15 Minute Spinach Basil Pesto.

When it comes to recipes, I am usually quite adamant in following the instructions meticulously. My mother is the complete opposite. Once she is in the kitchen she dominates it. She’s always inventing new things, making up her own recipes, or building off those of others. I don’t know when was the last time she followed a recipe. I, on the other hand, am constantly depending on the creativity of others.
Except for pesto. 
Last week we celebrated mom’s birthday in, what’s becoming our birthday tradition, a cooking Sunday. Her birthday had already passed a few weeks before, but we decided to celebrate just the four of us now that we’re back. So the four of us gathered in the kitchen to cook a pasta dish. Usually this involves using our imagination (them), or something off of Pinterest (me). I chose pesto.
I can’t remember what recipe I used, nor can I find it in my browser history. All I remember doing is glancing at the ingredients, closing the tab, and deciding I could figure it out on my own. 
It was a hit. 
Even The Kid liked it. Which was an enormous “yes” for me because that Kid is sooooo picky.
And you guys asked for it on Instagram, so I decided to try to recreate the recipe and share. It’s one of those, though, that will hopefully inspire your creativity with its basic directions.

Ingredients
Fresh spinach 
Fresh basil or basil flakes (I used flakes)
Pine nuts
Olive oil
Garlic cloves
Lemon
Directions

1) The spinach determines the amount of pesto you will have. You can always adjust the seasoning and other ingredients, but your base will be the spinach so wash an appropriate amount. Remember that, as with most leafy greens, spinach has that notorious habit of going from a whole lot to a whole little once you do anything with it. 
2) Fill food processor with spinach and drizzle with olive oil. Blend until there is room for some more spinach. Add spinach, basil, garlic and olive oil. I used one clove of garlic for the amount of basil I was making. 
3) Blend until the cloves have well incorporated into the mixture. Add lemon juice, pine nuts, and a drizzle of olive oil. I used half a lemon, and a spoonful of pine nuts. The nuts make the pesto creamier, so adjust accordingly. Blend until smooth.
4) Voila! Now mix it with pasta, use it as a bruschetta topping, or spread it over your pizza. Enjoy! 
P.S. I know there is salt in the photo, but it really isn’t necessary. Add if you would like, but it is delicious without. And healthier too. 
What do you like with pesto? 
Or is ‘what don’t you like’ a better question?

Hummus in 3 Easy Steps: A Recipe.

Lately mother and I have been brainstorming about different things for me to take to school. I need to take a lunch, snack, dinner (some days all of the above) four days of the week, so we try to keep it interesting. 
This week I had a craving for hummus. Mom cooked some chickpeas and put some aside for me to later experiment with and find a recipe and consistency I liked. 
Usually when we make hummus we blend it in the blender and need to keep adding water for it to blend properly, but then the consistency becomes more of a dip than a spread.
This time I experimented using the blender without adding so much water, but it didn’t work.
I tried the food processor. Still no luck.
I resorted to mashing the chickpeas with a fork, and voilà! 
Perfect for topping crackers, spreading on a sandwich or adding to a veggie wrap!
I’m glad to share with you this three step hummus recipe! Enjoy and tell me what you think!


Ingredients
2 cups chick peas canned or cooked
2 Tbsp. olive oil
2 Tbsp. lemon juice
1 fresh garlic clove 
Cayenne pepper to taste
Salt to taste
Sun-dried tomatoes to taste
Directions
1. Drain the chickpeas, but reserve some of the water.

2. Either blend all of the ingredients in a blender, or in a medium bowl mix ingredients with a fork. Add water until you have reached the desired consistency.
(This step really depends on the consistency you want the hummus to have. I opted for a very thick and dry hummus so I mashed the chickpeas with a fork and added a few Tbsp. of water. If you blend it in a blender you will most likely have to add more water.)
3. Transfer to a serving bowl and serve with crackers, fresh veggies or use as spread in a sandwich or veggie wrap!

Enjoy!

Coconut Rolls with Guava Filling: A Recipe.

We love coconut, here at home. Especially in our sweets (as you might have guessed from the Cranberry and Coconut Oatmeal Cookies). So this next recipe is another Brazilian classic, but it involves our much beloved coconut.

These are coconut rolls, but they have a special surprise inside.
Inside the individual rolls there are pieces of guava paste.

If you’re not familiar with guava paste, it is basically sweetened guava pulp.
It is super sweet with a mild guava flavor, and is super delicious.
It’s not hard to find, many ethnic stores carry them and, according to their website, so does Walmart.
You can eat it as a snack paired with crackers or even to step up your toast with butter.

Or, you can put it in these coconut rolls.

Ready to begin?

Coconut Rolls with Guava Filling

Ingredients
1 c. warm lukewarm water
1 Tbsp (shallow) yeast
1 tsp orange or lemon zest
1/2 tsp salt
2 Tbsp organic cane sugar
3 Tbsp vegetable oil
2 Tbsp cornmeal
2 c. flour
About 1/2 bar of guava filling

Topping
1 c. Sweetened shredded coconut
1/4 c. oil

Directions
1. In a medium-sized bowl add all ingredients except the flour.
2. Mix well and add the flour 1/2 cup at a time, waiting for one addition to be incorporated before adding the other, until a soft dough is formed.
3. Separate the dough into 3 even parts. Round each part into a ball, and place it back in the bowl.
4. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or even put the bowl in a plastic bag and close it.
5. Let dough rise for approximately 30 minutes or until the dough doubles in size.
6. While the dough rises cut the guava paste into little squares of approximately one inch.
7. Prepare the topping by adding the oil into a small bowl.
8. When the dough has risen, separate each of the three dough parts into 15 smaller pieces for a total of 45 small rolls.
9. In the center of each small dough piece add a guava paste square and roll in the palm of your hand to form a roll. Pinch the ends of the dough together so the guava doesn’t escape while baking.
10. Lightly brush the rolls with oil only enough so the coconut will stick to them.
11. Roll the rolls in the shredded coconut and place in a baking sheet dusted with flour.
12. Set the rolls aside to rise for approximately 10 minutes while the oven preheats to 350º.
13. Put the rolls in the oven and immediately lower the temperature to 300º.
14. Bake for approximately 20-25minutes or until the tops begin to golden.

Serve with tea, enjoy and comment!

                    

                    

                     

                      

                      

                      

                      
Have you had guava paste before? What did you think?