Archive for the ‘Sauces’ Category

The best thing about spring is the arrival of fresh fruit. And while I enjoy a tomato-based salsa I find that fruit salsa is a little more versatile. Now that mangoes and strawberries are both in season, it’s the perfect time to combine them into a topping for chicken or serve them with tortilla chips at a backyard barbeque.


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I started riding my bike again this summer. The last time I really rode my bike was in the summer of 2006. I was training for the Chicago Triathlon. I was supposed to race with my dad, but he passed away that winter. So I prepared for  the starting line in Chicago anyway, as a kind of tribute to him. I trained really hard and finished strong. When I found out I placed 7th in my age group, I wept. And then I stopped riding my bike. Until now.


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Besides caprese salad, capris pants, flip flops, and sunburned shoulders, another summer classic not to be left out is basil pesto pasta. Or basil pesto anything. There the basil is – swaying in the garden, or sprouting in the window box, or bursting as a simple bouquet on the green grocer’s shelf. Use me now, it seems to say, because you’ll miss me when I’m gone.

My mom has made pesto every summer that I can remember. The master of winging it in the kitchen, it is hard to anticipate what Mom’s pesto batch will taste like. Sometimes it is sharp, or sweet, or bitter. But it always says fresh, as in right now.

I prefer predictability when it comes to pesto, even though the best cooks and chefs will say an adventuresome spirit is exactly what you need in kitchen. Search the Web and you’ll find no two pesto recipes alike. But I have one that I turn to again, and again, and again, like a loyal, boring friend. It includes parsley, which tempers the basil in my opinion, and not too much garlic. I won’t disappoint you, it whispers between the ingredients. OK, I’m joking. It doesn’t really say that. (more…)

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Homemade tomato sauce (for 1)

Frost has hit Boston. Goodbye warm nights. I’ve put flannel sheets on the bed and pulled in my plants from the deck, which included my tomato plants sporting a few green orbs reluctant to ripen to red. But once I moved them inside things started moving right along and now I have another small crop of homegrown tomatoes!

What better and easy way to enjoy these than to make a simple, fresh tomato sauce for pasta. Beats opening a jar every time. (more…)

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