Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Going Tropical

So that title may have been just the teensiest bit of false advertising. :)

But you'll love me anyway when I explain.

Have any of you ever done paint parties?

Last Friday, a bunch of us from work went out to celebrate with a co-worker. Celebrating may not be the word most people would choose after receiving the scary diagnosis she got, but she wanted us to all go hang out and have a good time before she started treatment.

So we went to a paint party place.

If you're not familiar, everyone paints the same painting. It's not exactly paint by number, but it's fairly close. The instructor sets you up with a palette of paints, a canvas and brushes, and then she leads you through the two hour process, literally stroke by stroke.

"Okay, pick up the medium sized paintbrush, dab it in a little yellow and make a dot in the middle of the canvas half way down. Now make a matching dot half way from the bottom. Now connect the two dots with a backwards candy cane."

As if that wasn't specific enough, there is another artist who wanders around and can help you out if you're not getting it right.

There is a specific design for the night. The one for our night was this.

Paradise Cove

Are you ready for my version?

My family couldn't decide if I'd made a heart or Africa.

Needless to say, my husband and daughters had quite a laugh at my expense. Doesn't matter. We had loads of fun and supported a colleague. Nothing not to love (Except maybe my painting. ;)  )

So all these tropical colors had me wanting something with a tropical flair.

My daughter was making a yummy, sort of tropical sounding salad for dinner, so she let me share her meal.

I don't think it has a name, but it's a cold salad bowl based on red quinoa.

First she made the red quinoa and left it to chill.

Next came her mix of mango, raspberries and avocado.

Then came the kale and coconut.


 Fit for a tropical escape, don't you think?

I confess. I didn't eat it. One of my aunts has a deadly allergy to mangoes so I've always had a fear of them.

Has anyone else ever done one of those painting nights. They're apparently all the rage though I have no idea what I'm going to do with the painting. Hmmmm, future art fact sheet.  ;)


  1. I just love your Bohemian cooking. I still haven't tried quinoa. Me thinks it's Yankee grits.

    Girl's night out pottery classes is what they had in Colorado. Like the painting, actually.

    1. We have a pottery place here too, Tina. It's frequently packed with kids early in the day and adults in the evening. I guess we all need to get out the stress somehow. This was surprisingly relaxing.

  2. I see gals on facebook doing painting parties in all the towns and cities, Cate! They're a huge thing right now, and my sisters and sisters-in-law all joined ceramics classes when we were raising kids... And they made some beautiful things. I have 0 art skills, but I think the painting parties sound like fun... and I've discovered that working in pencil-sketch allows (shh.....) erasures. :) I'm all over erasing mistakes, LOL! And I love your painting, honey, I think it's gorgeous!

    The only quinoa I've had was gummy and sticky, like really badly cooked cheap rice, and a couple of kids assure me that when cooked correctly, I'd like it. We'll see one of these days... but in honor of lack on quinoa I made my yellow rice last night, and was happy.... but I love daughter's fun combo of fruits and avocado... It looks marvelous! And why red quinoa? Flavor? Looks? Texture?

    Note to self: Seriously consider trying quinoa at some point in time, after your Southwestern Chocolate Bark....


    Cate, adding your colleague to my prayer list. I am just waiting and praying for these new technologies to say one word: CURED.

    1. Aren't you a sweetheart. ;)

      I have zero talent too (the school kids regularly laugh at my drawings), but this was pretty failure-proof. Everyone's paintings looked good.

      Thanks for the prayers. Much appreciated.

  3. We have a place here in our town to do painting parties. Or if there are only one or two of you, you can join in during their "open painting" times.

    My introverted son is dating a very extroverted girl, and she is very good for him. And you know how it is when you're dating - he'll do anything she wants. So she signed the two of them up for one of those open painting times.

    Dragged him WAY out of his comfort zone and he still loved it.

    He has hidden his painting, but I know he enjoyed himself. :)

    The salad idea sounds great! And I do like quinoa, although I rarely eat it. I think a quinoa salad should be on today's lunch menu.

    1. I'm so happy she dragged him (and that he went!). It really was fun - and so many great laughs. There was another group there who apparently are regulars. They even brought snacks and pizza! We were jealous.

  4. Cate, you did a great job! I can't believe they laughed at that. It looks very similar to the model.

    Yes! I went with a friend to do a paint night. We had such a good time! My painting doesn't look nearly as good as yours. But it was still great fun. And my husband hung mine in the dining room!

    1. I think they were laughing as much at the original as at mine, Missy. I have to admit, it wasn't my first choice of colors. I did see some seascapes and beach scenes on the walls that would have been much more my style. Maybe I'll go back.

      I'd love to see your painting.

  5. I love quinoa. I'll have to come up with some bowls ideas. Y'all know me. I'll probably throw together things that I happen to have at the moment. :)

    1. That's my style too, Missy. I'm not much good at planning ahead.

  6. Paint and Sip! I have a friend who's been wanting to do this for ages, yet I'm still waiting for to her to make a move. Since I'm sure my painting skills would make yours look like a Rembrandt, perhaps the sipping would be of assistance to me. :P

    Again Mary Cate, you never cease to amaze me with your recipes. And I would likely give this one a go. Which, I guess, would put me a step ahead of you since you failed to try this. Fear of mangoes? Come on Mary Cate, YOLO!

    1. It might be a very short YOLO, Mindy, based on my aunt's reaction. We're talking anaphylactic shock kind of allergy.

      Yes, paint and sip. And believe me, I have NO, ZERO, ZIP artistic talent. This was really paint by numbers but without numbers. ;) You should do it!

  7. Prayers for your co-worker's health journey.

    I have never heard of that kind of paint party but we have a place here called Gotta Paint and it's painting on ceramics/pottery. You can book a group party and I've gone a few times. Fun at Christmas. You pick the piece you want to paint, go to town and then leave it behind to be glazed and put in the kiln. Haven't done that in a while. A great night out.

    So the salad -- who would have thunk? What a combination of ingredients. I am just not an imaginative cook! LOL

    1. These have really taken off here in the past few years, Kav. I've seen groups of women walking down the street with their identical paintings, but I'd never actually done it before. I figured it was good research for a book.