RefuTEA

RefuTEA

This post is about a dear friend, our love for TEA, and a Collaboration! Whether gathering around her dining room table, her kitchen island, or on a walk in her waterfront neighborhood - my dear friend Anna is welcoming and gives me a big shot of CALM whenever I see her. Over the years of friendship, each time we gather, there is tea. I like PG tips and Jasmine teas, and take milk with the black tea. Anna love mint and ginger tea, and does not take milk. Our tea tastes come together, however, over Earl Grey. At Anna’s home tea is often served in hand spun pottery that SHE made and I adore it. We hold our mugs in both hands, savoring the warmth and the presence that comes from this act. As we sip we talk, laugh, and often watch a kid or 6 run around the house.

One of the many things we have talked about over cups of tea is our common experience of forming relationships with two different newly arrived refugee families. Anna shared the experience of beautiful hospitality she felt in the home of refugee friends. Though they had only just arrived, with very little to their name, tea was always served. A beautiful black tea brewed with whole cardamom pods. The act of making and pouring tea, of sharing this warmth, even when we shared very few common words-brought us together.

This love of tea, and care of refugees led Anna to discover Refutea, a local tea brand with a heart for refugee families and their resettlement. Autumn, the founder and owner of Refutea shares our love of hospitality and sees sharing tea as an experience that transcends language and difference-that brings people together. This beautiful company currently donates 10% of its proceeds each quarter to local refugee resettlement agencies, with big beautiful dreams of someday soon opening a tea shop that would allow newly settled refugee friends and neighbors to pour cups of tea, to share hospitality and stories.

On a sunny afternoon recently, Autumn, Anna, and I gathered around my dining room table. We shared no-bake cookies and cups of Refutea Colombo Crème Earl Grey (amazing!). While the new puppy wandered at our feet, and even settled on Anna’s lap, we held our mugs in two hands and dreamed of how we could take our love of tea, hospitality, and people and work together. At that table the Refutea/Lark collaboration was born. And today, we present to you the first Refutea/Lark cocktails. In this season of busy and hustle, we wish we could share it with you around the table, or in front of the fire. I would invite you to Anna’s house if I could. But, the next best thing would be for you to gather with a few people that feel like home, like warmth, that nourish you. Hold your cups in both hands, distraction free. Be present to each other, to the flavors, to the meaning behind the ingredients. Think for a moment of the neighbors who are receiving support because of your Refutea purchase. Talk about things you love, that are important to you. We invite you to linger over this beverage, your long list of holiday to-dos will still be there when the cup is empty. Cheers, friends.


On a Lark,

Kate

Try the Cocktails I created for this collaboration HERE!

Our Italian Holiday

Our Italian Holiday

Our Italian Holiday

To travel as a family -- with kids! -- through the heart of Italy was my 40th birthday wish. Many asked, “Is that a good idea?” Others thought it would be fun; others just smirked like they knew something I didn’t. Well, guess what — it was the right decision! Ages 10, 8, and 6, our kids were able to walk on their own (sometimes over 30,000 steps a day, according to 10-year-old Jack and his Fit-Bit), use the restroom alone (no diapers allowed!), and sleep anywhere.

 The Bolt Family (from left to right) : Jack (age 10), Kate, Vivian (age 6), Dan, Willem (age 8)

The Bolt Family (from left to right) : Jack (age 10), Kate, Vivian (age 6), Dan, Willem (age 8)

We mapped our route: fly into Rome and out of Milan. We booked reasonably priced seats out of our local midwest airport, and about 9 months before the trip we felt secure that we at least had a way to get to our dreamy destination! Soon after that, we booked hotels, Airbnbs, cars, tours, and (about 3 months prior) restaurants on our To Do List. Then, on July 13 (with 3 days left in my 30’s), we set out with 5 carry-on suitcases, 4 backpacks (the 6-year-old and I shared because I caved and realized she might not carry it everywhere), and five hearts tired from a long school year and a desire to adventure to new lands.

