Here’s a glimpse of a recent trip to California enjoying some treasured time with my husband and great friends. I hesitated to post these gorgeous green beauties because is it really fair that the California trees and flowers are this lush and beautiful when all is still dead here in the midwest?? It was so invigorating to hike through the majestic redwoods of Muir Woods and see new growth on the grapevines in the Russian River Valley, even if a bit depressing to come back to all of our dead winter trees. This just makes me even more excited about springtime and all of our baby seedlings in the basement waiting to soak up the sunshine.





These were some great vegetable gardens at the Lynmar Estate Vineyards.  So Envious of all the kale, chard, cabbages & onions  they have growing right now! 


With a restaurant that costs $400+ per person I was happy just to stand in the French Laundry garden coveting all of their spring lettuces, flowers, chickens, and all the garden beds ready to be filled.



Inspired by the culinary mecca of California I immediately came home eager to cook something new and this was the perfect addition to our St. Patrick’s Day dinner + the kale made it the perfect shade of green. On a side note …I’m also inspired to grow some of these in our house. A chef gave us a few leaves to bring home and they smell so amazing and would be great with some thai recipes.

Mashed  Creamy Cauliflower w/ Kale

1 head of cauliflower chopped

4-5 large leaves of kale coarsely chopped with ribs removed

2 cloves of garlic chopped

3 T. butter

1/4 c.  freshly grated parmesan cheese

sprinkle of crushed red pepper flakes

sea salt and pepper

Optional garnish | chopped parsley or chives


Steam or bake the cauliflower until tender. Add hot cauliflower to a large pot with the chopped kale, garlic and butter. Cook for a few minutes and then add parmesan and red pepper flakes. Stir until parmesan is melted.

Transfer to a food processor and puree until smooth. Place the puree into a bowl and season with salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with a little flat leaf parsley or chive.