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Insalata di Farfalle, Zucchine E Pinoli The geometry of pasta involves pairing up the perfect shape with the perfect sauce. According to Caz Hildebrand, co-author of the Geometry of Pasta, doing so, ” . . . makes the difference between pasta dishes that are merely ordinary and truly sublime.” In this recipe, the simple lemon and olive oil dressing lightly coats the farfalle pasta, also known outside of Italy as bow-tie pasta. The fragrance and flavors of briefly sautéed slices of zucchini, shreds of fresh basil and Italian parsley, and toasted pine nuts combine to make this recipe “truly sublime.” As a matter of fact, I give it a four “S” rating for Super Special Summer Salad.

Insalata di Farfalle, Zucchine e Pinoli
The Geometry of Pasta

INGREDIENTS
1/2 pound farfalle
3 smallish, firm zucchini (2/3 pound), thinly sliced in 2-4-millimeter rounds
6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
2/3 cup pine nuts
Oil for frying the pine nuts
A small handful each of basil and flat-leaf parsley leaves, finely shredded
Grated Parmesan, to serve, (optional)

DIRECTIONS
1. Boil the farfalle until cooked as you would like them, then drain and cool under cold running water.

2. Heat a frying pan until very, very hot over a high flame. Add the zucchini, then 1½ tablespoons of the olive oil, and a little salt. Sauté for a minute or so. When half-cooked, a few nicely browned, add the garlic and cook for a minute more. When still just underdone, turn off the heat, and leave in the pan to finish cooking. The zucchini should be partly coloured, fully cooked but still slightly crunchy, and nicely dry.

3. Make a dressing of the lemon zest, juice, and remaining 4½ tablespoons of olive oil, and season to taste with salt and pepper.

4. To toast the pine nuts cover them with oil in a small pan and fry over a medium heat until pale amber.

5. When the zucchini and pine nuts have cooled to room temperature, toss with the pasta, herbs, and dressing.

6. Best left to stand for 20 minutes before eating plain or with a light grating of Parmesan.

LINNELL’S NOTES
1. Try to slice the zucchini so that the slices are uniformly thick. This helps to ensure that they are cooked evenly.

2. I drained the toasted pine nuts on a paper towel-lined plate. The next time I make this, I will use less oil to fry the pine nuts.

3. Before serving, I topped the dish with some freshly-grated Parmesan cheese and I also served some in a small bowl on the side for those who wanted more.

Enjoy!

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Potato Flowers Purple flowers with yellow centers pose against a golden summer backdrop. These two colors sit on opposite sides of a color wheel making them complementary colors. In the world of color theory, they are a dynamic duo. Perhaps, a hopeful lesson for the world can be extrapolated from this theory: that despite being far apart (in color, beliefs, origins, etc.), entities can come together, work together, and bring out the best in each other.

#1 – Color Palettes
Color Palette Search Whether painting a piece of art, decorating your home, coordinating your wardrobe, or planning a wedding, choosing the perfect color palette can be difficult. There are many online sites that offer help. One such site is Design Seeds where you can “find the palettes you love.” Searches can be done by color value or by theme.

#2 – Make Music
Op Art Sound Matrix Click on a square on the Op Art Sound Matrix grid and you have the first note of your song. It is an entertaining and hypnotic little diversion. As far as I can tell, to create another song, you have to leave the page and come back.

#3 – Get Ready to Eat Fall Desserts
Fall Desserts Am I rushing things by sharing 35+ Fall Desserts with you? Not really. The autumnal equinox is only two days away! Stop drooling and click on the link, so that you can get to the mouth-watering recipes ASAP!

#4 – Life = Risk
If you can spare a minute, watch this motivational video. It may change your outlook on life and the way you view people.

#5 – Spread Your Wings
“I have come to accept the feeling of not knowing where I am going. And I have trained myself to love it. Because it is only when we are suspended in mid-air with no landing in sight, that we force our wings to unravel and alas begin our flight. And as we fly, we still may not know where we are going to. But the miracle is in the unfolding of the wings. You may not know where you’re going, but you know that so long as you spread your wings, the winds will carry you.”
― C. JoyBell C.

Have a lovely weekend!

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Grocery lists, to do lists, inventory lists, wish lists, guest lists, etc. – they seem to fill our lives, but what would we do without them? Would we stay focused on what we have to accomplish, if we didn’t have any lists? Would we feel satisfied at the end of the day, if we didn’t have anything checked off? Would we realize the magnitude of our lives – our organization, abilities, collections, thoughts, and everything else we put down on our lists? Love them or hate them, everyone makes lists.

#1 – 100 Calories
If eating a tad bit healthier and watching your weight are part of your New Year’s resolutions, then browse through this list of 88 Unexpected Snacks Under 100 Calories. Not all items are on the super healthy list, but there are some great ideas and recipes worth trying.

#2 – Does Your Clutter Control You or Do You Control Your Clutter?
Hmmm . . . that’s an interesting question for me and my fellow pack rats. I’d like to claim that I’m in control of my clutter, but as I look around my desk, I think the clutter won. Demanding Joy, a lovely blog to visit, has a list of 60 Ways to Get Organized & Take Control of Your Life. Much of it is common sense and needed reminders. Other aspects deal with prioritizing and breaking down daunting jobs to doable tasks. So if you’re motivated to start out the New Year more organized, check out this list!

#3 – New Life for Old Yoga Mats
If you are a devout student of yoga, you may wear out your yoga mat over the years of study. The question is: What do you do with your old mat? It seems counter to the yoga culture to toss it away, so that it can become part of a giant landfill and take centuries to decompose. Need a few ideas? Check out these 20 Creative Ways to Repurpose Old Yoga Mats.

