Tag Archives: craft

Brooklyn Children’s Museum Literacy Quilt Exhibit

Muriel's 2012 WOW Brooklyn quilt. My square is the girl in the center.

Last year I was invited to participate in a quilt project developed by Muriel Feldshuh.  Muriel is a wonderful literacy advocate. After “retiring” after 30+ years working as a librarian, she continues to be actively involved in the Books for Kids Foundation which promotes literacy among youths.  One of the organization’s projects is to launch children’s libraries in under served areas.

Photo credit: Sara Heidinger

Since 1997, Muriel has been inviting authors and illustrators to illustrate a square of the quilt, which she then pieces together by hand.  Her beautiful quilts are displayed all over the country.  I had participated in the past when she made her 2009 quilt and was happy to do it again last year when Soup Day came out.  I painted a version of my character reading instead of eating soup. 🙂

Check out the back of the postcard which has a list of all the participating artists:

I especially love the Ezra Jack Keats one from “A Letter to Amy” –such a wonderful book!
This Saturday (March 3, 2012) is the grand opening for the literacy quilt to be on display at the Brooklyn Children’s Museum (145 Brooklyn Avenue (at St. Marks Avenue), Brooklyn, NY 11213).  I will be there along with other artists to read and talk to the children.  My scheduled slot is 12-1 pm.  I’ll be reading Soup Day and talking about how I created the artwork for the book.  I used all different types of materials, from painted paper, origami paper, cotton balls, photographs, to dried pasta and sequins to make my collages.  I then scanned them into the computer and cleaned them up and added details, such as falling snow, some shadows, a bit of frost on the window panes…

This is the original collage. The snow is made of paper towel and the girl's jacket is trimmed with cotton.

This is after I added snow, frost, and a tree in Adobe Photoshop.

At the museum, I’ll do a collage demo and help kids make their own collage creations there.

If you are in the area, please come by and join us and celebrate reading and books!  Also, please pass the information on to folks you think might be interested.  Thanks!


Filed under Art Related, Children

Calling All Foodies: The 1st Annual Brooklyn Local in DUMBO and Twice Baked Potatoes with Baby Shrimp and Artichoke Hearts

This Saturday, September 17, I’m proud to be a participant in the 1st Annual Brooklyn Local organized by City Harvest.    The event is from 11-4 and will be held at the Tobacco Warehouse in DUMBO (for non New Yorkers, this stands for Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass).  Over 75 artisinal vendors will be selling their wares, and there will be a tasting tent featuring 15 of the best restaurants in Brooklyn.  There will be an Interactive Kids’ Zone with all day events, such as cookie decorating, composting, live music, and I will be reading from my book, Soup Day, there at 11:30 AM and 1:30 PM.  I’ll also have a craft table set up to do some collaging with the children.  Soup Day will be sold along with a slew of celebrity chef cookbooks.

Please come and join us if you are in the area and help contribute to a great cause.  The Market Entry Fee is just $5 and the money will go towards helping to stamp out hunger in the city.  I’d love to see you!  Last weekend at the Princeton Book Festival, I got such a kick out of meeting a reader in person! 🙂

Cooking Light Magazine is one of the sponsors of the event, and their Executive Chef, Billy Strynkowski, will also be there on site handing out samples.  I got to meet Chef Billy last year at the Cooking Light photo shoot, when I made my dish in his test kitchen.  This year, I’ll be sure to get a picture with him!

Another Cooking Light venture I’m excited to be a part of is their Tested and Recommended Blogger Network.  I’ll be trying out some of their recipes and sharing them with you.  I’d be doing this anyway, since I love their recipes.  I’ve been a subscriber for many years and through reading the magazine, I’ve learned so much about how to lighten as well as create my own healthy recipes.

The recipes I’m featuring today are built around potatoes.  In some circles, potatoes get a bad rap, but they are actually quite nutritious, fat free, sodium free, and cholesterol free!  I hadn’t known it before, but a potato provides 45% of your daily does of vitamin C, and when eaten with the skin, it has MORE potassium than a banana!  Because of this, they are now recognized as a vegetable to meet the important need for potassium by the new My Plate Guidelines of the USDA.  Who knew?

Anyway, I love them because they are one of the veggies that we all love in our picky eater family and they are incredibly inexpensive to boot.  For more fun facts about potatoes and tasty recipes, check out Potato Goodness, and Potatoes, Taters, and Spuds on Facebook.

I recently posted about my favorite potato salad, made with yellow and red potatoes.   This baby is made so flavorful with tons of fresh herbs, Dijon mustard, wine, and olive oil.  You would never know I lightened it up dramatically by cutting the oil in half (actually if you used all the oil called for in the original recipe, it gets a bit “soupy”!)

These would also be yummy with some extra grated cheese on top!

Last night I made Twice Baked Potato with Baby Shrimp, Green Onions, and Roasted Red Pepper.  Only I changed it by exchanging the red peppers for artichoke hearts since my husband and son don’t do peppers.  I also subbed plain non fat yogurt for the sour cream since I have an intolerance to it!  I really liked the combination of the potatoes and the baby shrimp — something I would never have thought to put together.  The artichoke hearts went well with all the flavors as well.  And, we ate everything up including the skins, so we had our potassium for the day! 🙂

Twice Baked Potato with Baby Shrimp, Green Onions, and Roasted Red Peppers

Potato Board, Cooking Light Tested & Recommended eBlast to 150k, August 23, 2011


5 large baking potatoes

½ pound, peeled, deveined, and cooked baby shrimp

½ cup jarred roasted red peppers, diced

¼ cup green onions, chopped

1 cup reduced-fat sour cream

¼ cup grated parmesan cheese

2 tablespoons butter

¼ cup fresh parsley, chopped

Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Preheat oven to 400°.
  2. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Place potatoes on baking sheet and bake until fork-tender, about 50 minutes to 1 hour. Let potatoes cool. Keep oven on.
  3. Peel one potato, discard skin, and place pulp in large bowl. Cut off the top third of the remaining four potatoes. Using a spoon, scoop the potato pulp from the potatoes into the bowl, leaving a 1/8-inch layer on inside of the skin. Return cut potato skin shells to baking sheet.
  4. Mash potatoes until chunky, using a handheld potato masher. Add remaining ingredients and mix to combine.
  5. Evenly divide potato mixture, and carefully spoon into potato skins.
  6. Bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown. Serve hot.


Filed under Art Related, Dinner, Vegetables

Snowy Day Vegetable Soup

Winter.  Frigid mornings.  Snow piled up.  Dry skin.  It takes about ten minutes minimum for the three of us to get bundled up, don our jackets, hats, scarves, gloves, boots, and finally step outside.  We are still in the thick of it too — the Weather Channel says it feels like 17 degrees outside right now.

My son was home all last week with a nasty ear infection.  To comfort him and get some nourishing goodness into his system, I made Snowy Day Vegetable Soup from my book, Soup Day.

This is the last page of the book -- the recipe.

It’s the perfect remedy for a cold, icky day, and my son loves it.  I added a bit of cooked chicken at the end from some added protein.  He’s all better this week, thankfully!

There are several bloggers out there who’ve made it with their kids.  It’s very simple and a good way to get some vegetables in your family’s diet.

Sales of  Soup Day are going pretty well.  It sold out of its first printing about a month and and a half after its release.  I am about halfway to meeting the required sales amount to get my sequel!  Please help me out and buy a copy for the budding little chef/chefs in your life!    (If you’ve already done that, tell your friends! 🙂  )

Yesterday,  I braved the cold and visited the same two Kindergarten classes at P.S. 142 I mentioned in a previous post, and read it to them.  Afterward, we did a soup bowl collage craft together.  They loved coloring, cutting and gluing their paper pieces of vegetables and dried pasta to their bowls.

Hard at work coloring vegetables...

Making soup...

One of the finished soup collages!

If you’d like to do this craft with your child, feel free to download the activity sheet off my website.  There is also a related Hidden Pictures puzzle there as well.

Enjoy! 🙂

Snowy Day Vegetable Soup

1 tablespoon oil

1 cup diced onion

½ cup diced carrots

1 cup diced celery

kosher salt to taste

6 cups chicken, vegetable, or beef stock

2 cups peeled and cubed potatoes

½ cup carrots, sliced into rounds

2 cups zucchini, sliced into rounds

1 cup sliced mushrooms

½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper

1 teaspoon dried thyme

3 oz. dried pasta of choice

¼ cup packed chopped parsley leaves

  1. Heat oil in a heavy bottomed stock pot over medium high heat.  When oil is hot, add diced onions, carrots, celery and pinch of salt to pot.  Saute until onions are soft and translucent.
  2. Add stock.  Increase to high and bring to a simmer.  Once simmering, add potatoes, carrot rounds, zucchini and mushrooms to pot.  Add pepper, thyme, and salt to taste.  Reduce heat to low; cover and cook until vegetables are fork tender, about 15- 20 minutes.
  3. Bring water to boil in a medium sauce pan.  Add a pinch of salt to water.  When water comes to a boil, add pasta and cook to an al dente doneness according to package instructions.  Drain and add to vegetable soup just before serving.
  4. Season to taste with salt and paper and garnish soup with chopped parsley.

Makes 6 servings.

Note:  Please take care to keep children at a distance from burners on the stove.


Filed under Art Related, chicken, Children, Soup, Vegetables