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Beautiful and Tasty: Fresh Herbs Instead of Flower Arrangements

Beautiful and Tasty: Fresh Herbs Instead of Flower Arrangements

Fresh cut flowers brighten up the room, but they are expensive and then they wilt and die. Fresh herbs, on the other hand, are both useful and beautiful.

Mint in champagne flute
Mint in champagne flute

Storing fresh herbs used to be a challenge for me. They don’t do so great in the fridge. They get slimy. Or I forget I have them and then they get really slimy! And I don’t use them nearly as much as I could.

When I discovered that I could keep them in water like flowers, I was thrilled! When I started doing this I used little jars and things I had around. This year, when my mom brought me some mint, I had an even better idea – a champagne flute! The shape is perfect for mint. The narrow stem and wide mouth accommodates the leaves and the stems, keeping the leaves from getting in the water without having to trim a bunch off.

For chives, I use a stemmed glass with straight sides.

To keep the herbs fresh, I change the water regularly, trim off any parts that are starting to go wilty or brown, and rinse them stems. Oh, and clean the glass, too. It doesn’t take long and they keep much longer.

If you have herbs that are already starting to wilt, putting them water can perk them up. You may need to trim the bottoms off the stems so they can take up water.

For the glasses, I like to use fancy ones that don’t get used often enough for drinking glasses. It gets them out of the china cabinet and out where they can be enjoyed. I have a hard time passing up interesting glasses, and an even harder time finding places to put them. I get most of mine at thrift stores and garage sales.

Whether you grow your own herbs or buy them at the farmer’s market, there are so many things to love about this!

You can put them herbs right on the counter where you do your prep work so they’re handy and you remember to use them.

For me, it’s great when I’m really making a quick salad because I got busy and waited too long to eat. Or if I’m loading up a baked potato to go with a steak for dinner, in the middle of watching a movie!

Plus, they’re pretty, and they smell good.

And the gift opportunities are amazing. The next time you’re thinking of buying cut flowers for someone, consider finding a unique glass at your local thrift store and filling it with your friend’s favorite herb, or an assortment of herbs. Even if you ordered a glass or a set of glasses, it would be cheaper than going to the florist, and much more personal. And it’s something they can use, not just something to sit there and look pretty.

If it’s too difficult to transport, you can put the fresh herbs in a baggie with a damp paper towel wrapped around the stems. If you want to present it all put together, take a bottle of water with you and put it together in the car right before you go to the door.

 

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Homegrown Tomato and Stir Fry Chicken Salad

Homegrown Tomato and Stir Fry Chicken Salad

A few fall-like days that had me making chili and then the temps went through the roof and now I’m on a hot weather food kick, and really getting back into my salads. I was able to make this salad thanks to a friend who gave us a bunch of homegrown tomatoes.
I’ll have to post my stir fry recipe later. It was a real hit this summer.
Ingredients:
  • Stir fry chicken
  • Spinach
  • Medium tomato
  • Mini bell peppers
  • Goat cheese
  • Red onion (optional)
  • Dressing (only a small amount needed)

 

 

It’s a salad, so cut the ingredients to your preferred size and toss. The stir fry sauce makes up most of the dressing, but I highly recommend adding a little Ranch dressing or at least some olive oil to bring out the nutrients in the vegetables and add a little coating so the sauce can stick better. Red onions are recommended for flavor if you have to use store-bought tomatoes.

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Home Grown Tortellini and Miso Soup

Home Grown Tortellini and Miso Soup

My best friend came up to visit for my birthday and brought lots of goodies from her garden. We decided to make miso soup with tortellini and vegetables.

I rarely make entirely meatless soups, and I haven’t been very impressed with meat substitutes, but miso really delivers! I wouldn’t say it tastes just like beef, but it tastes just as good and it gives you that full feeling, like you have really eaten, that normally an all veggie meal just doesn’t do for me.

Here is what we used in our soup. It has been over a week since we made the soup, so I may be forgetting something. Mary, if you’re reading this feel free to post corrections!

Tomatoes
Zucchini
Carrots
Green onions
Garlic
Cherry peppers
Tortellini
Miso paste

The important thing to remember when making miso soup is to ad the miso last after the soup is cooked. Do not boil miso.

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