Friday, September 12, 2014

Free Range Friday ~ Food Gifts

For my birthday, Pam and Chuck gave me a little booklet of gift choices I could order. It wasn't easy because there were a lot of very cool choices and I am one of those who wants to be the last one to order in a restaurant because so many things look good (yes, I am annoying that way). But finally I chose one, the personal drink blender. Francie has one and I've had many a good margarita from it, so I know it crushes ice like its big cousins, meaning it will also be good for about anything else I want to put in it. Except maybe carrots. I can live with that, even though carrot juice really is delicious.

While my first thought was how great this is for someone single, the four sippy cups that come with it made me think it might be good for a small family as well. Everyone could have their own drink, in their own cup, in just a few minutes - without having to clean a big blender.

The instruction booklet has a decent selection of recipes, from smoothies to pesto, salsa to salad dressings, just to get the imagination station on line. No margaritas, but I think I can figure that one out myself. It's small, it's efficient, it works and I'm happy. Thanks, P & C!!

Pesto - from the Elite Personal Blender booklet

(I'd change some things on this to make it 'mine', but this is how I make it anyway, so it might as well be official)

4 1/2 cups packed basil leaves, stems removed
1 cup packed fresh parsley leaves
3 tbsp pine nuts, toasted (hey, if you are going to this time and trouble, you might as well toast 'em!)
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup olive oil
3 tbsp freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese (just Parm will do if you can't have both)

Blend all ingredients except the cheese until smooth. Fold in cheese afterward.

And that's it! Super easy, super delicious. And it made me think about making hummus in it...

This pesto recipe adds mint and blends the cheese right in. Plus, there are some real pretty photos. I found it looking for different ways to use pesto and I really like the recipe for that as well.

Photo and recipe credit: Whole Food Diary
I love pesto and can just about eat it in a sandwich alone, so I'm always looking for new ways to use it. With three types of basil (re)growing, pesto will flow!

The other gift I got was a total surprise, even though I knew it was on its way. An old friend from way back days has a really nice garden in Florida. We've lightly thrown garden thoughts back and forth, and he said he was going to send me some seeds. Yippie! Usually when I send seeds or someone sends me seeds, it's a few packets or maybe an envelope with some saved seeds and that is what I was expecting. I was NOT expecting the whole aisle of organic seeds of every description!

Shock-o-rama Surprise Package of Work and Fun
I opened this package near Carlos' water fun store. He came over to see what I was gasping about. I think he was jealous, especially of the eggplant seeds, which is always fun for me with Carlos. There are plenty of seeds to share, but now I really do have to get the wire garden cage built, because sharing these with iguanas and thrushes is not in the cards. I'm reminded of a friend with a very ratty looking boat who's mother gave him one roll of pinstripe stick on stuff. $10,000 of a haul out, bottom job, deck job later, that pin striping looked really good. Thanks, Mike, you rock!

p.s. All you people talking about a community garden? I've got seeds!

Because it is free range Friday and because  I am on a personal mission to change the dress habits of men in America, I have to add this photo. Because I'm telling you, again, cargo shorts, worn below knee length, do nothing for you, men and boys, I'm telling you, nothing! If you are short, you look shorter, if your legs are thin, they look thinner. If your legs aren't me, this doesnt work for you either. If you are really tall and have awesome legs, still no. So just stop it. It's embarrassing.

Really, I was talking to Al the taxi man, but when this guy walked out, I got sidetracked. It's my mission and I must obey. Shorts don't have to be short short to look good. This is the perfect length for most guys. 
Will the proper short length on men promote peace and good will? There's a chance it will help as most other people in the world do NOT get cargo shorts any more than they get America as a whole. Maybe every little bit helps. It won't feed hungry children and it won't cure disease, but you can grow your garden and promote good food to work in that direction. In the meantime, you might as well look good and have the men in your life look good while doing good. Hmmmm?

Have a festive feasting of a Friday. Do something fundamental.


  1. I love pesto, too. One of my pesto recipes;
    Take a basil leaf. Butter it with pesto.
    Place a cleaned shrimp on the pesto leaf.
    Roll it up and secure with a toothpick.
    Sear over heat of choice.
    Basil and pesto melts into shrimp.
    Yum yum.

  2. Ohhhhhhhh myyyyyyyy. Brilliant! Let's do that next time you are here!

    1. Will do. Keep the iguanas away from the basil. 173 days.

  3. On another note, while on vacation in Oregon I wore cargo shorts for the first time. Not long, 4 fingers above the knees. It was nice and secure, zipper side pockets for phone and billfold. On a plane off a plane, in a taxi off a taxi. Lose rental car keys? You could buy the car for what it costs to replace them. Cargo shorts were like a woman's purse. Lose your ID at home, a pain, 3000 miles from home, a disaster. You can't get on a plane a train and probably a bus without ID. I guess you become homeless and live in a park. But, cargo pants back in the bottom of my drawer, not a fan either.

    1. Dear Disasterless,

      Decent length cargo shorts! What a concept. Yes, I get the security factor, and flash on why it seems more European men carry *purses*, but security would be better in pockets. I have to concede the travel factor even if I don't like it . Leave it to you to blow my whole theory!

      Signed, Chagrined

  4. Now you are the fashion police? WTF?

    1. Nope, not the fashion police. I am on a one woman mission to see more of the legs of men. I heard a voice...