Basil to Pesto

Since moving my basil plants outside (thanks Kris), they have really flourished! With such an abundance of basil I figured a batch of pesto was in order. See my step by step process below or click here for a printable version of the recipe.



2 cups fresh basil laves

2 cloves garlic

1/3 cup pine nuts

½ cup Parmesan cheese

¼ tsp. Pepper

½ cup Olive Oil

1.  Add the fresh basil leaves, garlic, pine nuts, parmesan cheese and pepper to the bowl of your food processor.  Pulse until a coarse mixture forms.

2.  Turn the food processor on low and slowly add the olive oil in a steady stream.  Process until smooth.

Nutrition Information

Serving Size: ¼ cup

Homemade                                                 Commercial

Calories: 368                                                   Calories: 290

Carbohydrates: 3 grams                                 Carbohydrates: 4 grams

Protein: 6 grams                                             Protein: 4 grams

Fat: 38 grams                                                  Fat: 29 grams

Sodium: 204 mgs.                                           Sodium: 960 mgs.

Note: Although fat content, and thus caloric content is higher in the homemade, the fat sources are heart healthy (nuts and olive oil) and sodium content in the homemade is significantly lower than in the commercial product.

Let’s Salsa!

With an abundance of garden tomatoes I thought Salsa was in order. Here is a link to printable version of the recipe: Salsa Recipe.

6 Roma or garden tomatoes cut into quarters
1 jalapeno, seeded and roughly chopped
½ large yellow or red onion peeled and roughly chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped or crushed
Juice of lime
1 cup loosely packed fresh cilantro leaves
1/8 tsp. cumin
Place all ingredients in a blender or food processor and pulse until just chunky. Taste and adjust seasonings if needed. Refrigerate at least an hour to let the flavors meld.

Nutrition Information Comparison
Serving Size: ¼ cup
Homemade Salsa Bottled Salsa
Calories: 13 Calories: 20
Total Fat: 0 Total Fat: 0
Sodium: 18 mgs Sodium: 300 mgs.
Carbohydrates: 3 g Carbohydrates: 5 g
Protein: 0 Protein: 0

Diced Tomatoes

Since I am having a lot of great tomatoes this year I decided to put up some diced tomatoes.

Did you know that canned tomato products contain a lot of sodium? Two cups of canned diced tomatoes have around 840 mg sodium. Two cups of my diced tomatoes that I froze  have around 8 mgs of sodium.

Plant Relocation & Some Harvesting

I thought my plants might do better outside. So with the help of Kris Mesman, we transferred the plants outside in front of the Health Services Building.

These are my potatoes that I planted in a container. I like small potatoes so I planted 8-10 slices with eye of the potato in a container that was around 18” in diameter.If I had wanted less but larger potatoes I would have planted 4-6 slices of eye of the potato in the container.

The Plants Are Growing!

My Amish paste tomatoes are looking good. When they ripen , besides making my own tomato sauce this year I think I will try something new- homemade ketchup.
My container herbs that I have on my front porch. Rosemary, Basil, and Parsley.
More Basil. I think I will be able to make lots of Pesto this year.

Where did all the plants go?

With the second attempt, I had an abundance of plants. More than I could use so I have shared them with some staff and asked them to update on how they are doing. I’m also going to try some as container plants in the office.

Grow Your Own

Mona’s plants are progressing nicely and she has prepared her garden for planting time!

Four days after planting life can be seen! When first seeds sprout, prop dome open. When all seeds have sprouted removed dome and place in sunny location.
Mona’s getting her garden ready for planting.
Mona’s plants continue to show progress at Day 14.

Grow Your Own – Take Two!

My seedlings did not make it.  Guess my office has been too cold for them . My fellow gardeners have assured me it is still not too late to try again . So I am going to be planting once again . Would love to hear how other gardeners seedlings are progressing and any tips for me would be greatly appreciated. On Tuesday, May 21 I decided to plant
seeds in the jiffy pots that  I had planted in March and that I did not have success with.
By Thursday May 23 I saw some green 🙂
I also planted tomatoes,peppers,zucchini, summer squash, chives, parsley, and basil in the new Jiffy pots.