The Cranberry Owl

It's Christmas Eve and family has finally arrived!  We are so excited!

Happy holidays everyone!



The Apple Owl

Owls are in style once again.  My mother-in-law collected them way back and just took down her collection a few years ago.

Everything really does come back in vogue.  I wonder if she kept those owls in a box somewhere.


I Love Cake

...and lots of other goodies too.

Speaking of goodies, here is a sneak peak at all the things my illustrations land on:

recipe cards
small prints
large prints


Graphic Recipes

I'm taking a little break from cheese to show you my latest project.  Someone lovely asked me to draw her mom's special recipe as a holiday gift and this is the result.  I was so inspired that I decided to offer this same idea to others.  You can find out more here. Have a wonderful Monday!


Creamy Havarti Cheese

Several of you suggested this cheese and I'm embarrassed to say I've never had it.  I have several cheeses I must add to my "try these" list now.


Cheese Curds

The person that requested these via Facebook challenged me to make them "cute".  Not sure if I accomplished that, but here is my attempt at some cute cheese curds.


Asiago Cheese

Low in fat and rich in protein, asiago cheese is a healthy snack. Geez, I'll take some of that.


American Cheese

This one reminds me of my brother, not only because he requested it, but because he loves sandwiches.  Somehow he manages to get everything in the fridge between two slices of bread.


Parmesan Cheese

The real deal is called parmigiano reggiano.  A friend on Facebook mentioned that the rinds are marked with the name of the maker, an official cheese stamp and the date of inspection. Whoa!


Fontina Cheese

I almost wrote that I've never tried this cheese, but then found out it is a popular fondue cheese used in the Alps.  I did experience fondue in the Alps about ten years ago, so I may have indeed tasted this lovely cheese. Hmmm...


Sharp Cheddar Cheese

This is the most popular cheese in our house.

By the way, if you have a great recipe that incorporates any of these cheeses, please link to it in the comments section.

The Irish Mother sent me this great recipe for cheddar cookies! Thanks Margaret!


A Cheese Gathering

Over the next couple of weeks I'll be highlighting your favorite types of cheese.I would love to hear about those you enjoy.  Please let me know in the comments below or on my Facebook page.  The final result will be a cheese print that includes the entire collection.

Let's start with a popular one...swiss cheese.

Wait, just one more thing...I've started creating graphic recipes.  They are something you might be interested in.  What are these?  Just take a peak here.


What? I won?!

Wow!  I just found out that The Lunch Box Project won a Foodbuzz award for "Best Single Topic Blog"!  I really can't believe it.  A BIG thanks to everyone that voted.  What a great day!




Most of you probably already know that I don't drink coffee, but it sure is fun drawing a cup.


A Cool (and Hot) Cup!

 As part of the Foodbuzz Tastemaker program I received a fabulous Tervis tumbler. The neatest thing about this cup is that it is insulated, so it keeps cold drinks cold and hot drinks hot. Another neat thing...it's pretty stylish for a cup. When my kids saw it they actually said "wow" and wanted to pour something in it asap. Oh, and that straw is not included, I just popped one in for good measure.

To carry forward that wow, I've decided to share my top six drinks of all time (that I now enjoy in my favorite fancy cup):

1. Water.  As dull as it might sound, I love water and drink it 80% of my waking hours.
2. Milk. This list isn't getting too exciting is it?  Milk fills in about 15% of my drinking life.
3. Orange juice.  I love OJ, but this drink, with the rest of my list only fills in about 5% of my fluid consumption.
4. Hot Chocolate.  I'm not a coffee drinker, but pretend to be one with mug and hot chocolate in hand.
5. Fruit Smoothies.  My favorite breakfast drink when fresh fruit is available in our kitchen.
6. Iced Tea.  My mom only had kool-aid and iced tea in the fridge when we were kids.  I hated iced tea back then.  Now I love it...especially freshly brewed, then filled with ice.

All of these, hot and cold, fill my Tervis tumbler beautifully!  Woo-hoo!

A big thanks to Tervis and Foodbuzz for this fun gift.


Soy Sauce

 Yesterday, our neighbor sent their daughter over to see if we had some soy sauce they could use.  Unfortunately, we didn't have any and it made us realize we haven't had soy sauce in the house for at least ten years.

Not sure why.  Hmmm, maybe because our kids are not keen with it?  Their ages do correlate to the length of absence. Maybe it's time to reintroduce it in our kitchen.




Another pattern with a fall goodie...a food I still haven't been brave enough to prepare in a dish.



In the next few posts I'll be experimenting with background patterns.  Why not show you my crazy little sketches? This little honey jar is from one of my current projects.

Oh my...don't forget to vote for your favorite food blogs on Foodbuzz!  The deadline is today at 5 p.m. (western time zone).


Personalized Kitchen Print

Okay, just pushing one more item, then back to regular illustrations.  I was excited to finally make my first personalized print, so had to share it!  You can find it here.


