Thursday, September 30, 2010

Bountiful Basil

I worked up the motivation to work in the yard the other day. Not for very long, mind you. About 45 minutes in I was tired and needed to rest. Nevertheless I was able to work outside before I passed out from the blazing heat and hunger.

I worked on picking weeds and pulling up the dead stuff from my garden. I grew sunflowers this summer so I had to pull up the stalks. And then I moved over to my garden where I proceeded to pull everything up. I am tired of growing jalepeno peppers; we never use them. The yellow bell peppers needed to be redone, although I've been told that peppers are better the older the plant, I still wanted to redo them. And lastly, I pulled up all the basil. But I couldn't bring myself to throw it away. Basil is an amazing grower, and I love that it grows with basically no help from me. So, with a little hesitation, I pulled it all up.

But I really didn't want to throw it away. So the task quickly became what in the world to do with all that basil! I did give some of it away, but I wanted to keep some so as to enjoy the fruits of my labor.

First, obviously, I made pesto. I make mine with walnuts because pine nuts, at $16 a pound, are no where near the budget. So, I made a big tub of pesto to keep in the fridge, and topped it with olive oil. Apparently, this is the trick to keep the pesto from discoloring! I found that when I was looking for ways to preserve basil.

Secondly, I chopped a bunch of basil, and then put them in ice cube trays and covered with water to freeze. I'll be using these cubes for soups and sauces. As I was chopping endlessly I realized that this is not my first time using a frozen herb. I have bought and used the frozen garlic cubes from Trader Joe's! When I go to use the basil I will set it over a slotted spoon over a bowl and allow the water to drain away, if necessary. If I'm putting the basil in a tomato sauce the melted ice won't matter a bit!

Thirdly I made a "paste" with basil and oil and filled one more ice cube tray. This was a suggestion on one of the sites I found. Not really sure how I'll use it except in soups or sauces!

Once frozen I put them in ziploc bags and stored them in the freezer. I hope to have fresh-ish basil for the rest of the year. And I'll probably replant the basil next Spring. It is a good herb, I just won't plant as many next time!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Malicious McCain

Since you asked for it, here is the rant about John McCain.

Primary season is long over, but I'm still fuming about the stuff McCain pulled against J.D. Hayworth. First off, please don't misunderstand. I am no Hayworth apologist. He was voted out of his Rep seat a few years ago, and he had some problems actually running a good campaign and getting his name out there this time. He was unsuccessful in his primary bid. Fairs fair.

McCain did a better job talking about Hayworth than Hayworth talked about himself. Which brings me to my problem with John McCain.

The mud (I'm trying!) McCain slung at Hayworth was atrocious, from the mail ads with a goofy looking Hayworth on them to the horrendous radio ads depicting Hayworth as the next Anti-Christ. The ads about Hayworth were down-right sleezy.

Not that McCain didn't have a right to run these kind of ads. (This from the man who co-authored McCain-Feingold which essentially limited free-political speech! HA! This man drives me up the ever-loving wall!) But I believe that he does have the right to run ads which further his interests and which he believes will further the interests of his constituents. It's called the First Amendment, and if he wants to use his money to run his political campaign, then so be it.

My problem with John McCain is that he threw $20 million at his primary contest when he only spent $84 million on his entire Presidential race. He dragged Hayworth through every mud pile he could find while allowing Barak Obama to walk away unopposed about such issues as the atrocious partial-birth abortion that Obama won't vote against, or national security, or taxes and spending. Even more damning were Obama's associations with known terrorists (Bill Ayers), anti-American Pastors (Jeremiah Wright the Pastor at the church where he WORSHIPPED for 20 years! Wright baptized his kids! Don't tell me Wright wasn't an influence on Obama!) McCain didn't bring any of that up during the Presidential election. Nope. McCain was "above the fray". Oh please. Politics are dirty.

McCain knows this, which is why he leveled both barrels at Hayworth and fired relentlessly. Too bad he didn't have the gumption to do that to Obama.

Now we have the reality that McCain will probably win his re-election campaign and will go back to the Senate with a Republican majority. My biggest problem with McCain is that he has not proven himself to be responsible with majority rule. Instead he panders to the Libs and "crosses Party lines". Fabulous. We've re-elected a wimp.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Qiunoa Blog!

Last week I stumbled upon a blog devoted to Quinoa called! I was looking for a good quinoa recipe to serve alongside grilled salmon and found this. It's Red Pepper and Onion Quinoa. It was so delicious! The author also has a recipe for a quinoa and goat cheese risotto that I'm DYING to try.

The nice thing about quinoa is that it's totally healthy, as in complete healthiness, and it's a great option for my family with their various food intolerances. Also, it cooks a lot faster than brown rice, so it's a win-win for my crew.

Jack has been eating up this quinoa recipe. I love that it has onions and peppers in it so it gives him that added veggie boost.

When I made this recipe I substituted fire roasted red peppers for the red peppers called for because I didn't have any fresh red peppers. I thought the fire roasted red peppers were fantastic. Of course I get the jar of red peppers from Trader Joe's. That is a great deal, if you're wondering. A jar of roasted red peppers for like $2.50.

Let me know if you give it a try!

A Cloud Over the Valley

I almost deleted my blog.

I think I could describe my mood as blog-pression. I haven't really wanted to share my thoughts because of several reasons. First, there is the time/energy problem. Being pregnant sucks my dry, and then taking care of my other responsibilities has been exhausting. Secondly, there is a weird self-centered thought of "No one cares what I think.". And then thirdly, there has been a futile thought of "What's the point anyways? It's not going to change anything."

Well, I think it's high time I pick myself up by my bootstraps and get back into it.

One of my main problems has been that I have a lot to say, but the words just don't come, so I don't say anything. A thoughtful, and I may add intelligent, friend suggested that I need to nurture the blog. I thought this was a very practical idea and one I intend to implement. Especially since a different friend, after a rather lengthy rant about John McCain, suggested that my blog would be the perfect outlet for such tirades. (I'm pretty sure I used some choice words in my rant, which maybe I'll have to tone down for the blog...)

So, I think what I'll focus on posting about are cooking, books and politics, since those are my most favorite things.