Celebrating Friendship at Stony Brook State Park

Stony Brook State Park, Finger Lakes Region, NY - Girlfriend Camp GFC 2019 - August, 2019

Stony Brook State Park, Finger Lakes Region, NY – Girlfriend Camp GFC 2019 – August, 2019

Celebrating Friendship at Stony Brook Park.

Climbing stairs

Crossing bridges

Converging pathways

Circulating blood

Conversing thoughts

Circumventing hazards

Communing with nature

Connecting souls

Contemplating life

Considering options

Challenging opinions

Cooperating ideas

Confessing truths

Collecting memories

Celebrating friendship

#GFC2019 Stony Brook State Park, Finger Lakes Region, NY - August 2019

#GFC2019 Stony Brook State Park, Finger Lakes Region, NY – August 2019

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

 

Celebrating Friendship at Stony Brook State Park

Cherish the Moments

Sunset over Lake Ontario, Rochester, NY - August, 2019

Sunset over Lake Ontario, Rochester, NY – August, 2019

Cherish the Moments.

As the sun sets
and closes another day,

collect moments
to cherish as memories

on this page…
in this chapter.

For this time…
in this season.

For every day may not be good,
but there is something good in every day.

Find it.
Hold on to it.

Cherish the moments.
Treasure the memories.

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

Red Cardinal Watercolor

Red Cardinal Watercolor.

I was away this past week on a wonderful “GFC” (Girlfriend Camp) trip, followed by a couple days of grandie girls and family fun.

This past Sunday afternoon, after over a week away from any ARTing, I found a bit of time in my art studio to paint.

I always fear when I’m away from it for a while, I will “forget” how to do it.

I decided to do a bird, then chose a cardinal.  I had some Simon & Garfunkel playing.  I felt completely relaxed, and just painted.  No drawing.  No warm-up.  And I got lucky and loved the result.

Just in case it turned out, and because I’ve been asked about sharing my process and “teaching,” I took a few quick iPhone photos of the steps I took along the way to share with you.

I found a cardinal photo on my ipad and then started with the eye placed where I thought was about right on a 10×16 sheet of Arches Cold Press.  I used Daniel Smith Indigo and Quinacridone Gold, leaving some white for the highlights in the eye.

When painting loose, you need to have a focal point, and when a bird or animal, a good focal point is the eye and/or beak/nose.  So from the eye, I used a wet brush to outline the beak, then added some Daniel Smith permanent deep red and water to blend the colors.

I deepened some of the colors and added the crown shape of the cardinals head and the shape of its neck.  This is pretty much all the “detail” I wanted in this painting.

From here, I added some more of the red and some cadmium yellow.

Then I just got super loose adding some violet and blue and green gold, lots of water for movement, and more indigo splashes.  I held the painting up vertically to let the drips run.

And this is what resulted.  I’m happy with how it turned out, and so glad to know I didn’t “forget” how to do it after being away for a while.

This painting – as an original, prints, and greeting cards – is available in our McKinneyX2Designs Etsy Shop and at Berry Vine Gifts in BradfordWoods, PA.

Have a wonderful day, and don’t be afraid to fearlessly and joyfully go for whatever it is you love to do!

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

Marinated Cauliflower Salad

Marinated Cauliflower Salad.

Looking for a unique healthy, yummy, fresh, light summer salad?

Especially after all those cookies recipes last week! 

This one was a crowd pleaser with my family at the function I recently made it for.  It’s a great different way to serve cauliflower, which we eat at least once a week in our house.

Hope you will give it a try and let me know.  Here is how I made it.

Marinated Cauliflower Salad*

Ingredients:

Marinade

  • 6 Tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp. olive oil

Salad

  • 4-5 cups bite-sized cauliflower florets (approx. 2 small heads cauliflower)
  • 2 cups diced red bell pepper
  • 4 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup shaved Parmesan cheese

Directions:

Whisk marinade ingredients together in a small bowl.  Add to cauliflower in a large glass or plastic bowl and marinade in refrigerator for 4-8 hours or overnight.

