OH Sweet Heaven on a Biscuit!

Angie Brown

Ta-da! My newest recipe for They Draw and Cook was created to celebrate the meeting and mingling of all my favoritest flavors in a single dish—quite literally, The Most Delicious Thing I Have Ever Tasted. I had been in my studio all day, working on a “map” of my recent trip to New York for TDAC’s sister site, They Draw and Travel. (map, coming soon!)  In a state of heightened creativity, my rumbling belly inspired me to put all the Most Delicious Things in my fridge and pantry on a single English muffin. From the very first bite of sublime flavor gestalt,  I knew I had created something utterly magical, something worthy of commemoration and honor. “Sweet Heaven on a Biscuit!  I gotta illustrate this recipe so’s I can remember it!”

So I did. This is it. My life will never be same.

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What’s cooking in 2014

Angie Brown | They Draw & Cook

First up, a new illustrated recipe for TheyDrawAndCook.com. I used watercolor pencils– which are hey, kinda neat. They’re color pencils with a water-soluble lead, combining the best parts of wet and dry media. I wanted this piece to have a nice warm sepia tone to it, so I did a few washes with coffee too. I hope the directions are clear enough so that someone could use it to actually make this delicious bread– it really is amazing.

Angie Brown | Ralfie

In other news, I’ll have an illustration in the upcoming March issue of Ionic — an online science+art magazine out of the UK. I’ve also just signed the paperwork to allow some of my art journal pages to be published in a book due out early next year. More on both of those stories as they develop.

Plans for February: I’ll be doing a step-by-step photo post of a mixed media collage painting I’m about to finish up, and I’ll also post more art journal pages.

Plans for 2014: I’m going to buy a sewing machine! I’ve been hand-sewing all my up-cycling projects, reworking old clothes into plushie dolls, new clothes, and sometimes, plushie dolls in new clothes– like little Ralfie the Sweater Cat here. Machine sewing would help me step up production enough to maybe open an Etsy shop…

Illustrated Soup

Angie Brown | galacticbloom.com

Another recipe for They Draw And Cook and the display of my favorite recipes growing in my kitchen. I started  making experimenting on this soup a few months ago, and it gets more delicious every time I make it.

When I first found it on Pinterest, there was no mention of any herbs, and it called for broth. I don’t have broth. I used about a tablespoon of Bragg’s liquid aminos in 2 cups of water and that was pretty tasty (just decrease the salt if you go that route.) Then one day, I happened to have half a glass of red wine that I’d fallen asleep on the night before. I poured it in le soup pot and as George Takei would say, oh my~. It changed my life and the way I think about soup for all eternity. I also stopped pureeing the boiled vegetables. I like chunky, hearty soups. And I’m a little  lazy  busy with other stuffs. Also, you should know that the measurements for the herbs are guesstimations. I rarely measure in the kitchen unless science depends upon it (as in baking). I cook with my intuition and a daredevil sense of adventure, eyeballing, tasting, sipping wine, and dance-step-tripping over cats. It’s chaos, but it’s delicious.

The anthropomorphic vegetables were fun to draw. I should doodle more characters and stuff. I also did a map of Las Vegas for They Draw and Travel.

In other news, I’ve been redesigning my website to focus more on illustration and stuffs (the sideways scrolling experiment was a meh,) and I’ll be uploading it very, very soonly whether it’s finished or not. I can work out the kinks later. There’ll be loads of new, never-before-seen stuff, so yay!

Pesto, Furniture, and Internet Fame

Angie Brown | Pesto... mmmm

Visual recipes are my new hobby. I recently found a really awesome site called They Draw and Cook
(click the pic to go to there.) Salli and Nate posted my first submission this morning, and I am feeling rather Internet Famous. I’m no Grumpy Cat, by any means, but I am well-pleased with this particular 15 minutes of stardom. I think my next recipe shall be Tomato Soup… mmmmm…

In other news, I have been attempting to get a good photo of the furniture piece I’ve been working on since March (and dreaming about since forever.) This photo does not do it justice, but I wanted to post it anyway, with the promise that I will get better photos ASAP.. the kind that use natural light and stuff. There may even be close-ups and details about how I achieved such awesomeness. AND It might even be totally finished when I take said photos.

Angie Brown | reclaimed furniture + cat So this is my dresser, so far. I keep my underoos in there, as well as other assorted garments and accouterments. Behold my small cat Jenkins, as she demonstrates its dual-functionality as a kitty display unit.

