Another Weekend of Art Class

This last weekend I took another three-day class at The Winslow Art Center on Bainbridge Island.  Martha Jordan brings in wonderful artists from all over the country to teach workshops.  This last weekend, Stanley Bielen came in from the East Coast to teach beautifully simplified small paintings to a group of fifteen from all over the country.

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We all had individual vignettes set up around the room.  It was so fun to see what people selected and then what they painted.  I learned a lot from the teacher and from watching the approach of other artists in the class.  I started to say “students”, but for the most part, the class was full of very accomplished artists.

I stopped to talk to a friend downstairs and by the time I returned after the morning demo, the only spot left was the one where Stanley had painted the demo, so I decided I would give it a try.

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These are small paintings at about 6″ x 8″, so this is even a little larger than the actual painting.  Being pleased with this I moved on the next day to a set-up of my own.

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This is not quite as loose as what Stanley was sharing, but it was fun and I felt good about it, which is not always the case.

In the afternoon, I looked at the choices available and found this beautiful little teapot, and thought it would be fun.  Laughing a little, I placed a quince bough in the spout and had fun painting this. Stanley made a couple of painting strokes, that really made a difference in the painting.

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Keep in mind that I am not a “flower” painter.  Ever since I was in Art School in the ’70s, and the teacher in one of my first-semester art classes said, after I produced a three foot by three foot abstract, that he was surprised, as he always thought I would just be a flower painter, I have kind of steered clear of flowers.  If you look back in your life, I think most of us would be amazed by the power that a small quick comment may have had on our lives. Teachers have more power than we often think.

Feeling good about my little teapot (short and stout) I returned to the “table of treasures”, as I called it with lots and lots of flowers, some fruit, and vegetables and tried to figure out how I could avoid painting flowers.

Ah, the Bok Choy.  One other artist painted it laying on its side, but I thought: “Let the Bok Choy stand tall”. Not sure it came out as tall, but at least it does look like a Bok Choy.

 

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That was the end of the second day and I have to admit I was a little tired. My sweet husband suggested we just go out to dinner.  I thought that was a great idea and had a few glasses of champagne with dinner, came home and had a couple glasses of wine.  I awoke with a not so happy headache but took some ibuprofen and was off to class.  Arriving at class, I realized I was tired and not really “on”.  I discovered that day that how you feel makes a difference to your creativity.  I did two more small paintings, but walked away, not liking either one of them.

One of the women in the class brought in a vase of amazing Camillias, so I thought: ” Humm, they are big, maybe I can paint one.”

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Stanley liked it, but it does not “sing” to me.  I might try more flowers just to see if I can do it more successfully.  The last painting of class should be your best effort, but I find I am usually more tired at the end of the class, so don’t think it is my best.

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I realized as I finished this, that the flower was way to close to the upper left corner.  The nice thing about working on panels is that you can cut them.  So I cropped it in Photoshop and will have my husband cut it down.

yellow with crop

So I will have him chop off the bottom, and I will repaint the bottom and then I think I may actually like it.

It was a very wonderful workshop and I feel lucky I was able to take it with old friends and now some new ones.

 

Another Weekend of Art Class

Old in Art School

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When I saw the title of this book, I was immediately attracted to it. This is the year I turn seventy. At sixty-two I completed my Ph. D. in Business Marketing, not in art, although I did finish my BA in Art in 1971 and my MA in Art (although with an emphasis in interior design) in 1985. I understand going back to school when a little older is all about attitude. I laughed at the beginning of the book, as the author described the other students, the attire, the classrooms and the fear of failure, but as I listened on to the audio-book I liked it less and less.  One of the reviews of the book described how I innately felt perfectly:

“I was excited to dive into this book, hopeful for little nuggets of wisdom for my similar journey and perhaps a laugh or two in self-reflection. Instead, the reader encounters a self-indulgent, needy author who repetitively presents an inventory of her resume ad nauseam. She used this book to disparage other students all while trying to impress the reader by spewing supercilious comments and including very little about the process or art school. This book had so much potential but was so disappointing.” 

