Friday, August 24, 2018

Grilled Corn and Chickpea Salad - Weekend Recipe



This is another perfect garden delight, use your sweet corn, cucumber or zucchini and some fresh cilantro and make an awesome salad!


Grilled Corn and Chickpea Salad
1 can of chick peas drained
2 cups grilled corn cut from the cob (3 to 4 ears depending on size)
1 cup of diced cucumber (or substitute zucchini if you have an abundance)
3 Tbls cilantro, fresh chopped

Dressing Ingredients
 2 Tbls olive oil
 1 1/2 Tbls lime juice
 1 Tbls melted honey
 1 tsp lime zest
 dash of salt
Directions:
1.   Grill the corn.  Take the peeled ears and place over grill coals or on grill rack, or even, if in a hurry, over the gas burner.  Turn frequently until grilling marks appear but the corn is not burned.  This brings out a sweetness in the corn that makes this salad perfect.
2. Combine the corn with the other salad ingredients in a bowl and set aside.
2.   Place the dressing ingredients into a small jar, cover and shake to emulsify completely.
3.   Pour over the salad, tossing to coat the salad evenly and serve. Serves 4 to 6

To find any recipe featured this month - use the search box and type: GardAug
To find any theme recipe from this year type: recipe2018
For 2018 the monthly recipe themes will be:
   January - Chicken Soup (ChickJan)
   February - Beef Stew (StewFeb)
   March - Jambalaya (JambMar)
   May - Ham and Shrimp Dishes (ShrHamMay)
   June - Bread recipes (BreadJun)
   July - Grilling (GrillJul)
   August- Garden Delights GardAug
   September - Salsa, Corn and Jelly 
   October - Squash Dishes 
   November - Pumpkin Recipes 
   December - Herbal Cocktails 

Friday, August 17, 2018

Clean the Refrigerator Pasta Salad - Weekend Recipe

I call this Clean the Refrigerator Pasta Salad because you can put anything you have in the fridge into it.  Use whatever you have gotten at the farmers market or harvested from the garden to craft this tasty garden delight.



Clean the Refrigerator Pasta Salad

1 box penne or ziti (1 pound)
1/2 cup to 3/4 cup Greek yogurt
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup herbal vinegar (Chive blossom, tarragon, basil or other flavor)
Salt and pepper, to taste
Assorted fruits and vegetables and cheese, chopped

My suggestion – (But you can use anything you enjoy!)
      1 chopped scallion
      1 stalk celery
      1 sliced cucumber
      1 red onion, diced
      1 red pepper, diced
      1 carrot, cut fine
      a dozen cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
      1 small zucchini quartered and sliced (skin on)
      Fruit like a nectarine or a peach cut in 8ths or separated into sections
      Cheese like shredded mozzarella or cheddar

1/4 cup to 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/4 cup chopped fresh dill

Directions:

Bring a large pot of water to a boil; season aggressively with salt. Drop in your pasta and cook for the amount of time specified on the side of the box. In the last 30 seconds or so, start tasting the pasta. If it’s totally cooked through but still somewhat firm, it’s ready (el dente). Strain into a colander and allow to cool. With a whisk, combine the yogurt, olive oil, balsamic and salt and pepper to taste. Thin with warm water to thin if needed. Once the pasta is cool. When the pasta has cooled for a few minutes in the colander but is still warm, shake out all the water and add the pasta to the bowl. Pour in some of the dressing and stir it all around, adding enough to coat the pasta and to make it flavorful. Use more dressing than you think you need because that dressing will also dress the vegetables. Now add all those chopped vegetables.  Stir those in and then add the herbs.  Chill and serve.


To find any recipe featured this month - use the search box and type: GardAug

To find any theme recipe from this year type: recipe2018



For 2018 the monthly recipe themes will be:

   January - Chicken Soup (ChickJan)

   February - Beef Stew (StewFeb)

   March - Jambalaya (JambMar)

   May - Ham and Shrimp Dishes (ShrHamMay)

   June - Bread recipes (BreadJun)

   July - Grilling (GrillJul)

   August- Garden Delights GardAug

   September - Salsa, Corn and Jelly 

   October - Squash Dishes 

   November - Pumpkin Recipes 

   December - Herbal Cocktails 


Monday, August 13, 2018

Stuffed Fried Squash Blossoms - Meatless Monday

This time of year the compost bin is covered with volunteer squash plants.  They never grow true to seed, so I don’t do anything more with them than remove the squash blossoms and make them into a fried delicacy. Using herbs and a light sautéing touch you too can create fried stuffed squash blossoms.




