Thanks to Nicholas for this delicious summer vegetable recipe. I snapped a picture right before we devoured the last bites, but you'll get the idea. Provencal Vegetable Tian Olive oil 1 yellow onion, thinly sliced 1 red bell pepper, 1/4 inch slice 1 ...

Provencal Vegetable Tian and more...

Provencal Vegetable Tian

Thanks to Nicholas for this delicious summer vegetable recipe. I snapped a picture right before we devoured the last bites, but you'll get the idea.

Provencal Vegetable Tian
Olive oil
1 yellow onion, thinly sliced
1 red bell pepper, 1/4 inch slice
1 yellow bell pepper, 1/4 inch slice
Herb Sachet (4 sprigs parsley, 4 sprigs thyme, 1 bay leave, tied together)
Kosher Salt
freshly ground black pepper
1.5 tbsp tomato paste
1 zucchini
1 yellow squash
1 Japanese eggplant (or 2 italian eggplant)
4 small (or 3 larger) Roma tomatoes
1 tsp chopped thyme
1 clove garlic, minced
1 bay leaf

Preheat the oven to 275 F

Heat about 1.5 tbsp olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Once the oil just starts to ripple in the pan, add the onions, peppers, sachet, and salt to taste. Reduce the heat to medium low immediately and cook, stirring occasionally, until all the vegetables are soft and the onions are translucent. Add the tomato paste and stir for about 2 minutes, until it evenly covers the vegetables. Remove the sachet and transfer the mixture to a 12 in round baking dish and spread to an even layer (or any baking dish with a similar volume; I use an oval gratin dish). Slice the zucchini, squash, tomatoes, and eggplant into 1/8 in thick slices (slice the eggplant last as it oxidizes quickly). Layer the vegetables and tomato in an alternating pattern (1 slice each zucchini, squash, eggplant, tomato, and repeat) over the pepper mixture, overlapping each slice all but 1/8-1/4 in, working your way around the circumference of the pan. Once you’ve completed a full circle, use the remaining vegetables to fill in the middle using the same overlapping technique.

Combine the thyme and garlic in a small bowl with 1 tbsp olive oil. Sprinkle the mixture over the vegetables, along with salt to taste and about 5 grinds of pepper. Cover the dish with aluminum foil, crimping the edges tightly, and bake for 2.5 hours. Remove the foil and bake for another 30 minutes. The vegetables should be completely tender. Remove from the oven and let rest to room temperature. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

To finish, preheat the oven to 350 F and bake for 10 minutes. Serve hot.

Roasted Rosemary Cashews

Making these is so easy and people do kind of swoon over them, so you're sure to win some points when you serve them. Put a bowl out at your next party and watch 'em disappear. 

They're also a nice addition to lentil or winter squash soup.

Add one package (16 oz, 1 lb or 454g) of raw, whole chestnuts to a bowl. Drizzle them with just enough olive oil to lightly coat the nuts. Add one tablespoon of finely chopped fresh rosemary (pull the leaves off the woody stem before chopping). Add 1-2 teaspoons of good salt.

Mix it all together.

Spread them out on a baking pan.

Roast them in a 375 degree oven for about 15 minutes or until they are lightly browned. You'll need to toss them around on the baking pan a few times as the ones on the edges cook faster.

Allow them to cool completely, then pack them up in an airtight container. 



I met a very kind and generous person this past summer on a flight home from London, and today I realized why our paths crossed. Andrea reminds me of my late sister, Crystal. She shares the same kind and generous spirit towards humanity. Chrissy was always an advocate for the underdog and truly sympathetic of their plight. Andrea has those same qualities.

Crystal Anne Palanza
30 Nov 1955 - 21 Nov 1981

Yes, I've been known to spark up a conversation inflight, and I've met some very nice people as a result, but the friendship was over when the wheels touched down. We didn't exchange contact information, nor did we become online friends. We shared a few hours of interesting banter then went on our merry way. With Andrea it was different.

When I took my seat we bumped arms. We both smiled and exchanged a few niceties as we settled in for the long flight home. She was heading to Maine for a family wedding, and I was coming back from a business trip. I was pleased to have a nice seat mate. 

