Monday, July 27, 2015

Writing in the Garden and Pesto Appetizers

Just imagine yourself sitting in one of these chairs
beside this lush garden
and waterfall. It certainly was an inspiring setting for penning one's thoughts.  
This past weekend I had an opportunity to participate in a unique writing retreat  Day of Writing in the Garden at the home of Bev Abear, writer and artist,Brainerd, MN. The class was facilitated by Candace Simar, author and poet (on left) and her sister Angela Foster, author and poet (on right). 
The class included instruction on what a writer needs  to look for during the revision process. Participants were able to submit original work for critique.  
I heard one person comment " Angela's editing experience and Candy's experiences are invaluable. We are so privileged. "
Steamy hot weather did give the group an excuse to retreat inside to savor the AC (did not dampen our spirits) plus time was set aside to share work and network with other writers. 
 Participants also had the opportunity to purchase books by Candace Simar plus her newest book "Shelterbelts"

"Farm Girls" co-authored by Candace Simar and Angela Foster
"Growing Up Catholic" by Niomi Rohn Phillips.
What a wonderful way to spend the day talking about books, writing and sharing ideas with other writers.

Pesto Pinwheels
Cook's notes: These are easy, delicious, and look beautiful on an appetizer platter. They also can be made up a day ahead, which makes them a great choice for party preparations recipe from
  • 2 TB. of pesto either homemade or store bought
  • 8 oz. package of cream cheese or Neufchtel cream cheese (Neufchatel is softer than regular cream cheese and has 1/3 less fat)
  • 1 jar of roasted red peppers or pimentos, drained and patted dry on a paper towel 
  • 1 cup finely chopped walnuts
  • 4-6 flour tortillas (I used both white and whole wheat)
  • Bring cream cheese to room temperature and mix it with the pesto. Stir until well combined. Spread the pesto mixture on each tortilla. Approx. 4 tablespoons of spread for a 7" tortilla--adjust according to the size of your tortillas. Cut roasted peppers into 1/4" wide strips and put them on top of the spread, approx. 1" apart, covering the entire tortilla. (Or, sprinkle chopped pimentos over the spread.) 
  • Sprinkle each tortilla with chopped walnuts (approx. 1/8 cup per 7" tortilla). Roll up each tortilla into a tube shape. Wrap each roll individually with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. To serve, cut each tortilla roll into 1 to 1-1/2 inch pieces. Place on serving plate cut side up.
  • These tortillas rolls can be made up a day ahead and refrigerated until it's time to cut them at serving time.

Pesto Crostini
This easy, delicious appetizer can be prepared in a matter of minutes. Recipe from 

  • 1-2 baguettes, sliced
  • 1 cup pesto (purchase prepared pesto or homemade)
  • Pecorino Romano cheese, grated (Parmesan may be substituted)
  • Place baguette slices in a single layer on a baking sheet. Toast under oven broiler until lightly browned; flip them over and toast the other side. 
  • Spread the tops with pesto, then sprinkle generously with grated cheese. Return to oven and broil until cheese has melted.

1 comment:

  1. What a wonderful writer's retreat in a beautiful setting.