It is interesting to think that no matter how successful you were in what you did before, no one in your art classes knows that or cares about that. I had a little of that this weekend when I took a tonal painting class of street scenes.  I love the work of the man that taught the class and I learned quite a bit in the class. Mostly I learned I don’t like doing a tonal painting.  I love painting with color! Color kept creeping into my paintings in the class and I kept getting in “trouble” for adding too much color.    Sometimes in life, it is just as important to know what we don’t like, as much as what we love.

When I sat down to write my blog, I thought I would look at the artwork of the author of the book before I wrote a lot about it. Viewing her artwork, the first thought that crossed my mind was that she wrote this book, not about her real art school experience, but to promote herself and her art. Her background is in writing and history, so she knows how to write about history, but in this book, she makes being older a roadblock, not an advantage. She has gotten quite a bit of attention over the book, and thus her art. What is totally missing in this book, are all the other wonderful artists that started their art life later in life. She is certainly not alone!

Maybe I should write about starting and stopping art in your life. You start as a child and my case went on to study it in college. Then you start a career, get married, have children (oops no time for art), and in my case was widowed at a young age and raised my sons on my own and don’t have much time for art till your children are grown and have lives of their own.

When she started talking about how you have to dress to be a successful artist, I started losing interest.  Moving forward to discuss the philosophical side of the history or artists (in her opinion) I began wondering if I wanted to bother to listen to the rest of the book.

The book made me think about my own tonal experience. You can enjoy viewing art that you do not enjoy attempting. You can be award-winning in other fields and not art, and still enjoy painting. I have had many art shows, but never entered a contest with my art.

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The class was a learning experience. We worked on these small the first afternoon after watching a demo in the morning. The one on the top right was the first one with the second below and the third in ochre tones.

We moved forward painting in a slightly larger format the second day after another morning demo. My green trees are too green for tonal painting, but as I said I like “color”.

Street scene from Terry Miura Class.jpg The last and/or third day we had options of what we could paint.  I chose to paint a facade of a building, as I used to do a lot of rendering in interior design school, and as an interior design college professor.  I am still working on the facade and realized when I stood back and looked at it, I had added a shadow to the awning, and now I had shadows coming from two directions.  I will try to make the correction and add it to the post. The building and the cafe next door need names too!

I heard once, and again in this class: “If the painting is not selling, add a dog.” I think this painting may need a dog-walker with several dogs. I think it is better to laugh at oneself, that try to be pompous about what you cannot do.

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As always, I walked away having learned something new, met new people that love art and enjoyed the camaraderie of painting with new and old friends.

I will continue to listen to the rest of the book and hope it gets better, but reading several reviews I don’t think that will be the case. It makes me want to write a funnier book on a similar topic. One of the other reviewers wrote: “More of a self-congratulate memoir of past achievements than a book of more recent achievements. Disappointing … could have been much more.” 

It could have been written in a much more positive manner and encourage those of us over twenty to try different things.

Old in Art School

2019 Challenge

Last year I challenged myself to read 75 books in the year and made it, finishing the last two in December. This year I am attempting, and I do say attempting a different type of challenge.  I bought the book by Kevin McPhearson called “Reflection of a Pond”

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For a little over a year, he painted the pond in his back yard. I thought it might be a great idea to work on my brushwork and color skills in my artwork.  I live on a beach with a beautiful view.  Depending on the day, I see the mountains, amazing sunrises, boats, people, the marina and love the view every day. I am going (to try) to paint my view at some angle every day this coming year.

The paintings will be small at 5″ x 7″ and I am not going to only focus on part of the view, because as I see it there are three sections to my view.  To the right and mostly south, I see a park and a small falling apart dock.  In the middle, I see the break-water and a few boats and off to the left is the marina where the ferries come in and out.

I started this six days ago on January 16th, and in all honesty am a little overwhelmed by the idea.  I decided I was not going to set up my easel in my living room, but take photos and paint them from my Ipad in my studio.  I am a messy painter and I think my house would be safer without the possibility of my cat wandering through the paint and spreading it throughout the interior.

