Kahlua Spiked Ice Cream Pie for The Rapture

I don’t know about you, but I’m riding out the Rapture in sin, and what better  way to do that than with alcohol, ice cream, and chocolate.

Saturday, May 21st, was the end of the world according to a local in my neck of the woods, the SF Bay Area.   To celebrate in our unique way, Kris and I threw an end of the world potluck BBQ.  We wanted to leave the world feasting, surrounded by friends.

I prepared this luscious ice cream pie, dripping with Kahlua flavor at each layer a day before the BBQ.  It has several freezing stages because of its 3 layers, so it is definately a make-ahead.

Delicious Decadence.  I can’t wait for the next apocalypse scare.

Forgive me, Lord.

Printable PDF: Kahlua Ice Cream Pie for the Rapture

Ingredients:
For Crust:
½ package of Oreo cookies
6 tablespoons of melted butter

For Kahlua Spiked Chocolate Sauce:
6 ounces semi sweet chocolate
2 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon instant coffee crystals
6 tablespoons Kahlua

For Kahlua Spiked Ice Cream Layers:
1 pint vanilla, plus 2 tablespoons Kahlua mixed in
1 pint Java chip (or other coffee ice cream), plus 2 tablespoons Kahlua mixed in

Procedure:

Start with 1/2 a package of Oreo cookies and 6 tablespoons of melted butter.Crumble the cookies in the food processor, and add butter.   Pulse until you get a glossy mixture that can be formed into a cookie crust.With your hands.Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes.  Take out and cool completely.

In the meantime, make the Kahlua spiked chocolate sauce by halving 6 Baker’s semi-sweet chocolate squares.  They are conveniently 1 ounce each.Heat the chocolate, 1 teaspoon of instant coffee crystals, 6 tablespoons of Kahlua, and 2 tablespoons of butter in a small saucepan until a thick sauce forms.  Set aside to cool.When it coats your spoon, it’s done.Spike your vanilla ice cream with 2 tablespoons of Kahlua.  Spread it along the cooled cookie crust in a single layer.  Freeze.

Spread the Kahlua-spike chocolate sauce in a layer on the vanilla.  Freeze until firm.  I hope yours comes out a little more elegant than mine.  Good thing there was a third layer to cover it up.

Spike up Java Chip ice cream with 2 more tablespoons of Kahlua, and place as a final third layer of Kahlua goodness.  Freeze until ready to serve.Hint: I had trouble cutting my ice cream pie crust.  I submerged the bottom of my pie pan in hot water until the water reached halfway up the sides.  This loosened the crust from the bottom of the dish making cutting and serving a little easier.

Crostini with Pea Puree

Crostini is really just a fancy Italian way of saying little toasts.  If you want an infinite food canvas, crostini is a fabulous appetizer finger food.  What you top the little toast with is entirely up to you: tomato bruschetta, mushrooms, pesto, roasted eggplant, the possibilities are endless.  This recipe comes courtesy of the cookbook The Best of Food & Wine The Italian Collection.

To make crostini, simply preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Then slice up a baguette (the long, skinny bread) into 1/2 inch thick slices.  Bake for about 5-6 minutes, until they are your desired crispiness.

For our Celebrate Spring Dinner, (other recipes from this dinner include To-Die-For Hot Fudge Sundae Sauce, Spring Salad with shaved asparagus, Chicken in a Fennel Mushroom sauce, and Spinach with Raisins and Pine nuts) I decided to try my hand at a pea puree, and, for the first time ever, try to actually shell my own peas.  Sure, you could just use a 10 ounce bag of frozen peas, but it’s more fun to get your hands dirty and play with your food.Plus, peas are actually quite beautiful when you reveal them like treasure from their protective shell.  The alive green color, the dew-like water droplets that you find on some of the round globes; peas are just playful vegetables.You’ll need about 2 cups of fresh peas, or 1 10-ounce bag of frozen peas, 5 cloves of garlic DON’T PEEL THEM (if you feel daring, like me, use 1 entire small head), and about 1/3 pound thinly sliced pancetta (about 5 ounces; just get it from the deli counter), plus some extra virgin olive oli, salt, and pepper.1.  Chop up 2-3 slices of the pancetta, enough to get 1/2 cup.  Cook this 1/2 cup of pancetta over medium heat until crisp, about 5 minutes.
2.  Remove cooked pancetta and place in a side bowl. “Roast” the garlic cloves by putting them, skin and all, in the pancetta juices (alright, fat).  Cook until well browned.  Remove skins and place in a food processor.
3.  Add remaining pancetta to the garlic in the food processor.  Puree.
4.  Place puree back in your saute pan with about 2 Tablespoons of olive oil.  Add fresh peas and about 1/4 cup of water, enough to lightly coat the bottom of the pan.  Cover and allow peas to steam for about 20 minutes.  (Frozen peas will not need any water and will only take 10 minutes max)  If you have it, you can add a couple of springs of fresh parsley at this point, completely optional.
5.  Place everything back in the food processor and puree until smooth and creamy.  Add salt and pepper to your taste.  You could also add some lemon juice at this point to give the puree a tang.
6.  Spread on top of crostini and sprinkle the cooked pancetta on top.

