MYT CR8TiV

A Place to Enhance and Inspire to be CR8TiV !

Butternut Squash spread + Butternut Squash Syrup

squash_butternut

Hello and Happy Tuesday ! Hope your week is starting off CR8TiVly. So here on MYT CR8TiV I share many different ways of being CR8TiV and CR8TiVity isn’t something that is just on a canvas or art studio. It’s EVERYWHERE !! CR8TiVity can also come from the kitchen which is where we’re going to be for this CR8TiV post.

Now I’m sure you’ve all heard about the great health benefits of Butternut squash but not too many people know how to cook butternut squash besides making it into a creamy pureed soup. My husband picked up a Butternut squash the other day wanting to give it a try but also unsure how to cook it as we’ve never used Butternut squash before. So it sat in the fridge for a few days ignored and abandoned.

One day I decided I’d take it under my wing for another culinary experimentation. I was in the mood for something sweet but didn’t have anything sweet on hand. So my experiment started by just randomly winging it so to speak with this Butternut squash. The end result was delicious and something I can see myself making again for a party or potluck.

Below is the steps I took to make this culinary experiment which I call … Butternut Squash spread and Butternut Squash Syrup. The syrup was delicious warmed up and drizzled over French Toast or Pancakes. I can imagine it’d be delicious drizzled over some Vanilla ice cream. I doubt anyone has ever tried a Butternut Squash sundae. (n_n) And the Butternut Squash spread is great on warm toast or even a whole-wheat flour tortilla. What I love the most about this successful experiment is that it’s purely organic and you know what went in it so you don’t have to worry about the unknown items you might find in a store bought product. (T_T) Which I doubt there even in a Butternut squash spread or syrup in stores. Maybe a farmers market but not a chain store. Ok, I’m rambling on again. Here’s my recipe to share with you …

INGREDIENTS :

[] 1 Medium sized Butternut Squash *Buy an Organic one*

[] 1 Bottle of Maple Syrup or Honey but Maple Syrup gives it that yummy maple taste

[] Cinnamon

[] Sugar *I used Turbinado sugar “Sugar in the Raw” but I’m sure white or brown will work as well*

[] Nutmeg

[] Pumpkin pie spice

[] Salt and Pepper *Pepper gave it a little hint of kick*

[] Milk

EQUIPMENT NEEDED :

[] Cooking Pot

[] Potato Masher

[] Spoon for tasting

[] Rubber Spatula

Ok, so being this was a culinary experiment I didn’t exactly measure everything so the measurements are purely estimated by how much I think I added. Please, taste as you go and adjusting according to your own taste buds.

STEP 1 : Peel the whole Butternut Squash.

** The Butternut Squash has a very thick exterior so some vegetable peelers may have difficulty peeling the skin off. I suggest you buy a Titan Peeler. Best Peeler I own ! It can peel anything from a hard Jicama to a soft item like a tomato. You can buy one for about $15 on Amazon.com.**

STEP 2 : Cut the Butternut Squash in ½ then into cubes.

** Make sure you have a sharp knife and in this part you have to be very careful as the Butternut Squash is very hard and take a little elbow grease to cut open. My suggestion is to cut a deep line around the squash then continue cutting through in sections along that same line then gently pry it open. Please, be very careful ! Once you got the Butternut Squash in ½ cut the Butternut squash into strips then into … I dunno. 1″ inch cubes ?**

STEP 3 : Boil the Butternut Squash. Boil about 2-4 cups of water and add the squash in.

** The Butternut Squash will be ready when you can easily pierce it with a fork or knife. This is the moment you get to relax and thank god you still have all your fingers and hands after cutting through the tough Butternut Squash. While the Butternut Squash is boiling take this time to lay out all your next ingredients so they’re ready for the next step**

STEP 4 : Drain the Butternut Squash and Do the Monster Mash ! L0L Mash the Butternut Squash.

