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December FLAVORS: Texas Caesar Dip

For my 2018 calendar, I invited art friends and colleagues to contribute their favorite FLAVOR combination, along with a recipe and a story. I received 12 great combos and I used the ingredients for my inspiration in my studio.

This month I’m featuring the story and recipe for Texas Caesar Dip, submitted by artist Mona Jones Cordell.

I don’t know if you’ve ever had the challenge of painting a “dip”. I wasn’t sure how to approach this until I looked more closely at the ingredient list and saw green jalapeno, green onions, and red pepper. How perfect for December! Above is a photo of the still life I set up.

And here is the final painting. You can see I used clear glass again. I love what happens to the vegetables when you look at them through the glass and then you get some highlights that you normally wouldn’t have.

And here’s what Mona sent in…perfect for a dip for New Year’s Eve.

from the 2018 Flavors calendar…

We often eat this as a dinner on the fly. I received the recipe from my sister-in-law, Judy, who found it in a newspaper. The dip becomes more zippy after a few hours in the fridge. I drain one of the cans of peas and keep the juice of the second can in the mix. I use 1/2 cup of Caesar salad dressing rather than the full cup. Each ingredient is super important for the dip to work at it’s best—and I recommend Fritos scoops as the best chip for this dip. They are sturdy and won’t break when scooping out the dip. —Mona Jones Cordell, www.monajonescordell.com

Texas Caesar Dip

2 cans black-eyed peas
7 oz. can of mild diced green chiles
4 oz. can of diced jalapeños
1/2 green pepper, diced
1/2 red pepper, diced
4 spring onions, diced
4 radishes, diced
One package of crumbled feta cheese (anywhere from 6-12 oz)
1/2-1 c. of caesar salad dressing
Juice of a lime
Chopped cilantro to taste: 1/4-1/2 bunch

Put all ingredients into a large bowl and mix.

Calendar Contributor Spotlight

Mona and I became friends after I saw her video online and I was determined to meet her! Her work, both her ink gesture sketches and figurative paintings, is a gorgeous celebration of the human form in movement. A former PE teacher, she loves movement and spends hours sketching in the rehearsal studio of the Oregon Ballet Theater. Her black and white “notes” are beautiful works in their own right, but she’ll use them back in her own studio to create her paintings.

Here’s how she describes her process: “My intrigue of the human torso has resulted in a dynamic art career specializing in the moving figure with an emphasis in dance. By focusing on capturing the essence of a move with quick sketches, I am able to translate gestures into a composition on canvas. A background in anatomy and kinesiology contribute to a clear interpretation of the physical mechanics involved as I watch a performer or athlete execute a move.
The accumulated sketches are then used for my paintings. The canvases are colorful and multilayered in an effort to give the figures dynamic energy.
It is in these ways that I celebrate the spirit of life with all its originality, intensity, spontaneity, and grace.”

Mona also paints wonderful animal paintings. Check them out here: Wildlife.

And you can see more of her figures here. And I recommend that you take a few minutes and watch the video that made me fall in love with Mona’s work. You can see how she sketches in the Oregon Ballet rehearsal studio here.

My dear friend Mona.

Annie Salness

Artist, wife, mother of 4 great kids!, lifelong learner and fine art teacher.

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