Sunday, July 27, 2014


The word pesto is derived from the Genoese word 'pesta' which means to pound and to crush.  This is likely because it was originally made with using a pestle and mortar to pound the ingredients.  The modern day pesto uses basil, oil, garlic, grated hard cheese such as parmesan and basil but depending on the region or country, not all use pine nuts.  Different regions or countries will use other herbs besides basil and may almonds or tomatoes in making the paste.  I don't think the original pesto was used for fish but was added to pasta.

I made this pesto using a combination of basil and parsley to accompany baked halibut.  I made more pesto than what was needed for a pound of fish.  I also didn't finely chop the pesto and make it really smooth.  It had some texture to it.  To make it smoother I would have had to add a little bit of water or olive oil.  I also did not add grated cheese to the recipe.  Adding a bit of cheese could have helped in making a smoother paste.

The pesto did add wonderful flavour to the halibut and both the DH and I enjoyed this dish.

Halibut with pesto.


1 pound halibut, cod or other fish fillet, cut into four pieces
1 tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper to taste


1/2 cup parsley, basil combo
3 tbsp dill
3 tbsp roasted almonds, whole or slivered
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tsp lemon juice
salt and pepper to taste


Using a small blender, add the herbs and nuts.  Using the pulse feature, pulse a number of times to finely chop the mixture.  Add the oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper.  Blend until smooth or coarse if you want to have more texture.  If the pesto is too dry, add one tablespoon of water to make a smoother paste.  This makes more than what is required for the cooked halibut. Set the pesto aside in order to cook the fish.

Heat a non stick frying pan on medium high and add the oil.  Once hot, add the fish and salt and pepper to your taste.  Reduce heat to medium and cook about five to six minutes on each side to golden brown.  

Add a spoonful of pesto to the fish once it is plated.  Serves 3 to 4 depending on appetite. 

Saturday, July 19, 2014


My four legged companion Shane is turning nine this weekend.   Time has gone by quickly.  From getting him when he was a pup and lying on my lap in the car (I wasn't driving) going to his new home to the present day, a lot has happened.  He has been a busy fellow:

  • he has had some major surgeries, 
  • chewed a number of shoes, 
  • damaged some underground sprinkler lines in the background, 
  • pulled a toilet paper rod holder off the wall which resulted in patching a wall and repainting a bathroom,
  • chewed two seat belts in the back seat of a car,
  • rolled in some awful smelling stuff on a number of occasions, 
  • cools off in the fish pond in the backyard and disregards his own wading pool,  
  • has mastered the art of licking a bowl,
  • developed a fondness for ice cream, carrots, banana and peanut butter,
  • discovered how to pick cucumbers off of the vine and dig for carrots,
  • taking food off of the kitchen counter,
  • learned to supervise me while I prepare and cook meals,
  • took a number of obedience classes, 
  • attempted but never succeeded mastering agility competitions (too many distractions),
  • never met a ball he didn't like,
  • loves his morning walk, and
  • loves to grab socks, gloves or shoes and trot off with them.

All dogs are wonderful and I have never met a cat or dog owner who doesn't like to talk about their pet.  Lab retrievers never quite grow up and I reckon that he will have that teenager dog sense of play  until his dying days.  He is a very social dog and on our daily walks, has managed to suck up to several walkers, non dog owners, who have to stop to pet him, praise him and tell him what a good boy he is.  This can happen on a daily basis.  I like to call him the Johnny Carson on the walking path.  All he needs is a chair and couch and he could have a reality TV show.

I have posted some pictures to share of the one and only Shane.

Sunday, July 6, 2014


I have a fair number of frozen packages of edamame beans which need to be used.  Edamame beans are also quite tasty and lend themselves to being added to salads, quinoa or couscous dishes or just eating them on their own.  The frozen beans I buy are still in the pod so I cook them for close to six minutes in the microwave and then let them cool.  Each frozen package has close to a cup of shelled beans.  I made this salad as I also had fresh green beans and lots of herbs in the garden.  The herbs add a delightful freshness to the salad and I used fresh dill, parsley and mint.  I used about 5 large mint leaves and it added a nice flavour.  You could add quinoa or couscous to this salad as an option.  I had about a quarter of a cup of cooked chick peas in the fridge which also got added to this salad.   It was a good way to use up this small amount of chick peas.  I have a collection of flavoured balsamic vinegars and olive oils.  But that is another story for another post.  I used lemon white balsamic vinegar in this salad.   If you don't have white balsamic vinegar, regular balsamic vinegar is fine to add.


1 cup shelled cooked edamame beans
1 shallot, finely chopped
2 cups of cooked green beans, chopped
2 stalks of celery, finely chopped
1/2 to 1 cup of fresh herbs: parsley, dill and a few mint leaves
2 tbsp white balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper to taste


Add all of the ingredients except for the oil and vinegar into a medium size bowl.  Mix well.  Add the vinegar and oil.  Adjust the seasonings to taste.  Serves 3- 4 depending on whether this is a side dish or part of your main meal.