Parsley Pesto

2 cups loosely packed flat leaf parsley leaves
3 cloves garlic
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil (keep a little more on hand if needed)
1/2 cup raw Parmesan cheese
Sea salt and black pepper to taste
Pinch of nutmeg

Food Processor

  1. Combine all the ingredients in a food processor and blend. If the mixture seems too dry add more olive oil but only 1 tsp at a time. The original recipe has 1/3 cup and I found that to be too much.
  2. Taste! Both parm cheese and salt are well … salty. So I’d start minimal on the salt and build up.
  3. Blend till consistency you want. 
  4. Store in the refrigerator until ready to use. I suspect you can freeze as well but I have not tried that.
There really is some flat leaf parsley in there.
Also pretty post blend!
So pretty pre blend.

Adapted with changes to parsley and oil quantities from:

Tomatillo Salsa Verde

2 pounds tomatillos
3 jalapeños
4 garlic cloves
2tsp of olive oil
1 medium-large onion
2/3 cup fresh cilantro leaves
salt to taste

Baking Pans
Food Processor
Gloves (if you don’t want to have jalapenos on your fingers)

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (204 degrees C)
  2. Remove husk from tomatillos and wash as they will be very sticky. Do the best you can but I’ve never been able to get all the stick off.
  3. Chop the onion in half (you can leave on skin), crush the garlic (I would recommend leaving on skin so it doesn’t dry out), and leave the jalapeños and tomatillos whole.
  4. In a bowl mix the jalapenos and tomatillos with olive oil and salt. Then spread them on two baking sheets interspersing the garlic and onion. TIP: Try to keep the same sized tomatillos on the same sheet so they cook evenly.
  5. Roast both pans for about 15 minutes, turning all halfway over through roasting time. If you have small tomatillos I would keep an eye on them starting at 10 minutes.
  6. Peel the garlic and skin and rough chop the onion.
  7. PUT ON GLOVES (unless you like accidentally setting your eye or another part of your body on fire). Then deseed and rough chop the jalapeño.
  8. Throw everything into your food processor – all roasted ingredients, plus cilantro and salt process until all ingredients are chopped and desired consistency is reached. The original recipe said to pulse, but i found high speed actually have me the consistency I wanted – so up to you!
  9. Eat on all the things (veggies, chips, chicken, etc).
The lantern looking things are the tomatillos.
And in the end it turns into this!
Cleaned and mostly not sticky.

Adapted with some ingredient and cooking changes from:

Chicken Salad

2-3 cups cooked chicken (I use thighs/legs, but breasts or a mix work fine as well)
1 cup chopped cranberries
1/2 cup chopped pumpkin seeds (or you can use nuts if you want)
1/2 cup diced red onion
1/2 cup mayo (whatever kind you prefer)
2 tsp celery seed
juice of one lemon
salt to taste
pepper (I use 10 cracks but its really to taste)

Baking pan (if you need to cook chicken first)
Knives/Mixing Spoon

  1. Chop or shred chicken
  2. Combine everything into one bowl and mix together (seriously that is it).
  3. Put in fridge and taste after about an hour, adjust seasonings as needed. This recipe tastes WAY better the next day once everything has blended together.

Tangy and Sweet Salmon

Salmon cut into 4-6 oz pieces (I personally buy them frozen in that size)
3 TBS Dijon or Stone Ground Mustard (NOT yellow)
1.5 TBS Maple Syrup
1 tsp Smoked Paprika (my suggestion below)

Baking Pan
Parchment paper or Aluminum Foil

  1. Preheat oven to 225 degrees F (107 degrees C)
  2. Season the fish pieces with a bit of salt
  3. Mix together the mustard, maple syrup and paprika. Use the above measurements for your first try at it, but you may decide you prefer more sweet or more tangy so adjust according to your taste. Spread over the fish.
  4. Roast for 20-30 minutes until the fish begins to flake in the thickest part. You’ll need to check after 20 and then every 5 min or so as the right timing really depends on the thickness and sizes of the fish. Since the temp is so low it is hard to overcook it so don’t hesitate to give it 5 more minutes if needed.
  5. Eat!

    NOTE: The fish will still appear translucent (semi-transparent) since you are baking it at such a low heat so you may not see the change of color if you have been baking at a high heat previously.
4 – 6 oz pieces of salmon
Yes I am specifically recommending this paprika. No Penzeys does not sponsor the blog I just think it is the very best.
Spread over the fish!
Use what proportions work for you
Yum! What a great mixture.
Cook and eat.

