• Cookie recipe Chocolate Dipped Chocolate Shortbread Cookies

    Cookie recipe

    Chocolate Dipped Chocolate Shortbread Cookies



    • 1 cup all-purpose flour
    • ½ cup confectioner’s sugar
    • 1/4 cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
    • ¼ teaspoon salt
    • ½ cup (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
    • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
    • 1 large egg yolk
    • 3 ounces milk chocolate, coarsely chopped and melted


    1. In the bowl of a food processor fitted with a blade attachment, combine flour, sugar, cocoa powder, and salt. Add butter, vanilla, and egg yolk and process until mixture comes together into a moist ball. Scrape the dough onto a piece of plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
    2. Place a rack in the center and upper third of the oven and preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Set aside.
    3. Roll out dough between two sheets of parchment paper. Lightly flouring the bottom piece of parchment paper. Roll to 1/4 inch thick. Use a 2 1/2-inch round or heart-shaped cookie cutter to cut out dough and use a thin spatula to transfer cookies to the prepared baking pan.
    4. Bake cookies until firm to the touch, 20 to 25 minutes. Let cookies cool completely on wire racks.
    5. Melt milk chocolate in a small bowl in the microwave, heating for 30 second intervals, removing the bowl to stir the chocolate and repeat until the chocolate is completely melted.
    6. Allow the cookies to cool on a wire rack before dipping in chocolate. Sprinkle with sea salt or sprinkles and allow to rest for 30 minutes to harden the chocolate. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for several days.

    By Joy the Baker


  • Mary Cassatt, Young Mother Sewing, 1990. Courtesy of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. A Look at the World of Male vs Female Artists

    When my daughter was in elementary school, often we visited art museums.  Camille made sure that we found the Mary Cassatt paintings.  For many years, Cassatt’s art  interested her.  I never really knew why Camille loved these paintings because later she focused on German Expressionism.  
    This blog posting is one of the more interesting that I read in the last month so I thought I would share it.  Let me know what you think.  It’s an interesting look at female artist’s lives in the 1890’s.  


    Mary Cassatt Painted Domestic Life in a Way Male Impressionists Couldn’t…


    Mary Cassatt, Five O'Clock Tea, 1880. Image via the Museum of Fine Arts Boston.

    Gathered in an Eden-esque orchard, a group of women in fully contemporary dress pluck apples skillfully and intently. Turning, they pass the alluring fruits on to the next generation that waits nearby.
    This was Mary Cassatt’s vision of the modern world, painted on the wall of the Woman’s Building at the 1893 World’s Columbian Exhibition in Chicago. In it, she depicted a new origin myth: Rather than Eve, causing the fall of mankind, these women presented a hopeful allegory where knowledge (and equal opportunity) was available to all.
    The message was true to Cassatt’s ideologies—she was a champion of woman’s ability to stand alone—but it was also radical. As Cassatt recalled, “An American friend asked me in a rather huffy tone the other day, ‘Then this is woman apart from her relations to man?’ I told him it was.”
    Although Cassatt was not the only woman painter to show with the Impressionists, she was the sole American to be officially incorporated into the movement. Today, she is best remembered for her arresting portraits of women and children in the private sphere. Her images of domesticity are as revisionist as her Biblical subversions at the World’s Fair—paying tribute to, rather than trivializing, feminine experience.

    Mary CassattYoung Mother and Two Children1908White House Historical Association

    Mary Cassatt, Woman Sitting with a Child in Her Arms, 1890. Image via Wikimedia Commons.

    Cassatt was born in 1844 to an affluent family in Allegheny City, Pennsylvania (now Pittsburgh). Her parents allowed, even encouraged, their daughter to take drawing lessons during a years-long family trip through Europe—although they would have reservations later in life when she decided to pursue a career in the arts. At the time, it was uncommon for upper-class women to work as professional artists. The occupation, associated with mistresses, nude life-drawing classes, and public life, ran contrary to a woman’s expected role as mother. Throughout her life, Cassatt would vacillate between her unconventional choices (both professionally and personally—she never married) and the decorum of her upbringing.
    But back in Pennsylvania after her time abroad, Cassatt couldn’t help but yearn for the art world of Paris. Just after the end of the Civil War, Cassatt finally traveled with a classmate to France to study painting in the City of Lights, where she would spend most of her life. In 1877, after a dozen years of study, copying in the Musée du Louvre, and occasionally showing in the Paris Salon, she received a pivotal visit from Edgar Degas.
    Degas invited her to show with the Impressionists—the moment, Cassatt later said, that she “began to live.” By accepting, she became “part of an egalitarian art movement,” says University of Leeds professor Griselda Pollock. Degaswho would become Cassatt’s champion, confidant, and collaborator, indoctrinated her into his Impressionist circle. In a break from tradition, these artists were exploring everyday experiences on their canvases, painting “their own families, their social relations, the places they [went] on holiday,” Pollock says.

