Thursday, July 19, 2012

Walnut Basil Pesto Pasta with Sautéed Summer Veg



Wow, ladies, this housewife has been BUSY this past week and a half.  I have about a bajillion blog posts I’d like to do, but alas- time is a precious and limited resource and sit-down computer time is hard to come by right now.  I think even more than do my own blog posts I miss reading all of YOURS, and taking part in your fun blog carnivals, when I cant get to the computer.  But… everything in the Lord’s timing, right? 

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It’s basil season and loads of fragrant fresh basil mean pesto in this house.  A couple of weeks ago I bought an obscene amount of basil at the market and came home and spent the entire afternoon making this fantastic Walnut Pesto in my food processor and freezing most of it for future use.  I plan to repeat that again soon so I can have my pesto addiction attended to over the winter months.

Good Housekeeping 1936-08

What could be a more fresh, seasonal pairing with fresh basil pesto than some sautéed (or better yet grilled if you have a barbQ!) summer veggies and spaghetti?  For dinner one night last week I couldn’t think of an answer to that question so this is what I came up with:

Walnut Basil Pesto Pasta with Sauteed Summer Veg

serves 3

1/2 cup Walnut Pesto (this recipe is fantastic, all I did was add a bit more EVOO than the original chef)

3 Servings spaghetti or other pasta

1 small vegetable marrow

1/2 red bell pepper

5 medium yellow cherry tomatoes

2 Tablespoons Olive Oil

1. In a large pot, get your water going for your spaghetti.  Be sure to salt your water well (this not only speeds up the boiling process but also makes the pasta taste so much better).  If you salt and cover the pot your pasta should be ready just in time to add to the sautéed veg.


2. In the  meantime, cut your veg into nice big chunks (and of course it goes without saying that you could use zucchini, other bell peppers, red cherry tomatoes, other summer veg, etc).  Sautee the veg in olive oil over medium heat, stirring often, until tender but not overcooked.  No need to add any seasoning as the pesto will be added at the end and that is plenty of flavor!

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3.  Just before you add the pasta to the pan, remove it from the heat and stir in the pesto.  Add the spaghetti and toss with tongues or a large spoon until pasta and veg are completely coated with the walnut-basily- goodness. 


4. If you’ve timed it right, the pasta should be done al dente right as the veg is nice and ender. Instead of dumping it all in a strainer, use a slotted pasta spoon and scoop directly into the pan with the veg. This will all allow just a tiny bit of the pasta water to be transferred over and will allow the pesto to marry nicely with the food.


5.  When serving a dish like this, I genuinely try to pull out the spaghetti first, and then situate some of he veg on top for a nicer presentation.  But in the end, the main point is to get it into your mouth, so whatever way works for you, enjoy!

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As you can see, this dish was kid- approved. Smile

Bon Appetite!


Proud to be linking up today with Foodie Friday with Diane Belch, and Saturday Link and Greet at Country Mamma Cooks, Saturday Show and Tell at Cheerios and Lattes, Just Another Meatless Monday at Hey Mom Whats for Dinner, Meatless Mondays at Veggie Mamma, Makin’ You Crave Monday at Mrs. Happy Homemaker, The Gathering Spot at Mamal Diane, Melt in Your Mouth Mondays at Make Ahead Meals, Scratch Cookin’ Tuesdays and Mrs Dull’s, Show Me What Ya Got at Not Just a Housewife, Tempt my Tummy Tuesdays at Blessed With Grace, Traditional Tuesdays at Delicious Obsessions,Homemaking Link-Up at Raising Homemakers, Healthy 2day Wednesdays at Day2Day Joys, Whats Cooking Wednesdays at Kings Court IV, Whole Food Wednesdays at This Chick Cooks, Works For Me Wednesdays at We Are That Family, Full Plate Thursdays at Miz Helen’s, Share Your Cup Thursdays at Jann Olson’s.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Gone Camping!


Hi Friends!  Just wanted to let you know we are going camping for the next few days; its our first time taking Bird camping and we’re so excited!  Hope you all have a fabulous rest of the week and see you soon!

Happy Homemaking!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Peanut Butter and Honey Oatmeal Cookies (cane sugar-free)


Is there anything better, food-wise, than a moist, chewy cookie?  Cookies are definitely one my biggest weaknesses when it comes to eating food in  moderation, so I don’t make them all that often. 


OFHW baking

Im currently abstaining from foods with cane sugar, mostly as a spiritual discipline, but I was craving something sweet today and I have been working at perfecting a recipe for Peanut Butter Oatmeal cookies that are sweetened only with honey.  The first two batches were edible but nothing to write a blog post about.  But today’s batch was different; I perfected the ingredient list and these babies are awfully tasty and worth passing on.

Peanut Butter and Honey Oatmeal Cookies

  • 1/2 cup all-natural, smooth peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup raw, all-natural honey
  • 1/3 cup butter (at room temperature)
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 extra large organic egg
  • 1 cup quick oats
  • 1/3 plus 1/6 cup whole wheat flour (I know its specific but that was the perfect amount!)
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda


1.  Preheat your oven to 350.  In a large bowl, cream peanut butter, honey, and butter with your beater on medium until nice and creamy.  Try you best not to simply stick your spoon in this concoction and eat it all up.


2. Add the egg and vanilla and beat again until combined well.


3. In a small bowl, combine flour, oats, salt and baking soda, and stir together with a fork.

4.  Add the oats and the flour to the liquid mixture all at once, and stir until well-blended.  Be advised that the dough might seem a bit soft or runny to you compared to, say, a typical chocolate chip cookie dough.  But this is OK because the oatmeal is going to expand and absorb that liquid, and the cookies will turn out perfectly.


5.  On an ungreased cookie sheet, drop cookie dough by heaping tablespoons, or just a little more depending on preferred cookie size, onto the baking sheet about two inches apart from one another.

6. Bake at 350 for 13 minutes or until the bottoms are lightly browned.  Remove from oven and remove to a cooling rack or clean, cook baking sheet.

These were so good it is taking all of my will power not to go down and help myself to a few more this evening.  Even my husband, who has a rather particular sweet tooth, enjoyed them.


Happy Baking, ladies!


Proud to be linking up today with Tiny Tip Tuesdays at Nature’s Nurture, Scratch Cookin’ Tuesdays and Mrs Dull’s, Show Me What Ya Got at Not Just a Housewife, Tempt my Tummy Tuesdays at Blessed With Grace, Traditional Tuesdays at Delicious Obsessions, Homemaking Link-Up at Raising Homemakers, Healthy 2day Wednesdays at Day2Day Joys, Whats Cooking Wednesdays at Kings Court IV, Whole Food Wednesdays at This Chick Cooks, Works For Me Wednesdays at We Are That Family, Full Plate Thursdays at Miz Helen’s, Share Your Cup Thursdays at Jann Olson’s, Foodie Friday with Diane Belch, and Saturday Link and Greet at Country Mamma Cooks, Saturday Show and Tell at Cheerios and Lattes.

Monday, July 9, 2012

How To Grow Your Faith While Scrubbing the Toilet

OFHW brain

Ladies, do you ever get to the end of the day and feel like you’ve been so caught up in the very physical tasks that comprise homemaking and mothering (especially of pre-school aged children) that your mind has been left unchallenged?  Often I have the best intentions to sit down at the end of the day with a good book and learn something, but more often than not once the kiddo is in bed, the last load of laundry is folded and put away and the dishwasher is emptied, Im too pooped to process the written word.  This is part of the reason that my Get Up and At ‘Em 40 Day Challenge has been so great for me- because I am spending time in God’s word first thing in the morning when my mind is more fresh (or at least most mornings, anyway Smile ). 

OFHW theologians

But there are ways to engage your mind while doing housework that allow you to intellectually and spiritually multi-task, and I thought I would share some of my favorite ways with you.  Many of you are probably already doing these things, and I would LOVE to hear from you about how you “redeem” your time while doing the dishes, scrubbing the floor, or cleaning that toilet.  Here’s my favorite ways:

Online Sermons/Bible Teachings 

There is an absolute treasure trove of fabulous bible teaching available online today for free, and all you need is an internet connection to access it.  Of course you have to be careful and discerning about who you listen to, but I suggest you ask your friends whom you believe are mature in the faith and have your same theological leaning who they listen to, and I bet you’ll get a few great suggestions.  Here are my favorite places online to listen to God’s word being preached:

Mars Hill Church- Pastor Mark Driscoll is one of my favorite bible teachers.  He has an ability to bring fresh, relevant insights from God’s word and is unapologetically Christ-centered.  “It’s all about Jesus” as he so often says.  He has scores of sermon series available online (I can honesty say I have listened to all of them over the years…. I know, Im a sermon addict what can I tell you? ) and you can find them here. 


The Village Church- My other favorite Bible teacher of the moment, whom I have only discovered more recently, is Pastor Matt Chandler out of The Village Church in Dallas, Texas.  Another very vibrant, passionate teacher who makes God’s word understandable, approachable, and relevant, and I love his focus on God’s grace towards us in Christ.  You can find his sermon archive here.

Wednesdays with Beth on Life Today- Do you all know Beth Moore? Many Christian women have been blessed by Miss Beth’s teachings over the many years she has been serving, but did you know that she teaches a 20 minute lesson ever Wednesday on the tv show Life Today?  And did you also know that you can find the archive of the last four years’ content here?  Go check it out, I am sure you will be blessed.

Worship Music

This one might seem sort of obvious for any of you who have been Christians for a while and make listening to worship music a regular part of your faith journey.  But do you remember to crank it up when you’re doing the housework?  Why not redeem that time you spend scrubbing the bath tile by singing praises to the Lord and meditating on his goodness?  I find it to be so encouraging and if I listen to something good and up-tempo, it keeps me going!

My current favorites are:


The Sing Team




2009 new pic4

Robin Mark

Silence and Prayer

I admit I am newer to this one.  Usually I like noise when Im doing very physical tasks, something to keep my mind running while Im working.  But God has convicted me here recently on the importance of silence.  So many days now when Bird is taking a nap instead of cranking up Driscoll or Robin Mark, I will let the house remain completely quiet and instead focus solely on Jesus.  I am learning to love and desire more of the peace and serenity that comes into my heart and mind during these times of silence and prayer.

Good Housekeeping 1914-07

Remembering It is the Lord I am Serving 

A few weeks ago for one of my Scripture Sunday posts I shared one of my favorite verses, Colossians 3:23-24, which reminds us that whatever tasks we are called to do in our lives (and this does include folding laundry and mopping up crusted-on food from under your toddler’s dining room chair), we are to do as if we were serving the Lord.  I know it sounds simple but here recently, when I am in the midst of a task I find tiring, overwhelming, or just plain boring or unsatisfying but it is one that I know I need to do and which will serve my family, when I remember that I am ultimately serving Jesus, somehow it makes the load lighter.  Perhaps that is a fulfillment of Christ’s promise that his burden is not heavy, and that his yoke is light (Matthew 11:30).

OFHW cowgirl

So, those are my best suggestions, ladies.  Now what are yours?  How do you grow in your faith (or perhaps in other forms of knowledge… I know have also enjoyed history podcasts while cleaning) while cleaning, organizing, and cooking?  I would love to hear your tips and suggestions, and I hope you all have a blessed, productive week as homemakers.  Remember that our job is the best one in the world- we are so blessed!

Proud to be linking up today with Homemaking Link-Up at Raising Homemakers, Works For Me Wednesdays at We Are That Family, Share Your Cup Thursdays at Jann Olson’s, Saturday Show and Tell at Cheerios and Lattes.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Homemade Taco Seasoning

Ladies, are you still using that prepackaged taco seasoning that you buy at the grocery store for sometimes as much as TWO DOLLARS a package?  Oh my dear you must stop that immediately.  I discovered an easy, delicious, cheap, and nutritious (meaning, not filled with the garbage in the packaged stuff) recipe for taco seasoning a few years ago and I’ve never looked back.

Monday, July 2, 2012

40 Day Get Up and At ‘Em Challenge

Confession time, ladies: I am not a morning person.  Since having my daughter 26 months ago, I get up faithfully every single morning without exception (ok, that one time I had the flu and got the shakes so bad I had to get Mr. Old Fashioned to take the morning shift, but other than that, Im batting 1000!) and Im faithful to do what I HAVE to do in the morning, but if I had it my way, ladies, this is what my morning would look like:

1. Wake up (begrudgingly).
2. Get Bird up and give her a big hug (gladly, no matter the hour).
3. Make coffee and drink it.
4. Sit on the couch watching the Today show for an hour while my brain and body slowly wake up and my kid eats a nutritious meal that the Breakfast Fairy drops onto my table with no work required from me.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Whole Wheat Raspberry Almond Pancakes

Raspberry season is here!  They are quite ripe for the picking in our neck of the woods, but we’re seeing plenty of the beautiful berry at the farmer’s markets from further south in the province.  This week one of the vendors had very ripe berries that they were selling for 15 dollars a flat (that’s 6 pints of fruit, which is a very good price for fresh local raspberries).  I bought to flats and brought them home, froze a bunch, made two batches of jam (recipe to follow, Lord willing), and had enough left over to make a few great recipes like this.