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.

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.

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.

Pvd Lady Gift Guide!

I can't believe it's December and holiday time yet again!  The Providence Lady Project decided to do a gift guide this year to showcase local businesses.  You can check out the Providence lady gift guide here!  I submitted my tea towel calendar as well as my latest holiday gift the Custom Recipe!   For fun I picked out 5 of my favorite gift ideas from other Providence Lady Project members...  These are the 5 gifts I would want to give to my favorite ladies: 1.  For the cool little lady: Women Who Rock Coloring Book- $15  All proceeds support Girls Rock! Rhode Island, a non-profit that empowers girls and women through music.  They do an awesome summer camp where girls get to form bands and put on a concert!

2. For a glamourous quirky lady: Soft Honeycomb Scarf by Joy in my Studio - $58  Joy paints each of these scarfs by hand so they are truly one of a kind!  This one is the bees knees!

3.  For the bookworm lady: Harry Potter inspired Moleskin   $25  Hand drawn Moleskin cover with a Harry Potter reference?  This just makes me smile!

4.  Nerdy but Fashionable lady: Two Layer white ring. $25  Inspired by nature and science Nervous Systems uses futuristic digital fabrication to produce beautiful these funky pieces of jewelry.

5. For the Lady who likes to cook:  Handcrafted Spice Bloc- $55 Made locally in Pawtucket, RI!

So those are some fun gift ideas I found in the guide.  Check it out here on Issuu and for more ideas here's a treasury they put together on Etsy.

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!

Attack of the Umibozu!

Do you remember this piece I did awhile back? It's the fearsome Umibozu!  He was part of my Yokai aka Japanese monster series.  Anyways, I was thrilled when Tiny Showcase contacted me to team up with them and print it!

   Tiny Showcase is based in Rhode Island and they feature the work of some of my favorite artists! Their prints are typically small and done in limited edition runs of 100 making them affordable and unique.

Oh and if thats not good enough, Tiny Showcase donates $250 of their sales of each run of prints to a charity of the artist's choice.  I selected the Tomorrow Fund because they offer tons of emotional and financial support to local families of children undergoing cancer treatment.  They helped Robin's family a lot when he was sick, so thats pretty cool in my book!

PVD Lady Brunch

I've been busy working on some fun projects and brain storming for ROUND 5 of the Printed Bolt REPEAT contest. Yay round 5!! Thanks again everyone for voting for me for fan favorite.  I haven't won it yet... but there's always next round! This past weekend I attended the PVD Lady Project's brunch at Local 121. (One of my favorite restaurants downtown!)  I was looking forward to getting to know some of the ladies and see what the group was all about.  Local 121 had some delicious brunch options for us.  I chose the asparagus, spring potato and chevre frittata.  It was very tasty indeed!

While digging in we listened to some inspiring ladies; Alayne White, Libby Kimzey and Audrey McClelland talk passionately about their lives and work.  It was so pleasant to be surrounded by women who pursue their dreams and are supportive of other women.  Afterwards I hopped in the photobooth  provided by Blue flash photography with some of the other ladies!

 

 

 

 

Providence Patterns

I first came to Rhode Island on a college visit. I explored the city nervously, trying to picture myself here as an art student for the next four years. After a tour of the campus and wandering around I fell in love with Providence's architecture and of course RISD.

Since 2003 I've been living here on and off again (yikes!) There are definitely times when I take it for granted, or forget my initial reaction to the city of Providence.

Visiting Japan was a similar experience. Everything looked so different; the buildings, people and transportation are all scaled smaller. Tall people might find this disconcerting... but I loved being able to reach the handholds in the subway.

I also loved living in the picturesque countryside of Kyoto. No matter how grumpy I felt a quick ride on my bike always brightened my mood. There is really nothing better than casually biking past fragrant fields of rice, vegetables, streams and small houses. I also developed an affinity for the surrounding mountains, they offered a fantastic backdrop and landmark visible from almost anywhere in the city.

At first when I came back I had to fight the urge to point out how different everything is in the US. "Look at my giant coffee!" "Can you believe how loud those people are talking?" Coming back allowed me to see Providence with fresh eyes and of course appreciate the time I spent in Japan. ( The blue painted under porches in New England always makes me smile)

With that in mind I felt compelled to draw patterns of Kyoto and Providence for my East vs. West collection. Here's my Providence drawings...

After coloring it in the computer and about 3 trials of printing and tweaking the colors:

And a close up!

Here's the Kyoto side complete with trains and mountains!

Yay trains!

The fabrics were printed and being sewn into reversible totes, mostly so you don't have to pick one over the other.

They are for sale in my etsy store! A few other items are there that I made for the sale Claire and I did around Thanksgiving. The sale was a bust but at least I got a lot of work done!

Hurrah for getting things done!

The Raspberries Taste Like ...

Hello! It's been quite a heat wave up here in Providence... I've been holed up in the studio with the door closed and the AC blasting, with that being said I still got finished my drawing for this week! A lot of the veggies were repeats so I focused on what I was most excited about... RASPBERRIES!!!!

I also took this as an opportunity to make a still life with my my collection of ceramics I brought back from Japan. I'm a sucker for bowls, especially tiny ones. I banged out this drawing pretty fast and I might do another one to celebrate other veggies we got in the share. We will see!