Eats · Fall · Funny · Life · Money

Pesto + Pumpkin Bread + Money

We had a play date this week with some of my favorite people. I was talking about making pesto for dinner with all the basil that I still have in the garden and she asked me how to make it from scratch. It’s so easy but I really don’t follow a recipe so I decided to pay close attention to how I made it tonight so that I could have an official recipe. Here goes:

Basil Pesto

  • 25 basil leaves of various sizes
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp minced garlic (adjust to your liking)
  • 1/8 tsp-1/4 tsp salt to taste
  • 1/4 c Parmesan cheese

Put all ingredients in a food processor and blend until well minced

I put too much salt in ours (1/2 tsp!) so I added about 1/2 c ricotta and 1 tbsp milk and it turned out delicious . . . like creamy pesto. Add your favorite veggies and you have a yummy meal!


Pumpkin Bread

I finally had some time to make pumpkin bread today. And let me just tell you how many things I messed up. First, I should say that I have probably made this recipe at least 20 times. It’s been in my repertoire for at least 9 years. For starters, I purchased pumpkin pie mix rather than just pumpkin. The mix is already spiced and sugared. I accounted for the spices and didn’t add the ones that the recipe calls for. However, I forgot to account for the sugar so I added the full amount of sugar! Yikes! I don’t think I will be sharing that third loaf this time. I also didn’t have enough baking powder so I threw in some extra baking soda, which I know aren’t the same thing but oh well. I feel like every time I try to follow a recipe (see basil pesto above!), I am always having to do some adjustments and substitutions, no matter how well I think I have planned. Anyway, I had my littlest helper today and it was our first time with just the two of us baking “together.” She stood there beside me the whole time and stirred in her bowl and licked the pie mix spoon.

img_5713img_5720Look at her shoes . . . she is obsessed!


Here’s the recipe again and a link to some other pumpkin recipes

  • Prep 15 min
  • Cook 50 minin

  • Ready in 1 hr, 5min


  • 1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin puree
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 3 cups white sugar
  • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour three 7×3 inch loaf pans.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together pumpkin puree, eggs, oil, water and sugar until well blended. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and ginger. Stir the dry ingredients into the pumpkin mixture until just blended. Pour into the prepared pans.
  3. Bake for about 50 minutes in the preheated oven. Loaves are done when toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

*It turned out fine with the pumpkin pie mix and extra sugar but I will definitely be sticking with the original recipe.


I’ve been thinking lately about the way we spend our money. It’s always a little tight . . . Charleston is an expensive place to live, eating healthy is very important to us so we probably spend more on groceries than necessary, we have three kids, etc. Awhile ago a friend of mine related a conversation that she had with her husband about their family budget. After going through everything line by line, he said, “We don’t have a spending problem, we have an income problem.” I can relate to this! Ha!

That being said I want to make conscious efforts in my life to put money toward experiences and saving for retirement. On the flip side, having a home that is aesthetically pleasing and clothing my family nicely also matters to me. I would rather spend less money in the later category and more on the former. At the end of my life, even if I can’t remember because I’m too old and senile, my kids will remember. I think they will appreciate growing up in a nice house and having clothes that aren’t embarrassing. I know that I appreciated these things. But what really stands out to me are the experiences we had together; the weekends at the lake, the month out west, France with my mom and Canada with everyone. I don’t reminisce about any of the clothes I wore or the shampoo my mom bought (designer shampoo is very “in” right now, we probably used Suave). However, I do remember sitting around the table with my parents and brother each night and I do think about sharing a hotel room with my parents on our Canada trip. I was in college at the time and my dad was walking around in his undies. Mortifying! HAHA! I’ll tell you what, it sure is hard to strike that balance. And it will always be a balance for me, so I’d like to embrace it. It’s all a work in progress . . .

These aren’t new ideas or goals for myself, they are just ones that I need to remind myself of. I ‘d love to hear how you try to find your balance.

I don’t normally get my parenting inspiration from superstars but on the Today show this morning, they were interviewing Adam Levine. He’s a new parent and they asked him how he was doing so far and he said, “You know, I feel like we were put on this earth to be parents.” Love that.

And just for fun . . . maybe we should all  have a little bit of this every weekend!



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