illustration and design, etc

journal

I haven't written here in ages. I'd like to start again. Here are the things I wrote about when I was a stay at home mom with my sweet daughter. Now she's in kindergarten, I have a job away from home, and I dream about this all the time. Enjoy.

How to draw with children, for non-majors :: {roasted tomatoes}

In our house, drawing is a team effort.  The grown-ups do the outlines, and Heidi the Toddler colors (read: scribblesveryenthusiastically) inside, outside, and on top of the lines.  It's like an on-demand coloring book.  I used to be the only Outline Draw-er, my theatre-major husband clutching his chest as he exclaimed how he wished he could draw, but alas!, Mama will have to draw the cat.  Again.  It got to the point where I was drawing about 50 cats a day.  Heidi would thrust a crayon in my hand and shout, "MEEEEEOOOOOW!!!!!!" and I would draw a cat for her to scribble upon.  I am incapable of denying her artistic desires.

As it turns out, however, that heart-clutching wish of my husband was easy enough to grant.  I devised a Very Easy way to draw a cat taught him to do it.  And now I will teach you, just in case your 2012 resolutions include drawing more with the children in your life. 

Without further ado....the Very Official Running Snail & Rainbow Way to draw a cat, dog, bunny, owl, and frog (you're more than welcome to right click to download the images, print them out, keep them handy):




Roasted Tomatoes
Adapted, barely, from The Italian Country Table, which, as I've said before, is a book you should own.  Enjoy these when it's not tomato season -- transform a can or two of lowly plum tomatoes into meaty, intense, luxurious, and supremely versatile gems.  As a bonus, these smell almost as good as bacon when they're cooking.  Almost.
Open two cans of plum tomatoes, squeeze them gently, and pry in half with your fingers.  Place close together on a lightly olive-oil-ed baking sheet.  Drizzle with some more olive oil and season with salt and pepper.  If you want to get fancy, you can sprinkle on some fresh or dried herbs, or tuck large slivers of garlic between the tomato halves.  Place in a 300° oven for 1.5-2 hours.  Check after 1.5 hours to make sure your edges are not burning.
Cover with oil and store in the fridge for up to three days, or freeze for up to three months.
Things to do with roasted tomatoes: 
  • Marinate in olive oil with fresh herbs (like rosemary or thyme), garlic, and chilies.  Serve with an antipasto spread.
  • Purée and use as a sandwich spread: think tuna melts, grilled cheeses, hummus and veggie sandwiches. 
  • Purée and use in place of sauce on your next pizza 
  • Toss with whole wheat spaghetti, walnuts and garlic toasted in olive oil, and serve with a generous glop of ricotta on top (this is my favorite).
  • Use in any recipe that calls for sun-dried tomatoes.
  • Stir purée into hummus, cream cheese, or greek yogurt for a great dip.
  • Stir purée into mayo or aioli for another fab sandwich spread.  Try it on a burger.