Monthly Archives: September 2013

September Photo shoot: Famous Painting Recreations

For My monthly photo shoot, I will come up with a theme and document it to the best of my ability and talent- and will complete a goal on my 2013 Manifesto. Come along on the ride with me- oh, and strike a pose.

My theme for the month of September is recreating a famous painting- whether they are ‘true’ to the original or take their own path, I had a ton of fun setting the shoots up this month. (However I do apparently have an issue telling my right from my left- which you’ll see below, oops!) Click on any of the pictures below to view them larger:

‘Ohhh…Alright…’ – Roy Lichtenstein, 1964:

‘The Starry Night’ -Vincent van Gogh, 1889

‘Girl with a Pearl Earring’ – Johannes Vermeer, circa 1665

‘Christina’s World’ – Andrew Wyeth, 1948

‘Composition II in Red, Blue, and Yellow’ – Piet Mondrian, 1930

‘Mona Lisa’ – Leonardo da Vinci, 1503-1505/1507

‘Spaniard with a Red Scarf’ – Alexej von Jawlensky, circa 1912

‘The Scream’ – Edvard Munch, 1895

‘The Girl with the Red Balloon’ – Banksy, 2002

‘The Son of Man’ – Rene Magritte, 1946

‘American Gothic’ – Grant Wood, 1930

‘Chop Suey’ – Edward Hopper, 1929

‘Water Lilies’ – Claude Monet, circa 1915-1926

I hope you enjoyed!!

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2nd September Recipe test with Anna!

This past weekend Anna and I tried out our second recipe test of September, and continuing with the fall theme made some delicious treats that remind me of earthy comfort food. We made a Caprese Quinoa Salad and Blonde Apple Brownies- they were even a little healthier than our usual, go Anna!

The food- with recipes:

Fresh Caprese Quinoa Salad

Ingredients
  1. -1/2C quinoa
  2. -8 oz fresh mozerella
  3. -1 carton grape tomatoes, halved
  4. -fresh basil
  5. -2T olive oil
  6. -salt & pepper
Instructions
  1. 1. In a medium sized pan, bring 1C water and 1/2C quinoa to a rolling boil. Reduce heat and simmer on LOW until all of the water is absorbed. This should take anywhere between 10 and 15 minutes. *Cooking your quinoa on low is extremely important. If you let it simmer on a hotter flame, the water will absorb too quickly and the quinoa will turn out hard!
  2. 2. Cool the cooked quinoa in the refrigerator for at least an hour before preparing the salad.
  3. 3. To prepare the salad, slice grape tomatoes in half [hot dog way] and cut the block of fresh mozzarella into bite size pieces. Mix together. Then, add the chopped basil and cooked quinoa and give the salad a toss. Next, drizzle on the olive oil and season with a little salt/pepper (to taste). Give your salad a final toss and serve cool or at room temperature.Apple Brownies

    Ingredients 

    • 1/2 cup butter, melted1 cup white sugar
    • 1 egg
    • 3 medium apples – peeled, cored and thinly sliced
    • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
    • 1 cup all-purpose flour
    • 1/4 teaspoon salt
    • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
      1/2 teaspoon baking soda
    • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

    Directions

    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease a 9×9 inch baking dish.
    2. In a large bowl, beat together the melted butter, sugar, and egg until fluffy. Fold in the apples and walnuts. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and cinnamon. Stir the flour mixture into the wet mixture until just blended. Spread the batter evenly in the prepared baking dish.
    3. Bake 35 minutes in the preheated oven, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

1st September Recipe Test with Anna!

This past weekend Anna and I visited the Louisburg Cider Mill (I LOVE THAT PLACE) and then made our first recipe test for September as a very late lunch. We made Cinnamon pancakes with homemade cinnamon roll frosting and strawberry applesauce. It was delicious, and the perfect fall food!

Our food- with recipes!

