Tuesday, November 20, 2012
I love to make spiced apples this time of year. the fruit is fresh and the smell of cinnamon makes me nostalgic. this quick recipe can be served as a side or as an ice cream topping at Thanksgiving!
Friday, November 16, 2012
This fall specialty is perfectly enhanced with a few herbs and spices. And this is a truly easy recipe to whip up for the big day especially because you make it a day before you serve it so that it can chill and set.
2 cups water
2 cups sugar
4 cups cranberries (1 lb. package)
1 Tbls. grated orange zest
½ tsp. cinnamon
¼ tsp. nutmeg
1 tsp. almond extract
1 ½ tsp. lemon balm
Bring water and sugar to a boil. Boil for three minutes. Add cranberries and return to boil. Boil until berries pop (about 5 to 7 minutes.) Mix in the spices and seasonings and stir well. Transfer to a serving bowl and refrigerator until completely cool. Serve the next day.
If you have Backyard Patch Cinnful Dessert Blend, you can substitute that for the Cinnamon and Nutmeg called for the in this recipe!
Friday, November 9, 2012
I am getting into the holiday entertaining mode. My best freind came for a visit at the end of October and I had a small Herb and Wine get together with a few freinds. I served these seasoned pita chips at the party. They are quick and easy and so much better than potato chips. I don't want to sound cruel to potato chips, becasue I will eat those in a second if given the opportunity (I am no snob!)
There are many different ways to make seasoned pita chips. If you like a robust flavor use something with rosemary or thyme; sweeter use dill; savory try oregano or basil. Each seasoning recipe below is formulated to season up to 4 pitas cut into wedges.
Pita preparation instructions:
4 pitas, each cut into 8 wedges (if you want smaller portions for ladies try cutting them into 12 wedges)
3 Tbls. virgin olive oil
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine seasonings in an old spice jar with a shaker lid; set aside. Arrange pita wedges on a rimmed baking sheet. Brush top of each wedge with olive oil. Sprinkle spice mixture evenly over wedges. Bake 8 to 10 minutes, or until nicely toasted but not hard.
1 Tbls. sea salt
1 tsp. dried dill
ground black pepper to taste
2 Tbls. grated Parmesan Cheese
2 tsp. oregano
1 tsp. basil
Place seasonings in a shaker jar and use with above pita prepartion instructions.
Backyard Patch Pizza Seasoning would also works as a flavored seasoning for hand-made pita chips too. In a hurry I used Backyard Patch Butter N Cheese Blend once. And I think Backyard Patch Herbal Spread would work well also.
Products we recommend if you do not have time to make your own for entertaining:
Thursday, November 8, 2012
I know it seems like I am rushing the season, but I just brought my Lemon verbena plants inside for the winter and they are a bit too large for the house so I am going to have to trim them back. Normally I just dry the leaves I remove, but this year I decided to try something different. I made lemon verbena-infused vodka.
That was after I stumbled across this recipe for a martini made with the vodka. I thought if you wanted to plan ahead, you could make a bit of the vodka and then you would could make this wonderful Lemon Drop to welcome in the New Year.
It is very simple to make Lemon Verbena Infused Vodka. All you need is:
5 fresh lemon verbena sprigs
2 cups vodka
Wash the sprigs and pat dry. Place them in a jar with the vodka and let steep for 12-24 hours. Strain. I infuesed mine for a week rather than 24 hours, but you get the idea.
Lemon Verbena Drop with Thyme
2 cups sugar for the sugar garnish
3 tablespoons sugar for syrup
1/3 cup water
8 sprigs fresh thyme
¼ cup plain vodka
¼ cup lemon verbena-infused vodka
¼ cup fresh lemon juice
To make the optional sugar garnish, have ready a bowl of ice water. Lightly oil a baking sheet. In a heavy saucepan over medium heat, stir the 2 cups sugar with a wooden spoon until the sugar melts and turns a golden caramel color. Takes about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and plunge the bottom of the pan into the ice water for exactly 10 seconds to halt the cooking. Immediately spoon the hot caramel out onto the prepared baking sheet, creating small strands. Let cool until hard, and then crack into tiny shards. Set aside.
To make a sugar syrup, in a saucepan over medium-high heat, bring the water to a simmer. Add the 3 tablespoons sugar and stir until completely dissolved. Remove from the heat and let cool to room temperature. Chill 2 martini glasses. In a tall cocktail shaker, combine the thyme sprigs with the sugar syrup. Using a muddler or the handle of a wooden spoon, lightly crush and pound the thyme for 1 minute. Add the vodka, the infused vodka, and the lemon juice. Fill the shaker half full with ice, cover with the lid, and shake vigorously for 10 seconds. Strain into the chilled glasses. Balance a few sugar shards on each rim. (The remaining shards can be stored, if using, in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days). Serve at once.
Saturday, November 3, 2012
Pineapple Sage is a wonderful fall time herb. It blooms in the fall with tongue –like red blossoms that are a beautiful to behold. Just before they begin to flower I harvest a number of leaves and use them to make tea and other food items. I found a recipe for a muffin spread using Pineapple sage in the Herb companion back in 2007. I’ve adapted this recipe first created by Rose Kennedy.
Sweet and Savory Muffin Spread
This is good on muffins, especially those made with oats, and on plain or fruit bagels.
1 cup ricotta cheese
1 Tbls. milk
3 Tbls. confectioner’s sugar, or to taste
¼ tsp. ground allspice
4 fresh pineapple sage leaves (or ¼ tsp. dried leaves)
¼ cup crushed pineapple, drained
In a medium bowl, cream ricotta cheese and milk on medium speed with a handheld mixer for 1 minute. Add sugar 1 Tablespoon at a time, mixing after each addition. Stir in allspice and pineapple sage. Refrigerate mixture for 1 hour. Stir mixture and gently fold in pineapple. Refrigerate for another hour. Serve chilled or at room temperature.