Commonly Used Perennial Culinary Herbs

Perennial herbs are an excellent choice for your garden. Perennial herbs continue to grow and provide fresh herbs for your kitchen for many years if given a little care.

You can prepare a mouthwatering recipe by using Perennial herbs. Perennial herbs are good for your health, and you can also use them to make salads, stews, and soups.

Perennial herbs can be grown at ease, and the best part is that you can harvest them at any time of the year. Some of the most commonly used perennial culinary herbs are:

Mint

Mint is recognized to be one of the well renowned perennial culinary herbs which are used for cooking on an extensive scale. Though it is lemony or bit-peppery in its raw form, mint leaves a cool after taste.

Mints have slightly dented, pointy, oval, and bright green leaves along with the sturdy stem. Mint is used for cooking on an extensively in Middle-Eastern and North African recipes.

This herb emanates a refreshing smell. The intense flavor of this herb makes it the best option to cook fish sauces, peas, lamb, vegetables, and chocolate. You can also use mint to prepare tea and other beverages. The most popular varieties of mint which are used for cooking include spearmint, good old peppermint, and apple mint.

Rosemary

It is another popular favorable herb that can be used for cooking vegetables, meat, and poultry. In addition to this, you can also use it with apricots, garlic, roasted potatoes, and roasted chicken. You are going to love this plant for its delightful scent.

They are used on an extensive scale in different types of floral arrangements. The intense flavor of this herb contributes to being one of the prominent reasons why this herb is used for cooking across the globe. It has needle leaves along with hard woody stems.

Sage

This is another worth mentioning name in the list of perennial culinary herbs, which is used for the preparation of Balkan and Italian dishes. You can fry it with light batter for preparing pork, sausages, and bacon.

You can also make the best use of this herb for preparing fresh stuffed pasta, butter, rabbits, eggs, to name a few. Furthermore, you can use this aromatic herb for making sauces, seasoning meats, and vegetables. Sage in its dried form emits strong flavor.

Dill

This herb has earned a high reputation for its fresh aroma and amazing delicate flavor. The leaves of this plant are soft and light. It is used for the preparation of Eastern and Northern cuisines. Dill is an ideal choice for cucumbers, green soups, salmon, beetroot, cream, pickles, and other recipes. Dill can also be used to season peas, potatoes, lamb, and fish.

Oregano

This perennial herb is primarily grown in the warm climate of Mediterranean and Eurasia. Also referred to as the wild aroma, it is used to flavor a plethora of American and Italian dishes. Oregano is commonly used in the preparation of Turkish, Grek, and Mediterranean dishes. Oregano, also, goes well with olive oil, tomatoes, lamb, pizza, yogurt, and kebabs.

Spring is the ideal season for growing this herb. This delicious herb comes with a lovely smell, and you can use it for different purposes in your kitchen.

Winter Savory

It is recognized to be the perfect herb for the preparation of cold and warm dishes. You can use winter savory to make tasty teas. winter savory is useful in adding an aromatic flavor to a plethora of recipes.

Besides this, it boasts of a bunch of anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties. The intense flavor of this spicy herb makes it an ideal choice for the preparation of poultry, beans, and fish. You can also use it for garnishing the salad and flavoring the liqueurs.

Lemon Balm

This perennial herb comprises of medicinal properties, and it is regarded as an ideal option for the kitchen. You can use lemon balm to garnish meals. It can also be used for the preparation of teas and other beverages.

Lavender

This perennial herb produces a variety of purple flowers which add to the beauty of the garden. It is used for the preparation of dressings and salad. It offers a bit of sweet flavor to a plethora of dishes.

The dried lavender buds and lavender syrup make it the ideal choice for the preparation of Lavender marshmallows and scones. This herb also consists of different health benefits, which make it the prime choice for cooking.

Thyme

The perennial herb tyme can found in most kitchens. Tyme is known to have a pungent, earthy, and lemony smell. tyme is used widely in Middle Eastern and Mediterranean countries recipes.

