Sunday, February 9, 2014

Chicken Livers and Bread

I've been cooking and baking up a storm again. Today's menu included chicken thighs using BBQ shake n' bake, chicken livers, smashed-together apple pie filling tart (pie crust was all broken so we made one big, open faced rectangular tart instead of turnovers) and homemade bread.

It's an odd assortment to be sure but it all turned out yummy!

There was going to be a photo of the finished chicken livers but somebody in the house (cough, cough... husband) ate all the food off my presentation plate while I turned my back to put the bread in the oven. grr.

Here's the recipe anyways:

Pint container of Chicken Livers (no gizzards)

3/4 cup All Purpose Flour
2 tsp. Cumin
1.5 tsp. Paprika
1 tsp. Lawry's Seasoning Salt

Plus this stuff:
Digital kitchen thermometer 
10-12" Skillet or flat bottom pan
Corn Oil
2 Tbsp. Butter for cooking with

In a large skillet, over medium-high heat, warm up enough Corn Oil to almost coat the entire bottom of the pan.

Mix dredge ingredients together on a paper plate. 

While the pan is heating, use tongs to remove individual chicken livers from their container into the coating mix. I usually prepare several in the time it takes the skillet to heat up all the way then add them one-at-a-time once ready to cook.

Once all livers are in the skillet or pan, add butter into the center and carefully swish around so each piece gets some butter on it.

Continue to flip the livers ever few minutes until uniformly crispy. Livers are done when an inserted thermometer reads at least 165 degrees. Remove pan from heat and allow to cool for 5-10 minutes. Enjoy!

I did manage to snap a photo of my fresh bread, before it also disappeared...

Not too bad for a first-go-around

Pinterest link to the 5 Minute Bread recipe I used:

Amazon Links:

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

I deserve a medal

Only one art thingie to show off tonight

cause I actually cooked meals two days in a row and baked today!

... all without catching anything on FIRE!!! isn't that the awesome?

Craft safe!

Monday, February 3, 2014

Caran d'Ache day 2 & 3 and a turtle

More craft-everyday stuffs mixed in with some studying:

art with a side of Bacon, Francis Bacon that is...

Finished the "extras" yesterday and the "crochet" sign today. Looks like I'll need to rework the knit sign to make it blend in with the rest.

Per request, someone needed a new turtle pic so here is the progress so far. I used a bright mango-orange 3x5" card with a smooth finish as my base.

first rough-in
Caran d'Ache Neocolor I's: starting with orange to rough-in the shape, then going over the background with turquoise blue.

next layer

 After making a few modifications to my design with the orange, I moved onto the emerald green to start laying in and finalizing the shape of my turtle. I like to start with the lighter shades of wax sticks and then build on my design with progressively darker sticks. This way if I made a mistake with the first try I can keep layering colors until the shape is just what I had in mind.

getting closer...
There is probably one more set of layering to finish up this little guy, including finishing out the shell plates and word bubble. So far the main color of the turtle is made up of the yellow-green stick with the background color of the card showing through. I added flower chunks with a magenta toned stick that is actually called purple. For a link to the supplies I used check out yesterday's post. Thanks!

Happy crafting!

Sunday, February 2, 2014

I caved...

It's been a long while but I finally caved and bought myself a new set of Caran d'Ache Wax Sticks (also called wax pastels). Think of these as the adult version of that 64 pack of Crayola Crayons you got all excited about as a kid. I love these!

 Pictured: Neocolor I - 15 piece set

Since February is craft-every-day month, I thought I would start off with some elements to use on the new scheduling sign in the store. Above is my roughing-in phase using a 3x5" piece of card stock as my background.

Neocolor I's are capable of creating saturated, crisp lines or large areas of blended fill. It all depends on how you rotate your wax stick while using it. The sticks can be sharpened in a hand-held pencil sharpener too for added precision.

Below is the finished piece after much layering of colors, it is very saturated and bright, though the cell phone camera doesn't show it very well.

The Neocolor I set is water resistant so these images will not run if they get wet. Pseudo-batiks can be created by washing water paints over laid colors. (Be sure to use a good thick paper if using large amounts of water with your design.)

One of the main reasons I am willing to drop big $ on Caran d'Ache wax sticks is their amazing ability to build color on a page. They blend beautifully like an oil pastel yet can also retain the vibrant colors when needed without all the mess of oil pastels. The higher pigment concentrations make the sticks last much longer than your standard crayon too. Similar to buying a good eye shadow, paying more upfront will even out over the long haul.

Another nice feature of this product is the metal tin that all Caran d'Ache wax stick sets come in (as shown in the first photo). I still have my first tin from the originally set I bought in college back in the day. The sturdy hinges allow the lid to lay flat and there is a thin piece of foam included to help keep the sticks from moving around or getting blunted during transport. If my house gnomes ever return my heavily-used original crayons the tin will go right back into frequent use.

For added variety, Caran d'Ache also produces a series under the Neocolor II heading that are water-soluble like watercolor pencils with the same oil pastel appearance.Youtube has some nice videos showing the different Caran d'Ache lines including other series which are designed for professional use. All lines are Swiss made.

Caran d'Ache products can be found at most major Art Supply shops or through the affiliate link below. I'll be including more examples through out the month!

Happy Crafting!