Monday, April 30, 2012

In Microscale

What a great weekend visiting friends, meeting patrons and soaking up the cool Madrid vibe. Thanks to all those who attended, in body AND spirit! A big THANK YOU to Cassidy Watt,  proprietor of Metallo Gallery, Metalsmith, friend and party master!  

Highlights from the opening reception of In Microscale in Madrid, NM this past weekend. Always a Macro-Fun show! This year, featuring 45 artists!  The show will run through May 31st.

 Fun with Friends and Patrons Maggi Brominski and Rick Allred

Enjoying the sculpture garden on a beautiful New Mexico Spring evening, listening to live tunes from reggae four-piece The Iyah Band and eats from Madrid hot spot The Hollar

Nicely attended!! Enjoying the art, the music and the mingle!

 Good friend, artist and beautiful person, Melissa Morgan ~ See her work here and in the next pic

Four Works - Melissa Morgan - oil on panel

Deshuesadero - Michael Copeland                         5.5” x 9.5” x 2”
Acrylic, resin, tin, wood, pottery, antique typeset, vintage glass, watch gears, Italian acorn, 1944 newsprint, Italian ad, metal, skull and rib bone, rust, gold leaf, soil.  

 Good Morning - Dustin Otterbach - Steel
Sacrifice - Alicia Stewart - 3.5 x 5 Acrylic

A Microscale perspective. 
Madrid is such a blast! Treat yourself to a drive! Cheers!        

Thursday, April 26, 2012


Eric and Maria with us in Paris, 1999
There are students...and then, there are STUDENTS. Eric and Maria were the stars of their very own show in high school (and I mean that in a good way!) They marched to the tune of a different drummer and stood out as creative, talented and confident individuals.
As their teachers, it was hard not to make them our favorites. They are, after all, kindred spirits and we are so happy to have them in our lives.
After attending the Opening Artist's Reception in Madrid, this weekend, Michael and I will beat feet back home to welcome Eric and Maria and baby Cordelia for a visit!! We are so looking forward to seeing them and meeting Cordelia for the first time!

Team Wimmer is following a totally vegan lifestyle, so I am happily challenged to make a vegan meal for them. I am thinking the wild rice salad, see it here and a lovely fruit salad from this month's fine Cooking Magazine. Wish me luck!!

Pineapple, Papaya, Starfruit, and Blood Orange Salad

by Dabney Gough from fine Cooking Magazine

1 large fresh pineapple (about 4-1/2 lb.), peeled, cored, and cut into 3/4-inch pieces (about 4-1/2 cups)
3 medium blood or navel oranges, peeled, halved lengthwise, and cut crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick half moons
2 medium star fruit, trimmed, very thinly sliced, and seeded
2 Tbs. granulated sugar
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1 small papaya (1 lb.), peeled, seeded, and cut into 1-inch pieces (about 3 cups)
12 to 14 medium or large mint leaves, thinly sliced
Tip: If you can’t find starfruit in grocery stores, use peeled, sliced Asian pears; they’re similar in texture and flavor.

Combine the pineapple, oranges, and starfruit in a large bowl.
In a small bowl, mix the sugar and vanilla until well blended. Sprinkle the sugar over the pineapple mixture and toss gently to combine.
Let sit at room temperature until the sugar dissolves, about 10 minutes. When ready to serve, add the papaya and mint and toss gently to combine. Serve immediately.

I'll let you know how it turns out!!
Have a great weekend everyone!
P.S. Catch Maria's wonderful blog "little things are big" here and Eric's blog here and website here. They inspire us!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

An Authentic Life ~ A Choice

I have always been intrigued by the unique ways people find to create their lives. I grew up during a time when most fathers had 9-5 jobs and most moms stayed home and raised children and kept house. It didn't even occur to me that my life would or could be different. Then I met Jennifer. I thought she was quirky at first; free-spirited and independent she seemed to have no roots, or worldly cares for that matter. I envied that and wanted it for myself. I didn't realize it then, but I longed to live a more authentic life. Jen and I became fast friends and she showed me by example that I could create my own life and, out of that joy, my livelihood. I will be forever grateful. Of course I now know that Jennifer cares A LOT about the world AND lives a life that is authentic and true. Here is my dear friend after a recent trip to Haiti, where she worked with yogaHOPE, an organization that provides yoga/meditation to women in shelters, prisons, and recovery, teaching a program called TIMBo (Trauma Informed Mind Body) to women affected by the 2010 earthquake.
Jennifer Harvey and a TIMBo participant in Haiti.

