Friday, October 22, 2010

lacking inspiration

I've been feeling rather uninspired lately. The pregnancy hormones have a funny way of causing my creative ambition to wax and wane at will, in no discernible or predictable pattern. One week I couldn't stop baking pies, and the next week I'm feeling rather 'meh' towards creative projects in general. Hmph. Normally I'd just flip through a favorite magazine or put a few pretty blooms (like these late-summer zinnias I snipped a few weeks ago) around to perk myself up but, they're just not cutting it.

There are a few places 'round the interwebs that I love to check out when I'm in an uninspired funk such as this, and I thought I'd share 2 of my favorites with you on this lovely Friday.

Geninne's Art Blog. I've mentioned Geninne here before but, her blog is so creative and vibrant that it is worth mentioning again. She always posts such amazing photos - whether they're of her most recent painting endeavor, glimpses of her beautiful home or her astoundingly gorgeous Mexican surroundings. And if her blog gets you in a creative mood, she's got all sorts of tutorials and patterns to get you started.

A Creative Mint. Leslie never ceases to inspire me with her beautifully photographed vignettes. She creates various scenes around color themes and uses all sorts of materials to convey them - from flowers to fabric to magazine clippings to ceramics and beyond. Just lovely stuff. She also shares some really helpful tips on floral arranging using inexpensive flowers and vessels you may already have (which is wonderful for clueless people like myself). 

Are there any places that you go to for creative inspiration? Do share! x 


Wednesday, October 6, 2010

savoring summer: simple bruschetta

The last of our summer garden's cherry tomatoes. Sigh.

As much as I love fall, I'm having a hard time letting go of summer this year (maybe because I spent a good portion of it feeling overly nauseated and generally dead-to-the-world?). But alas, the leaves are changing, the air is crisp and my mom has already made half a dozen apple pies-- fall is officially upon us. So, its time to savor those last few seasonal veggies out of the garden.

These being the last few home-grown tomatoes - and gorgeous, perfectly ripe ones at that - I wanted to use them in a dish where their delicate flavor would be front and center. A humble, rustic bruschetta instantly came to mind. Simply dressed in balsamic vinegar and olive oil, and lightly seasoned with garlic and basil, it was the perfect way to honor these last little beauties.


Simple Bruschetta

{I never use exact measurements when making bruschetta so, adjust the amounts and ingredients to your liking.}

  • pint of cherry or grape tomatoes, quartered
  • 1 small clove of garlic, finely minced
  • good olive oil, for drizzling
  • balsamic vinegar, for drizzling
  • pinch of dried basil OR 1-2 small fresh basil leaves, sliced into ribbons
  • loaf of crusty bread (I used an asiago demi loaf this time around but any French or Italian loaf will do-- use what you have on hand)
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Slice bread into ~1/2 inch rounds and arrange on a cookie sheet. Drizzle or brush lightly with olive oil and toast in the oven for 5 to 8 minutes, or until the edges are golden.

Meanwhile, dress the tomatoes with olive oil, balsamic, garlic and basil to taste in a small bowl, and toss to combine. Spoon tomato mixture over the toasts and enjoy.

A simple bruschetta like this makes a perfect no-fuss appetizer any time of year but, I love it even more as a light, healthy, I'm-sick-of-sandwiches lunch. x