Cinnamon Pancakes With A Cinnamon Roll Glaze

Ingredients
FOR Pancakes
  • 1 1/2 cups (195 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/4 cups (295 ml) milk
  • 1 egg
  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
FOR Cinnamon Roll Glaze
  • 1/4 cup (57 grams) unsalted butter (1/2 stick)
  • 3 ounces (85 grams) cream cheese
  • 1 1/2 cups (171 grams) powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons milk
Method
  1. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon and the salt.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the milk, egg, melted butter and one teaspoon of vanilla extract.
  3. (If you a doing this ahead of time, cover flour mixture and milk mixture then keep in the refrigerator until ready to make the pancakes. For the fluffiest pancakes, keep the two mixtures separate until you are ready to make the pancakes).
  4. Once you are ready to make the pancakes. Heat a large skillet or griddle to medium heat. You know when the pan is ready if when you splatter a little water onto the pan surface, the water dances around the pan and eventually evaporates.
  5. Now, make a well in the center of the flour mixture, pour in the milk mixture and use a spoon to stir the two mixtures until combined. It is okay if the batter has small lumps, in fact you want that – it is important not to over-stir the batter. Don’t be surprised if the pancake batter bubbles a bit – it’s normal.
  • Lightly spray skillet or griddle with non-stick cooking spray or lightly brush with melted butter. Then, use a 1/4-cup measuring cup to spoon batter onto the skillet or griddle. Gently spread the batter into a 4-inch circle. The batter will be quite thick.
  • When you begin to notice the edges of the pancake look dry and little bubbles start to appear on the top surfaces of the pancake, turn over. This takes about 2 minutes. Once flipped, cook another 1 to 2 minutes or until lightly browned and cooked in the middle.
  • To make the glaze, melt butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Remove pan from heat then whisk in the cream cheese. It will look separated at first, but after whisking will come together into a thick paste. Whisk in the powdered sugar, vanilla extract and 2 tablespoons of the milk. You want to be able to drizzle the glaze over the pancakes. If it’s too thick, add another tablespoon or two of milk.
  1. Lightly spray skillet or griddle with non-stick cooking spray or lightly brush with melted butter. Then, use a 1/4-cup measuring cup to spoon batter onto the skillet or griddle. Gently spread the batter into a 4-inch circle. The batter will be quite thick.
  2. When you begin to notice the edges of the pancake look dry and little bubbles start to appear on the top surfaces of the pancake, turn over. This takes about 2 minutes. Once flipped, cook another 1 to 2 minutes or until lightly browned and cooked in the middle.
  3. To make the glaze, melt butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Remove pan from heat then whisk in the cream cheese. It will look separated at first, but after whisking will come together into a thick paste. Whisk in the powdered sugar, vanilla extract and 2 tablespoons of the milk. You want to be able to drizzle the glaze over the pancakes. If it’s too thick, add another tablespoon or two of milk.
  4. STRAWBERRY APPLESAUCE
    5 lbs apples, cored, quartered (skins on)
    3 cups strawberries, hulled
    2-4 cups water (I added 1 cup of Louisburg cider also, yum!!)I combined the fruit and water in a large stock pot and brought it to a boil over high heat. I reduced the heat to medium and stirred occasionally while the sauce simmered, uncovered, for 25 minutes. This is where the kitchen starts to smell dreamy and delicious. 

    Each sauce was then ladled into my chinois and pressed using the wooden dowel (the sauce could also be run through a food mill, food processor, or blender, skins and all). You could jar them from here, but we just ate the applesauce! 🙂

Mumford & Sons Concert

This past weekend I went to the Mumford & Sons concert in Bonner Springs, KS with Anna and Megan! I recently shared on my blog another concert I went to with The Spinners and The Emotions.  A concert that I would have not gone to on my own in a genre of music I don’t listen to regularly- thus fulfilling a goal on my 2013 Manifesto. This time is different, Mumford & Sons was a band that I’d not really heard of until I was asked to go to it, but the music is right up my alley, and after the concert I can definitely say I’m a fan. This concert had nothing to do with fulfilling that goal on my list, but I’m sharing the experience anyway because it was so incredible!! These gentlemen from London are so talented and entertaining. They are on hiatus as of the end of the concert we attended, but I can’t wait until they come back!!

1 Year, 100 Movies: #47 A Streetcar named Desire (1951)

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For 1 Year, 100 Movies, I will watch all of AFI’s 100 Years, 100 Movies list (compiled in 2007) in one year- and will complete a goal on my 2013 Manifesto. Come along on the ride with me- oh, and please pass the popcorn!

