Under Pressure: To-do lists.


Handle this. Place a phone call on that. {sigh}

What a drag.

Time to sprinkle in a few things I actually want to do.

I had one simple goal in mind: improve quality-of-life.

I’ve always contemplated joining a local CSA (Community Supported Agriculture), but would over-think it; what would I do with all these vegetables? Turns out Tara Firma Farms in Petaluma offered a plan that includes meat, dairy and vegetables. {Aaah-h pressure off}

Tara Firma Farmers MarketLiving in Sonoma County, I’ve got no excuse to forgo local agricultural perks. Helping to support a farmer who I admire makes me happy.  Eating humanely and sustainably raised meats and vegetables grown right in Sonoma County makes me happy and healthy. I’m excited every time I pick up my box and I’m way more kitchen inspired. Such a positive feedback loop I’ve created.

my garden lettuce

Next up: start my garden. I set aside my need for perfection and settled in with experimentation. I used a combination of  Heirloom Baker Seeds I picked up at Petaluma Seed Bank and plants and trees from local nurseries Tierra Vegetables and Urban Tree Farm. The soil was rototilled, the drip line was laid and into the ground they all went. Happy to report this little production line is creating more lettuce then I can possibly eat. Lovely. Sheer loveliness for this salad lover.

The lettuce is fresh and crisp and knowing you grew it makes it taste even better–I swear.

To honor my abundant summer lettuce, I share two easy salad dressings.

For my mixed green salads a classic golden balsamic and white pear vinaigrette. {exquisite}


1 tablespoon golden balsamic and white pear vinegar.

3 tablespoons fruity extra virgin olive oil

Fine grain sea salt and pepper to taste


Add vinegar to a small metal bowl, whisk in olive oil in a slow and steady stream. Add a pinch of fine grain sea salt and a few cracks of fresh pepper. Viola. Done.

And for my crisp baby romaine, a Caesar dressing, but of course. Adapted from {The Palm Restaurant}

Baby Romaine Palm Caesar


Back in 1968, Tony Tammero spent four weeks perfecting this recipe.  My only changes were to double the lemon juice and cut the anchovy count by one. A bit milder.

1 egg yolk

1/2 ounce garlic (3 large cloves), pressed

4 fillets of anchovy, well washed, and drained

2 teaspoons Colman’s dry mustard

2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1 teaspoon red wine vinegar

1/4 teaspoon Tabasco sauce

1 1/2 cups fruity olive oil


Combine all ingredients except the olive oil, pulse until blended. Slowly add olive oil in a steady stream, or in 1/2 cup increments. Taste for seasoning; add a little more lemon juice/or vinegar to balance the acidity. Place dressing in the refrigerator overnight to allow ingredients to marry, otherwise chill and serve when ready.

PS, for those local, here is a great list of nurseries in the area.

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