20 November 2011

Speaking of cranberries...

Discovered a great cake recipe in my mom's recipe box for Thanksgiving/Christmas-time, so I thought I'd share:

3 eggs
2 cups sugar (I use raw sugar)
3/4 cup butter, softened (I use Earth Balance buttery spread from Trader Joe's)
1 tsp. almond extract
2 cups all-purpose flour (I use unbleached)
2.5 cups whole fresh cranberries (you can also use frozen, thawed, but fresh is better)
2/3 cup chopped pecans
Beat eggs with sugar until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes. Add butter and almond extract, beat 2 minutes. Stir in flour just until combined. Stir in the cranberries and pecans. Spread in a greased pan (13x9 or a largish springform), bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes to an hour. (Stick a toothpick in it--if it's clean, it's done. I let it brown a bit longer.)

The perfect combination of tart and sweet. Enjoy!

Los Olivos

Lunchtime in Los Olivos: On the last day of my trip, I went with the rest of the gang up to Los Olivos, where they were going to paint in the afternoon, and had a farewell lunch with them before I drove back to Los Angeles. (I had to go to work the next day, so I cut the trip a day short.) For an appetizer, Karen treated us to a big flat bowl full of all different kinds (and colors) of olives, and I thought it was so beautiful, I took a photo before we devoured them, so I could paint it when I got home (which I did, today). I was inspired by Jennifer Lawson's beautiful cranberry paintings. http://jenniferlawson.blogspot.com/2010/12/good-intentions.html Thanks, Jennifer! You reminded me to save those highlights. This one counts for EDM challenges #306 (draw a snack), #116 (draw something green) and #111 (draw a bowl).

Forgot this one

This was from our first day, at "La Arcada," a small shopping arcade off of State Street in Santa Barbara. We parked ourselves there to do vignettes of various architectural elements, and I just stuck all of mine into one piece, which wasn't really the assignment, but meant I didn't have to keep moving around. I was happy with elements of this--the shadow on the large pot, the water coming from the dolphin's mouth--but I seem to have suffered from tipsiness all day that day (even though the winery tour came later in the trip!)--my courthouse tower leaned to the right in the day's first picture, and in this one the fountain has a definite list to the left! Well, that's why it's in a sketchbook and isn't a finished work destined for framing, another valuable lesson I attempted to learn on this trip--not every painting has to be perfectly executed and shared, some are for practice, which is to say FUN. I have to work on that. It sounds like two mutually exclusive things--work at having fun--but learning to release judgment is a big deal. Someday...?