making stuff from scratch

What I've been making:

1. Home made peanut butter

 2. Home made basil pesto

3. Home made tomato sauce 

I can hear some snorting (yes I can hear you). As in, seriously lady, why would you bother

Tell ya why – because it takes two minutes in a food processor, it's cheap, and you know exactly what is in it. 

I'm a keen cook. I've always made most things from scratch. It's my kind of fun. (Dork.) 

But I also have two kids who react to artificial colours and flavours and our house is seriously way more peaceful when they have a really clean diet. (I reckon one of the worst offenders that affected my kids behaviour was plain old rice crackers. Even the plain ones have an unidentified antioxidant in the salt. Bad. Rice crackers are on my list to try to make sometime soon.)

And really, once you've made your own peanut butter I'd challenge you to ever go back to Kraft. Homemade is just so. much. yummier. 

Sadly can't try it out on anyone other than Tilly as the boys of the household hate and detest the stuff. 

Henry will move chairs at the breakfast table to get away from peanut butter on toast – mine or his sister's. 

But if you like peanut butter, give this a whirl! I bought roasted and salted peanuts which kind of defeats the purpose of being all from-scratch-etc and obviously you can roast and salt your own. But this was just too quick for words. 

1. Recipe for homemade crunchy peanut butter


4 cups peanuts (roasted and salted)

3 tablespoons peanut oil


Throw 3 cups of the peanuts into the food processor and whizz for a good couple of minutes. It'll take that long for the nuts to break down and become oily. Once mostly smooth, throw in the peanut oil and whizz again for a minute. Then add the last cup of nuts and whizz up until desired chunkiness. 

I don't want to overstate it but this is the best peanut butter you'll ever eat. 

2. Recipe for home made basil pesto

I used this one because who doesn't love Jamie's "handful" of this and that instructions. Encourages you to cook by taste! I used 3 cloves of garlic which in retrospect was a tad garlicy and a 70g packet of pine nuts, maybe more than a handful. Totally delicious though. 

I served it over homemade gnocchi with fresh parmesan. Hmmmm.

3. Recipe for homemade tomato sauce


4 truss tomatoes, sliced

handful of dried herbs

salt and pepper

Splash of olive oil


Slice the tomatoes onto an oven tray and sprinkle with herbs and olive oil:

 Bake in a moderate oven for about half an hour then whizz till smooth in a food processor.

I stirred it through orrichiette pasta for the kids. Yummmm. 

What's something else I can try? Bueller? Ever look at something and think: I should make that?

Hope I haven't brought on a peanut allergy in anyone…


articles & Recipes