slide show

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Homemade Pesto!

Ok, I am SO excited about this homemade pesto! Our crop share farm let us pick unlimited basil, so I went to town! My mom gave me the best tip of keeping the cut ends of the basil in water to preserve them and keep the leaves from going black. You should also put them in the refrigerator to keep them longer.
So the first step is the most tedious - pulling all of the leaves off the stems. In some cases, I discarded the yucky ones but I kept almost all of them. Once they're mixed in, it won't matter :-) I am fortunately a pro at picking basil leaves from my work experience at Carrabba's :-) Next, they all need to be washed. I used a salad spinner to cut down on time. After that, all of the leaves go into a food processor - I pulsed a few time to get them mixed up and then just let the processor go to town.
Once the leaves were really good and minced, I added in the goodies: lots of parmesan, extra-virgin olive oil, pine nuts and fresh garlic. I didn't measure any of these, just made up the amounts as I went along. I learned to cut back on the pine nuts a bit - the flavor of the first batch was just too nutty. I will also probably use a Romano/parmesan mix next time for a little more flavor.
I then processed the rest of the ingredients together to get a really wonderful-smelling yummy pasty pesto :-) The whole kitchen smelled divine!
Next, because I knew we wouldn't be eating this much basil anytime soon, I pulled out my old ice cube makers and divided the pesto into the ice cube trays to make very small portions to freeze. Once they were frozen separately, I removed the pesto cubes from the trays and put them all in a freezer bag. In the future, I only need to go into the freezer, pull out as many pesto cubes as needed and then microwave. I usually add a bit of EVOO each time. This is perfect because I am the only one that eats pesto with any regularity - now I will have it for the whole winter and there are no preservatives - just yummy natural ingredients that I put together myself! Voila!

Monday, July 19, 2010


I love watching imaginations blossom. I especially love to see Lovebug do his own thing. Although he adores his sister and is thrilled to play along in her adventures, it's pretty awesome to see him work on his own too. He brought the bristle blocks out on his own ... when I turned around he had created this long track. He is such a cool kid :-)

Here's one of Angel too ... she has really gotten into coloring and drawing. She wanted nothing to do with it in Pre-K3, but now that Pre-K4 has passed, she has really enjoyed doing it. She's getting better and better too - really doing a fantastic job of staying in the lines and drawing instead of just scribbling.

Ahh, my babies are growing up.

Saturday, July 17, 2010


We took the kids bowling for the first time today! I think it's safe to say that they totally loved it! Lovebug needed some help from Daddy, but it didn't make bowling any less fun for sure!
Ohhhh the anticipation! Love this - he is the cutest!
And then the elation of seeing the ball hit the pins. It's the simple things in life I tell ya!
Watching again ...
And then pure joy when the ball hit the pins. LOL.
Here's a short video of Lovebug bowling. I love how he thinks that if he moves, the ball will also move :-)
Angel, on the other hand, was a bit more serious. Throwing the ball ...
Watching ...
Waiting ... bowling is serious business!
Watching some more ...
And clearly all of this serious business paid off for Angel - she kicked my butt! LOL. This is her first time playing!
And a few shots of me and Lovebug at the end ... trying to make sure that I am actually IN more pictures :-)

And one last video for your viewing pleasure - I think my favorite part is Lovebug "fanning" himself. LOL.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010


He is quickly becoming my easiest subject to photograph, wow! This is how he woke up and he was happy to "pose" for the camera to document it.

Sorry for the repeats in the background - I get the brightest window light here in the kitchen on cloudy days and I still had to bump my ISO up to 1600. Isn't that amazing though? You'd never know with as clear as these are!

Happy Hump Day!

Monday, July 12, 2010


I had DH snap a few of me with Lovebug on Friday night after we picked the veggies out of the garden. We were sitting out on the deck enjoying the weather. I'm just now getting to edit them.

So here's me with my Lovebug in all of my no-makeup glory :-) I could eat this kid. Actually I think I did nibble on him at some point while DH was snapping. I love these because I am NEVER in pictures ... it's so nice to see myself with my kids every now and then.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Mommy, take picture?

Lovebug helped me pick from the garden tonight while DH was putting Angel to bed (she didn't take a nap today = earlier bedtime). We were sitting on the rockers just hanging out and Lovebug asked me to "take picture?" I think he was taking off from Angel's shots last night with the veggies. I was super happy to oblige him obviously!

I just bought a new action that I used to process this shot. I figured I'd just give it a try ... but I think I'm in love. Doesn't it rock?! I love the vintage feel but it also pops the color at the same time ... coolness!


Washed, cut and ready to freeze - straight from the CSA that we picked ourselves! I'll admit, it was more work than I thought it would be, but I feel so good about it!

Thursday, July 8, 2010


A few veggies from our garden that are ripe enough to pick, yay! Angel got a little overzealous for the first picture - can you tell she's excited?

More tomatoes - romas above and grape below.
An annoying pest - beetle traps are going up today!
This is the first time I've grown broccoli - I'm excited to see how they turn out. There's a lot - more than should be here, so we'll see what happens.
Below is the beginning of a pepper - the plant kept moving on me so it's not completely in focus.
Here's the whole garden! Or most of it anyway - I had the 100mm macro on my camera for obvious reasons, but because it's a fixed focal length, I couldn't back up far enough to get the whole thing in the frame. We have 6 tomato plants (4 romas, 1 big boy, 1 grape), lots of broccoli, red & green pepper, sweet potatoes (the vine-y stuff on the front left), a few carrots (that are getting buried by the sweet potatoes) and a huge zucchini plant!
This last shot is kohlrabi (not from our garden - it came from the crop share). I have never had kohlrabi (actually to be honest, I had never heard of it until a month ago, LOL). DH grilled it up last night but it was just too tough/hard to eat. It tastes like white potato and has a similar consistency, but it really needs to be cooked waaaay more to be edible. Lesson learned at least - we like it but it needs to be cooked ... a lot.
So far so good with the garden (and with the crop share!). I spent several hours this morning cleaning, chopping and freezing veggies. I have 3 dinners worth of green/yellow beans, 1 dinner of zucchini, 2 cups of minced/chopped zucchini for zucchini bread (or maybe zucchini pancakes?) and 1 dinner of chopped carrots.

My mom and I also picked 2 more dinners' worth of green/yellow beans and I have more carrots to work on as well. I'm loving all of this fresh stuff!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Fresh from the farm!

Grilled yellow squash & zucchini straight from our CSA. DH added a little salt, pepper and butter - unbelievably delicious! It was also beautiful outside, so we enjoyed our dinner on the patio. I love eating outside - our backyard is amazing in the evening because the house shades it from the sun. I just adore these summer evenings!