Thursday, February 27, 2014

Applying for a Scholarship to Attend a Workshop at Anderson Ranch + Sweet Potato Veggie Patties with Avocados Recipe

During the summer of 2011 I attended a week long workshop at Anderson Ranch in Snowmass, CO (near Vail.) It was an amazing and magical experience. I so desperately want to go again, but alas, we cannot afford it. However, they do offer scholarships, so I worked diligently on my application and submitted it last night.

I think the application is intended for people who are or are working on becoming full time professional artist, of which I am not. It caused me to look at myself a bit differently. I think the most challenging part was having to explain how I would benefit from attending, what my financial need is and why I merit receiving a scholarship, all in 1,000 characters (not words, mind you). My, that was a challenge.

Putting together a portfolio of 10 images was an eye opening experience as well. I experiment with different styles and mediums of art, so my portfolio is more of a jumble than anything that has a cohesive look to it. Ellie, the sweet girl that she is, said that it shows that I try out a lot of things and that I am open, talented. Here's what I submitted:

I struggle with the fact so many of the pieces I create don't match up to what is in my head. There is always something I am dissatisfied with; having the input of my family reminds me that what they see and celebrate does not have to match what I wanted to create. Sometimes I just have to say, "Enough. It is finished" and then go on to the next piece.
One of the advantages of taking a class, or workshop is that the "you're done" line is drawn for me and I surrender to that struggle. I am working on setting that line for myself more readily.

Sweet Potato Veggie Patties with Avocado Slices

Sweet Potato Veggie Burgers
makes 7-8 large patties

2 cans cannellini white beans, drained (I used 1 can, not two)
1 large sweet potato, baked/peeled/mashed (about 2 cups)
2 Tbsp tahini
2 tsp maple or agave syrup (I will leave this out next time)
1 tsp lemon pepper seasoning OR Cajun seasoning (or another fave spice!)(I will double this amount next time)
1/4 cup wheat flour
optional: additional seasoning (whatever you have on hand - I used a few dashes cayenne, black pepper and a scoop of nutritional yeast)
salt to taste if needed

plentiful Panko crumbs
safflower oil for pan

burgers: avocado, Dijon mustard, grain buns, romaine, onion, olive oil, pepper


1. Bake sweet potato. Peel, place in large mixing bowl.
2. Add drained beans to mixing bowl. Mash beans and potato together.
3. Mash in seasoning, flour and any additional seasoning. Your mixture will be quite soft and moist. But you should be able to form a patty. Add more flour or a scoop of breadcrumbs - or dry rice to thicken the mixture if needed.
4. Heat 1 Tbsp safflower oil in a pan over high heat.
5. Form a patty from mixture and coat in Panko crumbs. Thick coating. Then drop the patty in the pan. Repeat until the pan is filled. Cook until browned on both sides. You could also bake. If baking, use less Panko.
6. Transfer cooked patties to paper towel. Cool for a few minutes.
7. Serve on toasted bun with lotsa toppings.

Note: yes this patty does fall kind of apart as you eat it. But that is OK because it tastes yummy.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Ellie and Kohlton - Wacky Quiz Results, Reddux + "Life is not a Marathon" (an inspirational video)

About 2 years ago, right around Ellie's 15th birthday, I spent an afternoon with Ellie and Kohlton asking silly interview questions. You can see those answers here. This evening those two thought it might be fun to have another go at those same questions:

Fill in the blank -

1. If I hadn't become E= (Kohlty’s girlfriend, K= a partner in a business) I might (E= not be awesome, K= be happy in my job.)

2. If I hadn't (E = gone to the animal shelter that day K = the trade show ), I might never have met (E= Remmie K= Willie Robertson (from Duck Commander & Duck Dynasty ).

3. My ability to (E= understanding people K= Sales ) is one of my greatest skills.

4. If asked, my family would say my greatest accomplishment is (E= being the best worker ever on the Jeffco Open Space Trail Stewardship crew, K= finishing my first mountain bike race).

5. I am sorry that I will never see (E= Grandma Eleanor & Reisha (our previous dog) K= Greta (his dog who has died ) again.

6. Going to (E = North Carolina, K= AVS ) taught me that (E= sunscreen does not work very well in the ocean, K= respecting other people’s values and opinions is very important).