** Drain the Butternut Squash and return it back to the same pot.The Butternut Squash will be ready when if you take a fork or knife and it easily pierces right through the squash. Take your Potato masher and mash up the Butternut Squash cubes into mashed potato consistency. This is a great opportunity to release any stress or frustrations through your mashing actions. **

STEP 5 : Adding the Spices – Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Pumpkin spice, Sugar, etc.

** Add in about a ½ tablespoon of Cinnamon – a teaspoon of Nutmeg and about 2 teaspoons of Pumpkin pie spice – 2-4 tablespoons of Sugar – a pinch of salt – dash of pepper – and a splash of milk about ¼ cup or more. **

STEP 6 : Stir it up then add the sweetness. (n_n)

** Take your spatula and stir in all the spices first to incorporate into the mashed Butternut Squash. Pour in your milk and continue to stir. Take your bottle of Maple Syrup/Honey and drizzle into the Butternut Squash mix. Rather than stirring fold the Maple Syrup/Honey in. Folding is just as the word says pretending your folding a towel or sheet of clay with your spatula. It gently incorporates the Maple Syrup/Honey in rather than melting into it if you stirred. I think I used about a cup and a ½ of the Maple Syrup as the syrup I had on hand wasn’t very sweet. **

STEP 7 : Reheat the Mix

** After adding in the milk and the Maple Syrup/Honey the Butternut Squash mix should be a little liquidy. Boil the mashed Butternut Squash mix to reduce down some of the liquid and to melt some of the Maple Syrup/Honey in. This is the time you should taste the mix and adjust to your taste buds. Add more Syrup, Cinnamon, etc. that you feel needs adjustments. **

STEP 8 : Strain the goodness

** Take a strainer and place a medium/large bowl under the strainer. Pour the Butternut Squash puree as you can call it into the strainer and take your spatula to press the Butternut Squash liquid through the strainer til you’re just left with some Butternut Squash pulp in the strainer. DO NOT … I repeat DO NOT throw out the Butternut Squash pulp left in the strainer !! **

STEP 9 : Chill, Jar or Use the Butternut Squash Syrup

** Transfer the strained liquid into a jar or container and place into the fridge. If you can’t wait and wanna try this. Grab a piece of bread of if you have some Ice cream in the freezer drizzle a spoonful of the warm Butternut Squash syrup over your Ice cream. It’s heaven even just over plain slice of bread. **

STEP 10 : Nothing Get’s Wasted !!

** Now to address what to do with the Butternut Squash pulp left in the strainer. Do not throw it out ! Oh no no no !! (U_U) Place it into a separate container and put it into the fridge. When you chill it it will thicken just a bit since the liquid in the mixture has been drained out it’s pretty much just dense pulpy goodness. This is what I call the Butternut Squash jam/spread ! When it thickens up in the fridge you can spoon this onto toasted bread like jam or a Butternut Squash butter minus the guilt of butter. 😉 I can imagine making a large batch of this and placing it into a pie shell to make a Butternut Squash pie as it does thicken up to like a cheesecake-ish consistency. **

Well, that is my CR8TiV Butternut Squash Culinary Experiment that turned out successful. I am sure if you were to add a little Powdered sugar and mixed in a cornstarch slurry *Teaspoon of cornstarch mixed into like a tablespoon or two of water* you can turn this Butternut Squash syrup into a frosting which you can top cupcakes with. It’s really delicious and healthy for you ! Lessen the sugar and I’m sure it’ll work great as a Butternut Squash baby food for toddlers as well. (n_n) Nummy Nummy !!

Ok, so that is one proof that CR8TiV doesn’t just stop at the Canvas or Art Studio but it can be anywhere such as the Kitchen in this example. So go out there and B3 B0LD … B3 Inspir3d … and most of all B3 CR8TiV !! ~ MYT CR8TiV

Leave a comment »

Drawing 101

Untitled

Hello, and Happy Thursday everyone ! Well, I got alot of nice comments about my last blog post on Polymer clay 101 so I thought I’d make another but this time a 101 for my favorite Art medium of all … Drawing, Doodling, Sketching … call it whatever you like. I have been drawing since the day I can hold a pencil in my hand. Well, more like a crayon but you get the picture. (┬_┬) Now there are those who stereotype me for being Japanese *Asian* and saying all Japanese know how to draw good. That like ALL stereotypes aren’t necessarily truth.

