March 17, 2014

Irish Scones + Emerald Soup + Springtime Love

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Even if you are not celebrating today, here are two yummy Irish inspired recipes to enjoy.

Irish Scones

1/2 cup / 125 g cold butter
3 cups / 300 g flour (plus more to knead)
1/3 cup / 70 g sugar
4 tsp. baking powder
pinch of salt
3/4 cup / 175 ml milk
1/4 cup / 75 ml yogurt
1 tsp. caraway seeds
3/4 cup / 100 g dried currants, raisins, or cranberries
1 egg yolk, beaten
1 Tbsp. sugar

Preheat oven to 350ºF / 175ºC. Line or grease a cookie sheet.

Place flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl, and add butter in little pieces. Knead with your fingers to cut butter into dry ingredients until mixture has the consistency of course meal.

Blend milk and yogurt together and add to flour mixture. Stir quickly with a fork to combine. Add caraway seeds and dried currants, raisins, or cranberries and more flour as needed to make a soft dough. Knead quickly until all ingredients are just combined and dough is workable. 

Divide dough into 2 parts. On a well-floured surface, pat each piece of dough into a circle that is 1 inch / 2,5 cm thick. Then cut each circle into 6 wedges with a sharp knife and place the wedges onto the prepared cookie sheet. Be sure to leave a bit of space between each piece, as dough will spread a bit while baking.

Brush the tops of the wedges with beaten egg yolk, and sprinkle with a bit of sugar if desired.

Bake for 18-22 minutes or until golden brown and test done. Serve warm with butter, marmalade, and honey. A wonderful breakfast treat fresh from the oven!

Emerald Soup

This soup is not traditionally Irish, but it's beautiful green color might remind you of the "Emerald Isle." A delightful way to celebrate the coming of spring, and it is very healthy and delicious too!

3 Tbsp. olive oil
2 leeks, chopped
1 shallot, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 Tbsp. fresh herbs of your choice
3 zucchini, chopped
2 cups young green peas (fresh or frozen)
5 cups vegetable broth
4 cups fresh baby spinach, coarsely chopped
juice of 1 lemon
salt + fresh ground black pepper
sour cream or creme fraiche for garnish

Heat oil in a large soup pot. Add leeks, shallot, garlic, and herbs, then saute for about 3 minutes or until softened. Add zucchini and continue to saute for an additional 7-8 minutes, stirring often.

Add young green peas and vegetable broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for about 15 minutes or until all vegetables are soft. Add spinach and cook until it is wilted but still bright green, about another 2-3 minutes.

Puree the soup, and add lemon juice, salt, and pepper to taste. Adjust seasonings as necessary. 

Garnish soup with a spoonful of sour cream or creme fraiche before serving if desired.
A beautiful way to eat your veggies! xo

Would you like 5 weeks of delicious seasonal recipes, fun springtime celebrations, creative DIY, outdoor photos walks with friends around the world + inspiring guest interviews?

Our Creative Courageous Spring Session is starting right now, and you are most welcome to join us here.

Springtime greetings from Berlin,



March 9, 2014

Last Chance for Early Bird Springtime Specials

Are you ready to celebrate Spring? 

Good news: I have two Early Bird Specials for you today!

Registration is open now for both my new Creative Courageous Spring e-course and my popular 30 Days of Collage e-course, yoohoo! The Early Bird Special Price ends today, so don't hesitate to sign up now.

Spring is one of the most gorgeous and invigorating times of the year, symbolizing new growth and beginnings.

In Creative Courageous Spring, we'll be celebrating springtime traditions from around the world and preparing wonderful recipes with asparagus, artichokes, fresh herbs, spring onions, rhubarb, and the first strawberries of the season, yum! We'll even have a Greek themed springtime feast!

