Pesto anyone?

pesto!Inspired by a blog from Parsley, Sage & Sweet, I took on making my very own pesto this evening. Lisa’s heartfelt story was a little sad, and after a gloomy day for no particular reason, I felt compelled to make some pesto and pasta. I didn’t follow Lisa’s recipe very closely- I’m just past what I’d call a beginner’s level of cooking, and I don’t have a food processor- but still, I was inspired. I looked up a couple of other pesto recipes via epicurious (love that app), and also studied a couple of pesto labels while in the grocery store. Pretty basic ingredients over all; I found basil, evoo (extra virgin olive oil), some kind of nut (ranging from pine nut to walnut), garlic and parmigiano reggiano (or parmesan cheese), in every one. Though I may be food processor- less, I have a hand held food chopper, and I’d consider myself a mean mincer. Ok, maybe not so much mean as meticulous, but either how, I can chop things pretty finely. Anyhow, those details aside, I bought myself some fresh basil and a lemon and headed home. After turning on my Pandora’s Jason Aldean station and chilling a bottle of Pinot Grigio, I began to combine everything mentioned before (I used cashews as my chosen nut because not only are they my favorite, but I already had some in the pantry), and I went with one of Lisa’s details and added some lemon zest, plus I squeezed about half the lemon into the pesto. I didn’t measure so I don’t have details, but I used a lot of parmesan, a decent bit of cashews and basil, two garlic cloves plus a good helping of salt, and I think it turned out rather well! (When all was said and done, I have an average soup bowl’s amount of pesto made.) I know this isn’t exactly an ideal recipe to follow, but I hope you’ll be inspired, as I was, because all in all it was a lovely and therapeutic process. Plus, a great dinner.

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My Old Kentucky Home…

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Over the weekend was my favorite Saturday of the year- the Kentucky Derby. There’s nothing better than a reason to drink Mint Juleps, put together an over-the-top hat that goes with your outfit just for the day, and place a lot of $2 bets that you’ll most likely never see again. It’s a special thing seeing the rest of the country celebrate your home state in just that special way once a year. Like five of the running horses on Saturday, I was born and bred in Bourbon County, Kentucky, and this great showing of my home I decided called for a party. This was my fifth Derby watching from Atlanta, and instead of sitting back and letting the feelings of home wash over me, I brought a little bit of Kentucky here. My wonderful friends indulged with me, dressing the part and even participating in the essential “best hat” contest. Determined to give them an authentic taste of Kentucky, I happily turned to Pinterest. There was beer cheese, hot browns and Bourbon a plenty. I even took on burgoo. My mother told me not too- that’s too difficult!- but I wasn’t going to give my guest anything short of Kentucky’s best. The burgoo (which by the point of the party my mom had me terrified to serve) turned out to be the biggest hit! I couldn’t help but be rather proud of myself when everyone was going back for seconds and asking me to give them the recipe. That, on another note, was my own creation (I couldn’t find a recipe that was close enough to the burgoo I remember growing up with at the track) so, I am planning to make that my very own pin! More on that to come, but for the rest of the wonderful recipes I used to make Atlanta feel like a genuine Kentucky Derby experience, visit my board Derby Party (and enjoy the next time you need a little taste of Kentucky wherever you may be!)

As One Ends, Another Begins…

I find myself at a very long week’s end. My fourth course (each is divided into eight week sessions, so this is the end of a second semester) in grad school just finished. The course, Globalization, Art and Education, brought up a lot of topics of interest to me, though it also kept me so busy I haven’t had much time to process everything. I know it led me to research that I’m calling “Art and Artists That Exemplify the South” (check out here: http://www.scoop.it/t/made-southern-art), and that’s something I’d like to explore further. Will keep y’all posted. As for tonight, I’m taking a deep breath, enjoying a glass of wine, and starting a mini-marathon of Mad Men… all before I have to go to work tomorrow morning, and begin a new course for the first summer session. Yay!

A Drive to Watkinsville

Our Lovely Bed & Breakfast’s Porch

I spent this past weekend at a gorgeous bed and breakfast in Watkinsville, Georgia. It was about an hour and half drive from our home in north Atlanta, and on a perfectly sunny Saturday, I could not have asked for a better drive to the country. Well, about as country as it gets around Atlanta that is. Our windows were down, I could smell air that’s a fresh you don’t get in the city, and we actually passed fields with cattle. I hadn’t realized until that point how much I missed the country. Not that the past four and a half years in the city (and I’m just talking Atlanta, I’m aware it’s about the least urban “big” city in America) has citified me, but somewhere along the way I missed when a drive out in the country became foreign to me. However, our drive to Watkinsville was actually a good reminder of the research I’d been doing for class: artists or art exemplifying the South. Check out the ten artists I found here. As for the project that’s to come of this, it’s still a work in progress, but I am feeling inspiration that was much needed!

Where’s the Time?

My lesson for this week has me researching ten artists inspired by a topic that I’d like to investigate further. As I’ve sat for, oh, four-ish hours just this evening (and it’s only day three of this lesson), I truly am inspired. But to do what? I am completely enveloped by this online world that feeds me endless knowledge. Yes, it is a wonderful tool, but I’m also not jumping off the couch to make art (that’ll come with next week’s lesson), I just keep clicking. Where is the time for both? Or, more importantly, where is the balance? Hopefully, that’s something that I’ll learn, and in the mean time, if anyone has any suggestions, I’d be happy to hear. On the note of my research however, I’ve found some artists that I really love! I am investigating art influenced by your environment, and particularly that of the South. This guy has been my absolute favorite so far: Hollis Bennett. His compositions are great, some of his little details (things I didn’t even notice until the second time I went through his portfolio) really make his photographs, and his subjects, it’s like I know them. Seriously, I think I’ve met over half of them. It’s awesome art that you should check out.

Go Cards..!?

Hello, after what has been an exciting weekend for this southern girl! The men’s NCAA basketball tournament just wrapped up (you’ll learn I’m a huge college basketball and football fan) and the American Country Music Awards were last night. All of this commotion was more than enough to distract me from my schoolwork. As for my basketball allegiance, my heart will always belong to my alma mater the University of Kentucky and the Wildcats. However, seeing that our year was less than successful (especially for being the reigning National Champions up until tonight’s game), I am actually very happy for the Louisville Cardinals and their victory! They are an incredibly deserving group of young men and, their win for my bracket entitled, “Keepin It in the State”, got me ninety bucks! Ok, well that’s enough about what held my interest this weekend, I really do have schoolwork to get to. Here’s looking to a good week, I’ll be checking in!

Here it is!

Welcome to my new online home! This- blogging- is a brand new adventure for me. I’d say what started it all was being accepted to an online graduate program last August. My first thought after being super excited was wait, school online– what am I thinking!? I attempted one online class in my undergrad, and I very clearly remember withdrawing from that course fairly promptly after its start. Now, into my second semester of grad school (again, all online!) I’m embracing the Internet like never before. Here, I hope to share my work and progression as an artist and currently a student of art education, my constant attempts at being a crafter and cook (that one is a special work in progress…) and sometimes, I hope to share things just because I’m me, a simple southern girl.