Updates and a Movie

Instead of the typical “Dinner and a Movie” for hubby Ryan and me this weekend, we had what I am calling “Updates and a Movie.” Updates?”, you ask? Yes! The Cooking Canvas Blog has an EXCITING announcement to share! But first, if you tried to access the blog on Friday or Saturday at some point, you probably saw a scary malware message from Google that made your skin crawl…I am so sorry. It seems we suffered a little cyber attack and Google, to ensure viewers’ safety, intelligently implemented a preventative measure. But, 24 hours later, it was all squared away. Hooray! As you know, BlueHost and I are committed to operating a safe, clean website for viewers like you. So, faithful followers, no worries!

 

As for the announcement…wait for it…The Cooking Canvas is now a part of BlogHer Network, which is both a community of bloggers committed to quality content as well as an advertising affiliate.

Updates

A blog has to apply and be approved and almost a year after starting this blog, we are now apart of this growing group. Yay! So, now you will see BlogHer links peppered in a post. Enjoy!



Now, to the movie part. On Saturday, we went to the matinee of The Hundred Foot Journey starring Helen Mirren. It was, in one word, cute.

Updates

The scenery made you want to leave the theatre and hop on a plane to France, then India. Just a sweet, feel-good film about food and family. Who doesn’t like that? Given that many of the scenes made you hungry, I left the theatre craving French and Indian cuisine and plan to make this super simple Curry Pumpkin Soup from The Nutmeg Nanny for dinner this week and buy a crisp, fresh baguette. I will let you know how it goes!

In the meantime, I have made it a goal to share some more personal photos (non-food related and hopefully not too much information).

Updates

Somebody is watching over the nursery as it waits for Baby!

Updates

Found on my magnet wall in the art room. Too funny not to share.

Updates

Mums the word! I love fall and this burst of yellow at our front door.

As always, thank you for your readership!

More to come this week! Subscribe to the right, follow on Pinterest, Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter.

Mural is complete!

Frannie Froyo wants to officially say hello! Yes, that’s right, she is all set and ready to meet the world, or at least all the lovely patrons of the PedMall in Iowa City, Iowa.

Yotopia Mural

At the end of summer, I had the privilege of creating a mural on the side of a fabulous local frozen yogurt shop, Yotopia, and we’re thrilled with the result. The whole idea was to celebrate all things Iowa with a beautiful landscape filled with color. The very pictorial, almost childlike images are whimsical and illustrative. Really, it is just plain fun. Earlier this summer, I promised final images and here they are! The project (and my pregnant self) was even featured on page 23 in the latest edition of the Iowa City Downtown Magazine. If you are ever in town, I encourage you to swing by to enjoy some yogurt and say hello to Frannie Froyo for yourself!

Yotopia Mural

Yotopia Mural

Yotopia Mural

Yotopia Mural

Yotopia Mural

Yotopia Mural

Yotopia Mural


Overnight Egg Casserole

I love it when I can sleep and work at the same time. At least that is what happens with this egg casserole, while I sleep, it does its magic in the fridge and gets even better. Then, when I wake up, I turn on the oven, put the casserole in and Voila! it takes and smells like I have been up for hours making a perfect breakfast. When, in reality, only the second part is true. I love this casserole not only because of its ease, but also because it can be awesome for dinner or lunch as well. I can’t tell you how many times I have made this for overnight guests and gotten rave reviews. You can also add your own twist to it – add sausage, more veggies, less meat, different variety of croutons, different cheeses – you can’t go wrong!

Overnight Egg Casserole

Good eats!

Overnight Egg Casserole

Start with the bacon.

Overnight Egg Casserole

Store bought croutons.

Overnight Egg Casserole

All ready to go.

Overnight Egg Casserole

Oh yeah!

Overnight Egg Casserole

Ready to whip.

Overnight Egg Casserole

Get cheesy.

Overnight Egg Casserole

Fresh and green.

Overnight Egg Casserole

All mixed.

Overnight Egg Casserole

Pre-baking.

