Creaturiste's Laboratory

Techniques, works in progress, and everything that doesn't fit in the portfolio. Comments and questions are encouraged, custom orders are welcome!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Stew of Abundance!

Comfort in beautiful edible form!
I made a new batch of stew tonight, and it's so satisfying I just had to share!

As usual, I don't have precise quantities, because I eyeball everything with my gut feelings and with input from the inner puppet voices. But You'll have a close enough of an approximation to make the same kind of good stuff!

Why do I share recipes on my laboratory blog? Well, as working artists, we're all very busy, and having delicious food doesn't mean having to eat out all the time, or sacrifice the taste when we cook it ourselves with very little time!  My recipes are easy and fast.

You'll need the regular kitchen equipment, plus these specifics:
A big pot with a thick bottom.  I use my Pressure cooker.
A big pan
A steamer, or some other means to steam veggies

500 grams of red kidney beans, soaked overnight, rinsed, then pressure cooked until soft.
Three cups of diced carrots
Three bell peppers, diced (I like to use three different colors).
Three big cloves of garlic, chopped finely.
One big red onion, diced.
A small broccoli
Approximately 500 grams of mushrooms (one package), washed and sliced.
Two cups of finely chopped flat-leaf Italian parsley

A splash of Apple Cider Vinegar
Sea Salt (fine)
One teaspoon of Black Pepper (or a mix of peppercorns)
One teaspoon of Turmeric
One teaspoon of Oregano
A squirt of tomato ketchup
A squirt of hot sauce (I used Sriracha)


I keep half the water from cooking the beans as part of my broth.
I add the chopped bell peppers to the beans, which are still hot and the stove top is at low heat, to simmer.
I steam cook the carrots separately until soft, but not mushy, then I add them to the beans.
I steam cook the Broccoli in the same way, and add it to the same exact beans.

I cook the garlic, parsley, onions and mushrooms in a large pan with some sunflower oil, a low heat until the onions are translucent. Then I add those to the ever-evolving beans as well!

I then add enough water as needed for the concentration I need.
I may simmer for maybe 5 minutes, but after that, I turn off the heat and leave on the same burner, to benefit from the remaining heat.

Then I add the spices, to taste. The quantities above are approximate, it depends on the overall taste of the batch being made.

I usually eat a big mug or two of this soup as soon as it has been spiced.
Then I  leave the rest of the soup there until it's cooled enough to be placed in the refrigerator.

This provides the blending of flavors, and it's even better when heated the next day.

In the summer I'd place a cloth over the pot to prevent insects from using it as a pool.

This stuff is so good I can eat it twice a day for a week!

It's so easy this could be a good activity with kids. They can help make it, and will be more likely to want to eat it, with pride! Same goes for roommates who claim they can't cook!


Friday, October 19, 2012

Rasp Berrymonade!

In the line of quick recipes for the busy artist...

All you need is raspberries, lemons, cold water, and maple syrup (or other sweeteners) to make a fantastic Raspberry Lemonade that refreshes and delights the senses!

For one regular sized pitcher of water, I use the juice of two lemons (freshly squeezed), two big handfuls of raspberries (mine are usually frozen because they don't spoil that way), and I add just enough water to blend it until liquid in a blender. You may want to filter this into a mesh strainer, to remove the little raspberry seeds, as some people don't like those.

Pour in pitcher, add enough water to fill the rest of the pitcher.
Add maple syrup to sweeten to taste (maybe half a cup?).
If you started with very cold water, or if you replace half the water with ice cubes and stir for 2 minutes, it could be enjoyed RIGHT AWAY!!

Someday, I plan to try adding some herbs, like LAVENDER!

Otherwise, place in the re-fridge-A-rator until cold.

This may seem like an overly simplistic "recipe", hardly worth mentioning, right?
Yet, I find that more people than I like to believe don't have a clue how to make proper lemonade, or any other fruit juice blends, from scratch. I sure didn't, until maybe three years ago, when I really got into the good stuff at proper healthy juice bars, and using my blender to replicate and improve the results at home.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Easy Frosted Windows

As seen in the daylight.
I live on a big avenue, so there are a lot of pedestrians and cars peeking into my workspace when I forget to close the curtains.

I've made my studio more private by frosting the windows.
As a bonus, I don't need to use the curtains anymore, and the frosting seems to diffuse and bring more light indoors in the daytime. My plants seem to love it!

I didn't want to use toxic chemicals such as spray can products, so I looked online for some tips. Those articles I saw were asking for supplies I didn't have, so I wondered if I could make it simpler.
I had plenty of acrylic medium, and to make it blurry-frosty, I just gradually mixed in a lot of baby powder (talcum).

I applied it on the clean window with a big but soft brush with synthetic hair, changing the direction of my brush to make sure the pattern would not repeat and look too organized. I applied three coats, and kept patching areas that were a bit too thin, which only showed once they were dry.

The stuff scrapes well with a plastic spatula, so I'm not worried about damaging the windows.

I'm happy with the results, but I'm wondering what it would look like with a color instead of just the white-ish frosting. To avoid redoing it all, I'll just try with a large sheet of transparent colored plastic, when I find some.

For a shadow puppet look, one can place black or other opaque silhouettes directly against the glass, indoors. At night when the indoor lights are on, they would show up well.

It's a bit more dramatic than this at night, with streetlights.

Enlarged to show texture, with some shadows from outside.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Hot Tomato Sandwich

Spicy Onion Mayo + Tomato Sandwich = EDIBLE AWESOMENESS!

Another very quick meal for the artist on the go. Also good when we don't feel like preparing complicated meals, but yet we don't want to sacrifice TASTE and grunt-worthy appreciation.

Just mix some finely chopped onions (raw) into some mayo (or veggie substitute), add hot sauce (I like a chipotle hot sauce), a splash of maple syrup, some salt, black pepper, & lots of paprika.
This sauce is amazing as a dip for veggies or fries, or as a special sauce for burgers or hot dogs.

Healthier fries: sweet potato fries cooked in the oven, instead of fried.
Takes longer and the fries are more soggy, but it's yummy!
The tomato sandwich need not be complicated: just spread this spicy mayo generously on both slices of toasted bread, add a layer of thick tomato slices and a leaf or two of lettuce, then close the sandwich, and EAT! It's drippy and messy, so use a large plate and have some towels handy.

The sauce can last at least a week in the refrigerator, but I've never been able to see how much longer it could keep, as I eat it quickly.  

Chipotle Hot Sauce:
I buy a can of Chipotle Peppers in Adobo Sauce (brand La Costena, from Texas), and liquify in the blender with enough lime juice to make it liquid enough to be funneled into a glass bottle I like to keep it in.  I could make my sauce from the peppers and separate ingredients, but I don't find chipotles in my local stores.  If the store is out of limes, I use rice vinegar instead. Not as good, but it works.