Tyme can be used in barbecue meats, eggplants, mushrooms, chicken, roasted vegetables such as tomatoes, bell peppers, zucchini, and goat cheese. You can also add this herb for preparing stews and soups.

Conclusion

The above-mentioned herbs are regarded as the best option for the preparation of different cuisines. They are used primarily after drying, and their flavor and aroma enhance the taste.

The best thing about these perennial herbs is that perennial herbs can easily be grown in pots, in your yard or in your garden. All you need is an adequate amount of water, right exposure to light, and care and you are good to go.

Recipe – Cottage Cheese And Apple Pancakes

Recipe – Cottage Cheese And Apple Pancakes
Cottage Cheese And Apple Pancakes

With fall upon us, it is apple season, so here is a quick recipe to use some of those fall apples and have a hearty breakfast.

Recipe Ingredients

  • Dry Cottage cheese – 250 gr
  • Egg- 1 large or jumbo
  • Sugar – 2 tablespoon
  • Vanilla sugar- 1 teaspoon
  • Flour – 1 tablespoon
  • Semolina – 1 tablespoon
  • Apple- 1 small
  • Lemon zest
  • Pinch (1/8 teaspoon) of salt (optional)
  • Lemon juice – 1 teaspoon
  • Breadcrumb- 1 tablespoon
  • Oat bran- 1 tablespoon

Recipe Directions

  • Apple wash and peel.
  • Cut into small cubes.
  • To prevent browning, coat the apples with lemon juice.
  • Mash the cottage with a fork

Note

Use dry cottage cheese. Otherwise, the recipe will need more flour.  If the cottage cheese is wet, then strain the cottage cheese through a cheesecloth.

  • In cottage cheese, add Apple and mix.
  • In cheese with Apple, add egg, sugar, vanilla sugar, a pinch of salt, lemon zest, add cinnamon to taste, and mix thoroughly.
  • Add dry ingredients and mix until smooth.
  • Mix oat bran and breadcrumb.
  • Roll the balls and roll them in the breading. Form cheese pancakes.
  • Fry the cheese pancakes on both sides until golden brown.

Easy Gardening – Garden Seed Tapes

What are Seed Tapes?

Seed tapes are products designed with seeds perfectly attached between narrow strips of biodegradable tissue layers, which are ready for planting in both the garden and house. They are ideal for sowing in containers, large empty garden plots, as well as fill-ins in tighter areas.

The seeds are applied at the correct distance along the tapes to reduce overcrowding of newly germinated seedlings. The tapes can consist of a single variety, custom mixtures, and multiple species of seeds. You can find products with flower, vegetable, and herb seeds embedded into them.

What are the Advantages of Seed Tapes?

  • Provide an easy and efficient way to plant tiny seeds quickly.
  • Seeds are planted at the same depth allowing for a more uniform germination rate.
  • Seed tapes enable you to space plants evenly and eliminate seed wastage. This helps avoid overcrowding that may call for thinning of young seedlings, which is a tedious and time-consuming task.
  • Less thinning also means less disturbance to the root of plants left in your garden. Otherwise, you risk delaying or inhibiting the growth and even performance of the plants.
  • Prevents birds from eating the fresh seeds that you sow.
  • Makes the sowed seeds less susceptible to wash away in a downpour and ruining the evenly spaced rows.
  • Almost all the seed tape products are biodegradable and considered to be environmental-friendly.
  • Very convenient for senior gardeners, particularly those suffering from arthritis, carpal tunnel syndrome, or other mobility complications.

What are the types of Seed tapes?

Seed tapes

Seed tapes are one of the most common types, which are ideal for growing most vegetable seed varieties, salads, as well as flower seeds. They are usually available in different lengths, especially between one to six meters. However, it is possible to have the garden vegetable seed tapes produced in specific lengths to suit your unique gardening needs. Also, the seed tapes can come as a single track containing one variety of seeds or multiple tracks with different seed varieties.

