Small Batch Pesto!

This summer my love affair with basil has reached new heights! There are oh so many ways to use it but my favorite, by far is pesto! I grew basil from seed for my little balcony garden this summer. It’s only now getting hearty and full, so I’m grateful that the growing season in California is much longer than most places. I use my home grown basil here and there, but I’ve found basil at our local farmers market to be exceptional! Just $3 for a very large bunch and all my basil desires are satisfied.

Pesto is typically made with pine nuts, which are among the pricier nuts, but I’ve found using walnuts gives you the same texture and nutty flavor without breaking the bank. Not only can you use this herby, garlicky goodness as a kind of sauce for pasta, but I love to put it on pizza, mix it in with my scrambled eggs, spread it on burgers, and baked chicken, or even add a little oil and vinegar for salad dressing.

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In this dish I cooked brown rice pasta, topped with pesto, a poached egg, chopped fresh basil, salt, pepper & parmesan cheese. Yum!!

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New York {travel blog}

First let me just say that keeping up with a blog is no joke! It’s a serious commitment, like caring for children, or walking your dog. Okay, not really, but it does take time and dedication.

I recently made a visit back home to New York. Before moving to California, I lived in New York for ten years, both in Long Island and New York City, going to college, commuting on the railroad and experiencing the good, bad and ugly of all of it. But, one thing I absolutely love about New York is the great food everywhere you go. Here are some of the great places I went during my visit. Take some notes and try them the next time you’re in town!

Grimaldi’s Pizzeria 980 Franklin Ave Garden City, NY 

My first Grimaldi’s experience was with my college photography teacher. We were on a class photoshoot in Brooklyn and afterward he took us a group of us to Grimaldi’s. My life was never the same! The pizza crust is thin and the toppings are delicious no matter what you choose. Unfortunately the infamous location under the Brooklyn Bridge has closed, but there are a few more locations around the New York area! This is a must try for authentic New York style pizza! [www.grimaldispizzeria.com]

Grimaldis Pizzeria ©Emeliabird 2016
Eggplant Delight Pizza

Bingbox Snowcream 125 2nd Ave, New York, NY

Welcome to the wonderful world of Korean desserts. I can’t even begin to describe how unique and amazing this was, so you’ll have to just try it. Snow cream … imagine shaved ice so light, dry and fluffy, it looks like glitter and tastes like heaven, but then melts in your mouth like ice cream. Yes, it’s that good, with a wide variety of flavors and toppings, this is by far the coolest dessert I’ve ever had! [www.bingboxsnowcream.com]

Bingbox Snow Cream ©Emeliabird 2016
Matcha (Green Tea) Bingbox with Strawberries, condensed milk drizzle & Mochi AND Taro Bingbox with Mochi, condensed milk drizzle & Nilla Wafers.

Oaxaca Taqueria 250 4th Ave, Brooklyn, NY

O.M.G. Tacos. This place is the closest to authentic mexican tacos I’ve had in the states. They have a large menu, but the tacos are to die for! If you get the three-taco special, it’s served with rice & beans, and they’ll give you chips, guacamole and salsa. I LOVED this place, and there are 14 locations around New York, so there’s no excuse not to try it! [www.oaxacatacos.com]

Oaxaco Taco 1 ©Emeliabird 2016
Horchata (drink), Carnitas Taco (Braised Pork), Pollo Guisado (Chicken), Camaron (Spicy Shrimp)

Someday I’ll post my top ten must-have eateries in New York, but for now, I’ll leave you with these three unique finds, in hopes that you’ll get to try them too, if you haven’t already!