Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Sharing Another Artist: Debbie Shirley

Today I thought I'd share with you one of my favorite acrylic artists: Debbie Shirley. I've been following her for a few years and to be honest I don't know how I came across her but I am so glad I did!  I have followed her for professional and personal inspiration. She is a mother of 3 boys and I admire her ability to balance everything so well.

When I first found her, she created smaller paintings which appealed to me since I also have a preference for creating tiny paintings. She now is expanding her portfolio to offer larger compositions. Debbie describes her style as "contemporary realism meets roadside retro". Her subjects include food, her son's toys/games, classic cars and retro neon signs. Her renderings are accurately executed with intriguing compositions and clever titles.

I really enjoy how she takes everyday objects or a roadside scene to create her beautiful works of art. She uses lighting and perspective to give ordinary objects and places a new life and personality. Below are just a few of my favorite paintings.

"62 Corvette" - 6" x 6"

"Ying and Yang" - 5" x 7"

"Arcade" - 12" x 12"

To learn more about Debbie and her artwork, please follow the links below:

Website: http://www.debbieshirley.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DebbieShirleyArt/
Instagram: @debbie_shirley1
Etsy: https://www.etsy.com/shop/ShirleyPrints

Monday, January 16, 2017

Baking with Food Allergies

Food allergies are a topic I haven't blogged about but thought this post could be helpful to other families navigating them with their child(ren). My children are allergic to milk and eggs and are to avoid ingesting them which can make baking (and life in general) very tricky. Since I am breastfeeding my son, I am also on a restricted diet. I will write a post in the near future further explaining my children's food allergies and our journey living with them.

I discovered Vegan Egg a couple of months ago on Amazon and decided to give it a try. It is a powder that is mixed with water that you can cook and bake with like regular eggs. I started using them at breakfast because I missed having scrambled eggs. Surprisingly, they are pretty tasty! When my husband's birthday rolled around I wanted to try baking with them. And yes, not from scratch baking. I cheated this time and used a box cake as I was simultaneously making his favorite dish: lasagne and dairy free stuffed shells for the rest of us.

To make Vegan Egg, you whisk together 2 tablespoons of Vegan Egg powder and 1/2 cup of ice cold water. The box cake I was using called for three eggs so I mixed together 6 tablespoons of Vegan Egg and 1.5 cups of water. The picture below shows the consistency of the mixture. I have found that Vegan Egg has the closest viscosity and amount as regular eggs. Other egg replacers I have used often do not require as much water which can effect the recipe.

After I mixed the egg mixture, I continued to follow the recipe on the box for the remaining ingredients and baking instructions. I purchased my cake mix from Aldi's and it did not have any egg or milk within the cake mix. Below is a picture of the cake batter all mixed together.

The cake was delicious! It was very moist and reminded me of a thinner version of the pound cake from Stock's Bakery in Philadelphia. The best part was we could ALL enjoy the SAME cake.