Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Tai Chi

Tai Chi - An ancient, self-healing art for mind, body and spirit, a holistic; low-impact exercise system for all ages and abilities; meditative movement. When I first witnessed Tai Chi in a park in Hong Kong I was mesmerized. Many, many years later, I am now able to pursue my growing interest. This doesn't mean that I will give up my high impact exercise program; this will be in addition to that. A couple weeks ago I finished my second class on Tai Chi. The video below is my instructor performing the traditional Yang Family Short Form of Tai Chi. While Tai Chi isn't difficult, remembering the movements with great precision is very challenging. In our classes we learned about Tai Chi, a variety of exercises, and the first fifteen seconds or so of the form. It will take me a long, long time to learn this complete form!

Yang Family Short Form from Colin Snow on Vimeo.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

December... 2010

What a month! The holiday began early with house and tree decorations in early December. My cooking club friends were coming over for our holiday luncheon on December 2, and we were heading to California to see family and friends on December 10. Check out our pretty little tree.
We began our trip in San Diego to attend a birthday party put on by one of Kevin's clients. This was the view from our room.

Our next stop was in Seal Beach to see Kevin's mother. We decorated her tree and home and celebrated an early Christmas with her. Here is Addy (age 99!) and Kevin.

We continued on to see Kevin's sister, Carolyn, in Crestline, then on to Santa Barbara, Big Sur, Santa Cruz and Santa Rosa to see friends.

Big Sur.

Gallery in Big Sur.
Deetgen's Inn in Big Sur.
Babbling Brook Inn in Santa Cruz.
Lots of wine tasting!
Hiking in Armstrong Redwoods State Park.
Along Highway 1.

We returned home on Christmas to lots and lots of snow!

Patio table...all gone!

So now it is December 28 and holiday cards never went out. Nevertheless, please know that we wish you all a warm and wonderful holiday season!

Monday, December 6, 2010


Kevin and I visited New York City a couple weeks ago, but I forgot to bring my camera! So, in lieu of seeing my photos, you may want to watch this...

On Melancholy Hill - NYC Lights from Chateau Bezerra on Vimeo.


Laddy is our new "teenager" at about six months old.  He's going to be a big boy! 

Wednesday, November 24, 2010


As a foodie, Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays.  It's somewhat problematic though as so many of the traditional foods are high in carbohydrates.  Carbohydrates are certainly necessary for our health... just not in the extremes of the American diet.  For example,
*  Mashed potatoes... carbs
*  Carrots... carbs
*  Sweet Potatoes... carbs
*  Dressing/Stuffing... carbs
*  Bread/Rolls... carbs
*  Fruit Salad... carbs
*  Gravy... carbs
*  Cranberry Sauce... carbs
*  Pie... carbs
What do we have left?  Turkey... no carbs.

I am always looking for ways to reduce carbs since that, for me, is the most efficient and effective way to maintain my weight.  So, as you plan your Thanksgiving meal, consider ways to have the foods you want, but with fewer carbs.  For example, many in my family love sweet potatoes with butter, brown sugar, and marshmallows on top.  I read recently that of all foods, sweet potatoes have the greatest nutritional value.  With that in mind, consider this easy and tasty alternative sweet potato dish for your Thanksgiving.

*  3 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and quartered
*  6 tablespoons of butter (less, to taste)
*  1 teaspoon of finely chopped fresh rosemary
Put potatoes in a pot with water to cover.  Cover pot, bring to a boil, reduce heat and cook until tender, about 20-25 minutes.  Drain and mash with the butter and rosemary.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010


It is time to revamp my site somewhat.  Having a recipe archive doesn't work as well as simply posting the recipes on a regular basis.  Since I am now eliminating the archive, below are the recipes that had been in that tab.  See my new tabs above.  Click on the tabs to enter the new pages.

AFTERNOON PICK-ME-UP TEA. Serves 1. When your energy is low this is an easy "tea".  
Mix together a teaspoon each of grated fresh ginger, honey, and turmeric powder, then stir the mixture into a cup of hot water. Both ginger and turmeric are anti-inflammatory.

