Saturday, December 28, 2013

Weekend Recipe - Ginger Pecan Pumpkin Muffins

When gathering recipes for the recent Advent Calendar, I discovered this one.  I ran out of room in the calendar to use it, but i just thought it was still worth sharing, especially if you have that extra can of pumpkin lurking in your pantry.

Ginger Pecan Pumpkin Muffins (Makes 12 muffins)

2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (make it gluten free with 1 cup rice flour and 1 cup oat flour)
1 cup light brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
1 cup pumpkin puree (be sure to get the unspiced, unsweetened plain puree)
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup nonfat Greek yogurt
2/3 cup chopped pecans
1/3 cup chopped crystallized ginger

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a mixing bowl, combine the flour, brown sugar, baking powder and soda, sea salt and spices. Set aside.

In a separate, large mixing bowl, mix the pumpkin puree with the beaten eggs, olive oil and yogurt. Whisk thoroughly. Slowly fold the dry ingredients into the wet, stirring until just combined.

In another bowl, combine the chopped pecans with the crystallized ginger. Reserve 1/4 cup for topping muffins. Fold remaining mix into muffin batter.

Grease 12 muffin tins. Divide the batter equally. Top each muffin with a few pieces of the remaining crystallized ginger and pecans.

Bake at 350 degrees until a toothpick inserted comes out clean, about 25-30 minutes.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Kwansaa - a perfect recipe

On December 26 (the day after Christmas) is the beginning of the special celebration of Kwanzaa.

The foods of Kwanzaa are varied and reflect the diversity of African American culture in the United States.

The word Kwanzaa comes from a Swahili phrase that means "first fruits." The holiday was patterned after the harvest festivals of Africa. And harvest fruits and vegetables are naturally, important symbols.

This tasty acorn squash dish perfectly suits the spirit of the celebration.  Use a "gourmet" blend of pepper (black, white, green. and/or pink) if you have it.

 Peppered Acorn Squash

3 large acorn squash, scrubbed
¼ cup unsalted butter, melted
Salt, to taste
1 tsp. freshly ground pepper

Preheat the oven to 400°F. Lightly butter two large heavy baking sheets .  With a large sharp knife. cut each squash lengthwise in half (make sure the cutting board is securely anchored; it can be difficult to cut though t he tough skin ). Scrape out the seeds and strings. then cut crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick slices . Arrange t he squash slices in a single layer on the prepared baking sheets and brush with half t he melted butter. Sprinkle generously with salt and then with half of the pepper. Bake for 15 minutes. then turn the squash and brush with the remaining melted butter. Sprinkle with salt and the remaining half of the pepper and bake for 10 to 15 minutes longer, or until the squash is tender. (The squash can be prepared to this point up to 2 hours ahead of time. Set aside, loosely covered on the baking sheets, then reheat, uncovered in a hot oven
to 375°F, depending on what else you are cooking) for
10 minutes.) Transfer to a serving plate and serve hot.
Serves 8

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Christmas Herbs – Herb of the Week

Recently Gypsy Herbal posted on Facebook a poster of Holiday Herbs.  There was a discussion about the herbs that might be missing from the image, like sage and parsley.  I am sure I have posted on Christmas or Bible herbs before, but I thought a December Holiday post with a few choice favorites of mine for the holiday would be perfect of Christmas, especially when it falls on a Wednesday.

Some herbs are seasonal symbols that can be added to a winter feast bouquet, tucked into napkin rings, added to sprays on side tables and tucked into the ribbons tied on presents as extra gifts from the garden.  All can be made into bouquets or tussie-mussies to be given to friends, hung on the door handles of neighbors'  front doors, or the bedroom door handles of visiting house guests.
  • Rosemary represents remembrance for special friends.
  • Lavender is a fragrant scent of the sweetness of life.
  • Horehound is a wish for health.
  • Marjoram is for the joy of the festivities, as is its cousin Oregano.
  • Mint is a reminder of home.
  • Sage speaks of virtue and long life.
  • Thyme is for courage to face the darkness of the long winter nights.
Beyond the language of herbs there are stories, uses and legends that link some herbs to the December holiday season.  Like Bedstraw, Chamomile, Horehound, Thyme, and Sweet Woodruff which were said to have been mixed with the manger grasses.
Bedstraw or Wild Madder
Bedstraw also known as the Gallium plant, is an herb that may have been used in baby Jesus' manger.  Bedstraw has a sweet honey aroma that is released when warmed.  The herb is also used to make red dye.


