Enjoy life now... it has an expiration date.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

In the garden, in the kitchen, in the studio!

This time of the year my garden exerts some strange kind of hypnotic force and pulls me helplessly outdoors where I happily slave and sweat while digging, planting and weeding! And that's pretty much what I've been up to the last few weeks. I'm posting photos of some of my garden, mostly flowers, although there is one shot of the field peas/okra patch. I've also got lots of tomatoes planted.

I've also done a little cooking (very little!) and a friend shared a recipe for a wonderful strawberry cake (pictured) so I'm passing it along to you. If you don't have fresh strawberries, I think frozen would work just as well.

Lastly, I'm posting a picture of some magnets I painted. These magnets are wedding favors to be given out to guests. This was a new experience for me! First the magnets were glued to the glass cabochons, then I painted the image using Liquitex Acrylic paints. Lastly, the magnets were sprayed with two light coats of sealer. The magnets are approximately 1-1/4" in diameter. They're now ready to hold notes on someone's refrigerator!

Been doing some reading too. I've just finished Cindy Agan's book, "Painting Watercolors that Sparkle with Life". Some good info in there.

So... that's what I've been up to! The blueberries are ripening rapidly (although we're officially in a drought so some of the berries dried up on the bushes) which means I'm going to enjoy some studio time before I'm pulled outside again. I'm ready to do some painting!

Darnell's Fresh Strawberry Cake

1 package Duncan Hines Yellow Cake Mix (or your preference)
2 qts fresh strawberries
1- lb container Cool Whip
1 large box (around 5oz?) Jello Instant Vanilla Pudding 

1. The night before you plan to make the cake, wash, cap and chop the strawberries. Add sugar (to your taste - I don't measure, just add then taste until I get it right) to the berries so that you get lots of strawberry juice.
2. Next day, place strawberries in a colander with a container under it to catch the juice.
3. Bake cake in three layers and cool.
4. Mix the Cool Whip, the instant pudding powder and 1/2 of the chopped, drained strawberries until well mixed. This is your frosting.
5. Place first cake layer on cake stand, punch holes all over  and pour 1/3 of the strawberry juice onto the cake layer.
6. Place a layer of the frosting on the cake layer, then sprinkle 1/3 of the remaining chopped strawberries on top.
7. Repeat step 6 for the second layer.
8. Lastly, frost cake all over, sprinkle top with remaining strawberries and, if desired, drizzle a little strawberry juice over cake.
9. Better after it sits a day or two. Keep refrigerated.
10. Enjoy! Yum-my!

P.S. If anyone can tell me the name of the purple flower in the top photo I sure would love to know what it is!
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