Thursday, August 2, 2007

Fresh From The Garden Pesto

What do you do when you have a scary, hip high, basil plant and a tomato plant with lots of cherry tomatoes? Make Pesto, of course. As you can see I have a rather enormous basil plant. I took this picture after I made pesto so it was missing quite a few leaves. You can also see my tomato plant. Sadly I used all the tomatoes for this dish, but there are plenty more in the very near future. Of course that’s if the deer don’t get them, again. I used pumpkin seeds instead of pine nuts, because my son has a nut allergy. I had never tried this before, but it turned about wonderfully.

Before I give out this recipe, I just want to remind everyone that I don’t cook with exact measurements. Taste it, smell it, see what’s good for you.

3 cups basil leaves
4 cloves garlic (less if you don’t like garlic)
1/3 cup of Romano cheese
1 cup pumpkin seeds (see how you like the consistency)
1/3 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil. (enough to make it paste like.)

Pasta of your choice
1 cup cherry tomatoes (give or take or not)

Put on the pot of water for your pasta. While that’s getting ready to boil, put all the ingredients in the food process. Chop into a paste like consistency. Put half in a large bowl. Make pasta. When pasta is ready and drained, put it in the bowl. Put the other half of the pesto on top, the tomatoes and then mix it all together. That’s it. Enjoy the time with you family and friends and not slaving in the kitchen.
If you are looking for other interesting pasta recipes, check out This blog has it's readers send in their favorite pasta recipes.

Hope this helps,


Monday, July 30, 2007

Roaring Good Dinosaur Birthday Party

I was looking through some pictures and found my son’s Dinosaur Birthday Party. So it inspired me to write about it.


As you can see, these are the invitations and thank you cards I used.


They decorated there own goody bags with dinosaur stickers, dinosaur stamps and drawing their own dinosaur scenes. The kids love being little Picasso’s.


Dinosaur Dig. I had an old kiddy pool and I filled it with sand. You can use a large box or plastic bin. I bought dinosaur eggs at

I love this store for party items. I blindfolded the kids and had them dig for the eggs. I did it one child at a time and gave them a minute to dig. They loved it! Whatever eggs were left over, I put in the goody bags at the end of the party.

Pin the Horn on the Triceratops- I made my own. I found a picture of a Triceratops and enlarged it. I then cut off the horn and made enough copies for the kids. I had the kids write their names on them so we would know who won. I placed the enlarged picture on a poster board. You can give any dinosaur prize to the kids. I happened to have found dinosaur puzzles at the Dollar Store. This game is always new and different because you change the theme with each party.

Dinosaur Mask – I bought dinosaur masks and had the kid’s act the way the dinosaur would. Please note: WEAR EAR PLUGS! By the way, the dinosaur masks also make great table decorations.

Piñata – A Dinosaur Piñata filled with candy is always the perfect way to end the party.


I just bought a simple sheet cake and decorated it with dinosaur figures that my son already had.


For table decorations I again used dinosaur’s my son already had. It certainly saved on cost. Another fun thing you can do is lead your guest to the the party with cut outs of dinosaur prints. Start at the driveway and take them all the way to the front door.

Goody Bags:

After the kids have decorated their bags and put their names on them (very important for your sanity), I put them aside until they need them. I have them at the dinosaur dig to collect their eggs. I also make sure they have them for the piñata. After that I place a personalized party candy bar in their goody bag along with the mask they had.

This is one the most inexpensive birthday parties. There are so many inexpensive dinosaur toys around. I started at my local dollar store and of course Oriental Trading. (Note to self, check to see if Oriental Trading has an affiliate program, since you mention them so often. There has got to be something in it for me. LOL).

Hope it helps,


Sunday, July 29, 2007

Grocery Shopping at

So I decided to become an affiliate member of Amazon. I figured that I buy books from them anyway, so why not try to compensate what I spend with what you, my readers, might buy. Anyway, lo and behold I found that they now sell groceries. From what I can see, the prices are cheaper than my local grocery store. Also, you get free shipping. How cool is that. So instead of me describing what they do, I cut and pasted their description. If you click on the Amazon Grocery icon, you can see what kind of grocery items they have. If anyone has tried this, I would love to hear what it was like. I’m definitely going to try and then I’ll tell you my experience.

Shop Amazon Grocery Today
  • We offer more than 22,000 non-perishable grocery items--and our selection is growing every day

  • We can ship all products for free, via Super Saver Shipping, Amazon Prime, or free standard shipping

  • We have great everyday prices plus special offers on your favorite brands

  • We make it exceptionally easy to find products you buy routinely, or to discover new items we think you'll like

As an Amazon customer, you expect to find an unparalleled combination of selection and value, no matter what type of product you seek. That's exactly the premise we started with in building Amazon Grocery. To that foundation, we added features that would create a new kind of shopping experience, one where it's easy to keep track of the groceries you want and easy to discover new favorites, and then have them delivered to your door free.

SelectionAt Amazon Grocery, you'll find longtime staples, from Kellogg's to Jiffy Pop. You'll find new entries, such as Kashi cereals and Kraft Easy Mac microwavable snack packets. And when we carry a brand, we'll try to carry every flavor available: For example, you'll find all varieties and flavors of Orville Redenbacher's Gourmet Popping Corn, from Smart Pop to Pour Over Cheddar. We're also making regional favorites like El Sabroso available nationwide, and making hard-to-find specialties like Zico Pure Coconut Water a standard part of our mix.

We also have an extensive selection of natural and organic products. If you haven't heard of Immaculate Baking Company or Bear Naked, let us be the first to introduce you to these earth-friendly brands and their fantastic products.

ValueOur goal at Amazon Grocery is to make sure you find the products you want, available at a competitive price. To do this, we're working with our manufacturers on ways to keep per-unit costs low. For example, items you purchase might come in larger packs than you see at a traditional grocery store, and we might ship a product in a manufacturer's original case.

All products offered in Amazon Grocery are eligible for some form of free shipping. Most are eligible for FREE Super Saver Shipping and Amazon Prime. Some exceptionally heavy or bulky items, such as paper towels, have been excluded from these programs to avoid inefficient air transportation. For these items, we offer free standard shipping, so you will receive them within three to five days of ordering.

Because we only carry products when we can offer great prices and free shipping, we don't carry everything (yet!). For example, we don't currently offer perishable items such as milk, fresh meat, or peaches, because we can't ship these for free. But, we work on improving our selection every day, so check back often to see what we've added.

A New Way to Shop

long with this new category of products, we're highlighting a feature we call Your Shopping List, which you'll find under the "Your Lists" link on the top of every page. Your Shopping List makes it easier to locate and keep track of items you purchase routinely--products such as coffee and tea, cereal, paper towels, and cookies. You can order one or all of the products directly from your list, and you can add and delete items with the click of a button