Costmary, Ivy and Bay Laurel --Costmary leaves were used to add spice to holiday ale, or wassail, in old Europe. Called Bible leaf they are considered a symbol of everlasting life. Ivy and bay laurel were long used, along with other greens, to help celebrate the winter solstice in early Europe, with ivy symbolizing friendship and bay laurel as a reminder that the long winter would soon melt into spring. 

Cardamom Pods

In my family traditions Cardamom (a spice) figures prominently in sweet breads and meat seasonings. 

Creativity tea
This blend of herbs and spices helps construct a creative frame of mind.
§  1 Tbls. Hibiscus
§  1 Tbls. Lemon grass
§  ½ Tbls. Basil (Holy Basil if you have it is even better)
§  1 tsp. Rosemary
§  1 tsp. Cardamom seed (if you have pods crush and extract only the seed)

Combine in a container with a tight fitting lid and use 2 tsp. per cup of hot water. Allow to steep 5 to 7 minutes.
Rosemary with Horehound above
Rosemary  is one of the most beautiful and fragrant of the seasonal herbs.  Rosemary, according to folklore, will bring happiness for the coming year to anyone who smells it on Christmas Eve.  So perhaps a Rosemary Wreath is in order. (check out this link!)

Sage is commonly used in culinary dishes.  Legend also holds that Mary and baby Jesus hid in a large blooming sage bush when King Herrod was searching for them.  For this reason, sage is known as the herb of immortality.
thyme knot garden
A list of my favorite herbs would not be complete with out the mention of Thyme. For the holiday I have chosen Wild Thyme (Thymus serpyllum) because it is said it was collected from the fields outside of Bethlehem to make a soft bed for Mary during the birth of her child.   It is a pungent herb, thought to have antiseptic properties and was burned as incense later in history by the Greeks. Today thyme is a popular culinary seasoning but can be used in dried flower arrangements, bouquets, and potpourri during the holiday season.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Sugar Plums Danced in their Heads! Weekend recipe

This recipe was posted on the AP wire a few years ago, but I saved it and said I would make it one day, just because!  These are better than rum balls and a total quick, tasty, no-cook recipe.  Start to finish they take only about 30 minutes to make.

Sugarplums (makes 30 sugarplums)

1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon (I used BYP Cinnful Dessert blend)
1/2 cup pecans
1/4 cup pistachios
1 cup pitted dates
1/2 cup dried apricots
1/2 cup dried figs
1/4 cup golden raisins
1/4 cup dried cherries
2 tablespoons orange liqueur or rum or your substitution.

Extra turbinado sugar for rolling (this slightly brown sugar will give your sugar plums an old-time look and feel.)

In a wide, shallow bowl, combine the sugar, cardamom and cinnamon. Mix well, then set aside. In a food processor, pulse the pecans until roughly chopped. Add the pistachios & pulse again until both nuts are finely chopped. Transfer the nuts to a bowl & set aside. In the food processor, combine the dates, apricots & figs. Pulse briefly until roughly chopped. Add the raisins & cherries, then continue pulsing until the fruit is evenly chopped and begins to clump. Add the set aside nuts to the processor & add the alcohol of choice. Pulse until just mixed. If the mixture does not stick together, add additional alcohol beverage. A teaspoon at a time, roll the mixture into balls, then roll each ball in sugar until well-coated.

Sugarplums can be refrigerated in a sealed container for up to 1 month. If you layer the sugarplums, place a sheet of waxed paper between each layer.

I guessing the visions come from the alcohol, but who am I to judge!

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Visit to the Advent Calendar - Herb Recipes for the Season

This year I decided to post the Advent Calendar on Facebook.  Recipes will continue each day until December 25th! (or see the whole season here: Advent 2013)

The theme this year was food, all the recipes I posted this year are food related.  I think it was because I was planning cooking programs at the time I started working on the Calender.  Oh well.

