Bling! Flash! Art! The End.

18 Apr

My senior thesis exhibit opened this past Thursday, and it was a big success!

I was so blessed to have lots of supportive amazing friends and family members come out to the show to see my work! It was great to see so many familiar faces, and it was a wonderful time to catch up with friends and family. After the show we had a little after party at my parents house, and many of the treats in the cookbook were prepared by my own mom! Yum!!

Now that the show is up (and btw if you missed opening night the show remains open until the 29th for viewing) I can share my book with you via the web!

My father, myself, and my mom in front of my installation.

Thanks to everybody who came out to the show!!


The Big Week

12 Apr

This is it, the big week!! Senior show opens THIS THURSDAY!! I am very excited to finally reveal my book to everyone who has not yet had the chance to see it! And I am very very excited that so many family and friends are coming out to see the show. My classmates and I have worked so hard on our projects, it’s been 4 years in the making, and we are ready to finally show off all this learnin’ we’ve been doing at school! It is going to be a fantastic show, lots of great design and photography students are displaying great work. Here is a sneak peek of my installation, come out to the show this Thursday to see more where this came from!

Me, on the last day of install putting some finishing touches on my project!

Senior Review

5 Apr

I have had such a busy few weeks. For those of you who don’t know in order to participate in my senior thesis show (and graduate) I had to present my project to a panel of faculty members. After a 45 minute presentation and question and answer period the panel decides if I pass or fail. If I pass I am able to participate in my senior show, if I fail I have to retake this class in the fall and I do not graduate. A friend compared the review to graphic design version of American idol, some of us go on to the next round, some don’t, there is a Simon, a Paula, and a Randy. Or maybe it is more like Survivor, and you just hope you don’t get voted off the design island…

Fast forward>>>>>>Good news, I passed!! I went straight home to my parents house and celebrated with some thai food and a grapefruit margarita!

So the next step is figuring out how my piece installed in the space. I have about 6 feet to work with at the gallery. This weekend, with my parents help, I found an awesome old kitchen table at an antique store to set up with my books on. I am going to incorporate other vintage kitchen items to help with the nostalgic food theme.

I served some of the recipes from my cookbook at the review for the panel to taste test, this is tomato relish.

French family hot mustard, so good...mmmmm

Sweet pickles, a.k.a. lazy mans gourmet pickles

Me, relaxing after my review with a grapefruit margarita!

The table I got, it is perfectly loved! Here it is in my dad's workshop getting new screws in it!

So this is my progress! I got the book printed, I got the installation ready to go, and I am T-minus 9 days until the show opens!

Shamrockin’ shake!

22 Mar

As you might know, I try to avoid dairy at all cost. But sometimes, you just really need a shamrock shake!!

My boyfriend and I tested this recipe, and it is fantastic, and the best part…dairy free!!  This totally hit the spot, yummmm!

Shamrockin' shake for two!


Here is the recipe (makes 2 shakes):

2 c. vanilla soy ice cream (almond ice cream would work too)

1 & 1/4 c. almond milk

1/4 t mint flavoring

8 drops green food dye (optional, but makes it look just like the fast food version)

Blend and enjoy!!


Lets talk calories now…for those of you who can indulge in dairy maybe this will sell you on my version!

Shamrock shake from your favorite fast food joint: 740 calories

Dairy free version: 305 calories

Having fun making shamrockin’ shakes at home: priceless!

Playing Hooky

18 Mar

Where the heck have I been? Playing hooky, that’s where. This is going to have to be an extra long post to make up for my lack of blogging lately!!

I was on spring break for a week, I visited Anna Maria Island, in FL. Ate lots of seafood, got  to spend a lot of time with family, met some family I had never met, relaxed, and ate some more seafood! I also collected more family recipes while I was there, from my Great Aunt Joyce,  looks like there is going to have to be a sequel to my cookbook to include some of the treasures she shared with me. It was a great week off of school!! But all good things must come to an end.