Stuffed and Fried Squash Blossoms (serves 2-4)
1 dozen squash blossoms
4 ounces of cream cheese, goat cheese, ricotta, or any favorite soft cheese
1 to 2 Tbls chopped fresh herbs  - parsley, oregano and sage is a good combo 

    or 1/2 teaspoon each, dried.
1/4 cup of oil - just enough to cover the bottom of your frying pan







Frying Batter 
1/4 cup of flour
1/4 cup of corn starch - this makes a lighter coating, but you can substitute for an equal amount of flour.
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup of beer - okay to use bubbly water, like soda or sparkling.
1 egg
Salt and pepper to taste.

Directions
Allow cheese to reach room temperature. Chop herbs and mix into softened cheese.  Cut off long stems of squash blossoms, but stop at green base. Be careful not to clip a hole in the bottom - you don't want melting cheese to leak out too much. Stuff each blossom with about a teaspoon of cheese mixture, depending on the size of each squash blossom.

Combine the batter ingredients in a shallow bowl.  It should be thinner than pancake batter. You are going for a light coating, it can be on the thin side. It's all about tasting the delicate blossoms. Roll the filled blossoms in the batter, coating all sides.  This coating will help hold in the melting cheese/herb stuffing.

Add vegetable oil to sauté pan or pot, over medium/low heat. Test heated oil in pan with a drop of batter -- it should bubble and fry.  The oil is then ready to fry and you can begin. Pick up coated blossom and let excess batter drain off; then add each Stuffed Squash Blossom into pan as you coat them. 

Turn over each Stuffed Squash Blossom when edges just start to lightly brown -- you don't want a dark "Fried Chicken" brown, more of a "Japanese Tempura" light color. Be careful as blossoms may sputter and splash some grease, because of the melting cheese -- that is why pan heat is medium/low.

Drain on paper towels or a metal rack. Be careful of the first bite -- it will be deliciously melting hot! 


To find any recipe featured this month - use the search box and type: GrillJul

To find any theme recipe from this year type: recipe2018



For 2018 the monthly recipe themes will be:

   January - Chicken Soup (ChickJan)

   February - Beef Stew (StewFeb)

   March - Jambalaya (JambMar)

   May - Ham and Shrimp Dishes (ShrHamMay)

   June - Bread recipes (BreadJun)

   July - Grilling (GrillJul)

   August- Garden Delights GardAug

   September - Salsa, Corn and Jelly 

   October - Squash Dishes 

   November - Pumpkin Recipes 

   December - Herbal Cocktails 

Saturday, August 11, 2018

Grilled Pizza with Pesto & Feta - Weekend Recipe

I have a great simple summer grill-out recipe, perfect for a light appetizer or to serve as an entrée. No baking required!

Grilled Pizza With Pesto and Feta

Prepared pizza dough
Pesto (make your own with this recipe; or use BYP Pesto Blend)
garden fresh tomatoes, sliced
Peppers, diced or sliced
Feta cheese

Directions:
Place pizza dough on grill and grill both sides for 3 minutes. Spread with a layer of pesto and top with feta cheese and vegetables. Grill for 3 minutes more.

Optional: Serve with torn basil leaves.


To find any recipe featured this month - use the search box and type: GardAug

To find any theme recipe from this year type: recipe2018



For 2018 the monthly recipe themes will be:

   January - Chicken Soup (ChickJan)

   February - Beef Stew (StewFeb)

   March - Jambalaya (JambMar)

   May - Ham and Shrimp Dishes (ShrHamMay)

   June - Bread recipes (BreadJun)

   July - Grilling (GrillJul)

   August- Garden Delights GardAug

   September - Salsa, Corn and Jelly 

   October - Squash Dishes 

   November - Pumpkin Recipes 

   December - Herbal Cocktails 



Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Three Herbs to Cool down your over-heated self - Herbs of the Week


There are herbs (of course there are herbs) to help you get through the long, sticky days of August with your cool head intact.

1. Sage (Salvia officinalis):



Sage is a mint family member. That may sound surprising, but actually most herbs are, in some way, connected to this very large plant family. Here’s the crazy thing about sage: as a hot tea, it induces sweating. As a cold tea, though, it eases sweating. Try both hot and cold and see what your body likes. We make a rose iced tea with sage and most people were surprised we included it until they enjoyed the effects.

