Monday, June 1, 2015

Spring Lunch: final product

This meal, to make for the first time, took about two hours! With practice and knowing the order I should make it in, I could probably make it in about an hour. I would start by making the syrup for the lemonade and letting it set while I'm making everything else. Then I would make the pesto and the sauce for the pasta. Then I would put the sandwiches together and cook them while the pasta is cooking. Once the pasta is done you'll place the sandwiches and mix in the sauce to the pasta and place that. Quick add the water to the syrup for the lemonade and you're ready to impress your family and friends with a beautiful lunch!

Spring Lunch: part 3

This is the last post for this meal! We're going to top everything off with a twist on an original recipe. This vanilla-thyme lemonade is so refreshing and can certainly satisfy your sweet tooth, and I think the best part is that you can decide how strong you want it. And carbonated or not!


-1/2 cup sugar
-1 cup water
-1 teaspoon vanilla extract
-2 tablespoons honey
-1 small bunch thyme, plus some for garnish (optional)
-1 cup fresh lemon juice
-1 cup sparkling or still water, divided

In a medium pot, over medium high heat, cook sugar, water, vanilla, honey, and thyme until honey and sugar are dissolved.

Start juicing! To hand squeeze these lemons it took 6-7 lemons, and quite a long time! I couldn't find my old fashioned juicer, but if you zap the half lemon in the microwave for 5-10 seconds it will help a lot!

Once the syrup is done cooking, strain to remove the thyme and add to the lemon juice. Set in the fridge until cooled.

Fill glasses with ice first.

Pour in the syrup half-ish way up the glass. Then add you sparkling or still water for the rest of the way. Stick in a straw and you're ready to go!

Spring Lunch: part 2

This time we're making the pasta! This is a really fast/light recipe that can satisfy almost anyone!


-1 bunch of fresh basil
-3 tablespoons of freshly grated parmesan
-6 tablespoons of whole milk
-1/4 cup sliced almonds
-1 pinch salt
-1/4 teaspoon pepper
-3 tablespoons of fresh ricotta cheese
-2 tablespoons butter, melted
-1 pound of fresh or dried pasta
-2 cloves garlic

Start by boiling water and salting it, add your pasta and cook till al dente.

In a food processor, or bullet blender, add the rest of the ingredients except for the ricotta and butter. Pulse until smooth.

In a separate container, mix the melted butter and ricotta.

Mix together the basil mixture and ricotta and butter.

Strain pasta once cooked, and put back into its pan to add the sauce. Fully mix until sauce is evenly distributed.

Spring Lunch: part 1

So this is going to be a three post recipe/meal. I will be showing you how to make Grilled Brie Sandwiches with Honey, Almond, and Kale pesto, paired with Pasta with creamy basil-almond-ricotta sauce, and to drink, Vanilla-Thyme lemonade! Let's get started!

We'll start with the sandwiches.



for the pesto
-1 cup torn and packed kale
-1/4 cup honey
-1/3 cup roasted almonds
-1 1/2 teaspoons lemon juice
-3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
-1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
-2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
-2 tablespoons chopped, fresh basil

for the sandwich
-8 slices of high quality bread
-4 ounces brie
-about 4 tablespoons butter
Put all of the ingredients for your pesto in a food processor, or if you don't have one like me, use something like a bullet blender or a nutribullet.
Pulse until ingredients are thoroughly mixed and the mixture is smooth.

Place in a separate container and let sit in the fridge until it's time to use it.

Get two pieces of your bread, or if you have a longer bread like I did, cut in half and you might not have to use as much.

On one side put about 2 tablespoons of the pesto, and on the other cover with brie.

In a small pan melt 1 tablespoon of butter over medium heat.

Once the butter is melted, lay the sandwich in and cover. Let cook for 3-4 minutes.

Flip and cook on the other side for the same amount of time. Remove from pan and enjoy! (or start preparing your pasta)