Seed discs

Seed discs are designed in different sizes. You’ll find smaller and larger seed discs. With smaller seed discs, the diameter often ranges from 8cm to 12 cm, a size that easily fits most typical flowerpots. They are perfectly suited for sowing herbs indoor, such as in the kitchen or windowsills.

The larger discs, on the other hand, range from 14cm to 46cm in diameter. You can use them for sowing seeds in outdoor pots, as well as hanging containers or baskets.

Seed mats

If you want to sow seeds in big planters, garden borders or window boxes, then seeds mats are a great option. With seed mats, you can easily produce a great color display of stunning bedding plants. Well, good examples of such plants include marigolds and pansies.

The size of seed mats vary. Often than not, you’ll find mats available in the size of a small business card and up to 100cm in length.

Seed carpets

Seeds carpets are suitable for planting salads, mixed vegetables, and wildflower fusions in large borders or other large garden areas. They are simply ready-made “mini-gardens” or “allotments,” which are usually one meter or larger in length.

How to Use Seed Tapes

It’s an incredibly easy process. First off, you’ll need to prepare the soil for planting, just like you would with any new seedbed. Once you have a weed-free garden bed, it’s often recommended to follow the guidelines on the package of the seed tapes, discs, carpets, or mats.

In most cases though, you’ll be required to place the seed tapes in a straight line on the soil using the proper rowing space. After that, gently cover it with the top layer soil and then water the area. However, you should avoid prolonged watering after sowing.

If the soil has not been moistened by Mother Nature, consider watering it several hours before sowing. But don’t make the garden bed sopping wet.

Where to buy Seed tapes

You can find the different types of seed tapes we’ve discussed above at most local garden centers or nurseries, DIY stores, and grocery stores. Alternatively, you can just buy from reputable online garden retailers.

How to Freeze Green Beans at Home

Do you want to know how to freeze green beans? Are you looking for the best storage option to use green beans throughout the year? Green beans are healthy and can help you to boost your digestion. However, fresh green beans are not available in all seasons. But you can store them in your freezer and use whenever you want.

Storage is easy, and you can store frozen green beans for almost a year. You might be thinking about how. Here are a few tips that can help you to store green beans in your freezer. You will have to take care of every detail, such as to pick the beans at the right time as well as following the right storage method.

How to Choose the Best Green Bean for Freezing?

For the storage, you will have to be a little choosy while picking green beans. Picking is important since if you choose wrong beans or at the wrong time, then you might not store them for long. Also, beans might lose the freshness and flavor if not chosen properly. The peak season to store green beans is from May to October. You can choose any day between these months to ensure the best outcome. In the peak seasons, yummy and fresh green beans will be available in your local store. Visit your local store and choose blemish-free, crisp, and bright-colored beans. Take extra caution to avoid the green beans with shivered ends or limp.

Make sure that these beans do not have small beans inside. Though the small beans do not affect the quality and taste of the green beans, still, these are not considered good for the storage. The size signifies that the bean is past its prime.

You will have to choose the freshest possible bean and freeze soon after picking them from the store or your garden. It is suggested to freeze on the same day. If you want to wait for some obvious reason like a busy schedule, then keep them in the freeze in the meantime.

Prep Your Freezing Containers

Your freezing container does not need much preparation. You can use jars, bags, and a freezer container to store green beans. All you need is to clean those containers and then make it completely dry. Any moisture is not suggested since it can damage the beans. After keeping green beans in the container or bag, you can simply shake them to compact beans.

How to Prep the Green Bean for Freezing

Now you have the fresh green beans and freeze containers. The next is how to prepare the beans for storage. You can consider any with or without blanching. We will discuss both the methods. To start with, use cool tap water to wash green beans. After washing, take a small handful of green beans and line up their stem ends and use a sharp chef’s knife to cut the stems. Repeat the process with the remaining beans. If required, you can trim off its tapered tail ends. As a lot of recipes need cut green beans, you can cut your beans into one-inch pieces for easy storage. If you want, you can store whole green beans depending on your preference. Both ways will offer the same benefit.

