Monday, April 30, 2012

Check out my hood...

The Kenny 365 (days) photo project is quickly approaching full circle.  And I think it will be continuing for another year.  You should start one in your neighborhood!  It is a fun way to document life in your neck of the woods.  Every neighborhood photographer catches different perspectives of the place they live in.  And all seasons.  These are my last 9 weekly entries.  And I think it might be my favorite batch.  The first one is last week's Doorstep Dog.  I see him watching the world go by all the time.

Goose JE13.  I caught him with some weed in his mouth.  Call the cops!

These are my orchids.  It was a dark and rainy day so I decided to highlight my beautiful bounty. FYI.  There are 22 blooms between 2 plants right now.  And 5 more buds yet to open.  

The tree trimmers attacked our street on this week.

 I finally photographed some people.

A colorful find.  



Wind power!

Friday, April 27, 2012


I did this B/W illustration for Project Open Book a couple years ago.  It was inspired by a poem where shadows come alive at night.  I have a love/hate feeling with that idea. I for one have never out grown my insane fear of things that go bump in the night.  To this day I still open my sleepy near sighted eyes and fixate on a dark shadow in the corner.  Did it just move?  Is that dark shape the dresser?  Or something else...Yikes!  The worst thing is when you forget you left some mystery object (like a clothes basket) in the middle of the floor.  Obviously it is a crouching demon.  What else would it be?  Did you notice that I don't imagine it is a kneeling intruder.  Nope.  My mind always takes a straight shot to the paranormal side. 

Unfortunately, after all this build up my illustration does not live up to all that shadowy fear.  It is not the best example of my work. You are definitely not going to find it on my website.  But the kid is jumping.  So I'm posting it for Friday the 13th.  The shadow on the left is playing with a football.  And the teddy bear shadow is stealing a pair of shoes. You can blame it on da bears every time!    

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Squash Risotto

I have a slightly different take on my risotto.  I start with 2 tbsp melted butter in a pan.  Then add 1 cup arborio rice and 1/3 cup orzo pasta.  It will basically result in a high tech rice-a-roni.  The first step toasts the rice/pasta (not shown) In a separate pan you can sweat 1 chopped onion and a couple diced garlic cloves in some olive oil.  Then add the cooked onion to the toasted rice.  Now you are ready to start the risotto.

As shown below simmer 32 oz of low sodium chicken broth and some bay leaves. (remove the leaves at the end) Add 1 cup cooked and mashed squash to your risotto.  Then you can start to add your simmering broth.  One laddle full at a time until all of the broth is absorbed into your rice.  It will take 20-30 minutes of stirring.  Be sure to drink some wine while this process is going on.  That is a very important part!  When the rice is done you can stir in pepper to taste and as much butter and parm reggiano as you like.  I usually put in 1/4 cup of parm and 1-2 more tbsp of butter.  Risotto should taste rich!  

Then when you serve it you can add a little more parm and some toasted pecans.  Yum!

Monday, April 23, 2012

Paradise Lost...

I've been busy with a little home improvement project.  I used to have my studio in one small room.  Now I've doubled my space and use two rooms in my house.  One for painting and one for a home office.  Now the fun part is underway.  The decorating.  I used to have a banner of old Hawaii photos spreading clear across one entire wall.  Twelve 8x10 photos attached to foam board.  I still love them.  But those trips were over 10 years ago.  And well before I had a digital camera.  I've given the Hawaii photos the ax.  But this is why I love blogging.  I can share the photos before they are stashed away.  I scanned the old photos so you can take a little trip with me today...
You've seen this one before in my stacked rocks post.  It was taken in a crater on the Big Island in Volcanoes National Park.

A resting Sea Turtle on the Big Island.  

Red hot lava on the Big Island.  That's where all the activity is.  Fierce!  

Charming Rainbow Eucalyptus trees on the Big Island.  

 Sunrise in Hilo.

Hi'ilawe waterfall on the Big Island.  It is a whopping 1,600 footer.

Black sand on Maui.

A tourist ship in Lahina, Maui.

Me on a rickety bridge.  Maui. 

Dean inspecting a peely paint tree on Maui. (Made up name)

Bamboo on Maui.

More Rainbow Eucalyptus on Maui. That's all folks! 

Friday, April 20, 2012

Go to the Mattresses

 This is my favorite self portrait.  It's a take on my childhood favorite the Princess and the Pea.  And it couldn't be more appropriate for this sensitive artist.  Sigh.  I used my Wedding tiara for the crown.  If it wasn't so self indulgent I'd use this for my facebook profile shot.  We all should be allowed to be princess for a day at least, right?  Then I would have to take it down I suppose.  I've posted this for before.  But it fits the heights theme.  You can't be afraid of heights to sleep in that bed!  In reality I wouldn't want to sleep up there because of midnight bathroom trips.  Especially in a dark and damp old castle.  And where's the bed space for my handsome prince? 

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Chicken Tettrazini

Ah, the lowly Chicken Tetrazzini.  It had never occurred to me to make it until the Jerry Springer episode that was featured on one of my favorite shows, "The Soup"  Alas, the poor woman screamed that she had lost her man because some other broad seduced him with her Chicken Tetrazzini.  So when I ran across a recipe I had to make it.  And I love it!  Now a hot dish is kind of a hard recipe for me to post because I double, triple and quadruple them. I like to make as many small hot dishes as I can and freeze them.  And I never follow original recipes exactly.  So here goes...

