Environmentally Conscious Home, Garden and Plant-Based Cuisine
Heaven on Earth™ is a place where we all deserve to live, work and play.

Monday, October 31, 2011

mTip: Halloween Homeowners Insurance

Full-Size Candy!
364 days a year I steer clear from this stuff, but at Halloween it's the ONLY thing I buy. It's a cheap form of homeowners insurance, plucked
one by one out of my basket, by all of the neighborhood kids.

Growing up in Palos Verdez, CA, it worked for Mrs. McAdoo up the street. She always handed out full-size candy and no kids ever TP'ed or egged her house. I figured it was the candy (maybe her enormous sons, who I believe grew up to be professional basketball players, played a part in deterring us too). But, after all these years, I still have fond memories of Mrs. M. For under 100 bucks I purchased confidence that our home just might be skipped when kids are out looking to deliver a bag of flaming poop and maybe I'll even win a special place in their hearts for many years to come.
That's money well spent.

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Real Food, Real World...A Hail Mary Pass to My Family at the Dinner Table

Attempt at keeping dinner time peace:
Roasted Root Vegetable Salad with Sprouted Red Quinoa
on a Bed of Organic Dark Leafy Greens
The biggest challenge about my recent Raw For 30 Days adventure was feeding myself and my family healthy meals at the same time. It was expensive, a bit stressful and very time consuming. Life post-detox had to consist of some sort of compromise, or:
We were going to go broke.
We were going to kill each other.
I was going to check into the looney bin.
Maybe a mix of all three?

I decided to be "Raw Until Dinner" during the week, then create meals in the evening that can be customized by each family member, themselves, to keep smiles on ALL of our faces.

I dropped back deep, passed and prayed...

Roasted Vegetable Salad with
Sprouted Red Quinoa or Chicken Breast
on a Bed of Organic Dark Leafy Greens

Roasted Vegetables:
Carrots, organic Red Cored Chantenay* (Yeah, I know they don't look "Red Cored" to me either.)
Potatoes, mix of organic Bintje & Island Sunshine*
Garlic, organic
EVOO
Rosemary, organic*
Thyme, organic*
Directions:
Preheat oven to 450*.
Put 1 T of EVOO in bottom of a glass baking dish to coat (more than one dish may be needed).
Wash and cut vegetables into bite-sized chunks and place in dish/es.
Drizzle with EVOO and chopped herbs.
Place dish in oven and turn vegetables every 15-20 mins until softened.
Check with a fork.
Keep warn until served.

To taste any five of the following herbs:
Parsley*
Basil*
Rosemary*
Thyme*
Sage*
Oregano*
Marjoram*
(Hint: Start with the equivalent of  1T of each and adjust from there)
1 T Red Pepper flakes
3 Garlic cloves, organic
Sea Salt to taste
Black Pepper to taste
½ C EVOO if just making dressing
or
1 C EVOO if making marinade and dressing
¼ C Balsamic vinegar
Directions:
Wash and de-stem herbs.
In a blender mince all but EVOO.
Add balsamic vinegar to blade and blend.
Add 1/2 C or 1 C EVOO to blade, slowly.
Thin with filtered water if necessary.
Pour off ½ C of mixture into shallow bowl for marinating chicken breast.
Pour the remainder into small carafe for serving.


Sprouted Red Quinoa:
1/2 C Red Quinoa, organic
Filtered water to cover
Directions:
Place dry, raw quinoa in a bowl and cover with filtered water.
Let sit for a few hours, small tails will appear on seeds.
Discard water.
Place in serving dish.

Chicken Breast:
1/2-1 Breast per person, organic
Directions:
Clean breasts and marinate in dressing for at least one hour.
Grill until done.
Slice into strips and place on serving tray.

Greens & Garnish:
Chopped Siberian Kale, organic* & Rainbow Swiss Chard, organic*
Chopped Fennel, organic*
Chopped Red Onion
Nasturtium* (Check out #1 on "You Know Gardening Season Has Kicked Into High Gear When..." I'm glad I saved those little seeds, this salad would not be nearly as pretty without the flower. Nasturtiums have a peppery flavor.)
Directions:
Place all ingredients in the center of the table in individual serving dishes/trays and let everyone create their own personal masterpiece. The colors are beautiful to the eye, the flavors of the fresh produce are appetizing to the palate and since we grew most of the vegetables ourselves, this meal was easy on the pocketbook.

