October 28, 2014

I Dream of Cheese

This is one of my most treasured recipes.

And although this is inspired by many, many, many recipes and restaurant visits, the end product is an evolution of serious cheese experimentation and devotion to the love of all things cheese and carbohydrate.

 I've rarely met a macaroni and cheese that I didn't like, but I'm just sayin' this recipe is damn delicious and it is my favorite, thus far.

So, the story of this love affair:

I literally made macaroni and cheese once a week, if not more, 
for an entire year, 
if not more, 
in the quest to find and/or create the 

Yes, I was no-joke obsessed with trying every macaroni and cheese at every restaurant we stopped in, from Maine to St. Maarten, feverishly asking questions and taking notes, 
and making every recipe from Bobby Flay's 'Macaroni and Cheese Throwdown' to almost every recipe in Alice Water's Chez Panisse Pasta cookbook...not to mention every magazine, cookbook, website, article, blog, conversation I could devour.
If it had the word 'macaroni,' 'pasta,' 'cheese' or the like, I was there, sleeves rolled up, fork in hand.

In retrospect it was both sad and ridiculous, and a little bit pathetic, but who is judging?!

So, what was I looking for!?
The perfect mixture and blend of cheeses, 
The correctly shaped pasta...
Additions like vegetables and meats?! 
Herbs and/or spices!? 
Crunchy toppings versus 100% creamy!?...
Why is this creamy? 
Why is this gritty?! 
What the hell happened here?!

I could go on forever about this year of cheese, 
but I'll spare you the inevitable details, 
and just let you know that all of the pounds I gained during this year, was worth every savory, cheesy, delicious taste.

This is where I landed.


Makes enough for a small army. 

1 box of campanelle pasta (or small shells if not available)
3 tablespoons of salt for pasta cooking water

1 stick of unsalted butter
1/4 cup of flour
3 tablespoons of snipped fresh thyme + extra snipped for topping
1 tsp of freshly ground pepper
6 cups of whole milk

1/2 bag of petite baby sweet peas (Bird's Eye brand)

1 pound of Cooper brand American cheese, shredded
3 cups of Monterrey Jack cheese, shredded
3 cups of Mild Cheddar cheese, shredded
1 cup of Parmesan/Romano cheese, grated

1 tablespoon of truffle oil

Panko bread crumbs for topping
ham, cut into slivers or cubes

1. Boil a large pot of water, add dried pasta, and cook per package directions, adding salt to the water at the same time as the pasta. Put frozen peas into an empty colander. Pour the cooked pasta over the frozen peas and stir to drain and thaw out the peas.
2. Meanwhile, make a roux by melting butter, stir in flour until incorporated and foamy, stir in fresh thyme and pepper.
3. Slowly add milk and stir continuously until hot, but do not allow to boil.
4. Add cheese, half cup at a time, gently stirring all the while to make sure it is melting and not clumping. If the sauce gets too thick, stop adding cheese. You don't want it to be too thick, as it will thicken as it stands.
5. Once all of the cheese is added and the sauce is creamy, taste and adjust seasoning.
6. Put the cooked pasta/peas in a baking/serving dish and pour the cheese sauce over the pasta, stir to mix well.
7. Serve hot from here with a drizzle of truffle oil, or, top with enough Panko bread crumbs to coat, a little extra thyme and a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese; bake until golden brown, then drizzle with truffle oil.
8. Either way, serve hot.

Let me know what you think!?

One thing I have learned, is that you truly can't go wrong pouring cheese over noodles...


October 23, 2014


Just a quick TBT to just a few weeks ago when I made two very poor parenting decisions...

The first, resulted in a quick trip to the little boys room, 
and the second...
well, let's just say that even plastic nunchucks hurt like a mother*&%!er...and don't mix with glass top tables...

Bad decision #1:
Cupcakes and Iced Hot Chocolate for Breakfast

Bad decision #2:
Plastic Nunchucks

I have heard that some people are born with common sense...

October 21, 2014

It's a Wrap!


Our very first 'Art on a Carte' event went off without a hitch this past Sunday, 
and the entire class did an absolutely amazing job!

Thank you guys so much for coming!
It was a great way to spend a cold, snowy day, and I hope you all left inspired, and with a little more art in your soul.