According to this cookbook, peas are a classic Easter ingredient for Italian cooking.  Usually served whole, they are part of the first spring vegetables representing new life.  This recipe twists tradition in a tasty way.

Celebrate Spring Salad with Shaved asparagus

Inspired by a night out at the restaurant Corso in Berkeley, we replicated their quintessential spring salad of shaved asparagus, fresh arugula, pickled red onions, toasted almonds, and Parmesan shavings.

Start with arugula. So fresh from the farmer’s market in Berkeley.  So raw, I even had to trim it off of its stems and remove the flowers.Arugula is a firecracker on your tongue: spicy and unashamed.

Next, shave raw asparagus using a potato peeler.Because the pieces are so thin, the tender asparagus balances the spicy arugula.

Next, add some pickled red onions.  They take 10 minutes.  We made them the night before the dinner so the flavors would melt.  Recipe comes courtesy of David Lebovitz.

In a small saucepan, combine 3/4 cup white vinegar, 3 Tablespoons sugar, 1 bay leaf, 5 all spice berries, 5 whole cloves, crushed red pepper.  Bring to a boil. Add slices of red onion and simmer for a few minutes.  Voila, you’re done.Toast some slivered almonds in a pan until they turn a beautiful tan shade and give off a wholesome nutty smell.  Shave some fresh Parmesan cheese on top.  Drizzle olive oil and balsamic vinegar; sprinkle salt and pepper.  You’re done.
So easy.  So good.  So fresh.  My favorite salad to celebrate spring.

Chicken in a Fennel Mushroom Sauce

This dinner entree is hearty, more of a winter feel to it due to the predominance of the mushroom flavor.  It is a bit of preparation, and you will need kitchen twine to tie the rolled, stuffed chicken tightly for cooking.  Kitchen twine has more of a cloth-like feel to it, so I don’t think you can substitute regular twine.  I had forgotten about the twine, and Kris had to wildly rush out to find it, going to 3 different stores.  Finally he was successful at Bed, Bath & Beyond.

Ingredients:
(not pictured: 1 cup dry white wine, lemon zest, salt and pepper)
-6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
-3 small fennel bulbs
-1 ounce dried porcini mushrooms (or any other dried mushroom mix)
-2 Tablespoons fresh sage
-2 sweet Italian sausages
-1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
-5 Tablespoons unsalted butter

Basic Prep:
1.  Make sure you have kitchen twine.  🙂
2.  In 1 cup of hot water, add the dried mushrooms to rehydrate.  Mine are in the glass bowl in the back of the ingredients.  They’ll need about 30 minutes.
3.  Place one chicken breast into large gallon size zip-lock plastic bag so that none of the juices or bits and pieces will fly out.  Pound the chicken breast until flattened, about 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick.  If you have one of the food mallets use that.  We used a hammer and an iron skillet.3.  Repeat step 2 with remaining 5 breasts.  This is a good time to get out any anxiety or frustration.
4.  Prep any remaining ingredients for the assembly line: chop up the sage, zest the lemon, take out the mushrooms and squeeze any excess water from them (SAVE YOUR WATER FOR THE SAUCE), remove the casings from the sausage and divide into 6 chunks.  Make everything an arm’s distance away from your work space.  You will be arranging and rolling each flattened chicken breast  in an assembly line.

Here’s what you need: flattened breasts, salt and pepper for flavor, sausage, lemon zest, chopped sage, Parmesan cheese, rehydrated mushrooms (REMEMBER TO SAVE YOUR WATER FOR THE SAUCE), and a glass dish to set the completed roll-ups in.

I’m sorry I do not have photos, Kris was out getting me cooking twine.

5.  Take a flattened chicken breast and set on a plastic cutting board.  Sprinkle pepper if you so choose.  (If you like salt you can add salt too.  I found the sausage has enough salt)
6.  Take 1/6 of your sausage mixture and spread all over the flat breast.  Try to cover the entire area.
7.  Sprinkle with a teaspoon or so of Parmesan cheese.
8.  Sprinkle with lemon zest and chopped fresh sage.
9.  Finally, add some rehydrated mushrooms.
10.  Roll the chicken breast as compactly as you can, from one side to the other.  The end you start with is the most flimsy end because you want it rolled into itself to keep the ingredients inside.  End on the side that is better flattened.
11.  This moment in time, you should take 3 small pieces of kitchen twine and secure the chicken roll tightly, however, Kris hadn’t come back yet, so I kept going.
12.  Repeat with the remaining 5 breasts.  Be mindful of how much of an ingredient you take since you have to spread it out over 6 chicken breasts.  (I had to chop more sage and zest more lemon.  Maybe I’ll try to have more than I think before I start.)
Here’s the twine process.

Start with 3 small pieces of twine that run the length of the chicken roll.

Rolling and Securing Chicken

Tie up each piece and make a double knot to secure.

Rolling and securing chicken

After you’ve finished securing each breast, clip off the excess twine.

You will have to brown the chicken breasts in 2 batches, then cook them all together.
13.  In a large dutch oven, melt 2 1/2 Tablespoons of butter.  Wait for it to get lightly browned and start to smoke a little.  This is butter’s signal that it’s hot.  Hot butter=beautifully browned chicken.
14.  Using tongs, add 3 of the chicken breasts to the pot.  Let brown on each side, 5-6 minutes per side.  Remove the breasts.
15.  Add remaining butter, and repeat the same browning process for the other 3 breasts.  Set these aside when well-browned.
16.  Add 1 cup of dry white wine and scrape up the flavor-bits from the bottom with a wooden spoon.  Then add all the chicken rolls to the pot.  It’s OK if you need 2 layers.  Cover.  Cook over simmering heat for about 30 minutes.

In the meantime, make your mushroom fennel sauce.
1.  Slice fennel.  Remove the fronds so all you have is the bulb.
2.  Cut it in half.3.  Carefully cut out the core.4.  Now go wash out the sandy soil.  I got mine at the farmer’s market, so you have to wash extra well.
5.  Slice fennel into strips.6.  Place fennel and leftover mushroom water (it will be brown at this point) into a medium sauce pan.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Cover and cook, stirring occasionally for 20-25 minutes.
7.  Remove from heat and place fennel and water in a food processor.  Process until smooth.  Then return to the saucepan.
8.  Cook over high heat to reduce the sauce to the consistency you desire.  This took me about 10 minutes.
9.  Serve sauce on the side, so each person can add how much they want.
Servings: 6 or 12, depending on how many side dishes you have.  If you have lots more side dishes, you could cut the breasts in half and serve each person 1/2.  I just gave everyone their own.  Remember to cut the strings before you serve.  I didn’t, so we passed a knife at the table; remember how I said our friends are forgiving.

Simple decor for a dinner party

We enjoy having people over, and I love to cook for them, but we are by no means fancy in our decor.  Consider our table, bought solo from a furniture store in an attempt to match the four chairs my godmother had given us.  Supplementing these four chairs are 6 folding chairs, two different styles, which get used quite often.  Using folding chairs, or our office chairs if we are really desperate for sitting space is actually quite common for our home.

Dinner Party recruits

At first I felt embarrassed.  Here we were, inviting guests over and making them feel celebrated, and we make them sit on folding chairs, eating on a card table extension.  Our friends, all graduate students or young working professionals, like us, luckily don’t care.  They come for the food.

On top of the table were simple yet sentimental pieces.  Our candle holders were forged by our friend Jocelyn whose hobby is blacksmithing.  The milk glass came from my late mother-like friend, Michele.  The roses were the first 2 that have come out this year.  Everything on the table had a story to tell which made for great conversation, especially when the woman who made the candle holders was a guest.  I came across a quote once: “Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.”  To eliminate the double negatives (I am an English teacher), think of it this way: everything in your house must be useful or beautiful.

