Ana and Art 2014

Ana's art class on a field trip
Ana’s art class on a field trip

Something I have discovered here that I LOVE is the classes offered during the summer months.  Institutes and schools offer “talleres,” or workshops, to kids of all ages during January and February.  One can find classes for instruments, dance, art, swimming, etc.  Ana took swimming classes last year.

Ana got some Christmas money from her grandparents, and we decided to put it toward an art class this January.  She meets 3 times a week, 2 hours at a time.  She loves art, and this class has not disappointed us.  We live in a culture of many “starving” artists.  Arequipa values art, and it is not a surprise to see an art exhibit in the city center or displayed in a place for the people to notice.

Today, I enjoyed accompanying her on a class field trip.  I have been so impressed with the various techniques she has been learning.  Today was no exception.  The teacher, her “profe,” took them to a popular spot in Arequipa (walking distance from their art institute) to sit in the grass and paint the trees around them.  It was a beautiful morning, and I had a lot of fun taking pictures.  The profe actually recruited me to take pictures of the whole class in action for him to use in a pamphlet.

We are so proud of Ana and her love of something so creative.  It has been fun to see her learn actual art techniques.  We are already considering another art class for February, and possibly signing her up for something throughout the school year.  Might as well for the price! 😉

AG in tree art action
AG in tree art action


her profe let her use his really cool art stand set-up
her profe let her use his really cool art stand set-up
Ana isn't content with just trees.  She had to add a fountain and the volcano Misti.
Ana isn’t content with just trees. She had to add a fountain and the volcano Misti.

Some other art pieces she has brought home this month…

painting a vase sitting on the table that day
painting a vase sitting on the table that day
exploring color combinations
exploring color combinations


potato stamp art
potato stamp art
potato stamp art
potato stamp art
potato stamp art
potato stamp art
Ana and Art 2014

Tuna Cheese Melts and Tomato-Cucumber Mozzarella Salad

Furlough is right around the corner where we will be crossing hemispheres and entering into summer in the states.  I am so ready to see a hot summer day.  It has been four years!  The other night I was going through some old recipe books and I decided to dog-ear some pages.  Today's new recipes come from my Best of Taste of Home Volume 2 cookbook.

These two were featured separately, but I thought they went well together.  To me, this dish has “summer” all over it.

Growing up, tunafish sandwiches were one of my mom's favorite meals to feed five hungry kids on a hot summer day.  She could make a huge batch, we all loved it, and it was budget-friendly.  She prepared her tuna with mayo, sweet relish, and chopped boiled egg.  I still prepare my tuna salad like this, but I was happy to try a new recipe when I saw this idea for Tuna Cheese Melts.

Tuna Cheese Melts

Prep/Total Time: 25 minutes

  • 1/2 c sour cream
  • 1/2 tsp garlic salt
  • 8 slices rye or white bread
  • 1 can (6 ounces) tuna, drained and flaked
  • 2 Tbs mayo
  • 4 slices process American cheese
  • butter, for grilling

In a small bowl, combine sour cream and garlic salt; spread on one side of each slice of bread.  In another bowl, combine tuna and mayo; spread on four slices of bread.  Top with cheese and remaining bread; gently press together.

Melt 2 Tbs butter in a large skillet over medium heat.  Add two sandwiches; toast sandwiches until bread is lightly browned on both sides and cheese is melted.  Repeat with remaining butter and sandwiches.  Yield: 4 servings

Tomato-Cucumber Mozzarella Salad

Prep/Total Time: 20 minutes plus chilling

  • 1/3 c olive oil
  • 2 Tbs red wine vinegar
  • 2 Tbs balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 3 medium tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 English cucumber, quartered and cut into 1/4-inch slices
  • 1 small green pepper, chopped
  • 1/4 c thinly sliced onions
  • 12 pitted Greek olives, sliced
  • 2 Tbs minced fresh parsley
  • 1 Tbs minced fresh basil
  • 4 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, cubed

In a jar with a tight-fitting lid, combine the first seven ingredients; shake well.

In a large bowl, combine the tomatoes, cucumber, green pepper, onions, olives, parsley and basil.  Drizzle with dressing; toss to coat.  Cover and refrigerate for at least 15 minutes.  Just before serving, stir in cheese.  Serve with a slotted spoon.  Yield: 8 servings

Tuna Cheese Melts and Tomato-Cucumber Mozzarella Salad