Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Caramel Corn

I got a fancy new hot air popper for my birthday and to christen it I decided to make some caramel corn. Not just any caramel corn though, I wanted the caramel corn of my childhood. So as per usual, I went begging to the matriarch of my family for the recipe. So I went a-snooping through her recipe box until I found it and I was on my way to snack city.

I wish that I could say that this is the perfect movie snack but to do so would be limiting it. This became my walking-through-the-kitchen snack and my driving-to-Colorado-Springs snack and my sitting-around-at-work snack.It's sweet and crunchy, just barely salty and overall pretty perfect. I added pepitas because I had them on hand but really anything that would taste good covered in caramel will work too.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Cilantro Pesto

I have solved another semantic dilemma recently. When I think pesto, I think basil, pine nuts, and parmesan cheese all blended together to make that delicious sauce we all know and love. The semantic dilemma came in when I asked myself, if I use cilantro to make a pesto, is it still pesto? Technically, yes. The word pesto originates from the Genoese word pesta which means to crush or grind (think mortar and PESTle). This leaves a lot of room for calling substances pestos, including my cilantro pesto. That being said, I food processed mine which involved a lot of fast, whizzing, chopping and not so much with the crushing.

Semantics aside, I love pesto. I love that cilantro is delicious to me and only fifty cents a bunch whereas that much basil would probably cost me my rent money. Not to mention the truly expensive factor in the equation, the pine nuts. I used pecans in this instead because A)I save a little money, B)I had them on hand, and C)they are pretty sweet so they contrast well with the bitter cilantro. Since making this delicious concoction I have been using it for everything. I add it to my eggs, I use it as a pizza sauce or pasta sauce, I've been adding it to black beans, and practically anything with Mexican flair could use some cilantro pesto.