They Draw and Cook

This is THE website to browse for your cooking and entertainment needs.

Love food? Love art? Then you’ll surely love They Draw and Cook, a website where people who A. love to draw or create art and B. love to cook share their two passions! I have been following the blog for a couple of years now, and I’ve only grown to be more and more impressed with it.

This is unlike any other food blog you’ve run across. Everything is conveyed in a very whimsical, artistic fashion, with very few words and a lot of visuals. It’s more like poetry than a recipe, with no wasted, unnecessary words used. And really, if we’ve learned anything, shouldn’t that be how recipes should be—how food itself is?

Today’s featured recipe, for example, is a drink called Come Hell or High Water. It is, of course, featured inside a giant cocktail glass, which is garnished with fruit and a straw. The ingredients are mainly what is listed—drinks are easier that way, sure, but it’s something so simple yet fun. It’s a recipe that will stick with you, as are the rest of the recipes on the site.I know when I try to cook something from a recipe I find online, it can end in disaster. I have to keep running back to my laptop, or I have to jot it down really quickly before cooking it, and I still mess it up! I actually burned brown butter sauce last night, which made the house smell just gorgeous, let me tell you… But these recipes are so simple and their visuals help them stick in your head, making them that much easier to remember and, hopefully, execute.

I am thinking that They Draw and Cook should have their own Food Network program where chefs have to duke it out on both the drawing board and in the kitchen! How much fun would that be for us visual people? Of course, there are plenty of other things to enjoy at the They Draw and Cook website, from their cookbook (fun!) to their collection “cards” users can browse through, featured artists and their projects, and more.

And if you want to submit your own recipe decked out in artistic glory, here’s something to sweeten the pot: every month one submitter will receive $100 just for impressing the site’s owners with his or her creativity and awesome recipe. You don’t have anything to lose, so why not?

Mardi Gras tips for cooking


If you didn’t already know, Mardi Gras is the last binge fest before Lent, when fasting occurs. So it’s no surprise that food is one of the central themes surrounding the festival. Today (February 21st) is Fat Tuesday, the height of Mardi Gras season. And although you may not be in New Orleans for the festivities, it doesn’t mean you can’t eat like you’re there. Here are some tips about cooking Cajun style that you need to know before cooking.

Typically, Cajun is the most commonly associated cuisine with Mardi Gras and one pot meals like gumbo and jambalaya are staples of this season, which include fresh seafood, lots of butter, white wine, rice, and smoked meats and sausages.


When cooking Cajun style, the trick is to have three key ingredients, as most dishes wouldn’t be caught dead without these; onions, bell peppers, and celery are a must have. To bring out the most flavor in your gumbo, or any other dish using meats, brown ham and sausage before adding it to the pot, as this brings out the flavor and tenderizes the meat. Also, rushing won’t help anything. When making dishes like gumbo or jambalaya, it’s best to let these slow simmer. The longer the better, as the juices will be more distinct.


Another staple ingredient in Cajun cooking is a fat and flour mixture called roux. This is typically made by browning fat and whisking in flour. It needs to cook for about an hour, until its about the color of coffee. Adding this concoction, along with the three holy ingredients, celery, onion, and bell peppers will be the highlight of any dish. Try it with your next pot of gumbo.


Happy Mardi Gras!

Lesser known aphrodisiacs


If you’re deciding to stay in this Valentine’s Day and preparing to cook your own meal you may want to pick a few of these foods to give your that added spark. These less-popular aphrodisiacs will surely give you and your partner an added boost of energy and happiness on the day of love.

Pine Nuts

Sprinkle a few pine nuts over a savory meal of lamp or chicken or even put some in your salad. You can even include these in baking. Add them to any cookie dough or substitute pine nuts for walnuts in the next loaf of banana bread.These nuts are high in zinc and have been known to boost male endurance. 



If you buy ripe or fresh figs don’t be surprised if the flavor resembles a flower. However, figs are most commonly eaten with a bit of balsamic vinegar drizzled over the top. You can even add the figs into a chocolate tart or some other chocolate based baked good.