Overnight Egg Casserole

Warming up.

Overnight Egg Casserole

All done!

Overnight Egg Casserole

Ready for you!

Overnight Egg Casserole
Make-ahead casserole that does all the work, but makes you look like a cooking genius!
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Ingredients
  1. 2 - 5 oz. packages of seasoned croutons (any variety will do)
  2. 8 slices of cooked bacon - crumbled
  3. 8 large eggs
  4. 1 cup milk
  5. 1 heaping cup of shredded cheddar cheese
  6. 1 cup sliced green onion
  7. 1 teaspoon ground pepper
  8. 1 teaspoon salt
Instructions
  1. Spray a 9x13 inch baking dish with non-stick spray.
  2. Place croutons in dish.
  3. Mix all other ingredients together in a large bowl.
  4. Pour mixture over croutons.
  5. Place casserole in refrigerator overnight or at least for 4 hours.
  6. In the morning, heat oven to 375 degrees F.
  7. Place casserole in oven for 25-30 minutes until tops of croutons are slightly browned.
  8. Cut into squares and serve.
TheCookingCanvas.com http://www.thecookingcanvas.com/

More make-ahead recipes to come on The Cooking Canvas subscribe to the right, follow on Pinterest, Instagram, and Twitter.

Spent Grain Dog Treats

Being a Midwesterner and also a part of the Clean Plate Club growing up, I hate wasting things. Now, I am no hoarder or clutter keeper, but it is the worst to throw away items that someday, one day, I might be able to use. And ooooh man, if I have a pet peeve in life it is that – throwing away anything edible. It just erks me, ya know?

So, whenever hubby Ryan decides to brew a homemade batch of beer, as he recently did to make The Dirty Diaper Ale to celebrate the welcoming of our little one, we have a HUGE leftover batch of spent grains. To clarify, spent grains are all the barley and malt “steeped” in hot water, from which the the liquid is then drained out and eventually becomes beer. Those grains are, well, spent. BUT, they are still good! They smell like fresh baked bread right from the oven. This time, there were like at least five pounds worth of spent grain and I was determined to put at least a bit of it to good use. As a result, like any resourceful gal, I Googled “what to do with spent grain” and was a little surprised at how other homebrewers deal with the leftover grain guilt. Some use it as a compost material, others actually dry it out and then mill it into their own flour for baked goods (I immediately ruled that out as just plain too much work), and the best sounding idea to me was homemade DOG TREATS! Yes! Perfect! So, I set out to make what ended up being at least a 3 months supply (our dog is a little guy so a little goes a long way) of doggie treats. It was easy: grain, flour, peanut butter, and eggs. And let me tell you, Omie, our furry friend, loves them. I made most of them into heart shapes, because well, we love him.

I mean just look at him…
Spent Grain Dog Treats

It would be ridiculous to assume that everyone has a bunch of spent grains hanging out in their fridge waiting to be dealt with, and that everyone has a dog to spoil, but I share this cooking adventure to show a few things:
1. I still suffer from the guilt of not finishing what could potentially be good, especially if it is food.
2. Google can solve almost anything.
3. Sharing something homemade with the little guy who is always excited to see us is totally worth it.

Spent Grain Dog Treats

Spent Grain

Spent Grain Dog Treats

With some flour…

Spent Grain Dog Treats

Mixed with peanut butter and egg.

Spent Grain Dog Treats

Sweet little hearts.

Spent Grain Dog Treats

All in a row.

Spent Grain Dog Treats

Up close.

Spent Grain Dog Treats

Full and ready to go!

Any other homemade ways that you pamper your pooch? Please share!

In the meantime, The Cooking Canvas will be bringing more homemade love to you. Subscribe to the right, follow on Pinterest, Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.


