Brussels Slaw

Brussels Slaw.

Who is a Brussels Sprouts fan?

Yes?  No?  Not sure?  Maybe not?

I was chatting with a friend at work last week that said she doesn’t like Brussels Sprouts, but said she wondered how they would be raw in a coleslaw like salad.  She commented that she likes cabbage in coleslaw, but not cooked cabbage.

It got me thinking…..  I am a Brussels sprout fan…. adore them roasted….  but I, too, wondered how they would be shredded and served raw in a slaw-type salad.

Then the universe poked me with a nudge, when I saw bags of  Shaved Brussels at my local Whole Foods Market!  

I bought a bag for me and a bag for my friend.

Trying to eat healthier these days, I decided on a vinaigrette slaw.  My friend made a creamy version using Marzetti slaw dressing, and she and her family loved it.


Here is the recipe for how I made mine.  Hope you will give it a try!

Brussels Slaw

Ingredients:

  • 1 12oz bag Shaved Brussels Sprouts (or you can slice/shave your own)
  • 1/4 cup finely minced onion
  • 1/4 – 1/3 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/4 – 1/3 cup sunflower seeds
  • 3 Tbsp. Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 3 Tbsp. Olive Oil
  • 1 tsp. Sugar (or sweetener)
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Mix all together and let marinade in refrigerator for at least a half hour before serving.

You can change it up by adding sliced almonds or chopped apples or anything else you like.

Enjoy!

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

 

Unfurl

Young Fern in Spring, Mars, PA – May 2018

Unfurl.

Spread out your arms
and show your true beauty.

Open up your heart
and show your true love.

Unwind your mind
and show your creativity.

Unpack your burdens
and feel the lightness of hope.

Uncover your inhibitations
and welcome the unknown.

Reach beyond the tightness
and ease into peace.

Unfurl.

 

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

Free-Flowing Fluid Art

“From a Distance” Abstract Acrylic 12×12

Free-Flowing Fluid Art.

This past weekend, I experimented with another form of art using an acrylic pouring method to create these abstract pieces.

These are my first efforts, and there is so much more you can do with this technique using different tools and surfaces and colors.  I’m longing to find time to try again and create “cells” in the pour by adding oily products to the paint and pouring medium.

The main objective is to create a pouring texture of paint using an additive like Floetrol (used by house painters to improve performance and reduce brush marks as well as allow latex paint to spray like oil-based paint, and ultimately to save money by “stretching” the paint).   You can also purchase pouring medium products from many acrylic paint companies like Golden or Liquitex.   Some people use Elmer’s glue!  Water will even do the trick (though may dilute the paint a bit more).

“The Heart of the Stream” Abstract Acrylic 8×8

These are done on artist quality canvases and sprayed with a gloss varnish to seal the paint and make them shine.

What a joy to let loose and create magical mysteries.

Wishing you a day ahead that is sprinkled with magic and mystery.

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

 

Updating the Nursery at Grandma’s House

Updating the Nursery at Grandma’s House.

Some of you may remember the fun I had creating a nursery for my first grandchild about seven months ago.  I turned my youngest son’s childhood room into a baby girly nursery room.  Here is what it looked like when I first created it.

Time is passing way too quickly, and our little girl is growing so fast.  She is starting to get around, so it was time to lower the crib so she won’t pull herself up and tumble out.

Then, though I hope she doesn’t need it very soon, we were so generously gifted with a beautiful antique iron day bed from my our bestie cousins, Joyce and “Oh Rob,” fully loaded with soft and fluffy Pottery Barn bedding in just the right colors to match our room!  Isn’t it awesome?!!?!

I moved some things around to make room.  It will be  a nice spot for us to snuggle up and read books soon I’m sure.  It also adds versatility to this guest room allowing for another “single” to stay over.  We love having campers stay over, so the more beds the merrier!

Remember how I made the bumper pads into curtain valances (since they are a “no-no!” now)?  Well – I still had a piece left, so I cut the ties off, cut about a 6-inch opening on one end, and stuffed it with filling from an old pillow I wasn’t using to create a fun tube-shaped pillow.  Throwing that and the other pillow that came with the nursery set really helps carry the theme onto the day bed and pull the room together I think.  Aren’t I so crafty clever?!?!

I am in love with this little space in the house.  It is the smallest bedroom of the four, but it is my current fave!  I’ve redone all three (now) guest rooms.  I think it may soon be time for a master bedroom makeover!  <wink!>

Hope you are having fun in all of your favorites spaces with all of your favorite people… at life in between.

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

 

Creamy Avocado Pasta

Creamy Avocado Pasta.

One day this week, I was in the mood for a creamy pasta with grilled chicken and broccoli.

At first I grabbed a jar of Alfredo sauce from the pantry – thinking hubby would enjoy that – and then I thought…. “Wait!  Isn’t there a healthier way to make a creamy pasta sauce?”

I had a few avocados on hand and wondered how they might work to make a creamy sauce.  After doing a little research on the web, I found this is kind of a “thing,” and I couldn’t wait to try.

I created this recipe by researching and combining ideas from several versions of recipes I found, and I have to admit- it was seriously flippin’ amazing!

Pasta covered in a creamy, dreamy, full flavored but HEALTHY sauce!!  What could be better?!

Goodbye Alfredo sauce.

Goodbye Mac’n Cheese.

Hello amazingly divine Creamy Avocado Pasta Sauce!

