Tasty Tuesday march 24

Tasty Tuesday March 24

I have joined a group of old broads ladies who get together Friday nights, dine together and then make art. The hostess does a lot of printing so we do woodcuts. I have been really loving getting back into art and have neglected some of my other pursuits, such as this blog. I promise to try to do better. 
Last night’s dinner was steak, cooked by Sam. Usually we are all asked to bring dessert and the hostess provides dinner. Knowing steak was on the menu, I also decided to bring chimichurri sauce for the steak. It is a sauce from South America that is used over meat, even though several of the ladies used it on their salads and declared it good there too. 

Chimichurri Sauce

1 cup packed fresh Italian (flat leaf) parsley
1/2 cup packed fresh cilantro
2 garlic cloves, peeled
1/2 cup good olive oil
1/3 cup red wine vinegar
3/4 tsp red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp salt

Put everything in a blender and whirl until well blended. Put in a bowl, cover and let stand at room temperature. Note: it needs a little time for the flavor to develop, when I first made it, it didn’t smell or taste right, it wasn’t until 30 minutes later or so that the flavors developed into something wonderful! I might use a little more garlic next time too. 

Yield, about one cup.

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5 tips for conducting an interview with someone you care about, using StoryCorps’ new app

Talk to people and learn their story.

TED Blog

Anybody with a smartphone can now be a part of the StoryCorps movement. As TED Prize Winner Dave Isay reveals in today’s talk, you no longer have to travel to a StoryCorps mobile booth to capture an interview with a friend, family member or stranger because StoryCorps has created an app, available free to the public. Now, if you can find a quiet place and 45 minutes, you can interview someone whose story has never been heard and immediately upload the discussion to the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress.

When Isay announced his wish at TED2015 last week, the TED community responded enthusiastically, noting that the app could be used to change the narrative of post-conflict zones, honor an entire generation’s stories on a national holiday like Veterans Day, and so much more. The app itself is easy to use, with step-by-step guidance on how to pick…

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Art chronicles 3/14/15

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pi story…

Art chronicles

Several years ago, I had a show at a local gallery and befriended the gallery owner. From there, i  met a couple of people who influence and inspire me at art and keep my vision going. 
One of them is very active with printmaking in the local art community and I have been following her on Facebook. She has been inviting me to travel with her for some time now. She also has workshops and classes offered locally at various times. I had noticed one on printmaking and bookmarked it, time came around and I asked if it was still available and found out it was cancelled due to lack of interest. Bummer. But I was invited to a session at her personal workshop for a girl’s night out. Sounds interesting… I just needed to bring dessert. 
So, I showed up. What I didn’t know was dinner was included and dessert was the intro to creating. 
After we finished dessert, and someone made Chess Pie and I bless her, we went downstairs to the workshop. I was handed a 12×12 inch piece of wood for a woodcut print. I had to come up with a design, draw it out, cut it into relief and ready it to print. Aaaghhhh. That was too much real estate for me to jump into, especially since the last time I did a woodcut was in HIGH SCHOOL…. That’s almost too many years ago for me to contemplate. I asked for a smaller piece and the lady next to me handed me a piece of a size I could deal with. 

Then I had to look for something I could draw out and use for the design. Pinterest came to mind so I browsed a few pictures I had pinned. I found a dragonfly (what else) that would work. I drew it out, carved it, did a few prints, carved some more, another print or two, and it was looking sweet!

There were six of us attending. I usually feel awkward when I’m in an unfamiliar group of people. I knew the host, sort of, and was planning my usual strategy of sitting quietly on the sidelines and watching and listening for a while first. The usual introvert’s plan with people they don’t know. I was introduced to everyone and I remember a Pat, and I remember the face to go with that name, and I think there was a Carla but I don’t remember other names. I’m terrible with names. I was introduced and said hi to everybody and sat down. Conversation progressed. Some time later something was said about shyness and I commented I related to it. They were like we would never have thought that about you. I replied, I work in retail and I have learned to fake it. 

Strange thing is, I felt like I was settling into a groove with them where I belonged. It was totally comfortable. We got into the workshop and everybody was totally into their own thing but also totally admiring everybody else with their thing. The creative energy multiplied on itself. 
I chose a dragonfly sitting on a lotus bud. Drawing was easy, carving was easy too. The comments passing back and forth were easy like a bunch of BFF’s that had been together a long time. Everybody was working on their own level and all was good. 
I left with several prints of my dragonfly and a renewed enthusiasm for art. I have plans for my next project and it will be on one of those big squares of wood. 
And somehow I feel I have been expanded, something has been let out of confinement and I refuse to let it be squished down again. 
I will be back to Girls Night Out. 

Tasty Tuesday March 10


This is one of those easy quick things that makes you look fancy. And it makes too much sauce which turns into a great frittata. And depending on the tortellini you use, it can be a vegetarian meal that is filling and satisfying. 

Tortellini with Spinach Sauce

1 package fresh tortellini (found in the refrigerator case at the store)
1 cup chopped onions
1 Tbl olive oil
1-2 cloves garlic, minced (depends on how garlicky you like things)
1 package frozen spinach, thawed, drained, squeezed and divided in half.
1 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/3 cup sour cream
1 Tbl or so dry white wine. 
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper

Cook tortellini according to package directions. Drain and keep warm.
While that’s cooking, sauté onion and garlic in skillet about 4 minutes. Stir in 1/2 spinach, stir until warm. Transfer spinach mixture to a blender, add broth, Parmesan, sour cream, wine and pepper. Whirl until well blended. Return blended sauce, tortellini and remaining spinach to pan until heated thoroughly. Serve. 

Makes 2 servings. 

This makes too much sauce for the tortellini so serve the sauce sparingly and reserve the leftovers. They make an excellent base for a frittata.