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DAY ONE

Sunrise, where I live, is sensational. This time of year it is usually a little after seven, so I have gotten in the habit of waking up and checking to see if it is beautiful or if it is gray.  If it is gray with no sun, then I know I have to wait till later or for a later day.  Keep in mind that these are small and quick studies.

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DAY TWO

I am starting to relax a little with my second painting, knowing that most likely they will never sell, but they might make a fun show or a fun book, but I am savoring the differences in the colors of the morning.

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DAY THREE

Some days are peaceful and don’t seem to sing to me, but this morning on day three, the sky was amazing and constantly changing.  The interesting thing about sunrises here is that they can be totally amazing one minute and literally gone the next.  You have to try to capture the essence of what is happening quickly.

 

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DAY FOUR

I am starting to experiment a little more with texture and using a palette knife a little more.  I am hoping during the year to gain control of the palette knife using it for the dock and sometimes for everything.  The boat to the right of the dock, looks more like a rock than a boat, but it is a learning experience.

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DAY FIVE

On this morning it was misty and you could barely see the boats through the fog.  I moved to the marina area to focus on the painting and love the almost eeriness of the painting.  It could be a city or a marina or another country, but I had fun just playing with the color, which is the opposite of Day 6.

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DAY SIX

So often, as most of you know, we awaken to gray, grey and grayer, so I decided to attempt a tonal painting using only Payne’s Gray, Titanium White, and French Ultramarine Blue.  I tried my new camera lens which is a 150 -800 mm to see what I could do with a close-up shot.  I had fun with just the three colors and the closer view.

Going forward I will try to paint daily with different colors or different views and see what happens.  I will post every few days with my newest painting.

I will continue to post food posts, as I love to cook.  Today I made Peanut Butter cookies and Chocolate Chip cookies to take to our local Senior Center for their Bingo Game tomorrow.  I know they love sweets and not too many of them cook.

 

2019 Challenge

 Granite vs. Quartz

If you’ve recently shopped for new kitchen countertops, you know firsthand how many options there are today. Houzz research says that for most people, the choices often boil down to granite or quartz. Two out of five homeowners choose one of these two surfaces, often for durability and easy cleaning, according to a 2017 U.S. Houzz Kitchen Trends Study. If you have whittled it down to granite or quartz, here’s a quick way to learn all about their pros and cons.
 Granite vs. Quartz

SHOULD YOU BE WASHING YOUR SHEETS MORE OFTEN IN SPRING AND SUMMER

This is an article I found that is a little “out of the blue”, but interesting. I remember growing up we had to change our sheets every Saturday, but I don’t think most people change them that often.  I would love to know the average.

Thumbnail for Should you be washing your sheets more often in spring and summer?
Warm weather may mean more rooftop cocktails and outdoor workouts, but it also means there’s a whole lot more sweat on your body by the time sunset rolls around. So when you get into bed at night in the months from May to October, chances are you’re bringing more dirt and grime than in the cooler months.

We spend 56 hours per week in our sheets that’s a lot of time.  There is a natural accumulation of microorganisms in bedding as people constantly shed skin, saliva, and hair. In the spring and summer, heat and humidity provide the perfect environment for dust mites to thrive, which means they’re likely joining you while you sleep. Oh, and since it’s allergy season, pollen from the air can get in there with you, too, which means it’s basically a full-on microscopic mixer every night. So how often should you be washing your sheets in the heat?

 Keep scrolling to find out how often you should clean your bedding in the spring and summer.
Bedding First things first: There is a difference in the frequency with which you should wash your bedding. In the winter, it’s perfectly acceptable to change your sheets every other week. During the warmer months, though, that doesn’t cut it. We recommend a weekly routine in the spring and summer as we have a tendency to sweat much more.

Pillowcases should be swapped every week, regardless of the season (your face has bacteria that transfer directly to it), and duvet covers should always be washed every other week. As for the oft-overlooked items, which can also be loaded with some of the creepy crawlies, Calleja suggests washing pillows every six weeks and comforter inserts every month.

