Archive for August, 2011

Sunflowers make me happy

I took this photo on my living room in the morning about 9 am.

Don’t know why I was so drawn to the sunflowers at Trader Joe’s – maybe it was the price (cheap -$4.99)  that gave the most drama for the buck. Or maybe I just needed the yellow power.

The Chinese vase I bought at Marshalls for nothing, probably $10-20 – I can’t remember now; it was years ago.  The brass candlesticks I bought in a second hand store in Copenhagen for about $20.

August 26, 2011 at 6:48 am Leave a comment

Caprese Salad with Purple Basil

Avila Beach CA has a trendy little Farmer’s Market on Friday afternoons with a handful of produce booths selling only top quality. A real find for me was purple basil which is incredibly rare.

I wish I had adequate words to describe the rich, heady aroma with almost a hint of licorice or anise.

Sensing the potency of the taste would match the scent, I chopped it fine on a caprese salad instead of using whole leaves as I would with standard “green” basil.


Cari and Craig Clark at Chaparral Gardens in Atascadero CA grow the basil to use in their artisan vinegars. Check out their website at

The tomatoes came from a local farmer and the mozzarella cheese from DePalo and Sons Deli in Shell Beach CA. The cheese is hand-crafted daily from grandfather Dr. Tedone’s recipe. The good doctor, retired now, starting making the cheese to work out his grief after his wife passed. DePalo’s is a family affair with an excellent Italian-California style deli, tremendous wine collection and shelves stuffed with every imaginable delicacy.

August 4, 2011 at 5:51 pm 1 comment

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