Monday, December 14, 2009

Plantain Hoecake Recipe

I am a Southern woman born and bred. There are few things I love more than salty pork chops and tomato gravy rice. However, one must deviate from those tried and true recipes sometimes for... something a bit different.

Figures that I'd latch onto yet another Southern tradition to fall in love with. My two children as well.

The recipe I'm about to share with you is not only Southern it has it's roots in the Caribbean island slaves' kitchens. And with the price of plantains(ugly/green bananas) right now ($.38 per!!) I'd be an idiot not to enjoy these with my family while we can.

Plantain Hoecakes/Johnny-cakes

Serves 4

You need:
  • Two plantains, the uglier the better. If you buy them while they're still pretty and unbruised then let them sit out on your kitchen counter for a few days until they're good and ugly. They'll be a bit soft to the touch usually, when they're ripe.
  • 1 cup of cornmeal.
  • Vegetable oil.
  • 1 large round skillet for the stove top + 1 glass pan for the oven.
  1. Cut the tips off the plantains. Then, take the pointy tip of a knife and make several long but shallow cuts down the length of the plantain, all the way around it. Peel the strips of skin off. This is the only easy way to do so.
  2. Slice plantains into quarter inch rounds and place them in the glass pan after it has been coated with cooking spray or vegetable oil.
  3. Bake in oven on 400 degrees for 20 minutes.
  4. Remove from oven and poke with a fork. The slices should be softer and have a brownish swirly pattern to them.
  5. After the plantain slices have cooled for about five minutes dump them into a bowl and using a fork, mash them up very fine. It takes some work but by cooking them in the oven your job is made much easier.
  6. Once your plantains are thoroughly mashed begin adding the cornmeal to it about an eighth of a cup at a time. Make sure you are mixing well. The more you add the thicker in consistency the mash becomes. The goal is to create a mash which you can form with your fingers into a patty. One cup of cornmeal generally does the trick for two plantains. Don't add too much more than that otherwise it'll make the cake crumble apart in the pan.
  7. Warm up your skillet just below medium heat. Add a quarter inch of vegetable oil to the pan.
  8. When oil is hot then you can start forming your cakes. One heaping tablespoon equals one cake. Scoop up some mash on your spoon and then roll it into a ball. Mash it flat and put it into pan oil. Make each cake between a quarter inch and a half an inch thick.
  9. The easiest way I've found to turn them over is with a spoon and a fork. The fork grabs and the spoon cradles it so it doesn't fall apart. Fill your pan up with little cakes and then begin turning them over. Generally it's about four minutes before the first side is done. Cook until both sides are golden brown.
  10. Gently transfer your golden brown hoecakes onto a plate which has been lined with paper towels to sop up the oil. Lightly salt the hoecakes before the oil dries.
  11. Let cool for five minutes and then... enjoy!

I think plantain hoecakes are a wonderful marriage of salty and sweet flavors. My two kids adore them and instead of considering them a side dish to the entree of the evening they really think they're dessert. Sometimes they like to put a drizzle of honey on them. It satisfies their sweet tooth and still gives them some healthy fiber. Plantains have a much lower sugar content than your average yellow bananas and yet when they are cooked they have a taste very similar to them.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Shea Butter & Eczema

Summeresque wrote, "I left feedback but I just wanted to personally thank you for such an amazing product. I have never seen anything work so well(Boo-Boo Cream) on my sons eczema. I am so glad I decided to search etsy for something better than big corporations were putting out. I have tried so many things and nothing truly helped the itch or helped him heal. This cream does both! Amazing! Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU!"


Admittedly, I do get a lot of rave reviews for my Boo-Boo Cream. And I certainly don't mind talking about how the ingredients work- but I'm going to do you one better. I'm going to talk a bit about how to stop eczema rashes in their tracks. This is a preventative measure.