I admit I do draw very well and since day one I’ve always gotten Ooo’s and Aah’s over my drawing but it’s a skill/talent. We all have skills or talent in some type of medium whether it’d be video gaming, music, cooking, etc. No one is better than the other bcuz we all excel at something better than others but pointing it out is never fun nor proper. If one is better at something then the other then share your talent/skill. If your friend is better at drawing then you but you’re better at cooking then they are then share the talent. Teach him/her how to get better at cooking and you teach them how to draw better. Talents/Skills are better when they are shared.

Now enough of that babbling let’s get started on the art of drawing 101. First, of all anyone can draw ! I have so many friends that say I can’t draw at all. Gosh I wish I can draw as well as you. WRONG ! Never wish to be like anyone ! Never wish to be as good as anyone ! Never wish to have what another person has ! Be yourself and Be happy with yourself !! Wishing on another is what transforms people into what everyone call Haters. Soon your wishing goes sour and rots which in turn become hate. I’m sure you’ve heard the saying … Haters gonna hate bcuz they can’t be you or have what you have. Well, part of that is truth.

No, be yourself !! Anyone can draw a circle and a few lines to make a stick figure ! Anyone can go to the library to borrow how to draw books and learn it. YouTube is a library that’s open 24-hours and it open to teaching you anything you wish to learn via videos. So I don’t wanna hear that I don’t know how to draw or I can’t bcuz you can. Just need to be yourself, be confident, be bold, be inspired, and be MYT CR8TiV !!

So let’s being and start discussing the MUST-HAVEs for Drawing. Whether it’s with colored pencils, markers, pastels, charcoal, etc.

#1 : You need paper ! Whether it’s a sketchbook or printer paper or notebook paper. You obviously need paper to start drawing. I find that buy reams of heavy duty printer paper is the cheapest way to always have paper on hand. Office supply stores like Staples, Office Depot, Office Max, and even stores like Walmart and Target carry those bricks of printer paper. Normally they cost no less than $5 bucks for a ream of like 500+ sheets of paper. I also suggest to buy a pack of Cardstock paper. They come in array of colors but white is my favorite. Cardstock paper is great to have on stock in case you wanna create giftable drawings. Whether it’s drawing your own Greeting card or making a drawing of someone’s favorite character like Rainbow Dash or Spongebob Squarepants.

#2 : You need an eraser ! White erasers tend to do alot better than those pink ones in my opinion. And if you’re drawing with like the #2 pencils you’d use in school … DO NOT erase with those !! I repeat DO NOT !! They are terrible erasers and unless you want pink streaks across your drawing … the only thing those pink erasers are good for is bouncing your pencil on your desk while you think but erasing absolutely not !! There are plenty of erasers out there and prices can go as high as $20 for those high end art erasers. But I find the white erasers do just as good. Magic Rub are one of my choices to use but I’ve found the 99 cents only store sells a pack 12 of white eraser for 99 cents and I bought a couple packs cuz oddly I’m always losing my erasers. (- ε -“)

#3 : This one might seem a bit odd but a blush make-up brush. These aren’t very expensive and you’re probably looking at me like (O~o) A make-up brush ? Yes, a make-up brush that you use to apply blush to your cheeks. When you’re drawing with something that easily smudges like pencil, carcoal, etc. You do not want to smear or smudge your artwork while trying to sweep eraser crumbs/dust off your paper and most likely you’ll get it onto the sides of your hand so when you place your hand onto the draw *STAMP* you got a grey blob in a place you didn’t want it to appear and you freak out that your drawing in ruined. Well, save your frustrations for when you’re playing a First Person Shooter game and avoid accidental smears or smudges by using a make-up brush. Gently brush those annoying eraser crumbs off your masterpiece and continue on perfecting your Picasso. L0L (n_n) Your art might get slightly smudged or smeared but it’s not very noticeable and easy to erase those small smudges and smears or blend them in.

