Vegan Black Bean and Kidney Bean Burger Recipe

June 24, 2016 § 2 Comments


Black/Kidney Bean and Beets Burger Recipe
Note: This is a very forgiving recipe. Add spices and vegetables that you have on hand.
This recipe makes about 9-12 burger patties. You can freeze any leftovers.


1 Can of Black Beans, drained
1 Can of Kidney Beans, drained
3 Small Beets, peeled and roughly chopped
2 Cups of Rolled Oats
1 Garlic Scape, roughly chopped
1 Large Scallion, roughly chopped
3 Tbsp Ketchup
2 Tbsp Mustard
1/2 Tbsp Onion Powder
1/2 Tbsp Garlic Powder
1 Tbsp Chili Powder
1 Tsp Salt
1/2 Tsp Pepper


  1. Pulse in a processor 1/2 the black beans, all of the kidney beans, 1 cup of rolled oats, beets, garlic scape, scallion, ketchup, mustard and seasoning – pulse until it like a paste.
  2. Pour paste mixture into a bowl, fold in the remaining black beans and rolled oats (this gives the burger texture).
  3. Form into desired sized patties, bake on a parchment-lined cookie sheet in a 450º oven for 12 minutes. After 12 minutes, turn each patty over to bake 10 more minutes.

Source: adapted from Happy Herbivore

Watch a 12 year old make her version of Black Bean Burgers


Ways To Learn To Draw

July 17, 2013 § Leave a comment

“Visual observation is believed to be in the domain of the right side of the brain. Intuitive and creative thinking are also believed to be in the domain of the right brain.  The left brain deals with the rational, the alphabet, numerals, and so on.  Left brain thinking is linear – one thing after another. The right brain processes everything at once.” – Marvin Bartel, ED. D., Goshen College

Dr. Bartel explains that one learns to draw by observation. Observation includes learning: how to see edges, how to see cross contour, how to see sizes – angles – proportions, how to see shading, how to see negative spaces – negative shapes, how to see holistically & draw expressively, how to see color, and how to see patterns and textures.

The work of Dr. Betty Edwards, author of Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain, has enabled millions of people around the world to learn to draw. Their website will introduce you to her teaching technique, a little of the theory behind it, and to an exercise that demonstrates its effectiveness.

Anthony SharkMy eight year old grandson loves to draw. He is energetic and loves to move…but, when he draws he sits still. He focuses. He has a goal – an objective – to draw something well. I usually google a subject that he wants to learn to draw, then I find “drawing” versions of them so he can copy them. He pays attention to shape and form and tries to draw it himself, as in this shark he chose to draw.

Anthony's SnakeI also love when he adds his own spin on the drawing, such as this snake drawing he did. He loves to color!

I have found some websites that we use, also, to build his drawing-ability-confidence. I am sharing them with you!

Draw Right

Draw Right has an impressive gallery of before and after results of learning to draw.

Arts4Learners helps learners of all ages (kids to adults alike) to learn drawing, cartooning, painting, portraits etc.

Learn to Draw

Learn the basics of drawing online for free. On Learn To Draw, learn at your own pace, learn the basics of drawing whenever you want to learn. The lessons are presented clearly in a step-by-step manner by a professional artist and illustrator.

More Advanced Learning Required?

Videos can be a great way to learn to draw. You can see from start to finish something being drawn. You can pause and try it yourself…without feeling like you are interrupting the teacher! Try some of these resources.

Thoughtful Designs

July 9, 2013 § Leave a comment

Thoughtful Designs by Dighton DesignThoughtful designs are required for lasting impressions – designs that will stand the test of time. An excellent example of how a designer, or artist, considers the whole composition and what he wants the viewer to focus on is in the painting The Daughters of Edward Darley Boit by John Singer Sargent.

When you visit the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, you can see the painting and the actual vases that were used in the painting. You can see that John Singer Sargent seems to have muted the colors of the vases – as to not outshine the girls. Consequently, we remember the girls – their poses and expressions -not the vibrant and colorful vases.

