Bench, Fish

EmptyBench (Custom)

2014-06-15 14.38.47 cover2 (Custom)

2 Jul 2014, 10:47am
Sketches and Studies

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2014-07-02 10.29.00edit

I needed a new sketchbook like I need another hole in my head.  But this one has  nice cream-colored paper.  My white Galaxy marker shows up clearly on it.  I started this sketch with some of the white parts.


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Mixed media in 6 x 6 inch sketchbook.  For this month’s Virtual Paintout.


painting of goldfish

Mixed media (acrylics, colored pencil, watercolor, pencil) on notecard, approximately 4 x 5-1/2 inches.   From a reference photo in the WetCanvas Reference Image Library.

Easter Treat


Mixed media sketch in 6×6 inch sketchbook, cropped to slightly smaller than that.

“All the Healthy Things” Black Breakfast Bread (Gluten Free)


Been tweaking this for a while.  I think it’s ready to share.


6 eggs (cage free/free range)

1/4 c. cocoa powder (I’m still using up my regular store stuff but will probably upgrade to a less processed/healthier product in the future)

1/4 c. apple cider vinegar (active culture/unfiltered/organic)

3/4 c. whole milk

1/4 c. raw local honey

1/4 c. blackstrap molasses

2/3 c. coconut flour

1 tsp. baking soda

1/4 tsp. sea salt

1-2 tsp cinnamon, optional

1 tsp vanilla extract, optional

1/4 c. melted coconut oil


Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.  Combine all ingredients in a large mixing bowl and stir thoroughly.  (Make sure the melted coconut oil is not so hot as to cook the other ingredients as it is stirred in.)  Pour the batter into a greased loaf pan and bake for 40 minutes.  Cool and serve.  Or eat it hot.  Store in the refrigerator.

My husband likes his cold, straight out of the fridge.  I like to reheat mine for a few seconds in the microwave and slather it with butter.  If I tweak this further, I will try other spices (pumpkin pie spice? ginger?) and maybe a little more sea salt.


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Random words (coffee, petals, prediction, winter, portrait), sketch on index card (rollerball pen, colored pencils), cell phone photo of the sketch loaded into GIMP and manipulated from there.

Coffee Hour Recipes

Only one for now but I’ll add more here as they accumulate.

Gluten Free Crunchy Fudge Cookies


1 box Betty Crocker Gluten Free Brownie Mix (Arrowhead Mills mix works too)

3 c. Cinnamon Chex cereal

1/3 c. water

1 egg, slightly beaten

2 tsp. vanilla

1/4 c. semisweet chocolate chips


Heat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.  Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.  Combine all ingredients (Chex last would be best).   Drop dough by rounded measuring tablespoonfuls about 2 inches apart onto cookie sheets.  Bake 10-12 minutes or until set.  Slide parchment paper onto cooling rack.  Cool for 10-12 minutes and peel cookies off parchment paper.  Makes 24 cookies.


Adapted from here:  I doubled this recipe and used 1 Betty Crocker mix and one Arrowhead Mills mix because that’s all I could find at the store.  The dough was VERY stiff and dry and hard to mix.  I liked the cookies very much without the glaze called for in the original recipe, so I didn’t bother with it.  Parchment paper made removing from the cookie sheet and cooling easy; these cookies are pretty sticky/gooey while they’re hot.

Masa Harina Recipes

I need to be better about taking pictures. Don’t have any (yet) for these recipes. I like to cook with (non-GMO) masa harina because it is a traditionally prepared grain and is therefore more nutritious and easier to digest than regular cornmeal, etc.

Tamale Pie

Topping Ingredients:

2 c. masa harina

1-1/2 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. salt

1/2 c. cold lard or butter, cut into small pieces

2 c. stock or water


Mix ingredients together in a small bowl.  Cut in butter or lard.  Add water and mix until a wet dough is formed.  Set aside while you prepare the filling.

Filling Ingredients:

bacon grease or other cooking oil

2 large onions, chopped

1 Tbsp. paprika

2 tsp. dried oregano

1 tsp. cumin

3 garlic cloves

1/4 tsp. cayenne

2 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar

2 c. broth, divided

3 c. cooked meat

6 oz can tomato paste

sea salt to taste


Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.   Saute onions in 2-3 Tbsp. of bacon grease.  Add paprika, oregano, cumin, garlic, cayenne, vinegar, and 1/2 c. of broth.   Simmer for 5 minutes.  Add the rest of the ingredients and simmer until thick.  Transfer filling to a 13″ x 9″ pan.  Top with masa topping.  Because the topping seemed dry and like it would be hard to spread, I did this “dumpling style,” picking up pieces of the topping with my fingers and placing them on the filling, rather than trying to spread it over the filling.  Bake for 40-50 minutes or until golden brown around the edges and firm in the center. Serve with shredded cheese, salsa, sour cream, etc.

Notes:  We loved this!  Adapted from here:  That recipe called for chicken, which I thought was weird for a tamale pie.  It so happened that I had leftover breakfast sausage and leftover ground pork from a previous (unsuccessful) pizza experiment, so I used that.  I need to measure my casserole dish, because it seemed like I didn’t have enough filling or topping for the pan size.  When I make this again, I may use more filling, more topping, more of both, or a smaller casserole dish.  Not sure.

Speaking of dumplings, I could see using a sweetened version of the topping for a gluten-free cobbler sort of thing.  I could also see using this topping recipe (possibly with the addition of some herbs/spices) for a Tex-Mex-ish chicken and “dumplings.”  I could definitely play with this topping.



1 c. masa harina

1/2 tsp. sea salt

1-1/2 c. boiling water

oil for frying (I used refined coconut oil)


Mix masa harina, salt, and boiling water.  Let stand for 5-10 minutes, until cool enough to handle.  It will resemble play dough in consistency.  Dampen hands and roll small balls and flatten gently into discs. Heat a cast iron frying pan over medium high heat.  Pour in 1-2 Tbsp of oil.  Place arepas in the pan and fry for about 8 minutes or until a light golden brown.  Turn and fry another 4-5 minutes on the other side or until golden brown.  Serve warm.  Best eaten soon after cooking.

Notes:  Made these on a munchie whim last night.  I don’t think I had the oil hot enough, as these seemed to take a long time to cook and probably soaked up a little too much oil.  Father Otwell ate some with chili and loved them.  I’m not sure what I think yet.  I made these smaller than the original recipe suggested, trying to maximize crunch.  Adapted from here:

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