Summeresque, I know exactly what you mean by 'nothing really helped the itch or helped it to heal' all too well. That stuff made by pharmaceutical companies is full of steroids or synthetic "moisturizers" and quite honestly, the skin knows what's fake and what's natural. Our body craves natural ingredients. The steroid creams are the worst, in my experience. You might as well be coating the skin with Vaseline with a little colony of ants mixed in. Once you stop using the cream your skin freaks out and then you've got a problem that's become worse than it was before. And it doesn't ever really HEAL the skin to begin with, and that's the biggest problem with eczema. If you've still got those cracks and fissures you're never going to be able to stop the itch.

Ever tried Lachydren(can't remember exactly how to spell it. It's Lack-Hye-Dren) on your boy? Don't. Stuff's $45 a bottle, smells like butt, you can only get it from a dermatologist(usually), and it makes the skin feel like it's been slathered with so many vitamins it's about to start growing things. Fake pharmaceutical moisturizers. That was the last product I tried before I screamed ENOUGH.

Here's a helpful tip to keep your boy's skin super supple and to help stop eczema flares. He may balk at it, being a boy, but if he becomes accustomed to just doing it every day it will save him from having to use the Boo-Boo Cream so much. Over time it gradually reduces flares and then... the skin is a peace. It's amazing, really. And so simple I wanted to bang my head against my desk when I discovered it.

Shea butter. That's it. I'm not kidding. PURE shea butter. I have a little Pyrex bowl with a rubber lid of the stuff in my bathroom. After I shower I smear a bit of the shea butter into my hands, rub until it's warmed and turns into an oil, then pat it all over the body parts that flare the worst(my legs). Shea warms to the touch so it's especially nice in the winter. Less than a 1/4 of a teaspoon is enough to do one adult sized leg. Very cost effective. A small smear is all it takes.

Here's my recipe:

1 cup pure shea butter.

In a glass bowl, heat the shea butter until it's melted. Make sure your bowl is big enough to contain any possible bubbles. Leave out in the open for about an hour to naturally cool. After an hour or two it will be safe to add a 5-10 drops of scent if you want to and stir with a butter knife. Pour liquid shea into an air tight container and let cool for two days in the refrigerator.

The result is something which looks like alien cauliflower. Don't let that scare you away from it. Shea butter has a naturally lumpy appearance. It's a pure complex fat and therefore it ain't too pretty. Cocoa butter is pretty. Shea isn't. Cocoa butter is a 10 on the butter/oil hardness scale and shea is around a 6 or 7 depending on the location of the trees where it's harvested. I do use a lot of shea butter in Boo-Boo Cream but I'm quite sure you don't want him to run around reeking of neem and tea tree oil all the time.

Well, keep in touch and let me know how it goes! And thanks again for the rave feedback on the Cream. Mother Nature loves us.

All the best,


Wednesday, November 11, 2009


Meet Demure. She is a super sexy shade of neutral green with a subdued silver/gray sheen. Paired up with Black Steele as a wet eye liner she rocks!!

Thanks, Doree! The first eye shadow for my PinkQuartzMinerals six month subscription is fantastic!!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Happy Halloween, Everyone!

lolcats would like to go trick-or-treating at your house... Be scared. Be very scared.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

PQM's Eye Shadow Of The Month

PinkQuartzMinerals is my absolute favorite makeup seller. Anywhere. Period. I love writing about her. I love talking about her. My hair stylist hits me up for information on her new colors every time I get a trim. Because, naturally, I'm wearing different colors on my eyes every time I go. Everything Doree makes is one-of-a-kind. She specializes in custom foundations, blushes, bronzers, lipsticks, and of course eye shadows.

Although she constantly tells me that she needs to stay away from the micas, lest she mix like a madwoman and hours go by... she still does it. Over two hundred shades and counting now.

I purchased some large jars of my three most recently named "Faves" and received the package yesterday. I bought:

: a more
subdued version of gold, meant to be an 'everyday' type shimmer and shine. A neutral sort of peachy gold with pale green sparkles.
: A funkadelic brown/green holographic effect shadow. I always ge
t a lot of double takes with this shade. It is truly stunning. But very wearable.
a slightly more bold peachy gold shimmer and sparkle. Not 1,000 watt gold, more neutral and blends in with pale skin well.

