For the last little while i have been doing healthy and kid-friendly recipes, now it is time to vary things a little bit with some art – a study of a subject. In the past, I have done studies of one subject in the same medium. This time I did one subject, tulips, in 3 very different mediums – a photograph, a pencil drawing and a vector drawing. This just happened spontaneously and in retrospect, I believe it would be good to do this more often.
How To Do A Study of One Subject in Different Mediums
- Take pictures. Start with a close up view of your subject and take pictures. – whatever camera you have will do. Take the time to compose it and in different angles.
- Sketch. I carry a small sketch book with me and use it when there’s opportunity to do even a quick sketch using a printed photograph or straight from a phone camera. I find that sketching by hand really helps in understanding the shapes, proportion and subtle colour shifts and gradients. Do more than one if you can.
- Create a vector art without looking at your reference material (photograph or sketch). Use the reference material only after you’ve tried digital drawing from memory. You’ll be amazed how much you can remember of the subject.
- Fine tune. Now you can refers to the reference materials and make changes to your vector art.
- Compare all your art work, just as I did here side by side.
Try it! You’ll get to understand more about your choice subject and as I found it, the approach I took in creating each art improved.
If you ‘re like me, I like to make our own baked treats at home but sometimes I don’t want to make everything from scratch. This is a shortcut to making delicious monkey bread using a bread machine for the dough and finishing it off in the conventional oven. I’ve reduced the amount of the caramel sauce by half as I find it is just enough sweetness and buttery richness with half the sugar and fat. The result is a pull-apart bread with evenly distributed caramel/cinnamon goodness as an afternoon treat or dessert.
Here’s a step-by-step on how to make it. The recipe follows below.
- Prepare the dough as per your bread machines instructions. Use the dough only setting.
- Prepare the caramel sauce (with raisins) and set aside.
- Once the bread dough is ready, knead a few more times on a clean floured surface and divide into 4 balls. Make into logs and cut into 12 pieces to make approximately 48 pieces of dough.
- Dip each small ball of dough in the caramel sauce and layer in a bunt pan. Add the nuts (optional) in between layers. Remember to use oil spray on the inside of the bunt pan. Repeat until all balls of dough are in the bunt pan.
- Cover the filled bundt pan and let the dough rise for approximately 20 minutes or until the dough rises to the top level of the bunt pan.
- Bake in a 375 degree oven for 20 to 25 minutes.
- While still hot, using oven mitts, carefully put a plate on top of the bundt pan and invert the bundt pan. The monkey bread should easily slide off on to the plate.
For the dough
- 2 teaspoons active dry yeast
- 3 cups of all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
For caramel sauce
- 1 cup butter
- 1 cup packed brown sugar
- 1 cup raisins
- 1/2 cup pecans or walnuts
Healthy options and tips
- Flour substitute I substitute up to 3/4 of the white flour to a combination of 1/4 cup oat flour, flaxseed flour (2 tbsp), and whole wheat
- Use only half of the caramel sauce.
- Add a dash of freshly ground nutmeg.
For Valentine’s treat this year, we opted to have healthy treats. I was really surprised of the colour, as it was a bright pink.
When there are fruit ripening quicker than we can eat it, I cut it up and freeze it. I have frozen pears, avocado, grapes and even orange slices! We often have frozen banana coins in the freeze for smoothies or it is eaten as as a frozen treat. It is an excellent snack for small kids after school or to cool off in the summer.
Pink Smoothie Recipe
- 1 cup of water (can substitute home made almond milk for richer taste)
- 1 ripe pear (very ripe pear will add more sweetness)
- 1/2 small beetroot (adding more beets will give it a more earthy taste) – organic preferred
- 1/2 avocado (can reduce to 1/4 avocado depending on size. Avocado will give your smoothie a thicker consistency)
- 1/2 celery stalk (can use up to 1 celery stalk depending on your taste)
- 1 frozen banana
- a few frozen grapes (optional)
- small handful of ice (approximately 6 ice cubes)
Put all into the blender until smooth. I always added the frozen fruit and ice cubes last. If you use organic produce and a Vitamix, there is no need to peel or take out cores, just blend and enjoy!
Here’s a healthier version of a snack muffin with a few options to make it gluten-free, egg-free, or dairy free also. It is very easy to make, kid-tested recipe, with no mixer required. Enjoy it warm, fresh from the oven, freeze it as a quick snack. It is a quick and easy addition to school lunch.
A perfect alternative breakfast on-the-go for kids and adults.
- 2 very ripe bananas, mashed
- 1/2 cup almond milk (Option: regular milk)
- 1/2 cup yogurt
Options: Greek yogurt
or 1/4 cup yogurt and 1 egg – Omega 3 preferred
or 1/4 cup grated apple or unsweetened applesauce and 1 egg)
- 2 tablespoons fresh ginger, grated
- 1 tablespoons unsulphured molasses (it adds great colour and added minerals)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup rolled oats
- 2 cups oat flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 cup brown sugar (option: maple syrup to eliminate processed sugar)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt (option: sea salt or Himalayan pink salt for added minerals)
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 6 – 8 dried chopped dates – Option: to add more sweetness if desired.
(Tip: coating the dates with the dry ingredients will ensure more even distribution of the dates)
Mix the wet ingredients together. Mix the dry ingredients together. Mix the dry to the mixed wet ingredients. Scoop onto silicon muffin cups using a regular ice cream scoop. Bake in 360 degree oven for 12 minutes or check with a cake tester.
Yields 18 muffins. Serve with sliced apples or pears.
- Use reusable silicon muffin cups for easy removal. The lack of additional oil in this recipe, may make using paper muffin liners difficult to remove.
- When checking for doneness using a cake tester, you might find bits of mashed banana on the cake tester. Make sure you test on another area.
To Make Oat Flour
Use a clean coffee grinder to mill small batches of oats into flour.