Friday, March 16, 2012

I want you to know this:

Being in your sixties is the best, yet.  I know, I know, I've said it so many times before, but it bears repeating.  Every decade gets better.

My lesson for today came during the preparation of and enjoyment of a simple lunch at home, by myself, with no sounds but those wafting through my open windows.  Spring birdies, kitties meowing their questions until they found my location, occasional wind chimes on the breeze.  That was my cooking accompaniment.

My kitchen looks south towards Garden of the Gods.  From my kitchen window I see my little fenced back yard, witchy cabin, parts of Manitou Springs' main drag, mountains off to the left and the stunningly majestic red rocks of Garden of the Gods off to the right.

The kitchen of the Manitou cabin is a U shape.  Actually, it's more like  U and a half.  Everything is convenient.  I have never had such a pretty and convenient gourmet style kitchen.  Black granite countertops flecked with gold, black appliances, JennAir cooktop ...... you get the picture.  I feel kinda fancy when I'm whuppin' up a grilled cheese in this environment.

Yesterday I moved my Mexican style bar and stools into the eat-in portion of the kitchen.  Why didn't I think of that before?  Now I have one of those kitchens that truly looks like it's ready for entertaining.  "Gather 'round the bar, folks, and pour your margaritas while I whip up a little meal."  Yes!

Today I started with some organic, whole wheat spaghetti noodles.  Cook those up in an open skillet with plenty of water, a little olive oil, some garlic salt and fresh ground pepper.  When the pasta is nearing completion start up a second skillet with plenty of olive oil and several big scoops of fresh, organic spinach.  You can even get this kind of spinach at the Walmart now.  Woot!  As you're cooking down the spinach add some ground garlic sea salt and fresh ground pepper.

Since I've been reading far too much lately about the demerits of using a microwave (and wouldn't you know, I just bought a great big one for my new kitchen), I will heat my organic, glass jarred tomato-basil sauce in a pan on the stove.  As it starts to simmer I always add extra organic basil flakes.  Yummers.  If this combination of smells doesn't entice you to eat, nothing will.

Once it's all complete, pile it up like this:

- put your delicately sauteed spinach on the plate first, making a nice little pile of garlicy greens;

- place your whole wheat pasta atop the beautiful spinach;

- pour your tomato-basil sauce directly on top of the whole wheat pasta;

- top this all off with a few sprinkles of either freshly grated parmesan or even some bagged, aged mozzarella.


Add a little more spinach on the side if you like and remember, almost any vegetable will be delicious added to this tomato sauce.  Mushrooms and sauteéd onions are my favorites.

Accompany this charming little lunch with an exquisite Camino Del Inca Malbec, 2009 (Argentina) and you've just made yourself something as delightful as you will find in any primo Italian Ristorante.  Even better because you will be surrounded by purring fur balls who watch every move you make.  No doubt Sharmayne will be whipping this little meal up by herself next week.

My suggestion for aprés lunch?  Siesta time!  Open the window, let the breeze in and curl up with a kitty and a delicious novel.  Once siesta is complete, I hope you have a delicious slice of rum cake waiting, along with a tasty little espresso.


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