Getting Ready

Bunny’s First Woodland Christmas Watercolor – 11×14

Getting Ready.

My DIL and “biz partner,” Colleen, and I have been busy getting ready for an event this coming weekend for McKinneyX2Designs – the Mars Craft Show.

For those of you not from Mars :), it’s really a bigger event than you can imagine, and we are fortunate to be a part of it!

Colleen is been busy making these adorable little trees and festive holiday signs.

While I’ve been busy painting

Dancing Penguin Watercolor 11×14

and printing

and folding

and boxing.

We are excited to share our joy!  The Mars Craft Show features hundreds of local artisans spread out between the Mars Middle School and Mars High School (where you can find us – in the Auxilliary Gym).  A shuttle bus runs all day between the two buildings between 10am and 4pm on Saturday, November 17, 2018.

In addition to this event, we have two special birthdays coming up for a Pap Pap and granddaughter who share the same birthday.  I also have a short overnight business trip this week, so a lot going on.

I’m going to take a few days off from blogging, so if you don’t hear from me, know I am just busy and having fun and will be back soon.

If you like what you see here and are local, we hope you will visit us at the Mars Craft Show or Christmas in the Woods at Berry Vine Gifts this weekend.  If you are not local, please visit our Etsy shop or our website for more information.

Back to getting ready!

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

All is Calm

All is Calm – Snowy Winter Watercolor in Blue – 11×14

All is Calm.

We have just begun experiencing frosty mornings
and the flurry and dusting of snowflakes here and there.

It is well past due in our little corner of the world,
and I always look forward to it.

I am dreaming of the beauty of snowy, moonlit winter evenings
curled up with a warm, fuzzy blanket and a crackling fire

When all is calm,
and all is bright.

So I painted this scene in watercolor,
and it takes me to that place and that feeling.

The gift of creating.
The joy of art.

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

P.S  This painting, like most all of my paintings, is available in our McKinneyX2Designs ETSY shop as an original or in prints sized 11×14, 8×10, or 5×7 as well as boxed greeting cards.  It will also be going with me to the Mars Craft Show on Saturday, November 17th!

 

 

 

 

Cheesy Chicken Prosciutto Roll-Ups in White Wine Sauce

Cheesy Chicken Prosciutto Roll-Ups in White Wine Sauce.

This past Sunday, I made a new recipe with chicken that turned out so yummy, I couldn’t wait to share.

With a few simple ingredients, but also the finest you can find or afford, you can create this amazing dish in just a few minutes before putting in the oven for a half hour.

Turn your sound on for just a few seconds, and click the arrow below to experience the glorious sizzling of these little gems as they brown in olive oil and a bit of butter!

These chicken breasts, pounded as flat as possible, are stuffed with thinly sliced salty, high-quality prosciutto,  fresh, creamy mozzarella cheese and a few simple spices before being rolled in flour and browned in olive oil and butter.

Once browned,  white wine is poured in to blend with the browned bits and juices to create the most amazing gravy!

We enjoyed our Cheesy Chicken Prosciutto Roll-Ups with a fresh garden salad.  The only thing we were missing was some crusty bread to sop up every last bit of gravy.

I cannot recommend this winner of a chicken dinner more highly.  I slightly revised a recipe I found at mangiamichelle.com.

Here is how I made it.

Cheesy Chicken Prosciutto Roll-Ups in White Wine Sauce

Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs. (3 large) chicken breasts, sliced in half horizontally to create 6 pieces
  • 6 paper-thin sliced high-quality proscuitto
  • 1 lb. fresh mozzarella ball, sliced
  • 1 tsp. Italian Seasoning (or your favorite i.e. oregano, sage, thyme)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 3 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp. butter
  • 2 cups white wine
  • 1/2 cup flour

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Pound the chicken pieces until they are as flat as possible to about 1/3 inch thick.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper and seasoning.  Lay a slice of prosciutto on top followed by a slice of mozzarella.  Roll up and secure with a toothpick or two to secure.  Dredge each chicken roll-up in flour.

Heat olive oil and butter in a large oven-safe skillet over medium heat.  Brown each roll-up on each side for about 4-5 minutes.  Pour wine over all, and stir up browned bits and butter to incorporate.  Baste sauce over chicken.  Place in oven, and bake for 30 minutes. 

Enjoy!

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

Golden Beauty

Our Neighbor’s Yard – Mars, PA – November 4, 2018

Golden Beauty.

Most all the trees are bare with
their leaves now carpeting the ground.

Except this golden beauty
who decides each Autumn to make a statement.

It’s a standout amidst the others
in their stripped bare dormant state.

It’s like the late bloomer
who was awkward as a child

But is now the greatest beauty
as its come into its own.

It’s like the last crop
of buttery golden sweet corn

that bursts with the most intense flavor
as if it knows it will be the taste that lingers until the next season comes.

It’s like the brightest sunshine
lighting up the Autumn day

that knows the days are growing shorter,
so it must glow brilliantly while it can.

