Friday, September 23, 2016

Weekend Recipe - Chive & Rosemary Popovers

I was going to post Zucchini Bread since I just made some, but I posted that recipe the last time I had too many zucchini back in 2014.  So I had to do something else.

I do not know if your library does this, but mine does -- they called it the Library of Extraordinary Things -- you can borrow, for 7 days, pots, pans, canning supplies, video recorders, pasta makers, pretty much anything you want to cook or play around with, but really don't want to own because you will use it once a year.  It is awesome.  I borrowed two pans.  A bundt cake pan shaped like a rose and a popover pan.

So in addition to making zucchini bread I made these wonderful rosemary chive popovers.  And I will be making a rose pound cake in the bundt pan.  That recipe is for next week!

Rosemary Shallot Popovers
Makes 6
To make popovers that really pop over, use a popover frame. A muffin tin is a substitute, but won't produce the best results.

2 1/2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon unsalted butter
1/2 cup finely snipped fresh chives
1 Tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
2 Tablespoons minced onion
1 1/2 cups milk
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 large eggs

Heat oven to 450°. Place rack on bottom level. Rub tins with a little oil and set aside. Heat 1 teaspoon butter in a small sauté pan over low heat. Add onion and cook until soft and transparent, about 5 minutes. Add rosemary and chives and stir to heat through, then set aside.  Melt l ½ tablespoons butter. Combine with milk, flour, and salt in a bowl. Beat in eggs one at a time. Add onion, chives and rosemary.  Heat empty tins for 5 minutes; remove from oven. Divide remaining tablespoon butter among tins and heat until butter sizzles. Divide batter evenly among cups.  Bake for 20 minutes; turn down heat to 350° without opening oven. Bake 20 minutes more. When done, sides should feel crisp and firm. Poke with a sharp knife to release steam; serve immediately.  Serve with butter or honey butter.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Special additions to your Garden Journal in Autumn

As Fall arrives I get melancholy about the sleep of my garden and the fact I cannot visit it daily and enjoy what it has to offer.  Since weeding and other tasks slow in the fall I have time to do a special recording project with my plants. 

You will need an old dictionary, a telephone book, or other large tome, or a plant press if you have one.

As the growing season draws to a close, go out to your garden and snip a sample of your herb plants.  About 1 inch of stem will be enough or a branch with two to three leaves. Or you can snip off a flower.  Press each sprig between the pages of the book or in the plant press and leave in a cool dry place for 2 to 3 weeks.

Once you remove the plants from the press, mount each one on either an index card or into the pages of your garden journal.  A bit of white Elmer’s glue should do the trick.  Beside each sprig write the name of the herb, its progress in the garden for that growing season and note what you did with the herbal harvest.

If you use index cards you can slide them into photo sleeves for added protection and preservation.  You can add photos, recipes and other details as you see fit and time permits.

I have a Garden Journal that I make for the Backyard Patch that has Plant pages that allow me to record all these different details.

Here is an example:

Sage – grew three varieties, purple, tri color and garden.  Used the fresh leaves to create vinegar for eating and cleaning.  Dried them in bundles for use in arrangements and winter cooking.  One set of leaves won a 1st place ribbon at the Garden Club meeting plant competition.

I also like to add a photo of the plant to the listing as well if I have room.

Made the following recipe:

1 cup dried sage
1 cup dried thyme
1 cup dried lemon balm

Mix herbs together and use ½ to 1 cup in a small muslin bag per bath. Let steep in the bathtub. For additional benefit, use the herb filled bag to rub over your skin.

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Pumpkin Spice Latte Season weekend recipe

Rather than spend all that extra money at the Dunkin’ Donuts or Starbucks or even McDonalds, try making a latte at home with this simple recipe.
Pumpkin Spice Latte
  • 2 tablespoons canned pure pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
  • 1/4 teaspoon Backyard Patch Cinnful Dessert Blend, plus more to garnish
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons white granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1/4 cup hot espresso OR strong brewed coffee
    sweetened whipped cream for serving
Combine the milk, pumpkin puree, sugar, pumpkin pie spice and vanilla in a medium microwave safe bowl, cover the bowl with plastic wrap and vent with a small hole. Microwave until the milk is hot, 1 to 2 minutes. Whisk vigorously until the milk mixture is foamy, about 30 seconds.

