Author Archive for brunosdream

Garden Bounty 9/11/19

garden bounty 9-11-19

Summer’s winding down so I’m taking advantage of the remaining days of fresh picked produce. Hope you are too!

Yum, yum….

Bruno

Tomato Still Life

tomato still life 8-7-19

These beauties were picked from the garden yesterday. The one on the left is a Cuore Di Bue and on the right is a Cherokee Purple. I love the beautiful colors!

Bruno

First Tomato… and Caprese

Picked the first tomato of the season a couple of days ago. The first to ripen was a Cuore Di Bue (ox heart) shown in the first photo below. It was huge, but was more of a standard shape. The second photo of the green tomato looks more like a heart to me. In the third photo I placed it next to a 1 cup measuring cup so you can get a better impression of how big the ripe one is. It made for a delicious caprese salad for my dinner last night!

 

Photos taken on 7/23/19:

first tomato2 2019

first tomato1 2019

first tomato3 2019

caprese1 2019 Caprese with aged balsamic vinegar/olive oil drizzle and a sprinkle of black pepper/Maldon sea salt

caprese2 2019

 

Looking forward to more summer yums in the near future…

Bruno

Garden 2019 – Update #1

It looks like letting the garden go fallow for a year has made a big difference. All the plants look healthy and strong. I harvested some of the chard last week, sautéed it w/ some crimini mushrooms, andouille sausage and fresh basil then folded it into pasta for a delicious dinner! The tomatoes and peppers are starting to produce, so caprese salads are in my near future. Ahh… the joys of summer!

The following photos were taken on July 5th, except for the one of the Cuore Di Bue tomato which was taken on July 7th.

garden1 7-5-19

garden2 7-5-19

garden3 7-5-19

garden4 7-5-19

garden5 7-5-19

garden6 7-5-19

garden1 7-7-2019

Stay cool!

Bruno

Garden 2019

Welcome to this year’s edition of Bruno’s garden! This year the theme is “less is more”. I decided to reduce the amount of plants so it will be easier to rotate plantings next year. Seeded on April 2nd and transplanted on May 19th, there are 9 tomato plants 3 Cuore Di Bue (an Italian heirloom shaped like an ox heart), 3 Cherokee Purple and 3 Black Krim; 4 chard plants (Five Color Silverbeet); and 3 hot pepper plants (Padron and Early Jalapeno). It’s the first time I’ve tried growing the Cuore Di Bue tomatoes and Padron peppers. If they do well I’ll plant them again next year. The basil was seeded on May 28th. In the large, round pots is Italian Genovese basil and in the rectangular pot is Sweet Thai basil. So far, all the plants are thriving.

With all the rain that’s fallen this year (almost too much) the wildflowers are growing like crazy (and unfortunately so are the weeds!). If you enlarge the photos you’ll notice the blooms are about to burst open w/ color. It reminds me of a fireworks display exploding when all the colorful blooms burst open!

Here are a few photos taken on 6/14:

garden1 2019

garden2 2019 herbs

garden3 2019 veggies

garden4 2019 basil

garden5 2019 wildflowers

garden6 2019 wildflowers

Cheers to a great growing season!!

Bruno

Pasta w/ Creamy Mushroom Sauce and Asparagus

Pasta with Creamy Mushroom Sauce and Asparagus - Copy

So, a few years ago my sister-in-law ask me if I knew how to make a pasta w/ mushroom sauce. We attempted to create a recipe and had mediocre results. Ever since then I’ve been developing new recipes and finally have come up w/ a keeper!

Pasta w/ Creamy Mushroom Sauce and Asparagus

Ingredients:

1 pound pasta

12 ounces crimini mushrooms (sliced, then cut slices in half)

1 head garlic

2 chicken sausages (sliced, then quartered)

1 teaspoon rosemary (chopped)

1 teaspoon sage (chopped)

1/3 cup chicken broth

1/3 cup half & half

1/3 cup goat cheese

1/3 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1/2 pound asparagus spears (cut into 1 1/2 inch pieces)

salt to taste

Procedure:

1) Roast garlic in oven until soft; squeeze out cloves, then crush cloves into goat cheese

2) Cook asparagus spears until tender (approx. 3 minutes); set aside

3) Saute’ sausage in sauce pan until slightly browned; set aside

4) Saute’ mushrooms in sauce pan until they have softened

5) Add herbs, goat cheese mixture, pepper flakes, sausage, broth and half & half to mushrooms

6) Place sauce pan over medium/low heat and whisk together sauce, salt to taste and keep warm until pasta is ready

7) Cook pasta until “al dente”; fold sauce and asparagus into pasta and serve immediately

Yield: 4 servings

 

Happy Easter!

