Sunday, December 18, 2011


I'm going through some pretty big transitions in my life right now, one of which includes living with some wonderful friends while I'm waiting for a more permanent place to call home. My friends have opened up their home to me, letting me stay in their beautifully finished basement where I always have my "art table" filled to capacity with my current art projects.

At times, it can be a bit unsettling not having a place to call my own, but my temporary home offers such warm hospitality and kindness, and I know that it is a place where I am joyfully welcomed. It makes the waiting a whole lot easier!

One of the gifts of staying here are the amazing meals that are prepared. I know that when I make that move to my new home that I'll not only be missing my friends, but I'll also be missing the delcicious meals that I've been served. What better way to remember them, than to document them here! And even wiser, keep a record of HOW these meals are made! Then in a few months time, I'll be able to invite my friends over to dine with me for a change!!

So in the spirit of creativity, here's how you, too, can make this delicious Beef Stir Fry.....

Beef Tenderloin (about 1/4 pound per serving)
Any or ALL of these sauces...
From House of Tsang: Hunan Smokehut Grill Sauce, Tokyo Teriyaki Grill Sauce, and/or Kobe Steak Grill Sauce
Koon Chun brand Hoisin Sauce
(use about 2 or 3 T per sauce)
Any or ALL of these veggies:
Baby carrots
Baby corn
Orange, yellow or green peppers
Sugar snap peas
Green Onions
Sweet potatoes!

Cut the beef tenderloin in cubes and marinate in the sauces. Ideally, overnight, but at least 30 minutes. Add some crushed red pepper, garlic and ginger to the meat/marinade mixture. Dice the sweet potatoes in cubes and pop them in the microwave for a few minutes. Chop your carrots, peppers and green onions any which way you please. I always volunteer to help with the veggie chopping - it helps the time go faster while I'm anticipating the meal!)

Start up a pot of rice if you haven't already. We had jasmine rice this time, but brown rice goes great with it as well!

Toss a couple of Tablespoons (known as "tibbles" in this household!) oil in a frying pan. Toss in the sweet potatoes, carrots and baby corn and saute for about 5 minutes. Then add the remaining veggies for another 5 minutes or so cooking at medium low heat.

Add your beef tenderloin and continue cooking all the ingredients together till the beef is cooked to your liking. This gives you an excuse to take some from the pan to sample!

This particular meal was served with Algodon Premiere Cru (a Bordeaux blend). I'm told that any other good hearty red wine would be a good match (e.g. Cabarnet, Bordeaux, Merlot, Zinfandel or Shiraz.

Last but not least, sit down with some good friends, and enjoy!
(don't forget to pack some for your lunch this week, too!)

With thanks for fine friends and fine meals!
May your week before Christmas be filled with joyful moments while you wait!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

I'm in love...

...with these paintings made by Kevin Lahvic! I met him at the One of a Kind show in Chicago on Sunday. My life will never be the same! I wish I had an entire room full of his artwork! Go visit his website HERE! Make sure you check out his page of "Chip Drawings" and the "Haunted Forest." Or else....

I almost missed the chance to see these fun paintings. My daughter Karin and I spent the day at the show, and we almost left before going through the final aisle. I'm so glad we stayed!

If you didn't have a chance to go to the One of a Kind show this year, mark your calendars for next year, December 6-9, 2012. You won't regret it!

Karin, I hope you had a fabulous birthday in the city! Thanks for spending it with me in Chicago! Let's make it an annual tradition!