Here is a photo spread of the event!

The 'Carte' packed and ready to go!


I am so proud and so honored;
My first official event, surrounded by my new painting series on exhibit, in my dear friend's restaurant, in my hometown...
It doesn't get any better!


Introducing Impressionism and Post-Impressionism
Learning about van Gogh;
his history, his work, his life, his legacy...

Color Theory Portion;
The class was only allowed to use the primary colors, plus white and black to create their images;
they had to create any and all other colors themselves!
Demonstrating the complementary colors and how to make neutrals
Demonstrating the value scale, and how to make tints and shades
(I'm so serious?!!?)

Every student was encouraged to choose their own color scheme, format and approach;
Thank you Impressionism for allowing us to pour our own creativity and personalities onto the canvas!

The moment when people find their groove is magical!
So peaceful...

A little liquid encouragement...


Back Row: Linda, Kristin, Vonnie, Linda (My Mom!), Kelly, Jessie, (Tricia's painting), Mad, Paige, & Janice
Front Row: Me, Kristie, Jaimee, Jody, Marissa and Jessica

The Delicious Part!

Paul's Incredible van Gogh-inspired Menu!
Designing a menu around a man who drank 28 cups of coffee a day to avoid eating, and spent all of his money on art supplies and absinthe was a difficult task;
 but Paul stepped up effortlessly to the challenge and created a perfect menu that maps out van Gogh by his life experiences and locales.
And yes, it tasted as delicious as it reads.  

The Art History Packets for the Guests

Kath's Awesome Tablescapes!
THIS Woman!
Kath is the reason this entire event happened!

Thank you again to everyone who came out and made this event a success!
I had an amazing time, and I am so excited and honored that I got to start this new adventure in my hometown with all of you.

There is no place like home!

Keep painting and I hope to see you again soon!
xoxo, k


October 18, 2014

The Count Down is On!

One more day!
Tick tock, tick tock

I can't wait to eat this food, and drink this wine,
 and share all things van Gogh with you!

Stay tuned for the after party photos!

October 17, 2014

Happy Friday!

A very exciting weekend is upon us;

My very first 'Art on a Carte' event is taking place this Sunday. 

I'll cheers to that!

Happy Friday Everyone!

October 4, 2014

An Exciting Autumn!

Hi Friends!

This Autumn is exhilarating. 

Not only am I the feature artist at Five Corner's Cafe in my hometown of Old Forge, New York, this month,
but I will also be there all winter season!

So, if you missed the First Friday Art Walk last night, you can stop in anytime this Fall or Winter to view my new oil series!

Also, we are hosting a first of hopefully many art and food events this month.
This month's event will be based on Post-Impressionism, and will also be hosted in my hometown:

Art on a Carte
A Traveling Studio Where Art, Food and Friendships Gather

is hosting our first collaborative event at 5 Corner's Cafe in Old Forge, NY this month!

Vincent van Gogh
Oil on Canvas

 Sunday October 19th.

Join us for an afternoon of drawing, painting and art history, 
and create your very own rendition of 
Vincent van Gogh’s famous ‘Sunflowers’ (1888)

1:00 - 4:00

All supplies, light fare and wine included

*Absolutely no experience necessary!

Then, join us for a delicious evening of classic French cuisine inspired by van Gogh’s life and Post-Impressionism


Four Courses, French Wine & Art History

Space is limited, so grab your friends and reserve your spot now!
You can join either event, attend just one if you wish, or just stop in to see the artwork and grab a glass of wine!

We hope to see you there!

Once again, I have to shout out a special and sincere 'Thank you!' to Paul and Kathy of Five Corner's; 
There is no place on earth I would rather exhibit my work and host a first event like this. 
Your food, atmosphere and friendship are unparalleled. 
To be working beside you once again after all of these years is the perfect marriage of my art life and my food life. 
I am honored and exhilarated to start this adventure, but more so because you are where it began twenty years ago when you took me in at Van Auken's.
You are my mentors, friends and family.

Love you guys!
Let's do this!

For those of you not in the know here is their link:

Also, for my Pennsylvania friends, stay tuned for information on my November gig at Sarah Street! 

Have a great weekend everyone!