Arugula Basil Pesto

Basil-Arugula PestoThis pesto is a fresh take on the Italian classic. A beautiful, bright green, this pesto is zesty, fierce, peppery and not for the faint of heart. While keeping the tradition of the basil, Parmesan, pine nuts, olive oil and garlic, I decided to add some more bitter and bold arugula to give it some pop.

The key to excellent pesto is excellent ingredients. As simple as that. So when you’re out shopping for ingredients try to look for good quality extra-virgin olive oil, artisan cheese and most of all, fresh greens. The freshness is what gives the light, earthy taste with all the vibrant green color. I would recommend this sauce on a dish paired with something a little sweeter to balance out the bitterness of the arugula. May I suggest some pasta with this palate-teasing pesto and some sweet, ripe tomatoes to counterbalance.  Plus green pesto with bright, red tomatoes look absolutely beautiful!P1030266

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Porto’s Bakery and Cafe: My Favorite Cuban Bakery

portos-collage-burbankSo if you have ever been to L.A., specifically the San Fernando Valley, I hope you have heard of Porto’s Bakery and Cafe, a real-deal Cuban bakery that never ceases to amaze me. Everything is baked fresh daily, but sooo much of it! You see trays of fresh treats constantly coming out and just the other day I was buying bread and it was still warm from the oven. Delicious! If absolutely scrumptious smelling desserts(I haven’t eaten gotten to the savory) doesn’t make you want to check this place out, than the prices will. Since they mass produce all the pastries(and trust there is always a line), they are able to sell them for an extremely affordable price. A plain croissant is just a $1.15(wow). Now, I said there is always a long line, but they also have what must be a few dozen employees taking down your order so it goes relatively quickly. Since everyone always orders a few boxes of goodies, these people have amazing memories, I swear. They are so efficient and remember your whole order.BREAD CIABATTA Continue reading

Homemade Rosemary Farmer’s Cheese with Garlic and Cracked Pepper

Finished CheeseHomemade Cheese. The smell when it is cooking is divine(smells a bit like cheese fondue). It makes me think I am in the Italian countryside preparing a fresh meal. In other words, you definitely  need to try making this homemade cheese: easy to make and wonderful on the tongue with its savory aromas and harmony of tastes.  I love the smell of rosemary and it goes beautifully with a little garlic and some freshly ground pepper for a little spice. Continue reading

Homemade Raw Cashew Butter

Raw Cashew ButterSo I was really trying to find something to do with some leftover raw cashews. I had eaten half the bag, but then I felt guilty  eating them just plain(although delicious) knowing that they are such a versatile ingredient: great for vegans, tasty when roasted…and then I thought of cashew butter. I mean there is the commonly known peanut butter and the up and coming almond butter; so why not cashew butter. I will tell you now that it is wonderfully creamy and really retains the nuttiness that we all love. Continue reading