Ginger has been a food held on high since antiquity for its medicinal properties. Although ancient medicine men had difficulties determining just how eating ginger benefited us, we now know that the root helps our circulation flow better throughout our body. Most often used in Asian dishes and stir frys, the sharp kick of ginger is a perfect ingredient to add to your romantic night.



Asparagus naturally contains calcium, potassium, and vitamin E, pretty much love potion number nine. Back in the day, before French couples wed, they ate asparagus in order to get ready for the big night. 




Simple Super Bowl snacks


The big game is this Sunday and if you’re wanting to serve up some simple yet traditional dishes with a bit of a twist, these recipes will be sure to please your guests. 

Turkey meatballs in honey chipotle sauce

Again, preheat your oven to 375 degrees. In a large bowl mix 1.5 pounds of ground turkey with half a diced yelllow onion, two minced garlic cloves, half teaspoon of salt and 1/4 teaspoon of ground pepper. Combine the ingredients and form into balls (should make about 16 meatballs).


In a small bowl stir two tablespoons of honey with two tablespoons chipotle chilies (chopped) in an adobo sauce, along with two teaspoons of cider vinegar.


In a large skillet (ovenproof) drop in 1 tablespoon of olive oil and heat at medium temperature. Transfer your meatballs into skillet and cook until browned around all sides. Then place skillet in the oven for about 12 minutes. After done cooking, pour the honey chipotle sauce over the meatballs and stir. Bake until the mixture is reduced and meatballs are completely cooked through (5 minutes).



To quicken this, buy shrimp that’s already been deveined. Bring a large pot of water to boil and add a bit of salt. Drop in about two pounds of the shrimp (if you buy deveined shrimp, shells should be already split up the back). Cook shrimp for about five minutes, or until they look opaque. Put cooked shrimp in a bowl, put in two teaspoons of unsalted melted butter and Old Bay seasoning to taste. Toss and serve warm.


Grilled cheese with pepper jelly

These are a great snack that can be easy replenished when the hoards make their way through your house. Completely bypass the whole butter in the pan step. Preheat your over to 375, In order to get a perfectly golden crisp toast, first layer your slices of bread with cheese and on the other slices spread the pepper jelly. Sandwich the two halves together and in a large skillet that’s been coated with cooking spray, cook your sandwich until golden brown (2 minutes). Afterwards, transfer to a sheet pan and stick in the oven to get that perfectly melted grilled cheese. 





Don't toss out that stale bread just yet.


For many people, stale bread is a useless, tooth breaking, crunchy, and unappetizing food. Usually day olds are tossed and we never think twice about how we can adapt those stale baguettes into a new dish. But here are some ideas you should consider before chucking those old breads in the trash can.

You don’t need a fresh steaming loaf of bread straight from the oven in order to make a dish classy. In fact, many traditional recipes throughout Europe incorporate day old breads into their repertoire. It’s both a frugal and sensible way to utilize ingredients otherwise thought of as useless. 


Where would British cuisines like puddings, stuffings, and trifles be without their day olds? What about Italian Panzanella salad. Without hard bread bits to add texture and flavor and sop up those tomato juices it would be another caprese salad. And of course what would French onion soap be without its crouton? 


Most importantly, stale breads are the best means to absorb those flavors and juices that make the dish what it is. Here are a few recipe ideas that allow you to save and recycle those stale day olds.


French onion soup au gratin

Fattoush salad: This is a Middle Eastern version of the Panzanella salad.

Linguine with cherry tomatoes and breadcrumb gremolata: Fact, while dining in a restaurant in Italy, it is customary to sop up that extra juice with bread. It’s a compliment to the chef.

Cheese fondue

Chocolate rum raisin bread pudding: In this recipe, the staler the bread the better. Dry bread absorbs the chocolate custard more which is essential.


