Melissa WashburnValparaiso, IN, US
I create layered, expressive mixed-media illustrations inspired by the natural world. My influences range from 18th century natural history illustration to contemporary editorial illustration and fine art printmaking. I have been lucky enough to have a career working in some aspect of the arts for two decades now, and I love to constantly learn new things. I live in the Midwest with my family, which includes a rescued greyhound.
Recipes By Melissa Washburn
I grew up with icky frozen Brussels sprouts, and never appreciated the wonderful flavor and crunch of these adorable mini-cabbages. I love them roasted but they are also fantastic raw in this savory salad with toasted pecans and blue cheese. The shallot vinaigrette adds a nice punch as well.
Full of antioxidants; fiber; Vitamins B, C, and K; and cancer-fighting compounds, when paired with the healthy fats of olive oil and pecans, these greens can't be beat!
The advice "Eat the Rainbow" is true for getting a healthy balance of both fruits and vegetables, but I personally love to eat fruit. All kinds, all seasons. The health benefits, from Vitamin C and Beta Carotine in the reds and oranges, to calcium and antioxidants in the blues and purples are just a side benefit of the flavors, textures, and colors you can enjoy in the rainbow of fruit available.
We have never used weedkiller on our lawn, and in the spring it becomes a carpet of purple and yellow, full of violet and dandelion blossoms. This year, I thought I'd experiment with making homemade dandelion wine. My first attempt didn't turn out too badly; very strong, but with a sweet, citrus-herb mead-like taste. Part art, part science, your mileage may vary.
This simple, delicious soup features the sweetness of butternut squash and curry, and the spice of fresh ginger root. A favorite around our house all year round, it is very forgiving in terms of tweaking the amount of each ingredient to taste.
These traditional chewy chocolate chip cookies are punched up with the addition of cinnamon and two kinds of chocolate. Every time I bake them, they disappear! The illustration was created for our Crush Illustration Collective monthly challenge.
With flavors ranging from peppery to sweet, many common flowers can add flavor, color, and excitement to salads; edible decoration to cupcakes and desserts; or an unusual twist to drinks when frozen in ice cubes or turned into simple syrups! There are many lists available of edible flowers on the interwebs (just a few are pictured here), as well as recipes and tips for identification and use.
A simple, bright cocktail to get you through the holidays. Simple syrups are so easy to make infused with just about any flavor you can think of. 1 cup water, 1 cup sugar, plus a handful of just about any fruit or herb will make a great flavoring you can add to seltzer, coffee, or cocktails.
One of the wonderful things about sushi is the attention given to presentation as well as the food itself. I love to see the gigantic wooden boats full of beautiful sushi, sashimi, and rolls come of of the kitchen at Japanese restaurants. I embellished this illustration with some hand-drawn Japanese crest motifs and hope that my work is as much a feast for the eyes as the real thing!
I woke up one Saturday morning to find my then-8-year-old daughter standing over me with a clipboard. "Mommy, I'm writing a recipe" my precocious Food Network addict said. She chose the ingredients, and I helped her figure out the right proportions and cooking method. You can tweak the sweetness or spiciness to taste quite easily. Not only is this recipe a true original, it was a great excuse to draw chickens.