 “i’m sad I only brought a carry-on” said by no one, ever.

“i’m sad I only brought a carry-on” said by no one, ever.

First Stop - Rome!

The first cup of coffee after flying all night is the best thing, isn’t it? Airport coffee is even delicious! I was all buzzy with caffeine as we took a cab to our first hotel, the K BOUTIQUE in the Monte neighborhood of Rome. We literally passed the Colosseum on the way to the hotel, and we all just stared in wonder.

 When people ask what my favorite meal was in Italy I usually reply “all the beverages." Coffee • Aperol • Campari • Vino • Sparkling Water…

When people ask what my favorite meal was in Italy I usually reply “all the beverages." Coffee • Aperol • Campari • Vino • Sparkling Water…

 The light of Rome settles over the city with an aura in layers of magical history.

The light of Rome settles over the city with an aura in layers of magical history.

We loved the location of our airy two room suite, which was walking distance to everything, and we adored our day on a private guided tour of the Colosseum for kids (we took more water breaks and walked slower than most tours.) At the end of each of our 3 afternoons in Rome, we took a dip in the smallest rooftop pool in the world, which somehow entertained 2 of the kids for a few hours each day!

 Small Pool, Big View

Small Pool, Big View

 Beautiful Board at  Pizzicaroli  with our favorites, Porchetta, Pate, Fromagi

Beautiful Board at Pizzicaroli with our favorites, Porchetta, Pate, Fromagi

Memorable meals were at Pizzicaroli, La Carbonara, and many small pizza counters and small pasta haunts where the only thing on the menu was always something AMAZING.

 In the foreground is Suppli - tomato sauce & rice with mozzarella melting in the middle, then fried. One of our favorites.

In the foreground is Suppli - tomato sauce & rice with mozzarella melting in the middle, then fried. One of our favorites.

One day, we followed Rick Steve’s Walking Tour of Rome wherever it led us, including 4 gelaterias with our favorite flavor being from FLOR - AMAZING hazelnut gelato with Nutella on the top. We didn’t see everything in Rome, and many think we are NUTS that we didn’t make it to the Vatican, but FUN and HAPPY was our top priority, so we had to cut some things in order to to do that. One rainy night, Vivian was scared of the lightening storm coming upon us so we ducked into the hotel -- leaving the boys to explore the Spanish Steps and Trevi fountain alone. They had an AMAZING time in the rain, and Vivian and I traded one important venture for a great night of rest and movie-watching. It was a win-win.

 “This place is HOW old, Mama?” Said one million times at the Colosseum.

“This place is HOW old, Mama?” Said one million times at the Colosseum.

  FLOR Gelateria  flavors: Milk (Willem got this each time), Hazelnut with Nutella, & Oreo

FLOR Gelateria flavors: Milk (Willem got this each time), Hazelnut with Nutella, & Oreo

Bognoregio di Civita

We drove out of Rome (rental car time!) a little way into the Tuscan countryside to the tiny town of Civita. Civita is connected to a larger town, Bognoregio, via a footbridge which is as steep and charming as you see here.

 There are really no words for this view.

There are really no words for this view.

We stayed in an apartment (Airbnb for the win!) in Civita that was built by the Etruscans (800 BCE) and had crumbly walls and a huge old fireplace in the owner's residence upstairs. Having this comfortable space to return to each night was nice and exciting since the basement and tunnels under the house reminded us of the mystery and magic of the history of the place. WIth only 7 full-time residents, this town was one we felt safe letting our kids roam free, which they did visiting the new kittens behind the restaurant eight times a day, Vivian exploring the free underground museum next door daily, and all of us walking to the walls of the city to explore the mountains in different shades of sunlight.

 Garden View and layers of Fig, Pomegranate and Lemon trees

Garden View and layers of Fig, Pomegranate and Lemon trees

 The Bruschetta our Airbnb hosts Ilaria and Marco made for us - so good that we will forever judge bruschetta to this one, and possibly never find any as good as this.

