Thursday, December 29, 2011

Grand Cayman, BWI

It's finally December 29, 2011. We've been planning it for a year. Time for our trip to Cayman. After getting up at 3:30am in Richmond for a 6am flight to Charlotte. 3 hour layover in Charlotte followed by another 3 hour flight to Grand Cayman. Oh, and did I mention this was with an exhausted and teething 17 month old?!


We definitely earned our rum punch that night. :)


The next morning when I woke up to this view...




...it made everything worth it. Happy Vacation to us. See you on January 6th, back in cold RVA.


Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Chicken Tortilla Soup

This soup was my dinner tonight. It is quick to make, (even with a 16 month old running around) flavorful, and filling. Serve with warm corn bread or tortillas. This also freezes well. Garnish with chopped fresh avocado, Cheddar, Monterey Jack cheese, crushed tortilla chips, and green onion. Enjoy! (I certainly did!)
Ingredients:
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
1 (10.5 ounce) can condensed chicken
broth
1 1/4 cups water
1 cup whole corn kernels, cooked
1 cup white hominy
1 (4 ounce) can chopped green chile
peppers
1 (15 ounce) can black beans, rinsed and
drained
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
2 boneless chicken breast halves,
cooked and cut into bite-sized pieces
crushed tortilla chips
sliced avocado
shredded Monterey Jack cheese
chopped green onions

Directions:

1. In a medium stock pot, heat oil over medium heat. Saute onion and garlic in oil until soft. Stir in chili powder, oregano, tomatoes, broth, and water. Bring to a boil, and simmer for 5 to 10 minutes.
2. Stir in corn, hominy, chiles, beans, cilantro, and chicken. Simmer for 10 minutes.
3. Ladle soup into individual serving bowls, and top with crushed tortilla chips, avocado slices, cheese, and chopped green onion.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Santa Hat Brownies



Usually I'm the one asking for recipes and baking ideas. But I have to share this one I came across.
I discovered this adorable dessert on the Pinterest.com site. (a new love of mine) A festive dessert to get everyone into the spirit of the holidays. I can not wait to try it. (And, of course I'll post my attempt!)

Santa Hat Brownies
Adapted from this recipe found on Erica’s Sweet Tooth
Yields 12-16 brownies
Ingredients:
1 pan of your favorite brownies, cooled and cut into desired size and shape (I used a round cutter)
12-16 small strawberries, cleaned and hulled
vanilla-mascarpone buttercream (recipe below)

Mascarpone Buttercream
Ingredients:
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
8 ounces mascarpone cheese, room temperature
2-1/2 to 3 cups powdered sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
pinch of salt

Method:
Using a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, beat butter and mascarpone cheese until light and creamy, about 2 minutes. Add vanilla extract and salt. Add 2-1/2 cups of sugar, half a cup at a time and continue beating until smooth. Add more sugar, if needed to reach desired consistency and sweetness.
To assemble, pipe a ring of vanilla buttercream on top of each brownie. Cut off the base of a strawberry so it is flat and place it upside down on each brownie, pushing slightly to secure in place. Top the tip of the strawberry with a dot of buttercream to finish the santa hat.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween! (Thanks, Martha!)

This Halloween I decided to tap into my inner Martha Stewart and make Witten's costume. Here's my little lamb.





Monday, October 24, 2011

Meet Quinn



About this painting:
media: oil on canvas
size: 10" x 10"








Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Rassawek Art Show



Back in May I took a plein aire workshop. One of our sites was Rassawek Vineyard. I have been invited back to exhibit the paintings I created.

Rassawek Art Show

Celebrating the Success of the 2011 Spring Jubilee

Saturday, October 29, 2011
2:00 – 6:00 p.m.

Rassawek Vineyard
6276 River Road West
Columbia, VA 23038

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Beach Photoshoot

These are from our vacation in Corolla, NC. This was a great present from Rob's parents.



At first, Witten wasn't sure what to think.






Hurricane Katia was off the coast. It was very windy!




The whole Sievers family


Monday, August 29, 2011

1112 Grove Avenue

My latest commission. A beautiful home in the Fan. Richmond, VA.


Saturday, July 16, 2011

Birthday Party!

Witten’s big birthday bash was so much fun, and even the weather cooled off for us. Here are some pictures from it. This rubber duckie that greeted guests at the front door is actually Witten's bathtub.



Rob and I strung up balloons that morning that I got from Target. They made the place so festive! (Thank you Ta for the helium tank!)
 


 
Just some construction paper I cut in circles, painted letters on
and taped to string.



Here's the birthday boy! Ready for our party.


Guests started arriving. Witten's buddy, James is also his neighbor.


I had sidewalk chalk on our front porch for the kids to play with. It was a hit. Our porch was a masterpiece by the end of the party.


My mom is a proud grandma.


Rob's parents greeting Ashton and Olivia.


Mary Nell showing Witten his birthday balloons. (She is the one who took all of these wonderful pictures!)


Grandpar, Rob and Witten's godfather, Mark Cross. The kids had so much fun with the large balloons. They lasted longer than I expected.  


Elizabeth on the front porch with Azari and Bubba.



Elizabeth, Shannon and Mary Nell. All of Witten's Aunties. :)


Olivia and Ashton taking it all in!


Time for some cake! Here is Witten's smash cake I made. I found a little cake pan at Sur la Table. (Thanks to my brother-in-law, Scott for the baking kit!) For those unfamiliar with a smash cake it’s a tradition where you bake a tiny kid-sized cake for your one year old…


… and encourage them to dig in and make a big mess while snapping lots of photos. At first, Witten was not sure what to do.


But, he soon figured it out!



Back from his bath with Shannon.


With Papa in the kitchen.

 

These bubble containers shaped like ice cream cones are from Target in
the party aisle. I used a silver sharpie to write each child’s name on them
to create cute little favors.


We have had the best year!


Here is a video I made of Witten's first year. It’s amazing how much
has happened! We are very lucky parents to have such a wonderful little boy!