Tag Archives: recipes

Pesto makes everything better

2 Aug

When we started planning our garden, the smells of the plants was a high priority for me. And boy do I love basil! So, we may have planted more basil than we really need, just because it is pretty and it smells so nice!

Fast forward a few months, and boy do we have basil!! So, we looked at how we can best use it. Pesto! Voila!

I thought to myself, “man, we have a lot of basil! We should make a double batch!” My dear husband, who is much more spatial than myself, apparently thought to himself, “Man! We have a lot of basil! We need to make 8 times the recipe!”

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So, we made a lot of pesto. We froze some of it, and we’ve given some of it away. Turns out, pesto makes a great gift when your sweet next door neighbor has fallen and is really hurting! (Basil is an anti-inflammatory.) It also turns out that when you give pesto away, people come up with really creative ways of using it! Pesto burgers, anyone? I hear they are quite tasty!

We had our inaugural pesto meal with some kale stuffed ravioli. Yummy!!

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The scary thing is, even with all that pesto giving and pesto eating, we still have tons of pesto! And the basil? You can’t really even tell that it’s been touched! Eek! Guess what’s for dinner? You got it! Pesto! With basil on the side!

The recipe we used is below. It is really tasty! And, we are always looking for excuses to break out the “robot culiniaire” (what most people call a food processor, Mike takes as a perfectly good excuse to break out his French vocabulary). 🙂

It is mostly based on Mark Bittman’s Genovese Pesto recipe from “How to Cook Everything.” if you haven’t looked into that book or the app, I’d also highly recommend it!

Genovese Pesto

2 cups loosely packed basil, rinsed and dried
Salt (to taste)
2 tablespoons pine nuts
1/2+ cup EVOO
2/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan

1. Combine the basil, salt, nuts, and 1/2 the oil in the food processor or blender. Scrape it down if you need to. Add the rest of the oil gradually as you process away.
2. Store in the fridge for a week or so, or in the freezer for several months. Add the cheese just before you serve it.
3. Enjoy!

My kind of tea party (e.g., this is not a political post) + Cranberry Scone recipe

3 Jun

As the blog-o-sphere as rightly noted, there is nothing like a Diamond Jubilee to provide the excuse for a good party. A lovely friend of mine – Jenny (and admittedly, she is more of a royal-stalker than I) decided that the Queen’s Jubilee was the reason she needed to host a tea party. Is there anything more lovely than gathering with your girlfriends, wearing a cute  sun dress, and eating gorgeous pastries? I’m not sure that there is anything better.

The tea was tasty (and beautifully served), the muffins were moist, and the petit fours were perfect. The tradition of tea supposedly comes from the need to supply food to hard-working souls who struggled to maintain the energy from one meal to another, so sugar and caffeine and foods like pastries or sandwiches hit the spot. Our little party didn’t have anything to do with sustenance, but it was a delightful way to spend a gorgeous Saturday afternoon. It inspired me, as well, to look at other tea-inspired recipes in honor of 60 years of Queen Elizabeth. Scones are biscuit-like bread hailing from Scotland and SW England, that are either sweet or savory. Here are my favorites – almost Alton Brown’s Cranberry Scones:

(makes 12)

2 c all-purpose flour (+ a little more for the work surface)

4 t baking powder

1/2 t salt

1/3 c granulated sugar (optional: add more for topping)

4 T butter, in small pieces

2 T shortening

3/4 c cream

1 egg

3/4-1 c cranberries (I like my scones to be fruity, so I tend to add more)

1. Heat oven to 375.

2. In a large bowl, thoroughly combine flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar.

3. Cut in butter and shortening.

4. In a separate bowl, combine cream and egg, and then add to the dry ingredients.

5. Stir in fruit.

6. Turn dough out onto a floured surface, and then roll out the dough. Cut the dough with a biscuit-sized cutter or into the scone-shaped triangles. (sprinkle with additional sugar if you are adding that.)

7. Cook for 15 minutes. Cool on a wire rack (unless you like them hot, like I do, in which case, serve immediately).