chasing loose ends May 18, 2011

I was sitting on a short stool on the set of my photo shoot this week…mindlessly tucking in the ends of angel hair pasta on a dish I was styling. None of the ends can show so there are many moments like this on shoots like this. Plucking away at noodles, my mind was elsewhere. Thinking of the loose ends I need to handle to wrap up the wildly successful Bake Sale we had this weekend – more on that later. Finishing up my presentation for BlogHer Food on Saturday. All of the events in between. So much exciting stuff happening…and yet…there I was feeling a bit underwhelmed…and overwhelmed at the same time.

I miss my blog. I miss cooking. The quiet times I can putter around the kitchen and throw something together. I miss The Saturday Soup. I’m so busy professionally – and that’s a really wonderful problem to have, I know – that a lot of things that are important to me personally have fallen by the wayside. I miss being creatively inspired. I miss my online friends who push me to be emotional, to be inventive, to be open. I feel like a bit of a burnout and I need some mojo back. I need the push and pull of wanting to be connected to food…to this blog…to myself. I’m happy that BlogHer Food is this weekend – a huge meetup of some of my favorite people. Folks like me with stories to tell and experiences to share – and not just about food. After these next few days, I have a bit of a lull and I’m hoping I’ll leave the conference feeling as energetic as I did in years past. If you see me there, say hi. I want to meet you and hear your stories, too.

The irony that the recipe I’ve been wanting to share with you is a pasta dish after the past few weeks I’ve had isn’t lost on me. It’s one of the best things I’ve cooked in a while & it’s super easy to put together. The hardest part of this is pulling out the food processor. I was on a short streak of making pesto out of things that aren’t basil…and this one was the winner. While I used purple cress because that’s what I had on hand, you can certainly substitute regular watercress. Clearly, this is wonderful on pasta (topped with a little toasted breadcrumbs in this case) but this would also be great spread on crostini with a little melted mozzarella as a quick appetizer.

Watercress Pesto – makes about 1 cup

  • 1 bunch purple watercress – woodier stems removed and washed & dried thoroughly
  • 1 large clove garlic, roughly chopped
  • juice and zest of one lemon
  • 1 tbsp. lightly toasted pine nuts
  • 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup of great quality extra virgin olive oil – this all depends on how thick you want this pesto
  • kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper, to taste

– Combine cress, garlic, lemon zest and juice and pine nuts in a food processor and pulse until roughly chopped. Through the opening in the lid, drizzle the olive oil in until desired consistency is reached. Taste and add salt & pepper as needed. Use as a spread on sandwiches, a sauce for pasta or a topping for crostini or fish. This pesto will keep 2-3 days if stored in a tightly sealed container in the fridge.



Amy @ A Little Nosh May 18, 2011 12:05 pm

It’s really beautiful. I’d probably make it with basil pesto, because I’m not adventurous. At all.

Maris (In Good Taste) May 18, 2011 01:05 pm

Looks like a delicious pasta dish which I am bookmarking! Have fun at the conference!

Sasa May 18, 2011 05:05 pm

It *is* a nice problem to have, but also not – we all need a little rest and time to ourselves after all. Hope you get time to recharge.

Helene May 18, 2011 05:05 pm

Say “hi” to everyone for me and a special hug for you!
Congrats on the bake sale!
If you ever need to re-charge your batteries, our house is always open and the fridge full and the wine ready :)

Allison May 18, 2011 05:05 pm

Beautiful. I love your photos.

Katie @ Healthnut Foodie May 18, 2011 11:05 pm

Wow! Great post! I clicked over from Tastespotting and am so glad I did! My first cookbook was recently published and I suddenly understand the stress of embracing the opportunities while still trying to enjoy the things that got you to this point. Have fun at BlogHer this weekend! I’m sure you will come back feeling like a rockstar!

MikeVFMK May 19, 2011 08:05 am

Nothing helps you unwind more than time by yourself with your thoughts in the kitchen. And although your commitments have been pulling you in every direction, this pasta process allowed you to slow down. And it allowed me to see such a wonderful new way to make pasta come alive again.

andy May 19, 2011 10:05 am

don’t you just love the ‘wild red’ watercress? It has a bit different ‘bite’ to it and has antioxidant levels about 4X higher than regular green watercress. The season is about over though, as we only are able to offer this patented variety between November and May…it has to do with the length of the sunlight day, and in the summer the long days of sunlight tend to bleach-out the vibrant purples and reds.
LIve Longer. Live Better. Eat More Watercress !

Watercress Woman May 19, 2011 12:05 pm

I *love* that you had red watercress “on hand”! This recipe looks delicious! I will be sharing it (via link to this blog) with my FB and Twitter peeps as I am always looking for new ways to help them incorporate watercress into their diets! Thanks for helping make my job easier today! :)

fotogrfia ślubna lublin May 19, 2011 03:05 pm

Nice shot. I love it.

Miss @ Miss in the Kitchen May 19, 2011 11:05 pm

I can’t wait to find some watercress to make this, it sounds super easy and so delicious. I know where some watercress grows but I can’t get there, I will have to search the market the next time I hit the big town.

Snippets of Thyme May 20, 2011 11:05 pm

This is the best plate of pasta I have seen! It looks so simple and delicious. I am just learning about this BlogHer workshop. It sounds incredible. Maybe I’ll see when the next one is…have fun there!

Kathy - Panini Happy May 22, 2011 12:05 pm

It was so lovely to finally meet you, Tami!

merry jennifer May 22, 2011 07:05 pm

1. I loved seeing you this weekend and getting to spend so much time catching up.

2. I miss you already.

TamaraEsq May 24, 2011 10:05 am

Glad you’re able to tie up those loose ends. Thanks for sharing.

Averie (LoveVeggiesandYoga) May 25, 2011 01:05 am

The pasta, pics and recipe, both look awesome!

Hope you had a great time at Blogher! All the cool kids were there as I am reading everyone’s recap posts:)

Hope it was great for you!