Nope, I don’t have any Chocablock Cookies  for you today. And, I don’t have any steamed puddings  either. I’m really sorry about that, but life has kind of smacked me in the head this past week and I just never found the time to make them. My work schedule has been kind of crazy and Mr. SGCC has been out of town A LOT, so I’ve been pulling double duty both at home and at the office. Plus, I’ve got a brand new project over here that is taking up a ton of my time and attention! Allow me to introduce you all to our new little addition.
Okay, all together now: AWWW!!!
Isn’t she a little cutie pie? I took this shot right after we got her home. She looks pretty pooped, doesn’t she. After a three hour car ride, I wasn’t surprised. We picked Bella up last weekend from a wonderful breeder  near Mt. Dora. This is the same breeder that we got our dear, departed Sophie from. I had to wait for more than a year for a puppy from her, but it was worth it. Sophie was such a special member of our family and I wanted our new baby to come from the same nurturing place. I’m so thrilled to have Bella in our family, but taking care of an eight week old puppy is a lot of work! It’s almost like having a new baby, except that the puppy can already run around on her own! And no, that is not a splotch of blood or poop on her flank. Lol! It’s nail polish. The breeder uses it to identify all of the puppies in her litters. It will eventually wear off.
So, back to the food, or lack thereof. I had all the best intentions to make both this week’s TWD  recipe and this month’s Daring Bakers  challenge. It just wasn’t in the cards. However, I’d never let you leave here empty-handed. This Lemon Linguine with Basil Pesto Shrimp was on the menu of my cooking class last week. It’s a lovely, springtime pasta dish that highlights the bright, fresh flavors of lemon and basil. Plus, it’s super simple to make. My students loved it! You can even make this recipe ahead and serve it chilled as a pasta salad. It doesn’t get much better than that!
So, enjoy! I’ve got to run and take Bella out for another potty break before she notices my Oriental rugs!
Lemon Linguine with Basil Pesto Shrimp
1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined – with or without the tails
1 batch Basil Pesto (recipe follows)
1 pound linguine, cooked al dente
1/2 to 2/3 cup olive oil
1/4 to 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice (2-3 lemons)
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon fresh lemon zest
1 cup pasta cooking water
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1. Place shrimp in a non-metal bowl or zip lock bag and spoon in half of the pesto to coat. Mix well. Place shrimp in the fridge to marinate for about 30 minutes. Set aside the rest of the pesto for later. You can also put the shrimp on wooden skewers that have been thoroughly soaked in water.
2. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat in a large skillet or grill pan. Add the shrimp and sauté just until it turns pink, about 1-2 minutes per side. Remove from pan and cover to keep warm. It will continue to cook for a minute after you remove it from the heat.
3. In a large serving bowl, whisk the 1/4 cup of the lemon juice and olive oil until partially emulsified. Add the Parmesan and continue whisking until creamy. Toss in the lemon zest and season with salt and pepper. Adjust the oil-to-lemon ratio by adding more lemon juice, a little at a time, until it is to your taste.
4. Add hot pasta to the bowl and toss until well-coated. The heat from the pasta will melt the cheese and help it stick to the linguine. Add some cooking water if the pasta seems dry.
5. Apportion the linguine onto dinner plates and top each with 4-6 shrimp. Ladle some remaining pesto onto each plate as well.
2 cups fresh basil leaves, finely chopped
4 medium sized garlic cloves, finely minced
2/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan Cheese
1/3 cup toasted pine nuts
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
Salt and red pepper flakes to taste
Put basil and garlic in bowl of a food processor. Pulse a few times to combine. Add Parmesan and pine nuts and pulse a few more times. Scrape mixture into a bowl and whisk in olive oil. Add salt and red pepper flakes to taste. Stir.