There are all sorts of things lurking in your sheets, pillows, and comforters that you may not be aware of, and they could pose a threat to your health if cleanliness isn’t maintained, and your bedding properly laundered. All those dust mites, bacteria, fungi, and pollen on dirty sheets can cause nasal congestion, stuffiness, runny nose, scratchy throat, allergies, provoke asthma, and worsen eczema and acne. Yikes.

To wash properly, research shows that hot water is an effective way to kill dust mites and other allergens. Calleja also suggests using gentle hypoallergenic, phosphate-free soaps and chlorine-free whitening powder when necessary. Because TBH, if you’re going to spend 56 hours a week in your sheets which is basically all of your free time, not counting the hours you’ll spend at the beach or sipping rosé on rooftops you may as well keep them as fresh and clean as possible.

If Fido sleeps in your bed with you, there are a few more things you should know about washing your sheets. 

If you’re a hooman (as they say on the Internet) to a Fido or Fluffy or if you live with someone who is you’re likely aware of the overwhelming number of health benefits associated with dog ownership. From potentially lowering blood pressure to maybe even increasing your lifespan, pups are basically an immunity booster in a cute furry package.

And so it only makes sense that dog people would want to spend as much QT as possible with their pups, including at bedtime. Studies show that about 40 percent of dog owners sleep with their pets, but is it really safe to co-sleep?

While dogs can actually transmit some 70 diseases to humans, you don’t need to kick your little buddy out of bed in a hurry.  The risks for the average population are probably overall low, especially if you do some simple basic things.

How to safely co-sleep with your furry friend

It may sound obvious, but washing your hands often is a top priority,especially if you’ve just touched your dog and are planning to eat a pre-bed snack (but it’s good advice to follow all the time). This is really really important, pointing to a recent outbreak of multi-drug resistant Campylobacter transmitted from puppies to people, which could have been avoided with proper handwashing. And don’t forget to wash your sheets, comforter, and any other dog bedding on the reg. Probably more often than you think you should.

Secondly, and this is likely another obvious one, keep your dog healthy and clean. One of the biggest concerns for people who sleep with their pet is getting fleas or ticks, which is a valid concern because pet owners are more likely to encounter ticks on themselves than non-pet-owners. (Although, to be fair, this could just be because dog owners tend to spend more time outside.) But you can help keep your bed bug-free by speaking to your vet about the appropriate flea and tick control products, which are now very safe for pets.

One of the biggest concerns for people who sleep with their pet is getting fleas or ticks, which is a valid concern because pet owners are more likely to encounter ticks on themselves than non-pet-owners.

Keeping a close eye on your dog when it’s on a walk or playing in a park is also important for co-sleepers. Eating rotten garbage or dead animals can cause your pet to become ill, and they may spread their sickness to you. There have even by documented cases of the plague and other serious diseases being transmitted from pet to owner.

Everyday grime and dirt that undoubtedly sticks to your dog’s paws could carry some risks, but they “haven’t necessarily been well-quantified. As long as their paws aren’t overly full of muck and all kinds of other things, then probably especially for the average person, the risk is pretty low. And here’s a tip: Clean your pooch’s paws before bedtime! 

Of course, there are certain populations of people who should think twice before cuddling up, including young children under five, elderly people over 65, pregnant women, and the immunocompromised generally those with HIV/AIDS or people with cancer and receiving chemotherapy. These groups are not only more susceptible to the types of diseases dogs can spread, they’re also likely to get more severe cases. 

What it really comes down to is: Before you let your dog in your bed, invite him to be part of your nightly self-care hygiene routine. You’ll both be better for it.

SHOULD YOU BE WASHING YOUR SHEETS MORE OFTEN IN SPRING AND SUMMER

Hallway Hacks = Usable Space

6 Hallway Hacks to Turn Them Into Usable Space
Here are some great hallway ideas from Dwell.
Put your corridors to work as storage, seating, or gallery space with these ideas.