Our Spring Session features:
  • weekly DIY and mixed media projects for your pantry, for your home, to make and to use
  • delicious, healthy, springtime recipes using fresh, seasonal market ingredients
  • 5 inspiring guest interviews with international artists, authors, chefs, and crafters 
  • my personal videos to encourage you and introduce a new theme for each week
  • visual journaling to collect and document your creative, seasonal projects
  • special group book club selections for refreshing new reading ideas
  • themed outdoor photo walks to notice our environments and seasons - these have been a real hit!
  • and the best part - our creative, friendly, international community
We'll begin on March 17th, and I'd love to meet you in class!

"Stephanie's e-courses are always inspiring - full of fun projects, wonderful interviews, as well as a great caring and supportive community. This course is no exception. I am so grateful it will run all year." - Jill, Australia

Our in-depth guest interviews will offer inspiration for your creative work and life. This Spring Session our special guests will be:
Get all the details about our fun new Creative Courageous Spring Session + sign up today to get your Early Bird special price here.

Have you been waiting for the next session of 30 Days of Collage to open up? Hooray - here it is!

This is the only time that I'll be offering 30 Days of Collage this year, so don't miss out.

We had such an amazing time during the last session of this course! The student work and the guest interviews from around the world were just incredible.

"Thank you so much Stephanie for a wonderful course, I have taken several online classes in Photography and Mixed Media and this one was truly one of the best ;)... You have really introduced us to the world of collage and it has been very inspirational to see the work of many different collage artist including the work of the students in this class." Sigrun, Iceland

This session we'll have 10 fresh interviews! Our talented guest collage artists for this session of 30 Days of Collage will be:
This new group of international collage artists will join us for exclusive interviews, tell us more about their art and work process, and share some of their best collage tips with us. I can't wait!

"Thank you so much Stephanie! I have enjoyed every second of this course, it was incredible fun! Many of the materials and techniques were new to me and I had a blast exploring them. The guest interviews and everyones work have been a pleasure to follow. So inspiring!!!" Sylvia, Sweden

Our next session of 30 Days of Collage begins May 1st, 2014. This is the only time I'll be offering this course in 2014, and I'd love for you to take part. It's also a great course to take with your kids ;)

Registration is now open for 30 Days of Collage, and you can sign up for a special Early Bird price - last chance tonight - over here

"30 Days of Collage is a wonderful course! I had so much fun participating in it! It changed and refreshed my ideas about who one could accomplish in an online course. 

Stephanie presents all the information and tutorials for collaging very clearly, is such a gracious host and introduced such wonderful artists for inspiration. We were given the opportunity to share our work as class participants in several different social media outlets - so felt nurtured and encouraged in the process. 

Plus, it was just plain fun! I highly recommend her course!" Jane, USA

I hope you are getting excited about the coming of spring and the changing of the seasons!

It won't be long and we're going to have a such great time making many fun, handmade projects. 

Join us for Creative Courageous Spring - March 17th - April 21st

and for 30 Days of Collage - May 1st - 30th

Sign up now to get your Early Bird Springtime Specials + I look forward to seeing you in class!

Hugs from Berlin,


p.s. - Are you a returning student? Use welcomeback as your Discount Code at registration to get an additional $10 off the Early Bird price today :) xoxo

Weekend Recipe: Dark Chocolate Chunk Banana Bread

This is my favorite, fool proof banana bread recipe with a twist. 
Dark chocolate chunks make this classic homemade favorite a treat to remember!

Dark Chocolate Chunk Banana Bread

1/2 cup / 125 g butter
3/4 cup / 150 g fine raw or brown sugar
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups pureed bananas (2 or 3 ripe bananas)
1 Tbsp. rum or vanilla extract (or both)
2 cups / 250 g flour (can be 1/2 whole grain)
3 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
3/4 cup / 100 g dark chocolate, chopped coarsely into small chunks

Preheat oven to 350ºF/ 180ºC. Butter and flour a loaf baking pan.

Cream together butter and sugar. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in pureed bananas and rum and/or vanilla extract.

