Gourmet or Diner Burger? Both/Neither/All


#177/365 Paintings

I’m super impressed by the burger scene in San Francisco. The variety and creative ingredients. They take their burger stacks seriously here. A simple diner burger is never just that. There will be something that offsets it to the unique and special. While there are 600 restaurants in SF that serve burgers, some restaurants like Barney’s in Noe Valley create a burger ‘experience’ — I even see a pineapple version of the classic burger. Since I’m a ground turkey person over ground beef, I was impressed to see it on the menu with all the dressings of the speciality burger. I know I sound like a burger commercial, but I’m seriously excited about this discovery. If you share this geeky passion, visit this slideshow: Top 25 burgers (and I think there are events, like a burger crawl as well). This painting is from Burger Urge in my neighborhood. Wow, if only I had 9 stomachs.


Stack O’ Oreo’s


#170/365 Paintings

I’m a cookie monster. I don’t even try to eat cookies that are healthy anymore. If it’s a cookie it’s fair game. Oreos are my worst offenders. Sometimes, I’ll go into health food stores just to avoid that food aisle by miles of road. This is my stack of Oreo’s set against beautiful rolling hills and an orange sunset, just to show off their awesomeness. I would like to find a shop in SF that specializes in the great Oreo. But until then, there is Anthony’s Cookies. Wow, what a staging of flavors. I wonder if Anthony loved cookies so much he painted them too… hmmm.


Project notes: I had a wonderful birthday today. And, while everything has changed studio wise being in SF, the comfort of painting daily remains the same. I look forward to the challenges of the traveling studio this summer.

Orange Cake

Copyright. Niya Christine

#159/365 Paintings

At first I wanted this to be Orange Chocolate Mousse. One of my favorite flavors in the world is orange and chocolate. I’m certainly not unique in this love. But this cake is too orange — not enough chocolate brown. Sooooo it is simply orange cake. But… many of the orange cake recipes I found were very yellow. I decided when I found this “Moroccan Orange Cake” (from Kitchen Confidante) recipe that color doesn’t matter anymore. Any cake that combines almonds, orange zest and whipped cream and tastes orange wins. Yum… I MUST make this:  “Moroccan Orange Cake” – light, moist and zingy (in her words). YUM.


For the Love of Olive Oil


#158/365 Paintings

What would you do for the love of olive oil? Olive oil is one of the best things we have to stage— dress— love our food with (besides butter and our hearts of course).

I found myself on an airplane so proud to know I had an authentic quart of olive oil given to me by a sailor from a fishing trip I took off the coast of Greece. I made it last. I can’t describe how incredible it was. I would do a lot for the love of olive oil. Including turning up the charm with a chubby sailor sitting next to a crate of all that golden potential.