Several of the recipes were for items we created during and for my Baking Program  at the Morton Arboretum.  Like these great breads using lavender and cornmeal.

December 2 -- Lavender Tea Bread
3/4 cup milk
2 Tbsp. dried lavender flowers, finely chopped, or 3 Tbsp. fresh chopped flowers
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
6 Tbsp. butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs

Grease a 9x5x3 inch loaf pan. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Heat milk with lavender almost to a boil, then steep until cool. Mix flour, baking powder and salt together in bowl. In another bowl cream butter and gradually add sugar, then eggs, one at a time, beating until light and fluffy. Add flour mixture alternately with lavender milk, in three parts. Mix until batter is just blended, do not overbeat. Pour into prepared pan and bake for 50 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Let cool in pan 5 minutes, then remove to a wire rack to cool. When completely cool, drizzle with a simple sugar glaze or sprinkle with confectioners' sugar. Garnish with sprigs of fresh lavender.

December 8  -- Polenta Quick Bread 
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened, plus more for pan
1/3 cup all-purpose flour, plus more for pan
3/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest, plus 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
3 large eggs
1 tablespoon coarsely chopped fresh thyme leaves, plus sprigs for garnish
1 cup fine yellow cornmeal (preferably stone-ground)
1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon coarse salt
1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted, half coarsely chopped and half whole

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Butter a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan. Dust with flour, and tap out excess; set aside. Cream butter and sugar  with a mixer or whisk.  Mix (on medium-high speed) until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add lemon zest; mix 1 minute. Add eggs, 1 at a time, mixing well after each addition. Mix in lemon juice and thyme. Add flour, cornmeal, baking powder, and salt, and mix until just combined. Stir in chopped pine nuts. Pour batter into prepared pan. Sprinkle with pine nuts. Bake until a toothpick inserted into center comes out clean, 50 to 55 minutes. Let cool completely on a wire rack. Garnish with thyme.

In addition there were foodie gift recipes, like: 

December 14 -- Homemade Stuffing Mix 

3 to 3-1/2 cups of bread cubes (to fit a quart jar with space for seasoning package) 
¼ tsp celery seed
1 tablespoon parsley flakes
1 tablespoon dried minced onion
2 envelopes chicken bouillon granules or equivalent
¼ teaspoon Backyard Patch poultry seasoning
½ tsp sage
¼ tsp garlic powder or minced garlic

To Assemble this Gift in a Jar:
Put bread cubes in a one quart jar, allowing room to add the seasoning bag on the top of the jar.  In a small plastic bag, combine all seasonings and mix well. Seal bag with twist tie or ziplock and place on top of the bread cubes.

In a small saucepan, bring 1 cup water with 2 Tbls. Butter to a boil.  Lower heat and add contents of seasoning package.  Simmer for 5 minutes.  Remove from heat and mix in bread cubes, stirring enough to moisten.  Cover and let stand for five minutes.  Fluff with for before serving.

Place these instructions on a handwritten or printed label and attach to the jar.

And of course there are beverages:

December 12 -- Star Anise, Allspice, and Orange Tea Blend

2 whole star anise
2 dried organic orange peels
5 allspice berries.

Combine spices and place in a saucepan.  Add 2 cups of water and bring to a boil, then turn off the heat and steep for 5 minutes, covered. Strain and drink.

December 13 -- Krafted Kahlua

5 1/4 cups sugar
3 3/4 cups boiling water
2 vanilla beans, sliced lengthwise
4 oz. Instant Coffee – NOT freeze dried!
1 Fifth of Brandy (750ml) - the cheaper the better!

Put sugar, coffee & water in a large bowl and stir until well blended and there's no sugar crystals left over.  Let cool.  Add Brandy and stir again. Put into a dark gallon jar with cut vanilla beans.  Let sit for 30 days.  If you don't have a dark gallon jar, put jar in paper sack and put in closet. After 30 days (or however long you can stand to not touch it), divide into jars or bottles for gift giving, removing the vanilla beans as you pour.  Remember to keep some for yourself.

