Lazy Days of Summer

“Lazy” Days of Summer is a typical mantra here in the midwest.  We power through summer days by doing twice as much as we do in Winter.  We make the most of summer because it comes and goes quickly.


I am no exception to this.  Summer is a busy time filled with lots of summer parties, outdoor activities, beaches and pool time. However, its spending time wading in a pool instead of doing laps, its taking a leisurely walk because its too hot and/or humid to run, sitting on my deck, sweating, instead of working up a sweat with weights.

I also get very lazy in the kitchen.  In the cooler months, the warmth of my kitchen is comforting.  During the summer months its a burden to slave over a hot stove.  I’m just as comforted with cut up fruits, salty snacks and a frosty cocktail or chilled wine.  Hence, the problem.  I take the focus of “clean eating” and throw it out the window because I am wrapped up in a summer trance.

Then, it happens.  The truth comes out via a small child who looks up at you with all sincerity and says: “Is there a baby in your belly?” AAAH!  No, no there is definitely not a baby in there little one, but thank you for reminding me that I need to do some sit ups and maybe I shouldn’t have had that 3rd glass of wine last night.  Truth from the mouthes of babes can be eye opening and a bit brutal on the ego all at the same time.  Nonetheless, I needed to hear this. So here I am back on my blog, working to keep myself accountable once again.  Thank you small child.

Summer herbs
During this time of year, we are surrounded with fresh herbs, spring and early summer vegetables, garden greens, and so much more.  I was recently reminded that this freshness is all around us and can be found in the simplest way.  My husband and I were out on a date night a couple weeks ago and we stumbled upon a really cool tap house called SteamPunk Tap Room in Utica, MI.

While we were there a boisterous gentleman named Ed came into the bar with a platter full of food that he made at home and brought to the bar for all to share.  As a foodie, I was skeptical, but I LOVED that he was so passionate about his homemade fare and I was so impressed with how he couldn’t wait to share it with who ever was interested in sampling his creation. I had to see what the fuss was all about.  I leaned in to see what he was offering and it smelled amazing. Stuffed mushrooms and homemade pesto with slices of french baguette.  I was particularly interested in the pesto that he brought in.  I asked for a sample and I was blown away.  I was truly the best pesto I have ever had.  I think what makes this pesto recipe great is that its FRESH.  Its made with all fresh, homegrown ingredients.  I also thought it was interesting that he uses walnuts instead of pine nuts – who knew that ever would work!

Anyway, I told Ed that I write this blog and I hadn’t posted anything in awhile. His pesto creation helped to inspire me to get back to it!  I took a quick video that can be seen on the Pasta Is Not Salad Facebook Page (CLICK HERE TO VIEW and don’t forget to like/follow us!)  where I asked him to tell us what was in his pesto recipe and he graciously agreed.  Here are some highlights from our interview with Ed:

  • All of the herbs and garlic used in his pesto recipe were from his garden.
  • He uses walnuts instead of pine nuts because pine nuts are expensive and harder to come by.
  • He forgot to mention in his video that he uses hand shredded aged parmesan, not the parmesan from the can (aka: powdered parmesan).
  • By “mixing it up” he actually meant we should use a high powered blender or a food processor.
  • Ed is a great guy and we love foodies like him!  Looking forward to running into him again at the SteamPunk Tap House.

Ed V’s Famous Pesto

2/3 cup Sweet Basil finely chopped

1/3 cup American Parsley finely chopped

You can do this by hand or in a food processor | Set these aside until the last step 

In a food processor:

1/2 cup shelled walnuts

1 cup olive oil

1 to infinity cloves of fresh garlic (to taste) | If you want added flavor, roast the garlic!

Pulse in a food processor or high powered blender until Walnuts are finely crushed and the mixture is blended well.

Scoop out into a separate mixing bowl

Add parmesan

Add chopped basil and parsley

Mix together and serve with fresh veggies or french baguette slices.

Prep time: 5 – 10 minutes


Thank you Ed for your generous contribution to Pasta Is Not Salad. See you next time we are in Utica!




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