To-Die-For Hot Fudge Sundae Sauce

“Life is uncertain.  Eat dessert first,” said American writer Ernestine Ulmer.  I suppose writing about dessert before discussing the dinner is comparable.

As part of our 2011 New Year’s Resolution, Kris and I have agreed to host a dinner party feast once a month.  Of course we didn’t really start until our March going away dinner for Monica and Mattias, and we’ve only had 2 months of consistency, but every new goal needs a little wiggle room to become habit.

For April, the idea was to celebrate early spring using new fresh veggies that come out this time of year: asparagus, peas, spinach, arugula, and strawberries (alright, not a vegetable, but who’s keeping track?).

The menu:
Appetizers: Crostini with Pea Puree
Crostini with Beef and Balsamic
Goat’s milk triple creme brie cheese
Salad: Shaved Asparagus with Arugula and Toasted Almonds
Main Course: Chicken in a Fennel Mushroom Sauce
Wilted Spinach with raisins and pine nuts
Dessert: Make your own hot fudge sundae, recipe follows
Let’s not forget the flowing wine and beer throughout the evening as well.

Make your own hot fudge sundae was so much fun, so it’s clearly the best place to start.

To-Die-For Hot Fudge Sauce, expanded from Crescent Dragonwagon’s “The Very Best Hot fudge Sauce” in The Passionate Vegetarian.

Printable PDF recipe: To die for hot fudge sundae sauce

Ingredients:
1 14-ounce can evaporated milk (or soy milk, feeling indulgent? go with cream)
8 ounces unsweetened chocolate, coarsely chopped (aim for 60% or higher cacao)
2 ounces semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
2 1/2 cups sugar
1/4 cup corn syrup
2 Tablespoons butter
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 3/4 teaspoons pure vanilla extract (if you’re feeling adventurous, try a liqueur like Frangelico, amaretto, creme de menthe)

1.  SHAKE evaporated can of milk VERY WELL, to break up the solids.
2.  Create a cheap “double boiler” by placing a glass (or stainless steel) bowl over the edges of a simmering pot of water.
3.  Combine evaporated milk with chocolates, sugar, corn syrup, butter and salt in the glass bowl.  Let chocolates melt and mix from time to time.  Cook for about 5 minutes until all ingredients have dissolved into one another.
4.  When everything has combined into a sauce, cook for another 10 minutes and DO NOT stir.  The sauce will thicken and become very smooth.
5.  Remove from heat and let stand 5 minutes.  Then stir in the vanilla.
The sauce will last up to four months…if you can make it that long.

Hot fudge sundae toppings

Kris and I prepped various toppings: cut strawberries, toasted slivered almonds, chopped Reese’s peanut butter cups, chopped Skor toffee bars, and homemade hazelnut-spiked whipped cream.  Guests chose from either coffee or vanilla ice cream (most chose both, myself included).  And to top everything off, hot fudge sauce.

It’s funny how everyone’s personality came out in their finished sundae masterpieces.

My sundae was all messy and thrown together, zero structure.

My sundae, all messy and thrown together

Jocelyn was the only one brave enough to be photographed with her work of art.She made a very playful sundae.

Jocelyns playful sundae

Mike, her fiance, a software engineer, made a structural masterpiece.  Kris says it looks like the entrance to the Temple of Doom, and he made me write that, Mike.

Mikes structural masterpiece

Kris’ friend from back in the undergrad days, Loren, made a pure sundae, straight and to the point, letting the strawberries take center stage.

Lorens pure sundae

Loren’s fiance, Yvette, a chemical engineer, created a sundae with an efficient use of ingredients, hers was the best portion-controlled. Go Yvette!  Wish I could have said the same for mine.

Yvettes well-portioned sundae

Kris’ was of course, intense, full of as much as he could possibly fit in his bowl, while still maintaining structure.

Kris everything-but-the-kitchen-sink-and-then-some sundae

Everyone should be able to make a homemade hot fudge sauce.  It makes sundae making that much more fun.

It was still good the next day, when we used it as fondue for bananas and apples.

And it’s still delicious two weeks later when we use it to top a blackberry sundae.

Delicious blackberry sundae...two weeks later

Classic Spaghetti and Meatballs

Photo courtesy of http://www.culturemap.com

There is nothing quite so classic as spaghetti and meatballs, but it is quite an undertaking.  It was the third sauce (see Arugula Pesto and Sinful Alfredo for the others) I made for our Make-Your-Own Spaghetti Night, but it was the one that I completed first, over the course of 2 days.  It can be done all at once, it’s just a lot of work putting everything together.  It’s really 2 recipes, one for the mushroom marinara sauce, the other for the meatballs.  I made the marinara sauce Friday evening, the meatball mixture Saturday morning, and then shaped the meatballs and cooked them Saturday afternoon after my first ever, longest run of my life.

