Friday, July 26, 2013

Point Loma

I{HEART}ART: Inspiration: Point Loma
"Point Loma Nazarene University Cross", original art by Tina C. Wells

Point Loma is the gorgeous peninsula that welcomes ships and boats into San Diego’s magnificent harbor. Atop this large peninsula sits Point Loma Nazarene University. I’m not sure if the amazing views from campus inspire or distract the students. The college commissioned me to paint this campus landmark of the cross with the ocean vista behind. It’s hard to imagine that paint could add to the natural beauty of this special place. 

Point Loma

Pt. Loma, as seen from Coronado Beach

As a San Diego native, I have enjoyed visiting the coastal neighborhood of Point Loma. At the tip top of the point sits Cabrillo National Monument with AMAZING views of the harbor, city, ocean, and east into the mountains. As you drive to Cabrillo National Monument, you will pass Pt. Loma Nazarene University, and then  through thousands of white crosses in Rosecrans National Cemetery (Military). At the park, you can visit the charming old lighthouse, the amazing tide pools (make sure to check the tide schedule online and go during low tide), hiking trails, and visitor center. My dear friend and college roommate, Gia, came for a visit with her family from Texas. We spent a great day in Pt. Loma.

Our visit to the Tide Pools

Little crab

Sea anemone

Cabrillo Monument

San Diego's Harbor as viewed from Pt. Loma

After working up an appetite exploring the tide pools, we headed back down the hill to Pt. Loma Seafood Co. to have a deli style fresh fish lunch...ordered it to go, and drove 5 minutes to Shelter Island, where we enjoyed a picnic. The kids played and we took in the view!
Pt. Loma Seafood Co.

RECIPE: Lobster on the grill!
My husband James with Spiny Lobster

Point Loma Seafood is a great family owned seafood market that has been in San Diego for decades. Look in the lobster tank and take home a few live ones on dry ice, or to the beach for a lobster feast!

Our friends Paul and Sabrina, last summer treated us to grilled lobster at the beach. It was fantastic! The live spiny lobsters were brought to the beach on dry ice. The charcoal grills were warming up to full heat while Paul prepped the lobsters. With a large, sharp chef's knife, he cut them in half lengthwise (down the middle, separating right from left side). He removed the transparent tube-like intestine in the head, seasoned with salt and pepper, squirt of lemon, and a little butter on the tail. The lobsters were then cooked, shell side down on the grill. This keeps the meat moist, succulent and full of flavor. Cook 5-7 minutes, until shell turns light red and meat begins to pull away from the edges. The half lobsters are served with melted butter and lemon slices. DELICIOUS! 

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Nursery Art, Pavlova

I{HEART}ART: Inspiration: Nursery!
"Gretel's Garden" by Tina C. Wells,  24"x36" Acrylic on canvas
This abstract garden was a relaxing change of pace for me. So often my work is very tight and detailed. It was like a breath of fresh air to play so freely with the colors and let the painting evolve. This piece was commissioned by my friend Kristin Rinehart. She is a talented designer and owner of the design firm Huckleberry Living. She and her husband Jim are proud new parents of baby Gretel (meaning “little pearl”). The nursery featured below, Kristin designed for her daughter in their charming Coronado cottage. I love how Kristin has used unexpected pops of color, and design combinations that create a beautiful, unique space. 

Contact Kristin to design a special space for you:
To view more of her work in a previous post, click this link:

When I delivered Gretel’s painting to Kristin, we met at Tartine in her hometown of Coronado. Tartine is a wonderful little French bakery and restaurant. Just to gaze at the desserts is a treat...lovelier still is to order one and enjoy it with a cappuccino! 

Lucky me! I got to hold baby Gretel!

My friend Holly made these large beautiful pavlova desserts, to be cut and shared.
The recipe below is for individual servings.

I have many favorites at Tartine, but one of my top picks is Pavlova. It is especially nice in the summer with all the fresh fruit in season. 
The tricky part of Pavlova is cooking the meringue to a perfect crispness. This is my sister’s recipe that she has had success with. If you don’t want to make meringue, Trader Joe’s sells small meringues and can be used in the recipe below.


serves 10

1/2 lb. Strawberries, stemmed and sliced
1/4 cup sugar
2 tsp. lemon juice
1 pint heavy cream
1 tsp. vanilla
1 TBS powdered sugar 
1/2 lb. blueberries
1/2 lb. peaches
1/2 lb. raspberries
(kiwi and bananas are often added as well)
30 meringues (Trader Joe’s) or follow recipe below to make meringues

In a blender, place strawberries, sugar, and lemon juice and blend on high until liquid and smooth.  Whip cream in mixer with vanilla and powdered sugar until stiff peaks form. Spoon strawberry puree evenly onto individual plates, place 3 mimi meringues on top in a triangle with space in the middle. Fill middle with a generous dollop of whipped cream. Garnish with fruit.

4 large egg whites
1/2 cup + 1 1/2 tsp. caster sugar (this is very fine sugar- take granulated sugar and place in food processor or blender and pulse until fine, but not powdery)
1/2 cup + 1 1/2 tsp. powdered sugar, sifted (measure then sift)

Preheat oven to 225 degrees
Line baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a mixer, on medium speed, whisk egg whites until fluffy with stiff peaks.
Increase speed and add caster sugar slowly, a TBS at a time. 
Mixture should be thick and glossy.
Add about 1/3 of powdered sugar and fold in gently, repeat 1/3 at a time with remaining powdered sugar until all incorporated. 
Mixture should look smooth and billowy.
Drop in rounds onto baking sheet.

Bake 1 hour, 15 minutes. Cool. 
Store in airtight tin for up to 2 weeks.