Month: July 2014

Basil Pesto

In the ongoing development of my urban garden, I continue to plant basil in any place I can find extra space. It’s in my herb box amongst its friends, downstairs n the garden with the tomatoes, and it even has its very own individual pot on our balcony. This is because I think everything tastes better with basil. It’s just one of those flavors I can’t seem to get enough of.
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One of my favorite things to do with basil is make pesto, it’s a great way to change the sharp flavor into something more palatable and easy to use. The great thing about pesto is, you can change the taste and texture by using different types of basil and different nuts. And it’s SO EASY to make.

Here’s a basic pesto recipe you can play around with:

2 cups fresh basil leaves (try with different types!)
½ cup pine nuts (or cashews/walnuts)
2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
½ cup Parmesan cheese

Method:

Lightly toast nuts, and then put all the ingredients into a food processor and process until smooth. Easy peezy.

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Hint:: I don’t add salt or pepper to my pesto. Most things Jake and I will add salt and pepper to when the plate is in front of us, and so to keep the sodium intake down I try and keep salt out of the cooking process. It doesn’t always work but it’s a great habit to get into where possible.
It’s super delicious with poached eggs on toast. DSC_0761

 

 

Blackberry Coulis

Having only been living in Seattle one month, I’m still constantly surprised by the amount of food that grows in this city. Every time I go out for a harvest, one thing I find in abundance is blackberries. I hate the thought of all this incredible food going to waste, so one thing that’s going to be on my mind this summer is how to use the crazy amount of blackberries I’m finding. DSC_0759 The first recipe I have to offer: Blackberry Coulis. A very simple, delicious, high in antioxidant sauce that tastes amazing on just about anything sweet. We ate it on frozen custard, but it would also be delicious with mascarpone on your breakfast toast. Recipe as follows: 2 cups Water ½ cup Sugar 3 tablespoons Honey 1 teaspoon Cinnamon 5 Cloves 2 tablespoons Lemon Juice 3 cups Blackberries Method: Bring water, sugar, honey and lemon juice to boil on stove, the turn down the heat and let simmer until it turns to syrup. Blend the blackberries (and sift out the seeds if you don’t like them). Mix syrup and blackberries together on low heat and let cool. End result: Delicious. DSC_0426 Hint:: Every time I make anything with sugar, I try and substitute as much as possible with honey. Simply because sugar is in just about everything we eat, it’s much to easy to over-consume and it’s effects on the body are only just starting to be understood. Honey is a great sweetener and has such a smooth flavor, in most instances, it does exactly the same job.

India.

not all those who wander

I love this quote. Though at this point in my life of wandering, I was definitely lost.

Most people are surprised when they find out India was the first country I ever traveled to; especially when they further find out I was only 20 years old, and I went on my own. But from as early as I can remember, I simply felt compelled to go. Dominique Lapierre, in his book “The City of Joy” created visions in my head of the depths of poverty, suffering, heartache that was experienced every single day, and I deeply wanted to understand it. Why them and not me?

I had little choice in going to India; it was simply something I had to do. It was never something I expected to enjoy; it was something I wanted to endure. An initiation of sorts, into a life I knew I wanted to live but also one which really scared me.  I knew that if I could travel through India for a month on my own, there were few other places that could overwhelm me. And I made it, all the way through, without any traumas.  But only just.

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A human rickshaw driver, taking me to my volunteer job.

I know I was hoping to find something in that incredibly vast country. I had hoped in some way it would connect me more deeply to my soul, that one month alone in a country so bizarre to me would force me to figure some things out. But in fact, it did the opposite. It confused me further and detached me more. It stripped back layers I thought I’d already removed, and when I got on the plane to leave, I felt completely raw.

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A monk on the Ganges in Varanasi

What I found in my state of rawness, was an anxious, insecure and anguished individual. And although I didn’t know it at the time, that was exactly what I needed to realize about myself.  India revealed my truth to me, which was exactly what I was seeking; I was only hoping it would look a little prettier.