Hallways don’t just have to be connective space they can serve a multitude of functions despite the challenges that their long, narrow proportions present. Below, find a practical guide to making hallways that aren’t just for passing through.

1. Install Shelving

6 Hallway Hacks to Turn Them Into Usable Space - Photo 1 of 12 - Installing wood shelves in this nook in a hallway adds visual interest that breaks up the hallway's length, and provides storage for books and other vignettes.
Wood shelves in this nook in a hallway add visual interest that breaks up the hallway’s length and provides storage for books and other vignettes.

6 Hallway Hacks to Turn Them Into Usable Space - Photo 2 of 12 - Custom millwork and cabinetry can be a great way to add storage while keeping the hallway looking clean, neat, and bright. Cut-outs in the doors instead of knobs or cabinet handles ensure that hardware doesn't take up any extra space in the narrow corridor.
Custom millwork and cabinetry can be a great way to add storage while keeping the hallway looking clean, neat, and bright. Cut-outs in the doors instead of knobs or cabinet handles ensure that hardware doesn’t take up any extra space in the narrow corridor.

2. Hang Artwork

6 Hallway Hacks to Turn Them Into Usable Space - Photo 3 of 12 - Installing artwork in a hallway is a great way to create drama in a small, narrow space; textured pieces like this one work particularly well because viewers can get very close. 
Artwork in a hallway is a great way to create drama in a small, narrow space; textured pieces like this one work particularly well because viewers can get very close.
6 Hallway Hacks to Turn Them Into Usable Space - Photo 4 of 12 - Artwork can also bring balance to a space, acting as a counterpoint to closets and doors, and introducing color schemes that play throughout the rest of the home.
Artwork can bring balance to a space, acting as a counterpoint to closets and doors, and introducing color schemes that play throughout the rest of the home.

3. Add Seating

6 Hallway Hacks to Turn Them Into Usable Space - Photo 5 of 12 - Placing seating in a hallway or corridor might sound counterintuitive. However, adding seating— in particular a piece that takes advantage of the length and narrowness of a hallway, like a bench—is particularly well-suited because it works as a waiting nook.
 Placing seating in a hallway or corridor might sound counterintuitive. However, adding seating, in particular, a piece that takes advantage of the length and narrowness of a hallway, like a bench is particularly well-suited because it works as a waiting nook.

6 Hallway Hacks to Turn Them Into Usable Space - Photo 6 of 12 - A bench in a hallway can also provide a moment of respite, encouraging new perspectives and rhythms within a residence, even if it's just a pause to look out a window or into another room.
A bench in a hallway can also provide a moment of respite, encouraging new perspectives and rhythms within a residence, even if it’s just a pause to look out a window or into another room.

4. Turn it Into a Library

6 Hallway Hacks to Turn Them Into Usable Space - Photo 7 of 12 - You may think that a library has to be its own room, but books can be stored and read just about anywhere. Lining a hallway with books turns it into a library that you’ll walk through, and be inspired by, every day. Cabinets below provide extra storage and even a place to sit and read. 
You may think that a library has to be its own room, but books can be stored and read just about anywhere. Lining a hallway with books turns it into a library that you’ll walk through, and be inspired by, every day. Cabinets below provide extra storage and even a place to sit and read.
6 Hallway Hacks to Turn Them Into Usable Space - Photo 8 of 12 - Creating a library along a staircase out of open shelving means that the books can be accessed from both the staircase and the stair hall on the other side.
Creating a library along a staircase out of open shelving means that the books can be accessed from both the staircase and the stair hall on the other side.

5. Install Hooks

6 Hallway Hacks to Turn Them Into Usable Space - Photo 9 of 12 - Wall space in a hallway can easily be activated by a series of hooks for hats, coats, or scarves. If the hallway is particularly visible, you may hang items in an artful way, so that there's a mixture of aesthetic cohesion and functionality.

