Make Your Own Ingredients… Pesto

This is Pesto Our Munch style so of course it has a bit of a twist… They call it Semi-Dried Tomato Pesto… and don’t think you are buying your dried tomatoes, no… you will make your own ingredients of course!

It all starts with a tray of tomatoes, drizzle with olive oil and icing sugar and salt to bring the moisture out. Sprinkle them with some fresh thyme or rosemary and stick them in the oven.

and voila… Semi Dried Tomatoes! The longer you leave them the drier they are. We put ours in a 90 degree oven for 6 hours. You can put them in an oil filled jar and keep them until later

For the Pesto…

  • 6 tomatoes – oven dried
  • 50g walnuts
  • 100g parmesan
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • 1 crushed garlic clove
  • Few basil leaves
  • Olive oil – the best you can afford
  • Salt & Pepper

Smash the walnuts in a pestle & mortar, chop the tomatoes, grate the parmesan and mix with all the other ingredients.

Add oil until you get a consistency you like. Use sugar, salt, pepper and lemon juice as seasoning and taste over and over. Too sharp? Add sugar. Too rounded? add lemon juice. Too bland? Add salt.

Mix it all together and add some chopped basil if you like. We mixed the old fashioned way… with a spoon cos we like the crunchy textures.

Eat with Gnocci, Pasta, Chicken… or even give as a gift!

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Clothes Swapping Party

As a farewell to my friend Lee, who is moving back to Australia in a couple of weeks, I hosted a clothes swapping party. She had a wardrobe full of warm clothes suitable only for English weather and too bulky to fit in her suitcase so we decided it would be the best way to wish her luck, and get rid of a few clothes along the way. I invited Natasha from Margaurita Photography along and she added a touch of class with the photos…

I decorated the room and transformed my kitchen/diner into a vintage boutique. It was a brilliant way to get the girls together, and get some new outfits too. Everyone loved it so much I thought I would share the techniques I used and include an invitation for you to download, then you can host your own… Just click the links for the downloads and tutorials…

I’d love to hear about your clothes swapping parties…

Jam Jar addiction…

I think I am addicted to Jam Jars. It doesn’t matter how big or small, round or square, even hexagonal  whether I need them or not, I have to keep them.

Some I do use, I put candles inside for a rustic but romantic way to light my garden. Some I use in my sewing room to store my chalk, crochet hooks and random buttons I have fallen in love with. But the worrying ones are the ones I don’t even like, I don’t even need… I sometimes don’t even get round to cleaning out… they just sit by the kitchen sink as ammunition for Mitchell to ask that question which I cringe away from every time it is asked… “What exactly are you saving these jars for? Are you honestly going to use them?”  to which I engulf him in an array of reasons and elaborate crafts which he will, of course, benefit from.

Which he will, of course, never benefit from.

My name is Jessica and I am a jar-o-holic…