Tag Archives: food

Memoirs! Laughter in the Kitchen!

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Well first off, I have to say it’s a good thing my children don’t read most of what I write as their lives with full time jobs, marriages and small children keep them too busy to even answer e-mails. They would both kill me for posting this picture. But it makes me smile, if not laugh out loud with them when I remember one of our rare times together, which only happens a few times a year, with the three of us each living in a different state.

It is our way though, when planning time together..a quick weekend before everyone has to get back to work..to decide the all- important question “What are we going to do for dinner?”. When they were growing up, even with full-time working parents, meals were a non-negotiable nightly ritual at the table, with a variety of food lovingly prepared from favorite recipes, at a table set with dishes, knives and forks and chairs set around so that we actually ate together, looked at each other and talked! Those were simpler times then…everyone so busy now with complicated work and school activity schedules.

IMG_6961When we get together now, it is..at least for one meal… an attempt to capture the communion of mealtime but at this time  with small, lively and giggly children it is hard to look across the table adult-wise and eye-to-eye to finish a conversation, let alone a sentence! Where the REAL communication takes place is in the kitchen..a bottle of wine, veggies, meat, desserts…chop, chop. dice, saute, bake, season and lots of laughter. Did I say wine?Wine (or a Mike’s).

 

 

 

On this visit, daughter Lisa who used to be a vegetarian determinedly took on the sectioning of the chicken…daughter Melissa, our craftsperson and baker did the desserts, and  I, the Greening Spirit,  prepared the salad and vegetables while the kids wove their energetic persons in and around all the prep amusing themselves cousins-style. The REAL visit for myself and my IMG_6967 daughters took place right here in the kitchen.. working, talking, laughing and trying to contain the children’s energies of up/down, in/out and numerous requests for other more amusing forms of entertainment.

I don’t always actually remember the meal at the table as I drive back to my home state because by the time we get to the table,  the children and we, rushing through a short weekend trying to fit everything in, are tired and the meal is a blur. But always, I remember the times in the kitchen with my daughters, talking, telling funny stories and laughing in the kitchen.

Over the years things will shift and change and things may be calmer and slower and we will miss the chaos. But always the time together is precious… and yes, I think the kitchen in the Heart of the Home.    IMG_6976

 

From Christine, the Cook (aka “Mom”and “Noni”)

 

****  New post on my Greening Spirit site: http://thegreeningspirit.wordpress.com/2014/09/09/kissed-sensual-spirituality-and-hildegarde-of-bingen/

**** New post on my Piano Mistress site: http://pianomistress.wordpress.com/2014/09/09/memoirs-creative-listening-and-art/

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Tomato, Basil and Cheese Pie (Quiche)

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The Gardener’s Community Cookbook- Victoria Wise

As promised, following yesterday’s post “Foodie Flops-Behind the Scenes on Cooking Blog”  here is the delicious recipe for Tomato, Basil and Cheese Pie from the Smith and Hawkins Community Cookbook compiled and written by Victoria Wise. The book is a delightful collection of tales and  favorite recipes from various gardeners and farmer’s market people using the generous bounty of the earth and summer’s harvest. This recipe can be found in the book on page #172. As I had mentioned in the original article above, this book was a special overstock deal for $2.99  at JOB LOT many years ago and I bought extra copies of this treasure to give as gifts to friends. I hope you can still find it on Amazon or ebay  ( or in your library system) It was published in 1999.

This is a wonderful recipe! Just remember to make the pie crust first!

Tomato, Basil and Cheese Pie

Ingredients:  One 10 inch pie crust…3 large tomatoes, sliced 1/8 in thick…salt…1 cup firmly packed basil leaves…1/2 cup small curd cottage cheese…2 large eggs…1/2 coarsely grated or chopped mozzarella cheese…1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese…dried garlic powder and dried sweet marjoram (optional, my addition)…olive oil to brush on top

Prepare

1. Prepare crust, set aside (I baked it slightly first to harden it just a bit)

2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees (I had to lower it to 350 degrees as my countertop oven was running too hot)

3. Lightly sprinkle tomato slice with salt, both sides. Set aside on paper towels top and bottom to absorb the liquid. Pat dry before using.