The Bruschetta our Airbnb hosts Ilaria and Marco made for us - so good that we will forever judge bruschetta to this one, and possibly never find any as good as this.

 Cacio e Pepe Pasta in front of our hosts fireplace with perfect local Chardonnay from  Tellus Winery

Cacio e Pepe Pasta in front of our hosts fireplace with perfect local Chardonnay from Tellus Winery

Tuscany


There are so many details to share about our portion of the trip in Montalcino, where we stayed at a quiet winery, Canalicchio di Sopra Wine Relais. We truly made use of our pool at this stop and loved every bit of the location, which was flooded with human-size rosemary hedges, lavender bordering the pool, and olive trees all around. During this part of our holiday, we spent most of the day away on adventures, so at night we stayed in...at the pool, took long walks and just chilled. To be honest we ate frozen pizza one night in our room (sad, I know - but even frozen Italian pizza tastes great so don’t judge!) and one night walked to town for a dinner of gelato (and nothing else!)

 Our hotel, rosemary hedges, lavender and Willem.

Our hotel, rosemary hedges, lavender and Willem.

 this VIEW.

this VIEW.

On one of two day trips in Tuscany, we ventured to Podere Il Castile where we toured the most lovely sheep’s cheese farm in all the world which included an in-depth cheese making course, and a tour from the owner and a 4 course lunch that I dream about still.

 Sheep’s Cheese farm in Val D’ Orcia - such a happy farm!

Sheep’s Cheese farm in Val D’ Orcia - such a happy farm!

 My dream dinner party destination.

My dream dinner party destination.

  Podere il Casale  has been farming for over 20 years in this gorgeous location.

Podere il Casale has been farming for over 20 years in this gorgeous location.

The other day trip was to Sienna, complete with a private tour of the hilly town that was designed to keep our kids’ minds interested throughout the morning. My research paid off that day with the most magical lunch stop. As usual, I asked our tour guide to drop us off at the restaurant (locals love to show you their back alleys!), which saved us the trouble of finding our way through a city with twists and turns. This gem had no menu, only what was made that day, with the best bread and a carafe of local red or white wine. We ate our hearts out on fresh cold pasta and lots of charcuterie while we watched the rest of the tourists search for a table with maps in hand, looking sad and confused (as we surely did on others days but had to toast each other that today was not that day).

 the Perfect lunch in Sienna.

the Perfect lunch in Sienna.

 Sienna is so hilly that there is an escalator in the middle of town to help you get from here to the cathedral. Such a charming (but busy and full of tour groups) town.

Sienna is so hilly that there is an escalator in the middle of town to help you get from here to the cathedral. Such a charming (but busy and full of tour groups) town.

 Every summer the town hosts the   Palio   - a bareback horse race. This race is about pageantry, civic identity and Sienese pride as the seventeen neighborhoods in town compete against each other. Held in honor of the Virgin Mary, the race takes place twice a year, on July 2 and August 16. This display in town helped our kids to learn about the event and our sweet guide gave them 17 marbles to race down this sculpture.

Every summer the town hosts the Palio - a bareback horse race. This race is about pageantry, civic identity and Sienese pride as the seventeen neighborhoods in town compete against each other. Held in honor of the Virgin Mary, the race takes place twice a year, on July 2 and August 16. This display in town helped our kids to learn about the event and our sweet guide gave them 17 marbles to race down this sculpture.

 Goodbye, Tuscany. We ❤️ you.

Goodbye, Tuscany. We ❤️ you.

The road to Cremona - or what I like to call BEWARE OF CHANGING COURSE!

