Posts made in October, 2012

An Art Affair

Posted by on Oct 19, 2012 in New | 0 comments

Solvang 2012

Gathering the photographs for the latest thirty six hour escape was an extension of a new era.

Madelynne waited until the iphone 5 was released and promptly bought an iphone 4.

Instagram colors her world with a strikingly fresh approach!


 Oatmeal Apple Pie

Breakfast Sandwich

Greek Omelette

Chile Verde Omelette

Hiking to the waterfall was delivery from a food coma.

Isabella picked a Granny Smith apple which she selected primarily with a caramel apple  in mind.

Another year of reflection.

Madelynne vows to tag along for 3 more years until she will be away at college.

Read More

Thirty-Six Hours… the History

Posted by on Oct 16, 2012 in New | 5 comments

MP and I began taking our granddaughters on a yearly pilgrimage to Solvang  in October 2004.

The simple camping expeditions to Carpenteria came earlier in the summertime.

...we were retracing our steps capturing memories for another generation.

Those young jaunts looked different.

They included a dubious stopover to observe and feed Ostrich and Emu.

Apple picking...

and choosing pumpkins before entering the

the bloodcurdling canned corn maze.

In 2006-- the baby was on board.

...a cuddling clueless newbie


We out grew the pecking birds.

but not Strawberry Fields

or Apple Lane.

On the second Saturday of each October

we dine at Grappolo in Santa Ynez.


Isabella discovered Lavender Creme Brulee.

By 2010 we had an agenda.

Breakfast, hiking, apples, pumpkins, playing, a picnic in the vineyard

 and the traditional dinner.

2011 marked the final draft.

Donkey Whispering at a donkey rescue farm.

New in 2011?

Primping for dinner !

The girls grow up to be young ladies and the tortelli stay true.

MP makes it all happen

for the entire chick crew!

We love you Poppy!

To be continued--

Read More

Two Loaves Two Loves

Posted by on Oct 12, 2012 in Desserts | 0 comments

Two Loaves Two Loves

The aroma of autumn wafting through the house is heaven sent.

A more healthful version of pumpkin bread with chocolate chips fulfills every nudge to bake on a rainy October morning.

Slightly sweet and enriched with molasses, this simple quick bread delivers.







Pantry items including pumpkin.








Cream the butter and sugar before adding the egg and molasses.








It is very annoying that 16 ounce cans are no longer 16 ounces.  I use a bit less then a cup of pumpkin so the same amount is reserved for another baking project.








After the pumpkin is combined add milk.








The dry ingredients. Whole wheat flour, flour, and leavening with warm spices jumpstart the fragrance factor.








The yummy pumpkin batter before








folding in the chocolate chips.








Rest here if you are a dough eater.








Two loaves--two to share and one to pack up for our picnic tomorrow in Santa Ynez.

Deep, glorious, slightly sweet--Chocolate and Pumpkin--an autumn bouquet.

Spiced Pumpkin Chocolate Bread


  • 4 Tablespoons butter (1/2 stick)
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup molasses
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 cup solid pack pumpkin
  • 1 cup unbleached flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/8 teaspoon cloves
  • 1 cup chocolate chips


  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Grease and flour two 7x3x2 inch loaf pans. In a mixing bowl, cream together butter, sugar, molasses, egg, milk and pumpkin.
  2. Sift together, flours, soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger and cloves. Stir flour mixture into pumpkin; fold in chocolate chips.
  3. Divide dough between loaf pans. Bake 30-35 minutes or until center of loaf tests done.
  4. Makes two loaves, twelve slices each.



Read More

Green Tomatoes

Posted by on Oct 8, 2012 in Pasta | 3 comments

Green Tomatoes

Picking green tomatoes seems inherently wrong.

They are not ripe!

After seeing Mario Batali prepare Spaghetti with Green Tomatoes, I did just that...




Mario equates food for the soul, spaghetti, and Marvin Gaye with aplomb.



I had to work quickly.  The silly fruit was ripening before my very lens.











Arugula, basil, mint, and parsley pesto out of the gate.








Parmesan, garlic, salt and pepper








Olive oil...I used a little less.








I used 3 large tomatoes.








The tomatoes are sauteed in olive oil.  Mario suggests leaving them rest without a lot of stirring or shaking.








