Friday, May 20, 2011

The Dish Featuring The Adventures of Artsy Nina

Welcome to Friday and another edition of The Dish! I hope everyone had a fabulous week. This week's featured blog is sure to end it with a smile. When I first visited The Adventures of Artsy Nina, I knew it was going to be a favorite. I'm sure you all know blogs like that. That capture your attention from the moment you arrive. For me, I think it was the Artsy Nina banner. The retro wife smiling over her shoulder at the retro husband, who's drying the dishes. She looks like she's up to something, like she's got a funny secret she's just dying to tell, and I instantly wanted to know her secret. 

Turns out, the secret was that The Adventures of Artsy Nina rocks, no foolin'. Nina, our blogger hostess, shares her "adventures" as a "1950's housewife, complete with apron and cloth diapers," hence the retro housewife banner. You'll fall in love, as I have, with her fun stories, her vintage style, and her yummy recipes. Oh, and did I mention she makes me laugh? Yep, she has that sarcastic, dry sense of humor I can't help but love (see: her post on Blog Overload). Do I have you convinced to visit yet? Well, just wait, it only gets better.

The House

I admire people who take on huge projects. I admire them, and I want to be them, but I'm unapologetically lazy, so chances are I'm not going to be them. Nina is one of those people I'll never be. She and her husband bought the 1884 house and have been busy updating/remodeling it ever since. Jeremy and I felt very accomplished when we stained our deck, but this couple, well, let's just say they're truly accomplished. 

I love when Nina posts something about the house. I love pouring through the before and after pictures, admiring they're hard work and perseverance, feeling jealous of their interactions with actual, real-life Turdologists. But most of all, I love that Nina and her husband are taking something old and long-neglected and restoring it to its former glory. When I was a little girl, I dreamed of living in a house like Nina's and remodeling it to perfection. Nina's living that dream now, and it's sure a great time seeing her progress on this charming and unique house and its transformation into a home. 

Crafty Cook

One of my favorite things about reading blogs is discovering great new recipes from around the country and the world. The Adventures of Artsy Nina takes recipe hunting to an entirely new level with the recipes she shares from vintage cookbooks. Ever tried making Fresh Orange Chewies (which look delicious, by the way, click "vintage cookbooks" for the recipe and pics!)? What about Barbecued Spare Ribs? And then there are the recipes that Nina writes and embellishes herself: Potunas, anyone? 

To see all of her recipes in one place, visit her Recipe Box

Nina's not only a good cook, she also happens to be a good crafter. As a woman lacking a single crafting bone in her entire body, I find this particular characteristic to be outrageously awesome. Which would explain why I'm outrageously jealous of it. :) She does fun things like making recycled soap and creating adorable magnets and wreaths. You know, she does the things that I would do...if I were even a smidgen crafty. 

Scrumptious Survey: Answered by Blogger

What’s your favorite dish/food?
I don't like to be pigeonholed.   How can I pick just one item? If you saw my thighs, you would understand that no food is discriminated against in this house.  I eat it all, too much, and too often.

What’s your favorite type of cuisine (Italian, French, etc.)?
  Mexican.  Hands down.   But not the Americanized Mexican restaurant type, with crappy margaritas and bland flavors.  I'm talking roadside stand, pork wrapped in soft corn tortillas, smothered in fresh cilantro and onions and lime, cooked in a dirty trailer Mexican.  And it's usually cheaper too!

What is unique about the cuisine in your part of the world? 
I think Minnesotans specialize in tatertot hotdish.  Or lutefisk and lefse.  Do I eat any of that? If it's around, ya sure you betchya!
Do I actually make any of that in my kitchen? HECK NO.

Sweet or salty?

I have been described as both.   Oh!   You're not asking about me.  Well, my palette usually prefers salty. And my husband says I use salt too much.   I have recently discovered the wonderfulness of sea salts and other fancy salts for seasoning. I won't be seeing that cute little Morton salt girl in my cupboard any more.

