Shrimp Cocktail

I have to admit, I'm not a big seafood person, but I do know that many of you are. So, today I wanted to share Kim McDougal's shrimp cocktail. Being an artist, Kim loves food presentation as much as I do. She even takes great photos and creates some beautiful illustrations! I encourage you to visit her post at Ordinary Recipes Made Gourmet. {reserved}


Dutch Letters

Last Friday I did a presentation in Oskaloosa, Iowa - in the heart of "Dutch Country", so had to buy a Dutch Letter at the local bakery. For those unfamiliar with these, they are an "S" shaped flakey pastry filled with almond paste. The "S" stands for Sinterklaas, which is the Dutch Santa Claus. Originally they were only served during Sinterklaas Day on December 6th. Luckily they are now available year round. {available}


Fancy Goldfish Dish

For two events now I've seen goldfish crackers placed in a really pretty dish. It just shows that pretty dishes can make the simplest foods extremely special. {available}


Four Pears

Another colorful pear day. You know, I haven't even had pears in a can lately.

By the way, after much prodding I've decided to sell my original paintings from The Lunch Box Project. Its tough to give them up, but I'm sure they will all go to good homes. You can purchase them on my Etsy site.

{print also available}


Let Me Draw Your Food!

So many of you have great food blogs and I need many fabulous food images to draw...so maybe we can help each other. Please send me a link to your favorite posts...with a great photo included. They can be quite simple or complex. If I pick your recipe to draw, I'll include a link back to your blog from "The Lunch Box Project". Please follow these submission guidelines before sending anything! I look forward to seeing all your fabulous creations! {available}


D is for Dumplings

My mom always made dumplings for our soup when we were kids. It was always fun watching her make the batter, spoon it out, and drop it into the hot broth. Mom, how come you don't make those anymore (or maybe you do for yourself)?



The Potluck Theory

When there is a potluck, you want to try a little of everything. So, in order to have enough entrees, have several people bring the same thing (sloppy joes, perhaps), then there is enough of at least that for everyone. Keep the sides and desserts as chaotic as possible. That's the fun. {available}


Fresh Vegetables

With spring, I think, finally here I'm really craving fresh vegetables. I can't wait until we plant our garden and I can snatch from it daily.



Rice Cakes

With being sick last week I was told to eat "bland" food for a day. One of my many options: rice cakes. My daughter tried one and instantly spit it out. She said it tasted like cardboard. Next time I might try the ones flavored with cheddar. {available}


Develed Eggs

From colored eggs to develed eggs... I can't tell you how much I love these little treats. We especially miss the scrumptious ones my husband's grandpa made each year for Easter dinner. {available}


Coloring Eggs

It's a week past Easter and I've realized I can't leave this special time of year without a post on colored eggs. We always decorate our eggs at my in-laws, use simple food coloring and those neat little wire holders for dipping. The kids LOVE it...as well as my husband and father-in-law. It's just fun watching them. {available}


A Special Sub Sandwich

Yesterday my daughter went to a birthday party over lunch, so my son and I stopped by Subway. It is always nice having a ham sandwich with lots of fresh vegetables. What's even more special is having it with my 10-year-old son. It's alone time I rarely have with him. {available}


Cherry Pies

Iowa State University has one of the largest student run festivals in the country called VEISHEA. The favorite food of this exciting week - cherry pies. These are cute little pies, about 3" in diameter, with a dollop of whipped cream, and sold by the thousands. The bonus...they are only $1 each. {available}


No Dairy

I've been sick this week and so disappointed to hear the doctor say "no dairy products for two weeks". All of a sudden ice cream, milk, cottage cheese, yogurt, sour cream, cream cheese and even mozzarella has climbed to a royal new level. {available}



Honey Pie

Have you ever noticed that many terms of endearment are foods? Our love of food so easily translates to our love of dear ones. Honey pie, sugar plum, pumpkin....and the list goes on and on. {available}


Flowers on the Table

I love gardens and especially love bringing flowers inside. My summer is filled with garden treks collecting plants for table arrangements. Food is always better paired with blooms.



Banana Berry Mix

I am sometimes amazed at the odd combinations in our baby's food jars. Last week we actually had one that sounded somewhat good, so I had to taste it. It was pretty yummy.



Chocolate Bunny

Here we are on Easter Sunday, enjoying the chocolate bunny surprise in our colorful baskets.


Pizza Boxes

Pizzas tucked in cardboard boxes - all in a row - are always a nice thing to see. This experience is usually available at family gatherings, after-school events, and evening meetings. {available}


The Bagel Tray

Last week a co-worker brought in a large tray sprinkled with mini-bagels. There is just something mesmerizing about all those circles. A little cream cheese isn't bad either. {available}


Sweet and Salty Equilibrium

I have this little issue. If I eat too many sweets, I need to balance it out with something salty. It ends up being a trip to the dessert area, then back to the chips, then back to the desserts and so on. Potlucks only feed this frenzy. I'm really not sure how to hit the equilibrium. {available}


Chocolate Caramel Brownies

Last week our kids had a potluck at their after-school program. Someone brought some decadent brownies with huge chocolate chips and a caramel swirl. The only thing that could have made it better was peanut butter. {available}


Jelly Bean Season

At work for the past week we've been greeted by a bowl of jelly beans at our office door...and in return each person gruntles, scoops out a spoonful, then pops them in their mouth...cursing the person that brought them. It seems the ritual will continue, until the jelly beans dry up on the discount shelves. {available}


B is for Blueberries

Since I started the alphabet thing, I might as well continue.

I don't often have blueberries by themselves, but love them in everything else - especially muffins and bagels.




I didn't appreciate tea until a co-worker and I went to England a couple of years ago. Everyday we had tea mid-morning, then again mid-afternoon...always paired with wonderful sweets. When I'm lucky to have tea in a pretty cup, I think fondly of that wonderful trip.



This is a magical sauce that can make almost anything taste a little better. Hey, at least it has tomatoes in it.


Red Wing Dinnerware

My husband is a slightly-fanatic Red Wing dinnerware and flower pot collector. I couldn't let a year of these postings go by without mentioning his endless supply of dinnerware in a multitude of colors and patterns. I can't cook well, but I have the resources to make a beautiful table setting...that can change weekly.


Carrot Cake

Last week I gave a presentation to the Fortnightly Book Club and they gave me one of the biggest servings of carrot cake ever! It was even made special by one of the members and her daughter. I'll give a presentation any day for that kind of payment. {available}


Two Apples

No April Fools here. I just wanted to let the playing card design show a little more than usual. Have you ever took a really close look at my paintings to see if you can find the underlying card suits and numbers pop through? You can only see some of them, so look hard. No foolin. {available}