Sunday, January 5, 2014

Homemade Hand Soap

This is a very basic recipe for liquid hand soap that I received from a friend. Thank you, Anna Frost!
I am going to try my hand at foaming hand wash and then share it with you, but until then, here it what I do for our hand soap at home. It is ridiculously inexpensive, and if you have any essential oils or personal touches you like to add, then it truly becomes your own.
Enjoy this recipe, and tell me what you do to improve or enhance it!

Liquid Hand Soap

1 bar of natural soap (like Ivory or J&J's natural bars)
1 gallon water

Grate 1 bar of soap into 1 gallon of water. Heat on stovetop, stirring occasionally until soap has dissolved. Cover and let sit for 24 hours. Add 40-50 drops of essential oils, if desired. Afterwards, use an immersion blender and mix until you have an even consistency. Store until ready to use, or pour into dispensable bottles, and enjoy!

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Party On! Spinach Artichoke Dip- with white beans!

I wanted to make a spinach artichoke dip for Christmas day since we were going to a friend's house for dinner, but my friend has a very restrictive diet, and I couldn't bear to make a dip with store-bought mayonnaise; so I re-vamped a recipe, and I am happy to say that it was a WICKED hit with my kids, and husband. So, I thought I would share it with you, just in time for 2014:

Spinach Artichoke Dip with White Beans
2 cloves garlic
1/2- 3/4tsp. salt
3 C. white beans, cooked
4 c. spinach, washed
1 can Artichoke hearts, in water
1/4-1/3 c. cream cheese
1/2 c. parmesan cheese Olive oil, and water for consistency and taste

Soak and cook beans according to package directions. Add garlic and salt to food processor, and process until minced. Add spinach and process again until chopped small. Add beans, artichokes, and a few drizzles of olive oil, and process until ingredients are combined. If needed, add some water until you reach a creamy consistency. Now for the secret ingredient: add cream cheese, and parmesan cheese until combined. Taste... enjoy! Add more salt if needed; but not too much! Tell me what you think! (I'm sorry, I would have posted pictures, but my computer was being stupid!)

Monday, December 30, 2013

Sprouted Quinoa with Sundried Tomatoes, Bacon and Feta

I discovered this delicious combination tonight as I was searching my kitchen as usual, wondering what in the world to make for dinner- or I should say, how to make it tasteful enough for everyone to enjoy it. First, we have my wonderfully patient, and always complimentary husband, Sam, who will eat anything I cook (no matter what it might look like- he's such a good sport!), especially so the kids will eat it. Gary, I'm not worried about. The four year old who used to be our pickiest eater, is now our most willing taste-tester, and exotic food connoiseur. Gracie, however, has gone from the girl who eats anything, to the girl who won't touch it, even if she likes all of the ingredients, if it doesn't look good. And Nicole, who is very vocal, and very opinionated when it comes to something she doesn't think she'll like. So, as you can see, it causes me a little bit of stress if I don't have a meal I am absolutely sure they will love and devour! Well, tonight I had some ingredients on hand that I knew they would eat, so I thought I would try them together- and it worked! Simple, and quick, this meal takes just a little bit of preparation, but is well worth your time. At least, that's what I think. You'll have to make it and tell me what you think! So, this is what you need: 1 1/2 c. Quinoa, sprouted (This is easy, I promise! Just pour your measured Quinoa into a glass jar or bowl the night before, add a Tablespoon of plain yogurt- or the whey from it- and soak it overnight. In the morning, rinse and drain your quinoa, and by the time you are ready to cook it, it will have sprouted- growing cute little tails. Congratulations! You have literally turned this nutritional little seed into a vegetable!) 3-4 sun-dried tomato halves, chopped 1 Tbsp. Bacon fat, from uncured, natural bacon - the less chemicals, nitrates, and preservatives, the better! 1/2 small onion, diced 1 clove garlic, minced 2 tsp. dried parsley 1/2 tsp. salt, to taste Feta cheese, to top. After sprouting the quinoa, add to a small pot of boiling water, and cook for 5-10 minutes, until quinoa is soft and chewy, but not mushy. Drain quinoa and set aside. Add bacon fat to a skillet. Add onion and saute for 5 minutes, then add garlic, tomato, and remaining spices. Add quinoa, and 1-2 Tbsp. of water to create some steam. Cover and cook about 5 more minutes until ingredients are combined. Remove from heat. Top with cheese and serve. Serves 5-6 So, what did you think? Would you make any modifications?

