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Melissa Washburn

Valparaiso, IN, US

Bio:

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

Birthday Banana Split by Melissa Washburn

Valparaiso, IN, US

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For the Birthday Bash Design Challenge — It's your birthday, so Treat Yourself! Who needs birthday cake when you can indulge in a banana split with all the toppings!

Brussels Sprouts Salad by Melissa Washburn

Valparaiso, IN, US

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Superfood Entry

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!

A Rainbow of Fruit by Melissa Washburn

Valparaiso, IN, US

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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.

Shrimp Pad Thai by Melissa Washburn

Valparaiso, IN, US

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I absolutely love making pad thai on a cold winter day. The spicier, the better! It's delicious with tofu, vegetables, or chicken, but shrimp is definitely my favorite protein with this noodly treat.

Dandelion Wine by Melissa Washburn

Valparaiso, IN, US

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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.

Butternut Squash Soup by Melissa Washburn

Valparaiso, IN, US

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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.

Favorite Cinnamon-Chocolate Chip Cookies by Melissa Washburn

Valparaiso, IN, US

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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.

Edible Flowers by Melissa Washburn

Valparaiso, IN, US

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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.

Holiday Cheer Cranberry Cocktail by Melissa Washburn

Valparaiso, IN, US

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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.

Hot pepper pattern by Melissa Washburn

Valparaiso, IN, US

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Hot peppers come in so many interesting shapes and colors, and are really fun to draw!

Fresh Pico de Gallo by Melissa Washburn

Valparaiso, IN, US

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A recipe we make at home all summer long with farmer's market tomatoes, garlic, and hot peppers. Easy to adjust to taste, and delicious on sandwiches, burritos, quesadillas, or just with chips!

Strawberry Spinach Salad by Melissa Washburn

Valparaiso, IN, US

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A simple salad that is also incredibly good for you! It's best in the summer when fresh, ripe strawberries are readily available, but you can enjoy it any time of year.

Sushi Yum! by Melissa Washburn

Valparaiso, IN, US

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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!

Grammy's Pineapple Sherbert by Melissa Washburn

Valparaiso, IN, US

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This sherbet recipe was a favorite at family gatherings when I was a child. The title, with the incorrect spelling "Sherbert" was traced from my grandmother's original handwritten recipe.

Mango Relish by Melissa Washburn

Valparaiso, IN, US

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Mango is one of my favorite fruits, and I love it in savory-sweet chutneys and relishes to accompany spicy dishes. This particular recipe was invented to go with "Lily's Hot + Spicy Chicken."

Lily's Hot + Spicy Chicken by Melissa Washburn

Valparaiso, IN, US

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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.

Spiced Pear Frozen Yogurt by Melissa Washburn

Valparaiso, IN, US

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This is a healthy and refreshing treat on a hot summer day!