Basil Pesto

This post originally appeared in 2015 on my other blog. 

I discovered the joys of fresh pesto a couple years ago. Traditionally, pesto calls for pine nuts, but pine nuts are expensive so I have never made pesto with pine nuts. I have discovered, though, that pesto with almonds is even better.

A friend gave me an enormous bunch of basil from her mother’s garden (I believe their exact words were “basil forest”)–I was delighted. Basil is one plant I can’t grow very well (hardly the only one) but it really brightens all kinds of dishes.

And it makes pesto. We love pesto.


The Recipe:

4 garlic cloves

1/4 c raw almonds

1/2 c parmesan cheese

2-1/2 cups lightly packed basil leaves

3/4 c extra virgin olive oil

1 tsp salt (or to taste)

Pulse garlic cloves in food processor until minced. Add almonds, pulse till starting to look like coarse sand. Add parmesan, pulse till mixed. Add basil, pulse till minced. Add EVOO slowly while processor is running, add salt, run till it’s basically smooth. Then you’re done and can dip bread it in or pour it on pasta or put little 1/2 cup servings in the freezer  for some other day. I think this makes about 1 1/2 cups of pesto. I only put 1/2 cup in my pesto pasta for 4 meal. More gets a bit overwhelming.


Oh…did you notice that the picture shows more like 8 garlic cloves? I promise, it was more like 5 when they were covered in their little papery skins. Five hefty cloves, but only one extra for us anti-vampire garlic lovers that Zorro and I are.


Don’t be alarmed if the top of the pesto gets brown–that’s just oxidation. You can pour EVOO on top before storing to prevent that.


Our favorite way to eat pesto is with pasta (in this case, brown rice and spinach pasta) and chicken. I also sauteed some mushrooms and onions and mixed those in, also.

We have eaten this meal three times in the past two weeks and we’re not tired of it yet.




I bought an orchid at the grocery store awhile back. I’m fairly certain it was last winter, actually. I enjoyed its flowers, and have dumped a splash of water on it roughly once a week ever since. It put out 4 more leaves, and then a few weeks ago started sprouting buds. It’s been so much fun to watch them swell, and this past week they have been bursting open one by one.

I had actually forgotten what color the flowers were.


The Dragon and the Raven

Last spring I decided I wanted to get a lizard. First there was research (best lizard: The Bearded Dragon). Then there was building (nothing pre-made fits in the space I have for a tank). Then there was custom ordering glass (for sliding glass doors…which I still haven’t installed). Then one of the breeders I follow posted this beautiful little male for sale right before Christmas and I bought him.

There was a bit of a mad scramble to get in crickets, the right leafy greens (since he really shouldn’t eat spinach, which is the primary green we always have around) and a 10 gal tank to go inside my big enclosure (little guys like a smaller space for security reasons), and here he is. These pictures are a little old already, but my, he’s so cute!

He’ll get bigger, probably 10-12 inches. But for now he’s just a little tyke.

It’s a happy accident that now I can post silly things with my favorite G A Henty book title for a caption.