Monday, May 30, 2011

Happy Memorial Day

We remember those who serve and have served our country to ensure our freedom. Thank you.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Passing thru

Passing thru our yard this morning were two California black bears.  One really black, the smaller one and the other, probably the mother more brown.  And she is a big girl.  They just strolled through along the deck and up to the play area.  Chili Dog was not impressed.  I was.  Welcome to spring bears.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

May 17, 2011

It is the middle of May.  It is snowing.  Enough said.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Lemon Ginger Scones

I have a new cookbook.  For me cookbooks are like novels.  I sit, I read, I absorb, I get lost in the pages.   Flour is from Boston based Flour Bakery owner Joanne Chang.  It is packed with delicious recipes for all kinds of baked goods.  Cakes, cupcakes, bread, cookies and scones. 
I tried the Lemon Ginger Scone recipe this week.  It includes three kinds of ginger - ground, diced crystalized and fresh as well as fresh grated lemon.  I also threw in blueberries from the freezer.  I also ran out of flour mid recipe so had to add about a 1/2 cup of whole wheat flour to round it out.  The texture is more rustic than they normally would be but I liked it.  They turned out well and are making for delicious breakfast treats.  I will be trying more recipes from this cookbook - soon!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Happy Mother's Day

Mom's are an amazing gift.  I know because I have one and she is amazing.  One day to celebrate Moms really isn't enough.  I am surround by incredible women who are mothers and I am blessed to share the journey of parenting with them.  There is no guidebook just the examples set before us by our own mothers and those around us.  This Mother's Day I want to thank my Mom for all of the gifts she's given me.  The gift of faith, a model for love, desire to learn, the ability to comfort, to feel compassion, to take a stand, to take chances and never give up.  My Mom has given me a lot of gifts.  She showed me how to be a woman of faith, pray and believe.  She taught me how to cook, faithfully standing in a hot kitchen summer after summer to perfect cookies or quick bread for the 4-H judges.  Cooking fearlessly, trying new recipes, baking from scratch is something I love thanks to my Mom.  Many of my favorite recipes are hers.  She sewed beautiful matching dresses for my sister and I every Easter and Christmas and tried mightily to pass on that skill.  She gardens with a green thumb passed on from her Mother and we grew up digging in the garden.  I love to plant and grow and harvest. She works harder than anyone I know or have ever known.  Her work ethic is part of my DNA although I have yet to match her pace.   She has a classic sense of style and looks half her age.  Happy Mother's Day to all of the beautiful, strong, smart, skillful, stylish women in my life - especially my Mom.  I love you. 

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Penne with Roasted Asparagus + Grilled Chicken

This recipe for Penne with Roasted Asparagus from Food & Wine popped up on my Facebook page yesterday and looked perfect for a quick dinner after baseball practice.  I added grilled chicken and a spinach/strawberry/goat cheese salad.  I liked it. My nine-year old thought he 'liked the usual pasta sauce' better but ate the chicken and asparagus.  Worth a try.

Penne with Roasted Asparagus and Balsamic Butter

Simmering the balsamic vinegar both mellows and thickens it. When tossed with the hot pasta and the butter, it forms a smooth, uniquely flavored sauce.


1 pound asparagus
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1/2 teaspoon brown sugar
1 pound penne
1/4 pound butter, cut into pieces  (I used about 3 Tblsp and it was plenty)
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving


  1. Heat the oven to 400°. Snap the tough ends off the asparagus and discard them. Cut the spears into 1-inch pieces. Put the asparagus on a baking sheet and toss with the oil and 1/4 teaspoon each of the salt and pepper. Roast until tender, about 10 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, put the vinegar in a small saucepan. Simmer until 3 tablespoons remain. Stir in the brown sugar and the remaining 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Remove from the heat.
  3. Cook the penne in a large pot of boiling, salted water until just done, about 13 minutes. Drain the pasta and toss with the butter, vinegar, asparagus, Parmesan, and the remaining 1 3/4 teaspoons salt. Serve with additional Parmesan.


Penne with Roasted Broccoli and Balsamic Butter When asparagus is not in season, cut 1 pound of broccoli into small spears for roasting. Toss them with 2 tablespoons oil and 1/4 teaspoon each of salt and pepper and roast for about 15 minutes. Continue with step 2.
Penne with Roasted Vegetables, Toasted Nuts, and Balsamic Butter Toss in 1/3 cup of toasted pine nuts, hazelnuts, or walnuts at the end with either asparagus or broccoli.
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