This allows the tomatoes to get a --little color.  Add the garlic at this point so it wont burn.

It looked like squash...








When the tomatoes are softened stir in the herb pesto.















Toss with the spaghetti and a generous amount of Parmesan Cheese.

I suggest using less pasta then the pound called for--or better yet?  Make more sauce.

I regret there is no photo of the perfect strands of spaghetti falling off a fork or swirled into a pile on a pretty plate.

The finished platter was scooped up and taken to the candlelit patio and devoured.

The simple spaghetti shared a fresh bright herbiness with the mild green tomatoes casting a soft citrus nuance.

Is herbiness a word?


Read More

Choy Joy

Posted by on Oct 5, 2012 in Asian and Vegetarian | 0 comments

Choy Joy

My fascination for Chinese greens is elementary.  The Asian farmer at the Saturday market has the longest line. The bright leafy greens are stacked up on long tables overflowing with the fresh vegetables.

I marvel at the giant bags stuffed with what I overheard were “bitter” greens.  The idea of bitter waved me off—so I have stuck with purchases I recognize.

Last week I was surprised how many of you asked for the recipe for a wok dish I created.  Being that I made it up as I went along I set out to create a similar dish.

yu choi at market

Yu Choy (related to mustard greens) at the market have slender tight stalks which are tender enough to eat.  The tiny flowers gracing the leaves are yellow.

Boc choy

I love the flavor of baby Bok Choy.  I prefer to cook them cut in half lengthwise to maintain the formation of the heart.

These two photos courtesy of








On Wednesday I composed the greens and other vegetables with dried Shiitake mushrooms which I keep in the pantry.








The Sichuan Peppercorns are new territory.  They are tiny dried fruit unrelated to black or chili pepper.








Imparting a lemony flavor I toasted the peppercorns in the wok with the aromatics.








I have begun using coconut oil to stir-fry.








After adding the peppers








I tossed in the Yu stalks and cooked  it a few more minutes.








I piled the Bok Choy








and Yu Choy leaves into the wok.








I poured the mushroom soaking liquid over the vegetables and covered the wok  simmering the vegetables for 5 minutes before adding








the mushrooms and soy sauce mixture.








I finished the dish with fresh red heirloom tomato wedges to add color and freshness...








OH MY!!!

Is there any other word but delicious to portray the juxtaposition of the nippy scented sauteed almost bitter greens ?








A sweet and juicy Asian pear became the perfect foil...

Bok and Yu Choy Stir Fry


  • ½ ounce dried Shiitake mushrooms,
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 1 bunch fresh Yu Choy, washed and cut into thirds
  • 4-5 baby Bok Choy, washed, stem ends removed and cut in half lengthwise
  • 2 bell peppers (1 yellow and 1 orange) cut into strips
  • 1 Tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1 bunch of scallions, trimmed and thinly sliced
  • 1-2 inch piece fresh ginger peeled and finely minced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • ½ teaspoon Sichuan Peppercorns
  • 2 Tablespoons less sodium soy sauce
  • 2 Tablespoons water
  • Hot pepper sauce to taste
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1 large fresh tomato, cut into wedges


  1. Pour boiling water over dried mushrooms to rehydrate; set aside.
  2. Prepare and assemble vegetables.
  3. Combine soy sauce with water, hot sauce, and cornstarch; set aside.
  4. Heat the oil in a large wok or skillet over high heat. Begin by adding scallions, ginger, garlic, and peppercorns. Saute until softened being careful not to burn the garlic.
  5. Add the sliced pepper strips and then the stalks of the Yu Choy; continue to stir-fry for 2-3 minutes longer. Add the Bok Choy and Yu Choy leaves and toss with the vegetables. Pour the mushroom soaking liquid over the vegetables reduce the heat; cover and cook 5 minutes.
  6. Stir in reserved mushrooms. Stir the soy sauce mixture. Make a well in the center of the vegetables and pour in the soy sauce mixture. Quickly stir until vegetables arecoated and the sauce is slightly thickened.
  7. Add the fresh tomatoes before serving.
  8. Serves 2-4
  9. © Copyright 2012 Peggy Barrett Lunde
  10. All Rights Reserved




Read More