“A Streetcar Named Desire”– a classic film based off of the 1947 Pulitzer Prize winning play by Tennessee Williams. Marlon Brando, Kim Hunter, and Karl Malden, all members of the original Broadway cast reprised their roles for the film. Vivien Leigh had appeared in the London production as Blanche DuBois joined the other actors for the film. The film is also noteworthy for being the first film in which both a Best Supporting Actor and Actress were awarded. Also interesting- at least to me- is the title of the film. The film is set in New Orleans, and Blanche’s entrance brings her in on on the Desire Line, which ran from 1920 to 1948, at the height of the streetcar use in New Orleans. “They told me to take a streetcar named Desire, transfer to one called Cemeteries and ride six blocks and get off at- Elysian Fields!”

A Streetcar named Desire” is the epitome of an actor driven film. Director Elia Kazan (who, appropriately came from a stage background) set the scene, understood blocking and movement- and let the actors go in this film. The film’s plot centers around Leigh’s character Blanche DuBois. She is a troubled southern belle, past her prime but still attractive, struggling with family issues and the loss of the family fortune. She moves in with her sister, Stella (Kim Hunter) and her husband, Stanley (Marlon Brando). Stella and Stanley have a tumultuous relationship, and Stella often takes refuge with the upstairs neighbors. Stanley and Blanche have their own issues, which culminate at the end of the film.

As I’ve said before with similar films, it is uncomfortable to watch the characters emotionally destroying one another, i.e. “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?“. However, “A Streetcar named Desire” goes beyond just the emotional- it is a story of class struggles and the line of resilience and fragility in humans. The performances are exceptional- in this film you can feel a transitional moment where acting shifts from the ‘stagey over-acting’ of the first part of the 20th century into the modern method of acting that many actors have adopted since. We all have Marlon Brando to thank for that.

In my humble, non-professional, average movie-goer opinion this movie earns:

two_half-stars_0

The Spinners and the Emotions Concert

Everyone has certain bands or genres of music they would drop anything to see. For me those are bands like The Civil Wars, Josh Groban, Brad Paisley, Carrie Underwood, etc. In other words, pop/country/folk/rock. That’s not to say I don’t like or appreciate other types of music,  but I wouldn’t necessarily buy a ticket to a concert on my own. To fulfill a goal on my 2013 Manifesto I was invited by my dad to see The Spinners featuring the Emotions at the Kemper Arena in August. While I like this soul music, I wouldn’t plan such an event on my own. I’m so glad I said yes- this concert was a blast. My whole family went and had a fantastic time. The crowd was grooving and the music was just fun.

King’s Cross by Timothy Keller

kings-cross

This year I will read all of the Timothy Keller books I own– five of them, and will complete a goal on my 2013 Manifesto. 

The third book up on my list is my favorite so far- Timothy Keller’s ‘King’s Cross: The Story of the World in the Life of Jesus“.

It’s a fantastic book that I highly recommend to anyone. In fact, if you want to borrow my copy, just ask. I couldn’t say it any better than its blurb on Amazon: “‘Unpredictable yet reliable, gentle yet powerful, authoritative yet humble, human yet divine.’ Respected pastor and bestselling author Tim Keller takes a deep and thought-provoking look at the life of Christ. Drawing from Mark’s gospel, he explains how Jesus’ identity as king and his purpose in dying on the cross have meaning and significance on a cosmic scale as well as for the individual.”

This book is broken up into two parts- first, The King, and secondly The Cross. The first part, The King focuses on the identity of Jesus. Keller draws from passages of Mark- who gave his accounts of the gospel and life of Jesus in a format that did not focus as much on Jesus’ teachings, but on Jesus’ life, his behavior, his actions. He speaks of what Jesus means for us as individuals and what he means for all of creation. The second half, The Cross, focuses on Jesus’ purpose on earth. I would love to go into details about each little part of this book but that would take forever, and I’d have to end up just copying word for word. Let me just say this: this book is truly something special. It takes the gospel and layes it out in no uncertain terms. It explores the life of Jesus and reveals him as what he really is. I’ll leave you with the gentle and kind urging to please read this book!! and this: This book will give you encouragement, open your eyes and heart- and can open you up to an entirely new journey with Christ.