Monday, April 15, 2013

Black Eyed Pea Dip/ Salad

I found this recipe, which calls for it to be used more as a salsa-like dip, but I turned it into a salad- and it's fantastic! Use it however you wish. I hope you enjoy it too!

                                                         Black Eyed Pea Dip/ Salad

Ingredients:
1 c. black eyed peas
2 small avocados, diced
2 roma or vine-ripened tomatoes, diced
1 small green pepper, diced
1/2 sweet onion, grated

dressing:
1 Tbsp. olive oil
3 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
2 tsp. honey
1/2 tsp. salt
pepper to taste

Place peas in a glass jar, and soak in water, 8-12 hours, or overnight. Drain, rinse, and allow them to sit for another 8-12 hours. Rinse, drain. Another few hours and you will begin to see the peas growing sprouts. Rinse them again, place in your crockpot or large pot with water, and cook- 6-8 hours in crockpot, or 1 1/2 hours on your stovetop.

Add all ingredients to bowl, toss, and chill for about 30 minutes before serving. Enjoy!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Cawliflower, Bean, and Bacon salad with Red Onion- Grain free, and Kid Friendly!

Gracie and I LOVE this salad because it is reminiscent of our family's favorite potato salad that is vinegar and not mayonnaise -based. This is a rough re-make because I'm going off of taste alone. Hope you like it!

Ingredients:

1 head cawliflower, washed, florets cut into bite-sized pieces
4-5 strips of bacon, cooked to your liking- the crispier, the better for us!
1 C. or a large handful of Fresh or frozen string beans, thawed (not cooked) or lightly steamed if fresh (you still want the crunchiness to be present).
1/2 red onion, sliced into thin rounds

Steam cawliflower for about 5-6 minutes, so that it is just soft enough for a fork to pierce through, but not soggy. Drain and dry, and place in a large mixing bowl. Chop slices of bacon into bite-sized pieces, evenly distributed through the salad. Slice beans in half, and add to other ingredients. Add onion slices last, then drizzle with dressing and allow to chill for 30 minutes or so before eating.

Dressing:

Up to 1/4 c. white wine vinegar (not regular white vinegar; that's made from corn. Treat yourself to the real stuff)
2 Tbsp. bacon drippings/ grease
salt and pepper to taste


Simple, yet tasteful. And the fat IS good for you. It will allow your body to absorb all the nutrients from the delicious vegetables you are eating. Please remember that, and enjoy eating it. :-)

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Soaked Oatmeal

I know it seems funny to post a recipe that consists of just rolled oats, fruit and natural sweetener, but that's what makes this so powerful, and beautiful. Soaking your oats is like soaking any other grain, seed or flour. It releases the phytic acid which then allows your body to fully absorb the vitamins and minerals that are yours for the taking. Soaking also increases the protein and fiber content. Interesting huh? Try it once, and see if you are not hooked.
*Here's a basic recipe:
1 Cup rolled oats
1 Cup (use your own good judgment and use just enough to soak the oats- not make them float around separately) kefir, buttermilk, or water with 1 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar.
Soak overnight. In the morning, combine oats and 1 cup of milk or water in a saucepan. Add flaxseeds, or raisins, and up to 1/4c. real maple syrup. Cook on med-low until creamy. Remove from heat. Enjoy with a topping of soaked walnuts or a sprinkle of brown sugar. Enjoy!

*If you find you have LOTS of extra oatmeal, and you want to change it up a little, try this:
Heat skillet or griddle on med-high heat. In a mixing bowl, beat 2-3 eggs. Add 1 tsp. vanilla, and 1/2 tsp. cinnamon. Add your already cooked oatmeal. Pour onto skillet in small pancake form. Flip when bottoms of cakes begin to brown and curl up. Enjoy with a little drizzle of maple syrup. DELICIOUS! 

Monday, May 2, 2011

Spinach and Ricotta Lasagna Rolls

A recipe I created tonight after seeing a similar one on allrecipes.com. This is a little healthier and SO TASTY!
I hope you enjoy it!

