This month is flying by so quickly! Summer will be here before we know it. For food art, summer is the best time to create art, and to eat healthy. I love it because the prices go down because everything is in season. There are no excuses how it is too expensive. It is a fun time to experiment, and to try new things. At our art studio Be....An Artist, we have a lot of events for children. They are always asking me what I made for dinner last night, and I show them. I use this as a way try to sneak in the health benefits of eating real food. I love that they are so interested in the art aspect, and then it pours over to lots of questions about what this is made of, and what that part of the art is made of.
I can't wait to get this children's book out!
We are in the process of teaming up with local grocery stores to create events around art, and the art of healthy eating. On May 25th we will be celebrating Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution Day (which is really the 27th, but we are doing it a bit earlier due to scheduling). I am the Phoenix Ambassador. We will paint a work of art , which will be colorful and fun! We will paint a triple scoop ice cream sundae, a cupcake, or an ice cream cone because it they sure are pretty! We will also talk about what a treat is, and how much is too much. We show how much refined sugar is hidden in our foods today, and what amount is considered ok. We do things like wrap up ketchup bottles and have kids open them to see that ketchup is actually 1/3 sugar! We fill the bottle with the actual sugar. Many kids can't believe that this is not considered a vegetable! I love this program. The kids come back telling me they are reading labels. Parents love it too because it makes the kids accountable for what they are eating. I will let you know how it goes!
My son's friend came over for dinner the other night. I made faces with kiwis and other fruits for dessert. One little boy tried the kiwi and couldn't believe how delicious it was. He told me he had never had one before and they always looked 'weird'. He said it was the most delicious thing he had ever tried. It is so easy to give kids a quick cookie, or a cupcake for a treat. I just wish parents could see that fresh fruit is a treat too. A healthy treat. Now more than ever, we need to show the magic of what grows naturally. Try something new. Have fruits and veggies ready when the kids come home from school. #BetterChoices
I had a dream that I made these little Trumpkin Munchkins, so I just had to make it happen. Fondant is my new friend. You could mold it into everything! From Obama, to Putin, and Trump to Hillary, these were so fun to make. Little cakes with fondant faces. This is just the beginning! Fondant, where have you been hiding my whole life? You all have to try it!
The discoveries! This is getting more and more fun as an artist. I have been bringing new vegetables home that I have never tried before for 'arts sake'. Last night I wasn't planning on making any food art. It was a busy day, and I just had to shop and get home so we could eat dinner and get to bed. In the store, or course I couldn't help myself! I discovered a black radish (My Husband's pants in this picture). It intrigued me to find what was inside. It was so dark and mysterious! When I got home I cut it open and heavens to Betsy it was bright white! Who would have thought? A gem in the produce isle once again! The magic! Life is good! I was so excited I had to make a quick art piece. The texture was just like my husband's pants. (Oh, the things that spark the creation of art, my husband's work pants LOL) The things I could make from this new discovery!
My husband and I were pleasantly surprised with the taste as well. It was so good raw and I can't wait to try to prepare it in different ways today! I will give and update later on after trying it out on the kids. "Kids, tonight we are having Daddy's pants! Enjoy!"
This is the beginning of a beautiful thing. Doing what I love, and having people appreciate it more than I ever knew. I have been on TV six times in the last two weeks creating food art. The calls and the outpour of support has been tremendous! THIS fuels my fire as an artist and as a mother.
There are a few things that I am learning. The first is many parents have trouble getting their kids to eat veggies and this is helping them rediscover fruits and vegetables themselves as adults. They are becoming more interested in food and creating fun colorful dishes. Yay! The next thing I have learned is food art doesn't travel well. I have never had to make it to go anywhere. It is just my family dinners. I make them and most of the time they are just shapes balancing on each other until I snap a photo then we break it apart and we turn it into veggie stew, or a fruit salad. For TV segments, I can't make it ahead of time, so it is just truly 'live'. So far, so good, but there will be a day where the whole thing falls apart on live TV. Hopefully it won't be on NBC tomorrow morning! The last thing I have learned is to just enjoy this journey. I don't like to watch myself on TV. I am too critical. I just want to keep having fun. When I watch myself, it takes the fun out of it. I just have to 'keep on keeping on'. (These words were actually on a handout of sayings that my husband received at the hospital when I was about to have our first child) I never thought I would use those words, but here you have it. I hope to bring you all great things. I hope to stretch boundaries. Maybe have some BIG dinner parties where I could have a LOT of food to work with and not waste any. Time to get creative. Thanks everyone. If you have any comments I would LOVE to hear from you! Just going to 'Keep on keeping on...'
