Friday, January 14, 2011

Local Love: Miss Monet Photography

Think pickles! These silly, fun, charming photos were taken at the Blue House MittenMade Holiday Craft Show by the talented Monet of Miss Monet Photography. She's so fun and easy-going that even I — who am extremely resistant to photos — was happy to jump in. (That's me, just below.) It seems to take her just a mere second, yet the results are amazing. She's certainly got that special touch. Miss Monet is offering $25 off the session fee if you book by February 1 — just mention that you saw it here. So if you're in the Ann Arbor area, drop her a line

(That's silly Miss Casey of Fartsy Arts — she's just brimming with a sense of humor that's reflected in her art!) You can check out the rest of the MittenMade Holiday Photo Booth shots here.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Brewbie as Willy Wonka

Here's a look at a custom piece I did for my friend Ashley as a gift to her in-laws for Christmas. Apparently they always joke that their dog, Brewbie, looks like Willy Wonka, so she asked me to do a piece with Brewbie as Wonka. Voila! My favorite part are the weasel and beaver Oompa-loompas in the background representing their two cats—that rotund beaver was so fun to draw. I admit, it cracks me up. Aren't they silly?! I'm always open to custom work, so drop a line if you have an idea just itching to get out there!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Avgolemono: Lemon Chicken Soup with Rice

Avgolemono is a traditional Greek soup made with lemon, egg and broth. I tried this simple recipe for it from Food and Wine over the weekend and it's definitely going into the regular rotation. It's fresh and light, while being deliciously comforting. The most important thing about is to not allow the soup to boil once the egg is added or it will curdle. The easiest way to do this is to heat the broth first, then scoop out a cup or so. Let it cool just a bit and then slowly whisk in the egg and lemon. This is then added back into the larger pot of hot broth. It will become frothy and thicken slightly. Yum!

Avgolemono Chicken Soup with Rice  

4 cups homemade chicken stock or low-sodium broth

Salt and freshly ground pepper

2 cups cooked white rice, warmed
2 large egg yolks

1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 rotisserie chicken, meat pulled from the bones and coarsely shredded (1 pound)

1/4 cup chopped fresh dill

In a large saucepan, season the stock with salt and pepper and bring to a simmer. Transfer 1 cup of the hot stock to a blender. Add 1/2 cup of the rice, the egg yolks and the lemon juice and puree until smooth. Stir the puree into the simmering stock along with the chicken and the remaining 1 1/2 cups of rice and simmer until thickened slightly, 10 minutes. Stir in the dill and serve.

Note: If you plan to have leftovers, I would add the warm rice as you serve it. I found that if you store it with all the rice added, it absorbs too much of the broth.