Lemon Basil Pesto

This is a bright pesto with the fragrance of sweet lemon.

Lemon-Basil-Pesto

Lemon basil is also known as Thai lemon basil or Lao basil and is used in many Thai, Lao, Indonesian and Middle Eastern Cuisines.

 I love basil in all of its varieties, shapes and sizes.  There is sweet basil, lemon, Genovese, purple ruffles, cinnamon, licorice, holy, clove, Greek bush and African blue basil to name a few.

Lemon-Basil-Pecorino-Pesto This pesto pairs well with a Rosé, white Rioja, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Gris and Riesling.

Lemon-Basil-Pesto-with-Pecorino- Recipe: Approx. 3 1/2 Cups

  • 2 Cups Lemon Basil
  • 1 Cup Raw Walnuts
  • 1 Cup Pecorino Ramano – finely shredded
  • 1/2 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 2 – 3 Cloves Garlic
  • 1 Teaspoon Lemon Juice – fresh squeezed
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Sea Salt

Instructions:

Shred cheese and pick leaves off the basil stems, measure and add to a food processor or blender along with walnuts, olive oil, garlic, lemon juice and salt.

Puree until desired texture.

Health benefits:

Fresh Basil has anti-aging, anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties.  The herb contains exceptionally high levels of beta-carotene and vitamin A and is rich in zea-xanthin an anti-oxidant that helps protect age-related macular disease.  It has a good amount of Iron and also helps to detoxify the liver.  It contains phytochemicals that may lower cortisol, a hormone secreted when you’re stressed that causes weight gain, so add some fresh basil to you water or tea.

Mistletoe Toddy

This is my rendition of a Hot Toddy.  Traditionally a Hot Toddy is whiskey or bourbon drink made with honey, lemon and hot water.  I personally love a cinnamon stick with whole cloves in my hot toddy it gives a little extra excitement!  This “Mistletoe Toddy” a.k.a. Cranberry Spice Hot Toddy however has a serious “wow” factor.

Mistletoe-Toddy

I love how the drink looks and smells like christmas!

 This is basically a cranberry spiced puree which is pretty much amazing with anything you put it with… Sparkling Wine or if you want to make a kiddie cocktail add it to sparkling orange soda water, Mmmm…. I will definetly be making some sort of holiday shandy with it as well so stay tuned!

Mistletoe-Toddy-

Recipe: Makes 1 Cocktail

Profile:  Original/Classic Inspired ~ Holiday Cocktail Served Hot

  • 2oz Bourbon/Whiskey
  • 2oz *Cranberry Spice Puree
  • 1/2oz Maple Syrup
  • 4oz Hot Purified Water

Glass: A Mug or Large Teacup

Garnish: A few fresh cranberries

Instructions: 

Add Bourbon, Hot Water, Cranberry Puree and Maple Syrup to your favorite mug or teacup, stir for 5 seconds.

Garnish with fresh cranberries or a cinnamon stick.

Recipe: Makes 2 Cups of Puree

*Cranberry Spice Puree:

  • 2 Cups Whole Cranberries
  • 1/2 Cup Coconut Sugar-Brown Sugar or Maple Syrup
  • 1/2 Cup Purified Water  + 1 Cup after
  • 2 Teaspoons of Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 1 Tablespoon Fresh Lemon Juice
  • 1 Cinnamon Stick
  • 6 Whole Cloves
  • 2 Cardamon Pods
  • A Light Grate of Fresh Nutmeg

 

 

Instructions:

In a 2 quart sized saucepan on medium, heat water, then add sugar, dissolve completely.

Then add cranberries, vanilla and spices.  Cook for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

 Remove the whole spices and continue to cook for another 20 minutes on med low heat. Stirring cranberries, try to smash into the  mix; the more they cook the softer they will become.

Turn heat off and let stand for 10 minutes. Let Cool. Pour Mix into a food processor and add 1 cup of water slowly, continue blending until mixed well.

Strain through a fine mesh strainer to remove all of the cranberry skins from the puree.

Finito! Ready to make your drinks!

Asian Style Peanut Slaw

This slaw is crunchy, creamy and spicy with a hint of tang.  It’s not only extremely delicious, it is also very healthy and satisfying.

Peanut-Slaw

It is storming in Northern California and what do I do?  Make a cold salad, HA!  This is one of my favorite salads because when it comes to peanut sauce, I can’t get enough.