Our route for this trip was perfect until we diverged from it. We stopped at a small town once to have lunch (this was not on our itinerary and somehow became a kind of a disaster) and decided to drive to the coast before heading inland further to Cremona and then Venice. The Tuscan side-trip to the sea coast WAS a gorgeous mountainous drive and, based my post- college Cinque Terre trip, led my optimistic brain to decide the Italian sea-coast town we were driving toward was just like all the other rock-cliff-colorful-house wonderlands. BUT THINK AGAIN and then add 6 hours to an inland trip with a family of five in close quarters. Since there were no Italian children ANYWHERE on our holiday, we figured out that they were all at the seashore seemingly between Camaiore and La Spezia, where we drove on our tangent. The beaches were PACKED with umbrellas crammed tight and gorgeous families who fled the cities for July and August. Although my extroverted middle child and I loved this beach adventure, the rest of the family saw this as a crowded, hot, hard-to-find parking spot holiday mishap unfit for visiting. We spent 30 minutes at a beach town finding a gas station sandwich lunch and that middle child taking a dip fully clothed in the ocean and wearing those salty clothes the rest of the day. I could go on and on about the adventures of this memorable day, but have to quit somewhere: on we go to Cremona.

 Vibrant beach colors made me want to stay for a week - although most of the family disagreed.

Vibrant beach colors made me want to stay for a week - although most of the family disagreed.

Cremona

This is the home of the Stradivarius violin! I won’t spend much time sharing stories from this location with you since very few people visit Cremona -- it was honestly only filled with violin enthusiasts and locals, both of whom we loved! We stayed a local hotel that might have been the best in town, but was not very clean and was strange in all the hot-tub-in-the-room kind of ways, although it gave us a place to rest our (very weary from the beach tangent) heads. We visited the Stradivarius Museum, a Luthier’s Workshop for a private tour, and dined with every local out for a pizza in an alleyway downtown. This little trattoria was staffed with a family of waiters just like you would imagine in a small Italian village, screaming at each other about missing orders, recommending the quattro formaggi, and letting us linger long while we ordered pizza after pizza.

 The modern version of the violin was born here in the 16th century and we saw them made in this workshop! We loved our personal tour of this tiny father/son operation.

The modern version of the violin was born here in the 16th century and we saw them made in this workshop! We loved our personal tour of this tiny father/son operation.

 We felt like locals in this bourgeois town - although Jack noted here he was tired of eating out. 😂

We felt like locals in this bourgeois town - although Jack noted here he was tired of eating out. 😂

Venice

After an early breakfast in Cremona at the hotel, we were off driving straight to Venice. As you can imagine, you can’t get a car taxi to a Venetian hotel, which we found out when the taxi arranged prior turned out to be a water taxi of course! Water taxis in Venice are GORGEOUS. Both the men driving them (Dan and I agreed they looked like a cross between a soccer player and a lifeguard) and the Chris-Craft wooden boats that pulled up at the docks for us were impressive. In what might be the best five minutes of Dan’s trip, we got the best introduction to the sinking city from the Grand Canal to smaller canals that led us to our hotel where the front door was on the canal, of course, much to our delight!

 When I think of Venice I used to associate it with gondolas, but TAXIS are my favorite way to go!

When I think of Venice I used to associate it with gondolas, but TAXIS are my favorite way to go!

Our hotel wasn’t modern or swanky, just pure Venetian charm with fluffy pillows, turndown service, large Aperol Spritz cocktails available at the bar at all hours, and shuttered windows over the canals and streets below. It was a great home base -- a home base for all of our adventures which included wandering streets until we got happy and lost, eating every kind of gelato again, attending an opera and a symphony (these are easy to find and quite inexpensive), riding a gondola (of course), and making masks at a charming little workshop as a family. One meal that stands out as lovely was at Osteria Enoteca San Marco - a dimly lit modern place that was everything I wanted (great cheese, wine, and well crafted entrees) after a day bumping into travelers and locals in the crowded Venetian streets.

 Vivian made her own Carnival Mask at a workshop (where we made 8 masks, all gorgeous!)

