Harvest Recipe: Mushroom and Red Wine Risotto

For the end of our harvest day 
every family went home to clean up 
and prepare a dish to bring for the harvest dinner

I decided to contribute my Mushroom and Red Wine Risotto
and I offer it here to you
for your own harvest day.
carpe diem!

the pantry:
sliced white and baby bella mushrooms
3 small shallots, sliced thin
good red wine, about 1/4 a cup
olive oil
sea salt
coarse ground black pepper
fresh sprigs of thyme and rosemary, about 1/4 cup each
goat cheese

** a cast iron pan makes this the best! **

the stove:
slice ingredients (the size/shape of the polenta and mushrooms is up to you)

in a cast iron pan, heat up a couple of tablespoons of olive oil
glaze the shallots
add in and saute mushrooms 
as they start to soften, add wine and half of the thyme
season with salt and pepper
cool until wine cooks down into a nice sauce

Next, remove the mushroom and red wine mix
add more olive oil to the pan 
and saute the sliced polenta until it gets darker and firmer

Place warm polenta on plates
cover with mushroom and red wine mix
crumble goat cheese on top and 
add the rest of the thyme leaves and the chopped rosemary


Grape Harvest At Eden Hill Vineyard

Pardon my silence for a bit. 
We've been busy at the farm
preparing for harvest.

We began by picking the Temperanillo yesterday
and tried to stay true to Carpe Diem - 
which actually means "pluck the day."

:: Images by wendy dooldeniya, more here ::


Soaring Above: Anna Wili Highfield

ahhh. Her paper sculptures soar into my heart.


Thailand Vista

I can imagine being in a boat on this lovely lake.
After a lazy ride, I would stop at a local food stall
devour some Tom Kha
and say "Bliss."

:: Image by buttonmoOon ::


of sand and rain

summer + rain + sand 

=   engineering feats 
=   squeals of joy 
=   "no I don't wanna go home!"


Plato's Whimsey and a good ride

Sometimes I come up with fun titles for books I'll never author.
Some of my favs:
Plato's Whimsey
The Shadow Light of the Dawn
A Flash in the Glass
An Act of Civil Disobedience (to eat healthily)

And today, a merger happened between my 
right and left brain:
Republic Bike and the Plato Model of my dreams

I cannot decide.
Which would you choose?


PJ & Magnetism

Photojojo provides my child-like self a place to dream and play.
Like a portable toy store.
And I can squeal with joy in the privacy of my own house.

The new "do not pull" lever is soooo addictive. I dare you try NOT to try it!

And these animal magnets? Coming toys, animals and photos all in one swell item?


Made to order: Neighborhood tasting stand

A little day-dream:
Wake up and brew coffee
Wander the garden in the soft morning light
Select today's delights
Peruse my cookbooks and create new dishes
Open up a tasting stand in my neighborhood
Just for fun.

All these lovely items are from FogLinenWork in Japan 
(that's a day dream for another day)
they do ship international ...


Because it made me laugh and I thought you might like a giggle too.

:: from Life ::


Flickr: Interior Sweetness

wishing this was my table

:: image from absoluutly ::

In love with these


Of things to come ...

I am awaiting.
The future looks grand.

staying here
eating here
dining here
wearing these
browsing this

:: image from the crossing ::

Uncle Sam Makeover

I think I've shared before that I'm a high school art teacher.
In my line o' work the "why do we have to do it this way?" question pops up frequently.
Anything that is old school or might pop up on a test
begs my students to challenge it.

He really does need a makeover.
He is soooo way last century.

Why don't you show what you're made of
and throw in a New Sam of your own.
Twyla Tharp dares you.

:: image from here ::


Dreamy Postal-ishiousness

It has arrived.
A little bundle of joy from 
the amazing, up-and-coming artist Linda Kim.

The mail-person
snuck it into my mail box
whilst I was gardening...

I must now curl up with her little booklet
of amazingness
and dream happy dreams.

Found in Searching

Found in the midst of searching.
A new series.


Pit Stop: Rudy's BBQ

Nothing like the "worst BBQ in Texas"to make your day.

