the reason I still go to bookstores

You know how after a big event or holiday passes, there is that slight wave of depression? Like, you were looking forward to something for so long, and then it’s over, and you’re like, what’s next?

That was me on Monday after the Fourth of July. I had spent a fantastic week in South Carolina with my BFF’s, and have been experiencing maj separation anxiety since. Anyway, instead of sulking, I opted for a go-to pick-me-up: ice coffee and bookstore.

We have a fabulous independent bookstore here in town called Elm Street Books where I love to browse and treat myself to a new fiction every once in a while.

As I went to check out – with the new Elin Hilderbrand & Kevin Kwan’s latest novel in hand, one of the managers (shout out Eve!) recommended A Taste of Sage by Yaffa S. Santos. It ended up being the most pleasant surprise of a novel, and THAT my friends is why I still go to bookstores.

the book: A Taste of Sage by Yaffa S. Santos

The perfect summer romance novel

If you are looking for a new summer romance novel, I highly recommend A Taste of Sage by Yaffa S. Santos! It’s about two chefs; Lumi, who’s Dominican-fusion food is eclectic, fun, and unexpected. Then there is Julien Dax, a successful, straight-edge, French chef who is V staunch but V hot.

The two meet as Lumi is hired as the new Sous Chef at Julien’s restaurant. I can’t say more without giving too much away, but this book was actually a 10/10 (similar vibes to Sweet Bitter). There is also the added bonus of recipes between chapters (I LOVE when authors do that).

the bite: Basil Mint Pesto

Pictured here with fresh cucumbers and tomatoes

One of the best parts about having a garden is becoming inspired by the assortment of produce that grows. At the moment, we are seeing an ample amount of summer squash, herbs, and cucumbers in ours in Connecticut. 

In the delicious novel, A Taste of Sage by Yaffa S. Santos, one of the main characters, Julien, creates a mint pesto that he later uses to top some sushi. Pesto is so simple to make, and seeing that we currently have an abundant amount of basil and mint at the moment, I decided to create this Basil Mint Pesto that is absolutely divine (like, I have been eating it by the spoonful).

Ingredients 

  • 1 cup fresh basil 
  • 2/3 cups olive oil 
  • 1/4 cup fresh mint
  • 1/4 cup almonds 
  • 2 cloves of garlic 
  • 1/2 lemon 
  • 1 tsp salt 

Steps

  • Over low heat, place your almonds into a skillet to toast (KEEP AN EYE ON THIS AS THEY BURN QUICK) 
  • Once the almonds are golden and fragrant, set them aside to cool 
  • In a food processor, blend the basil, olive oil, mint, and garlic until smooth 
  • Add the salt, and the juice from half a lemon
  • Once the almonds are completely cool, add them to the food processor and pulse until smooth 
  • Note: We served the pesto on a simple salad of sliced cucumbers and tomatoes! My mom is also having it on toast at the moment.

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