Robin’s Birthday Dinner at Alavita in Boise

The rule is: If it’s your Birthday, you pick where you want to eat and you can have anything on the menu. There are several photos I have of Robin, and this is one of my favorites. She is beautiful! and the Love of My Life. Happy Birthday!
She chose Alavita in Boise and it was good. One of the last times we will be able to sit on the patio – the weather is changing. Here is what we had for dinner. And thanks Marnie and Eric for joining us. And Chris and Anna were there in spirit. Left Click any of these photos to see them enlarged. Cheers!

Robin. And the shirt says

I’m a September woman. I was Born with My
Heart On My Sleeve
A fire In My Soul
and A Mouth I Can’t Control


Marnie and Eric

Chef’s House Salumeria Board
Variety of house cured meats & house-made pickles

Crispy Pork Belly
Cognac glazed apples, shallots toasted almonds & olive oil

House Salad
Organic spring mix, house-pickled vegetables, shaved parmesan & house Italian dressing

Marnie had

Heirloom Beet Salad
Rainbow of beets, shaved fennel, arugula, goat cheese feta, toasted pistachios & champagne vinaigrette

And our dinners were –

Robin had –

New Zealand Rack of Lamb
White bean puree, roasted summer peppers, house pickled radish & mint salsa verde

Eric and Marnie had –

House-made Sicilian sausage, oven blistered tomatoes, fresh basil, shaved garlic & parmesan

I had –

Angel Hair Pasta
Butter-poached prawns, tomatoes, light gorgonzola Alfredo, fresh thyme, fresh scallions & toasted garlic

And of course one cannot have a good Italian dinner without wine. Here is what we had.

Robin loves a good prosecco and here is one!

And then a hearty Neyers – friends of Robin’s – Zinfandel.

From their website –

ÀLAVITA is all about fresh pasta and local ingredients—from Tortellini to Rigatoni, Linguini to Pappardelle—created freshly every day using Northwest flour and local eggs. A restaurant whose name means “to life,” (Well actually two words– ‘alla’ ‘vita’ –that we put together to create one…ÀLAVITA) is a great place for celebrating life with good friends, business associates and family alike.
What we believe: great food needs to be fresh, uncomplicated, relatable and well executed in order to get out-of-the-way of the local ingredients and find the pleasure in their innate flavors and qualities. In the vein of a traditional Italian osteria as a casual, local gathering place (An Italian Joint) to discover locally inspired cuisine, friends, wine, and creative craft cocktails, our menu reflects a new twist on Italian fare that is inspired by local, regional ingredients. As we do at Fork (by the same creators), we firmly subscribe to our mantra of being ‘Loyal To Local.
ÀLAVITA procures many local ingredients from the Treasure Valley, Northwest and beyond to create dishes in an updated Italian presentation; hence, Locally Inspired Italian. Along with the full bar, there is a modest beer selection and wine list to choose from. ÀLAVITA is proud to provide a myriad of gluten free options upon request and 90% of our menu can be prepared gluten free. Please see the {gf} on our menu for details.
The joy of eating fresh seasonal ingredients prepared simple and well among good company is one shared by all at ÀLAVITA. It is with this simple thought in mind that we invite you to join us to celebrate life and be a part of our family.

Solar Eclipse in Boise – Aug 2017




And a good and exciting time it was. Several of us from the neighborhood watched from our front sidewalk where we had a superb view. We only had 99.6% totality, but it was still worth it. I found an inexpensive solar filter for my camera and my 500mm lens. Here are the photos. Enjoy! Left-Click any photo to see enlarged.

Tequilla Sunrise is appropriate for a solar eclipse.

Just starting

It’s “doing it”!

About halfway

About three-quarters.



96.6%. Wow!

At 96.6%, the light was strange. It was bluish and the temperature dropped about 8 degrees F.

Robin watching using eye protection.

Some of the neighborhood group.

Some Good Summertime Meals at The Captain’s Shack

Some awesome meals from The Shack this past July!

