Monday, October 22, 2012

The French Onion Soup that went with the Pork Roast!

I used Swiss Cheese and Smoked Gouda Cheese and a Cab Red wine instead of Sherry and a dash of Worchestershire Sauce and a couple of beef bouillon cubes - made it richer.  So delicious!!!!

Oh So Good French Onion Soup

Recipe courtesy Rachael Ray
Prep Time:
10 min
Inactive Prep Time:
Cook Time:
25 min
4 servings


  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 6 medium onions, thinly sliced
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons fresh thyme, picked and chopped or poultry seasoning
  • 1 bay leaf, fresh or dried
  • 1/2 cup dry sherry
  • 6 cups beef stock
  • 4 thick slices crusty bread, toasted
  • 2 1/2 cups shredded Gruyere or Swiss cheese


Heat a deep pot over medium to medium high heat. Work next to the stove to slice onions. Add oil and butter to the pot. Add onions to the pot as you slice them. When all the onions are in the pot, season with salt and pepper and 1 teaspoon fresh thyme. Cook onions 15 to 18 minutes, stirring frequently, until tender, sweet and caramel colored. Add bay leaf and sherry to the pot and deglaze the pan drippings. Add 6 cups stock and cover pot to bring soup up to a quick boil.
Arrange 4 small, deep soup bowls or crocks on a cookie sheet. Preheat broiler to high. Once soup reaches a boil, ladle it into bowls. Float toasted crusty bread on soup and cover each bowl with a mound of cheese. Sprinkle remaining fresh thyme on cheese and place cookie sheet with soup bowls on it under hot broiler until cheese melts and bubbles.

Wonderful Autumn Meal!

Pork Roast with Apples and Caramalized Onions

First Caramalized onions:

Caramalized Onions
Two large sweet onions, sliced thin
1 tbsp minced garlic
1 tbsp brown sugar
generous salt & pepper
Two Tbsp Olive Oil, two tbsp. Butter
Saute the onions, garlic, brown sugar, S&P in the oil and butter until the onions are rich and golden, at least 30", stirring constantly. 

Found this part on this great cooking site:

Pork Roast with Apples:

3 Tablespoons Olive Oil
1 whole Pork Shoulder Roast (also Called Pork Butt)
Salt And Pepper, to taste
4 cups Apple Juice
1 cup Beef Stock
3 whole Apples, Cored And Cut Into Wedges
3 whole Medium Onions, Sliced
1 whole Bay Leaf

Wild Rice
2-1/2 cups Wild Rice
4 cups Water
3 cups Chicken Stock
1/2 stick 4 Tablespoons Butter
1/2 cup Chopped Pecans
Preparation Instructions

OPTIONAL: Saute onions until brown. (Or you may just add them raw to the roast.)
To make the pork roast, heat olive oil in a large pot over high heat. Salt and pepper pork roast, then sear on all sides to give it some color. Reduce heat to low. Add apple juice, apple slices, onions, and bay leaf. Cover and simmer for 3 hours. (Or you may place in a 300 degree oven if you prefer.)
Toward the end of the cooking time, make the rice: melt butter in a medium saucepan. Add pecans and saute for a couple of minutes. Add wild rice and liquid, then bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover, and cook until all liquid is cooked out.
When the roast is done, remove the roast, apples, and onions to a platter. Raise heat to medium-high (to high) and boil liquid, reducing it until thick and rich.
Spoon thick sauce over the roast, then cut the roast into slices. Serve with apples, onions, and wild rice.
(Note: add fresh thyme or rosemary to the roast before cooking if you have it on hand!)

Sunday, October 7, 2012

A Traveling Life!

Whewhhhhhh..... That was a fast summer!  I just got back from an intense and amazing workshop in Maine and realized I was totally exhausted.  I started tracking my summer miles this year starting with May in Austin, TX to see Marco's boys.  Next was Los Angeles to see my daughter with my other daughter and two of my grandchildren, home for a few weeks and off to shows in Sun Valley, Jackson and finally Maine - all the while painting away.  No wonder I'm tired!!! I didn't even really get to enjoy my garden the way I usually do - well, maybe this is more usual than I give it credit for.  The workshop was so inspiring I can't wait to get back to the easel again :)

For anyone that has ever been interested in taking the workshop from T. A. Lawson, I'll tell you it was the most intense and inspiring week that I can remember in all of my art career!  He is an incredible artist and equally as incredible a teacher - not for the Sunday painter - for those truly looking for their voice and willing to work hard for it.  He and his entire family, especially his beautiful and accomplished writer/wife Dorie,  give generously of their time and efforts to all. He took us to wonderful locations to paint and opened his farm to us on the last day to paint horses, sheep, chickens, dogs, barns, and a plethora of beautiful Maine coastal and tree-filled landscapes.  I cannot even put to words the experience of all I learned - hopefully it will show in my next body of work.  And did I mention new friends?  I stayed in a three bedroom late Captains house right on the shore of Rockport with Lori and two new best friends, Jerolyn Dirks and Nancy Becker.  We stayed up late every night talking art, rehashing the lessons of the day and other art business and looking at art history on the internet.  Needless to say, we were all the best of friends by the time the week was over.  Now we'll Skype while we work to stay in touch.  

So back to work I go.  Color charts are coming (linen on the way via UPS) and sketchbooks in hand.  I came back with the attitude of "from this day forward".  I'm trying a new way of working, a new routine to see what changes come about in my work.  I do feel like I was already heading in that direction, my priorities not necessarily based on technical proficiency - more on the heart and attachment.  Who knows, maybe it will come through and maybe I'll come short of my expectations but I will try, try, try again!  This little engine will keep going :)  Maybe a more mature composition and more mature color choice are on their way!