We’re So Excited!

Engagement Ring Watercolor 5x7

Engagement Ring Watercolor

We’re so excited!

We are being blessed with another beautiful daughter-in-law!

Our son, Nick, proposed to his beautiful fiance, Liz, this past weekend.

So today’s little painting for #WorldWatercolorMonth is a diamond engagement ring.

It’s not nearly as beautiful as the real ring…
or the future bride-to-be…
or the smile on Nick’s face…
or the joy in my heart.

But it is a symbol
of a beautiful commitment
for a lifetime of love.

Nick and Liz Engagement

Nick and Liz Engagement

Nick created a beautiful “forever rose” from copper and metal as part of his engagement ring presentation.

Forever rose

And we enjoyed celebrating the happy couple – the new #McKinneytoBe this weekend!

nick and liz

Love you Nick and Liz!❤

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

If you Carrot All…

watercolor carrots

Watercolor Carrots 5×7 Arches 140lb Arches Rough

Today’s painting for #WorldWatercolorMonth is a quick and simple one celebrating the glorious carrot.

It was fun to create the leafy greens by gently rubbing the side of a rigger brush across the rough watercolor paper in random strokes.

Carrots are a beautiful, healthy vegetable that is equally delicious raw and cooked.

For a yummy version of roasted carrots, check out my recipe for Roasted Caramelized Garlic Carrots here.

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

Spinach Blueberry Salad & a Blueberry Botanical

blueberry watercolor 5x7 arches 140lb rough prussian blue panes gray green gold

Blueberry watercolor 5×7 arches 140lb rough prussian blue panes gray green gold

For today’s #WorldWatercolorMonth Painting, I present:   Blueberries in Prussian Blue.  This is a “botanical” painting of sorts and possibly one of my more “realistic” paintings.  A bit of a diversion for me.

And while we are on the subject of blueberries – the yummy, nutrient-packed fruit of the gods,  here is a recipe for a spinach salad I made last week with blueberries in it.  DIVINE!

Spinach blueberry salad

I tossed some fresh spinach with blueberries and blue cheese (but you could use feta or goat or any other cheese you like), toasted walnuts, and green onions, and then drizzled with balsamic vinaigrette for a really fresh, yummy salad.

Spinach blueberry salad 2

Some other favorite blueberry recipes I’ve shared in the past you might want to check out are my “almost famous” to-die-for Blueberry White Chocolate Chip Cookies and melt-in-your-mouth  Fresh Peach and Blueberry Streusel Muffins.  Maybe not quite as healthy, but very delish!

ENJOY!

Spinach & Blueberry Salad

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb Spinach
  • 1 pint blueberries
  • 4 green onions, sliced
  • 1 cup toasted and sugared walnuts*
  • 1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese
  • 1/3 cup Balsaimic Vinaigrette

Combine fresh, clean spinach, blueberries, green onions and walnuts and drizzle with balsamic vinaigrette.  Top with crumbled blue cheese and serve immediately.

*Melt 1 Tbsp butter in skillet over medium heat.  Add walnuts, and sprinkle with sugar.  Saute over medium heat for approximately five minutes until sugar has melted and walnuts have browned.  Cool completely.

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

 

 

Unwinding with Abstract

 

Abstract Geo 5x7 140lb Arches Rough Cobalt Teal Blue, Quin Gold, Quin Rose, Winsor Violet

Abstract Geo 5×7 140lb Arches Rough Cobalt Teal Blue, Quin Gold, Quin Rose, Winsor Violet

Unwinding…
De-stressing…
Relaxing…

after a busy work day
one evening this week

through drawing geometric patterns,
dropping in watercolor,
and letting it do it’s thing.

Then I twisted it
and turned it
and shook it
and salted it
and spritzed it

and finally
a quick splatter or three.

Zen…

Finding Peace in Painting.

#WorldWatercolorMonth Rocks!

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

PS  Thanks for the inspiration Laura!

Tomato Bruschetta Chicken

Tomato watercolor 5x7 arches 140lb rough DS Pyrrol Scarlett Hanssa Yello Green Gold Sap Green

Tomato watercolor 5×7 arches 140lb rough DS Pyrrol Scarlett Hanssa Yello Green Gold Sap Green

Oh fresh, sweet, vine-ripened ruby red tomato…
How I love you from my head to-ma-toes!

It is tomato time of year around here, and there is nothing finer than a fresh-picked tomato right from the vine to the dinner table.

For today’s #WorldWatercolorMonth painting, I give you …. the Tomato…. in Daniel Smith Pyrrol Scarlett, Hansa Yellow, Green Gold, and Sap Green.

