Parsley Walnut Pesto

Parsley Walnut Pesto

Summer is my least favorite season.

I know, I know, you think I’m nuts.

I love the really mild summer days. You know, when it’s barely 70º F and there is a beautiful breeze. If summer was like that, It would be my 2nd favorite season. But it doesn’t! Most summers here are disgustingly hot with a side of gross humidity.

There are a couple of things that I love about summer though. So while it’s not necessarily my favorite season, there are some things that make me look forward to it.

Like, local ice cream stands being open, farmers markets, Amish country produce auctions, annnnd MY GARDEN!

My garden makes me ridiculously happy. I typically have to wait until May to begin planting, but by July my garden is exploding with herbs and veggies. This year I have eggplant (we’ll see if they actually grow), zucchini (epic fail, sigh), tomatoes (green zebras, heirloom, sweet 100’s, & San Marzano), tomatillos (these are going nuts), dill, thyme, oregano, basil (5 varieties), sage, parsley, raspberries, blueberries, orange mint, mint, tarragon, pineapple sage, and stevia.

Whew!

The Japanese beetles and slugs killed off my huge zucchini plants this year. I really should just scrap the zucchini. Everyone else grows so much of it that it’s so easy to get a hold of at a very good price.

But the herbs, oh my goodness, my herbs! They are growing like crazy. The sage, thyme, and oregano come back every year. I just let them die off and I leave them, by the spring they start turning green again, it’s awesome. I have to plant parsley and basil every year, but they grow like weeds. I’m harvesting a lot of basil, sage, and oregano now, to dry it in my dehydrator, and then I’ll do a huge batch of basil pesto towards September when I harvest the leaves again.  My parsley has really taken off this year, to the point that last night I was worried that I might waste it. There is nothing worse than wasting what you have grown. So I sat down to jot down some ideas for the parsley. So get ready for a couple more Parsley related posts before the summer is over.

Guys, parsley isn’t just for garnishing a dish. Oh no, it lends itself beautifully to a bright pesto that has a peppery bite. If you have never had parsley pesto, you’re missing out. It’s a nice change from the usual basil pesto, it’s not as sweet and it has a deep pepper flavor that is absolutely delicious. I feel like the Parmesan and walnuts really shine through when using parsley vs. basil. I made a batch of this pesto last night, spooned it into silicone ice cube trays, and froze it overnight. This morning I popped the pesto cubes out and put them in a freezer bag. I will use these all fall and winter long. When I want a quick lunch or dinner I just grab a few cubes and throw them into a saucepan, heat over low heat, and throw my cooked pasta in, tossing to coat.

Parsley Pesto

Parsley Walnut Pesto

  • 2 C Parsley, stemmed and packed
  • 1 C Walnuts
  • 3/4 C Parmesan
  • 1/2 tsp. Kosher salt
  • 2/3 C Olive oil
  • 3 Large garlic cloves, minced

Directions

  1. Add parsley, walnuts, Parmesan, salt, and garlic to a food processor. Turn on high and let it run for about 30 seconds. Begin adding olive oil very slowly until it is all incorporated.
  2. Serve immediately or spoon into an ice cube tray and freeze to use at a later date.

* I like my pesto to be on the smooth side. If you like a chunky pesto, pulse your ingredients a few times until it just starts to come together, and then add your olive oil until you get your desired consistency.

Mongolian Beef

Mongolian Beef

It’s Friday!

Finally!

I want to do a happy dance!

This week has been really slow for me and I have no idea why. Nothing out of the ordinary and nothing major happened. It has just drug by. Slowly. Like a herd of turtles stampeding through molasses.

But, it’s finally Friday. I don’t know about you, but typically by Friday I want an easy recipe that comes together quickly so I can just relax and do nothing at all.

I recently found a copy of an old Chinese cookbook my mom has and I have been in the mood for Chinese food ever since. Actually, obsessing would probably be a better description.

So, lets combine my hankering for Chinese with my need for a quick and easy, but super delicious meal! Bam! You get my Mongolian beef! This dish is a snap to make and it is so flavorful. My grocery store has sticky rice in the frozen section and it’s a lifesaver. We eat it all the time. I always have a few boxes on hand for meals like this. If you want to go searching for it, the brand is InnovAsian.

