rosemary potatoes

I love the taste of fresh rosemary and decided to use some from my garden for these potatoes.  They were delicious.  If you have fresh parsley from the garden as well, that would also compliment the taste of this dish.

To make these potatoes, I used my electric skillet, but they can also be prepared on the stovetop.  I used seven small red potatoes, olive oil, black pepper, about 2 tablespoons fresh rosemary, crushed garlic, and some chopped prosciutto.

First, I parboiled the potatoes for about 20 minutes.  I chilled the potatoes earlier in the day and then diced the potatoes.  Then, I browned the chopped prosciutto in the skillet with a tablespoon of oil and the flavors.  Then, I added the potatoes.

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I cooked them until they lightly browned, and then added some diced red pepper, grated Parmesan to taste and some fresh or dried parsley to taste.

These potatoes could be used to accompany eggs for breakfast or any meat or fish dish for dinner.  Excellent taste and flavor.

 

a party wreath of cheese: appetizer idea

Recently, I shared an appetizer wreath of cheese at a morning garden club meeting.  I used fresh rosemary from my garden, which was still plentiful even in November.  I arranged the rosemary into a circle or wreath pattern on waxed paper on a chilled armetale tray.

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Then, I simply cubed cheese and arranged on the rosemary wreath.  The fragrance from the wreath was lovely, and as the cheese was selected, the wreath was uncovered on the plate.  This made the plate as attractive even as the guests sampled the cheese and crackers.

For this wreath, I used a Swiss, Dill, Cheddar, Colby, and Pepper Jack cheese.  Simple and delicious served with a variety of crackers.

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snipping chives in November

As the leaves are falling and naturally protecting my herb garden, I can’t help but admire how the green herbs continue to thrive even in November.  I still have green onions growing and anticipate using them during the Thanksgiving holiday.  As I look at the garden, my two kinds of parsley–curled leaf and Italian leaf are growing, with sage, thyme, rosemary, chives, rue, sorrel and lavender also available for use. My Thanksgiving turkey will have a fresh herbal mix applied again this year.

I like to use chives in a variety of recipes, including herbal dips and pasta sauces. I plant chives plentifully in the garden, and continue to use them until the snow falls and covers them.

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This week, I used some chives for a pizza casserole, which will be soon featured on this blog.  I used my new epare five bladed scissors to easily snip them. The scissors save time, since the three-inch long stainless steel blades are grouped in a set of five.  One pass of the snips allows for five times the cutting power.  The scissors are sharp, and snipped the chives very quickly.  There wasn’t any bending of the soft thin chives.  The cuts were precise and clean.

I like the silicone lined handles, as they are more than comfortable–especially when I am chopping parsley and chives.  I use these snips for my scallions with great success, as well.  The scissors clean easily in soapy water and are even dishwasher safe.  These snips have become one of my favorite kitchen tools.  The storage cover also helps with removing small bits of herbs from between the blades for use in the dish.

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I received a sample of these scissors in exchange for an honest review on my blog.  For more information, please follow this link: http://www.amazon.com/epar%C3%A9-EPHT01-Epar%C3%A9-Blade-Scissors/dp/B00NX61912/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1415308575&sr=8-1&keywords=epare+five+bladed+scissors

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herb roasted bone-in chicken breasts

There are those nights when roasting a whole chicken is not desired.  It is still possible to have that great herb roasted chicken taste in a shorter time frame.  I often choose to roast bone-in chicken breasts with the same seasonings and herbs that would be used for a whole chicken.

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I do use a ceramic pan with a small roasting rack. I add 1 1/2 cups of chicken broth with 1/2 cup white wine to the bottom of the pan.  I drizzle a bit of olive oil over the chicken breasts, and season with salt, pepper and parsley flakes to taste.  I also use thyme and rosemary from my garden, for this recipe, as it really adds a depth of flavor to the chicken. Dried herbs would be just as good. The rack and liquid keep the chicken breasts very moist.