Creating my life has been a process of clarifying what is important to me and leaving the rest behind. Years ago I remember complaining about money problems to a successful girlfriend. Her answer? "What's the problem? When I need money I just go out and make more." Another "Ah ha" with gratitude to my lovely friend Laurie. I realized in that moment that it has been and will always be, up to me.
I am feeling the blessings today as Michael and I wrap up preparations for our sixth watercolor painting retreat to the beautiful Locanda del Gallo in Umbria Italy. We began taking art students to Europe in 1994 and we loved it so much we set out to create a way to continue to travel and share our years of experience with others. In 2004 we launched Sketchbook Tours Painting Retreats, and we experience our Italian retreat as the perfect balance of travel, art, relaxation and Italian culture.
 Our little slice of heaven in Umbria

Student Heather painting the vista from the Locanda

Student Kendra sketching in the Locanda garden
The beautiful Umbrian town of Spello
This year our retreat pairs watercolor sketching with yoga (thanks to our talented friend, yoga instructor Gloria Drayer!). We love the sharing we experience with our students and our Italian hosts, and the new adventures inherent in traveling. Traveling, living, loving, creating our lives as we go. No need to pinch me, I know I am not dreaming, I am creating. Thank you Jen, a million times my friend, thank you.
Saluté to living an authentic life!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012


Deshuesadero   5.5” x 9.5” x 2” Acrylic, resin, tin, wood, pottery, antique typeset, vintage glass, watch gears, Italian acorn, 1944 newsprint, Italian ad, metal, skull and rib bone, rust, gold leaf, soil.

 My husband Michael is an artist. Really. Not a want-to-be artist, not a part-time artist; every day, he is living and breathing art. The first time I saw his work I remember rudely interrupting his slide-show to ask what the heck he was doing wasting his time in a small-town in the middle of the desert.  Oddly, the question must have endeared me to him, we have been together ever since and I remain his biggest fan. Well, his patrons and students might argue that point, but I have the edge in years! (To see more of Michael's work click here)

This weekend Michael will be part of a group show at Metallo Gallery in Madrid, New Mexico. It is the gallery that represents him on a regular basis, but for the "In Microscale" show, Michael tends to let his artist-child come out and play. He diverts slightly from his focus on 2-dimensional work and fills his studio workbench with his lifetime collection of found objects, vintage finds; papers, boxes, labels, bones, bottles, tins, car parts, wheels and cogs and delights in creating something wonderful and mysterious from what he affectionately calls, "my stuff". I am giving you a sneak peek.

Prudence                                    8” x 10” x 3”  Acrylic, missile residue, Asian print, iron wheel, skull, porcelain, vintage linoleum, antique typeset, wire, wood, soil

I hope you will join us for the group show and Opening Reception, April 28, from 4-8 pm at Metallo Gallery in funky and wonderful Madrid, New Mexico. The show will be up all month if you are traveling through another day...but we would sure love to see you Saturday. Oh, and did I mention, Cassidy Watt, the owner of Metallo makes sure everyone has a great time and great eats! 

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Springtime Asparagus, Wild Rice and Bulgur Salad

Here is another great wild rice salad, this time paired with this season's sweet and tender asparagus. I like the heat of the ginger and the chewy texture of the rice and bulgur. Hot or cold, this combo is a home run.

Springtime Asparagus, Wild Rice and Bulgur Salad
Serves 6

Cook the rice and bulgur, drain and combine, set aside.

For the rice: 
2 cups cold salted water for the rice
½ cup wild rice, picked through and rinsed 
Place the 2 cups of water and rice in a 3qt saucepan, bring to a boil over high heat. Lower the heat and simmer, uncovered for 40-45 minutes until rice is tender, chewy and puffed, drain. 
For the bulgur:
2 cups cold salted water for the bulgar
1 cup bulgur wheat
Place 2 cups of water and bulgur in a 3 qt saucepan, bring to a boil over high heat, cover and simmer on low heat for 12-15 minutes or until tender, drain.
Cook the rice and bulgur, drain and combine, set aside


1-lb. asparagus, prepped and cut diagonally into 2-inch pieces
1-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and julienned
4 green onions, white and green parts sliced
Warm 2 Tbs. olive oil in a wok or sauté pan, over high heat add ginger and sauté until just slightly golden, do not overcook (remove them if they are getting too browned. Immediately add asparagus, sauté until just tender, as you would in a stir-fry dish, (again, watch your ginger does not over brown) toss in the green onion off heat. Add the finished asparagus, green onion, ginger and remaining oil to the rice/bulgur mixture.

3/4 cup canola or vegetable oil
1 Tbs fresh squeezed lemon juice
1-inch fresh ginger, peeled and grated
2 Tbs. honey
3 Tbs apple- cider vinegar
1/4 cup tamari or soy sauce soy sauce 
1 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
In a small bowl, whisk together lemon juice, honey, vinegar, soy sauce, salt and pepper, whisk oil into mixture last, in a slow steady stream to form an emulsion, taste and adjust as necessary.

Stir dressing into rice, asparagus mixture just prior to serving.

