Mardi Gras, Fat Tuesday, is on February 20th this year. Enjoy my Mardi Gras Coloring Pages!
Here is a lesson on painting penguins I've been teaching in my watercolor classes this week.
See larger view of
Penguins ink painting by Catinka Knoth
Finally some owl coloring pages. People land here thinking they will find such a thing because I have images from Owls Head, Maine. I hope to oblige you now with some brush and ink paintings I did. The references for these owls came from a now inactive Owl Cam in Massachusetts.
Click the links below to enlarge and print out.
I had a hankering to try out this idea yesterday. What prompted the idea? Someone had arrived at my blog entry for stovetop chocolate bread by googling "how to bake a cake on a stovetop", according to my traffic logs. I usually replicate such searches to see just where my site turns up in Google. In the process I look into any results that intrigue me. Such a one, and I've found and read this one before, is an article by Ruth Ross on making stovetop steamed breads and cakes in Mother Earth News from the 1970's. The article reinspired me, gave me the idea to try a fruitcake. I peruse recipes to get a general gist or feel of how to make something. I find it so much more fun to invent my own recipe just to see if I can do it, or to see what comes out. However, I use a mix of eyeball measuring and exact measuring, and only write things down afterwards. I try to hold on to the memory until I get to a pencil. This is much like painting. I cannot know until I see how things mix up if the proportions are right. Everything depends on everything else - as in Life.
I started out by imagining what fruit I had on hand, and did I want to try to make it like a fruitcake or like a pie without a crust or perhaps a cross between the two. Pie without a crust called louder. Would I use the Macintosh apple or the Empire apple - Mac was better for cooking. But wait, this lot of Macs had been so tasty. I had to eat some of it first. Then there was a bowl of cranberries that had never made it into sauce at Thanksgiving. I salvaged a handful of those. And I had some good raisins. This was a perfect combination. The old raspberries in the freezer would have to wait for another experiment.Read More...
c. 1 T butter
3 rounded cutlery teaspoons sugar
6 heaping soupspoons whole wheat flour
1 soupspoon soymilk powder
2 heaping soupspoons dutch process cocoa
c. 3/4 cutlery teaspoon baking powder
c. 1/2 cup leftover eggnog with some whiskey & dash of nutmeg
Cream together butter, sugar and salt in small mixing bowl
Add dry ingredients on top. Mix dry ingredients well without yet mixing into butter/sugar mix. When the dry stuff is well mixed you can start mixing it into the butter sugar mix. Get it thoroughly mixed.
Alternate splashes of eggnog with quick mixing strokes. Mix quickly so as not to develop the gluten in the flour. Add enough eggnog so that you have a loose but not liquid batter.
Grease a small round crepe or casserole dish with butter.
Spoon in the batter.
Set the pan on a low rack in a two quart saucepan 1/3-1/2 full of water.
Cover saucepan. Turn on heat and get water to boil. Turn down heat so that water is at a high simmer. You don't want the dish to rock wildly in there but you want as high a heat as you can get.
Let simmer covered for c. 1 hour 20 minutes
(I think that is how long I cooked it for.) It's deceptive knowing when its done. The steam rises up and dampens the top so it will still be sticky while in the pan. I used the knife test several times hoping I'd get a clean knife. Finally I just said, this has to be done.
Use dishtowels to retrieve the cake/pan from the pot of hot water.
A china dish is harder to retrieve from hot water than a metal pan or a loaf by itself. You want a good grip on the edge of the dish. (Perhaps one should fashion a wire ring with handles onto the dish before setting in the water.)
Turn the cake out by putting a plate on top of pan and turning upside down. The cake should fall out. Quickly and carefully turn it back over onto its bottom. Place on a rack to cool. You can then decorate with powdered sugar, jam, or frosting if you must, or leave plain. This cake was delicious. I have yet to taste better chocolate cakes here in Maine than my own concoctions. Perhaps it is just the butter even though this has minimal butter? Also, this does not have a 'whole wheat' taste. It is as fancy and rich as it can be while still being somewhat good for you. And even though it is quite small, it will last one person for several servings. Or would make a perfect kids' teaparty cake. It is so cute.