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Recipes | Pesto fest

I am going to skip the part where I comment on the lack of postage around here … and go straight to the wonderful pesto I have made from the herbs we gathered at Törnagården.

I looked up recipes online but I ended up playing it by ear for the most part. Basically, for pesto you just mix the herb of your choice (basil being the classic one) with olive oil, pine nuts and grated Parmesan cheese. I used sunflower seeds instead of pine nuts this time since pine nuts are pretty expensive here, and I needed a lot.

I made dandelion pesto …

 

… nettle pesto …

… and mint pesto.

I found the recipe for the mint pesto on Martha Stewart’s, the one for the nettle pesto on chiliconkarin (in Swedish), and the dandelion pesto on a German page on healing herbs (so, yeah, this one’s in German, duh).

Some notes:

  • Always rinse whatever herbs you’re using first (I don’t know, maybe I am stating the obvious here but just in case).
  • In the recipe for the nettle pesto it said to boil the nettle leaves for 2 minutes in salt water before processing, which I did, although I can’t say that I have any idea why.
  • I roasted the sunflower seeds after rinsing them (not the raw food way to go, I know!). I don’t know, I just somehow got the idea that it would be better to have as little water as possible in the pesto, so that it wouldn’t go bad so fast. I don’t even know if that’s true or not, I guess I was just acting on some sort of instinct here.
  • Something I do know helps to make pesto last longer: make sure that there is a layer of oil on top.

I think that’s it. I can’t wait for the basil I am growing on my kitchen window sill to be big enough for some classic pesto. The simple things are really the best. I also want to try this cilantro pesto recipe I found on ByzantineFlowers … so I guess the pesto fest isn’t over yet.

No poo for everything!

I promised recipes and diys – so here we go. This morning, a chain of events (trying out another Ayurveda recommendation, massaging my skin with oil – taking a shower – greasy bathtub) led to me seeing the necessity to clean the bathtub right away. After having read and thought about the whole no poo concept only so recently, the thought of grabbing the bottle with the suspiciously blue (kinda like the blue Gatorade) and strong smelling cleaning product that we have used so far didn’t seem so appealing. There must be something else, I thought, and checked online. Disco! To no surprise, even a very quick research delivered a bunch of helpful sites, and I ended up cleaning the bathtub with a lemon. Yes, with a lemon – and it worked, too.

Among the results of my quick search, I particularly liked a (Swedish) blog post by The Green Eco Journal. The instructions were short and easy, while covering many things you might want to clean in a house/apartment. Also, all that you need according to post is vinegar, baking soda, lemon, and olive oil.

Here is my translation of the post, so please note that the source for the following (unless otherwise marked) including the picture is The Green Eco Journal, anything lost or messed up in translation is completely my fault:

„Green“ and clean!

(White wine) vinegar

  • For cleaning in general, pour equal amounts of water and vinegar into a spray bottle. Comes in handy when you want to clean up something.
  • To freshen up the toilet bowl (it literally says „seat“ but from the rest I gather that it must be the bowl – Solveig), pour two to three deciliters (ca. 1 cup – Solveig) white wine vinegar into it. Wait a few hours, then scrub and flush.
  • To clean windows, use the vinegar/water mixture for general cleaning. Spray onto the window. Instead of wiping off the mixture with a towel, use pages from a newspaper (from what I know it works – which it does! – because there are silver particles in the black ink – Solveig). (Paper towels get stuck easily.) You can still recycle the nepspaer after this.
  • To clean the floors, pour vinegar into the bucket instead of your regular cleaning product.
  • To clean the laundry machine, pour 1/2 deciliter of vinegar (ca. 1/5 cup – Solveig) into it. Start the machine without laundry. This helps to take away old laundry detergent that might have gotten stuck.

Baking soda

  • This is a good cleanser for stains and to take away bad smells. It’s also excellent to clean pots.
    You can pour half a deciliter (ca. 1/5 cup – Solveig) into the laundry machine to clean it. So next time you’re going to wash something, your clothes will get extra-soft without you needing to add strong fabric softeners.
  • Mix a little bit of baking soda and castile soap (my link – Solveig) or regular dishwashing detergent to clean sinks and surfaces that are hard to reach. It’s also a good cleanser for drains. To make it smell nice add a few drops of essence.
  • If you have rugs that smell because of pets, sprinkle some baking soda onto the rug before vacuum cleaning them.
  • For cleaning the oven, mix 3 ts baking soda, 1 ts salt and 1 ts water. Spread the mixture inside the oven and let it sit for 8 hours. Scrape away and wash off afterward.
  • For when your drains get clogged: pour in 1/2 deciliter (ca. 1/5 cup – Solveig) and 1/2 deciliter of white wine vinegar. Let it sit for a while, then rinse with warm water.
    Another way to clean the toilet bowl is to pour in 1 ts baking soda and 4 ts vinegar. Let it sit for 15 to 30 minutes, then scrub and flush.

Lemon

  • Lemon juice is good against grease stains. So it’s perfect for kitchen cleaning.
  • To get a natural and fresh scent in a room, make your own room spray from warm water, 1 ts baking soda and 1 ts lemon juice, and put the mixture into a spray bottle.
  • To „bleach“ white laundry, add lemon juice to your laundry detergent.
  • To give your dishes that extra shine, add lemon juice to your dish washing detergent (not on anything silver, though).
  • A spray bottle filled with half water and half lemon juice comes in handy when taking away stains from windows and mirrors.

Olive oil

  • Mix 2 tbs olive oil and 1 tbs lemon juice to create a natural furniture polish.
  • When cleaning brass and steel material, use a cleaning rag with some olive oil on it.
  • When cleaning shoes, use some olive oil and a few drops of lemon juice to make them nice and shiny.

Now all we need to do is find the appropriate dumping site for the poo we’ve been using …