March Madness Ambiguity

Earth, Light, & Wind Abstract Brusho Watercolor

Earth, Light, & Wind Abstract Brusho Watercolor

Like the ambiguity of the weather in March,
do you ever wonder why…

there is no ham in hamburger,
or no egg in eggplant?

Do you ever wonder why…

Chili is hot
and being hot is cool?

and if we say, “She sees a lot,”
does she see much or a piece of land?

Have you considered why…

when the stars come out, they are visible,
but when we turn the lights out, they are invisible?

The ambiguity of this existence
we call life.

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

Abstract Watercolor done with Brusho Crystal Colours:  Earth, Light & Wind

 

Just when…

Just when you think you are over
the hurt, the sadness, the loss…

something happens.

It can be something
lovely and loving and special,

but still it is a reminder.

Sometimes a loss is a choice…
a deliberate decision

that has to be made to preserve your soul.

And your soul  is worth it,
so save it

and cherish the moments you are given.

 

Hugs,
Jodi

Hershey’s Kiss Brownie Bites

Hershey’s Kiss Brownie Bites
might just be the ultimate  little treat
for the inner chocoholic in
all of us (well – 99.999999% of us… Hard as it is to believe – there is an itsy bitsy, teeny tiny  population of people on this earth who do not like chocolate!)

But for the rest of us….
Imagine a bite-sized scoop of Ghiradelli Double Chocolate Brownie mix
baked to perfection of fudgy center with slightly hardened and cracked outside
in a mini muffin baking pan (be sure to line) and topped off with a smooth, creamy milk chocolate Hershey’s Kiss.

Not only are they sheer decadent delight, they are about as easy to make as desserts come.

I have started baking for my son’s wedding next month.  We have a unique tradition in our little part of the world that requires an overflowing cookie table at weddings.  The cookies are eaten for appetizers, dessert (along with wedding cake), and supplied to take home in to-go boxes.  I’m happily in charge of the cookie table for the wedding, so a baking I will go.

I started with these little brownie bites and will be stocking the freezer with chocolate chips and apricot kolaches and lots more in the coming weeks!

Wedding cookie table or not, you are going to want to try these.  Your friends and family will thank you, and you won’t be sorry!

Hershey's Kiss Brownie Bites

Ingredients:

Directions:

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.

Line mini-muffin baking pan with foil mini-muffin liners.

Prepare brownie mix according to package directions by combining mix, water, oil, and egg.  Scoop batter into foil liners to 3/4 full.

Bake for approximately 12 minutes.  While brownie bites are baking, unwrap Hershey’s kisses.  Remove from oven and immediately insert a Hershey’s kiss into the center of each brownie bite.  Press gently.  Allow to cool.  The kisses take a while to set, so be careful.

Enjoy!

Cheers & Chocolate Kisses,
Jodi

The Best Things in Life

Abstract Gold Flower 8x10 Arches 140lb Hot Press

Abstract Gold Flower 8×10 Arches 140lb Hot Press

The Best Things in Life…
aren’t things.

The Best Things in Life are..

Hugs -real, authentic, tight bear hugs,

Family – and friends who are our chosen family,

Smiles – the kind where your eyes and cheeks and whole face smiles,

Laughter – from the belly that can’t be contained,

Happy memories – of cherished moments,

Love – the verb, the action, the undeniable, overwhelming choice and joy.

The Best Things in Life
aren’t things.

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

Daniel Smith Watercolors:  Quinacridone Gold, Perylene Green

Something about Sunflowers

Sunflower Loose Watercolor 11x14 on 140lb Fabriano Artistico

Sunflower Loose Watercolor 11×14 on 140lb Fabriano Artistico

There’s something about sunflowers
that draws me in artistically again and again.
I’ve painted several versions in the past year or so
since I’ve taken on this challenging and fun journey of watercolor.

I saw several loose and similar to this on Pinterest while perusing
and had the urge to paint sunflowers again.
There’s just something about sunflowers!

