Jane Swearingin—Creative Problem Solver


Edible, Cheese-Stuffed Flowers

Category : Blog, Food October 29, 2014

Zucchini BlossomsOne major priority in my life is keeping up a healthy and manageable diet for my family and myself. We’re lucky enough to have access to a plethora of homegrown produce. My husband and father-in-law keep up an amazing garden and it’s my job to find creative ways to put the food to use. We regularly test out new recipes to make use of the impressive amounts of tomatoes, Brussels sprouts, zucchini, peppers, sweet potatoes, etc. One of the most unexpected uses we found for the produce was to bake squash blossoms filled with goat cheese. While maybe not the healthiest recipe, they were pretty tasty—although I’m pretty sure anything stuffed with goat cheese would be delicious if you like goat cheese.

Here’s the recipe if you want to try them out yourself:

Ingredients:
– 10 squash blossoms, rinsed and stamens removed (the fuzzy yellow part inside the bloom)
*NOTE: It’s best to pick these no more than a couple hours before you plan on baking
– 1 tablespoon olive oil
– 6 oz Soft Cheese, room temperature, placed in a ziplock bag (I prefer Goat Cheese)
– Salt, to taste

Directions:
– Preheat oven to 400° and line a baking sheet with tinfoil or parchment paper.
– Rinse and let squash blossoms air dry. Using a small knife, make a slit on one side. Cut the stamen from the inside of the flower (hard yellow fuzzy stem inside the flower).
– Place flowers on your baking sheet.
– Squeeze soft cheese into one corner of the Ziplock bag and twist the top. Cut the bottom (cheese-filled) corner of the bag and squeeze, filling each flower.
– Twist the end of the flower to close.
– Using a pastry brush, lightly coat each flower with olive oil (bottoms too), and sprinkle them with salt.
– Bake at 400° for 10 minutes checking them halfway through. You want the flowers to bake to a golden brown color.

I paired my cheesy flowers with crackers for a delicious, crunchy, goat cheese taste. This is a basic recipe, you can definitely get more experimental with mixing herbs and spices into the cheese. Enjoy!


Offline Banners

Category : Art, Blog, Decor October 29, 2014

Lauren & Jared BannerI was one of several crafty girls involved in the decorating process for my sister-in-law’s bridal shower in August. Happy to help and eager to please, I jumped at the email request for someone to create a banner for the event. I channeled my inner-Pinteresty-self and headed to Michael’s to get some material, stencils, and fabric paint. After a few quick test runs, I was able to put together what I consider an Etsy-worthy banner! Not bad for my first attempt. Feel free to send over any orders 🙂


Bragging Rights

Category : Blog, Sewing October 29, 2014

Bragging Rights Jersey

Recently, my husband and I held the titles of, “Man and Maid of Honor,” for my sister-in-law’s wedding. This was an honor and we were touched to be able to play such an important role in the big event. We were also a bit intimidated that we would have to give a toast in front of 200 hungry guests who just wanted to hear something short and sweet so they could get to work on their salads.

I’ve been to many weddings and was even a banquet server so I’ve witnessed many toasts, always taking mental notes on what worked and what could have worked better. During a friend’s wedding several years ago, I saw a great gift idea that I knew I’d recreate if the right situation came up—it finally did! The original couple and my in-laws were both partners who attended rival universities. The original couple is a University of Michigan/Ohio State match while my in-laws are a University of Illinois/University of Missouri pairing.

Bragging Rights Jersey BackThe original toast was centered around compromise in marriage and the gift was a toddler’s jersey that merged the two teams. During our toast, my husband and I talked about a few topics that led into compromise. To make this even more cohesive, we mentioned the couple’s first date was at the U of I vs. Mizzou Bragging Rights game. At the end, we presented the “Compromise Jersey” to my sister-in-law and her new husband. I am proud to have sewn the jersey together as I don’t typically sew anything. This may be the beginning of a new creative outlet for me!


Inaugural Blog Post

Category : Art, Blog October 2, 2014

charcoal hottieAnd so it begins! This website is a place for me to showcase my creative endeavors. The Portfolio page is where my on-the-job creative projects live, this Blog is where I’m collecting examples of non-work creative efforts. Both are for fun 🙂 I’m hoping this will help inspire myself and others to try new, creative activities.

In honor of this first post, I decided to include a charcoal drawing I did in high school that basically got me into the National Art Honor Society and helped me realize creating art could be bigger than just a hobby. Thanks for visiting and let’s see where this goes!