Classic Basil Pesto

Pesto never goes out of style and it’s application is wide and varied. Add it to pasta or roasted vegetables. Slather it on chicken or use it as a pizza sauce. And the best part? You can make large batches, while the basil is overflowing in the summer, and freeze it for later use. Hooray for pesto!

pesto1

Classic Basil Pesto

Yield: 1 cup

 

2 ¼ packed cups fresh basil leaves

½ cup extra-virgin olive oil

2 large garlic cloves, peeled and chopped roughly (2 teaspoons)

½ cup pine nuts

½ cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, not pre-grated

Kosher salt, to taste

Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

 

In a food processor, process to combine, the basil, ¼ cup oil, garlic, and pine nuts. Scrape down the sides, then add the remaining ¼ cup oil, and the cheese. Process until the desired texture is achieved, seasoning to taste with salt and pepper. For the record, I add about ½ teaspoon salt and a few good cranks of pepper. No need to rush; taste as you go. Take your time and enjoy.

Note: Care for a nuttier flavor in your pesto? Try using toasted pine nuts.

 

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Super Mom’s Banana Bread aka the Easiest Banana Bread-Now with Dates

When I first met Super Sous, she raved about her Mom’s banana bread recipe which, on special occasions during her childhood, her Mom would whip up. Super Sous’ mom, admittedly, is not especially fond of cooking, but she will dust off her gloves to make a mean banana bread from time to time. We recently asked her for the family recipe which she sent along (Thank you, Adele!) and when we baked it off, still stands the test of time. However, with a few modifications (enter a food processor) and a little flavor boost (hello pumpkin pie spice, hello dates), we made Super Sous’ Mom’s recipe, dare I say, extra delicious and definitely easier to prepare (who doesn’t love that?!). I think Mom herself would agree and my guess is that next time she feels like banana bread, she’ll give this version a try.

P.S. You can watch me make this recipe on YouTube!

Super Moms Banana Bread 1

 

Super Moms Banana Bread 2

Super Mom’s Banana Bread

aka the Easiest Banana Bread-Now with Dates

Yield: 1 9×5 Loaf

 

8 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for greasing pan

1¼ cups all-purpose flour, plus more more dusting

½ cup old fashioned rolled oats

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1 teaspoon baking soda

¾ cup light brown sugar

1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

1/3 cup pitted deglet noor dates, approximately 10 dates

2 whole eggs

3 very ripe medium bananas, broken into large chunks

 

Set an oven rack to the middle position and preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease the bottom and sides a 9×5 bread loaf pan with butter and lightly dust with flour.

Place flour, oats, salt, baking soda, sugar, pumpkin pie spice and dates in a food processor. Process until dates are broken down and mixture is fairly even. (There will still be some very small pieces of dates-which is fine.)

Add butter, eggs and bananas and process until mixture is fully combined.

Transfer to greased loaf pan and shake pan so batter spreads evenly throughout pan.

Bake, uncovered, for 1 hour.  Test readiness by poking a toothpick or knife in the middle of the loaf; if it comes out clean, it’s ready. If it needs more time, cover top with foil and cook for another 5 to 10 minutes.

Remove from oven and let cool before removing bread from loaf pan.

Quick and Easy Drop Shortcakes

When it comes to quick and easy desserts, this one takes the cake (see what I did there?!). How quick and easy, you ask? Well, it takes about 30 seconds to make your dough – which, by the way,  you do in a food processor. Yup, easy. And then 20 to 25 minutes to bake. Sounds like a quick and easy winner dessert (or, let’s face it – breakfast) to me!

P.S. Watch me make this recipe on YouTube!

Quick and Easy Drop Shortcake Recipe Quick and Easy Drop Shortcakes

Yield: 8 shortcakes

2 ¼ cup unbleached all-purpose flour

¼ cup plus 1 tablespoon granulated sugar, divided

2 teaspoons baking powder

¾ teaspoon kosher salt

8 tablespoons cold, unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

¾ cup buttermilk

1 whole egg

Grapeseed oil, for greasing measuring cup

Place an oven rack on the middle position and preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.

Place flour, ¼ cup sugar, baking powder and salt in a food processor and pulse to combine.

Add butter and pulse until dough resembles coarse meal.

Whisk together buttermilk and egg in a small bowl. Turn on food processor and stream into dry ingredients. (Set bowl aside – do not wash yet!) Let food processor run for approximately 20 to 30 seconds. A dough ball will form and it should get whipped around the food processor, kneading the dough.

Measure dough into a greased 1/3 measuring cup and drop dough on a parchment lined sheet pan.

Remember that small bowl that you whisked the egg and buttermilk in? Brush the tops of the shortcakes with any remaining liquid left in the bowl and then evenly top biscuits with the remaining tablespoon of sugar.

Bake for 15-20 minutes until shortcake is golden brown on top. Remove from oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool before eating.