Vivian made her own Carnival Mask at a workshop (where we made 8 masks, all gorgeous!)

There are maybe three things that I don’t recommend in Venice: ONE: The five hour tour that travels with the rest of the tourists to three islands surrounding Venice. Are the islands nice, you ask? I really have no idea because there was a lot of walking involved to see the nice spots on these deserted islands, and the day of the tour (glass making in Murano) it was about 120 F and the glassmaker made the same bird out of blown glass he made when I took the tour in college.

 They actually look pretty happy here but looks can be deceiving-on the too long 5 hour boat tour

They actually look pretty happy here but looks can be deceiving-on the too long 5 hour boat tour

TWO: Letting your kid find a souvenir at the last city you visit (Venice) and letting him go from junk cart to junk cart to find Italian soccer jerseys. (HERE IS A RANDOM PRO TIP: Have your child raise money by doing chores before you leave for the trip. On the trip take that child directly to a reputable sport store in the first city you visit, spend 50 euros on a jersey and call it a win.) THREE: Avoid the places suggested by your favorite celebrity chef with grilled cheese for 28 euro. Although I loved Harry’s Bar for many reasons, see photos below, I should have followed all advice and sat down for a Bellini in the side bar and called it GOOD.

  Harry’s Bar  Croque-Monsieur & the famous Bellini-delicious although a bit overrated

Harry’s Bar Croque-Monsieur & the famous Bellini-delicious although a bit overrated

 View at Harry’s from our table. Dan ordered cuttlefish and all the kids tried it which was a WIN.

View at Harry’s from our table. Dan ordered cuttlefish and all the kids tried it which was a WIN.

 The iconic gondola ride did NOT disappoint. We loved our holiday in every way - so grateful.

The iconic gondola ride did NOT disappoint. We loved our holiday in every way - so grateful.

Finale

We shed a few tears leaving Venice, the last leg of our trip, adored our three hour train from Venice to Milan, and slept in an uncomfortable hotel in Milan before jetting back to the United States the next morning. As I reflect on this much anticipated trip, I am most grateful for our family’s LIFE TOGETHER, lived in a different space and culture. It was a beautiful time for us that was made so especially beautiful because of the planning all five of us did. One HUGE help in making our itinerary work in the most amazing way for us was hiring Daniela Mencarelli from Italian travel agency Discover Your Italy. She helped us measure distances between towns, set up private tours, and book back-alley restaurants that only a local could find.

It was fun for me to write hints for traveling internationally with kids and also fun to recall our trip through written word - may it give you permission to try some LARK living in new and different ways!


On a lark,

Kate


Lodging: the hot list-

An apartment or adjoining rooms worked best for our family or 5 on this trip. See details below!

K Boutique, Rome. Spacious rooms in the Monti Neighborhood, connected for families, A/C, breakfast included, small pool and rooftop bar, rooms from $180 per night.

Gaia’s Place, Airbnb, Civita di Bagnoregio. Three bedrooms in an old Etruscan home, clean, amazing garden for use, breakfast at 5 euro per person per night, dinner with the owners will make you feel like family (for purchase), entire apartment from around $115 per night.

Borgo Canalicchio di Sopra Wine Relais, Montalcino, Tuscany. This new gem has three bedrooms in one of it's gorgeous apartments with a loft, large infinity pool, and breakfast included. The 1/2 hour uphill walk to town is worth the effort! Rooms from around $250 per night.

Cremona (read about the town here from the NYT). Top floor suites with locked connector, king beds and a sleeper couch, breakfast included (with American pancakes that my kids really did enjoy even though they also loved every bit of Italian food everywhere). Hotel information available upon request since I didn’t say the nicest things about this place.

Palace Bonvecchiati, Venice. Two bedroom suite with super comfortable everything. Great home base. Rooms from $270 per night.

Daniela Mencarelli from Italian travel agency Discover Your Italy.

Cookbook Update

Never be afraid to fall.

