Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Currents: Christine Joy

Once a month I take my art students 'into town' to the Missoula Art Museum. The MAM offers a Teen Artist Workshop  for young artists every second Wednesday of the month. 
It is free and they provide materials, pizza and snacks. Awesome.

Anyway, as the kids were working on making found art sculptures with working artist James Louks, I snuck out to take a look at the current exhibitions at the MAM.

I am so glad I did.

{I completely fell in love with the flowing, rhythmic sculptures of Christine Joy.}

They are astounding.

No loose ends. 

No visible ties. 

The sculptures are made of branches that are bent, twisted and shaped into giant vessels, knots and shapes of all sorts. They reminded me of giant skeins of yarn... which seems fitting. The smell that the willow and the wax together create in the gallery is comforting. Warm and cozy, like knitting on a rainy day. Another MAM patron and I laughed at ourselves for not wanting to leave.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Steamed Mussels in Shallot, Garlic and White Wine Sauce

This is a SUPER easy, impressive & amazingly delicious dinner for two. 
Elegant and light, you will want to make this over and over. (Already planning to make it for my sister and mom who are coming to town from Ohio next month!)

Steamed Mussels in Shallot, Garlic and White Wine Sauce <3

Zucchini Bread

This is adapted from my Grandmother's recipe... hers called for nearly 1 cup of oil, 3 cups of sugar and 6 eggs! As a kid, I used to love eating this bread, warm out of the oven with butter on top. However, as an adult, when she sent me her zucchini bread recipe, I was shocked at the ingredients.
So, here is my version, wheat free and super 'lightened up'. Don't worry, I didn't skimp on the taste.

Amy's Gluten Free Zucchini Bread
(Makes 2 loaves)
2 smashed brown bananas (or, 1 cup applesauce)
⅓ c. water
⅓ c. agave
2 tsp. lemon juice
3 cups shredded zucchini (easiest to do this in a food processor if you have one. If not, you can use a cheese grater on the largest size hole)
4 eggs (remember, you are making 2 loaves... or egg replacer)
2 cups oat flour
1 ⅓ c. brown rice flour
⅓ c. white sugar
⅓ c. brown sugar
1 ½ tsp. salt
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. ground cloves (if you don’t have ground cloves, you can use allspice... I would cut it down to ½ tsp.)
(optional: chopped walnuts... a couple big handfuls)
1. Preheat oven to 350
2. Prepare two bread pans (can also make one loaf in a pie pan... if you have a lovely cake stand you've been wanting to use :)
3. In a large bowl or in the bowl of a stand mixer, combine bananas (or applesauce), water, agave, lemon juice, shreeded zuccihini and eggs. Beat until eggs are combined, 30 seconds or so.
4. Combine the remaining (dry) ingredients together in another bowl: oat flour, brown rice flour, both sugars, salt, baking soda, cinnamon and cloves. (and walnuts, if using.)
5. pour batter equally into the prepared pans.
6. Bake 50-60 minutes. (in my oven, exactly 60 minutes is perfect for bread. The time will be a little less if you are making a round pie-plate shaped bread... about 30 minutes.)
7. Check that the bread is done with a toothpick inserted in the middle. If it comes out clean, the the bread cool. If not, bake at 5 minute increments until it is done.
Once cooled, pop out of the pans and wrap in foil. Leave on the counter for 2-4 days (if it lasts too much longer than that, I might pop it in the fridge.)
This bread is delicious topped with butter, honey butter especially.
If you are looking for a dessert option, it is really good with cream cheese frosting.
Below is my favorite recipe from a Good Food Store cooking class:
Cream Cheese Frosting
4 oz. unsalted butter, softened
4 oz. cream cheese, softened
2 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 tsp. lemon juice
1. In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream together butter and cream cheese.
2. Add sugar, one cup at a time.
3. Add lemon and vanilla
*note: make sure that the zucchini bread is cooled. Cream cheese frosting has a tendency to melt. So, if you are going to save the leftovers, make sure to put them in the fridge.