Friday, July 23, 2010

Because of Basil

Because I have enough room in my freezer.
Because my basil finally decided to grow.
Because I went to Trader Joe's and bought a vat of EVOO.
Because I'm pretty confident I'll be craving pesto in December.
Because walnuts are cheaper than pine nuts.
Because the last time these ice cube trays were used, it was for baby food.
Because I love parmesan cheese.
Because it smells good.
Because this way I won't eat it all in one sitting.
And mostly because pesto is so pretty, I made a load of this today.

3 cups fresh basil leaves
1 1/2 cups chopped walnuts (I promise you can't taste the difference)
4 cloves garlic, peeled
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 cup olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

In food processor, blend together basil leaves, nuts, garlic and cheese. Pour oil in slowly while still mixing. Stir in salt and pepper. **you might need to add more oil depending on the consistency you prefer**

By freezing it in ice cube trays, they are premeasured to 2T servings. Perfect to grab a couple when you need them!

This recipe filled one ice cube tray, so essentially 16 T which =8 oz.=1 cup. Watch out, I've got my math on today! Not really, my math teacher hubby gave me an cooking/baking equivalency chart for Christmas.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

My Tinker Bell

I received an enormous amount of clothes from a dear friend of mine whose daughters had outgrown them. She was incredibly generous sharing everything from 18 months all the way up to size 5. While I was going through some of them, I came across a bag full of princess costumes and shoes to match. Included was a Tinker Bell outfit. The sparkles caught Anna Claire's attention and while the rest of the clothes were packed away for a few more years, the shoes have stayed out. It doesn't even phase her that they are 4 sizes too big.

I wasn't really familiar with the story of Tinker Bell, only that she is in Peter Pan and then shows up randomly in other Disney movies so I thought I would find out more about her.

I found a description of her personality...."though sometimes other times she is helpful and kind to Peter. The extremes in her personality are explained in the story by the fact that a fairy's size prevents her from holding more than one feeling at a time, so when she is angry she has no counterbalancing compassion."

Who knew fairies and 18 month olds were so much alike?

Monday, July 19, 2010

Becoming Part of Something

There is a desire in each of us to become a part of something. That something might bring us joy or excitement. Or it might mean entering into someone else's something; their pain and heartache. I've experienced both.

I've been a member of things in my life...I'm a member of my family. I was a member the cheerleading squad and the track team, a member of fan clubs, of Bible studies, and sadly, even a member of cliques. I've joined organizations and causes I believed in and in 2007 when our daughters were born and then again in 2009 when Anna Claire was born, I became a member of the unofficial "parenting club."

There have been two churches where I was an official member. The first church was one of the first I visited when I moved to Tennessee from Ohio in 1999. It came as a recommendation from a family friend who said it was a growing church and had something amazing to offer. From the first time I attended I knew it was something special and I wanted to be a part of it. Little did I know that 5 years from that time, I would be on staff working in the counseling department.

Fast forward to May 2008 when we made the decision to move north of the city. The commute was too long to continue going to FBC, so we began the very tiring search for a new church. It was exhausting to say the least. There were Sundays after Sundays where we would go to a church, sit and listen and look at each and think, "we will never get this hour back." Some, I'm sorry to say, were just awful. Until December. Mike drove by this church almost every day on his way to work. He had mentioned it to me several times and as we were slowly making our way through the churches we wanted to visit, we decided to skip some of them and try Calvary out. We walked in, were greeted by countless welcomes, smiles and handshakes. The music started, we worshipped, the pastor began to teach, the message ended, we headed out, got into our cars and knew. This was our new church home.

We became members of this church this weekend. This church that welcomed us and has loved us. This church that provided meals to a family they didn't even know when their daughter was in the NICU. This church where I have made friends that have added so much to my life in so little time. This church where, every week, never fails to shed light on the Word of God. This church where the Bible is taught, word for word and where we don't just sit and listen, we sit and learn. This church that loves well, but also calls us to repentance. This church whose pastor speaks truth at every opportunity and loves his congregation so the point of tears.

I was reminded this weekend that being a member of something doesn't just mean that you get to partake in the rewards and the celebrations, but it is a calling of responsibility. A call to serve, to love and to sacrifice. To enter in, regardless of if it is comfortable or not and not sit on the sidelines.

I am so thankful to be a part, an "official" part, of this community, this family of believers. To be a member of something that is bigger than myself. Something that has the potential to change change mine.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Joy on Thursday

A perfect gift, made by a sweet friend.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Oh. My. Goodness

Go get some! And while you are at it get some zucchini! And make this!

I made it and Anna Claire ate it. Thankfully she shared with her mother.

Blueberry Zucchini Bread

3 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup vegetable oil (I used canola)
3 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 1/4 cup white sugar
2 cups shredded zucchini
3 cups flour
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 T. ground cinnamon
1 pint fresh blueberries (I added more!)
1 T. white sugar
1 T. brown sugar.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease 2 loaf pans
In a large bowl, beat eggs, oil, vanilla and sugar together. Fold in the zucchini. Beat in the flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda and cinnamon. Gently fold in the blueberries. Transfer to loaf pans. Mix 1 T. white sugar and 1 T. brown sugar together and sprinkle on top of batter.
Bake approx. 1 hr. and then check for doneness (mine took about 1 hr. 10 minutes, but I think it depends on the loaf pan). It's done when a knife inserted comes out clean. Cool 20 minutes in pans, then turn out onto racks to cool completely.

I adapted this recipe from

Friday, July 9, 2010

Cukes and Limelights

This is what happens when you go away for 4 days and leave your garden unattended. Oh, but let me tell you, there are some amazing refrigerator pickles marinating in my fridge.

For my birthday this year, Mike bought me 2 limelight hydrangea bushes. I was so excited when, on my Wednesday, my actual birthday, I went outside and the blooms had started popping open.

Have a wonderful Weekend!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

A New Do

We spent the holiday weekend in Ohio visiting my family. We managed to pack into the weekend a trip to the swimming pool, a visit to Young's Jersey Dairy, wonderful meals prepared by my sister, a BBQ, walks through the neighborhood, fireworks, a visit with my grandmother and Anna Claire's first haircut.

Thank goodness for popsicles.

Thanks Steve and Christy for a wonderful weekend!