4.Place basil, cottage cheese and eggs in a blender (I used my nutribullet) and blend until well combined. Add the mozzarella, parmesan, a little salt and pepper, a sprinkle of the optional garlic powder and or the sweet marjoram..just a sprinkle..) and continue blending until mixed,

5. Assemble pie: Pat tomato slices dry, line bottom of pie pan with the crust with the end pieces of the tomato slices, spoon cheese mixture over the tomato slices, arrange the remainder of the tomato slices on top of the cheese/basil mixture. Brush top layer with olive oil. Place in heated oven.

6. Bake until edges of crust are crispy and golden (watch for burning and lower temp if necessary) and the cheese mixture is firm enough for an knife inserted in the center comes out clean…about 50-60 minutes. Remove from oven. Cool for about 15 minutes before serving. Serve warm, at room temperature or cover and refrigerate to serve later or the next day.

This is also a hit at pot lucks! Disappears fast! (Make two- one for everyone, one for you!)

Enjoy!  (And remember, even if it looks like mine did in the Foodie Goof post…it is still delicious!)

Happy Eating from Christine, The Cook

ps. If you’d also like Food for Your Soul and Nature’s Beauty check my Greening Spirit Blog as well

http://thegreeningspirit.wordpress.com

 

 

Ribolitta! Tuscan Bread Soup (Fare for Peasants AND Kings)

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Ribolitta

A couple of days before Christmas, a friend lent me a wonderful book ” The Wisdom of Tuscany: Simplicity, Security and the Good Life-Making the Tuscan Lifestyle Your Own” by Ferenc Mate’.

Often conversations with friends these days include  laments about the state of our U.S. economy, the fast-paced frantic lifestyles that have often destroyed the community, conversation and lingering celebration around the family dinner table, if it even exists anymore. We lament that even at tables in the home and in restaurants, while waiting for food to be served or orders taken, cell phones and hand-held gaming devices have supplanted the open waiting time that used to be a lovely opportunity for conversation, sharing, and EYE-CONTACT with companions.

It is for this reason, following such several talks with friends on this topic, that I received, read, and relished this wonderful book of another way to live, to savor life and to go about relationships with people, the land, and food based on a whole other set of values that seem to have dissolved here in mainstream commercial, materialistic, consumeristic America.

TuscanyThe book, like others of similar genre, includes recipes native to that culture. And what a celebration they are. Italians are passionate people. And so is their cooking. As close to nature, fresh, whole and un-adulterated as possible. The burgeoning grass-roots movement here amongst those who are choosing to live more gently and more enthusiastically on the planet, is now witnessed by the growing and vociferous awareness of poisonous and deadening practices of mass industrial farming practices. As a result, many of us have been forever or starting to support local farms, farmers markets, artisan bread and cheesmakers, grass-fed beef and small well-maintained and humane poultry producers and it is good for us to do so, not only for our health, but for passion, celebration and our spiritual/psychological selves as well. And for those of us who can, growing our own food is the best of all!

It is good to live simply and it is possible to live with sensuality and celebration as well. This is why I love this book, and I highly recommend it, both for its memoir, its stories and its simple recipes of good WHOLE food fit for Peasants and Kings alike.

I chose to make a Ribolitta..Tuscan Bread Soup. Over the years I have been given a number of recipes for this but never made it. Yesterday was THE day since I am homebound recouperating from a winter cold and virus. What I needed was a soup for nourishment and healing…and reading this book inspired me to put a peasant pot of culinary richness together for well-being and delight. This recipe is a composite of traditional recipes and using what what was in my own fridge and cupboard. I invite you to follow the basics, and create your own soup with what you have on hand! And that is the way it is in Tuscany…use what is available at any moment, and the way it is in my own kitchen as well.

Ingredients:

Olive Oil ~ a large can of whole tomatoes smashed in their own juice (not in puree) ~ 1 (15.5 oz)can of canellini or chick peas, drained and rinsed ~ 1/2 cup diced carrots ~ 1/2 cup diced celery ~ 2-3 cloves garlic chopped (I get my garlic from a friend’s garden), 1/2 vidalia onion diced, 1 small zucchini diced ~ 2 small red potatoes peeled and diced ~ four large leaves of swiss chard torn or cut into short ribbons ~ 1/2 cabbage sliced/chopped ~1 Italian mild sausage, cooked separately and chopped ~1 32-oz package/can of chicken broth/stock (organic if possible) ~ diced fresh mozzarella or queso blanco ~ grated parmesan ~ dried basil, parsley and marjoram unless fresh is available ~ a nice artisan Italian bread with crust, cut into cubes.