Spent Grain Dog Treats
If you are a home brewer of beer, don't throw away those grains! Make your doggie very happy and make some treats!
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Ingredients
  1. 4 cups of spent grain
  2. 2 cups of whole wheat flour
  3. 1 cup smooth peanut butter
  4. 2 eggs
Instructions
  1. Mix all ingredients together.
  2. Form mixture into a ball.
  3. Roll ball out onto a floured surface and use desired cookie cutters to form shapes.
  4. Place on a baking sheet(s).
  5. Bake at 350 degrees F. for 30 minutes.
  6. Reduce temperature to 225 degrees and bake for 2 additional hours.
  7. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely.
  8. Place in an airtight jar and spoil your puppy!
Adapted from From 17Apart.com
Adapted from From 17Apart.com
TheCookingCanvas.com http://www.thecookingcanvas.com/

Summer Recipe Re-cap and Peach Fizz Mocktail

To start off, apologies to my dear readers that I did not post last week. The first days of school really wiped me out! The end of the week rolled around and pheeeeeew, was I pooped. Luckily though, what I had planned to share doesn’t go bad like the tomatoes I have in the garden. Whoops!

So, obviously with school testing my energy levels and thinking towards fall, I thought it would be fitting to do a recipe re-cap of The Cooking Canvas recipes. Never to disappoint, however, I have included my latest guilty pleasure: The Peach Fizz. Yes, you read right, Fizz. Normally a Peach Fuzz drink has a healthy dose of the traditional vodka, but the Fizz is one of the best mocktails out there. I must give credit to my Aunt Erin and Uncle Keith who introduced this oh-so-satisfying drink a few weeks ago and were kind to make mine booze-free. It is seriously so easy and takes full advantage of the still-perfect peaches that I mentioned a post ago. You’ll need a blender, some peaches, ice, and a 12 oz. frozen concentrate of lemonade (I like the Raspberry Lemonade myself), but any variety will do. Celebrate what’s left of summer, make a Peach Fizz (or Fuzz) and my hope is that you have had an abundance of memories and recipes to round up yourself.

Best of Summer Recipe Re-cap:
Low Fat Summer Dill Dip
Summertime Mango Strawberry Muffins
Red, White, and Blue Brownie Trifle
Roasted Corn & Bean Salad
Homemade Buns
Sweet and Salty Rub for Pork Tenderloin
Peach & Almond Scones

For the Peach Fizz:
Peach Fizz

Peach Fizz

Peach Fizz

More to come this fall! Subscribe to the right, follow on Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, and Twitter too!

Peach Fizz Mocktail
Yields 3
All the fun of a Peach Fuzz cocktail without the alcohol.
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Ingredients
  1. 4 fresh peaches (sliced)
  2. 1 can of lemonade frozen concentrate
  3. 2 cups of ice cubes
Instructions
  1. Place three ingredients in a blender and pulse on high until ice cubes are blended smoothly.
  2. Serve immediately.
TheCookingCanvas.com http://www.thecookingcanvas.com/

Peach & Almond Scones

The end of August is always a bittersweet time, especially for those in the teaching profession. I always have such mixed feelings as the new school year approaches. I find myself melancholy at saying goodbye to the freedom of later wake-up times and mid-week getaways while at the same time looking forward to all the excitement of a new, fresh start for the school year. I know it sounds a bit corny, but I miss my students. While I will certainly miss the free time in the kitchen creating, I can’t wait to hear “Hey, Mrs. D! How was your summer?” So, while students, parents, other teachers, and I all stand at this inevitable threshold of a new school year, I want to share with you one of the sweeter than bitter parts of this time of year…

Wait for it…

Peach & Almond Scones

Fresh and ripe.

…the FRESH, RIPE PEACH!

You see them at the farmer’s market and they are just too darn pretty and perfumy to pass up. They can really be added to anything: salads, yogurt, a variety of desserts, alcoholic drinks, or salsas. I recently experimented with the fuzzy fruit in a scone recipe with some toasted almonds and was thrilled with the result! I, a faithful follower of Sally’s Baking Addiction, knew that she grates the all-essential butter instead of cubing it. I highly recommend it! She has such fool-proof tricks for the trade that are worth sharing. So, don’t pass on the peaches while they are in season and if you don’t feel like turning on the oven to make these scones, eating one fresh will be oh so satisfying.

