The Heartfelt Cookbook

People often ask me how this cookbook got started.  Cooking has always been an intrinsic part of who I am from a young age. You can read more about my about story at www.chefemery.com .  For me, it is a meditative practice where I just get an inspiration and then I act on it.  I have always been inspired by nature and what is coming into season.  Sustainable, seasonal, organic food is really important to me.  I think our connection with real food and cooking can be one of the most rooted ways we can connect with nature and ourselves. Real food just tastes better, makes you feel better and it does this because it truly is a part of nature.  Our bodies were designed and meant to eat it.

A few years ago, my husband asked me why I wasn’t writing any of my recipes down.  I thought about the daunting task of doing this.  I then got thinking and particularly I got thinking about my children and their possible desire to have these recipes in print for their own future.  I truly believe cooking is one of the most amazing sensory experiences and a beautiful way for children to connect with nature. When kids are able to touch, taste and connect with food at home, these memories stay with them and leave a historical imprint.  I liken it to an old folktale that you remember and then pass down from generation to generation.  I know for me, food as always imprinted so many lasting memories and connections that will stay with me for my lifetime.

Well I did take my husbands advice and spent a complete winter writing down all of the recipes that had been swirling around in my brain for years.  Hence, The Heartfelt Cookbook was born.  I have two copies that will never be touched or sold as they are saved for my children for when they are all grown up.  I hope these recipes will be cherished and enjoyed in their own homes one day with rich memories.  I have always said may it fill your home with full bellies, delicious aromas and happy hearts.

It is my wish to do this for all people and my cookbook can be pre ordered now directly through me by submitting a from under contacts at www.chefemery.com .  They go fast so secure your copy now.  They are $45 which includes shipping within the United States.  I truly believe food should never taste “healthy”. It truly should be an experience that nourishes and connects us in a way that deepens our mind, body, and spirit.  We can all do this it just requires some tools.  As a chef, I am here to help with that.

Organic Fresh Basil Pesto

 

I have to say that I have had enough of all this cold weather and am ready for spring!!  I mean come on, it snowed today for goodness sake.  There is nothing like making a batch of my fresh homemade pesto to help perk one’s spirit up.  The green color alone is so vibrant and makes me think of spring.  Plus, my kids call them the “green noodles” and if that isn’t cute, I don’t know what is!

This can be made in big batches and placed in the freezer ( which I often do ) and is fabulous paired with fish, chicken, or on it’s own with a big salad.  It is so quick, easy, gets dinner on the table fast and taste so much better than any store bought version of pesto.

1 lb spaghetti gluten free ( I personally like organic tinkyada brown rice ) or regular pasta

4 cups fresh organic basil

2 cloves fresh organic garlic

1 cup grated parmesan reggiano

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

1/2 cup raw pine nuts

1 tsp sea salt

fresh ground black pepper

 

In a powerful blender ( I use a Vitamix but most blenders will work well ), place basil, parmesan reggiano, pine nuts, sea salt, and black pepper.  Place the blender on medium and begin to gradually add the olive oil.  Blend until smooth and all ingredients are fully combined.  Take a large spaghetti pot and fill with cold water and a pinch of salt.  Bring water to a boil and add pasta.  Cook approx. 10-12 minutes ( depending on pasta ) till al dente.  Drain pasta water and immediately add 3 to 4 tbs of pesto.  Toss until pasta is fully coated with pesto.  Serve immediately with generous amounts of grated parmesan reggiano.  I like mine with fresh tomatoes and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice.  Store left over pesto sauce ( as you will not use all of it ) in an air tight container and save for another use.  It is fantastic as a sandwich spread, a marinade for fish or chicken or to freeze for another time.  I generally double the recipe and freeze the second batch.

Enjoy!