Happy Friday!! I'm so happy to see the weekend, I've got a lot to accomplish including getting my cherry tomato and basil plants in the dirt. I've already harvested the basil once, still in the flimsy pots they came in. It's going to be a good growing year, I just know it!
I've told you about my Uncle, right? The one that shows up with the most random food items you can think of. Wednesday I came home from work to find a branch off of a Rainier cherry tree sitting on the kitchen counter. My uncle had brought it down to show how well the cherries were already ripening. Of course I couldn't resist eating most of the cherries off of that branch, I'm quite certain that's what he intended for me to do. And it instantly reminded me of a recipe from Sprouted Kitchen that I had seen on Pinterest.
If you didn't grow up on a cherry farm like I did you might need a little info on Rainiers. A Rainier cherry is a reddish-yellow-orange cherry and is a cross between a Bing and a Van (not a Queen Ann as some might think). The more sunshine the cherry sees, the more blushed it will become. They are a hardy cherry, plump and sweet.
This Rainier Cherry Muddler Recipe from Sprouted Kitchen very smartly pairs the cherry with lemon basil, which keeps the flavors light and refreshing. It will be a perfect drink after a hot day of gardening. And I know just where to find some more cherries! If you can't find Rainiers, I would try a Queen Ann cherry (yellow) or whatever fresh cherries you have available in your local markets.
I promised you a two-fer so here it goes: we had another impromptu gathering this week and everyone was starving hungry so I perused the refrigerator to see what kind of Last Minute Pasta I could throw together this time. Unfortunately, there was a shortage of cheese, only a hunk of Parmesan. But I spied some bacon and that got my wheels spinning... I had just bought some basil plants so I ran outside and plucked a bunch of basil leaves... we had white wine... yep, I could make this work!
I'm not going to get too detailed but in case you find yourself needing to feed a small group you might take some inspiration from this week's Last Minute Pasta.
- 1 box of Barilla Cellentani
- 4 slices of bacon
- about 1/2 cup of fresh grated Parmesan (plus a little more at the end)
- 1/4 cup loosely packed basil leaves, torn at the last minute
- olive oil
- butter, 3 pats
- splash of white wine
I set the pasta to boil then got cracking on the rest of the ingredients. I cooked my bacon, drained off the excess grease on a paper towel then chopped it into little bits and I grated my Parmesan. Back to the pan that bacon was cooked in, I drained off most of the grease and added a splash of white wine (maybe 3-4 tablespoons) and cooked that down a little over medium heat so the bacon bits would pick up from the bottom. After the pasta was done I drained it and reserved about 1 cup of the cooking water. I put the drained pasta back in the pot and dumped in all the other ingredients, tearing the basil and dumping that in as well. At this point I checked for texture and sauce. It needed to be loosened up a bit so I added most of the pasta water and a drizzle of olive oil and gave it all a big stir. It still was missing a little... something.... so in went about 3 pats of butter, stirred some more. I added just a little more Parmesan and black pepper and it was done!
I realize it was all a little unconventional, but hey, we make do! I fed 7 people in less than 1/2 hour. Not a bit was left.
I hope your weekend is a blast!!