Sunday, April 10, 2011

Paying Attention

You learn something
everyday if you
pay attention.
Ray Le Blond
A daily posting of a doodle and a grand total so far of 528 drawings to be exact, writer and illustrator Nancy Carlson has to her credit. Her prolific writing and illustrating career has produced 61 published books. She has delighted readers with her Harriet the pup, Henry the mouse, Loudmouth George the rabbit and Louanne the pig. I was impressed reading the feature story about her in Sunday Star Tribune paper: A Doodle A Day by Jeff Strickler. http://www.startribune.com/lifestyle/119490734.html You can access the story through this link to the Star Tribune or go directly to her blog http://blog.nancycarlson.com/ to see her posting of the day.
What I found fascinating about her blog is the approach. It is a picture blog with subjects running an imaginative gamut from roller-skating squirrels to chickens in outer space. The posting has minimum words. Her doodles vary both in style and the type of media used. She is clever finding inspiration for her drawings in everyday happenings, unusual holidays and has even tapped into the Justin Bieber fever. The above quote I found suits Nancy Carlson well. Perhaps her works in progress will be just the inspiration you need the next time the urge comes on for you to doodle!
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Some spring menu ideas...
Asian Pork Tenderloin
Ingredients:
  • 2 pork tenderloins (about 1-1/2 lbs. each)
  • 2 TB. Chinese five-spice powder
  • 1/2 TB. salt
  • 1/2 TB. pepper
  • 2 TB. peanut oil
  • 1/3 cup Chinese plum sauce
  • 2 TB. honey
  • 1 TB. tomato paste
  • 1TB. soy sauce
  • 1 TB. rice vinegar
  • 1 TB. fresh ginger minced
  • 3 TB. pineapple juice (can use orange juice as a substitute) add 2 TB. cornstarch to juice, blend
  • 1/2 TB. chili garlic sauce
Directions:
  • Trim tenderloins of any excess fat
  • Combine five-spice powder, salt and pepper and rub over meat
  • Heat oil over medium high, sear pork on all sides about 5 minutes
  • Simmer remaining ingredients in saucepan for few minutes till slightly thickened
  • In oven proof pan place pork and pour sauce over
  • Cook till internal temperature 140 degrees
  • Garnish with fresh chives
Asparagus and Green Onion Risotto
Ingredients:
  • 2 TB. butter
  • 3/4 cup chopped green onion
  • 1/2 tsp. fresh thyme
  • 1-1/2 cups uncooked Arborio rice
  • 5 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/2 lb. fresh asparagus cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Directions:
  • Melt butter in saucepan over medium heat
  • Add onions and thyme and saute 1 minute
  • Add rice stirring to coat
  • Add 2-11/2 cups of the broth and bring to a boil
  • reduce heat to medium low simmer, stir occasionally about 15 minutes
  • Add 1/2 cup broth stir till liquid absorbed
  • Repeat procedure with remaining broth
  • Stir in asparagus simmer 3-5 more minutes or until asparagus is tender
  • Stir in Parmesan cheese and sere immediately

Tequila Lime- Coconut Macaroon Bars
Ingredients:
  • 2 cups of flour
  • 2 cups of sugar
  • 1/2 cup cold butter cut into small pieces
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1-1/2 cup flaked coconut
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 2 tsp. lime zest
  • 1/3 cup fresh lime juice-do not use bottled lime juice
  • 3 TB. tequila
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
Directions:
  • Line bottom and side of a 13 x 9 pan with foil and extend foil 2 inches over the side
  • Lightly grease
  • Stir 1-3/4 cup flour and 1/2 cup sugar and cinnamon
  • Cut butter into mixture using fingers to get a crumbly mixture
  • Press into bottom of pan and bake @ 350 20 minutes or until lightly browned
  • Whisk eggs till smooth, add coconut, lime juice, zest,tequila and rest of sugar (1-1/2 cups)
  • Whisk till smooth
  • Stir baking powder, salt and remaining 1/4 cup flour
  • Add this mixture to egg mixture and blend till smooth
  • Pour over hot crust
  • Bake @ 350 for 29 minutes or until filling is set
  • Cool one hour and lift foil from pan and place on a baking rack to cool more
  • Garnish with powdered sugar when cooled






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