Holiday Orders for Recipe Illustrations

I'm still accepting a couple more Custom Recipe Illustrations for the Holidays! (through Thanksgiving) If you want some details, drop me a line at Jessica@firstpancakestudio.com or check out the listing on Etsy.  Here's some of my favorite custom recipe prints from last year:

 Croquetas de la Abuela

Thanks to the link on BuzzFeed I've been getting lots of requests this year!  I love hearing people's stories about their family recipes and seeing photos of them cooking in their kitchen's.  

Grandma Sember's Stuffed Cabbages

 

It reminds me that while the holidays are often busy and stressful... I really do look forward to spending time with my family and preparing a delicious meal together.  

Spring Greens

Flowers are actually blooming and it finally feels like spring here in New England!  Now that the weather is changing I'm craving much lighter food.  If you pick up the latest copy of Edible Rhody and flip to "last Bite" you'll see my Spring Greens piece!

Editor Genie, had some great ideas for quick and easy recipes to make with greens. ( salad, sauté and gratin)  Rather than drawing the recipes themselves, I thought it would be more fun to draw and label many of the greens.

I started researching the greens I wasn't familiar with and realized there is a wide variety of local greens available in  our little state of Rhode Island.  I also discovered I had been eating tatsoi in many salads without knowing what it was called.  Yay research!  Thank you Edible Rhody for the awesome assignment!  It was certainly uplifting to work on something light and green in the dead of winter.

Croquetas Recipe Illo

Last, but not least...  I wanted to share one of my all time favorite custom recipes, for  Croquetas de la Abuela!  I was absolutely thrilled to illustrate Anna's Grandma's recipe for her family.

Although I speak no Spanish (I took high school French and a little Japanese post college)  I had an English translation and the Spanish version of the recipe to guide me.

I tried to find some examples of Spanish packaging and also looked at ceramics, and embroidery for pattern ideas.  Packaging in other languages is always fun to look at. Sometimes its really obvious what food you're getting and other times it's a complete mystery!  Quite a few times in Japan I thought I was getting something with cheese and really it was mayo.. yuck!

I wanted to bring a lot of bold color to this piece so it felt really festive.  I imagine frying up a bunch of croquetas to share with family at a party since they are bite size.

Here's a similar recipe I found for Ham Croquettes !  I'd like to try making them at home next tim we have a bunch of people over to eat them.  Valentine's Day is fast approaching,  Tomorrow is the last day to order a Custom Recipe Illustration for your honey, in time for Valentine's Day!

Chili Recipe Illustration

Happy Friday!  Here's  another Custom Recipe I wanted to share!  I was thrilled when Kristi contacted me to do this chili and pickle recipe for her husband.

She had some great ideas for details to include, such as the red LeCreuset.

I had a lot of fun working with this palette and coming up with simple geometric patterns that would give it a Tex-Mex feel.

There still time to fit in custom orders for Valentines... So shoot me an email if you want me to illustrate your favorite recipe for someone you love.  Hope you cook something delicious this weekend!

Stuffed Cabbage Illo!

Thanks to the mention on Etsy's blog I got a couple more orders for Custom Recipe Illustrations.  I love illustrating family recipes and  I wanted to share one I finished up right before the Holidays.

Stuffed Cabbages!

I've never made stuffed cabbages so I did a little research on the origins.  Stuffed cabbages are mostly part of  Jewish/Eastern European tradition and that lead me to look at Polish, Hungarian and Russian embroidery for motif and pattern inspiration.

 Here's a similar recipe over on Smitten Kitchen if you want to try making your own. 

 I wanted this piece to feel folky and warm just like the dish.  I bet stuffed cabbages would be perfect dish to serve this time of year!

 

 

 

 

Personalized Presents on Etsy!

So excited to be featured on the Etsy blog with other fabulous illustrators and artists making custom orders for the Holidays!  Some of my other favorites: name plate, Home for the Holidays illustration, Under the moon cufflinks, Morse code necklace, and Custom Doll in an animal suit!

