September 28, 2016

Loooove me some pesto. 

1/2 c grated Parm or pecorino cheese

3-4 cloves garlic

1/4 c roasted nuts – sunflower or pumpkin for the budget friendly version. 

 2.5 c lightly packed basil leaves (+ parsley if you want to dilute a bit)

1/2 t salt

1 T lemon juice (especially if you’re freezing)

3/4 – 1 c EVOO (or grape seed)

Directions: if you’re starting with block cheese, granulate this in the food processor with the blade attachment first and set aside. No need for the grater as the cheese is so hard.

Put whole, peeled cloves of garlic into the empty food processor and once minced keep them there. Add seeds and as much of the leaves as you can with a bit of oil and mix it up until combined. Add the rest of the leaves, salt and lemon juice and combine well. Stream in the oil and you’re done! 

I like to freeze this in ice cube trays and use it whenever I want. Who has all this time on a regular basis?! 

Good reference for mixing it up 

If you have lots you can 4x or 6x this recipe and it just fits into one 13 quart food processor! 

Avocado Dressing

April 19, 2016
Makes: 1 cup dressing
  • 1 ripe avocado
  • ¼ cup white wine vinegar
  • Juice of one lemon (use a good citrus juicer, like this one)
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • ¾ cup extra virgin olive oil
  1. In a food processor, combine avocado, vinegar, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Run processor until very smooth and creamy.
  2. With processor running on low, stream in olive oil through the shoot until just combined.


Thai Quinoa Salad

February 16, 2016

A nice mix up from the normal quinoa salad where I do either Mexican or Mediterranian flavors. I doubled this the first time I made it to make enough salads for both husband and I for the week and it was too much. This would be great for a lunch or as a side at a summer BBQ or dinner. 

Makes about 8 side servings. 



  • 1-2 cups cooked quinoa
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 carrot, peeled and shredded
  • 1 cucumber, chopped
  • 1 cup frozen edamame, thawed
  • 6 green onions, chopped
  • 1-2 cups shredded/chopped red cabbage


  • 4 teaspoons fish sauce
  • 2-3 limes, juiced
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • pinch of red pepper flakes


  • ½ cup chopped peanuts
  • ½ cup chopped cilantro
  • ¼ cup chopped basil


Combine all salad ingredients, wisk dressing and combine. Reserve toppings for just before you eat (although the herbs can be mixed in prior).  


Roasting Veggies

February 16, 2016

At 400 degrees: 

Broccoli 16 minutes

Asparagus 25 minutes

Mediterranean One Pan Dinner

February 1, 2016

YES is all you need to say. 


1 small red onion

1 pint of cherry or grape tomatoes

1.25-1.5 lbs chicken, cubed (or you could do bone-in thighs)

1 14oz can of marinated artichoke hearts, quartered

1 14 oz can of white beans, drained & rinsed

4 garlic cloves, sliced

1/4 c calamata olives, pitted & chopped

8 oz fresh mozzarella or feta

6-10 fresh chopped basil leaves

MUST HAVE either fancy deelicious bread or pasta. 


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Slice the red onion into smaller individual slices and put on the pan with the tomatoes and EVOO and S+P.  Mix well and bake for 15-20 minutes or until the tomatoes split and the red onion is soft. 

While that’s going, marinate the chicken chunks in just enough of the juice from the artichoke can to coat the chicken – you’ll want the rest later. 

While that’s sitting, chop the rest of your stuff, get the beans ready, etc. 

Cook the chicken mostly in a frying pan, set aside. 

By now your roasting should be done. Add the chicken, artichokes, beans, olives, garlic cloves to the pan and return to the oven for 7-10 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through. 

Remove and add cheese and basil. Serve over pasta, with bread, whatever carb you choose. 

Pesto Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

October 5, 2015

These are really rich just by themselves so pair with tomato soup.


1 large loaf of chiabata bread

1/2 block of sharp cheddar cheese, sliced

1/2 block of havarti cheese, sliced

1/2 stick of butter

4 cubes or 1/2 cup pesto


Heat your griddle to medium heat. 

Lightly butter the inside of the sandwich and place butter side down. 

Butter the outside of the bread as the insdie cooks. 

After you flip the bread put pesto on the inside of one piece of bread and put slices of cheese on both sides, one of each kind and put the pieces together. 

Cover with a lid to meldd the cheese and squish the sandwich. 

Flip and cover with a lid. 

Cut and serve!
Adapted from 

Garden Fresh Tomato Basil Soup

October 5, 2015

When someone throws tomatoes at you, make this and pair with grilled cheese.  It’s knock-your-socks-off good and perfect for a fall football day. 


3 lbs fresh tomatoes, any kind (no need to seed or peel)

1 red bell pepper 

4 cloves garlic, roughly chopped

1/2 yellow onion, diced

4 T fresh basil, chopped

2 T fresh oregano, chopped

1 T balsamic vinegar



A pinch of sugar if your tomatoes aren’t sweet enough

1/3 – 1/2 cup of heavy cream to your liking


Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. 

Cut the tomatoes in half and place on a rimmed baking sheet. Seed and cut the red pepper in half and add to the baking sheet. Drizzle with EVOO and some salt. Roast for 45 minutes. 

