Friday 6 February 2009, 1:48 PM
Filed under: art

Ever since I was a kid, I had this notion that the left side and ride side of my body were at war with each other. The left side is mad because it was not the dominant side and the right side was simply being defensive, but always took it one step past “an eye for an eye” for gloating purposes.

So I can only imagine my left side being enormously pleased when my right arm broke. The right side understands that it is a force to be reckoned with.

Here’s my latest figure drawing work (50 min), yippee:



Tuesday 3 February 2009, 7:47 PM
Filed under: art

I broke my right arm and I am sporting a lovely green cast. Did I mention that I’m right handed? Yep, life is a little difficult right now. It doesn’t help that all my classes this year are studio drawing classes… but lefty seems to be up for the challenge:




Happy Holidays Again!! ^^
Friday 26 December 2008, 12:40 PM
Filed under: cooking

When I had posted yesterday there were two dishes that weren’t completed – the chicken and the stuffing. They were both REALLY GOOD (especially the stuffing) so they had to get posted.

Super Rad Stuffing

I could eat this stuff (HAHA GET IT) all day...

I could eat this stuff (HAHA GET IT) all day...

1 package spicy Italian sausage
2-3 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, diced
4-6 stalks celery, chopped
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
3 teaspoons Italian seasonings
salt and pepper to taste
1 pound of bread
2 cups chicken stock

Preheat the oven to 350 F. While the oven is heating up, place the bread on a baking sheet and put it in the oven to dry and toast it. Don’t forget about the bread! It should only be in there for about 10-15 minutes.

Prepare the sausage by removing the plastic lining that keeps all the meat together and break up the meat. Saute the meat in a medium pot over medium high heat with the olive oil for about 5 minutes, or until the meat is cooked almost all the way.

Add the onions and celery and cook until just tender.

Add in the parsley, Italian seasonings, salt and pepper.

Transfer the entire mixture into a large bowl. Cube the bread and add to the bowl, then add the chicken broth. Mix well.

Spoon the stuffing into a large baking dish. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 15 minutes. Then uncover and bake for another 15-20 minutes.

Roast Lemon Chicken

I found this recipe on Use Real Butter, a very informative food blog. She used one chicken that weighed about 4 pounds, but I did my shopping really late and couldn’t find a chicken small enough, so I went with two cornish game hens. I didn’t really change anything other than that, so I’m not going to post anything but the picture. Just know that this chicken was super juicy and super good.

Chicken chicken chicken chicken chicken.

Chicken chicken chicken chicken chicken.

Happy Holidays! ^^
Thursday 25 December 2008, 6:42 PM
Filed under: cooking, pies/tarts

My family and I aren’t particularly religious, but we do like to do the whole Christmas deal because quite frankly, we deserve it. :)

Last year, my sister and I cooked Christmas dinner and we decided to give it a go this time around. When I say “my sister and I cooked” I really mean I cooked almost everything, haha.

Pasta Primavera
from Giada de Laurentiis, serves 6

Healthy and colorful!

Healthy and colorful!

3 carrots, peeled and cut into thin strips
2 medium zucchini or 1 large zucchini, cut into thin strips
2 yellow squash, cut into thin strips
1 onion, thinly sliced
1 yellow bell pepper, cut into thin strips
1 red bell pepper, cut into thin strips
1/4 cup olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
1 tabelspoon dired Italian herbs or herbes de Provence
1 pound farfalle (bowtie pasta)
15 cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2 cup grated Parmesan

Preheat oven to 450 F.

Toss all the vegetables with the oil, salt, pepper, and dried herbs to coat in a bowl. Use two baking sheets and arrange the vegetables evenly over them. Bake until the carrots are tender and the vegetables begin to brown, stirring after the first 10 minutes, about 20 minutes total.

Meanwhile, cook the pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water until al dente. Drain, reserving 1 cup of the cooking liquid.

Toss the pasta with the vegetable mixtures in a large bowl to combine. Toss with the cherry tomatoes and enough reserved cooking liquid to moisten. Season the pasta with salt and pepper, to taste. Sprinkle with the Parmesan and serve.

Stuffed Mushrooms
from Giada de Laurentiis, makes 28 mushrooms

Bite-sized pieces of deliciousness.

Bite-sized pieces of deliciousness.

1/2 cup Italian-style dried bread crumbs
1/2 cup grated Pecorino Romano
2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves
1 tablespoons chopped fresh mint leaves
salt and pepper
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
28 large (2 1/2″ diameter) white mushrooms, stemmed

Preheat the oven to 400 F.

Stir the bread crumbs, Pecorino Romano, garlic, parsley, mint, salt and pepper, to taste, and 2 tablespoons olive oil in amedium bowl to blend.

