Thursday, February 9, 2012

Zeus, the Wonder Dog, and I have just returned from a stay at Rudy’s house. Rudy is my "Nephew”, that beautiful Collie I have blogged about before. When my brother and sister-in-law spend time in the Palm Springs area, I stay with Rudy.

Zeus discovers the joy of a BIG bed!
 The 2 dogs bonded beautifully, mainly due to the loving nature of Rudy. He allowed Zeus to eat out of his bowl, drink his water, and to play in his backyard. He did become rather restless when Zeus decided to stretch out in Rudy’s very large, comfy bed…..but I soon realized Rudy’s pacing back and forth was for a very good reason and I moved Zeus to his own bed. That was our only incident which I would say is pretty good considering we were there for several weeks!
I did have a moment when I thought we should rename the boys Felix and Oscar!

 I did have one other snag while I was there. It seems that RoadRunner and Everest are not nearly as friendly as the dogs. I could not get onto the internet or my email program at all while I was there…, I haven’t been blogging. So, you have had a vacation from me. But, I have returned.

While I was “away”, I did the Pig 103 dinner along with Jasper Mirabile at his beautiful restaurant, Jasper’s, here in Kansas City. We had 45 guests who dined on all things PORK. Jasper is such a delight to work with…..he puts up with me in his kitchen just as Rudy puts up with Zeus.

My paintings at ARTichokes Gallery are coming down today. I must admit, I am rather anxious to get them back home! Becky Pashia and her team will be hanging a new show for an opening on Friday evening. The artist is Lucie Phillips of Chicago. I am looking forward to the opening.
I just received an email telling me that the jewelry of artist Ana Herrera will be featured also at ARTichokes!! I am the very proud owner of 3 beautiful pieces of Ana's jewelry! I recommend that you stop by ARTichokes to see her latest collection, Amore Mio!
Jewelry by Ana Herrera

I am also looking forward to the Kansas City Artists Coalition Annual Auction. Once again, David Gross, Vicki Johnston, Audrey Benskin, Ada Koch and I have all donated paintings for the event. It is the main fund raiser for the Coalition every year. They certainly throw some grand parties in connection with the auction. The first event is February 15th. In staying with the Valentine theme, they are having a Sweet Art Reception on Wednesday before the auction on Saturday evening, the 18th. The food and wine are excellent and I might add, in abundance! If you would be interest in one or both events, call the KC Artists Coalition at 816-421-5222 for tickets. The gallery is located at 201 Wyandotte in Kansas City, Missouri.

The painting I have donated is a 36” square oil on canvas of Kansas landscape. I call it “Home, Home on the…..”

Now that Valentine’s Day is next week, I was thinking of giving you a chocolate recipe…..but there are so many that I love, it is difficult to choose one to share.

……and then I remembered this recipe!

Does anything say I LOVE YOU more than a light, warm gooey Chocolate Soufflé? Okay, so maybe a big diamond says it better, but this is a wonderful chocolate soufflé from Jules Clancy of sydney food blog stonesoup  Since it is from Australia, some of the ingredients and directions may take you a moment to figure out, so I will try to make it simple for you.

Chocolate Souffle with Dulce de Leche

You can make the chocolate mix ahead of time and refrigerate until needed. Then all you need to do is whisk your whites and combine everything and bake. For die hard chocolate fans, refrain from using the caramel sauce and serve plain or dusted with a little cocoa powder.

150g dark chocolate, preferably 70% cocoa solids
125ml (½ cup) whole milk
110g (½ cup) caster sugar (caster sugar is a very fine ground sugar. Not powdered sugar fine, but certainly more fine than our sugar here in the US. You may substitute regular sugar if you can’t find the fine sugar. A moment or two in the food processor will help.)
3 egg yolks, lightly whisked
4 egg whites
pinch of salt
pinch cream of tartar
butter for greasing
extra caster sugar for dusting
4 tablespoons dulce de leche sauce, optional to serve (recipe below)

Preheat oven to 180C. (Here in US, 320 degrees Fahrenheit) Grease 4 tea cups or 4 large ramekins with butter and sprinkle with caster sugar, tipping out excess sugar. Break chocolate into small chunks and place in a bowl over a saucepan of simmering water, ensuring that the water does not touch the base of the bowl. Allow chocolate to melt gently. When almost melted remove from heat and stir, allowing the residual heat to melt the remaining chocolate. Stir through cold milk. Combine yolks and sugar and stir through chocolate. (by “stir through”, she means add, stir in.)

Beat egg whites in an electric mixer until frothy and add salt & cream of tartar. Continue to whisk until firm peaks form. Stir a tablespoon of egg white through the chocolate mix to lighten it then gently fold through remaining whites.

Gently divide the mix between the 4 prepared dishes and wrap each with a collar of baking paper that stands at least 4cm (about 1 ½”) above the rim of the dish. Tie with string. Place dishes on a baking tray and bake for 25 – 30 minutes or until soufflés are raised and the top looks cooked through.

Meanwhile warm the dulce de leche sauce in the microwave. When soufflés are cooked, dollop each with a spoonful of sauce and serve immediately.

Dulce de leche sauce

Nowadays you can buy cans of pre prepared ‘caramel filling’ but I prefer to make my own when I have the time. This sauce is delicious on its own, or drizzled over vanilla ice cream or better yet spooned in the middle of this hot chocolate soufflé.

1 can sweetened condensed milk
¼ cup – ½ cup pouring cream (heavy whipping cream)

Place unopened can in a very large saucepan and cover completely with water. Bring to the boil and simmer covered for 3½ hours making sure the can is submerged the whole time. Allow to cool in the water.

Place caramelized condensed milk in a bowl and whisk until smooth. Gradually add in cream until you have a saucy consistency. Serve as is but try not to eat the whole batch with a spoon in one sitting.

so, there you have it…Simple and simply delicious!

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