*=From our kitchen garden

Admittedly some of our plates were a little "light" on the green stuff (won't mention any names), but most of the food was gone at the end of the meal. No one complained. The Steves were elated to have chicken as an option. All in all everyone seemed happy. Yes, my prayers were heard...

Real food in a real world, SCORE!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

A Toast to Wine in the Garden, Self-Seeding Cilantro...

Cilantro seedling protected from chilly fall nights by a wine bottle cloche.
...and a friend with a bottle cutter!

I saw this beautiful photo once of a perfect garden, with twenty perfect green-tinged, bubble-glass, and bell-shaped cloches lined up in a perfectly straight row shielding bright green lettuce seedlings from the elements.

We don't roll that way here.

Our Heaven on Earth- Home is a little more "low-budge" these days. It would be nice, don't get me wrong, but seriously:
1. I can't even find one of those dang, cool cloches around these parts.
2. They're expensive, times twenty.
3. And, where does one store twenty perfect, highly breakable largeish items that DON'T NEST?

A few weeks ago I saw that Mother Nature had gifted me some late-fall cilantro babies that I needed to shelter from frost, ASAP. I no sooner had this thought to make wine bottle cloches when I bumped into a friend, Stacy. She literally whipped out these wine bottle glasses (the bottom part of a bottle cutting project) and said "Look what I just made!" So my big problem of where in the heck I was going to find a bottle cutter was solved immediately. Call it "Bottle Cutting KARMA" I guess.

Her bottle cutter isn't fancy. It's the K-Tel Bottle Cutter from the 1970's, a la "As-Seen-on-TV", but it does the job. Together, Stacy, my girls and I made glasses AND cloches one afternoon (more on the glasses in the future).

So, my cloches aren't perfect, and my "row" of cilantro is more like a random self-seeded "patch" but I didn't go into debt protecting my star guacamole ingredient.

Cheers to good wine, good friends, and our hard-working Mother Nature!

Stacy showing Teddy how to use her bottle cutter.
It really is EASY!
(Check E-Bay for bottle cutters if you're interested. They're cheap!)

Monday, October 24, 2011

mTip: Creepy for Cheapy Halloween Urns

The Wicked Witch flies by sometimes, and with a strike of her wand, 
renders even our best-planned gardening endeavors, DEAD.
Don't be so quick to kick SLAIN trees or shrubs to the curb.
Breath life back into them by making a creepy cheapy
Halloween urn (or two), instead.

Needed:
Urn/s, soil to hold limbs in place, MURDERED branches from a tree or shrub
(the more the better, so the bigger her SPELL the better your container!),
a bag of webbing from the Halloween store and maybe a
spider for good measure.

The Wicked Witch killed about 1/4 of our curly willow tree.
The limbs made two of the above containers. 
Halloween Urn- Detail
Our urns make perfectly SINISTER homes for our two pet spiders.
(And, all for under $10.00 per container.)
Take THAT evil witch!
Moohahahaha.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Life Lessons From the Garden

In their silence, plants speak volumes if you take time to
 stop, look and listen.

ABUNDANCE can come from a SINGLE SEED.
Figuratively or literally, PLANT ONE!
(This arrangement was created from one plant/one seed.)
Cosmos
Cosmos bipinnatus 
Give it all you GOT!
Glacier Heirloom Tomato
Lycopersicum esculentum
You REAP what you SOW.
(Check out #1 on my "You Know Gardening Season Has Kicked Into High Gear When..." post. These beauties are what those slippery little seeds had to offer. Glad I stopped to pick up each and every one of them.) 
Nasturtium
Tropaeolum majus
HANG in THERE!
Even when it's not the popular thing to do.
Walnut
Specific type unknown
Don't take NO for an answer!
Thinking this little guy was dead, he got a one-way ticket to my compost pile.
I said NO, he said YES!!!
Elephant Ear
Alocasia macrorrhizos
It's NEVER too late!
"I was  a LATE BLOOMER. But, anyone who blooms at all, ever, is very lucky."
--Sharon Olds
(photographed 10-16-11)
Rose
Moondance-Rosa 'Jactanic'
Start small, THINK BIG!
Tiny acorn to mighty oak, a miracle.
Red Oak
Quercus rubra


*All photographs (with the exception of the walnut tree) were taken in our home and garden within the last two weeks.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Raw For 30 Days 30/30!!!: Raw for a Day Plus Before & After Photos on WOOD-TV 8


Update: I did it! Eating only raw, plant-based foods for 30 days, I not only survived but THRIVED. Today, I celebrated with my friends at eightWest WOOD-TV 8 by talking about my adventure.


