Monthly Archives: September 2016

Love Respect Compassion

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I really struggled with this angel. I should have stopped and taken pictures while I was working on the painting, but I was too focused on the task at hand.

This is my 4th angel painting and the theme we were working on for this one, in the Spirit Wings online course, was Angel of Sacred Ordinariness.  I chose to use bits of envelopes and postage stamps in the background collage and the blue-patterned lining of security envelopes for her dress, because they are fairly ordinary items.

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And though a postage stamp on an envelope isn’t that extraordinary, a letter or card from a friend is pretty sacred and special . Several of the stamps I used are from mail sent by friends and one is from an old letter postmarked 1925 I found in a vintage and antiques shop.

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But what about the struggle, you may ask? Well, we were painting our angel faces on bare wood for the canvas or background. I found this very challenging and my angel’s face went through many iterations before I created something I was ok with.  The wood was much less forgiving than the gessoed canvases I’d first worked with. The original face had a shorter chin and longer nose and blonde hair.  She looked kind of snarky.

In fact, I was calling her the Snarky Angel for a little while, but I was able to soften her expression, lengthen her chin a little and shorten her nose a bit.  Now she looks more like she has something mischievous in mind.

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For this painting, I didn’t have a certain person in mind and I didn’t have a mantra when I started.  But this is what came to me when I was ready to add the words.  Barely any of the wood grain still shows in the painting. What you can see on the painting – the layers of color in her face (trying to improve on the proportion and expression) meant I covered the grain. But it does show around the words.

Thank you for your visit and for the lovely comments about this series of angel paintings.

 

 

 

 

 

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Olive Tapenade Tart Soleil

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If you’ve been reading my blog, you know I love Smitten Kitchen. It is my favorite food blog and is as much a pleasure to visit for the writing as it is for the recipes. When I wanted to make something special to bring to the memorial for my sister-in-law, this is where I looked.

I didn’t follow the filling recipe, though it looks tasty. I used an olive tapenade recipe I’ve served on little toasted French bread rounds. The recipe made a lot more filling than needed for the tart, so I’ve scaled it down here.

If you have leftover filling you can spread in a sandwich or add it to a salad.  As Deb Perelman mentions in Smitten Kitchen, you could try other savory fillings, such as pesto or something with sharp cheese, or try a sweet version with Nutella.

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Olive Tapenade Tart Soleil with Lemon Feta Dip

Adapted from Smitten Kitchen

Tart Ingredients:

1 package puff pastry, with two pieces of pastry inside (thawed overnight in fridge)

filling (below)

1 egg yolk

water

1 tablespoon sesame seeds

Filling Ingredients:

1 clove garlic, peeled

leaves from a sprig of fresh rosemary, finely chopped

1 can (7.5 oz.) ripe olives, drained
1/4 cup pitted kalamata olives

1/4 oil-packed sun dried tomatoes, drained (I was out so used a few tablespoons of tomato paste)

about 1/4 cup olive oil

 

Dip Ingredients
6 ounces feta, crumbled (Trader Joe’s sells Pastures of Eden brand feta. It is creamy and a little less salty than some – I love it)
4 ounces cream cheese
1/3 cup olive oil

zest from one lemon

2 tablespoons lemon juice or more to taste

Directions:

Make the filling: Blend all the ingredients except the olive oil in a food processor with the chopping blade until finely chopped. With motor running, slowly pour in olive oil until smooth and spreadable. Set aside.

Heat oven to 350 degrees.

Assemble the tart: Roll one package  of puff pastry flat and cut a 12-inch circle; use a 12-inch round platter (I have a mesh screen splatter guard that worked well) for a guide or cut a pattern from parchment paper. Repeat with second dough, setting one aside in the fridge until needed.

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Put first round on parchment paper on a baking sheet. Spread filling on dough, leaving 1 inch margin around the edge. Dab edges with water and place second round on top.

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Set a small glass (about 2.5 inches across) upside down in the middle of the tart. Using scissors, carefully cut through both layers of dough and the filling, cutting it into four sections. Leave the center, under the glass, intact.

Now cut each section in half, making 8 pieces, and again, making 16 strips and finally one last round ending with 32 strips of pastry.

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Remove the glass and twist each strip of pastry carefully.

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Beat the egg yolk in a small bowl with 1 teaspoon of water and brush over pastry dough, and sprinkle with sesame seeds.

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Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until golden brown all over.

While tart is baking, make Lemon Feta dip. Combine all dip ingredients in the bowl of a food processor with a chopping blade and process until smooth. Place in bowl for dipping.

Remove tart from oven, let cool on baking sheet for 10 minutes then transfer to a serving platter.

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I’d barely gotten it onto the buffet table when my youngest brother sampled it, twisting off a spiraled ray of pastry and olive. Before I could take a picture, he had another on his plate.  I cropped the photo to show the rest of the tart.

Thanks for the visit.

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Love People, Feed Them Tasty Food

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Love People, Feed Them Tasty Food.

Suresa Dundes had that on a bumper sticker on her car and it was the basic concept for an open house celebrating her life. Suresa, my sister-in-law, died in August after an 11 year battle with cancer.

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Suresa and Michael on their wedding day. Michael is the oldest of my five siblings.

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Suresa with her girls; Leah and Miriam (the one with the spoon). Clearly loving people and feeding them tasty food has been a life long practice.

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Suresa, Michael, Leah, and her boyfriend Robert, Miriam, and her boyfriend Nick.

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Miriam and Nick’s wedding celebration, moved up so Suresa could be there.

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Rest in peace, Suresa.

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