My friend Bennett helped me construct it, (well, he built it, actually. I designed and painted it,) using bits of discarded furniture. I collected drawers from desks and dressers junked on the roadside, and he donated the Queen Ann-style table legs –and for that I declare him a genius and a saint. Melissa in Philadelphia helped me pick out most of the drawer-pulls, and Joel provided moral support, encouragement, and a bouncy sounding board for my ideas about color and hardware. It is a labor of love, and both of my dear cats appreciate it very much, for it is indeed a very nice place for them to sit.

I will take better photos, very soon. Promise. I owe you that much at least, just for stopping by every week to check on me. 😉

Illustrated Recipe: Bread

Angie Brown | bread recipeMMMMMMM. Fresh bread. I’ve been fascinated with visual recipes like this one and these, so I’ve decided to illustrate all of my favorite dishes and make a lovely and (functional) display of them in my kitchen.

I ran across this recipe many, many moons ago, and with a few modifications toward the end, I have perfected a fine rustic loaf, which I am now addicted to. I usually make a rosemary/garlic/parmesan slurry to fold into the dough, but the jalapeno/cheddar variation is (almost) equally delicious.

Yet another on-going (never-ending) project… I must tell you about the furniture-making endeavor that I’ve been immersed in for 4 months. Next post, I promise. I really do need to spend today making something… besides more bread.

Serendipitous Squash

Top news story this weekend? I finished the portfolio case! Project Self-Promo is coming along on schedule. Business cards have been ordered, and I think they’ve already been delivered to my staff the apartment rental office, according to the note left on my door by UPS. The final portion–the map-folded layout–is currently in the design phase. It took me 20 minutes to successfully explain this project over the phone last week, so I get that it’s kind of a hard to visualize. Pictures coming ASAP. For now- the 2 paintings that comprise the sides of the case:

portfolioFINAL2

portfolioFINAL1

Also finished, is my Illustrator portrait of a certain Film Director.
angiebrown_scribble

In other news, there was this: Serendipitous Squash Pad Thai
A startlingly delicious twist on the classic dish, which substitutes steamed spaghetti squash in place of noodles.

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I randomly purchased a spaghetti squash for no other reason than that I had never done so before, I had no idea what to do with it. But then suddenly, out of the blue, a friend of mine commented on one of her friend’s links on Facebook, which I stalkily followed, & discovered this lovely little blog. And this lovely little recipe (seen here with my own vegetarian, bragg’s-centric & anti-plastic/anti-microwave modifications):

Ingredients:
1 large spaghetti squash
1 cup snow peas or sugar snap peas
1 large bell pepper, cut into strips
2 green onions, chopped (white parts separated from green)
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tablespoon canola oil
1/4 cup water or veggie broth
2 Tablespoons peanut butter
1 Tablespoon rice wine vinegar
1 1/2 Tablespoons Bragg’s Liquid Aminos
pinch of crushed red pepper flakes, or to taste (plenty, plenty)
splash of lime juice
2 Tablespoons dry roasted unsalted peanuts, chopped
cilantro

Directions:
Cut spaghetti squash in half lengthwise. Scrape away the seeds. Cover and steam for 12-15 minutes, or until a fork can semi-easily pierce the squash flesh. Let sit 5 minutes and then “shred” the squash free with previously mentioned fork. Set aside.

In a large wok, saute garlic in canola oil. Add the snow peas, bell pepper, and white onion parts, and stir fry over medium-high heat for 3 minutes. Remove vegetables to a plate. To wok, add water (or broth), peanut butter, Bragg’s, rice wine vinegar, and crushed red pepper. Heat until smooth. Return peas, peppers, and white onion parts to the wok, as well as the spaghetti squash. Heat over medium heat for 5 minutes or until sauce has coated all the vegetables.

Divide among plates and top with peanuts, cilantro, green onion parts, and spritz with lime juice.

it’s freakin delicious, y’all.

Next time: Paul and I venture into the $15 wine territory, and Architects named Frank. And also, I feel a rant coming on, due to the book I’ve been reading.

alligators and alligator pears, oh my!

CawCaw County Park! After 3 days of rain, the sun pokes out her little head long enough for us to revisit CawCaw, this time with my camera.

our favorite picnic spot- cawcaw

This is our picnic spot on the reclaimed rice fields trail- see the little bench under the tree? And what you don’t see is the alligator snoozing in the sun just 20 yards away. shyah. More photos of CawCaw to come, but first– a bit about nutrition, yay!

