Wednesday, August 30, 2017

8-30-17 Capellini with eggplant & mushrooms

Me: I have to decide what to do for dinner tonight.
Patience: Just use what ever is in the fridge
Me: Okay

The pickings were slim- a half a package of mixed mushrooms and two Japanese eggplants from the porch garden. BUT – there was also a jar of sundried tomatoes, some cream, and a bottle of sweet vermouth. Who needs anything else.


1.     Angel hair pasta (we use 4 oz. for the two of us.)
2.     Two Japanese eggplants sliced crosswise
3.     Mixed mushrooms
4.     Sundried tomatoes in oil – coarsely chopped
5.     Olive oil (don’t use extra virgin for cooking.)
6.     Onion and Garlic
7.     Fresh thyme, parsley, and basil
8.     Sweet vermouth
9.     Heavy whipping cream – about 3 tbsp.
10. Red pepper flakes – optional


Prepare the onion and garlic in olive oil until soft. Add the mushrooms, eggplant, and herbs, and cook over high heat until everything starts to brown.  Lower the heat and add a splash of wine and the tomatoes and continue cooking over low heat.  If everything gets to dry, add a splash of chicken broth.  When you add the pasta to the water add the cream to the sauce and stir.  Add the past to the sauce, mix well, and serve. Be prepared for a temporary stint in culinary heaven.


This was wonderful the cook claimed unabashedly.  Patience loved it, and she is the ultimate food critic in our kitchen.

Thursday, August 24, 2017

8-24-17 Fettuccini with mushrooms and zucchini

Tonight’s challenge was to use some of our abundant tomato crop and the zucchini and portabella mushroom sitting in the fridge.


1.     Fettuccini
2.     Two fresh tomatoes – grated
3.     Zucchini
4.     Portabella mushroom, diced
5.     Onion and Garlic
6.     Celery
7.     Olive oil
8.     Fresh basil and tarragon
9.     Kalamata olives – about one tablespoon of pitted olives
10. Sweet vermouth or dry red wine


Prepare the onion, celery, and garlic soffritto in the olive oil.  Add the mushrooms and zucchini and cook over high heat until they start to brown (stir frequently to prevent burning.) Then add the tomatoes and simmer uncovered. While they are cooking add the herbs and a splash of wine. Before the past is ready add the olives.
Add the pasta to the pan and mix well.


Patience loved this. I enjoyed the dish and was pleased to have used the veggies that needed to be used.  It is satisfying to make sauces with our fresh tomatoes.  The kalamata olives add a nice touch of flavor.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

8-20-17 Linguine with shrimp

Tonight I used tomatoes from Patience’s front porch garden for the sauce that created a most delightful pasta dish.


1.     Linguine
2.     4 medium tomatoes
3.     Shrimp
4.     Asparagus cut in to 1 inch pieces,
5.     Fresh basil and dill
6.     Heavy whipping cream
7.     Olive oil
8.     Onion and garlic
9.     Sweet vermouth
10. Tomato paste


Cut the tomatoes in half and grate them on the large openings on a hand grater, preserving the pulp and discarding the skin. Prepare the onion and garlic in olive oil, then add the tomatoes and herbs to the pan and simmer to reduce the liquid. After 5-10 minutes add a splash of wine.  Cook the sauce for about 20-30 minutes, but the timing is not critical. The idea is to cook off the excess liquid.  I added about 2 inches of tomato paste to help thicken the sauce.  While the pasta is cooking add the shrimp and asparagus, and when the pasta is almost done, add the cream. (I nuked the asparagus for 1 minute to cut down on the cooking time in the sauce.


My concern about this dish early in the preparation turned out to be misplaced. It was utterly delicious, with a unique sweetness, thanks to the fresh tomatoes. I guess I will have to repeat this using processed tomatoes to see if there is a significant difference.