Sautéd asparagus should be crisp-tender

Sauté ginger sticks, add asparagus, toss in green onions off heat, combine with rice and bulgur mixture, toss with dressing

Crisp, chewy, bright with asparagus, lemon, ginger and a savory vinaigrette! Enjoy!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Prettiest Day of the Year

Today is about putting on a pot of beans and watching my garden grow...and reading a book, maybe. It is a gorgeous day! Hope your day is wonderful!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Never Fry Asparagi

In the name of full disclosure I feel I should write about some of my failures, (i.e salted caramel bar disaster!) Here is a photo from Fine Cooking magazine of the inspiration: French Fried Asparagus.
What's not to love? Smoked Paprika Aïoli, fresh asparagus, breaded and deep fried, yum! A vegetable even a child could love (minus the Aïoli of course)

Now, here is a photo of my French Fried Asparagus:

 Oh dear!!

Here is the process:
 Peel the asparagus and cut in half on the diagonal

Make three separate dishes of:
3/4 cup flour seasoned well with salt and pepper
1 cup panko crumbs
2 eggs, whisked together with juice from 1 lime and 2 Tbs of water

Heat 3 cups vegetable oil (I used Canola) to 375° on a deep fryer thermometer
Dip asparagus in flour, then the egg mixture, then panko, fry in batches for 3 minutes.
What a disaster! The first batch burned immediately, also, the panko became too wet from all the eggy the dipping. I reduced the heat on the oil and the temperature lowered and NEVER reached even 300° again!!
Okay girlfriends, where did I do wrong? I would appreciate your input.

The Smoked Paprika Aïoli was wonderful...and Mike insisted he liked the asparagus...but he's my greatest advocate so, "sorry honey, you are biased!"

Smoked Paprika Aïoli
4 large cloves garlic, unpeeled
2/3 cup mayonnaise
1 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
1 tsp. smoked paprika (I buy mine at William Sonoma)
1 tsp. fresh lemon juice, more to taste
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper 

Boil the garlic in cool water in a small pan, when it reaches a boil, toss the water out, add fresh cool water and boil again, drain, peel and cool the garlic, dice when cooled.
Whisk together diced garlic and the remaining ingredients. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour. Yum. I could think of a dozen ways to use this aïoli.

Okay so the Aïoli was a hit and the asparagus a miss! I am thinking the only way to deep fry successfully is to purchase a deep fryer. Anyone have a recommendation for a good deep fryer with a small footprint? I welcome your input!!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Wonderful Wild Rice

Wild rice is dear, so when I prepare it, I want the results to be wonderful. This rice salad combines wild rice and long-grain brown rice, then adds cucumber, sweet red pepper, herbs, almonds and dates; it is complex sweet and savory. It is an investment in time, so this recipe makes a big batch, enough for 8 or for a week of lunches or great side-dishes. Guests love this salad and it never fails to get rave reviews. I love the brightness of the citrus dressing, the chewiness of the rice, the crunch of the almonds and veggies and the aromatic herbs. Use your nicest olive oil here, as the flavor comes through. Enjoy!

Sweet and Savory Wild Rice Salad
serves 8 to 10

1 1/2 cups wild rice, rinsed and drained
1 cup long-grain brown rice, rinsed and drained (I use Basmati)
1 lime, zested and juiced
1 orange, zested and juiced
Small handful fresh dill, finely chopped
Small handful fresh flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
1/2 cup fresh mint leaves, finely chopped
1 English or 2 Persian cucumbers peeled and diced
1 red bell pepper, cleaned and diced
1/2 cup dried dates, chopped
1/2 cup sliced almonds (I toast mine for more crunch)
1/2 cup quality extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp powdered cumin
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Cook the rice: For the wild rice, heat 4 1/2 cups of salted water to boiling, add the rice, cover and cook on low heat for about 45 minutes or until the grains are tender and puffed, drain and pour into a large bowl. Cook the brown rice; heat two cups of salted water to boiling, add the rice, cover and cook on low heat for 40 minutes. Let stand for five minutes, the fluff with a fork and toss together with wild rice, set aside to cool a bit.

Stir gently into the rice: lime and orange zest (not the juice!) the herbs, cucumber, red peppers, dates and almonds.

In a small bowl, whisk lime and orange juice to combine, then whisk in the olive oil in a slow steady stream. Toss with the rice, then stir in the cumin powder (I sprinkle half the cumin, stir, and then add the rest to distribute evenly). Add salt and pepper to taste. 

I love the "confetti" colors of this salad. You could substitute radishes, cabbage or any number of veggies you have in house. Bon Appetit!