Mongolian Beef AccidentallyDomesticated

Mongolian Beef

  • 1 lb. Flank steak, cut in strips against the grain
  • 1/2 tsp. Fresh ginger, peeled and grated
  • 4 cloves Garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp. Sherry
  • 3 tsp. Vegetable oil
  • 1/2 C Soy sauce, 1/4 C regular soy and 1/4 C low sodium soy combined
  • 1/4 C Water
  • 1/4 C + 1 Tbsp. Brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. Rice vinegar
  • 1/2 Tbsp. + 1 tsp. Cornstarch, separated
  • 1/2 C Green onion, chopped
  • 1 Egg white

Directions

  1. In a medium bowl, combine egg white, 1/2 Tbsp. cornstarch, and steak strips. Toss with your hands to combine. Let sit for 10 minutes.
  2. In a medium saucepan, mix together sherry, soy sauce, water, brown sugar, rice vinegar, and remaining 1 tsp. cornstarch. Bring to a boil and allow to simmer, about 3-4 minutes, or until thickened slightly.
  3. In a wok, heat 2 tsp. oil over medium-high heat until oil shimmers. Add steak and saute until steak is seared, but not fully cooked in the center, about 2-3 minutes. Remove and set aside to drain on a paper towel lined plate.
  4. Over medium-high heat, heat remaining 1 tsp. oil in wok and saute garlic and ginger, about 1 minute. Add beef and sauce mixture to the wok and stir to combine. Turn heat up to high and stir frequently for about 2 more minutes, or until sauce has thickened considerably. Serve over rice with green onions.

Taco Pasta

 

 

 

Taco. Pasta. OMG.

Taco Pasta

Lets file this away under the “way late to this party” category.

Lets also file this under “one of my new favorite meals that I will eat every day for 4 days after until the leftovers are all gone. Cold or hot!”

Okay, so I have seen the taco pasta pictures on Pinterest before and I have to be honest, it just never appealed to me. It looked pretty basic, bland, and kind of gross to me. Crazy, I know.

Everyone seems to have their own version of this dish, the majority of them being noodles, cream cheese, and taco mix. I’m all for easy meals, but that’s just a little too basic for me. I needed to add a few extra elements. Whoever came up with the original idea for taco pasta, while I had to put my own spin on it, my hat is off to you! This is so flipping good. Your family will devour it, I promise.

Taco Pasta- Accidentally Domesticated

Taco Pasta

  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 1 pkg Mccormick taco seasoning
  • 1 can tomatoes with green chilies (do not drain)
  • 16 oz. pasta, shells
  • 6 oz. whipped cream cheese
  • 1/2 C sour cream
  • 1/4 C cilantro, minced
  • 2 tsp. olive oil

Directions

  1. In a large pan with high sides, brown ground beef over medium-high heat. Drain excess fat and transfer beef to a bowl. Set aside.
  2. In same pan, heat olive oil over medium-high heat, saute onion until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and saute 2 minutes more.
  3. Meanwhile, cook noodles until al dente. Drain and set aside.
  4. Add ground beef to onion/garlic mixture and stir to combine. Add tomatoes w/chilies and cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes. Add cream cheese, taco seasoning, and sour cream. Stir well until everything is combined.
  5. Add cooked noodles and cilantro, toss to coat the noodles well. Serve with shredded Mexican cheese.

Grilled Lobster with Garlic Herb Butter

Hellllooooo summer!

This.

Grilled Lobster with Herb Butter

THIS is summer food in my eyes!

My local grocery store had a sale on live lobsters the other day and I happily scooped a few up. Good for me. Bad for the lobsters.

Of course my husband wanted me to make lobster bisque. And don’t get me wrong, I love a good bisque. I was totally down for bisque. Except I needed to eat lobster meat straight from the shell, doused in butter! So, I parboiled the lobsters and then froze one to use at a later time in a bisque. The other one? Ooohhhh man, the other one. I’m getting hungry just thinking about how delicious it was. I split that sucker straight down the middle, brushed an herb butter all over the meat, and grilled it.

I might have actually licked the shells when we were all done.

Yeah, not my finest moment.

I regret nothing.

 

Grilled Lobster with Herb Butter

  • 1  Live lobster (1 to 1 1/2 lb.)
  • 1 Stick butter
  • 2 Tbsp. Parsley, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp. Chives, chopped
  • 4 Cloves garlic, minced

Directions

  1. Bring a deep pot of water to a rolling boil. Plunge lobster in head first. Boil for about 4-5 minutes, then transfer lobster to a large bowl of ice water to immediately stop the cooking process.
  2. Pull the claws off and then split the lobster straight down the middle with a large knife or cleaver. Using the tip of the knife, carefully puncture a hole or two in the claws.
  3. Combine melted butter, parsley, chives, and garlic in a bowl and set aside with a grill brush.
  4. Heat a grill over medium-high heat and lightly oil the grates. Brush lobster all over with butter and place flesh side down and cook for 4 minutes. Flip, baste with more butter, and cook for another 4 minutes. Do this with the claws as well. Remove from the grill and enjoy.