“Designing for people is hard.” – Don Norman

Thoughtful designs consider the audience and the goal of the “art”. This is why I love being a creative professional. Creating brochure designs, advertising designs, graphic elements for a website, or logo designs requires thought – consideration – time. I embrace the challenges of the designing process. I am always learning something new and loving it! Currently I am obsessing over some thoughtful designs for local businesses – stay tuned for updates!

 TED Talks Video: Don Norman: The three ways that good design makes you happy


Here & Now Video, The Daughters Of Edward Darley Boit By John Singer Sargent

Who Is John Singer Sargent?

Useful Tools Found on the Web

July 2, 2013 § Leave a comment

If you are in need of some useful tools that you can use to be more efficient or creative, then this list is for you. These useful tool, that can be found on the web, you will love.

Time Zone Converter

worldtimebuddy: If you have business connections or clients beyond your timezone, this is a useful FREE tool. World Time Buddy (WTB) is a cross between a time zone converter, a world clock converter, and an online meeting scheduler.


On This Day

onthisday: A learning blog of the NY Times let’s you browse important events in history by clicking on a date. There you can see front page/articles that were featured in the New York Times.  They also include a list of other noteworthy events that occurred on that day.

thisdayinmusic: On this day in music, provides information on musicians who where born on this day, like recordings, gigs, deaths, chart positions and significant events on this day. This website highlights many years-worth for one day … history timeline in music for ONE day … so cool … including who was born this day! Who can resist learning something new? The History Channel has something for each day in history … including a video for all those non-readers. On this website you can discover what happened today in history. Read about major past events that happened today including special entries on crime, entertainment, and more.


Hamantaschen Recipe

February 23, 2013 § Leave a comment

Purim Hamantaschen RecipeHamantaschen Recipe

Note: If you want to make nondairy hamantaschen you can replace the butter with shortening or with nondairy margarine.

This recipe makes about 30 cookies, which I discovered was NOT enough.

1 cup (2 sticks) salted butter, semi-melted in the microwave but not hot
1 1/4 cups sugar + a pinch for the egg wash
3 eggs + 1 for the egg wash
1/4 cup orange juice
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Approximately 4 to 4 1/2 cups of flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
Fruit preserves (Not jam or jelly)

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar together. Add the eggs and blend until smooth. If the mixture is too hard to blend or seems curdled, add about 1 tbs of flour to bind it.
  3. Stir in the orange juice and the vanilla. Fold in 4 cups of flour, salt and baking powder. Mix to make a firm but soft dough. Cover and let the dough rest for 10 minutes to give the flour time to absorb all the moisture. If the dough is too sticky to handle after ten minutes have passed, add extra flour up to 1/2 cup. The dough will be sticky when it’s ready, but you should be able to handle it without it getting stuck to your fingers.
  4. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Divide the dough into 2 or 3 flattened discs and work with one portion at a time. Roll out the dough onto a lightly floured board to a thickness of 1/8 inch. Use a 2.5-inch to 3-inch cookie or biscuit cutter (or rim of a glass) and cut as many rounds as you can. Roll out remaining dough to create more circles. The last one I rolled a meatball shape then used a rolling pin to flatten it into a circle.
  5. In a small bowl mix 1 egg, 1 tablespoon of water and a pinch (up to a table spoon) of sugar to make an egg glaze. Brush the rounds with the wash, then fill each with a generous 1 teaspoonful of your desired filling. Fold 3 sides of each circle together, creating triangles. I like to leave a little space in the center so you can see what the filling is (plus it looks pretty), but you can also seal your hamantaschen completely.
  6. Brush the cookies with additional egg wash. If desired, sprinkle with regular or coarse sugar, and bake in the center of the preheated oven until golden brown, 18 to 25 minutes. Cool on the baking sheets.


