Tag Archive: basil

  1. Pizza On The Grill

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    “I’m not telling you to make the world better, because I don’t think that progress is necessarily part of the package. I’m just telling you to live in it. Not just to endure it, not just to suffer it, not just to pass through it, but to live in it. To look at it. To try to get the picture. To live recklessly. To take chances. To make your own work and take pride in it. To seize the moment. And if you ask me why you should bother to do that, I could tell you that the grave’s a fine and private place, but none I think do there embrace. Nor do they sing there, or write, or argue, or see the tidal bore on the Amazon, or touch their children. And that’s what there is to do and get it while you can and good luck at it.”

    – Joan Didion 

      

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    Pizza On The Grill 

    Dough adapted from Artisan Bread in 5

    • 2 cups whole wheat flour
    • 1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
    • 1 1/2 cups + 2 Tbsp lukewarm water
    • 2 teaspoons yeast
    • 2 Tbsp olive oil
    • 1/2 tsp salt 

     

    Herb Pesto

    • 1 cup packed fresh parsley 
    • 1 cup packed fresh basil
    • 1 clove garlic
    • juice of 1/2 lemon
    • 1/2 cup olive oil
    • 1/4 cup pine nuts

     

    Toppings

    • 3 or 4 pints assorted cherry tomatoes, halved
    • 12 oz. fresh burrata

     

    Using Zoe’s “dump and stir” method for the dough, first combine liquids, salt, and yeast in the basin of a large bowl. Give it a good whisk until the water is murky. Pour in flour and stir together, add a touch of oil if it feels too dry. Using your hands, form a large ball of dough and set back in the bowl. Cover and let rise for 1-2 hours.

    Meanwhile, prepare the herb pesto in a food processor or blender simply by tossing all the ingredients together and pulsing until ingredients are liquified. Set near the grill with the burrata and sliced tomatoes for easy assembly.

    Heat your grill on medium-high heat. Dip a towel in olive or other neutral oil and grease the grates. When the thermostat reaches 425′, it’s game time. Punch down dough after rising, divide into two pieces and knead in a bit of flour. Roll out one ball with a pin or press by using your hands. For a thinner crust, gently take dough into hands and, using the backs of your palm and knuckles, tug at the edges until dough thins.

    Transfer dough to a cookie sheet for easy trasport (I learned on the second go). Quickly “fling” dough onto the hot grates and cover for 4-5 minutes, checking frequently to make sure the bottom is barely browning, not burning. Using the same cookie sheet, scoop up half cooked dough and flip. Reduce heat of the grill to low. Dress the pizza with generous amounts of pesto, tomatoes, and torn burrata. Cook for another 5 minutes until edges are browning and the cheese is melty.

    With your second ball of dough, repeat with leftover toppings or give this or this recipe a whirl.

     

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    We’re heading to Alaska again in 12 days. Remember this? It is positively my most favorite place on earth.

    Come and follow along on Instagram.

  2. Cherries + Fennel + Lentils

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    Summer storms are a new indulgence for me. Cozied in a reading chair by our front window I tend to my journal and a cup of cold tea. Torrents of rain bear down on the front walk and I visualize a release of stagnant memories, ideas, and beliefs being carried down the road with the leaves to the storm drain. Shaun is in the Domincan Republic, filming, and I sit alone, silent at my perch, letting the explosive energy of the passing thunder reverberate in my bones.

    Thoughts pass, yet nothing lingers. I experience an excess of calm amidst the raging weather and am reminded, again, of my smallness. I am a speck of matter and energy in this massive, bursting earthplane of people, places and dreams.

    During my months living at sea, I used to spend hours gazing upon the open ocean, begging the waves to teach me their humility and sense of time. Years later, in this chair and the throes of a summer storm, no begging is needed. I am both humbled and grateful for the gift of an unrushed hour to my afternoon. Tears form, then a smile. For the first time in a long time, I actually believe it will all be okay. 