    Mary Cassatt, Denise at Her Dressing Table, ca. 1908-09. Courtesy of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

    Mary CassattLady at the Tea Table1883–1885The Metropolitan Museum of Art

    But in observing her lived experiences, Cassatt soon realized how different her world was from those of her male peers. “There would have been places she couldn’t go, even if she had dared,” explains Kimberly A. Jones, a curator of 19th-century French paintings at the National Gallery of Art in Washington D.C. “Even as a friend of Degas, she couldn’t go backstage at the Opera or hang out in the cafés.” Cassatt observed those differences in her work, exposing the complexity of gender and sexuality in the public sphere. In the Loge (1878), a painting of a man ogling a woman watching an opera, documents what Pollock calls “these extraordinary spectacles where women become part of the spectacle.”
    In 1877, as Cassatt was taking advantage of bustling art and theatre scenes of her adopted city, her family moved in. Her new chaperone-roommates generated a series of familial obligations, including caring for her sister Lydia, who suffered from a kidney disease. As Cassatt spent more time with her family, scenes of domesticity begin to dominate her work.
    In addition to the convenience of in-house models, Cassatt discovered that here, in the home, she had comfort and control. “Men were always interlopers in that sphere because they had the rest of the world to roam,” says Jones. “The fact that she was a woman gave her an understanding of that sphere that was her natural domain.

    Mary Cassatt, Young Mother Sewing, 1990. Courtesy of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

    Although they are confined, Cassatt’s subjects are never decorative. These women are “educated or thoughtful or creative or in conversation,” Pollock notes. “They’re usually animated. Cassatt’s the absolute master (or mistress) of complex relationships articulated through expressions, through gestures, through space.”
    Her work rejects sentimentality, and her images of women and children “have nothing to do with maternity,” Pollock continues. “Images of maternity, you see in Renoir, with pink breasts.” Crucially, Pollock points out, the adult sitters of Cassatt’s portraits were usually nursemaids, rather than mothers. Her paintings juxtapose the unformed child and the formed adult, illustrating the process of “socializing women from little plump girls who have no reason to believe their lives will be limited, to becoming this finished project, where their lives will always be on show.”
    Cassatt’s brush revealed the tragedy and beauty of women’s lives in the 19th century, giving voice and dignity to the oft-overlooked domestic sphere. Like these paintings, her Chicago mural was populated solely by women. As she reminded that huffy American friend: “Men, I have no doubt, are painted in all their vigor on the walls of the other buildings.”
    written by Sarah Bochicchio , Artsy.net


  • Sue Boehme glass sculpture 10 Questions to the Artist – Sue Boehme

    Picture of artist Sue Boehme
    Sue Boehme
    I met Sue Boehme last summer.  She reached out to me, introducing herself as a local artist who works in many mediums.  I agreed to visit her studio and was immediately intrigued by this artist.  She has been walking the creative path for a long time and has created art using many mediums such as clay, metal, and glass.
    Sue answers our “Ten Questions to the Artist” so that we can get to know her, just a little.  
    1 & 2. WHAT TURNS YOU ON CREATIVELY, SPIRITUALLY, OR EMOTIONALLY? And do you have an influence or theme that guides your work?
    The recurrent theme in much of my work references the natural world around us- from the cosmos to cellular structures. I spend a lot of time outdoors, and find it a source of endless inspiration. As a child, I adored science and studied everything from fossils and minerals to butterflies and birds.
    I have been fortunate to have experienced a number of careers in my life – I was a computer programmer in the eighties, a co-owner in a family millwright services business (I handle the accounting) for the past thirty years, an adjunct art professor for eight years, and now a private art instructor. If I could pick a profession, I would work for Warner Brothers to help design props for films, or Universal Orlando to design and sculpt the items that help provide an immersive experience for guests. Another great option would be an illustrator for a graphic novel, or an animator for Dreamworks.
    I wouldn’t care for any profession that includes handling sewage of any type.
    My favorite artists: Henry Moores’s drawings, Kathe Kollwitz, Lee Bontecoe’s early work, Japanese printmakers, Shaun Tan, Kazu Kibuishi, and Hayao Miyazaki.
    My favorite tool are my fingers – I am a very hands on artist.
    John Powell
    Formal education includes a BFA in Sculpture from Kendall College of Art and Design, and approximately twenty intensive glass workshops.
    Thank you, Sue, for answering our questions.  Stop in to the gallery to see her artwork. She and I will be hosting an Artist Talk beginning at 7:30 pm.  Denise will be in the gallery, Friday night, November 3, 7-8:30pm.  

    Fused Glass bowl by Sue Boehme