Lace Cookies

Makes minimum 24, but sometimes 30

1 stick (1/2 cup) of unsalted butter
2 1/4 cups of brown sugar (light or dark)
2 1/4 cups of rolled oats (NOT quick oats or steel cut oats)
2 TBSP of all purpose flour (or chickpea flour for GF cookies)
1 egg
1/2 – 1 tsp of vanilla (depending on how much you like vanilla)

Baking Pan (the more the better)
Parchment paper (or silicon mats in a pinch but I find they won’t cook as well)
Saucepan (2qt is just fine)

  1. Preheat oven to 375 F (190 C). Line baking sheets with parchment paper or silicon baking mats and put by your stove.
  2. Heat butter and brown sugar in saucepan over medium heat, stirring frequently until butter has melted and mixture is smooth. (aka caramel!)
  3. Stir in oats, flour, salt, egg, and vanilla. Mix till they are totally covered.
  4. Using a teaspoon as soon as your fingers can take the heat, drop cookie batter by the onto baking sheets – it will be sticky. These cookies WILL spread so leave space between them – at least 2 inches. Then into the oven.
  5. This is the tricky part depending on how your oven bakes. I have found between 6-7 minutes is perfect, but you need to watch them the first time to find out what is best for your oven. You want them just browning on the edge. Any less and they will be too soft, and more and they will burn.
  6. If you use parchment paper let them cool at least one minute before removing and putting them on a rack to cool completely. If you use silicon I have found it’s hard to remove them before 2 minutes or so.
  7. Let them totally cool – they should just snap a tiny bit – but they will be delicious no matter what really.
  8. Store in an airtight container if you have any left.
Things you will need
What it looks like when ready
See the golden brown edges.
Starting to heat and mix
Don’t forget to let them cool a minute.
In case you want to see them closer.

Adapted from: with some changes I have made the more I’ve made them.

Lemon Basil Pesto

Guest Blogger: Lori Nichols
Yields 1 cup

1/4 cup pine nuts
2 cups lemon basil leaves (if you only have regular basil the recipe becomes Basil Pesto instead of – you guessed it – Lemon Basil Pesto)
1/4 – 1/2 cup Parmesan (shredded or shred before you use)
1 garlic clove
1/2 cup olive oil

Blender or Food Processor

  1. Toast pine nuts
  2. Chop garlic
  3. Combine pine nuts, basil, Parmesan, garlic in a blender or food processor.
  4. Pour 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil and pulse, adding up to an additional 1/4 cup olive oil until well blended.
  5. Lori tops her artichoke ravioli with it (delicious!) but it can go on top of just about anything.

Mango Instant Pot Chicken

6 boneless skinless chicken thighs (you could also use chicken breasts they will just be a bit drier)
2 mangoes
12 oz cranberry sauce preferably with whole berries
1 TBSP brown sugar

Instant Pot (sorry if you don’t have one this recipe is not for you)

  1. Cut mangoes into one inch squares as best you can understanding a mango is oval and if some are wacky shapes it really doesn’t matter as they mush down anyway.
  2. Add mango, cranberry sauce, brown sugar and salt to Instant Pot.
  3. Add chicken and coat with stuff already in there.
  4. Set Instant Pot for 15 minutes on HIGH pressure. Make sure the vent is closed.
  5. Once time is up let it NATURAL RELEASE for 10 minutes and then quick release before opening. DO NOT quick release this before the 10 minutes or your chicken will be dry.
  6. Shred chicken in sauce (if you like) and Eat!
Things you need!
Mix it all up.
Not quiet as pretty but o’ so tasty.
So pretty! (see the mango is not perfectly cut)
Set it and forget it.


4 egg whites, room temp (if you forget to get out ahead of time like I do you can place eggs in a bowl of warm – not hot – water for five minutes)
1 cup sugar for base plus a handful for whipping cream
1 tsp cornstarch or potato starch (for Passover)
1 tsp cider vinegar (not so secret key!)
1 pt heavy whipping cream (you can use 1/2 pt but I use it all because it tastes good)
3/4 tsp vanilla (1/2 tsp for base and 1/4 tsp for whipping cream)
Fruit or lemon curd (or both) to top
Baking pan
Parchment paper
Mixer (hand or stand)

  1. Preheat oven to 250 degrees F  (121 C).
  2. Line baking pan with parchment paper.

    Make Meringue
  3. Using mixer, whisk egg whites to stiff peaks.
  4. Add 1 c of the sugar about 1/4 cup at a time till stiff glossy peaks. Stiff means the peaks can stand on their own, no curl on top.
  5. Sift (or just sprinkle) in cornstarch/potato starch on top.
  6. Add in 1/ 2 tsp vanilla and cider vinegar then FOLD GENTLY to mix together. Don’t get crazy you don’t want to knock all the air out.
  7. Spoon meringue mixture into baking sheet into whatever shape you would like. I tend to go oval but it’s sticky stuff so just try to get it as even as possible about 1-2″ high.
  8. Bake for 1 1/4 – 1 1/2 hours until meringue is just just starting to turn light golden. Then turn the oven off and let it cool in oven (unopened) overnight if possible. This gets rid of any excess moisture as it cools. Even an hour or two if you are running low on time makes a difference.