Two by Two -

1. 2 everyday things you couldn't live without:
E= Kohlton’s hugs & my dog, Remmie
K= Ellie & my knife

2. 2 favorite songs:
E= “Wake Me Up” by Avicii, “THISKIDSNOTALRIGHT” by AWOLNation,
K= “The Storm I Ride” by Between Two Worlds, “Wake Me Up” by Avicii

3. 2 things I want to do before I die:
E= Visit Fiji & Drive a Lambroghini G at 200 miles per hour
K= Become full owner of BMK & Complete a Century (100 mile) mountain bike ride

4. 2 things I worry about:
E= Money & The Revolution
K= The future of BMK & The Revolution

5. 2 stores I shop at:
E= Cabela’s & Marshal’s
K= Feeder Frenzy Reptiles & Cabela’s

6. 2 things that scare you:
E= Of what sadness will do to me & buried alive
K= Spiders & Flying

7. 2 snack you could enjoy every day:
E= Smoothies & nacho Cheese Doritos
K= Ice Cream (Blue Bell Rocky Mountain Road) & Jamba Juice

8. 2 people I'd be lost without (excepting your family):
E= Kohlty
K= Ellie & Mayo (his best friend)

9. 2 nicknames I've been given:
E= Bug & Baboon
K= Kohlt & KiTTen

10. 2 places I want to go on vacation:
E= Madagascar & Panama
K= Nepal & Ireland

It's a Kid's World -

1. If I could have one superpower it would be
E= Flying
K= Telekinesis

2. What chore did you do last?
E= dishes
K= dishes

3. What was the last movie you saw in a theater?
E =“Hunger Games: Catching Fire”
K= “Hunger Games: Catching Fire”

4. What did you eat for lunch?
E= Crackers, Turkey and Apples
K= Crackers, Turkey and Apples

5. What is the nicest thing you've done lately for someone in your family?
E= I gave my mother an early Easter present that was wrapped beautifully
K= Helped my dad clean out the safe

6. What makes you mad?
E= Lies
K= my phone going off in rapid succession

7. What makes you happy?
E= Running (besides Kohlton, duh)
K= Bartering & getting more than I paid for (besides Ellie)

8. What do you like to drink?
E= Orange Juice
K= Cranberry, Orange Juice and milk

9. Websites you visit.
E = Pinterest & Tumblr
K = Davidson’s & You Tube

10. What would you like to learn to do?
E = to ride a lion
K= Skateboarding
E= draw people
K= to ride 100 miles

The Best and Worst -

1. The age in your life you have enjoyed the most so far:
E= 16
K= 17

2. The age that you've hated the most so far:
E= 14 or 15
K= 14 or 15

3. The best day of the week:
E= Saturday
K= Sunday

4. The best bands:
E = Volbeat & Led Zepplin
K = Volbeat & Iron Maiden

5. The worst day of the week:
E= Thursday
K= Friday

6. The worst thing you've done:
E= be mean to people that I love, specifically Kohlton
K= lie about stuff to Ellie

7. The color that looks best on you:
E= Olive Drab Green
K= White

8. The color that looks the worst on you:
E= Pastel Orange
K= Yellow

9. Your favorite movie of all time:
E= “The Breakfast Club” or “Up” or “Slappy and the Stinkers”
K= “V for Vendetta”

10. The worst movie of all time:
E= “Spring Breakers”
K= “Sea Biscuit””

Here's a video that Larr found that is worth watching:

Saturday, February 22, 2014

The Winter Social at AVS + Sopa Seca (Spicy Mexican Spaghetti, of sorts, Recipe) and a Few Videos Worth Watching

Today is another glorious, sunny, blue sky, puffy white cloud day in Colorado. This morning I so productive. I got the main floor of the house clean, I made blueberry muffins and burritos. All to the music of Elton John. It was just that kind of morning. I also perused the photos Ellie took at the Winter Social at school.
Ellie wore a super cute 1950's vintage cocktail dress that I tailored to fit her. We also brought some sparkly jewelry and silvery sparkly heels to complete the look. I think she is lovely, of course. I am sure that Kohlton agrees.
It was the last school dance that Ellie and Christy will put on as Christy is graduating in May.
I love that Ellie took a great photo of her father. He rarely gets photographed.
She also took a photo of Kohlton that I love. I have spent some time today trying to capture it in pen and ink. (I am not ready to share it, yet.)

On a totally different note, another friend link a from a blog that I think is worth reading, especially if you have a daughter. It is a letter from a father to his young daughter, but it is a message every woman, regardless of age, should read.

