Mendocino Mint


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

Praying In The Garden



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.) 


Seeds in the Peet


I know!  I’m placing two posts this week.  I just had to share this.  I just got done starting the seeds for this year’s garden in the indoor greenhouse that I’m trying for the first time.  It is a very rainy day in California and my grandma would have thought that it was an excellent day to sow seeds.  She would have been very proud of my exactness during this project.  If all the plants come up, I’ll have to find neighbors, family, and friends to gift them to.  

A few years ago I had the side hill cut into and tiered garden boxes put in.  They are about three or so feet high and it takes the backache out of gardening.  This is the first year I am trying to start the plants from seed.  I have high hopes.  I was also recycling my coffee pods this morning with the thought that my gardenia’s would love the grounds during the rain storm.  I feel like I’ve accomplished a lot this morning and I was helped with the use of a small fork that I picked up at a Pasadena estate sale.  I didn’t look too closely at it at the time, but once I got back home, I found that the back side of it had “The Good Wife” stamped on it.   Oops, I think it may have been lifted from an event.  I must wear my glasses when I am at estate sales.  Have you ever acquired something that later surprised you?