It’s like the golden rings
worn by the elderly couple

that represent the long-lasting commitment
through richer and poorer, sickness and health, good times and bad.

Thank you golden beauty
for reminding me once more

that hanging on or being last
is sometimes worth the wait.

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

Red Raspberry Dark Chocolate Puff Pastry Tarts

Red Raspberry Dark Chocolate Puff Pastry Tarts.

Phew!  That name is a mouthful….

But it really does say it all!

And I’m betting you would love a mouthful of these simple, but elegant and amazingly delicious treats!

I made these this past weekend for a Sunday family football dinner.

Would you believe me if I told you there are only three ingredients?!?!

Well – four if you count the powdered sugar you sprinkle on top.

Puff Pastry is such a dream to work with!

Keep these ingredients on hand and this recipe up your sleeve when you need a quick, but fabulous dessert or treat.

I’m betting you won’t be sorry. 😉

Red Raspberry Dark Chocolate Puff Pastry Tarts

Ingredients:

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Roll out one sheet of puff pastry, and cut into 9 squares approximately 3 1/2 x 3 1/2 inches.  Place a teaspoon of raspberry jam in center of each square.  Top with a piece of dark chocolate.  Pull all four corners to center and pinch to seal.

Bake for 15-18 minutes on baking stone or cookie sheet until puffed and lightly browned.    Remove to cooling rack.  Sprinkle with powdered sugar.

Serve warm or cold.  

Enjoy!

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

A Bright Poinsettia

Bright Poinsettia 11×14 Original Watercolor

A Bright Poinsettia.

I so enjoyed painting this bright and happy poinsettia recently.
(And it’s nice to think bright and happy thoughts with all the dark and sad news of the past few days.)

Using my dagger brush (which I need to use more often),  it was fun to just let this painting evolve and happen on the paper.  The dagger brush is “floppy” and loose, yet also allows for wonderful control changing wide strokes to points.

I’m really pleased with how it turned out!  It actually makes me smile to look at.

I’m also thrilled that my new printer is able to produce gorgeous 11×14 prints that look so much like the original, so this option will be added to my paintings in our McKinneyX2Designs Etsy shop.  I also added this design to the Society6 shop, so it can be made into pillows and mugs and other fun stuff.

Wishing you a bright and happy day!

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

PS  Only 55 days until Christmas  😉   and only 2 1/2 weeks until the big Mars Craft Show  (Saturday, 11/17/18) AND Christmas in the Woods at Berry Vine Gifts (11/16-18/18)

The privilege of a lifetime…

“The privilege of a lifetime…
is being who you are.”

– Joseph Campbell

Be YOU!
Even when things
don’t seem clear
and you struggle
to see through the fog…
remember what a privilege
it is
to Be YOU!

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

Things are a bit “foggy” in my part of the world today…  Yesterday, October 27, 2018,  a mass shooting occurred in a community very near me in Pittsburgh, PA.  The gunman reportedly spewed anti-Semitic threats online shortly before opening fire inside a synagoge during a Sabbath day service killing 11 innocent Jewish people.  Apparently they were killed just because they were being who they were.  This horrifyingly wicked individual felt he could deny these fellow human beings the privilege to be who they were.  I already had this post scheduled ahead to post for today, and I was suprised to realize how relevant and timely it became to talk about what a true privilege it really is to be who we are.  A privilege ALL people deserve.

 

The Dog Days of Autumn – A Charlie Guest Post

Charlie relaxing in the Dog Days of Autumn – October, 2018 – Mars, PA

The Dog Days of Autumn – A Charlie Guest Post.

Who says dogs like summer best?
I say hold your horses…
The dog days of summer
are for the birds!

Maybe it is the elephant in the room,
or maybe you consider me pig-headed,
but I’m going to let the cat out of the bag
and tell you Fall is the cat’s meow!

It just makes me mad as a hornet
and really gets my goat
when folks don’t realize the lion’s share of enjoyment
weasels out in the crisp breeze of Autumn.

Are you like a fish out of water when the leaves start to turn?
I promise Autumn is not a one trick pony.
You’ve got to believe me – I wouldn’t hurt a fly
Fish or cut bait, and enjoy the beauty.

So when summer’s gone to the dogs
and I get ants in my pants,
I watch like a hawk
for the smoldering heat and humidity to quit cold turkey

And I head out on a wild goose chase
and let sleeping dogs lie
for the red herring is truly
the Dog Days of Autumn!

Woofs & Wags,
Charlie

Charlie is an adopted dog with brown eyes and a white-tipped tail who brings joy and laughter to his family and friends.  Charlie is a gifted writer, raving food critic, cat, chipmunk, and donut lover, and exceptionally photogenic model.  Some of his best friends are Mike the UPS Man, Cliff the Mailman, and ANYONE who delivers pizza to the house.   If you would like to read more guest posts by Charlie, simply type “Charlie” into the Search box at the top right hand corner of this link: thecreativelifeinbetween.com.   If you would enjoy a companion like Charlie, please consider pet adoption.