Okay, the food processor is seriously amazing. I’ve been using it nonstop. With my mom’s birthday coming up, I really wanted to figure out a way to share the fabulous Christmas present she gave me! After some diligent searching, I found THE cutest jars at Cost Plus World Market and decided to make almond butter and Basil Spinach Walnut Pesto to send along with her birthday present!

I was nervous about attempting both for the first time but they went easier than I could have imagined! For the almond butter, I simply roasted a bag of raw almonds at 350 degrees for 10 minutes. After they cooled down a bit, I just added them to the food processor with a little bit of kosher salt and started pulsing! First came the dust, then the clumps, then all of a sudden – smooth and creamy almond butter!

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Look at those perfect flecks in the jar and that nice layer of natural oil at the top! I still can’t believe that a bag of nuts could turn into this…and the taste was amazing! I can’t wait to experiment with other nuts and add-ins, but wanted to stay simple for the first tester.

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I also made a great Basil Spinach Walnut Pesto with garlic, EVOO, basil, spinach, walnuts, parmesan, and salt.  I found so many recipes online and eventually came up with a version of my own. One great thing about cooking – unlike baking, it’s okay if you don’t use exact measurements! Throwing in ingredients to taste makes it so much fun.

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Again, I was so impressed by the results! The pesto smelled really delicious, and I liked adding the amount of EVOO and cheese that I wanted. I am not a fan of parmesan but I don’t mind the taste when it’s a necessary ingredient, so it was nice to just toss in a little bit at a time.

Here are the jars all ready to go for my mom!

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I had leftovers of both after filling the jars so I cooked up some whole wheat pasta shells and added some of the pesto.  On the side, I pan cooked a piece of Dover Sole with lemon and spices. Fancy, no?

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Check out that gorge-y color 🙂

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Anyone have some “musts” for my new kitchen toy??

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