Recipes for Artists, Summer

Oh my goodness, it’s summer and who wants to cook, not moi. But I do want to eat well. So at the end of a hot artist’s day, what to munch on?

Don’t recoil, hang in there with me, yes, folks Liverwurst.

Liverwurst, yuck, you’ve got to be kidding. Well folks, I was born and raised in New York City, so I get the liverwurst thing.

Here we go. Liverwurst has 170% Vitamin A, 10% Vitamin C and 20% Iron. The stuff is actually good for you. (Ok, the fat and cholesterol is a little high, but you’re not going to be eating gobs of it, I promise.) Think of it as the poor man’s pate. And yes it is inexpensive. Get it pre-sliced.

Get tomatoes, either crumpled feta or blue cheese (there are inexpensive brands of these in containers, cheese already pre-crumpled,) humus, garlic salt (I think a must on any shelf,) shredded regular cheese (mozzarella, cheddar, monterey jack, whatever you like,) and a loaf of half way decent French or Italian bread.

You can slice up the French or Italian bread and put it in the freezer, so it won’t get all moldy, and take out a couple of slices when you need them. (Fat loaves can be sliced and long loaves can be cut in chunks and halved.)

Aluminum foil. Get out a sheet of aluminum foil and put on let’s say two slices of bread. Spread with margarine. Sprinkle with garlic salt. Spread the humus on top. Cut one or two slices of liverwurst into thin strips and lay them with space in between on top of the humus. Sprinkle with feta or blue cheese. Top with tomato slices and sprinkle tomatoes with shredded cheese (the cheddar, mozzarella, monterey jack.)

Put under a toaster oven or under a broiler for a few minutes until cheese on top is warm and melted.

Yummy, filling, all food groups and actually good for you.

Mary Baker

Recipes for Artists, Mexican Meals

Well boys and girls, this recipe is a real keeper and easy, easy, easy and so versatile.

Mexican meals in all sorts of ways.

The Base:

Two onions, chopped and cooked in canola oil until wilted. Add 2 lbs hamburger or a little less, one and a half pounds is good too. A teaspoon of salt for each pound of hamburger and then, depending on how spicy you like it, 1-4 tablespoons (yes, that’s the big spoon) of chili powder. Poke the hamburger to divide it up as much as possible and cook until hamburger is done. Cooking the hamburger should take about 5-10 minutes.

Then add one large can of whole (peeled please) tomatoes. Poke the tomatoes to divide them up too and simmer for 15-20 minutes. And viola, a delicious base Mexican meal base.

All the things you can do with your Mexican base to make all sorts of Mexican meals:

1) Add a can of red pinto beans and yes, viola again, you have chili. Serve straight or over rice (get the “boil a bag rice”, done in 10 minutes and if wrapped in Saran wrap keeps for quite a while and you can make the “boil a bags” in bunches) with shredded Monterey Jack cheese (already shredded in a bag.)

If you have time and want to get real fancy you can add some or all (you can do this with the tacos too) : chopped onions, chopped black olives, sour cream, guacamole, salsa, chopped avocado, salsa.

2) Tacos. Get tacos, again shredded Monterey Jack cheese and chop lettuce and tomatoes. Put together with the meat at the bottom. A little salsa on top is easy and quick too. See above for fancy extras. Quick, quick, quick and so good. And yes, has all the food groups.

3) My favorite, an enchilada casserole. Get large can of enchilada sauce and corn tortillas. In one of those round glass baking dishes, put a little enchilada sauces on the bottom. Put one corn enchilada (basically what you are doing here is making a Mexican lasagna) more sauce to cover enchilada. Put meat base on top and then a good dosing of Monterey Jack cheese.

Cover 2-3 corn tortillas in the enchilada sauce. Put on top. More meat, more Monterey Jack cheese. Last layer, 1-3 tortillas coated in enchilada sauce again, top with rest of the Monterey Jack cheese and drizzle some of that leftover enchilada sauce over it. Cook at 350 for 30-45 minutes or until bubbling. Don’t burn it for goodness sakes.

Top secrete information – let it cool and then serve individual portions. Same principle as “tastes better the next day.”

© Mary Baker, artist who loves really good recipes for Mexican meals.

Recipes for Artists

I love to eat well, but at the end of the day I don’t feel much like cooking.

What I almost always do is make a large batch of something that tastes good and is good for me at the beginning of the week so there is always something delicious and nutritious at the end of the day. Whoever is around eats what I eat.

So one of the things I thought I would do on this art blog is share recipes for artists. Something easy and quick to make and that you can look forward to eating. It also saves a whole lot of money that can be used for other things.

Lasagna, the really, really easy version:

What I made this week was lasagna. So easy, the secrete ingredient is garlic, that minced garlic that they now have in little jars, great stuff.

Get the lasagna that you do not have to boil. Decent looking spaghetti sauce, medium jar. One medium size cottage cheese and one medium size ricotta cheese. A packet of shredded mozzarella cheese and some parmesan cheese. Yes, and that minced garlic in a jar, don’t forget that minced garlic.

Mix the ricotta cheese and cottage cheese and about a third of the garlic in a bowl and add maybe a half an egg or a whole egg, it doesn’t really matter.

A glass rectangular baking pan (you can get these at places like Walmart cheap.) Put some of the spaghetti sauce on the bottom. Put three of the lasagna strips side by side. Put half of the cheese mixture. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese and half the mozzarella. Put a little more spaghetti sauce on, three more lasagna strips, the rest of the cheese mixture, parmesan cheese and more mozzarella. Top with three more strips of lasagna, spaghetti sauce, parmesan cheese and the rest of the mozzarella.

After doing this once, it will probably take you all of 10 minutes to put it together. Enough for a lot of meals.

Cook at 350 for 30 minutes to an hour or until it bubbles. Don’t let it burn.

Big secrete. Let it cool first, and then reheat pieces as you want them. The same principle as “food always tastes better the next day.”

More complicated version:

A filling.

Two onions chopped. Cook on medium heat in canola oil until limp. Add one pound or so of hamburger. Throw in some oregano, thyme and maybe garlic salt. When that’s cooked add one large can of diced tomatoes. Yes and some more of that minced garlic in a jar. Simmer maybe 10-15 minutes.

Even fancier:

When you add the diced tomatoes, add some chopped up zucchini, maybe 2 zuchinnis, a chopped green pepper or two and a small packet of regular sliced mushrooms. Don’t forget that minced garlic. Simmer this version a little longer maybe 20-30 minutes.

Layer in after the cheese. This last one includes everything. Meat, veggies, calcium, starch…all the food groups. You’re good to go. After you do it once, should take you about 45 minutes on the fancier and fanciest version, but it’s yummy and it’s worth it, I think.

Mary Baker © 2006