Baking and Books Tips: Bake your hamantaschen in the upper third of the oven – usually the bottom part of the oven is too hot and may also cause premature bottom-browning. If you want to use leftover scraps to make more cookies, only roll them out once more because a lean dough like this one can only be rolled a couple times before becoming really tough.

Fran’s Tip: The cookie dough is delicate so it is best to roll between two pieces of parchment paper to allow easy maneuvering.

Source: adapted from baking and books

Photoshop Touchup Projects

February 7, 2013 § Leave a comment

Want to some photoshop projects I did? Some results were subtle and some more dramatic. Can you see the difference between the before and after photos?

Before and After Photos, Touched-Up with Photoshop, by Dighton Design

Chinese Food Recipes

December 31, 2012 § Leave a comment

Chinese Food Recipes
I Made for 2013
Every New Years my husband and I enjoy a quiet evening in. We have just come through a busy holiday season and welcome the relaxing break. We used to buy Chinese Food every New Years. For the past few years we have enjoyed making our own. Here are some recipes that we’ve made this year. We enjoy our homemade Chinese Food in our living room while watching the Twilight Zone marathon … dressed in flannel pj’s. Oh, yeah, life is good!

Cream Cheese Wontons/Puffs

1 8 ounce package cream cheese – softened
1 1/2 tablespoons scallions sliced thin
wonton wrappers


  1. Heat enough vegetable shortening or cooking oil to fill 2 to 3 inches in a medium sized cooking pot. If you have an electric fryer, you can use your electric fryer. Cream together cream cheese and scallions together. If desired a touch of garlic powder may be added for additional flavor. Spoon approximately 1 teaspoon of cream cheese mixture into wonton, and fold wonton.
  2. Fold wonton by brushing a little water over all of the edges of the wonton skin. Fold wonton diagonally unto a triangle. Be sure to seal all of the edges completely, this will keep the filling from running out of the wonton when being cooked. Next take the two furthest ends and press and twist those together. You may need to tack together the two end pieces by adding a little water.
  3. When the oil is heated, you can use a thermometer and test to see that it is 350 degrees, or you may test with a small piece of wonton skin. If the wonton skin bubbles immediately when dropped into the hot oil, it is ready. Drop only 4 or 5 pieces into the hot oil. After about 1 minute the wonton will begin to brown, it will now brown rapidly, remove it when it is lightly browned. If your oil is shallow, you may need to flip over the wonton before serving.


Chinese Chicken Wings

1 pound dry ziti pasta
1 onion, chopped
1 pound lean ground beef
2 (26 ounce) jars spaghetti sauce
6 ounces provolone cheese, sliced
1 1/2 cups sour cream
6 ounces mozzarella cheese, shredded
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese


  1. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add ziti pasta, and cook until al dente, about 8 minutes; drain.
  2. In a large skillet, brown onion and ground beef over medium heat. Add spaghetti sauce, and simmer 15 minutes.
  3. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Butter a 9×13 inch baking dish. Layer as follows: 1/2 of the ziti, Provolone cheese, sour cream, 1/2 sauce mixture, remaining ziti, mozzarella cheese and remaining sauce mixture. Top with grated Parmesan cheese.
  4. Bake for 30 minutes in the preheated oven, or until cheeses are melted.


Beef Teriyaki

1 1/2 cups uncooked glutinous white rice
1 2/3 cups water
1 pound boneless beef sirloin steak (3/4 inch thick)
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 (14 ounce) can beef broth
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon packed brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
4 cups fresh broccoli florets


  1. In a saucepan bring water to a boil. Add rice and stir. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 20 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, slice beef into very thin strips.
  3. In a mixing bowl, combine the cornstarch, broth, soy sauce, sugar and garlic powder. Mix thoroughly.
  4. In a large skillet, over medium/high heat, saute the beef strips until browned and juices evaporate.
  5. Stir broccoli and cornstarch mixture into meat. Cook until mixture boils and thickens, stirring frequently.
  6. Serve over the cooked rice.


Cheers to 2013

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