My “Tony Duquette” Copper Leaf Mystic Eye Tree

Hi Everyone!

Well it has been a few months since I have blogged. It is difficult to narrow in and talk about all the cool things I have seen in the last few months. But I will try my best to give recommendations of interesting things to watch and eat.

Back in September, I went to the last Flea Market of the year at a nearby High School. During the weekends in the summer, their huge parking lot is filled with vendors selling anything and everything. A friend came to visit me and I had long talked about the bountiful treasure hunting of Philly. A week before, I had been thinking of beefing up my money corner of the dining room with a fake plant or a small tree ( Sadly although I have 5 planets in Taurus, my green thumb is only a fantasy at this point) . At the same time, I had been also drooling over the book on artist Tony Duquette which I asked my local library to buy. They did and I have been checking it out & renewing. As I looked at all the incredible sets, furniture , jewelry etc that Mr. Duquette designed, I closed my eyes for a moment and wished I could have something that would resemble one of his creations in my house- in my money corner ( Feng Shui). Around the same time I had the thought I would like something made out of copper since the metal for my sign Taurus is Copper. I let both thoughts go. Well getting back to the Flea Market ( which was 2 weeks after my wish thought), I was walking around looking when I spotted an enormous, vintage ( I dated it from the mid to late 60s), almost 7 foot tall copper tree with the copper leaves. In addition to that, the leaves looked like eyes ( too cool!). A few years back, I had bought some items from the same seller. She remembered me. I knew as soon as I saw " The Tree", I knew I had to have it. But Mercury, the planet of communication and money was retrograde on this day. I pondered the purchase. The price of $40 was ridiculously LOW. It wasn't about the money. It was the idea of being more stuff into my house. I have this ongoing battle with clutter & stuff. My friend who was with me, knows this. We have had previous discussions on "stuff" and getting rid of it- for spiritual reasons. Stuff clogs up your living space but it definitely can clog up your life. I want to have a flowing life. Since my friend and I both study Buddhism, I realized at that moment, I need to actually let go of my fixation. Within 5 minutes of spotting this tree, a random material object, I realized I had become obsessed. Obsessed with having it- wanting to possess it. When I find things- especially one of a kind things, I want it.

Well to make a long story short, the tree has become mine. The tree has become an evolving art project. I keep adding items to it's branches and leaves. To me the tree symbolizes the manifestation of a wish. I have dubbed this my Wish Tree.

A few days ago ( Valentine's Day), I was driving Philly. My goal was to find cool Valentine's day windows. I knew just where to go- South Philly. I have uploaded a few of my favorite windows. The last two windows are actually from a stationary store in Bala Cynwyd.

.Valentine’s Day Picture Window- Somewhere in South Phillyvdaywindow21.jpgvdaywindow31.jpgBala Cynwyd Valentine’s Day Window #1Bala Cynwyd Valentine’s Window#2
Now on to films: I have seen several of the Oscar nominated films and the theme for most of them is about INTENSITY. I highly recommend THE WRESTLER with Mickey Rourke & Marisa Tomei. If Mr. Rourke doesn't win for BEST ACTOR, I will be very upset. Ms. Tomei was very good too. I feel Kate Winslet must win this year for THE READER . I saw REVOLUTIONARY ROAD and she was good in that film but THE READER is in a catagory all by itself.

My DVD film recommendations are as follows:

A must see documentary A MAN CALLED PEARL ( available on DVD) about self taught outsider artist/ topiary sculptor landscape architect genius Pearl Fryar. Even if you aren't into plants, this documentary will open your eyes to the power of LOVE and the ripple effect of obsession and devotion. An ordinary man who turn some dead and discarded plants from his local nursery into a three and half acre wonderland will leave you filled with a restored faith in man kind and miracles. I give this documentary my highest rating!

Two more documentaries about obsession on DVD worth watching CRAZY LOVE( 2007) about the real life relationship between Linda & Burt Pugach. I actually remember finding the book in our home growing up ( my mother obsessively collected books) that Berry Stainbeck wrote about their relationship called " A VERY DIFFERENT LOVE STORY" ( 1976) when I was 13 or 14. I read the dust jacket and quickly dropped the book; recoiling in horror. If you are looking for a feel-good romantic documentary- this isn't it. But I am fascinated with male-female relationships ( blame it on all my planets in Taurus being in the 7th house of relationships) so this documentary & story is so fascinating to me. Sick but fascinating. This documentary should be seen with some friends or a group as it will promote a heavy group discussion. This is definitely a DVD that will make you think.
If CRAZY LOVE is not what looking for in a love obsession documentary than you might like MY DATE WITH DREW ( 2004). This is Brian Herzlinger's hilarious documentary about trying to get a date with Actress Drew Barrymore in 30 days. This documentary is really about a unconscious spiritual journey and is great for anyone who has been pushing or pulling for a goal. The documentary for me, personally is a gentle reminder that after taking action, it important to LET GO. I think Mr. Herzlinger is really cute and now that Ms. Barrymore is single again, she just might want to watch this documentary ( again)- just kidding! This documentary will leave you feeling good- happy.

Before I end this blog which has taken months to write, I will talk a wee bit about food.

I have been watching many episodes of Anthony Bourdain's NO RESERVATIONS and Andrew Zimmern's BIZARRE FOODS on the travel channel. Both are very entertaining and informative shows. I can come out now with one of my secret food (dare I say obsessions?)- I love marrow bones and have since I was a kid. Anthony Bourdain proclaiming Veal marrow bones would be included in his last meal request has given me the courage to second that desire. Having discovered I had a severe B12 vitamin deficiency a few months ago, I have happily increased my meat consumption ( sorry Peta) along with B12 shots from my doctor, I have regained my energy ( about 60% as I write this blog).