Speaking of satisfying…

Be sure to catch next week’s post featuring another peachy recipe and also a wrap-up of all the summer happenings here on The Cooking Canvas. Stay tuned by subscribing, connecting through Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, and Twitter. Until next time!

Peach & Almond Scones

Be careful – these are addicting!

Peach & Almond Scones

Grate = good!

Peach & Almond Scones

Glaze bath.

Peach & Almond Scones

Glazed and yummy!

Peach & Almond Scones
A peachy flavored scone with toasted almonds for the end of summer or anytime!
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Toasted Almonds
  1. 1 cup almonds
  2. 1/3 cup sugar
Scones
  1. 2 ripe peaches (peeled and chopped)
  2. 3 and 1/2 cups flour
  3. 1/2 cup sugar
  4. 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  5. 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  6. 1/2 teaspoon salt
  7. 1/2 cup butter, grated
  8. 1/2 cup half and half
  9. 1 egg
Glaze
  1. 1 cup powdered sugar
  2. 3 tablespoons half and half
  3. 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
Toasted Almonds
  1. In a small skillet, mix almonds and sugar together and place on medium-high heat on the stovetop.
  2. Stir almonds and sugar constantly, about 5-7 minutes, until sugar melts and almonds become coated and browned.
  3. Careful not to over-cook the almonds as they burn quickly.
  4. Transfer almonds onto a greased sheet of tin foil to cool.
Scones
  1. Heat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt in a standing mixer.
  3. Add grated butter and mix until a course meal is formed.
  4. Mix in half and half and egg.
  5. Fold in peaches.
  6. Combine batter until all parts are incorporated.
  7. On a greased baking sheet, lay batter in two long, log-shaped forms that are about an three-fourths of an inch thick.
  8. Sprinkle toasted almonds on top of batter. Almonds may have to be broken up as the sugar solidifies.
  9. Place scones in oven and bake 20-25 minutes until tops are golden brown.
  10. Cut into triangular shapes for easy serving and enjoy!
To prepare glaze
  1. Combine powdered sugar, half and half, and almond extract until a nice thick consistency.
  2. Pour over scones evenly.
TheCookingCanvas.com http://www.thecookingcanvas.com/

Dirty Diaper Ale and Beer-Bathed Sausages

I know, I know. The title of this entry with the words “Dirty Diaper” and anything to do with cooking do not go well together. Perhaps you are already turned off reading this all together, but please don’t let the byline dissuade you. The Cooking Canvas will bring it all in and all will be well.

So, as many of you know my husband, Ryan, and I are expecting a bundle of joy come late October. As a fun way to get family and friends in on the celebration, he has started a Kickstarter (for lack of other online venue) campaign in conjunction with his zeal for homebrew and branded it, you guessed it, Dirty Diaper Ale. The campaign is interactive, and contributions go toward ingredients, supplies, and cool rewards, one of which is getting your name and your ingredient published in the final recipe right here on The Cooking Canvas. Anyway, the homebrew process, much like cooking, involves foresight, ingredients, a bit of detail, creativity, and a whole heck-of-a-lot-a fun. Especially when you share a bottle you made with a friend, just for them. And I share this with you, as we did with friends and family, as a way to get in on the fun of getting excited about not only about the many dirty diapers in our (and all new parents’) future but also, and appropriately so, something deliciously (hopefully) homemade to share. Don’t miss out!

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Speaking of beer, this summer, whenever we have had any sort of bratwurst, italian sausage, polish sausage, etc. on the grill, we love to boil them in beer first. Does anybody else do that? Now, we try to not waste a “good” beer on boiling, but we have found that a craft beer gives the sausages an awesome and fuller all-around flavor. Using a go-to Bud Light never hurt anybody either, though. It’s simple. Place the links in a pot. Cover them with beer. Bring beer to a boil on the stovetop. Take sausages out of the beer bath. Place them on a hot grill. Voila! The best sausage of the summer. Trust me, you will want to try this if you haven’t already. It is also nice to boil a bunch for a crowd first, set them aside if you need to (they are already cooked) then place them on the grill when you are ready for them to have that perfect grill look and flavor.