Drizle a heavy large baking sheet with about 1 tablespon olive oil, to coat. Spoon the filling into the mushroom cavities and arrange on the baking sheet, cavity side up. Drizzle remaining oil over the filling in each musroom. Bake until the mushrooms are tender and the filling is heated through and golden on top, about 25 minutes.

Retro-Metro Fancy Tuna Casserole
from Rachael Ray, serves 6

Nom nom nom nom.

Nom nom nom nom.

1/2 loaf day-old crusty bread
1 to 1 1/4 pounds tuna steaks, 1-inch thick
1 cup white wine
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon whole peppercorns
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
4 tablespoons butter, divided
2 large shallots, chopped
16 small button mushrooms, thinly sliced
salt and pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons ground thyme or poultry seasoning
2 tablespoons all purpose flour
1 1’2 cups chicken stock
1/2 cup heavy cream or half-and-half
1 cup baby frozen peas
1 pound extra wide egg noodles
chopped fresh parsley leaves, to garnish

Place bread in warm ove, 250 F, to dry and toast for 20 minutes.

Place tuna in a skillet and add wine, then water – just enough to cover the fish. Add bay leaf and peppercorns. Bring liquids to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer and cover skillet. Poach fish for 12 minutes.

Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add oil, 1 turn of the pan, and 2 tablespoons butter. Add shallots and mushrooms and season with salt and pepper. Saute gently for 5 minutes. Sprinkle in thyme or poultry seasoning and flour and cook for 1 minute, stirring with whisk. Whisk in stock, then cream. Adjust seasonings. Add peas.

Remove cooked, poached tuna to a bowl and flake fish with a fork.

Add cooked noodles and tuna to sauce. Remove sauce from heat and transfer mixture to a casserole or serving dish.

Crumble the bread into large crumbs. Melt remainig 2 tablespoons butter and pour it over the bread. Scatter buttery bread crumbs and parsley over the top of the casserole.

Green Bean Casserole
from Paula Deen, serves 6

Cheesy goodness - the family's favorite dish.

Cheesy goodness - the family's favorite dish.

1/3 cup butter
1/2 cup diced onions
1/2 cup sliced mushrooms
2 cups sliced green beans
3 cups chicken broth
1 (10 3/4 oz) can cream of mushroom soup
1 (2.8 oz) can French fried onion rings
pepper, salt, and garlic powder to taste
1 cup grated Cheddar

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Melt the butter in a large skillet. Saute the onions and mushrooms in the butter. Boil green beans in chicken broth for 10 minutes and drain. Add the green beans, mushroom soup, onion rings, pepper, salt, and garlic powder, to taste, to the onion mixture. Stir well. Pour into a greased 1 1/2-quart baking dish. Bake for 20 minutes, then top the casserole with the Cheddar and bake for 10 minutes longer, or until the casserole is hot and cheese is melted.

Pecan Pie

This pie is mildly sweet, does not use corn syrup, and FULL of pecans. It’s also ridiculously good. It was so good my sister asked for seconds. Apparently it IS possible to please her!!!

I love pie.

I love pie.

For the crust:
this will make 2 9-inch crusts; either halve this recipe or save the other half for something else
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, frozen and diced
1/2 stick vegetable shortening, frozen and diced
1 teaspoons vinegar
1 cup ice water

For the filling:
1 tablespoon molasses
1/4 teaspoons salt
1 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup melted butter
2 eggs
2 tablespoon flour
1 tablespoon milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 – 2 1/4 cup coarsely chopped pecans

Crust Directions:
Combine the flour, salt, and sugar. Use a food processor, pastry cutter, or two knives to combine the butter and shortening with the flour mixture. You want a consistency of coarse cornmeal. Add the teaspoon of vinegar to the cup of ice water. Add 6 tablespoons of water to the dough and use a spatula to bring the dough together. Put the dough on a floured surface and work the dough for it to come together even more. Halve the dough, wrap each half, and refrigerate for at least half an hour.

Pie Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 F.

Beat eggs until foamy, then stir in the melted butter. Add in the brown sugar, flour, molasses, milk, and vanilla.

Take one of the pie dough halves and roll it out and line a 9 inch pie dish. Crimp or flute the edge. Spread the chopped pecans along the bottom. Pour in the filling mixture. Bake at 350 F for 15 minutes, then reduce the temperature to 300 F and bake for another 50 minutes.

Nuts for nuts!

Nuts for nuts!

The Curse of the Groove
Friday 24 October 2008, 11:51 AM
Filed under: art, stencils
My tools. I love Sharpies, but they are slowly killing me.

My tools. I love Sharpies, but they are slowly killing me.

I like to go to sleep at a reasonable time, usually sometime before midnight. Occasionally, I’ll stay up until three doing whatever, but that doesn’t happen very often. Today is my friend Sophia’s birthday and yesterday night she was telling me how she wanted to do a spray paint stencil, which made me think about how I haven’t done one in a really long time. Then later I was talking to the infamous and smelly TOE KNEE and he said that he would do a pastel drawing if I did a stencil. He’s good with pastels and hardly works with them. I laughed in his face and didn’t think anything of it.

