Monday, August 30, 2010

Ray Jones

I love these ink drawings by Ray Jones. Such amazing textures and spaces, and such rich blacks.

Originally discovered via Sweet Station.

Friday, August 27, 2010

homemade pizza, with bechamel sauce, fresh basil, mushrooms, and grape tomatoes

This pizza is half the white pizza from 500 Vegan Recipes, half the slow-rise pizza dough on vegan yumyum and 101 cookbooks (originally from the completely amazing The Bread-Baker's Apprentice), plus a few extra percentages of my favorite pizza ingredients.

Since that dough is already beautifully detailed and illustrated in two prominent places on the internet, I won't bother repeating it here. That recipe makes 6 small pizzas. I found that making half the batch gave me the amount of dough I wanted to make a pizza for 3 people. You may find otherwise, and besides, if you make the whole batch, you can always freeze what you don't use and then you'll have delicious pizza dough on hand whenever you want.

As for the toppings, these are my favorites. I meant to add pine nuts, but I didn't remember until after I took the pizza out of the oven (we topped our slices with raw pine nuts, and it was just fine). The 500 Vegan Recipes version calls for fresh basil, sliced white onion, and smoked tofu slices as the topping. I'm sure this dough and sauce would be delicious with any veggie toppings you desire!

1/2 cup earth balance
1/4 cup all-purpose flour 
1 cup plain soy milk
1 tsp garlic powder 
1 tsp dried basil

1/2 recipe slow-rise pizza dough 
1 recipe bechamel sauce (ingredients above)
20-30 fresh basil leaves, or even more if you have them! 
1/2 pound thinly sliced mushrooms
1 cup grape tomatoes, sliced in half
1/4 cup pine nuts (not pictured) 

Preheat the oven to 450 F.

To make the bechamel sauce: in a pot, melt the earth balance. Whisk in the flour until smooth, then add the soy milk and continue to whisk until the sauce thickens (about a minute or two). Remove from heat and add the herbs, and salt to taste.

Roll out the dough according to instructions on either of the slow-rise pizza dough recipes linked above.

Layer the basil leaves on top of the dough. Pour the bechamel sauce over the basil, spreading evenly. Add any other veggies or toppings you're using, in this case mushrooms, grape tomatoes, and pine nuts.

Bake for about 10 minutes, until the crust is golden.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Elenore Abbott's Grimm's Fairytales, and my grandmother's copy

Elenore Abbott has been one of my favorite illustrators ever since I first saw this copy of Grimm's Fairytales, originally belonging to my grandmother, that she illustrated.

Monday, August 23, 2010

tender, instant-gratification cinnamon rolls (cinnamon buns?)

I really love cinnamon. And cinnamon rolls! (Or buns? What's the difference?) I have a recipe I really like, but it takes a little over 5 hours, because of all of the rising and baking time. Even with all that rising time, it can still come out not quite tender enough, or a little too yeasty for me. I made some for a brunch once, and it was exhausting.

Which brings me to these tender, sweet, no-rise cinnamon rolls. I've made this recipe so frequently, I can have fresh, warm, gooey cinnamon rolls not 30 minutes from cracking open my bag of flour.

I've modified this recipe heavily based on a recipe at fine cooking, which I read about on the kitchn. That recipe boasts that it's even quicker if you use a food processor. Well, I tried this with my new food processor, and it did not save me any time at all. In fact, I think I lost about 1/4 of my dough to all of the different parts of my food processor! As much as it can be a pain beating vegan cream cheese straight out of the fridge with sugar and melted earth balance, in my opinion it's a faster, lower-clean-up option.

Also check out the forming cinnamon rolls guide on allrecipes.


For the dough:
1/2 cup vegan cream cheese
1/2 cup soy yogurt 
1/2 cup soy milk 
1/4 cup granulated sugar 
6 tbsp earth balance, melted 
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract 
3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour, 1/2-1 cups more for rolling 
1 tbsp baking powder 
1/2 tsp table salt 
1/4 tsp baking soda 

For the filling:
3 tbsp earth balance, melted 
2/3 cup packed brown sugar 
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
a pinch each of cardamom and/or nutmeg

For the glaze:
2/3 cup confectioners' sugar 
2 to 3 tbsp cold soy milk 
1 tsp pure vanilla extract 

Heat the oven to 400 F. Grease the inside of a pie pan, or a springform pan if you have one.

To make the dough: Combine the cream cheese, soy yogurt, soy milk, sugar, melted earth balance, and vanilla. Mix until smooth. Add the flour, baking powder, salt, and baking soda and mix until the dough clumps together. The dough will be soft and moist. If it's too sticky, add flour a 1/4 cup or so at a time. The dough should easily leave the mixing bowl in one piece.