Besides these three jars I got a new eyeliner brush and a flat/rounded eye shadow brush- YAY! I needed new brushes. Doree also sent me samples of her NEW unreleased shades and upon close inspection I saw that some envelopes had numbers on them like, #101. #102.. etc. Ok, so she needs help naming them. I'll bite.

I smeared some of the shadows on the back of my hand and looked at them in bright light individually, promptly deciding right then and there that I hate her. I mean, how is it that a person can whip micas and minerals together and create something so completely
indescribable?!!!! Just when you think you have a color pinned down you shift your eye a bit to the side and BAM! you see another hue that jumps out at you. Or another layer of sparkle in a different color. It's not that she just dumps micas together and it looks like a jumbled mess- it's that she mixes so strategically that you can't tell where one color begins and another ends. They flow together seamlessly until a mirage effect is created. Thus, the problems of naming her creations.

I think I'll leave her with that headache for now. My brain is still buzzing trying to decide which one of my new lovelies I'm going to wear today for a party I'm attending.

Because I am consistently amazed at her mica mixing prowess I have have decided to give her Eye Shadow of the Month a try. I'm purchasing her six-month subscription.

The three month subscription is $23, six months is $45, and a full year is $78. And that's already including shipping. The way I figure it, I already get samples galore from her because I bat my eye lashes in front of my camera. But I want full sized jars, darn it!! Mine. All MINE! No samples. (I use up the samples, get pissed when I run out, and then beg for more. I'm so pathetic.) Big beautiful jars of colors made just for me. Greed concerning makeup is one personality flaw I plan to work on in the New Year. But not just yet. *grin*

Here's my eye with PinkQuartzMineral's Peachblow eye shadow and Jet Black eyeliner, used wet. Classic and sexy, yes? I plan to take pics of myself with the eye shadow I receive every month so keep checking back for updates!

(The first pic above is Hazelnut + Charcoal eye liner.)

Sweet Holiday Deals

My Coconut Cookie Scrub has always been a favorite. I've even had customers track me down from one store incarnation to the next, begging, PLEADING with me to make them a few jars of it. (One woman wanted me to fill a gallon milk jug of the stuff and mail it to her. No joke.) No more! I've finally had my fill. It will be stocked permanently in the shop. No begging necessary.

To celebrate the occasion I have decided to offer a nice holiday gift pack. Two 7oz jars of Coconut Cookie Scrub for only $15 -- smooth skin for that great price, you gasp? Heck yeah, two whole jars of it. Pamper yourself. Pamper a friend, even.

I'm contemplating putting together a Pina Colada and Mojito themed ladies' night next week with some friends. Foot scrub? Check. Toenail polish... still shopping for that perfect shade.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

For The Hunters

Deer Hunter Helpers are fully stocked in the store!

A single Hunter Helper is available as is a Three Pack or a Six Pack. They make fantastic stocking stuffer gifts for the hunters in your life, or if you simply like a rustic decor ornament to liven up the area with assorted scents.

What exactly are Hunters Helpers? They are pure terra cotta disks which are hung by sisal twine(included) from trees and bushes around the hunter's stand. These disks are infused with doe urine(not included) in order to attract the bucks in the area.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Teflon Mishap

Teflon isn't supposed to chip off your pans the first time you wash them... is it??