*Update: March 1, 2009- Well I'm sad Mickey didn't win the Oscar for THE WRESTLER ( I haven't seen MILK so I can't comment on Sean Penn's performance) as I knew his acceptance speech would be off the wall. A few nights ago, I caught most of the Independent Spirit Awards on IFC ( repeat) and saw Mickey's hilarious acceptance 6 minute speech for winning BEST ACTOR ( for the WRESTLER). I was laughing so hard I was crying and peeing in my pants. Right before that, was the side splitting performance by Rainn Wilson as Mickey's character in the Wrestler singing a parody of the film to the tune of James Brown's I FEEL GOOD. Both these film clips are on www.youtube.com If you are needing to laugh, go to YOUTUBE now and type in "Song Wrestler Spirit Awards". I recommend watching the clip of Rainn Wilson first as Mickey refers to him in his speech. I'd like to thank Rainn and Mickey for making have to do extra laundry. I'm still laughing about both performances. To appreciate how funny it is you should see THE WRESTLER first before seeing the clips. I don't know who was responsible for the parody song & dance numbers at the Independent Spirit Awards but the person or people are GENIUS- pure GENIUS! By the way I feel an extra kinship with Mickey as we both have chihuahuas. I was sad to hear his Chihuahua Loki passed away a week before the Oscars. Everytime there has been a nominee whose relative passes right before the Oscars, they always seem to win. Wish Loki had that kind of influence.

I keep adding to this blog. Forgot to mention a film recommendation currently playing in Independent move theaters now which I saw ON DEMAND on cable. TWO LOVERS with Joaquin Phoenix is a must see film. Loved it. I'm definitely not a big Gwenyth Paltrow fan but she is good in this film. Vinessa Shaw is good too.

March 10th is coming up and I will be Marching for Tibet. Free Tibet!

Tashi Delek,

Katie

A few weeks ago I saw the most riveting documentary ” MAN ON WIRE” about the French tightrope walker/ acrobat Phillipe Petit who constructed a wire between the Twin Towers ( World Trade Center) in the mid 70s right after they were completed . He had an overwhelming urge to walk between the two tower. The urge became an obsession. An obsession that even he thought was “impossible”. In my opinion, ” Man on Wire” is one of the most intense documentaries I have ever seen. It will keep you on the edge of your seat. To quote a friend ,” Definitely not boring!”. The documentary, sadly is no longer playing at my local theatre. I’m sure it will be available on DVD shortly.

While on the subject of men and wires, this past weekend I journeyed to the Perelman building- which opened last year across from the Philadelphia Art Museum . It was my first trip since it opened. Yes I am a slow mover. My main reason for going was to see Alexander ” Sandy” Calder’s jewelry exhibit. I keep using the word “stunning” but the collection of rings, earrings, bracelets, necklaces, tiaras etc. was so incredible, I wanted to run home and make jewelry ( I don’t make jewelry). His materials were simple- wire, brass, silver, stones, glass. Most of the collection was made for his wife, mother & friends. The way he could bend wire. I read at parties he would show up with wire and pliers and make sculptures for his friends.

Another ” MUST SEE” exhibit is the James Castle Retrospective which just opened up across the street at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. James Castle ( 1899- 1977) was a deaf mute self trained outsider artist who lived in Idaho. He made incredible black and white drawings primarily with soot and spit as well as constructed tiny books from found ephemera. His work is on the genius level. The exhibit is a ” MUST SEE” for EVERYONE ( whether you consider yourself an artist or not). After missing two different screenings of a documentary made about James Castle, his life and art, I was overjoyed to discover they are showing the film every hour inside the exhibit. The exhibit runs through January 4, 2009 and information about the James Castle Retrospective can be found on the Philadelphia Museum of Art’s website.

To digress now to some more of my favorite things about fall; specially fall on the East Coast. The leaves changing colors, the way the air smells- crisp with a smoky tinge, Caramel Apples- the really good kind that you make at home or buy at a high end candy shop. I love apples and fresh apple cider. Anything pumpkin; especially good pumpkin bread and pumpkin pancakes, hearty homemade soups. My favorite apple is Honey Crisp, handknit scarves and shawls. Fall colors in clothing. Sad to say on a recent trip to MACYS, every piece of clothing I looked at from inexpensive to expensive was Made in China. I looked at a sweater dress that was priced at $198- it had threads hanging off it; very poorly made. What happened to quality? This is yet another argument for me continuing to shop at Thrift stores and seek out D.I.Y. artist/designers/seamstresses. Thank God for eBAY. This is a great place to find handmade items. I have found wonderful people on eBAY who have made me wool winter hats, scarves, hand loomed sweaters, wool socks etc. I choose handmade any day.

Now that the cooler weather is setting in, I am switching my facial products around. I just adore Source Naturals SKIN ETERNAL face cream and SKIN ETERNAL Face Serum. Natural skin products that don’t cost a fortune and really work ( for me), Drinking lots of spring water, at least 2 ounces of Aloe Vera Juice and being consistent with taking Womens Essential Oil Capsules.

And before I close this blog let me talk about films. I just HAPPY GO LUCKY ( in movie theatres now). A definite ” must see” film with Buddhist themes. I think Mike Leigh is a wonderful film director ( in a future blog I will write more about favorite films and film directors etc. ) THE VISITOR – which is out on DVD- another “must see” film. Buddhist ideals show up in this film too.

