Friday, August 19, 2011


I've been super stuck on pesto lately.  We've been making it every week for the past month and putting it on everything: sandwiches, pasta, salad, roasted potatoes, poached eggs, garlic bread... especially awesome with heirloom tomatoes from the Schaners and fresh mozzarella from Taste (unless I plan ahead to make the cheese myself)

4 cloves of garlic (this is a garlicky recipe)
1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted
2 bunches basil (about 2 cups packed, from the Schaners, Suzie's or JR Organics)
2 ounces blue cheese (Point Reyes is a good go-to, if not a bit ubiquitos)
1/2 cup olive oil (I love Calivirgin and Good Faith Farm)
goodly pinch sea salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

In a food processor, pulse the garlic until minced.  Add the pinenuts, basil (leaves only), blue cheese and start to blend. Drizzle in olive oil while blending to desired consistency. Salt & pepper to taste. Use immediately or cover with olive oil and store in fridge.   

Makes about 2 cups.


Vegan - just skip the cheese, might need more oil and/or nuts
Try other combinations of herbs, nuts/seeds & cheese: 
  • cilantro & pepita with queso fresca
  • arugula & walnut with stilton
  • lemon basil & pecan with ricotta salata & maybe some honey!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Peach Salsa

4 peaches, diced
1 Tblsp freshly squeezed lemon or lime juice (add zest too if you like)
¼ cup red onion, finely diced
4 cloves garlic, finely minced
¼ bunch cilantro, chopped including stems
¼ tsp sea salt
1 (or more to taste) minced fresh chile, such as a jalepeƱo, serano or Suzie's padrons

Combine all ingredients. Makes about 2 cups

Try served with quesadillas with Spring Hill Monterey Jack! 

Carrot Cake

Beautiful carrots at the farmers market this week from Sage Mountain Farm & Suzie's Farm, so it was the perfect time for carrot cake.

1 cup all purpose unbleached flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
2 cups rapadura sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp sea salt
2 tsp ground cinnamon
½ cup safflower or sunflower oil (choose a high oleic variety -these are high in monounsaturated, healthier fats: read the label)
1 cup unsweetened applesauce
4 eggs from Schaner Farm
3 cups carrots, grated, tightly packed

Combine the dry ingredients in a stand up mixer. Mix in the oil, applesauce, and eggs to combine (do not over mix). Stir in the grated carrot.

24 cupcakes: Fill lined cupcake pans full of batter. Bake at 350° for 11 minutes, rotate pans and bake another 11 minutes.

8” round layer cake: Pour batter into 2 greased and floured cake pans. Line bottom of pans with parchment paper. Bake at 350° for about 40 minutes.

13”x9” cake: Pour batter into a greased and floured cake pan. Bake at 350° for about 55 minutes.

Neufchatel Frosting
¼ pound butter (from Spring Hill: the secret to a perfect frosting), room temp
8 oz neufchatel cheese, room temp
1/2 vanilla bean (or 1½ tsp vanilla extract)
6 oz (weighed) powdered sugar
2 pinches sea salt

Scrape vanilla seeds from the bean (save the pod for vanilla sugar or make your own extract). Blend all ingredients until smooth in a food processor