Thursday, November 1, 2012

Halloween Show and Tell

Rumors of a castle going up in Evergreen Hills were verified on Halloween.  Forty or so neighbors dropped by to see the newly finished Honeydukes Sweet Shop...
New bay windows add much needed display space to Honeydukes
And light into the interior.
Flooring in the kitchen means the proprietors no longer need fear a visit from the health department.
 (Not surprising that the Sweet Shop was the hit of the evening, although I was a little taken aback that one young boy liked the Santa Mugs the best!  They were all disappointed that the candy was not edible!)

 and the "still under construction" Hogwarts Castle.  

 Back of the castle with Snape's Potion Lab and Professor Sprout's greenhouse.

Front of Hogwarts with the Great Hall (bottom left), Dumbledore's Office (bottom right),Trewlaney's Divination Tower, (top right) and the Owlery, (top left).  For more about this miniature project, you can click on the link at the top of this page titled "Miniatures."

Our neighbors, Sara and Thomas, hosted the annual neighborhood Halloween Party with Pizza and potluck side dishesOf course I took pasta with pesto!  Why would I take pesto, you might ask?  Because I had a huge bucket of basil, a gift from Maren and Christopher McLaren, so I started in on mass producing pesto with my little itty bitty Cuisinart.  Wishing I had ordered a new bowl for my large one! 

See how to make pesto below.  If you already know how, click on over to your next blog!  And thanks for stopping by.
Remove flowers and stems.  Wash and drain basil.

You will need some garlic.  I love this braid of garlic bulbs that my husband picked up at a roadside fruit and vegetable stand.
And some cheese and nuts
You can use just Parmesan or a combination of Parmesan and Romano.  I had pecans on hand, so I used them, but walnuts or pine nuts (called pinions in New Mexico) work just as well.
Peel three cloves of garlic for each batch.  Can you tell I love garlic?  You can use less if you prefer a less piquant pesto
Chop your cloves of garlic smaller since you don't want to bite into a large chunk of garlic and the processor doesn't always chop them thoroughly.

Fill container of processor with the basil, two tablespoons of olive oil and your garlic, process until it looks crumbly.
Add a couple of handfuls of cheese and about one half cup of nuts.  My hands are small...guessing it is about a cup cheese.  Don't worry about being exact.  You can always add more cheese when you add the pesto to the cooked pasta.
Process until it looks like this.  Not too much!  We are not pureeing.  You should still be able to recognize the nuts.  If yours looks like baby food it will still taste good, but not be as attractive or feel as satisfy as pesto that you need to chew a bit.  If you pesto does not stick together when you pinch it, add a touch more olive oil.
At this point you can either freeze your pesto for future use as I am doing below or use it immediately.
Place tablespoons of pesto on a parchment lined cookie sheet and freeze for adding to soups or spaghetti sauce.  Once frozen, place in freezer bags or containers for long term storage.  I also freeze pint sized batches for pasta with pesto.

If you want a delicious dish, cook up a lb. of pasta...doesn't matter what shape, although I usually use fettuccine noodles.  Rice pasta works great if you are gluten intolerant.  Drain the pasta & add your pesto (1/2 to 1 cup depending on your taste preferences) and a lb. of fresh mozzarella chopped. Return to heat and stir until cheese begins to melt. I don't melt the cheese all the way.  Always like to know what I am eating, plus it doesn't stick to the pan as much. Such a simple dinner dish.  Serve with a salad or add roasted peppers to garnish the pasta for a one dish meal.  So now I have a plethora of piquant pesto!

Stop in soon to see a post with photos of the sugar skulls that the children in my Sunday school program made for the Dia de Los Muertos altar which will be in the sanctuary of St. Mark's on the Mesa for the next two weeks to remember the saints in our lives.

1 comment:

  1. Is this amazing castle going to be around for a while for your grandbabies to play with, or is it being built of another purpose?


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