Friday, January 28, 2011

Bird Print

Happy friday morning everyone!  I thought I would share this cute little print I made a while back.  I gave it to my soon to be sister in law for her birthday and she loved it!  Thought maybe someone else might like it too...

It will print at 8x10"  Download PDF Here!!

Monday, January 24, 2011


I haven't shared too much artistic stuff so far, so I thought I would post a logo I created at work today for a little coffee shop.  They haven't given me any feedback on their thoughts yet, but I thought I might share it anyways.

Hope everyone had a nice weekend!

UPDATE: Logo is a go...whoop!  You'll be seeing this around Gig Harbor!

Friday, January 21, 2011


I made gumbo, and it tasted so good!  The entire time I was making it, I was thinking that it wasn't going to turn out very and was really skeptical how these few ingredients were going to make something as delicious as everyone says, but WOW, was I wrong. We loved it!  I didn't make the traditional, hours long stewing Southern gumbo, but this quicker version start to finish took me about an hour and it was really yummy. So here it is....

What you'll need:

1 green pepper chopped
1 small onion chopped
3 cloves garlic minced
1 cup flour
1 can diced tomatoes

1 lb bulk sausage or kielbasa cut into bite size pieces
1 lb cooked chicken cut into bite size pieces

8 cups chicken broth (I took tomato chicken bouillon that you can find in the spanish cooking isle at any grocery store to make my stock.  I think it gave the Gumbo broth a little extra something)
1/2 cup dry white wine

1 teaspoon cayenne (more or less depending on taste)
few shakes of your favorite hot sauce
4 bay leaves

Your favorite rice, cooked.  (We like pearl)

First brown your sausage, removed from pan and set aside leaving grease in pan, and cook your chicken using the sausage drippings.  Remove your chicken and cube or shred and put aside with your sausage.  Used the remaining of the drippings to saute pepper and onion until onion is tender and translucent. Add garlic and continue to cook until garlic is nice and fragrant.  Next, turn head way down and slowly sprinkle in flour and blend into the peppers and onions until they are fully coated and kind of pasty looking.  Add your wine and tomatoes and combine.  You will have something that looks like this.

Now pour in your stock, add bay leaves cayenne and hot sauce.  Bring to a boil stirring fairly consistently.  You should see you soup start to to thicken.  Once boiling for a few minutes, turn down and add your meats.  Let simmer for about 15 minutes.  Serve over rice.

We really enjoyed this, especially the leftovers.  If I were to make it again I would probably stick to this same recipe only adding shrimp to the pot as well as the other meats.  Maybe okra too!  Enjoy!

Friday, January 14, 2011

You can stuff my steak any day!

I am still impressed by this tasty little rolled up gem that I made last night.  It was so creamy, salty, garlicky and delicious that I will never be able to look at a piece of flank steak the same way again.

What you'll need:

1 fairly thick london broil or flank steak
6-12 cloves garlic (more or less depending on how much you love garlic)
1 large handful of baby spinach
1 cup of your favorite white melty creamy cheese (I used the mexican Cajeta cheese, but anything from mozzarella to gruyere would work perfectly)
2 tablespoons Capers (optional)
Olive Oil
Toothpicks or Butchers Twine

First rub your whole garlic cloves with olive oil and place on a baking sheet.  Put them in the oven at 400 degrees for about 15 - 20 minutes or until nice and toasted.  I flipped mine over half way through.  The smaller ones got a little more dried out, but they still tasted just as good. Your house will smell like so much garlic goodness by the time you take them out of the oven, its was wonderful!

While those are roasting, take your sharpest knife and butterfly your steak.  Just take your time, this was actually my first time butterflying a large steak like this.  I did cut through a little in the center, but it wasn't that big of a deal.  Just go slow and you'll do fine!

Place your spinach, capers, and if you're using a crumbly cheese into a bowl.  If using a cheese more like mozzarella, cut into slices, and set aside.  Once your garlic has finished roasting, allow to cool and chop into pieces.  No need to mince to fine. Using about 10 garlic gloves was fairly garlicky, so if you aren't a big garlic lover, maybe cut it down to 5 or 6 cloves.    Add your yummy garlic into the bowl with spinach, capers, and cheese and toss until well combined.  Evenly spread your filling over steak.

Now grab one end of your steak and begin to roll.  You may have to tuck spinach and cheese as you roll.  Stick toothpicks through end and to hold together and place roll on the baking sheet you roasted your garlic on.

Bake in oven at 350 degrees for 20 - 30 minutes depending on how done you like your meat.  We like medium rare, but I was nervous and left mine in the oven closer to 30 minutes.  It was a little too long so the meat was more done than we like, but still tasted great!

Cut into 2 inch slices and serve with steamed veggies, rice, or potatoes. Enjoy!

PS. Don't forget the red wine =)

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Letter Art

I LOVE letters!!  Letter letters everywhere!  I keep seeing where people have framed just watches of printed paper and hung them up in groups.  I really like the look, so I put my own spin on it.

I bought 4 cheep 8 x 10 canvases at my local Michael's, found 4 sheets of scrap booking paper and wrapped the canvases like a present tacking the paper down with staples.  Luckily the paper was just big enough to cover the canvases, as long as I didn't trim at all.

