Sunday, July 14, 2019

Introducing a new Tea Blend - Fruit Infusion

Today we will be at the Elmhurst Garden Walk and Faire 9 AM to 4 PM.  Please stop by and see us.  One of the items we are debuting this summer is a tea made with fruit and herbs,  It is a departure for me to make a tea with fruit, but I found an organic supplier of the items to make it and felt it was finally time to combine my fresh dried herbs with some fruit to make an entirely different taste.


I named the tea Fruit Infusion as it has a combination of different fruits and herbs and it contains: blueberries, cranberries, goji berries, and pear along with hibiscus, chamomile, blackberry leaf, borage, lemon and orange peel.

When brewed it is a lovely shade of pinkish/red with a flavor that tastes of  berries and with hints of apple and citrus.Goji berries and blueberries are super fruits that are high in antioxidants and other wonderful flavonoids that boost immunity, reverser aging and many other beneficial attributes. Blackberry leaf and borage are high in vitamins A & C and anti-inflammatory herbs that can help with management of arthritis, diabetes and other chronic illnesses.

Today in Elmhurst we will have zip seal bags of this brand new blend for the discounted price of  $4.00 or you can buy them on the website with this link.

And if you stop at the booth we will be sampling the perfect Summer iced tea, that I made last year. It contains lemon grass, hibiscus, lavender, rose hips, orange peel and some cooling peppermint. We title this one Summer Surprise and it is getting rave reviews across several states!




Saturday, July 13, 2019

Zucchini Pancakes - Weekend Recipe


This recipe was adapted from one written by Kelly Senyei of Just a Taste. It is simple and tasty and a great way to use a large amount of zucchini when the crops starts to get out of town.
Zucchini Pancakes

4 cups shredded zucchini
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/3 cup chives
Vegetable oil
Sour cream, for serving (optional)

Directions:

Shred the zucchini with a box grater and place in a colander set over a bowl.  Sprinkle the zucchini lightly with salt and allow the zucchini to stand for 10 minutes. Using your hands, squeeze out as much liquid from the zucchini as possible. Transfer the zucchini to a large bowl.

Add the flour, eggs, chives, 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper to the zucchini, stirring until the mixture is combined. Line a plate with paper towels.

Liberally coat the bottom of a large sauté pan with vegetable oil and place it over medium-high heat. Once the oil is hot, scoop 3-tablespoon mounds of the zucchini mixture into the pan, pressing them lightly into rounds and spacing them at least 2 inches apart. Cook the zucchini pancakes for 2 to 3 minutes, then flip them once and cook an additional 2 minutes until golden brown and cooked throughout. Transfer the zucchini pancakes to the paper towel-lined plate and immediately sprinkle them with salt. Repeat the scooping and cooking process with the remaining zucchini mixture.

Serve the zucchini pancakes topped with sour cream (optional) and chopped chives.

RECIPE THEME

Each month a theme is chosen and a number of recipes on that theme from my massive archive will be shared.  This year we have 12 new topics, different from the topics of last year.  To find the recipes of last year, check out this recipe link or search the blog with the topic Recipe2018

You can search the monthly theme by looking for the theme keyword in the search box and it will pull up the recipes on that theme as posted, so look at the bottom of the recipe in each posting for the KEYWORD in the () to search for each  month.  All recipes this year will be tagged Recipe2019 so you can find them all.

The themes are:
Jan 2019 – Chicken and Dumplings (CDumpsJan)
Feb 2019 - Pasta Dishes (PastaFeb)
March 2019 - Edible Flowers (FlowerMar)
April 2019 - Seafood Recipes (SeafoodApr)
May 2019 - Cajun And Creole (C&CMay)
June 2019 - Vegetarian Dishes (VegJun)
July 2019 - Zucchini Recipes (ZuccJul)
August 2019 - National Mustard Day – mustard recipes
September 2019 - Quiche
October 2019 - Crock Pot meals
November 2019 - Pies
December 2019 - Mocktails

Thursday, July 11, 2019

How to-sday - Making a Lavender Wand


For years I have talked about making Lavender wands, but I never had enough tall lavender stalks to make them with.  I grow a short form of lavender in my production garden which I keep fairly well trimmed, as a result I never have 12 to 18 inch long stems needed to make an attractive wand.  However my home lavender is now three years old and this winter took a terrible hit.


When I took this picture after the last snow melted in April, it looked like it would never recover.  In May I trimmed out the dead branches, and by the end of June it looked like this:


Making Lavender Wands 

To make a lavender wand you need an odd number of long stems.  I used 15 for mine, but you can make cute ones with only 7 stems.  Cut the stems when the lavender is still in bud form, but not flower.
Flowers on left, buds on right
Besides the lavender stems you need ribbon, I like a 1/4 inch ribbon, but a narrower or wider ribbon will also work, it just takes different lengths.  Don't precut the ribbon, but you will need about 3 feet of 1/4 inch ribbon to make a wand.