Since Halloween is approaching, I must confess I do have a weakness for horror films. I recently re-watched Nicolas Roeg’s 1973 film DON’T LOOK NOW with Donald Sutherland and Julie Christie. Using the city of Venice ( Italy) as the backdrop, I really enjoyed the “psychic” aspect of this film. It is a terrific film that really holds up well 35 years later. I recommend it as ” must see” film.

Tashi Delek,

Katie

Trio of Mini Skull Paintings @ GoreyFest AuctionI haven’t written a blog for awhile. I wanted to let everyone know you can bid on a special trio of mini skull paintings I created especially for the Edward Gorey House 7th annual Gorefest Auction.   The event – the live auction is  happening October4, 2008.  For more information go to:

http://www.edwardgoreyhouse.org

The three tiny skull paintings I made were done in a Victorian Gothic style as Mr. Gorey emulated this style in his work. The paintings come with their own wood stand. The money raised from the auction benefits The Edward Gorey House Museum and animal charity they work with. I do not profit from this auction. Like I said in my last blog, The Edward Gorey House Museum in Old Yarmouth Port, Massachusetts was such a fun and artistically inspiring museum.

As summer turns into fall, I find myself going through my vast cookbook collection and searching for recipes online. I love comfort foods in the winter. Well I love comfort foods all the time. I have started making cold food dishes a wee bit early. This week I made ( for the 1st time) a cream of crab, asparagus and mushroom soup. I used fresh asparagus and four different kinds of mushrooms from the Farmer’s market. I did not follow a recipe but I usually don’t unless I’m baking. I am getting ready to try my hand at making bread; specifically sourdough bread that tastes like the kind I grew up eating in the Bay Area. Every Christmas Eve, I now make Cioppino ( which is an Italian fish stew in a tomato broth base with white wine, basil and garlic). My mother would make it once a year and we always had it with Colombo Sourdough bread. Last year I was so desperate for some authentic sourdough bread to accompany my Cioppino I ordered 2 round loaves via Boudin Bakery. It was worth the $30 with shipping for the bread. Toasted with butter, it was the perfect companion to my Cioppino. I will be making my own sourdough starter. I still need to buy a Kitchen Aid mixer with a bread hook. I am happy to say I finally manifested a long-wished for kitchen item; a vintage glass Pyrex double boiler which I found at the Hamilton Porch Sale in Powelton Village last weekend. Yes, I realize I could have easily bought one on eBAY but the one I found was only $4. Now when I make my Grand Marnier Souffles, it will be much easier.

O .k. let me digress to some art crap now. The Mark Dion show which was hyped up to the max at Bartram’s garden ( show runs thru December) was basically an artsy -boho guy who got a huge Pew grant to take a road trip and go thrift stores and flea markets in the South . I already did that 10 years ago but didn’t get any money for it. Still the exhibit is kind of cute and interesting to me as I like specimens that he put in glass jars and opening up the various curio cabinets. The best part of my tour of the exhibit was my substitute tour guide ( I won’t be naming names here). The person ( a non- artist) was hilarious as they told me all the gossip about the show and basically saw the art world for what it is- gimmicks and hype ( the words of the tour guide). Yes I think we are definitely in the age of “Emperor’s New Clothes” in many cultural and political ways. Why is some worthy if they look a certain way, dress a certain way, have lots of money or speak eloquently without a track record or actions to back up their words? I tend these days to look at a person’s actions, not their words. But that’s just me. I prefer being around Buddhists ( or Buddhist minded people) over artists because they are kind and down to earth . I guess this makes me seem like a snob. But to continue with art stuff- I also managed to see the Ernst Ludwig Kirchner exhibit called Berlin Street Scenes and the huge “( Salvador) Dali in Film” exhibit at MOMA. Fantastic, wonderful, full of soul, inspiring, overwhelming- these are a few adjectives that I felt while looking at Kirchner’s paintings and Dali’s paintings and films. After seeing the exhibits, I headed over to Takashimaya and had high tea. I chose the East West Tea service- a combination of British and Japanese delicacies served in such a beautiful way, that the plate was pure art. Takashimaya is to me what Tiffanys was to Audrey Hepburn in “Breakfast At Tiffanys”. It is a store- five floors of exquisite luxury items that aren’t essential to ones survival but as a woman with five planets in Taurus, the store represents my ultimate materialistic fantasies of beauty under one roof.

So it is obvious that now as the weather turns colder I become obsessed with handmade wool scarves, sweaters and hats. I continue my my search for the ultimate purse. I love the purse/slouch bag/tote that Michelle Pfeiffer had in the films “FRANKIE AND JOHNNY” and the one she used in “ONE FINE DAY”. They both were huge bags, leather and from the looks of it, Made in Italy.

Tashi Delek,

Katie

I ‘m giving up drinking Coca Cola for political reasons. I even wrote in past blogs how much I enjoy drinking it with certain dishes. My Kindergarten teacher tried her best to dissuade our class back in 1969 from drinking Coca Cola. She dissolved a baby tooth in a large glass bottle. It disintegrated about 20 minutes later. Because my mother was an extreme health food nut, I didn’t drink sodas until I was a teenager. My pathetic love of sugar was/is a sad & stupid rebellion against my mother. Everything she taught me about nutrition turned out to be the truth. I need to give up sodas and sugary drinks entirely. They are so bad for the body. I know this. I’m working it on it. Slowly. Baby Steps. That’s me- 5 planets in Taurus- the slow moving woman. Eventually I get to my goals. It just takes me longer than most people.
My birthday was Mother’s day. This year I had two birthday dinners. The first being the night before at a wonderful seafood restaurant ( I’m keeping the name to myself). Raw oyster variety platter, lobster bisque and fried soft shell crab in a wonderful lemon butter sauce. Everything was excellent. The next night ( my real birthday), I decided to have pate with crackers, cornichon, olives, Humboldt Fog Cheese, French bread, a simple green salad with my special homemade salad dressing and pommes frites ( French fries) cooked in duck fat. Yes I said Duck fat.

I had been consumed with finding duck fat after reading Ruth Reichl’s book GARLIC AND SAPPHIRES. I asked at one of the farmer’s markets I shop at if they carried duck fat. They did not. This led me on a journey to find duck fat in Philadelphia. At first I went to the internet and quickly found a site in Florida that sell duck and goose fat but they wanted about $9 plus shipping for 7 ounces. I figured 7 ounces wouldn’t be enough. A friend mentioned checking Asssouline & Ting- a shop in downtown Philadelphia that sells caviar. I went to their website and my friend was absolutely right- they sell duck fat and get this in 6 lb tubs! The price for 6 lbs is $30. So much cheaper than the Florida site and local. I ended up driving to their warehouse ( getting lost- thank you Map Quest) and finally getting the the big plastic tub of fat. I made the French fries from Russet Potatoes- rinsed out the starch and flavored them with salt from the Camargue. I decided to go all out and made a aioli ( garlic mayonaise) to dip the fries into. Heaven. I have frozen the rest of the huge tub of Duck Fat. I haven’t decided upon its future.

Last Weekend I went to visit a friend in NYC. We went to see the Takashi Murakami show at the Brooklyn Museum. While I like some of Mr. Murakami’s images ( the 60s Mod pop art smiling flowers and his wild cartoons), I was dismayed to see lots of little kids at the show. His work aside from the smiling flowers, was very adult in nature. I am not going to write about it . No I am definitely not a prude ( see my work) but even my friend (who is a teacher) felt the show was inappropriate for small children. We wandered around Brooklyn. I just adore Brooklyn. We stopped in ONE GIRL COOKIES and had hot chocolate topped with huge homemade marshmallows and assortment of their cookies. I love the lemon cookies the best- oh yes and the brownies-sinful! Full of butter. I had a difficult time not buying anything in FLIGHT 001 but eventually caved in at EXIT 9 and bought some very cool change purses and a much needed wallet. I love NYC ( of course). My friend has a miracle. The force of the shower reminds me of the hose they spray the elephants with at the zoo. My body and aura was clean in about 10 seconds. No joke. My friend could charge people lots of money to spend 10 seconds in the miracle shower. I wish I had that kind of water pressure.

I had promised my friend that I would cook when I stayed over. We went to Union Square farmer’s market so I could buy the ingredients for the meal. I decided to make my friend a dish I call ” P.M.S. Pasta”- which I created several months ago during that time of the month. The night I created the dish I was craving a creamy pasta dish. I like Trader Joe’s Frozen Mac N’ Cheese but sometimes it can be too cheesy and salty for my palate. Originally I used pancetta but at the market I opted for lamb sausage flavored with fresh rosemary. The recipe appears below. Once again I am sharing this recipe freely but it is my own invention.

Katie Pfeiffer’s P.M.S. Pasta- Great Any time of the month!

Serves 2 to 3 people

*8 oz package Fettucine ( you need a wide noodle for the sauce of the dish)- I like to use Spinach Fettucine

*4 Tablespoons Olive Oil

*small onion chopped fine

*3 cloves garlic finely mined

*1/4 lb pancetta or bacon diced (can substitute sausage)

*1/2 stick of unsalted butter ( you may add more if you wish)

*small basket of cherry tomatoes sliced in quarters

*1 Cup Heavy Cream OR 1/2 Cup of Heavy Cream +1/2 Half N Half

*small bag of baby spinach- washed- if the spinach has stems please remove them

*1/4 cup grated Parmesean or Pecorino or any other good Italian hard

cheese you would usually top pasta with.

*1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes

*Freshly cracked pepper

Prepare pot cook the pasta. Get the water simmering almost boiling. Wait to cook pasta when the sauce is almost done.

In a skillet heat olive oil on medium high heat. add garlic. Saute for a couple of minutes, add onions. Saute approximately 5 to 8 minutes. Add diced pancetta. Cook until pancetta is done. Add butter. Add cherry tomatoes. Cook about 2 minutes. Add cream. Cook another 5 minutes. Add spinach. Add grated cheese, red pepper flakes, cracked ground pepper ( to taste). Turn the sauce down LOW or off.

Follow the directions for cooking the Fettucine. I like my pasta al dente. Drain pasta and add pasta to the skillet of sauce thoroughly coating the pasta.

Serve with hot crusty French or Italian bread.

This pasta is obviously not low cal but I figure it is full of iron and calcium.

***********

DVD Recommendation:

A must see documentary for all artists is “THE CATS OF MIRIKITANI“. This documentary is about a woman who befriends an elderly Japanese Artist who is homeless. I have to say this is one of the best documentaries I have ever seen. It is bursting with Buddhist themes and shows how love and kindness transforms and unites people. I think this documentary should be shown in every public school to everyone. Life changing. Life affirming. Wonderful!

Other Treasure Hunts or Material THINGS I’m Currently Obsessed with ( besides cooking with duck fat):

1. Vintage reading glasses from the 50s/60s– really difficult to find even on eBAY. I’m talking about the plastic kind made in Japan and also the half glasses plastic.

2. Vintage Overalls- I just bought a fabulous pair of vintage never worn U.S.A. made Osh Kosh Men’s Railroad Stripe overalls- they are a wee bit big but I love them anyway. I’m tempted not paint in them but probably will.

3. Hee Haw Overalls in my size. I have a friend who has a pair of these and wears them to work. Finding them in adult sizes ( on eBAY) is tough.

4. Asian Noodle Dishes– I just bought a book on Asian Noodle dishes ( used) and was hoping it would fulfill my desire to find the right cookbook that has the kind of noodle dishes and noodle soups I’m looking to make at home. I enjoy eating at a nearby upscale Asian restaurant but they charge $10 for a small dish of lo Mein or Chow Fun!

5. Latvian Artist Janis Tidemanis- ( Oct 1, 1897- April 12, 1964)- His Artwork is

incredible. I swoon and salivate over it. Mr. Tidemanis spent time in the U.S. studying art. If you do an internet search you will see examples of his work. Incredible. Stunning.

6.  BIGELOW’S CONSTANT COMMENT GREEN TEA- I ‘m off the coffee train
once again ( I managed to stay off it for 7 months and then fell off the wagon.  I am back drinking Green Tea.  I loved Constant Comment when I was  young- the orange, cloves and other spices.   I went through a box last week.  I keep buying out the stock from one of my Super Markets.  Tried to find  it NYC for my friend- went to several stores.   You can order this on the internet.  Excellent with honey or sugar- brings out the flavor of the oranges and spices.

Tashi Delek,

Katie

Portrait of Frida Kahlo by Katie PfeifferMarch 11, 2008

FREE TIBET!

Kudos to Bjork! Thank you for mentioning Tibet at your concert in Shanghai. I listed two art pieces I made today on eBAY. 100% of the proceeds are being donated to STUDENTS FOR A FREE TIBET. You can see these paintings by going to the link on my art website on typing in OUTSIDER ART TIBET on the EBAY search. I will be listing more art items and other things to donate to Tibetan causes. So please bid. I appreciate it!

I’m fully aware that my blog entries have mostly been about movies and food. So here is something about art.

I went on Sunday to see the Frida Kahlo exhibit today at the Philadelphia Museum of Art ( PMA). The show was crowded ( obviously) and very padded ( meaning filled with lots of things other than Frida’s few paintings- lots of photographs of her and Diego as well as painting from other Mexican painters). PMA is always big on selling merchandise in connection with their “block buster art shows”. I broke down and bought a coffee mug for a friend with one of Frida’s paintings on it. Back in the late 80s, I was able to get a private viewing of her paintings in a small space at theFolk Art Museum at Fort Mason ( San Francisco). This was before the Frida craze. I love Frida’s work. I made a painting of Frida a few weeks ago and am adding it to this blog, Yes it is for sale.

My journey with cooking and food the last 4 years has been driven by my food cravings. Usually I get a craving for something creamy, crunchy, salty or sweet and thus begins a journey of research . I love comfort foods as well as dishes from bygone eras. Last week I had a craving for some kind of ice cream concoction. I suppose I could have just made myself a root beer float with Vanilla ice cream or even made myself a quick New York Egg cream with U Bet Chocolate syrup, half n’ half and seltzer water. As I started looking on the internet for old fashioned ice cream sodas, I came across a recipe for something that was popular in the 1920s & 30s called a Chop Suey Sundae. A ice cream sundae made with vanilla ice cream, shredded coconut, and a warm compote of raisins, dates and water all topped with Chow Mein noodles. As I read the ingredients my stomach turned. My initial response was “Yuck!”. Chop suey is a fake Chinese dish- called American Chinese. The recipe I found online sounded revolting. I went to sleep that night thinking about the concept of a Chop Suey Sundae- something I could revise and make my own and original.

Well I am happy to report I have come up with a tasty version of this weird sundae . I have looked high and low to see if something like what I have created exists- it does not. Here is my version of a Chop Suey Sundae. My version is called (modestly) Katie Pfeiffer’s Cherry Bling Chop Suey Sundae. I am posting the recipe- freely but I invented this.

This version is a two step dessert process. I am not mentioning the brand name of a puffed rice cereal but you know what I am talking about. Recipe will appear at the bottom of the blog.

Now on to two films I love about Soulmates. These films will go great with my Cherry Bling Chop Suey Sundae. The first movie is

“DEJA VU” ( 1998)- There are several films with this title but this is the film directed by Henry Jaglom which stars Stephen Dillane and Victoria Hoyt. This film is mostly talking and you would think boring- but you couldn’t be more wrong. This film is absorbing and fascinating. It explores the relationship of two strangers who happen to meet. This movie explores the subject of past lives, soul mates and mysticism and will leave you feeling happy and reflecting on your own relationships in a more positive light. I feel there are no coincidences. Rent it, buy it- just see it!!!!!!

The second film which is also about soulmates and one I became obsessed over is “THE MIRROR HAS TWO FACES” ( 1996) Starring Barbra Streisand and Jeff Bridges, Lauren Bacall and George Segal ( who previously starred with La Streisand in another wonderful film ” THE OWL AND THE PUSSYCAT”. Anyway this film is very George Bernard Shaw/Shakesperean- a comedy of errors/ miscommunication and assumptions. All I will say about this film is I have seen it at least twelve times in the last few months and it is full of wit, humor and truth about men, women & relationships. I feel Streisand did not receive the recognition she deserved for this film. I consider this my favorite film now ( at least in the Romance/Comedy genre).

O.k. Here is my recipe for Cherry Bling Chop Suey Sundae. It is pretty awesome.

KATIE PFEIFFER’S CHERRY BLING CHOP SUEY SUNDAE

( serves 2)

*1 cup Vanilla Frozen Yogurt or Vanilla Ice Cream- buy a decent brand

*Puffed Rice marshmallow treats- follow the recipe on the Puffed Rice

Box or look it up on the internet – you will need two average squares- one for each bowl plus extra to top the sundae. TIP from me- when I am making the puffed rice marshmallow treats, I add 1/2 teaspoon of real Vanilla Extract to the recipe and this makes it SO much better!

*1/4 Cup chopped dates

*1/4 Cup Dried Sour Cherries

*1/4 Cup Water

*About 10 Maraschino Cherries chopped up plus about 2 Tablespoons of Maraschino Cherry syrup- I buy Maraschino Cherries WITHOUT Red dye no.2 at Whole Foods. the brand is called SILVER PALATE and you can buy them over the internet.

*1/4 Cup Roasted and Salted Almonds- chopped

*1/4 Cup Toasted Shredded Sweetened Coconut flaked

*Optional Chocolate Syrup

*Extra puffed rice marshmallow treat- crumbled for topping

In two small ice cream dishes or bowls break up up the squares of the puffed rice marshmallow treat. Push them down on the bottom of the bowls. In a small saucepan combine the dates, sour cherries, maraschino cherries, maraschino cherry syrup and water on low. Bring to a bowl and cook for 5 minutes until the liquid gets syrupy and the dates break down. Add the frozen yogurt or ice cream to the dishes. Spoon the hot cherry and date compote over the ice cream. Add the coconut and chopped almonds. Top with crumbled puff rice marshmallow treats. Drizzle with chocolate syrup if desired.

Enjoy!

One last thing- yesterday was the annual March 10th March  for Tibet-  Freedom for Tibet and its people.   I wanted to March in NYC  but a personal injury  has made this impossible this year.    Hopefully next year I will be there in front marching.

Tashi Delek,

Katie

Valentine’s Day rolled sugar cookiesWell Valentine’s Day is coming up this week. I thought I would mention the fact that last week I made homemade rolled sugar cookies and used my new Wilton Cookie cutter set to make heart shaped cookies which had the words “LOVE” and “BE MINE” in the center. I tweaked the recipe I found online for the “best rolled sugar cookies” and added several magical ingredients. I couldn’t believe the recipe called for only 1 teaspoon of Vanilla. I doubled that and then added lemon rind, orange flower water and Moroccan Rose water. The end result is a magical taste that is just right. Several of the ingredients I added to tweak the recipe have love properities in them. I photographed a few of them on a red glitter heart shaped plate ( see photo). I think I gained several pounds- God they were good!

Speaking of love cookies , I have found several recipes on the internet for a Sri Lanka Love Cake. Here is one link:

http://www.asiafood.org/recipe_list_link.cfm?recipeid=126&startno=1&endno=1&keyword=test&dish=

I haven’t tried this out yet, but this recipe is bursting with love ingredients. I would probably alter it some more by adding cinnamon and crystalized ginger instead of Pineapple. Also A cake which has coconut, cherries and lemon is good for love. So many possibilities. I’m thinking of a lemon pound cake with a coconut and Maraschino cherry frosting or a coconut cake with dried cherries and a lemon glaze. I discovered Whole Foods sells maraschino cherries without the horrible & toxic red dye no.2 and they also sell love tea ( name and brand) in the tea section. A quick look at the ingredients show even more herbs and ingredients in the love tea that have historical love drawing properities- orange peel, licorice etc.

Within in the last two weeks, I have discovered two fascinating people both with the first name Florence ( a coincidence?). The first I read about in the Philadelphia Inquirer is Florence Foster Jenkins. Whose life was made into a documentary called “A WORLD OF HER OWN” ( the DVD is available on AMAZON) and a play written about her life in 2001 called “SOUVENIR” . Florence Foster Jenkins (1868November 26, 1944) was an American soprano who became famous for her complete lack of rhythm, pitch, tone, and overall singing ability. I wonder if her fame was the result of being somewhat of a “joke” or was she mentally ill ? ( delusions of grandeur). I emailed Netflix and asked them to carry this DVD for rental. I hope they will buy it. It would make a great double feature with ” GREY GARDENS”.

The second Florence I discovered is Florence Broadhurst. ( 1899- 1977) She was a famous AUstralian wallpaper and fabric designer who didn’t start her designing career until she was in her 60s. I just saw the documentary on her life by Australian director Gillian Armstrong (“MY BRILLIANT CAREER”) called “UNFOLDING FLORENCE” on the IFC channel. I felt an immediate connection because I lived in Australia for a year and did an apprenticeship in fabric silk screen and design. Both these women led fascinating lives. The DVD of Florence Broadhurst is not available in U.S. format yet. You can find it on eBAY for the U.K. region and if you have a DVD player that is code free, you can get it. Netflix has ordered the DVD on Florence Broadhurst .

The last Florence I am mentioning in this blog is someone I consider to be a teacher; Florence Scovel Shinn. She was an artist ( trained at the Pennsylvania Academy) who later became a famous metaphysics ( New thought) teacher. She was married to Ashcan painter Everett Shinn . They divorced because she did not want children but had a very close life long friendship. She wrote several books on spirituality and dealing with life. Her most famous book – “THE GAME OF LIFE AND HOW TO PLAY IT” is a must own for everyone on the planet. I have seen some of her artwork in books and she possessed equal talent as an artist and a metaphysics teacher. In a future blog I will be writing about my favorite books which deal with “new thought”, creative visualization and positive thinking.

I would like to end this blog with a dvd suggestion. There is a connection to Valentine’s Day. To me, Valentine’s Day is about celebrating love. However, without self love- really loving and accepting yourself how can you expect others to love you? This is why I strongly recommend BUYING Louise Hay’s ” HEAL YOUR LIFE” the movie. It is available on at www.hayhouse.com The extended version which is about $25 comes with 2 DVDs and includes affirmations and extra interviews. Louise Hay has been called the mother of positive thinking but that title is misleading. Ms. Hay is really an advocate of affirmations and mirror work to change one’s thinking and develop self love so you can heal your life. I highly recommend her book ” HEAL YOUR LIFE” or anything else she has written or spoken. Happy Valentine’s Day!

Tashi Delek,

Katie


I know Valentine’s Day is not for several more weeks. I wanted to mention 4 films ( movies) that I love. They all have the same theme; time travel romance. Now I am not a science fiction person but these four movies make me feel good and since I follow the writings of Esther and Jerry Hicks ( among others), I would like my blogs to center around things in my life that make me feel good. There is a big sap/sentimental element to these time travel romance movies. You have to forget reality in every sense of the word to buy the premise of these films. I don’t do drugs, drink or smoke and I think my one drug is my fantasy life ( well that and my sweet tooth). These films are able to transport me into an alternate reality quickly and without and harsh side effects.

The first time travel romance movie that I love is

SOMEWHERE IN TIME” ( 1980) starring Christopher Reeve, Jane Seymour and Christopher Plummer ( who ironically is in another favorite time travel romance film). This movie was filmed at the Grand Hotel in Mackinaw Island, Michigan. I was 16 when the film first came out and I saw it several times. Now when I see it I get sad when I think of the late GREAT Christopher Reeve- he was a good man. Wish more men could be like him. I did have a teenage crush on Christopher Plummer. It is great seeing him in films today. I like how the character Christopher Reeve plays uses self hypnosis to induce time travel. It’s available for rental or to own.

Another film ( movie) that I just adore is “THE LOVE LETTER” ( 1998) starring Campbell Scott and Jennifer Jason Leigh. I love Campbell Scott’s sexy voice. This movie originally was a Hallmark made for television movie. I know it’s available for rental or to own. I like the sappy Hallmark made for t.v. movies. This movie is set in Boston. The vehicle in which the lovers are communicating is through an antique wood desk. The film goes back and forth in time between the 1800s and present day. This made for t.vv. movie is also available to rent or own.

My third favorite time travel romance film is another Made for television movie- “FOR ALL TIME” which original aired on CBS in 2000. It stars Mark Harmon and Mary McDonell. If you look on the internet you can find some unauthorized copies. This movie was loosely based on a Twilight Zone episode;” A Stop At Willoughby . The focus item of time travel is a watch and a train. They have also aired this movie a few times on the LIFETIME channel. I emailed LIFETIME practically begging them to air it again.

The last time travel romance film which I really enjoy is “ THE LAKE HOUSE” ( 2006) starring Sandra Bullock, Keanu Reeves and Christopher Plummer. The lovers in this film communicate via a mailbox at a lake house. The lake house is real estate porn so I like it just for the visuals. I will be hopefully writing about films I love with great real estate porn in the future. This film is available for rental or can be easily purchased.

Now after explaining and recommending these films, let me briefly mention the subject of time travel. This is my opinion only. I do believe time travel is possible. I have experienced it. I have taken a course in Robert Monroe’s deep hypnosis tapes. There is a website for the Robert Monroe Institute. Here is the link:

www.monroeinstitute.com

Mr. Monroe is no longer alive ( he died in 1995) but his institute & his tapes & books live on. I spent a weekend many years ago listening to his tapes in California and experienced hypnosis projections into the future. The things I saw all came to pass for me. But the way I feel I need to live my life is to be as conscious in the present moment as possible. Being in the present in mind, body & spirit is where your greatest power lies. The past is over and the future isn’t here yet. All we really have is this moment; NOW. And then the now is gone and it is the past. The weekend I spent with a group of people from my art school in the Marin Headlands listening to these tapes changed my life forever. I am grateful to have been introduced to the works of Mr. Monroe.

One last thing- You maybe wondering what to eat or munch on while watching any or all of the films I have mentioned. Right now I am overdosing on a trail mix called ” Cherry Blossom” which they have at the Head Nut in Ardmore. They do have a website

www.theheadnut.com

but sad to tell you they don’t offer Cherry Blossom mix but maybe if you email them and beg they will ship it to you. What’s in the Cherry Blossom mix? dried cherries, cranberries, cherry chips, white chocolate chips, chocolate covered cherries, almonds etc.

I received a Mr. Coffee Cocomotion Hot Chocolate machine for Xmas. I got mine new off of eBAY and I think they still sell them at Walmart, but they are becoming difficult to find. I love my cocomotion machine. However, much to my dismay, I discovered my favorite hot chocolate mix- Spicy Hot Chocolate mix from the Chocolate Bar in NYC, didn’t fair too well in the cocomotion machine. The mix turn to sludge and mucked up the bottom of the machine. So far I discovered Ghiradelli Double Chocolate Hot Chocolate mix work I use Organic Whole Milk to make it extra creamy. Hot chocolate is really such a wonderful cure-all for P.M.S.

Enjoy!

Tashi Delek,

Katie

My paintings Inspired by Sophie Dahl & Anne HathawaySamedi Marche Blythe DollJanuary 14, 2008

I have listed two paintings I created inspired by two famous Big eyed gals- Sophie Dahl Model/writer & granddaughter of author Roald Dahl and Actress Anne Hathaway. I created these paintings in my New tiny studio at home. The paintings were done with acrylic paint, paint pens & glitter paint on stretched canvas. They are up for auction now on eBAY. Here is the link:

http://search.ebay.com/_W0QQfgtpZ1QQfrppZ25QQsassZkitschQ2ameQ2akate

These women kind of remind me of Blythe dolls with their huge alien eyes. Speaking of Blythe, I just happen to be selling a new Blythe doll ( mint in the box) which I won from the Fred Flare website a couple of years ago. It was a trivia contest and I had to read their blog to get the answers. I love all things French and it turns out they sent me a Samedi Marche Blythe Doll. She comes with several outfits and accessories. It also is ironic that I won her because for many years I kept visualizing finding a Blythe doll in a thrift store or at a flea market. A friend of mine found a Blythe doll with some physical issues at a yard sale and I was hoping to be as lucky. Winning a new Blythe doll was just as good. It confirms my continuing belief in the Law of Attraction: What you focus comes to you. So true So true.

I love noodles- especially noodle soups. Noodle soups in packages ( like Ramen) usually taste terrible to me. Many years ago, someone told me about Shin Ramyun- a VERY spicy  Korean noodle soup which looks like ramen but the taste is something completely different. Shin Ramyun can be found at any Asian grocery store and it is easily obtained online. It comes in a red package as well in a cup of noodles size and in a bowl-just-add water size. I played around with adding ingredients to the Shin Ramyun and have come up with my own unique recipe. This soup is great on a cold wet day or when you are sick. It contains cayenne pepper. Please note this soup does contain MSG.

Katie’s Shin Ramyun Noodle Soup- Serves 2 hungry people or 3 not so hungry people

*1 package Shin Ramyun Noodle Soup

*3 Cups Water ( ignore what the package says to use 19 ounces is not enough water to dilute the heat)

*4 to 5 Hot Dogs chopped up into small bite sized pieces- You can use Turkey Hot dogs or Tofu Dogs. (Beef hot dogs taste the best . I have tried shrimp, chicken, sausage etc. etc. in the past. Hot dogs taste the best)

*3 eggs beaten

1/2 Cup frozen peas

*BBQ potato Chips

Directions: open both the flavor packages in the Shin package add the water & hot dogs. Boil for 2 minutes. Add the noodles. Cook on medium heat for exactly 2 minutes. Add frozen peas. Cook another 30 seconds. Stir in egg mixture. Cook another 30 to 40 seconds. Serve in large bowls and top with crushed BBQ potato chips. Leftovers can be reheated the next day and taste great.

As with my previous blog about the Chili, Coke ( cola) goes great with this soup. The hot spicy mixed with the cold sweet drink is wonderful.

 

 

Hi Everyone!
This is my first post on my blog. I have so much I want to ta share. I don’t know where to begin. I have been reflecting about writing and sharing with others. I finally decided to just jump in.

Recently I  watched two  films which have enriched my life.  They were  created by the same couple; Shari Springer Berman & Robert Pulcini- AMERICAN SPLENDOR (2003) and OFF THE MENU:THE LAST DAYS OF CHASEN’S  (1997).

Both of these  films are available on DVD. AMERICAN SPLENDOR  chronicles  the life of underground comic book  writer Harvey Pekar. He writes comic books about his everyday life. He worked for decades as a file clerk at a V.A. Hospital. After seeing the film, my art style radically changed. I felt like I had been given permission to make ugly personal paintings which depicted painful scenerios in my life. I also added text.  I   finally realization on an emotional level  that we are all connected. We all go through the same crap. I view these paintings as self therapy.  Creating art  is one  way in which I  have learned to deal with the  negativity in my life.

OFF THE MENU: THE LAST DAYS OF CHASENS a documentary about Chasen’s restaurant in Los Angeles. The restaurant was a haven for movie stars  as well as  political figures and scions of  the  film industry. I had heard about their famous Chili, which Elizabeth Taylor had flown to the set of CLEOPATRA in the 60s because she was craving it. Here is a link to the recipe:

http://www.cooksrecipes.com/gmeat/chasens-chili-recipe.html

When I make this chili which is more of a meat stew, I top it off with shredded cheddar cheese, sour cream and Frito Lay Corn Chips ( original). Drink it with Coke ( cola), it is pure heaven. And no, I am not going to apologize for eating meat or drinking soda. Yes I have read SKINNY BITCH. I do love and care for animals and I buy local and organic produce. This doesn’t mean I am a vegetarian or Vegan. I buy the best meats available at several different local farmer’s markets. This chili is very rich, I consider it a “special occasion” comfort food dish.

The documentary is full of eccentric characters who worked at Chasens and were devoted to the restaurant.

I ended up buying a cookbook of recipes from Chasens which I continue to test out.

So I am thanking Ms. Berman and Mr. Pulcini ( whom I discovered were born the same year I was- 1964- yeah!) for making my life better- artistically and culinary.