this week’s link & mingle!

Hello, ladies! Welcome to round 18 of the Link & Mingle!

Meet our seven amazing hosts:
Aspen | Aspen Jay
Stephanie | Wife Mommy Me
Jenny | Escape&Inspire
Reagan | Reagan the Recipe Hoarder
Natalie | Keeping Up With Makayla

[ if you are interested in co-hosting this link-up, please email or leave a comment below ] 


arugula, anjou pear, & green apple salad; & a giveaway announcement

Lately, I’ve been eating lots of salad.

Yum, kinda.

I have to switch things up a bit every day otherwise I get bored quick.

arugula, pear, & apple salad.

Isn’t that arugula fabulous? I got it at Three Sisters Farm.

3 c fresh arugula
1 anjou pear, chopped
1 green apple, chopped
oil & vinegar

Toss the arugula, pear, apple, oil & vinegar together.

Makes a great entree if you add a bit of protein!

Also, I’m teaming up with my friends Kim, Cristina, & Maritza in February for a BIG BEAUTY GIVEAWAY!

*open to US residents only – sorry y’all but postage is expensive.

So keep an eye on the blog if you’re interested in this beauty giveaway coming soon!

feb beauty giveaway cupid

caregiving chronicles: why i’m reading ‘tuesdays with morrie’ again

Do you know someone with dementia? Maybe you know someone who knows someone. Or someone who knows someone who knows someone.

It’s a difficult disease to say the least.

I’m on the outside looking in trying to understand but I can’t, & I probably won’t ever understand, what goes on in her mind.

But I want to make the best of the time we have left together, whether it’s days, weeks, months, years, I don’t know. & that’s not for me to know, God knows though. He put in my heart the patience & compassion to see this through. & I will with a smile on my face when I can manage one. & dammit I’m gonna try to keep her smiling until the end.

If you’ve never read ‘tuesdays with morrie’ by mitch albom you should. I truly believe with all of my heart that it will put everything into perspective for you. That’s why my copy is bent up, the pages are worn, & dog eared (don’t hate me).

This has been in my top 5 favorite books since I first read it – I was probably twelve or thirteen & going through a rough stage with my family, my school life, myself.

I’ve always been a bookworm. & when I found this book titled ‘tuesdays with morrie’, the spine an ugly awkward shade of brown, on the library shelf I said to myself ‘what a strange name for a book, I should read it’. & I’ve never been more right in my life.

As I sit here writing, I’m curled up in bed with my old dog. I’m still not sure how I can keep a smiling face when she asks me tomorrow who’s living in her house for the thousandth time.

I’ve started viewing the world coldly, jaded. & I need to check myself.

I’m rereading this book to put my life, my situation, back into perspective.

I’ve closed my worn copy of the book for the umpteenth time, only to pick it back up again in the morning. & when I finish it this round, it’ll go back on the shelf to be read again another day.

Have you ever read a book that has shaped your future even if you didn’t know it at the time?

guest post from Jennifer Triplett

When is a recipe not just a list of random ingredients?

I come from a long line of crazy Italian women. Is there any other kind? Some of my happiest memories are of my loud, animated family gathered around a table full of food at holidays and birthdays. The most wonderful feeling in the world is getting off the school bus and walking into a house that smells of spaghetti sauce that had been simmering all day. Is it any wonder why I am a fat girl?

After three long years of watching my mother die in slow motion from breast cancer, we had the especially sad task of dividing up her things. The only thing I wanted was her dining room table. It’s where every celebration since I was born had taken place. Different houses in different states had held that table. Short of having my mother back, it was all I wanted.

Now, ten years after her loss, the table holds happy memories for my children, too. There is something wonderful about hearing their laughter where she laughed and celebrating with the foods I learned to make at her knee. She lives on in every bowl of spaghetti sauce and every special dish.

Recently, one of my daughters asked me to make something; a dish I hadn’t made in a while and my memory of the recipe was rusty. I trodded off to the kitchen to find my recipe box and discovered what can only be described as a gift from heaven. There, among the well-worn index cards, were recipes in my mother’s distinct scrawl. I found a few recipes from my grandmother, too. They were treasures I didn’t even know I had. They were little time capsules that harkened back to a decade when people still cooked with lard and put pies in the window to cool. Clutching these gems, I could see my mother, still young and healthy, taking a moment to jot down a recipe. Maybe it was from a friend or perhaps she clipped it from Good Housekeeping Magazine, but there she was in all of her glory right there in the kitchen with me. I could see my grandmother, still wearing her apron, (Remember when women wore aprons?) adjusting her glasses to make sure the measuring cup was just filled to the line. I could see the women that taught them to cook and the women before them. In that moment, that little list of random ingredients became so much more than β€œjust” a recipe.

carrot green & pine nut pesto

I didn’t grow up eating healthy. I was very, very active though.

So, I’m trying to get active again, & I’m training my palate to enjoy vegetables. & like I’ve told you before, I’m obsessed with farm-to-table because everything is so much better that way.

If I’m going to learn to love vegetables (so far it’s successful) it’s going to be local vegetables, & I’m going to make friends in the process. πŸ™‚

In this recipe I’m using the greens I trimmed off of carrots I bought at the Three Sisters Farm farm stand over the weekend, as well as pine nuts that have no preservatives.

carrot green & pine nut pesto |

Carrot green & pine nut pesto

3 c loosely packed carrot greens, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 c pine nuts
2 tbsp EVOO

Combine & blend.

carrot green & pine nut pesto |

Use within 24 hours.

* freeze extras in an ice cube tray, 1 tbsp per cube. πŸ™‚