Once you have the number of stems you want and need, the first step is to strip the leaves and other bits off the stems, leaving only the flower heads.  Grasp the stem in two fingers and strip down removing the leaves.  Save them for tea or sachets.


When you have all the stems have been striped, then you need to bunch the stems with all the flowers at the same location.

Stack them together with the bottom of the buds lighted up together.  Don't worry that the bottoms of the stems are not even, you will trim them later.

When the stems are all stacked together.

Gather the stems together and tie tightly in a knot with the end of the ribbon.  Trim the  ribbon short so you only have one tail to work with.  Rather than cutting the ribbon, allow it to come off the spool so you can use as much as you need.  It takes about 3 feet of ribbon for one wand.

To make a wand you are going to weave the ribbon over and under the stems of the lavender after folding the stems back over the flower heads.  To start the wand need to push the knot to within 1/4 inch of the buds.  Hold the stems at the flowers with the stems pointed up, then bend the stems down over the flower heads and the knot.

When you have bend them all down you will have a cage around the buds.

Slip the ribbon out the cage and then begin winding among the stems placing the ribbon over one stem, then under the next.  It is awkward to get started, but by the second turn around the stems it becomes easier.  Use your thumb to press down on one stem to raise up the next.

Don't worry of the stems split, the cage and ribbon together hold everything nicely.  Just continue to wrap the ribbon over and under.  Be sure not to miss a stem or you will throw off the pattern.  However, if you do, don't fret. It is hardly noticeable when you are all finished.


The lavender flower heads will try to poke out between the stems as you work.  Just poke them back inside.  A few buds may stick out among the ribbon too, just pull those off when you are finished.



It will take about 15 to 30 minutes to complete the weaving.  Not tedious, and the smell while you work is wonderful. Once you reach the bottom of the flower heads pull the stems tightly together, and make a loop bow to hold it. 


You can see by the shape why these are sometimes called lavender bottles.  A loop bow is made by making two loops of ribbon and cross knotting them over the stem.  You can leave the ribbon hanging at this point or wrap it around the stems and tie at the bottom

                                    

I made one in blue with smaller ribbon, only 1/4 inch wide and another with white ribbon 1/2 inch wide.  I liked the 'bouquet' of the third, so I just tied the stems and wrapped them.


You can use the wands to decorate, or place in a drawer as a sachet.  The ribbon holds the lavender inside, so these will dry and age well.  Give the bundle a squeeze and the scent will be released, even when they are years old.

Saturday, July 6, 2019

Green Bean stuffed Zucchini - weekend recipe


This is a vegetarian dish you can use as a side dish or an appetizer. It is wonderful with your excess zucchini and the wonderful filling made with string beans and cheese.  I love these sliced in wedges to serve as an appetizer with a rich red sauce or a creamy dip.



Stuffed Zucchini with Green Beans


8 small zucchini (If you use a larger zucchini you should remove the seeds first)

2 cups cooked string beans, chopped into 1/4-inch pieces

1/4 cup chopped shallots

3/4 cup grated Gruyere cheese

1 tsp. thyme

Salt and pepper, to taste

1/2 stick butter

1/2 cup bread crumbs

1/2 cup Parmesan cheese



Slice zucchini lengthwise and parboil for 5 minutes. Scrape centers (with a melon baller or small spoon) into a bowl and set aside. Also set aside remaining zucchini shells. Sauté shallots in half of the butter. When shallots are golden, add thyme and chopped centers from zucchini. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in green beans along with Gruyere. Stuff into zucchini shells. Sprinkle with bread crumbs and Parmesan. Dot with remaining butter. Bake at 400 degrees for 20-25 minutes.

RECIPE THEME
Each month a theme is chosen and a number of recipes on that theme from my massive archive will be shared.  This year we have 12 new topics, different from the topics of last year.  To find the recipes of last year, check out this recipe link or search the blog with the topic Recipe2018


You can search the monthly theme by looking for the theme keyword in the search box and it will pull up the recipes on that theme as posted, so look at the bottom of the recipe in each posting for the KEYWORD in the () to search for each  month.  All recipes this year will be tagged Recipe2019 so you can find them all.

The themes are:
Jan 2019 – Chicken and Dumplings (CDumpsJan)
Feb 2019 - Pasta Dishes (PastaFeb)
March 2019 - Edible Flowers (FlowerMar)
April 2019 - Seafood Recipes (SeafoodApr)

May 2019 - Cajun And Creole (C&CMay)
June 2019 - Vegetarian Dishes (VegJun)
July 2019 - Zucchini Recipes
August 2019 - National Mustard Day – mustard recipes
September 2019 - Quiche
October 2019 - Crock Pot meals
November 2019 - Pies
December 2019 - Mocktails
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...