Even though it's hot outside and a nice cool treat would be in order, I've been craving some homemade lasagna. I hadn't put my finger on a recipe I really wanted to follow, nor did I feel like phoning my grandmother for her recipe, although it's a good one. It was time I made history and did my Italian roots service by creating a custom recipe. First I must say I am in love with pesto. Anything pesto is a good idea to me. The bright green color with the creaminess of olive oil, warmth of pine nuts and freshness of basil makes me weak in the knees. Add some mozzarella to that and I won't leave the kitchen for days. I wanted to make a killer pesto lasagna that still kept it simple with ricotta and spinach... so I did.

Killer Pesto Lasagna

32 oz organic ricotta cheese
1 cup shredded parmesan
1 cup shredded pecorino romano
2 large eggs
20 oz spinach, frozen or fresh
1 1/2 cup pesto (recipe follows)
2 cloves garlic, minced, and less for the faint of heart
2 24 oz jars of tomato-basil marinara sauce
2 cups shredded mozzarella
15 thin* lasagna sheets

*Thin, square lasagna sheets are made by both commercial and specialty Italian brands. It is no boil, which makes it easier to prepare. Also, the thin consistency makes it more realistic to fresh lasagna sheets.


2 large handfuls of fresh basil
2-3 cloves garlic
1/4 cup lightly roasted pine nuts
1/8 cup parmesan cheese
a few drizzles of GOOD extra virgin olive oil

To make Pesto:

Use a food processor like a Cuisinart. It just makes like easier. Or use a blender... everyone has those, right? Place the first four ingredients in the food processor, then drizzle all over with olive oil. Pulse a few times and add more olive oil if it's too thick. Go by taste. I always do that and 86% of the time I do okay.

Now for the lasagna:

Place the minced garlic in a skillet and saute lightly in olive oil. When it becomes aromatic, add the spinach and cook until it wilts. Add a sprinkle of sea salt and dried oregano.

Preheat the oven to 350F. Lightly oil a deep 13' glass or metal pan. Blend ricotta, parmesan, and the 2 eggs. Make sure to beat the eggs separately before adding them. Add a few sprinkles of celtic sea salt and cracked black pepper to ad a little kick.

In a separate bowl, blend spinach mixture and pesto until just combined.

Now we can begin to layer the lasagna in the dish.

Start with 1 c or so of marinara as the first layer, then add 3 sheets of lasagna, then the cheese mixture, then the spinach, then the pecorino romano cheese. Repeat in this fashion ending with marinara sauce on top and cover it with all the mozzarella cheese. Sprinkle some basil on top of you have any leftover.

Cover with foil. Bake for 40 minutes. Take off the foil, bake for about 20 minutes or until the top is bubbly and a little browned.

A whole pan will feed you several meals for about a week and a half. I don't have any problem eating cold homemade lasagna for breakfast in the summer, do you?


Rah! Over a month since I have last posted... BUT I did finish up a [somewhat] stellar performance in college along with moving myself into a new house using nothing but a few strangers and my hatchback. The new townhouse came with a nice grill that the old tenants just "didn't want". The day I just don't want a new, expensive grill is... well... that would never happen.

I also have a lovely little back patio. It'll be a year of fancy and proper garden parties. It will give me an excuse to stock Chevre and create a snobby laugh....while drinking a tall boy PBR and wearing my favorite jorts (jean+shorts=jorts).

I have made soooo many treats since last post.... yummy triple chocolate pancakes, fish tacos, chocolate flaxseed molasses bread, peach and blueberry muffins, blueberry handpies, shrimp tacos, dark chocolate peanut butter cookies with chocolate covered macadamia nuts...of course I failed to document most of these things... ANYWAY

Shrimp tacos and cookies it is, mostly because I made both of these things in the past two days and I often fail to write down recipes until I've forgotten them.


This is very simple and fresh. I threw it together in my mind in minutes and physically, probably about 20 minutes.

Shrimp Tacos:

1lb medium shrimp (cooked!)
1 can no salt added organic corn
1 can no salt added organic black beans
1 can black olives rinsed
2 ripe avocados
1 box grape tomatoes, halved
3/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/2 lime
1 tsp cayenne pepper
whole wheat torillas

First, prep shrimp by tearing off tails. Slice olives and mix with corn, black beans, cilantro and the halved grape tomatoes. Toss to combine.

Squeeze the half lime onto the bean mixture and sprinkle the cayenne pepper on top. Toss until the bean mixture is well coated. Taste to adjust the amount of spice you'd like. I like mine really spicy but also use a fair amount of hot sauce later on.

Heat tortillas in a skillet on the stove. You want to get them warm and a little firm without crisping them. When warm, lay down 3-4 pieces of shrimp and top it with the bean mixture. I like to squeeze extra lime on mine then add a hot sauce that has flavor and spice but does not overwhelm the overall taste.

The end. Exquisite tacos in twenty minutes and LOTS of leftovers. Sometimes I like to make a shrimp and black bean soup with the leftovers... we'll see if I get around to posting that!

My puppy Jimbo Jenkins watched me cook the whole thing. He was so tired.. I made him run with me on the beach tonight and played hide and go seek this morning. He is quite out of shape and I am really good at hiding.


Dark chocolate peanut butter macadamia nut cookies!

It is a mouthful to say, but a pleasure at that.

I found this gem at the local grocery:

What a find!

I wanted to make these after I was reminded of how freaking awesome macadamia nuts are!

Recipe to come... I'm tired and left my tiny notebook of scribbled recipes in the car. Oh well!

I've done a lot of updating..... and I work tomorrow... and there might be waves so I need to go to sleep.

I also got a new longboard... so pics of that up soon too. She rides like a dream! Now I will have sweet dreams.