Preparation:Gently saute diced carrots and celery for about five minutes, stirring. Do not brown. Add onions and stir for several more minutes..do not brown. Add garlic and stir to release flavor and scent. Do not burn, but saute until everything is slightly softened.

Add the smashed tomatoes and juice, fresh vegetables (zucchini, cabbage, potatoes) but not the chard.. Cover with the chicken broth and simmer, adding salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle with 3/4 to 1 teaspoon of dried herbs Go lightly at first and taste. I cannot give you an exact amount because it depends on the other ingredients and what I like. You can always add but you cannot subtract a flavour! Taste taste TASTE along the way and adjust to your pleasure.

Add beans, cooked sausage when the potatoes are cooked. Simmer for five minutes. Add the swiss chard..simmer until it softens into the soup.

Add the cubed bread on top of the soup. Simmer gently. And stir.

Put some chunks of mozarella or queso blanco in the bowls. Ladle soup over the cheese.. Add a sprinkling of fresh grated parmesan (or packaged if that is what you have) on top.

A glass of beer, or a red wine is the perfect complement to this.

*** Please note that soups and stews ALWAYS taste better on the second day and following days as the ingredients mellow and blend into more complex flavours. (If it lasts that long)

Let’s live well, with celebration, creativity, conversation, and companionship in the kitchen and around the table!

Support your local farmers and farmer’s markets, local beef and poultry farms, buy your eggs from friends who have chickens, tend to your own window herb garden, and best of all if you are able…grow your own food.

With love from Christine, Greening Spirit/ The Cook

Memoirs: Recipes as Life Markers

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Handwritten Recipe

So the task this afternoon was a baking one. I was  here listening to beautiful bittersweet mellow music on a “new age” Pandora channel, making a pumpkin pie to take to tomorrow’s out-of-state visit with my adult children and their kids, while hubbies go off to the big game in Boston. I chose to make pumpkin pie because it is somewhat easy, and because I am still experimenting with a new countertop oven, in the hopes that when I try to bake something for a pot luck or a desert here, I will know how this oven works and how to adjust the temperature so that things don’t burn.

I was thinking about also making a batch of special oatmeal raisin cookies that I made a trillion years ago when I used to bake occasionally. I have been going through my cooking files looking for the recipe..and…well…kind of curiously it was like going through the various chapters of my life when certain recipes and foods were part of those chapters:  recipes from when I was first married many many years ago trying my “wings’ in the kitchen with Betty Crocker’s  “Dinner for Two” and my mother’s favorite sauces and stews,  followed by recipes enthusiastically whipped up during my marriage when the graduate student community shared styles of cooking from around the world. Then, recipes from the years of single parenting when meals needed to be affordable as well as delicious and nourishing to keep it all together for myself and the growing children,  and  at present, simple and quick recipes for a single lifestyle when the “kids” are long gone,  raising their own families. Now is the time of cooking Sensuous Soups and Suppers for One  usually, or of course doubled or quadrupled when necessary.

As I sorted through these bits of paper and notes, each phase of life seemed so distinct and each had some unique  culinarylessons and adventures to experience in the world of home cooking.

The recipes were clipped from magazines or newspapers, or cut from the backs of ingredient boxes, many tried and enjoyed but many yet to be tried although they have been kept in a large plastic baggie or  stuck in between the pages of cookbooks for all these years..and pretty much forgotten. Some I had written out, some were given to me by others. In several instances, I can remember the exact occasion that prompted the sharing..a dessert bar eaten at the home of a piano student or an orzo salad  I had raved about at a friend’s house for lunch, she graciously sharing the secret ingredients and cooking instructions.

And then… a recipe  in my mother’s handwriting.  How familiar it is. Why did that shake me up a bit? She’s gone now, having passed on last year,  but her handwriting is SO here. So clear. So her.
What is it about the handwriting of a person that though silent is still a Voice, a Presence..un-mistakenly personal?  And real.

I never did make it, tho it had been filed away for “sometime”.

Hi Mom.
ps: I’ll try the recipe: Mexican Potato Cheese Soup.

Can a Simple Supper Be Sensuous? YES!

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I cook (2)There  are so many extraordinary and beautifully photographed food blogs online these day that are so inspiring and tempting and truly I love them because I love good food…one of the truly earthly delights!  I celebrate all the good cooks and writers who so generously share their culinary inspirations and secrets! Thank you, thank you, all you good, adventurous and tasty people!