#4 – Elliptical Machine Mistakes
Are you an elliptical machine junkie? Well, if you are, you might want to read about the Top 10 Mistakes You Make on the Elliptical Trainer. How many are you guilty of?

#5 – Wanted
“When I see the Ten Most Wanted Lists . . . I always have this thought: If we’d made them feel wanted earlier, they wouldn’t be wanted now.”
Eddie Cantor

Enjoy this last weekend in January!

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#1 – Shop for Less
Shopping in Asian markets is an experience for me. It’s amazing how much cheaper fruits, vegetables, bulk spices, and even meats are in these stores, not to mention the variety of goods available. For example, the Asian market I frequent sells medium-sized frozen prawns by the scoopful for $3.99 a pound everyday! One aisle I am always drawn to houses the home goods. Pots, dish drainers, colanders, cleavers, and more can be had for very reasonable prices. I’ve stocked a few college apartment kitchens with items found here. Dishware can be purchased by the piece, so any size set can easily be put together. Colorful Chinese and Japanese bowls of all sizes and designs appeal to thrifty, yet stylish shoppers.

#2 – Keep It or Toss It
If you need to know how long to safely keep meat, vegetables, and fruit or what the shelf life of herbs and spices are, visit this website. Type in the item in question and search. It also has answers to food safety questions such as, “Are eggs still safe after the expiration date?” Go to www.stilltasty.com.

#3 – Pumpkin Pie Spice
If during this holiday baking season you realize you forgot to buy pumpkin pie spice at the store, don’t worry. Just mix together 1/4 cup ground cinnamon, 2 tablespoons ground ginger, 1 tablespoon ground cloves, and 1 tablespoon ground nutmeg and you’re ready to bake! Combine the ingredients until thoroughly blended. Store in an airtight container.

#4 – Style Tip for Men
Ladies, help your man out by helping him select the right accessories. Here’s a lesson in belt selection. Belts worn with his jeans should not be the same ones he wears with his suits and obviously belts worn with his suits should not be worn with his jeans. Jean belts should be made of a more casual looking leather or of fabric. Suit belts should be made from more refined and polished leather.

#5 – A Quote from Albert Schweitzer
Do something for somebody everyday for which you do not get paid.

My hope is that someone out there in the infinite internet universe is reading and enjoying my blog! Have a good weekend!

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Tingling extremities, abdominal pain, and nausea were symptoms that stopped me in my tracks. The catch is, my husband was complaining of these symptoms, not me. He’s a relatively healthy guy, but he does have high cholesterol and glucose numbers that place him into the “almost” diabetic category. Listening to him describe these symptoms, the only thing I could say was, “We’re going to the emergency room.” He denied it was anything serious and mumbled he just wanted to rest. I’m not a doctor or a nurse, but I knew if he was having a heart attack, we didn’t have precious minutes to sit and rest. I gathered up a few things and shoved him out the door. When the emergency room doctor questioned my husband about his symptoms and his health history, he couldn’t remember exact dates or details. That’s when I jumped into the conversation, since I had most of the answers in the binder on my lap. Thankfully, one of the items I thought to bring from home was my husband’s health binder. Documentation of his medications and corresponding dosages, recent lab reports, date and results of his last physical, and names of specialists he’d seen were all neatly filed away in this binder. Okay, maybe not neatly, but nonetheless, filed.

The visit to the emergency room revealed two things: First, my husband has a sound heart. Second, having his health information at our fingertips saved valuable time and reduced the stress of having to accurately recall pertinent information from memory at a critical time. With that said, I can’t emphasize enough the importance of organized medical records.

Request copies of reports each time you have a procedure done. All lab work, diagnostic exams, pathology reports, test results, hospital visits, and other significant documents should be filed. Save copies of referral slips and prescription information. Bring immunization cards to physicals for updates. You think you’ll never forget certain dates or physical conditions you’ve had, but you will. Even though your doctor has everything documented in your patient chart at his office, he may not be around if there’s an emergency.

There are many ways to approach this type of project, but the following way seems to me to be the easiest method to organize and access the information:

1. Purchase a binder for each member of the family and label it with his/her name.

2. Purchase binder dividers with tabs. You might need a dozen per family member; usually younger family members need fewer dividers, because they see fewer specialists. Label the tabs with the following categories and file documents with most recent on top:

Diagnostics – Any diagnostic report such as x-rays, mammograms, scans, MRIs, CTs, ultrasounds, biopsy and pathology reports, etc.

Health History – All documents from previous doctors. Each time you change physicians, get copies of your records. You may have to pay to have copies made, but it’s well worth it.

Labs – All lab work reports go here.

Immunizations – Immunization cards, TB test results, flu shot records, vaccine information, etc.

Name of Your Primary Care Physician – Under my PCP’s divider, I keep notes I make while in his office. If I’ve asked questions and written down his answers, I file that paper. I also keep a copy of any patient information forms I’ve filled out or signed.

Specialists – Each specialist you see should have his own divider. Examples of specialist dividers might be: ob-gyn, dermatology, cardiology, physical therapy, allergy, podiatry, endocrinology, and gastroenterology.

Prescriptions – File prescription information forms you receive from the pharmacy. Besides the name of the medication, these forms should include dose, instructions, and side effects. If you’ve been on a medication for years, always keep the first form received and the most current form in your binder. That way you’ll know how long you’ve been on any particular medication.

Vision and Dental – These categories are optional for inclusion.

For health’s sake, get organized!

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