6 whole wheat lasagna noodles
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 oz. neufchatel cheese (the less expensive and tastier version of cream cheese)
1 c. part-skim ricotta cheese
2-4 c. spinach, washed, and chopped fine in food processor (more or less according to personal preference)
1/2 onion, diced, or 2 T. onion powder
1 can chicken breast in water (opt.)
1 can (15 oz) crushed tomatoes
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 375. Cook lasagna noodles according to directions. Combine all ingredients except crushed tomatoes in separate bowl. Set aside. Spoon in a little bit of the tomatoes on the bottom of a 9x13 pan. Take each noodle, lie it in the pan, and spoon in some of the ricotta mixture and spread it evenly along each noodle. Carefully roll the noodle up and lie finished end on the bottom. Fill all noodles, cover with remaining tomatoes, and top with sprinkles of mozzarella cheese. Bake for 30 minutes or until heated through. Enjoy!

Power Fruit Smoothie

It's been forever since I have posted something, but we loving New York City, and are enjoying the creative ways to cook here.
We bought some bananas and a mango while walking home one day, and decided to make a smoothie. Who knew it would be SO DELICIOUS! It was as if I was suddenly on a tropical island, and I enjoyed every moment of it! :-) So, in hopes of you getting to spend a moment on a tropical island and enjoy life, I'm sharing our creation with you now-
Ingredients:
1 Mango, peeled and cut off from pith
1 banana, peeled
1 apple, peeled and de-cored
1 cup non-fat, plain yogurt- I used greek yogurt
1/4c. coconut milk
ice or water to desired consistency

Combine all ingredients in blender, leaving ice for the last. Blend until smooth, adding water until desired consistency. Then add ice and blend until no large ice chunks remain. Share this with someone, and enjoy!

Friday, December 3, 2010

Whole Wheat and Oatmeal Pancakes

I make these on a regular basis, because my kids like pancakes, and I like to make them- especially when I can make them healthy! So, try them and see how you like them; the leftovers freeze great!
Start with:

1 c. whole wheat flour
1/2c. oats, ground in a food processor or blender
1/2 t. baking soda
1 1/2 t. baking powder
1 t. cinnamon
pinch of salt


Combine dry ingredients. In a separate bowl combine:

1/2 c. greek or plain, non-fat yogurt (kefir works too!)
1 c. lowfat milk (if you have it, combine 1/2 c. buttermilk and 1/2. lowfat milk!)
1 egg
1/2 banana, mashed
1 t. vanilla
1 T. honey

Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix well. You may need to add a little water to reach desired consistency, as they are initially a little thick. Add fresh or frozen fruit, or even chocolate chips, then cook 1/3 c. per pancake on griddle or large pan. Allow to cool completely before you freeze them. Enjoy!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Silky Sweet Potato Puree

You may think this is only baby food, but everyone I served it to, baby thru adults, gobbled up their firsts and seconds with requests for more. Don't be shy about how many sweet potatoes you do--they shrink a bit. We also sprinkled brown sugar (maybe 1 tsp. each 1/3 cup helping) on top and I added cinnamon to the puree. I didn't have buttermilk on hand so just used our 2% milk, but after what Amy has said about buttermilk I need to make sure I have some on hand next time I try it!

3 pounds while sweet potatoes, pricked with a fork
1/2 tsp. salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup whole milk
3 Tbsp. butter

Adjust oven rack to upper-middle position; heat to 425 degrees. Place potatoes on a foil-lined pan; bake 45-60 minutes, until tender. Peel when cool enough to handle. Puree with salt and pepper in a food processor (I used a blender). With motor running gradually add milks through feeder tube, then butter. Process until silken. Enjoy!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

3-Grain Salad with White Beans, Tomatoes, and Parmesan

Makes: 4 servings
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 55 minutes
Ingredients
1/2 cup hulled barley*
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup farro**
1/4 cup bulgur
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons minced red onion
1 smashed garlic clove
1 cup drained, rinsed cannellini beans
1 pint grape tomatoes, quartered
1 cup torn fresh basil leaves
3 tablespoons olive oil
Black pepper
1/4 cup shaved Parmesan
Directions
1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the barley and 1/2 teaspoon of the salt; boil for 30 minutes. Add the farro; boil for an additional 20 to 25 minutes or until both grains are just tender. Drain.
2. Meanwhile, bring 6 tablespoons of water to a boil in a small saucepan; add the bulgur. Bring the liquid back to a boil, then cover the pot, turn off the heat, and let sit for 25 minutes, until the water is absorbed.
3. In a large bowl, toss together the vinegar, onion, garlic, and remaining salt.
4. Add the grains to the vinegar mixture while still warm; toss well. Remove the garlic and stir in the beans, tomatoes, basil, and olive oil; season with black pepper to taste. Fold in the Parmesan and serve.
 
