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Filtering by Tag: recipes

Pepita Pesto

katie oster

Whenever we are not traveling over the weekend, which is quite rare, we like to make a trip to our local farmer’s market. I must brag, this isn’t just any old farmer's market. It is held at Fort Mason Center in the Marina district which sits on the water and is graced with the presence of the Golden Gate bridge in the background. It is one of our most favorite Sunday morning activities.

This past week the fruits and vegetables were looking real good and, of course, I ended up buying way too much but how can you resist some of the freshest, most luscious, organic food around. After a week of trying to use everything that I purchased I was left with a bunch of basil. So what do I do when I have basil that is on the verge of going bad...I make pesto!!

Pesto is one of the easiest things to make, I mean you use one piece of equipment and we all know that I like anything that has minimal clean up!

I decided to have a little fun and I came up with my own pesto recipe. What resulted after some playing around was a lemony, earthy, thick pesto. I like thicker pestos because I usually add some of the pasta cooking water to it to add some starch but you can definitely add more olive oil or water during the blending process if you like it on the thinner side.

Many pesto recipes call for cheese usually parmesan. I chose to exclude cheese from my recipe to make it a bit healthier and I tend to add A TON of cheese to my pasta once plated so I make up for it later.

Classically, pesto uses pine nuts and after I had set my mind on making pesto I only then realized that I didn’t have any on hand. If you haven’t learned this already, you’ll soon realize that I don’t worry too much if I don’t have a particular called for ingredient. More often than not I have a substitutes in my kitchen, I just have to get a little creative.

So after surveying all of the nuts I had, I landed on pepitas. Pepitas aka pumpkin seeds (I just like the way pepitas sounds) are a wonderful source of protein and add something special to the pesto. I think the pepitas add to the thick, velvety texture and give it a nice nutty, earthy flavor. You can sub the traditional pine nuts, walnuts, or even almonds. Do whatever is easiest for you!

Have fun with the recipe. Make it your own, try adding cheese, red pepper flakes, whatever suits your tastebuds. My motto is it doesn’t have to be perfect but it does have to be homemade :) 

Peptia Pesto

  • 2 cloves garlic
  • Juice of a lemon
  • 1/4 cup pepitas/raw unsalted pumpkins needs
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 oz/3 cups packed packed basil
  • 2.5 tablespoons olive oil

Blend all ingredients in your food processor until desired consistency is reached. 



Want to read more? Check out one or all of these related posts. 

recipe tested: whole 30 mocha

katie oster

I recently came across a recipe for a homemade mocha. It is compliant with the rules of Whole 30, think Paleo-esque. I do not follow a Whole 30 or Paleo diet but was looking for a way to amp up my morning coffee. I’m not a fan of Starbucks or other coffee shop drinks since you don’t know how much sugar is actually going into your cup of joe or latte or mocha.

The second reason I gravitated to this recipe was that I had all of the ingredients (3 in total) on hand – coffee, coconut milk (from a can), and cacao nibs. Cacao nibs are up there on my list of favorite superfoods. They add a nice chocolatey flavor without being too rich and add a bit of texture. Another superfood that would be a nice addition would be a dash of cinnamon. Cinnamon, in my opinion, is a very underestimated spice and has tons of health benefits so I like to use it wherever I can. 

The beauty of this recipe is that you get to play a little game of "a little bit of this, a little bit of that." The amount of each ingredient is totally up to you and your taste buds. Isn't liberating to be so free with your measurements!

So since today is Friday I thought “why not spice up my morning coffee, I mean TGIF”! So I made some of my favorite drip coffee, New Mexico PiñonCoffee from Trader Joe’s, pulled out my handy dandy Ninja blender and got to work. I have individual blender cups which I love because you can drink right from the blender cup – love a time saver in the clean up department. Well if you choose to use a blender cup, a quick word to the wise, DO NOT SHAKE. I am serious! I thought it was a good idea to shake the blender cup with the piping hot coffee, coconut milk, and cacao nibs to incorporate it a bit before blending but that was a big no no. The warmth of the coffee caused a bit of a pressure build up in the cup creating a nice spray of coffee all over my kitchen, white bath robe, and white walls. There goes the short clean up time.

Ok back to my mocha. After my blender cup misstep, I cautiously blended my concoction (with a towel over it just in case) and what resulted was a luscious, frothy, delicious homemade mocha. It was exactly what I needed to get my Friday started and I highly recommend it for the next time you are in the mood to spice up your morning routine and the best part, you can save that $4 that you would have spent at your local coffee shop. Enjoy!

christmas in our new home

Emily Oster

As I have mentioned, this Christmas will be the first Christmas that Jeff and I host in our new home. We have never hosted Christmas in St. Louis or anywhere else for that matter so we are excited to start some new traditions of our own. Our St. Louis themed activities will include a trip to the Fox to see A Christmas Story - a Mitchell family favorite, a carriage ride through Tilles Park - a local park that puts on a huge light display, a dinner out to the cozy Italian bistro I Fratellini and maybe even some ice skating. Other plans for the approaching festive week include lots of holiday movies, evening walks to view neighborhood light displays, last minute shopping and COOKING.

Jeff and I love to cook so we are going to take this opportunity to try some new recipes and make some more elaborate and time consuming meals. So far the big menu items include homemade chicken noodle (or dumpling) soup, rack of lamb for Christmas Eve and braised short ribs for Christmas day. I am still searching for sides for our two big meals as well as a yummy brunch dish. Any recommendations? 

In addition to all the cooking, I hope to do some baking as well. I am much more of a cook than a baker so I am thinking baking can be one of my new special holiday traditions. I am particularly interested in making cookies. My grandmother was always in charge of the holiday cookies growing up and my sister sort of took over that role in recent years so this will be a fun little adventure for me. The big problem of course is choosing a recipe. There are some many seemingly delicious ones out there and I am not sure how I will select just a few. Some contenders are: 

I figure at least one chocolate focused cookie is a must and this recipe looks pretty outrageous. I can almost taste the sweet and salty combination. 

This would be my "I don't have to feel so guilty eating these because they are gluten-free cookies" because you know gluten-free means they aren't bad for you....These would also be my experiment cookies as I have never baked with almond paste before. I can just imagine some afternoon tea by the wood burning stove with these yummies...

Linzer Stars  by Martha Stewart

Linzer Stars by Martha Stewart

I have always wanted to make a Linzer cookie as I just think they are so pretty and festive. I also figure I could easily make a few different kinds with all the jam I have sitting in my pantry and fridge. 

Any readers have amazing go to holiday cookie recipes I should try?