fresh basil pesto

One of my friends describes cities as if they were his girlfriends. He says New York is the city he loves and wants to be with, but isn't sure would be good for him. He loves Denver and is having a good time here now, but isn't sure whether he wants to commit for the long term. If cities are people, then Seattle is my ex-boyfriend.

Whenever I go back to Seattle, I feel like I'm going back to my ex. Seattle is comfortable and familiar. It greets me with sunny skies, amazing lattes, fresh seafood, delicious produce from the market, a beautiful skyline. I only remember the good parts.

But the longer I'm there, the more I realize why I left. It's rainy and cloudy. It never gets very warm. It's passive aggressive. And while there are things I love about Seattle, there are things that never quite fit or feel right.

During the "I-love-Seattle-why-did-I-ever-leave" phase of my visit last week, walked to Pike Place Market on a perfect, sunny Seattle afternoon. I explored the rows of fresh berries, veggies and peaches. I bought berries to snack on, flowers for the friends I stayed with and some other things I knew would make it back to Denver in my carry-on suitcase.

basil pesto

Then I saw what I really wanted. Piles and piles of basil. Fresh basil. Basil that you can smell from 10 yards away. Basil with the roots still attached.

I paid $2 for a huge amount of basil that might have cost me $20 in Denver. And I figured that if it arrived back in Denver wilted and unusable, at least I tried.

Fortunately for me, it (mostly) survived the journey in my laptop bag. I knew it wouldn't last much longer before wilting, so what to do with tons and tons of fresh basil? Make pesto of course!

basil pesto
basil pesto
Fresh Basil Pesto RecipeIngredients:

2 cups fresh basil (packed down)

1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

1/3 cup pine nuts (or walnuts work, too)

3 garlic cloves

Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions:

Combine basil and pine nuts in a food processor and pulse a few times to combine.

Add garlic and pulse a few times.

Add in olive oil and mix together.

Add in the grated cheese and mix until all the ingredients are blended together.

Serve!

I thought this basil would last forever. I dreamed of making spaghetti sauce, pesto, bruschetta, pizza...but I only had enough for a double of the pesto recipe above. After using it on pasta and on crackers, I barely have any left. It certainly won't last me through the weekend. (Note: you can freeze pesto if you have more than you can eat. Or if you have more self-control than I do.)

My fling with Seattle and its food, cool weather, beautiful views, ferry rides, lattes and hipsters is over for now.  I'm happy to be back in Denver. But that doesn't mean I won't be planning my culinary delights for my next visit to the Pacific Northwest!

basil pesto

hot weather treats

As I mentioned in my last post, it has been super hot in Colorado this summer. We've consistently had temps in the high 90s for the last few weeks with no rain. You've probably heard about the terrible fires we have burning all around the state. The dry air, gusty winds and hot temps have created terrible conditions for the fires. It's hard to complain about the heat when I see the destructive fires harming so many. It's hard to think about cooking when it's so hot out, so I've been looking for cold food and easy to make recipes. Turning on the oven is out of the question and I can't even think about things like soup.

This week, I made cold rice noodles with peanut lime chicken from smitten kitchen.

cold rice noodles

Don't let the recipe intimidate you. There are quite a few ingredients listed, but most of them are for the sauces. This is a perfect summer meal. It's light and summery with fresh basil and mint. The noodles are cold and the sauces are perfect. I loved this recipe and it's definitely going into the keeper pile.

Grapefruit-and-Strawberry-Greyhound_Endless-Simmer-333x500

For dessert, I made popsicles. I'm a sucker for anything with grapefruit. When I saw this simple recipe with grapefruit juice and strawberries, I couldn't resist. Especially since I had a few grapefruits and some fresh strawberries.

This recipe would be great without the alcohol, but if you want an adult popsicle, put in the vodka or gin. Mmmm. Refreshing, tasty and healthy!

What are you doing to stay cool this summer?

yarn craft roundup

Happy Friday! I haven't cooked anything interested in a while, so I don't have a new recipe to share (I'll fix this soon! I plan to spend some time baking this weekend...) My recent obsession with watching Downton Abbey has given me plenty of time to make progress on my Afghan crochet blanket, but I haven't taken any pictures of it yet to share here. (PS. Please watch Downton Abbey. I LOVE it.)

Instead of sharing my own projects with you this week, I'm going to showcase some awesome projects from other creative bloggers out there.

Make a Yarn Pot

 This project from A Creative Cookie will show you how to create a yarn pot with only yarn, elmer's glue and a piece of cardboard.  I think this would be a great little project to use up scrap yarn. I could use a few of these to hold odds and ends on my desk and maybe in the bathroom, too.

Wouldn't one of these look cute piled up with cotton balls? Or Q-tips? Or paper clips?

Puff Stitch Scarf

puffyscarf

I rarely crochet items to wear, but really like this pattern for a crocheted scarf from All About Ami. The pattern is simple and easy for beginners and it only uses 3 skeins of yarn! This looks like a fun and quick project. And as I sit here typing this on a cold February afternoon, I think I would like to be wearing this scarf right now.

Bottles Covered in Yarn

Here's another great scrap yarn project. Craft and Creativity shows us how to add color to old bottles with some yarn and modge podge / glue. I love the bright colors!

Camera Lens Cozy

Kitty from A Law Student's Journey shows us how to create a camera lens cover without any knitting involved. This will take you 2 minutes with some leftover thrift store sweaters. Great idea for protecting those extra lenses.

What crafty creations are you working on? Want to have one featured here? Email me your blog link or photos!