pumpkin seed pesto linguine

Pumpkin Seed Pesto

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If you’ve got fresh basil growing like crazy in your yard as I do, I think it’s probably time to make some pumpkin seed pesto. I started using pumpkin seeds for pesto a few years ago, and I’ve never looked back. I don’t use pine nuts because, though they are technically a seed, we don’t like to play “let’s see what happens!” with Ella’s tree nut allergy. Now I’m not sure why I’d use pine nuts, regardless of the allergy, because I really can’t tell the difference, and they are way more expensive than pumpkin seeds. Don’t get me wrong, I love the rich nutty flavor of pine nuts, but I’d rather have them toasted and tossed in pasta or a salad on their own.

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Oregon Strawberry Freezer Jam

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On the one hand, it seems quite trivial to me to write about strawberry jam today. On the other, it seems more important than ever to embrace the pure, simple, delicious pleasures of life. Besides, my sister, Cindy, told me to post this, and I generally do as she says. I’ve used less sugar in this jam by substituting a third of what the Sure-Jell Pectin recipe calls for with Monkfruit sweetener. It turned out great, no-one could tell. They didn’t even get mad at me when I revealed my trickery.

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raspberry jam

Raspberry Jam

 It’s jam season! Time to preserve that sweet, bright taste of summer in a jar to get you through the dark winter mornings and endless school lunches. You’ll find instructions for apricot jam and blackberry jam in previous posts but, in my opinion, raspberry jam is the best jam, the most important jam. It’s what I want on top of my peanut butter toast, swirled in my Greek yogurt, or rolled in my spelt crêpes. It’s my jam. So is the new song Rain by The Script.

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berry simple syrup

Berry Simple Syrup

One of my favorite nieces admitted she burned simple syrup last week so I suppose, as with most things, the word “simple” is relative but I trust this will be easy for most. She’s very, very good at other things. Plus, I doubt she had detailed photo instructions so now I’m sure she’ll be up to the task if she ever chooses to tackle it again. Which she may not. Like I said, she’s very good at other things. Continue reading “Berry Simple Syrup”


Freezing Strawberries

 I bring you this post today with a sense of urgency as I have it on good authority this may be the last week to get fresh Oregon strawberries. Before I rush out to buy my own, I’m offering a quick tutorial on freezing strawberries so if you are lucky enough to have access to the most strawberry tasting of all strawberries you can snatch them up and enjoy as long as they last in your freezer. Continue reading “Freezing Strawberries”

cranberry sauce

Ginger Orange Cranberry Sauce

I think many people must not know just how easy it is to make your own cranberry sauce because, if they did, they would eighty-six those cans in a heartbeat. I like to jazz mine up a bit with some fresh ginger because it adds a little heat and complexity. It also aids in digestion so it’s never a bad thing to include with your turkey dinner. A chiffonade of mint and/or some lemon zest on top adds a fresh twist as well if that appeals to you.

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