Saturday, May 30, 2009

Dixie Highway Yard Sale June 5-7, 2009!
Shop the Nostalgic Dixie Highway Yard Sale!
Call 800-733-2280
OR Metro Atlanta 770-387-1357

Anyone ever been to this? My best friend and I are going Friday! We always try to do something for our birthday instead of buying each other something. What could be better than celebrating our birthday by going to a 90 mile yard sale? :) We're thinking about going early Friday, maybe spending the night and more yard sales before heading home Saturday. If you've been before, I'd love to hear about it!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Basil Pesto

My basil plants have really taken off and wanted to pick the leaves so they would keep on producin'! Next, what do I do with basil??? I use it now and again when I'm cooking, I may throw it in a tossed salad, I've even frozen the leaves before. So, I went to my trusty friend Google to see what else I could do and alas, BASIL PESTO! Here's the recipe:

2 cups fresh packed basil leaves (packed means, stuff them into a measure cup and press them down with your hand; it's not a precise measurement)
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup pine nuts (if you don't have pine nuts, you can use walnuts or hazelnuts)
3 garlic cloves, finely minced (or 1 tablespoon of prepared minced garlic)
1 tablespoon "fruit fresh" or 1 tablespoon of lemon juice. Fruit fresh is available at most grocery stores where canning supplied like pectin and pickling salt are sold. It is basically a form of citric acid / vitamin C, that helps prevent the pesto from turning brown upon exposure to the air.
1/4 cup Olive oil. It should be the "extra virgin" variety, not the ordinary cooking olive oil. If it is extra virgin, it will say that on the label: see the photo for an example of extra virgin (at left) next to cooking olive oil (at right).
Makes about 1 cup or prepared basil Pesto!

Step 1 - Pick the leaves off of the stems.
Discard any flower buds, stems or leaves that aren't in good shape. All we want are leaves; small, medium or large; as long as they are a healthy green, not brown or molding!

Step 2 - Wash the basil.
Just wash them in a large bowl under cold water, no soap!

Step 3 - Chop the pine nuts, olive oil and garlic in the food processor
If you don't have a food processor, you can use a blender, and possibly a chopper. It would be fairly tedious to do this by hand, but I'm sure it can be done that way, too.

Step 4 - Add the basil leaves and olive oil and chop
Now start stuffing basil leaves (in small batches) into the food processor and chop them into the garlic, olive oil and pine nuts.
Chop the mix until it forms a thick, smooth paste.

Step 5 - Blend in the grated Parmesan cheese
Did I mention you need to grate the Parmesan cheese first? Then just add it to the food processor and blend! NOTE: if you intend to freeze the pesto, leave the cheese OUT and add it when you thaw and use the pesto. Cheese doesn't freeze well.

And that is it! You're done!

Secret Tip:
Adding 1 teaspoon of sugar or Splenda to the batch really seems to bring the flavor alive. Try it and see!

The pesto will keep in refrigerator for about a week, or you can freeze it and it will last for 3 to 6 months.

Most people serve it over pasta or use it to season fish and chicken dishes.

Not really a pesto connoissuer. Do you have any suggestions of what to do with my pesto????

Restaurant coupons in today's paper

Don't miss out on all the coupons in Sunday's AJC. Besides having a ton of grocery coupons, there are restaurant coupons- Logan's, O'Charley's, Ruby Tuesday, Steak N' Shake, and Ted's Montana Grill.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

I will blog again!

....Now that I have a brand new laptop! My wonderful husband and parents surprised me with it tonight for my birthday. My desktop is so incredibly slow, it was more trouble than it was worth to upload a picture to my blog, but now I'm back in business! I have lots of events to cover- Sam's obsession, Groovin' in the Grove, Mother's Day, and all the birthday festivities....yes, that's plural. If you don't know me you'd think I was 12 or under(btw I turned 32 today) with the hoopla surrounding my birthday. It's been known to be a month long celebration! And, if you know me- to be up at 9:30 on a SCHOOL NIGHT this laptop must have been a pretty special gift!