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

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Praying In The Garden

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You may need to get out your reading glasses for this one….Image

I found this tiny green, 3/4″ insect, on the back of my husband’s shirt the other evening.  It was glorious outside and we were just about ready to dine, al fresco.  I decided to quickly return it to the tomato plants.  My husband had been watering the garden, and I figured that he, or more likely she, had come from that spot in our yard.  I could see a pinpoint dot on the left eye and It reminded me of one of it’s ancestors, that I had come in contact with before, I’m sure.  A couple of years ago, near this very same garden area was a much larger praying mantid.  It was not happy to see me at all!  It too, had it’s tiny left eye pointed at me.  I found it on a dahlia, in-between the fragrant glut of gardenia’s and the vegetable garden.  

ImageKeep coming back guys.  You are welcome in my garden any time, even if you do have a bit of an attitude.  If I ate what you eat, I’d have an attitude too!  (So happy that you help out around here.) 

 

Dew Drops & Sunlight

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I took a walk early this morning, as the temperatures were climbing quickly again today.  I’ve always found it interesting, that thoughts of things that were familiar in childhood seem to randomly float into my mind.  I suppose everyone is like that.  Today I was back in kindergarten at Westlake Elementary and Warren Scaroni was spilling milk on my dress, yet again.  It happened almost every day.  My mother said he liked me.  It sure didn’t feel that way.  

I thought about how memories are funny things and it is curious how they come and go.  I was listening to music that was quite new, yet my mind was drifting to days that happened long ago.  As I was walking, I noticed that a neighbors sprinklers were on and the sunlight was catching the water droplets on their vegetation in a beautiful way.  I stopped for a while to admire the tiny rainbow droplets.  I didn’t have my camera with me but I posted this photo as it has much the same feeling for me.  Perhaps it is better that my mind remember that gorgeous scene as, if I had taken a photo, it probably wouldn’t look the same as my mind absorbed it anyway.  As I travel through life, I want my mind to soak up all the most beautiful images and store them for me…..always.  Do you have a special image that your mind returns to and recalls fondly?   

Snowy Creek

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First Painting

The other night we were invited to attend a Vino and van Gogh fundraiser.  The above painting is the very first painting that I have ever done…beyond the finger painting variety that I did in grammar school.  I’ve always thought painting would be a great thing to learn, but I’ve never taken the time.  It was a lot of fun and we did it with a group of people that we knew which made it even more fun.  I am sharing this with you because it is a really good idea to do this.  The fund-raiser was for breast cancer and my husband spoke about his male breast cancer and the journey he had when he was diagnosed.  Basically he wants to get the word out that it is important for men and women to pay attention to their bodies and not be afraid to go to the doctor if you think there may be something wrong.  The other part of this is that we thought this sort of event could be a good way for kids to celebrate their birthday parties.  We were all together trying to replicate the painting that is before us and it was amazing how each painting had its own individual style. Today is Easter Sunday and I wanted to put my piano music on this blog.  I’ve been having a lot of problem figuring out just how to do that.  The music is in the back of my book and I have made it public on my Facebook page, so if you want to hear it, just find Bonnie DiMichele on Facebook and it should be there.  Hope you like it. The photo below was taken in my backyard and looked very spring like to me, so I wanted to share that as well.  Have a wonderful weekend.

 

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