What food are you craving right now? 
I am in the mood for something really fresh and light.  Specifically a Greek salad.  Cucumbers, tomatoes, red onions, kalamata olives, feta and a vinaigrette (EVOO, oregano, red wine vinegar).  Best Salad Ever.  Sadly, I am out of olives and feta.  *weeping*

Do you like to cook? If so, do you ever share recipes on your blog?  
I am a Domestic Goddess, and as everyone knows, a well-rounded Domestic Goddess likes to cook!  It helps that my husband is a human garbage disposal and will eat (and like) everything I cook.  Except that one dish (Coq Au Vin), as he often reminds me.  It's been a few weeks since I have posted a recipe, but you can find them sprinkled throughout my posts.  I also have a page dedicated to recipe links.

Where do you get the recipes you use? From cookbooks, blogs, online directories, etc?
I love using to plug in random ingredients and find inspiration.  Next, I consult my trusty stash of vintage cookbooks.  Most are the church or community group style with simple recipes written by housewives past.  I also have been referencing The Good Houskeeping Illustrated Cookbook since I first moved out of my parents house back in 1998.  And of course, I read blogs!

What food-related word would you use to describe your blog? (i.e. salty, sweet, savory, delicious, yummy…) Get creative!
“A delight to the readers palette, served with grace and finesse.”
A small intimate blog which oozes passion. The entries were served with an exquisite attention to detail.
The writer was friendly and intimate and each dish was commensurate with the care and passion with which it was prepared.
I highly recommend this and hope you enjoy it too. 
OK, so I altered a fancy restaurant review to make it blog appropriate.  I can only hope my readers feel somewhat like this.  HA! (Editor's Note: LOVE it! Way to be inspired, Nina :))

The Adventures of Artsy Nina is where to go if you're on the lookout for inspiration or motivation or a nice laugh. This blog has an "old soul" feel to it that I love, and I know you'll love it, too, with all of its vintage charm and artsy appeal.  Oh, and before I leave you to do your own surfing of Artsy Nina, visit THIS PAGE for a look at one of the most beautiful rings ever, and yes, it's vintage. Next time my hubby proposes he's getting me a ring like that! Unique, vintage, and with a beautiful story behind it...a lot like Artsy Nina.

Linking Up!



  1. Another wonderful profile Katie! They keep getting better and better.

    Nina you actually EAT lutefisk? For real? In one of the church basements with Swedish meatballs? The smell is enough to gag me. However, make tater tot hotdish here in Montana. Along with some good wild rice hotdish.

    It was fun getting to know you better, Nina.

  2. Bernie I have tried lutefisk but usually avoid it, and I prefer pickled herring. Which sometimes is equally gross. I LOVE wild rice dishes! Have you used Lunds & Byerly's Wild Rice seasoning? It is to die for.

  3. I have never heard of it before. I will have to look for it when I go home this summer.

  4. Great feature! And yes, that is one of the most beautiful rings ever! Off to read more on her blog now! :)

  5. Thanks SO much for your sweet comment on my post - all of it meant a lot to me! I'm following you back now :)

  6. Thank you Katie for the wonderful write-up. It has totally made my day....heck, make that month :)

    PS- loving the makeover!

  7. Nina you have been a favorite of mine for a while now!! I love your ring, I prefer the vintage style myself! I think my favorite post of yours is the letter to the bugs in your house! For all who are new to you I definelty suggest checking it out! Congratulations on your great and well deserved write-up, I think it definelty deserves a cake!! Lol!

  8. Hi, Found you on For the Love of blogs.
    Can't wait to check out more of your blog!

  9. 1) Katie, I am LOVING the new look. Loving it! Oh...the colors are!

    2) I <3 my sisnter in renovation/husband names/really cold weather. If you are reading this and are not following Nina, go do it NOW!

  10. I'm a new follower from the Friday Blog Frog Hop!

    Please stop on by and follow me at and say hello :)

  11. Great feature and great blog look. Sorry I havent been over in awhile but I'm always so happy when I stop by and read your words. :)


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