August 9, 2008
Growing and cooking with the herb… parsley… with it’s celery like flavor… gives a freshness to many dishes. It’s easy to grow and comes back every year. It prefers full sun but… I have found that it flourishes great in partial shade.
This garden herb does well in a container garden and is successfully grown indoors in the winter…that is… if you have a sunny window.
If you have need for it’s breath freshening qualities… chew a bit of parsley after you have eaten garlic or alcohol. If your in need of more vitamin C… this is the herb for you. It’s loaded with C.
This garden herb can be harvested frequently during the summer. New growth will spring up from the bottom of the parsley plant.
You can dry or freeze parsley leaves for use at a later time. However… fresh parsley is alway the best.
Aside from using parsley in your cooking to enhance soups (great in chicken soup)… casseroles, potatoes, stuffings and rice… it’s frequently used as a garnish. A small sprig is often used to give color to a plate of food… and can be used after the meal to sweeten your breath.
Cooking with fresh herbs is just the best!
P.S. If you want to add some fresh herb spark to your cooking… check out my Parsley Potatoes.
August 9, 2008
This parsley potato recipe, using new potatoes, is easy and delicious. Using fresh parsley from your garden is so much better than the dried parsley we’re forced to use in the winter time.
The ingredients are simple: new potatoes, seasoning salt, butter, and parsley. Easy does it!
Harvest your parsley. Wash.. and place the parsley in a narrow bottom cup and snip away with your scissors. I like regular scissors over kitchen shears because the narrow blades fit nicely into the cup. Yes… I washed my scissors. Now snip, snip, snip until the parsley is cut fine. You’ll need a good 1/8 cup.
Wash and slice from 12 to 15 new potatoes…. (potatoes are about 2 1/2 inches in diameter)
Slip the sliced potatoes in a plastic bag… add about 1/8 Cup of water… and tie up the bag. Cook in the microwave for about 6 minutes. Don’t over cook… the potatoes need to be a little firm.
Melt about 1/2 cube of butter (or more…I love butter) in a large pan. You can use a large fry pan… but I use a flat bottom wok that fits nicely on my stove.
Add the potatoes in the pan with the butter. (not for calorie counters for sure) Toss the potatoes… coating them with the butter. Sprinkle on the season salt to your taste. I like lots of it…. don’t be afraid to over do. Toss them again.
Now if your potatoes are a little too firm for you… place a lid on the pan. Check frequently, toss until they’re cooked to your liking.
Near the end of the cooking cycle… add your chopped parsley. Now I have to tell you a secret here. I added a few cut chives. I just couldn’t help it. I looked at my container herb garden and the garlic chives were just begging to be cut… so I obeyed. I used about 1 Tablespoon.
Cook for a bit longer, tossing the potatoes so they’re cooked evenly.
Then serve… Great with BQ chicken. A nice alternative to summer potato salad.
Fill in the little box below and get your printed recipe for Fresh Parsley Potatoes. The recipe fits into a 5X7 Photo Album. Pioneer Mini Ledger Le’ Memo Bound Photo Album, Random Solid Color Covers with Gold Accents, Holds 50 5″ x 7″ Photos, 1 Per Page.Start your Insightful Nana recipe book now… Once your on the list… I’ll send you all future recipes automatically.
P.S. New potatoes are nice because they hold their firm texture when cooked. Russet potatoes have a soft texture which is best for mashed potatoes.
P.SS. Want to know more about growing and cooking with parsley? Check out my post on the matter.
July 30, 2008
Dill is an herb that flourishes well in an herb garden and is a delightful herb to use in your cooking. Growing dill is easy and it does well in the full sun or part shade. Dill can be be planted by seed or plant starts. Sometimes it’s called dill weed because it comes back in the herb garden if the seeds from the previous year have fallen to the ground. It can over take an herb garden area so, you can control it by plucking out the new plants you don’t want to grow to maturity.
The dill herb reaches from 24 to 36 inches tall. However, there are dill dwarf varieties that are nice for container gardens. As the dill weed reaches full maturity, the plant may have to be staked because they have a tendency to bend over.
Harvesting the dill weed tops just before the flower opens gives you the best flavor. However, you can let the flowers go to seed for the next years planting. Also, the dill seeds from the head can be harvested and used later in your cooking.
Down on the stem of the dill plant, are airy fern like leaves. These can be harvested chopped and used in dill sauce, or a dill dip. The leaves can be cut and dried for future use. The entire dill weed head, stem and leaves are used in bottling homemade dill pickles.
An accent of the dill head and stem are lovely mixed in with a cut flower bouquet.
For me… the growing season for my herb garden is not long enough for me to experiment with all the possibilities. I am planning an indoor herb container garden for this winter. However, a 36 inch dill weed plant will not be part of my indoor herb garden selection. Too bad… for I dearly love a touch of dill.
P.S. For cooking with dill weed, check out my fantastic Fresh Dill Dip.
July 30, 2008
Cooking with herbs adds a wonderful subtle flavor to foods. This dill dip uses the airy fern like leaves of the dill weed plant and is absolutely delicious. This dill dip recipe also requires fresh parsley leaves which give it added flavor. The herbs are coming on strong right now and it’s time to begin to enjoy the veggie harvest.
What makes this dip unique is the use of the fresh herbs along with a seasoning salt called Bon Appetit (a mild blend of celery and onion salt.) It is quiet salty… so don’t over do.
Prepare your parsley bunch by washing it and placing into a small container. I just use a small plastic disposable cup which is a bit narrow at the bottom. I use my scissors rather than kitchen sheers because the tips fit nicely in the bottom of the plastic cup. And yes… I do wash my scissors before I begin my cutting. Then… I cut, cut, cut, clip, clip, clip, until the parsley is cut to my liking…small and fine. You’ll need about 1 TB.
Cutting the fern like leaves of the dill weed plant is next. I rinse off the leaves, lay them on a cutting board, hold on to the ends, and using my trusty scissors, I cut, cut, cut the leaves very fine. You’ll need 1 TB of cut dill.
Place 1 cup of sour cream in a bowl along with 1 cup of mayo. Add 1 scant TB of Bon Appetit Seasoning Salt, 2 TB of dried onion flakes, 1 TB of your fresh dill, and 1 TB of fresh parsley. Mix well and let the flavors blend for couple of hours.
Serve this scrumptious dip with fresh veggies. I love fresh cucumbers. Great on tomatoes… corn on the cob… new carrots from the garden… on and on.
P.S. To learn more about dill, take a look at my post on growing and cooking with dill.
P.P.S If you want to be on my, recipe list and receive a hard copy of Fresh Dill Dip for your recipe files… just fill in the form below and you will get a copy immediately. Your printed recipe will fit into a 5X7 photo binder. Once your on my newsletter and recipe list… you won’t have to sign up again. After you sign up… I will automatically send you all future recipes. You’ll get lots of other free goodies too.
June 5, 2008
My friend Marie, shared this frosting tip with me. Enjoy!
When you buy a container of cake frosting from the store, whip it with your mixer for a few minutes. You can double it in size. You get to frost more cake/cupcakes with the same amount. You also eat less sugar and calories per serving.
P.S. I think this means I get two servings… doesn’t it?