Boise Foodie Guild

Ah yes! Life in the kitchen in one of the hottest July’s on record at The Captain’s Shack (The Shack). But so much fun to make and serve. Some of these dishes are “eye candy”, too. Some have recipes; Some don’t. (If you want a recipe, just let me know. I’ll see what I can do.) As with most photos on this blog, Left Click them and see them enlarged. Enjoy these photos and if you make any of the recipes, let us know how you liked them. Thanks and Cheers!

Mango Salsa

Fruity and sweet with a moderately spicy component. Great with seafood.

Huevos con Mango Salsa and Avocado

Poached Idaho Trout Nage
Here is the recipe: Idaho Trout Nage

Eggs Florentine
Tomato and Bacon Sourdough Toast

Zucchini Galette

Crab Stuffed Zucchini Blossoms
Recipe: Crab Stuffed Zucchini Blossoms

Chicken Yakitori with Jasmine Rice
Recipe: Chicken Yakitori

We modified…

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Awesome 34th Anniversary

Awesome weekend of food. Awesome 34 years with Robin. I feel so blessed!

Boise Foodie Guild

Oh my! Such a great weekend. And such a great 34 years with the Apple of My Eye! Thank you Robin for those years. Here is a little bit of how we spent – ate – our way through the anniversary days.

On Friday, July 14th, we went to Parma Ridge Winery and Bistro. And once again, we were not disappointed! This is still a 5-Star bistro! This is their new sign along Hiway 95.

The Love of My Life and 34 wonderful years!

And for dinner, we both had a superb

Prime Rib
Garlic Potatoes
Grilled Asparagus
Storm’s Grilled Bread

And a full flight of wonderful wine. Robin and I both agree that Chef Storm’s Prime Rib is the best in the Boise area. Even better than Chandler’s in Boise. And that is not an easy task to accomplish.

And then, Saturday morning, after coming home from the Boise…

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Wonderful June Plates

Some really great meals in June. Look here!

Boise Foodie Guild

Ah yes, so much fun to make these dishes. Some of the recipes are available and printed here. Enjoy! And yes, Idaho does raise shrimp and Australian Sea Bass. Look for Garden Creek Farms, Challis – “…Natural, Fresh, Sustainable Fish and Produce Production – Aquaculture and Aquaponics …”, ID (208) 339-4326 or email at Left-Click any of these photos to see them enlarged.

Fruit Salad
Fresh Strawberry
Fresh Baby Spinach
Blackberry Balsamic (Celia’s Gourmet Food, Celia’s Gourmet Foods and Olive Oil Dressing

Herb de Provence Butter
Fresh Rosemary
Fresh Lavender Blossoms
Fresh Thyme and Thyme Flowers
Fresh Oregano and Oregano Flowers
Fresh Chives
1/2 lbs Unsalted Room temperature Butter

Mix all together

Place the butter/herb mixture on saran (plastic) wrap.

Roll into a 2″ dia log and freeze.

Idaho Shrimp Pasta
Garden Creek Farms Idaho Shrimp
(braised until just pink in the Herb de Provence Butter)

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Mother’s Day Brunch for Robin and Marnie


The Ladies in my life. Robin and Marnie at Richard’s – The Inn at 500 Capitol, 500 S Capitol, in Boise. (208) 472-1463. Well worth the phone call and definitely a 5-Star restaurant. “Eating is a necessity but cooking is an art.” – unknown author and “If you are afraid of butter use cream.”— Julia Child. “We eat for our bodies, we dine for our soul.” -Molly Langston. I think these reflect Chef/Owner Richard Langston’s cooking philosophy! Just look at what we had. Such a great time with the loves of my life! Chef Langston tries very hard to source his food products from local farmers, including the Boise Farmers Market. (Left-Click any of these photos to see them enlarged.)


