Sunday, April 17, 2011

All Settled In

 Hi everyone! I am finally back from my little moving vacation--we are pretty much all settled into our new apartment and we (including the kitties) just love it here! We have so much more space now, including a spare room where I can have a larger crafting area (that is the main part of it above). Daniel also has half  of the room for his desk and hobbies. We have almost everything organized and really feel at home. We also have a nice little porch garden started, I will have to get some photos for a future post :)

I have managed to get a little bit of painting done--here is "Jane," inspired by the fabulous Jane Austen of course :) She is available in my shop.

I have also been taking advantage of our larger kitchen and have been doing a lot of cooking and baking--I made my very first pie all by myself! I couldn't believe it when I took it out of the oven and it actually looked like a pie :) I used this blueberry pie recipe--the crust came out flaky and delicious!


I also made an asparagus quiche...

And some really yummy Ricotta-Basil Stuffed Tomatoes (here they are ready to go into the oven).

These are really light and great for this time of year. Here is the recipe if anyone wants to give them a try (I got the recipe from the July/August 2010 issue of Vegetarian Times):

  • 8 large beefsteak tomatoes
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup low-fat ricotta cheese
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
  • 2 tbsp. plus 4 tsp. grated Parmesan cheese, divided
  • 1 clove garlic, minced (1 tsp.)
  • 1 cup corn kernels
  • 1 cup diced zucchini plus 24 very thin zucchini slices
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Slice tops off tomatoes, and scoop pulp out of centers to make stuffable tomato shells; set aside. Discard half of tomato pulp; remove seeds from and finely chop remaining half of pulp.
  2. Whisk together eggs and ricotta in medium bowl until smooth. Stir in red onion, basil, 2 tbsp. Parmesan, and garlic. Add corn, diced zucchini, and chopped tomato pulp; stir until combined.
  3. Fill tomatoes just to top with 1/2 cup ricotta mixture. Sprinkle each tomato with 1/2 tsp. Parmesan, and top each with 3 zucchini slices and tomato top. Place in large baking dish.
  4. Bake 45 minutes, or until filling is puffed up and tops are browned. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.
[To freeze and enjoy later: Cool stuffed tomatoes completely, then place in foil-lined baking pan. Wrap tightly in foil, then in plastic wrap, and freeze. When ready to eat, thaw tomatoes completely. Preheat oven to 350 F. Bake, uncovered, 20 to 30 minutes, or until filling is hot.]

I am looking forward to making some long overdue blog visits, I hope you are all doing well! See you soon :)


  1. How exciting moving into a new apartment! It looks wonderful there.
    And another amazing painting I see, the brown and green tones are perfect!
    All that food looks so yummy :) Especially the pie!

  2. So happy for you that you are all moved. Your painting is beautiful. For your first pie that looks like it could be on the cover of a food magazine, If it taste as good as it looks I am sure it was a winner.

  3. Hi!
    Your new apartment sounds great! So glad you are getting settled in! Lucky you to have your own little space to create your beautiful work!
    I have some pictures to email you of Brownie! They are not the best as he is rather handsome, but VERY camera shy! hee!
    have a great night!

  4. So glad to see that you're back. I've been away from blogland for a bit, too, with my father's serious illness. Good to hear that you have more working space. I had to downsize in my apartment this past December and lost my room to fully do craft stuff. Sniff. :(

    Anyway...LOVE yours and your space and looking forward to seeing more art from you. :) Hugs

  5. Hurray to you in your new home! I see you have quickly settled into domestic and artistic bliss. I LOVE Jane! And all your homemade treats look so mouthwateringly good! Thanks for sharing the recipes. Theresa

  6. That crafty space makes me smile...ready for new adventures in paint and life :D

    I'm so happy for you in so many ways....glad you are all cozy and settled in.

    Jane is gorgeous. I love the scenery in the back with the wee houses.....and the food, Lauren, makes me want to stop by tomorrow....seriously!!

    all my best,

  7. Before I read any of the text in your post, I saw your illustration and immediately thought "Jane Austen"! Haha, so I would say you did a fabulous job capturing her and the feeling in her books!

  8. I LOVE your art style. it's so simple (not plain) and sweet and dreamy!
    congrats on your new apartment!
    i look forward to more posts from you!
    -Maribel, P.C.E

  9. Wonderful painting! I am working on my own "Jane" Jane Eyre, though! smiling. I think it glorious you are settled in! Blessings.

  10. So happy to hear you got your are all settled in, sounds like a wonderful place, with lots of great space for creating. Love the Jane painting, I'm a big 'fan' of hers :-)
    you are torturing me with those pics of the pie! I haven't made my own pie in years. The quiche looks marvelous, and so does your tomato dish!
    One day when I have more time I would love to go back to home cooking, sigh...right now there's just too much to do and so little time.
    Enjoy your new space!