    Top and Eat
  9. Whip cream with handful of sugar (I literally throw a handful of sugar and don’t measure) plus final 1/4 tsp of vanilla until it becomes whip cream.
    • You can make whip cream a few hours (or even a day) ahead of time and refrigerate. I would highly recommend doing this vs topping meringue and letting that site for hours ahead of time – it will get soggy.
  10. Spread whip cream on meringue and top with fruit, lemon curd or really anything you want.
  11. EAT!!
Basic Pavlova
© Tara Miller
Getting fancy
© Tara Miller
Using homemade lemon curd (recipe to come)
© Tara Miller
The only photo I can ever get!

Roasted Red Pepper Pesto

2 red bell peppers (or 12 – 16 oz jarred roasted red peppers)
2-3 cloves of garlic (depending on how much you like garlic)
Olive Oil
1/2 – 1 cup loosely packed basil leaves
1/4 – 1/2 cup of Parmesan cheese

Salt (optional)
Baking Pan
Food Processor

To Roast The Peppers (if you are not using jarred)

  1. Preheat your broiler.
  2. Cut peppers into large chunks so you can lay them as flat as possible (see photo below – sorry about that but it’s hard to describe in words).
  3. Spread peppers out on baking pan and broil till skin on peppers is charred. (you might have to turn the pan once or twice to get the charring even)
  4. While they are still VERY hot put peppers in a bowl and cover with saran wrap for 10-15 min. This helps you to be able to peel the skin off the peppers or else it is pretty much impossible.
  5. Cool and peel.

    Making the Pesto
  6. Add the red peppers, basil, garlic, Parmesan cheese into a food processor and starting at low speed then moving to high processes until you get a paste. I have found I need to scrape down the bowl at least once to get it all incorporated.
  7. Add in oil until you get a thick paste.
  8. Season with salt if you think it needs it. I have found the Parmesan cheese gives it enough salt for me, but it’s a personal preference.
  9. Taste to see if anything is too heavy in flavor and if it is mix a bit with a few more of the other ingredients.
  10. Eat as a dip or dressing on veggies, pasta, etc. Also refrigerates for at least a week if not two and I think the flavor improves overnight as it all jells together.
    NOTE: You can also freeze, will just be a bit more watery when it unfreezes.
Pre Broil – get them as flat as you can.
Steam Peppers Steam!
Don’t forget to scrape down the sides.
Post Broil – this is probably not even charred enough
Process together all the pretty colors.
So pretty and so tasty!

Asparagus Two Ways

This one is a twofer. Roasted or Steamed, the choice is yours!

Serves 4
1 bunch of asparagus (or two if you want to do both ways)
Salt (read my Kale Chips recipe for my thoughts on how to measure salt)

For Roasting
Olive Oil
1 tsp of Roasted garlic powder, garlic powder or 1 TBSP of fresh garlic (depending on what you have around the house) – you can also omit this
1/4 tsp Pepper or 5 turns of a pepper mill
Balsamic Vinegar

Baking Pan

Tools For Steaming
Skillet (yup that’s it other than the salt)

To Roast

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (218 C).
  2. Hold an asparagus in your hand and bend it a bit. You can figure out where the bend gets hard and then snap the asparagus end off. I start at the top (tiny end) and move my hand down the asparagus till it gently snaps although I know some people go the other direction. Either way it’s pretty obvious. Repeat for each asparagus. Toss, compost or make stock with the ends.
    • I have also read you should peel the ends after snapping but I’ve never done it mostly just seemed like a lot of work, but up to you!
  3. Wash asparagus. Dry very well so they roast and don’t steam in the oven.
  4. Either in a bowl or on your baking pan drizzle some oil over the asparagus and mix around with your hands till it is totally covered.
  5. Sprinkle pepper (fresh ground if you have it), garlic, and salt and mix that around as well.
  6. Space the asparagus so they are not touching each other and everything cooks evenly then drizzle a bit of balsamic vinegar on top – just move your hand back and forth over it a bit you don’t want to totally cover them.
  7. Place in over for 12-15 minutes until the ends just start to crisp up.
  8. Eat! You can make ahead of time they are still good just not as crispy.

To Steam

  1. Snap the asparagus in the same way as listed above for roasting.
  2. Wash asparagus.
  3. Place asparagus in skillet with enough water that comes about 3/4 up the asparagus – do the best you can to have them in a single layer.
  4. Sprinkle a little bit of salt on top and turn on burners.
  5. Boil/steam them until you can easily slide a knife into the thicker end of one of them. About 5-7 minutes.
  6. Drain, sprinkle a bit more salt.
  7. Eat! This does well in the refrigerator the next day cold.
Snap that asparagus!
Steaming looks prettier (at least till I up my photography skills) but both are delicious.
Make sure to space them out.
Spacing is not easy in a skillet but do the best you can.