5.18.11: What’s for dinner Wednesday? Pesto Pasta Salad

Pesto anyone?

Fresh pesto tastes amazing yet I always forget how easy it is to make! Recently, while doing the weekly grocery shopping I passed the basil containers and recalled a cold pesto pasta salad I had in Italy that was delicious. Thanks to a quick tutorial from my friend’s aunt who introduced us to this dish, it is easy to make! It’s perfect for summer and you can serve hot or cold. Like I said, I prefer it cold.  Serve with flavored sausage like artichoke heart or sundried tomato. Also a hit with grilled chicken!

Shopping List:
Fresh basil leaves
Pine nuts or walnuts
Parmesan-Reggiano or Romano cheese
Garlic Cloves
Grape Tomatoes
Mozzarella Cheese Balls
Bowtie/Capellini/your choice of pasta

Meat of your choice (see above)

This recipe from Simple Recipes is the fastest!

2 cups fresh basil leaves, packed
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan-Reggiano or Romano cheese
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup pine nuts or walnuts
3 medium sized garlic cloves, minced
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Special equipment needed: A food processor

Method
1. Combine the basil in with the pine nuts, pulse a few times in a food processor. (If you are using walnuts instead of pine nuts and they are not already chopped, pulse them a few times first, before adding the basil.) Add the garlic, pulse a few times more.

2. Slowly add the olive oil in a constant stream while the food processor is on. Stop to scrape down the sides of the food processor with a rubber spatula. Add the grated cheese and pulse again until blended. Add a pinch of salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.

You can cook the pasta while you are making the pesto. Once the pasta and the pesto are finished (if serving cold, run cold water over the pasta and be sure to refrigerate for an hour before you serve, otherwise), combine pasta, pesto, tomatoes and cheese balls in a large bowl, stir and serve!

Perfect summer lunch or dinner…Buon Appetito!

Bebe au Lait Announces – Featured Retailer of the Month Program!

Looking for a specialty boutique in your area that carries Bebe au Lait’s family of products?

Check out our Featured Retailer for May:

Los Gatos Baby
12 N. Santa Cruz Avenue
Los Gatos, CA 95032

Years in business: 8

Contact Info: www.losgatosbaby.com

Hours: Monday thru Saturday: 10-6 & Sunday: 10-5

What Bebe au Lait products do you carry and why?
Bebe au Lait has become a household brand name and we have many clients that come to our store asking for Bebe au Lait products. Because of this and the fact that we have been carrying Bebe au Lait for five years and their product lines consistently sell thru, we love to carry the full line of Bebe au Lait and Hooter Hider nursing covers so we can fulfill the needs of our clients.

What are your customer’s favorite prints to purchase?
In the summer months, we love to carry the Bebe au Lait Ascot print but all the newest prints do well year round.

What is your favorite Bebe au Lait product?
Bebe au Lait & Hooter Hider nursing covers.

What is the best way you’ve found to display the Bebe au Lait line of products?
We have found that the family of products are displayed best on either slat wall or properly positioned shelves, depending on the product.

What is the one thing you would like others to know about you?
By popular demand, we are now carrying for children up to 8 years old; everything from shoes to books to clothing.

If you are a retailer and are interested in becoming a Featured Retailer of the Month, please send an email to featuredretailer@bebeaulait.com.

Traveling Tuesday: Early Inheritance

We are “traveling” back in time today…!

Now that I carry my SLR around me most everywhere I go, my shoulder bags and totes just aren’t cutting it any more. It’s literally a pain in the neck to keep it from sliding off my shoulder while trying to capture THE shot that requires the use of both hands. Thus, I decided a crossbody bag would better serve my purposes of shlepping my possessions around with me — a tan leather crossbody bag to be precise. While I really like this bag, tan leather will better round out my modest handbag collection and I like that it’s a timeless look that spans seasons as well as decades. Proof? I was admiring these at the Coach website

when I recalled that my mom carried something similar around at one time. I rang her up and hey, not only did she have a tan leather bag, she had THE ORIGINAL Original Rambler’s Legacy bag by Coach! In tan! See it up there in the top row? The best part was that she was thrilled to give it to me because it’d been neglected in the back of her closet for the past 20 years. It’d been a gift from my grandma to my mom 40-something years ago and now my mom was handing it down to me. :D


**Okay, I lied. The best part wasn’t that she was thrilled to pass it along to me and it was mine (for free!) just a week later. The best part is when it arrived… You know how they say scent is a powerful way to trigger memories? After being tucked away in her closet for years, the bag smells just how I remember my mom smelling from my childhood in a really lovely way. It particularly reminds me of all her hugs because I’d literally be enveloped in that scent, in her arms, feeling safe and loved. And that makes me happy to carry this bag around with me wherever I go now :)

{The author and her mother circa 1986.}

4.20.11: What’s for Dinner Wednesday?

My three year old used to be such a good eater. From the time that she could feed herself, she was eating steamed broccoli and cold plain tofu (her choice, I tried to cook it). Now the only thing she asks for is mac n’ cheese! I was flipping through my recipes and came along this delish zucchini & carrot bread recipe that calls for two zucchini’s & 2 carrots…. We will get veggies in this girl yet!

I made two loaves and brought one into the office pictured here. Guess it isn’t just for kids… I went to take a picture to show you all and it was already half gone! Word on the street is that it is delicious!

Here is the recipe – enjoy!

Preheat oven to 375. You will need (1) 8” X 10” pan or (2) 8 ½ x 4 ½ x 2 ½, greased and floured.

Beat smooth
3 eggs
1 cup sugar (raw, if you have it)
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup oil
3 tsp. vanilla

Stir in:
2 medium to large shredded ** zucchinis
2 medium to large shredded **carrots
¼ cup wheat germ (click here for the health benefits if you are not familiar with wheat germ)
1 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

**Use a food processor to make it pulpy and less recognizable for the super finicky kids.

Sift together:
2 ½ cups flour (you can use half wheat flour)
2 tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. baking powder
1 ½ tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. cloves
1 tsp. ginger
1 tsp. nutmeg

Stir in the sifted ingredients with your wet mixture. Spoon batter into a greased and floured 8” X 10” pan or you can use two 8 ½ x 4 ½ x 2 ½, just separate the batter evenly. Cook for 30-35 minutes for the two loaves or 40-45 minutes for the 8 X 10 pan. Check doneness with a toothpick in the middle. Cool and enjoy!