Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Jennifer Oliver

This beautiful, lush painting that you are looking at was done by Jennifer Oliver at last year's Illustration Master Class. Since Jennifer sat next to me during most of the week's painting time, I was fortunate enough to see its development from the earliest stages as well as make a new friend. It's like the friendship and the painting were born at the same time!
And now she has sent me a recipe from her friend, Rhett Wickham, that I wanted to share with all of you. She had plans to try it with a sprinkling of cinnamon to push the exotic factor even further, but I don't know yet how that went. I suspect it was fantastic!

Rhett's easy goat cheese and pear pizza:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Fresh pizza dough
One large white or Vidalia onion, sliced and caramelized
Two pears, thinly sliced
Sliced goat cheese or feta cheese, crumbled
Basil Pesto
Raw Walnuts
Coat rolled out pizza dough with pesto, cover with the onions, goat cheese
and pear slices. Sprinkle with ground pepper, sea salt and chopped walnuts
to taste. If using feta cheese, omit the sea salt. Bake at 375 for 15 minutes for a thin crust, 20-25 minutes for a thicker crust, or until golden. Yum!


  1. It's an honor to make your blog Julie! And that was certainly a most fortuitous seating arrangement for me, no doubt about it! Not only was I able to watch one of your amazing calendar paintings take shape (which, just like watching Boris work, is like seeing magic happen) and receive some expert advice which made my first oil painting in two decades seem much less intimidating, but I also made a wonderful new friend who has changed my life for the better in more ways than I can count. It doesn't get any better than that!

    The cinnamon; not so good. It added an oddly bitter taste. found that just a little more pepper was all it needed for the spicy kick that sets off the other flavors perfectly. But it did make me think about trying out a dessert pizza someday soon; maybe pears, apples, berries and ricotta cheese with cinnamon and...? I'm still searching for healthy alternatives to sugar (agave nectar perhaps)? Since meeting you, Boris and my friend Susan, who controls her MS symptoms with a healthy vegetarian diet, I've been moving more and more in that direction myself. Not always easy with a tomato allergy and sensitivity to some soy, but it can be done! I'm finding all kinds of creative ways of getting more fruits and veggies into my diet. The "breakfast of artists" is my new favorite way to start the day, and a whole grain wrap filled with hummus, veggie salad, chopped cucumbers and grilled red peppers seems to help me avoid that late afternoon crash without meat and dairy products. It's amazing how profound an effect food has on livers, multiple sclerosis, fibromyalgia...and pretty much everything else!

    Oh, and on a totally different note; I changed my blogger ID from "Jen" to something more specific now because I've joined up with other former IMC students on a blog started by Madeline Carol Matz: http://mistressessketchbook.blogspot.com/ It's amazing how that class continues to have an effect on all of us!

  2. Thanks for the interesting posts!

    I was wondering if you could do a post on whey vs soy protein for muscle growth? I am thinking of swapping organic milk for organic soy milk to help raise my pH, but have heard so many mixed things about soy protein. There seem to be so many opinions on phytoestrogen, BV, etc., etc. Thanks!

  3. I love pear/goat cheese pizzas Jen. Terrific this time of year. (I also love panfrying sliced pears and beets (separately) and then tossing them warm, together over green salad. Fabulous!). And yes, I like agave syrup as a sugar substitute in many things, although I haven't tried it with baking - but it works great on the roasted peaches or plums I am currently craving, when they need a little added sweet....

  4. Jen and tlc--sweet and salty is definitely a winning combination. Thanks for these ideas!

    Jeremy--the question of whey or soy protein is a great one. I prefer whey for reasons I'll explain in a post, but, in the meantime, you should absolutely stay away from products that contain Isolated Soy Protein. That's where you get the problems associated with phytoestrogen.

  5. Thanks, looking forward to the post!

  6. Jen's painting is just gorgeous. Rhett's pizza is absolutely terrific.

  7. Yes, it really is beautiful! And I'm so glad you tried the pizza!