See complete recipes here:






Chinese New Year's recipes


Happy Lunar New Year! Monday, January 23rd marked the most important holiday in Chinese culture. Millions (actually billions) of Chinese in China and across the globe will be ringing in the year of the dragon for the next several days. Celebrating the New Year means being with family and eating good foods that attract, wealthy, happiness, luck, and overall prosperity in the coming year. So if you would like to celebrate and make a traditional Chinese New Year inspired dish, take a look at some of these ideas.

First Dish

Begin your meal with a dish that symbolizes wealth. Dumplings and pot stickers alike represent that wealth will surely be in your near future. Using pork or beef, and some wonton wrappers you can either steam these tasty morsels in a bamboo basket or sear these pockets for a crispy snack.


Main Dish

Noodles symbolize longevity and the longer the noodle, the better. Be sure not to cut your noodles during cooking, as this is a bad sign. Also, shrimp is thought to bring happiness to those enjoying them. Mixing both noodles and shrimp in a pan-seared Sichuan shrimp and mung bean noodle dish will ensure 2012 is a fulfilling year for you and your loved ones. Add Sichuan peppercorns for some heat and soy sauce and Chinese black vinegar that really bring out the flavors.


End it off right

Of course it wouldn’t be a complete meal without the fortune cookie at the end. Although Chinese have been stuffing slips of paper lucky sayings into their deserts for many centuries, the fortune cookies was actually invented in the 1900s in San Francisco. That doesn’t its not still tradition. This recipe infuses the cookie batter with matcha green tea for an added yummy flavor.





Seattle Locavore adds new protein to her menu


Seattleite Melany Vorass is giving a whole new meaning to the term “locavore”. A former state environmental analyst and current urban foraging teacher living in the Green Lake neighborhood, Vorass has experimented with many local and sustainable foods. She raises chickens, goats and bees in her back yard (everyone in Seattle is allowed to raise up to three small goats, and numerous chickens on their property). From time to time Vorass even eats a few edible weeds and snails. However, her palate has led her to add another backyard creature to the menu.

Melany Vorass and her family have recently found a solution to their grey squirrel problems. Instead of catching and releasing the pesky varmints into the nearby park, Vorass now catches, drowns, and serves the squirrels in her evening meals. Think risotto di rodentia or squirrel stew. Mmm mm. She got the idea after reading about Britain's appetite for the squirrel. After the North American Grey Squirrel was introduced to Britain’s population, and began to overrun their indigenous red squirrel, people started hunting and eating the greys in order to cut their population. Back in Seattle, Vorass believes eating these small creatures is a great way to add variety to her protein dishes and according to Public Health officials, catching and eating squirrels is A.O.K. Although some believe the squirrel is too dirty of an animal to be consumes (squirrels are thought to carry a type of mad cow disease or Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease), Vorass and her family are at ease digesting this critter as long as its cooked at a proper temperature.


Seattle has always been the hot bed of movements like sustainable food and eating local. Now, I’m curious as to the next protein Seattleites will forage and serve up for their next meals. Look out Green Lake geese!



Northwest Inspired New Years Eve Recipes



This upcoming New Years, have a party and serve some plates inspired by the fresh seafood cuisine of the Pacific Northwest.

Tiny Crab Cakes


  • 1 lb fresh dungeness crab meat
  • 1 cup mayo 
  • 1/2 cup chopped parsley
  • 1 1/2 tblspns Dijon mustard
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 1/8 tspn cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil 


Wash and drain crab meat. Put in small mixing bowl. Fold in remaining ingredients (don’t break lumps of crab meat apart). Place skillet over medium heat with vegetable oil. Gently mold your small crab paddies and cook several at a time. Turn once with spatula. If needed add extra oil for more paddies. 

** If crab meat is really moist, add additional flour to soak up the moisture


Smoked Salmon on crackers

Hopefully this is self explanatory. Make sure to purchase a decent quality of smoked salmon. preferably from a seafood vendor. Serve on good crackers and cream cheese if you like.