Check out our latest go at this yummy method!

Boil in Beer

This is just the beer we had. Use whatever you like!

Boil in Beer

Pre-Boil.

Boil in Beer

Post- Boil.

Boil in Beer

Hot off the grill!

Always making connections with all things homemade here at The Cooking Canvas. Subscribe, follow on Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, or Twitter!

Is this heaven? No, its Yotopia!

The Cooking Canvas is all about when creativity and all things culinary collide (say that 5x times fast). Given that combination, it is high time I share with you a perfect example of when all things art mix with something yummy for your tummy. Let me explain.

About a year ago, the owner of an Iowa City FroYo… short for Frozen Yogurt…Shop, called Yotopia (check out their facebook page!), approached me about designing a mural for the side of her building. As you can tell from the photo, the previous wall was a little lack luster. Being that it is the SECOND MOST pedestrian-heavy intersection in the state of Iowa, it needed some sprucing up. What better than a whimsical, Iowa-inspired landscape? I agreed immediately to be considered the lead artist for the project. That was last year.

Yotopia Mural

Before

Now, before I continue…, the frozen yogurt served is absolutely DELISH! It is locally sourced from Iowa dairy cows and the flavors are amazing. My favorite right now is Dulce de Leche. Carmelly, with a hint of cream. Tongue slap your brain out good. Anyway, it’s one of those places where you serve yourself your froyo flavors, add a bunch of toppings, and then pay for your amount, measured per ounce…at the end. At Yotopia, there are 50+ goodies to add! Fresh berries and almonds are my go-to, but they have all the fixin’s you would ever want.

So, last year the project didn’t happen. It was simply too close to school starting to begin designing and painting. Fast forward a year later, and this mural is now OFFICIALLY underway! I designed a rough draft earlier this summer and have corralled a few art students from The University of Iowa to assist (according to most rational people, a pregnant lady should not get up on scaffolding…ha!). It is an awesome, as in big, project. Over 360 square feet and the wall is 17 feet high! We hope (fingers crossed) to finish by the end of next week.

Here are some in-progress photos:

Yotopia Mural

The original design

Yotopia Mural

Don’t worry! That is one of my assistants, Heidi, on the ladder.

Yotopia Mural

Any ideas to name the cow?

Yotopia Mural

This is after day 5! (That is Ryan checking it out!)

It has been such an honor and privilege to be a part of this project. It is ironic and serendipitous how the creativity and artistry of painting this mural is a reflection of the frozen yogurt creations inside. Just think…even if you aren’t necessarily trained in fine art and mural making, you can create something wonderful to enjoy for yourself that tastes good to boot!

I will certainly post some final pictures, but in the meantime, have fun with these last few weeks in August and maybe stop by your local ice cream or frozen yogurt shop and share in the love of things good and creative.

To help with the campaign to finish the mural, check out our CrowdTilt page here. And if you can, spread the good word!

P.S. In order to honor some baby bump photo requests, I have obliged with the following picture taken just last week at 29 weeks! Enjoy!

Full of baby and yogurt!

Full of baby and frozen yogurt!

Sweet and Saltly Rub for Pork Tenderloin

Don’t you just love summertime things that are uncomplicated and good? Things you don’t have to overthink…warm sunshine, summer flowers, a cold glass of water after cutting the grass…the can list go on. Simple and satisfying. You see where I’m going? This recipe rub for pork tenderloin represents both the awesome and the uncomplicated. It has two ingredients, while offering flavors of sweet, salty, and simple. All it takes is a medium-sized pork tenderloin, three tablespoons of brown sugar, one tablespoon of seasoned salt (I used Lawry’s), and, of course, a grill. Not rocket science. Not only is it deeee-lish warm off the grill, but sliced thin makes a ridiculous sandwich the next day. I have made this deceivingly quick tenderloin rub twice this summer, so far, and am planning a third and fourth before the warm weather fades.

