Welcome to the Neighborhood!

We are so happy to welcome several new families to our neighborhood.  One family just moved in next door by way of Washington state - they are slowly adjusting to the temperature differential!  Another family just bought a house across the street.  We are really looking forward to getting to know them.

Although I usually bake something for new neighbors, I have finally realized that baking is not a skill I was blessed with (fortunately, Jim is an excellent baker).   I switched to something more my speed - cooking.  

To welcome our new neighbors, I used some of the basil from my crazy huge plants in my herb gardens to make some great super fresh pesto.

I love the Cook's Illustrated recipe for pesto and it takes about 20 minutes to make.  It's a great way to use some excess basil and parsley, and you can easily double or triple the recipe depending on how large your basil grew in the July heat.  The basil will keep in the fridge for at least 5 days (maybe even a week).  Be sure to cover it with plastic and then put a lid on the container to keep it from turning brown. 

I wrapped up some gourmet dried pasta and a bottle of red wine for a quick and easy dinner.  I'm sure I could have found a better container for the basil but these disposable varieties are a good option and can be reused again and again, and the gift bag was really cute.

For our newly transplanted west coast neighbors, I also put together a list of local doctors, dentists, parks, favorite restaurants, shopping areas, etc. so they have a starting point as they prepare for back-to-school appointments and finding a good pizza delivery spot while they get their kitchen unpacked.

If you want me to make you some fresh pesto, buy this house in our neighborhood.

What's your favorite new neighbor gift either to give or receive?

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