BBQ Shrimp

  • 2 lbs large peeled shrimp
  • 2 tblspns Cajun seasoning
  • 2 tblspns canola oil
  • 6 cloves garlic, smashed and peeled
  • 1 12 oz light beer
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1 8 oz bottle clam juice
  • 1/4 cup Tabasco sauce
  • 1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tblspns apple-cider vinegar
  • 2 dried bay leaves
  • 1 tspoon whole black peppercorns
  • 1 stick cold butter, cut into cubes


Toss shrimp with cajun seasoning in a medium sized bowl. Heat canola oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Once oil is hot, add garlic, saute till golden. Add shrimp into the pan and cook till bright pink. Remove shrimp. Pour in lemon juice, clam juice, Tabasco, Worchestershire, apple cider vinegar, bay leaves and peppercorn, into pan and simmer for 15 minutes. Whisk cubes of butter into sauce. Once melted, add the shrimp once more and cook for about 12 more minutes. Serves shrimp in bowls with sauce and crusty bread.

Hot Dungeness Crab Dip


Every year my family hosts its annual Hors D’oeuvres night. We get together and everyone brings their signature seasonal dishes. This year i’m bringing a traditional Northwest favorite, crab dip. 

I found a new recipe that incorporates innovative ingredients to make a thicker dip and allows the sweet meat of the crab to shine through.


Be sure to pay the extra money for fresh Dungeness crab. The canned stuff is too watery and not flavorful and will make your dish a bisque rather than a dip.


Also, many other recipes call for a mayonnaise or sour cream base but these tend to become too runny. This recipe suggests using a cream cheese base that has been mixed with milk to loosen the texture. 


Finally, you may want to reconsider topping the final dish with bread crumbs. If your goal is to really accentuate the crab meat then don’t take away from the flavor by adding crumbs that can sometimes overpower the whole dip.


Try the recipe out!



  • 2 (8oz) packages of cream cheese, softened and cut into 1 inch chunks
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 3 tblspns from 1 lemon
  • 2 tblspns minced onion
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon Mustard
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Old Bay seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon hot sauce (Franks RedHod Original)
  • 1 pound crabmeat (Dungeness is best)
  • 2 tblspns minced fresh parsley



Place oven rack in middle position in oven and heat to 475 degrees.

Grease shallow 2 quart baking dish


Whisk cream cheese, milk, lemon juice, onion, Worcestershire, mustard, Old Bay, and hot sauce together in a large bowl until smooth.

Gently fold in crab meat into bowl. 


Transfer mix to greased baking dish and smooth top. Bake until browned which usually takes 20-25 minutes. 

Sprinkle top with parsley before serving



If you have to drive, this dish is easily transported. Just pop it in the oven once at your party and re-heat for several minutes


Serve with toasted points or pita triangles 




Seasonal Drink: Gluhwein Recipe



Need another hot seasonal alcoholic drink to add alongside the hot toddy and Baileys with hot chocolate? Try this German mulled wine, Gluhwein (literally glue wine... yum!)


I first tried Gluhwein when I visited Germany a few years ago. I was shopping in one of the many Christmas Markets in Marienplatz and my nose led me to a small stand that was serving this drink up in small stein like mugs. It was a very cold evening and this hot spiced wine was exactly what I needed to get me through the rest of my shopping. I actually didn’t think about this Gluhwein much until I had returned to the states and another winter had arrived. I had a strong nostalgic feeling for some hot Gluhwein and I decided to just make my own.


Here’s a good recipe that makes almost nearly the same drink you can get in Christmas markets throughout Germany.



What you’ll need:


3/4 Cup water 

3/4 Cup white sugar (I usually add this to taste)

2 cinnamon sticks

1 orange

16 whole cloves/or allspice

Bottle of red wine (merlot seems to work best)




1 Add water, sugar, and cinnamon sticks into saucepan and bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer once boiling.

2 Cut orange into fourths and squeeze juice into simmering water. Push 4 cloves into each of the orange slices and place these pieces into the water.

3 Simmer for about 30 minutes until it becomes thick and syrupy.

4 Pour in wine and heat until steaming. Afterwards remove the orange pieces.


Serves 6