Try it - you won't be disappointed.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

8-9-17 Linguine with mushrooms & zucchini

What can I say - it's zucchini season

1.     Linguine
2.     Mixed mushrooms
3.     Zucchini – sliced crosswise
4.     Sundried tomatoes in olive oil- coarsely chopped
5.     Olive oil
6.     Shallots and garlic
7.     Fresh basil and oregano
8.     Sweet vermouth
9.     Panko

Cook the shallots and garlic in olive oil until soft, then add the mushrooms, tomatoes, herbs, and zucchini and cook over med-high heat until they begin to brown. Turn the heat to low, add a splash of wine and simmer while waiting for the pasta.  Add the pasta and some pasta water as needed, mix well, and serve with a sprinkling of panko.

A tasty, quick meal, and a good way to get rid of all the zucchini that seems to be everywhere this time of the year.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017


I posted my first blog on August 8, 2007, and followed that with 1,744 more posts, counting today’s. I guess this confirms my wife’s opinion of me – a wordy little bastard.  But in my defense these posts include artwork, recipes, and assorted photos, as well as an endless parade of reflections, narratives, opinions, and other nonsense.

Since I have nothing else to say (for now), today I will post one painting or drawing from each of the 10 years.





Monday, August 7, 2017

8-7-17 Penne with chicken and tomatoes

Patience has been out of town for the past week so hot dogs have replaced pasta.  Well – not completely – but this is my first new pasta dish for the month of August.  And we can thank Rhonda in Maryland for sending some fantastic tomatoes home with Patience.  They were the inspiration for tonight’s dinner.

The plan was to create a light/loose tomato sauce with chicken thighs, using a combination of grape tomatoes and one large over ripe Heritage tomato.

 In the pan
In the dish


1.     Penne pasta
2.     Boneless, skinless chicken thighs cut into bite size pieces
3.     Olive oil
4.     Onion and garlic
5.     Grape tomatoes cut in half
6.     One whole Heritage tomato cut in half and grated on the large opening on a cheese grater.  Skin discarded
7.     Sweet vermouth
8.     Fresh basil


Brown the chicken in olive oil. Deglaze pan with wine then cook the onion and garlic until soft. Add the tomatoes and basil and simmer while the pasta cooks.  Add the pasta with some pasta water and serve.


Very simple and very good, and there is so much more you can do with this recipe: add mushrooms, greens, olives, etc. 

Thank you Rhonda for the delicious tomatoes.

Sunday, August 6, 2017

AWASH WITH CLAY studio newsletter #140


Here’s the thing with clay printing – at least for the way I work. You can never print just one piece. It is the nature of the process that demands you pull another print (like eating potato chips, you can’t stop with one.), and then another, and then – oh well, what the hell, and you pull 3 or 4 more.  And that is being conservative.  By the end of the session there can be a dozen or more prints lying about the studio. It is usually necessary to pull at least 2-3 or more prints to “get” the one I’m looking for. And being the pack rat that I am, nothing gets tossed out, so you can imagine the results.

I’ve been working – intermittently – with the clay for about 25 years. It lends itself to decorative and abstract work, but I also use it for more realistic images, either alone or combined with another medium, usually soft pastel. I had not done any significant work with the clay for over a year when the new Holiday Inn hotel in Paducah commissioned me this spring to create 3 prints for their lobby.  Since then I have been working almost exclusively with the clay, and had made arrangements for a show of the new work in September. Unfortunately that gallery has closed and I am left with an inventory of clay prints that threatens to completely overtake the studio and gallery. But is spite of that threat, I CAN’T STOP. There are so many new techniques and approaches I want to explore, and the work is simply too much fun. There is none of the anxiety and stress associated with the other mediums, especially watercolor.

I’m sure I will eventually get back to the watercolors and acrylics, and even the pastels.  But until then I will continue to play in the clay.  I may host a show of the new work in my own studio/gallery later this year.  You can be assured I will let you know.

Here are several of my favorites from the past several weeks.


VALOR  11X25