:: images by Wendy Dooldeniya of Rudy's ::

Taking a Look

How often do we really get to take a good look?
We glimpse.
We catch a glimmer.
We sneak a peek.
We glance.
(sometimes sideways)

But our culture does not value 

I love how David Eustace took the time to really 
look at his daughter
search for something with her
get a chance to know her
as she transforms before his eyes

So, I dare you-
Take some time
Look at someone
Search for something with them
And get to know their insides

What beauty will you uncover in the journey?

:: images by David Eustace and daughter Rachael ::


MOMA on Music

a little ditty for your weekend
see more here

:: thanks bobulate for the inspirations ::

Flickr Friday: Going Places


Sahara and Swissalot

I've been telling stories of a make-believe lost town 
in the Sahara Desert
called Swissalot.

It was a haven for fondue
and weary travelers. And was founded
by a few very adventurous Swiss.

:: sahara image from flickr ::

Searching for New

We watched Nova's special on Pluto a few nights ago.
It has conjured a sense of wonder and questioning within me.

What new will be found?
Do I think Pluto is a planet?
How do ordinary people do extraordinary things?
Are there people in my life that are blessed with this 
What inventions are awaiting a builder?

What do you ponder? Would you share?

:: artwork here ::


Texas Sky

There is something to be said about a Texas sky.
It is akin to "things are bigger and better in Texas," but a wee bit less pompous.

The skies in Texas are breath-taking with spotted clouds
and kaleidoscope colors saluting the sun.

I've seen Japanese artists gaze at them with wonder.
"We don't have wide open spaces like this in Kyoto."

I've seen children lay on the ground
and be awed silent by the vibrant airborne landscape.

If you've been to Arizona or New Mexico, or Montana
you know the power of a big sky.
Yet, each is so different with the altitude and dust,
the smell of the air.

For now, I'll share a little sky with you
and imagine you are here enjoying it with me.

see more here

or here

and here

Summer Series: Day of Rain

Recently we had a lot of rain
and set aside our badminton and swimsuits
for boots and pencils.

Sometimes I wished it would last for a week
so I could sketch all those things I've been collecting
and bake all the goodies I've been dreaming of.
(except my children would go insane, and take me with them...)

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On Turning 40

In 35 days, I will be turning 40.
I don't know if you all have reached this cultural age mark yet, 
but it seems so different than when I turned 30.

As my family has learned about caring for grape vines
I find myself comparing life to the vine.
A new vine is gorgeous and supple, so much like our youth.
But the best wine comes from older grapes & a strong thick vine.
You and I are approaching our peak vintage.


Last summer I asked a handful of seasoned people (most aged 50+)
what they had thought about their 40s.
They ALL said they were fabulous 
and they were so happy to leave the 30s behind.
I was shocked by that - the joy of 30s past.

I'm beginning to understand that better already. 
No "I must do this" lists
Less "who am I?" questions lingering

My list of accomplishments is finished.

I've weathered storms and have come out more calm for it.
(broken hearts, cancer, loss of a job, loss of loved ones)

So what does that leave me to ponder at 40?


I do not know what tomorrow holds. 
But I have learned to be thankful for today.
It is glorious.
And so much better than 30.


Summer Series: Day 4

Childhood visions of water, glistening rocks, elusive turtles
It has been a fabulous, very good day.

Must See: Oly

Ohhhh, the lovely OLY and her quirky style 
stumbled across my screen one day in a flickr walk. 

She's got style, funk and some
 mad-sweet little sayings from her heart
in her shop.
Like this one:

my dear dear friends, this is my song for you, no matter where you are on earth, 
the 3rd planet in our little solar system. 
i wanna share with you, of all the magical little moments, 
of all the bitter and sweet small details, 
of all the endless small ( soft ) talks, 
of, the music that made of our everyday life, 
like heartbeats, like smiles, 
like, being alive, like, being in love :)

If you have a moment to relax in your day,
why not join her in her world
of images and illustrations
for one moment

:: images by oly ::

project alert: sticky circles

I stumbled upon the greatest old thing yesterday,
japanese dot stickers 
and - viola! - inspiration

and then a search began
for those also inspired by dots...

the lovely ray eames

and the Ben-day dot man himself - lichtenstien