As we perused the movie selections, I paused on The NotebookAndrea leaned over and said, "It's great, but you'll need tissues for that one. " I usually forego the tear jerkers, as I think it best not to subject others to bouts of sobbing, but it felt like I was in good hands so I hit play.  Shortly into this touching love story the tears started flowing. As I fumbled through my purse in search of tissues, Andrea placed a packet on my table.  She patted me on the back and gave me a warm smile. Not a word was spoken, but so much was said. I moved on to my next selection, About a Boy, which required a few more tissues and finished up with Pride and Prejudice making it the perfect hat trick! Several times during this emotional movie marathon I caught Andrea's warm smile from the corner of my eye. 

We chatted a bit during the final half hour of the flight and she gave me her Facebook info. She assured me that she didn't normally do that, but she felt a connection. I was happy to connect with her. Through our daily postings we've learned more about each other. She invited me to join a food group and also sent me a private message sharing more about herself and her background. She said she wasn't sure why we were supposed to connect, but her instinct told her it was the right thing to do. I'm so grateful that she did. 

When life places a person in your path that reminds you of someone you've loved and lost, it's time to give thanks. Thank you, Andrea.


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Cotuit: My haven while the world goes to hell in a...

With the recent publication of the IPCC climate change report it seems like the right time to show my appreciation for this charming little slice of heaven that I call home. Cotuit is nestled on the south side of Cape Cod in the town of Barnstable. 

Mashpee sits to the west and Osterville village to the east. It's south of Route 28, one of the main arteries that transports locals and visitors from the beginning of the Cape out to the elbow, and much of the town is on the ocean or very close to it. It has a rich history which can be found here and here

Cotuit has always attracted an interesting mix of intellectuals, artists, fishermen, boaters and people who cherish the peace and quiet of this off-the-beaten-path location. It's mostly year-round and summer residents during the busy season as there are no major hotels, inns or rental accommodations available for tourists. It's a place where kids ride bikes to their sailing lessons at Ropes Beach and to the only grocery store in town for a snack. We have one local bar/restaurant, The Kettle Ho, a few museums and a lovely library. It really hasn't changed much in the past 30 years.

Sunday I had the privilege of sharing the beauty of this place with a dear friend. Fall is the season that we locals like best and the photos illustrate why. Gorgeous blue skies, warm days and cool nights. We strolled through town to the Cotuit Fresh Market (aka the Coop), then down to the town dock to enjoy our sandwiches while taking in the view. As we watched folks board the launch to get out to their boats, I was awestruck by the charm and beauty of this little town. People are friendly and the pace is gentle which suits me just fine.

 We continued our walk to Loop Beach along Ocean View Avenue.

As we made our way back up to Main Street we got a glimpse of fall color.

As I read through the climate change report, I'll figure out a way to lessen my burden on my village and ultimately the planet. It's the only one we've got, so I hope we can save it. 

Peace out!


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An Easy to Swallow Green Smoothie

Okay you've decided to take the plunge and give this green smoothie thing a try, so I'm here to help make the leap just a bit more enjoyable with a recipe that may make it easier to swallow. As greens go kale is milder in flavor, and this combination tastes fruity which might be more palatable for the beginner. The added touch of sweetness from the dates is also a plus. 

Ready, set, go! What have you got to lose?

The New to Green Smoothies Smoothie
Serves 2-3

1 Granny Smith apple (cored)
1 small English cucumber (ends removed)
1 stalk celery (ends trimmed)
2 1/2 inch slices of fresh ginger
1 banana
1 mango (peeled and cut from the pit)
1/2 avocado
1 large leaf of kale
2 dates (pitted)
1 cup orange juice
1/2 cup water
handful of ice

Place all ingredients (I use organic fruits and vegetables) into your blender ( I use the Vitamix). Toss the harder fruits and veggies in first and the greens on top, then the liquids and ice. Begin blending on low speed. As the smoothie comes together switch to high speed and blend until it's smooth and creamy. About 30 seconds.

So what do you think? Yay or nay? 

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