My own blog here entitled Sensuous Soups and Suppers is not extremely sophisticated and shares simpler, easy to prepare suppers that I cook for family, friends or myself on a daily basis. However, I pair the word Sensuous  with the concept of “simple”  because for me,  if what is on the cutting board, in the pan and ultimately on the dish is not full of color, shapes, scents, textures and flavours..all the qualities that trigger our SENSES… it will never appear at supper time again. Simple does not mean boring, or without daring or imagination.

A quick but flat, tasteless, mushy, colorless dinner is a true disappointment at the end of a day, after “paying our dues” to the larger world of work ..and especially so if the one dining is also the cook who spent a lot of time hoping and planning to enjoy the fruits of one’s labour (and play) in the kitchen preparing a tasty reward at mealtime.

So what is Simple and Sensuous Cooking?

#1. Simple for me means not too many ingredients, and an immediate hands-on experience with them to appreciate their uniqueness in their natural state. I am talking vegetables, fruits, nuts, herbs and spices here. Meat and seafood are other categories and not eaten raw.

#2. Simple usually means that food preparation is not a major project taking up lots of time except for the cooking and seasoning tasting and adjustings in things like soups, sauces and stews that require longer cooking times. I recently attended a wonderful lecture by Dr. Ed Iannuccilli who wrote a wonderful book entitled “What Ever Happened to Sunday Dinners?” in which he told wonderful stories of growing up in an immigrant Italian family with a Grandmother who cooked sauces and a variety of delicious courses of meats, pastas and vegetables all week long in preparation and anticipation for the large family gathering of kids and adults who would gather for Sunday dinners every week at her home. What happened was that that was her role in the family and therefore her good vocation and work in the world but  done at home. Wow have times changed! We no longer have that kind of time, and other roles..many of them all at the same time..make up the hours and days of our lives now for the average family or single person. Simple here therefore means..”it doesn’t take a lot of time to prepare at the end of the day”.

#3. Simple means also that for the most part, a meal has only 2-4 different things on a plate…and simpler still..everything is cooked and eaten layered in one deep dish or bowl..a little salad, or a little bread and a glass of wine as well rounds it all out.

NOW, about  SENSUOUS, the Power and Teaser Word of this blog! Let me explain. I also happen to be an astrologer, so I will use that terminology as a frame of reference for the qualities of cooking and eating that I share here.

I am a Taurus, with a Cancer Rising. Both of these signs are very connected to gardening  for beauty, for food, and nourishment, for natural healing, rest and pleasure . Both of these signs are very indulgent when it comes to food from the garden but for slightly different reasons. Taurus grows things, and when eating , eats for sensual pleasure, celebration and delight, and can be quite extravagant. Because Taurus is an earth sign, earthly pleasures like color, shapes and designs, scents, flavours… eartlhly “temptations” therefore ensuing!.. are primary motivations. Cancer grows things in the garden as well, but as the sign of the “Mother”,  food must provide optimal nourishment, satisfaction, and community around the table, family/community-style. Therefore, a Cancerian cook, want the food to be appealing and serve the purpose of keeping family around the table, hearth and home and to never miss a meal!

The purpose of this blog therefore is to serve  Pleasure, Culinary Temptations and Celebration with  color, texture, scent and flavor on your plate and into your body, as well as to be delicious enough to bring you, family and loved ones back to the table on a regular basis for nourishment of body and the continuation of community.

So ending with this so I can go forth and start to prepare my own dinner tonight..I leave you with this example of a very simple but sensuous dinner from several nights ago. Yes, I usually make everything myself, but on a hot and tired evening, I will bring home from our local prepared foods shop which specializes in delicious vegetarian offerings to help me out when even “simple” on some nights, takes too much time. I’m not at all adverse to having some other cook tempt and satisfy me with their culinary artistry and expertise as well!

Simple Sensuous Supper

One Simple and Sensuous Supper in July 2013 on a very hot night

~Gently sauteed (in a little butter) portabello mushroom slices until a little golden, seasoned with salt and pepper and shredded basil, two sweet organic carrots cut in strips, a scoop of prepared Turkish Farro (with farro, chick peas, slivered almonds and slivered green and red peppers, feta cheese and a mild dressing of olive oil and a touch of balsamic vinegar.

~A glass of Casal Garcia rose’ wine (well two, actually)

~And for desert,  fresh plump blueberries and one square of dark chocolate.Simply Sensuous Supper 2

The textures were varied, the colors interesting, the flavours absolutely delicious and the comfort and satisfaction 100% ! A lovely meal

. A Simple and Sensuous Supper indeed!

