Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Pretty, pretty peppers

It's been so long since Ben and I made these awesome vegan stuffed peppers that I can't even remember the ingredients. Aren't those peppers gorgeous, though? You can even see the absolutely wonderful reduction Ben made with it.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Acrylic, pastel, and Photoshop

Lunch in a box: more bentos

If you're not really into the art of packing a beautiful lunch in
an Americanized Japanese-style lunchbox (but really, who isn't?!),
let me assure you that it is not as time-consuming as you probably
think. I make batches of cold salads and other nutritious things
that can be enjoyed cold or at room temperature (the containers
are microwavable, but we don't generally bother with that), and
just throw them into the bento boxes the night before. No big.
Oh, and I freeze a few cupcakes or cookies every time I bake;
those are perfect for lunch, and are always thawed and yummy
by lunchtime. Below, a few recent lunches.

Above: couscous-spinach salad, miniature chocolate cupcakes, half a kiwi, and Thai summer rolls with spicy peanut sauce. While preparing this lunch, I ate the other half of the fruit and discovered the hard way* that I am suddenly allergic to kiwi. Having eaten kiwi hundreds of times in my life, I was more than a little surprised when my throat began to constrict and I couldn't swallow without pain or, due to the sudden heaviness of my chest, lie down. Weird, right? And my mouth was painfully tingly, but that I could have lived with. People can suddenly develop allergies for no discernible reason; I'm just glad mine is not an allergy to, say, dark chocolate or mashed potatoes.

* and perhaps the only way.

Above: Couscous salad, pistachio cake, half a kiwi (this lunch was actually from before the awakening of the new allergy), and homemade orange hummus with carrot sticks.

Above: green salad with oil and vinegar, a chocolate chip muffin, oven-baked sweet potato fries, and couscous salad with green peas.

Above: fresh veggies, homemade hummus, a mini-cupcake, some walnuts, and pasta salad with red wine vinaigrette.

P.S. More bentos here and here, or click the blue "bento" label below for MORE BENTOS THAN YOU EVER NEED TO SEE!!!!!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Supping on tofu

Lately I've been really sweet on tofu cutlets, a variety of which is shown here with sweet potato homefries and a big helping of cauliflower and broccoli. Ben and I prepare our cutlets in a few different ways: baked or sautéed, and either breaded or unbreaded. The delicious cuties shown here were breaded (that is, dredged in a flour/cornmeal/nutritional yeast/salt/pepper/basil/oregano/cayenne mixture), then sautéed. If we have any nuts on hand, a tablespoon of ground almonds or pecans in the flour mixture adds special flavor and texture.

If I bake the tofu cutlets instead of sautéeing on the stovetop, I tend to go unbreaded. I just slice up the tofu and place it in a large Pyrex with a whisked-together mixture of olive oil, soy sauce, sesame oil, Sriracha, a bit of water, and whatever spices I'm feeling. It bakes at 350 degrees, covered, for 20-30 minutes, then uncovered until the edges dry out just a bit.

These are also lovely with mashed potatoes and mushroom gravy, and a side of fresh spinach cooked down with a bit of garlic, olive oil, Balsamic vinegar, and salt.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

On Edna and "Love Is Not All"

A recording of the poet reading this poem moved me to tears (twice) today. If you can get your mitts on volume one of A Century of Recorded Poetry (try the library... as if you hadn't thought of that already), do it. The recording of this poem is nicely sandwiched between some Marianne Moore and a bit of e. e. cummings. Reading the sonnet, which you are perhaps about to do, is quite nice--but listening to Millay read it will bring tears to your eyes.

Love Is Not All
Edna St. Vincent Millay

Love is not all; it is not meat nor drink
Nor slumber nor a roof against the rain,
Nor yet a floating spar to men that sink,
And rise and sink, and rise and sink again;
Love cannot fill the thickened lung with breath,
Nor clean the blood, nor set the fractured bone;
Yet many a man is making friends with death
Even as I speak, for lack of love alone.
It well may be that in a difficult hour,
Pinned down by pain and moaning for release,
Or nagged by want, past resolution's power,
I might be driven to sell your love for peace,
Or trade the memory of this night for food.
It well may be. I do not think I would.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Cutest cup of cocoa ever

I'm embarrassed to show you that it's in a disposable cup... I didn't have my mug. Very sorry, planet! In other news:

1) My Junior Review is over. That's where a panel of illustrators looks at your work and tells you if you're good enough. Update: It took forever to find out I'd passed, because they put the letter in the wrong mailbox!
2) I have a week off next week and intend to do some serieux spring cleaning.
3) Ben's parents are visiting for Easter! I'm excited. I even bought a big chocolate bunny from my favorite vegan chocolate shop for the occasion.
4) I saw my doc today and things are good! I won't get into detail, but my precarious health seems less precarious lately.
5) Ben might get laid off (vocational paradigm shift), so is looking for something new. That is stressful for both of us.
6) We really are moving back to Seattle in about a year and a half! That's what we've been wanting to do, but we weren't sure how things were going to turn out. Now it looks like we might actually pull it off. I have mixed feelings about yet another cross-country move; we have moved so much during our adult lives that on one hand it's old hat, and on the other we're pretty fkg sick of moving. And now we have more Stuff than ever, since I insisted that we buy a bed when we moved to Minneapolis, to replace the mattress on the floor. (We've acquired a few other Grown-Up pieces of furniture, too, that we would want to take with us. Another potential drawback is that I think it would be easier for me to work as an illustrator here in Minneapolis, since I have no relevant connections in Seattle. And, worst of all, Seattle is really far away from family. But, there are so many pluses: that's the city we love the most, and it is beautiful and full of life, and we have friends there, and we've both missed Seattle desperately for the last handful of years. So we'll be happy to be back in Seattle despite some drawbacks.

That's all the news for today.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Humane Society poster!

This is watercolor, India ink, and digital illustration. Click
to biggify!

Monday, March 09, 2009


...means, roughly translated, "I always knew you were amazing."

This is acrylic, watercolor, and digital illustration. Not sure why my moose looks so blurry in this image, when the other elements are sharp. Hmm.

Monday, March 02, 2009


Instead of working on my overdue animatic or any of the sketches
due later this week, I've spent the morning and early afternoon
snacking, reading about Dickens' charitable pursuits (intriguing,
actually), checking on friends' blogs (like this one and this one),
and, of course, lollygagging on Facebook. I did accomplish
something today, though, by printing all of my digital prints for
my upcoming Junior Review. My semi-constant battle with those
f***ing Epson printers in the Service Bureau is at an end for
the moment. More of an armistice, I guess.