Marinara Sauce Ingredients:

-2 28-ounce cans whole tomatoes
– 1/4 cup dried porcini mushrooms
-2 6-ounce cans tomato paste
– 1 large onion, diced
-7 cloves garlic, minced
– 1 Tablespoon honey
-2 bay leaves, ripped in half
-1 Tablespoon dried basil
-1 Tablespoon dried oregano
-1 Tablespoon dried marjoram
-1 teaspoon dried rosemary
-2-3 teaspoons dried thyme

1.  In a large non-reactive (stainless steel) pot, place enough olive oil to lightly coat the bottom and saute diced onion until translucent, 3-5 minutes.

Saute onion until translucent

2.  Add minced garlic…7 whole cloves.  Don’t worry, the garlic won’t be overpowering.  Saute a few more minutes until the garlic fragrance has scared away all vampires in a ten mile radius.

Add garlic to onion, saute

3.  Add all herbs to the pot and mix well.

Add herbs and saute

4.  By this time if you have anyone in your house, they will come to the kitchen and ask what’s cooking.  Just warning you to be prepared.

5.  Open tomatoes into a bowl and crush them with your bare hands.  It’s a lot of fun and reminds me of playing with play dough.

Drain and Crush tomatoes in a colander

6.  Add tomatoes and tomato paste to the pot.  Take 3-5 pieces of dried porcini mushrooms (sooo incredibly woodsy tasting) and also add them to the pot.  Bring to a boil, then simmer it down for 30-45 minutes.  This can be made several days ahead of time.

OK…now for the meatballs.

Ingredients:  Isn’t my dog Titania cute in the back there?

Ingredients Meatballs

-2 small onions
-olive oil
-1 small head garlic
-1.5 cups whole milk
-1.5 cups of day old Italian or French bread
-2.25 pounds ground beef
-3 large eggs
-zest of 2 lemons
-1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
-1 Tablespoon dried parsley
-1 Tablespoon dried basil
-1-2 Tablespoons Italian seasoning

1.  Coat a large saute pan with olive oil.  Add the onions and saute until translucent, 3-5 minutes.  Add garlic and herbs and cook a few minutes longer.

Saute onions, garlic, herbs

You heard me right, an entire small head of garlic.

Garlic...one small head

2.  In the meantime, slice the bread into 1-inch chunks.  You could also just rip the bread into chunks, depending on your mood, I guess.

It's ok to eat a couple of chunks while you do this

3.  In a large measuring cup, measure out 1.5 cups of whole milk.  (Come on, it’s a dinner party, no skimping on fat, see alfredo sauce post)4.  Add the bread chunks to the milk and mix around so that the bread soaks up as much milk as possible.  Soaking the bread in whole milk will make you meatballs taste a million times better than just dry, plain, boring store bought bread crumbs.

Add bread chunks to whole milk

5.  VERY IMPORTANT: squeeze out the excess milk from the bread and place milk-moistened bread in a large bowl, something big enough to mix everything together.  Trust me on this, speaking from experience, you don’t want your meatballs to break apart easily in the cooking process.

6.  Mix onions and moist bread together.

Mix onions and milk-moistened bread

7.  Add to this the lemon zest, eggs, meat and grated cheese.  Mix until just barely combined.  Too much mixing= tough meatballs.  You can refrigerate mixture for 1 day or power through the rest of the recipe.  I opted to go for a 5.66 mile wog with Natalie.

8.  Take small bits of meatball mixture and shape into 1-2 inch balls.  Place on a wax-paper lined cookie sheet.  We made about 50 meatballs, give or take, i didn’t count, but we filled up 3 cookie sheets.

9.  Coat a large saute pan generously with olive oil, maybe like 1/3 cup.  Heat up oil for cooking meatballs.

10.  Arrange 10-12 meatballs around the pan and brown the spheres as best you can.  I usually brown one side, then flip it.  You are not cooking them all the way, rather just getting a beautiful browned outside.  They are circular, so it’s hard to get all sides evenly browned unless you are some kind of genius.  You’ll need to repeat this step several times, depending on how many meatballs you were able to form.