    Tomorrow my morning walk will smell of fresh ideas, resolve, and renewed opportunity, the rain will have cleansed the world of todays mistakes and made space for all that can, and will, come next. Exhale.

    // july 6

    Cherry, Lentil, Fennel Salad 

    • 1/2 lb red cherries, pitted and halved
    • 1 small bulbs fennel, shaved
    • 4-5 small red beets, chopped
    • 1/2 cup de puy lentils
    • 2 giant handfuls of baby greens (kale, chard, etc.)
    • 1 ripe avocado
    • 1 tbsp fresh basil, julienned
    • 1 tbsp fresh mint, julienned
    • 1/4 cup shallot, minced
    • 1/4 cup olive oil
    • juice of 1 lemon
    • 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds, toasted
    • salt/pepper on hand

    I’m going to make these instructions short and sweet, a salad is as salad does folks. Boil lentils for 20 minutes. Remove. Rinse. Cool. Set aside. Steam sliced beets for 10 minutes. Rinse. Cool. Set aside. Finely slice fennel and place in a small bowl. Douse with salt and massage with hands. Let sit for 10 minutes, rinse, drain. Pit cherries. Set aside. Toast pumpkin seed under the broiler for 2-5 minutes until lightly browned. Set aside.

    In a large bowl combine basil, mint, shallot, olive oil, and lemon juice. Stir. Pile in cherries, softened fennel, steamed beets, and lentils. Stir to coat. Cut in Avocado. Toss with greens (probably should use your hands to get everything good and mixed/coated). Top with seeds, salt, pepper.

     ** Sharley and Caroline, this one’s for you ladies. Thank you for sharing your kindness and light with me last week.

  3. Onward

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    The rope that tethers me to this place, this time, is growing thinner with each day approaching the big move (42, who’s counting).  Things feel different, everywhere. My running route, the struggle to find parking on campus, our favorite restaurants, the farmers market, even the beach. It’s as if my mind has begun the emotional preparations for a new normal by disassociating from the old. More frequently now I find myself caught in the ordinary moments with a feeling of being there, but not really there in the ways I once was.

    I drive through parts of town and see the places I lost myself, the places I really found myself.  I see Shaun and I, younger, and the memories made in our relentless itch for growth and exploration. Everywhere there is a cacophony of light and dark, joy and pain, laughter and tears. It feels sorta supernatural. Hard to describe.

    Standing at the edge of the shore this morning, I looked up to the clouds barreling across the sky after the good storm we had the past few days and felt an extraordinary sense of gratitude for the time, for the place — for all that it gave, for all that it took away. Four years have come and gone. I’m a different person now. I hope a better one. And it’s time. Time to let new faces and new seasons to teach me more about myself, more about the world.

    The strawberries will be missed, California. But I’m so ready for new adventures.

    Strawberry Basil Scones 
     
    • 2 ½ cups flour (I used a GF blend)
    • 2 tbsp turbinado sugar
    • 1 
tbsp baking powder
    • ¼ 
tsp salt
    • ½ cup cold coconut oil or butter, cut into chunks
    • 1 + cup chopped fresh strawberries
    • 2
 tbsp minced basil
    • ½ cup full fat coconut milk
    • 2 
eggs

    Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. In a large bowl stir together the dry ingredients. Scoop out or cut in butter or coconut oil. Stir in minced basil and hulled, and quartered strawberries. In a medium bowl stir together eggs and the milk. (Cream, half and half, or regular milk would work here too.) Add egg mixture to flour mixture in one pour. Stir together until completely moistened, using your hands when necessary.

    Turn out onto a parchment covered baking sheet. Press into a 1” thick circle. Cut into 8 wedges. Brush with extra milk and sprinkle with sugar. If you use butter instead of coconut oil, place baking sheet with cut wedges in the freezer for up to 20 minutes before baking. It will make them magically fluffier and more scone-y. Bake for 15-20 minutes, depending. Finish with a good dollop of local honey or clotted cream.