And to celebrate, here is a recipe for what we had for dinner the other evening – Brushetta Chicken.  A plump grilled chicken breast smothered with fresh mozzarella cheese and topped with sweet, juicy tomatoes, basil, and garlic.

Oh the yumminess!

And even better – oh the easiness!

Hope you’ll give this winner winner chicken dinner a try.  We had it with some brown rice and quinoa and a fresh spinach salad.  How will you serve yours?

Bruschetta Chicken

Bruschetta Chicken

Bruschetta Chicken

Ingredients:

  • 4 Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts seasoned with garlic herb seasoning and salt
  • 1 large ripe red tomato
  • 1 large ripe yellow tomato or 1 cup yellow cherry tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
  • 1 large garlic clove minced
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 4 slices fresh mozarella cheese, optional

Directions:

Prepare Bruschetta by chopping tomatoes and combining with chopped basil, minced garlic, salt, olive oil and vinegar.  Let sit and flavors mingle while you grill chicken breasts.

Top grilled chicken breasts with slices of mozzarella cheese, if desired, for last few minutes on grill and let melt.

To serve, top grilled chicken breast with large spoonful of fresh bruschetta and enjoy!

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

 

Looking Sharp Cashew!

Cashew the Cactus Watercolor 5x7

Cashew The Cactus Looking Sharp Watercolor 5×7

My son, Nick, has a cactus plant.
His name is “Cashew.”

He put Cashew out on the deck recently
to give him some bright sunshine and warmth.

Cashew used to be quite overgrown,
but after several months of neglect, he is being revived.

On Sunday, when he was outside
grilling the burgers for dinner

and my camera was set up ready to take a photo
for the Guacamole Burger blog post,

Nick decided to shoot some “glamour shots” of Cashew.
After all, Cashew was looking pretty Sharp!

Cashew Cactus Glamour Shot - Looking Sharp

Yep – Looking Sharp Cashew!
I’d really say you do!

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

#WorldWatercolorMonth 
Day 20 Silliness

Abstract Paw Print: A Charlie Guest Post

Charlie Dog Paw Print Watercolor Cobalt Teal Blue Prussian Blue and Quinacridone Gold

Charlie Dog Paw Print Watercolor Cobalt Teal Blue Prussian Blue and Quinacridone Gold

Hi Friends!
Remember me?  Your best buddy and pal, Charlie?

It’s been a while, but Mom finally gave in to let me get a word (and a paw print) in edge wise!

Since July is #WorldWatercolorMonth, Mom said I had to contribute a watercolor painting if I was going to do a guest blog post.

I thought about painting a juicy, mouth-watering rack of ribs, but hey… I’d rather EAT those!

I also thought about painting a kitty, like my friend Sebastian, but that is a little challenging without opposable thumbs.

I considered painting one of my favorite sticks to chew on or my blue ball or a fun, squeaky donut….

But after all this thinking, I was starting to get awfully sleepy

What could I paint?

I must say I’m getting a little tired of all the “pink stuff” going on around here by the way…..

Don’t get me wrong – I get it that Mom is super excited about becoming a Grandma soon, and since it’s a girl, she’s really kinda being googly ga ga because she’s the only girl around our house…. but seriously…..  enough with the pink, the coral, the pastel….  GAG!

So I finally decided to do a little abstract piece in Cobalt Teal Blue, Prussian Blue, and one of Mom’s and my favorites, Quinacridone Gold.

For my piece, I simply dipped my paw in water to achieve a wet-on-wet watercolor technique.  I then spit dropped the paint in to let it flow and drip and create its own watercolor magic.

Painting is really fun!

As you may already know, I am adopted.  I was lost until Mom and Dad and my new family found me.  I am so fortunate they helped me.

And I want to help KIDS!  Kids who want to create art, but aren’t able because they don’t have paint or paper or the resources they need.  That’s really what #WorldWatercolorMonth is all about you know…  It’s about raising awareness for underprivileged kids who really want to create art or learn about art or have the opportunity to choose art.

Mom and I hope you will consider donating to the Zebra Foundation in any small or large way.  The wonderful people at The Zebra Foundation understand the importance of art and creativity in the world.

Join us in celebrating by donating watercolor supplies to support underprivileged young artists worldwide! With your help, we can provide much needed support for kids in need.    Just like I was 9 months ago – a dog in need – given a new life!

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: https://lifeinbetween.me/.   If you would enjoy a companion like Charlie, please consider pet adoption.

Avocado Watercolor & Guacamole Burgers

Avocado Watercolor - 5x7 Arches 140lb Rough - Ansa Yellow, Green-Gold, Panes Gray, Burnt Umber

Avocado Watercolor – 5×7 Arches 140lb Rough – Ansa Yellow, Green-Gold, Panes Gray, Burnt Umber

I love avocados!  When they are at their peak of ripeness, there is nothing more amazing with just a sprinkle of salt.

