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Boston Cream Pie

Winter has taken hold with a vengeance. The temperature has plummeted to 16 degrees for the high and there’s a foot of snow everywhere. What better to do than bake something I’ve never tried before, like Boston Cream Pie!

Boston Cream Pie Poster

 

Boston Cream Pie Ingredients:

  • Custard Filling:
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 large egg plus 3 egg yolks
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Cake:
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) salted butter
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 1/2 cups cake flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup whole milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Chocolate Ganache:
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • ( 8 ounces) semisweet baking chocolate

There are so many versions of this recipe from very easy to complicated. I chose the easy route and here’s how you create this delectable delight. Assemblage is easy. Just make each part in order listed then put them all together. Remember to allow the eggs and butter to come to room temperature before you begin.

Boston  Cream  Pie

 

 

First make the custard cream filling by mixing in a saucepan the first three ingredients of the custard filling, using a whisk. Add an egg into dry ingredients and mix well. Separate three eggs and save the yolks. Add the yolks to your mixture along with the milk. Whisk everything together and cook over medium heat stirring constantly, for around 12 minutes, until thickened.

 

 

Remove saucepan from heat and add vanilla. Pour custard into a dish and cover with plastic wrap, making sure to make contact with the custard. This prevents a skin from forming on the custard. Place in fridge and chill for two hours.

 

While the custard is chilling, bake the cake. Prepare a 9” cake pan with an oil and flour coating on the pan. I also like to use parchment paper on the bottom of the pan. You simply lay a piece of parchment paper the size of your cake pan on the counter, then place cake pan on top. Score the parchment around the bottom of the cake pan with a knife or pair of scissors and then cut out your circle. Place the circle of parchment paper on the bottom of the cake pan. This makes it so easy to remove the cake from the pan after it’s finished baking.

Gather all ingredients and in order listed, start by creaming the butter and sugar in a stand mixer or by using a hand mixer. Mix the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the egg and mix well. Sift the dry ingredients into a separate bowl. Add into the creamed butter and sugar mixture a little at a time alternately with the milk until all ingredients are mixed well.

 

Using a spatula place the cake batter into the prepared cake pan and bake at 350 for 30 to 35 minutes. Check at 30 minutes with a toothpick or knife edge by inserting into the center of the cake. If it comes out clean, the cake is done.

Cool for ten minutes then turn out onto a wire rack to cool. Peel off the parchment paper from the bottom of the cake. Allow to cool completely then slice the cake in half. Wrap the halves in plastic wrap and freeze for thirty minutes. This makes it easier to assemble the cake.

 

Just before you are ready to remove the cake from the freezer, make the chocolate ganache. Heat the cream in a saucepan on low to medium heat until boiling, stirring constantly. Once the cream comes to a boil remove from heat and add the chocolate. Stir the mixture until the chocolate is melted. The mixture will darken and look glossy. 

Now it’s time to assemble. Remove the cake from the freezer and place the top layer on a plate with the cut side up. Add the cream custard to the cake and smooth with an offset spatula. Now add the other half of the cake on top of the custard layer with the cake cut side down and press a little. You now have a cake sandwich! Using an offset spatula go around the sides of this cake a clean up any custard that has oozed out.

Make sure your Ganache is still warm and if not, heat it up a little to make it smooth enough to pour. Don’t go too far or the chocolate will break and you’ll have oil coming out of the chocolate. If that should happen, you’ll need to discard it and make a new batch.


Pour the Ganache over the top of the cake and allow it to drizzle down the side of the cake. Do not use a spatula to spread the ganache! You can use an offset spatula on the sides of the cake to help cover where cake is showing through, but not on the top.

Once you have finished pouring all the ganache place the cake in the fridge and cool for two to three hours before serving. The ganache will harden and turn shiny.

 

Why is this cake called a pie? Because back in the day when this delectable delight was created, pie tins and cake pans were used interchangeably. Yankee Magazine explains the reason for the name here.

Store any leftovers in fridge. Enjoy!

Much Love ~ Rhonda

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January “White” SALE!

January White sale is on now, as this is the month for sales! First created in 1878 by John Wanamaker as a way to clear out the merchandise from his department store, white sales have now become popular for sales on linens. But I’m not selling linens, you say! Well, that’s okay, I’m still having a White sale to clear out the way for new paintings to come.

Select oil paintings are discounted for the entire month of January! If you missed out on the Black Friday Sales, here’s your chance to pick up an original one of a kind oil painting, in small sizes. Also, did you know you can make payments on any purchase? Read about it HERE.