Stir bell pepper and parsley into marinated cauliflower when ready to serve.  Season with salt and pepper and sprinkle with shaved Parmesan.  

Enjoy!

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

*Original recipe from Vegetarian Times powered by Clean Eating

A New Old Vanity Set for the Grandie Girls’ Room

A New Old Vanity Set for the Grandie Girls’ Room.

I have been waiting and excited to share this post for a while.  July was full of watercolor paintings for #WorldWatercolorMonth and then there was Cookie Week last week, so I am finally getting around to sharing my latest home project.

I am blessed with the great fortune of having wonderfully generous friends and relatives!  My most recent “gift” is a beautiful antique vanity set from my cousin, Rob.


This vanity set was his beloved Mom’s and was a wedding gift to her.

It still has writing on the bottom of a couple of the drawers with names and dates.

So you can see it is at least 84 years old since it is dated “January 12, 1935.”

I adore it so much!  Not only because it is beautiful, but because of the special-ness it holds as a family heirloom.

I chalk painted it up and reupholstered the chair to match the rest of one of my favorite rooms in my home – the grandie girls’ bedroom.

You may recall what the room looked like a few years ago when I shared it here after  learning I was going to be a first-time grandma to a baby girl.

The room has evolved since then, and is now shared by two grandie girls.  Oh the joy of listening to them during a “nap” break recently chattering away until one, and then the other, fell asleep, but not until  many books were looked at and laid all over the floor with a few pillows and dolls tossed about as well.

It is now filled with wonderful “hand-me-downs” from generous friends and relatives – cherished pieces that all have special meaning!  But most of all it is filled with the joy and love that only comes from being a grandma – my favorite name in the entire world!

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

Classic Oatmeal Scotchie Cookies

Classic Oatmeal Scotchie Cookies.

Cookie week continues!

I have been making these classic oldie-but-goodie cookies quite a bit lately and realized I have never shared the recipe here.  Not that you couldn’t likely find it elsewhere or directly on the Quaker Oats website, but I wanted to document it here as one of the classics I make and also highly recommend it to those who may have never heard of or haven’t thought about in a while.

They might seem a bit ordinary after the past two recipes this week (Toffee Coffee Oatmeal Cookies and Macadamia Toasted Coconut Chocolate Chip Cookies), but I promise they are (still) an amazing cookie!

These are one of hubby’s faves.  A chewy oatmeal cookie bursting with bits of butterscotch yumminess.

Do you have a classic cookie recipe that takes you back to a place and time?  Takes you back to a great childhood feeling?  To me, these are that kind of “feel good” cookie.  They are simple, but delicious, and a sure crowd pleaser!

Hope you will give them a try…. or a try again!

Here is how I make them.

Classic Oatmeal Scotchies*

  • Servings: 3 dozen large cookies
  • Print

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 Pound (2 sticks) butter, softened
  • 3/4 Cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 Cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1-1/2 tsp. vanilla
  • 1-1/4 Cup(s) all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. Baking Soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 3 Cups Quaker® Oats (quick or old fashioned, uncooked)
  • 1 package (11 oz.) NESTLÉ® TOLL HOUSE® Butterscotch Chips

Directions:

Heat oven to 375°F. In large bowl, beat butter and sugars until creamy. Add eggs and vanilla; beat well. Add baking soda, salt and flour; mix well. Add oats and butterscotch morsels; mix well. Refrigerate for several hours or overnight. Drop dough by tablespoonfuls onto baking stone or ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 8-10 minutes. Cool 5 minutes on cookie sheets; remove to wire rack. Cool completely.

These cookies freeze well. I simply store in the freezer in Ziploc Freezer Bags.

Enjoy!

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

Macadamia Toasted Coconut Chocolate Chip Cookies

Macadamia Toasted Coconut Chocolate Chip Cookies.

Can you EVEN????

