Monday, August 10, 2015

Of Paper Ship Progress, Camping and a Bunch of Recipes for the week

Things have been a bit wild and busy, so I have not had time to post an update. Today is the first day of the school year, so this will be brief.

I've worked a lot on the paper tall ship. I wanted to create a design that highlighted several different decorative papers, and something that is eye-catching. Here's what I have so far. I've installed tiny LED lights, which means that the cabins light up. I love adding lights to my creations. The switch is hidden inside of the time building on the deck. It lifts up to give access to the interior space. I am even thinking about adding lights to the mast. When I floated that idea with my family, I got a very mixed reaction, so I am not sure. I thought it might make it more magical since it will be displayed in the winter when it gets dark pretty early. I am hoping to work on the yards and the sails today.
{Paper Ship in progress}

I also spent a lot of focused time putting together a workshop that I will teach next summer, but then the subject and age group changed, so I am back to needing to do a lot of planning, sourcing, etc. The new workshop will be a lot of fun, I just need to wrap my head around it and come up with some fun, funky and creative projects to go along with teaching art history to young kids.

I also spent some of the weekend camping with some of the families from AVS. One of the families owns part of a valley near Boulder and they have a summer house on part of the land. Remmie (the dog) and I were there from Saturday afternoon until lunch time on Sunday. It was wonderful to finally go camping. I have been wanting to go for the last two years, so it felt good to be out in the wild. I would have liked to have some of my family with me, but they simply were not available.

We did a lot of visiting and eating. The highlight of the camping trip was when we saw a Moose family (buck, cow and calf) just a short distance away from us. The buck kept running back and forth in the river. It seemed strange. We heard that there was a big cat in the area, so we guessed that the moose was trying to distract it so that the big cat would not attack the baby. Later in the evening I set up my tent near that area. I slept lightly that night, slightly worried that the moose would return, or that the big cat might show up. Neither one did, though I could hear some sort of rodents eating grass throughout the night.


The next morning Remmie and I spend a while sitting outside of the tent, being calm, quiet and watching the sun peak over the mountains. I brought along some of my art materials and had a few people add images to my social sketching books. I had hoped to do more art, but that just did not happen. I am hopeful and prepared like that a lot.

The first couple of weeks of the new school year is always super busy, so I prepped a lot of food for the week. Here's a few of the recipes I will be using:

Magic Custard Cake
via: White on Rice Couple

1/2 cup Butter, unsalted
2 cups Milk
4 Eggs, separated
4 drops White Vinegar
1 1/4 cups Powdered Sugar
1 TBL Water
1 cup Flour
1 tea Vanilla Extract
Powdered Sugar for dusting

Preheat your oven to 325°F.

Lightly butter a 8"x 8" baking dish.

Melt the butter and set aside to slightly cool.

Warm the milk to lukewarm and set aside.

Whip the egg whites and vinegar to stiff peaks. Set aside.

Beat the egg yolks and sugar until light. Mix in the melted butter and the tablespoon of water for about 2 minutes or until evenly incorporated.

Mix in the flour until evenly incorporated. Slowly beat in the milk and vanilla extract until everything is well mixed.

Fold in the egg whites, 1/3 at a time. Repeat until all of the egg whites are folded in.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 45-60 minutes or until the top is golden. Allow cake to completely cool before cutting and then dust with confectioner's sugar *see Note 1.

Note 1: For faster cooling you can place the cake in the fridge. Even after fully cooled, it will still be slightly jiggly.

Recipe Source:

* The kids really enjoyed this one, especially Kohlton. I liked the fact that it was not too sweet. I think I could leave off the powdered sugar topping and make it into a breakfast item.

Cajun Style Grill Packets with Corn, Potatoes, Shrimp and Sausage
via: Favorite Family Recipes

8-12 pieces of corn on the cob (4 full cobs cut in half or in thirds)
4 red potatoes, washed and cubed
20-30 uncooked shrimp (peeled or not, it's up to you)
1 Lb. smoked sausage, cut into chunks
melted butter (or olive oil), to taste
1/2 c. chicken broth (you may not need that much)
Cajun/Creole seasoning (we like to use Tony Chachere's brand), to taste
salt and pepper, to taste

(Makes 4 grill packets)

Heat grill to 400-degrees (you can do this in your oven, too, at the same temp.).
Evenly distribute corn, potatoes, shrimp, and sausage between 4 heavy-duty foil sheets (appx 12x18 inches each).
Drizzle melted butter and about 2 Tbsp. chicken broth over each foil packet.
Season evenly (and generously), to taste with Cajun seasoning and salt and pepper.
Tightly seal foil packets by folding up the sides over the contents and tightly folding up the ends over the seam.
Grill 30-40 minutes or until potatoes are tender, flipping once half-way through (be careful opening the packets to check for doneness, the steam inside is VERY hot)!

