Trees of Transition

Planting seeds of hope throughout our world through sharing photography and thoughts on teaching, cooking, and life transitions.


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Basil Walnut Pesto

We bought a basil plant last week, and I harvested almost two cups of leaves this week to add to my homemade pesto! Nurturing this plant is making me so happy–I can't wait until the leaves grow full again and I can make more pesto.

This pesto recipe is for people on a budget, so if you don’t have pine nuts, walnuts will work as well. (You also could substitute pecans, if desired). Feel free to adjust nuts and oils to what you have at home, but this much pesto coated enough pasta for about 6-8 people.

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Stewed Zucchini and Tomatoes with Italian Sausage 

Zucchini season is upon us. Once our family planted our zucchini vines too close to the cucumber vines, and we got some weird vegetables! The two vines cross-pollinated, and we got a bad hybrid of huge cucumber-like with zucchini-like insides. We couldn’t eat any of them, but they were funny to see. If you need another way to use up your bummer crop of zucchini, here is an Italian-style way to fix it.

 

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Easy Pie Crust (I mean it!!) Grandma Jane’s Pie Crust

20150712-192256-69776167.jpgCrafting pie crust scares some people, and I can see why: If it fails, you have a crumbly mess on your hands. I’ve only made lard pie crust a couple of times, and the other dozens of times, I’ve used an easy, almost fail-safe recipe from my Grandma Jane.

Grandma Jane would make mincemeat pies and tarts (Bambury tarts) at Christmas time. She taught my Mom how to make this recipe, and my Mom taught me. Someday I hope to teach my future daughter how to make this recipe. For now, I can teach you!

Easy Pie Crust Recipe for a two-crust pie:

2 1/2 cups flour

2/3 cup oil

1/3 cup milk (it can be almond or regular)

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Leftover Spaghetti Pasta Salad

  
Do you have a pile of pasta that you don’t know what to do with? This Italian, tangy salad will breath life into day old pasta!

(Or it can be called: Memorial Day Pasta Salad since I invented it yesterday)!

6 c. cooked spaghetti pasta

2/3 lb. mozzarella cheese, cubed (about 2 cups)

1 ½ cup. chopped tomatoes

1 cup. chopped green pepper

Dressing:

6 cloves garlic, minced (2 Tblsp)

2 Tblsp. Balsamic vinegar

2 Tblsp. Red Wine vinegar

½ cup olive oil

1 Tblsp. dried basil

2 tsp. dried oregano

1 tsp. sea salt

½ tsp. freshly ground pepper

Mix together the first three ingredients in a large bowl. In a cup measure, mix together the dressing mixture and pour into the pasta. Toss until the dressing is evenly coating the salad. Refrigerate for 2 hours, and then serve! Serves 8.
Enjoy with some ribs or something else that has been grilled. 🙂

Love, Mary Hope

  


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Ideas for Celery (Thoughts on Vegetables!)

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Vegetables should make you smile–look at them! The peppers are sunny yellow and October orange. The cauliflower’s texture looks like a moon surface (or at least something that might be on the moon). My Dad hated hearing the crunch of celery, but that is one thing I love about celery. And when you pop some peanut butter and raisins on that celery, you have a great snack. Or as my Dad and brother did one Valentine’s Day… Continue reading


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Frilly Food Fun

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Those mushrooms made a hearty lunch yesterday, and the cucumber, kiwi, and mango peels were great natural ribbon. I made an S in honor of my fiancé, Stephen! Here’s a couple more shots: Continue reading