To see all the recipes from this year, as well as the previous two years of recipes, check out my special website page.  where we have collected them together.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Bath Blend of the Month - Bath Cookies

Tis' the season for cookies, so why not make some for the bath also! This recipe makes 10-12 cookies depending on size. And bath cookies make fantastic gifts any time of the year.

Bath Cookies 
2 cups of sea salt or rock salt
1/2 cup Baking soda
1/2 cup Cornstarch
2 Tbls.of Almond oil
1 tsp Vitamin E oil
1-2 eggs
6 drops Essential oil ( I recommend cinnamon, basil, rose or lemon to keep with a cookie theme)

Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl until moistened.  You can roll out the cookie dough on a floured surface or roll the dough into 1 inch balls. Cut the cookies out with cookie cutters or flatten balls to form a cookie shape. Bake at 350 degrees F for 10-12 minutes. Allow to cool.  Wrap these in air tight packaging or seal them in an airtight container. These cookies will keep for 3 to 4 months maybe longer.

You can sprinkle the tops with cinnamon, lemon peel, or even chocolate chips.

To Use: Place 1-2 cookies per bath by adding them to running warm water. Be clear in the packaging these are are for the bath not the mouth!

Found this recipe on CraftBits

Monday, December 16, 2013

Last minute Make-at-Home Herb Gifts

Every year in this season, I post items on making your own gifts.  I think it is simple, easy and fun and gives you a great sense of accomplishment.  This year, I am making Tea Breads for those I care about!

In previous Advent Calendars I have posted recipes for making soups in jars and bath sachets and such.  (To check out the previous years of calendars, see my website.)  I also had a Gift Making Series a year or so ago that featured a few items to try:

Cinnamon Hot Pads 

Bath Sachets and lip balms

Quick and easy gifts (perfect for the last minutes!)

Gifts for Birds (outdoor birds!)

Try these quick gifts ideas too!

Sleep pillows
Gather equal portions of dried lavender, hops and rosemary. Grind the rosemary to release scent. Place inside a small muslin bag and secure firmly. You can add a few drops of lavender essential oil if you wish before securing the bag. The muslin bag can be placed inside a cotton case if desired. Place this sleep bag either on or under the pillow to aid sleep. It can also be used when travelling to aid sleep in a strange bed.

Scent bags
Fill a small muslin or organza bag with your herb of choice – lavender (soothing), rose petals (uplifting), lemon balm and marjoram (soothing), mugwort (to aid dreaming), pennyroyal (to deter insects).

Chocolate Spoons
Chocolate is an herb and I do not get the opportunity to suggest using it as often as I could, so here is a quick give you can make at home and enjoy the calorie free scent while you do it!

 Place a bundle of chocolate spoons set in a coffee mug makes a nice gift.  Tie a few spoons to a bag of gourmet coffee beans for a coffee loving friend (I have more of these friends than tea friends I am sad to say!) Or just keep the spoons on hand during the holidays to use when serving drinks to your visitors. They are great with a hot chocolate mix too!

Chocolate Spoons

§  12 ounce package of chocolate chips. You may use semi-sweet, white chocolate, raspberry flavored, or any other kind of baking chip of your choice.
§  40 heavy plastic spoons
§  Shortening
§  Deep glass measuring cup
§  Colored cellophane or Saran Wrap
§  Waxed paper
1.   Pour the chips into a heatproof container, such as a measuring cup. A deep cup is the best for this project.
2.   Microwave the cup of chips at half power for one minute. Stir. Repeat in 30 second bursts until chocolate is smooth and fully melted, but do NOT overcook.
3.   Add to the melted chocolate one teaspoon of shortening for each cup of chips. Stir lightly until just blended.
4.   Dip plastic spoons into the chocolate to coat the bowl and about one inch of the handle. If the chocolate starts to harden, microwave 30 seconds at half power.
5.   Lay spoons on wax paper to set, resting on the handle of a wooden spoon.. When chocolate spoons have set, put them in the freezer for 15 minutes. This makes them easier to handle when you start to wrap them.
6.   Take squares of colored cellophane and wrap the coated spoons. Tie with a pretty ribbon.
7.   Once you have mastered the basic technique, you can experiment! Try drizzling streaks of white chocolate over dipped spoons to create a design. Sprinkle colored sugar on chocolate before it sets for a holiday look.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Weekend Recipe - Chicken Delicious

This recipes is perfect if you have errands to run, shopping to do, or wrapping to finish. You just place all this in the crock pot and cook for 5 to 6 hours, then serve over rice or noodles.

