Friday, June 26, 2009

If you are interested in taking my class on writing your own Heirloom Cookbook, call or email ARTichokes today, enrollment closes next week! I'd love to have you in my class...and we will eat, too!
Go to or call 913-322-9481
While you are browsing their webpage, check out the painting classes and special events, it is a great place to be!

Friends, I know I’ve blogged about my trip to Sicily several times, and I have mentioned my friend, Judy Witts Francini. I want to pass this on to you, because when you take a trip organized by
Mariann Vandenberg of Travels with Taste and you meet Judy when you land in Italy, you are in store for a trip of a lifetime!
Trust me, you will have a ball! You will eat the best food! And your trip will run like clockwork with Mariann in charge!
I spoke to Mariann today, and there are very few spots open. So if you want to go to Italy, this is your opportunity! Judy will be your guide and as a resident of Tuscany and the owner/chef of her cooking school
She knows exactly where to go and how to get there.
This might be YOUR TIME!
To reach Mariann Vandenberg, email her at

To check out Judy's Blog, go to

Enjoy! Kay

November 1-7, 2009

Join Jet Pabst of A Thyme For Everything on a culinary excursion to Tuscany. Led by the “Diva” of Tuscany, Judy Witts Francini, this specially designed program will take you to the heart of the most famous region of Italy for an in-depth exploration of hearty fall food, wine and lively markets.

Sunday, November 1 -- Arrival day in Florence where we stay at the lovely Hotel Santa Maria Novella in the heart of the old city. In the evening we meet Judy at the hotel and walk to a nearby Trattoria for dinner.

November 2 thru 5 -- After a luscious buffet breakfast we’ll head for the bustling Central Market of Florence for a tasting and shopping tour. We will meet many of Judy’s long time friends who supply the city with some of the finest products of the region. Then it is off to Chianti to begin our exploration of the great foods of Italy and meet more of Judy’s friends…grappa makers, cheese makers, balsamic vinegar makers, wine makers, a great butcher, local artists and artisans. Our hotel for four nights is Palazzo Squarcialupi in Castellina-in-Chianti.

Friday, November 6 -- Return to Florence for a final night at the Santa Maria Novella. There will be time for shopping and museum visits before dinner at one of Florence’s finest Ristorantes.

Saturday, November 7 -- The program concludes after breakfast this morning. Consider extending your stay in Florence or with a visit to another great Italian location.

This is an ALL-INCLUSIVE package…accommodation, transportation, meals, wines, cooking classes and the fun and informative services of Judy Witts Francini. Space is limited and the price is based on 12 participants.
Now for a recipe.....this one is from Judy Francini. It is for her own blend of Italian herbs.
Recipe for Erbe Toscane:
(names to right of forward slash mark is the name in Italian)
1 cup fresh rosemary needles/Rosmarino
1/2 cup fresh sage leaves/Salvia
2 cloves fresh garlic, sliced/ Aglio
Fine Sea salt/ Sale fine

Remove the rosemary needles from the branches and the sage leaves from the stems.
Spread out the herbs on a wooden cutting board, add the garlic, and sprinkle with 1 teaspoon of sea salt.
Using a mezzaluna or large knife, chop in a rocking motion until the herb mixture is almost a powder.If the mixture seems too wet, add another teaspoon of salt. Spread the mixture on a wooden cutting board and let dry over night. When dry, the Tuscan herb mixture can be kept in a tightly sealed jar on your shelf; it does not need to be refrigerated.
It mixes well with olive oil to make a dipping sauce, and I personally like to heat in oil, which then becomes perfect for drizzling on my bean soup.
Many Tuscan butchers use a similar combination of herbs, to which they add fennel seeds, black pepper, and a hearty amount of garlic, thus creating a wetter consistency ideal for the inside of roast pork or as a rub on the outside of beef. Look out for the prepared roasts at the Sant’ Ambrogio and San Lorenzo markets, and you will see how the Tuscan masters season their meats.

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Ponte Vecchio, Florence, Italy

Ponte Vecchio, Florence, Italy
oil painting by Kay Tucker

Somerset Autumn on Wea Creek

Somerset Autumn on Wea Creek
Oil Painting by Kay Tucker, Private Collection


oil painting by Kay Tucker

Kansas Storm

Kansas Storm
oil painting by Kay Tucker, Private Collection

Watercolor Collage

Watercolor Collage

Tempo al Tempo....All in Good Time

Tempo al Tempo....All in Good Time
48"x36" sculptural painting by Kay Tucker