Friday, February 05, 2016

Recipes To Try

Here's some recipes I've looking to try...

The SoccerMom has a delicious recipe for Chimichurri Sauce.
Pioneer woman has a recipe for homemade pasta. No pasta machine required.
Allrecipes has a recipe for Baked Panko and Parmesan Crusted Flounder.

Sweets
Afternoon bakingwithgrandma has a recipe for a simple Cracker Candy. Can't wait to try this.
ShugarySweets has Strawberry Meringues made with jello!
Realsimple has a way to make a perfect chocolate chip cookie.
OMGChocolateDesserts has a recipe for Raspberry Cream Cheese Coffee Cake.


Wednesday, February 03, 2016

Sketching

This sketch was inspired by going to see the latest Star Wars movie with my family. While I am not a big Star Wars fan, I do enjoy the movies and characters. I particularly like the character development and costumes that manage to bridge old (biblical times with robes, beards and simple clothing) and new (with technology, masks, and prosthetics). The latest "villain" in the series was also a blend of old characters and new. I quickly sketched him and played with shading with grays and blacks.

Tuesday, February 02, 2016

NH Bobcat

Photo by Sean Kerwin in his backyard, Hancock, NH

The New Hampshire bobcat has been making news lately. It's been good news, too, with an increase in population from approximately 150 in the 1980's to 1400 currently.
Why the good news?
In 1989 all hunting and trapping was stopped.
How do you get a head count on bobcats?
It's tough because bobcats don't stalk their prey as much as they figure out where food is plentiful and then they wait. They don't like to be seen by humans, so sightings aren't common. But, trappers and scientists from the University of New Hampshire, tagged bobcats with collars and tracked their movements. The collars eventually came off and released a radio signal to be gathered. The info left on the collar was valuable.
What did they learn?
Bobcats use a 10-15 mile radius. They like to be near a water source, such as a lake or river. They eat rabbit, squirrels, birds, and small mammals. Due to the changing landscape of NH and the loss of fields, farmland, the number of small mammal consumption has increased. Years ago bobcat's diet was different - more deer, hare, and rabbit,
Image from JoCoSAR blog
What do they look like?
Bobcats look like felines, but are confused with other wild cats - lynx, cougar, etc. Bobcats have a short tail and weigh up to 40 pounds. They are primary nocturnal creatures. They can leap up to 12 feet and run as fast as 30 mph.
In summer, their coats are brown tinged with red. In winter, their coats are thicker and more gray.
What's next?
Currently, NH is considering a potential hunting season for the increased bobcat population. The powers that be are hearing proposals for limited season to keep the population in check.




Monday, February 01, 2016

Sketching

Here's another colored pencil sketch from my sketchbook. I incorporated a few different things into this drawing, all under the "Pamper" umbrella. I pictured a woman all snugly tucked into a robe, wearing cucumber eye pads... massage oils, a candle, fragrant flowers, and stones.

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Blessings

The last few days of January 2016 bring many blessings.
Jon and I went for an 8 mile walk. We had a great time talking, walking, and taking a break at the 4 mile walk for lunch.
We saw a few interesting things... a cormorant, whose feathers do not repel water, so they hold their wings open to dry them.
A bunny, right outside our building! He let me get fairly close, so I snapped a few pics of him.
A beautiful sailboat on the water. Such a pretty image. It was a nice afternoon with my husband.
 We went to dinner with a couple of friends on Friday night at a new-to-us restaurant.
 The restaurant is a Thai-Mexican restaurant and the food is delicious. Some spices from the two cultures overlap (garlic, chili, cilantro) but others are unusual... like chipotle in curry. Very tasty. We had a great night with our friends and we laughed so hard, that my sides hurt! What a fabulous ending to a great dinner.
I had a few great tennis matches this week. I played with different partners and each was a pleasure. What a lucky week for me!
I picked up a friend from the airport and we stopped for some weekday shopping and dinner. We had a great time and I got to hear about her last minute trip to Dallas.
My mid afternoon coffee break... or latte break always tastes heavenly. I loved the gradient that the steamed milk end espresso form when combined.

Friday, January 29, 2016

Recipe: Brownies from Scratch

When you want a quick chocolate snack, nothing beats a homemade brownie. Brownies are a cross between cake and cookies, usually called a bar cookie and can be chewy or cake-like. I haven't met a brownie I don't like. As a child, my father would sometimes pack a walnut topped frosted brownie in tin foil in my lunch. It was always a delight to see the square package in my lunch bag. That moment started my affinity for brownies, which is odd, since I'm not a fan of chocolate, usually. 
These brownies are easy to create. Melt the butter, dump in the ingredients, barely combine, and bake. I like frosted brownies, but that is purely optional.
Easy Brownies
1/2 cup butter
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1/3 cocoa
1/2 cup flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking powder
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Line an 8x8 baking pan with parchment or grease pan.
Melt butter. Stir in remaining ingredients. Do not overmix. Pour into a pan and bake for 20-22 minutes. Batter will start to pull away from the sides of the pan.

Optional Frosting
3 T butter
3 T cocoa
1 T honey
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup powdered sugar
1/2 tsp salt
2 T milk

Combine all ingredients and spread on cooled brownies.
Optional - top with mnms or chocolate chips or chopped chocolate.