Class, today is cooking day! I promised myself I’d expand my kitchen skillz by learning something new a week. Two things I’ve always wanted to learn how to make and they turn out to be real easy. Last week I home-made pesto, successfully and rated delicious by consensus. Woo.

2 cups fresh basil leaves, packed
3/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup pine nuts (I used walnuts)
4 medium sized garlic cloves
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

(optional) I added some cayenne powder and an itty bit of sugar

1. Throw in nuts, garlic and the EVOO in a food processor/blender.
2. Lift basil leaves close to nose and savor the herby smell. Then pack it in the FP.
3. When satisfied with the consistency, add the cheese. Give another whir, then transfer to container.
4. Add salt/pepper/sugar/cayenne to taste. Voila.

Predictably, I made pesto pasta with pan-fried chicken. There is enough for 15-17 servings.

This week is Japanese broth week, one of my fave soups :

2 tsps dashi granules
2 thinly sliced fresh shiitake mushrooms (Mmmm)
3 tablespoons miso paste
4 cups of water
8oz silken tofu—cut into cubes (Mmmmm)
2 scallions—thinly sliced on the diagonal

1 tbsp soy sauce
Some spinach leaves (Mmmm)
Dried seaweeds if you some lying around
Cooked shrimps or thin slices of whatever you like (potato, onion, carrots, etc) and simmer accordingly

1. Add dashi to water, bring to a boil.
2. Add mushrooms and whisk in the miso paste, simmer for around 5 mins.
3. Add the tofu, simmer for 3 mins.
4. Serve in bowls, garnish with chopped scallions

EASY-PEASY: 15 mins to cook SERVES: 4
Pretty simple, but so so so perfect for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Next on the Agenda: yummy eggplant dip and a spicy green Indian dip that tastes celery-ish– will have to research what they’re actually called first….

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