It is so good to be back in painting classes again! Becky Pashia, the co-owner of Artichokes, and one of my two instructors, has always given me that jolt to pick up a paint brush and get busy. I am more organized, more prolific, and I paint with more abandon. Then there is my other instructor, dear little Ada Koch, one of the sweetest people I know. Ada can look at me and say “Do you see all the color in that clear glass?” In the beginning, I did not….but I do today! Ada has taught me to “see” what I am looking at. She lets me do my own thing in class, but she keeps close tabs on me, too.
Yes, it is so good to be back….and good for me! If you love to paint, or have always wanted to paint, go to http://www.artichokeskc.com/ and check out their classes. While you are there, scroll through the artwork and their list of artists. Becky and Megan Sutherland provide Kansas City with beautiful shows in their gallery.
Paola Art and Wine Crawl is in the early planning stage, but with the beautiful town square full of paintings, sculpture, music and food, I know it is going to be a great day. The plan is to have each merchant around the square offer a different wine and display some of the art. So, by the time you have visited all of them, you will be saying “That was FUN!” Mark you calendars, June 19th.
And while we are on the subject of Paola, don't miss the Anniversary Week at Molly's Table in Paola. Donna Nagle's restaurant will be featuring local "chefs", friends and neighbors there in town who are famous for a particular recipe they have perfected. It is a great idea and should be fun. The Somerset Ridge Painters and I will be there for lunch on Tuesday, 3/16 to help Donna and her staff celebrate!
Somerset Ridge Art in the Vines.We held the first show last year and it was a roaring success! I have 30 artists coming this year, each bringing their work to hang in among the vines. You come out, get a bottle of your favorite Somerset Ridge wine and a couple of glasses, and then spend the afternoon meandering through the vineyard enjoying the art and talking to the artists. There will be live music and food! It is such a fun celebration, one you do not want to miss. June 12th!
Speaking of Somerset Ridge, now that spring (and daylight savings time!) is coming, the vineyard will be hopping with fun events and special days. On weekends, The Veranda will be providing a great place to sit and enjoy live music, and a selection of fun foods to pair perfectly with the wonderful wines of Somerset. The winery is a great place to spend part of your weekend! Check their webpage and sign up to receive the newsletter. You will receive announcements for special events. http://www.somersetridge.com/
Can you believe it! It looks like we may actually have SPRING after all! I’ve been talking about fresh herbs and spring vegetables. I’ve been dreaming about fresh asparagus and baby spinach, pots of beautiful crisp basil, fragrant mint and soft fuzzy sage. I want to cover my deck with every herb I can find. I need to dig out all of the pots from last year, get them cleaned up and filled with potting soil so,when the herbs arrive at the green houses, I’ll be ready. The shallots at the vineyard should be shooting up in a month, about the same time we have “bud break”. The wonderful thing about shallots is they multiply all the time! We should have plenty to use for preparing our harvest lunches. At Somerset Ridge, we believe in using fresh, using local!
What says spring more than Lamb and Mint? The two are a perfect combination and I figure it is time to get some recipes lined up featuring Lamb. Here is one of my favorites
Minty Pasta Salad with Lamb
5 oz. dried fettuccine
1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 recipe Mint Herb Pesto, below
12 small lamb double rib chops
3 cups arugula
1 cup fresh mint leaves
Pine nuts, toasted
For Mint Herb Pesto:
1/2 cup lightly packed arugula
1/2 cup lightly packed mint
1/2 cup lightly packed basil
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 Tablespoons toasted pine nuts
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
2 cloves minced garlic
1/4 cup shredded pecorino cheese
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1. Cook pasta according to package directions; drain. Rinse; drain. Transfer to bowl; toss with oil and lemon peel. Prepare Mint-Herb Pesto. Add to pasta; toss. Set aside. (Pasta may be chilled up to 24 hours.)
2. Meanwhile, sprinkle lamb lightly with salt and pepper. For a charcoal grill, place chops on rack directly over medium coals. Grill, uncovered, 10 minutes (145 degrees F for medium-rare), turning once. (For gas grill, preheat grill. Reduce heat to medium. Place chops on rack over heat. Cover; grill as above.)
3. Toss pasta with arugula and mint. Top with grilled chops; sprinkle with pine nuts. Makes 6 servings.
4. Mint-Herb Pesto: In blender or food processor combine arugula, mint, basil, extra virgin olive oil, toasted pine nuts, lemon juice, and minced garlic. Cover; blend or process until smooth, scraping down sides as needed. Add the shredded pecorino cheese and crushed red pepper. Cover; blend or process until just combined. Season with salt and pepper.