Wall space in a hallway can easily be activated by a series of hooks for hats, coats, or scarves. If the hallway is particularly visible, you may hang items in an artful way, so that there’s a mixture of aesthetic cohesion and functionality

6 Hallway Hacks to Turn Them Into Usable Space - Photo 10 of 12 - Colorful, scattered coat hooks by the architect-designers Julia Jamrozik and Coryn Kempster create a functional, eye-catching wall that works well whether the hooks are used for hanging or just for decoration.
Colorful, scattered coat hooks create a functional, eye-catching wall that works well whether the hooks are used for hanging or just for decoration.

6. Create a Drop-Off Station

6 Hallway Hacks to Turn Them Into Usable Space - Photo 11 of 12 - An entrance hallway is the first space you enter in a home, but it can also serve the very important function of acting as a drop-off station or mudroom for keys, shoes, and coats.
An entrance hallway is the first space you enter a home, but it can serve the very important function of acting as a drop-off station or mudroom for keys, shoes, and coats.

6 Hallway Hacks to Turn Them Into Usable Space - Photo 12 of 12 - A drop-off station can consist of anything, from nothing more than a narrow shelf with a mirror above it, to a series of hooks with seating, storage, and plants.
A drop-off station can consist of anything, from nothing more than a narrow shelf with a mirror above it, to a series of hooks with seating, storage, and plants

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Hallway Hacks = Usable Space

Popular New Entry Spaces

In the first three months of the year, Houzzers saved photos of grand main entry spaces and casual backdoor mudrooms that were full of great ideas. Benches for slipping off shoes, cubbies, and cabinets for storing outerwear and striking design elements such as flame-stitch-patterned wallpaper, an urban landscape mural, and log cabin siding caught our attention. Here are 10 great ideas from the most popular new entry photos uploaded in the first quarter of 2018.
Popular New Entry Spaces

Top Kitchen Innovations From Milan

Dream kitchens, live presentations of the latest smart-home appliances and cooking demos by famous chefs greeted visitors to EuroCucina and FTK (Technology for the Kitchen), the biennial events that took place during the latest installment of the Salone del Mobile trade fair in Milan, Italy, from April 17 to 22.

We kept an eye open for signs of how the most lively and innovative space in the house, the kitchen, is evolving. Among the exhibits were increasingly flexible setups, commercial appliances redesigned for the home cook and innovative new technologies. Picking up on the current trend of the integration of kitchen and living spaces, designers also presented kitchen features that either blend seamlessly into their surroundings or disappear altogether. Here are some of the kitchen innovations coming your way in 2018.

Top Kitchen Innovations From Milan

How Chefs Eat Artichokes

Raw, fried, creamed, or stuffed: There are so many ways to heart artichokes.

Food and Wine Magazine comes up with some of the most interesting articles.  This one about artichokes is great, as artichokes are appearing beautifully in the local grocery markets.  I grow my own, but they are so pretty on the plant, I have a hard time wanting to cut them off and eat them.
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Though scraping the meat off of an artichoke leaf is both cathartic and delicious (particularly when said leaf has been doused in melted butter), there are so many more ways to eat this tasty thistle. You could stuff the insides with potatoes. You could make a warm, cheesy dip. You could even throw the hearts into a bread pudding. This spring, we vote for trying it all.

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Since it’s peak season for artichokes, we asked chefs across the country about their favorite ways to eat ‘em. Here’s what they had to say:

Shota Nakajima, Chef/Owner, Adana

“Artichokes are snacks for me, so I like to blanch the whole entire thing without cleaning them till they’re nice and soft. Then pick the leaves and dip them in Kewpie mayo. The snacky thing where I get to eat with my hands, like pistachios, is something that I love to do.”

Sarah Grueneberg, Chef/Owner, Monteverde

“I like to shave artichokes raw into a salad or fry them in a little olive oil to make crispy chips.”

 

Shaved Artichoke Salad

David Posey, Chef/Owner, Elske

“I love cooking artichokes using a technique that Paul Kahan told me about, ‘sott’olio’, which is an Italian technique of holding vegetables in oil. The way I like to cook the artichokes is completely cleaning them of tough outer leaves and woody parts, then gently simmer in a very acidic court bouillon, then to finish, ‘shock’ them in cold oil. They are best after they hang out in the fridge in the cold oil for a few days.”