Check it out: 



If you're having problems viewing the above segment please click here


Before & After
Before
(Funny, I don't remember eating that tire.)
After
"In Greens We Trust"
Soup
"In Greens We Trust"
Soup
(Title of soup used with permission from Margaret Roach—formerly a Martha Stewart executive, currently a rogue gardener—from her latest book, And I Shall Have Some Peace There.)  
Ingredients: 
1-2 C Dark Leafy Greens (Kale, Chard, Spinach...) 
1 Cucumber 
1-2 Tomatoes 
3 Celery Stalks 
1/4 C Cashews, soaked for 6 hours 
1/2 Avocado 
1/2-1 Jalapeno pepper 
1/4-1/2 Onion, medium size 
3 Garlic cloves 
1-2" Ginger root 
2 T Lime juice 
Fresh herbs to taste (basil, dill, thyme, rosemary, sorrel...) 
Sea salt to taste 
Cracked black pepper
Preparation: 
Place all of the ingredients in a high-speed blender, and puree until warm (approximately 117*). 
Serve warm with fresh cracked black pepper and a garnish (herb leaves or 
edible flower).

Thank you for joining me on my journey, it's only just begun...

Monday, October 17, 2011

Raw For 30 Days 29/30: Swift Kick in the Grass!

Wheatgrass Shot
Update: Friday night I wanted a glass of wine, like REALLY bad. And, I must have said something to that effect because before I knew it my husband was walking through the door with a bottle of red. The good news is that right behind him, out of the blue, my neighbor, Sandy, shows up carrying two flats of organic wheatgrass.

Free gift for me, just because. Funny how things happen.

Final score: Wheatgrass-1, Wine-0.


**If you are in the Grand Rapids area, stop in any Meijer store and talk to the produce manager about picking up a flat or two on a regular basis. You'll not only be supporting a local distributor because my neighbor's company sells to them, you'll also be supporting a local farmer because it's grown right here in Grand Rapids! 

Friday, October 14, 2011

Raw For 30 Days 26/30: Rawk the Guac in 1,2,3

Rawkin' Guac
Raw For 30 Days Update: I've achieved detox nirvana. My grey hairs (and I only have a few, mind you;) are turing BROWN again! Yep, brown at the roots, not the other way around. Why would I want to get off this fountain-of-youth party train?

Four more days of 100% raw goodness...

**********************************************************************************
Rawk the Guac in 1,2,3:


1
Dice the avocado while it's in the skin,
by slicing the flesh vertically then diagonally.
(Being careful not to pierce your skin, of course because: A. ouch, B. gross & C. step 3 involves lime juice...ouch to the max!)
 
2
Scoop out the diced avocado with a soup spoon.
3
Stir in a few tablespoons of homemade pico de gallo, a pinch of sea salt and a splash of lime juice.
Woot, Woot...You've Rawked the Guac in 1,2,3!
See, raw food isn't THAT weird!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Raw For 30 Days 24/30: "What DO you eat?"

Raw Spring Rolls
by Rachael Van Dyke
Raw For 30 Days Update: All good. Still trying to balance making my food with making my family's food and to keep everyone happy in the process. Down 8.8 pounds! Waaaahooooo!!!

I feel so GREAT that I don't want to stop eating this way but it has thrown a wrench into our dinner preparation. Need to find a happy compromise, pretty darn quick! I only have 6 more days...
**********************************************************************************"What DO you eat?":

I get that question ALL THE TIME! So, I decided to post photos of a Raw Feast. A group of us in West Michigan, get together once a month for a "Rawluck". We each bring a raw, plant-based dish to share. When you see the photos in today's post, I don't think you'll feel very sorry for me only eating raw this month. He he he.

To answer the question...I can eat A LOT!

