Homesick for comfort food


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Why didn’t I buy this book sooner?


I discovered this book by accident because a recipe for chili was needed.  I never made chili before but know how it should taste like from experience growing up in Texas.  I quickly looked online for recipes and came across this cookbook called “The Homesick Texan”.  The title was funny and catchy and I loved it.  When I read about how the author is from Texas but lives in NYC, it reminded me of myself.  I lived in New York for a loooong time (and still do) but raised in Texas.  Like Lisa, I crave for Tex-Mex food and it’s very hard to find good Mexican and/or Tex-Mex restaurants in NYC that’s worth it’s salt.  There are a few gems in NYC but not many so I can greatly identify with the author.  As a kid, I grew up on barbeque, homemade tortillas w/ butter (utterly divine) and frito pie among many other treats normally found in Texas.  The book stayed on my mind for a long time because I wanted to make some of these mouthwatering recipes.  I finally bought the book and scanned through it.  Definitely amazing!  The book has everything from soups/stews, seafood, classic dishes, breads/desserts and more.  No recipes on barbeque but there are many BBQ cookbooks out there already.  She focuses on Tex-Mex recipes and besides…’s difficult to properly barbeque in New York City anyway!  Each recipe has a fun backstory laced with humor and nostalgia.  If anyone is interested in Tex-Mex cuisine (the real deal), please buy this book.  It’s worth it!  Lisa Fain, thanks for making this book.



Where’s Mommy?


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Wow it’s been a long time since I written a post.  So much has happened over the past three weeks!  So much activity/drama.  It’s funny how things can happen all at once in life that it leaves you exhausted.  I live in NYC so I dealt with hurricane Sandy in which I didn’t have electricity or heat for five days.  During that week, I got sick which turned into a horrible sinus infection a week later.  I never had one before and it was absolutely miserable!  Never had I experienced such pain before.  My sinus headaches / pressure was so bad, I could barely walk, bend down or do anything normal for that matter.  Seriously I thought I was going to have aneurysm.  I was desperate for a solution.  When it comes to my health, I’m one to go the natural route and taking antibiotics was not the way for me.  I needed relief.  I did some searching on the net and found out about using apple cider vinegar.  Really? I thought.  Some drink it but one person suggested inhaling the steam so if figured why not?  I bought the organic brand Braggs which I have heard of before.  It’s strong stuff but my sinuses were so clogged, I couldn’t smell it at first.  That’s how bad it was for me.  Now if you can’t smell apple cider vinegar, you’re in trouble!  In fact, I couldn’t smell anything which was scary.

Anyway, I used 1 part apple cider vinegar to 1 part water, brought it to a boil, turned off the heat and inhaled the steam.  I draped a towel over my head and inhaled the steam for about 5 minutes or less.  In about a day or two, my piercing headache diminished along with the pressure.  Boy was I happy!  I continued to do this twice a day (morning and evening) for a few days and now the sinus infection is pretty much gone.  I’ll tell you this, sinus infections have claws and they hang on for dear life.




So my dears, if you ever have a sinus infection or anything of that nature, try Braggs Apple Cider Vinegar with the “mother”.  It’s better than the generic supermarket kind.  Of course, if your condition gets worse/or don’t change, please go to your doctor.  Fortunately I didn’t have to.

Missed Connections


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I was very lucky to see Sophie Blackall giving a lecture at the Metropolitan Museum.  She pretty much talked about herself, her background, and how she gets her inspiration.  Part of her fame comes from a “missed connection” so to speak.  You mean synchronicity?  Perhaps.  I first encountered her work on the NYC subway.  I take it everyday and I noticed these cute illustrations of subway commuters.  They represent everyday New Yorkers sitting on the train going to their unknown destination. So much subtlety in the images!  I enjoy looking at them while I sit on the train.  At the end of the lecture, we all took part in an interactive game w/ the audience.  We all had to draw either a head, torso or legs.  Then piece them together.  The result was a mish-mash of strange images!  Here’s an example of one.  I drew the head on this one.  I have no idea who drew the torso and the legs.









Sophie has such a great sense of humor, warmth and humbleness. It was nice to see the face behind the illustration.

Here’s a sample of her work.  Sophie has illustrated over 20 children’s books and released a book for adults called “Missed Connections: Love, Lost & Found”.  Her work has also appeared in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal & Washington Post.  Here’s the link to her website for more details….and pictures!

The things you see in the city……


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I was walking to the bus stop on 14th st at the famous Union Square area and lo & behold I encounter this.  I’m not sure what this was all about but it looked pretty darn interesting.  Is it an art piece?  Is it a statement on recycling?  Not sure but the guy who is buried in the pile of cans looked pretty determined.  He made himself fall into this bean bag made out of cans and behaved as if he was swimming in it.  You never know what you may run into in the Big Apple…..

DIY Controlled Palette


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So I’m revisiting my academic painting project.  I created a “controlled palette” which is very helpful in working with colors “a la Munsell” style.  My earlier post went over making the Neutrals from 1-9.  From here, I developed my controlled palette which comes from these colors. What is a controlled palette?  Well…it’s a way of controlling your color values when working with paint.  Each color/hue has a value from 1-9.  The palette makes it easier for you to keep these values organized no matter what color/hue you are using.  Again this idea is not original, it comes from Frank Covino.  I decided to make the palette myself because I like working w/ my hands and it was a challenge.  So this is what i used:

Medium weight cardboard 24″x12″,


The neutral greys value 1-9

Clear plastic/ acetate sheets

I drew lines (in pencil) on the cardboard to divide the columns that I will use to apply the grey color.  I numbered it from B (Black) 1-9, and W (white).  The neutral greys are applied on the columns and I put clear acetate sheet over the palette when the paint is fully dried.  Then I used clear tape to seal the edges. Now when you use paint, you can put it on top of the palette and when you’re done, you can easily wipe it off because of the acetate protecting it.  Voila!  Done!  This is only the first step in my project.  More to come…

Perfect Scent for Summer – Gold Musk


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Could this be my perfect summer scent?  Perhaps!  Summer is upon us and I’ve been looking for a nice soft scent.  Yvresse is great for Fall/Winter but it can be a little overpowering in the heat, so I needed something lighter & soapy.  For me I love soapy scents, so fresh and simple!  Why not have that in a bottle?  After doing some research I found this Eau de Cologne from a line called Santa Maria Novella.  The name of this particular scent is Muschio Oro, which translates to “Gold Musk”.  Now this scent is not a deep heavy musk.  It’s more of a lighter soapy white musk smell.  After a few minutes, the scent turns into this soft, powdery, dreamy veil of goodness!  Great for summer, smells like clean soapy skin.  Give it a try.