Archive for January, 2011

Published by Patianne on 18 Jan 2011

The Colors Of Winter

I sat looking out my studio window watching the robins gobble the last remaining red berries from my yard, wondering why I placed a Peanut Blossom, such a sunny cookie,  in a decidedly cool background. But watching the last speck of red in my yard disappear down the gullet of one happy robin, it dawned on me: it’s the color of winter.

And when I visit the market in the winter, both the farmers outdoor markets and my local co-op, doing my best to support our local farmers by passing by the bright red hydroponic tomatoes from North of the border, and the bright green scallions from South of the Border, what remains is a very muted winter palette of color. There are the root vegetables such as  carrots, potatoes,  parsnips  and beets. These earthy colors are punctuated here and there by onions, squash, and apples.

But what I was really dreaming about in the middle of continual gray, was a nice bright salad. That left me one choice. Construct a salad with all the colors that winter has to offer, and brighten the taste with a vinaigrette. Its ‘The Colors Of Winter Salad’!

The Colors Of Winter Salad

Use any root vegetable that appeals to you. In this salad I used red, russet, and purple potatoes; golden beets; parsnips; onions; carrots; and squash. I also used apples in the dressing and as a finish to the salad for added crunch!

Roasting veggies: use the veggies of your choice,  just cut them all approximately the same size for even roasting.

Preheat oven to 400°

1 lb.  each purple, russet, and red potatoes scrubbed and cut into 1 inch pieces.
1 1/2 lb. carrots  scrubbed, cut into 1″ pieces on the diagonal
1 1/2 lbs parsnips, peeled and cut into 1 inch pieces
1 lb. beets, whole (I used golden beets to avoid staining the other veggies)
1 small onion, peeled and cut into 1″ chunks
1 lb.  hard winter squash (Butternut, Delicata, Danish etc.) peeled and cut into 1-1/2″ pieces
5 cloves of garlic, peeled
1/2 cup olive oil
Kosher salt and ground pepper to taste
1/4 cup fresh Rosemary coarsely chopped.

Toss all ingredients, in a medium bowl.

Place all ingredients, except beets, in a half or baking sheet, and roast until barely fork tender, 20-30 min.

Wrap whole beets separately in foil, and roast approx 40-50 min.

To assemble:

1  large apple, large diced skin on
Apple dressing: recipe follows ( uses an additional 1/2 apple)
Crumbled gorgonzola as garnish optional.


Cut cooled, peeled beets into 1″ pieces.

Toss all veggies  and diced apple in a medium bowl.

Add dressing to taste: I like this ‘lightly’ dressed, adding about 2 tablespoons.

Serve at room temp.

Apple Dressing:

Makes 1 cup.

You won’t use all of this in the salad, but it’s so good you will use up in no time!

2 tablespoons sugar
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
1 1/2 tablespoons grated shallot
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon salt or to taste
1/4 cup olive oil
3/4 cup finely chopped apple ( approx 1/2 medium apple)

Pulse a few times in cuisinart or with immersion blender.

Stores for 5 days in fridge.

Published by Patianne on 09 Jan 2011

Loving Agnes Martin And Other Favorite Things

I never do resolutions for the New Year. I do have a New Year tradition however, that I call ‘Reviewing’. Reviewing is a visit to the past year’s favorites. ‘Favorites’ can be places; people; things;  or events. And favorites can be new or old!

I  just sit down and make a list. In very short order I have filled a legal sized sheet of paper. With so many memorable ‘Favorites’, I can’t help but look forward to what’s in store for the New Year!

Here are four of my ‘Favorites’ from this years list. Three are repeats, and one is new.

Grandma Goldie’s Snack Mix:


It just wouldn’t be the holidays without this one of a kind, stellar snack! It is a yearly gift from our friend Linda.  Without a doubt this is the best snack mix recipe I have ever tasted. It has the perfect spice, salt, sweet and texture balance. It has been passed down to Linda so that she may carry on Grandma Goldie’s very secret recipe!

Diva Tool:

I love this new favorite gift I received from friends this year. It’s 5 tools in one, WITH rhinestones!

The handle contains 4 different attachments. I am already using this one one in The Cardboard Kitchen. And guess what?  It does make you feel like a Diva!

Agnes Martin:

Agnes Martin makes my list every year. I find her life and work inspirational. I absolutely love getting lost in her fields of color and line.

Several times a year I revisit her work and writing. One of my favorite text’s is a 1979 lecture she prepared for the University Of New Mexico that was then revised and published in Artspace, entitled  “The Current Of The River Of Life Moves Us”.

Pierre (Bonnard) And Henri (Matisse):

Affectionately referred to as ‘my boys’, Pierre and Henri  definitely make me happy every day, and they make my list every year!

And they are so artistic. Look how they  arrange themselves to form their own graphic patterns of blacks, grays and whites. I think they discuss the artistic merits of how to position themselves before they get comfortable.

Don’t you agree this is a much better tradition than resolutions? May you all look forward to 2011!