Raw Feast
Thank you Rachael and Cameron Van Dyke for hosting.
I've included recipes and have given credit where I had the appropriate information.
Raw Bean & Cucumber Dill Salad
Raw Spring Rolls
(by Rachael Van Dyke) 
Dehydrated Rice Wraps
(or use romaine leaves)
Marinate 10 minutes:
1/2 Cucumber seeded and matchsticked, 2 Carrots matchsticked
soak in 1/4 C Rice Vinegar,
1/4 t Agave, 1 T plus 3/4 t Lime Juice
Cut up one Mango set aside
Peanut Sauce:
2 T Peanut butter, raw
1/4 C Nama Shoyu, or Mrs. Bragg's Soy Sauce
1/2 C Basil, torn
1/2 C Mint, torn
1/2 C Cilantro, torn
a splash of the marinade above and mix together
Directions:
Pour hot (not boiling) water in shallow pan, layout all the drained veggies and cut up mango on large parchment paper with a handy paper towel to wipe down. Dip rice wrap in hot water for 5-10 seconds, lift out. It will not fall apart, it will be stretchy! Lay rice wrap on parchment paper, place on it a few of each topping and spread a very little amount of the sauce. Fold up the sides and roll it up tight. It will stick together.

Place on serving dish, chill & serve.
Raw Flax Crax & Seed Cheese
(Links are to my recipes since I did not get a copy of the exact recipes.)
Raw Spaghetti Sauce & Zucchini
(by Rachael Van Dyke) 
Raw Stuffed Red Peppers
(by The Michon Family)
Red Pepper
 Tomato, carrot, avocado, honey, turmeric, cinnamon, & dill weed
Blend all above in a high-speed blender until smooth.
Spoon into red pepper shells, and garnish with parsley.
Raw Alfredo Sauce with Zucchini Fettuccine
(by Callie England)
2 C Cashew/sunflower cheese
(equal parts cashews and sunnies blended with water)
3 T Nutritional yeast, 2 T lemon juice, 1T White miso, 1/2 t Salt, 1 t peppercorns, 2 T Truffle infused olive oil, 2 T Olive oil, 1 Garlic clove
Blend all above in a high-speed blender until smooth.
Spoon over zucchini ribbons.
Raw Basil Pesto with Tomatoes and Mushrooms
(by Seth Schellenberg)
Veggie Slaw
(by Diane Baum)
Slaw:
Beets, parsnips, turnips, carrots, broccoli, and cauliflower.
Dressing:
EVOO, raw red wine vinegar, lime juice, garlic and sea salt. 
Raw Watermelon & Blueberry Salad
Strawberry Romanoff
(by Juliano in RAW: The Uncook Book)
Chocolate Mousse Cake
Crust:
3/4 C Oat flour, 1 1/2 C Cashew flour, 6 T Cacao powder, 6 T Maple syrup, 1 1/2 t Vanilla extract or Vanilla bean, 9 T  Water, 3 t Lemon juice, Pinch of salt, and Raspberries for garnish.
In a large bowl, mix all of the above throughly.
Dehydrate at 115* for 2 hours. At this point you should be able to transfer the bases to a dehydrator tray without the Teflex sheet.
Dehydrate for 8 more hours.
Mousse:
2 C Cashews (soaked in water for at least 3 hours), 1 C Coconut oil, 1/2 C Cacao powder, 1/2 C Maple syrup, 1 C Water, 2 T Ginger root, 2 t Lemon juice,
Pinch of salt.
Blend all of the mousse ingredients in a high-speed blender until smooth
and set aside.
Pour into dehydrated base on a ring with wax paper so it does not stick. Chill for a few hours & serve.
*Use raw agave in place of the maple syrup.
Raw Strawberries with Cashew Honey Cream
Raw Apple Betty
Raw Red, White & Blueberry Pudding
(by Frank Boppel)
Bottom Layer:

 1 Quart Strawberries
5 or 6 pitted Medjol Dates
1 C Water (or as needed)
Combine half of the strawberries with the dates and water in a high-speed blender. 
Blend until smooth. Slice the remaining strawberries. Put the blended mixture in the bottom
of a small casserole dish and top with the strawberry slices.
 Middle Layer:
 2 C Cashews, raw
1 C Maple syrup or Honey
1 C Water (or as needed)
Blend together the cashews, sweetener, and water in a high-speed blender. Add as much water as is needed to achieve thick cream consistency and blend very smooth. Pour or spoon over strawberry layer.
 Top Layer
1 lbs Blueberries
4 pitted Medjol Dates
1 Tblsp Coconut Oil
1/3 cup water (or as needed )
Blend about 1/3 of the blueberries with the dates, coconut oil and water in a high-speed blender. Pour this over the cashew layer and freeze dish for at least 1 hour. Top with remaining blueberries before serving.

 *I believe this was originally Dan’s recipe.  I made a few modifications from the above.  I added no water at all to the fruit layers and not even to the cashew cream.  However, I did soak the cashews before blending them.
If I only had to eat one thing for the rest of my life, it would be...

