Friday, August 26, 2016

Making pesto

Several days ago my friend Kathy visited for the first time in over a month.  She wanted to go shopping, so who was I to argue with that notion!  However, I have not removed the photos from my camera, so you will have to settle for these photos I took last Sunday when my friend and neighbor Sally and I made pesto.

I needed a way

to use

some of those basil leaves, so Sally and I made a plan.

I supplied the recipe, the olive oil, the sea salt, and the basil leaves.  Sally supplied the garlic, the pine nuts, and all the tools and equipment, including her kitchen.

Before we begin, I'll share the recipe with you.
2 cups fresh basil leaves, packed
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup pine nuts
3 garlic cloves, minced (about 3 teaspoons)
Sea salt to taste
Special equipment needed: A food processor or blender

We began with Sally working on the garlic, while I cleaned and packed the basil.  I'm not sure what it is about Sally's kitchen, but everything reads warm and yellow, and I am unable to color correct the photos in PS.

I assure you

this is NOT how I would prepare the garlic.

This is one cup of basil leaves, and I fear I have underestimated how much basil I needed.

Eventually, I got the second cup and Sally decided to use the blender instead of the food processor, since I had read somewhere that the blender chopped everything finer.  Unfortunately the blender didn't want to blend.  Here the pine nuts have been added to the basil.

Next came the garlic.

At this point I wanted to start over using the food processor, but Sally was very persistent.

Next it was time to slowly add the EVOO.

which Sally did.

After adding the sea salt, it was nearly ready to go in the freezer.  The recipe called for 1/2 cup freshly grated Romano or Parmesan cheese, but warned to omit the cheese if freezing, which we were.  Once frozen, then defrosted, the cheese could be safely added.

The recipe also indicated that the pesto darkens when exposed to air, so to store, the recipe suggested to cover it tightly with plastic wrap making sure the plastic touched the top of the pesto. That way the pesto has no contact with air. The pesto will stay greener longer that way.

We made three different types of basil pesto: purple ruffled, sweet, and genovese, possibly the best basil for pesto.   I have three other types, but didn't use them.  I have so much basil, I will never get rid of all of it.

Thanks for joining my friend Sally and me today as I took you along while we made pesto.  I know this isn't a cooking blog, but we had a great deal of fun creating this treat from the garden. 

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Craft Barn's latest letter is H

It's fairly obvious my "H" word is home.  I was going to make it "Home is where the heart is," but decided to omit the heart part after the definition of home took up so much room.

I got a bit carried away with my home, because it's been awhile since I sewed anything to add to my altered book.  I dyed two different wet wipes (after they dried, of course) and cut one to make the roof, door, and windows.  To delineate the roof from the house, I added a coordinated scalloped ribbon.

The home wet wipe is composed of shades of blue.  I like how the words on the page show through from the back.  And of course, the definition of the word home took up far more real estate than I originally anticipated or expected.

I thought the H would fit nicely on the front door's window, since I couldn't fit it above the door or on the roof.  My windows are the heart of the home.

Materials include two wet wipes I dyed, ribbon, variegated thread, and the definition of home from my Merriam-Webster Dictionary.

I visited everyone our last fortnight, and was so glad to see most of us have played by the rules.  I am so glad I have made some lasting friendships along the way, too.

I want to thank everyone, whether you arrived from the Craft Barn or as one of my regular visitors for viewing my latest CB entry.  I am always grateful for your visit.

Monday, August 22, 2016

T Stands for Merle's Restaurant

Recently my friend Sally and I went to Merle's restaurant, where we have been before.

I like the menu

because it looks like a regular newspaper on the outside.

But looks are quite deceiving, aren't they?

I ordered the Ava-cada Deal For You sandwich because it was vegetarian.

I didn't understand much about the bill, which our waiter left when he took our order, except I knew I got the # 9 and something on the side.

Sally got curious about the bill, but after she looked at it,

I told her she had to smile because all the T participants think she looks GREAT when she smiles.  I guess it's obvious we both had water with lemon as our drink of choice.

I was surprised when I got my sandwich.  There sure wasn't much avocado or guacamole on it, especially considering that is what the sandwich was named for.  It wasn't the worst sandwich I've had, but it was quite dry.  Other than that, it was rather tasty, even though I only ate half at the restaurant.  I took the other half home and doctored it with ranch dressing, making it far easier to swallow (so to speak).

Now it's your turn to share a drink related post.  Anything is acceptable as long as there is a reference, in some way, to a drink, ANY drink.  By now you should know that once you link, Bleubeard, the T gang, and I will be by to visit.  I might even persuade Squiggles to join us, too.  So, please add your direct link, and not your blog in general, below.

Getting to know the Amazon (in my 7 Continents AB)

As promised, we are visiting the Amazon today.  Of course, I'm joining Art Journal Journey where this month the theme, Nature's Wonders, was chosen by our host Gill of Gibby Frogett Craftations.

