Tuesday, August 7, 2012

The Herbal Primer~Day Three The Culinary Herbs

" May the bridges I burn light the way"


  • DID YOU KNOW...?



bringing you the quirky, funniest and most interesting tweets from Twitter that we came across.  

"Tug of War" was once an official Olympic sport.

 Well, right now the sun is going down and it is 90F. On Thursday it is supposed to be 111F. Welcome to the High Desert in the summer. I still have a picture of our thermometer outside at 120F one year. 
This, of course, is everyone's favorite cooking topic when it comes to flavor: the culinary herbs.

Cooking with herbs is based on personal taste, so what is perfect for you and your family might be too strong or too little for your neighbor next door. So it helps to experiment, know your herbs and taste, taste, taste!

So what are some culinary herbs to get you started? I like the Italian herbs, because they are easily found and readily available in both dried and fresh versions. Whether you choose to use dried or fresh herbs in your recipes depends on the dish and of course your preference. Just keep in mind that fresh herbs are not as strong as their dried versions, so you will need to use more.

Some great Italian herbs are rosemary, basil, oregano, sage and thyme. If you love Italian food, you have tasted these; But there is also marjoram, dill,and fennel. It's up to you to discover what you like in a flavor profile.

For example, my husband and I always laugh at recipes that call for a pinch of rosemary. We love robust flavors and often use a small handful of rosemary in a dish. Rosemary is a strong pungent herb with a wonderful taste, but may be too strong for some tastes.

On the other hand, fennel is a versatile herb as all of its parts may be consumed. Some people slice fennel for a salad and some use the feathery leaves for flavorings. Fennel has a distinctly licorice taste.

So now you have explored and found your favorite herbs, how can you incorporate herbs into your everyday cooking? Here's some ideas beyond merely tossing them into a recipe.

VINEGARS: One of my absolute favorites. I use fresh herbs and a clean wine bottle (the clear wine bottles make the prettiest vinegars). Place your herbs inside the bottle and fill with white vinegar. Cork it and let sit for several days before using. The longer it sits the more flavor you will have. These should NOT be refrigerated. They look wonderful on your counter and make amazing and coveted gifts. Once your vinegar is made, use it to splash on a salad instead or fat-filled salad dressings; splash on fish before broiling; splash some into your veggies before cooking, etc.

HERB BUTTER OR SPREADS: These are wonderful for spreading on biscuits, rolls or bread. The pungent smell combined with the taste are a delight. I use melted butter that I mix finely chopped herbs into, and then pour into butter or candy molds.

HERB DIPPING SAUCES: These are great for crab or grilled shrimp! Melt butter in a ramekin and add your herbs. This can be done in the microwave at HIGH for about a minute. Some good herbs to use for this would be garlic, fennel, oregano, rosemary, basil, thyme, etc.

FLAVORING HERBS: Some herbs should not be eaten but can be used for flavoring, such as juniper berries. I use these extensively in pot roasts in the crockpot, soups and meats. They should be removed before eating. The ratio I use is 3 berries to a crockpot.

I hope this gets you excited to get a book or chart on herbs and get started on your culinary journey with healthy herbs!


  • MAGIC WITCH COOKBOX: Tired of cooking by leaving food out in the sun for hours on end? Don't have the time or patience to build a fire in your kitchen? Now you can cook your food with the power of witchcraft. At the moment, I possess an item of great power (approx. 1380W). By harnessing the power of Satan, this box uses voodoo magic to heat food very quickly. How do I know that it is powered by magic? Why else would the food be boiling lava hot in some places while frozen in others? Anyway, this evil spirit channeling device can be yours for the tidy sum of $60 (or best offer). The runes engraved on this machine seem to tell me that the box was constructed by Sanyo in the Year of Our Lord 1996. EM-F540WK seems to be some kind of model number, but I fear it may be a magic incantation. It's quite sizable, in any case (1.1cu. ft.). You could easily fit a great number of sandwiches inside, provided you wanted those sandwiches heated up. Be warned that bread placed inside may become soggy. This is also clearly the work of evil spirits. If you are a brave soul, contact me and we can discuss a proper sacrifice to be offered in the ritual of exchanging ownership of this device ($). 
  • GIRLFRIEND SAYS MY LAB MUST GO: New girlfriend is not a fan of my 8 year old lab, and says i need to make a craigslist add to find him a good home.....so here you go honey Free to good home 1 jealous nagging dog hating girlfriend -make an offer or look in the free section if she keeps it up and gets kicked to the curb
  • FREE CELLO: So my sister gave me this cello a couple years ago. It's a nice cello. Actually, it's a great cello. It's probably the best cello, but I don't really know much about cellos. Also the neck snapped off. Of the cello. So it's really more like 3/4's of a cello, but the other 1/4's still there, it's just not attached. It's kind of like you're getting two cellos, only one of them doesn't have a body and the other doesn't have a neck. But if you stand them up next to each other it's like old times. You could probably fix it with like some music glue or something like that. She also gave me a cello bag that I can give to you too, now that I won't have a cello. It's a really nice cello bag. You can fit everything in it. Actually, there might even be a bow in the bag, I'm not sure. I don't want you to think that there's 100% a bow in the bag. It's way over there, I can't check right now. But if it's in there it's yours. If you're like me and you don't know how to play the cello then you could use it as a coin bank. It's hollow and there are two S's on the front that you could drop the coins through. Then when it's filled up you could drop it off of your roof or carry it around like a change purse. Ooh, in the cello bag. It'd be like a cello purse. I'd do it but I'm moving across the country and it won't fit in my car. What else could you do with it. You could saw the front off and use it as a sled. Or give the neck to a baby as like a wizard stick for Christmas. Totally give this cello to someone for Christmas. Or Hanukkah. Please come get it. I'm in Echo Park. I'd actually go somewhere to meet you if wherever we're going is a cool place. Like the desert or something. I'm 90% certain the bow's in there. 
  • FREE 17' CANOE:**NOT SEAWORTHY** Great for kids sandbox **NOT SEAWORTHY*Ideal for Flowerbed **NOT SEAWORTHY** Cool for decoration**NOT SEAWORTHY*Cracked outer hull, degraded beyond repair **NOT SEAWORTHY** Don't put anyone, but your Ex-Wife, in this canoe. It will sink. We will help you load it.


On today in American history, people in gardens everywhere were talking about:
1815 Napoleon, after his defeat at Waterloo, was sent into exile
1863 Robert E. Lee offers resignation as Commander of the Confederate Army
1945 Truman signs United Nations charter
1963 The Great Train Robbery
1968 Nixon and Agnew receive the Republican Party nominations
1974 President Nixon resigns and becomes the only US President to ever resign while in office
1981 Jim & Barbara meet and fall in love
1988 Gangsta rap hits the mainstream music scene
2012 In Garden Grove, a woman dressed as a nurse, walked into a hospital and was caught in the act of kidnapping a baby

As always, we would love to hear from you! Please share here; Or find us on Facebook Or Pin us!Follow Me on Pinterest    Delicious

No comments: