Color Me Seasonal: FEB 2016!

Color me seasonal February_2016_HD.jpg

Happy February!  We are not just in the drudges of root vegetables season.  We are one month closer to the release of my book Edible Paradise: A Coloring Book of Seasonal Fruits and Vegetables (Rizzoli’s Universe Imprint), to be released March 15th, 2o16!  I know, I know.  Although I don’t have children of my own, this whole Edible Paradise thing has become the relentless star of all my social media platforms. But humor me for a second because it’s not small feat releasing your first book with a major American editor.  And every small feat is worth sharing, if you Instagram “like” it or not.  So let me just share that I received my advance copies and itsjustsolovelyicantevenseparatemywords!  But I’ll share the process of creating Edible Paradise from root to leaf sometime soon…

Whenever I get my hands on a book I have worked on, I always stare at it like the elephant in the room, not knowing if I really want to see what had become of my long hours and dedication. Will it be worth it?  It usually gets a quick flip through and gets quickly put away with all the others.  Although the final pdf of Edible Paradise had been validated for months now, seeing an accumulation of months of dedicated work can be emotional and fraught with anxiety.  Is this a result of perfectionism? Or just the fact that I may be more stone fruit 1315 copyprocess than final product.  Although I just got back from a few days in the Loire Valley, I trekked to my office at midnight on Friday night to pick up my advance copies.  If I may just share with you truthfully, I am in awe of this beautiful book. It’s not just your basic, copy and pasted coloring book. It really is a joyous celebration of what a year of eating seasonally can be. Regardless if you eat seasonally or not, it artfully revisits the beauty fruits and vegetables (and friends! There are major ladybugs to be colored in!).  Most importantly, how does it color?  I quickly attacked my copy!  I am creating a limited edition of Edible Paradise, all colored from front to back in watercolor, which quickly ate up my whole weekend in one voracious bite.  It’s good. It’s real good.

So please take a moment to preorder a copy here.  Or better yet, order two copies. As my grandfather used to say about handkerchiefs, “One for show and one for blow!”

In the meantime, warm up your coloring skills in the February coloring page above.

#colormeseasonal

 

 

 

MOUSSAKA to color & cook

Jessie Kanelos Weiner_Moussaka_They draw and cook 2

Whenever I have a lull in my work, my first response is a backbreaking downward spiral of questioning my life choice of being a professional zucchini illustrator. My second is considering going back to school. Why wouldn’t I need a pastry certificate from Le Corden Bleu ? Sticker Jessie Kanelos Weiner_persimmons and pencils_thefrancofly.comshock. Nevermind. Once the panic wears off, I am always reminded that slow moments have often been my most fruitful times. And probably some of my happiest. I have a free moment to impulsively hop on a silly illustration idea I have in the back of my head. Persimmons ? Pencils ? Get it ? Ok neither do I, but it has me thinking about abc books of fruits, vegetables and inanimate objects. Don’t steal that one, ok ?

On my to-do list has been creating an illustrated recipe for They Draw & Cook, a vast collection of illustrated recipes from all around the World. From a distance, it has been an encouraging presence on my Instagram feed seeing what other professional zucchini illustrators have their hands on. Nevertheless, I gave it a shot with my favorite moussaka recipe (from a previous post about an unbelievable, international flea market discovery). But I challenged myself to do it in the style of my forthcoming coloring book Edible Paradise : A Coloring Book of Seasonal Fruits and Vegetables (Universe)…

Preorder Edible Paradise here.