Spicy Mexican Chocolate Mousse
(by Frank Boppel)
- .5 Ounces dried, Irish Moss
(note: Rinse really well in cold water and let soak for at least 20 min in warm water, will yield 3.15 Oz wet moss)
- 1 C Hemp Seed Milk

(note to make hemp milk: 1 C Hemp Seeds to 3 C water and blend,
no need to strain)
In a high speed blender, blend well, stopping to scrape down the sides.
Blend well.
Add to the blender:
- 1 C Hemp Seed Milk
- 1/8 C Hemp Seeds (Optional to make it extra creamy, not needed though)
- 3/4 C Honey or Pure Maple Syrup
- 3/4 C Cacao Powder
- 1 T Vanilla Powder
- 1/8 t Sea Salt
- 1 T Kev’s Ceylon Cinnamon powder
- 1/4 t Nutmeg
- 1/4 t Allspice
- pinch of Cayenne

Blend well, stopping to scrape down sides of blender.
Finally Add:
- 1/2 C slightly warmed Coconut Oil
- 2 T Lecithin (we prefer Healthforce Nutritionals)

Let set up in refrigerator for a few hours or overnight.
Serve as a parfait, pie or tart. Garnish with a few Cacao nibs, goji berries, chopped almonds, a bash of cinnamon or a drizzle of raw chocolate sauce. 
I took one of EVERYTHING, thank you very much!
Raw Peeps Poolside

Friday, October 7, 2011

Raw For 30 Days 19/30: Apple Ginger Lemonade Bliss

Pure & Simple Ingredients:
Organic Apples, Lemons & Ginger Root
Juice, Stir, Chill and Serve
Raw For 30 Days Update:
Very tired this week, as in face-plant at 6PM and not budging for the rest of the night, tired. Therefore, I was not a great raw chef friend for my Partner-in-Cleanse Emily Richett. Wondering if she will forgive me? Wondering if my family will forgive me because I "think" I also had an acute case of the crabby-appletons (pun absolutely intended), but...

I'm better now.

Down 6 pounds, check! Skin still good, check! Tummy still flatter than before, check! Wanting a cup of tea every morning and a glass of throw-back red every evening, check! Feeling like a Yogini Goddess, check! (Glad there are no mirrors in the yoga studio to inform me otherwise. Check! Check!;)

Liquid fast starts today and I'm kind of sad that this crazy, raw, wild month is almost over. Dang, I like wearing my skinny jeans!
**********************************************************************************
For this container we juiced 50 apples, 15 lemons and about 10" of ginger root
added ice and garnished with lemon slices.
(Approx. 3 Gallons)
Apple Ginger Lemonade Bliss
(Makes Approximately 1 Quart)

The first time I walked through the door at Creative Health Institute (CHI), I was handed a glass of Apple Lemonade along with the realization of "OMG, I'm not a weirdo here!". That's a darn good feeling when your culinary preferences are completely different than, let's say...the rest of the world. So cheers to CHI for the base Apple Lemonade recipe, cheers to fall's abundance of apples, cheers to being BLISSED out on Mother Nature's finest ingredients!

8 Apples, Organic
2 Lemons, Organic
Ginger Root to taste

Juice all of the above, stir, chill and serve.
*It's best to juice the ginger root between apple chunks. This will ensure that the ginger runs through the juicer properly. 
*Use an espresso machine to heat to 115* for a warm cider on a chilly day.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

mTip: Coo Coo For Coconut Oil

Pure coconut oil is not just for making delicious desserts,
it's also a great moisturizer for your skin!
A 14oz. jar of this organic lotion costs less than $10.00 and
because coconut is a food, it can be absorbed and assimilated by the body.
Apply it after a warm shower in the morning, and skin will still
feel silky smooth well into the evening.
Cost effective, healthy and it has the subtle scent of REAL coconut...
you'll be coo coo for coconut oil too!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Raw For 30 Days 15/30: Pickle & Pesto POWER!