In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and salt. Stir dry ingredients into to wet ingredients quickly, then stir in dark chocolate chunks.

Bake in prepared loaf pan in preheated 350ºF/180ºC oven for 50-60 minutes or until banana bread tests done.
Cool before slicing, but bread can be served slightly warm.

Yum! Comfort food at its best, great for a weekend or special breakfast treat.

p.s. - For more delicious, healthy recipes, homemade seasonal treats, and springtime DIY, join us for Creative Courageous Spring! xo

3 x 5 on Friday Interviews on my New Blog : Alena Hennessy, Francesca Iannaccone, and Christina Rosalie

I recently posted 3 new interview with inspiring artists in my 5 on Friday Interview series on my new blogYou can check them all out here

Also, don't forget to subscribe to my newsletter, where I include links to my weekly artist interviews and you'll be sure not to miss out :)

Among our recent guests: Alena Hennessy, an artist based in Asheville, North Carolina who enchants with her magical mixed media paintings, lovely online classes, and fabulous workshops held worldwide! 

Alena is author of a fabulous book as well - Cultivating Your Creative Life - and the good news is that Alena's has a new book coming out this September! Alena shares many more details about upcoming retreats and other fun things in her interview here.

Francesca Iannacone is an artist and designer from the UK (aka mrs eliot books) + she is simply a lovely person and I adore her artwork :) Francesca lives in North London with her husband and two boys - I'm delighted that she could join us for an interview and share her beautiful prints and designs with us here.

I've also been delighted to welcome Christina Rosalie, a Vermont based writer, artist, creative consultant, and author of A Field Guide to Now : notes on mindfulness and life in the present tense - a gorgeous, inspiring book written and illustrated by Christina (I loved it!). See more of Christina's beautiful artwork and read her inspiring words here.

If you love artist interviews, yummy recipes, e-course + workshop news, be sure to get all my goodies, including my weekly 5 on Friday artist interviews in your inboxwhen you subscribe to my newsletter here.

Sunny hugs from Berlin,

February 14, 2014

Raspberry Lemon Mascarpone Tart

a beautiful, fruity, creamy tart that is easy to prepare and makes a great impression

Raspberry Lemon Mascarpone Tart

1 3/4 cups / 230 grams flour
1/2 cup / 75 grams sugar
1/2 cup / 125 grams butter
pinch of salt

4 eggs
1/2 cup / 75 grams sugar
juice and a bit of grated peel from 1 lemon
1 1/2 cups / 350 grams mascarpone (or cream cheese)
1/2 cup / 150 grams sour cream
1 Tbsp. flour
2 cups / 300 grams raspberries, rinsed and well-drained
1/2 cup crushed almond or butter cookies (amaretti or crispy lady fingers work well)
Powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 400ºF / 200ºC and line or grease a springform pan.

Mix flour, sugar, butter, and salt together for pastry, and press the crumbly mixture into the springform pan, creating a thin crust with sides that are about 3 cm/ 1 1/4 inches high. Put the prepared crust in the refrigerator to chill while you make the filling.

Beat eggs with sugar, then add lemon juice and grated lemon peel. Mix in mascarpone or cream cheese and sour cream, blend well with a mixer until creamy. Stir in flour.

Remove the chilled pastry crust from refrigerator, and scatter the crushed cookie crumbs on the bottom (this will absorb the raspberry juices as they bake, so your crust doesn't get soggy).

Add the raspberries on top of the cookie crumbs, and pour over the mascarpone lemon filling.

Bake on the bottom rack for 40 minutes, then move to the middle rack and bake for another 10-15 minutes or until lightly golden and puffed.

Let tart cool completely in pan, then dust with powdered sugar. Serve at room temperature or chilled.
Perfect for Valentine's Day or any special occasion, enjoy!

Would you like more of my yummy recipes?

Be sure to subscribe to my newsletter and you won't miss out :)

You'll also get a copy of my free 2014 illustrated calendar to enjoy all year long.

Join me here.

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