Bella Brussel Sprouts and Pasta (Gluten-free)

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Bella Brussels Sprouts and Pasta SupperNo. I am not Italian. But the ingredients I love to use for many of my quickie suppers are connected to the Mediterranean cuisines, using greens of some sort, garlic, onions, basil, marjoram, olive oil and/or tomatoes. Last night I was starving after being out all day and when I am starving, I often want a simple (and sensuous/flavorful) pasta meal with healthy greens..something I can whip together with minimal fuss..a quickie of sorts with whatever is in the refrigerator.

I also have recently given up (or at least minimized) wheat in my diet as new information comes forth about the kind of genetically engineered wheat that has become our national staple and has significant health and dietary risks.  Thankfully, I have found a wonderful non-gluten pasta made from brown rice that in flavor, and even more importantly in TEXTURE,  is an excellent substitution for the wheat. (Made by a company named TINKYADA,  it can be found in health food stores and in many markets in the U.S.)

My refrigerator holds many treasures but for some reason last night I was really craving some sort of green vegetable and was delighted that I had hand-picked a small supply of loose Brussels Sprouts from the market the day before; An odd and amusing vegetable with its unique growth habit ( no it does grow in those little round carboard cellophane wrapped boxes on the shelves)  and in its musky/dusky flavor with a surprise hint of sweetness if prepared carefully.Brussels Sprouts on the vine My kitchen counter and herb cabinet als0 is well stocked with other tasty supplies as well to be creatively sprinkled, chopped, or carefully tossed into, poured over or stirred into my evening fare. So here we are! Last night’s very delicious dinner…it was SOOOO good.

I describe here a portion for one person..please just double or triple ingredients by your own good calculations and careful hand.

Ingredients

6-8 small/medium Brussels Sprouts, rinsed,…2-3 slices of sweet (or regular) onion, diced…1 or 2  large cloves of garlic diced…olive oil and butter...3 -4 small sweet cocktail tomatoes, seeded and quarted (may use 2 smallish plum tomatoes)..a small slab of a soft mozzarella,  chopped or diced)…dried basil and marjoram…a pinch of slivered almonds..salt and pepper to taste… a sprinkle of cayenne if desired..several tablespoons of a canned chicken broth as desired… a  single portion of gluten-free pasta ( I used spirals), cooked in advance and set aside, warmed.  (Regular wheat pasta may be used if you are not fussy about “gluten-free.)

Preparation

Cook pasta al dente, drain and set aside keeping it warm. Rinse Brussels Sprouts, discarding bruised outer leaves, cut off dried bottom and cut in half. Boil gently in  lightly salted water until tender and drain. In a small skillet, saute onion and garlic  in a mixture of olive oil and butter (1-2 tablespoons) until translucent and just beginning to color golden (do not burn). Add cooked brussels sprouts and stir.. Add chopped tomatoes, and cook a little longer for them to soften. Add a little chicken broth to moisten and make a little “juice”…sprinkle with a pinch of  the dried basil and sweet marjoram, salt and pepper to taste. It is important always to taste and adjust seasonings as you go along for “sensous” suppers. ( warning! Season with a light touch..and then increase as necessary…it is NOT possible to decrease an ingredient once you have over-added it…!)

Put the warm pasta in a bowl. Add diced/chopped mozzarella on top of the pasta and then put the hot sprouts mixture over those. (There should be a little broth). Add a good pinch of the slivered almonds and a sprinkle of cayenne if desired. Stir lightly to mix ingredients. The cheese should melt a bit and be slightly chewy, the slivered almonds add a crunch, the pasta al-dente, the brussels sprouts rich and flavourful, the tomatoes add a nice red in contrast to the green. Totally delicious.

Vinho VerdeWith this I had a chilled glass of a light, mineral-y vinho verde rose wine (well actually, I must admit..I had two chilled glasses). About $6.99 a bottle. A happy meal! See you again soon!

Bravo Broccoli Rappini !

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Rappe 1It has SO been winter here up in the Northeast with winds, snow, blizzards, tree damage, loss of electricity and heat! All sufferings aside as a result of Winter’s wrath, we also experience the beauty of this season, when all vegetation is nestled under a blanket of white, and we can hardly remember the colors of summer..vegetables, herbs, flowers, fruits that delight the eye, and tease the senses and the tongue, fresh from nature’s fields, woodland or gardens.M and M's 1

It is precisely this time of year, after warming soups, and sturdy grains, that many of us start to long for the taste of Greens. Often, salads are not exactly what we crave, many of them being cold in temperature themselves, but still..that emerging deep hunger for green things can be compelling as we wrap ourselves to stay warm, but miss the verdancy and energy of GREEN..dark, rich and energizing within winter’s color palette of brown, black, grey and white.