Scrape the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead it with floured hands 4 or 5 times, adding flour as needed, until smooth. With a rolling pin, roll the dough into a 12"x15" rectangle.

To make the filling: spread the melted earth balance on the dough, leaving a 1/2 inch border at one long edge free of earth balance. In a medium bowl, combine the brown sugar and cinnamon. Sprinkle the mixture over the buttered area of the dough and pat gently into the surface. Starting at the long edge opposite the unbuttered edge, roll the dough. Pinch the seam to seal, and leave the ends open.

With a sharp knife, cut the roll into 12 equal pieces. Set the pieces, cut side up, in the prepared pan; they should mostly fill the pan and touch slightly, but don't worry if there are gaps.

Bake until golden brown and firm to the touch, 20 to 28 minutes. Let the pan cool for 5 minutes. Remove if using a springform pan and transfer to a serving dish, when I use a pie pan I usually don't bother.

To make the glaze: In a small bowl, whisk the confectioners' sugar, soy milk, and vanilla to make a smooth glaze. It should have a thick but pourable consistency, so add up to 1 tbsp more milk if necessary. Drizzle the glaze over the rolls. Let stand a few minutes and serve.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

lentil sorrel soup

Soup! Great even when it's over 110 F outside (which it is). This simple recipe is a treat if sorrel is available. I picked every leaf off my sorrel plant that inchworms hadn't reached first! Sorrel is a wonderful, lemony herb. I used to get it from my farmshare, and I've been growing it this summer. 

This is another adaptation from Deborah Madison's The Savory Way

1/2 cup lentils 
1/2 cup small red onion, finely diced 
1 bay leaf 
1 1/2 quarts water
3 handfuls sorrel leaves, shredded 
1 to 2 tablespoons soy milk or soy creamer
1/4 cup lemon juice, or to taste 
freshly ground pepper

Rinse the lentils and combine them in a soup pot with the onions, bay leaf, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and water. Bring to a boil; then simmer, partially covered, for 20-30 minutes or until the lentils are completely soft. Puree half the cooked lentils in a blender until smooth; then return them to the pot. Add the sorrel and cook for another 10 minutes; the sorrel will turn olive green. Stir in the soy milk/creamer, taste for salt and lemon juice, and serve with freshly ground pepper. 

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Kristin Bjornerud

I wish I had larger images of these enchanting watercolor and gouache pieces by Kristin Bjornerud. More things on white backgrounds, plus books, whales, dresses, mythological imagery, and weird situations. So much to love!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Dunn Right header and illustration

I've been meaning to post this for weeks! A while ago I made a header for my friend and former roommate, Lauren, for her blog Dunn Right. I loved doing freehand drawing and illustration for the web, it'd be fun to do more.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Jules Buck Jones

The beautiful watercolors of Jules Buck Jones, a Texas artist. I love the touch and mark-marking in these pieces, there's something I really relate to in her brushstrokes. Love the subject matter too.

Sunday, August 15, 2010 redesign & update complete

First of all, I'm sorry for those of you who subscribe to both this and naomese, because you'll be getting almost perfectly duplicate posts about this.  Duplicate posts like these will happen only very rarely, when the content of the two blogs overlap. 

As you can see, I've finally finished redesigning and updating! Please browse around the site, check out the galleries, and definitely let me know if you run into any issues. If you do, leave a comment here or email me at naomi (dot) bardoff (at) gmail (dot) com. 

Also, for anyone who emailed naomi (at) naomibardoff (dot) com, I'm sorry if you didn't get a reply, or didn't get one for basically ever. I've changed the contact information on my website to match the email I actually use (the same one as above) and will also be checking my domain email with more frequency. 

Friday, August 13, 2010

updated my blog designs

I've been absent this week in part because I've been working on a huge overhaul of It's still a ways off, but in the meantime, I've given my art blog a much-needed overhaul. (Now if only I could get to posting in it more often!) It's also a bit of a preview of the general aesthetics for the new

I've also given this blog a quick facelift. The basic layout is the same, I've just tweaked it a bit to match my other blog and generally be cleaner and sleeker.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Demi's The Firebird

There are so many things I love, love, love about Demi (Demi Hitz, apparently she doesn't have a wikipedia page? Who knew such things were possible!). There's the outfits, the patterning (look at those flowers and animals below!), the architecture (part of the same world as the wooden churches I mentioned loving in a previous post), and perhaps most of all, the balance between flatness and space, between a landscape with a background and foreground and an image with figures and objects floating in a plane. 

