Monday, June 1, 2015

A Potpourri of Ideas and Tips

A rich collection of ten poems, two essays, and two dozen of Mary Oliver's classic works on flowers, trees, and plants of all sorts. Oliver, a nature poet, who awakens all the senses through her keen observations.
Mary Oliver’s poem- Praying, is a lesson on attention, receptivity, listening and writing from her book "Blue Iris."

It doesn’t have to be
the blue iris, it could be
weeds in a vacant lot, or a few
small stones; just
pay attention, then patch

a few words together and don’t try
to make them elaborate, this isn’t
a contest but the doorway 

into thanks, and a silence in which
another voice may speak.
~ Mary Oliver ~

I remain ever hopeful my irises will bloom soon. Its cold Up North!

Today marks the anniversary of Helen Keller's death June 1, 1968. Jumpintabook pays homage to the spirit of Helen Keller and her companion Annie with a wonderful list of books for young readers Check out the list for some inspiring stories about a woman who overcame obstacles of deafness and blindness since infancy to become a world renowned author and lecturer.

Tortellini, Spinach and Mushrooms in Wine Butter Sauce 

Cook's notes: A simple pan sauce and fresh vegetables dress up cheese tortellini. For a different variation consider trying Whole Wheat Three Cheese Tortellini. These tortellinis are filled with ricotta, Romano and Parmesan cheeses — are higher in fiber, lower in fat and more full of good-for-you whole grains than original ravioli. One serving contains an impressive 49 grams of whole grains, or more than the government’s recommended daily intake. Whole wheat pasta adds a great flavor. The recipe is adapted from Midwest Living. 
  • 9 oz refrigerated three-cheese tortellini
  • 4 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 8 oz. fresh mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3/4 cup dry white wine or chicken broth
  • 1/3 cup oil-packed dried tomatoes, coarsely chopped and patted dry on a paper towel
  • 1 tsp. dried basil, crushed
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 6 cups coarsely chopped fresh baby spinach
  • grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • Ground nutmeg (optional)
  • Prepare tortellini according to package directions cooking al dente . Drain, reserving 1/4 cup cooking water. Set aside.
  • In a large skillet, melt 1 TB. butter over medium heat. Add mushrooms and garlic; cook about 5 minutes or until mushrooms are tender, stirring occasionally. 
  • Stir in wine, tomatoes, basil, salt, cayenne and reserved pasta water. Simmer 3 minutes or until liquid is reduced by half. Stir in remaining butter, 1 tablespoon at a time, until melted.
  • Remove from heat. Stir in tortellini and spinach until spinach is just wilted. Serve immediately with pine nuts and grated Parmesan cheese. If desired, lightly sprinkle with nutmeg before serving.
How about this for a title 37 Deep Cleaning Tips Every Obsessive Clean Freak Needs to Know 
cleaning toaster


  1. What a beautiful poem about prayer. I like that simplistic approach. Prayer really is a conversation with God.

    Iris are in full bloom down here in southern Minnesota.

  2. I always find the best, most wonderful things on this blog! Love the acknowledgement of Helen Keller and the great reading ideas. ADORE the recipe (am heading to the grocery store to stock up on ingredients!) Keep writing amazing things Miss Susan!