And a few videos that I thought you would enjoy:

An incredible performance of AC/DC's "Thunderstruck" on cellos.

Luka Sulic and Stjepan Hauser of the popular music duo 2CELLOS release their cover of AC/DC's "Thunderstruck". Interpreting Baroque-style musicians with a modern cello expression, they don period costumes provided by the Giostra Society of Croatia.

This African tribal cover of "Let It Go" will blow you away.

Singer Alex Boye puts a creative spin on Disney's hottest song by performing an Africanized tribal cover of "Let It Go" with the One Voice Children's Choir. They are joined by 11-year-old future star Lexi Walker, who plays the lead role of Elsa.

I am also making the following recipe today. I had it at a friend's house and thought it was great.

Sopa Seca (Mexican Noodle Casserole)
Via: Saveur Magazine


¼ cup canola oil, plus more for greasing
8 oz. fideos (available at or vermicelli noodles, broken into 3" pieces
4 canned chipotle chiles in adobo, minced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 (15-oz.) can whole peeled tomatoes in juice, crushed
½ small white onion, roughly chopped
½ cup chicken stock
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 cup crumbled Cotija (available at
¾ cup crema (available at or sour cream
2 tbsp. minced cilantro

1. Heat oven to 350°. Grease an 8" x 8" baking dish with oil; set aside. Heat oil in a 12" skillet over medium-high heat. Working in two batches, add pasta and cook, stirring, until lightly browned and toasted, about 4 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to paper towels to drain; set aside.

2. Purée chipotles, garlic, tomatoes, and onion in a blender until very smooth, at least 2 minutes. Return skillet to heat, and add tomato purée; cook, stirring constantly, until almost all liquid is evaporated, about 18 minutes. Add stock, and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add noodles, stir to combine, and season with salt and pepper. Transfer to baking dish, and cover with foil; bake until pasta is tender and sauce is absorbed, about 10 minutes.

3. Divide among serving plates, sprinkle with Cotija, and drizzle with crema; sprinkle with minced cilantro before serving.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Goin' to the Zoo + Blueberry Muffin with Streusel Topping Recipe

We all had Monday off in observation of President's birthday, and what a glorious day it was. It seemed like spring was busting out all over the place. Kohlton and Ellie decided that it was a great day to visit the Denver Zoo.
I love the feathers on this kingfisher bird.

While the kids waited for me to pick them up, they hung out with the geese. They are so used to people that they let Kohlton pet them, in exchange for food, of course.

Blueberry Muffins with Streusel Topping

Makes 12 muffins

Batter -
2 1/4 cup flour
1 cup Sugar
3/4 tea. Salt
1 TBL Baking Powder
1/2 cup Veg. Oil (I use Canola Oil)
1 Egg, large
1/2 cup Buttermilk
1 1/2 cup Blueberries (fresh or frozen)

Streusel Topping -
3 TBL Flour
1/4 cup Brown Sugar
1 TBL Butter
1 tea. Cinnamon, ground

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Place 12 cupcake papers in your cupcake/muffin pan.

In the bowl for your mixer combine flour, sugar, salt and baking poser. Stir to combine. Add in the oil, egg and buttermilk. Mix until just combined. Fold in the blueberries gently. Divide the batter between the muffin papers.

Combine the ingredients for the streusel topping in another bowl. Use a fork to mash the butter and combine the ingredients well. Spoon this on top of the batter in the muffin papers.

Bake (I'm casual about this, I will have to actually time it next time I make these. I think it takes about 20-30 minutes).

Monday, February 17, 2014

Aho Matey ~ A Friend Visits Ethan on the Hawaiian Chieftan

Our friends Paul and Emily happen to be in San Francisco at the same time that the Hawaiian Chieftan is in the bay so they went for a visit. I am oh so thankful that they did. It means that I got some photos of Ethan in all of his sailing glory. He is very handsome.
Ethan is singing sea shanties for the guests. Paul says that the captain has kind words about Ethan's singing.
Ethan also works through the sailing. He looks like such a young man. Sometimes I wonder if I blinked and he suddenly grew up. That is what this is like.
What a wonderful adventure. I would love to go out and see him in person.
Sunday evening after the work was done, Ethan was able to meet up with Jesse, a good friend and AVS graduate, who happens to be living in Oakland and working in San Francisco.