Nutrition facts per serving: 365 calories, 14g protein, 53g carbohydrate, 13g fat (2.5g saturated), 12g fiber
* With its chewy, pastalike texture, barley is a great addition to soups and stews. It's loaded with satisfying protein and fiber.
** A hearty grain with plenty of protein, farro is used in soups and salads. It has a distinct nutty taste. (If you don't have farro, Quinoa or Brown Rice would be a fine substitute!)

Friday, June 25, 2010

Lemony Quinoa

I got this recipe from www.allrecipes.com- it is better the longer you let it sit, and allow the lemon juice and seasonings to soak in! It's good by itself, or great with shrimp or chicken for a simple dinner!

Ingredients:
1/4c. pine nuts
1c. Quinoa, rinsed until water runs clear
2c. water (or broth)
1/4c. fresh lemon juice (fresh lemons make all the difference!)
2 stalks celery, chopped
1/4 red onion, chopped
1/4t. cayenne pepper
1/2t. ground cumin
1 bunch fresh parsley, chopped (you may substitute cilantro if desired)

Directions:
Toss the pine nuts in a dry skillet over medium heat stirring constantly until pine nuts start to brown, about 5 minutes. Set aside to cool.
In saucepan, combine quinoa, water (or broth) and salt. Bring to a boil the reduce heat and simmer until water is absorbed and quinoa is cooked, becoming translucent in color, and outside ring begins to separate. Cool slightly, then fluff with a fork. Transfer quinoa to serving bowl and add pine nuts and remaining ingredients, and toss lightly. Adjust salt and pepper if needed. Also, allow to sit for a few minutes before serving!  Refreshing and delicious for a summer meal!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Quinoa Pilaf

1 Tbsp. coconut oil
1/2c. chopped onion
2 carrots, chopped
1/2c. celery, chopped
1c. quinoa, rinsed
2c. vegetable broth
2/3c. chopped walnuts
1/4c. chopped fresh parsley (I've also used cilantro)

Heat oil in saucepan over medium heat. Saute onion for 5 minutes, or until translucent. Add carrot and celery, and saute for 5 more minutes. Stir in quinoa and broth and bring to a boil. Reduce to simmer, cover and cook 15 minutes, or until quinoa is tender and fluffy. In a bowl, toss quinoa together with walnuts and parsley. Serve hot or at room temperature.
I have often served this as a side dish, or add chicken or shrimp and serve as a meal! Enjoy!

Quinoa with Toasted Almonds and Cranberries

I got this recipe from the back of the package of quinoa I purchased, and it's delicious!

1 c. Quinoa, well rinsed and soaked for 30 minutes
1 1/2c. water (or reduced-sodium chicken or vegetable broth)
1 cube broth stock cube*(unless already using broth instead of water)
1/4t. salt
1/2c. blanched, sliced almonds
1 cinnamon stick
1 bay leaf
1/2c. dried cranberries

In 2 qt. saucepan, bring water and stock cube (or broth) to a boil. In a separate skillet on medium heat, stir and toast almonds until golden. Add quinoa, and stir and roast quinoa until dry and turning color. Transfer quinoa and almonds to a saucepan. Addbroth stock cube  (or just broth), salt, bay leaf, and cinnamon stick. Return to a boil, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to sit for 5 minutes. Fluff gently with a fork and serve.

This is great for breakfast, or a great snack when you need something sweet and savory!

