Friday, March 28, 2014

Comfort Food - Patacones (Plantain Chips)

I'm trying to introduce food that I enjoyed when I was a child, to my daughter.  Ever since she started school, and has been exposed to what other kids eat, it has been all about mac and cheese and chicken nuggets.  There's nothing wrong with those foods, I would just like my daughter to be able to appreciate and enjoy a variety of food.

When I was a child growing up in the Panama Canal Zone, plantain was served with practically every meal.  My mom mostly made the sweet version, which is fried ripe plantains.  She very rarely made patacones, which are the salty version.  So it was a special treat for us.  (In some countries they are also known as tostones).

Well, I haven't convinced my daughter to eat the sweet version yet, which is weird because she loves sweets.  But she does like the salty Patacones, otherwise known as Plantain Chips.  These are best eaten immediately after they are cooked when they are still hot.

You will need one or two green plantains.  They look like bananas but are bigger and can not be eaten raw.  Make a lengthwise cut on one of the angles of the plantain just deep enough to cut through the skin without touching the flesh of the plantain.  Then use the knife to raise the skin and peel it off.

Then cut the plantains into thick slices, using either straight cuts or slightly diagonal cuts.

I cover the bottom of a pan with canola oil and fry the plantain slices for 1-2 minutes per slice.  But you can put more oil to cover the whole slice and deep fry them so you don't have to flip them.  I just can't bring myself to put that much oil in a pan.  I know that makes no sense :)

Remove the plantain slices from the frying pan and smash them with the bottom of a glass to flatten them.  Be careful not to smash too much or they will break apart.

Put them right back into the frying pan and heat them until golden on each side, about 1-2 minutes per side.  Take them out and place them on a plate lined with a paper towel to drain.  Salt to taste.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

What's On The Drawing Board - Sketch Of The Day

Sometimes I need an assignment to get the creative juices flowing.  Whether it is work for a client, a call or challenge from a publication, or an assignment I give myself,  they never fail to get me drawing and painting.  This time the assignment or challenge is The Masquerade.  

Friday, March 21, 2014

Etiquette Series

To continue with my Etiquette Series, I once again turn to one of my favorite little books, Manners by Kate Spade.  Here she states 10 Gentle Reminders for Modern-Day Etiquette.  I feel I need some "gentle reminders" since I don't have my grandmothers around anymore doing the reminding.  Also, it seems people are so rushed and stressed these days.  And that's exactly the time we all tend to forget our manners.  Most of the time I face road-rage while driving our crazy crowded freeways in Southern California, but when I come across an unexpected display of excellent manners from a stranger, it makes me feel good for the rest of the day!
Illustration by Virginia Johnson for Manners by Kate Spade

10 Gentle Reminders

Making others feel at ease is the essence of etiquette, yesterday and today.

There are few words more elementary or more welcomed than please and thank you.

Good moods are contagious.
Hopefully, yours will be pleasantly catching.

Be aware and considerate of personal space-physical, visual, and aural.

Showing respect is a gift, one that costs nothing and is endlessly appreciated.

Think of your tone of voice as a telegraph.
To the listener, it speaks volumes.

A short fuse does nothing but burn.  Should you find yourself with one, steer clear of others.

Never underestimate the message that's sent by your poise and your posture.

Clothes count.  Appropriate attire is not only respectful, it's refreshing.

Let common sense be your guide and graciousness your goal.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Pajama Wardrobe Update...STAT!

I have to admit, that sometimes I get caught up in all the craziness of everyday life and forget about important things.  The other morning, I was having breakfast and watching an old Sandra Dee movie (more on that in a later post).  Of course the movie is from the early '60s, so everybody is dressed up in every scene.  There were a couple of scenes where Sandra Dee was in her nighty and she was so cute.  Her nighty and slippers were lovely.  Then I looked down at my pajamas...EEK!  I started going through my pajama drawer ....more EEK!!  Nothing but shabby tshirts and old pajama pants with loose elastic bands.  "A disgrace" as my mother would put it.  My grandmothers, my aunt and my mom always wore such lovely nightgowns and slippers.  They would be appalled to see what I have been wearing lately.

Time for a Pajama Wardrobe Update!

My first purchase, a hot find at TJMAX (only $16), a Cynthia Rowley set very much like the center set below.  

Here are some of the other pajamas and nighties on my wish list.

Untitled #47

Monday, March 17, 2014

Can You Hear Me Now? Retro Phones

This is a photo of my brother when he was a baby.  He's busy chatting away on the phone!  I like the look of those old phones.  I want to find one that has the actual dial that would go around in circles.  It took forever to dial but it would be fun to have one.  I want to introduce my daughter to all kinds of old gadgets.  My brother gave her an old transistor radio and she loves to play with it.  All things old are new again!
Untitled #46

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Cynthia Rowley

Untitled #45

I whole-heartedly agree with The New York Times when they said Cynthia Rowley's style is, "flirty, vibrantly colored dresses and tops in wispy materials, that have a whiff of a carefree, simple spirit..."

Here's my little wish list.  The fun and stylish band-aids are first up on my list!!

Monday, March 10, 2014

My First Craft Show!

Hello everyone.  I survived my first craft show this weekend!  I'm not sure why I am so tired today.  Most of the 2 days were just sitting around in the booth.  Well, we did have to get up early and there was the time change on Sunday (that always throws me off).  Maybe it was more the preparing in a crazy frenzy right before the show.

All in all, it was a good experience.  It was nice to be out meeting customers and hearing their feedback.  It's interesting to see what people are drawn to, what captures their interest.  It was fun to meet the other vendors as well.  They were all very nice and happy to give me advice.

Here are a couple of photos of my booth:

I met this young lady who was shopping the show with her family.  I just had to get a photo of her.  She looked so chic and glamourous with her vintage style hat.  She fit right in with the theme of my booth!

So pretty!

Well, now I have to start gearing up for the next show.  It's this weekend, Sat. March 15 at the Brea Community Center.  Stop by and visit me, if you are going to be in Brea, California this weekend :)