Julia Jaksic, Chef, Employees Only

“I love grilled artichokes on a wood fire with a garlicky aioli.”

Nicholas Elmi, Chef/Owner, LaurelITV, and Royal Boucherie

“Depending on size, for larger globe artichokes I like a traditional barigould (white wine, lemon, thyme, black pepper, and olive oil), for young tender artichokes I like to just split them, dust them with seasoned flour and fry them. Served with a simple dipping sauce like remoulade, they’re a perfect, light spring treat.”

 

Roman Fried Artichokes

Flynn McGarry, Chef/Owner, Gem

“I like artichokes raw in a salad. I’ve also done a “Blooming Artichoke” dish where we fry it like a Blooming Onion.”

Emily Yuen, Executive Chef, Bessou

“If I am cooking at home, I like to simply boil the artichokes in chicken stock and lemon. I like to peel off the leaves dip it in melted butter and scrape the meat off of the outer leaves with my teeth.”

Justin Bazdarich, Chef/Owner, Speedy Romeo

“For chokes, I cut in half and then poach in an aromatic broth. Once cooked, I pull out the choke and brush with olive oil and then place on the wood grill. After cooked, simply serve with any spicy aioli or mayo for dipping leaves and eating the heart.”

Star Ingredient: Quercus Umbriae Giudia Artichokes. If cooks were asked to name the vegetables they find most intimidating and time-consuming to prepare, artichokes would surely top the list. Marinated artichoke hearts from Umbria in central Italy solve the problem: No trimming, cooking or choke removal is required.

How to Make It

Step 1

Preheat the oven to 425°. Toast the bread directly on the oven racks until dry and lightly golden, about 3 minutes. Rub 1 side of the toast with the cut sides of the garlic clove. Lower the oven temperature to 375°.

Step 2

Brush the bottom of a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with 1 tablespoon of the reserved artichoke oil and arrange one-third of the toast in a single layer. Top with half of the artichokes. Season lightly with salt and pepper and top with one-third of the cheese. Repeat with another layer of toast, artichokes, and cheese and season with salt and pepper. Top with the remaining toast and cheese.

Step 3

In a bowl, mix the milk with the eggs. Season with salt and pepper. Pour the custard over the bread; cover with plastic wrap. Lay a few cans on the plastic to keep the bread submerged. Let soak until most of the custard is absorbed, about 15 minutes. Remove the plastic.

Step 4

Place a sheet of oiled parchment paper on top of the pudding and cover with foil. Bake in the center of the oven for 30 minutes. Remove the foil and parchment; bake for 15 minutes longer, or until the top is golden. Let the pudding cool for 15 minutes before cutting into squares and serving.

Make Ahead

The pudding can be prepared through Step 3 and refrigerated overnight. Let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes before proceeding.

Suggested Pairing

Look for a full-flavored Chardonnay from Italy or France with only a little oak.

The thinly sliced, crunchy raw artichokes are the star of this salad from chef Chris Behr of the Rome Sustainable Food Project. Buy the freshest ones you can get your hands on. A true test: The leaves should squeak when you squeeze them.

How to Make It

Step 1

Pour the lemon juice into 
a large bowl. Working with 
1 artichoke at a time, pull off 
the tough outer leaves. Using a small knife, slice 1/4 inch off the top of each artichoke, then trim and peel the stems. Very thinly slice each artichoke lengthwise and add to the bowl. Toss with the lemon juice and ½ teaspoon of salt. Let stand for 30 minutes, tossing occasionally.

Step 2

Spread the arugula and radicchio on a platter. Using 
a slotted spoon, lift the artichokes from the lemon juice and scatter over the greens. Sprinkle with the herbs.

Step 3

Whisk the olive oil with the remaining lemon juice in the large bowl and season with salt and pepper. Drizzle the dressing over the salad; serve.

