Tag Archives: cooking

cre8tive kitchen – Endive Avocado Salad

ENDIVE AVOCADO SALAD (Serves 4)

Endive Avocado Salad
Endive Avocado Salad

INGREDIENTS;

6 Slices Thick Bacon

1 Head of Curly Endive, trimmed and chopped to bite-size

2 Heads of Belgian Endive, trimmed and chopped to bite-size

2 ripe avocados, chopped to bite-size

1/2 Cup Crumbled Gorgonzola Cheese

2 TBSP Minced Shallots

1 TBSP Sherry Vinegar (available online or at specialty retailers like Cost Plus)

1/4 Cup Extra-Virgin Olive Oil

Sea Salt and Cracked Pepper

HOW TO:

Over medium heat, cook the bacon until crisp and brown on both sides. Set aside on paper towels to drain. Crumble once cool.

Combine the lettuce, avocado, gorgonzola cheese, and bacon in a large mixing bowl. Set aside.

In a small bowl, whisk together the shallot and vinegar. Add olive oil slowly and whisk until fully mixed. Drizzle over salad, toss, salt and pepper to taste.

Bon Appetit!

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“I Could Paint That”

Wanted to share this brief, humorous article titled “12 Things Never To Say To An Artist” from The Huffington Post.

At the same time I was reading the HuffPost article, I clicked on the video (currently circulating) capturing U.S. Figure Skater Jason Brown’s performance. I posted a link on my Facebook page to share it because it is tremendously impressive.

What I find interesting when you compare sports to the arts is that there’s no equivalent phrase to “I could paint that.” The general public doesn’t look at Jason’s video and say, “I could skate that”. Or at a football game and say, “Yeah, I could’ve scored that goal”.

So why is that? Do we value athletes more than we value artists? It’s tempting to say “yes”.  Perhaps its easier to look at what athletes do and think it’s extraordinary. But I’m coming at this from an artists perspective, so it’s difficult to be objective. Many people take at least one art class in school (still, despite the insane levels to which the arts have been decimated from public education) and few end up on the football team, so does it boil down to that? Someone took one art class so they assume that gives them license to not only be an art critic but to place themselves in the shoes of the artist?

The equivalent statement that grates on me is, “That’s a beautiful photo. What kind of camera do you use?”

Scenario – You’re in a five-star restaurant. You order a sumptuous meal; a wonderful appetizer, an exquisite entree, and a spectacular dessert. When you are satiated, you ask to see the chef. He appears and you say, “That was an unbelievable, glorious meal. What kind of stove do you use?”

Doesn’t make any sense does it? The art of great cooking is in the mind of the chef. Selecting the ingredients, blending the tastes, balancing the flavors, and serving it just right. The tools rarely enter into it.

It’s much the same with photography. It’s not about the tools – it’s what’s in the mind of the photographer. The tools are necessary of course; but entirely secondary to the work of the photographer, which is seeing. Or, more accurately, seeing that which others don’t.

“I could paint that”.

“Yeah, but you didn’t. You didn’t pay for the canvas and the brushes or the easel. You didn’t work crappy jobs putting yourself through art school. You didn’t have endless fights with your parents about not having a ‘real’ job. You didn’t stay up all night, banging your head against the wall, waiting for inspiration. You didn’t spend gazillions on books, museum trips, and traveling to absorb the experience and influences that eventually work their way into the art. You didn’t do it because you’re too busy, or don’t have the time, or are uninspired, or worried that you’re not talented enough.”

Maybe the better question is “Why aren’t you doing it?”

So, next time you’re at an art show, an open market, or a craft fair and see something an artist made with their own hands and minds; please enjoy it and appreciate it (if it’s something that resonates with you). If you must say, “I could paint (or sew, or make, or shoot) that”, then stop, leave the market, and go straight to an art supply store, get the supplies and go do it.

cre8tive kitchen – Pasta with Vodka Cream Sauce

Today marks the launch of a new section here on cre8tivity lab – cre8tive kitchen.

Some time ago, I cooked quite a bit. I enjoy being in the kitchen and especially love to entertain guests and cook for them. In 2008, much of that fell by the wayside as I began to do more design work outside my day-gig; and my time in the kitchen was significantly diminished.

One of the things I am hoping to achieve in 2014 is a better balance between the things I love – spending time at home with my family, my job, free-lance design work, photography, and a couple other creative pursuits.

So, I’m heading back into the kitchen, armed with some recipes I’ve collected over the years; many of which I’ve scanned and placed into a binder which will become my standard cookbook. Invariably, I adapt everything to suit our taste (which usually means adding more garlic). I’m really looking forward to this new adventure; and since cooking is just another creative outlet, I’ve decided to share the results (or at least the successful ones!) here on the blog.

First up was this little gem – quick, easy, and tasty.

PASTA WITH VODKA CREAM SAUCE (Serves 4)

Pasta with Vodka Cream Sauce
Pasta with Vodka Cream Sauce

INGREDIENTS:

1 TBSP Extra-Virgin Olive Oil

1 TBSP Unsalted Butter

3 Cloves Garlic

2 Shallots, Chopped

1 Cup Vodka

1 Cup Low-Sodium Chicken Broth

6-8 Roma Tomatoes, Chopped (or one 32 oz can diced or crushed tomatoes).

16 ounces of pasta. I used Penne Rigate but Fusilli or Farfalle would also be good.

1/2 Cup Heavy Cream

Dried or Fresh Basil

Parmesan Cheese

HOW TO:

Fill your pasta pot with water and set on high heat, add a pinch of salt and a couple drops of olive oil.

While that’s heating to a boil, place a warm skillet over medium heat. Add the oil, butter, garlic, and shallots; saute for 5 minutes. Add the vodka and reduce by half (about 5 minutes). Add chicken broth and tomatoes. Bring the pan to a boil, then reduce to simmer. Salt and pepper to taste.

Drop your pasta, cook to al dente.

As pasta is nearing completion, stir the heavy cream into the sauce and return to a boil, then remove from heat.

Drain pasta and toss with sauce; top with fresh or dried basil. Add parmesan cheese if desired.

Serve hot with a good garlic bread.

Bon Appetit!