By: PenPower | June 29, 2016

With the heat hovering at 100 degrees, I don’t know about you, but my usual burger has taken a back seat to lighter fair, greener things and edibles that don’t sit in my stomach (or thighs) like a lead balloon. It would be a great time to go on a diet – IF it was cool enough to walk or do something outside that burned a few calories (other than dragging around watering hoses). Or there is the indoor gym, but who has the energy or wants to get into that metal oven called a car to get there? Swimming seems to be an option but not for this Cosmopolitan Cowgirl – not a country club in sight and no cement pond out here at the farm.


But there are lots of beautiful leafy greens in the garden and I’d like to share a few of my favorite salad recipes. This spinach salad is a hit and a perfect side for any 4th of July BBQ!

RR Spinach Salad

Serves 6-8

10 oz organic spinach

3 hardboiled farm fresh eggs - sliced

3 strips of fried bacon (gluten free preferred) - crumbled

8 sliced raw mushrooms- sliced thin

4 thin slices of red onion (paper thin – add more or less to taste)

ground pepper to taste

Combine in one large bowl. Or, if you have the time and the group is small enough – divide onto individual salad plates so each serving gets an equal amount of each ingredient.


1/4 cup balsamic vinegar

1/8 cup good olive oil

Tbsp Dijon mustard

Pour ingredients into a glass jar and shake vigorously. The ratio is 2 parts balsamic to 1 part olive oil – so if you like a heavier dressed salad add proportionately. Pour on salad just before serving.

Happy Fourth of July!

Judith Hennessey, July 2016

By: PenPower | April 27, 2016

       Leave your camo, turkey calls and rifles at home. All you need is a bag, boots and a long stick. It’s morel hunting season; mushrooms, wild gold, popping up their little phallic heads in our woodlands, creek bottoms, fields and even our yards. Yes, those three beauties in the picture were found under my equally beautiful lilac bush in front of my house.

     I’m not sure what it is about these elusive delicious fungi that brings out the crazy in some folks but they take this particular hunting season very seriously. These fearless foragers would kill (ok maybe not a human, but snakes, spiders, and stinging flying insects—not to mention wade through poison ivy and oak) to scout prime growing locations. Once found, under NO circumstances will they divulge their hunting spots. People return for years to the same top-secret locations, filling their plastic grocery bags with the wild gold. They would rather sell their children into slavery than give up the goods. But at $40 a pound – maybe it’s worth it?

Just joking! See—for a minute morel mania even got to me. Whatever the price (free from the yard works) when dredged in flour, sauteed in a little white wine and butter, or added to a creamy risotto, there is no doubt the wild gold is a tasty seasonal treat.


Mangia Bene!

Judith Hennessey, April, 2016