Monday, July 15, 2013

Instagrammin: June + July

Our rainy day turned out beautiful #nofilter Sometimes a weekend getaway is what you really need. I'm pretty dang lucky this is the view from my grandmother's second floor.

Well. That's ugly. This is what my sister and I saw when we were driving down. P.S. I was in the passenger seat.

Grits + bacon. Because Mondays are hard Ugh, Mondays are hard. Mondays are less hard if you can eat bacon and grits. 

600426_10101500925445297_1915437854_n I have been blessed with a lovely rose bush right outside my window/front door. I like to smell them before I go inside.

First pesto of the season from my basil plants My first pesto of the season, which also turned out to be my second-to-last pesto before the 20 days of storms killed my herbs. I'm hoping they make a miraculous recovery, but I bought a replacement basil plant just in case. Because if they do recover, you can never have too much basil, amiright?

Lemon thyme smells ah-mazing This lemon thyme, also part of my herb garden #RIP, smelled amazing before I put it in cookies.

My Friday at work One of the great things about my job is that my boss and I can grab lunch and a little dessert on a Friday afternoon. This was a spiced citrus custard in a homemade waffle cone from my favorite little ice (cream) place, Paradise Ice.

Storms starting to roll in over Irmo You know those storms that killed my herb garden? This is one of them rolling over my sister's house. She doesn't have any herbs either, but hers had an unfortunate run-in with a squirrel. A squirrel with some minty fresh breath now.

IMG_20130603_151037 This is what happens when you check-in to the Ritz. I'm only lucky enough to know because I went to a conference in Coconut Grove back in June.

IMG_20130603_173321 My room had two views. One of the city and one of the bay, depending on which direction you looked.

IMG_20130604_141421 Our lunches were served in a ballroom by a lovely, attentive staff. The dessert on the first day was the fluffiest cheesecake I've ever eaten. SO good.

IMG_20130605_204327 Room service just has to be done sometimes. 

IMG_20130613_133224 Who doesn't like a surprise package in the mail? My nearest and dearest, Kaitlin, is getting married next May! I'm so thrilled and honored to be a bridesmaid for her!

IMG_20130615_184941 You know one of the awesome things about having a brother-in-law who's half-Chinese? His mom makes big batches of gyoza and leaves it in my sister's freezer. I'm really surprised that I haven't stolen one of those bags.

Why I love working from home Another awesome thing about my job? I can throw together two crazy good pesto pizzas for my lunch.

Doesn't everyone detox after the 4th with nachos? Clearly Will and I lost our minds by eating nachos July 5th. Because the best way to recover from brats, beer, and burgers is with ultimate 'chos. 

Brat + totsBut I mean,  I'm obviously living right. Brat + tots...+PureBarre. 

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Roasted Red Pepper Sauce

I had a thought that I need to know if other people think. See, I was listening to the radio, and the host was talking about this girl that won their iheartradio contest. She went jet-skiing with someone, got glittered by Ke$ha, and was hanging out backstage with Pitbull. And I just want to know, if that were me, what in the world would I say to Pitbull? Or Kesha. Like, would we talk politics? Our childhoods?

DSC_0805_edited-1 This sauce was much easier to figure out. Probably because I didn't have to talk to it. It's perfect for the weeknight because it comes together in about 10 minutes and can go on just about anything.

DSC_0760_edited-1It's beyond simple. You need: roasted red peppers, a shallot (a bit of onion will do), (toasted) walnuts, garlic, dried oregano, parmesan, and olive oil.

DSC_0767_edited-1 I made a last-minute decision to cook the shallot and garlic to take a bit of the edge off. A few minutes over medium-low heat until they're softened a bit really makes a difference.

DSC_0770_edited-1 I think we can agree that freshly shredded Parmesan beats the pants off pre-shredded Parmesan any day. Seriously, just buy a block of Parm and shave a little here, grate a little there, and use the rind in soup. Good cheese is so worth it!

DSC_0772_edited-1 Ingredients go into a food processor or mini chopper. I'm sure a blender will work just fine as well.

DSC_0778_edited-1 Halfway + cheese

DSC_0783_edited-1 It's up to you just how pureed you want it. I went with a pretty smooth texture. Taste and season with salt and pepper to your liking. You probably won't need much salt since the cheese is pretty salty on its own.

DSC_0784_edited-1 [Splat]

DSC_0795_edited-1 Wonderfully vibrant and stupid-easy.

DSC_0794_edited-1 I usually have mushroom ravioli in the fridge because it's so dang easy to top with a sauce for a quick meal. Pick your favorite pasta and run with it!

DSC_0800_edited-1 Of course extra Parmesan on top never hurt anyone.


Roasted Red Pepper Sauce (makes about 1/2 cup)

1/4 shallot, roughly sliced
2 small cloves garlic (or 1 larger clove), roughly sliced
Handful shelled walnuts, toasted
1 jarred roasted red pepper
1/4 c shredded Parmesan
1/2 tsp dried oregano
2 tbs olive oil, plus more if needed
Salt & pepper to taste
  • Begin by sautéing the shallot and garlic in a smidgen of butter or olive oil over medium heat. Cook until the shallot and garlic are softened a bit, about 3-4 minutes.
  • In a food processor, combine the cooked shallot and garlic, walnuts, red pepper, Parmesan, and oregano. Pulse until mostly smooth. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Add the olive oil and pulse until the sauce reaches your desired consistency.
  • Suggestions for use: as pasta sauce, on toasted baguette with goat cheese, in a grilled cheese.