Thursday, April 29, 2010

The Nettel Kettle is coming

I love my kids' elementary school. The teachers and staff are fabulous, the parents are super-involved and the atmosphere rocks! This year I've been working with another parent, Shari, to put together the best Community Cookbook ever (OK, it's our first one, but it is pretty great). It's been so much fun collecting and reading the different recipes (and personal stories) from Nettelhorst Families and some Chicago Celebrity Chefs as well!
The different recipes wonderfully reflect the diversity in our school. And the many cuisines represented make this a perfect cookbook to be coming out the week of our Annual International Fest in June. Below is just one of the recipes that can be found in the book.

Rockit Bar and Grill
3700 North Clark Street
Chef James Gottwald

Rockit Pockits
2 lbs. 1/8" sliced top round
1 yellow onion, thinly sliced
4 Tbsp. vegetable oil
1 Tbsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. fresh ground black pepper
8 slices white American cheese
8 each 6" spring roll wrappers
Vegetable oil for frying

Cut the sliced top round into 1/2-inch cubes. Heat a large sauté pan on high heat, and add 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil. Add half the meat, season with salt and pepper, sear until the moisture cooks out. 

Add half the sliced onions and begin to caramelize. Continue cooking until moisture is just about cooked out and add garlic powder. Repeat with remaining meat. Allow to cool.

Set up a small dish with water. Working one at a time, place 1/2 slice of cheese (cut as a rectangle) in center of spring wrapper, add 2 ounces of cooked meat and top with the other 1/2 slice of cheese. Wet a small pastry brush and lightly wet the edges of the wrapper fold as you would a spring roll. Repeat with remaining wrappers and meat.

In a deep fry pan, heat vegetable oil to 350 degrees. Fry in batches for approximately 5 minutes, drain and slice with a serrated knife on a biased. 

Serve with ketchup for dipping. 

Serves 4

Wednesday, April 28, 2010


Max's mom said this is his first really recognizable drawing.
 I think it's fantastic. What detail! 
She also told me he calls it "Titanic." I just finished one (for his room), and I'm working on the 2nd and 3rd (to go to his grandmas for Mother's Day)

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Under the Influence of Art-Oh Miro!

Let's Play!
Another great Under the Influence class! This week we learned about Joan Miro. Because he had such a playful style, these pictures focused on that. The only other requirement I gave the kids was to have 2 places in the picture where objects overlapped, creating a new shape.
The kids who turned in their slips giving me permission to show them on my blog are shown below. If you are a parent in the class and would like your child included with their picture in the future, please be sure to turn in the permission slip I sent home the first week of class.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Mother's Day Made Easy!

Raspberries make the perfect Mother's Day and Father's Day gifts for the grandparents. 
What grandparent would not like a professional matted piece of artwork 
based on their grandchild's drawing? 
And the kids will love to give such a personalized gift to Grandma and Grandpa. 
Contact me NOW if  you're interested....time is short!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Under the Influence-Vincent Van Gogh

Today's art class was FANTASTIC. Not only did the kids create gorgeous works of art, but they all finished and everyone helped with the cleanup. Sometimes things just go so smoothly. I want to thank all of the kids for behaving so well, trying their hardest and cooperating so well at clean-up time!

This week we learned about Vincent Van Gogh. In the past, the students painted Starry Night or Sunflowers. This session, I tried a different version of Starry Night, one that had a few different steps to it (oil pastels, painting, cutting, pasting and , of course, some glitter). This project is definitely a keeper. I love these "Starry Chicago Nights!" (wind and all).

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Under the Influence-Georges Seurat

This week we studied Georges Seurat. In the past, I've had the kids do fingerpainting, but since I have a few kids who are retaking the class, I wanted to switch things up for them. Each child got a small piece of paper and was told to draw something for "spring." Then they filled in the dots with the end of a paintbrush. These pictures make me want to run around outside on this beautiful spring day. I love them!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Under the Influence-Jasper Johns

Yesterday was the first day of the 3rd semester of Under the Influence of Art, my afterschool art class, and it was one of the best classes I've had. As always, I have a great group of kids. I think what's different is my own comfort level in the class, and using what I've learned in the past two sessions to figure out what works with the kids. One of the difficulties is timing. Sometimes kids rush through a project and say they're done. One of my goals this semester is to get them to use the entire time to produce the best work they can, really encourage them to keep working on something for the entire period. We did that fact we ran over a bit. But it was worth it, as you can see below.

We learned about Jasper Johns and did our own number pictures. The kids in the class range from Kindergarten to 2nd Grade, and they all did a fantastic job. I can't wait until next week!