My MacBook is My Cookbook

Our kitchen must be my favorite room in the house. It’s the source of mouthwatering flavors, heady scents and good times.

Years ago, I used to print out online recipes for my kitchen adventures. Now I bookmark my food inspirations on Delicious and I keep my MacBook open on the dining table while I’m cooking.

I found an easy Chicken Chasseur recipe on Food and Wine’s website.
Chicken Chasseur with mashed garlic white beans
This hearty hunter’s dish seemed appropriate for the end of the summer.

I also enjoy exploring Food and Wine’s list for the best fast recipes. Ever. That’s where I stumbled on a pasta dish with Italian sausage, basil and mustard.
Mushroom ravioli with sausage, mustard and basil
I didn’t want to waste the ravioli in the fridge and it worked with the sauce. I think that zesty sausage and mustard combo would work better on pasta shells or linguini. Another bonus with this dish: using fresh basil from my garden.

I bought the basil plant in order to make fresh pesto. I was tired of buying big basil bouquets from the market when I didn’t need all of it. I was tired of watching basil wilt in my fridge.

I just wanted a plant that I could snip off the leaves when I needed it. Another jumping point for pesto: David’s Rocco’s “La Dolce Vita.” I watched him chop up basil leaves and garlic in an Italian garden for his pesto. He used a mortar and pestle to ground it all up. Then he added the green paste plus olive oil to an empty jam jar and shook it up for pesto. It looked so frickin’ easy to make pesto in the Italian countryside. I figured I could do the same in my Fremont kitchen with a little food processor.
My first attempt making pesto
I used a Serious Eats recipe for my pesto sauce. It was a hit with pasta. My parents also liked it with bread when we did a picnic at Stern Grove.

Then I used another batch of homemade pesto with baked chicken.
Chicken Pesto
I adapted a recipe from Serious Eats’ “French in a Flash” blog for this dish. I used pesto instead of an olive tapenade. I used the tapenade for the barley and lentil salad. .

I added Jamie Oliver’s creamy mushrooms. I found out about it during Oliver’s traveling episode in Sweden. Once again, a foodie star is cooking out in the open. This time, he used fresh herbs picked from the forest along with the mushroom foraged during that field trip. It looked so easy to do. I followed in his footsteps with fresh rosemary leaves picked from my garden.

So, what’s cooking in your kitchen?

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