SEASONAL BULLETIN Rotating Header Image


May Altar

lily of the valley
strawberry blossom
ever blooming rose
forget me not
blue star
blue eyed grass




May Full Moon

Moon Moth

This morning, a moth in the bathroom—dead
or just pretending. I could not tell.

In the chrysalis, the caterpillar must
dissolve in order to emerge with wings.

Around the campfire, moths
singe their wings. At night

I light candles and think
of you. It is May and the moths

are starting to gather around
the porch light. Time does not count

in the chrysalis. It is
ready or not, here I come.



May Day

May Altar

May Altar

Every May, my grandmother, Faustina, created an altar full of fresh flowers around the statue of Mary in her home. Since she passed away in 2007, my uncle and I have both carried on her springtime tradition, clipping a different flower for every day in May. May first is a Catholic feast day for Mary, but it has its origins in the pagan festival of Beltane. The earliest May Day celebrated Flora, the Roman goddess of flowers. My annual May altar is both a seasonal devotion to the divine mother and a personal tribute to my grandmother.

April in the Pumpkin Patch

rotten pumpkin

We spent the afternoon in the garden composting everything that failed to survive the cold, cold winter. Last year’s pumpkins are flattened in the soil, but our ivy and herbs are starting to show fresh shoots of green. We have a lot of work to do if we hope to have the garden ready in time for our Easter egg hunt.

La Bella Stagione


La bella stagione—the beautiful season—is upon us at last. Spring and summer mean dinners al fresco on the patio and the opening of our seasonal art and antique gallery. We will celebrate the spring opening of THE LAUREL GARDEN on Easter Sunday. We’ll also be hosting Sunday morning yoga in the garden for the first time in May, and garden party planning is well underway for June, July, and August!

JOIN OUR MAILING LIST for more information about our upcoming events.

May Flowers

We were surrounded by lush blooms this May! Peonies, irises, and flowering herbs from the garden made wonderful spring centerpieces all month long. For a more formal bouquet, we matched pink and white orchids with blue delphinium. Edible flowers even made it on to our menu, with chive blossom vinaigrette and pansies garnishing plates.

At the end of the month, we snipped every peony we could find for a garden wedding at Nino’s! Congratulations to Caitlin Morelli and Robin Tuscano, who were wed Saturday, May 26th. Their two daughters, Coco and Lola, served as flower girls, and the entire wedding was adorned with silver mercury glass vases filled with gorgeous pink peonies. It was a beautiful evening, and we were so glad to be a part of the celebration!

Flowers and decor by The Laurel Garden.
Photography by
Mark Rawlings.

April Showers

The Laurel Garden and Nino’s have been busy so far this spring! Our seasonal caffe and gallery reopened on April 1st, and we hosted a number of showers and parties at the restaurant.

For the second year in a row, Nino’s participated in the Flavors of Westmoreland Gala for the American Liver Foundation. Our five course dinner featured ingredients dalla terra e bosco–from the earth and forest. With local farmer’s eggs, asparagus, wild chives, ramps, and nine pounds of locally foraged morels, we celebrated the bounty of spring in Pennsylvania!

We also made our way to the annual Mason Dixon Ramp Festival on April 29th to procure two bushels of ramps. By the time we navigated the back roads of Pennsylvania and West Virginia, the festival had sold out of ramps, but luckily a kind forager agreed to deliver some to the restaurant! Look for these wild leeks on the menu at Nino’s, but only for a limited time. Spring edibles are delicious and fleeting.

Spring Equinox

We celebrated the vernal equinox at Nino’s on March 20th with a four-course dinner. I cooked the dinner for ten with the help of Marietta and our server, Eli. When planning the menu, we looked into traditional foods used to celebrate spring, and I incorporated some elements of folklore into the meal. Vases filled with clipped forsythia and daffodils from the garden provided additional proof that spring had arrived.

In Italy, fresh baby artichokes are a sign of spring. Every April, this member of the thistle family is celebrated in Tuscany at the Sagra del Carciofo Artichoke Festival. Our nod to the spring artichoke took the form of an artichoke tortino, which we served as our first course. A tortino is similar to a frittata, but thicker, usually with the addition of cream, cheese, or flour. We made fresh ricotta to accompany the artichokes in our tortino. Ricotta is easy to make and only requires whole milk, vinegar, and salt. Fresh, homemade ricotta has a sweetness that I’ve never tasted in the store-bought varieties. It gave an airy richness to the eggs, and we also added grated pecorino romano for a hint of salt. Alongside the tortino, we served a few baby artichokes sautéed with white wine and capers.

Our second course was perciatelli carbonara. Perciatelli is a delicious noodle, similar to a thick spaghetti, but hollow: with a hole through the middle like a straw. For the pasta carbonara, I browned bacon, then carmelized shallots with a teaspoon of garlic. To the bacon and shallots, I added sweet peas and butter. The carbonara sauce consists of butter, parmigiano reggiano, and egg.