Avocado is great smeared on whole grain toast for breakfast and topped with a fried egg.  It is wonderful for lunch cut up into a fresh green salad.  It makes an amazing dip for tortilla chips.  And it is a fabulous addition to a juicy, grilled burger for a great summertime supper sandwich!

Avocado Burger

Yesterday, I made a batch of fresh guacamole from some avocados I had that were right at their peak of ripeness and decided to use it as a topping to some fresh grilled burgers for a hot summer Sunday supper.  We enjoyed the burgers with some fresh sweet corn on the cob and a tossed green salad.  It was the perfect meal to end a warm, relaxing weekend.

guacamole

If the green color makes you nervous, let me tell you I have never had anyone try my guacamole that didn’t end up loving it – even the skeptics.  Hope you’ll give it a try.  Not only is it yummy, it is quite healthy!  Avocados have more potassium than bananas, are loaded with heart-healthy monounsaturated fatty acids, and are packed with fiber.  Adding garlic, onions, tomatoes, cilantro, and lime juice, make it even better!

Guacamole Burgers

Ingredients:Avocado Burger

Directions:

Prepare guacamole and set aside (covered tightly with plastic wrap to avoid air that will brown the avocados).

Mix ground beef and onion soup mix until well combined.  Form mixture into 6 large hamburger patties.  Grill burgers to medium-well (or your desired doneness).   Top with a slice of white American cheese, and allow to melt.

To assemble, place burger on bun, top with guacamole and sliced tomato.

Enjoy!

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

Cinnamon Chip Scones

cinnamon chip scones watercolor 5x7 arches 140lb cold press, raw sienna, cad orange, burnt sienna, burnt umber

cinnamon chip scones watercolor 5×7 arches 140lb cold press, raw sienna, cad orange, burnt sienna, burnt umber

I first shared this recipe I am “almost famous” for about two years ago here.

I made them twice this week for two different occasions, so when time came for me to decide on a watercolor painting for #WorldWatercolorMonth today – Cinnamon Chip Scones it was.

My painting does not do these amazingly yummy scones justice, but trust me, you and anyone you serve these to will LOVE them.

Here is what they really look like.

cinnamon chip scones

Cinnamon Chip Scones

Ingredients:cinnamon chip scones

2 3/4  Cups Flour
1/4 cup Sugar
1 Tbsp Baking Powder
1 tsp Baking Soda
Pinch of Salt
2 tsp Cinnamon
1 1/2 Sticks Cold Butter
3/4 – 1 Cup Buttermilk (easy substitute is 1Tbsp white vinegar added to 1 cup milk)
1 10 oz. bag Hershey’s Cinnamon Chips
Coarse Raw Sugar for Sprinkling

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

In a large bowl, mix together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon.  Cut butter into small cubes and cut into dry ingredients with a pastry blender until coarse crumbs are formed.  Pour in vanilla and buttermilk, and mix with pastry blender just until incorporated.  Pour in bag of cinnamon chips.  Dump dough onto counter and gently shape into a 15″ x 3″ rectangle.  Cut dough in half, then each half in half, then each quarter in half, so that you have 8 rectangles.  Cut each rectangle on the diagonal to form 16 triangular shaped scones.

Place on backing stone or cookie sheet, brush with some milk or water, and sprinkle with coarse raw sugar.  Bake at 400 degrees F for 10-15 minutes.  Cool for a few minutes on stone or cookie sheet, then remove to cooling rack to cool completely.  Best served immediately.

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

Feathers Appear When Angels are Near

Blue Watercolor Feather - 5x7 Arches 140lb Cold Press - Prussian Blue, Cobalt Teal, Quinacridone Gold

Blue Watercolor Feather – 5×7 Arches 140lb Cold Press – Prussian Blue, Cobalt Teal, Quinacridone Gold

In light of all the tragedy and horrific events happening in the world,
I am choosing to find goodness, and beauty, and love, and happiness.

It is so easy to get caught up in the news and give more power to the demons
who do such things as drive trucks into crowds of innocent people celebrating life.

Instead, I found peace in art the other evening…

In thoughts of angels among us…

Angels in the form of good people
who do good things…
who spread happiness
and love and hope.

It is sometimes said that feathers appear when angels are near,
so I painted this blue feather to remind myself of the beauty and goodness that is also so close.

Blue is meant to bring a calming and peaceful energy.

May this simple blue feather I painted for #WorldWatercolorMonth today
be a symbol to you
of the angels among us.

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi