Monday, June 20, 2016

Recipe: Red Beans and Rice

In New Orleans where this recipe originated, Monday was known as washing day. That meant the house staff wasn't going to have time to prepare a complicated multi course meal. Instead this recipe developed as something you could put in a pot in the morning and with almost nothing else than a bit of stirring here and there, you could have a wonderful filling meal come dinner time. This recipe is vegetarian but you can add Italian sausage, ham or a ham bone for flavoring if you are not vegetarian.

Red Beans and Rice

1 LB dry red beans
1 large white onion
1/4 c chopped parsley
2 tsp basil (fresh if you have it)
2 bay leaves
salt, black and cayenne pepper to taste (after beans have softened)

Put beans in pot of cold water with enough water to cover 3" over top of beans. Let beans soak overnight with lid on pot. Next day, rinse that water out and add fresh water to pot, with enough water to cover 2-3" over beans. Add all ingredients except for salt and bring to boil. Once boiling occurs, stir then cover and lower temp to simmer until beans are tender (3-5 hours). After beans are soft, add salt and any extra needed spices like black and cayenne pepper. 
For the rice, you can use either brown or white rice. Follow package directions but add 1 tsp vinegar and 1 pinch salt to completely cooked rice. Spoon red beans and sauce over rice. Serve with crusty French bread.  

Friday, June 10, 2016

Women Entrepreneur Series: Whiskey & Bone

 Tarrah Rose Anderson is a girl on the go. Whether living in Chicago (where she is currently), spending the summer in Seattle or moving back to her hometown of KC (which she'll be doing very shortly) she brings with her the jewelry business she founded named Whiskey & Bone. She's also a vendor in the Maker Market at the upcoming Boulevardia show here in KC June 17-19. Here's a bit more about Tarrah and her growing biz:

1. When did you start Whiskey and Bone?

Whiskey + Bone started in December of 2014. I had another jewelry business that I was messing around with for a couple years prior but the jewelry wasn't me. It was "blingy" and not anything I was really proud of, so to speak. One day I was at brunch with a good, very honest friend and we got to talking about my business. I told her that eventually I wanted to rebrand, change and basically start all over. She told me she couldn't agree more with my decision and literally that day Whiskey and Bone was born. 

2. How long have you been making and designing jewelry?

I've been a "maker" my whole life. I've always been all about getting my hands dirty and messing around with different forms of art. (In college I studied fashion design / merchandising but switched to floral design ... Later went on to take a class in metal smithing) but it wasn't until maybe 5 years ago, I decided that while the little girl I nanny was in school, I wanted to find something to take up my time during the day. I first started out wholesaling and reselling jewelry from China. It was okay but again I wanted to be creative so I would take things apart and reconstruct them. About 4 years ago I started fully making and designing jewelry. Two years ago I took a metal smithing class at a local community college and learned more about metal and my whole focus changed. So long answer short I've been making and designing for about 4 years. 

3. What or who inspires you artistically? Any jewelry heroes?

What inspires me? Well one of my most favorite things to do is go on road trips. I stay in Seattle with the little girl I nanny and her dad every summer. Along the way my sister or dad and I stop at Rock shops, bead stores and all over to pick things up for me to create with. Traveling for sure. Being around other makers. Our Kansas City maker family is incredibly talented and it pushes me to wanna create. Last I would say my family. They have been the ones pushing me to keep going when I've wanted to quit. I'm super lucky my family is so supportive. ((Jewelry heroes? If you would have asked me like 8 years ago I would have said Betsey Johnson. What wild stuff she's got!))

4. Any new products or plans for the future that you want to announce?

I'm working on lots. With Boulevardia consuming my life right now, I am holding off on my new "Bone Box" (it's a 3 month jewelry subscription). In other news I'm super excited for this fall, I have been accepted into a new communal art studio. We will be offering classes, #girlboss nights, pop ups, classes helping with Etsy / Websites and so so much more! 

Tarrah will be showing and selling the full Whiskey & Bone line at Boulevardia June 17-19 in KCMO. 

You can follow her on Instagram: and Facebook:

 If you can't make it to the show, you can purchase any of her lovely items in her Etsy shop here:

Friday, June 3, 2016

Women Entrepreneur Series: Cartwheel Jess

     Jessica Rogers has been an active maker in the Kansas City area for many years but she has recently launched a brand new line of hand-dyed home good and accessories called the Indigo Collection.

    Made in the traditional Japanese method called Shibori, she hand dyes the fabric (in her back yard!) then hand sews it into everything from yoga mats, baby rompers, scarves, tapestries and wall mounted pieces. Jess will be debuting this limited edition collection at Boulevardia June 17-19 in KCMO.  That means that if you want one of these luscious items, you'll need to purchase it soon because this is not an ongoing collection. She wants to keep that feeling of freshness by constantly creating new and different collections, including some larger fine art quilts and mixed media pieces.

  Jess says that she feels that with the arrival of her baby boy Sonny last year, she is now at a point in her life where it's clear to her what path she wants her art to take. "Since my time is more divided now, I realize want I truly want to focus on and that's not reproducing the same items but creating new ones in collections that are always evolving."

The Indigo Collection is available on her site and at Boulevardia.

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Next city up: Denver

The Mile High city is next up in my city collections. I find it always helps to have visited a city before and I love visiting Denver and the surrounding mountain ranges and Rocky Mountain National  Park. These are 6 of the places I chose to illustrate from Denver but I'll add in one or two more plus the skyline as I finish this piece. Then I'll be making tea towels, pillows, prints, melamine trays and platters, mugs and totes! If you're from Denver and have other popular places to add to this, please leave a comment below. I'll do my best to include it.

Brown Palace Hotel- a luxury hotel dating back to 1892

Denver Art Museum-architect Daniel Libeskind

Denver Botanical Gardens-features North America's largest collection of plants from cold temperate climates around the world
Denver Union Station-first opened in 1881
Coors Field-home of the Colorado Rockies baseball team

Mount Evans-highest summit of the Chicago Peaks in the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains

Saturday, May 14, 2016

New News!!

We all love getting new stuff right? That's why I'm so excited to show you some of the newest products that arrived just a couple weeks ago to my shop. These will be available in any of the cities or dogs in my collection PLUS they can be personalized! 
Click on any photo below to go to that product on my site. 
Here's a list of the current cities and dogs that I have in my collection now. More are always on the way!


• Boston • Chicago • Columbia • Dallas • Dublin • KC • Lawrence • Little Rock • London • Los Angeles • Manhattan KS • Memphis • Milwaukee • Nashville • New Orleans • NYC • Oxford MS • Paris • Portland OR • San Diego • San Francisco • Seattle • St Louis MO


• Labrador Retriever • Golden Retriever • German Shepherd • English Bulldog • shelter dogs

Duo designs mug-15 oz

Melamine Platter

Canvas Tote

Melamine Serving Tray-Personalized

Friday, April 22, 2016

Travelogue: New York

  I always love visiting New York. There's an energy there that makes it hard for me to even sleep, there's so much going on! This is by no means a comprehensive list of places to go in New York but if you've never been there it may give you some ideas you hadn't thought of. Links are included below. Just click on anything underlined.

Above is my "flatlay" of our NY trip. I'll use it as a quick guide to some great things to do when in NYC.

• Museums: We saw three: the Tenement Museum, the Guggenheim and the Metropolitan Museum of Art You can't go wrong with any of these but the Tenement Museum was so unique and memorable.  They offer so many different tours of what life was like for new immigrants around the turn of the century that I feel like I could go back several times and see something new every time. Led by well-informed guides, you'll be led into an actual tenement that was frozen in time in 1935. You'll find out about the actual families that lived in that building, their struggles, and successes in finding a new life in America. 

• Apple crumb pie: Who doesn't love pie? I had apple pie in two places-the Bar Next Door in the West Village and take out from Cafe European. For sheer ambience, go to the Bar Next Door. Tucked under a brownstone, you almost miss it but once you walk in and tuck into a cozy booth, you'll never want to leave. It feels like you're in a pub in England. This club only seats around 25 people, but somehow they fit a small jazz band in the corner. Candles light the place. Did I say it was cozy?

• Jazz clubs: We went to four. In order, the Blue Note, Jazz at Lincoln Center, the Lambs Club, and the Bar Next Door. There's no way to compare the four of these as they all offer something different and completely wonderful. At the Blue Note, we walked in 10 minutes before showtime at 10:20 on a Sunday night and were led to a table right in front to see the amazing John Scofield. Crowded but awesome experience.  For Jazz at Lincoln Center, there are 3 clubs to choose from but we were in the jaw dropping Appel Room. (I have to say here that we were there to watch our son and his college jazz band perform so it was extra special to us but no matter, that room would be incredible just sitting empty.) Imagine standing in front of a 3 story high glass wall overlooking Columbus Circle and Central Park as the sun goes down. If you're in the mood for a high priced drink and some cool jazz in a beautiful setting, try the Lambs Club. The Art Deco interior is worth the price of admission. See previous bullet point for description of Bar Next Door.

•Restaurants: We went to at least thirteen. And don't worry, I'm not going to list them all. But here are a couple of my faves that I always try to visit. El Quijote-located in the ground floor of the Chelsea Hotel, I LOVE this place for it's dimly lit kitschy decor, waiters with old world manners, and wonderful Spanish food. If you're near the High Line, go to Pepegaillo on 10th Ave. Cozy, funky, eclectic decor with a friendly waitstaff and great Italian food at excellent prices. They even have an entire gluten-free menu too. 

• Miles Walked: Twelve (at least). Wear comfortable shoes. Enough said.

• Steps Climbed: 600. This is a conservative estimate. Again, consider footwear carefully.

• Iced Coffees: Nine or so. Best one was at Underline Coffee under the High Line.

• Subways taken: 16. Don't be afraid of the subway in New York. We had several people ask us if we needed help (which we did). This happens every time I'm there-locals go out of their way to help tourists use the transit system. Just ask someone if it doesn't make sense. Soon people will be asking for YOUR help (and we were able to help after just 3 days there)

• Photos Taken: 465 or so. And I'm going to show you all of them here! Just kidding...relax. In future posts I'll share some that I hope will inspire you like they did me.

•Bus Trips Taken: 23.When you compare the cost of Ubering or cabbing everywhere in NYC, there's just no comparison to taking their always available transit system. I was always skittish about transferring to the bus from the subway or vice versa and like Hilary, I had to swipe my Metro Card about 6 times the first time I used it but soon it was no big deal. In my opinion, you meet more people and get the feel of the city when you use their transit system too.

• Cannoli eaten: Last but not least--I only ate 2 cannoli this time around in NY, but I could've eaten 3 a day. You can find them everywhere it seems, but the best one I had was at Carlo's Bakery near Times Square. The crispy shell was just that-crispy, even though is was covered in thick dark chocolate. The filling was simply yummy. Carlo's got even more popular after appearing on the show Cake Boss, but their popularity is well deserved. They have at least 11 locations now.

John Scofield at the Blue Note

El Quijote restaurant (photo credit:

KU Jazz Band with Deborah Brown at the Appel Room at Jazz at Lincoln Center

Bar Next Door (photo credit:

Dining Room at the Lambs Club

NYC blue sky view from 43rd and 8th Ave

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Got the Yummies!


Italian Kale and White Bean Soup

Prep Time: 25 min
Cook Time: 40 min

1 Tbsp olive oil
3 medium carrots, cut into 1/4 inch dice
2 medium celery stalks, diced
1 medium onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 cans (15-19 oz each) white kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 can (14 1/2 oz) vegetable broth
1 medium bunch dinosaur kale (about 12 oz)
1/2 tsp salt
grated Parmesan or vegan cheese (optional)

1. In 4-quart saucepan, heat oil over medium heat until hot. Add carrots, celery, and onion, and cook 10 to 12 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally. Add garlic and cook 1 minute, stirring. Add beans, broth and 2 3/4 cups water; heat to boiling over high heat. Reduce heat to low; simmer, uncovered 10 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, trim and discard tough stems and center ribs from kale; slice leaves crosswise.
3. Stir in kale and salt; heat to boiling over high heat. Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer 10 minutes or until kale is tender. Serve with Parmesan or vegan cheese if you prefer. Makes about 8 cups or 4 main dish servings.

* Each serving: About 315 calories, 18 g protein, 52 g carbohydrates, 5 g total fat (1 g saturated), 18 g fiber, 0 mg cholesterol, 1180 mg sodium.
* If dinosaur kale is unavailable, use regular kale instead.
If you like this recipe or you have a favorite spring/summer time recipe of your own, please share with me!