Creamy, Homemade Aïoli (Garlicky, Lemony Mayonnaise)

Creamy, Homemade Aioli (Garlicky, Lemony Mayo)
Our homemade aioli

I’m totally the type of person who, if it were socially acceptable, would outfit everything in my house with ‘the clapper’. In fact, if someone invented one that cooked dinner and made cocktails, I’d be flamenco-ing myself silly.

What I’m saying is, I don’t really like to make extra work for myself.

Even though I obviously enjoy cooking, I’ve never been tempted to make my own ketchup. Heinz already rocks that market. Make my own Worcestershire sauce? Um… no thanks. Mayonnaise? That’s another story.

Creamy, Homemade Aioli (Garlicky, Lemony Mayo)

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Basil Pesto with Walnuts and Pecorino

Basil Pesto with Walnuts and Pecorino

When life gives you basil, make basil pesto. It’s the perfect accompaniment to salads, pasta, as a bake-in sauce for chicken and many other dishes. Since we’re cheap, we substituted affordable walnuts for pricey pine nuts. 

We’re finally getting better at this whole “growing stuff” thing. Our first year here we struggled with just a few herbs on the deck. We grew some thyme, a bit of sage, a little rosemary. One scraggly little basil plant that got some sort of fungus and never recovered. Our second year was a little better. The rosemary was bushier, the chives flowered beautifully. Basil seemed happier.

This year, pow! Basil explosion. We’re growing them in large pots in a very sunny spot and they’ve gone absolutely bonkers. It’s like Day of the Triffids out there.

Basil

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Spicy Asian Chicken Skewers with Creamy Avocado-Cilantro Sauce

Spicy Asian Chicken Skewers with Creamy Avocado-Cilantro Sauce

With the perfect balance of sweet, salty and spicy, our grilled Asian chicken skewers are a treat any night of the week. We like to serve it with creamy avocado-cilantro sauce. 

Hooray, it’s allergy season! I don’t know about you guys, but I could power a small town with the force of my sneezing alone. I basically look like a teary-eyed, puffy-faced medical emergency this week, to the point where even my beloved dog is giving me side-eye and calling around to find a replacement begging target should I expire before dinnertime.

Be that as it may, I will not let a little thing like debilitating histamine reactions stop me from doing what I’ve been waiting months for. That’s right, grilling! Last night Matt dusted off the old grill, gave the spiders living inside it their eviction notices and warned the neighbors that delicious smells would be wafting their way soon.

And I gotta tell you, we have made this chicken three times in the last month and it is amaaaaaahhhhzing. The first two times we cooked it inside on a grill pan and set off our smoke alarm about 15 times during the process. You know what? I REGRET NOTHING. It’s that good. It’s spicy and sweet and tangy and sticky in exactly the way you want food on a stick to be.

Spicy Asian Chicken Skewers with Creamy Avocado-Cilantro Sauce
Our Asian chicken skewers take only 30 minutes so they’re perfect for weeknight meals.

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Roasted Tomatillo Salsa Verde

Roasted Tomatillo Salsa Verde

We put together two different versions of salsa verde with some tomatillos, avocadoes, garlic and spices, and pretended to be into sports just to hang this article on a game theme! Hint: we are not into sports.

I’ve always envied people that were really into watching sports. I would love to care about something (other than nerdy television shows) enough to paint my face, don a kooky costume and brave the cold, just to prove my commitment and loyalty. To feel the agony of defeat in the hopes of, one day, just maybe, getting to experience the glory of ultimate victory.

But nope. Just don’t give a toss. Matt doesn’t follow sports either (with the exception of the occasional World Cup match, of course).

This is a rough approximation of Matt and me watching the news when the sports headlines come on.

SPORTSCASTER [Very excited]: AND THE STEELERS SCORED AN AMAZING SEVENTEEN AND FIFTY-SIX AND A HALF YARD PASSES LESS THAN SIX MINUTES APART IN THE FOURTH QUARTER! UNBELIEVABLE!!!!!

MATT [Pops a chip in his mouth]: What is this? Are they playing shove ha’penny?

EMILY [Rolls eyes]: No, idiot, I’m pretty sure it’s … (squints) …quoits.

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White Bean, Roasted Garlic and Feta Dip

White Bean, Roasted Garlic and Feta DipIt’s party season which, yay!!! So much fun. But also, boo!!! So much work. That’s why it’s great to have a few easy, fast and inexpensive recipes to fall back on when the hungry hordes arrive (auto-correct keeps changing hordes to whores. So if your house is full of hungry holiday whores, all the power to you!). Ahem, *adjusts glasses*.

Dips! Dips are great. Everyone loves dips. They can sometimes be a little boring though, right? I love a good onion or spinach dip, but sometimes I want to shake it up a little bit. This White Bean, Roasted Garlic and Feta Dip is basically like a Hummus but, to me, a whole lot tastier. It’s creamy from the yogurt, tart from the lemon and feta and plain old delicious from the roasted garlic. Awww yeah.

Best part? I bet most of the ingredients are in your pantry and fridge right now. Maybe not the feta cheese, but everything else is probably there. I’m right, aren’t I? Go look!

White Bean, Roasted Garlic and Feta Dip

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