My Green Cauldron

Dance, a Haiku about Trees

dance with the trees

My Garden

my garden
place of peace and growth

just thought i’d share a picture of the garden at it’s best. growing so well. i love this place!

thru the lens

Clouds, insects and the garden beauty!

Quinoa Tabbouleh

Serves 4

photo by denise johnson

1 cup quinoa, rinsed well and drained

1 3/4 cup water

sea salt, optional

1/2 cucumber, sliced and diced

3 scallions, chopped

1 cup tomato, chopped

1/4 cup chopped fresh mint (parsley may be substituted if mint is not available)


Juice of 2 lemons

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

Sea salt

  1. Bring quinoa to a boil with water and salt.
  2. Cover, reduce flame to low. Cook 20-25 minutes.
  3. Spread cooked quinoa on large platter to cool.
  4. Meanwhile, whisk dressing ingredients together.
  5. Combine salad ingredients and dressing,
    refrigerate until chilled.

Spaghetti Sauce

A local grocer is closing after 114 years of business. Russo’s has brought the Grand Rapids area the best of Italian, Greek, & Middle Eastern Cuisine. They will be missed by many.

My Grandma was an avid recipes collector, and after she past I was blessed with the whole collection. Like my grandma a spent many hours looking through them, noticing the really dirty and worn ones. Those were my grandma’s most used favorite ones, the ones that are family favorites to this day.

One of those recipes was one from Russo’s, their spaghetti sauce, meatball, and lasagna recipe. It is the BEST. The recipe is the one I use every time I make spaghetti. There are Never any left overs!

Russo’s Famous Recipes
They moved from the Eastern St. location in 1976.

Basil from the Garden

It’s harvest time here and the basil (Ocimum basilicum) is growing well. The sunny location in the garden has served them well. i really love the smell of basil, taking leaves from the plants is such an aromatic experience. Basil also makes a easy to grow windowsill herb, so you never have to be without fresh leaves.

Basil is an important herb on many levels, from magic to culinary to medicinal. it is one of my favorite garden herbs.  when it comes to food, basil is a well known ingredient. what spaghetti dish would be complete without it? there is a reason that basil is associated with pasta dishes. it helps digest the carbs of the pasta, it is also a big help for your digestive issues (gassiness, indegestion). i love eating tomatoes with basil, they go very well together. basil is also a helpful ally when you are down with the cold/flu. not only can it help break up the phlemgy/mucousy stuff, it also helps with fevers (it makes you sweat it out) it is definitely the tea you want/need when you need a little warmth and a sunny summer day.

garlic green beans

Serves 4

1-pound fresh green beans, trimmed and chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
4·cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes. Salt and pepper to taste

l. Boil green beans in water for just 3-4 minutes; do not overcook. Or steam for 4 -5 minutes. Drain and rinse under cold water.

2.Heat olive oil in a skillet with garlic, green beans, and red pepper flakes. Cook, stirring frequently, for S-4·minutes until garlic is soft.
3. Taste, and season lightly with salt and pepper.