Thursday, October 30, 2014

Pumpkin Patch 2014

The pumpkin patch holds such a special place with me, because we've been going to the same farm since before Nora was born. Visiting the pumpkin patch is the mark of fall and it just reminds me, that the holidays are right around the corner.  I love stepping out and hearing the leaves crunch under my feet and smelling that cool crisp Oregon air (nothing beats it).

When visiting, I always end up thinking about what I was doing last year and the previous years past, and it always feels like my life has changed so much. Being 9 months pregnant and pretty much ready for baby #2 to come any day now.  This visit, I was wobbling around the farm and chasing a toddler.  I'm starting to feel a lot slower but the pumpkin patch had fresh apple fritters, elephant ears, and corn on the cob, which of course I had to try everything.  I can't really deny the baby, right?

After stuffing ourselves to the brim, we took the hay ride out onto the pumpkin patch.  Nora was very serious about finding her perfect pumpkin.  It was pretty adorable watching her line up the pumpkins and count them.  Pumpkins are a pretty big deal to a 2 year old,  and she was very adamant about not leaving any of her pumpkins behind.  Poor Tim had to carry about 4 pumpkins back to the car, but at least they were on the smaller side.

The pumpkins now sit on our front porch and Nora says hello and good bye to pumpkins everyday. I wonder if she is going to do the same thing when we get the Christmas tree. :)

Monday, October 6, 2014

The Big 500! is here! 1/10

It's the time of year again and I've started painting for the Big 500.  The Big 500 is a holiday art show that showcases 500 artists! Each artist is given 10 wood panels (8 inch by 8 inch) and all the same price, which means there will be about 5000 pieces of affordable art-work.

This show gets crazier and crazier every year, and the line to get in for opening night is pretty insane. People camp out and wait in line hours before. When the doors open, it's a mad house to get in and there will be art collectors ripping art off the wall.

The best part about the show is that there is art from established artists to emerging artists. All of the art work is the same price and it's hung saloon style (all mixed up). There is also a huge diversity of art from portrait artists to abstract to mixed media, pretty much there are no rules! One year someone did crochet male parts, on their panels (true story).

I have been participating in the show since it first opened years ago and The Big 500 is pretty much the best art show ever! It is a cash and carry art show, which means once you pay for the artwork, then you take it home with you.  I love this show so much every year and I can't believe it's gone from about 20 artists to 500.

Even though I am about 9 months pregnant, I have been working hard to finish my pieces before the baby comes.  I also decided that I am going to make prints available in my etsy shop, if you are not able to attend the show or want something special for the holidays.

Details about the show.
Opening Night: December 13. 2014 and opens at 2:00 pm - 9:00 pm (if you are planning on going opening night, so go early!)
Dates: December 13, 2014- January 11, 2014
Address: Top Floor of Pioneer Place,  People's Gallery, 700 SW 5th Ave, Portland, OR

Want to see more artwork from the previous years? Big 400 // Big 300 // Big 200 // Big 100

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Apple Pie Bread Recipe

I had a friend of mine, tell me about this amazing little apple stand, and it so happens to be pretty close to my house. One of my favorite things about living on the edge of the city, is having access to local farms. It's an apple stand that sits in front of an orchard and you pay based on the honor system.  So you pick out what you want and leave it in a home-made wooden box.  It's pretty great.

The apples from this stand are so crisp and fresh, that I could eat them all plain. It's one of those stands you could smell that apple fall smell before you walked up to it.   Since it's  fall, why not bake?  I decided to make some apple pie bread and the crunch of the crumble on the top, with the fresh apples.  It's that good.  I have been eating this bread nearly every morning dunked into my morning tea or hot coco.

If you want to be really naughty, toast a slice in the oven and then add a big scoop of vanilla ice cream on top. Serious business. Yum.

1/4 cup white sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup of butter (room temp)
1/2 milk
2 eggs
1 1/2  tsp vanilla
2 cups of all purpose flour
1 3/4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp of salt
Pie Spice - 1/2 tsp of cinnamon, 1/2 tsp of ginger, and 1/2 tsp of nutmeg
4 medium apples. Peeled and cut into small chunks. (I used a combo of Janagold and Galas but you can use whatever you like.  Just make sure they are firm apples)

3 tablespoons of melted butter
1/3 cup of all purpose flour
1/2 cup of brown sugar
1/2 tsp of cinnamon

1.  Preheat Oven to 350 degrees and grease a 9X5 inch loaf pan.
2. In your stand mixer, combine the sugars, butter, milk, vanilla, and eggs (one at a time).  Beat on medium while combining the ingredients.  Beat until a creamy whipped texture.
3.  In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt, pie spice.  Turn on your mixer to medium and slowly add to the wet ingredients.  Turn off mixer and fold in apples.  Pour into loaf pan.
4.  For the topping, combine all the ingredients with a fork and it should be a crumbly texture.  Pour on top batter.  Place into preheated oven and it takes 50-65 minutes.  At 50 minutes check on it, by inserting a toothpick and if it comes out clean, it's done! Yay!