Friday, January 6, 2012

Friday Food + Art

Gotta be semi-quick because we're going camping today.  Woo hoo!
One of our family's new year resolutions was to camp more.  More, more, more.  So, we are.  Just taking a quick weekend trip out to Pedernales Falls State Park with some friends.  (Camping is so fun when another family comes along!)
BUT, I wanted to tell you about a great recipe - healthy, easy, yummy.

Pumpkin, Barely, and Sage Soup

8 oz cooked andouille or smoked sausage links (We used LightLife Italian Soy Sausage.)
1 small onion chopped (I used 1/2)
1 Tbsp snipped fresh sage
1 Tbsp oil
1 cup quick-cook barely (I could not find this at HEB so I used arborio rice because I forgot that I did not have any barely and I also forgot that I was out of orzo so, rice it was.)
1 tsp instant chicken bouillon granules (I used vegetable broth AND some shakes of Smoke flavoring.)
1 15 oz can of pumpkin (I also had some chopped and cooked butternut squash that I threw in)
2 Tbsp maple syrup (I did not use this.)
1 Tbsp cider vinegar

1. Cook sausage, onion and sage in oil on medium for 3-5 minutes, stirring often. Add barely (or whatever grain you choose) 4 cups water (I used 3 cups broth + 1 water) and bouillon (I shook in some Smoke flavoring at this step).  Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, COVERED for 12 minutes, stirring every now and then.
2. Stir in pumpkin, syrup, and vinegar; heat through.  Add salt and pepper (I added quite a bit of both).
Makes 4 servings.
(From Better Homes and Gardens magazine.)

Now - Mine came out more like what you see in the photo and not like soup.  I did add some more water and veggie broth after this pic was taken to make it more soupy, but it was not like soup at all, really.  We dumped it on top of cornbread and YUM.
You really gotta have the cornbread in there for the full Monty, but I'm sure it would be good without.
I can't tell you enough HOW yummy adding smoke flavoring is if a dish calls for meat and you don't want to use it.  I use COLGIN Liquid Smoke.  It's vegan, gluten-free,  no byproducts or additives, blah, blah, blah.  Deeelicious!
I might try it again with rosemary as the herb next time.
Anyway, it was a keeper!

Now, ART!
The holiday toy craze slowed down so it was time to find new stuff to do.
This fantastic and clever project was alllll over for Pinterest for a while, and we finally got around to doing it... 

Take a canvas of any kind.  We had some old canvas and I just Gessoed over it.  You could use a piece of wood or, well, I dunno, just something.
Dig out one of those thousands of bags of crayons that you have buried in your art area.
Peel off the labels.  (The labels don't come off as easily as I thought so be sure to do this ahead of time; I almost lost Finn to this process as it was tedious and boring.  At the final hour I broke out some knives and let him cut them off which made it more interesting for him.) (Oh, DO let your kids play with knives.  Just show them how to use them safely.  They'll do the right thing.)
NOW, hot glue all those colors to the canvas.  You do need to put them all together like you see above because....

You're going to blow dry the hell out of them and they are going to meeellllllt all down the canvas!
Note1:  They melt very quickly so this process is super rewarding for busy minds and hands.
Note2:  BE SURE to put towels or plastic down under AND behind your art as the colored wax is going to spray everywhere until you figure out what you're doing.  Ideally, you want to hold the blow dryer at the top of the colors and point it down so that the colors drip down and not sideways.  Once you see what happens, you can adjust the dryer and start doing more crazy sideways stuff with it. You do want the art to be standing up like this because the dripping action requires it.

How freakin' gorgeous is THAT, Missy?

Fantastic, right?
Oh, you could do all the same colors, or blocks of the same colors, or do this and then glue white ones on top of these and then heat those up or, or, or ... the possibilities are endless.
We thought about sticking trinkets in the wax as it was pouring down, but nixed that idea as we were too completely fascinated by the dripping to do anything else.  The wax dries very quickly and is not particularly hot (weirdly enough) so you can let even the little ones touch and feel it as it's coming down.
I would rate this a 10+ on the boy crafting scale and that is saying a lot as my boy is sooo not into crafting.  Sigh.  (Damn "preacher's kid syndrome.")

Off to hit the road.  Well, off to hit the grocery store, and walk the dogs, and go to the gym, and pack the camper, but you know what I mean.

La, la, la ...  may the ART be with you!



  1. O Hush .. I love this. I have played melting crayons before with grand daughter but we just held them over a candle and then dripped blobs .. but this is so much more beautiful. I love it. Fire and color !! talk about la la la la
    ms mdddd

  2. Brilliant!!!
    The most exciting thing we ever did was to light a candle and let the hot wax drip on our tighly closed fingers so that they stuck together. I wish you had been my mama. Maybe next time?

  3. We love camping too! My husband and I just got a Volkwagen Eurovan Westfalia. We christened it last weekend. Our new Years resolution is to hit every state park within 2 years!

  4. At first I thought you were going to put the crayon sticks IN your glue gun! I thought, "oh no." Looks cool though. ;-)


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