A Well-Oiled Machine

Parsley and Garlic Oil and Basil Garlic Oil
Just about two weeks ago, I returned to the world of the working, not that I haven't been, mind you, but there's a vast difference between writing articles at noon, pajama-clad, and getting into the car every morning and driving off into the day. Personally, I like the latter--I like routine and I like to be busy and engaged.

Unfortunately, however, I'd completely forgotten about how much effort it takes to work full-time and simultaneously keep all of the other balls up in the air. Poor Mr. B endured the first week with paltry, unplanned, by-the-seat-of-my-pants meals. The second week went a bit better, but there were still a few sandwich dinners and then the one night when I just threw up my hands and said, "Let's go out to eat," something entirely uncharacteristic of me. In fact, I'm fairly certain that over the last several years, we've rarely eaten dinner away from home. I like to cook. I find it relaxing; I like the creativity that goes into cooking, and I like being able to choose my own ingredients and shop for seasonal fare at the farmers market.

Now that I'm fairly scheduled into a routine, I decided the best way for me to cook the dishes I love, is to keep my larder amply supplied. A big part of that, for me, is cooking with herbs, but when the rush is on to get dinner made, it's the herbs that often languish, forgotten, deep in the bottom of the crisper. I decided to get a leg up and whip up two herbaceous condiments to keep things lively and fresh.

I use the parsley and garlic oil on everything from steamed veggies and grilled cheese sandwiches to subbing for a quick marinade. It's also delicious slathered on good sourdough toast with a few sliced tomatoes. The same is true of the basil oil, though I admit, I'm less adventures and usually use it as a drizzle on fresh sliced tomatoes and feta.

One thing is true: my kitchen is going to run like a well-oiled machine and allow me to unwind and enjoy cooking dinner. And, for Mr. B, it means his days of living off of scraps are coming to an end.

It's win-win.

Parsley and Garlic Oil

1 bunch Italian parsley, washed and stemmed
4 garlic toes

1 tablespoon of fresh squeezed lemon juice
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
sea salt
olive oil

1. Place parsley and garlic in the food processor and process until finely minced.
2. Add lemon juice, red pepper flakes, and a pinch of sea salt; blend.
3.Transfer to a glass jar.
4. Pour olive oil over the mixture to completely cover.
5. Store in the refrigerator; bring to room temperature and stir before using.

Basil and Garlic Oil
1 bunch of basil, washed and stemmed
4 garlic toes
1 tablespoon good quality balsamic vinegar
sea salt
olive oil

1. Process basil and garlic in a food processor.
2. Add balsamic and pinch of salt; process.
3. Transfer to a glass jar and completely top with olive oil.
5. Store the refrigerator; bring to room temperature and stir before using.


  1. I know there are some days when I get home from work and I just don't feel like cooking. But for the most part, I am usually cooking within 10 minutes of walking in the door - its my happy place! Have a great Labor day weekend!


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