Jessie Kanelos Weiner_Moussaka

MOUSSAKA adapted from Greek Cooking for the Gods by Eva Zane

Ingredients

3 eggplants

2 pounds ground lamb or beef

2 onions, chopped

1 garlic clove, minced

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

2 tablespoons parsley, chopped

1 can tomato sauce (8-ounce)

1/2 cup red wine

olive oil

salt and pepper

4 cups bechamel sauce

grated parmesan cheese

Peel and cut the eggplant lengthwise into 1/2-inch slices; sprinkle with salt and set aside on paper towers to absorb the moisture.  Meanwhile prepare the meat sauce.  Saute the ground meat in butter with salt, and pepper, onions and garlic, crumbling the meat with a fork.  When the meat is evenly browned, add 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg, parsley and tomato sauce; stir, mix well, add wine, and simmer for 20 minutes. Wipe the salted eggplant; lightly oil a skillet with pastry brush and quick fry the eggplant over high heat; lay on paper towels to drain.  In a greased 9×13×2” baking pan, place a layer of eggplant, top with meat mixture, sprinkle with grated cheese, cover with the remaining eggplant, sprinkle with grated cheese, and cover with bechamel sauce.  (Add 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg to the bechamel, and for an exceedingly rich sauce, add 3 egg yolks to the sauce after it is cooked.)  Top moussaka lavishly with grated cheese and bake at 350° F for 1 hour.  Allow to cool, and then cut into 3-inch squares.  Variations: Substitute 2 pounds zucchini, sliced lengthwise and fried, for the eggplant.  Or, substitute 2 pounds potatoes, peeled, cut in 1/4-inch slices and fried, for the eggplant.

For 12 servings

Color Me Seasonal, November!

Jessie Kanelos Weiner_Color me seasonal november 2015_thefrancofly 2_COLOR_ HD

In anticipation of my forthcoming coloring book Edible Paradise (Rizzoli’s Universe Imprint), Color Me Seasonal will be back the first of every month until the book launch, February 9th, 2016.  November flaunts the thick-skinned pumpkin and all of her kissing cousins.  Print it out, color it in, share and tag with #colormeseasonal.  And for loads more coloring fun preorder a copy of Edible Paradise here today.

Jessie Kanelos Weiner_Color me seasonal november 2015_thefrancofly

PUNCH!

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Right in time to ring in the holidays, it is my latest publication Punchs et rhums arrangés, Editions Marabout!

© Richard Boutin
© Richard Boutin

It is a tutti frutti exploration somewhere between fantasy and reality, captured beautifully by photographer Richard Boutin.

© Photo Richard Boutin
© Photo Richard Boutin

Including 30 recipes for punch, infused rhum and cocktail-inspired finger foods, it inspires the libations and imaginations of the holidays to come.

© Kathrin Leist
© Kathrin Leist

In French bookstores November 4th, 2015.

Preorder a copy here.

Kale gets animated!…an unrecipe recipe

Jessie-Kanelos-Weiner_thefrancofly.com_salad

Parisians have turned their frowns upside down; it’s back to the grind! Nonetheless I love that early September still hangs onto the Summer harvest.   Summer fruits and vegetables are a god send because they can be thrown together laboriously into long, outdoor summer dinners or quickly slapped together with an iphone between a shoulder and a cheek.  This is non-recipe recipe I improvised for my lunch the other day during a multitasking frenzy, but it can easily be adapted to anything else fridge dwelling. But I’ll let the gif do the talking because it took 1000 times longer to make than the salad itself… 🙂

Tourist at heart

Laduree-gif_thefrancofly_Jessie-Kanelos-Weiner

I recently celebrated my 7-year Parisversaire!  Yes, that is 7 years of morning boulangerie runs, nauseating boughts of cultural differences, and a bookshelf unapologetically filled with administrative proof that I do indeed live in this enchanted city of Paris, France.  As much as I try to steer away from the Pretty Postcard Paris that is so much better captured by my blogging compatriots, I recently found myself in a giddy state when I saw there was a Ladurée in Megève where I am currently vacationing.  Twice removed, Ladurée here has all the charm and appeal it did when I was just a young American navigating the cold cobblestoned streets of Paris.  It was no little blue box, but the little green bag worked just as well.  Scraping together a few hard-earned euro pieces promises a few glorious macarons and a few moments of pure pleasure.  Yes, I am a tourist at heart.

V-gue

Vogue vogue

I begrudgingly checked my email after hitting the snooze button 8 times on a recent Monday morning.  And it was a commission from The High Priestess of Style with a capital S, Vogue.com.  Can you please take a look to confirm this is real?

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