Delightful Colors

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I decided to share my favorite photo from my vacation and it has grown into seven.  I am not one to take photos of my food, but on this occasion it seemed something that I must do.  You see, the kitchen brought a bit of the garden to the table and it was as beautifully done as the garden itself.

From Garden to Table

From Garden to Table

This dessert was so delightful that we wished that we had not shared it.  We wished that we had each consumed our own.

Lavender and Lemon Pound Cake

Lavender and Lemon Pound Cake

The colors in the private garden were amazing and it gives you a glimpse of the overall feeling of the entire garden.  It is so thoughtful that the tourists can only peek into this area.

Jennie Butchart's Private Garden

Jennie Butchart’s Private Garden

All the colors continue throughout the sunken garden.

Sunken Garden

Sunken Garden

Those colors that came to our table, must have been inspired with the dahlia garden in mind.

Dahlia Garden and Bees

Dahlia Garden and Bees

Another favorite of mine, was the begonia garden, as it reminded me of Antonelli Brothers Begonia Gardens when I was a child in Santa Cruz, CA.

Beautiful Begonia

Beautiful Begonia

This is the stairway leading to the overlook in the sunken garden.  I realize that I seem stuck on this place, but the colors, those wonderful colors, remain with you for days after you have visited.  With Fall in the air, those colors make me look forward to Spring.

Sunken Garden Stairs

Sunken Garden Stairs

I hope you enjoyed this mini tour.  Have a splendid weekend and go out and drink in the colors that you find, they’re everywhere!

Mendocino Mint

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I’ve just been informed that I will be having lunch in Mendocino tomorrow.  What a great surprise!  I’ve been toying with posting a favorite recipe of mine and while I was making it this week, I decided that I should share it with you, so here goes.  (ingredients are underlined for easy shopping.)

Mint Pasta

In fry pan, brown 2 shallots, 2 minced garlic, and chopped mushrooms.(The variety of mushrooms is up to you but I also like to add some porcini mushrooms as well.)  Heat this in EVOO, (Calivirgin is my favorite California olive oil) Irish butter, and a touch of sesame oil (for a nutty flavor).  Add one pound pork or chicken sausage (mild or spicy).  Cook until browned and add fresh ground white pepper, crushed red pepper, and white wine and allow to simmer awhile.  Chop a bunch of fresh mint and set aside.  Add the chopped mint to the sausage about 5 minutes before your choice of one pound of pasta is done cooking. (just to heat)  Once your pasta is done, toss together with the sausage mixture.  Serve with fresh shredded parmesan cheese, fresh ground black pepper, and toasted pine nuts.

I know that this recipe sounds strange but it is really good and a great change of pace from the usual pasta sauces.  It’s easy to make and you can grow the mint in a container in your own backyard.  I was given the recipe a few years ago and I’ve altered a couple of things but it took me 2 or 3 years to try it because it sounded absurd to me.  There’s nothing absurd about it.  I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I do.  Oh, don’t forget to set a timer while toasting those pine nuts.  We did once and they locked down my oven and we could see them burning inside for 20 minutes!  That was scary.  Have a wonderful weekend and I hope you will enjoy my photo of the sunflower and bug from a dinner we attended in an orchard. 

Sunflower from the Farm to Fork Orchard Dinner

Sunflower from the Farm to Fork Orchard Dinner