recipe.

It takes about 30 minutes to make and it's delicious - especially with fresh and toasted honey whole wheat bread to dip.

As in the majority of my meals, my cuisinart minifood prep is essential for making this fast and easy. You don't have to use one, but it sure makes things go faster. (and it's very reasonable at costco)

It probably is even better if you have a large food processor as it is 4 times the size (but since it's also 4 times the price, I stick with my mini one)

Recipe: Watercress Soup

3 Tablespoons butter

3-4 potatoes (or a bag of fingerling potatoes- no chopping needed)

1-2 yellow sweet onions

4-5 stalks of celery

Sea salt to taste

2 1/2 cups chicken stock (my favorite being Trader Joe's organic low sodium or homemade)

2 1/2 cups creamy milk

2 bunches of chopped watercress (remove the course stems)

(just so you know - I don't add pepper to anything, but I'm sure it would be good to add for people who like pepper)

1) Melt the butter. Chop/puree the onions, celery, and potatoes into very small pieces in the mini-food prep (you don't even have to peel the potatoes - just toss em in the chopper).

2) Add the onions, celery and potatoes to the butter and toss with the butter. Sprinkle with salt. Cover and cook over low heat for 10 minutes.

3) Add the stock and milk, bring to a boil and cook until the onions and potatoes are soft.

4) Chop the watercress in the mini-food prep and add to the soup - boil with the lid off for about 4-5 minutes until cooked. Do not overcook the watercress.

5) Puree the soup in a blender. Add more salt if necessary.

Even if green soup doesn't look so yummy, I can attest that it's OH so yummy. It tastes better every time I make it. We may have it once a week until watercress is out of season....