Bruno

San Francisco and Sonoma

I visited family and friends in Northern California last week. The weather was fantastic, the food was delicious and my overall experience was top notch! While in San Francisco, I visited my favorite art museums – SFMOMA and The de Young. I also tried a couple of new restaurants – Piccino and Burma Superstar. I highly recommend both!

In Sonoma, my friends took me to Gloria Ferrer Vineyards the afternoon I arrived. We sampled some of their delicious sparkling wines and snacked on some local cheeses. A wonderful way to start the weekend! The next morning we drove to Petaluma for breakfast at Hallie’s Diner. Delicious omelets! Later that day my friend treated me to a vintage biplane ride to the Golden Gate Bridge and back. What a fantastic, once in a lifetime experience!! For dinner we grabbed a grilled chicken meal at El Brinquito Meat Market. What a great deal – a whole grilled chicken, beans, rice, tortillas and spicy sauce for a mere $20. This was washed down w/ a couple of bottles of local wines. Heavenly!!

Here are a few snapshots of my wonderful trip:

SF1 10-16-18 My view in S. F.

SF2 10-16-18

Sonoma1 10-19-18 My view in Sonoma

Sonoma2 10-19-18

Sonoma3 10-19-18

Sonoma4 10-19-18

Sonoma5 10-19-18 Me

Sonoma6 10-19-18 My gracious hosts, Dan and Lorraine

Sonoma7 10-19-18 The view from the tasting terrace

Sonoma1 10-20-18 Biplane ride

Sonoma3 10-20-18

Sonoma2 10-20-18 Approaching S.F. and the Golden Gate

Sonoma4 10-20-18 Nice shot!

Sonoma5 10-20-18 The delta

Sonoma7 10-20-18 Sonoma scenery

Sonoma8 10-20-18 Landing…

Sonoma9 10-20-18

Bon Voyage!

Bruno

Garden 2018

Well, this year’s garden may surprise you. The last few years have been progressively worse and worse w/ my tomato plants despite efforts at crop rotation and soil replenishment. I decided to let my veggie plot go fallow this year, planting only a cover crop of Dutch clover to reenergize the soil. It was a tough decision, but I was tired of watching my tomato plants shrivel up and die year after year. In the fall I’ll till the clover into the soil and amend w/ some peat moss. Hopefully this will do the trick so next year I will have a healthy crop once again.

As you will see in the photos, I moved the herbs to the sunny spot where I had been growing zinnias. The herbs are now flourishing! In the pots next to the enclosure I have three type of basil growing – from left to right are Italian Genovese, Holy (also known as Tulsi) and Siam Queen (a variety of Thai basil). Looks like there will be plenty for pesto this fall! The perennials are doing great too.

Garden4 2018

Garden3 2018

Garden2 2018

Garden1 2018

Happy Summer!

Bruno

Reykjavik, Iceland and Greenland from Above

I was lucky enough to spend a day and a half in Reykjavik, Iceland for work not long ago. We had decent weather for early spring – it would snow for 15 minutes, then the sun would break through the clouds. We joked, saying, “If you don’t like the weather, wait 15 minutes .” :-)

We wandered the city, which is small and very walkable, finding several nice places for food and drink. If you’re in Reykjavik and get hungry, I recommend trying Saeta Svinid Gastropub, Salka Valka – Fish & More, or  Bryggjan Brugghus Bistro and Brewery. All have great atmosphere and deliciously prepared food.

While flying back to the US we had amazingly clear views of Greenland!

Here are a few photos of our walkabout and flight over Greenland:

Reykjavik1

Reykjavik2

Reykjavik3

Reykjavik4

Reykjavik5

Reykjavik6

Reykjavik8

Reykjavik9

Reykjavik10

Reykjavik11

Reykjavik12

Reykjavik13

Greenland1

Greenland2

Greenland3

Greenland4

Cheers!

Bruno

Aerial San Francisco and Crater Lake

SF aerial1 4-20-18

SF aerial2 4-20-18

Crater Lake 4-20-18

On our descent into San Francisco from Sun Valley, Idaho, I snapped some beautiful photos of downtown San Francisco. Then, as we were flying up to Boeing Field in Seattle, incredible views of Crater Lake in Oregon made their appearance… snap!

Happy Landings…

Bruno