I don’t think my technique is unusual or special, but I wanted to include this recipe on the blog as it is so tasty.  I roast the chicken uncovered at 425 degrees for about 45 minutes or more, until done.  Check with a meat thermometer to make certain.

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We enjoyed this recipe last week with a side salad.  Delicious.

 

 

herbs from home

one of the best things about having a home garden is being able to snip a sprig of an herbal plant to brighten the kitchen table.  i selected several herbs from my garden and created a simple arrangement in several small vases.

after the dinner, i can use the herbs for upcoming recipes.  the sage can be used to flavor roasted potatoes, the rosemary could be added to mayonnaise for an herbal spread on a sandwich, the oregano can be added to a pasta sauce, the basil is used to flavor cold beverages or ice cream, and finally the thyme will be used to season grilled chicken.

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growing herbs is easy and fun.  a beginning gardener can be very successful the first year.  herbs are great to grow in pots, need very little water and lots of sun.  there are so many varieties of each of these plants with hundreds of recipes online for ideas to use in meals.  herbal vinegars and flavored salts are just two of the most current ways to use herbs from the garden.  in Michigan, all of these herbs are perennials except for the rosemary.  i have to plant rosemary each year in the garden.

fragrant, useful and so economical–herbs are healthy and delicious.

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rosemary shortbread cookies

i have two rosemary plants this year.  unfortunately, in Michigan, it is not possible to keep rosemary growing outside during the winter months.  when i lived in Charleston, i was able to grow rosemary year round, as long as my garden area was somewhat shielded from excessive wind.

therefore, i look for recipes at the end of the summer to be able to use fresh rosemary right from my garden. this recipe has been adapted from a recipe i found in Nantucket Beach Picnics, by Deborah Moxham and Carla Finn.

the cookies could be shaped with any type of cookie cutter, any size.  it would be important to bake the cookies of similar sizes and shapes together on one cookie sheet.  the rosemary fragrance is unique to this cookie, and adds to the flavor profile for a summer treat.

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preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  next, assemble the following ingredients:  16 tablespoons of unsalted butter, 1/4 cup superfine sugar, 1 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour, 2 teaspoons of freshly chopped rosemary leaves, and sanding sugar

cream the softened butter and sugar until smooth.  add the flour and rosemary into the dough. form into a ball, and then flatten within a quarter-sheet pan.  cover with plastic and chill for one hour.

remove from the refrigerator, and roll on a floured surface.  cut into shapes. sprinkle with sugar.  place on a greased baking sheet and bake for 8 to 10 minutes.  remove from the oven and allow to cool before serving.

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lavender and rosemary

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a friend of mine sent me this lovely wreath a couple of weeks ago, and i have been enjoying it every day.  the scent from the lavender and rosemary branches is subtle, though totally charming.  with spring taking its time to really come forth in Michigan this year, a hint of fresh herbs for the home is nothing less than welcome.

the wreath was designed for indoor use, and since i have a pair of French doors, it has found a perfect home.  i don’t think i would want to miss the loveliness of it showcased for only outdoor guests anyway.  the charm of lavender has been adored for centuries in the southern areas of Europe.

rosemary is a herb known to symbolize remembrance.  the combination of the two herbs brings a welcoming look to my sunroom.

the wreath inspired me to check my lavender plants in my garden. they seem to have survived the brutal winter.  when i gently brushed the leaves that were packed around them for protection, i caught a glimpse of their fragrance. i will wait a few more weeks to prune them, as to wait for new growth this year on their branches. every year i plant a rosemary plant, but in Michigan, rosemary is simply an annual.  I enjoy a few springs for cooking, but never seem to have a rosemary plant overwinter.

this wreath and the kindness of my friend to share it with me makes me very thankful for every day.  being able to take the time to appreciate the thoughtfulness of this gift makes me happy.  spring will be here soon.