Tuesday, October 30, 2012

The BEST Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

We are fast approaching my one year blog anniversary and one of my first posts was to share my Roasted Pumpkin Seeds recipe. I didn't even have a camera, I used my iPhone for the picture. I decided to share this excellent recipe again with updated pictures.

I love to roast pumpkin seeds to share with friends. These seeds are so good that my son's Kindergarten teacher finds me every year around this time to beg for seeds and my son is in the 4th grade now!
I'm lucky enough to get loads of seeds from the pumpkin carving party we go to every year. I never use exact measurements, depending on the amount of seeds you might be using tablespoon-fulls of the first 4 ingredients, a teaspoon of cinnamon and a few dashes of cayenne. I have tried to list ingredients in order of volume (in other words much more Worcestershire sauce than cayenne pepper.)


low sodium Worcestershire sauce
kosher salt
ground cumin
brown sugar
cayenne pepper

Remove pumpkin seeds from pumpkin, straining them out by hand is easiest to separate them from the pumpkin "guts." Remove as much of the guts as you can, but don't worry if you can't get it all. DO NOT RINSE THE SEEDS, this will add flavor (and save time!) Mix pumpkin seeds and all of the ingredients above in a bowl.

Layer thinly on a cookie sheet. Bake in preheated oven at 300. If you have a convection oven, use the convection setting. Stir every 10 minutes or so to keep the seeds from sticking to each other and to help them dry out and roast evenly. I like my seeds a bit crunchy but not overly roasted. Keep checking and stirring until they are roasted to your liking. 

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Thursday, October 25, 2012

Kauai Sky

I tried something a little different this week.  I gave myself one hour and only 4 colors while painting.  This is a view of the sunset sky in Kauai.  Painted from memory and my vacation photos.  Normally when I paint California scenes I use Cerulean Blue, Hookers Green and Titanium White to create my water and sky.  When I paint Kauai ocean and sky and I can't get the right colors using my "California palette."  Here I used Cobalt Blue, Naphthol Crimson, Yellow Light Hansa and Titanium White.   I was tempted to add something else...but I tend to over mix and use too many colors and end up with mud.  I'm very open to constructive criticism and advise and tips.  :)
Painting in the living room instead of at my art desk these days

I ruined my manicure (OPI Into the Night)
Sharing on Illustration Friday and Paint Party Friday.

Happy Friday!! 
Paint Party Friday

Monday, October 22, 2012

Hello Clouds.

Hello Monday!
Hello Fall weather.  Finally!
Hello clouds. 
I've been obsessed with painting clouds lately. 
Took some pictures today for inspiration. 
Don't be surprised when you see some cloudy sky paintings from me.

Linking up with Lisa Leonard.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Flowers! Flowers!

It's Friday and I'm ready for a weekend! 
My husband and my grandmother share a birthday (she'll be 91!) so there will be some celebrating.  And I am still feeling great and relieved to be on the other side of the doldrums...and creative again!

I have been enjoying a return to acrylics and canvas lately.  This is a painting inspired by something on the bathroom wall (of all places!) at my yoga studio.  I've had the idea of painting this for about 3 years and finally got around to it.  I'm really pleased with it.

Acrylic on cavas 16X20
Plumeria still blooming
I never get tired of flowers.

Happy Friday! 
Paint Party Friday

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

My Favorite Green Smoothie

Those of you who visit my blog regularly are already aware of my love of smoothies and my Ninja blender.  I've posted my Coffee Banana Smoothie recipe and Fig & Peach Green Smoothie but I've never posted a basic smoothie because I've never really used a consistent recipe.  From trial and error and Internet research I have come up with a basic ratio of greens to fruits that will not taste too green.  I like to get my extra veggies in a smoothie but I don't necessarily want it to taste like veggies! 
Another reason I find it hard to follow recipes is that I try to use up what I have in the fridge, freezer and fruit basket and these tend to change with whats in season (or how long it's been since I went shopping!) 