11.  Once the meatballs are browned, you have 2 choices for finishing the cooking process.  Option 1: place them gently in the mushroom marinara to finish cooking.  This is good for about 15 meatballs, after that, you have no more room.  From this point on, you have to be super careful when stirring the marinara so as not to break the meatballs which are quite delicate.  It’s more like making a “Figure 8” pattern along the bottom to prevent burning.

Option 2: Bake the meatballs on a cookie sheet at 350 degrees for about 15-20 minutes.

Enjoy!  I’ve made these meatballs twice now, and they are always quite a hit.

Arugula Pesto

Two wonderful friends we’ve met in the journey of graduate school are now leaving the US to go to Germany for career opportunities.  This past Saturday, Kris and I hosted several lab mates in a going away dinner party.  We’re living on a grad student and teacher salary, so of course it was a pot luck.

As hosts, we were responsible for the main entree, and I chose my favorite go-to for a large dinner party, Make-Your-Own-Spaghetti.  No, not making homemade pasta (though that would be fun), but having one large bowl of pasta with 3 different sauces.  The sauces this past dinner: arugula pesto, creamy alfredo, and marinara sauce with homemade meatballs.

It’s so much fun to have dinner parties where the guests help create their plate and food experience, and I don’t just mean bringing something for the pot luck.

This pesto was invented from my base pesto recipe, with a couple of small but absolutely delicious changes.  The first comes from the cooking blog Simply Recipes.  Elise, the author, has an amazing secret for getting a subtle garlic flavor without the sometimes overpowering shock of raw garlic: roasting the garlic quickly on the stovetop before adding it to the food processor.  Genius!!

Of course, next comes my mistake of sometimes not reading recipes fully (I know, and then ironically I post recipes on my blog).  Technically you’re not supposed to use oil, you just cook the garlic in a pan, but I added a little olive oil, then added my pine nuts in to toast up while things were heating up.

Ooophs at first, but by the end, my mistake became delicious!  The nuts brown up FAST, almost burning in my case.  You really have to watch them and get them OFF AND OUT of the heat as soon as you see brown color and smell its nutty perfume.

One guest, who’d lived for half a year in the Andalucia region of Spain on a WWOOF experience, told me it reminded him of salads he’d had while in Southern Spain.  He was working with a botanist who’d go out around dinner time and gather wild greens, including rocket (another name for arugula) for salads.  He said the pesto reminded him of those salads, “Some of the best I’ve ever eaten.”

The pesto has a spicy kick; it’s spunky, full-flavored and downright demands the full attention of your taste buds.

Use a food processor if you can, or a blender if you have to, and if you really must, because you live in the stone age or are some kind of pesto purist, a mortar and pestle.

Ingredients:

Arugula Pesto

2 cups baby arugula (if using wild, be sure to trim the woody stems, baby arugula doesn’t need this extra step though)

5 garlic cloves (4 with skin on, 1 peeled and chopped)

zest and juice of 1 lemon

1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

1/2 cup pine nuts

1/3 to 1/2 cup olive oil

1.  In a medium saute pan, heat up 1 tablespoon of olive oil and add 4 cloves of garlic with skin still on.  Cook over medium heat for 5-7 minutes.

2.  Add 1/2 cup pine nuts to the pan and toast for 3 minutes or so.  BE SO VERY CAREFUL, the pine nuts burn very easily, but their aroma will permeate your entire house with nuttiness.  (As if my house needed anymore nuttiness:-)

A beautiful golden brown tint on the garlic

3.  While these brown up, place the following ingredients in a food processor: the arugula (put this down first to create a bed for everything else), Parmesan cheese, lemon zest and juice.

4.  Once the nuts are gently browned, QUICKLY take them out of the pan and add to the food processor.  Yes, I mean quick, don’t let them stay in that hot pan where they might burn on you and ruin everything.

5.  Take the skins off the roasted garlic and add them to the food processor.  Also chop up the 1 clove of raw garlic and add to the processor.

Roasted Garlic in 10 Minutes

6.   Pulse everything in the processor until it combines into a gorgeous green paste.  Scrape sides if necessary, usually it is.

7.  Place processor on “on” and stream in olive oil until it makes a smooth texture, not too thick, not too thin.  You want a texture that can be spread on bread or can coat spaghetti.

Smooth and Luxurious Pesto

A Brilliant Snack