Cook the onion and garlic in the pot you’d eventually like the soup in.  

Add the onions, garlic, and all tomatoes to a blender or food processor and make it smooth.  

Pour back into the pot and add the herbs, balsamic vinegar, cream and S&P to taste.  You won’t even need to heat it back up.  



Pico de Gallo

October 5, 2015

When you have too many tomatoes and are really in the mood to chop. 


6-7 romas, seeded & diced

1 green pepper, seeded & diced

1 small red or white onion, diced

1 jalapeno, seeded & diced

1 lemon, juiced

1 ime, juiced

1/2 bunch cilantro, diced



Prep the tomatoes and place in a colander over a bowl and cover in salt. Let it sit and drain for 30 minutes. 

Combine the all of the ingredients in a bowl and let it sit overnight. 

Zucchini Bread

September 20, 2015

Healthier version of a garden classic.

Makes 2 loaves



1.5 c White Flour

1.5 c Wheat Flour

3 t cinnamon

1 t salt

1 t baking soda

1 t baking powder


4 eggs

1 c sugar

Total 1 cups of greek yoghurt (flavor or plain), apple sauce, milk and/or vegetable oil. Do not use all Greek yoghurt or the dough gets gummy.

3 t vanilla

–Fold in

3 cups shredded zucchini

1 c walnuts (optional)


Preheat the oven to 325 and grease two bread pans. 

Combine dry ingredients in one bowl, whisk. 

Combine wet ingredients in another bowl, whisk. 

Combine the dry and wet until they’re consistent and fold in the other ingredients. 

Bake for about 50 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean.  Cool in pans on a wire rack for 20 minutes.

Bloody Mary Mix with Fresh Tomatoes

September 20, 2015

Yeilds about 4 quarts (or about 16 cups), plus some (so about 10-16 bloody drinks depending on size of glass and how you mix them)


8 lbs of roma tomatoes, quartered (about 8 romas/lb so about 65 romas total)

  • If using heirloom or other, see tomato conversion chart 
  • 3 med globe tomatoes = 1 lb
  • 2 cups chopped tomatoes = 1 lb

3 green peppers, chopped

3 carrots, diced

3 celery ribs, diced

1 small onion, diced

3 garlic cloves, diced

1 bunch of italian parsely leaves, looseley chopped

1″ piece of fresh ginger, peeled & chopped

3 small or 1 lg banana peppers, chopped (not the canned kind) (optional)


1/4 c sugar

1/2 c lemon juice

1.5 T salt

generous grinds of fresh black pepper to taste

1/5 t hot sauce

1 T worstichire 

1 T Horseraddish


Canning stuff & 4-5 quart jars and lids

2 large stock pots (I doubled this recipe and did all the veggies accept tomatoes in my dutch oven, then 1 batch of tomatoes in the tall duch oven, and two more batches of tomatoes in the regular duch oven. This was the worst…accept the strainer.  You need two because you cook in one, batch in the food processor and strain into the other and you want to keep it hot for canning. It’d be worth borrow ione if you only have one.)

Fine mesh strainer  or better yet a food mill – large and commercial grade (Even though it was two batches, straining this amount of crap through my super fine mesh sieve was the worst thing ever. I will never do this again.)

Food processor


Go easy on yourself and chop all the veggies a day ahead of time and place them in the stock pot in the fridge. Let it come to room temp before putting it on the stovetop. Also go easy on ourself and do this on a Saturday or Sunday where you have a long time to puts and can. 

Place all the chopped vegetables (including tomatoes) in large Dutch oven. Add a splash of water just to get things started and not burn the bottom, cover the pot, and cook until the vegetables are mushy, 30 – 40 minutes. 

–> While you’re waiting, this would be a great time to wash your jars and lids and stuff if you need to

Stir occasionally, breaking up the vegetables with the back of a spoon. When everything is mushy, leave to cool for a few minutes.

–>If you’re going to can, this would be a good time to fillthe pot with your jars, water and turn the heat to high to sterilize for 10 min under a rolling boil.  When done, kill the heat and leave the pot of hot water and all jars in there.

Working in batches, carefully puree the vegetables in a blender/food processor. When each batch is done, press it through a fine sieve, extracting as much liquid as possible. Discard the pulp left behind. Return all the extracted liquid to the pot. 

Add the sugar, lemon juice, salt, pepper, Worcestershire, horseradish and hot sauce. Bring the mix to a boil and boil for 3 minutes.

You can now cool the mix, pour it into a pitcher, chill it and use it right away, or can it in quart jars for long term storage. You can also cool it, pour it into ziptop freezer bags or freezer jars and freeze it for up to six months.


Now that your cans are sterilized, remove the jars and put them on a towel so they’re ready for the recipe. 

Ladle the hot mix into a large measuring jug or gravy separator for easy pouring. Fill each of your warm jars with the hot mix, leaving a ½ inch head space. 

Process the jars for 40 minutes in a boiling water bath. 

 If you have a bit of extra mix, pour it into a refrigerator container and keep in the fridge for up to a week.

Freeze for 6 months of storage or can for 1 year of storage. 
Adapted From: