Tag Archives: Basil

End of Summer Garden

29 Sep

It’s the end of the summer….And that makes me unbelievably sad. It took me 3 weeks, but I have finally accepted it. And now I am ready for fall!

I had a great gardening year this summer. All four of my tomato plants produced a lot of fruit, and my basil has never been bigger.

The garden from the backside

Above is the garden from the backside- jalapeno on the bottom, tomatoes along the right, WALL of basil in the back!! Oh and my little mint pot on the left 🙂

Full view in front of garden

Above and below you can see how tall the basil is. I am roughly 5 ft 4 so you can see that some of the basil is over my head.

Basil is 5 feet tall

Below are some of the Early Girl tomatoes, and in the background you can see some green romas.

Fresh tomatoes on the vine

From the farmers market…..

Some great farmers market heirloom finds….

This is my FAVORITE heirloom tomato ever……the Ox Heart. It is most delicious with not that many seeds. Perfect with some kosher salt.

My favorite – the OxHeart

I’ve had a bowlful of these on my counter since July……it’s great to just pop a couple in your mouth whenever you want.

Bowlful of Babies

Sadly, I have started to pluck off future flowerblooms from my tomato plants since they’ll likely never get a chance at full bloom. But it’s been a great summer and I look forward to next April when I am consumed with selecting next summer’s plants and getting the garden ready to plant 🙂

Le Sigh………bring on the fall apple and pumpkin flavors!


23 Sep


Love it. It took me 32 years to understand it….but now that I do, I cant get enough of it! Typically, I grow at least 9 plants of basil every summer and in late September I whack them all and make 15-20 batches of pesto to freeze for the wintertime!

Pesto is so easy. It’s adaptable. There are so many variations: basil, arugula, red pepper, parsley, sun-dried tomato, spinach…etc. There are variations on nuts you can use instead of the traditional pine nuts: pistachio, walnut, almond, sunflower seed….etc. You can also vary the types of cheese! Pesto is great!


I stick with the traditional pesto though. Recently, at one of my farmers markets, there was a vendor selling basil for “$2/a bunch”. I said “how do you quantify a bunch?” to which she replied – “as much as you can carry with your hands.” I made out like a bandit and instantly knew I was making pesto! Look at this pile of basil!!!!!!! You can practically smell it, cant you?

Pile of Basil


The hardest part about making pesto is trimming all of the basil.

Here are all the ingredients dumped into the food processor. It’s as easy as that – dumping everything together into the food processor. Read the recipe to see my secret ingredient.

And here it is 2 minutes later all ground up into a paste:

Here is another closeup because this stuff is off the hook.

There are a couple people who are FANS of my pesto (My brother Pat and my friend, Jeff). So I am always sure to freeze several containers and give them out when I see them. I ALWAYS have containers of it in my freezer to either take with me to someone else’s house or to enjoy in my own. It is so awesome to have some fresh garden pesto on a dreary January day…..I think my brother and I are the only ones I know who can just eat spoonfuls of this stuff. Isnt that gross? So gross, but so good!!!!!

And here was the recent grilled pizza I made with this pesto on this day. It was so darn good. I feel like the vendor had a couple strands of Lemon Basil mixed into the regular Genovese Basil because there was a bright lemony taste!

I just hacked 3 of my 5-foot tall 9 basil plants this past weekend and made about 18 batches of pesto. Here are my tall plants – in the garden and then some of them hacked down waiting to be plucked apart:

Here is the assembly line of ingredients to make it easy to dump into the processor and keep moving.

What in the world does 18 batches of pesto look like? Well, to me it looks like heaven….

39 containers of deliciousness….

Pesto Sauce


  • 2 cups fresh basil leaves
  • 1/3 cup pine nuts
  • 2 medium garlic cloves
  • ½ cup parmesan cheese
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 anchovy (optional)


De-stem and wash all basil leaves and dry thoroughly. Place in food processor with pine nuts, garlic, parmesan, and salt/pepper.

Turn food processor on and grind until it forms a thick paste (about a minute). Now, you may not want to add the anchovy. And you dont have to! But it adds another dimension to the flavor and makes it richer. I really enjoy it – it does NOT taste like anchovy at all.

Drizzle in olive oil while food processor is still running and run for another 1-2 minutes. Done!

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