Tag Archives: Pesto

…with a little help from my friends

16 Aug

Just like the Beatles.  Dinner tonight was made possible by friends like you. Specifically, Lilly. Camping extraordinaire. Master gardener. A proud “green” card-carrying planter of eggplants and arugula–among many, many other vegetation. Oh, and best of all…pesto maker. Arugula, to amp up the specificness.

So, tonight, roasted eggplants and arugula pesto pasta sported this mother’s table. Check it out:

Simply Delicious

If only I had been more productive today and swung by my Farmers’ Market to pick up some fresh tomatoes.



Happy Campers

11 Aug

The past weekend was spent camping with Hubby,  my childhood friend, Lilly, and her hubby, Sean, near Lake Erie. All but Hubby had grown up within walking distance to the Lake. But, our camping weekend took us further west along the Great lake to a small town I hadn’t been to since I was an adolescent, where we’d spend summer weekends at a neighbor- family’s lakeside cottage.

Lake Erie was our ocean–with seagulls, lighthouses, and a horizon which reached out to an unsuspecting Canada coastline.

But back to camping. More importantly…camp food.

Now, I figured that camping meant generic camp food–all cooked in iron-cast skillets atop a campfire. We would feast on hotdogs and beans. Eggs and potatoes. Maybe some grilled corn-on-the-cob, if we were feeling extravagant. But I was pleasantly surprised when Lilly hit me up with several phone calls (I don’t subscribe to facebook–please don’t hate) relating her menu ideas. “Camping has a menu?” I thought.  Apparently, camping in Century 21 requires of its campers the desire to Martha Stewart the entire experience:  from dressing a picnic table with a nostalgic checkered tablecloth, laden with sweet-smelling candles and a napkin and cutlery caddie to creating a full-out bistro-style eatery, boistered by all the farm-and garden-fresh produce  we’ve come to expect.

So, instead of  skillet eggs and potatoes for breakfast, we had this:

Lilly's Breakfast Platter

This picture captures the essence of Kaukab’s influence on Lilly. Look at her hands. They’re telling you, “Look what I make for you. Come, eat!”
Even when you think she’s not around; she’s around.

Tampenade For (Almost) Everyone!

11 Dec

My Olive Tampenade


In Kaukab’s home, olives were served in their original shapes. Whole. With pita.

But, we’re cooking in my kitchen, so we’re going to let loose and pulverize them into a wonderful pesto to appetize on to our heart’s content. Oh, Kaukab’s gonna be real mad.

Don’t you worry, though. It’ll be a while before she finds out. Long enough for you to make this delicious recipe for your holiday party guests.

Let’s get started.

You’ll need these fine ingredients:

12 oz. kalamata olives, pitted (or any other flavorful type you prefer; in fact, a mixture of green and black would be great, too)

1 lemon, used for both lemon zest and flavoring

1/4 to 1/2 C. pine nuts, lightly toasted

3 – 4 med. sized garlic cloves, cut in half lengthwise and again crosswise.

1 small bunch parsley, tops only

3 – 4 sundried tomatoes in oil, coarsely chopped

You can throw in a few capers, if you like. I didn’t, but that’s just me. Hubby likes capers, though.

4 oz. parmesean cheese (from wedge), cut into 5 – 6 pieces

sea salt (very little, just for added taste, since you’ve got the salt from the olives)

cracked black pepper

The Ingredients


Firstly, place your pine nuts in a small saute pan and on the lowest heat, possible, toast until lightly brown (about 5 – 7 min.), stirring every so often. Set aside to cool.

In food processer, dump in: olives, tomatoes, cheese, parsley tops, pine nuts, and zest of 1 lemon, and juice of 1/8 – 1/4 lemon, salt, and pepper to taste. Pulse until ingredients become a light paste, like pesto. Taste and adjust, if needed.

Hangin' Out In The Processer


And, that’s it! Simple.

Serve with a crostini or good crusty bread.

Don’t be concerned with that voice coming all the way from Cleveland. It’s just Kaukab wondering: “Why you make like dat?”

Unlike her daughter, who made two bowls-worth of the olive spread–one for violin girl’s college English class party (watch me brag); one for us–you don’t have to answer.

Double Trouble

Just enjoy your tampenade.
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