ENTER the COOKING GREENS such as Kale, Collards and Broccoli Rappini (Rabbe). I often at this time have a particular craving for Broccoli Rappini because of it slightly bitter flavor..a flavor that is is an important part of our digestive process, triggering inner digestive juices that both cleanse us, break down the nutrients of our food and disperse them throughout our body. Altho Broccoli Rappini actually  a member of the Brassica family of plants it, in flavor and appearance , resembles its cousin in the mustard plant groupings which accounts for it peppery bitterness.

For this recipe in winter, I must depend on the commercial variety of Rappini in the supermarkets which are delicious of course, but in summer when I garden, I prefer to raise Italian varieties of wild and garden Rappis,  especially from Franchi Seeds. They are thinner stemmed, and quite hot and slightly more bitter than the commercial varieties…and it takes more of it to make a supper! But it is well worth trying and comparing if you have a garden yourselves.

This is a wonderful supper in a bowl any time of the year…but especially sustaining in this cold season when you have just about had it with shoveling snow, and trying to stay upright on ice-laden walks. I will give alternate hints for including meat and using pasta instead of potatoes.

Please be aware when buying the commercial variety of Rappini in the supermarkets, that especially in those shelved vegetable sections that are constantly sprayed with water and mist, that Rappini deteriorates quickly and will turn yellow and rot. I truly do not like this use of spraying vegetables on the shelves…it cause the plants to spoil, AND unless you shake your purchase vigorously..you are paying for the extra weight of the water trapped within the leaves of your product..which of course I am sure is part of the plan of the merchandisers.

Ingredients: (feel free to add and create on your own, substituting as you like. The only thing not variable is the Broccoli Rappini!)

Rappini 21 commercial bunch of broccoli rappini, 2-3 medium potatoes cooked, chopped and set aside, one small/medium onion diced, 2 cloves garlic diced, 3-4 cocktail or plum tomatoes, seeded and quartered, olive oil, dried basil and dried marjoram, 2-3 chopped canned artichoke hearts, 3-4 deli olives pitted and chopped, a nice soft-style fresh mozzarella cheese (1 thick slice diced in little squares), 2-3 teasp pignoli nuts slightly sauteed, a little canned chicken broth as necessary, a sprinkle of cayenne.

Preparation :

Discard any yellowed  leaves. Drain. Chop off dried stem ends. Discard. Chop greens in thirds, put in a deep pan with a little water, and steam until wilted. Drain. In a deep pan or skillet, saute onions and garlic in olive oil until just slightly golden, add chopped rappini,  a little salt and pepper, the diced chopped artichoke hearts and a little chicken broth or water. Simmer for a few minutes, add the chopped tomatoes, a pinch of dried basil and a pinch of dried marjoram to taste. Simmer gently for a few minutes, stirring. Add  sliced olives. TASTE, taste, taste,  and adjust seasonings to please yourself. Keep warm, adding a little more broth if necessary.

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To Serve:

Put cooked chopped potatoes in the bottom of a serving bowl.  Add chopped mozzarella to the  heated broccoli rappini mixture and spoon the mixture  over the potatoes. Garnish with the lightly sauteed pignola nuts. Taste and adjust seasonings…a sprinkle of cayenne if desired. ENJOY!  A chewy artisan bread and  glass of a light red wine is just fine to complete this supper.

*Note: chopped broiled Italian sweet sausage made be added into the mixture if  meat is desired. This may also be served over a pasta of choice instead of potatoes. I am going gluten free, so I use a brown rice pasta which is absolutely delicious.

STORY !

I have just signed up at the local University for the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute...which is a program of no homework/no tests college courses for pleasure and leisure for people age 50 and older. I myself am a teacher/speaker/retreat director/workshop presenter by profession, but am excited to take courses on topics that are of interest but that I do not personally teach. One of the courses I have just signed up for is “Conversational Italian” so in the future I may express my Delicioso recipes with some new and musical words, given the lyrical quality of that language ( and the Italian/Mediterranean enthusiasm for much of my style of cooking!).