Small works of art are easily changed in your decor. Create little vignettes along with your other collectibles to add a pop of color and interest. Small paintings can be moved from room to room, displayed in a bookcase, on a sofa table, or on a desk.

Collector's Art Wall

Create a wall with a theme and add small paintings in a grouping. And remember to look at your art every day! Art can help us to destress and bring beauty to our inside spaces.

Sailboat Vignette

The January White sale will last until the end of January so you have plenty of time to pick something up. Don’t forget Valentine’s Day is around the corner! How about a Red Rose oil painting for your sweetie? A painting will last longer than a bouquet!

Red Rose painting

Complimentary Gift Wrapping comes with every purchase and if you are a U.S. resident, enjoy FREE shipping!  I hope you find something you love and will become a part of your fine art collection.

Until we meet again ~ Rhonda

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Learning new techniques

Learning new techniques, whether it be art or anything else, is something I thoroughly enjoy. I’ve had an app on my Ipad called Procreate for about a year, and have never delved into using it. Last month I came across a blog post in which the author made a little animation, and I wondered if he had created it in Procreate. Sure enough, his next blog post was to advertise his class on how to use Procreate.

What is Procreate?

Procreate is a powerful illustration program in which one can create animations and vibrant illustrations. I decided it was high time I learn how to use the program since I paid for it. I clicked on the help button in the program and it took me to YouTube, where I found a lot of instructional videos. So for the past few months in my spare time, I’ve been learning new techniques in how to create animations and illustrations.

Learning new techniques in illustration Happy Sheep

 


Happy Sheep is one animation I’ve created using Procreate. I know sheep can’t wag the tails they don’t have, but a little humor is a good thing! This sheep is happy she found some green grass to eat.

Animations are my favorite to draw, but I’ve also been delving into just plain illustrations. I joined Lisa Bardot in her Make Art Everday community and created a few drawings during her buildings week. If you join, she sends out weekly drawing prompts and has a Facebook group to post work. I’m not on Facebook and just draw for my own purposes.

 


Here are a few of my illustrations:

 

Produce Stand Illustration The Produce Stand


 

 

Learning new techniques

Chicken Noodle Soup House


 

 

Cafe Illustration The Corner Cafe

 


The above illustration of the Corner Cafe was done before I learned how to add text. As I was drawing it, I thought, “Geez, it sure would be nice to be able to add text to a drawing!” A few days later I watched a video on how to add text. Typical me, always a day late and a dollar short. Oh well.

Lastly, here is a drawing of a strawberry donut I may turn into some kind of animation. I’m thinking sprinkles falling onto the donut would be fun!

Donut with strawberry icing illustration


I have a lot of learning to do and quite a bit of practice using Procreate, but I’m enjoying the journey! It’s another set of tools in my toolkit to express my creativity! Until next time, much love ~ Rhonda

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Introductory Pricing Ends August 31, 2019

Introductory Pricing Ends Soon


Introductory Pricing on all oil paintings will end on August 31, 2019.  If you would like to purchase a painting at the introductory pricing rates, you still have a few weeks left! After the price change, the only way to purchase at a discount will be if you are a Tamarack Mountain Studio member. You can become a member by clicking HERE.  Being a member of Tamarack Mountain Studio grants you insider purchasing power during secret sales and allows you to be entered in the yearend giveaway of one of my miniature paintings.

Creating an oil painting takes many steps and a lot of editing before it is ready for the market. Each layer must be fully dry before a new layer is added, otherwise cracking of the painting can occur. Once a painting is finished, it takes several months to dry before the varnish is added. After the varnish is fully dry, a painting is framed unless it has been painted on a gallery wrapped box canvas. Gallery wrapped box canvas paintings are meant to be displayed without a frame. You can see why the purchase of an oil painting is an investment.

You can shop for my original oil paintings by clicking the Paintings tab in the header. I look forward to having you as one of my many collectors!

~Rhonda

 

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“Fishing on the St. Joe”

“Fishing on the St. Joe” is an 8″x10″ oil on panel that I painted last fall while on a camping trip with my husband. I started it on location by laying in all my values, then finished in studio. It was a cold and windy day in late September when I painted it and so didn’t get as far as I wanted to because I was freezing! I’m a light weight when it comes to extremes of temperature.

Anyway, I use my husband as a model but he tends to not stay in one place long enough for me to really capture him. I always have to use my reference photos to finish.

I sat in our UTV to paint this scene, to try and stay out of the cold wind and when I looked up from my work, he was gone!