The original drawing.

The original drawing.

Later I couldn’t fall asleep so I got up and decided that I would do one. After all, it’d been a good while since my last stencil and honestly, how hard could it be if I kept it simple? WRONG. I learned (the hard way) that when the groove hits to create/draw, you do not argue with it AT ALL.

What I wanted.

What I wanted.

So I drew a woman because that’s what I’m comfortable in drawing and drew hair because I like hair. I don’t know why, but I decided I wanted to do it on a large piece of Bristol paper (19″ x 24″) which is like adding another layer to hell because when I was filling in all the black space I inhaled more Sharpie fumes than I care to really think about. The whole process of drawing to inking to cutting out took a good hour and a half, so when I had the stencil all cut out, I was stoked – all I had to do was spray and I was done! Then I could SLEEP!!! WRONG AGAIN.

The stencil.

The stencil.

I had no glue. NO GLUE. What kind of artist am I? I considered going to sleep right then and there. It was past five in the morning, my glasses were falling off my face, and it was really cold out on the deck. But no. You don’t argue with the big G. So I went to Longs, bought myself some spray adhesive, and then went back to work. By this time I was completely out of it. I sprayed the wrong side of the stencil, but fortunately realized my mistake, and finally sprayed it, all the while nearly dying from the fumes.

Final product.

Final product.

It was a SUCCESS (thank goodness, because if it wasn’t I’d be pulling my hair out right now). It got fuzzy in some parts, but I’m pleased with it.

The stencil post-spraying.

The stencil post-spraying.

So a shout out to the birthday girl and a kick to TOE KNEE. Take that.

Banana Bread Again
Saturday 11 October 2008, 7:36 PM
Filed under: bread, fruit

I have a surplus of bananas that came out of nowhere. I just came home one day and there was a whole bunch of bananas. So I made banana bread because I really had no other choice.

Banana Bread
Adapted from Joy of Baking

1 cup chopped pecans
1 3/4 cups flour
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons cinnamon
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup plain yogurt
3 ripe large bananas
1 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Whisk together nuts, flour, sugars, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. In another bowl, mash the bananas, add the eggs, yogurt, and vanilla. Add the dry ingredients to the wet and fold together until just combined.

Pour the batter into a 9×5 inch loaf pan. Bake for 55-60 minutes.

Korean Yummies
Thursday 25 September 2008, 4:18 PM
Filed under: bread

I have a love-hate relationship with yeast. And with cakes, but that’s another story. Somedays I’ll use yeast and produce something amazing. Other days, it’s a complete disaster. Thankfully, these delicious snacks were not catastrophes.

I love love love LOVE Korean snacks… especially the ones called hodduk (호떡) and hobbang (호빵). Both are made from a yeasted dough, but hodduk is filled with brown sugar and pan-fried, while hobbang is filled with red bean paste and steamed. These are readily available frozen at Korean markets and that’s genius because 30 seconds later, you’ve got yourself a hot, steaming, delicious piece of sweetness. But I wanted some homemade ones.

The bread is good and there are many variations available online. This recipe is slightly adapted from here. And I say ‘adapted’ because I forgot some ingredients… hahaha.


2 1/4 teaspoons dry active yeast (= one packet)
1 1/3 cup lukewarm water
2 tablespoons oil
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons sugar
5 cups all purpose flour

Dissolve yeast in water and let it sit for five minutes. Whisk in the oil, salt, and sugar. Incorporate the flour. Add more flour or water as needed. The dough should be soft and not very sticky. Leave the dough in a large bowl, cover it with a damp paper towel, and let it rise to twice its size. At room temperature this may take to 1-3 hours. Alternatively, you can preheat your oven to 100 F, turn off the oven, and place the bowl in there.

Hobbang (호빵)

2/3 of above dough
2 cans red bean paste

Roll out the dough into a log with a diameter of around 2.5″. Using a piece of floss, cut off pieces that are an inch thick. Roll out each piece into a flat pancake. Place 2-3 tablespoons of red bean paste in the center. Wet the edge of the dough with water and then bring the edges in, forming a ball. Set the buns aside and let them rest for at least 30 minutes. Afterwards, steam them for about 15-20 minutes. The buns will expand, so leave some room inbetween.

Hodduk (호떡)

1/3 of above dough
Brown sugar (I used raw brown sugar)

Pull off about a golfball-sized hunk of dough and shape it into a flat disk. Make a a little indentation in the center, fill with sugar, and close the ball up. Heat up an oiled pan and set the pancakes down, squishing them with a spatula so that they are flat. Flip after 3-5 minutes, or until the side is golden brown, and cook the other side. The sugar should be melted and ooey-gooey yummy.