Some of you wonder why I speak fondly of my ex, or why one should push past all the resentment, and try to find forgiveness in their hearts when a marriage does not work out. This is my reason. No matter how much success either of us achieve individually in our lifetimes, Tatjana Rhodes will always be our greatest production

Julie Anne & Tatjana Rhodes in Saint Paul de Vence

Julie Anne & Tatjana Rhodes in Saint Paul de Vence

…. not that her parents can take full credit for the amazing person she is today – sometimes I think she was just born kind, thoughtful, and wise. People assume her life has been a charmed one, when in reality she’s had many very difficult obstacles to overcome, and I’m so proud of the beautiful, talented woman she has become.

My greatest production

Tatjana Rhodes at her father's 50th birthday party this weekend

When she was born, my Auntie Vera said “good, you have a daughter, now you’ll get what you deserve!” While Vera always loved me, the comment was not meant kindly. I was every mothers worst nightmare for a daughter, and Tatjana has never once given me any of the grief I gave my own mother. I dreamt of having her since I was two years old, and I’ve been grateful for her every day of my life since she was born, but especially so today, as I learn she’s tearing herself away from her lovely boyfriend (I know how hard that can be) long enough to visit me for a few weeks. I love you, Tatjana Lee Orchid, and I can’t WAIT to see you!

Penne with Broccoli, Broccolini, and Vegan Italian Sausage

Hot Italian Vegan sausage & Broccolini Penne

Tatjana always did like a little pasta with her Parmesan. Her favorite was my Penne & Zucchini Arrabbiata when she was little, but lately its been this penne with spicy Italian vegan sausage recipe. A fresh batch will be awaiting your arrival madame! Join here for more fabulous family and client approved recipes.



2 cups uncooked penne
1 pound hot Italian pork, turkey, chicken, or vegan sausage
4 tablespoons olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 pound broccolini, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1/2 cup parmesan, grated
salt and pepper to taste


1). Cook penne according to package directions.

2). Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon of live oil, sauté sausage in a nonstick skillet over medium heat, breaking up into little bits with the edge of a wooden spoon, until no longer pink, about 7 minutes. Drain on a plate covered in paper towel and tent with foil to keep warm.

3). In the same pan the sausage was cooked in, add 3 tablespoons of olive oil, garlic, and red peppers, stirring for 30 seconds, add broccolini and cook, covered for 3-4 minutes until crisp-tender, stirring occasionally.

4). Pour broccolini over penne, add cooked sausage, 1/2 cup parmesan, and salt and pepper to taste. Toss well, and serve immediately.


Roasted cherry tomatoes over fresh Buffala mozzarella drizzled with Pesto sauce to start, and balsamic strawberry sundae for dessert.

PS. What are YOU grateful for this past week? I want to hear, so please click “comment” below and share – gratitude can be contagious, and such a great way to start the week!
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