Yesterday was my first ever Blogiversary (anniversary of my blog). I planned on publishing a celebratory post on the same day; however, the responses I received from sharing a heartfelt thanks to my readers, social media followers and fellow bloggers on my Facebook page and Google Plus stream thoroughly distracted me from any sort of legitimate writing.
In the end, I chose to spend yesterday thanking those who had helped me learn to build my blog, smiling so much my cheeks ached, and celebrating in my own way.
Mostly by going on a long walk by the lake, drinking red wine, cooking a roasted chicken, and playing a computer game.
If there are any fellow nerds out there reading this, I played Baldur's Gate. For everyone else--just keep reading. ;)
But, my Blogiversary celebration wouldn't be complete without showing gratitude to the most important people associated with my blog—the readers. In other words, YOU.
You Guys Are Why I Do This
Whether you're a long-time reader or a new visitor, I thank you from the bottom of my heart. I created The Rising Spoon to share all the knowledge, tips, tricks, recipes, and recommendations I've picked up over the years in my self-taught cooking journey. My goal is to inspire folks to cook wholesome, homemade food on a regular basis, and learn about ways to live a more non-toxic stress-free life.
Basic food knowledge and cooking techniques are dwindling as the years go by and people become more accustomed to ready-made, processed foods. I aim to combat this trend by doing my part to show how easy it is to make simple real food meals at home with quality ingredients.
Creamy Cheesy Pesto Sauce
Now onto the darn recipe! I love making homemade pesto all year long with either kale or basil. It's so quick and easy + you can swap out a bunch of different ingredients. However, when it comes to pasta, I'm a fan of the saucy and cheesy types, so I wanted a way to stretch that pesto further. Enter this quick and easy creamy pesto sauce!
My version is inspired by The Pioneer Woman's recipe for pasta with pesto cream sauce. I don't usually have parmesan or heavy cream on hand unless I'm using it for a specific recipe, so I switched up the sauce with two of my pantry staples: canned coconut milk and a block of mozzarella cheese. I also made a batch of homemade pesto a few minutes before (doubled so I'd have leftovers), so it was super easy to throw together.
I often substitute canned coconut milk in recipes because other milks, like heavy cream, half & half, and buttermilk, tend to expire before I can use them. It's also a little easier on my stomach in large amounts (versus heavy cream), but as you can see this recipe isn't dairy-free since I still use grass-fed butter and mozzarella cheese!
Update (5/4/2016): I made this sauce again recently for a new pasta recipe so took the opportunity to take new, brighter photos during the day! :)
Creamy Pesto Sauce with Coconut Milk
Adapted from The Pioneer Woman's Pasta with Pesto Cream Sauce
Make your own creamy pesto sauce in minutes with full-fat coconut milk, homemade or jarred pesto, butter, cheese, and seasonings. It's perfect for drizzling on pasta, meats, and veggies, and would even work as a warm dip!
3 tablespoons of butter (I prefer pastured)
1/2 cup of full-fat coconut milk (canned or homemade)
1 cup of jarred or homemade pesto (use whatever herbs, nuts & cheeses you have on hand)
4 ounces of shredded mozzarella cheese (grated parmesan works, too)
Sea salt, to taste (I love THIS)
Cracked black pepper, to taste
Crushed red pepper flakes, to taste
Blender or Food Processor (for the pesto, if making at home)
If you don't have pesto already made, do this first. The rest of the recipe comes together quickly. Once that's complete, heat a small saucepan on medium-low and slice off about three tablespoons of butter into the pan. While that's melting, open a can of coconut milk. If there is a thick layer of cream on the top, either stir to recombine with the rest of the milk or scoop it off and store in a separate container to use for coconut milk whipped cream.
Stir 1/2 a cup of the coconut milk into the now melted butter. Pour in the pesto and stir to combine. Smells wonderful, eh? Sprinkle in some sea salt, freshly ground black pepper and crushed red pepper flakes. Once the sauce is warm (not boiling) reduce the heat to low and slowly stir in the cheese a bit at a time until it's all melted. Pour the sauce over your favorite dish while still warm and serve immediately!
Notes & Tips
- This coconut cream pesto sauce is perfect for pouring over pasta, shrimp, chicken, steak, rice, quinoa, roasted veggies, fresh heirloom tomatoes, etc. It would even be yummy as a warm dip, too, if you eat it quickly before the cheese gets cold!
PAID ENDORSEMENT DISCLOSURE: In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. However, I ONLY recommend helpful products that I myself would use. And I'm really picky about what I share with you guys. Because I myself am super choosy about what I buy and consume. Recommending products that I love or want to own helps me cover the costs of running this blog and keep providing you with free, helpful information. And it costs nothing extra for you. Thanks!