My Dad, Cousin Jan, Myself, and my Mom, enjoying a fantastic dinner. This is where I had the tasty strawberry salad, continue reading for more about my new salad addiction

My Dad and I enjoying a celebratory pineapple martini (note his little brother martini, and my grown up martini!)

My Great Aunt Joyce, she is such a joy!

Fast forward to this week>>>>>>>>I finished my cookbook! I sent it to the printer Wednesday, and now I am waiting for my first copy!!! But that doesn’t mean it is time to stop cooking!

While I was in Anna Maria I had this wonderful strawberry salad. When I returned to Michigan I decided I had to try to replicate this salad. It was lots of strawberries, a little spring greens, candied nuts, and a thick goody balsamic reduction (the restraunt also put blue cheese on the salad, for the home version I skipped the cheese). Strawberries are not quite in season yet, so the ones I got were from Florida, but soon enough I will be making this salad with fresh local berries!

Cut up lots of strawberries, I mean lots!

Cook some pecans with butter and brown sugar, allow to cool.

Make a simple balsamic reduction, allow to cool in a small glass jar.

Plate with a little spring mix, a pile of strawberries, candied nuts, and the balsamic reduction.

The best part about making this at home is you can lick the plate, guilt free.

Even though my cookbook has been sent to the printer that isn’t the end of my project. I still have to plan the installation. Today I went to lots of thrift stores, collecting objects to complete the installation, stay tuned to see how this turns out!

Just a sneak peek at some of the items that are going to go into my installation! Lots more to come!

And thats still not all!! I ordered some new business cards that are the same theme as my cookbook. These will be at my senior show for people to take with them if they want to know more about the project, this blog, my website, or want to get in touch with me! I ordered the cards from Moo. What an awesome company. They have great customer service, they helped me make some tweaks last minute, and the cards turned out better than I could of imagined. The quality is just stellar!

My Moo cards arrived in these awesome boxes, I'm a sucker for good packaging.

Moo customer service is beyond amazing, I highly recommend this company. Here is the front of one of the three different cards I got.

The back of my business cards have a recipe and a link to my website. I am not sure if it is a business card, or a recipe card? Hmmmm...

Notice the quality of the paper, thick and matte, ahhhh I love nice paper.

Well I think that was the longest blog post ever! Thanks for hanging in there folks!

Sneak Peek Again!

26 Feb

More sneak peek pages!!

I am really trying to wrap things up today, here are a few more pages for your viewing pleasure.

Some of you might know that I don’t eat meat, so you might be wondering, what’s with the prime rib, Amanda?!

1. My Dad and Grandpa both take good care of me, and they cooked and ate it. I just took the food photography!

2. I am trying to be really honest in this book, these are the recipes that my family loves and has passed down, so I am trying to include everything, even if it’s not my favorite food!


Prime Rib

Mac n Tomatoes, comfort food!

I also want to share with you another project I have been working on. The identity for my senior show, which begins with the postcard (the postcard is the formal invite to the show that gets sent all over town to friends, family and faculty!) Here is the front of the postcard that myself and three others have been working on. We designed a custom typeface, cut out the 3D typography out of wood, painted it, and photographed it in this crazy urban graffiti spray paint booth scene.

Bling! Flash! Art! (and ya, thats the title of our senior thesis show, we don't mess around with being shy).

And Then There Were None

25 Feb

Cooking my last recipes today!! (yipee!) Only have a few left!!

I am thinking after this cookbook is done my next blog will be about eating out or drinking beer, because both of those seem easier than cooking my way through all of my families recipes. I think my next blog will be about drinking my way through all the local craft beers at Sicilianos Market…hmmm, I will ponder this further…

Here are some of my last food photography shots, they turned out really fun and playful. Still more cooking to do today though, brownies, chocolate gravy, and popovers still remain…

Nanas bon bons

More bon bons and more sprinkles!

Nana's famous chocolate cookie sheet cake!

My kitchen mid lots of cooking!