Figs Stuffed with Gorgonzola, wrapped in Basil and Prosciutto with Local Honey


Fried Red Potatoes with Roasted Tomato Aïoli


Breakfast “Carbonara” Pasta tossed with Pancetta & Parmesan and topped with 2 Baked Eggs


Crab Omelet topped with Hollandaise Sauce and Acme Bakeshop Baguette Toast


Courvoisier Cognac to go with dessert


(Front) Brown Butter Tart with Seasonal Fruit (Strawberry) and House-Spun Ice Cream
(Back) Tiramisu Cheesecake with Mascarpone, Espresso, Lady Fingers, Chocolate

Marnie’s – Long Week

Yes, long week helping Marnie! But so very glad we could help. Lots got one – new forced air AC and heater installed and all of the duct work. Gone like the wind is the baseboard heat. Old windows are gone – all of them. New ones are installed and they look great. Thermal windows at that. The deck has started to be power washed, where we take these photos. There is a Starling that is trying to take up residence in the ceiling of the porch. She really should stop that and then get rid of all of the mites. Here, through the magic of film, is what we saw this week. Enjoy and Left-Click any of the photos to ee them enlarged.

Beautiful Icelandic Poppies are growing in her yard.

One European Starling (Sturnus vulgaris) is trying to set up house in her porch ceiling.

The Osprey (Pandion haliaetus) seems to be always in the area.

California Quail (Callpepla californica) are very abundant but hard to see and even more difficult to photograph.


Fish are abundant in the pond. Probably Carp, but there are Bass and Trout in there. They have been stocked.


Canada Goose (Branta canadensis) families frequent the pond these days.


Another family of geese.


Even a goose must sleep sometime and out of the hot sun! It was in the 80’s.


American White Pelicans (Pelecanus erythrorhynchos) flyby on a regular basis.


American White Pelicans (Pelecanus erythrorhynchos). The ones that have the flap on their beaks, are breeding.


American White Pelicans (Pelecanus erythrorhynchos) Check the beaks.


And finally Lizard Butte from Marnie’s porch taken with a 500mm lens.

Marnie’s Pond This Week!

Actually a good week. Glad we are able to help her. Heating ductwork installed this week. She was on electric baseboard heat. Now it will be forced air. Windows are coming tomorrow and they will be installed. Replacing all windows in the house. Thermal windows. And then I think she is starting the painting and then the flooring is installed.
Pictured here is a field of mustard, There are many of them in this area. Does anyone know if they process this to make spreadable mustard? Inquiring minds need to know. Enjoy the following photos and Left-Click any of them to see them enlarged.

Great Egret on the pond.

Great Egret

The Egret is leaving.

Black Cormorant checks the pond.

Cormorant finds a good spot. Looking for fish.


Osprey is searching for fish, too!


Osprey doing acrobatics.

Beautiful Osprey!


Wine & Art in the Park at Marsing Island Park

And what a great time it was! Even in the blustery and cold wind. Heavy overcast, but no snow or rain. Wine, art, beer, music, food, animals, cars and fun!And IDDFG (Idaho Fish and Game) even stocked the pond with trout – today, I think – and opened fishing up for everyone. Enjoy these photos from the party. Left-Click any photo to see them enlarged.

Bev Williamson Mack was there to offer wines from several wineries in the area.

Several local artists set up their canvas and painted the scenes.

Food venders were there too.

Wonderful balsamic vinegar were offered, too!

Chocolate any one?

Several cars were on show.

And animals, such as –


A Hawk from the Morley Nelson Birds of Prey Area.

Horned Owl

IDF&G was there to help those who want to try fishing. There were some trout caught!

The Marsing Pond.

Some of the crowd who was there.

Marnie’s Pond and the Boise Greenbelt

Danger signs are posted at different places along the Greenbelt.

The photos of Marnie’s Pond, aka Marsing Pond, were taken on Monday, May 1. The photos of the flooded Greenbelt were taken today, May 4. The Boise River is still flowing at 8900 cfs, but fluctuates up to 9200 cfs at times. The flooding along the river may last until late summer, so I am told. So for now, we will just have to live with restricted usage of the Greenbelt, beaches and the Kayak Park. Left Click these photos to see them enlarged.

Beaver at Marnie’s Pond. This was a surprise.

red-winged Blackbird in flight at Marnie’s

And along the Boise Greenbelt, there were …………


Geese and Goslings. The male is watching me carefully. I was about 20 feet away. Good lens!

Duck and Ducklings.

Seahawk – Osprey – looking for lunch.


Whitewater Park. The Kayak Dam has been breached. River flowing at 9000cfs.

These folks could build a boat dock. And yes, this water is flowing. See the ripples?