My Love of Birds

Here are my most recent drawings of winged creatures that I completed in the last couple of months.  My love of birds began when I was younger.  We always had a pet cockatiel roaming around the house causing trouble.  They were fun to have around and just as loveable as a furry pet!  My father was like a bird whisperer, always bringing home injured birds or random birds would come into our garage to find sanctuary.  It was pretty amazing.

A few years back, my son gave me 2 love birds as a Christmas gift.  Unfortunately, I discovered that I developed an allergy to bird dander and could no longer keep them as pets.  This is how I compensate.  =)

Hope you enjoy them as much as I do!

Bitterkoekjes (Almond Macaroons)

This was my first time attempting this traditional Dutch sweet treat. Traditionally it calls for bitter almonds, which is hard to find here in PDX.  I used almond paste and decreased the amount of white sugar in the recipe.  I love chewy cookies, and it’s hard to replicate once you’ve had the perfect cookie.  There is the stale “chewy”, the kind of chewy only grocery store cookies can deliver.  Then there is the chewy that is life changing…the first layer is lightly crisp–and I mean delicately crisp; second layer is the moist and heavenly chewy part.  I worship the man who discovered the magical combination of egg whites and sugar…after all, that is the heart of this cookie.  Trust me guys, if I were a chewy cookie, I would strive to be THIS ONE.

INGREDIENTS:

Almond paste              1.25 lbs

Egg whites                    3.5 eggs

Granulated sugar        1 cup

Powdered sugar          1 cup

Salt                                 1/4 tsp

 

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Mix room temperature almond paste and egg whites in a blender until mixed well.
  2. Add granulated sugar and salt and mix.
  3. Add powdered sugar, a little at a time, and mix well.
  4. Using a silpat mat (non stick baking mat) on top of a baking tray, drop by TBSP onto surface.
  5. Bake at 340 for 11 minutes, rotating at the half way point.
  6. Cookies should be golden brown.
  7. **Cool completely on silpat mat before removing cookies!!!**  This is key.  If you try to remove them while they are still hot, the cookies will break apart.  Once cooled, you can easily peel the cookies off the mat with no tearing.
  8. Makes about 2.5 dozen cookies.

**Makes killer ice cream sandwiches!**

 

 

 

 

Protein Packed Breakfast

Kale Breakfast Saute With Homemade Canned Tuna

Anyone who knows food appreciates the time and effort it takes to do home canning. Whenever I receive such gifts, I don’t think the giver realizes how excited I get! Yesterday, a friend brought over a 32 ounce mason jar filled with tuna marinating in olive oil and herbs.  Immediately, my foodie brain began thinking of all the things I could make with it.  His suggestion was on a salad–classic!  I opened it up on arrival and we both took a bite straight from the jar.  Super tender, fruity notes from the olive oil, and a tease of dill…my mind started to wander and already I was taking inventory of what I had in my refrigerator and pantry to accompany this gift from the sea.

The next morning, I started in on this delicious protein packed recipe.

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Serves 1-2

**you can modify amounts to accommodate your individual preference**

INGREDIENTS:

Lacinato Kale                                      4 leaves, destemmed and rough chopped

Sweet Vidalia Onion                           4 ounces (or more depending on YOU!), large julienne

Shiitake Mushrooms                          6 each, destemmed and large slices

Canned Tuna in Olive Oil                   2-3 ounces

Soy Sauce                                               1 TBSP

Lemon juice, fresh                               a squeeze

Eggs                                                        2

Olive oil                                                 2 TBSP

Reserved olive oil from tuna            1 TBSP

Black pepper                                        dash

Parmesan Reggiano        shaved, and as much as you want!

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. In a saute pan, add olive oil and tuna olive oil on med high heat.
  2. Saute vidalia onions and shiitake mushrooms until just tender.
  3. Add kale and saute. (about 40 seconds!)
  4. Add soy sauce and lemon juice (this will add a little steam to the saute and cook your kale down quickly. I like mine a little al dente, so a quick sautee is great!)
  5. Place the veggies on a plate in a pile.
  6. Quick saute your tuna chunks.
  7. Place right on top of the veggies.20170524_123011
  8. Cook your eggs, sunny side up! (click to see video of how to cook sunny side up eggs, instead of butter you can use olive oil)
  9. Dash your eggs with black pepper if you wish! Slide it on top of your mound of veggies and tuna!
  10. Top with shaved parmesan. Serve with your favorite piece of toast!
  11. Enjoy!20170524_123407

 

 

Self Portrait

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Ink and Origami on bristol board.  //  May 2017

It’s my birthday month and I’m totally reflecting on the last 40+ years of my life.  Been through some turbulent/wonderous/life changing/happy times thus far and look forward to so many more experiences.

Lines represent all the experiences in my life that made me who I am today.

Fragmented, layered origami represents the complexities in life and a reminder of how complicated but beautiful life can be.

Cheers!

 

Life Of Caspian: Update

Life of Caspian is issue #2 in my series of comic book biographies that I’ve been working on since last quarter of 2016.  Illustrations are done, I am just waiting on momma to submit her essay on what this journey has been like since Caspian was diagnosed.  I am anxious to read it, as i have fallen in love with this beautiful family and the way they have turned something tragic into something beautiful.  Here are more illustrations, enjoy!  ❤

Hopper College

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This past month, Yale University made a radical statement by changing Calhoun College (named after John C. Calhoun who was a national leader that was in favor of slavery and a very open white supremacist) to Hopper College (named after Grace Murray Hopper, a Yale graduate and trailblazing scientist, mathematician, teacher and public servant).

A very good decision, indeed.