I chose 4 of the "ready to finish" white letters that Michael's sells and painted them with acrylic paint that you can find in 1,000 colors in those little bottles.  Last, I had bought some of those paper doilies a while back at World Market.  The letters didn't seem to pop enough off the colorful paper so I glued the doilies to the paper, centered the letters and glued those down to the doilies.  I just used plain old Elmer's glue, and it seemed to do the trick.  Here is the finished project all hung.  I like the way the doilies gave them kinda of a vintage look.  

I was thinking these would be a really cute addition to a baby or kids room. Hope you find some inspiration for your own canvas covering project!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Chocolate Banana Bread

What could be better than super moist chocolate banana bread with your coffee on a sunday morning.  Well, I guess I can think of a few things, but this one is up there.  It seems like everyone has their go to banana bread recipe, but maybe just once taking a break from your already perfected recipe and give this one a try!

Chocolate Banana Bread

What you'll need:

3 large over ripe bananas (or 4 small ones, comes out to be usually between 1 1/2 to 2 cups, doesn't have to be perfect)
1 stick room temperature unsalted butter (sometimes I use only half a stick to remove some of the fat)
1 large egg
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 small container plain greek yogurt  (6oz or about 3/4 cup)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup flour
3 heaping teaspoons cocoa powder
1 cup chocolate chips + 1 teaspoon flour

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray or grease your loaf pan.  Cream butter & sugars until well blended and fluffy.  Add in egg, yogurt, bananas, & vanilla and blend until well combined. Mix in flour, baking soda, cocoa, & salt.  Put your chocolate chips into a small bowl with the teaspoon of flour and toss until the chips are coated (doing so helps them from all sinking to the bottom while baking).  Throw chips plus whatever flour is loose into the batter and fold in.  Pour into a greased loaf pan and bake for 50-65 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.  I usually start checking mine at about 60 minutes because I like to take the bread from the oven when its just done to unsure it's EXTRA moist!  Also because my oven is moody and inconsistent.  After your bread is done, be sure to leave it in the pan until its cool, then run a knife around the edges and flip.  It seems that if you take it from the pan when its too warm it has a tendency to sag a little.

I make this all the time, and cannot seem to get tired of it.  It's even become my staple hostess gift to give friends or family. Forget the wine, give banana bread.  Enjoy!

more weekend bites

A friend was having a little birthday party on saturday, and I had to take something yummy for people to munch on.  I threw together these turkey cranberry pinwheels and roast beef horseradish pinwheels for a little snack, and they were a big hit!

What you'll need:

Turkey Cranberry Pinwheels

1 box cream cheese
1/2 cup honey greek yogurt (optional)
2 T sugar
1/2 cup chopped dried cranberries

Mix and set aside.

4 - 5 Spinach tortillas
1 lb Turkey deli lunch meat.  (I got smoked turkey out of the deli case, pre-packaged would work too)
Baby Spinach
4 - 5 strips thick cut bacon cooked

Roast Beef Horseradish

1 box cream cheese
1/2 cup plain greek yogurt (optional)
1/2 lemon juice
3 tablespoons horseradish (more or less depending on in your taste, I like LOTS)

Mix and set aside.

4-5 sun dried tomato tortillas
1 lb Roast beef deli meat (I got mine out of the deli case, pre-packaged would work too)
Baby Spinach
1 small onion halved and sliced
1 tablespoon butter
5-6 slices pre-sliced cheddar cheese

Saute your onions with the butter until very tender and a nice carmel color, remove from pan and let cool while you start to assemble.

To assemble: Grab one tortilla. Drop a healthy spoonful of your spread onto tortilla and spread evenly.  Begin layering meat, spinach, and remainder of ingredients over 3/4 of your tortilla leaving 1/4 of just the spread showing (this helps in getting the tortilla to stick when you roll).  I used 3 - 4 slices of meat per tortilla.  Once you have this done, start your roll from the opposite side of the tortilla with just the spread.  Try to keep the roll as tight as you can, you may have to tuck some of the spinach and meat as you roll.  Once you have a nice tight roll, you will see that the cream cheese spread works as a glue to hold the end down.  Wrap each roll in cling wrap and place in the fridge for 1-2 hours before slicing.  Slice into 1 inch sections.  I shared the ends with my fiance as test samples.  

Everyone at the party really loved them.  They covered everyones tastes, whether you are a sweet or savory person.  I personally really liked the turkey cranberry!  With bacon and the cranberries they were a little sweet and a little salty!  Enjoy!

Friday, January 7, 2011

and so it begins...

"Don't get your dress dirty!" basically sums up my life.  As a kid, all of my neighborhood playmates were boys, and with boys came mud and creeks and capture the flag and squishing bugs, which could all be accomplished wearing a pretty dress.  I remember yelling to my mom "Going to play with Jake" as I ran out the door, and hearing her call back as quick as she could "Brenna, don't come back all dirty" or "Stay OUTTA that creek!"  Which every time I proceeded to return dripping wet with some story how Jake had pushed me into the 6 inch deep creek, then held me down while the raging water rushed over my entire body soaking me from head to toe. 

Now that I'm 27, not much has changed. It may not be mud stains all over my dresses these days, but more a combination of tomato sauce, blue paint, Mod Podge, dog slime, and chocolate. These stains are the reason for the creation of this, baking, crafting, and just making anything.  At least thats my plan as of right now, while I type my first post.  By episode 25, we'll see.

To be continued.