CHICKEN a' l'ORANGE. Serves 4. A simple weeknight dish. I served this with couscous into which I added chopped red pepper, onion and garlic. Would be good with wild rice.
* 2 oranges, peeled and sliced into 1/2" rounds
* 2 tablespoons orange-flavored liqueur
* 2 whole chicken breasts, skinned, halved and boned
* 1-1/2 teaspoons curry powder
* Salt & white pepper to taste
* Grated peel of 1/2 orange (1 to 2 tablespoons)
* Juice of 1 orange (1/3 to 1/2 cup)
* 1 tablespoon honey
* 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
Heat oven to 350º. Sprinkle orange slices with liqueur; let sit at room temperature while chicken cooks. Rub chicken on all sides with curry powder, salt & pepper. Arrange chicken in baking pan. Combine orange peel, juice, honey and mustard. Pour over chicken. Cover and bake about 20 minutes. Uncover and bake 15 minutes longer. Top chicken with orange slices and cook 2 minutes longer.

Cut a baguette into 1/4" slices; brush with olive oil. Arrange on baking sheet and bake in 400ºF oven until crisp. Cut the pecorino into thin slices and arrange on the toasts. Drizzle a small amount of honey over the cheese, and top with fresh orange zest and a sprinkle of freshly ground black pepper.

PINK PEPPERCORN THYME SODA. Makes 8.  Served at Green Zebra Restaurant in Chicago.
* 8 whole star anise
* 2 tablespoons whole pink peppercorns plus additional for garnish
* 1 tablespoon whole cloves
* 3 cups water
* 1 cup sugar
* 1/2 cup fresh thyme sprigs plus 8 additional sprigs for garnish
* Ice cubes
* 4 cups chilled club soda
     Toast anise, 2 tablespoons peppercorns, and cloves in small skillet over medium-high heat until aromatic, stirring often, about 2 minutes. Wrap spices in triple layer of cheesecloth; tie shut. Pound with rolling pin to crush spices lightly. Bring 3 cups water and sugar to boil in medium saucepan. Add spices in cheesecloth. Remove from heat; cover and steep 15 minutes. Add 1/2 cup thyme sprigs; cover and steep 10 minutes longer. Strain syrup into medium bowl. Chill until cold. DO AHEAD: Can be made 1 week ahead. Cover and keep refrigerated.
     Fill 8 tall glasses with ice. Divide syrup among glasses. Add 1/2 cup or more to taste soda to each glass. Garnish with thyme sprigs and peppercorns.

ZUCCHINI, CORN AND TOMATO SIDE DISH.   Serves 8.  No work, a lot of flavor, and healthy.
* 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
* 1 small onion, chopped
* 1 teaspoon dried oregano
* 2 medium zucchini, cut into 1/2-inch slices
* 1 can corn, drained
* 1 14-oz can diced tomatoes with basil, garlic and oregano (or Mexican style if preferred)
* salt & pepper to taste
Heat oil in pan, add onion and saute until translucent but not browned. Add oregano and zucchini and continue to saute until zucchini begins to brown. Stir in remaining ingredients; heat to boiling; lower heat, then simmer about 15+ minutes until zucchini is tender. Serve.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010


I have my work cut out for me today:  Using up all of our remaining apples.  That means APPLESAUCE!   A great way to use up a lot of apples!

This isn't really a recipe as much as it is a procedure.

Peel, core and cut out all blemishes from apples. Dice into pieces of about 1" and put in your cooking pot. As you work, sprinkle lemon juice over the apples from time to time, and mix. When the pot is full of apples, add enough water (or apple cider) to the pot to just cover the bottom. Cover pot and cook at medium heat until the apples are completely softened. Add to the pot per your own preferences: butter, brown sugar, sugar, maple syrup, artificial sweetener, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, garam masala, lemon peel, brandy, calvados, and any other thing you have on hand that you personally want to try. Start by adding small amounts. Blend with a stick blender; then add additional ingredients to please your taste buds.