Double-frying is the secret to making these super-crispy and addictive fried artichokes from TV chef Andrew Zimmern.

Ingredients

How to Make It

Step 1

In a medium bowl, whisk the egg yolks, lemon zest, 1 tablespoon of the lemon juice and 1 1/2 teaspoons of the fine salt. Whisking constantly, slowly stream in the olive oil until the aioli is thick and glossy. Whisk in 1 more tablespoon of the lemon juice and the anchovies. Cover and refrigerate.

Step 2

Add the remaining 3 tablespoons of lemon juice to a large bowl of cold water. Working with 1 artichoke at a time, trim the stem. Snap off the leaves until you reach the tender light green inner leaves. Cut off the top third of the artichoke and trim off any tough leaves near the base. Halve the artichoke lengthwise and scoop out the fuzzy choke if necessary. Drop the artichoke in the lemon water. Repeat with the remaining artichokes.

Step 3

In a medium, straight-sided skillet, heat 2 inches of canola oil to 250°. Line a rimmed baking sheet with paper towels and top with a rack. Drain the artichokes well and pat dry. Fry in 3 batches over moderately high heat until tender and just beginning to brown, about 5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the artichokes to the prepared wire rack to drain.

Step 4

Heat the oil to 375°. Fry the artichokes again in 3 batches until crispy, about 1 minute per batch. This time, drain on the paper towels. Season generously with sea salt and serve hot with the aioli and lemon wedges.

Make Ahead

The aioli can be refrigerated overnight.

Suggested Pairing

Fragrant Central Italian white.
How Chefs Eat Artichokes

Chicche Verdi Del Nonno

GNOCCHI WITH BROWN BUTTER AND SAGE

 

A regional dish from the Italian province of Parma, these plump spinach gnocchi are excellent sprinkled with Parmesan cheese.  A regional dish from the Italian province of Parma, these plump spinach gnocchi are excellent sprinkled with Parmesan cheese.

SERVES 4-6

Ingredients

1 lb. russet potatoes, unpeeled
Kosher salt, to taste
4 oz. spinach
14 cups semolina flour, sifted, plus more
2 eggs, beaten
18 tbsp. unsalted butter
16 leaves fresh sage, minced
14 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
Freshly ground pepper, to taste
4 tbsp. olive oil
3 tbsp. finely grated Parmesan

Instructions

Put potatoes into a 4-qt. pot of salted water; boil. Reduce heat to medium-low; simmer until potatoes are tender, 25 minutes. Drain; let cool. Peel potatoes; pass through medium plate of a food mill into a bowl.
Meanwhile, heat a 12″ skillet over medium-high heat. Add spinach and 1 tbsp. of water; cook until wilted. Press on spinach in a sieve to extract liquid. Finely chop spinach; stir together with potatoes and semolina and form a well in the center.
Add eggs and salt and, using a fork, beat eggs into potato mixture.
Transfer dough to a work surface dusted with semolina; knead to combine.
Divide the dough into 6 portions. Roll each portion into a 1⁄2″-thick rope. Cut ropes into 1⁄2″-wide pieces; transfer to a semolina-dusted sheet tray.
Melt 10 tbsp. butter in a 10″ skillet over medium heat; cook, swirling, until butter browns, about 6 minutes.
Add sage and nutmeg; season with salt and pepper.
Remove from heat; set aside.
Working in 4 batches, add 2 tbsp. butter and 1 tbsp. oil to a 12″ skillet over medium-high heat. Add dough pieces and cook, flipping once, until golden brown, 3–4 minutes.
Transfer to a baking sheet.
Wipe out the skillet and repeat with remaining butter, oil, and dough pieces.
Toss dumplings and brown butter sauce in the skillet until hot.
Serve sprinkled with Parmesan.
Chicche Verde  .jpg
Here is the photo of my version.  Served with a lovely red wine!
Would definitely make for friends.
I made the gnocchi about three in the afternoon, and just put them all together right before dinner.
Yummy~
Chicche Verdi Del Nonno