Plein Air Painting


Now this is a huge pet peeve of mine because number 1, I don’t know where he went. Number 2, I don’t like to be left alone in the forest. What if a bear came? Seriously? Or what if some unsavory characters came by? Or what if he fell and got hurt and I had no idea where he was? Number 3, what if I was ready to leave but couldn’t because I had no idea where he went? I mean really! This is a big issue with us. I always say to him, “Stay in eye contact with me”. He says okay, but then always disappears.

So this year I plan on getting us some two way radios. Then when he disappears, I can call him and find out where he went. Or if one of us gets in trouble we can call for help. Mind you, we aren’t young, anything can happen! Plus I have a wild imagination and it makes my fears bubble up and get the best of me. I’ve had some eye opening stuff happen while I was out plein air painting alone, and won’t go by myself anymore. One time I was alone by the shore of a lake in the tall weeds and turned to grab a roll of paper towel only to find a man standing behind me watching me! I never heard him walk up and thankfully he was a park ranger, but it could have been a bad situation.

Anyway, I fussed and fussed with this painting and finally said “I’ve had it…I’m calling it done!” It’s been sitting in my studio since October waiting for me to “fix it” but I don’t want to work on it anymore. It’s good enough for me.

I’m ready for some new adventures and have cabin fever really bad! I’ve been cleaning the studio and getting my plein air kit ready to go in a moments notice, so when the warmer weather finally arrives, we can hit the road.

So here you go – the fourth in the Fly Fishing series with more to come. What do you think?

~ Rhonda 😊

“Fishing on the St. Joe”

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Sunset at the Villa

In my last post I shared a 16″x20″ painting I’ve been working on depicting an Italian scene at sunset. I’m now at the final adjustment stages and am very pleased with how this piece is progressing. Just a bit of contrast tweaking, and some other little details and I’ll be able to let this one dry for a long while before giving it a good coat of varnish.

It was painted with a limited palette consisting of only four colors, yellow ocher, cad. red, white and black. I did however add just a touch of cerulean blue to the shutters for a surprise pop of color. One thing that is hard for you to see is that the sun is not as large as depicted. The camera cannot pick up subtle variations in highlights.

(The Tamarack Mountain Studio watermark is not on the painting, but is instead signed with my maiden name.)

Sunset at the Villa

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New work in progress~

Here’s a new work in progress I’ve started! It’s a 16″x20″ canvas and it will depict an Italian Villa, cause I love all things Italian!

I’m using a limited palette called the Zorn Palette.  The palette consists of only four colors – Yellow Ochre, Vermillion, Ivory Black and White. I know! It’s been quite interesting not having blue on my palette. So to compensate, this scene is at sunset! That works for me. I’m also using palette knives as much as possible to give nice juicy texture. There will be cypress trees to the right of the house and I’m thinking a vineyard in the foreground. Originally I under-layed the composition with a thin wash of “tube” green just to give me bearings as to where everything should be. You can see in the trees that  I started working on to the left, how nice and true to life mixing your own greens can be, instead of using tube greens.  I’ll be working on this for a while and will keep you posted as I progress!

 

Work in progress

 

 

 

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Decorating for Fall

I love decorating for the fall and I think my miniature oil paintings make great subjects for themes to decorate with. This 4″x4″ oil on canvas titled “Leaves on the Driveway” works well with fall leaves and corn cobs.

 

 

fall decor ideas

 


Here’s a closer view of this little painting:

Leaves on the driveway oil painting

 

It was painted entirely with a palette knife and has great texture and lots of juicy color!  What’s your favorite way to decorate for fall? Do you use fine art as part of your decor? Hit me with some comments and lets strike up a convo!

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Li’l Pumpkins

Don’t you just love the change of seasons? Fall is on the way as summer slowly winds down. The temps are getting cooler and there’s a chill in the morning. I even see trees beginning to change color! Fall is my favorite time of year. Here’s a little painting to set the tone. A 6″x6″ oil on panel ~

Li’l Pumpkins oil on panel

 

 

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“Pears” original oil paining on canvas

Pears oil painting

“Pears” is painted on 8″x8″x2″ gallery wrapped canvas, and depicts three beautiful pears just as they are beginning to ripen. I find the shape of pears to be intriguing and feminine. There are so many subtle colors in a pear and the taste is the best part! How do you like your pears? Chocolate drizzled, or with whipped cream? Ice cream covered or poached in a wine sauce? I like them just as they are. 🙂