There is still time to order a custom recipe print in time for the holidays- Prices range from $100-$350 and include shipping within the US.

 

 

Pumpkin Soup with Fresh Sage

I'm so glad I can finally share this!  I started working on this recipe during the heatwave this summer and I couldn't imagine wanting anything hot... But now that its mid October, it's starting to look and feel like autumn.  I've been craving warm soup when it gets chillier at night and maybe some homemade hearty bread too.  I can't wait to try out this recipe!

I had a lot of fun playing with the textures and leaves of the Pumpkin and I was thrilled to see it printed so beautifully.  I'm so glad I reached out to Edible and we were able to collaborate on something, this is definitely one of my favorite pieces this year.  Huge thanks to Editor in Chief, Genie McPherson Trevor of Edible Rhody!    I hope I get to work with Edible Rhody again very soon.

If you're in RI you can pick up the latest issue of Edible Rhody at Bottles, Farmstead, Chez Pascal, Olga's Seven Stars, Pastiche and many of my other favorite places.

Lilla Roger's Class

I wanted to share some work I've been doing in Lilla Roger's  Make Art That Sells class.  Lilla Roger's is one of the top illustration agents and represents some of my favorite artists, so I jumped at the chance to push my work and get some helpful advice from her!

Each week is focused on a different market and the first week was bolt fabric design.  We started the week off drawing mushrooms and vintage casseroles.  It was both intimidating and inspiring to see the level of talent among the group!  Throughout the course its been really fun to see the variety in medium everyone uses and how differently everyone interprets the same subject matter.  

Here's my final print, inspired by one of my favorite dishes; Springtime Soba with Miso Sauce. 

Since this is a market I'm really interested in I had a lot of fun working on this piece and also getting a fresh perspective from Lilla about what will be popular with quilters and crafters.

Here's my coordinating prints

I tried to use some new colors, ones I typically wouldn't use and really layer the images in  my main pattern so it would feel very dense.  Of course I still ended up with lots of greens and acid yellow...

Week two was Home Decor.  This was a market I hadn't previously thought about selling my work in.  Once I started looking at the examples I got really excited about creating work for plates, sheets, and kitchen goods.

Our assignment this week was to sketch pods, succulents and unusual flowers, which was right up my alley!  Above are some of my inked drawings.  We then used the drawings to create mock up plates!

Here's a Bee plate, its in progress but I wanted to share it anyways!  I'm sort of obsessed with fat bees and honeycomb pattern right now.

Here's my more finished plate, which I submitted for the assignment.  Despite the fact that we are in the middle of moving to our new place, I've been feeling really invigorated by this class and the assignments we are getting.  I'll share my work from week three soon!

PVD Lady Summer Guide

I was thrilled to be able to team up with the lovely ladies of Providence Lady Project.  The Providence Lady Project is all about connecting, inspiring and showcasing awesome women in Providence.  I've met some really fun and creative ladies at their previous events and I became a member of the group this year!  Just in time for Summer they've put together a guide  here- "featuring over 40 local, female owned businesses and tips from members on making it the best summer in Rhode Island!"

So... heres my contribution to the guide, a map of my favorite places to eat during the Summer!  Big thanks to the PVD Lady team and especially to Sarah for putting everything together.

So if you find yourselves in Rhode Island this summer here are some places to check out and look through the guide for other fun Summer ideas.  

 

Mocha Dacquoise

  In honor of Valentine's Day I decided to go on a Chowda Scouting mission for something chocolate.  This was also a good excuse to visit Pastiche, my absolute favorite place for dessert.  Pastiche makes the best cheesecake, not too heavy or overwhelmingly sweet.  The fruit tart is light and flavorful.  My fiance adores the chocolate mousse cake and often goes for any of their seasonal specials.  I decided to branch out and try something new... the waitress recommended the mocha dacquoise.* Mocha Dacquoise is described as "dark chocolate sponge and almond meringue filled with coffee mousse.  finished with coffee buttercream and chocolate glaze."

 I really enjoyed all the different flavors in each layer of the cake, it reminded me of a tiramisu.  If your looking to take your honey out for dessert go to Pastiche!  Or if you want to bring home a sampling of sweets check out their amazing array of cookies, cannoli, macaroons, brownies, rugelach and Valentines day specials! 

Pastiche is tucked away on Federal Hill at 92 Spruce Street. (it's one over from Atwells)

Open: Tuesday-Thursday, 8:30 AM to 11 PM

Friday & Saturday, 8:30 AM to 11:30 PM Sunday, 10 AM to 10 PM

*I've been cracking myself up by saying mocha dacquoise with an over the top French accent...  Now I can't say it without giggling or speaking in a fake french accent. 

Ebisu Comfort Food

I threw myself another curve ball by picking a dish that was tricky to illustrate.  When I lived in Japan oyakodon was my go to comfort food on a cold winter day because there is nothing better than a warm bowl of rice topped with eggs, chicken, and a sweet salty broth.  Oyakodon literally means mother and child (get it?? haha)

After returning to the US I looked everywhere for a satisfying oyakodon, but was mostly disappointed... Until I went to Ebisu !

Since then, Ebisu has become one of my favorite restaurants in RI.  This is the food that reminds of my time in Japan!  Their menu does not have sushi, but instead focuses on bowls of rice, ramen and even shabu-shabu!  Traditionally, oyakodon is not made with the crispy breaded "katsu" style chicken, but I think it's even better served this way! If you go to Ebisu, look for it on the menu as Katsu Don for $9.95 .

Ebisu is located at:

38 Pontiac Ave. Providence, RI 02907 and you can reach them

@ (401) 270 7500

Of if you want to make some oyakodon at home, here's a recipe with katsu style chicken. (I haven't tried it but it's based on a Momofuku recipe, so I bet it's awesome !)  And here's a faster and more traditional recipe option.

Pomegranate

Happy New Years!! I'm back from a long holiday break filled with food, family and friends!  I thought it would be fun to start the year off with a fresh new drawing.  Pomegranates are one of my favorite winter fruits to eat on a salad or as a snack.  Here's a way I've recently learned to open them without getting juice everywhere....

I also made this tasty relish with pomegranates, olives and pistachios!  It's delicious!  Happy 2013!!

Rasoi Thali

Hello dear readers! It's been far too long since I've posted a Chowda Scout piece... Rest assured, I have been eating lots of great food in the state of RI!  This latest dish is from my favorite Indian restaurant; RASOI.  I chose to illustrate their Vegetarian Ayurvedic Thali.  A thali is a traditional Indian meal served in a platter.  It's usually a balanced sampling of nutrition, flavor, texture and color!

Tuesday- Thursday Rasoi offers thali's from different regions of India.  It's a fun way to try little portions of a variety of dishes.  I forgot to write down exactly what was in this one... but I think it included: a saag (or spinach dish), eggplant and potato curry, mushroom& pea curry, lentil dal and a mango rice pudding that was insanely delicious...  Also with some basmati rice and fresh naan!

The thali was quite a challenge; the metal platter and dishes, drawing curries, puddings and lentil dal was even harder than I thought it would be... But I wanted to try to convey the bright colors,  and delicious spices used in Indian cooking.  On a technical note I've also been working on adding texture and layers of translucency to my work.  I struggled with this piece for awhile but I'm pretty happy with where it's at now!

Anyways, I hope this piece makes you hungry for Indian food... In addition to having weeknight specials, Rasoi also has a delicious Brunch buffet on the weekends.

Custom Recipe Illos for Sale!

You may have noticed a new tab on my website saying custom recipes!  Or on my Etsy page... I'm pleased to announce I can now take commissions of your family's favorite recipes.

This is something I've been wanting to do for awhile, because I think these would be a lot of fun to work on.  The above recipe is my Mom's Mac and Cheese!  (One of my absolute favorite recipes!) I think a custom recipe illustration with hand-lettered title is an awesome and personal gift!  I'm planning on printing these at 9"x 12", but since the final is digital I can easily print multiples or larger.  If you have questions or want to place an order email me: Jessica@firstpancakestudio.com  HAPPY FRIDAY!!!

Art Packs are Up

The 26 new Art Packs are up on the Hudson Valley Seed Library's website!  If you know someone who enjoys gardening, have them check these out!  You can purchase individual varieties or they come in these great sets; Culinary Herbs,  FlowerworksGourmet Salad and Small Space Garden sets.

This is what the beans and pods look like!  I wonder what how these would do in the city....

TA DAH!! Here's how the final seed pack design turned out:  Panther Edamame pack.

 My panther piece is also available for sale as a print!  Yay for fun projects coming to fruition!

Olga's Sourdough Waffles

If you live in the Providence area you probably see Olga's Cup and Saucer bread at all of the local grocery stores and cafes.  For years, I've been buying their bread and never tried the cafe.  

I finally made it there for brunch with the bf, my sister, her friend and we all left extremely satisfied.  The brunch menu has many of the usual staples, but I recommend ordering anything that features Olga's fresh artisanal bread such as: toad in a hole on sourdough, poached eggs on grilled scallion cheddar scones or brioche french toast! (Which is exactly what my brunch companions ordered)

But on to the waffles!!! Olga's waffles are made with the bread starter they use to make their sourdough bread.  The waffles were thinner than the Belgian style waffles one usually encounters.  They were crisp, flavorful and topped with scrumptious cinnamon-y apples, toasted walnuts and a little maple syrup on the side!!  The fruit topping changes depending on what's in season, which always makes me happy!   Look for Olga's bread at the local farmer's markets or stop by the cafe @ 103 Point St Providence   They do breakfast during the week 7am- 11am as well as lunch 11am-3pm.  Well that's it for now!  If you have ideas for where I should go next: leave a comment or email me – Jessica@firstpancakestudio.com

Red Stripe Grilled Cheese

For my first Chowda Scout post I'm sharing one of my favorite sandwiches... the grilled cheese.  Grilled cheese is one of those sandwiches that is easy to make at home, but its always more enjoyable if someone else makes it for you.  Really what is more comforting than a grilled cheese?  This is not just any grilled cheese, the Red Stripe  grilled cheese comes packed with a well rounded combo of pesto, pear and prosciutto.

The sandwich also comes with your choice of fries or a small bowl of tomato soup & a crisp pickle for $11. I always go with the soup because it's flavorful, without being too heavy and is topped with a delightful dollop of creme fraiche!  I greatly enjoy dunking my sandwich into the soup... even if it's not very ladylike.  So if your craving melty cheese, head over for lunch during the week or late lunch on the weekend (3-5).  During the week their "pick two" is the way to go.  You can decide on two items from the soups, salads or 1/2 a sandwich for $8.95.  Not bad. The one on the East Side is at 465 Angell St. 

Have an idea for someone I should go?  leave a comment or email me - Jessica@firstpancakestudio.com

chowda scout

Hello friends! I have an exciting new project to share with you!  It's something I've been thinking about for awhile, so I'm thrilled to see it finally taking shape.    

 

Rhode Island has been my home for the last 5 years.  I never planned on staying here.  In fact I made a desperate attempt to leave by moving to Japan in 2009.  Little did I know how much I would miss Rhode Island while living abroad.  I missed my wonderful friends, American food and my spacious apartment.  When I finally moved back I had a greater appreciation for all of the things I already had here: creative people, beautiful scenery and a delicious array of food to choose from.  

 

There is nothing I enjoy more than sharing a meal with friends and there are so many fabulous places to choose from! This project will celebrate all my favorite Rhode Island grub!    

 

Twice a month I will visit one of my favorite restaurants and illustrate a meal that I love.  I have a few other ideas, but instead of waiting until everything is perfect I'll just get started.  Tomorrow I will post the first piece I've done for this new project which I've decided to call:

Check back tomorrow to see my first Chowda Scout post and let me know what you think!