Images again via kidpix.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Johanna Westerman's Mother Holly illustrations

Amazing scenes, actions, excess, and character in these illustrations of Mother Holly by Johanna Westerman. I found the pictures on kidpix

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

white bean pesto and heirloom tomato salad stacks

These things, which I'm calling salad stacks, are really, really delicious. You can't really go wrong with fresh, homemade pesto, heirloom tomatoes, and arugula. Yum! This recipe is based on, and almost exactly the same as, the recipe for Heirloom Tomato and White Bean Pesto Torte from the Millennium Cookbook. I renamed it mostly because I think it's weird that this is called a torte, especially since it obscures the fact that it is, despite its excessive prep time and excessiveness in general, a salad. There's even salad dressing involved. Why hide? Salads are awesome!

The main difference is in the preparation of the garlic. The Millennium Cookbook seems keen on avoiding oil, and their version of preparing the garlic in an oven, with broth and herbs to avoid the oil, took over an hour or something. I'm much more interested in cutting down on oven time (and prep time, for that matter) than I am on oil. So I looked up a way to prepare garlic in a similar way, but faster. I ended up basically doing this, though my specific instructions for this recipe follow. This braised garlic was SO AMAZING, it would be fantastic just spread on toast or pasta. 

One more thing: I made these several weeks ago, and have been putting off posting them. This is a pretty complicated recipe, almost overly complicated in my opinion (that's The Millennium Cookbook for you), and while worth it, seemed like it would be complicated to type out as well! Those of you subscribing to this feed via rss aggregates might have gotten an empty version of this post last week, with just the pictures, and for that I apologize. Plus, the last picture kind of sucks. I almost left it out, but I figured y'all needed some indication of what the final product looked like, however poorly lit. For all my complaining about photographing beige things, I didn't do so hot with this beautiful and colorful dish, mostly because after an hour of roasting the tomatoes, almost 20 minutes of braising garlic, and all the other prep time, by the time I had this assembled, there was no more natural light! You can see how lovely the natural light was in the photographs of the produce.

Oven-dried Tomatoes: 
6 large heirloom tomatoes, cut into 1/3-inch slices
1/4 tsp sea salt 

Stovetop-Braised garlic:
1-2 heads garlic 
1 tsp minced fresh rosemary 
1 tsp minced fresh thyme
olive oil

White Bean Pesto: 
1 cup cooked white beans
stovetop-braised garlic, above
2 tsp minced garlic (separate from the braised above) 
1 1/2 cups fresh basil, or as much as possible! 
1/3 cup water 
1 tsp ground pepper 
1 tsp sea salt 

Bean Salad: 
1 cup cooked white beans
1/2 cup chopped fresh tomato 
1 scallion, sliced thin 
1/4 cup minced fresh parsley 
1 tsp minced lemon zest 
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice 
1/2 tsp sea salt 
1/2 tsp ground pepper 
1 bunch arugula, stemmed 
1/3 cup vinaigrette dressing, store-bought or homemade

To prepare the tomatoes: Preheat the oven to 250F. Place the tomato slices on a rack set over a parchment-lined baking sheet. Sprinkle with the salt. Bake for 30 minutes, then gently turn the tomatoes over and bake for another 20-30 minutes. The tomatoes should be pretty dry, though mine didn't seem very dry and turned out fine. Let cool to room temperature. 

To prepare the garlic: Trim the root and top ends of the garlic head. Separate the cloves, but don't remove the peels. Heat a tablespoon or so of olive oil in a frying pan (cast iron works best) to almost smoking point, then turn down heat as low as possible. Add the garlic, skin and all, to the pan. Roll the cloves in the olive oil and cover the pan. Cook for about 5 minutes. Then check the garlic, it should be light brown and smell absolutely amazing. Shake the pan to turn the cloves. Cover the pan and cook for another 5 minutes. After this, add the rosemary and time, then leave the lid off as you carefully stir the garlic for another 5 minutes. The skins should be falling off as you stir, and be incredibly fragrant. 

To make the pesto: In a blender or food processor, combine the beans, the braised garlic, minced garlic, basil, water, pepper, and salt and blend until smooth. Set aside. 

To assemble the salad stacks: In a medium bowl, toss the beans, tomato, scallion, parsley, lemon zest, lemon juice, salt, and pepper together. In a medium bowl, toss the arugula with the vinaigrette, then divide the arugula among 6 serving plates. Place a dried tomato slice over each mound of arugula, then top the tomato with 1 tablespoon of the pesto, followed by a tablespoon of the bean salad. Repeat the procedure 2 more times until you have 3 layers of filling between 4 tomato slices. Serve immediately after assembling. 
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