#4 : The Pencil. Of course you’ll need the pencil to draw with. Now this topic can go on and on and on bcuz there are a large variety of pencils with different width and density and the whole debate over mechanical or sharpener pencils, etc. Etc … Well, I tend to like both ! When drawing I tend to use the yellow #2 pencils for light draft sketching and shading then use mechanical pencil for the darker detailing and finer line details. Now you’re probably wondering .5 or .7 lead ? I tend to like .7 as the density of the lead is thicker and darker. Where as if you don’t like constantly sharpening your yellow #2 pencil then go with a .5 mechanical pencil for light sketching as the lead is thinner resulting in lighter and finer lines. I use both sharpened pencil and mechanical. Both are pretty inexpensive except for the fact that the #2 pencils usually come in a box of like 20-30 where as the mechanical pencil you only get one. They both are even with their PROs and CONs as #2 pencils require a sharpener to keep them sharp but a mechanical pencil you use lead which lasts awhile. PRO of a #2 pencil if you can use it til it’s a stubby nub that no longer fits into a pencil sharpener where as a mechanical pencil you run outta lead you gotta add more. But luckily most mechanical pencil packs give you a little container of refills to keep you going for awhile. But remember the #2 pencil comes in packs of 20-30 so you toss the nub and grab a fresh one. So they’re pretty even in that sense.

#5 : For those using the yellow #2 pencil is the Pencil Sharpener. Now I wouldn’t go cheap with the pencil sharpener. No offense to China but whenever I bought a Made in China Pencil Sharpener either they didn’t sharpen my pencil cleanly or the tips broke off during mid-sharpening that I had to wear down my pencil to nearly a nub just to get it sharp. Brands I suggest are Xacto and Staedler. If you like you can buy those cutesy plastic pencil sharpeners from the dollar store but they won’t last very long. Another suggestion is to buy a Pencil sharpener with a cover that holds the shavings inside so you don’t have a pile of shavings on your desk. Sometimes you just gotta make due with what you got so for that case I have a cleaned out soup can for which I keep my pencil shavings contained in.

#6 : This is a MUST-HAVE for any sketch artist and that is a Sharpie marker ! It doesn’t have to be a Sharpie brand and any permanent marker will do but I tend to have Sharpie markers more as some other brands such as BIC bleed through your paper and can ruin your artwork by bleeding colors and smearing. Sharpie has never had that problem but one of the main problems with Sharpie is they can be expensive. Can roughly cost close to $10 for a pack of 6 Sharpies ! (>~<“) My tip is to buy them in BULK boxes. Office Depot, Staples, Walmart, and probably Costco sell boxes of 12 Sharpie markers for about $12 bucks each. I bought them in Ultra-Fine point and Fine point. Ultra-Fine is great for outlining and doing the fine detailing where as the Fine point is great for shading in large areas such as the eyes, shadows, shading, etc.

#7 : Rulers – There’s so many rulers from straight rulers, shape rulers, and psycho rulers like Kim Jong Un. (=u=”) Ok, the last one might of been uncalled for but it stands. L0L Rulers are probably the cheapest tool for drawing as you can easily get a plastic ruler for like 32¢. But you can use anything as ruler actually from a piece of cardboard off a cereal box, the side of a clipboard, your emery board for those of you who file your nails, etc. But Rulers aren’t just for straight lines. Rulers come in many shapes, sizes, and uses. For example … Geometry rulers are great for making circles, angles, half circles, and just plain straight lines. I have an old Pasta measure that is a ruler with different sized circles and it’s great for making perfect circles when drawing animal heads, face, people, etc. Rulers are just one of those things that’s great to have when you need clean even lines. If you’re a quilter those clear quilting rulers are great for making accurate measured lines if you need them.

