Seattle, Mexican Pottery, and Angel Hair Pasta

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I took this photo at Alki Beach in West Seattle.

Alki is one of my favorite places to go and hang out.   The views are amazing.

When my son was a teenager, we used to drive here, do homework at the Alki Bakery and talk for hours.  He was 16 and we were both in college.  He remained in college, and I left after a year.   I miss those days.

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ABOVE:  Western Avenue in Seattle, sits just beneath Pike Place Market

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I just love the artwork on this building.  Driving by it I am reminded of the wildlife we have so close to the city. I’m also reminded of all the wonderful artists who live among us.

Mark and I were lucky enough to see a pod of beautiful Orca Whales on a visit to the San Juan Islands.  It’s about an hours drive, plus a ferry ride, from home.    On this winter day, I was satisfied with the Orca painting.

I was in the city to visit the market, World Spice Merchant, and The Spanish Table.

If you love to cook, the Seattle area is a great place to live.

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I am grateful to live in Western Washington, for many reasons, and near the top of my list, is the fact that we have so many wonderful second hand shops, estate sales, and antique stores.  I can usually find whatever I need, and it’s always good to know I’m recycling at the same time.

The Mexican pottery serving bowl, above, screamed out to me when I spotted it a few weeks ago.  I have been searching for Mexican pottery, unleaded of course, to serve my Mexican or Spanish dishes in.    I was inspired by the cookbook “Frida’s Fiestas: Recipes and Reminiscences of Life with Frida Kahlo” (which I scored at a second hand store!)

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I’ve been enjoying reading through this cookbook.  The recipes all sound unique, and the photographs are amazing.  I have made the Mexican Red Rice, and it is a favorite now.  Simple too.


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ABOVE: Angelnina’s Version of Karen’s Angel Hair Pasta

After a day of shopping, I wanted to make a flavorful, but quick, dinner.  We didn’t stick to the Spanish theme, but I love this Angel Hair Pasta dish.   It is adapted from a recipe emailed to me by a woman in San Francisco, and I think it was called: Karen’s Pasta. I’ve since changed the recipe quite a bit, so for now, it remains nameless.

For the recipe and a a few of my gardening notes, please click to keep reading…

1/3 cup olive oil

1/2 Tbsp fresh chopped garlic

pinch red crushed pepper (optional)

1/4 tsp salt

1/8 tsp pepper

1/4 cup fresh basil

* 1 lg can plum tomatoes (buy whole and chop them yourself) *-SEE NOTE

2 Tbsp sundried tomatoes,packed in oil, chopped

1 cup fresh tomatoes, diced

1/3 cup toasted pine nuts

1 cup fresh spinach, roughly chopped

6 ounces feta cheese, crumbled

12 ounces angel hair pasta, cooked al dente

1/4 cup grated parmesan reggiano

1 Tbsp fresh Italian parsely, finely chopped

Heat olive oil and garlic with optional pinch of dried crushed red pepper.  Don’t let your garlic brown–as soon as you see sizzling garlic–move on to next step.

Add chopped can tomatoes (with some or all juice).  Let simmer about 20 minutes or less.

Add  fresh chopped tomato, salt, pepper, basil, and sun dried tomatoes.

Cook over medium high heat until fresh tomatoes begin to wilt.

Add spinach and pine nuts.  Cook until spinach wilts.

Add feta cheese and cooked pasta.  Toss well.

Transfer to a serving plate and top with parmesan and fresh chopped Italian parsley.

Make a nice dinner salad, and pour yourself a glass of wine– enjoy!

*NOTE:  You may cook this dish without the canned tomatoes–just add 1/2 cup olive oil, rather than 1/3 cup and skip this step if you prefer your pasta with an oil sauce for a night.

ALSO, you may add the canned tomatoes, chopped, with half the liquid or all the liquid–suit your taste.

Gardening Notes:

The Spring gardens should be in by the end of this weekend.  I’ll take some photographs to share.  I see shallots, garlic, chives, artichokes, fava beans, and collards are all up–alive and well.  I will need to move the vegetables, that aren’t ready to eat,  to a more permanent perennial garden.  My raised beds need compost, and I didn’t plan the garden as well as I could have.  I’m still finding my way as I go.

I planted rhubard, given to me by my step-sister.  I don’t think it will produce this year, but I really don’t know.  I just love a fresh rhubarb and strawberry pie.   Speaking of strawberries, my plants have sure multiplied, and it looks like I’ll have to move those too.   The raspberries all grew buds before I had the chance to move them to my backyard.  I think I’ll leave them sit again for this summer.  I just don’t want to risk losing a single berry.   If I don’t act fast, I’m going to have a raspbery patch blocking the front of my house.

If any of you wonderful gardeners have suggestions, please pass them along.  I have learned more from word of mouth than from any gardening book I’ve read.

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