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Tuesday, July 3, 2012

pretty petaluma, garden zucchini and lamb casserole


Hi folks! I'd like to share some images from this weekend's lovely amble through the town of Petaluma, halfway between Santa Rosa and San Francisco. Renowned for its many blocks of historic homes spanning the Victorian era to the early twentieth century, Petaluma was tons of fun to visit and a rich source of design inspiration as we think our new home. Jamison and I took away many new ideas about paint colors and exterior design elements from walking down its cheerful and lovingly tended streets. We won't be moving in to our place until summer's end, so this is a good time to seek out inspiration and make plans! First stop in town, an iced coffee at Petaluma Coffee and Tea Company.


Some neat items from a museum-like display on tea and coffee inside the shop:


Why, why did I not buy a Beebleberry Pie? Ah, next time!




 
Meyer lemons offered to passerby...I'm excited that we will have one of these at the new house and will enjoy finding uses for its mild sweet-sour juice and aromatic rind.




The owner of this flourishing orange tree invited us to pick some...



A beautiful combination of home and garden...








 Wonderful details, such impact from artfully contrasting paint colors:




From the Petaluma Farmer's Market...








On the way home, we stopped at Garden Valley Ranch, a well known rose nursery with many heavy specimens in bloom. Climbing rose "Eden" was gorgeous--maybe a good choice for one of our sunny garden-walls:




On Sunday, I made a lamb and garden zucchini casserole with the bounty of a pal who is producing some wonderful veggies in raised beds--inspirational! A straightforward approach to summer bounty that you may enjoy, too...



Slice 2-3 pounds of summer squash, any type,coat with olive oil, toss with herbes de provence and sea salt and roast in 350 oven for a half hour.

Meanwhile, saute three chopped garlic cloves and a red onion (sliced), add one pound of ground lamb once they are tender and turning golden. Stir, browning and breaking up meat, then pour in a cup of a fav red wine. Cook off, then add a pound of diced tomatoes, and a can of rinsed chickpeas. Season with salt, freshly ground pepper and more herbes de provence...toss in a chopped handful of flat leaf parsley.

Remove zucchini from oven and layer meat-chickpeas over, add another layer of zukes and end with meat layer. Bake for 20 minutes (still at 350). Blend minced parsley and plain yogurt, sea salt to drizzle over top when ready to serve. Enjoy!


Have a great rest of the week, and a fun July Fourth to my American pals!


















8 comments:

babykins said...

I hope to have my own orange and lemon trees one day, that's my dream. I love looking into that kind of shop.
Since I haven't had any trips around lately, thank you for sharing those lovely photos. Now I feel I went to Petaluma with you! :)

Lyndsey Chapin said...

It looks wonderful Jenn, I will definitely make this casserole. I sure need some new good ideas! I think no matter where you visit you will find beautiful and interesting things to photograph! The blue house reminds me of my parents house up in Michigam. They would have people take pictures of their house as they would walk by! Hope you have a wonderful 4th!

Bentobird said...

Hi Izumi dear! I love citrus, too...

Bentobird said...

Hiya Lynds! This was simple and good, with a summery forwardness--good to be liberal with the herbs in it. Have a beautiful Fourth and thanks for your visit, hon...

megan said...

i love the combo of summer squash with herbes de provence -- made a nice brunch tart with that same combo this weekend (great minds think alike :-)!

this layered delicacy looks so sumptuous... i can imagine the tang of the yogurt against the light earthiness of the squash and the more robust flavor of the meat working just fabulously.

and petaluma is so pretty! i love your take on life jenn :-)

Robin | what-about-the-food said...

This post just sings with summer colors! What a pretty peek at Petaluma (one of my favorite cities) in the height of summer through your eyes.

The Sunday cassarole marries such wonderful Mediterranean flavors and suits a slow paced end of the weekend. I would enjoy a bite of that any day Jenn!

Bentobird said...

Hi megan, makes me happy to see your lovely comments and that we were both in summer-squash appreciation mode this weekend! Have been enjoying the mild weather and mild people out here in Northern Cali, hope your summer in the city has sparkled thus far...see you at delightful Bento Zen!

Bentobird said...

Hi Robin! Isn't Petaluma just incredibly charming? We went back yesterday to check out the gorgeous heirloom "Seed Bank" in the old bank building, so excited by the incredible European of vegetables varieties me might grow. Talk to you soon, friend!