OH is this a GOOOOOD one!!!!

Toasted coconut, salty crunchy macadamia nuts, and semi-sweet gooey bits of chocolate in one cookie!

This one is rich, so when you are really in the mood, a bite into this cookie is going to be an experience you will not soon forget!

Here is how I made them.

Macadamia Toasted Coconut Chocolate Chip Cookies*

  • Servings: 5 doz large cookies
  • Print

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups (4 sticks) butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 4 Tbsp. milk
  • 4 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • 5 cups all-purpose flour
  • 4 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 2 cups shredded coconut (toasted**)
  • 1 1/2 cups macadamia nuts, coarsely chopped

Directions:

Beat melted butter and sugars with electric mixer until creamy, then add eggs and egg yolks and beat until well combined.  Add milk and vanilla and beat until well combined.  Then add salt, baking soda and flour mixing just until incorporated.  Remove bowl from electric mixer stand and stir in chocolate, then toasted coconut, and macadamia nuts with a wooden spoon until evenly distributed through the dough.

Place cookie dough in refrigerator for several hours or overnight to chill completely.

When ready to bake, preheat oven to 375 degrees F.  Scoop dough out and roll into golf-ball sized balls.  Place on cookie sheet or baking stone and bake for 10 minutes.  Rotate baking stone/cookie sheet and bake for 2 more minutes.  Let cool 10 minutes before removing to wire rack to cool completely.  These freeze beautifully.

**To toast coconut, spread the coconut flakes out on a sheet pan or stoneware bar pan in a thin layer. Bake at 375 degrees F. Check the coconut every 5 minutes and stir until the coconut is your desired color. It takes about 10-15 minutes.

Enjoy!

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

*Recipe adapted from Mrs. Fields

Toffee Coffee Oatmeal Cookies

Toffee Coffee Oatmeal Cookies.

It’s been a little while since I posted a cookie recipe here at The Creative Life in Between. 

I tried to focus on watercolor painting for most of July in honor of #WorldWatercolorMonth – being an Ambassador and all.   < curtsy bows 😉 >

But those that know me well know that I almost always have some kind of fresh baked cookies in the house – for “just in case!

In fact…. I’m kinda known  – – in some very small, insignificant circles – –  for my creative culinary cookie craftiness.

This and my fluent grasp of the Ubby Dubby language are the talents I always say I would use if I were in the Miss America Pageant – HA!!!!

Well – I’ve been saving up and have a couple really good recipes to share!  So this week is going to be cookie recipe week.

I made this cookie recipe for a recent party at my house, and they were a huge hit!

This cookie is a wonderful chewy, but crisp on the edges dream of milk chocolate, toffee, oatmeal, and a hint of coffee for good measure!  O….  M….  G….  !!!

Get ready for a new addiction!  This is one I have trouble passing up and is dangerous to keep in my house!  Bake them if you dare!

Toffee Coffee Oatmeal Cookies*

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/3 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) softened butter
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup strong coffee (cooled)
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • 3 cups Quaker oatmeal (either quick or old-fashioned, uncooked)
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 2 8-oz. packages milk chocolate toffee bits
  • 1 cup coarsely crumbled sugar ice cream cones (about 5 cones)

Directions:

In large bowl with electric mixer, beat sugar and butter until creamy.  Add egg; beat well.  Beat in coffee and vanilla.  Add salt, baking soda, and flour until combined.  Remove from electric mixer and stir in 3 cups oatmeal with wooden spoon.  Stir in toffee bits and crumbled sugar cones just until well incorporated.  Refrigerate dough for several hours or overnight to chill.

When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Roll tablespoons full of dough into round balls (golf ball sized) and place on baking stone or parchment lined cookie sheet.  Bake 12-14 minutes just until golden brown.  Allow to cool on baking stone for additional 5-10 minutes.  Transfer to cooling wire racks to cool completely.  Freeze well.

Enjoy!

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

*slightly adapted straight from the Quaker Oats recipe!