Easy Homemade Pesto Recipe: done and gone!

homemade pesto recipe

Homemade pesto sauce is one of the most versatile things I know. And basil is one of my favorite herbs that represents summer like no other. Who has never had a pot of basil in need of a trim after several months growing in the kitchen? Basil is an annual herb, an ingredient that appeals and brings back summer memories. It can hold up until the first days of cold weather but it will die before the freeze arrives. It’s in its genes. My basil pot had been in my kitchen for months. I grabbed a leaf here and there. With summer in full force, I couldn’t resist: I had to use it all up before lit goes wild!

I used only the traditional pesto ingredients for my pesto recipe.

At first the quantities were a guessing game until I got the version I liked the most. The improved recipe only involved a few septs. In a food processor, add a cup of fresh basil, half a cup of pine nuts roasted for 5 minutes on the stove, two cloves of garlic, extra virgin olive oil and parmesan cheese to taste. Then you just grind it adding more olive oil until you get the right consistency. In the end I always taste to correct the salt.

The homemade pesto sauce is ready to go!


I can’t talk enough about how good this pesto sauce is with just a good dose of wholegrain spaghetti (or other pasta really) and a few shavings of parmesan. And nothing else! Any fresh pesto pasta can go the all way from a starter dish, but it’s so good that I insist on making it as the main dish. For the more demanding ones I suggest pesto with walnuts in your pasta and more basil leaves to crunch. It’s the best!


Pesto sauce can be used in many different ways and the second best is, without a doubt, is to add it to some beautiful tomato and mozzarella cheese to a classic pesto salad for a summer picnic. But it’s also perfect as a pesto dip for crackers or nachos, in a pesto pizza, pesto gnocchi. Add it to any stuffed pasta like tortellini to a pesto pasta salad, or to a baked pesto chicken or baked pesto potatoes with a touch of lemon.

Fresh pesto sauce recipes, especially homemade pesto, should be refrigerated with an extra layer of olive oil and must be consumed within a week or two. It is certainly superior to any pesto sauce you can buy at the supermarkets. Mine only lasted about 2 days, just because it was so so good. Anyone else with a basil needing a trim?

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Gingerbread house for Christmas

gingerbread house
gingerbread house
gingerbread house
gingerbread house
gingerbread house

gingerbread house
gingerbread house
gingerbread house

This Christmas I decided to try out my first gingerbread house.

I’ve done so many Christmas projects! A pom-pom wreath for the door, the decorations for the Christmas tree, advent calendars, there are a series of handmade Christmas adventures on the blog that you can check out and try. Right now I don’t really need anything else for my home since we spent so much time inside doors this year, I really wanted a handmade adventure to bring me the Christmas spirit that I usually absorb from these projects.So this Christmas I decided to try out my very first gingerbread house.

The myths


My intention was to make a small house. But when I started making it, I realized that this will be a proper sized one!
To tell you the truth, this little experiment has dispelled many myths! The gingerbread house dough is very resistant and the gingerbread house icing, if done properly, is a very strong cement. It also is a decorative forgiving plaster that goes very well into the hands of an humble apprentice. Both make gingerbread houses much more resilient than you think!

Gingerbread house frosting


As I am not a fan of gingerbread houses full of candy and strong colors, I opted for the “basic” gingerbread house decorations. I just used icing that gives it a somewhat minimalist look. At least I did not want to venture into big juggling right on my first try … ah, but the maternal grandfather’s genetics that I preserve inside me (fantasy enthusiast) couldn’t resist adding at least a few windows glass using gelatin sheets… just to keep the cold outside!

Overall I am very proud if it and I assume that I will make more in the following years.

I wish you a different but merry Christmas, with the light that is missing in the streets emanating, this time, from the inside out.

gingerbread house
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Christmas time on the blog: the most amazing projects!

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Eu sempre dedico o mês de Dezembro para fazer os presentes, as decorações, os postais e os embrulhos feitos à mão. Isto evita que me sinta esmagada pela confusão do Natal que considero adulterar por completo a essência da época. Quando olho para o blog compreendo que já fiz uma imensidão de projectos, alguns deles dedicados ao Natal. É assim que percebo os meus progressos, as coisas novas que aprendo e a minha capacidade para coisas, a cada dia, mais desafiantes. Deixo-vos com alguns dos meus posts favoritos entre decorações, presentes e outros projetos de Natal que eu adorei fazer!

 

I always dedicate the month of December to making gifts, decorations, postcards and handmade gift wrapping. This keeps me from feeling overwhelmed by the Christmas mess that I consider to completely corrupt the essence of this season. When I look back at blog arquives, I understand that I’ve done a lot of projects, some of them dedicated to Christmas. This is how I perceive my progress, the new things I learn, and my capacity for increasingly challenging new things. I leave you with some of my favorite posts among decorations, gifts and other Christmas projects I loved to make!
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My Zero Plastic Snacks workshop!

 

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O meu último workshop foi sobre Snacks Zero Plástico para levar para todo o lado! Para algumas das formandas a questão dos plásticos era um assunto recente pelo que acabei por esclarecer uma série de dúvidas e fazer uma montanha de sugestões para colocar em prática em vários aspectos da nossa vida.

Contudo, foi unânime que o hábito de comprar snacks ou levar para o trabalho opções embaladas é uma prática enraizada na nossa cultura. Quer crianças como adultos já praticamente deixaram de levar um lanche saudável, típico da nossa infância. Na verdade, como expliquei, quase todas as opções feitas em casa podem ser opções sem plástico caso sejamos conscientes na compra dos ingredientes (opções a granel ou em embalagem de papel) e na embalagem que criamos para os resultados das nossas receitas!

Por isso apresentei três receitas, entre elas as minhas barritas de cereais, feitas com ingredientes que são possíveis de encontrar sem embalagem de plástico, rápidas, saborosas e muito saudáveis.

Por fim, depois de provarmos tudo o que fizemos, ainda sugeri e ensinei uma série de opções para embalagem sem recurso a plástico que se revelaram muito divertidas!

Na próxima semana tenho mais 8 alterações para vos apresentar do meu desafio de baixo impacto em plástico de 2019!

 

My last workshop was about Zero Plastic Snacks to take everywhere! For some of the participants the issue about plastics was a recent issue so I ended up clarifying a several doubts and making a ton of suggestions to put into practice in various aspects of our life.

However, it was unanimous that the habit of buying snacks or taking from home packed snacks options is a practice that is rooted in our culture. Both children and adults practically stopped having a healthy snack, typical of our childhood. In fact, as I explained, almost all homemade choices can be plastic-free options if we are aware of it while we are buying the ingredients (bulk or paper packaging options) and making the packaging for the results of our recipes!

I presented three recipes, including my cereal bars, made with ingredients that are possible to find without plastic packaging, that are fast to make, tasty and very healthy.

Finally, after tasting everything we did, I also suggested and taught a number of plastic-free packaging options that turned out to be so so fun to make!

Next week I will present 8 more swaps of my low plastic impact challenge of 2019!

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