meat sauce

Meat Sauce – Instant Pot

I threw this simple meat sauce together in the Instant pot a few nights ago and thought I should share it. Cause, you know, that’s what I do. One of the things I like most about the Instant Pot is its ability to marry flavors that otherwise would take hours, and, as much as I love making sauce on the stove when I have all afternoon to let it simmer, that’s not usually possible.

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pumpkin seed pesto linguine

Pumpkin Seed Pesto

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If you’ve got fresh basil growing like crazy in your yard as I do, I think it’s probably time to make some pumpkin seed pesto. I started using pumpkin seeds for pesto a few years ago, and I’ve never looked back. I don’t use pine nuts because, though they are technically a seed, we don’t like to play “let’s see what happens!” with Ella’s tree nut allergy. Now I’m not sure why I’d use pine nuts, regardless of the allergy, because I really can’t tell the difference, and they are way more expensive than pumpkin seeds. Don’t get me wrong, I love the rich nutty flavor of pine nuts, but I’d rather have them toasted and tossed in pasta or a salad on their own.

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berry crisp

Berry Crisp

If you need something to do with all those berries you buy at the farmer’s market this weekend, a simple but delicious berry crisp is always a good idea. I can’t think of any kind of berry this wouldn’t work with though I’m partial to blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, and marionberries. As much as I love fresh strawberries, I don’t love them cooked, so I probably wouldn’t use them in a berry crisp, but that shouldn’t keep you from doing it if you like that sort of thing. You could even throw some cherries in there. The berry police won’t care.

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grilled pizza

Pizza on the Grill

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You know what would make this feel less like a Monday? If everyone could throw their own personalized pizza on the grill! You don’t have to wait for the weekend; you just have to plan ahead a little. Making the homemade dough is the most time-consuming part only because of the rising time. Hands-on time is short. It’s even shorter if you buy it at the grocery store. Trader Joe’s has good pizza dough ready to go, and I would imagine most other grocery stores do as well.


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peanut butter cookies

Peanut Butter Cookies

The use of mostly brown sugar and the addition of a little cornstarch produced soft, slightly chewy peanut butter cookies that lend themselves well to ice cream sandwiches (detailed in a separate post.) I would imagine they would also be lovely sandwiching a creamy frosting or rich ganache. The possibilities abound. Also, the few that were stolen by teenagers were immensely enjoyed on their own while I was preparing them for the ice cream sandwiches.

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cocoa sandwich cookies

Cocoa Sandwich Cookies

If you are looking for a soft cookie with a deep chocolate flavor that won’t get lost in your ice cream sandwich, look no further than these cocoa sandwich cookies. Knowing how the freezing process can suppress flavors, I was deliberate in developing a cookie that would be up to the task. Therefore, I titled it a sandwich cookie because the bold flavor will do best with a filling, be it ice cream, frosting, or ganache.

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avocado green goddess dressing

Avocado Green Goddess Dressing

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I had an overripe avocado I wasn’t quite sure what to do with, plus some fresh herbs in the garden. I use the term “garden” very loosely; it’s pretty much just pots on the patio. Anyway, I decided to look at recipes for green goddess dressing. I’d never made one, but I remember it being a favorite of my mom’s, probably because it originated at a San Francisco hotel. She loved anything having to do with San Francisco. Her salad dressings were rarely storebought bottles and usually involved a packet of Uncle Dan’s ranch dressing or a horrifying (sorry, Mom) mix of mayo and ketchup to pass as thousand island. It was a splurge for her to buy the Seven Seas brand of green goddess that was popular in the ’70s for special occasions.

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