I didn’t really want to write this entry.  I’d love to keep you guessing about how my cookbook publishing process is going, hoping you’d think I’ve found an agent and a publisher and that the book will be out soon.  But that’s not the way the publishing world really works -- especially when publishing cookbooks!

 Here I’m happy consulting on the Event at  Warehouse 6  in Holland for  Local First !

Here I’m happy consulting on the Event at Warehouse 6 in Holland for Local First!

My goal to see my recipes published in a cookbook through a large publishing house is a big one.  Remember how I followed my dad’s advice to aim high and submitted my book proposal to an agent in Manhattan?  I submitted it to her because a lovely author friend of mine connected us, and I wanted advice about what to do with the proposal.  It was nice to submit it because it got all my words in order and the agent thought it was beautiful (yay)! However, she’s not taking new clients -- because she has BIG clients (if you are up on cookbooks, she is representing Sister Pie and Joy the Baker!). I learned from her that I should have 100,000 followers on Instagram to be considered for this big publishing world, and I’m FAR from that.  But now that I am free to find a new agent or submit elsewhere, I feel a lightness to worry less about my Instagram numbers, and that has allowed me the freedom to wander into fun LARK things.  Even in this fun LARK season, I’m not sure I’m always moving toward my goal of a published cookbook, but I am grateful for, and happy with, this creative Lark lifestyle!  

This AIMING HIGH process allowed me to FALL from what I thought I wanted into the entrepreneurial world, and has allowed me to meet the most lovely people, gain a good local following,  endorse fun events, PLAN successful events with local non-profits, and connect with other dreamers.

 Here I am at my happiest - biking flowers to friends!

Here I am at my happiest - biking flowers to friends!

What’s next?

I’m trying to ignore the extroverted side of me that constantly wants to socialize/plan events,  and CURL IN to enjoy the writing and cooking side of LARK for autumn and winter. I have a new website, but haven’t utilized it well or written blog posts very often. This is something I really love to do, so be on the lookout for new posts!  I want to write, create and keep building LARK, then submit my entire cookbook proposal again (& again & again & again), because although a miracle book contract would be great right now, I need to put in lots of work to get the Living LARK lifestyle out to more people.  

How can you help?  

Just enjoy making Lark recipes, share them on social media and with friends, and Live on a LARK in all of your own creative wonderful ways! Thank you for joining me on this journey friends! I can’t wait to share more as we enter a new season… Cheers!


On a Lark,

Kate

 The  Coppercraft Distillery  Autumn Mule Collaboration!

The Coppercraft Distillery Autumn Mule Collaboration!

Coconut-Almond Chia Seed Pudding

Coconut-Almond Chia Seed Pudding

I think that it’s time for some LARK breakfast hints! I rotate what I eat during the week between Granola, Chia Seed Pudding, Tiger Nut Pancakes, and the Basic Smoothie. Sometimes I add some scrambled eggs with feta, spinach, and tomatoes in the rotation, but generally this rotation of meals is what keeps me healthy and starting the day off right. On the weekend we splurge, of course, with The Sunday Pancake - I love them with a little granola and fresh blueberry sprinkled in the batter.

 For better or worse…don’t expect this to taste like the chocolate pudding of your childhood!

For better or worse…don’t expect this to taste like the chocolate pudding of your childhood!

If you look closely at LARK recipes, you can see I’m big on oatmeal. I love it, but it doesn’t give me the energy I’m looking for to last me all day. The answer? Trendy Chia Seed Pudding! I make it on Sunday afternoon, store it in Mason jars, and eat it a few mornings each week. Top this pudding with a tablespoon of almond butter, fresh fruit, and a drizzle of maple syrup for a satisfying breakfast.


I’ll post the other recipes mentioned above later this week, so for now enjoy this one!