Eggs are a longstanding symbol of spring. On her blog, School of the Seasons, Waverly Fitzgerald explains “eggs are one of the symbols of this [equinox] festival since they represent new life and potential.” She goes on to describe a Sicilian tradition that inspired other elements of our meal:

“Seeds are like eggs. While eggs contain the promise of new animal life, seeds hold the potential of a new plant. In ancient Italy in the spring, women planted gardens of Adonis. They filled urns with grain seeds, kept the in the dark and watered them every two days. This custom persists in Sicily. Women plant seeds of grains — lentils, fennel, lettuce or flowers — in baskets and pots. When they sprout, the stalks are tied with red ribbons and the gardens are placed on graves on Good Friday. They symbolize the triumph of life over death.” (

Our salad course featured fennel bulbs, thinly sliced and included in fresh spring rolls filled with roasted duck breast, mint, cilantro, and pickled dandelion greens. The spring rolls were served with an apricot marmellata over a bed of fresh, local watercress and arugula. Sprouting chard from the garden garnished our plates.

For the main course: lamb chops. We prepared them as we do in my family each year for Easter, seared in olive oil then braised in a light tomato sauce with rosemary and oil cured black olives. Lentils were another symbol of spring we incorporated in to the dish: French green lentils cooked with carrots, onion and sage, served with mint yogurt.

As I cleaned artichokes, stirred ricotta, and braised lamb, I felt connected to these signs of spring. As we embark upon a new season, it’s fitting to reflect on the cycles of the year, and also the cycles of traditions we engage in year after year.

May Wedding

Happy one month anniversary to Rachel and Ian Bonnet! The couple celebrated their marriage on May 14th, 2011 at Nino’s. The bride’s bouquet and centerpieces featured ferns, lilies of the valley, freesia, and yellow irises. Vintage china, furniture, and decorative wares were generously provided by Maggpie Vintage Rentals. Hand blown glass pickle dishes by Beyvan Schantz were placed on each table and filled with i.think.i.can’s pickled squash, red onion, and asparagus.

Hors d’oeuvres included peppered salmon, fresh spring rolls, and stuffed clams. For dinner, roast chicken and pork loin from Town’s Edge Farm in Ligonier. The former was served with local asparagus and new potatoes, the latter with rhubarb-cherry chutney and wild rice. A salad of arugula and strawberries, fresh artichokes, and pasta with lemon zest and porcini mushrooms rounded out the spring menu.

In lieu of a wedding cake, the bride and groom asked their guests to bake a favorite pie for the occasion. Of course, we snuck in a birthday cake for the groom, who turned 30 on his wedding day. Congratulations again to the happy couple! It was an honor to host their wedding.

Invitation, bridal bouquet, flowers, and decor by The Laurel Garden.
Wedding photography by
Mark Rawlings.

Flavors of Westmoreland

The American Liver Foundation’s annual Flavors of Westmoreland fundraiser was held April 17th at the Four Points Sheraton in Greensburg. Many area restaurants and chefs participated in the event, each provided a five-course meal for a table of ten. Our theme was an extension of April’s ingredient of the month. We celebrated the artichoke’s liver cleansing properties with an Artichoke Festival of our own.

Menu, flowers, and decor by The Laurel Garden.

Spring Fever

So far, spring has been a busy season! As promised, here are some more pictures from our 40th anniversary. We received some wonderful gifts, including another Maltese Falcon (for a total of two!) and a beautiful new patio gate. Thank you to all of our staff, past and present, as well as our loyal patrons and friends for the wonderful custom iron gate. It will be gracing our patio entrance soon, taking the place of our antique gate which was stolen last year.

We also had a fabulous time last Monday at our cooking class! We prepared homemade ricotta gnocchi with pesto, chicken saltimbocca, and a shrimp, fennel, and blood orange salad in our kitchen. Of course, wine and hors d’oeuvres accompanied the lesson, and afterwards, everyone enjoyed a three course meal of the dishes we taught. Thanks to all who attended! And a special thanks to our great teachers: Nino, Linda, Kelly, and Micki. I hope everyone is now rolling gnocchi at home.

Last but certainly not least, Happy 65th wedding anniversary to Mr. and Mrs. Bennett! Pictured below is the cake and custom floral cake topper from their anniversary party at Nino’s. Also pictured, a lettuce wrap with rice vermicelli and i.think.i.can’s pickled carrots which we made for Rachel and Ian’s wedding tasting. Next month, check back for a look at what is sure to be a beautiful May wedding!

8 April

Spring Equinox

The big melt: the icicles
we marveled scare the cat
as they come crashing.

Barefoot under the pergola
as the mountain lurches
toward spring, and

my parents’ Christmas
wreaths remain stacked
on an island of snow.

The path hides patches
of ice in the shade, and
the birds still roost

in the evergreen,
flap at my passing.
When the snow came,

it stopped us, and now
that it is going, we tiptoe
past the patches toward

the green. Winter bows out
only after our surrender.
Icicles I cracked for stirrers

snap and drip from gutters,
and sunlit evenings
are on their way.

