Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Painting and Cooking

The timing of two upcoming events had me hopping out of bed early in the morning to head for the grocery store. Believe it or not, I was making Harissa Olive Oil and Pecan Gelato with The Tasteful Olive's Harissa Olive Oil, for the Third Friday celebration in Historic Overland Park. So what does "Harissa Olive Oil" mean, what does it taste like?  This oil is a combination of sweet and hot peppers. The fruitiness of this oil gives a classic North African flavor. Use it to spice up grilled and roasted foods. Add to hummus for a little kick. Pair with Jalapeno Balsamic Vinegar for a spicy salad dressing. Or, in my case....make Spicy Gelato!

I was so anxious to try it, could not imagine what the pepper effect would be on the creamy frozen treat. I love it!  The initial taste is that of a creamy rich gelato, then, very gradually, way back on your tongue, a gentle fire begins to smolder. It is fun!

So, if you want to try it and are in the market for some wonderful olive oils and balsamic vinegars, come on by The Tasteful Olive. I will be giving samples of my Harissa Olive Oil Gelato, Blood Orange Olive Oil Gelato, and Persian Lime Olive Oil Gelato!  You will find live music, fun shops, great food, and of course, The Tasteful Olive.
7945 Santa Fe Drive
Overland Park, KS 66204
Phone: 913-649-7900

Once the gelato was in the freezer,  I joined my fellow Somerset Ridge Painters for an afternoon and evening of painting. Winnie Davis, one of the painters, and her entire family work long and hard to support the Autism Society and to promote Autism Awareness. Winnie thought one of the Somerset Ridge Painter's group paintings would be a fun way to earn some money for the Autiam Society. There is an  MU vs. KU fundraiser for the Universities' Autism Foundations to help build awareness and funds for two great organizations! Tickets are $35 and include appetizers and Boulevard beverages (and bragging rights). Event benefits: MU: Thompson Center for Autism & Neurodevelopmental Disorders KU: Kansas Center for Autism Research & Training. City/State: Kansas City, MO. Thursday, April 28, 2011, 5:00 PM – 9:00 PM. Boulevard Brewing Co. 2501 Southwest Blvd. Today, we painted our donation to the silent auction. I love the painting. It features children and togetherness along with a hint or two of the two universities, KU and MU. It is a fun painting! Let's hope it goes for BIG BUCKS! \

“A Puzzle with No Borders”
by The Somerset Ridge Painters
 Procedes from this years Border Challenge for Autism event are divided between two GREAT organizations fighting Autism! The School (KU or MU) wih the most supporters will get 60% of the procedes from this years event! Kansas University took home the crown in 2010 and was awarded a $6,000 check from the Project Change, Awaken KC team! Be a part of this event in 2011 and help your school fight Autism!
The Somerset Ridge Painters are Ada Koch, Audrey Benskin, JoAnne Carlton, Maria Johnson, Vicki Johnston, Winnie Davis and me, Kay Tucker. This is our 3rd painting donation to a charity auction.

Somerset Ridge Vineyard and Winery
Okay, back to cooking.  This weekend should be a good one, lots of outdoors events are scheduled. I will be spending the weekend at the vineyard, celebrating the release of our newest wine (Boy! Are you going to be surprised and pleased!) There will be live music on the veranda, hand rolled cigars by Corey Frisbee, an artist from Texas and her beautifully made wine barrel furniture, and on Saturday, the Somerset Ridge painters will be there having their photograph taken for future publicity! The winery Tasting Room will be well stocked with delicious wines and local foods to enjoy outside on the veranda or on the hillside! Please remember, picnic baskets from home are always welcome, and we can suggest the perfect wine to go with it!

How about a recipe for a picnic classic, but not dangerous on a hot day?
This is a recipe for French Potato Salad. No mayonnaise!

1 pound small white boiling potatoes
1 pound small red boiling potatoes
2 tablespoons Somerset Ridge Chardonnay
2 tablespoons chicken stock
3 tablespoons Tasteful Olive's Champagne vinegar
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons kosher salt
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
10 tablespoons good olive oil
1/4 cup minced scallions (white and green parts)
2 tablespoons minced fresh dill
2 tablespoons minced flat-leaf parsley
2 tablespoons julienned fresh basil leaves

Drop the white and red potatoes into a large pot of boiling salted water and cook for 20 to 30 minutes, until they are just cooked through. Drain in a colander and place a towel over the potatoes to allow them to steam for 10 more minutes. As soon as you can handle them, cut in 1/2 (quarters if the potatoes are larger) and place in a medium bowl. Toss gently with the wine and chicken stock. Allow the liquids to soak into the warm potatoes before proceeding.
Combine the vinegar, mustard, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper and slowly whisk in the olive oil to make an emulsion. Add the vinaigrette to the potatoes. Add the scallions, dill, parsley, basil, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper and toss. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Now, you need a sandwich! Simple is the way to go....such as
 an Italian Panino.

SERVES 1 (Per guest)
1 6" rectangular piece focaccia or ciabatta
2 thin slices speck, wonderful ham, available at Werner's Specialty Foods, Mission, Kansas
2 thin slices fontina...also available at Werner's            
1⁄2 cup arugula 2 tbsp. 18 year old balsamic vinegar from The Tasteful Olive, Overland Park, Kansas
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Split focaccia in half and place speck, fontina, and arugula on bottom half. Drizzle with vinegar and season with salt and pepper, and cover with top half.

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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