Saturday, November 6, 2010


Tom McNulty is a long-ago friend from my days in Madison, Wisconsin.  A few years ago Tom authored a book entitled Clean Like a Man.  He also posts to:  - a site filled with interesting, helpful, and FUNNY tips on a wide range of topics.  I subscribe to his periodic ezine which you may also enjoy.  Seriously, check out his "relationships" tab.  Very funny!

Monday, November 1, 2010


All is not dead in the garden... yet!  I needed a floral arrangement for a dinner party on Saturday night so, before making a trip to the store to buy flowers, I decided to see what I could find in my garden.  Here is what I found:

Not a great shot so I'll explain.  There are four plant materials in the vase - Sedum flower heads (Blackjack),  Weigela leaves (Wine and Roses),  Variegated Pagoda Dogwood stems (Argentea), and Miscanthus sinensis Flame Grass (Purpurascens).   Since this was put together two days ago some of the leaves are starting to curl but on Saturday night it looked very pretty.   I should have thought to take a picture with the table all set since my burgundy/tan dishes matched the floral arrangement.    So, the message is:  Reduce, Reuse and Recycle.  I saved car expense, and repurposed my own flowers.

Thursday, October 21, 2010


When we bought our home five years ago we inherited a small apple orchard (plus a pear tree and fruiting crab apple trees).  I wish I knew what varieties of apples are here but it seems each tree is different.  In all events, the mix works well in baking.  With so many trees, and only Kevin and I to eat the apples, we don't treat them; instead we simply cut out the bad sections and use the rest.  I guess it sounds better to say that these are "organic" apples.

As you can imagine, at this time of year we eat apples every day - in one form or another - pork and apples, apple cakes and pies, and so on.  I love scones (homemade, fresh - not the kind in coffeeshops) so I went on-line to find a recipe for apple scones.  Finding no recipes that were highly rated, I decided to make up my own recipe.  Well, the scones turned out fabulously so I thought I'd share the recipe with you.

In a small mixing bowl combine:
* 1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
* 4 teaspoons baking powder
* 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
* 1/4 teaspoon cardamom
Whisk the dry ingredients, then add:
* 5 tablespoons butter (cut into pieces)
* 5 tablespoons sugar
Using a pastry tool (see photo below) mix all ingredients until the butter pieces are about the size of peas.  Make a small "well" in the center, then add:
* 3/4 cup chopped apples (small chop, to the size of raisins)
* 1/2 cup of milk
Stir all together, then use hands to mix and incorporate all of the dry ingredients.  Your warm hands will warm the butter and help add moisture to the dough.  Continue until all ingredients are mixed together into a single ball.  Remove the dough to a silpat-lined baking sheet, and pat it out to a round circle about 3/4" thick.  Sprinkle with Turbinado sugar.  Cut into six pie-shaped pieces and pull apart. 
     At this point heat your oven to 400º and let the scones rest while the oven preheats, about 10-15 minutes.  Then bake until lightly golden on top, about 15 minutes.

     This picture says it all, including telling you how many I had for breakfast.  I'm BAD!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010


A group of our friends frequently get together sometime during the Labor Day weekend for a potluck dinner.  I always enjoy the event since I get to see a lovely garden as well as to taste good foods.  Mike grilled boneless butterflied leg of lamb, and chicken breasts (topped with pineapple and cheese), both of which were delicious.   I brought a vegetable side dish which was good since more people than not brought appetizers.  Here's the recipe:

SUGAR SNAP PEAS & CARROTS WITH TARRAGON BUTTER.  This recipe serves 4 but you can easily adjust the entire recipe to suit your tastes and based on what you have on hand.  This recipe was modified from a "Gourmet" magazine recipe.
*  3/4 # sugar snap peas, strings discarded
*  2 carrots, peeled and coin-cut
*  1 tablespoon finely chopped onion or shallot
*  1 tablespoon butter
*  2 teaspoons chopped fresh tarragon, or 3/4 teaspoon dried tarragon
*  1/2 teaspoon finely grated fresh lemon zest
*  salt and pepper to taste
Blanch sugar snaps in a pot of boiling water, uncovered, 1 minute.  Drain and quickly cool the sugar snaps.   In the same pot cook carrots just until tender.  Drain and quickly cool the carrots.  (Okay to make ahead to this point then finish later.)

