Baked Parmesan Zucchini Marinara

Baked Parmesan Zucchini Marinara.

It’s Zucchini time of year!

Though this is one vegetable folks usually get an abundance of when they plant it, we have had a little “challenge” in our garden this year…

His name starts with a “C” and ends with an “E.”   He has stubby eyebrows, floppy ears, and a white-tipped brown tail….

Have you guessed yet?

None other than the infamous Charlie, who has figured out a way to wiggle through the locked gate of our fenced-in garden during the day while we are at work!

We have barely been able to harvest a handful of cucumbers and tomatoes from our tiny little garden this year.  As soon as I see a blossom, then the fruit/vegetable begins to ripen, and I anticipate a few more days until it is ready to pick, it is gone!

Charlie sure has been enjoying some healthy treats this summer!

I did manage to grab two zucchini so far, so was very excited to be able to enjoy one the other evening for dinner.

I simply cut it into spears, drizzled with some olive oil, sprinkled with some Parmesan cheese, seasonings, and my new go-to secret ingredient – Trader Joe’s Everything but the Bagel Seasoning.  I baked them until tender-crisp, then dunked/smothered them in marinara sauce.

Not the prettiest dish to photograph, but it was a super simple, delicious, healthy, light, filling vegetarian dinner for a hot, summer evening.  I loved it!

Here is how I made it.

How do you like to prepare your zucchini?

Baked Parmesan Zucchini Marinara

  • Servings: 1 as main course, 2-4 as side
  • Print

Ingredients:

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Combine Parmesan and seasonings in a small bowl.

Cut zucchini in half, then each half into 6-8 wedges, depending on size of zucchini.  Place on stoneware baking sheet or cookie sheet.  (I always using baking stones!)  Drizzle with olive oil.  Sprinkle with Parmesan and seasoning blend.

Bake for approximately 15 minutes until tender.

Raise heat in oven to 450 and bake for 5-10 more minutes until crisp and brown.

Dunk or smother in marinara sauce.

Enjoy!

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

Hauling Pumpkins

Hauling Pumpkins.

I’ve been wanting to paint this for a while.

A year or so ago, I painted a red truck with a Christmas tree, which has been kinda popular around the holidays (and is still available in our McKinneyX2Designs Etsy shop and at Berry Vine Gifts).

People have asked if I could do other holiday/seasonal versions of it.  Since the red truck trend still seems popular, I made a Pumpkin Haulin’ version for Fall.

It was fun to add colors to create the feel of swirling leaves and the colors of Autumn.

We are gearing up for the fun seasons ahead, where my DIL Colleen and I will be participating in a few local shows in addition to our usual Etsy and Berry Vine Gift sales and events.

If you are in the area, look for us at the Lake Latonka Fall Festival on Saturday, September 7th and then the Big Mars Craft Show on Saturday, November 16th.

Cheers & Hugs,

Jodi

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