April is for Artichokes

Artichokes are a sign of spring in Italy. Every April, this member of the thistle family is celebrated in Tuscany at the Sagra del Carciofo Artichoke Festival.

We feature Baby Artichokes Three Ways with fresh carciofini in a trio of delicious preparations—romano battered and fried, balsamic marinated, and sautéed with pomodoro and capers.

  • pussy pussy rubbing pussy
  • preteez very young girl torrent
  • erotic opera glove gallery
  • Cute little teen ass
  • naked wife exhibtionist
  • fuck my pussy movies
  • Sex girls sex
  • mature adult handjobs
  • free ebony nude videos
  • video amateur x a telecharger
  • sex crack video
  • video of brazilian bikini waxing
  • earlyteen girls nude
  • big dick small asian asshole
  • Lesbian slut videos
  • girls in skirt sex
  • nude blonde model galleries
  • Metcafe nude videos
  • young girls nude videos
  • Teen fighting videos
  • petite xxx downloads
  • mature mom young son pics
  • Huge oily tits
  • sarah pearson and andree sex video
  • drunk collage teen sex videos
  • free erotic video s
  • Uschi digard nude photos
  • naked scene girls pictures
  • full length teen fuck
  • winter olmpics in japan
  • classic movies john holmes
  • Sexy girls in saree
  • women sucking young boys videos
  • cumming on pussy on you
  • Hot boy sex video
  • how gossip effects teen girls
  • sex video celbertys
  • how to eat pussy tutorials
  • fall petite clothes
  • japan free video
  • Dream movies sex
  • michelle marsh topless video
  • pussy low angle
  • asian hairy pussy picture gallerie
  • naomi teen fuck
  • Sweet tight asses
  • amateur mature gallery massive big boobs
  • gardevior sex pics
  • homemade anal fuck videos
  • amateur nude video free young
  • cure mixed white black girls
  • Girls xxx
  • family fuck pic galleries
  • david beckam sex pics
  • hair styles for petite face
  • large boobs playing sporst video
  • real pictures of virgins
  • girls bikini dare
  • amature erotic video
  • amatuer teen blow job pics
  • hot amateur home video
  • black and white pictures to draw
  • blonde spreading pics
  • Lesbian sex making out
  • pussy fuck hip hop
  • mature lesbian milf hunter
  • little teens sex videos
  • young red headed pussy
  • girl live group sex
  • teens pussy panty stuffing
  • gauge black fuck
  • erotic stories sex erotic
  • thick curvy girls nude xxx
  • japanese wearing bikini
  • juicy latina ass videos
  • anal whore gang bang
  • wives wife orgasm
  • shemale pics agories
  • hot steamy pussy
  • amatuer black sluts videos
  • free naked girls injection videos
  • black teen ebony movies
  • dirty girl cumshots on face
  • hardcore forced lesbian enema
  • two girls haveing sex
  • brook burk bikini pics
  • sexy fuck tubes
  • girl poops during anal sex
  • mmf sex pictures
  • wife wants to taste black dick
  • virtual reality kira kener movie
  • movie scenes naked
  • videos free anal butt
  • ung girl anal
  • sex stories friends wife
  • shaved balls movies
  • hot girls with big round boobs
  • wife loves fucking black men movies
  • pics very beautifil breasts
  • asian fingering videos
  • pam andersons videos
  • sexy black women thumbnails
  • Easter christain sermons for teens
  • mature woman fucks video
  • young naked japanese girls vids
  • hardcore title object object
  • girl puts cock in ass
  • close up shaved pussy videos
  • sexy teen girl on girl
  • free xxx black
  • japanese girls nude in onsen
  • girls strip search videos
  • group sex free thumbnail galleries
  • female non nude butt pics
  • deep lesbian ass to mouth
  • cream pies hairy pussy
  • israeli girls pics
  • skinny black sexy
  • picture of her forced to suck
  • bloody virgin anal sex
  • Fuck mother ass
  • oung movies
  • size teen girls shoes
  • biggest star dick
  • dp interracial sex creampies
  • personal amateur mpeg sex videos
  • Pregnant ass pics
  • simpsons xxx sex
  • free absolute teen sex
  • free hardcore russian
  • ass fuckinggirl caught peeing
  • thick gallery
  • hot sexy vampier girl comics
  • teen lesbians orgasm video
  • sexy thongs ghetto ass
  • Goth girls sex
  • she sexy boobs
  • free sex video redtube
  • pics of constance marie naked
  • gives girl pussy creampie
  • free handjob videos and
  • chicks with dicks and stockings
  • young chubby teen
  • Speculum in vagina
  • free picture of black male models
  • free pubescent sex pics
  • sexy girl names list
  • milf amateur moms video galleries
  • teen half naked
  • upskirt big black ass
  • big fat dick fuck asshole
  • Beautiful fucking tits
  • amature black on white
  • nude s young girl
  • teen initiation to sex
  • freee hot reality sex
  • Indian sex scanda
  • blonde star fucked hard
  • dowload free amateur
  • Black granny sex
  • couples having sex for babies
  • adult video news anal award winners
  • free hentai video teen titans