Working with author Suzanne Schlosberg and Dr. Steve Hodges illustrating this medical children’s book about bedwetting and potty accidents was a stimulating creative collaboration that was also a lot of fun. I worked directly with Suzanne for a few months, coming up with the right visual images for text about a difficult and visually awkward subject – potty accidents.
Suzanne and Dr. Hodges hired me to create a hand painted series of illustrations that would be visually happy and friendly while instructing children about the medical problem of bedwetting and potty accidents. Dr. Hodges connects medical research about constipation in children to bedwetting and potty accidents. His protocols have been very popular with parents and children. One of the books goals is to take the shame and secrecy out of the subject and let kids know there is treatment and a cure.
I loved the artistic and creative challenges of this book and working with the author, Suzanne was a pleasure. We had a lot of interesting discussions about pee and poop, cultures around the world, medical illustrations and procedures. Working on a book that will change lives positively was a gift.
The original paintings are a mixture of acrylic and watercolor paints on Rives BFK 100% cotton paper with graphite and pen.
Bedwetting and Accidents Aren’t Your Fault: How Potty Accidents Happen and How to Make Them Stop, Perfect Paperback – November 24, 2014, by Steve Hodges (Author), M.D. (Author), Suzanne Schlosberg, Illustrated by Cristina Acosta
Read more about potty and bedwetting accident protocols at Dr. Rodgers’ site, It’s No Accident.
Creamy orange custard with a caramel topping is my variation of the traditional flan.
Oranges are one of my favorite fruits and like the citrus flavors of lemon and lime, oranges are great with dense creamy dairy flavors. Read this recipe through before you make it, so you have an idea of what to expect. It’s not difficult, it just has some steps that can be intimidating the first time (like making the caramel).
Growing up in Southern California there was always someone we knew who had an orange tree growing in their yard. I remember traveling through Redlands along roads bordering orchards of orange trees in full blossom. The fragrance seemed to brighten every molecule of air. This flan tastes like the scent of orange blossoms early in morning when the air is fresh.
Tools: 1 ½ qt. saucepan. Ramekins – 4 soup (10 oz) size or 8 small (5 oz) dishes; OR a 9″ glass or ceramic pie pan; blender /Vitamix or food processor (or by hand with a whisk); stovetop; oven; large pan to hold water bath for ramekins or pie pan.
Time: About 15 minutes to assemble. 25-30 minutes to cook and 4 to 6 hours to cool. (Cool in refrigerator.)
- 3 T. water
- ¾ cup sugar
- Apx. 1 T of fresh orange zest*
- 6 eggs
- 1 14 oz. can of sweetened condensed milk
- 1 cup orange juice
- ¼ cup orange juice concentrate (from the frozen cans)
- 1 to 2 heaping T. of orange zest * (You’ll need 2 to 3 oranges to get enough zest for this recipe.)
- Sprinkle orange zest on the bottom of each ramekin
- Combine sugar and water in saucepan.
- Over medium-high heat cook mixture, swirling occasionally until mixture is a clear, light to medium amber color.
Tips to Make Caramel:
- Don’t stir it. When I stir it I more easily burn the mixture.
- The mixture will go through stages of being foamy, then crusty. Keep swirling pan. (Swirl – Pick up pan off the stove and gently swirl mixture side to side and in circles)
- When the sugar mixture flattens down and becomes clear amber immediately pour into the ramekins. Swirl the mixture around the bottom and ½ way up the sides of the dishes.
- Set aside to cool.
Preheat oven to 350. Put in a large pan for the water bath. Start a pot of water boiling that will fill the pan with enough water so that when you set the ramekins in the pan the water is ½ way up the sides of the ramekin.
Custard: (I use a blender, adjust these directions for your tool of choice)
- Crack eggs into blender and turn on low to mix well (15-30 seconds). Don’t get them frothy.
- Add all other ingredients. Mix till well blended, but not foamy.
- Pour into the caramel coated ramekins and put them in the water-filled baking pan.
Bake for 25-30 minutes. With smaller size ramekins cook for lesser time. Note: custard will appear loose in the center when the time is up. Don’t worry it will be solid by the time the dessert is completely chilled. Don’t overcook or the final result will be rubbery.
Remove from oven and cool for 4 to 6 (or more) hours.
To un-mold the dessert:
- Set chilled ramikens in a shallow dish of warm water for a few minutes. The idea is to have the warmth of the water re-liquefy the caramel. Loosen the edge of the flan with a knife and flip the flan onto a dessert plate. Pour the caramel on top.
- Return the ramiken to warm water to re-liquefy as much of the topping as you can and pour over the flan.
Serve alone or with Hot Chocolate Cookies for a delicious contrast in flavors.
*Note: Fresh orange zest is essential to the flavor of this flan. If you don’t have a zest tool, use a cheese grater on the small-hole side. Be very careful to only get the orange part of the peel. The white part is bitter and will ruin your flan.