Friday, June 27, 2014

new sketch cards - Astron and Phantom Lady

Been working on finishing up some sketch cards. Here are two of the latest...

Astron! Astron is a hero from AC Comics, dating back to their days as Paragon Publications. He is an interdimensional space cop, and I have always liked his costume. Sadly, AC Comics hasn't done enough of him. FemForce is their flagship title, and that's where most of their creative energy goes. Love FemForce, but I do want to see some of their other characters, like Astron, get some love from time to time!








Next up is Phantom Lady. My first exposure to her was in the 1970's Freedom Fighters comic. She first appeared in the 1941 in Police Comics #1 from Quality Comics. She was later sold off to Fox Features, who published the version in the blue & red costume. DC Comics bought out most of the Quality features, and publishes the yellow & green costumed PL.


Saturday, June 21, 2014

Fresh Apple Cake




Fresh Apple Cake has become a family favourite since I first found the recipe in a magazine back in 2006. It's a Paula Deen recipe, and can be found in her book Paula Deen Celebrates!

I usually make this cake in the Fall, as it feels like a seasonal cake to me. But, Dad requested it for Father's Day, so I made one. I then made one for my oldest brother and his family, since we were driving up to North Carolina to see them this past week. It was well received in both instances.



The cake has a good, if sometimes crumbly, texture. Even tho it crumbles, it is a moist cake. It is spiced with cinnamon and nutmeg, and has nuts and raisins in it. I use more raisins than the recipe calls for! I sometimes use walnuts, even though the recipe calls for pecans. The pan gets coated with cinnamon and sugar, but I also like to add decorative sugars to the coating to make the cake look more festive and fun! Like most recipes, I encourage people to play with it a little bit. Think about things that might work in the recipe and adjust to your taste.



So, here's the recipe, according to Paula Deen...

pan coating: 3 Tbsp sugar & 1 tsp. ground cinnamon

cake:
1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
2 cups sugar
3 large eggs
3 cups chopped Granny Smith apples, peeled (about 3 medium apples)
2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. freshly ground nutmeg
3 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup raisins or coconut

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees
2. Generously grease a 10-inch tube pan. Combine the sugar and cinnamon and coat the inside of the pan with the mixture by shaking the pan all around until the sides and bottom are coated.
3. Beat the oil and sugar with an electric mixer until well blended. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
4. With a spatula, stir in the apples and vanilla.
5. Sift together the cinnamon, nutmeg, flour, baking soda, and salt. Add the mixture to the apple mixture and mix well with a spatula.
6. Add the pecans and raisins. The batter will be very thick.
7. Spoon the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top.
8. Lift the pan from the counter about 2 inches and drop it back down to get out all of the air bubbles.
9. Bake the cake for 1-1/2 to 1-3/4 hours, until a tester comes out clean.
10. Allow to rest on the countertop for at least 30 minutes before turning out onto a cake plate to cool completely.


Sunday, June 15, 2014

Red Hood

Two takes on Red Hood (Jason Todd).... the colour piece is a sketch card commission, done for a friend. That inspired the b&w beefcake drawing. Enjoy!



Beefcake Photos On Sale!

I have made a return (for the time being) to eBid. To celebrate, I am having a summer sale on my photos there! This is an eBid-exclusive sale! Get $2 off the regular price of each 5x7 photo! Other sizes will be discounted as well. Check them out at http://us.ebid.net/items/dynakor





Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Veronica

So... this drawing of Veronica Lodge went a little differently... I drew along with a video of Ray Height doing a convention sketch. Sometimes, drawing along with someone else (via video) is a great way to learn!


Monday, June 9, 2014

Carl

Here's a (daily) drawing of my original character, Carl. Now, Carl is a little naughty... when he goes to the beach he wears a pair of his friend Tyler's old board shorts. Tyler's bigger than Carl, so they're a little big...


Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Vanilla Butter Cake with Mixed Berries

When I found the recipe for Paula Deen's Double Chocolate Gooey Butter Cake in the Jan/Feb 2011 issue of Food Network Magazine, I fell in love with it! It is delicious, decadent, and easy to make! Check out the recipe at http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/paula-deen/double-chocolate-gooey-butter-cake-recipe2.html 




Now, I will get to thinking about recipes and variations of them... I had tried this cake with a vanilla cake crust and the chocolate filling and it tasted great. The other day, I got to thinking about how would it taste as a vanilla cake with some berries in it. I had some frozen berries on-hand, and decided to have a go. It was a good decision. The cake is just as moist with the crispy texture on top, and it has the bonus of berries in it! I used raspberries and a few blueberries. I would encourage you to use whatever berry combination you see fit to use.

So, here's my altered version of Paula Deen's recipe. The changes are mostly switching from chocolate to vanilla and adding berries.

1 18.25-ounce package vanilla cake mix
3 large eggs
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted
1 8-ounce package cream cheese, at room temperature
1 16-ounce box confectioners' sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1-2 cups berries (fresh or frozen) of your choice

*Preheat the oven to 350-degrees. Lightly butter (or spray with cooking spray) a 9x13 inch baking pan.

*In a large bowl, combine the cake mix, 1 egg, and 1/2 cup of the melted butter. Stir until well blended. Pat the mixture into the pan. Top with berries and set it aside.

*In a large bowl (I use the same bowl), using a hand mixer, beat the cream cheese until smooth. Add the remaining 2 eggs and beat until well mixed. Reduce the speed to low and add the confectioners' sugar. Beat until well mixed. Slowly add the remaining 1/2 cup melted butter and the vanilla. Beat until smooth. Spread the filling over the batter in the pan.

*Bake the cake for 40 to 50 minutes. Be careful not to overcook it. The center will be a little gooey. Let partially cool on a wire rack before serving.

I store my cake in the fridge, but have left the chocolate version out at room temperature (covered, of course).

As I said, I really didn't alter the recipe much at all. Just swapped out a few ingredients, or omitted an ingredient or two. Check out the link above for the chocolate version. Try different combinations and see what you can come up with! Have fun with it!


poetry: i cannot breathe

i cannot breathe....

i am denied air, food, water
i am denied something that is vital to me

before you came into my life, before i loved you
i didn't understand. i didn't know it was missing
now, there is a gaping void

the world spins and continues on
the rain falls from the sky
i choke on fresh air as i walk.. i stumble...

i fall
 
i cannot fall...
 
others rely on me
my shoulders must be steel
without the support i need
to be denied the ability to offer that support in return
i fall, i cannot breathe
 
i get up

i always get up
hide in my cave
buy the groceries
scream silently into the night
hope it gets better

i cannot breathe...

Seize The Day

For 2014, I got the Seize The Day desk calendar (day by day). It is filled with inspirational quotes and sayings paired with some groovy art! I thought I'd share some of them here...