Stove, Fridge and Sink Prints

Yes, I'm a little behind.  I finally made small prints of my kitchen appliances and such. You can find them here:

The Stove
The Fridge
The Sink


A nomination and some vanilla pudding

While eating a small pudding snack today I had a nice surprise...finding out The Lunch Box Project was nominated for a Foodbuzz Blog Award!  Wowie! My award category is "Best Single Blog Topic".

Check out all the fabulous nominees and vote right here on Foodbuzz.  Thanks to all who nominated me!


The Kitchen Sink

Ah, the famous kitchen sink.  The place I find myself most...washing hands, dishes and peaking out the window.


The Fridge

Onto the fridge.  You know, I've always wanted a fridge with a water dispenser on the front, but for some reason my husband keeps fighting me on it.  Maybe it's because I drink water all the time and he likes kool-aid. Do they have kool-aid dispensers?


The Stove

I've been wanting to draw elements in the kitchen, but in digital form, so I can make some new prints.  The next few days I'll share bits and pieces of this project.  Eventually I'll combine them into one composition.  To start here is my handy dandy stove.


Ghirardelli Chocolate

I've been a huge fan of Ghirardelli Chocolate since my first wandering into one of their downtown Chicago shops many years ago.  The thought of luxurious chocolate shakes and hot cocoa just made me giddy.

Just think of my delight was I was chosen to participate in the Foodbuzz Tastemaker program with Ghirardelli Intense Dark Chocolates.  A few days ago I received my special little package that included the following dark chocolates: Twilight Delight, Midnight Reverie and Sea Salt Soiree.  Ah.  Now, that was a very nice evening.

The next challenge... incorporate them into a recipe, rather than just eat them out of the box.  Well, geez, of course I ate them out of the box.  I couldn't stand to wait.  The Sea Salt Soiree called me and, oh my, was that good.  Kudos to G. for the neat combination.  After eating some solo, I chopped them up and mixed them into my vanilla ice cream that night with a little peanut butter.  Hey...I had lots of chocolate in the house and couldn't just let it sit there.

Don't worry, the next day my neighbor shared a lovely chocolate cheesecake recipe with me.  Over two days I collected ingredients, then made the most luscious cheesecake ever.  I mixed in the Twilight Delight and Midnight Reverie and it was fabulous.  Now take note, I'm not the best baker in the world, so I was more than elated to not only have made my first real cheesecake, but one with my favorite chocolates mixed in.  Another fine day.

Thanks to Ghirardelli and Foodbuzz for sweetening up my week.  Oh, and you can find the tasty cheesecake recipe here. Off for another piece of chocolate delight....



I was thinking about last fall and my grand adventures partaking in the Project Food Blog Competition.  I thought it would be fun to share my favorites again: (ah, what memories!)

The Secret Society of Raspberry Revelry

The Joy Cupcake {In Aisle Eight}

Blueprint Biketrip

How to Make a Fruitie Smoothie (as embarrassing as it is)



As you might guess, I've been really busy with other projects, so embarrassingly have not updated this blog as often as I'd like.  One project was creating the logo for a really neat new food blog, YumGallery.  These are not the typical culinary postings.  I encourage you to check out this new foodie experience here.



Though our corn is not quite ready we have been able to enjoy tons of sweet corn from our generous neighbor (Thanks Brian!).

Inspired by our son's boy scout troop who grill corn for fundraisers, we've now been throwing ours on the fire as often as possible.  With added butter, salt and pepper...we just can't get enough.



We actually harvested our spinach about a month ago....and was it yummy.

Inspired by the extra eggs gathered from our neighbor's chickens, we made spinach quiche a couple of times.  Very good.

My visiting brother also made a spinach omelet for my son...and my picky offspring actually liked it. It's so nice seeing him eat (and like) something healthy.



Ah beets.  I still don't know what to do with them.

I love pickled beets, but how else do I eat them?

Any suggestions?



Though our tomatoes are not quite ripe yet, I had to include them...because of my mom. She has been asking me daily, "are the tomatoes ready yet?".

I am personally not a huge tomato fan, but my mom lives for them.

You can learn more about her tomato infatuation here...and more here (I seem to write a lot about this tomato craze).



We just picked our first cucumber and I'm so excited!  I've already stocked up on the oil and vinegar.



The zucchini are just popping out of the garden right now.  Oh, what to do with them...

For those wondering about how these paintings are made...each one is on a playing card, then I've glued on some antiqued paper (from an old thesis I found at university surplus), then finally I paint and ink the final image.  That's it.



It's been fun growing radishes this year.  I just chop them up with cucumbers and couscous, then throw in some oil, vinegar, lemon juice and seasonings.  A very nice light lunch.



This is the first year we decided to freeze some broccoli. Broccoli cheese soup in the winter will be nice.



We just picked our first cabbages a couple of days ago.  My husband loves making coleslaw and finally figured out last year how to get that finely chopped looked with a food processor.  He hasn't made our first batch yet, but we're waiting (he actually has a big project right now, so I'm not pushing, really).