Asian-Peanut-Slaw

This slaw goes nice with a dry Riesling, Pinot Gris, Riesling, sparkling wine and cold Sake.

Asian-Slaw

Recipe: 4 – 6 Servings

  • 3/4 Cup to 1 1/4 Cups (1 Recipe) – Peanut Sauce – (depends on how much you like.  I like a lot!)
  • 4 Cups Savory Cabbage – thinly sliced
  • 1 1/2 Cups Red Cabbage – thinly sliced
  • 1 Organic Red Bell Pepper – diced – (about 1 cup)
  • 1 Large Carrot – shredded – (about 1 cup)
  • 1/3 Cup Cilantro – roughly chopped
  • 2 Scallion Onions – sliced – (about 1/2 cup)
  • 1/2 Cup Sliced Almonds

Instructions:

Make the peanut sauce. (can be made the day ahead, let it warm up first)

Chop savory and red cabbage into thin slices then put in a large bowl.

Dice red bell peppers into small pieces then add to cabbage.

Shred carrot, roughly chop cilantro, slice scallions, measure everything along with the almonds (can also sprinkle on top individual salads) then add to cabbage and mix in the peanut sauce.

Asian-Style-Peanut-Slaw

Health benefits:

Cabbage is really low in calories, fat and high in fiber. High in vitamin K helps with brain function. Red cabbage is the highest in vitamin K than other cabbage. It’s high in sulfur keeping your hair, skin and nails healthy. If you have arthritis, rheumatism, skin diseases or gout, cabbage can help with its high vitamin C and sulphur content. Cabbage is higher in vitamin C than oranges and is a natural antioxidant that helps with premature aging and also helps detoxify the blood and liver. Cabbage helps protect bones from becoming brittle with its high potassium, magnesium and calcium content. Potassium is also great for reducing high blood pressure allowing the blood vessels to open and the blood to flow freely. It is also high in beta-carotene need for eye health.  The pigment in purple cabbage helps lower blood sugar levels and boost insulin production. Helps your body fight off cancer with the powerful antioxidant anthocyanin.

Cabbage is good for your heart, blood pressure, brain, nervous system, immune system, digestion, bowels, bones, eyes, skin, hair and nails.

Peanut butter is protein and fiber rich. It has more unsaturated fat than saturated fat, which makes it a great source of healthy fats. Super high in niacin helping with brain health. Helps to lowers the risk of high blood pressure, stroke and heart disease with its high potassium content.

Peanut butter is good for the Heart, brain, digestion, lower bowels,

Thai Style Peanut Sauce

This delicious peanut sauce can be used on warm or cold noodles, on sautéed or cold vegetables, as a dip, on rice, on spring rolls, in an Asian slaw, on a salad or anything else you can think of.

I have had a thing for peanut sauce ever since I first discovered it at a Thai restaurant in my teenage years.  It’s one of those sauces I can’t stop eating and this one is no exception!

Thai-Style-Peanut-Sauce-

 Recipe - Approx.  1 1/4 Cup

  • 1 Clove Garlic – minced
  • 1 Serrano Chili – minced
  • 1/2 to 1 Teaspoon Ginger – freshly grated
  • 1/2 Cup Full Fat Coconut Milk – unsweetened
  • 3/4  Cup Peanut Butter – unsweetened
  • 3 Tablespoons Brown Rice Vinegar
  • 2 Tablespoons Fresh Squeezed Lime Juice
  • 1 Tablespoon Tamari Sauce
  • 1 Teaspoon Toasted Sesame Oil
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Maple Syrup
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Sea Salt

Instructions:

 Cut the stem off of the serrano, cut into 1/2 inch pieces (de-seed if you want it milder) and add to a food processor along with the garlic and grated ginger.

Turn on until minced.  Scrape the sides at least once.

Add coconut milk and puree while adding peanut butter.

Add the rest of the ingredients and puree until smooth.

Let soften before use if refrigerated.

Health benefits:

Peanut butter is protein and fiber rich. It has more unsaturated fat than saturated fat, which makes it a great source of healthy fats. Super high in niacin helping with brain health. Helps to lowers the risk of high blood pressure, stroke and heart disease with its high potassium content.

Peanut butter is good for the Heart, brain, digestion, lower bowels,