All that being said, this is a recipe that I follow more often than not, I tend to have all of these ingredients handy.  The lime and ginger give this smoothie a very refreshing flavor. 
  • 1/2 - 1 apple, cored with skin on
  • 1/2 - 1 pear, cored with skin on
  • juice from 1/2 lime
  • 1/2" piece of peeled ginger
  • 2-3 cups of mixed greens, fresh or frozen.  I ALWAYS use kale or spinach and preferable a mixture of the two.  If you have Trader Joe's in your area I love their Organic Power Greens which is a mix of baby spinach, baby kale and baby chard.
  • 1/4 cup green parsley **
  • 1/4 cup dandelion greens **
  • 1 Tablespoon ground flax seeds
  • water as needed to blend, around 8 ounces
  • If I am using a majority of frozen ingredients no ice is needed but I like my smoothies very cold so I need ice when using fresh veggies. 
Blend well, drink immediately.

**the dandelion and parsley definitely have a stronger flavor than the other greens, if it's your first time trying a green smoothie, go easy on these or eliminate all together...some might call them an acquirred taste but the nutritional and detox value is worth it once you get used to it!
As I said above my recipe is constantly changing.  Here are some of my other ideas:

  • Use all pear or all apple instead of a mix.
  • Eliminate pear/apple altogether and use pineapple instead.
  • Eliminate ginger and use raspberries, blueberries or strawberries instead of apple/pear.
  • Add celery, cucumber, broccoli or Brussels sprouts.
  • I keep the the dandelion greens and parsley frozen because I only use a little at a time and I can't use them up fast enough to keep fresh.
  • Keep in mind that the dandelion greens are very bitter, a more flavorful fruit helps with taste.
  • Adding ground flax or chia seeds are for additional fiber and healthy fat, I find the smoothies keep me full longer with the flax or chia seeds added.

The possibilities are endless but I try to keep the basic ratio of about 3 cups of greens to one cup of fruit.  Often times I will taste and adjust as I go, the beauty of it is that I know that no matter what I come up with I am giving my body a jolt of veggies and fruit and tons of wonderful vitamins, minerals and anti-oxidants.

 Do you have a favorite green smoothie recipe?

Monday, October 15, 2012

Illustration Friday - Water

I'm happy to finally participate in Illustration Friday again.  I haven't been feeling the prompt words lately but this week is 'water' and I have no trouble with painting the ocean over and over again.  I love the color a wave becomes just before it breaks and wanted to capture that here.

Green Wave.  Acrylic on canvas.  11X14.

I used this picture to paint from.  Taken yesterday.

Obi & the Hibiscus

This yellow hibicus flower was just opening in the cool of the morning
so I grabbed my camera and took some pictures. 
Hello beautiful bloom.


Hello Obi.  He is getting so big and he is so cute...but don't be fooled by that innocent look.

He liked the hibiscus, too!

Obi has discovered the strawberry pot and fig tree but I didn't think he would go for a flower!
Dog training advise happily accepted.

Happy Monday! 
I'm linking up with Lisa Leaonard.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Another Day, Another Beach Walk.

I hope you aren't tired of beach pictures.  Happy Sunday!


Saturday, October 13, 2012

Ebb & Flow...High Spirits at Low Tide

Someone said to me recently that if one reads my blog one would think I am so together and perfect...making delicious, healthy meals, creating art and keeping a beautiful garden.  It's true that I tend to show you the good stuff here but the truth is I am far from perfect and the last few weeks have found me feeling pretty blue.  These periods of melancholy are not new for me.  Like the tide, my emotions have an ebb and flow.  I can honestly say that perhaps for the first time in my life I am being 100% proactive in moving forward in a more positive direction instead of just waiting for the mood to pass.  I feel good.
Today my son and I took Obi to the beach at low tide.  What a gorgeous day.

Obi found a lobster shell to play with but then he started to eat it and I had to wrestle it away from him.