Tag Archives: garden

It’s always summer in Florida…

One good thing to come from spending the pandemic in Clearwater has been a resurgence in my affinity for gardening. As life changed for me over the last two decades, I went from a big house to a smaller house to a big apartment to a pied-à-terre in Queens. Appropriately my garden shrunk to accommodate these spaces. Our cozy beach condo allows for a patio garden and tons of indoor plants (according to some people, I may be morphing into the “crazy plant lady”). Regardless, I have daily access to fresh herbs steps away from the kitchen and I love it. I encourage you to have at least one herb plant, maybe on a windowsill – I promise it will spark some creativity and maybe even nudge you towards cooking something unplanned and delicious. Pesto? Sage Butter? Mint Jelly?

Cooking my way through a Pandemic

The battery on my watch died on March 8, 2020, the day before I was heading to Chicago for our first conference of what was supposed to be a jam packed, busy, great year. It was that evening that my phone rang (setting the stage: it’s a Sunday night, it’s already dark, bags are packed and I’m ready to go) it was senior management, calling everyone on my team, informing us that our conference which was to kick off on Wednesday would be cancelled due to COVID fears. What would follow would be the cancellation of all of our events, travel, gatherings (like everyone else in the world). So, with much more time on my hands, and no travel for the foreseeable future, I took to the kitchen.

I’ll use this blog, which has been dormant for quite a while to share some recipes, pictures and cooking advise.

Let’s start with my abundant bounty of basil. Apparently basil does not love the super hot temperatures of Florida. So my spoiled little plants come in and live in my bright, air conditioned kitchen. Now, before I share my “recipe” know that I never measure, always use whatever good, fresh ingredients I have on hand. That said, here’s how you can make a great pesto.

Ingredients:

4 cups of Fresh Basil (to see how to properly harvest your basil, I recommend this link: https://youtu.be/Kn0Y4xoMApU)
1 cup Shredded Parmigiana Cheese
2 cups High quality EVVO
1 Cup Nuts (Pine nuts are preferred if you can find them, but you can use walnuts or pistachios)
Garlic (use as much or as little as you like)
Salt & Pepper to taste

How to pull this together:

  1. In a food processor blend up garlic and nuts – pulse until very fine
  2. Add basil, cheese, EVOO, salt, pepper – Pulse until consistency is loose, add oil as needed
  3. Taste final product and season with additional salt, pepper or garlic as needed. If mixture is too thick add additional EVOO
  4. I like to use small (4 ounce) mason jars that I freeze. I can pull out just the right amount or you can freeze even smaller portions in ice cube trays and freeze (just pop out what you need)