Posts made in April, 2015

The Farm-Stead

Posted by on Apr 29, 2015 in New | 1 comment

 We lost count of years,

Maddy at dinner 1

 when Maddy still had cropped blonde bangs;


 and Jules could blow away,

MP and I began taking our granddaughters on an escapade each October around Solvang.


By the time Izzy joined us she was merely two.



A whirlwind of silly stops at Ostrich Land, miniature pony ranches, apple picking, tire swinging,



rescue donkeys and pumpkin medleys; morphed over the years.  Last October we retired the trip—Madelynne had Homecoming on her mind and calendar. The waterfall was dry; the apple orchard was neglected to a dust bowl; pesky bees annoyed our vineyard picnic.










The remaining glory stayed true for Jules and Izzy—dinner at Grappolo. Our beloved last stop at the Peace Barn was a solemn disappointment.  We spotted blame on the drought, nevertheless we all knew the girls had outgrown childish rituals.










Without Maddy subtleties changed; we all agreed to see this era end.

2015-04-23 18.09.54







Last week, MP and I revived the trek with a fresh food-filled (just us) wandering approach.












And, on the last drizzling morning we motored toward the Peace Barn.



















A young couple purchased the buildings and farm coloring a newfangled rainbow over rows of fleshy greens,



















and copious veggies.








Abel, the broad-shouldered ambitious farmer spoke to me about the changes saying,













“Some have been berating me for what we have done here.”































I humbly reassured him.  “Abel is a perfect name for a real farmer.”








And, I wondered to myself as I picked eggs from the refrigerator, what the farmer’s wife might be named.








Her artistic essence, chalkboard path, pastel eggs,
















baked goods and








golden goodies overflowed the








jam-packed barn space like a simmering Alsatian cassoulet.







Anyway, next October there will be two young ladies with Homecoming on their minds…



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Good Morning

Posted by on Apr 27, 2015 in Breakfast and Brunch | 2 comments

Gluten-free eating is trending with people we love.  A few ripe bananas and my fresh found love for creamy almond butter became the cornerstones of a gluten-free quick bread creation.

Almond Butter Banana Bread


One ripe banana yields about ½-cup mashed banana;









which partnered with yogurt, almond butter, coconut oil and two egg beauties.


















gluten-free flour, almond meal, golden flax seed, spices and the rest find their way into the mix.









Ceramic can bake at a lower temperature--









After the loaf is cool; drizzle it with a handsome glaze.  The bread is moist with a seemingly complex texture.


Maybe, the best ever loaf to keep near an heirloom teacup;

even though, your Grandmother was without a gluten-free app.




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English Pea Pesto and Linguine

Posted by on Apr 22, 2015 in Pasta | 0 comments

Have you been daydreaming about lush greens and the foggy azure blue patchwork of springtime in Ireland?  Me too…  Ancient dappled-gray rock fences holding strong against the weather; cathedrals, castles, Irish wool, sentimental singsong music, endless curving roads, and deep hues of green grass soaring over seascapes fill my imagination.

The Luck of the Irish

Photo Source: Corey Amaro,

Something pale bottle green for dinner will have to do—not Irish—but lush, rich and oh so quick.


In the time, it takes to boil water (as is said so often) you will be twirling your fancy fork around creamy emerald strands.


Load the processor with peas, garlic, Parmesan cheese, fresh lemon juice and toasted pine nuts.  While the pasta is boiling, give the peas a whirl drizzling in fresh and fruity extra virgin olive oil. Add salt and freshly ground pepper to taste; then drape the pesto over a half pound of linguine.


This week MP brought home fragile strips of sole filet which I lightly breaded with super fine flour and browned in ghee with Meyer lemon.


We topped the platter with delicate fish fillets and lemon zest.  “Pass the Parmesan”, he says.

Thank you, Trader Joe’s for shelling all those peas for me!

English Pea Pesto and Linguine


  • 10 ounces shelled fresh peas, about 2 cups
  • 3 Tablespoons toasted pine nuts
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese plus more for serving
  • 1 large clove garlic
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • ¼ cup extra virgin fruity olive oil
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh lemon zest
  • Kosher salt and pepper
  • ½ pound linguine, cooked al dente


  1. While the pasta cooks, prepare the pesto. In a food processor, combine the pine nuts, peas, and Parmesan, garlic and lemon juice. With the machine running, add olive oil and process until a thick paste forms; season with salt and pepper.
  2. Drain the pasta reserving ½ cup of pasta cooking water. Toss the hot pasta with the pesto adding hot water to loosen. Top with lemon zest and pass extra Parmesan to serve.
  3. Serves 4
  4. © Copyright 2015 Peggy Barrett Lunde
  5. All Rights Reserved


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April Love

Posted by on Apr 20, 2015 in New | 2 comments

Every April a hummingbird chooses a potted ficus tree outside our French doors to configure a cup-shaped nest. Each day, I forget as I trek to the garage, my mere presence sends the aerodynamic pennyweight soaring; wings flapping and buzzing in a mid-air hover; then fleeting backward escape.








I watch and marvel at our backyard friend capturing her momentous arrival with wisps of web








to bind a secure shell for twin eggs.

Patient and attentive, feeding her nestlings sweet nectar, squishy fledglings are growing and the nest is expanding day by day.


          It was carved with cherubim and palm trees;

           and a palm tree was between cherub and cherub,

            and every cherub had two faces,

           Ezekiel 41:18 (ESV)

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Noodle This or That

Posted by on Apr 17, 2015 in Asian and Vegetarian | 1 comment

Gather ingredients and try a super fast trick to infuse crazy good authentic flavors into an Asian-inspired soup.  After doing this a couple of times; I have my own spin which I am happy to share. Cooking Light built a Fresh Thai Noodle Bowl, where vegetable stock is percolated with aromatic ginger and garlic to pour over Thai noodles and veggies. I chose a wider rice noodle and reduced the amount to 6 ounces.  And, my line up of veggies was not a match, so an extra step is included too.  Have everything ready; cleaned, prepped, peeled, minced, and sliced.








Begin by cooking the noodles according to the directions.  Because I had broccolini, I tossed it in the noodle cooking water for 2 minutes and shocked it in an ice bath; then drained it.   (It needed to be cooked a little; while the rest of the veggies are raw).















When the noodles were done, I drained them and put them back in the pan with a drizzle of toasted sesame oil for additional flavor, and to keep them from sticking together.








Saute the ginger and garlic in  more than a teaspoon of coconut oil—use more ginger (2 tablespoons) and don’t fear four cloves of garlic!








Cook quickly, add the soy or Tamari, and stock; bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes.








Taste and adjust seasonings.











I wanted heat; I stirred in 1 tablespoon of Korean Gochujang.  Toss the wisps of carrot, thin strips of pepper, and crunchy cucumbers together.  Now it’s time to load the bowls; noodles, veggie mixture, broccolini, and a ladle of hot broth. Top with cilantro, basil, mint, and nuts too if you choose--








Cooking Light, you still get all the credit!



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