Sunday, July 31, 2016

Herbal Tips - Lavender

Lavender (Lavendula officinale, spica, and vera)
Lavender is one of thirty-nine known species of flowering plants in the mint family, Lamiaceae.
Lavender is associated with the element air and the planet Mercury. It is symbolic of healing, love, magic, protection, and vision. The aromatic sweet smell is unmistakable, and its long-lasting fragrance makes it popular in the perfume industry. Lavender also displays powerful sedative and calming properties; and is used for the treatment of anxiety, digestive problems, insomnia, migraines, and tension headaches.

The flower buds are usually dried just before they bloom, and then ground and used as a flavoring. Herbs de Provence; a fragrant dried herb mixture from southern France known for its lavender inclusion, and ingredients vary according to what is available. Mix basil, fennel, lavender, oregano, rosemary, sage, and summer savory. Sprinkle on meats to grill, chicken, and roasts, before cooking. Fresh lavender flowers can be candied for decorations. Try flavoring preserves and sorbets, adding to cake and cookie mixes, or adding a few stems to vinegar to make a sweetly scented dressing.

Lavender was an essential part of the early monastic and medicinal herb garden. This beautiful, potent, and lovely-smelling flower not only repels mosquitoes but also keeps moths and flies away. Lavenders flourish best in dry, well-drained, sandy or gravelly soils in full sun. All types need little or no fertilizer and good air circulation.

Harvest & Storing
Harvest lavender stems at any time by cutting them from the plant, but avoid clipping more than every third stem to keep the plant looking full. Dry the flowering stems by lying on open trays, or hanging them in small bunches.

#aromatic #culinarylavender #flowers #healthyeating #herbs #herbsdeprovance #lamiaceae #lavender #livinggreen #medicinalherbgarden #naturalgardening #noordinarychick #perfume

Friday, July 22, 2016

Slow Roast Cherry Tomatoes

We planted a Sweet 100 Cherry Tomato in our garden this year, and the abundance of sweet cherry tomatoes is truly amazing.

You can only eat so many tomatoes, and with the amount we have we decided to look for ways to preserve the little too ripe summer treats.

Cherry tomatoes are small so making sauce with them isn’t very productive because there isn’t enough meat in the tomatoes for any yield.

We like sundried tomatoes, but thought these cherries were too small and wouldn’t have much taste if they were all the way dried.

So we decided to try a slow roast method we’ve read about in many preserve the harvest sources.

It’s easy, just slice your cherry tomatoes in half and spread them on a tray, we like ours lined with parchment as nothing sticks, and it’s so easy to clean up.

Add some garlic cloves; cleaned up but left in their skin, and sprinkle with your favorite fresh herbs… We used fresh basil, marjoram, and oregano.

Season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, and drizzle lightly with your favorite olive oil.

Place your tray in the oven and bake at 225 degrees; set your timer for 3 hours, no need to check them this slow method works fine on its own.

You want the tomatoes to be shriveled and dry, but with a little juice left inside and these little cherry tomatoes come out as herbed sweet and savory delights!

You can use them right away, or let them cool and cover them with some extra olive oil, keep them in the fridge for the best summer condiment… the fun will be how many ways you can think of to use them, enjoy!

#basil #cherrytomatoes #culinarytreats #garilc #freshherbs #healthyeating #livinggreen #marjoram #naturalgardening #noordinarychick #oliveoil #oregano #preservetheharvest #slowroastcherrytomatoes #summercomdiment #sweet100s #tomatoes

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Summers Too Ripe Fruit - Crisps


There are many ways to use summers too ripe fruit; freeze it for another day’s smoothie, a fruit syrup, a batch of jam for winters kiss, but one of our favorites is a simple fruit crisp that can be enjoyed for breakfast, dessert, or anytime!

There are also many methods for fruit crisps; in the winter we prefer to sweeten the fruit and have a crumbly topping, but in the summer we use a little French secret that turns our fruit crisp into a crusty topped delight.

The summers’ too ripe fruit crisp shown is made from apricots, blackberries, and nectarines with the following method:

*Note we have listed our ingredient amounts per the 9 inch round we used, and you can adjust up or down from there.

Gather in a bowl; 1 cup organic oatmeal, ½ cup unbleached flour, ½ cup loose brown sugar, 1/3 cup slivered almonds, and ½ teaspoon cinnamon, and ¼ teaspoon cloves, mixing gently. Put 3 tablespoons unsalted butter to the side for the final blending for use.

For your French secret: ½ cup organic heavy cream and ½ cup Florida crystals (sugar) brought just to a boil while stirring regularly, and set to the side to cool for assembly.

Butter a glass pie pan or shallow casserole, and layer in your cleaned, sliced too ripe organic 6 apricots, 3 nectarines, and ½ pint blackberries.

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.    Pour your reserved French secret over your prepared fruit.

For blending your topping cut the unsalted butter into cubes and mix into your dry ingredients until crumbly, and then spread evenly over your prepared too ripe fruit ingredients.

Place your crisp in the oven; when the temperature recovers 375 degrees adjust down to 350 and bake about 35-40 minutes until browned and bubbly.

Serve warm or chilled, with whipped cream, cheese, yogurt, or ice cream and enjoy for breakfast, dessert, or anytime!

#apricots #blackberries #breakfast #brownsugar #cinnamon #cheese #cloves #dessert #floridacrystals #frenchsecret #frozenfruit #fruitcrisp #fruitsyrup #healthyeating #heavycream #icecream #jam #livinggreen #naturalfoods #nectarines #noordinarychick #oatmeal #organiccooking #organicfoods #ripefruit #sliveredalmonds #smoothie #summerfruit #summerstooripefruitcrisps #unbleachedflour #unsaltedbutter #whippedcream #yogurt