1/2- 1 box cooked spaghetti noodles (I use 1/2 whole wheat and 1/2 regular)
1 box frozen peas
1 small diced onion
1/3 cup flour
1/4 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp nutmeg
2 tbsp butter
2 cups low sodium chicken broth
1 cup 1/2 and 1/2 
1 cup milk
2-3 cups chopped leftover rotisserie chicken meat
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Heat the oven to 350.  Melt the butter in an extra large skillet.  Add the onions and saute until soft.  Whisk in the flour, pepper and nutmeg.  Add broth, peas and all milk.  Cook until warmed through and thickened.

Meanwhile, put the cooked pasta in an extra large bowl.  Add your Parmesan and diced chicken and mix.  Then add the broth and milk mixture and mix.  Now divide it into as many baking pans as you would like.  For me it usually makes 3 dishes.  I like to bake them for around 45 minutes to an hour.  Or an hour and 1/2 if frozen.  But keep in mind that my hot dishes are smaller.  Now this is a very important part.  About 10-15 minutes before it is done baking, add crushed potato chips on top.  Yum!  I serve this with generous amounts of Marie Sharp's because we like things to taste like fire.  But any green hot sauce might be good.  

Now, if you are wondering what the cocktail is...

Satan's Whiskers

This will make 2 martinis

3 shots gin
1 shot orange curaco  (I used blue curaco)
2-4 shots Orange juice
a splash of vermouth and orange bitters

Mix above ingredients with ice in a cocktail shaker and enjoy!

P.S.  I had to try a drink named Satan's Whiskers!!!!!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Blog Hop!

The timing of this post might be a little off.  I planned on posting this for Easter.  Alas, I got really sick.  But I figured it is never too late for a funny bunny post. I'm sure most of you are still munching away on all that Easter candy like rabbits.  If I would have done some serious research, I might have been able to dig up more cotton tails.  But these will have to do.  I'm giving top billing to my little baby bunny photo.  Cute!  

 Creepy bunny.

Crafty bunny.  I dug this one out of a suitcase of sad stored objects.  Once upon a time they were loved.  Now they are like a Christmas special for misfit toys.  Sniff.  My husband would kill me if I still wanted to have stuffed animals hanging around.  So before I put her back to eternal rest in the suitcase.  I stuffed her under the covers on my husband's side of the bed. He was only mildly surprised.  P.S.  I sewed crafty bunny around 20 years ago.

One eyed yard bunny.  

 This sculpture is a beloved fixture in Minneapolis.  Especially at Easter.

 "Seen better days"  That is what the photographer named this photo.  The bunny's ears are a little torn.  I purchased this photo at an art fair.  And it is one of my favorites.  

 Dust bunny.  Actually, it is cat fur!

 Lastly, my own house bunny.  At least momentarily.  For more rabbicats visit


Friday, April 13, 2012

Dumb Bunny

click to enlarge

This is a selection from my series of illustrations for Sidney the Unstoppable Squirrel.  It is one of my first illustrations for children's books.  I've grown a lot as an illustrator since then.  But it still remains one of my old favorites.  And oddly enough I don't think I've posted this one for Friday Fish Fry before.  The theme today is puzzled.  And that is exactly what dumb bunny is feeling.  He lost the map to the magic corn kernels after all.   He's a little long in the tooth and possibly pea brained.  Poor kid.  

I'll be back to my regular blogging schedule next week.   So be sure to check back on Monday for my funny bunny post and then a recipe for lucky rabbit feet stew on Wednesday.  O.K., I don't want to get off on the wrong foot with any new blog followers.  So no more bunny cotton tails/tales.  But only because the critters didn't chew our raspberries down to nubbins this year.  My husband was thinking all Fatal Attraction after that!    

Friday, April 6, 2012

A Vocal Suggestion

click to enlarge

I thought my nervous chicken illustration would be appropriate for vocal.  The theme over at  The chicken is sweating and uttering,"Let them eat figs!" Poor little tasty chicken. Her days are numbered.  One interesting fact about this recipe is that 36 strangers shared it on facebook.  I always wonder if they are sharing it because the recipe looks delicious or they think my illustration is a hoot.  Or a cluck in this case. 

And I also picked it as a follow up to my latest contribution over at   I figured it would take till pigs fly for a win.  If you don't understand what that means you'll need to check out the link!   

Monday, April 2, 2012

Kenny 365

 The Kenny neighborhood photo project continues.  One photo for everyday of the year.  Until June.  That's when the whole thing started. I've loaded all my entries since my last post.  Starting with the yellow caution tape.  I called this one CSI Kenny.  And joked that it must have been a KILLER party.  Or I suppose it should really be CSI Minneapolis.   

A garbage can with a story.
Kenny Gargoyle.  Its job is to scare off random solicitors and squirrels.
 Frosty appeared after a brief flurry of snow.  Just like magic.

Yikes.  It's us.  We wished our neighbors a Merry Christmas.  One cat is looking one way and the other (looking perturbed) and refusing to look at the camera.  "Mom, this sucks!"  said the cat.

 His eyes are on the sparrow.  And ours are on the feeders.

I should have taken a panoramic shot of this massive oak.  Its branches spread clear across two Kenny homes.

 A little patriotic Fall activity.  The scarecrows are actually bound together with a rope.  The rope prompted me to comment, "The ties that bind a community and a country"  But who knows why the homeowners really tied one on!  

Great idea!

 A late bloomer.  Well, I set up this post so long ago that I've submitted 6 more weeks of community photos since then.  Oh well.  Next time...