Scallops with Wasabi Vinaigrette

Scallops served with a sweet wasabi vinaigrette. YES!

Happy Monday to you!

Scallops with Wasabi Vinaigrette

It’s probably the wasabi, but this dish reminds me of my favorite sushi dishes. I can always eat sushi, but sometimes I go through phases where I want it every other day. Like, I crave it really bad. So I eat it for lunch and then pick it up on the way home for dinner. If my husband ever turned down sushi, I would think he was sick. There’s this sushi place that he has been taking me to since before we ever started dating. He has been going there since it first opened and was nothing but a hole in the wall. It has now expanded considerably since he first took me, and while we aren’t as happy with how mainstream it has become, and how rude some of the waitstaff is, the sushi rolls remain the same. I have stopped trying sushi in other restaurants, it just isn’t anywhere near as good as “our spot”.

These scallops are quickly sauteed and then drizzled with a wasabi vinaigrette. I served them over my orange orzo with basil, and the flavors worked really well together. You can use large sea scallops or bay scallops, just make sure they are labeled “dry” scallops. My plan was to use large sea scallops, but my grocery store didn’t have dry scallops. So I went with a package of Faroe Island dry scallops, they worked out just as well.

 

Scallops with Wasabi Vinaigrette

For the Vinaigrette

  • 2 tsp. Wasabi paste
  • 3 Tbsp. Soy sauce
  • 3 Tbsp. Rice vinegar
  • 3 Tbsp. Vegetable oil, divided
  • 2 tsp. Brown sugar
  • 2 tsp. Peeled, grated, fresh ginger

 

  • 1 lb. Dry scallops
  • 2 Tbsp. Vegetable oil
  • Salt and pepper

Directions

  1. Combine all vinaigrette ingredients in a medium bowl and whisk together. Set aside.
  2. Pat scallops dry and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  3. Heat 1 Tbsp. of oil over medium-high heat in a large nonstick skillet. Arrange scallops in a single layer, leaving space around each one. Cook for 3-5 minutes, turn each scallop, and cook for an additional 3-5 minutes, or until just cooked through. Repeat with remaining scallops, if needed.
  4. Drizzle scallops with vinaigrette and serve immediately.

Orange Orzo with Basil

How was your weekend?

Did anyone else binge watch OITNB like I did?

Ohhhh, hubby took me to see Jurassic World. It was amazing. Personally, I really love the long necks, and yes, that is the correct term for them. In my world anyway. I think it goes back to when I was a kid and I watched Land Before Time, and I loved Little Foot and his mom. It still makes me cry when his mom dies. Ugh.

So in other news, check this out!

Orange

Orange infused orzo! With Parmesan! And a hint of basil!

Can you tell I’m excited?

I could seriously eat this every day. Side dish. Main dish. Whatever, just pile it up high on my plate!

The orzo is boiled in orange juice and then rinsed off, before it gets mixed with fresh Parmesan cheese, and ribbons of fresh basil.

This is summer food.

I haven’t tried it yet, but i’m pretty sure that this would be just as good as a cold “pasta salad” served at a family picnic. Try it. Let me know how it works.

 

Orange Orzo with Basil

  • 4 C orange juice
  • 1 C water
  • 1 Tbsp. vegetable oil or olive oil
  • 1 tsp. salt, plus more to taste
  • 8 oz. orzo
  • 4 Tbsp. butter
  • 6 large fresh basil leaves, chopped
  • 4 Tbsp. Parmesan cheese, plus more to garnish

Directions

  1. In a large saucepan, bring orange juice, water, oil, and salt to a boil. Add the orzo and continue to boil, stirring often, until orzo is tender, about 10-12 minutes. Drain and gently rinse.
  2. Pour orzo back into pan and add butter, Parmesan, and basil. Stir until well mixed. Add salt and pepper to taste. Garnish each serving with more Parmesan.

 

Pumpkin Oat Dog Treats

Friiiiday! I’ve been waiting all week for this day to come!

