Wednesday, February 29, 2012

First Cardinal of the Year!

Earlier today, the weather in Chicago was super nice! I wore a sweater, leggings and long skirt and was content. Jacob and I took a long walk and spotted a cardinal in a tree. Here in Rogers Park I see so many cardinals. Sometimes I will see one once a day in the summer. And I get excited every time. This time I had my camera!

I am almost done with sewing 5 pieces of corn. I am half way done with the last one. I hope to have the entire sculpture assembled by the end of next week!

Buckwheat pancakes! They are very different in taste from regular pancakes. Jacob and I love them. I found the recipe on vegweb but had to make some changes to the recipe. Here it is:

Vegan Buckwheat Pancakes

-makes 4 pancakes

1 cup nondairy milk (I use soy)
1 TBS apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup buckwheat flour
4 TBS all purpose flour
1 TBS sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 TBS baking powder
2 TBS oil

-mix milk with vinegar in medium bowl and let sit while you mix dry ingredients.

-mix flours, sugar, salt and baking powder in large bowl.

-whip in oil to milk and vinegar mixture. Gently stir into the dry ingredients. Batter may be slightly lumpy, do not over stir. Let batter sit for 10 minutes.

-Heat oiled pan to low. Pour batter to desired size and turn the pan so the pancake spreads and becomes thin or else they will stay goopy inside. Once you see a lot of bubbles, flip pancake over. Be careful not to burn.

-Serve! Maple syrup, butter, and pecans!

Monday, February 27, 2012


Jacob and I created a really tasty Minestrone that I'd like to share. We had it for a second time last night along with freshly squeezed lemonade and agave nectar.


about 6 servings

-1 medium carrot chopped
-1 medium red potato chopped
-4 cloves of garlic minced
-1 TBS minced shallot
-1 handful of green beans chopped
-32 oz (4 cups) of tomato soup (We use Organic Imagine Creamy Tomato Soup)
-5 cups of veggie broth (I like to use "Better Than Bouillon Vegetable Base" so I can control how much salt I want, I usually do 5 cups of water but only 4 tsp of the base)
1 can of red kidney beans
1 7oz bag of tiny pasta letters or stars! They are so cute :0 )
2 tsp of dry basil
4 cups of chopped kale (depends on how much you love kale)

In a large pot heat about a TBS of oil. Add the carrot, potato, garlic, and shallot. Once the potato seems semi-soft (about 7-10min) add the green beans. Heat for 5 minutes. Add tomato soup, veggie broth, beans, pasta, and basil. Simmer till pasta is soft. Make sure to stir often so the letters don't stick to the bottom of the pan. Once pasta is soft, add the kale. Cook for a minute then turn of heat and serve!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Opening Reception at Union Street Gallery this Friday, 6-9pm!

This Friday, March 2, at Union Street Gallery (1527 Otto Blvd., Chicago Heights, IL 60411) from 6-9pm, my work will be on display in botanic/organic. I am super excited!

And...more corn. One more to go after this, then I can wrap this Monsanto piece up! Here is a link to an older post to see the hands I have sculpted that will be holding/crushing this corn.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Cayenne Pepper

My new favorite snack is guacamole with chopped cayenne pepper and a lot of lime. I bought this beauty yesterday. I saw her in the fridge an hour ago and decided I'd eat her but then wondered if I should paint her first. I was starving....but I knew I wouldn't be able to forgive myself if I did not paint her. The bright red is so fascinating to me!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Cornbread for Breakfast

Last night was fun with Potluck: Chicago and our guests at Inspiration Cafe. I tripled my cornbread recipe...2/3 of the cornbread was eaten but 1/3 sits in my fridge. Looks like I will have to find a way to make cornbread fit into every meal. So I started with breakfast. I used my honey from Midnight Sun Organics farm now that I finally finished my local honey from Dennanne Farms in Elgin. It's amazing how different the two honeys taste, but both are amazing.

Here is the recipe for Vegan Cornbread from The Angelica Home Kitchen: recipes and rabble rousings from an organic vegan restaurant by Leslie McEachern. My Aunt Laurie gave me this book and I love it! This recipe is fast and simple.

Southern-Style Cornbread

Yield: 8 servings Baking time: 25 minutes

1 cup cornmeal
1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 cup unbleached white flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 cup minced scallions
1 cup soy milk
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon sea salt

-Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Oil an 8-to-10 inch round ovenproof glass or case iron skillet.

-Whisk together the cornmeal, whole wheat pastry flour, unbleached white flour, baking powder, and scallions in a mixing bowl.

-In a separate mixing bowl, combine the soy milk, olive oil, maple syrup, and sea salt.

-Combine the wet and dry ingredients. Mix thoroughly with a wooden spoon; do not overmix.

-Pour into the oiled baking dish and bake for approximately 25 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.

-Set aside to cool.

-Slice into wedges and serve.

Here are the many foods everyone brought. It was very yummy!

And a super yummy Coconut Curry soup that Inspiration Cafe provided.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Potluck: Chicago and Feast!

While my cornbread cooks and cools for our Potluck tonight, I thought I'd blog about what has been happening with Potluck: Chicago in the past few days.

Here are the panels of what Potluck: Chicago has done so far, displayed at the Smart Museum for the current exhibition Feast: Radical Hospitality in Contemporary Art. We are all so proud to have come so far. We started in November, as Critical Encounters art residents at Columbia College, meeting Ali and Tim from Motiroti for the first time with no idea where we would be in the future. We have ended up with something wonderful.

We had post-its for visitors to write their answer to "What is your comfort food?" At the end of the night the piece was completely covered with post-its, and almost impossible to see the CTA transit map: a lovely metaphor.

Here is La Keisha inviting people to our Potluck that is happening tonight!

Deirdre, Chelsea, myself, La Keisha, Jessica!

This was an amazing buffet, Flying Feast by Sonja Alhäuser. These were large butter sculptures that later visitors were allowed to eat!

Servers were walking around with these butter sculptures.

Enemy Kitchen by Michael Rakowitz. Iraqi food served by American veterans of the Iraq War.

The next morning we hit the CTA platforms and streets to invite people to our potluck tonight. Here is Helen and David all geared up with aprons and plates.

"Do you like potlucks?" was the icebreaker and it worked! So few people said no and we have received about 30 responses to our invitation! Some yes's for tonight and some no's but yes to potlucks in the future.

We started at Lawrence on the red line and made our way south to Garfield. Next time I will get the guts to hand out plates!

Tonight in Garfield Park, we are hosting a potluck. My cornbread is cooling, it's time for me to leave!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Potluck: Chicago, "We Want People to Eat Together!"

Potluck: Chicago is back at Columbia to meet with Ali from Motiroti one last time before we are on our own. We are discussing our plate intervention that we have come up with. We want to pass out these plates to strangers and ask them to join us on Friday for a Potluck. On the plate is a survey for people to take to answer some questions about their food/neighborhood/and if they'd like to join us for a Potluck.

Here we are sticking the 2,000 stickers on the 2,000 plates.

More sticker to plate sticking....

2,000 plates all done!

We made a wonderful list of what we want Potluck: Chicago to be.

Opening tonight at the Smart Museum, a diary of what we have done so far will be displayed at Feast: Radical Hospitality in Contemporary Art! It will be showing from February 15 - June 10. We will be passing out some of our plates and asking people "What is your comfort food?" which will then be stuck on the wall. We will also be taking peoples photographs with their post its and including them on the wall.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Midnight Sun Eggs and More Plushie Corn...

I went to the Glenwood Winter Market this past Sunday and bought some eggs from Nick and Becky from Midnight Sun Organics Farm. I always enjoy seeing them. I can't wait to volunteer on their farm. :0 )

It felt good to paint again. I believe it has been at least 6 months since I last painted but I plan on doing them more often!

Another corn finished, two more to go...they are getting better and better each time.

I received exciting news last night that 80 Becomes 40 was accepted to be shown for Our Earth at Flow Art Space in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The piece can be seen from April 18-May 5 and the opening reception is Friday, April 20 from 6-9pm...just in case I have a friend who lives in Minnesota that I am not aware of!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Valentine's Craft Show in Roger's Park

I participated in a craft show yesterday and met some wonderful people.

Potluck: Chicago all this week. Hopefully I will find some time to blog about it!

Friday, February 3, 2012

Tofu Scramble Recipe!

I have been cooking consistently for a year and a 1/2 now and I am finally at a point were I can make yummy food without a recipe! I'd like to start sharing them every so often. Here is a recipe for Tofu Scramble:

-1 TBS oil
-1 medium red pepper chopped
-1 medium green pepper chopped
-2 jalapenos chopped (or 1...or none if you don't like spicy, but I've noticed cooking jalapenos gets rid of a lot of the spice)
-1 15 oz extra firm tofu (drained well)
-2 TBS sesame seeds
-about 2 TBS of low sodium Tamari (it's like soy sauce, you can use soy sauce...but not a lot if it's not low sodium. I usually just add the tamari slowly, tasting it as I go to make sure I have enough. You definitely don't want to put too much.)
-1/2 cup green onions chopped

Chop the pepper and put in a pan with heated oil. Cook on medium heat for about 8 minutes or till peppers are a bit soft but still have a crunch! Drain tofu and crumble. Add to pan along with sesame seeds and tamari sauce. Cook for about 8 minutes or until tofu gets a bit brown. Turn off heat and add green onions. Serve! I like to douse everything in Tobasco sauce...but that's just me.

I thought I'd share how I am making the plushy corns since they are taking so long to do. I made a pattern to follow. It took an entire night to get the pattern right. What a relief when it was finally right!

I cut out two corn patterns. I also cut out hundreds of tiny circles from fabric and hand sew them to the corn patterns.

I put the two patterns face together and sew with a machine.

Flip it out like a pillow and stuff it and.....

Tada! Plushy heirloom corn!

Yesterday I found out I was accepted to be a part of the "organic/botanic" show at the Union Street Gallery. Rosa Bianca Heirloom Eggplant will be shown from February 29 to March 31. The opening reception is March 2, 6-9pm. The address is:

1527 Otto Blvd
Chicago Heights, IL 60411

It's just outside Chicago so I imagine it would be hard to come...but if you do I will make you cookies. :0 )

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Eat a Romanesco!

Here is a tiny update on the second corn I am sewing. I have finished this piece today and have another one to do before I can say I have two pieces of corn done. They take a very long time but it is very relaxing sewing each kernel on.

This is a Romanesco Cauliflower. He was super yummy with horseradish hummus. It is so mesmerizing to follow the pattern of this vegetable.

Last Thursday, Chicago Artist Resource hosted "Public Art: How to do Art in Public Spaces" at the Chicago Cultural Center. I went to educate myself for Potluck: Chicago's project we will be doing in February, and because I have an idea for Version 12. It is a festival where creative people will "open and remix" twelve temporary spaces for the month of May in Bridgeport. Their "plans include opening up a used bookstore, a nightly performance space in a church, a home brewing club kitchen, a department store/gallery showcasing all locally manufactured small batch and artisanal products, nomadic collaborative restaurants, and community kitchens, parking lot flea markets, a neighborhood tourism bureau, and a rotating exhibition space for artist and designers."

I want to propose a public art piece that would produce food as well so that people could take from the piece. Kale and Chard to be exact! I want to draw up some ideas and see if this could actually be possible and then hopefully find some people who would be interested in joining me and making this idea stronger.

I can't wait for summer. I want to farm!