Sage is also good for the nervous system when it’s been aggravated by heat — you know, all those hot tempers that flare up in August? Other heat conditions can arise, of course, aside from summer heat. Menopause is one good example. Sage is really wonderful for this transition, easing the heat and dryness in the body. Try a cool tea laced with honey (which, as a demulcent, draws moisture to the body) to ease any discomfort.

2. Elder (Sambucus nigra, Sambucus canadensis):



You may be familiar with the elderberry’s use as a cold/flu/cough remedy, but the flowers are also used herbally, especially when trying to reduce heat. Elder is a cooling, drying herb, especially when it’s the dried flowers used in an infusion or tincture.

The reason elder is so good with colds, the flu, and heat in general can be attributed to its diaphoretic effect, which means the herb allows fluid to move easily in the body, opening pores and cleaning everything out. Elder flower tisane or tincture made from dried flowers is especially effective if you suffer from habitually dry, irritated, or flushed skin. Elder improves circulation throughout the body, opening the lungs, blood vessels, capillaries, kidneys, skin — anything that moves fluid along.

There are no dangers or contraindications associated with elder flowers, so brew away.  Elderflowers turn into elderberries this time of year.  Be careful as overconsumption of elderberries can potentially cause digestive upset, but this usually isn’t much of a danger if they are dried or cooked first. Never use the bark internally, or any raw berries or leaves.

3. Yarrow (Achillea millefolium):


Yarrow is one of my absolute favorite herbs, perhaps because it's one of the true traditional medicinal herbs of the New World.  Native Americans knew its worth and shared it with us.  The plant has a long, well-documented history. It grows almost everywhere, which makes it a truly local food.  I just realized I have never done an herb of the week just on Yarrow!  (I will fix that soon!)

Yarrow regulates the fluids in the body, cooling or heating as needed by moving blood toward, or away, from the skin’s surface. This makes it a good herb for my Rosacea which might contribute to it being a favorite of mine.  I also love the bold yellow color and the fact that dried it keeps that color and shape making using it in winter arrangements fun and interesting.

To take yarrow, brew up a warm cup of tea to open the pores of the skin and to release heat; a cold brew will stimulate digestion and the kidneys, relieving fluid retention. You can also use yarrow topically on wounds and bruises — another common summer occurrence.

NOTE: It’s best to avoid yarrow while pregnant. Also, it is possible to have a yarrow allergy, so if you suffer from a ragweed allergy, start with small doses and see how you feel. It's best to avoid this herb if you’re on anticoagulants or suffer from bradycardia.

No matter how you choose to beat the heat this summer, herbs are a fantastic addition to your summer wellness routine. Not a fan of iced tea? Brew up and cool a sage tisane (tea) and mix it with some lemonade. Trust me: it’s fantastic. Any of these herbs can be seamlessly combined in any number of summer drinks, smoothies, or sodas. And remember, when you’re using herbs as remedies, it's best to let them steep 5-10 minutes and use 2-3 tsp per 8 ounces of water (although you can adjust either of these recommendations to your personal taste).

Enjoy the rest of your summer with enjoyment and a cool head.

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Pineapple Mint Ice

Yesterday we shared a Basil-Lime Sorbet recipe.  Today I have a Pineapple Mint Ice which is simpler to make with just a blender and a pan to freeze the ice.



Pineapple Mint Ice
1 cup cubed fresh pineapple (or 1-8.25 oz. can unsweetened chunks)



1/4 cup honey

1/2 cup grapefruit juice
15 to 20 fresh pineapple or apple mint leaves
1/2 tsp grated fresh lemon peel

2 Tbls fresh lemon juice
Springs of fresh mint for garnish

Mix all ingredients together.  Puree until pineapple is completely blended and mint leaves are finely chopped.  Place in the freezer in a backing pan until mixture is firm but not solid, about 1 to 2 hours.  Scoop out into sherbet or tall parfait glasses.  Garnish with mint sprigs and serve.



To find any recipe featured this month - use the search box and type: GardAug

To find any theme recipe from this year type: recipe2018

For 2018 the monthly recipe themes will be:
   January - Chicken Soup (ChickJan)
   February - Beef Stew (StewFeb)
   March - Jambalaya (JambMar)
   May - Ham and Shrimp Dishes (ShrHamMay)
   June - Bread recipes (BreadJun)
   July - Grilling (GrillJul)
   August- Garden Delights GardAug
   September - Salsa, Corn and Jelly 
   October - Squash Dishes 
   November - Pumpkin Recipes 
   December - Herbal Cocktails 

Monday, August 6, 2018

Basil Lime Sorbet recipe


Taking the idea of a garden delight widely I thought that this week I would focus on Sorbet Recipes.  The garden is hot, the work is plentiful, and the need for herbs as a cool refreshing end to the day is perfect for sorbet.  A sorbet can capture the fragrance of summer in a single spoonful. Many people forget the “sweet” part of Basil.  It is a perfect savory foil to citrus and is perfect in many different types of sweets and desserts.  This is a Basil – Lime Sorbet. Tomorrow I will share another.



Basil-Lime Sorbet

Blanching the basil leaves before blending the sorbet base gives you an intensely colored and flavored sorbet. Be sure to freeze it immediately after blending or the color will fade.

3¼ cups water
2 cups basil leaves, gently packed
1 cup fine sugar
¼ cup fresh lime juice

Directions:

Bring water to a boil in small saucepan. Add basil leaves; cook 10 seconds. Drain and plunge basil into cold water. Drain again.

Puree sugar, water, lime juice and blanched basil leaves in blender on high speed for about 1 minute, or until you have a smooth, bright-green liquid. Pour through fine-meshed strainer.

Freeze immediately in an ice cream maker until slushy-firm. Scoop into a storage container and freeze until firm enough to scoop.

To find any recipe featured this month - use the search box and type: GardAug
To find any theme recipe from this year type: recipe2018

For 2018 the monthly recipe themes will be:
   January - Chicken Soup (ChickJan)
   February - Beef Stew (StewFeb)
   March - Jambalaya (JambMar)
   May - Ham and Shrimp Dishes (ShrHamMay)
   June - Bread recipes (BreadJun)
   July - Grilling (GrillJul)
   August- Garden Delights GardAug
   September - Salsa, Corn and Jelly 
   October - Squash Dishes 
   November - Pumpkin Recipes 
   December - Herbal Cocktails 

Sunday, August 5, 2018

Re-energizing Bath Sachet - Monthly Bath Recipe

.
This is a blend similar to our previous energizing bath sachet from 2017, but this one is perfect with summer available herbs.   Mix it ahead and keep in a jar near the tub.  Then place 1/4 cup of blend in a muslin bag or wrap in a terry cloth washcloth.  



Re-energizing Bath Sachet

½ cup lavender flowers
½ cup lemon verbena
½ cup finely chopped orange or lemon peel
10 drops lavender essential oil
6 drops lemon grass oil
Fills 8 bags


Blend the herbs together in a bowl or glass jar, then add each essential oil separately and stir to combine.  Allow to meld overnight, then set aside and fill bags as needed, or pre-fill muslin bags and store in an airtight container.  This recipe will make up to 8 bags.



To Use: Place filled bag under the tap while bath is filling, then slide into the water.  Use the bag as a scrubby to get even more herbal energy!




Friday, August 3, 2018

Book Review - Grow What you Love by Emily Murphy


I was going to do a Gardening / Herb Book of the month, however I cannot read a book in a month.  Between the teaching ,and the gardening, and the harvesting, and the making of herb products, and the writing of blogs and newsletters, not only for myself but for several organizations, I just cannot read a book in a month, so I am going with a book a quarter and if I finish early then I will add in a few extra.

I am starting this with a book I received in a contest giveaway in the Spring.  It is Grow What You Love: 12 Plant Families to Change your Life by Emily Murphy.  I have always liked chatting with her on twitter @passthepistil, through #gardenchat so when her book came out I was thrilled to get involved in promoting it.  She spoke at the Chicago Flower and Garden Show, as well has doing a Q&A on #gardenchat.  She also has a blog and if you follow her on twitter she links back to great articles regularly, or you can just check it out - https://passthepistil.com. Now that things have calmed down, I pulled the book out and began to reread what I started in the Spring before prepping for the Garden Walk became a “Thing” in my life. 

I have been carrying this book around with me this year.  Popping it open to read when I am bored or waiting for something.  I even had some fun entering a Chicago Flower and Garden Show swag giveaway with a picture of me reading it in my newly created book nook in the garden.  I enjoyed this book because of its easy-to-read style, but also the useful information.  There is nothing I dislike more than “nothing new here” or useless details about herbs.  This book, I am happy to say, suffers from neither of those issues.

Grow What You Love is organized by topic rather than plant.  I like that, as when it is plant organized I never seem to read the book, I just read the plants I want to learn about and skip over the other plants even if there is information there I might find useful. Those types do make good reference items however and I do refer back to them. 

