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Thursday, 2 January 2014

Hey Pesto and Toothpowder

Experiment! I've found pesto can be made without expensive pinenuts - roasted cashews work well, or what about toasted sunflower or pumpkin seeds. It doesn't have to be olive oil if you have none left, and even different herbs work - although basil is my favourite here, but it could be a mix. 

Big handful of basil
1-2 cloves of garlic (roasted preferably but not essential)
1 cup of freshly grated parmesan cheese
1/2 cup of lightly roasted nuts - pinenuts or otherwise
pinch of salt

Place them all in the food processor and add 1/2 cup of olive oil slowly with the motor running.
This keeps in the fridge for up to a week, or will freeze, but better without the cheese which can be added later. It's great stirred through pasta.

Home made pesto with crispy french bread crostini bases

This past year I challenged myself not to buy any more dips and pestos or baba ganoush and have not only saved money but not brought home heaps of little plastic containers. Home made is sooo nice.

I've been buying day old french loaves from the supermarket, which is just fine for making these crostini bases. Thinly slice and brush both sides with oil, then bake approx 15 mins at 160c. I can get 2 loaves for $3.00 and it makes lots. They store well in airtight jars. 

Tooth Powder
I'm nearly out of the tooth tabs I bought from "Lush" and decided to have a go at making my own powder. It turned out great - and left my teeth feeling super clean. I made this up from a mix of recipes - just experiment I say. 
This only makes a small sample amount so you can see if you like it. If you find it too strong add more baking soda. 
I just dip my wet toothbrush into it then brush. 

2 teaspoons of Baking Soda
A pinch of stevia powder
2 drops of peppermint oil
2 drops of clove oil
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp vodka (to help with preservative, not because I need it first thing)
Mix them together and store in a little container.

Home made tooth powder - never buy toothpaste again!

Disappointment in the Garden
This happens. The potatoes died back, but next to no potatoes on them - I don't know why.
The garlic crop has failed for the second year in a row, sigh.
And we are battling with green shield beetles. They have arrived in multitudes and I spend ages squashing the stinky little b#!x*#<. They pierce the beans and corn and suck the life out of plants. If it's not one pest it's another.

immature green shield beetles

On a Brighter Note.
The courgettes and cucumbers and beans are doing well. We are getting tomatoes and aubergines and basil and spring onions. The thornless blackberry has a good crop coming on for the first time, and the possums have left our fruit trees alone. 


  1. Nope, don't play the sax, but I do make my own cleaner with essential oils. I have been using tea tree oil but it's more expensive than some of the others she mentioned as being anti viral so I may try something different next time I buy.
    I make my own tooth powder so I checked out your recipe. Mine is pretty much the same but no vodka and no cinnamon. I've read that cinnamon can be an irritant and since I am prone to mouth sores, I've never put it in. I was using toothpaste that was $6 a tube to avoid sodium lauryl sulfate and now my tooth powder costs pennies!
    Sorry to hear about your potatoes. It's so frustrating to lose things after all the work (and expense) out in. :-(

    1. On looking back at this recipe - I don't use the vodka any more - it lasts perfectly well without it. I do love the cinnamon in it though.


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