More homemade recipes that are good and simple are always here at The Cooking Canvas. Don’t forget to subscribe (on right), and follow on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter.

Sweet and Salty Pork Tenderloin Sweet and Salty Pork Tenderloin Sweet and Salty Pork Tenderloin Sweet and Salty Pork Tenderloin Sweet and Salty Pork Tenderloin

Sweet and Salty Pork Tenderloin Rub
Sweet. Salty. Super Simple. For the grill.
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Ingredients
  1. 1 lb. pork tenderloin
  2. 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  3. 1 tablespoon seasoned salt (Lawry's is good)
Instructions
  1. Combine brown sugar and seasoned salt.
  2. Rub and cover all parts of pork tenderloin.
  3. Place tenderloin on a grill that has been thoroughly heated.
  4. Cook tenderloin until a meat thermometer reads 160 degrees F.
  5. Take off grill and allow meat to rest for 5-7 minutes.
  6. Slice and enjoy!
Notes
  1. Rub can be applied well in advance and be placed in the refrigerator until it is grilled.
  2. Meat makes fantastic leftover.
TheCookingCanvas.com http://www.thecookingcanvas.com/

Bun in the Oven

Greetings, readers!

Last week, I hinted that there was a homemade surprise in store for this week’s post. If you couldn’t tell from the title, my husband, Ryan, and I have a homemade BUN IN THE OVEN! Yes, a baby is on its way come late October and we are thrilled! I have waited some time to announce it on the blog, but the news certainly isn’t late. In honor of this occasion, I made…you guessed it…buns to share with you. They are their own versions of tiny bundles of joy.

Ya know, homemade buns really aren’t hard AT ALL. And what is awesome is that you probably already have the ingredients in the pantry. The tricky part, admittedly, is the waiting and timing for them to rise. Funny how it parallels the waiting time of pregnancy and the anticipation of all the life changes a baby will bring.

Don’t worry, we’ll keep cookin’ here at The Cooking Canvas as my tummy rises. But in the meantime, try making these homemade buns to call your own.

Thank you for reading, subscribing (on right), and sharing on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, and Instagram. Until next time!

  

Bun in Oven

Bun in Oven

Bun in Oven

Bun in Oven

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Homemade Buns
Yields 24
Delicious and tender dinner rolls perfect to accompany any meal.
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Ingredients
  1. 1 teaspoon salt
  2. 1/4 cup sugar
  3. 1 1/2 tablespoons butter, softened
  4. 1 cup hot milk
  5. 1 package of active dry yeast
  6. 1/8 cup warm water
  7. 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  8. 1 large egg, beaten
  9. 4 cups all purpose flour
Instructions
  1. Place salt, sugar, and butter in a large bowl.
  2. Add hot milk and stir and allow entire mixture to cool to lukewarm.
  3. In a small cup dissolve yeast in the 1/8 cup warm water and add 1/2 teaspoon sugar. Mix well.
  4. Add beaten egg to milk mixture.
  5. Add yeast mixture to milk and egg mixture.
  6. To wet ingredients add one cup of flour at a time and mix well until dough forms into a round ball.
  7. You may knead dough briefly on a floured surface to unify the dough mass.
  8. Put dough ball into a lightly greased bowl and cover for 1 and 1/2 hours until the dough has doubled in size.
  9. After it has risen, roll dough out on a lightly floured board until 1/2 inch thick
  10. Cut dough into rounds using a biscuit cutter or a drinking glass and fold discs in half to make little half moon shapes
  11. (Dough may be refrigerated or frozen at this point - return rolls to room temperature before continuing)
  12. Let folded buns rise on a cookie sheet for 2 hours more
  13. Brush with melted butter and bake at 425 degrees Fahrenheit for 12 - 15 minutes until golden brown
  14. Serve with a smile!
TheCookingCanvas.com http://www.thecookingcanvas.com/