So a few weeks ago I fell deeply in love with the eggplant, that gorgeous and mysterious vegetable of so many asian stir fries,  italian pasta dishes, and of course–the french ratatouille. And while I will always hold a special fondness for that rather attractive and delicious vegetable, I find that this week, I’m falling for the avocado.

Oh, avocado, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways… I love you with my eggs at breakfast, I love you in spinach-based salads at lunch, I love you on the side of my stir-fry for dinner… but most of all, I love to mash you up in guacamole, OLE’!

After extensive research on the interwebs, I determined that all you really need to make guacamole is a few avocados and a little imagination. Ingredients vary from recipe to recipe- some people even added in mayonnaise or cream cheese… bleh. So I made up my own recipe:

OH MY GUAC!
Mash 3 avocados, mix with 4 scallions, finely chopped  (white and green parts), 1/4 teaspoon garlic salt, and  1 fruit’s worth lemon or lime juice (to keep avocado from browning). Refrigerate for 1 hour so flavors can properly mingle.

Some terribly interesting facts (no, really) about the our featured fruit(?), the  “alligator pear”:

  • Avocados are a good source of potassium, a mineral that helps regulate blood pressure.
  • Not only does adding avocado to a salad of carrot, lettuce and baby spinach or to salsa greatly increase the absorption of carotenoids from these foods, but the improvement in carotenoid availability occurred even when a very small amount-as little as 2 ounces-of avocado was added.
  • Adding avocado to salad increases absorption of alpha-carotene, beta-carotene and lutein 7.2, 15.3, and 5.1 times higher, respectively, than the average amount of these carotenoids absorbed when avocado-free salad is eaten.
  • Add avocado to your favorite creamy tofu-based dressing recipe to give it an extra richness and beautiful green color.
  • Spread ripe avocados on bread as a healthy replacement for mayonnaise when making a sandwich.
  • For an exceptional salad, combine sliced avocado with fennel, oranges and fresh mint.

And now, to go with that delicious guacamole, how about some Black Bean Burgers & Salsa? I found these recipes online (probably allrecipes.com) and modified them (as always) to make them my own.

Black Bean Burgers

  • 1 (16 ounce) can black beans, drained, rinsed, and mashed
  • 1/2 green bell pepper, minced
  • 1/2 onion, minced
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • big dose of  sriracha or hot sauce
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C), and lightly oil a baking sheet.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix black beans, bell pepper, onion, and garlic with a fork until thick and pasty.
  3. In a small bowl, stir together egg, chili powder, cumin, and hot sauce.
  4. Stir the egg mixture into the mashed beans. Mix in bread crumbs until the mixture is sticky and holds together. Divide mixture into four patties.
  5. Place patties on baking sheet, and bake about 10 minutes on each side.

Serve in sammich form on whole wheat bread with spinach, sliced tomato, onions and bell peppers. Or mash up the patty & serve in burrito form in a whole wheat wrap with a little  Best Salsa Ever (drained well to preserve burrito integrity),  and OH MY Guac! In place of sour cream, use plain organic yogurt.

Best Salsa Ever

  • 1 can or frozen box of shoepeg corn, rinsed, drained
  • 1 can of black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 zucchini, finely chopped
  • 2 or 3 medium tomatoes
  • 1 jalapeno, minced
  • 3/4 cup fresh cilantro, torn into small bits
  • 1/2 cup scallions, white and green parts finely chopped
  • olive oil
  • balsamic vinegar

mix and refrigerate for at least an hour.

And before we get to the photos, here’s an interesting factoid I found on another site: When crushed garlic was heated its ability to inhibit cancer development in animals was blocked; yet, when the researchers allowed the crushed garlic to ‘stand’ for 10 minutes before heating, its anticancer activity was preserved. A sulfur-based compound called alliin and an enzyme called alliinase are separated in the garlic’s cell structure when it is whole. Cutting garlic ruptures the cells and releases these elements allowing them to come in contact and form a powerful new compound called alliicin which not only adds to the number of garlic’s health-promoting benefits but is also the culprit behind their pungent aroma and gives garlic its “bite”.

Now, without further ado, I give thee CaCaw County Park:

<a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/galacticbloom/5424128032/&#8221; title=”our favorite picnic spot- cawcaw by galacticbloom, on Flickr”><img src=”http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5260/5424128032_b3322c323e.jpg&#8221; width=”500″ height=”334″ alt=”our favorite picnic spot- cawcaw” /></a>

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and here’s me, standing in the marsh grass, 20 yds from an alligator.

cawcaw

not a care in the world… but I never really realized how big those sunglasses are– they’re gigantor, omg.