13 July 2011

Dinner anyone?

I struggle with dinner ideas, and when I say struggle I mean if we aren't eating tacos, pasta, or mac and cheese then Andrew is probably the one cooking. Not only that, but we're in need of a grocery trip...bad. This was one of those times, you know, when you're staring at your pantry scratching your head....then you order pizza.

Now don't get me wrong I know how to cook. At least I feel like I do (Andrew may beg to differ sometimes). I just have a bit of an issue with deciding what to make. Andrew says I have a problem with recipes. I like recipes. He doesn't. Its cheating...so he says.
So this time, I cheated.

Whatever it may look like...it was goooood.
And this was Madelin's:

So running low on ingredients as I was I turned to our garden (more on that later). If this garden is good for anything its herbs. Our two basil pots are thriving.
So what's a girl to do...make some pesto!

First go pick (or buy) yourself as much basil as you'd like. I picked enough for around 4 cups.

I would recommend washing it first no matter where you get it. Ya know, just in case. Pesticides, fertilizer, dirt, whatever...its gross...and grainy.

Okay moving on.
Just pull the leaves off to measure them out. Don't pack them in the cup.

So after you get done pulling all the leaves off (which is sooo much fun wouldn't ya know) gather the rest of your ingredients.

You're going to need 2/3 cup olive oil, 1 cup pine nuts (or whatever suits your fancy), 1/2 to 1 cup of parmesan (whatever kind you have) and 2 cloves of garlic.

Now wait, I know I didn't use garlic, but I told you I was running low on groceries. Get over it.
I will next time...promise.

So go ahead and toss all your basil in the food processor.

And top it with everything you've got; pine nuts, parmesan, and oh, I almost forgot, salt and pepper (to your liking of course).

Then blend away.

It should look like a paste of sorts. It may be broken into clumps, but remember, we haven't added the olive oil yet.
I added my oil slowly, blending in between pouring, just to make sure it got incorporated thoroughly.

When its all said and done, this what you are left with:

It's beautiful isn't it. Okay, maybe not the most appetizing for some, but I do like the fresh green and knowing I grew the main ingredient. But hey, its a nice alternative to store bought tomato sauce (which I sadly admit may be the norm around here). I added a couple spoonfuls to my pasta along with some marinated artichokes and leftover grilled chicken.
Don't worry about following my recipe though. Pesto is almost fool proof. Change the nuts, the cheese, add some extra spices. It doesn't matter, that basil will shine through.

Have you made anything out of the norm lately that you were pleasantly surprised with?


  1. I'm impressed. The pesto looks yummy. Like you I struggle constantly with what to feed the family for dinner. It doesn't help that I ABHOR cooking. haha We have discovered the new Little Caesars pizza just down the road from us. We are bad parents!

    Was your pasta dish hot or cold? It looks like one of those that would be delicious either way.

  2. Lets just say Pizza Hut is bookmarked on our browser, but on a good night Andrew gets leftovers when he gets home from work.
    My dish was hot, but cold would've been good too. I also forgot to mention that I froze it in cubes to keep it fresh because I was out of lemon juice. Its also good as sandwich spread.

  3. Thanks for sharing this! I know that pesto is super easy, but it's just something I've never bothered to make. And I rely on jarred pasta sauce way too often.

  4. Megan you'll love it I promise. There's just something about fresh herbs that makes everything taste better.