Beautiful Blood Orange

by Bonnie Jo Manion on March 5, 2014


A few years ago I planted a Moro Blood Orange tree, after making this gorgeous Blood Orange Upside Down Cake adapted from the March 2010 issue Bon Appetit. This recipe is simple to make, and calls for creating it in a skillet. Packed with flavor but not overly sweet, it is a perfect way to end a special meal this time of year.

From this recipe, I knew I needed to have fresh blood oranges from my garden every year. Besides the Moro Blood Orange there are two other blood orange varieties available, Sanguinelli and Tarocco.

For those of you in warm sunny climates that can grow citrus, citrus is ripe and readily available this time of year. Lush citrus, especially the blood orange, can awaken your senses and create instant festivity. Grapefruit, lemons, kumquats, and oranges to name a few citrus types can add surprise and zest appeal to many types of dishes and drinks.


Look how fabulous the Moro Blood Orange is as a juice, or perhaps a ruby garnish. What a great way to make winter vanish in a heartbeat. Blood oranges remind me too of this special time year–Mardi Gras Carnival with all of the hoopla and joyous celebration.

Recently, my husband John, and I had the opportunity to experience first hand the fun and excitement surrounding the celebration of the evening Carnival Parade in the streets of downtown Oranjestad, Aruba in the Dutch Carribean.


White Bean, Pasta and Swiss Chard Soup

by Bonnie Jo Manion on February 13, 2014


“China tea, the scent of hyacinths, wood fires and bowls of violets–that is my mental picture of an agreeable February afternoon.” –Constance Spry
I agree, Constance, and what about soup to take the chill out of you, such as one of my favorites, White Bean, Pasta, and Swiss Chard Soup. I saw this recipe in a Williams-Sonoma catalog years ago. It is adapted from Williams-Sonoma Collection Series, Soup, by Diane Rossen Worthington.

It is a nice hearty soup laden with carrots, greens, and thick egg noodles. I use Swiss Chard or kale, interchangeably or combined for this recipe, straight out of my kitchen garden this time of year, carefully rinsed, and cut into julienne strips. So good for you, and tasty is this soup. Garnish it with freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano Cheese, and a thick slice of toasted whole grain bread. It is so easy to make, it is a perfect winter soup to keep you going and glowing.

Please share if you have a favorite winter soup. Please comment if you are a fan of Diane Rossen Worthington and her cookbooks.


A Wreath For All Occasions

January 23, 2014

I love burlap as a medium, see my post, Beauty in Burlap for more ideas. Burlap is easily found in art and craft stores as a finished garland. Over the holidays I made this rustic burlap wreath and finished it with a plaid holiday ribbon. Now that the holidays are tucked away for the year, […]

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San Diego Magazine Feature

January 7, 2014

Last fall at harvest time, our gifted architect, Bill Bocken ¬†brought his partner, Paul Adams, a talented San Diego landscape designer, and his amazing photographer, Shelley Metcalf to photograph our home for the first time since the completion of our home remodel. San Diego Magazine took notice and¬†features Metcalf’s photos, article written by Kimberly Cunningham […]

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New Year 2014 Greetings!

January 6, 2014

Greetings to you all, and wishing you the very best in 2014! It is only natural this time of year to reflect on the fruits of the past year, as well as plan and dream for the year ahead. Consider gratitude as a foundation for your coming year. One of the blogs I follow, Liz […]

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Paris, Provence, Patricia Wells

November 5, 2013

Patricia Wells has a new cookbook out, The French Kitchen Cookbook: Recipes and Lessons from Paris and Provence. Last weekend, Owner and Founder, Susan McBeth’s Adventures by the Book hosted culinary legend Patricia Wells at Torrey Pines Lodge. Check out Adventures by the Book, you’ll never go to another regular book signing again. McBeth features […]

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Composting with Grape Pomace

October 29, 2013

I’m a firm believer in backyard composting. I love the idea of recycling what you have from your own garden, property, and kitchen scrapes into your own personal compost recipe. It is especially important to compost when you have backyard chickens. In fact, I really delve into this subject of backyard composting and backyard chickens […]

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Autumn Vintage Container

October 22, 2013

There is nothing like a vintage container with a beautiful “warn and warm” hue to fill for a simple autumn display. This is some sort of vintage bucket, which is big, and can be re-purposed for all kinds of objects that remind you of fall. I found the bucket on a whim at Gardenology. This […]

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Deborah Madison’s Book Signing at Chino Farm

October 7, 2013

                  If you love to grow and eat vegetables, you are going to love Deborah Madison’s new vegetable bible called, Vegetable Literacy: Cooking and Gardening with Twelve Families from the Edible Plant Kingdom, with over 300 Deliciously Simple Recipes. On Sunday, October 6, 2013, the world famous […]

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DDM Harvest & Bottling 2013

September 30, 2013

Here at Domaine de Manion we are especially grateful for the family and friends who help us harvest the grapes from the vines, sort the grapes before crushing, and share a delightful dish. This year, we had a bit of a heat wave right before our intended harvest, and so had to scramble and bring […]

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