Cook onion in butter over moderate heat, stirring occasionally until softened, about 1 minute.  Increase heat to high, add sugar snaps and carrots.  If using dried tarragon also add at this point.  Saute veggies to heat through about 2-4 minutes.  If using fresh tarragon, add at this time with lemon zest, salt and pepper.  Toss to combine,  then serve.

Friday, August 27, 2010


Yesterday was our cooking club's lunch and my task was to develop the menu and to make the main dish.  I chose recipes from "Fiesta! A Celebration of Latin Hospitality" by Anya Von Bremzen, a book filled with great, flavorful recipes.  Here was the menu:

*  Lemony Avocado Dip served with taco chips (recipe includes hard-boiled eggs)
*  The Latino Big Salad (my favorite of this menu)
*  Drunken Chicken with Papaya (made with dark rum!)
*  Yellow Rice with Carrots and Orange Zest (easy and tasty)
*  Basil-scented Corn and Pumpkin Bake (See recipe below; squash substituted for the pumpkin)
*  Roasted Eggplant with Parsley Sauce (easiest recipe of this menu)
*  Caramel-Pineapple Cheesecake (similar to flan but made with cream cheese and pineapple)

Our group's favorite of the recipes was the following, which we concluded would be a good Thanksgiving dish:

* 5 cups corn kernels (ideally, fresh or frozen thawed)
* 2 cups whole or skim milk
* 3-1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
* 1 cup finely chopped onion
* 2 cloves garlic, minced
* 1 large green bell pepper, cored, seeded and finely chopped
* 3 medium ripe tomatoes, blanched, peeled, seeded and finely chopped
* 1/2 pound fresh pumpkin or butternut squash, peeled, cut into chunks, and grated by hand or in a food processor (NOTE:  Barb used butternut squash, not pumpkin)
* 3/4 teaspoon sugar
* Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
* 3 tablespoons slivered fresh basil leaves
* 2 large eggs, beaten
* 2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1.  In a food processor or blender, process the corn with the milk to a medium-fine puree.
2.  In a large, heavy saucepan, melt the butter and saute the onion, garlic and bell pepper over medium heat, stirring, until the onion is translucent, about 5 minutes.  Add the tomatoes and cook, stirring until they are reduced to a puree, about 10 minutes.  Stir in the corn and pumpkin and bring to a simmer.  Cook over very low heat, stirring often with a wooden spoon, until the mixture begins to thicken, about 20 minutes.
3.  Preheat the oven to 325º F.
4.  Transfer the mixture to a medium-size ovenproof casserole, and stir in the sugar, salt and pepper to taste, the basil and the eggs.  Bake for 20 minutes.
5.  Raise the oven temperature to 425º.  Sprinkle the top with Parmesan, and bake until the top is lightly golden and bubbly, about 12 minutes.

If you want the recipes to any of the other dishes, don't hesitate to ask!

Monday, August 16, 2010


Some of you may already be fans of sweet Vidalia onions.   Much like "Champagne" which by law is only made in a particular region of France, "Vidalia" onions by law are only grown in a specific region of Georgia.  It is only in this particular area that the soil and climate combine to yield these very sweet and delicious onions.  They aren't always available in our stores but last week I picked up enough to make a pie.  I've made this easy recipe before, and I love the results!  It makes a nice side dish or have it with a salad for a complete (vegetarian) meal.

*  1-1/2 cups crushed buttery round crackers
*  1/3 cup butter, melted
*  2 tablespoons butter
*  2 cups sliced Vidalia onions
*  2 eggs
*  3/4 cup half-and-half
*  3/4 teaspoon salt
*  1/8 teaspoon ground white pepper
*  1/4 cup shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
Preheat oven to 350º.  In a medium bowl, mix together crushed crackers and 1/3 cup melted butter.  Press mixture firmly into a 9-inch pie pan and set aside.  Heat a medium skillet over medium heat.  Melt 2 tablespoons butter in skillet and saute onions until translucent and tender but not brown.  Spread into prepared crust.  In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs, half-and-half, salt and white pepper.  Pour mixture over onions then sprinkle top with shredded cheese.  Bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes, until center is set.  Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

Monday, August 2, 2010


I'm just back from Alaska where Kevin and I met up with Ryan in Anchorage, then drove north to Denali/Mt. McKinley, then southeast to Girdwood, south to Seward, then a return to Anchorage for the flight home.  July is Alaska's warmest month of the year with an average high of 65º and 20 hours of daylight.  The combination makes for incredible, huge flowers/vegies and a great time to hike the mountains.  Without going into a lot of detail I will simply show you some of our pics. 

We took a day cruise in Prince William Sound to see the glaciers. It is sad to say, they are receding rapidly.

Note the ice that has calved from the glacier.  The sea otters are darling!

Ryan and me.

A small garden in Alaska's Botanical Garden in Anchorage.
Blue Poppy.

The pink flowers below are wildflowers called "Fireweed."  They were in full bloom and were spectacular!
More wildflowers.
Kevin and Ryan enjoying the view.

 This was one view of Denali/Mt. McKinley with clouds.  Fortunately, as we got closer to the mountain the clouds cleared and we got a fantastic view!

This shot of Denali isn't nearly as good as the one taken by Ansel Adams.

Dahl sheep.

In Girdwood, Kevin and Ryan climbed the mountain and I took the Alyeska Tram and waited for them at the mountain-top restaurant called Seven Glaciers.  We then enjoyed our "happy hour." 

Crostini with beef and truffle.

Seafood crepe.
Crab cakes.

Yes.  There was a fence between us.

 Ryan at Exit Glacier outside Seward.   This was 2/3 of the way up the mountain.  We had a picnic; Ryan continued on to the snow-covered top while Kevin and I climbed down.  On our way we had an encounter with a black bear on the trail.  We made lots of noise, he lumbered off the trail, and we now have another bear story to add to our others.

 Nenana River below our cabin in Denali with Ryan's rock sculpture on the beach.

The next day we went rafting on this river. 

 What an animal!

Roasted salmon.  I ate delicious fresh seafood every day.
 Rabbit Three Ways for Ryan. 
 Scallops for Kevin.
 Mother Nature's Composition.

Monday, June 28, 2010


Last Thursday our cooking club had our monthly lunch which consisted of foods made from Cafe 128 recipes.  That is one of my favorite restaurants for food quality (not atmosphere!) and our lunch was very tasty.  I made a chilled soup which was delicious and I will make it many, many more times since it is also very easy to make.

Makes 7 cups.
*  1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
*  1 tablespoon vegetable oil
*  2 cups chopped leeks
*  3 large sweet red peppers, thinly sliced
*  1-1/2 cups canned chicken broth
*  1/4 teaspoon salt
*  1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
*  3 cups buttermilk
In butter and oil in a Dutch oven, saute leeks and red peppers until tender.  Add broth, salt and pepper.  Stir well.  Bring to a boil.  Cover.  Reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes.  Pour half of pepper mixture into container of electric blender or food processor.  Process until smooth.  Repeat procedure with remaining pepper mixture.  Let cool slightly.  Stir in buttermilk.  Cover and chill.

Friday, June 18, 2010


Every year Lindquist & Vennum hosts a party for the new summer associates who will be working with the firm along with others who are involved in the management of the firm, and their spouses.  Last year it was at our house; this year it was at Kitchen Windows in Uptown where we all participated in a cooking class on grilling.  The menu was: 
*  Smoked Sundried Tomato Spread with Grilled Baguette
*  Grilled Risotto Stuffed Red Peppers
*  Bistecca Alla Fiorentina
*  Smashed Bagna Cada Mashed Potatoes
*  Oak Planked Tiramisu
Kevin and I were part of "Team Jamie Oliver" and we worked on the Grilled Risotto Stuffed Red Pepper.  It, naturally, was my favorite since I am a huge fan of vegies.   The recipe is rather involved, though, so I decided to share with you the recipe for the appetizer instead.  Nevertheless, if you want any of these recipes just let me know.  They were all delicious!

*  1 pint Hellman's Mayonnaise
*  1 pint sour cream
*  1/4 pound asiago cheese, shredded
*  1/4 pound jack cheese, shredded
*  3 oz. semi-sundried tomatoes, julienned
*  1/4 pound green onions, rinsed and sliced thin
*  4 oz. baby bella mushrooms, rinsed and minced
Preheat grill to 400º.  Combine all ingredients except tomatoes in a bowl and mix.  [The tomatoes must be added last or the cheese dip will discolor.]  Add tomatoes and mix.  Place in a grill proof dish and place in the grill.  Grill until browned and hot.  When heated, garnish with additional green onions and serve with grilled bread.


Thursday, June 10, 2010


The earliest known labyrinths were created over 4,000 years ago as small walking paths used to relax, slow down, meditate, or solve problems in a calm, peaceful environment.  They are found all over the world, with many in our area.  They are distinguishable from mazes which have many paths and cause the user to make many decisions in order to find their way out of the maze.  A labyrinth has only one path into the center and out.  Instead of being stimulated (as in a maze) the user of a labyrinth is calmed and their mind is cleared during the slow walk to the center. 

When we first moved here I began thinking about constructing a labyrinth.  After about five years I am nearly done!  All that remains are to plant the two small areas outside the entry to the labyrinth. 

Give a call any time you feel like coming over to walk the labyrinth and to see my gardens! 

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Wednesday, May 19, 2010


This is my niece, Colette, in the Twins dugout.

My birthday is in October but my niece, Colette, and I finally were able to share her birthday gift to me - a "Girlfriends' Mystery Tour." The plan was to have Cole stay overnight on Friday so that we could catch the bus in Apple Valley first thing on Saturday morning. So, the fun began on Friday when she arrived. We made a simple dinner together consisting of pork tenderloin, sauteed zucchini "spaghetti", and toasted nut bread. Here's the recipe (from Lunds "Real Food") for the pork tenderloin:

Dry Rub:
* 1 tablespoon turbinado or brown sugar
* 1 tablespoon sweet paprika
* 2 teaspoons coarse salt, either kosher or sea salt
* 1 teaspoon ground pepper
* 1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne
Stir all of the above ingredients together in a small bowl and massage mixture into:
* 2 pork tenderloins, about 14 ounces each
Let sit, covered, at room temperature for 20 to 30 minutes.
Prepare grill.
Spray tenderloins with oil and arrange them on the grill over high initial, then medium, heat. Grill tenderloins, rolling to cook on all sides, until internal temperature reaches 155º, about 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, as the tenderloins are cooking, make:
Worcestershire-Pecan Butter:
In a dry skillet lightly toast
* 3/4 cup coarsely chopped pecans, stirring continuously, about 5 minutes. Add
* 1 stick (8 tablespoons) plus 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut in several chunks. When melted, add
* 2 tablespoons minced white onion
* Pinch of coarse salt
Cook until onion turns translucent and limp. Remove from heat and stir in
* 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce.
When the tenderloins are done, remove them from the grill and let them rest for 5 minutes, covered with foil, before carving into thin slices. Give butter sauce a quick stir, over heat if necessary, and spoon over the tenderloin slices.

We were at the bus at 9:30 a.m. on Saturday morning and proceeded to make six stops on the Mystery Tour.
1) The Depot in downtown Minneapolis for an historical tour followed by a delicious breakfast buffet.
2) The new Target Field (Twins Stadium) for a thorough tour of the stadium including the field, dugouts, changing rooms, boxes, etc.
3) AAA in St. Louis Park. At AAA (American Automobile Association) we went to a lecture on how to pack most efficiently.
4) OM restaurant in downtown Minneapolis. This restaurant has awesome Indian food. At this stop we got appetizers and had our "Angel Cards" read. My Angel Card was "Vibrations" and Cole's card was "Creative Power."
5) Dance Studio on Snelling in St. Paul. Here we got a 20-minute lesson on the salsa. What fun!!!
6) Mediterrean Cruise Cafe in Burnsville for dinner, complete with an '80's band and dancing. They were great!

To summarize, Cole and I both concluded we loved sharing the day in this way. What a great gift! If you want more info, check out

Pic of me in the dug-out. 

Friday, May 14, 2010


Today the sun is finally out after days of rain.  Is summer here?  Regardless, every day and every season is great for salads.  This salad recipe comes from Christian Bertrand, Glen Ellen Inn Restaurant.  It serves 10.

* 2 apples, diced
* 2 pears, diced
* 1/2 jalapeno, diced very fine
* 1/4 cup diced red onions
* Salt & Pepper
* 1/8 cup lemon juice
* 1/8 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup fresh mint, chopped
1/2 bunch fresh cilantro, chopped
Toss all ingredients together; let marinate for 6 hours.
* 3/4 cup sugar
* 1-1/2 cups sweet pecans
* 1 pound mixed greens
* 2 ounces goat cheese crumbles
Heat sugar over low heat until it turns to a caramel-colored liquid; spread pecans on cookie sheet and drizzle caramel over top.  Let cool.  Chop pecans in fourths.  Place mixed greens on chilled salad plate; top with fruit salsa, a healthy sprinkling of goat cheese and a handful of sweet pecans.

Saturday, May 8, 2010


Yesterday, despite the cold and heavy rain, my friend Jeanne came over for a garden tour and lunch. Only the best of friends would be willing to take a long walk through a garden under the circumstances.

For lunch we had:

* Green Goddess Dressing (recipe below)
* 2 cooked chicken breasts, sliced (I used store-bought broasted chicken. Could also substitute cooked peeled shrimp or fresh crabmeat.)
* Mixed greens (I used mostly arugula, my favorite.)
* 1 ripe avocado, sliced
* Cherry tomatoes, cut in half
* Sliced almonds, toasted
* Garnish: edible flowers, tarragon sprigs, snipped chive, etc. (I used lovage for an added flavor boost.)
In a large mixing bowl, toss the salad greens with some of the dressing until well coated. Divide the greens among 2 dinner plates. Arrange the slices of chicken on top of the greens in a fan shape and fan the avocado slices beside the chicken. Sprinkle cherry tomatoes and almonds over all. Drizzle salads with additional dressing and garnish. Pass the remaining dressing at the table.

* 1/4 cup (gently packed) fresh French tarragon leaves
* 1/4 cup (gently packed) fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
* 1/4 cup snipped fresh chives
* 2 anchovy fillets (I used anchovy paste.)
* 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
* Dash of garlic salt
* 2 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil
* 1/4 cup sour cream or yogurt (whole or fat free)
* Freshly ground black pepper to taste
Puree the herbs, anchovies, lemon juice and salt in a food processor or blender. With the machine running, add the oil in a slow stream. Scrape down the sides. Add the sour cream and pepper; process until smooth. Store tightly covered in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Now is the time to get out in your garden to pull rhubarb. I have two Chipman's Red Rhubarb plants which are sweeter than the more common varieties. The following recipe is from Penzeys Spices (THE best place to buy your herbs and spices!).

Preheat oven to 350º. In a mixing bowl, combine the following:
* 1 cup flour
* 3/4 cup old-fashioned oatmeal
* 1 teaspoon cinnamon
* 1 cup brown sugar
* 1/2 cup melted butter
Mix well and press half of the mixture into an 8x8 baking pan for the crust.
In a saucepan, combine the following:
* 1 cup sugar
* 1 cup water
* 3 tablespoons cornstarch
* 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Cook over medium heat until very thick and transparent, stirring frequently, about 4-6 minutes. Add:
* 4 cups chopped rhubarb
Stir, then spread over the crust. Sprinkle the remaining oatmeal mixture over the top. Bake at 350º for 1 hour.

Serve with whipped cream or ice cream. Best eaten first day.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

GARDEN April 2, 2010 - First Flowers of the Season.


Pasque Flowers.

Hyacinth.  The two on the right have opened and are now pink.

In the pond.

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