Monday, June 11, 2012


Today I stayed home and rested and made pesto and rosemary bread.

One neat thing about making pesto is that it takes about the same amount of time to make as it does to boil water and cook pasta. Hey, I take what wonder I can get in life.

Use as good of parmesan as you can. I buy these big blocks of Italian 2 year aged from Sam’s.  When I use pesto I am usually skipping meat, so to spend money on good cheese works out budget wise or at least that’s what I tell myself.



You have to grate it first. Trust me, the chopper blade – even on a good processor, cannot handle aged parmesan – it is hard as can be and will nick your blade (ask me how I know this).  So grate it first with the grater blade, even though you will also turn around and switch blades and chop it.


Then turn the processor on and add 2-3 cloves of garlic.

Here’s the part where it gets interesting.

Instead of just adding several cups of basil, I add blanched asparagus. About half a bunch. (To blanch: wash it, chop it and microwave in water for 5 minutes, drain, use the other half for couscous or whatever the next day)

And I add a handful of basil and a handful of spinach too. And then walnuts. (You can use pine nuts – but they are expensive. I’ve been thinking about trying with pecans)


Taste it. It will need salt, you will be tempted to add more cheese, while parmesan is nice and salty, don’t waste your fancy cheese to make it saltier – just add some salt and some pepper. When it tastes right, then run the machine and pour in some olive oil.  I keep my pesto pretty concentrated and then just add more olive oil when I’m using it, or some of the pasta cooking water if I’m feeling like cutting down on fat.  I see recipes with like cups and cups of olive oil – I probably use 1/4 cup or so.  So this is very very rich and thick.

I’m not giving exact ratios here – because  I sort of eye ball it and I’m not convinced it matters that much. If I had to I would say 1/2 C parmesan, 1/2 cup walnuts, 2 C veggies + Basil and 1/4 C olive oil. Something like that.


Things to do with pesto:

  • mix 1/4 C over 1/2 lb of pasta.
  • Use it as a layer in lasagna.
  • Use it instead of sauce on pizza.
  • Tell you kids it is dip and let them eat it with chips.
  • Freeze it into little blocks and give it to your friend  Kimberly when she has a baby as an easy meal.
  • Put it on rosemary bread

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Sowing Bountifully

I’ll admit, I missed planting season this year.  Somehow March and April (and May) came and went and I didn’t get my little herb garden planted.  Last weekend I finally planted some seeds we had.  Some of the seeds were old, some were new, and I’ve never planted seeds before – so only heaven knows what will come of it. 

I found the very act of planting, preparing the little pots and special soil, labeling each container very calming and grounding and peaceful.  My inner Perfect Mom Wannabe thought I probably should have called the kids out to help and used it as a time of instructional wisdom and bonding. Or not. It was sunny and quiet and very good for my soul to sit in the sun in the grass.

Each day I’ve enjoyed going out and checking on my little babies – talking to them and wondering what, if anything, is taking place down under the soil.


These are little degradable pots, when the seedlings are big enough the entire thing will be planted.  I found them in the dollar bins at Target.

For reference sake – this is the organic seed starting mix I used.



I filled the pots with soil, then I watered the soil and then placed 3-4 seeds into each pot. Once everything was planted I set them on a tray and covered it with saran wrap for a few days. Each day I gently watered the seeds.

Day 1 (June 2)


What I planted:





Dill (if you like dill pickles, these are the seeds you see in the pickle brine)




Also toad flax, which I did later and forgot to take a picture of, it’s a flower.

Day Seven (June 9th)

The basil has sprouted!



Here is an view of all the pots (Day 7, June 9)

All 6 basil are sprouted.


Day 8 – The Toad Flax has sprouted! It’s is so amazing because there was no sign of anything on Saturday but then today Sunday, there it was! The mystery of it makes me happy!

It’s so tiny – a little green baby tendril right in the middle of the pot.



For no reason than that I love it & it’s beautiful – a close up of our Texas sage, one of my favorite Texas plants.


And the rosemary which has gone wild and smells incredible, reminds me that I need to make rosemary bread soon!


The point is this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. 2 Corinthians 9:6

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