Month: January 2017

Pesto, three ways (left to right): pea shoots, sunflower seeds and walnuts (food processor); oven roasted tomato and hazelnuts (food processor); mixed greens, cilantro and almonds (blender).

Pesto was never on my radar. I was always a red sauce kind of girl…until I found a recipe for lemon spaghetti. With those two in my life, my pasta didn’t need any other options. I wasn’t completely ignorant: I had tried pesto a couple of times before, but only at restaurants; and honestly, while I like basil, I didn’t really enjoy an entire meal of it.

The one time I did venture out to buy pesto from the grocery store, I was not expecting what I found. Inside the container was an unemulisified mingling of dark green–nearly black–basil suspended in a layer of oil. That hallmark intense, kelly green color of homemade pesto was missing—it did not look appetizing. Despite its questionable appearance, I had to taste it; not surprisingly, the flavor was lackluster at best and the oiliness was overwhelming—I can’t believe I actually ate it. This solidified the case that pesto need not be in my repertoire.

Once I started my blog, daily food research brought me to videos all over social media about making fresh pesto. Not only did it look super simple to make, but the classic basil/pine nut duo no longer seemed to be the default combination: kale, spinach, parsley, and various nuts and seeds were taking center stage. All of those options opened a creative door for me; it was time to break out the Cuisinart.

Inspiration

Posole verde with pickled jalepenos and avocado…

Sitting down with a mug of this tomatillo and cilantro posole takes me back to a wintry Santa Fe. The flavors are bright and the stew is comforting no matter what time of year you choose to make it.

If you are new to tomatillos, never fear; all you need to know about them and this dish is on the St. Petersburg Foodie website here.

Publications

My favorite pics of 2016: cauliflower, soft-boiled egg, zucchini bread, lemon glazed blueberry muffins, Florida cranberry (hibiscus), peanuts and berbere, lemon brown butter cauliflower soup, tomatillos, carrot tapioca bowl.

Today is my late grandfather’s birthday and the last day our Christmas decorations will be up. My mom would always keep everything decorated until January seventh and it’s one of the traditions I still keep in my own home. Not only does it remind me of him, I like that it extends the holiday season a couple of weeks more and gives me time to mentally prep for the New Year. And now…the time has come to bid adieu to 2016.

It feels like not long ago, I was reveling in the fact that I had been blogging for an entire year. Writing and cooking was how I spent much of my free time. And now…year two has flown by and year three has begun! Within the last few months, I went one step further and am now a guest writer on a local foodie website. I was so nervous about reaching another set of readers, but realized that taking that leap was an important challenge for me to accept. I’ve got five posts under my belt on StPetersburgFoodies.com and it has not only helped build my confidence as a writer, but also has given me much needed discipline to meet my self-imposed deadlines. So that you don’t miss a recipe–no matter where it’s actually posted–I’ve created a Publications section on my blog. Those brief snippets will have a link to follow to get you to the post and recipe du jour. Who knows where my posts will be showing up next year?!

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