Monday, April 30, 2012

Menu Monday (7) Baked Manicotti

This past Saturday we had a meeting of our Cayo Hueso dinner club at our home. It's a monthly get together of eating and drinking and good conversation with friends. I arranged an Italian team of baked manicotti, chicken marsala, green beans with mint and garlic and lots of red wine of course! Our friends always include the apps etc to round out the meal. The chicken recipe and marinara sauce used to top the manicotti have been on previous posts.

Do you call your marinara, tomato sauce, or gravy? I call it sauce, but that's my choice since that was what it was called in our home growing up.To me gravy is brown, white or au jus, sorry, I digress, back to my manicotti which is to die for, worth the calories and melt in your mouth.  Making your own shells makes all the difference, is not hard and makes you look like a genius! It's like making a crepe with a cheese filling. I made the shells and filling the day before, then rolled and baked them before my guests arrived. This is my Mom's recipe, a family secret, but I will share it with you (o:


5 eggs
1 1/4 cups unsifted all purpose flour
1/4 teasp salt

 combine all ingredients:
2lbs ricotta cheese
1pkg (8oz) mozzarella (diced or shreaded)
1/3 cup parmesean cheese
1 tblsp chopped parsley]1 teasp salt
1/4 teasp pepper
2 eggs.

Make shells: in a bowl combine all shell ingredients with 1/1/4 cups water and mix with a portable mixer until smooth.  Melt 1 teasp butter in 7" skillet ( I use a Teflon type pan and just use butter for the 1st pour). Pour 2 tblsp (or more) batter rotating pan quickly to spread batter evenly over the bottom of the pan.. Cook over medium heat until the top is dry but bottom is not brown, Cool on wire rack and then stack with waxed paper in between each shell until you are ready to bake.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees
 Cover the bottom of your baking dish with a small amount of  sauce. Place 1/4 cup filling in each shell and roll up. Place shells seam side down in a single layer and top with sauce and parmesean cheese and bake till bubbly.


Thursday, April 19, 2012


TSKW stands for The Studios of Key West. This non profit organization is a wonderful venue for artist to join together as a community to share artistic ideas and expertise. Welcoming artists from all over the world, TSKW provides them a  place to reside for a month and share their work with the community of Key West. The artists reciprocate by giving workshops in their field giving others the opportunity to experiment in different medias.

I have been volunteering at the Studios for about 18 months now. When we moved back to Key West after spending time in Jackson Hole, Wyo and the Outer Banks of NC. I wanted to become move involved in the art community. Joining TSKW had done this for me. I have embraced my surroundings and I am learning to push my self boundaries to create what I feel is inside me. It is my time now. I may feel like a 30 year old on the inside, but in reality I am that quirky older ( I prefer ageless!) woman  that realizes that time is not to waste. With this in mind, I am learning new art techniques, experimenting with my own ideas, breaking some art rules and having fun along the way.

This evening I was part of TSKW show Voluntary Acts. Artwork created by the volunteers of the Studios is being celebrated in the 2nd floor gallery. I am happy to have my work displayed in this venue. The highlight of the evening for me was when a woman approached me to tell me she was looking for me because she really enjoyed my work and wanted to meet me. Thank you, thank you.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Funky Friday (6) Journaling

  I like the idea of journaling, just with a twist. Several years ago while searching on the internet, I came across an artist that journaled on clothing. I was imediately hooked and wanted to try it for myself. I started with a pair of worn demin jeans that I altered into a skirt (the legs into a small bag).  I now keep my thoughts and special memories on jackets, purses and vests.

  If you want to see where my inspiration came from, check out 

Monday, April 2, 2012

Menu Monday (6) Monday Surprise

It was a busy day, worked in my studio (more about that later), had my car repaired, household everyday stuff, then dinner. It was 6:30pm, tired and hungry, what's for dinner. I have to say some of my best meals were concocked from whatever was on hand with no recipe to follow. This evening was one of those meals. Checking out the fridge and pantry, I had 3 chicken cutlets, a selection of potatoes, some grape tomatoes and several bags of frozen veggies in the freezer. This is what I came up with. You can put a name to it!

3 chicken cutlets
1/2 onion copped
1 bag frozen green beans
1/4 cup of dry Vermouth
olive oil
crushed red pepper
salt and pepper to taste
1/3 box grape tomatoes cut in 1/2 pieces

In a frypan drizzled with olive oil, heat until hot
saute onion till tender
add chicken seasoned with salt and pepper & hot peppers
cook over medium heat, sprinkle with hot pepper & deglaze pan with Vermouth
  ( I had dry Vermouth on hand for my special occasion dirty martinis,
 but any dry white wine would work)
cook chicken slowly turning in pan until cooked through

In the meantime cook frozen green beans
and baking potatoes, first in microwave then crisped in toaster oven.

When chicken was cooked completed, I removed it to a dish. I then added the green beans to
the pan stirrng to coat with pan juices and a pat of butter and seasoned to taste. Gently stir in the cut grape tomatoes to heat thru.

To plate, I seasoned the baked potato, added a couple of spoonfuls of the green beans and tomatoes and topped with sliced chicken.


This was an easy dish, a great combo of what I had on hand.

I wanted to post a photo, but I am having camera issues! Come up with a name for this if you would like. If I was feeling a little more creative, I would have used fresh green beans!