Friday, June 11, 2010

Black bean veggie burger

Just made this on my grill for dinner and it was delicious! I freeze my burgers first and grill them in foil so they don't fall apart. This recipe is from allrecipes.com

Ingredients

1 (16 ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 green bell pepper, cut into 2 inch pieces
1/2 onion, cut into wedges
3 cloves garlic, peeled
1 egg
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 tablespoon cumin
1 teaspoon Thai chili sauce or hot sauce
1/2 cup bread crumbs
Directions

If grilling, preheat an outdoor grill for high heat, and lightly oil a sheet of aluminum foil. If baking, preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C), and lightly oil a baking sheet.
In a medium bowl, mash black beans with a fork until thick and pasty.
In a food processor, finely chop bell pepper, onion, and garlic. Then stir into mashed beans.
In a small bowl, stir together egg, chili powder, cumin, and chili sauce.
Stir the egg mixture into the mashed beans. Mix in bread crumbs until the mixture is sticky and holds together. Divide mixture into four patties.
If grilling, place patties on foil, and grill about 8 minutes on each side. If baking, place patties on baking sheet, and bake about 10 minutes on each side.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Yummy Kale Chips

My new favorite chip- yes, chip!
Okay, these aren't made from bread or potatoes, and they are a little difficult to dip or scoop salsa or dip, but they are crunchy, and oh so yummy! And, for the price of a bag of processed, unhealthy chips, you can buy a bunch of kale and make chips that even your husband will eat (isn't that even more of a feat than your children?) Sam eats these with me!

What you need:
1 bunch organic Kale (green or red, it doesn't matter)
1 T. coconut oil (warmed), or safflower oil
2 T. apple cider vinegar
2 T. (or more) grated Parmesan cheese
Pinch of salt
fresh ground pepper, to taste
Preheat oven to 350.
Remove all kale leaves from the stems, and tear into chip-size pieces. Rinse Kale well, and dry as thoroughly as possible. Combine dry ingredients in a small bowl, and set aside. Place kale in a large bowl. Combine oil and vinegar, and drizzle over kale. Toss with hands until well coated. sprinkle with salt and pepper, and toss again. Finally, toss with parmesan cheese until coated. Place on an ungreased baking sheet. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until slightly crispy.
Beware! You can eat all of these in ONE sitting! :-)

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Sweet Potato and Black Bean Enchiladas

I made these while visiting my sister in-law, and didn't have all the ingredients- so I improvised (as usual!) and they turned out great! They are healthy AND tasty! Enjoy!

For the Filling:
1 pkg./12 Tortillas (fajita/ burrito size- not the big ones)
1 1/2 lbs. (about 4) sweet potatoes, cooked and skinned
1 Tbsp. coconut oil
1 onion, chopped, or pureed
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 can or 2c. black beans, cooked
1 can or 1 to 1 1/2c. pinto beans, cooked
1-2 cans diced green chilies
1 Tbsp. cumin
2 tsp. chili powder
pinch of salt, and pepper to taste
1 Tbsp. Lime Juice (fresh is best)
1/4c. water
2 handfuls of cilantro, chopped

Preheat oven to 350.
Cook and peel potatoes, and cook beans as directed. Add oil to large skillet. Warm, then add onion and garlic, and saute for 30 seconds. (For lower fat, omit oil, and saute onion and garlic in 2 Tbsp. water). Add all ingredients, except tortillas and water. Mash with potato masher, and heat until just before it simmers. Add water slowly to desired consistency. Remove from heat. Add cilantro. Lay out tortillas in 2 9x13 baking dishes, and fill with mixture. Fold together and lay seem-side-down. Top with enchilada sauce recipe follows) and sharp cheddar cheese, cover, and bake for 20 minutes or until cheese is melted and enchiladas are warmed through.

Enchilada Sauce:

1 can crushed tomatoes, reduced sodium, or no salt added
1 c. salsa
1 tsp. chili powder (depending on your desire for spice)
1 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
1 can tomato paste

combine all ingredients in blender or food processor. You made need to add water until you reach desired consistency. Enjoy!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Avocado Wrap

This is one of our favorite summer time meals because it's cool, refreshing, light and its so easy:

Avocado Wrap

Tortillas or Pita Pocket Bread
Guacamole
Shredded Chicken
Spices

Boil your chicken until it's ready to shred and allow it to cool slightly while you make your guacamole. We make our guacamole by splitting it in half and filling half of the avocado with lime juice, half with salsa and sprinkling garlic salt to taste, but you could also use fresh garlic and a pinch of salt and then mash it all together. Mix chicken and guacamole well and wrap up in your tortilla or stuff your pita bread. A little cheese on top can be added too. Enjoy!