Stick of Butter Rice

via: Thirty Handmade Days blog

1 c. uncooked white rice (NOT instant)
1 (10 oz) can of Condensed French Onion Soup
1 (10 oz) can of Beef Broth
1/2 c. of butter, sliced

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

In a 9x9 inch baking dish combine rice, soup and broth.

Cut butter into slices and place on top of the mixture.

Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes.

Remove cover and bake 30 minutes more.

This can be doubled or tripled to feed more. Optional: small can of drained mushrooms can be added as well.


Lemon Fettuccine Alfredo with Grilled Chicken and Broccoli
via: Cooking Classy
Yield: About 6 servings


12 oz dry fettuccine pasta
1 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts, grilled and sliced into strips
4 cups broccoli florets (from 1 lb broccoli crowns)
2 Tbsp butter
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 Tbsp flour
1 3/4 cups milk (preferably 1%)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 oz. light or regular cream cheese, diced into cubes
1/2 cup (1.5 oz) finely shredded parmesan, plus more for serving
3 Tbsp heavy cream
1 Tbsp lemon zest, plus more for serving
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice

Prepare pasta in salted water according to directions listed on package, adding in broccoli during last 5 minutes of boiling pasta (so they will both boil together during last 5 minutes, then drain them together. Reserve 1/4 cup pasta water just in case you want to thin sauce, I didn't use it but I always save some just in case).

In a large and deep skillet or pot, melt butter over medium heat then add in garlic and flour and cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. While whisking slowly pour milk into flour mixture, then cook, whisking vigorously to smooth lumps until mixture begins to thicken. Add in cream cheese and parmesan and whisk until melted (it will look lumpy at first but will begin to smooth). Mix in cream and season with salt and pepper to taste (I liked this with a fair amount of pepper). Stir in lemon zest and lemon juice.

Toss drained pasta and broccoli into sauce mixture along with chicken (thin with reserved pasta water if needed). Serve warm topped with additional parmesan, lemon zest and pepper as desired.

Recipe source: Cooking Classy, inspired by my Light Fettuccine Alfredo


Chicken Tikka Masala
via: All Recipes

1-1/2 cups yogurt
1 tablespoon and 1-1/2 teaspoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1-1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon (or garam masala)
1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon and 1-1/2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger
1/2 tablespoons salt, or to taste (adjusted)
4-1/2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces
6 long skewers
1 tablespoon and 1-1/2 teaspoons butter
1-1/2 - 3 cloves garlic, minced
1-1/2 jalapeno pepper, finely chopped
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon paprika
1 tablespoon and 1-1/2 teaspoons salt, or to taste
1-1/2 (8 ounce) cans tomato sauce
1-1/2 cups heavy cream
1/4 cup and 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

In a large bowl, combine yogurt, lemon juice, 2 teaspoons cumin, cinnamon, cayenne, black pepper, ginger, and 4 teaspoons salt. Stir in chicken, cover, and refrigerate for 1 hour.
Preheat a grill for high heat.
Lightly oil the grill grate. Thread chicken onto skewers, and discard marinade. Grill until juices run clear, about 5 minutes on each side.
Melt butter in a large heavy skillet over medium heat. Saute garlic and jalapeno for 1 minute. Season with 2 teaspoons cumin, paprika, and 3 teaspoons salt. Stir in tomato sauce and cream. Simmer on low heat until sauce thickens, about 20 minutes. Add grilled chicken, and simmer for 10 minutes. Transfer to a serving platter, and garnish with fresh cilantro.

Honey Glazed Salmon
via: Damn Delicious

4 salmon filets
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
4 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons olive oil
Zest of 1 lime

6 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 cloves garlic, pressed
1 tablespoon honey
Juice of 1 lime
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

To make the browned butter lime sauce, melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Cook, whisking constantly, until the foam subsides and the butter begins to turn a golden brown, about 3 minutes. Stir in garlic, honey and lime juice, salt and pepper, to taste; set aside.

Season salmon with salt and pepper, to taste. Dredge each salmon filet with 1 tablespoon flour and drizzle with 1 tablespoon honey.
Heat olive oil in a large oven-proof skillet over medium high heat. Working in batches, add salmon to the skillet and sear both sides until golden brown, about 1-2 minutes per side.

Place into oven and bake until completely cooked through, about 8-10 minutes.

Serve immediately with browned butter lime sauce and lime zest, if desired.

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