Chicken Delicious
makes 10 servings

10 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
1 tsp. fresh lemon juice
Salt and pepper to taste
½ tsp. Rosemary
½ tsp. celery seed
½ tsp. tarragon
2 10-oz. cans cream of celery soup
½ cup chopped celery
½ cup sliced carrots
1/2 cup sherry or wine

Rinse chicken breasts and pat dry. Place chicken in layers in slow cooker (5 quart is best). Season each layer with a sprinkling of lemon juice, salt, and pepper.  Combine soup with sherry or wine, and herbs in a medium bowl. Pour mixture over chicken. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.  Cover and cook on high 4 to 5 hours or cook on high l hour and then on low 6 to 8 hours or until chicken is tender but not dry.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Herb Gardening Books as gifts

Updated 12-19-2013 with Essential Herbal Magazine (see below)

The Holiday is right around the corner - Suddenly!  Okay, I have to admit two or three web shops, an online craft show, a Facebook page and a blog, might be more than one girl can handle.  However the Advent Calendar has been going up on schedule, so check out the great daily recipes now thru Dec. 25th on our Facebook page!

For today I thought I would share a few books you might want to get for the special gardening someone.
Several books impressed me enough to review them and these 4 are among those.  They are perfect for the seasoned and the beginning herb gardener and will become great references:

Herb Gardening from the Ground up by  Sal Gilbertie
The Encyclopedia of Herbs by Arthur Tucker and Thomas DeBaggio
Homegrown Herbs by Tammi Hartung

In addition I recommend the Rodale's Illustrated Encyclopedia of Herbs.  It is still my go to book for an overview of soil needs, growing season and what to look for in plant heights and flower colors.  It also has information on making gifts, cooking and dying with herbs that I still use to this day!  It was the first book in my herb library.

For the person who grows from seed, I recommend a copy of Park's Success with Herbs.  Put together by the Park Seed Company it is great on growing conditions and it shows pictures of seedlings so you know what not to pluck out of the ground when weeding.  I found this especially helpful when I first started herb gardening, and it was a gift from a friend.

Just last week my twitter feed turned me on to another book that I think I might have to get for myself:

Midwest Gardeners Handbook the author Melinda Meyers was chatting on @Mikenow gardenchat and answering questions.  The book is perfect for the unique growing conditions we deal with all over the midwest!

No reading selection would be complete without mentioning periodicals.  Many of the periodicals on herbs
have gone out of business this last couple years.  Herb Roots Zine is great for medicinal herbs. Mother Earth News Living is what Herb Companion became.  Have not read it so I cannot say how it is.

But if you want an all around covers all aspects of herbs for the beginner to the advanced, you need to check out The Essential Herbal Magazine.  (DISCLAIMER: I am a regular contributor to this magazine, but that is not why I think it is great!)  The new edition just arrived so it is the perfect time for gift subscriptions!  Tell them Marcy sent you!

And finally sometimes a book that has no words is also perfect.  A blank book on a garden theme so you can create a garden journal or wish book is never a bad gift for a gardener.  I have gotten many over the years and cherish each one!

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Black Friday - Cyber Monday all in one Craft Show!

The Backyard Patch is online at a craft show Thanksgiving weekend.  Show opens at 6:00 PM Thanksgiving night and runs through Midnight on Monday, December 2.  You can shop Black Friday and Cyber Monday at this great show.  Here is a link to my Booth at the show. EZ Craft Show - Backyard Patch

When you need a break from the family and want to avoid the black Friday crowds, here is your solution.  For a few minutes you can browse the show.  There are more than 70 vendors with items that range from soy candles to baked goods to home decor.

There are three new recipes for Bouquet Garni we are using for a Secret BOGO!
For me it is the perfect way to enjoy the holiday with my family, yet still be able to show my wares.  And you can enjoy it t too!  There will be crafters from all over the country all in one place.

