April Fool’s Day and the ARTICHOKE


Artichoke PictureIt’s April Fool’s Day!  If you don’t eat artichokes, then as the poem says, the Arti Joke’s on you!

My favorite way to eat them is my Nonny’s stuffed artichoke recipe.

Stuffed & Steamed Artichokes

1. Prepare the artichoke…cut the stem off the bottom of the artichoke to make a flat surface. Trim off the top of the artichoke too.2. Prepare stuffing…. mix 2 tablespoons chopped garlic, 1/2 cup seasoned bread crumbs and 1/4 cup parmesan cheese (add more or less of any of these ingredients to your taste. Trust me, you can’t go wrong.)

3. Stuff the inner leaves of four artichokes with the bread crumb mixture.

4. Place artis in pot with 1/2 inch of boiling water. Cover, lower heat and simmer for 25 minutes. Check doneness by pulling a leaf out of the center. If it pulls out easily, artis are done. If not, simmer longer until done.

5. To eat, pull off one leaf at a time. With stuffing side in, run your teeth along leaf and eat. Discard leaves.

Do you have a favorite artichoke recipe? Share it now.



by Judith Natelli McLaughlin

Artie chokes on chocolate chowder

Artichokes on rice

Artie chokes on pumpkin pie

Laced with pepper spice

Artichokes on fettuccine

Barley, beans and peas

Lasagna, parmesan

And on pecorino cheese

Artie chokes on chile

Made with ice cream and beef chuck

Artichokes on Caesar salad,

Sushi, roasted duck

Artie chokes or artichokes

Confusing, it is true

But if you do not try this food?

The arti JOKES on you!



First Harvest

harvest 1I haven’t posted any garden updates in quite a while. So long, in fact, that today I picked my first harvest! Two grape tomatoes, one beafsteak tomato and a huge bunch of basil. I popped the two grape tomatoes in my mouth immediately. Couldn’t resist and they were delicious! (In fact, I popped the first one before I snapped this pic, that’s how impatient I was). Finally, I remembered to photograph the harvest.

Tonight’s dinner? Filet Mignon, Tortellini with Homemade Pesto and a Tomato, Cucumber, Basil Salad.

Homemade Pesto

For my pesto I put the entire bunch of basil in a blender with 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, 5 cloves garlic, 1/4 cup parmesan cheese and 1/4 cup almonds. Then I blended until smooth. I needed to add a bit more olive oil to get to the consistency I like. The beauty of pesto is you can do it as you please…more garlic, less garlic, pine nuts, or walnuts or no nuts. Whatever you choose. This exact recipe was just delicious. Tweak it as you wish and let me know how you do it!

And remember, like I say in P0ems on Fruits & Odes to Veggies, healthy eating starts with a poem!

Bok Choy Scrambled Eggs

IMG_0858[1]Okay, so  I promised you a Bok Choy recipe but then I got sidetracked by National Zucchini Bread Day!  It is a good thing I got sidetracked because during those two extra days my friend, Nancy Galbraith, emailed me a picture of her Bok Choy Scrambled Eggs!  It looked so delicious I asked for her recipe.  Lucky visitors to my blog not only got a recipe for my Zucchini Bread, but now will get Nancy’s Bok Choy Scrambled Eggs recipe.

Tomorrow I will post a watercolor painting of Bok Choy and a poem that is slated to appear in my next book. For now, check out the original Poems on Fruits & Odes to Veggies.

Doesn’t this dish look DELICIOUS!  Thanks, Nancy!

Bok Choy Scrambled Eggs

2 egg whites
1 whole egg
Chopped Bok Choy

Whisk together egg whites and whole egg.  Add chopped bok choy.  Sauté egg mix over olive oil. Add salt and pepper to taste. Cook to desired texture.


Today is National Zucchini Bread Day!

zucchiniOkay, so yesterday I thought about posting a Bok Choy recipe but alas, that will have to wait, because today is National Zucchini Bread Day! Seems like the most appropriate recipe to post is my children’s favorite Zucchini Bread! It is moist, healthy and delicious. Tomorrow you will get the zucchini poem and soon, very soon, a recipe for Bok Choy.

And this watercolor painting of zucchini is my art for my book Poems on Fruits & Odes to Veggies.

Zucchini Bread


1 ½ C whole wheat flour

½ t baking soda

½ t baking powder

1 t cinnamon

½ t nutmeg

1 egg

1/3 C vegetable oil

1/3 C unsweetened applesauce

2 T fat free sour cream

¾ C light brown sugar

2 t vanilla extract

2 C grated zucchini


  1. Heat oven to 325 F.  Spray an 8 inch loaf pan with cooking spray.  Set aside.
  2. In large bowl mix together flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon and nutmeg.
  3. In separate bowl, whisk together egg, oil, applesauce, sour cream, sugar and vanilla.
  4. Add flour mixture to egg mixture and stir until well combined.
  5. Fold in grated zucchini then transfer to loaf pan.  Bake until risen, golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean, about 60 to 70 minutes.
  6. Cool in pan for 30 min. then remove bread from pan and continue to cool on rack.
  7. ENJOY!

Acorn Squash Recipe

squashOn Thursday evening, April 18, I was one of the guest speakers at a Barnes & Noble book event best described as teaching the teachers how to use Poems on Fruits & Odes to Veggies in their classrooms. I shared a few recipes and one teacher was so intrigued with my Acorn Squash recipe that I promised to share it on my blog. Teacher, teacher, wherever you are, can you let me know if you found the recipe here?  I would love to hear from you.

Acorn Squash

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees
  2. Cut Acorn Squash in half, lengthwise, stem to base.  It has seeds (just like a pumpkin).
  3. Scoop out the seeds until you are left with a cavity only.
  4. Fill the cavity with 2 tablespoons of butter and 1 tablespoon of brown sugar.
  5. Place halves on baking sheet and pop into oven for 1 hour.
  6. Remove squash from oven and test for doneness.  Fleshy part should be really soft (like the consistency of mashed potatoes) and tops should be a bit browned. If done let them cool a bit before using a fork to stir and mash the squash.  You can eat it right out of the shell, or plate it up.
  7. ENJOY!

Asparagus Fries


asparagusAnd since we have been talking about asparagus all week, here is one of my family’s favorite asparagus recipes…


  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees
  2. Place one bunch of washed and dried asparagus on a cookie sheet
  3. Drizzle with two tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil and mix with hands to fully coat asparagus
  4. Add a few shakes of sea salt
  5. Roast for one hour until asparagus turns brown and crunchy
  6. ENJOY!