Sunday, June 19, 2011

Never Under Estimate the Value of Pesto and Good Friends

It’s true, the two things you should never underestimate are pesto and really good friends. The pesto comes in handy for those really busy nights when you don’t feel like cooking and the good friends can be relied on to get you through the hard times along with the fun times.

It’s been just over a month since I have been a vegetarian and I am really enjoying it. I have heard said that being a vegetarian limits what you can eat. I really haven’t found that to be the case. In fact I have found it to be quite liberating. Over time I do hope to post more recipes from my cooking exploits. The latest experiment was smoked tofu. It is really good but extremely smoky. I think I am going to chop it up and mix it with some pasta for a nice summer pasta salad or maybe warm it up with some onions and barbecue sauce with some veggie baked beans on the side…The possibilities are endless.

I found a great blog called Meet the Shannons where this couple is cooking their way through the Joy of cooking making the entire recipe collection vegetarian. It’s a great concept that is absolutely fascinating, I can't wait to try some of the recipes. The blue cheese "burger" looks very tempting and they are the ones who gave me the initial idea to smoke tofu.

I am settling into life without Ryan. I have been able to chat with him whenever he can get to a computer. The last time Ryan was overseas I was by myself in Texas. The closest friends were 3 hours away which meant that I had a lot of alone time. This time around it’s already been a lot different. I have a job that takes up 40hrs of my week, the OCPA, the so cal herp club, family and a lot of friends. Though the feeling may be weird to me now, it’s good to know that I don’t have to go far to have a shoulder to lean on.I miss him terribly but I am pleased to hear from him when I can. For those of you who don't know, he is currently working as an independent contractor with a company in Iraq. He is settling into life there as well. Though, of course, there is no place like home.

On the flip side, life has been crazy busy. It doesn’t help that traditionally June and July are the busiest times for Ryan and I. I have been so busy that the dogs have been mad at me on the sheer fact that I have barely been home. As it stands, I do not have a truly free weekend until Mid August, which I think I am going to purposely schedule nothing. This weekend though was quite nice. Yesterday I had a lovely hike with Becky. My dad suggested that we try Crystal Cove. The trail was really nice, it had great views of the ocean, beautiful scenery and some paths that though they were a bit of a challenge were still fun. Here are some pictures of the gorgeous views and the little spring where Becky and I stopped for a quick lunch of Peanut Butter and Jelly.

Today I spent with family. My dad made some of the best salmon ever for our father’s day lunch. I love Sunday dinners, I always have. There is something to be said for getting the family together for a nice big meal and just enjoying eachother’s company. You don’t get that enough in today’s world. Everyone is off doing their own thing and family gets put to the side, often considered to be a pain in the ass.

Recipe of the week: Why Pesto of course!

One package of Pine Nuts

One fairly large package of fresh Basil

One cup olive oil

Parmesan Cheese

Put the pine nuts and oil into either a blender or food processor and blend thoroughly. Add the basil and blend. Mix in Parmesan to taste. Put over the pasta of your choice.

Left overs can be frozen in sandwich baggies for individual use later.

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