Thursday, April 12, 2012

Carrot Soup Obsession

I saw this recipe yesterday from Faith Duran at "the Kitchn" and went immediately into curried coconut carrot soup obsession! This is as wonderful as it sounds, so easy to prepare and tastes like you spent hours figuring it all out. It also happens to be vegan, gluten-free and soy-free for all my cosmic daughters out know who you are! Lots of love today and Enjoy!! P.S. don't let the "heat" scare you off, adjust the chili flakes to your personal heat meter and use the freshest, sweetest organic carrots you can find.

Curried Coconut Carrot Soup
serves 6 to 8 by Faith Duran at

2 tablespoons coconut oil
1 onion, peeled and roughly chopped
6 cups carrots, unpeeled and roughly chopped (this required 8 medium-sized carrots for me)
3 1/2 cups vegetable stock (I like the flavor of 'No Chicken' stock by Imagine Foods)
One 15-ounce can full-fat coconut milk (full-fat is a must)
1 1/2 tablespoons freshly chopped ginger root
1 tablespoon curry powder (I used Madras curry powder)
1/2 teaspoon chili flakes (I cut this amount to 1/4 tsp. for us wimps, it was perfect)
Salt and pepper to taste (I used about 1 tsp. kosher salt and no pepper)

Heat the coconut oil in a large soup pot and add the onions. Sweat the onions on medium heat for about 7 minutes. Add the carrots and cook for another 5 minutes. Pour in the stock and coconut milk. Add the ginger, curry powder and chili flakes. Put a lid on the pot and cook until the carrots are softened, about 10 or 15 minutes.
When carrots are soft, carefully blend the soup in batches in a blender (use a towel to hold the lid down firmly) or use an immersion hand blender and puree until smooth. Season with salt and pepper and garnish with fresh herbs, and more chili flakes, if desired.

 Precise chopping is not necessary, just get in the pan!

 Easy sauté, the whole dish comes together in about 30 minutes.

 I used my immersion blender to puree, which left tiny bits of ginger, but I liked that!
 Paired with a grilled cheese sandwich, this soup made a very satisfying casual supper. Bon Appetit!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Morgenwanderung in der Natur

 Vinca major

 Lavandula x Intermedia 'Provence'

 Oenothera speciosa

                                          Cytisus purgans

Puppus Somnus speciosa!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Smokey Mozzarella Pasta Salad

Whole Foods deli is a favorite stop when I am in the big city. I use the long drive home as an excuse grab a meal-to-go for our dinner and I like to try whatever looks wonderful. I fell hard for this great pasta salad one trip and vowed to re-create it at home. The mozzarella gives a subtle smokiness, the fresh lemon and the wine vinegar add brightness and the baby spinach adds the crunch, some roasted red peppers for flavor and color and a smidgen of Parmigiano Reggiano...because I just can't help myself! This salad is a summer staple at our house. Enjoy!

Smokey Mozzarella Pasta Salad
Serves 6 or more

1-lb penne pasta cooked al dente, drained and set aside to cool (with a couple of drops of olive oil added to prevent sticking)

Mix into the cooled pasta:
8oz. Smoked mozzarella cut into 1" cubes (smoked Gouda will work too)
14 oz. jar of roasted red peppers cut into 1" strips
1 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
1/4 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
1 cup (about 1/2 of a 6oz bag) of fresh baby spinach, larger pieces torn

In a small bowl, whisk together:
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 Tbs. lemon juice
1 Tbs. white wine or Champagne vinegar
1 tsp garlic salt
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

Gently stir dressing into the pasta mixture, adjust seasonings. Salad is best the day it is made but will keep in a covered container in the fridge for a couple of days. Enjoy!

Prep your add-in's

Gently toss pasta and veggies with the dressing

Can't have enough Parmigiano!!!

  Bon Appetit!!

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Happy Easter!

                    Happy Easter ~ Joyous Spring!!

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Favorite Pico

This is my favorite pico de gallo recipe. It is well-balanced, flavorful without being too hot and best of all, it is easy to pull together.
Pico de Gallo

Pulse together in a food processor:
  1/4 cup coarsely chopped sweet white onion
  1/4 cup fresh cilantro
  1 coarsely chopped clove of fresh garlic
  1/2 coarsely chopped and seeded fresh jalapeño or Serrano chili
Stir into the above mixture:
2 ripe, medium tomatoes finely chopped
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper

Let mixture set for one hour to blend flavors. Of course you can adjust the ingredients to taste. This is a good recipe for those of us who prefer flavor over heat. Best used within two hours of prep...but it is still tasty after one night in the fridge. I use it to top my beer battered fish tacos (recipe coming soon) really, the sky's the limit. This morning I pan-fried two corn tortillas in a little olive oil and butter, slipped a couple of slices of jack cheese between them, tossed in an egg, over-easy, layered it up and topped it with pico. YUM!

Pan-fried egg on fresh corn tortillas with jack cheese and pica de gallo. Enjoy!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...