Saturday, February 26, 2011

Okay, between my fall on Christmas day,  a dreadful cold that has left my ribcage screaming,  and our lousy, snowy bitterly cold weather, I have decided this was my “winter of discontent”. I usually don’t give into bad things without a fight, but for some reason, all of the above have truly gotten to me. But I am officially tired of sitting in my chair, feeling lousy, wishing for warm weather. I will beat this thing.....Thank God the weather forecast is looking good, my cold is on it’s way out, and other than a periodic twinge in the knee, the body is healing and ready to kick some butt. (Please, no jokes about me not tall enough to reach someone's butt)
Now, if gas prices would quit jumping up, I would start spending more time at the studio in Paola. It is a pain to have to consider what it is going to cost me to drive down and back, then compare that to what I “might” accomplish while there. With that “winter of discontent” attitude I’ve been living with, I haven’t found it absolutely necessary to go to the studio. However....
The Kansas City Artist Coalition events of last week have my creative side eager to paint again, and that is good. There are gallery show “possibilities” in my future….if I paint. So, starting this week, paint I will!

While I am on the subject of painting, the date has been set for the next Art in the Vines at Somerset Ridge Vineyard. I can’t believe “The Third Annual“ is approaching. June 11th is the date scheduled, stay tuned for updates.

There is another event in the works also. The Miami County Art and Artisans weekend is being planned for the weekend of June 4th and 5th. I am thinking the vineyard will be involved in some way. I will keep you posted.

Now for our favorite part of this blog....Eating and Cooking

Wine by Somerset Ridge, label by Kristin Goering
  I am about to make an Apple Riesling Sorbet for a French dinner to be held at Molly’s Table in Paola next Friday evening. The evening is a joint effort between Molly's and Somerset Ridge Vineyard.
 The Alsace region of France is a favorite of mine, so when choosing the recipe for dessert, I naturally turned to Alsace.. Dennis and Cindy recently released their new Riesling wine. It turns out they have a love of the Alsace also. My little ice cream makers will be busy this week! If you are interested in attending the dinner, email Donna Nagle, owner of Molly’s, at The last time I checked on reservations, there were 6 seats still available, but that was 4 or 5 days ago. If it is full, tell her to put you on the list for the next one!

One of my favorite French recipes is for French Country Pâté. You may not call it a “simple” recipe, but the simplicity of the pate is stunning. If I could, I would eat this 3, maybe even 4, times a day. Strange, but I think my 2 favorite things to eat are French…this pâté and my Alsatian Onion Tart. People are generally cold or hot when it comes to the French….but no one can say their food isn’t magnificent! Don’t let the recipe scare you, it is worth every moment, every ingredient.

This recipe is from Molly Wizenberg and the Photograph is by Misha Gravenor.
French Country Pâté
3/4 cup Cognac
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup minced onion
2 1/2 pounds ground pork
12 ounces bacon (8 to 10 slices), finely chopped, plus 14 bacon slices (for lining pan)
3 garlic cloves, pressed
2 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme
1 1/2 teaspoons allspice
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/3 cup whipping cream
1  6-ounce piece ham steak, cut crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick strips
Coarse sea salt
Dijon mustard


Set rack at lowest position in oven and preheat to 350°F. Boil Cognac until reduced to 1/2 cup, about 1 1/2 minutes. Cool.
Melt butter in heavy medium skillet over medium heat. Add onion and sauté until soft and translucent but not brown, about 8 minutes.
Combine ground pork and chopped bacon in large bowl. Using fork or fingertips, mix together until well blended. Add sautéed onion, garlic, 2 1/2 teaspoons salt, thyme, allspice, and pepper to bowl with pork mixture and stir until incorporated. Add eggs, cream, and reduced Cognac. Stir until well blended.
Line 9x5x3-inch metal loaf pan with bacon slices, arranging 8 slices across width of pan and 3 slices on each short side of pan and overlapping pan on all sides. Using hands, lightly and evenly press half of meat mixture (about 3 1/4 cups) onto bottom of pan atop bacon slices. Arrange ham strips over in single layer. Top with remaining meat mixture.
Fold bacon slices over, covering pâté. Cover pan tightly with foil. Place pan in 13x9x2-inch metal baking pan and transfer to oven. Pour boiling water into baking pan to come halfway up sides of loaf pan. Bake pâté until a thermometer inserted through foil into center registers 155°F, about 2 hours 15 minutes.
Remove loaf pan from baking pan and transfer to rimmed baking sheet. Place heavy skillet or 2 to 3 heavy cans atop pâté to weigh down. Chill overnight. DO AHEAD Can be made 4 days ahead.

Place loaf pan with pâté in larger pan of hot water for about 3 minutes. Invert pâté onto platter; discard fat from platter and wipe clean. Cut pâté crosswise into 1/2-inch slices. Serve at room temperature with a sprinkling of salt, cornichons, Dijon, and a baguette.

Je l'aime!

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