For this one, I wanted to work on creating lots of layers of greens from Prussian blue, so I created this little mixing tester sheet ahead of my painting to see what colors could be created from mixing it with yellows and browns.  Look at all of these amazing colors.

Daniel Smith Watercolors used:  Prussian Blue, Quinacridone Gold, Burnt Sienna, Yellow Ochre, Cadmium Yellow Light Hue, Raw Sienna

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

 

PS  This original painting, as well as prints and cards are available at our Etsy Shop:  McKinneyX2Designs

Lemon Garlic Herb Marinated Pork Tenderloin

Lemon Garlic Herb Marinated Pork Tenderloin.

It’s what’s for dinner!

If you are a pork fan, like I am fast becoming, this marinated tenderloin is a MUST try!

It turns out tender and juicy with a fresh citrusy herb flavor that pairs great with potatoes and fresh vegetables for a delicious, easy weeknight dinner.

Prepare and marinade the meat the night before, then all you have to do is throw it on the grill for 10-15 minutes for dinner.

Leftovers are great sliced thinly for sandwiches or tossed in a stir-fry.  Such a bonus to get a couple completely different meals from one easy recipe.

Hope you will give it a try, and hope you enjoy as much as we did.

Lemon Garlic Herb Marinated Pork Tenderloin

Ingredients:

  • 4 Fresh Ripe Lemons, Juiced and Zest from one
  • 1/2 cup Olive Oil
  • 6 cloves Garlic, minced
  • 2 Tbsp chopped fresh Rosemary
  • 1  Tbsp chopped fresh Thyme (or 1 tsp dried)
  • 2 Tbsp Dijon Mustard
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp ground Black Pepper
  • 2 Pork Tenderloins (approx. 1 lb each)

Directions:

Make marinade by whisking together first 8 ingredients.  Pour into large Ziploc bag.  Add the pork tenderloins and coat.  Marinade overnight in refrigerator or at least 8 hours.

Preheat grill to 400 degrees F.   Place tenderloins on grill.  Discard excess marinade.  Grill 10-15 minutes or until meat reaches 135 degrees F.  Allow to rest 5-10 minutes.  Cut into thin slices to serve.

Enjoy with roasted new potatoes and steamed broccoli or your favorite vegetable.

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

 

*Recipe slightly adapted from Ina Garten’s Herb Marinated Pork Tenderloin

A Special Happy Birthday

Watercolor Birthday Card in Prussian Blue and Burnt Sienna

A Special Happy Birthday.

Every year on this day
is a very special day to me.

27 years ago
on a Saturday at 1:57 a.m.

a perfect and chubby 10 pound
baby boy blessed my life.

That sweet little boy
grew into an even sweeter man.

Thank you for the joy and happiness and love
you bring to my life.

May this year be the best…
until the next.

When I wish that it is the best,
like I feel being your mom.

Every year was the best – until the next,
and they still continue to be.

Happy Birthday NIck!

With so much love,
Mom

Snowstorm Stella & Perky Portulacas

Perky Portulacas in Pink & Orange – 8×10 Watercolor on Saunders 140 lb Cold Press

Snowstorm Stella & Perky Portulacas.

Last night
when all the talk was about Snowstorm Stella

that is supposed to be coming our way…
(could a snowstorm have a lovelier name?!)

I thought of my Grandma –
my Stella Star.

And as I painted what started out to possibly be poppies,
they seemed to emerge as perky portulacas.

When I think of Grandma,
I think of portulacas.

Grandma had a next door neighbor and best buddy
who grew the most amazing portulacas.

I remembered hot, lazy summer evenings
with Grandma and her friend and the talks we had.

I remember all the things I learned about life and love
from these special times.

So as I smiled at the snowstorm with the most beautiful name,
I fondly reminisced about my Grandma and portulacas.

And these wild and loose and crazy
pink and orange flowers grew on the page

With joy and happiness
and gratitude and love.

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

Watercolor Paint:  Daniel Smith Cadmium Orange, Winsor & Newton Permanent Rose, Daniel Smith Lemon Yellow, Daniel Smith Cobalt Blue