Monday, April 13, 2015

Whole Roasted Cauliflower

Hello groovy people!  Hope you all are doing well.  In my last post I talked about our local arts and crafts festival.  I'm happy to report that I sold the painting "Rainy Day" and  also "Serenity" as well as several other small paintings.  I was really pleased since I wasn't actually in the show this year.  I also received a commission for a VERY large version of "Serenity" - 48 x 60!  I've been working on it off and on for the past few days.  I am still having issues with my arm, in fact started physical therapy a couple of weeks ago, and while painting on canvas doesn't usually bother it I do try to be careful with the larger ones and I try not to over do it.  

I have a really yummy recipe to share.  It is for a whole roasted cauliflower. 

(I apologize for not "styling" my food shots, but I'll be honest, I have a hard enough time getting photos of the process without making it pretty.  Flower Bud told me recently that if I continued to take pictures of the food it might become a problem because he wasn't going to wait to eat every night while I took pictures of the food.  hmmmm...  I won't bother to put my response, but let's just say he'll be waiting for me to take pictures.  I am the momma, need I say more?)

I'm sure you've probably seen it floating around Pinterest, but I had to put my own little twist on it.  Here's my version.

1 head of cauliflower
1/4 cup olive oil
3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1/4 teaspoon white pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 Tablespoon dried parsley flakes
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
Grated Pepper Jack cheese (sorry, I've never measured this part - just enough to cover the top)

First, I remove any leaves and trim the stalk off the bottom of the cauliflower. Then I wash it and place it in a baking dish.  Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Then I mix up the olive oil, mustard, white pepper, salt, parsley flakes and Parmesan cheese.

Pour that mixture over the cauliflower.

Bake for about an hour or until tender (I use a long wooden skewer and if it slides in easily then I know it is done).  Remove it from the oven.

Now cover it with the shredded Pepper Jack cheese.  I've never measured so I'm not really sure how much I use, I just cover the top the best that I can - it'll fall down the sides so I just kinda pile it on top.

Then I put it back in the oven and bake another 15 to 20 minutes, until all the cheese has melted and is turns a golden color.

I just cut it into wedges to serve.  I hope you like it as much as we do! (well except for Flower Bud, but he is a teenage boy so what does he know?  Plus he was irritated that he had to wait for me to take a picture.)



Friday, March 20, 2015

"Rainy Day" Painting

Hello Groovy People!

Sorry I went MIA on ya (yes, I know that's nothing new - ha!).  I got a little busy with some special orders, one of which was for a local retail shop that I'm very excited about!  I delivered their order yesterday and I'm crossing my fingers that all goes well.  If you're the praying type I sure would appreciate it if you'd say a little prayer for me that all goes well in that area.  On another note, I know I have several people who asked for some small abstract landscapes/seascapes and I had every intention of doing some when I got the call for the order.  Please know that I have not forgotten and I'm hoping to get to them the latter part of next week.  

In other exciting news, I finally got some things loaded in my Etsy shop!!  You may have noticed that I have changed some things around and added some new things on the blog (except for the profile picture - I know, I gotta change it!  For those of you who don't know me personally - I don't look like that anymore - I'm a little more round now and my hair is a little bit shorter and I'm a wee bit older.  I sure do like that picture tho...)

Okay, so now that I caught y'all up a little bit here is what my post is about today:

It is titled "Rainy Day."  I started this canvas a couple of months ago and finally got around to finishing it.  Obviously I painted it during the rainy season - ha!  Seriously, we have had so much rain lately, and usually I paint myself some sunshine, but I guess I was really in the mode that day.  I actually like rainy days sometimes and this painting reminds me a of nice quiet rainy afternoon.  I can just picture myself curled up on the sofa with a blanket and a book, at a beach house - yeah, that's it, a beach house and that's my view while I laze away the afternoon reading and napping...  

I really need to do something to improve my photography skills, I promise it looks much better in person.  It comes across a little harsh in this photo, but its actually very soft and tranquil.  It is also difficult to capture the detail.  There are many layers that you really don't see in this photo.  Here are some close-ups that might help (if you click on the photograph it will enlarge it for you!):

If you are local please go by The Fairhope Artist Gallery and see it in person!  Since it is Arts and Crafts weekend I'm hoping this is the only "rainy day" you see!  (if you aren't local our town has this HUGE arts and crafts festival every year, its a really big thing in our area!) 



Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Yummy Cheese Ravioli

Hello groovy people!  Well I survived Mardi Gras and now it's time for Lent.  Do you and your family give up meat on Fridays?  While most people who do usually eat seafood during Lent, to my husband's dismay my son and I don't care for it.  Yes, I know we are odd.  Yes, my parents love seafood and had it all the time when I was growing up (probably because I peeled the shrimp for everyone since I didn't eat it...). Yes, it's true my daddy offered me  $50 one time to eat an oyster and I said "no thank you, I don't eat anything that looks like a booger."  Thankfully this does NOT look like a booger!

I thought I'd share this dish with you guys 'cause while it isn't the most nutritious meal, it is quick and easy, and it's pretty yummy.  It's also my son's favorite meal during Lent.  In fact, my son loves Lent because I rarely cook pasta for dinner except during Lent and he absolutely loves pasta!  

I apologize because I don't measure, but I think it'll be okay with this dish.  So, you're gonna start with these ingredients:

You will boil the raviolis according to the directions on the package.  Drain them and pour them into a casserole dish.  Then pour the entire jar of sauce on them.  I like Classico, not only is the sauce good, but when you're done you soak the jar for a bit and the label will come right off, then you have a nice mason jar to use for something crafty!  After the sauce I throw in a couple of big handfuls of spinach.  Next I add some Parmesan cheese - if I had to guess I'd say maybe a quarter to half a cup.

Then you stir it all up!

Now I know it's not lookin' real pretty right now, but you're gonna throw on some grated mozzarella cheese and BAM! that dish is rockin' now!

Not sure how much mozzarella that it is, I just cover the top.  Then I stick it in the oven for about 25 minutes or so on 350, just til the cheese is melted and bubbly on top.  

Throw some bread sticks in the oven while it's cooking and you've got yourself a meal.  

Easy Peasy and oh so yummy!

I will say that I normally serve a salad along with it, but on this particular night Mr. Flower Child wasn't home and Flower Bud says salad makes him nauseous (he's a teenage boy, go figure?! Hence the spinach I added above-ha!). 

Hope y'all were able to follow along.  Just send me a message if something didn't make sense.


Monday, February 9, 2015

Soaring with Eagles

I don't write about my family often, heck, we all know I don't write much about anything very often - haha!  I did want to share some good news about my son, Alex, whom I lovingly refer to as Flower Bud in my blog posts (which he just loves - NOT!).  As most of my local followers already know he recently obtained the rank of Eagle Scout. Mr. Flower Child and I are so very proud of him!  (and I'm pretty sure Mr. Flower Child doesn't like being called Mr. Flower Child either...)

In the photo below he had not yet received his Eagle badge or pin.  The flag in the background is the Flag of Honor, which lists the names of the victims of 9/11/01 in its stripes. Our son passed his Board of Review on September 11, 2014 so we thought it fitting to use this flag to commemorate the significance of the date. 

Believe it or not, it all started with this:

Yep, a fire starter kit.  One day in first grade he came home and begged his dad to take him to the "Round Up" because every boy who attended would receive a free fire starter kit.  Well they go, and of course they sign up.  My husband comes home and jokingly says "well let's just see how long this lasts!"  Sadly, I must admit that we had pretty low expectations and were always surprised every year when it was time to renew that he wanted to keep doing it.  Then one day as a young cub scout he says "I'm gonna be an Eagle Scout."  And here we are.  From Tiger Cub to Eagle Scout in the blink of an eye!  I tell everyone that fire starter kit started more than a fire!  

For those not familiar with scouting, this is the highest rank a scout can receive and only about 4% of youth who join scouting actually achieve this rank.  I can understand why because it takes a lot of work to get there.  I'm not sure which is harder, the actual project or all of the paperwork that goes along with it!  

The ceremony bestowing the Eagle rank upon him was held a few weeks ago and I thought I would share some photos, although I have to apologize because they are not as detailed as the ones I normally take.  I was so busy I never had time to do my usual "photo shoot" so another scout mom took them while the ceremony was being held.  

He decided to have his ceremony in our youth group building at church since this is where his project took place.  For his project our youth minister asked him to turn our theater section into a "drama room" which meant the walls and the acoustical ceiling had to be painted black, and black curtains needed to be hung.  You can see this room in the photos below.

The photo above is the part of the ceremony where they call all of the Eagle Scouts in the room up on the stage and each one tells the date and place they received their Eagle rank.  I have had the pleasure of attending many Eagle ceremonies and I always find it fascinating that they always remember the date, even the ones that go as far back as like 1945.  I've always wondered how many can't remember their wedding anniversary, but they can remember the date they received their Eagle rank.  I've never had the nerve to ask tho. (for those who know me personally I know you are shocked at that last statement *wink*wink*).  

Don't worry, I won't bore you all with lots of photos of the whole process, but I did want to share this as it was my favorite part and the part that touched my heart the most.  As part of the ceremony the Eagle gives out "mentor" pins. Alex requested two and it took all of my control not to ask him who he planned to give them to. We were surprised when he gave one to his dad. Out of all of the ceremonies I've been to I've never seen one given to a parent.  I think everyone teared up.  If I wasn't proud of him before then let me just say my heart was just about to burst with pride at this point!

I guess I will share this, although its not a great picture because the podium blocks the view of Alex.  This is the part of the ceremony where the mother puts the Eagle Neckerchief on her son.  Well, if you don't know me personally then you probably don't know that I'm a little on the short side and my son towers over me.  Everyone laughed when he knelt down so that I could reach him.  I then told the audience that this had been a common occurrence since 4th grade. Yes, he outgrew me when he was in 4th grade.

Now for the fun part - the decorations!!  Like I said, they aren't my usual photos, but I am grateful that someone took the time to take these for me or I wouldn't have any.

This was the stage set up.  I don't have a close up, but hopefully you can see the three plaques on the right.  They contain the names of every Eagle from Troop 47.  Troop 47 is the oldest continuously chartered troop in the State of Alabama, having been formed in 1928, and has produced well over 125 Eagle Scouts.  And now my son's name is on there!  yaaaayyy!! 

I didn't get a close up of the two big arrangements I made.  You probably can't tell, but there's an eagle statue inside the glass portion.

By the way, I know its kinda hard to see, but that black stage in the background of the picture below is another Eagle project done by another scout from Troop 47.

Luckily another scout mom got a close up of one of the little centerpieces.  I made 12 of them and each one had a different word from the Scout Law:

A scout is:
Trustworthy, Loyal, Helpful, 
Friendly, Courteous, Kind,
Obedient, Cheerful, Thrifty,
Brave, Clean, Reverent

Alex really wanted club sandwiches and these were the best!!  Big thanks to my friend Daneen at Buck's Diner!!

Everyone loved my Mexican layer dip that I made to look like a flag.  Don't worry, I plan to do a post telling you how I did it (and I promise it will happen this year!  haha!)

This was another large arrangement that I didn't get a close-up. There is another eagle statue and a flag inside the glass portion.  I hate I didn't get a photo of the other side.  It turned out pretty cute if I do say so myself!  

You can only use these plates and napkins at an Eagle ceremony.  If you have any left over they go in a big box for the next person to use.  

See that cross, my father-in-law made it.  He passed away a few years ago so it was kinda nice to have it there.

Of course we can't forget the cake!  Alex wanted something different and chose a double layer square cake as opposed to a regular sheet cake.  This came from the Little Cake Shop.  If you are local and haven't used them I highly recommend them!  Not only are they delicious, but they are always works of art!  I also thought it was kinda neat since they had also done the cake we had at his christening, at the same church.  

This is his memorabilia table.  Once again, wish I had some close ups.

These are patches he collected while attending the National Jamboree a couple of summers ago.  Each troop has their own patches and then they trade, some of them are worth quite a bit of money.  

It was such a special day and I thank y'all for letting me brag a little bit and share it all with you.  Who knew that little fire starter kit would ignite such a wonderful flame...



Saturday, January 31, 2015

What's Your Fave Color on Superbowl Sunday?

Well its that time of year again.  Tomorrow is the big game!!  Superbowl Sunday.  I wrote this post last year, but it is still good for a smile.  I did add a little update at the end.

Y'all will be surprised when you figure out that this post is not about painting.  Not about furniture. Not about art.  Nope, it is about football.  Those who know me personally know that the extent of my knowledge regarding the game of football includes touch downs and field goals, and sadly that's about it.  When my son played I had to pretend I knew what was going on.  One game when Mr. Flower Child wasn't there to explain everything to me I completely missed Flower Bud playing altogether.  At the end of the game I was trying to comfort him because he didn't get to play when he says "Mom, I played the whole second half, I played nose guard!"  Oops!  I tried to cover my you-know-what and immediately responded "Oh!  Well, that's why I didn't see you because you always play in that other position."  Secretly I'm thinking "Oh crap!"  and then I was thinking "What the heck is a nose guard? and what is that other position he normally plays?  crap, crap, crap, totally messed up on this one."  I tried to tell him that I had missed seeing him go in because I was giving play-by-plays via text to his daddy.  Pretty sure he didn't fall for it, but hey, what else are you supposed to say to your child when you've already admitted that you didn't even know he was in the game????  That was the night I knew I had to get my act together and learn about this game that my son enjoyed playing so much.

But, then I was saved because he started high school the next year and while he had planned to play football AND do band AND do the IB program, the high school told him differently so he had to make a choice.  He agonized for weeks, but then he finally chose band.  Secretly I was glad.  Mainly because I no longer had to worry about him getting hurt, but selfishly I was relieved that I didn't have to actually learn all those dang rules.  I could stick with my normal plan of action.  Pick the team with the colors I liked best, or the cutest quarterback.  Seriously, that's what I do.  I mean other than the Auburn Tigers and the Fairhope Pirates, I could care less. 

I love going to the games.  I love the atmosphere and the socialization.  I like going to the parties  and tailgating because there is always yummy food.  But the only time I have ever really paid attention to what was happening on the field was when my son was on it, and then only so I could make sure he didn't get hurt and so I could take pictures.  (In the pic below he is #73)

So tonight at the dinner table the subject of "the" game comes up.  Mr. Flower Child and Flower Bud are discussing logistics and what-not when I pipe in and say that I just didn't know who I was going to pull for.  They kindly stop and look at me so I continue.  I explained that I thought that I had it all figured out because you know the Broncos had my favorite colors of orange and blue AND that yummy Peyton Manning.

But then I found out that the Seahawks had Derrick Coleman on their team and I so admired his determination and the fact that he never gave up even when they told him he couldn't play football because he was deaf.  And, although their colors aren't blue and gold, they are blue and lime green and lime green is like my all time fave color.  

Mr. Flower Child politely says, well now, that is a good reason to pull for a team, and then continues his conversation with Flower Bud.

Yep, they love me.

So this year I'm still in a dilemma.  Once again, I thought I had it all figured out.  I mean, hey I'm patriotic and everything, but of course you know I love the Seahawks colors way better!!  And then I found out that the Patriots had that super yummy Tom Brady.  *sigh*

Decisions decisions, just how is a girl supposed to decide?

So which team has your favorite colors?


Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Following God's Guidance

Well you all have probably noticed I haven't posted much lately.  I know, no big surprise there!  haha!  I have been taking a little break.  I not only needed it physically, but mentally.  Back in the early fall I began having some issues with my elbow.  Basically it was "tennis elbow," but we jokingly referred to it as "painter's elbow."  Well, I thought it was something simple, would go away in a couple of weeks and I'd be back on track.  WRONG!  Groovy people I am still dealing with it!!  My doctor has tried all kinds of things, even sent me to a neurologist who said my nerves were fine, but I'm pretty sure my family would disagree - haha!  but the nerves in my arm are fine, which is a good thing, except that means this is something that I basically have to live with.  It is apparently a very severe case that may take several more months before it heals.  My doctor says that once it heals in all likelihood something will set it off again.  Why am I telling you all this?  Well because this means no more furniture.  At least for a while.  He really thinks all the furniture and painting the inside of my house is what caused it and the chances are likely that it will happen again.  

So all this time I have been thinking and praying, asking God for his guidance.  I really feel that it is His way of telling me to concentrate on art.  For whatever reason when I paint on canvas it does not bother me, I guess the movements are not as intense or strenuous.  This is actually good because art really is where my passion is!  I never intended to paint furniture, I mean I have painted furniture for 20 some-odd years, but only for myself or occasionally for a friend.  I'm really not even sure how I got started on the furniture, but before I knew it I had people lined up and it just kinda took a life of its own.  

Don't be sad groovy people. This means I will have more time to do things like this:

or this:

I'm a little nervous.  The furniture was kinda like instant money.  Sometimes it takes a while to sell a piece of art.  When it is time to make the car payment the bank can't wait for that $800 painting to sell (not that I have an $800 painting to sell, but I hope to!), they want their moola right then.  

But I'm just gonna trust the Big Guy upstairs.  

Once again I'm taking a giant leap of faith and I'm putting it all in God's hands. Isn't that what we're supposed to do anyway?  I hope you guys will continue to follow along on this new path the Lord has sent me on, and if you're the praying sort, well, I wouldn't mind a little sent my way.

Jeremiah 29:11
"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope a future."



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