Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Today, while enjoying the conversations between my new studio mates, David Gross, Claud Davis and For Art’sake owner, Caroling Langner, I started to realize how much I am learning, just by listening, and sometimes, eavesdropping! All three are professional artists with experience I can only dream about.

Midmorning, David handed me a book to read, John F Carlson’s Guide to Landscape Painting. I suspect he realizes I need a lot of help! Anyway, while flipping through the book, I came across the following…..”No one color can exist “pure” in the out-of-doors without a lesser or greater tempering with the other two, this tempering being decided mostly by the colorcast of the light, with its myriad reflections and refractions.”……Oh Boy, do I need help!

I do wake up every morning with a feeling of excitement, eager to get to the studio. I also feel intimidation when I walk in, but all three of my new friends have done nothing to make me feel that way. Our conversations are either very stimulating, or out right slapstick. Today David and Claud were telling jokes….badly! They, themselves, were much funnier than the jokes!

Caroline is one of those artists who can do everything, and do it well. She has filled bookcases, there at the studio, with books on every form of art and crafts. She has a great imagination as well as great plans for the studio and gallery.

Now for Claud….he has an amazing way of looking at things. Claud was an engraver at Hallmark for many years. As I understand it, engravers work on a piece upside down. So there is Claud, standing before his easel, painting upside down. His paintings are beautiful, so it works.

I hope all of you can visit us at For Art’sake this Saturday for the Art and Wine Stroll. We will all be there to greet you!

For Art’sake will be offering classes in painting, life drawing, pottery, jewelry, weaving, polymer clay, etc. There will also be a class on writing and compiling an Heirloom Recipes cookbook, taught by me. David Gross teaches private painting classes throughout the week.

It is indeed, a stimulating place! I have a new home.

One other thing David said today was he loves lamb shanks. I’ve promised the 3 of them that I will cook lunch for them soon, possibly lamb shanks. There are so many wonderful lamb recipes that are so good. In thinking about them, I once again realized I’ve been ignoring those of you who are “foodies”. So, here are a few of my favorite lamb recipes.

Hope you enjoy them.

Braised Lamb Shanks

4 American Lamb shanks
4 cloves garlic, divided
1 tablespoon lemon pepper, divided
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, sliced into rings
1 medium green bell pepper, thinly sliced
28 ounces canned whole tomatoes and juice, broken up
1/2 cup Somerset Ridge Vineyard Ruby Red wine
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
1 teaspoon dried oregano leaves, crushed
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon paprika

In 13 x 9-inch baking dish with meat rack, arrange shanks. Make slits in shank meat. Thinly slice 2 garlic cloves and insert into slits. Season all sides of shanks with 2 teaspoons lemon pepper and salt. Roast in 325ºF oven for 1 hour.

In 2-quart saucepan with cover, heat oil. Sauté onion, bell pepper and 2 finely chopped garlic cloves for 3 to 4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add tomatoes, wine or broth, Worcestershire sauce, bay leaves, sugar, oregano, 1 teaspoon lemon pepper, coriander, allspice and paprika. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes; set aside. Remove cooked lamb shanks and rack from pan. Wipe out pan and return shanks to pan. Pour on sauce, cover and cook 1-1/2 to 2 additional hours or until meat is tender. Remove bay leaves. Serve with rice or pasta.

Minty Pasta Salad with Lamb Chops
5 oz. dried fettuccine
1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp. finely shredded lemon peel
1 recipe Mint Herb Pesto, below
12 small lamb double rib chops
3 cups arugula
1 cup fresh mint leaves
Pine nuts, toasted

Cook pasta according to package directions; drain. Rinse; drain.

Transfer to bowl; toss with oil and lemon peel. Prepare Mint-Herb Pesto. Add to pasta; toss. Set aside. (Pasta may be chilled up to 24 hours.)

Meanwhile, sprinkle lamb lightly with salt and pepper. For a charcoal grill, place chops on rack directly over medium coals. Grill, uncovered, 10 minutes (145 degrees F for medium-rare), turning once. (For gas grill, preheat grill. Reduce heat to medium. Place chops on rack over heat. Cover; grill as above.)
Toss pasta with arugula and mint. Top with grilled chops; sprinkle with pine nuts. Makes 6 servings.

Mint-Herb Pesto: In blender or food processor combine 1/2 cup lightly packed arugula, 1/2 cup lightly packed mint, 1/2 cup lightly packed basil, 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, 2 Tablespoons toasted pine nuts, 1 Tablespoon lemon juice, and 2 cloves minced garlic. Cover; blend or process until smooth, scraping down sides as needed. Add the 1/4 cup shredded pecorino cheese and 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper. Cover; blend or process until just combined. Season with salt and pepper.

Feta Lamb Burgers with Spinach Slaw

3 tablespoons quick-cooking rolled oats
1 egg white
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 pound ground American Lamb
1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
2 green onions, finely chopped
1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon Dijon-style mustard
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
1 1/2 cups fresh spinach, leaves and stems removed, chopped
4 English muffins, split and lightly toasted

In a bowl, combine oats, egg white, pepper and salt. Add lamb; mix well. Form into eight 1/4-inch patties. In a small bowl, toss together the feta cheese and green onion. Place one-fourth of the cheese mixture on each of four patties. Top with remaining four patties and seal edges to hold filling inside.
In bowl, combine vinegar, mustard and sugar; mix well. Pour over chopped spinach; toss to mix. Set aside.
Grill burger over medium-hot coals for 5 to 6 minutes per side until no longer pink inside. Place each burger on a muffin half; top with spinach mixture and second half of the muffin.

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Ponte Vecchio, Florence, Italy

Ponte Vecchio, Florence, Italy
oil painting by Kay Tucker

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Somerset Autumn on Wea Creek
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oil painting by Kay Tucker

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Kansas Storm
oil painting by Kay Tucker, Private Collection

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Watercolor Collage

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Tempo al Tempo....All in Good Time
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