I think it is funny how I have been an artist my entire life, create huge paintings and works of art that I spend months on, and now I am on TV for my food art. (two channels this week and three segments next week on different shows) Always the unexpected isn't it? I love to paint. I do it almost every single day, whether it is teaching classes at my studio, or painting just to paint. It is my constant.
Something happened with the food art now though too. I can't stop seeing things when I go shopping in that produce isle, or when I just look at different foods. It takes over! Even when I don't have time, or want to take the time to make something, I just can't help myself. I have to see if I could make what is in my mind. Here is an example. This weekend at a sushi restaurant I was playing with my wasabi. Who knew wasabi was so delightfully moldable? I had to hide my desire to play in my food again from my family, but when they all went out to the restrooms, I was free to explore! I grabbed both our kids little mounds of heat, and added them to my own. After getting really into it for the couple of minutes I had, I suddenly felt embarrassed and didn't want to look up because I was lost in my moment playing. I was making little portraits by rolling balls of horseradish in my hands first. Who does this? Thank goodness only the sushi chefs saw me. They actually watched the whole time and then asked if they could keep them (two little green heads with ginger hair). My family loved them too when they returned. I wish I had my camera or phone.
Yes, I will be buying some of that wasabi. You will see it soon. I think I will call my next piece, 'Now THAT'S HOT!' Another adult book anyone?
We just got back from the snow up in Flagstaff! On New Years eve I made some warm bear soup (ingredients above), and got ready for our journey. Our kids were excited, and I was nervous to drive through a storm (Momma Bear top left). As a native New Yorker, I thought I had enough snow for my lifetime, living there for twenty years, but when the kids begged to go, we couldn't resist. They had only seen snow two times before and they were just tiny children. It was time. Now at 10 and 12 years old, it is a whole new world of detailed snowmen, sledding, and real snowball fights like from the movies. We drove for only 2.5 hours and there it was! Cauliflower, or sorry, no, I mean snow was floating down like we were in a dream! It was around 30 degrees, and it was so beautiful outside! Our kids kept pinching themselves. It was a picture perfect snow day. It didn't seem real. What a great way for 2017 to begin!
I LOVE New Years resolutions! I have one thought for all of you. WRITE YOURS DOWN. Last year I had a big one. Get my first book published. (: We all know how that went!
Whatever yours may be, please take the time and write it down. It will happen!
CHEERS to a healthy and happy 2017. Great things are coming! I would love to hear some of your New Years Resolutions. If you tell someone, you become accountable. Drop me a line, or comment here. One of mine is to complete my two new books. I can't wait to share the details. All kid appropriate this time!
Growing up it was just the traditional feast with ham and turkey, green bean bake, stuffing etc. It was what was expected. We all took turns at different relatives houses and we knew what we would be eating. No questions asked. We would bring our dish and maybe it was our turn next year to have everyone over. Times have changed haven't they? From what I hear, it is not just in our house.
Our family is divided these days, and I don't mean we are not spending quality time together, it's just that we have so many differences in our diet. Gluten-free, dairy free, vegetarian, and total meatlovers. It makes it close to impossible to have one person put together most of the meal without going crazy. We now divide and conquer! This seems to work best for us. These days my sister is making homemade 'tofurkey' while my sister-in-law is making a turducken! (For those of you who don't know, it is a chicken inside a duck, inside a turkey). Can't get much meatier than that! I am lucky because I just make a cute food art and everyone gets distracted and is happy. The good thing is everyone is kind, and doesn't judge. They eat what they choose and enjoy the company. I think it is really nice to try new things. Who knew tofurkey could be so good! The sound of it really sounds awful, but our family loved it! I would even opt for it over turkey now. You might want to try it!