Homemade Dill Pickles
All 12 quarts were made with cucumbers & jalapenos from our garden.
Raw For 30 Days Update: Half way to 30 days and I'm still RAWKIN', by eating only plant-based raw foods! I feel good, for the most part. I'm hungry sometimes but not in my usual hypoglycemic-total-freak-out sort of way (I think my husband has another term for this) but in more of a "hmmm....yep, I'm hungry" non-panicy sort of way.  The mood peaks and valleys caused by refined sugar and caffeine, are gone and I'm feeling more of a gentle roll of ups and downs throughout the day. Still practicing yoga three times per week and that continues to feel fabulous. My weight has plateaued at a loss of six pounds, for now. My tummy is flatter than when I started and now other people are noticing that my skin looks better. Yay!

I'm fortunate in that I love to make food, of all kinds, because I have been spending a lot of time in the kitchen over the past few weeks. The challenge still remains, in feeding myself AND my family, healthy meals in a timely mannor. I'm working double time.
*******************************************************************************
Pickle & Pesto POWER!: Mother Nature has not hit the pause button in my garden during my detox. We are trying to harvest all the food that we can before she sprinkles it with frost and renders perfect produce into compost, overnight. Usually we are doing this in the dark with flashlights because on top of refusing to pause, Mother Nature is also turning out the lights earlier and earlier each day.

We shall rise to the challenge, YES WE CAN! (Pun gratuitously intended.)

After Losing My Canning Virginity last September, I decided to dive into the deep end of it all. I grabbed Teddy, my daughter and trusty sous-chef, and off we went to the local hardware store. We invested in a pressure canner (that can also be used as a boiling water canner) and all of the fun canning accouterments. As a result, our cucumbers and mass quantities of jalapenos did not go to waste this year. It looks like each jar sealed too (except for the one I dropped on the floor, oops!) Not bad for our first solo flight. Pickle POWER!
Homemade Basil Pesto
Four 8oz. jars and two ice cube trays made with Genovese basil from our garden.
And, earlier this week we had a good ol' fashioned late-night Pesto Party in our kitchen. But, after going to all that work I wanted something cooler than recycled Smart-Balance tubs in which to store our creation. At a farm store this weekend, I found these cute Ball brushed silver 8oz. wide mouth jars. Much better! When packing them, we just left a bit of room for freezing expansion. We also removed the pesto cubes from the now garlic-infused (sorry family) ice cube trays, double bagged and labeled them including the date. Now, we have both meal and garnish quantities. Pesto POWER!

We've harvested and preserved all weekend, but what can I eat NOW?
A Not-From-Starbucks, Raw Mint Chocolate Chip Smoothie
(with a shot of wheatgrass for good measure!)
Teddy, in her effort to make room for the pesto in our freezer, unearthed my So Stinkin' Hot Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream, SCORE! Into the Vita-Mix it went today, with almond milk, a frozen banana, raw protein powder, maca, flax oil and a shot of wheatgrass. Vroom. Vroom. Mmmmmmmm!

Though not a culinary extravaganza, I did have something raw and de-lish to eat for lunch after all. Sipping it while admiring our jars of pickles sparkling in the sunlight made my day.

Day 15...worth all the work? You bet.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Basil, Mad Dash & Stash

Genovese Basil
Ocimum basilicum 'Genovese Gigante'
When farmer friends have become incommunicado, breath is visible in the evenings and it's Oct. 1...you know it's, now-or-never, harvesting "GO TIME".

One of the most cold sensitive herbs is basil. After two weeks of tucking in our plants snuggly under their covers, I finally beat Mother Nature to to the punch and was able to harvest some of our crop before a killing frost. All of this culinary fun should really start in August, but there is so much end-of-summer fun to be had and September is all about back-to-school insanity.

This year I was determined to harvest the basil and actually do something with it before it was too late. So, it was a late night pesto party in our kitchen one day this week!

Some of our leafy friends ended up whirling and twirling around in the food processor.
Pesto ingredients mingling in the food processor.
(Why sprouts? Why not! They're high in energy, enzymes and nutrients and no one will ever know they're there.) 
Then, they chilled out in ice cube trays before being bagged and labeled.
 Freeze pesto in ice-cube trays before placing the cubes in labeled freezer bags.
This allows for more flexibility when using it in recipes throughout the winter. 

While others attended the hot, all-night RAVE in the dehydrator.
Genovese basil hangin' out in the heat of the dehydrator.
115* for 6-8 hours.
Then they were packed into a jar where they patiently await the next culinary extravaganza!
  
Dried Genovese basil stored in a recycled, clean and dry, tomato sauce jar.
Our harvesting and storing fun has just begun. With many more plant-based shindig possibilites, it's going to be a LONG weekend! This party-girl might be a bit hung-over come Monday.