Weekend plans?

I’m going to get into the bee hive this weekend and check on everybody. I need to locate my queen and make sure that everything is running as it should.

And tag sales. Always looking for good estate sales! Because holiday decor!

Oh, have you been watching the NBA finals? Good lord pass the xanax! These games are giving me major anxiety!

Show of hands, who is obsessed with their dog(s)?

Do you make your own treats or do you buy store bought? I stopped buying store bought years ago for a few reasons. First, I like to know exactly what is going into the things that my dogs consume. Second, making homemade treats is so much cheaper, especially when you have 4 dogs, 3 of which are large. And third, because the whole treats from China killing dogs thing freaks me out!

My dogs are canine garbage disposals, they will eat anything I serve them. They will sit and beg for fresh spinach and dried nori. They seem to have a special place in their hearts for pumpkin though. Pumpkin is so good for dogs. It’s high in fiber and low in fat, and it’s loaded with vitamin A & C, potassium, iron, beta carotene, magnesium, and zinc. If your dog ever gets diarrhea after accidentally getting a hold of something really fatty, give him/her a little canned pumpkin, it should clear the diarrhea up. I have used that trick many times with great success.

I also add a little turmeric to these treats. Turmeric has so many benefits, such as:

  1. Killing parasites
  2. Anti-cancer properties
  3. Helps to prevent cataracts
  4. Helps epilepsy
  5. Helps relieve allergies

The list goes on and on.

I hope your dogs love these as much as mine do.

Because these are frozen treats, they are perfect for a hot summer day!

Pumpkin

 

Pumpkin Oat Dog Treats

  • 1 can 100% pure pumpkin, do not use pumpkin pie filling
  • 3/4 C old fashioned oats, plus more for rolling
  • 1/2 tsp. turmeric
  • Dash of cinnamon

Directions

  1. In a mixing bowl, combine pumpkin, oats, turmeric, and cinnamon. Mix well.
  2. Spread about 1/2 C of oats on a plate. With your hands begin gently rolling pumpkin mixture into balls, about the size of a golf ball. Then gently roll each ball through the oats on the plate. Transfer to a lined baking sheet.
  3. Place baking tray full of treats in the freezer and freeze overnight. Transfer treats to a Ziploc bag and store in the freezer.

Black bean Tostadas with Cilantro Crema

It’s Friday, lets rock!

Black Bean

Soooo I made two meatless dishes this week and surprisingly my husband is still alive!

Bryan came into the kitchen the the other night when I was preparing these tostadas and looked into the bowl of black beans and said “hey, what’s that? Where’s the meat?”. When dinner was ready he looked back into the bowl of beans and said “you were serious? There’s really no meat?”. When he was done eating, he told me “those were pretty good. They almost tasted like they had meat in them!”.

When we go to a Mexican restaurant we always order the same thing, two beef chimichangas . Sometimes we look at other menu items and discuss what sounds good, but we never stray from our usual. The chimi’s always have beans on the side, along with a bed of lettuce, tomatoes, and sour cream. After we eat aka destroy our food, there is always this bean/sauce/lettuce/tomato/sour cream mixture left on the plate and then we scoop it all up with chips. It’s the best!

These tostadas are like the end of the meal, when you scoop all of that delicious goodness up on a chip!

Oh, and guess what else, these are super easy and really quick to make!

Oh, oh, oh, annnd we’re going to kick up our sour cream game and add some cilantro and tomatillos!

Black Bean TostadaHello Friday, hand me a Corona and one of these tostadas!

 

Black Bean Tostadas with Cilantro Crema

  • 2 cans black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 C red onion, diced
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp. chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp. cumin
  • 1/8 tsp. smoked paprika
  • Corn tortillas
  • Vegetable oil
  • Shredded lettuce
  • Tomatoes, diced
  • Queso Fresco cheese, crumbled

For the cilantro crema

  • 3/4 C sour cream
  • 1/2 C cilantro
  • 1 large tomatillo, husk removed and rinsed
  • 1/2 Tbsp. lemon or lime juice (I used lemon)
  • 2 large garlic cloves
  • 1/2 jalapeno, seeded (optional)
  • 1/2 – 1 Tbsp. honey, start with 1/2 Tbsp., taste and adjust if needed

Directions

  1. Mash beans with a potato masher or pulse in a food processor. Stir in onion, lime juice, garlic powder, chili powder, salt, cumin, and paprika. Mix well and set aside.
  2. In a food processor or blender, add all cilantro crema ingredients and blend well. Set aside.
  3. Preheat your broiler. Rub a little oil on both sides of each tortilla and bake under the broiler 2-4 minutes, or until golden brown on both sides. Watch carefully, it happens quickly. Alternatively, you could also heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat and cook the tortillas on each side.
  4. To assemble a tostada, pick a tortilla up and gently spread bean mixture on top. Lay it down on a plate and sprinkle with lettuce, tomatoes, and cheese. Drizzle cilantro crema on top and enjoy!

