Thursday, February 23, 2017

Celery - it's what's for breakfast!

More raw vegetables! - one of my resolutions as we rolled into 2017. Easy to say, and even easier for that decision to slip away in the day to day routine.
I realized even if I made the effort a few days a week it would be an improvement.  Every little bit counts. Every little bit adds up.

At the top of the list was to add more dark leafy greens (the kale crisps are a tasty option), second only to more celery!  
I have been reading so much on the tremendous health benefits of celery so I keep looking for interesting ways to add it in.
     Reduces inflammation
     Helps prevent kidney stones
     Aids digestion
     Loaded with vitamins, minerals and fiber

I chop it into tuna, egg or chicken salad, tossed salads, soup, jambalaya, but recently I have been experimenting with my magic bullet for breakfast... blending a stalk or two with a combination of the following that I have on hand: carrots, bananas, frozen strawberries, orange juice, yogurt, etc. 

I like to play and make different combos each time to see what I can create.
My favorite is 
1 stalk of celery
1 carrot
6 frozen strawberries
2 oz of OJ
2 ice cubes.
Refreshing and inspiring!

If you enjoy my art you can find more in my Etsy shop Erin Go Paint.
Or check out my daily illustrations on Instagram

Monday, January 23, 2017

Ode to Pie... National Pie Day!

Monday January 23rd - National Pie day!
 illustration from Nov/Dec 2014 Simply Gluten Free Workbook Illustrated
illustration from Simply Gluten Free Nov/Dec 2014 Workbook Illustrated

Pie is awesome, I would say we can all agree on that, but I know there are others that for some crazy reason prefer cake. 

But I am, and always have been, a pie person.
To me they are all incredibly delicious...
Sweet Potato
Chocolate Cream
Banana Cream
Coconut cream
Lemon Meringe
Peanut butter

And while we are at it - Shepard's Pie and Pot Pie
Not a bad one in the lot!

Now that I have made myself really hungry... I may need to bake one this evening - what is your favorite pie? and your favorite gluten-free pie topping? 
I am a huge fan of either whipped cream or meringe.


If you enjoy my art you can find more in my Etsy shop Erin Go Paint.  Or check out my daily illustrations on Instagram

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Gluten-Free Snacking... Oven Baked Kale

 This weekend we were warming up the house with every kind of baking we could think of! Ignoring the frigid outside temperature, unless it was your turn to take out the dog.  But those trips were quick for even our new rescue pup was keeping close to the kitchen and the warm oven.
After baking a few sweet treats we were in the mood for something different.
Instead of reaching for a bag of chips we grabbed the kale from the crisper and made my daughter's favorite... Oven-roasted kale crisps.
Satisfying the craving for savory, crispy - and salty while getting a mega dose of vitamins, minerals and fiber.  Given how easy they are to make - it is truly a win-win situation.
The most time consuming part is the washing (and drying) of the kale leaves.  You want to be sure to dry them thoroughly so they will crisp well.  Then break off the big stem bits and rip the leaves into a few pieces each. We usually use curly kale but you can try any type of kale leaf.

Toss the leaves in a bowl with olive oil, salt, garlic powder and pepper before laying them out on a baking pan.  
Oven bake at 350 degrees for 15 - 20 minutes or until crispy (but don't let them burn)
The kale gets crisp and airy baked this way.  My 10 year old just gobbles them up!
There are lots of variations of seasonings for all tastes.
A delicious, fun way to get in a serving of greens. The crisps can also be crumbled on top of your salad.


If you enjoy my art you can find more in my Etsy shop Erin Go Paint.  Or check out my daily illustrations on Instagram

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Daily Sketching, Drawing Human Head Basics
We have one more sketch class before the Holidays, on December 13th, and the group requested we focused on faces.  In preparation for drawing from a live model I suggest filling some pages with basic head structure... 
the overall shape
the center line (that runs between the eyes and down the nose)
ear placement (between the eye line and the bottom of the nose)
and the lines for the mouth, nose and eyes.
Paying special attention to angle of the head - the way the eye line tips - up, down or straight on.

You can practice in a coffee shop, train station, on a bus, etc or grab a magazine and sketch as many heads as you can fit on a page.
Leave out the details for this assignment - right now you are looking only for the basic structure.  And getting comfortable with the placement and angles.
Have fun!
"You can't do sketches enough. Sketch everything and keep your curiosity fresh.” John Singer Sargent

If you enjoy my art you can find more in my Etsy shop Erin Go Paint.  Or check out my daily illustrations on Instagram

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Gluten Free Apricot Chicken review

I am constantly in search of gluten-free dinner recipes - simple and flavorful are my biggest qualifiers. And on day that I am on the run - a crockpot meal will seal the deal!

The other day I felt I covered half the state of NJ and ended the marathon with a nighttime drive back from my daughter's basketball game in a combination of heavy rain, flooding, snow, sleet and fog! 

The light at the end of the stressful tunnel was Apricot Chicken waiting for us - hot, tender, flavorful and ready upon arrival!  

I found Stephanie O'Dea's Apricot Chicken recipe from A Year of Slow Cooking.  The apricot sauce was easy to make and started with a jar of Apricot Preserves... I used Polaner All-Fruit (clearly labeled gluten-free).
The only change I made to the recipe was the addition of 5 cloves of garlic, minced.  (We are a garlic loving family).
The aroma that met us when we dragged in wet, tired, cold was truly delightful.

The chicken with it's sweet and savory sauce were poured on piles of steamy rice - a huge success! It will be part of the regular dinner rotation going forward.

If you enjoy my art you can find more in my Etsy shop Erin Go Paint.  Or check out my daily illustrations on Instagram

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Seeing it in Print!

I woke up before dawn on Thanksgiving day and had a little time to play with my paints and reflect on all that I am Thankful for... my family, friends, art group, teaching, my students, clients, fans, being able to create my art, my health, opportunities - I know how lucky I am as the list really is endless.
But my cup truly runneth over seeing my husband's book in print! Being able to create the art, and layout the cover, for him was my favorite art assignment of 2016!  I even took the author photo for him.
Matters of Convenience

So, Santa busy as he is in his workshop, made an early trip to our house and dropped off a few copies.
You can find Matters of Convenience on Amazon, or put it on your Christmas list - it's a great read!

If you enjoy my art you can find more in my Etsy shop Erin Go Paint.  Or check out my daily illustrations on Instagram

Monday, November 14, 2016

Gluten-Free Cauliflower Toast

No cookies, no breads, no pizza, no cake. Yep, that's where I am right now.

I have given up all baked goods, even the safest, cleanest Gluten-free flours and baked goods. It seems my body isn't happy even with the binding agents, and I feel just so much better when I say, "No, thanks" and do without.  It was the dang ice cream with the added 'gums' that tipped me off.

The most evident sign that avoiding gums is working, is the sudden re-growth of my fingernails - my fingernails are always the key. 
Most days it really doesn't bother me (yesterday I baked brownies and really had no desire to indulge). To me how I feel is everything, and far outweighs giving up baked goods and the like. If I feel great and energized - I have no need for those foods. 
I did say most, though. Occasionally I crave something that resembles bread, or a crust, or a cracker.

Lucky for me there are amazing recipe developers out there (truly they are magicians!) coming up with muffins, pizza crusts, pizza crust, cookies, etc., that don't require flours or gum binding agents. They are my heros!
This weekend I tried the Cauliflower toast from The Delish website... oooh wee! 

LOVED it - and so did my daughter. Not quite sure I would call it toast, resembled more of a potato pancake. But, I would be quite happy to stack a burger on one, or the lovely combo of guacamole and a fried egg.  I had mine with a tomato and basil salad drizzled with olive oil.  It was divine!

illustration from Simply Gluten-Free Illustrated Workbook

So if you are in the mood for something different, and can embrace your inner messy (grating cauliflower goes everywhere!) I highly recommend giving it a try. Enjoy the gluten-free goodness!

If you enjoy my art you can find more in my Etsy shop Erin Go Paint.  Or check out my daily illustrations on Instagram