Homemade Bread

This is a super Yummy bread recipe from one of my very good friends who makes delicious bread and was kind enough to share her knowledge with me. Yesterday Amy and I made this and she experimented with using more wheat flour, some sprouted wheat flour and some oat flour and I expect she'll continue having fun with the recipe. Go to it and make your own homemade bread your own!

Wheat Bread

2 (.25 oz) package rapid rise yeast

1 tsp. White sugar

½ cup warm water (110 degrees F)

1 (12 oz) can evaporated milk

¼ cup warm water

¼ cup melted butter

¼ cup honey

2 tsp. Salt

3 cups whole wheat flour

2 cups bread or all-purpose flour


  1. Dissolve yeast and sugar in ½ cup warm water. Let stand until yeast becomes frothy, about 6-8 minutes.

  2. In a large bowl; combine milk, ¼ cup water, melted butter, honey, and salt. Mix well. Add wheat flour one cup at a time, mixing well with a wooden spoon. Mix the yeast mixture to the flour mixture, and let rest 15 minutes. Add white flour, mix and knead. Knead by hand for about 10 minutes or with mixer for 8 minutes. Your bread will be the right consistency when it springs back when you touch it. If it's sticky, add more flour slowly. Knead by hand one extra minute if you used a mixer. Place the dough in a greased bowl, and turn to coat. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Let dough rise for 1 hour, or until almost doubled.

  3. Punch down and divide dough in half. Roll out each half and knead a little. Form into loaves, and place in greased 9x5 inch bread pans. Butter tops of dough, if desired and cover loosely with plastic wrap. Let rise in a warm area until doubled; second rise should take about 45 minutes.

  4. Place a small pan of water on the bottom shelf of oven. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

  5. Bake 25-35 minutes, or until tops are golden brown. Another way to test doneness is by tapping the top of the bread. Hollow sound means it is done. Cool 10 minutes on side in pans and then take out and put onto rack. Slice. Freezes well.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

and the Tomato/Herb Favs!

These recipes are the reason I plant a garden!!!
GAZPACHO- from Salt Lake City Junior league cookbook & Malissa Arnold
4 cups Clamato juice (it's by the v-8 or with drink mixes with a blue label)
1/2 cup onion, chopped
1/3 cup olive oil

1/3 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup green pepper, chopped
3 tblsps parsley, minced
2 cloves (more!!!) garlic minced
1/4 teaspoon Tabasco sauce
salt and pepper to taste

According to the recipe you are supposed to combine the above ingredients, refrigerate for 6 hours or overnight and then proceed to the next list of ingredients- but honestly, I have made this in a hurry and it's been just fine and yummy! On to the "guts":

8 tomatoes, chopped
2 cucumbers, chopped
2 avocados, cubed
We have many ways we serve it. Always serve it cold, but don't freeze it because that's just gross. Some actually puree it, but again, I think that's gross. We like to eat it as a really chunky, dressing-y salad soup...
We used to do just shredded parmesan cheese, but then it snowballed into cheese, pine nuts and croutons.


BRUSCHETTA

Fresh mozzarella cheese (the "wet kind"- usually in Balls or a loaf)

Tomatoes

Fresh basil

Olive oil (extra virgin, with the flavor, tastes the best)

Salt and pepper to taste

You can prepare and serve this several different ways- you can dice all ingredients to make a kind of “salsa” / dip with cheese in it, or you can slice the tomatoes and cheese, and prepare your olive oil with the basil, salt and pepper and pour it over your finished product. You can use Italian bread slices as your “base” or some kind of cracker.


PESTO

2 cups fresh basil leaves, packed

1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan-Reggiano or Romano cheese

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

1/3 cup pine nuts or walnuts

3 medium sized garlic cloves, peeled

Salt and pepper to taste

Combine the basil in with the pine nuts, pulse a few times in a food processor. Add the garlic, pulse a few times more. Slowly add the olive oil in a constant stream while the food processor is on. Stop to scrape down the sides of the food processor with a rubber spatula. Add the grated cheese and pulse again until blended. Add a pinch of salt and pepper to taste. Good as a dip or tossed with pasta. Makes 1 Cup.