Needless to say, this whole set was returned.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Win Free Makeup!

~~~~~~NEWS NEWS NEWS NEWS~~~~~~~~

PinkQuartzMinerals, who I model makeup for, is holding a drawing for $100 worth of FREE makeup! Go to her blog to learn more:

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Unusual Custom Paintings

Here's me going out on a cliff: I moved from painting on canvas and paper to painting on plastic.

Yes. You read correctly. I've begun painting custom Transformers. The demand is surprisingly high. It is certainly a specialized niche, however if you're good at it you can be quite successful.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Spiced Honey

KittyThing, a fellow Etsier, makes a most unusual edible treat.

"This clover honey was cooked in a small batch with cinnamon sticks, whole cloves, and lemon slices then seal up with spices and a lemon slice in the jar to mature. 8oz. jar

Enjoy it in your tea (hot or iced), on toast, warm biscuits or drizzled over fruit for an unusual dessert!"

Can I get a side order of scones with that?? I'm hungry now.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

More cupcake lovin'

An Etsier after my own heart....

Friday, June 12, 2009


My hypoglycemic cravings just wont quit lately. And it seems that this is translating into my art.

Behold, sugary sweetness in terra cotta scent diffusers!

Scrumptious, yeah?

Here are a few of the other diffusers I made in that same batch:

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Natural Garden Bug Spray

"Aphids be gone!! Poof! Away with you! Quit eating my broccoli, greens, okra, and tomatoes, you greedy little bastards!!!"

That is what I was chanting (sobbing, really) in the garden a few days ago. I swear, between the hot Florida heat and the damn bugs there just ain't a way to keep a garden alive this year. I discovered a nifty recipe you can whip up in your kitchen that'll make those hungry critters scatter.

Here's what you need:

1 empty spray bottle (16oz) (I use an empty 409 Window Cleaner bottle.)
6-8 fresh cloves of raw garlic
1 cup plain vegetable oil
3 drops of dish soap
garlic press
food processor

  1. Take a knife and chop off the ends of each garlic clove. Squeeze each one in the garlic press. Put the minced garlic into the food processor. Toss the skins that are left in the garlic press into the trash.
  2. Pour the vegetable oil into the food process with the minced garlic. Put the lid on and whip the heck out of the mixture. When you're done it'll look like a pale yellow.... soup. The garlic should almost invisible.
  3. Pour 2 tablespoons of this mixture into the empty sprayer bottle. Add the 3 drops of dish soap.
  4. Fill the bottle nearly full with water. Shake. And go kill some bugs!
Now technically you don't HAVE to use the garlic press, this just allows the garlic to be whipped into the nearly microscopic size necessary in the food processor to bind with the oil. A food processor/blender is a must, though. There's no way to do this by hand.

The rest of the garlic-oil can be poured into a container and kept in the fridge. Just dip out what you need for your next bug killing spree whenever you need it. I find that an empty water bottle does great for that. Just make sure you scribble "Garlic! Don't Drink!" on it otherwise you'll gag when you take a swig of it at 2am by accident thinking it was lemonade.

I don't think that this garlic-oil actually kills aphids. But it definitely makes them vacate the premises. Make sure you're spraying the underside of the leaves AND that the ground is lightly covered. Some aphids go to ground when threatened. Don't give them a place to hide. Spray the plant and the surrounding soil.

If you have aphids real bad (like I did) you'll notice that the ants are having a real picnic in your plants. They eat aphids, fyi. You spray this stuff on the ants and they aren't going to be happy either. In my garden on the second day ninety percent of the aphids and the ants were gone.

Lastly, be diligent about using this stuff. You may have to spray your plants every day for a while until the aphids get the hint. The garlic scent doesn't linger. It's not even noticeable to human noses after 5 minutes.

For those animal lovers out there; if your indoor cat is prone to chewing on your houseplants this spray works well as a deterrent. Cats hate the smell of garlic.

<---Meet Killer Kitty, the plant-eating-fiend-pain-in-the-butt. He is a reformed ex-plant chomper.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Just plain funny

funny pictures of cats with captions

funny pictures of cats with captions