Here are the ingredients for my artwork below. I took some of my husband's fantastic mashed potatoes, white onions, radishes from the salad, raisins, some ginger and peppers. We had one prune too for his mitten.
Have a wonderful holiday season everyone! I have been working on two of my kids books that are coming up. Can't wait to share with you all! If you have any new recipes I would LOVE to hear from you! Try something new this year. It is fun!
Here are my husband's tacos tonight. It is a bit strange when we cook these heads of meat. (He mentioned I better stop calling them 'meat-heads')
Bernie was bok-joy ful to make. Lots more to come! Now taking requests!
Here is the article. Hope you enjoy!
By Sandra Marshall, Owner, Be… An Artist
My family had zebra for dinner last night, and the night before we had cheetah. Both were truly delicious, healthy, and easy to prepare. I am not a hunter, or a nutritionist; I am an artist. Whenever a friend says, “Eating healthy is boring,” I get excited! I invite them to the grocery store produce aisle where I teach them to look at those gorgeous fruits and vegetables through the eyes of an artist. All those fascinating, colors, shapes, textures, and flavors can make eating a healthy, fun, and exciting adventure!
It’s time to take a break from all the complicated nutritional advice, forget going on a “diet,” ignore all the research studies that often contradict each other, and instead, lets “play with our food.”
Yes, I am saying what many of our mothers have told us over and over not to do. Let’s allow our kids to explore that beauty we just don’t really see anymore. Let’s create awareness and appreciation for the natural gifts we have been given and learn to see and experience in a whole new light. Be creative and start eating in an artful way.
Most of the grocery store food has been “played” with. Now it’s our turn, but without adding artificial color, flavors, additives, chemically altered fats, and sweeteners. This is fun and pure. The colors are all right there, coming from nature. The flavors will astound you with the addition of the right spices!
Our fast-paced lives often prevent us from connecting over a good meal. We tend to eat for convenience and speed, not health and pleasure. Kids want to have fun, so why not bring a new vegetable to the table and allow them to explore, research it, and taste it. Talk with them about what to make, how to make it, and what it could be. It’s our turn to play with our food.
Find a way to prepare it. Get them off their technologies and to the dinner table earlier to embark on an artistic journey. Make it a contest! Who can make the most unique piece of art and who can find the most interesting recipe? It doesn’t have to take much time, just enjoy the journey.
Eggplant is something my kids never really loved, that is until last night. We created a zebra out of our eggplants, and then found a recipe and baked our eggplant in some olive oil. Super easy, simple, and delicious! The zebra was made with three eggplants. We scored the skin and just removed the scored parts to show the white. We used a black olive for his eye. After we took his photo, we got to work on the recipe. I added a side of marinara sauce for dipping, but it was delicious without the sauce. It was super easy and a great night with my daughter.
Some recipes in my art have lots of colors and flavors, some are simple like our eggplant zebra, and some are true under-the-sea adventures! Whichever route you choose, we hope you enjoy the creative adventure!
Sandra Marshall is a mom, wife, author, professional artist, and owner of Be...An Artist/Be...A Chef studios in Ahwatukee. Her first book of food art was just published in October 2016. It is called One Hot Night at the Veggie Bar. This is the adult version with fun, steamy stories in the adventures of food art. The children’s book is on its way and is expected to arrive in January of 2017. Please feel free to contact Sandra Marshall at 602-369-4555. Visit www.FunkyFoodArt.com or www.BeAnArtistAZ.com.
ZEBRA EGGPLANT PARMESANIngredients:
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 cup Parmesan cheese
1 tsp basil
1½ tsp oregano
2 Tbsp water
Salt and pepper to taste
1 cup bread crumbs
Sandra Marshall is a professional artist. Currently she is the proud owner of Be...An Artist/ Be...A Chef Studios which combine all types of arts under one roof. Be...An Artist/Be...A Chef combines fine art painting, with performance classes, comedy nights, yoga, health classes for the mind, body and spirit, as well as the the art of cooking. Please check out Be...An Artists website.