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Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Painted Sunflowers and Yummy Zucchini Recipe.

Please don't ask me what I'm gonna do with these! I know you :
No idea, but I felt the urge to paint sunflowers, so grabbed a piece of fabric, and voilà... sunflowers drying in the breeze! 

Painted with acrylics on crumpled (on purpose) fabric. Finished off with wax pastels, then ironed.


My orchard has been neglected this year, but it continues to bless our table with plenty of vegetables and flowers (especially dahlias and zinnias).  I think these are the last vegetables of the season, it's 15°C/59F in the morning (and 19°C/62 in the evening)... brrrrrr. This year, summer has lasted for two weeks in July- that's all, folks!

Will deep fry the flowers... yum!

As for zucchini, I love to cook this Spanish dish... easy peasy and delicious, you can also prepare it in advance. I'm sharing the recipe, just in case you want to give it a try.

Calabacines al horno (I call it Spanish Zucchini :))

You need:
  •  3- 4 zucchini for a medium sized pan (preferably the variety shown above, big and round)
  • approx 5 fresh medium tomatoes or 1 can (400 gr./14 oz), your choice (I use what I have on hand)
  • flour
  • salt, pepper, paprika
  • olive oil, vegetable oil
  • thyme
  • 1/2 onion (or your choice, I use less than 1/2), 2 garlic cloves
  • grated Parmesan cheese
Cut zucchini in thick slices, take each slice and put it into flour, heat the vegetable + olive oil in a pan, and fry it for about two minutes on each side, until golden brown. Repeat for each slice. Once fried, put them on a paper napkin so that it absorbs the excess of oil.
Now prepare the sauce. Put the chopped onions + garlic (chopped or not, your choice) + olive oil in a small pan and let the onions soften a bit before adding tomatoes, thyme and paprika. Cover and leave to simmer for about 15-20 minutes. Remove thyme (and garlic, if not chopped).
In a oven pan put layers of zucchini, tomato sauce and Parmesan cheese. Cook au gratin for about 15 minutes. Let cool a bit before serving. 
Bon appetit!
Monica x.


  1. Your painted sunflowers are gorgeous!! I sooo wish I had a painting talent. You are blessed! LindaSonia

  2. Ooooh those would look great as cushion covers.

  3. Oh so great....I sometimes also feel the urge to paint.....but I can't....snif...snif...
    Love yours.
    Fine day

  4. OMG, Monica, your painted sunflowers are out of this world beautiful!! You are oh, so very talented! Do you have those on canvas too?

    Have a great day!


  5. Oh, how beautiful your sunflowers! I so wish I had some of your talent. We won't be saying "brrr" here for a very long time...

  6. Your sunflowers are gorgeous. I just bought a pillow cover at Pottery Barn that looks similar -- so beautiful! It makes me want to try my hand at painting something like that. If only I had your talent. The zucchini dish looks wonderful. Could you send me an email and let me know approximately how many tomatoes you use -- and if they are fresh or canned?

    Thank you!

  7. Monica, I love the sunflowers. just gorgeous. really wonderful. that zuchinni recipe sounds great too. take care.

  8. Lovely paint !!! well done !!! i like the sunflowers a lot !!!...and what a great recipe.....yammie yammie....wishing you a happy evening....hugs and love Ria....

  9. Those sunflowers are beautiful!!!! What a wonderful group of photos - drying in the breeze! Makes me anxious for some cooler weather and breezes here.....even the ceiling fan has a hard time moving the hot stifling air here.....think I'll just keep staring at your beautiful sunflowers in the breeze!


    Romeo and "her"

  10. The muse comes out to play when there is a change of the season in the air, yes? Your sunflowers are wonderful, Monica!

    I'm copying down your yummy zucchini recipe as soon as I post this comment!

    Happy day to you & yours,

  11. Hi Monica,
    Such a pretty post!. I think the sunflowers would make beautiful throw pillows....Or you can use them in one of your quilts...
    (SEW Pretty) I look forward to seeing what you come up with..
    Have a sweet day and big hugs~Elizabeth

  12. Your sunflowers are so wonderful and timely for the season, no wonder you got an urge to paint them. So happy to see you painting :o)

  13. Beautiful sunflowers, Monica! I'm sure you'll come up with a fabulous idea for them!

  14. Love the painted sunflowers! So fresh and light! Fabulous!
    And that zucchini dish sounds delish!!
    Thanks for sharing

  15. I think a cushion would be lovely...I love visiting you blog...I learn so much from you and gain so much inspiration. Where abouts do you live and why is Summer over already? You have probably heard of the book "Simple Abundance" by Sarah Ban Breneth (sorry cant remember how to spell her last name). I subscribed to her website and have read her books...your blog is better than her website...and you had to pay to see hers.
    Alicia xx

  16. Monica, Thank you so much for leaving the comment on my blog about the tomatoes! I'm sorry about the email -- I just realized I forgot to add the "up" after "hang" -- geesh! I can't wait to try your recipe.

  17. Monica, I'm up for air from my blog break and wanted to come by and see what you've been doing. And look at those sunflowers! You just whipped them up? Oh, to be that talented!

    Hope all has been going well with you. I will gladly trade you this humidity and heat for some of your cool. That sounds lovely to me.

    Have missed reading your blog and others, but life has demanded my undivided attention. I hope it will allow me to blog after the first of September. That's the plan. In the mean time, I can't wait to see what you create next. It's always a pleasure to visit you.


    Sheila :-)

  18. Your sun flowers are so pretty!
    Thanks for sharing the recipe - sounds and looks good. Still hot and humid here.

  19. Your sunflowers are so beautiful, Monica !
    Your Spanish dish looks delicious, thanks for sharing !
    We had a lot of rain here, and after the hot temperatures in July our plants look sloppy.
    Nice evening,

  20. Absolutely gorgeous sunflowers. I wish I could take a piece of fabric and make it look like that! :) The zucchini recipe sounds delish. I love zucchini and am vegetarian so always looking for new vege dishes to try (my kids hate that. HA!) Wishing you a fabulous Friday! Tammy

  21. PS I've never seen round zucchini before. They are so sweet. And your temps sound fabulous since our's are 120 and awful. :/

  22. Love everything about this post! So summery ... the paintings are lovely ... and I love zucchini so, yep perfect post.

  23. Your sunflowers are gorgeous! Your recipe makes me very hungry!

    Bon appétit !


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