 

 

 

Lobster Scrambled Eggs with Mascarpone

Look at this. This right here is the answer to your Monday morning blues!

Lobster

 

The night I made these and took my first bite, it felt like I had died and gone to heaven.

This is what dreams are made of.

A plate of gently scrambled eggs with mascarpone cheese and chunks of lobster floating throughout.

These eggs are perfect for brunch or dinner.

I prefer to eat these for dinner. They’re rich, so unless you plan on taking a nap after breakfast, I suggest you make them for dinner too!

Lobster Scrambled

Look how fluffy and creamy they are!

Dead. Dying. Just dead.

These eggs turn me into a basic B.

 

Lobster Scrambled Eggs with Mascarpone 

  • 10 large eggs
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt, plus more to taste
  • Pepper to taste
  • 1 Tbsp. butter
  • 2 cooked lobster tails, meat chopped up
  • 1/3 C mascarpone cheese
  • 1  1/2 tsp. fresh chives, chopped

Directions

  1. Beat eggs and stir in salt and pepper.
  2. Heat butter in a nonstick frying pan over medium-low heat.
  3. Add eggs and gently stir with a rubber spatula just until they begin to set.
  4. Add lobster meat and stir until warmed, less than a minute.
  5. When eggs are ready, pull pan off heat and add mascarpone and chives, folding them gently into the eggs. Don’t overmix them. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Skillet Shrimp

I haven’t been this excited that’s it’s Friday, since last Friday!

Shrimp Skillet

So, how was your Memorial day weekend? I did some tag saling, hung out with friends at a local winery, did some gardening, and the biggest thing, my husband and I bought a beehive! We grabbed it at a tag sale on Saturday, cleaned it up, and painted it. It looks brand new. We bought a nuc on Sunday from a man whose bees weathered the winter very well. He had 21 beehives in his apiary, he took us back to see them, and as I stood there amidst thousands of bees, I found it to be eerily calming. After all of “the girls” had come back to their little makeshift hive, we taped it up, and took it home…carefully I might add. We transferred the bees to their new home on Monday and I got christened with a sting to the top of my head! No worries, they let my husband into the secret club on Wednesday with a sting to the head as well. We have now learned first hand that bees do not like the color black. Bad news for me, considering I own more black clothing than Morticia Addams. But I can’t wait to see my garden explode with the help of our new bees and i’m really looking forward to harvesting honey.

Anyway, it’s Friday and the weather is beautiful, this shrimp skillet would be the perfect meal to eat outside with friends. I made this last week, but I’m really tempted to make it again tonight. It’s such a simple dinner with great flavors. The shrimp is cooked in the most delicious broth that reminds me a little of shrimp scampi, with a twist obviously.

Swimming around with the shrimp there are fresh tomatoes, onion, cilantro, and lets not forget the garlic. Never forget the garlic, that would be a sin!

Shrimp

Oh, when you make this, please promise me that your will serve it with a big loaf of crusty bread to soak up all of that delicious sauce!

I like to grill bread and then dip it into the sauce and then spoon my shrimp on top and eat it. Amazing.

Do you grill bread? Ugh. It’s my favorite.

Bread

 

Skillet Shrimp

  • 2 Tbsp. butter
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 4 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 large white onion, diced
  • 1/2 jalapeno, seeded and minced
  • 1 lb. shrimp, shells removed
  • 2 large plum tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp. Mexican oregano
  • 1/2 lime, juiced
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • 4 Tbsp. cilantro

Directions

  1. Melt butter and olive oil over medium-high heat in a cast iron skillet. Add onions and saute until softened. Add garlic and jalapeno and saute one minute more.
  2. Add tomatoes, salt, oregano, lime, and lemon and stir to combine. Simmer over medium heat, stirring often, for about 5 minutes.
  3. Add shrimp and cook until pink and cooked through, about 5 minutes. Add cilantro, stir well to combine, and serve immediately.