Posts made in April, 2012

The Other Side of the Story

Posted by on Apr 30, 2012 in Breakfast and Brunch | 2 comments

Isabella was waiting her turn to be in the story.  As a matter of fact, she wanted to spin the tale herself.  All week long we waited.  She wiggled and wiggled and waited.

 She went on a squashy food plan.

Diced strawberries, fresh blueberries and vanilla yogurt sustained her.

Thank goodness for applesauce and sandwiches cut into tiny soft squares.

Lemon Ricotta Pancakes rescued Sunday Breakfast

MP and Maddy were  on the road by then.

Izzy remarked that I had forgotten to take a picture of her pancakes about the same time Jules asked me what year my father was born.

I looked down at the lemon dotted pillowy pancakes with pockets of ricotta and

a drizzle of maple syrup.

My father loved pancakes but preferred them to be the size of a silver dollar.

My father would have loved, loved, and loved these girls.

In a steady manner we spoke about my father, death and the journey of  love after someone dies.

We talked about  sadness, heartache, moving on, living and trusting God.

There were other grief  journeys.  As I wiggled and wiggled away from my tears,

Izzy quietly said,

"coco, it says in the Bible not to focus on what God does but on who He is."

Jules asked, "Where does it say that?"

Izzy gazed sideways before saying, "I am not sure.  Maybe in the Psalms".

The hole in my heart has a God sized plug holding it together.

This morning Izzy has a new space in her smile.

In time it will be filled too.

She was waiting for her Father.

Lemon Ricotta Pancakes will transport you too!

Lemon Ricotta Pancakes


  • 3/4 cup unbleached flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 2/3 cup ricotta
  • 2/3 cup 2 % Greek yogurt
  • 2 Tablespoons sugar
  • 2 extra large eggs, separated
  • ½ cup buttermilk
  • 2 Tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Zest of one lemon
  • butter
  • Maple syrup
  • Assorted berries (blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, etc.)


  1. Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and nutmeg. In another bowl beat egg whites until stiff peaks form. In a large bowl, combine ricotta, yogurt, sugar, egg yolks, milk, lemon juice, vanilla, and zest. Stir in flour until just combined. Fold in the egg whites.
  2. Heat a nonstick griddle over medium low heat. Brush the pan with butter and spoon about a quarter of a cup of batter per pancake onto it. Cook until bubbles begin to appear and burst on top of pancake. Turn and brown. Remove to a platter to keep warm. Serve with syrup and berries.
  3. Makes about 12
  4. © Copyright 2012 Peggy Barrett Lunde
  5. All Rights Reserved

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Chez Julianna Gray

Posted by on Apr 28, 2012 in Chicken and Turkey | 1 comment

On our drive home from school, I told Julianna I was cooking a dinner which included some of her favorite foods.  This girl loves to eat.  Cooking for her and listening closely to her “ yums” and “Mmmmmm, mmmmmms” is  a pure amusement.

Julianna is a connoisseur of all things salad.

Homemade vinaigrette is her forte in the kitchen…a rite of passage.

 This is for you Jules.


Crimini or Baby Bellas is more fun to say!



Poulet Julianna

Chopped Salad

Photos  by Madelynne

Poulet Julianna


  • 4 skinless, boneless, chicken breasts (about 1 ½ pounds)
  • Kosher salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 teaspoons Herbs De Provence (to taste)
  • Zest and juice of a lemon
  • Olive oil
  • 1 large shallot, halved and sliced
  • 1 pound crimini or button mushrooms, halved
  • ½ cup white wine or chicken stock
  • ½ cup Kalamata olives, roughly chopped
  • Fresh parsley


  1. Place the chicken in a dish or zip type bag. Combine salt and pepper, Herbs, zest, lemon juice, and 1 tablespoon of oil and pour over chicken. Let chicken marinate an hour.
  2. Heat 1 Tablespoon of oil in a large skillet over medium high heat until just smoking. Sauté chicken until golden brown, about 4 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate.
  3. Add a bit more oil if necessary. Sauté mushrooms and shallot in the same skillet with salt and pepper to taste and cook over medium heat until softened, about 3-5 minutes. Add wine or broth and simmer, scraping up any browned bits with a wooden spoon, until slightly thickened, about 3 minutes.
  4. Add chicken with accumulated juices from plate, and simmer, covered, until chicken is cooked through, 4-5 minutes; transfer to a serving platter.
  5. Garnish with olives and fresh chopped parsley and serve with oven roasted potatoes.
  6. Serves 4
  7. © Copyright 2012 Peggy Barrett Lunde
  8. All Rights Reserved

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Guest Photographer

Posted by on Apr 26, 2012 in Pasta | 4 comments

Madelynne, Juliana and Isabella are staying in our home this week.

School, swim, water polo, church and tons of homework have left time for mostly sleeping and eating...

Madelynne put her eye to my camera.

Be Our Guest!

 Spinach and Ricotta Stuffed Shells

Spinach and Ricotta Stuffed Shells


  • 40 jumbo pasta shells (about one box)
  • 2 18-ounces jars marinara sauce
  • 2 (12 ounce) containers ricotta
  • 6 ounces soft goat cheese
  • 4 cups baby spinach, chopped
  • (about 6 ounces)
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan (4 ounces)
  • Kosher salt and black pepper
  • 1 cup grated mozzarella (4 ounces)


  1. Pre heat oven to 400° F. Cook the pasta according to the package directions; drain and run under cold water until cool.
  2. Spread half the marinara sauce in the bottom of 2 9x13 inch baking dishes.
  3. In a bowl, combine the ricotta, goat cheese, spinach, and Parmesan, 1 teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper.
  4. Spoon the mixture into the shells and place them on top of the sauce. Pour over remaining marinara; sprinkle with the mozzarella and bake until the shells are heated through, 15-20 minutes, or until cheese begins to bubble.
  5. Serves 12
  6. --adapted from Real Simple














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Let the Week Begin!

Posted by on Apr 24, 2012 in New | 2 comments

MP and I have our granddaughters for the week.

Grandmas don't just say "that's nice" --

they reel back and roll their eyes and throw up their hands and smile.

You get your money's worth out of grandmas.

--Author Unknown

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Farm to Pie!

Posted by on Apr 22, 2012 in Desserts | 0 comments

Strawberries haven't made it into my Tanaka Farm box yet.








Saturday afternoon while visiting our friends in Irvine, Jaci and I took a short walk right to the farm.









We found Maui Onions












Purple Cauliflower








Lime Green Cauliflower








Radishes galore and








Strawberry Fields Forever!








Growing demonstration area









Growing, growing, growing




















Farm Stand ready








to bake into a pie








Strawberry Pie...








Strawberry pie for dessert or








a flaky, cold and creamy, charming slice of strawberry pie on Sunday morning!

Coffee or Tea?


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