To get the details, see sneak peaks, and check out the discounts ahead of time, visit this special Facebook page.

Beginning 6 PM. Thursday night and running through Monday at Midnight I will be giving away a Sample of our Cinnful Dessert Blend with a slew of recipes with every purchase.  And I am bringing back the BOGO promotion.  If you buy three or more items we will give you one item (your choice or ours) as a buy one get one free.

I have placed Backyard Patch under the Food & Drink heading at the show where you can sample some of my herbal teas, cooking mixes and blended herbs for preparing dips and seasonings.  For the Bath and Green Cleaning items you will need to look at our Etsy Shoppe.

Check out the new Scone and Shortbread blends!!

There will also be some automatic BOGO items (you buy 1, you get 2) and some items that will ship free of charge!

So please visit us in our first venture into an online Craft show and avoid the cold weather and or ferocious crowds!!

Shrimp Boil Garni blend!
I have placed Backyard Patch under the Food & Drink heading at the show where you can sample some of my herbal teas, cooking mixes and blended herbs for preparing dips and seasonings.  Cannot wait to see the booths of my fellow crafters!  Hope to see you next weekend too!

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Show Online on Black Friday! - Backyard Patch at an Online Craft Show

The Backyard Patch is online at a craft show this weekend.  Show opens at 6:00 PM Thanksgiving night and runs through Midnight on Monday, December 2.

When you need a break from the family and want to avoid the black Friday crowds, here is your solution --

It is the perfect way to enjoy the holiday with my family, yet still be able to show my wares.  And you can enjoy it t too!  There will be crafters from all over the country all in one place.

To get the details, see sneak peaks, and check out the discounts ahead of time, visit this special Facebook page.

Stop Back to the Blog or my Backyard Patch Facebook Page on Thanksgiving to the links to the show.

Use this link to come to my shop:

Or this one to see the entire show:

Here is a sampling of items I will have available only at this online Craft Show -

This floral stationary has been scented with lavender essential oil to make a unique treat for that special someone.

This decorative basket will be wrapped up smartly in cellophane and contains all our best Dip mixes!  Perfect for the person who loves to entertain.

This Tea Tower will be available in three and five tine sizes.  Wrapped in holiday ribbon we will have sets for Rest and Relaxation, Flowers and Sweet Sentiments, and Winter Perks (for a perfect pick me up).

Custom Recipe Books -- where purchasers can choose the recipes or themes they want the book to contian and a personalized cover and name for the cookbook is our specialty item this year.  You can see the details here on Etsy, but at the online show we will be offering the cookbook at a special price.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Herbed Roasted Roots - Holiday Weekend Recipe

Traditional dishes for Thanksgiving are always fun.  So since it is fall the  root vegetable are abundant.  This dish is easy, delicious and nutritious. I do not peel any of the roots, so as to retain all those lovely minerals. Use any combination of herbs you enjoy. I usually use rosemary, sage, parsley and thyme. ♪


Herbed Roasted Roots
2 medium beets
2 medium potatoes
2 medium turnips or parsnips
4 or 5 medium carrots
1 medium sweet potato
1 large onion
2 -3 cloves of garlic
2 – 3 tablespoon of fresh herbs or
            2 melted herb cubes (see blog post from 10/1/2013) *
1 – 2 tablespoons of olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and get out a large baking pan. Lightly oil the bottom of the pan. Scrub all the roots real well then cut into sizes that are similar so they will cook evenly. I cut my sweet potato larger because that is one root that cooks faster. Lay them out in the baking dish. Chop up the onion, mince the garlic and herbs then sprinkle over the roots. Drizzle the olive oil over the lovely mess and toss to coat evenly. Bake for about 30 – 40 minutes or until the biggest potato is easily pierced with a fork, stirring once or twice. The house will start to fill with the best aroma ever! Take out and season with the salt and pepper. Serve hot and Enjoy! 

*If you did not make any herb ice cubes, then use 2 Tbls. fresh herbs of 3 tsp. dried herbs.  Any combo of robust herbs like sage, rosemary, thyme and savory are perfect for this dish.
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