#8 : Shape makers … this is clearly where your CR8TiVity is needed. Your trash is not just trash but easy shape makers. Don’t throw away that plastic lid from your coffee tin ! Why trash that scratched up DVD ? No, save that tuna can ! Those three(3) products alone can easily help you make perfect circles. Shapes are all over your house !! You can easily use a box of chocolate to make a square, that triangle pack of cheese wedge can make a great triangle, that oval shaped lipgloss container can be great for making perfect egg shapes or ovals for the body of a cartoon animal, etc. I have a bag FULL of plastic lids, tins, etc. in many different shapes and sizes. I always find a need for it at some point and it’s always so helpful.

#9 : Eyes ( Φ – Φ ) … Yes, your peepers ! Your eyes are one of the greatest art tools ever. Use them !! Look outside your window for drawing inspirations. Look around the room your currently in, Look around your house, Just open your eyes and put on your CR8TiV contacts to see your surroundings in a different view. Drawing is alot like blogging you won’t always have something to draw or write about. In Blogging it’s called Writers Block or Brain Farts but in Drawing I call it broken Peepers or a Foggy window. Are you able to see the beautiful garden outside or the birds chirping outside your window if you were looking through a dirty fogged up window ? Of course not ! So when you have no idea what to draw of sketch I call it a foggy window. I know daily Life can sometimes be so overwhelming that you just wanna throw your hands up … say Aye Crumba … and fall face down into your pillow. I know ! We’ve all been there and we’ve all experienced those days where you just wanna slap the one who created Life to be so difficult. But if you clear your mind, pour yourself a nice cup of herb tea, have a seat outside your porch or just stare outside your window, and relax that window AKA your eyes will unclear and you’ll instantly find something to inspire you to start doodling again. I always find animals my instant inspiration whether it’s that squirrel prancing across the electrical wire, the birds gently bouncing up and down on the nearby tree branches, or the neighborhood cat just freely standing there grooming itself. Just take the time to relax, clear, your mind, and clear up that window of CR8TiVity.

#10 : Is not exactly a MUST-HAVE nor exactly a needs when drawing but MUSIC !! I like to have music playing whenever I’m doing anything CR8TiV. Whether drawing, playing with clay, painting, etc. I’m a BIG fan of New Age music ! Music that doesn’t really have lyrics or singing but more instrumental. New Age music artists like Yanni, Kitaro, Kenny G, and my all-time favorite … KARUNESH ! His music is the #1 most on my playlist both online and on my MP3 player. Favorite albums have to be … Zen Breakfast, Way of the Heart, and Nirvana Cafe. His music is so soothing and relaxing that it instantly calms the mind. A hot cup of herbal tea and I’m in Heaven. Seriously ! You should check out Karunesh and you too will instantly be calm and serene.

#11 : Books ! Many Art teachers have told me … it’s okay to Copy ! No matter what your copy will always be different from the original and be unique in it’s own way. So when I say Books … I mean Art Books in the subject you enjoy. For me it’s Manga, Anime, Flowers, Animals, etc. I love looking through different Art Books and sometimes I draw something out of the book but add my own twist to them. A true artist like an animator or even Walt Disney I’m sure had a library full of different art books that inspired him to draw different things. So don’t be afraid to draw something out of a book you have or even a magazine. Inspiration comes from many sources.

#12 : Kinda a continued play on tip #11 is the internet. Google has a vast collection of images that you can gather inspiration from. There’s sites like DeviantArt or DragoArt where you can also find inspiration from others. YouTube is also a good one. Internet is full of  tutorials, pictures, and images that can inspire you.

( i _ i ) *Phew* Well, that’s all the tips I can think of right now. I’ll update you if I think of anymore and feel free to comment and share your tip or tips that you feel might be helpful to add here. So again B3 iNSPIR3D … B3 B0LD … B3 CR8TiV… MYT CR8TiV !! Love you all til I blog again next time. Have a CR8TiV week !! (♥ε♥) *Kisses*

Leave a comment »