Category Archives: In the Kitchen

Basil Pesto

June 16, 2015

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While Jamie and I are patiently waiting for our garden to grow ripe tomatoes and peppers, we have been enjoying tons of fresh basil. And since we were just in Italy, we constantly have pesto on our minds and in our refrigerator. It’s easy, refreshing and super delicious!

Ingredients:
3 Cups of Fresh Basil (if you live in Raleigh and are not growing basil in your garden, you can find it at the Farmer’s Market or Whole Foods)
1/2 Cup of good quality Parmesan or Pecorino Cheese
1/3 Cup of Pine Nuts
1/3 Olive Oil
2 Garlic Cloves
Salt and Pepper to Taste

**Jamie and I have tweaked this recipe dependent on how we like the taste. I would encourage you to do the same if you like more or less garlic or cheese**

Directions:
1. Wash Basil and place all ingredients into a food processor
2. Process the ingredients on low and continue to high after scraping down the sides with a spatula. Process for a few minutes until the ingredients are creamy and smooth. It will last in a air tight container, in the refrigerator for 5-7 or in the freezer for up to 4 months.

Our most favorite way to use it: Basil Pesto Bruschetta. Slice french bread, toast with Olive Oil, and add pesto and chopped tomatoes and garlic!

More ways that we like to use Pesto:
– On turkey sandwiches
– As pizza sauce instead of marinara sauce
– Mixed with cold pasta salad
– Pasta Sauce (use by itself or add heavy cream and butter to make a pesto cream sauce)

Happy Summer! Enjoy!

Mixed Berry and Dark Chocolate Chip Sorbet

May 8, 2015

IMG_4975 If you know me, you’ll know that my favorite desserts include fruit and chocolate. As summer is quickly approaching, I’m excited to share this DELICIOUS recipe. It’s refreshing and fixes that ever so often sugar craving!

Makes about 5 cups (ten 1/2 cup servings)

Ingredients:
4 Cups of Frozen Mixed Berries
1/2 Cup of Sugar (the original recipe calls for 1 1/2 cups but we don’t think all that sugar is necessary)
2 Cups of Water
Pinch of table salt
1 Cup of Dark Chocolate Chips

Directions:
1. Prepare a simple syrup with the water and sugar by combining both in a medium saucepan set over medium-low heat. Stir frequently and cook mixture until the sugar is fully dissolved.
2. Once the simple syrup is ready, add the salt and the raspberries. Using an immersion blender (we use our Ninja Blender) and blend the mixture until smooth.
3. Strain half of the mixture through a fine mesh strainer to remove the seeds. Use a spatula to aid in passing the puree through the strainer. Remove seeds and repeat with the second half.
4. Cover and refrigerate 2 to 3 hours or overnight (We always do ours overnight)
5. Turn on ice cream maker (We use the Cuisinart Ice Cream Maker); pour the mixture into the frozen freezer bowl and add dark chocolate chips. Mix until thickened, about 15 to 20 minutes.

*The sorbet will have a soft, creamy texture. If a firmer consistency is desired, transfer the sorbet to an airtight container and place in freezer for about 2 hours. Remove from freezer about 15 minutes before serving.

Recipe from Cuisinart Recipe Booklet, tweaked by me. 

Colorful Avocado Salsa

February 2, 2015

IMG_3938Today, I’m excited to share a recipe that is made at least once a week in our house! Jamie and I love to entertain and this has been my go to dip for the past couple months. It’s easy, colorful and absolutely delicious! Enjoy!

Ingredients:
1 can of yellow whole kernel corn (drained & rinsed)
1 can of organic black beans (drained & rinsed)
4 small tomatoes chopped (I leave out the watery seed mix in the middle to keep the dip from being too soggy)
1/2 of a finely chopped red onion
2 chopped avocados
Lime Juice to taste
Cilantro to taste
Salt and Pepper to taste

Directions:
This is not necessary, but I make the dip the morning that I am going to eat it. It allows for all the ingredients to marinate longer! Finely chop red onion, tomatoes and cilantro, add to large bowl. Drain and rinse canned corn and black beans, add to red onion, tomatoes and cilantro. Season with salt, pepper and juice with half of a lime. Put ceran wrap over and place in the refrigerator for the day. Right before you are about to serve, add chopped avocado and the other half of the lime juice. Serve with tortilla chips! My favorite are Sanitas! They are only $2 and super salty!