  4. Spring-y Spring Rolls with Carrot Ginger Miso Sauce

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    When I start a copywriting assignment with a new client, the most important question I ask to get to know them is “where are you, what are you doing, and who are you with when you most feel like yourself?” They often smile, get a little quiet, and start to tell a story. Somewhere they visited, Saturday rituals at home… little details that reveal their personality and perspective. It’s more anthropological experimentation than it is helpful writing tool. Often, how they answer this question is entirely different than the manner in which they answer all the others. They haven’t prepared for this sort of prompt, so they have a chance to share in their sincerest form. How interesting is it that?

    Using the exercise on myself, I become overwhelmed with a deep and exhilarating sense of peace and understanding as I am instantly transported to a time and space where things were just as they should be. When I find myself drifting off course or am sorting through serious life decisions, I try to practice this mediation. It has a funny way of bringing my head and heart back into alignment when the wires get crossed or cut. I’ve recently come to think of it as my “happiness compass.”  Ultimately, when we are able to live out the truest, most authentic versions of ourselves, we can be the most happy.

    I think so often we get caught up in creating an idea of happiness that we look too far outward, forward to things and elaborate ideas that will slingshot us out of a current state of fatigue, frustration, fear, etc. While I totally think happiness is something you can and should work to manifest, in times of uncertainty, it is best guided by the reminders living inside us all. Memories can’t provide direct answers for our troubles, but the process of remembering may lull the voices, our own and otherwise, that may be pulling/pushing us into a direction that leaves us feeling unsettled. It creates space for us to truly consider all that we know to be true, trust all that is yet to be taught, and go forward with a sense of empowerment to just be. It brings everything back to center. There may be chaos, there may be distraction, there may be consternation… but in our own answer, there can be stillness. And that is enough.  

    So I ask you this question, today…

    Where are you, what are you doing, and who are you with when you most feel like yourself?” 

    Close your eyes. Listen. Let those places, people, spaces wash over you and fill you with love and light.

    Feel free to shred, julienne, or dice anything your heart desires for these guys — spring rolls are incredibly versatile. I’ve mixed soft greens, crisp cabbage, and creamy avocado to diversify the texture. Add or subtract herbs as desired. Play with the sauce to your liking too, I spotted it in the magazine and knew it had potential.

    And… get this: Happyolks has a free app for iPhone. Um, What!? Speaking of things that remind us who we really are, my incredible/handsome/kind little brother spent the semester in one of his engineering courses developing it for us. Hugs to Austin for his hard work. Download it from the App Store and check for updates and new features as the year progresses.

    Spring-y Spring Rolls 

    • 1 dozen medium rice paper sheets
    • 1 head napa cabbage, shredded
    • 3 cups escarole (or soft lettuce), shredded
    • 2 cups micro basil
    • 2 cups whole mint leaves
    • 3 avocados, segmented

    Carrot Ginger Miso Sauce - adapted from Bon Appetit

    • 2 tbsp miso paste
    • 1/4 cup minced spring onion
    • 6 tbsp olive oil
    • 2-3 tbsp finely grated carrot
    • 2-3 tbsp finely grated ginger
    • 1 tbsp toasted sesame oil
    • t tsp rice wine vinegar
    • 2 tbsp honey (brown rice syrup for vegans)
    • juice of one lemon
    • sprinkle of salt

    Submerge a single spring roll wrapper in a bowl of hot water until completely pliable, about 15 seconds. Remove, and gently set on a flat surface. Layer with cabbage, escarole, avocado, and herbs. Construct a roll like a burrito; start with the bottom and cover the horizontal line of veggies. Fold in both sides and press to seal. Roll up tightly to the top and seal the edge. Set aside. Repeat.

    For the sauce “Place all ingredients plus 1/4 cup water in a resealable container. Cover and shake vigorously until well combined.”

Let's get in Touch

I wish I could make coffee dates with you all. In the meantime, feel free to drop me a line with questions, comments, concerns, or just to say Hi. I like that. There is nothing more uplifting than an email from a a fresh contact or kindred spirit.

I can be reached through this contact form and at happyolks [at] gmail [dot] com.