I have to say that what I find most strange about this picture is that EVERYTHING is totally symmetrical- from the broccoli to the background and right down to the cat's coloration! Very odd. Most cats are not completely symmetrical.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Front Page!

Although Etsy just plain ticks me off even on a good day, there is still that school-girl giggly feeling I get when I'm on the front page, even if it's vicariously.

My own diffusers or art didn't make it this time, it was a modeling photo I took for PinkQuartzMinerals in her Black Orchid eye shadow listing. Here's a screenshot I took.

The little owl... creature... thing ... on the left of me kinda freaks me out but what the hey. This particular Treasury is full of 'unusual' items and themes. It fits.

If you click on the image it will take you to the actual Black Orchid listing in PQM's shop so you can see a clearer version of the eye pic. Enjoy!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Colorful Clay

Itching to see some color? Here ya go!

These are just a couple of the
brand new diffusers I've listed this week in my shop. Click on them to see more.

Artistic Weaving of Words

Stories in pictures based on words from the hand of a very talented artist....

May I introduce you to LilyMoon! These are three of my faves from her shop.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Natural Body Powders & Handmade Soaps rocks my world. Not only does she make hot/cold processed soap(I am a soap-whore-extraordinaire and I know what the good stuff feels like) but she has also expanded her line to now include whipped soaps in a jar, skin scrubs and waxes, bath salts, yummy lip balms, and even scented soy melts.

Here's the cream of the crop in my book-

Silky All Over Body Powder, $7.00 for a 6oz shaker bottle. Ingredients: kaolin clay, arrowroot powder, rice powder, baking soda, corn starch, and any one of the gazillion scents she has to choose from.

Come ON!!?? What's not to love here? You get someone ELSE to do the rocket science of tinkering around with all these powders to come up with the perfect blend and then we get to put in the buyer's notes, "by the way, I want _______ scent to be added to it." I adore customizable products, don't you? It makes me feel pampered. Loved. And definitely appreciated as a customer.

I have not been able to find any other seller with this all natural recipe for body powder for this kind of price tag. Seriously. You gotta splurge and grab a bottle of this stuff! Treat your skin to what a REAL natural product is instead of automatically grabbing the bottle of Johnson and Johnson's, who by the way, loves slipping mineral oils, talcs, & paraffins in just about all of their products. Their body powder is mostly cornstarch which is overly drying to the skin. Pegasus uses more expensive ingredients which are soothing to the skin(and healthier) on a long term basis.

And just because I can I'm going to throw in a shameless plug here of my favorite soap by Pegasus:

Oatmeal Milk & Honey hot processed soap. I swear I can feel my skin sigh in relief when I use this stuff. The soft scent of warm honey is intoxicating. I love this soap!!! You can rub it on your skin to exfoliate because the mildly coarse oatmeal grains are perfectly distributed throughout the bar and then turn around and use the rich lather to shave with. Heck, I've washed my hair with it a few times and even my hair loves it.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009


Anyone who has shopped for mineral makeup on ArtFire or Etsy will recognized the name PinkQuartzMinerals. The pretty pink handled brushes and superb customer service is really just the icing on the cake when it comes to this makeup magician!

As many already know, I am one of PQM's models. I've done every type of style for her. From sultry and sexy to 'oh my god--what is that?' Doree makes some magical color combinations and I love playing with them. I swear sometimes I think I'm like a kid in a candy store when I hear she's whipped up some new colors. I can't wait to get my hands on them.

So after around a year or so of only taking eye pictures for her makeup I decided I'd do a full face makeover. Yes, I cannot believe I am actually showing pictures of myself without makeup online for the world to see. But this is how much I love her makeup and stand behind her wizardry. She is a wildly imaginative artist and man is she dangerous with a supply of mineral micas and a little bit of spare time!!

In the After photos I am wearing:

Alabaster foundation
Marsh corrector
Firefly Glow lightly on cheeks
Summer Gold on lid and up to brow and Gold Ore in crease
Copper Peach lip gloss.

