Thursday, July 28, 2011

Creative Refrigerator Cleaning--Summer Salad with Peas and Carrots

This refreshing summer salad is a repeat post from July 2010; we've enjoyed the tasty, nutritious cold version of traditional peas and carrots often since I originally "created" (i.e., adapted a recipe) it. Many readers have been using my recipes, so thought it might be of interest to any of you who did not see it before. By the way, given my previous entry, be assured that I have my permission to copy my own blog posts--others do not :>). Remember, too, that you can use the search box in the upper left corner of the blog home page to find entries on particular topics; just type in "recipe", "travel", "painting", etc.
Although I often plan meals carefully, some dishes and menus come about sort of accidentally. I hate to waste food, so track our fresh fruit and vegetable supply in order to serve foods as close to their peak of freshness as possible. A few weeks ago, a bag of fresh, peeled, petite carrots proved very disappointing--not very sweet or appealing. So, I had planned to lightly cook and season them, but cooked carrots did not fit well into the next few nights' meal plans. Planning to enjoy BLTs with some yummy tomatoes and a partial pack of bacon left from making something else, I went on-line to search for carrot salad recipes.
The most promising recipe, Pea and Carrot Salad with Shallot Vinaigrette sounded nice, but shallots aren't a staple in this refrigerator (and I had no intention of running to the store). After several other changes to the recipe, I came up with a salad Mark and I both enjoyed. The amounts are approximate and can be adjusted to your family's taste preferences. If you are interested in the original recipe or in the nutrition facts, go to
Pea and Carrot Salad
2 cups raw baby carrots, chopped in 1/2" chunks
3 cups frozen petite green peas
2 tsp. Dijon mustard
2 Tblsp. lemon juice
2 Tblsp. red wine vinegar
1/4 tsp. sugar
1/4 - 1/2 cup finely chopped sweet onion
2 Tblsp. olive oil
1 Tblsp. snipped fresh parsley
dash of salt
generous grinding of black pepper
1. Steam (or boil) chopped carrots for about 3 minutes, until slightly tender, but still crisp. Stir peas into same pot of hot water just enough to thaw them and drain off water immediately (the peas will taste very fresh and sweet this way).
2. Whisk the mustard, vinegar, lemon juice, and sugar together. Stir in chopped onion, then whisk olive oil in, mixing well. Stir in snipped parsley and season with salt and freshly ground pepper.
3. Gently toss the peas and carrots in the vinaigrette and serve at room temperature or chilled.
Question of the day: Do you tend to follow recipes, read and then adapt them, or make up your own dishes without a recipe?

Friday, July 22, 2011

Beware of a Known Art Pirate

On a recent visit to Susan Roux's lovely blog, I learned of a person who apparently steals and photoshops the original paintings of others and then markets the result as his own work. Very low behavior, indeed.
Susan has given me permission to provide a link so that my readers are also warned.
Please let me know what you think of her suggestion to "friend" this person on Facebook in order to see if any of my (or your) art work has been fraudulently used in this way. I hesitate to contact him in any way, in case that would make him aware of my paintings. And what action could I take if I did discover improper use of my images? Beyond that, he is unlikely to be the only internet art pirate out there. Life in this Brave New World is complicated.
Question of the day: This sort of piracy is beyond my level of expertise, and I am tempted to simply "play possum" about the whole thing. Yet I certainly do not want my hard work to be stolen. What do you (both artists and others) think?

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Jacksonville Beach Painting Progress--Focus on Sky and Sea

It has finally been possible to get back to the Jacksonville Beach scene I began painting a few weeks ago, a small piece in a panoramic format, 6" X 12". Sky and sea were my main interest in this little study, which I worked to keep quick and minimal. Although the piece is not finished, I wanted to show you its present form. The birds are just quick-sketched in with white and grey tones and need some adjustment. There will be a few other refinements in the clouds, beach sand, and waves, but the basics are all here.
As I mentioned a couple of posts ago, working more quickly was a goal for this piece. I work slowly and include a great deal of detail in my larger paintings--perhaps too much at times. The point of this exercise was to help me fight a tendency to be too fussy and instead to take a breezy, minimal approach, intentionally working in shorter sessions.
The palette is very simple: ultramarine blue, cerulean blue, paynes grey, cad red light, a touch of burnt umber (a warm brown), and titanium white. The top photo shows the entire piece; the other is a detail shot. This has been a satisfying study, and I am looking forward to more exercises in a breezier style in the future as well as to planning some larger paintings in my more typical style.
Question of the day: Are you trying something at least a little new and different this summer?