Coconut-Almond Chia Seed Pudding
(makes 3 cups of pudding)

1 can unsweetened coconut milk (13.6 oz.)
½ c white chia seeds
1 T maple syrup
½ t salt
1 t almond extract
½ c frozen blueberries or tart pitted cherries
2 T Collagen Powder (click this link to read about the health benefits of this product!)

Stir well to combine and pour mixture into three 8 ounce Mason jars. Allow to set in the refrigerator overnight and, when ready to eat, top with nuts, seeds, fruit and a hint of honey or maple syrup.

Steamed Artichokes

Steamed Artichokes

This recipe stems from my admiration of local chef and cookbook author, Julee Rosso.  Julee mastered the steamed artichoke, and this is my weeknight, kid-friendly version of that lovely French dish. I often steam one  artichoke while I make dinner and tell the kids it’s there to eat before dinner everytime they remind me they are hungry (which is OFTEN!).

DFS_1694.jpg

I love when my kids surprise me and eat something I deem interesting or FANCY.  There is something lovely about kids pulling artichoke leaves out of the heart and scraping the goodness out with their teeth.  It seems harder to do than shovel string cheese into their mouth and also feels a bit European. Why do I assume artichokes are better than white, waxy, cheese?  This seems to be just my personal taste, but artichokes are truly more healthy and satisfying for my kids’ energetic needs. Enjoy this recipe and all the fun of eating petals!

DFS_1692.jpg


Steamed Artichokes
Serves 2 as an appetizer

1 artichoke
1 lemon, sliced in half
3 T olive oil
1 t chili flakes

Wash artichoke and trim off all the sharp points with scissors.  Cut off stem with a knife and then cut off the top sharp point of artichoke as well.  Lay the artichoke in the middle of a 1-foot long piece of Plastic Wrap and squeeze a lemon over it.  Tightly wrap the plastic around the artichoke and place it in microwave. Cook for 5 minutes. Meanwhile,  combine olive oil with chili flakes in a cute bowl for dipping. After cooking, unwrap the artichoke and place it stem side down on a plate.  To eat, pull the petals off and dip in oil. Don’t eat the whole petal! Scrape off the fleshy parts with your teeth and -- YUM! -- enjoy. Put out an extra plate for used petals.

Storing up for Winter

Storing up for Winter

When my basil plants (the only thing I can grow well; I’m just not such a green thumb) are huge, I make large batches of pesto. This year I ONLY planted basil and guess what?  It’s hardly growing. The only plant I have (and I planted eight plants!) isn’t working. SO...I just bought some amazing basil from our local farmers’ market and I’m making pesto this week.  I’m freezing it in ice cube trays for use all winter. If you live in California or East Jerusalem and can make good pesto with your own basil all winter, please know that I’m so jealous. As in my other recipes, there’s not garlic here -- but feel free to add a clove or two if you prefer it, and for the recipe page click here!  

 

  these pics have nothing to do with summer pesto except they are very Winter-ey photos, which we are storing up for now! 

these pics have nothing to do with summer pesto except they are very Winter-ey photos, which we are storing up for now! 

  photo credit:  Alexa Karen

photo credit: Alexa Karen

Basic Pesto
Makes 2 cups


1 c parmesan cheese (I love Kirkland Signature Parmigiano Reggiano Aged 24 Months from Costco, in blocks)
2 c basil
1/2 c pine nuts or walnuts
1 c olive oil
1/4 t. salt  
1 t. pepper
Garlic, optional

In a food processor, grate block of parmesan until course.  Add basil and pulse until combined, then add pine nuts, salt, and pepper, and pulse again.  Add olive oil while machine is running. Spoon this mixture into ice cube trays, freeze, then pop into plastic bags for use during the long winter.  

A note on the cheese: I remove waxy rind from the block of cheese before grinding in food processor.  I then cut the block into small 1 inch blocks and toss into the food processor and grind until fine.  I'm sorry if you don't have a food processor -- it's essential for this recipe, so please borrow one if you don't own one!