Pour the espresso or coffee into a large mug and add the foamed milk. Top with whipped cream and a sprinkle of spice mix.

Friday, September 16, 2016

Backyard Garden Update September

All we have been doing this month is harvesting more vegetables.  My tomatoes, herbs and cucumbers all won blue ribbons at the end of August, so I was pleased.  I expect to have more tomatoes to enter and some flowers this month.  Trying to decide which herbs to submit this time.  I have Rue, golden oregano and rosemary that all look spectacular right now.

the cats gave me the cat art for my birthday

The side yard is actually beginning to look like a garden area.  We acquired some perennial plants for shade in August and they are doing well.  I expect they will look wonderful next year.  I got a wooden chair from someone's curbside that adds just the right touch against the fence and this week I am making cement path steps.  I will post a HOW to on that.

The acorn squash is producing well, but how can it not with no competition in the bed now that the corn is gone.

Tomatoes are still prolific, much salsa and sauce has been made.  Salsa was canned, sauce was frozen.

herb garden rosemary at center left; golden oregano on right

Making my "next year" list -- So far it includes:

Melon/musk melon or cantaloupe
One plant of baking pumpkins
Spaghetti Squash (Hubby loves it with homemade sauce)
No early girl tomatoes next year, try a dwarf tomato instead I think

Another herb bed, this one is full!

Monday, September 5, 2016

Bath Blend of the Month

Fall is almost here, school has started and I am exhausted from harvesting herbs day and night.  it is time for some rejuvenation!  So here is an herb combo designed to give you just what is needed to make you fresh and new again!

Rejuvenation Bath Blend

  • 1/2 Cup Lavender
  • 1/2 Cup Rose Petals
  • 1/2 Cup Sage
  • 1/2 Cup Rosemary
Mix the herbs as dry ingredients and store in a jar with a tight fitting lid. Stuff a metal tea ball or muslin bag with the blend (lace or cotton fabric will also work). As you run your bath, place the tea ball or bag in the tub, under the running water. Then, relax and enjoy! 

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Giveaway and Info on Phyllis Shaudys

I have posted about books and authors in the past.  Today I want to talk about another author, although I have not actually met her,  Phyllis Shaudys.  When I first got into herbs, her books taught me much of the basics and introduced me to a rich herb community.  I was sad to know that she passed away without much notice and wrote an obituary of sorts about her on the blog.

Recently I was contacted by a woman in New York who had old copies of Phyllis Shaudys Newsletter, Potpourri from Herbal Acres.  The newsletter was started in 1979 and although I have seen a few stray copies over the years, this is a complete set of 5 years of newsletters from volume 3 to volume 7 as well as a combined volume of the first year of newsletters.  It is an amazing glimpse into what was going on in the herbal community that was gaining momentum in the 1980s. Jean Zeller sent me the newsletters because of the blog post I did back in 2015.  It was incredibly thoughtful of her and I followed up by sending her a few herbal gifts.

As I sat down to read through the newsletters the day they arrived, I found several interesting tidbits.  There was an article written by travel writer, Barbara Radcliff Rogers.  I recognized the name, but it took a trip to the book shelf to realize I owned a book written by her in the 1990s entitled Fresh Herbs.  She was cutting her herb teeth from her family Herb Farm in New Hampshire by writing for Potpourri from Herbal Acres among others.

I suddenly begin to hope that my experience writing for TheEssential Herbal and Wisconsin Herbalist can result in my ability to publish a book on herbs some day!

A few days before I received the package in the mail, I had an opportunity to acquire copies of both of Phyllis Shaudy’s major herb books, Pleasure of Herbs and Herbal Treasures.  I have decided that in honor of all these things aligning at the same time, I am going to give away the books in an online raffle.  Below is a link to sign up for the raffle.  If you enter you will be signed up for my monthly newsletter. If you want a second entry, you can like us on Facebook too!

The contest runs until the end of October, so invite your friends to join you! If you do you will get another entry.

I cannot wait to share these out of print books with another generation of herb happy people!
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