The Amazon covers about 50% of Brazil.

The Amazon river contains about 1/5 of the world's free-flowing fresh water.

The Amazon rain forest is vital to Brazil.

Both flora and fauna coexist here.

Like with every natural wonder, there are risks involved when visiting.

Materials for this side include my used file folder as my substrate that I painted turquoise using a sea sponge.  Three images were taken from three travel magazines, and information gathered from the internet was computer generated.  One 3-D item was included for this side.

Side two shows the Amazon river and its tributaries, the biggest in the world, and the Amazon rain forest, a broadleaf forest, the largest in the world, are both called the Amazon, most of which is found in Brazil.

Lily pads line the river

where over two and a half times as many freshwater fish species as any other river can be found.  In fact, over 400 mammal species, 1,300 types of birds, almost 400 reptile species, at least 3,000 types of fish, over 400 species of amphibian, and 40,000 plant species call the Amazon home.

The Amazon rain forest has four layers: the emergent layer, the canopy, the understory, and the forest floor. 

The tallest trees in the forest are the emergents, towering as much as 200 feet above the forest floor with trunks that measure up to 16 feet around.  In the Amazon, they are primarily broadleaf.

The canopy is the primary layer of the forest and forms a roof over the two remaining layers. 

Many animals live in the understory, or underbrush, including jaguars, red-eyed tree frogs, and leopards.  There is also a large concentration of insects in the understory.

The forest floor receives practically no sunlight, so most things, plants, animals, and trees etc., begin to decay quickly. 

Nature has a way of protecting itself, so the Amazon is truly one of nature's wonders.

Materials include the opposing side of the used file folder, also colored using a sea sponge.  Three images were taken from three travel magazines, and information gathered from the internet was computer generated.  One 3-D item was included for this side, too.

I greatly appreciate your visit and hope you learned something about the amazing Amazon, as I did.  Please don't forget to visit Art Journal Journey and Gill to see even more of nature's wonders.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Before the closing Rio ceremonies: a spread in my 7 Continents AB

Let's take one final look around Rio before the closing Olympic ceremonies tonight.

Rio sites should be quite famous by now, like Ipanema beach.

The Brazilian flag has flown high these past 16 days, while Christ the Redeemer has stood guard over the games of the 31st Olympiad.

There's been a carnival feel to the games and in the streets,

and tourists have flocked to the Copacabana and Sugar Loaf Mountain to take in the local sights and sounds atmosphere that Rio is so famous for.

Materials include a used file folder for my substrate that I colored with chalks.  I included images from three different travel magazines, a flag, and some wonderful 3-D embellishments I picked up last week when my friend Kathy came to visit and we went shopping.

I found a great photo of the Meeting of the Waters on the internet, so thought it was a far better photo than the ones I used on my spread yesterday.  This is something I really want to see in person.

Thanks for visiting today.  Tomorrow we will visit the Amazon as promised.  But today, it's time to say good-bye to Rio and the Olympics. 

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Heading to the Amazon

We're heading to the Amazon thanks to Art Journal Journey where this month the theme, Nature's Wonders, was chosen by our host Gill of Gibby Frogett Craftations.

It's been awhile since I worked in my 7 Continents altered book, so it was time to pick it up again.  When I left off, I was creating art in St. Petersburg, Russia.  Before that, however, I was making art that related to Brazil, much of it in Rio, but also up the coast, as well as Brazilia. 

Today we are bypassing Manaus

and heading directly to "Meeting of the Waters."

I first learned about this natural phenomenon a few years ago when I started researching Brazil and the Amazon.   I was always quite amazed at how these two bodies of water never mix, but flow side by side

until they form the amazing Amazon.  I can only imagine it's a wonder to behold.

I'm so glad Gill chose this theme, because I can think of many, many natural wonders we can find in the Amazon, which I hope to visit in the next couple of days.  For this entry, I began with a used file folder, my substrate of choice for this altered book.  I added images from two different travel magazines, a very dimensional bat that one would find in the Amazon, and computer generated words.

Some who visited my Thursday tutorial may not have understood that I was planning to make a cover for one of my scrappy journals.  Although the journals themselves contain only decorated pages made of paper and detritus, the covers are all fabric.

Be aware the cover size is 10 1/2 inches by 17 1/2 inches (26,67 cm by 44,45 cm), which is much larger than my scanner bed.  This side hasn't changed at all, and about all you can see is where I have sewn the front to the inside.

You can see a lot more on the inside (although I should have tried to scan more of the keys at the top than I did).  I added the pens/pencil holder to the front inside and the detritus/minutia pocket to the right side which will be the back inside once pages have been sewn into the center.

Thanks as always for visiting.  And please don't forget to visit Art Journal Journey and Gill to see many, many nature's wonders.