I steamed some fresh broccoli, and we grilled some marinated chicken breasts.  Putting these on top of a cup of Creamy Avocado Pasta made for a full and satisfying dinner.

You’ve got to try this!  Here’s my recipe.

Creamy Avocado Pasta

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb pasta of your choice
  • 2 ripe avocados
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 large or 2 small limes, juiced
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup Greek yogurt or light sour cream
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp freshly ground pepper

Directions:

Cook pasta in boiling salted water to al dente.  Reserve 1 cup pasta water, then drain and set pasta aside.

Cut avocados in half, remove the pit, and scoop out out the green flesh from the skin with a spoon.  Discard skin.  Put avocado in blender or food processor.  Add minced garlic, chopped fresh basil and cilantro, lime juice, olive oil, Greek yogurt or light sour cream, olive oil, salt and pepper, and 1/2 cup pasta water.  Blend/puree into a creamy sauce.  Add more pasta water as needed for desired consistency.

Toss with warm pasta, and serve immediately.

You can top with vegetables of your choice like cherry tomatoes and sweet corn, peas, asparagus, broccoli, green onions, pine nuts, or whatever you like.  You can also add a protein if you like – chicken, shrimp, crab meat, lobster, pork.  Sprinkle with a bit of freshly grated Parmesan for a bit of salty, nutty zip.  Or – you can just enjoy as is.  

Can’t wait to hear from those who try and what you think of it!  I’m a total fan!

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

 

My Favorite Roasted Brussels Sprouts

My Favorite Roasted Brussels Sprouts.

After all the cookie recipe posts of late, I thought I would share an amazing vegetable recipe I recently tried and LOVED!

I recalled seeing one of those hyperlapse videos someone shared on Facebook that looked so yummy, so I wrangled these up last Sunday for Hubby and me.  We loved them.

Throw all the ingredients in a Ziploc bag to toss together early in the day or right before serving.  Spread them on a baking stone or sheet and roast to yummy goodness!

If you are a brussels sprouts lover, I think you are really going to enjoy this simple, delicious recipe.

My Favorite Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. fresh brussels sprouts
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 tsp garlic salt
  • 1 tsp coarsely ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup Panko crumbs
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Cut tough bottoms off brussels sprouts, and then slice in half.  Throw in a gallon Ziploc bag.  Drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle in garlic salt and pepper.  Add Panko crumbs and Parmesan cheese.  Shake and massage bag to full incorporate and coat all brussels sprouts.

(If doing ahead of time, place in refrigerator until ready to roast.)

Pour contents of bag onto baking stone or shallow baking sheet.  Roast approximately 20 minutes until browned and tender, stirring once or twice during roasting.

Enjoy!

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

Spring Surprises Popping Up

Spring Surprises Popping Up.

Is anything more beautiful
that the bright pops of purple and yellow
that come in the Spring to brighten the brown and gray
and highlight the fresh new green?

Especially in unexpected places
on unexpected adventures
with people you love
on Sunday “rides.”

Spring is popping up.
Smell the air.
Listen to the sounds.
Look for the beauty!

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

It Is Easy Being Green

Mixing Basics in Watercolor: Blue, Red, & Yellow

 

Mixing Basics in Watercolor:  Blue – Red – Yellow.

Going back to basics with my new watercolor palette and realizing all the colors that can be created by using three simple basics.  For all three of these simple, loose, impressionistic flowers, I used the same colors:  Cobalt Blue, Permanent Rose, and Lemon Yellow.

For the first I mixed Permanent Rose with just a drop of Cobalt Blue for the flowers and Cobalt Blue and Lemon Yellow pretty equally for the green.

For the second I mixed Cobalt Blue with just a drop of Permanent Rose for the flowers and Cobalt Blue and Lemon Yellow with an emphasis on the Cobalt Blue in places nearer the flower.

For the third I mixed Lemon Yellow with just a drop of Permanent Rose for the flowers and Cobalt Blue and Lemon Yellow, but only a tiny bit of Cobalt Blue to lighten up the green.

And there are likely hundreds more color combinations in various shades that could be achieved by simply using these three basic colors.

It’s fun and easy and creates such clean, bright, un-muddied results when you keep it simple.

I also used one brush for everything – the Rekab 320S #2 Squirrel Mop (which I could only find by ordering from Australia, but LOVE it – also recommended by Debi Riley),  It is so versatile, but I really had to learn to use it after using inexpensive synthetic brushes at first.  This brush holds a lot of water and paint.  It also can come to a fine point and do small lines with a light touch, and can make fat, wash strokes too.

So if you are even thinking of giving watercolor painting a try…. three colors, one brush (you don’t have to order from Australia – but find a nice natural hair medium sized brush to achieve results you will really enjoy) and some paper (I recommend you start with Cold Press 140lb Arches) is really all you need to create some beauty and experiment with this wonderful hobby.

Thanks to the inspiration of Debi Riley on Watercolor Basics!  So much to learn from such talent!

Enjoy the journey!

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

I’ve Got the Blues

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“I’ve got the Blues” Watercolor 8 x 10 Impressionist Floral

I’ve got the Blues….

The watercolor blues…

creating shades of purples and greens by mixing Phthalo Blue with Permanent Rose and Hansa Yellow.

Yep – I’ve got the blues…

The Happy Blues.

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

Colors Used:  Daniel Smith Phthalo Blue, Hansa Yellow Medium, Permanent Rose.  Fabriano Artistico 140 lb. Cold Press Paper