Here is why I think you will love this book also:

She starts with the basics of how to get started in gardening.  If you have never gardened before you will find her easy to understand information very helpful and if you are a seasoned gardener her information on soil and composting is a must read.  She is great at walking you through the steps of something, like Hot Composting.  The “Emily’s Notes” found throughout the text are wonderful for directing you to better use the resources in the book and know your plants better. Like the suggestion to add Strawberries to your landscape planting because the foliage is lovely in the fall.  Who thinks of Strawberries in Fall?


One of the many "workshops" in the book.
The subtitle of the book is 12 plant families to change your life.  The plant directory gives you family groups like tender herbs and winter greens that force you to explore these topics and in the process find plants you might not have attempted to grow before (Varieties to try).  She even suggests individual cultivars to try. That is what makes this book accomplish its title.  Grow What You Love.  She explores the why a plant is good to grow along with the how of growing the plant.  You can delve deeper into plants you know while contemplating experimenting with those you don’t. 

Varieties to try and a related recipe!
Her advice to know the rules of gardening so you can break them is the best. And the Workshops in the book that will have you transplanting and rooting plants like a pro, among other tasks, are so nicely laid out in steps anyone can follow them and be successful. 

No book on gardening that contains herbs would be complete without a few recipes and this book does not disappoint.  Not only is there how to make candied violets and your own seed starting mix, you will learn to make a Savory Galette in easy to follow steps.  I had hoped to show you my version of this recipe, but I forgot to take pictures because we consumed it so quickly as it smelled awesome.

So sweet she even signed it for me!
The summer vegetable recipes, especially those using squash are on my agenda for the next few weeks, so stay tuned for that.

I hope you take my advice and check out a copy of Grow What You Love by Emily Murphy (Firefly Books Ltd, 2018)










Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Garden Vegetable Soup - Theme Recipes for August

This month the theme for recipes is Garden Delights.  That can be anything from a vegetable dish, to a salad, to a great way to use fresh herbs, or a special sauce made with garden ingredients or in the case of today’s recipe a soup made with garden vegetables.



Soups are not something that people think of as a summer food, but seriously a quick and easy soup that uses the bounty of fresh items from the garden is an amazing way to enjoy them and make a dinner you don’t have to slave over.



I got this recipe from Alton Brown and the Food Network back in 2004, but I turned it into a crockpot recipe, so you can set it and get back outside to enjoy the garden.  Just remember to add the herbs just a few minutes before you serve the soup.




Garden Vegetable Soup

4 tablespoons olive oil

2 cups chopped leeks, white part only (from approximately 3 medium leeks)

2 tablespoons finely minced garlic

Kosher salt

2 cups carrots, peeled and chopped into rounds (approximately 2 medium)

2 cups peeled and diced potatoes

2 cups fresh green beans, broken or cut into 3/4-inch pieces

2 quarts chicken or vegetable broth

4 cups peeled, seeded, and chopped tomatoes

2 ears corn, kernels removed

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/4 cup packed, chopped fresh parsley leaves

2 Tbls oregano, chopped fresh leaves

2 Tbls savory (winter or summer) chopped fresh leaves

1 to 2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice



Directions

Heat the olive oil in large, heavy-bottomed stockpot over medium-low heat. Once hot, add the leeks, garlic, and a pinch of salt and sweat until they begin to soften, approximately 7 to 8 minutes. Add the carrots, potatoes, and green beans and continue to cook for 4 to 5 more minutes, stirring occasionally. Pour the contents of the stockpot into the crockpot set on low.


Add the stock, the tomatoes, corn kernels, and pepper. Cover, and cook until the vegetables are fork tender, approximately 1 hour to 1 hour 30 minutes. Remove from heat and add the parsley, oregano, savory and lemon juice. Season to taste, with kosher salt. Serve immediately. 

NOTE: If you do not have fresh herbs, you can add 3 Tbls of Backyard Patch Soup and Salad Blend instead of the three herbs and amounts in the recipe.

To find any recipe featured this month - use the search box and type: GardAug
To find any theme recipe from this year type: recipe2018

For 2018 the monthly recipe themes will be:
   January - Chicken Soup (ChickJan)
   February - Beef Stew (StewFeb)
   March - Jambalaya (JambMar)
   May - Ham and Shrimp Dishes (ShrHamMay)
   June - Bread recipes (BreadJun)
   July - Grilling (GrillJul)
   August- Garden Delights (GardAug)
   September - Salsa, Corn and Jelly 
   October - Squash Dishes 
   November - Pumpkin Recipes 
   December - Herbal Cocktails 





Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...