I started with a fresh clean face in the Before pictures. I have freckles, liver spots, and acne with oily skin. None of these pictures have been touched up in any way with editing programs. And as you can see my natural hair color isn’t auburn and I do have some gray. After applying Alabaster foundation and Veil my freckles and liver spots were minimized, my skin tone was evened out and my wrinkles are less noticeable. I’m 28 but hey, I’m starting to notice a few.

My complexion is pretty pale. I originally began with the Parchment foundation from PQM but when Doree made Alabaster I knew I had to try it. I have found that the lighter tone of Alabaster helps hide my freckles and liver spots even BETTER! I am thrilled. Lesson learned: don’t be afraid to try something a bit lighter or darker than your natural skin tone. You never know what the end result will be. Each shade seems to have it’s own unique personality when on skin.

My favorite PQM eye shadows are Piney, Copper Peach, Naked Frost, Ecstasy, Pandsymonium, Kjsagender, Cane, and Green Bean Casserole. And I can’t live without the dual ended brush! It is the biggest time saver I’ve ever found for applying mineral makeup; perfect control and it has the ability to hold a lot of product. This brush is the only thing I've found that will allow me to do all the crazy stuff I do in my modeling photos.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Dichroic Fused Glass Artisan Feature

While traipsing around ArtFire today I stumbled upon some wonderful glass artisans and wanted to share their beautiful pendants with you. I chose my favorites from their shops to feature. Consider this my... wish list? My birthday is coming up. (hint HINT!)

Pink and Green Dragonflies by

Donut Pendant by

Pink and Lavender by

TerraScents Featured!

Whoo hoo!! One of my paintings was featured on ArtFire's front page today from 3-4pm. Darn it. I wish I'd been able to catch it and do a screenshot of it.

Classic Vs. Fetish
20" x 16" Acrylic Commentary Art
Completed in 2005

Monday, February 16, 2009

Etsy Features

Here are a few things I recently found in Etsy. Quirky and fun. Enjoy!!

Etsy: Your place to buy & sell all things handmade

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Ink Print

This feminine print was uploaded a few days ago to my ArtFire shop. It is based on the original painting which began my 'Woman' series. I am contemplating making a more prints within the theme. This print in particular is 1 of 1, meaning it is unique. I destroyed the carving as soon as the ink dried.

Sunday, February 8, 2009


This lovely beauty is being listed in my ArtFire shop today! At 4" by 6" she is a compact piece of collectible art using watercolor and minerals for texture. I like her for the simplicity she represents.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Mr. Bok

Still in the realm of art but veering a bit more toward the landscape variety, I wanted to share something I'd found this weekend.

In my Sunday newspaper, Cinnamon Bair wrote a short article concerning a Floridian transplant by the name of Edward Bok. Now Mr. Bok is more widely known here in Lake Wales, Florida for the pretty white bell tower he built and the surrounding garden. The tower itself is built on the highest elevation in Florida. Yes, Florida is flat but it's not THAT flat! There are some hilly areas.

In his autobiography, "The Americanization of Edward Bok," he talks about his grandparents and particularly his grandmother. She told him, "Make you the world a bit more beautiful and better because you have been in it."

Edward Bok became the editor for Ladies' Home Journal and then once he found a place in Florida to settle, he decided the rather boring sandy ... hole... that is Lake Wales needed some greenery! So he unleashed his green thumb and the result is the locally famous Bok Tower Gardens. He built the Tower in memory of his wife, so I suppose this is the Floridian version of the 'Taj Mahal.'

All in all, I'd say that the article prompted me to think a bit more about my art and purpose behind it. What are my intentions? What does it say? What do I hope it accomplishes or makes people feel?

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Past Works

Looking back over my portfolio this afternoon I decided to share a few sold works with you.

Meet "The Pier." This layered multimedia piece was done in ACEO format using watercolor, acrylic, oil, and even a few odd minerals here and there. Rough abstracts can sometimes be the most meaningful to me.

The next piece you are about to see was sold right before Christmas and is one of my absolute favorite abstracts on canvas. "Inevitable" is a triptych which hangs vertically. If you click on it you will be taken to the Sold listing in Etsy which also has some great close up views of each panel. Very touchable.