Saturday, July 2, 2011

Happy 4th of July!
What is on the menu at your house?  Hot Dogs? Hamburgers? Maybe Ribs?  Well if you are in the Midwest, it is going to be hot enough to grill them on the sidewalk!
Do you remember why we celebrate the 4th?  Our INDEPENDENCE!
If you read the Constitution of the United States lately, you will find it by going to
A great thing to do before you watch those fireworks!

Miss me?  I didn't realize I hadn't posted a blog since June 21.  I've been busy in the studio, painting like a woman on a mission!  What is driving me on? Simple....and exciting.....first, the Somerset Ridge Painters (Ada Koch, Ana Welch, Audrey Benskin, JoAnne Carlton, Kristin Goering, Maria Johnson, Patsy Brown, Winnie Davis, Vicki Johnston and me) will be the featured artists at the new and exciting Tortoise Gallery on the square in Paola, Kansas in September.   It should be a fun opening celebration! The new owner, Nancy Sims-West, is making some much needed changes in the gallery,  offering work by new and exciting artists,  having openings that are fun events, inviting the public to come and hang out with the artists.  Nancy is not new to the Paola art scene, and has been purchasing art for years. She and her two sons will be making a difference there on the Square.
The Tortoise Gallery will be opening on July 15th (operating as d'Marie Gallery until then). I will keep you posted on the events  planned for the Tortoise!

So, back to my drive to paint many, many paintings.....After September, there are two more shows scheduled.  The Somerset Ridge Painters Mini Art in the Vines will take place, hopefully in early October. We did this last fall for the first time, and it was beautiful. There is not a more gorgeous and peaceful place than Somerset Ridge Vineyard in the fall. Harvest is over and every vine is turning either golden yellow or deep crimson! With the blue sky above and the warmth of the autumn sun, a perfect day is in store for everyone who comes out to stroll among the vines and the paintings! I will start talking about the event when the date is set.  Of course, until then, please come out to the winery. You are in for a treat!

The third show that has me wound up is coming in December. David Gross and I will be featured artists at ARTichokes Gallery at Mission Farms in Leawood, Kansas. This means so much to me! The owners, sisters Rebecca Pashia and Laurie Barling have been instrumental in my return to painting.Then I met David Gross, who has been my teacher and studio partner for the last several years. so, to have the opportunity to share a show with David at ARTichoke's is such an honor for me! ..............So you see why I have to paint, Paint PAINT?

Okay, back to are a few recipes you might want to try this holiday.
What is the 4th without a cookout! What is a cookout without Baked Beans!
Smoky-Spicy-Sweet Barbecue Baked Beans
from The Garden of Eating, one of the blogs I follow 

Serves 8
2 cups dried pinto or kidney beans, soaked overnight and drained
6 cups water
1 onion, thinly sliced
4 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
1 1/2 cups (1 15 oz can or jar) strained or pureed tomatoes or unseasoned tomato sauce
1/3 cup firmly packed brown sugar
2 Tbsps minced chipotle pepper canned in adobo sauce
2 Tbsps soy sauce

1. Combine the beans with the water in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat slightly and boil gently, covered for 1 to 1 1/2 hours, until the beans are completely tender. Do not undercook; the beans will not soften further once they're combined with the tomatoes.
2. Preheat the oven to 300 F. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the beans to a large oven-safe pot with lid or covered casserole dish. Add the onion, garlic, tomato puree, brown sugar, chipotles and soy sauce and stir to combine evenly.
3. Cover and bake for 2 to 3 hours, until the sauce is a nice thick consistency. If necessary, you can remove the lid during the last 30 minutes to allow more of the liquid to cook off. Serve hot.

Here is a great recipe if you want something you can make ahead, yet have that 4th of July feeling of an All-American Hot Dog....from Cajun Country!

Cajun Style Smoked Sausages and Peppers

Serves: 6 to 12

1/4 cup thinly sliced celery
1 large onion chopped
4 cloves garlic minced
1 large red bell pepper(s) cut into strips
1 large yellow bell pepper(s) cut into strips
2 large green bell pepper(s) cut into strips
1 (14.5-oz.) can diced tomatoes with green chiles
1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
3 tablespoons brown sugar
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
hot pepper sauce to taste
cayenne pepper to taste
2 (1.25-lb.) pkg. Farmland® Louisiana Brand Smoked Sausage Links ( a FABULOUS PRODUCT! kt)
12 hot dog buns

1.Combine all ingredients except sausage links and buns in 4- to 5-quart slow cooker; mix well.
2.Add sausage links to slow cooker. Cover and cook on High 30 minutes or until mixture begins to simmer; stir.
3.Reduce heat to Low, cover and cook 2 to 3 hours. Serve sausage links in buns with peppers and sauce spooned over top.

And for dessert?......Ahhhhhh,  Apple Pie!
Apple Pie

Makes 1 double-crust pie
Pie pastry
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, chilled and cut into small pieces
1/4 to 1/2 cup ice water (essential that the water is cold)
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
12 apples, peeled, cored, and sliced (I like to use a mixture of Granny Smith)
3/4 cup sugar, plus additional for pie top
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
Pinch ground cloves
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 large egg, beaten

1. In a mixing bowl, combine flour, salt, and sugar. Add butter, and use a pastry blender (or a fork, but I find it makes a difference to use the proper tool) to blend until mixture resembles coarse meal.
2. Add ice water slowly, while gently stirring with a spatula just until dough holds together without being wet or sticky. Be careful not to over-work the dough. To test, squeeze a small amount together: If it is crumbly, add more ice water, 1 tablespoon at a time.
3. Divide dough into two equal balls. Flatten each ball into a disc and wrap in plastic. Transfer to the refrigerator and chill at least 1 hour.
4. Heat oven to 375 degrees. On a lightly floured surface (I like to use a pastry cloth), roll out pastry into two 1/8-inch-thick circles to a diameter slightly larger than that of an 11-inch plate. Press one pastry circle into the pie plate.
5. In a large bowl, combine apples, sugar, lemon zest and juice, spices, and flour. Toss well. Spoon apples into pie pan. Dot with butter, and cover with remaining pastry circle. Trim edges of crust to make neat circle, with top slightly larger than bottom. Seal by gently folding top layer around the edge of the bottom shell and pinching edges with fingers and thumb to make a pretty fluted edge. Cut several steam vents across top. Brush with beaten egg, and sprinkle with additional cinnamon and sugar.
6. Bake until crust is brown and juices are bubbling, about 1 hour. Let cool on wire rack before serving.

Happy Independence Day!

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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