Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Will Swim For Fresh Basil Pesto (and why lakes are scary)

blender full of pesto

One of my favourite quotes from Bill Cosby is "Decide that you want it more than you are afraid of it". 

I want to not drown during the swim leg of my first half-ironman. So, twice a week I put on my superhero wetsuit and swim across one of our many lakes. 

Lake swimming is scary when you convince yourself that your own arm is a muskey (5-36 pound fish) waiting to gobble you up. 

It's scary when you convince yourself that weeds are actually water snakes waiting to wrap themselves around your legs.

It's scary when you convince yourself that the duck swimming past you is actually an otter waiting to bite you and drag you to the bottom of the lake.

Lastly (and most ridiculous of all), lake swimming is scary when you convince yourself that your red headed swimming partner is Arial and the green moray eels from the Little Mermaid are in the water with you.

Needless to say my swimming workouts are never boring.  Despite all of the self-created swimming drama I would much rather complete a swimming workout than a running workout as of late.  

Zero kilometers and 8 kilometers are almost the same thing.  Right?

After all that I was lucky enough to come home after my swim workout to farmer plucking basil leaves off of their stems.

Basil Pesto

(1 1/2- 2 C)

5 C of basil leaves
1 C grated parmesan cheese
1 C olive oil
2/3 C sunflower seeds
6 cloves local garlic minced

Combine all ingredients in your blender and pulse until combined.  You might need to stop mid way through to scrape down the sides of your blender.  If you are not planning on serving the pesto immediately drizzle olive oil over the top to retain the bright green colour.

You can freeze pesto by placing it in silicone muffin cups or ice cube trays, drizzling with olive oil and then transferring it to small plastic bags once frozen. 

pesto ready for the freezer

Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Will Run For Tomato, Black Olive and Artichoke No Cook Pasta Sauce and a Pinterest Pergola

Thanks for the pergola pasta

Three years after finding out that our new home was in violation of every building code under the sun renovations are finally complete!

Okay, so we (well, not really me) still need to hang some light fixtures and put up some new trim but all of the big stuff is done.  No more addition standing on hockey pucks (I kid you not), no more sheds falling into the creek, no more extension cords running through the walls, etc., etc. 

We were kind of getting used to having our contractor around.  It's pretty awesome coming home from work every day to find another project complete: a new deck,a fenced in back yard and my favourite our pergola.

In celebration of finishing our renovations and passing our city inspection we enjoyed some pasta and berry lemon crumble.

Tomato Black Olive & Artichoke No Cook Pasta Sauce

(serves 6)


2 medium tomatoes, diced
1/2 cup sundried tomatoes chopped(soaked in hot water for 5-10 min)
1 C black olives chopped
3 tsp capers
2C canned artichoke hearts chopped
3 cloves garlic crushed
3/4 C fresh basil chopped
2 T white balsamic vinegar
3 T olive oil
salt & pepper (optional)
parmesan cheese or nutritional yeast (optional garnish)
375g whole wheat linguine or cooked spaghetti squash.

1.  Cook pasta according to package directions.  You can use hot water from pasta to soak tomatoes.

2.  In a medium bowl combine fresh tomatoes, drained sundried tomatoes, olives, capers, artichoke hearts, garlic, basil, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, salt & pepper (optional) & parmesan cheese or nutritional yeast (optional).

3.  Add pasta to tomato mixture.  Garnish with parmesan cheese if desired. 

Pinterest worthy pergola.

Bouviers like pergolas (and eating grass).