Wash your beans with water again to get rid of any dirt and then dry beans completely. Proper drying up is important to ensure better storage. You can use a paper or cloth towel to dry green beans completely. The drying up process will not take more than half an hour.

Now pack the beans into the jars, bags, or container. Seal the container following the manufacturer instructions and press hard to get rid of all the possible air. You can also use a freezer tape around the container lid edges to get a tight seal.

The above method will enable you to freeze green beans with blanching. Some suggested blanching for more effective storage. Blanching will demand one more step. You will have to boil beans in water for a few minutes and then dunk them in ice water. It will help green beans to maintain the flavor and color during freezing.

For boiling, get water in a large pot and boil them. Place beans into the boiling water for two to four minutes depending on the size of beans. While using large beans, you can boil for four minutes and small beans, the time should not exceed two minutes. Soon after, you will have to cool the beans quickly in rice water. Once the beans are cooled down, drain them and follow the same process for the storage. Pack the drained green beans into containers, bags, or jars. Shake the container to compact green beans and add more beans while leaving 1-2 inch headspace.

Package and Label Your Green Bean

After packing the beans in the container by following the above instructions, the next step is to label those containers. You will have to label each container with the content name, packaging date, and amount. It is important to mention all the details in the labeling. Otherwise, you might forget the packaging date and might not use them at the right time.

How to Freeze Your Green Beans

If you are using bags, then rearrange your bags in such a way that you can lay them as flat as possible. This will ensure quick freezing and will preserve the original flavor and taste of your beans as well. Lay the containers or bag flat to the freezer in the batches. Besides, leave some space near the container so that air can easily circulate. Now, your beans are safe in the freezer. You can use them whenever you want for cooking.

How Long Can Frozen Green Beans Be Stored?

As stated earlier, frozen green beans can be stored for a long time up to a year if you follow the right freezing method or choose the right green beans. You can store frozen beans around nine months while using a conventional freezer. If you want to store even longer, then you can use a deep freeze appliance.

What is a Soda float?

What is an ice cream soda float?

Soda float or Ice cream soda float is a dessert-type or recreational-type drink made using ice cream and soda, carbonated water or soft drink such as root beer (hence the alternative name; root beer float). The drink may contain other ingredients such as candy, syrup, milk, and whipped cream.

Ice cream soda originates from the US. It was first created by Robert McCay Green, a flavored drink seller back in 1874 in Philadelphia, PA. The idea came to him on a hot day after he ran out of the ice he was using to make flavored drinks and decided to use vanilla ice cream instead. It’s worth noting there are other people who claim to have invented the ice cream float, including Green’s own employee, George Guy, Fred Sanders, and Philip Mohr.

Besides having a great taste, ice cream soda works because the carbon dioxide inside the soda is displaced from the resulting solution to form a small fountain of foam and bubbles that isn’t messy.

What are the most common flavors of ice cream soda floats?

There are many flavors based mainly on the ingredients. The most common include vanilla, chocolate, strawberry, coke, root beer;

1. Vanilla ice cream soda float

This drink is made using several scoops of vanilla ice cream and unflavored carbonated water. The ice cream is put first in a glass before pouring in carbonated water until the resulting foam rises to the top. Some whipped cream is added and a cherry.

When Sprite soda or 7 Up is used instead of unflavored carbonated water, the resulting drink is known as snow white. 

2. Chocolate ice cream soda float

This drink is made like the vanilla ice cream soda float. The only difference is the ingredients used, i.e., chocolate ice cream or vanilla ice cream with chocolate syrup.

3. Strawberry ice cream soda float

This drink is made in a similar manner to vanilla float ice cream soda float but using strawberry flavored ingredients like strawberry soda, strawberry syrup, and strawberry or vanilla ice cream.

4. Coke ice cream float

As the name suggests, this ice cream float is made with any cola/coke drink and vanilla ice cream.

5. Root beer float

Root beer float or brown cow or black cow is made using root beer and vanilla ice cream. However, some variations use other ice cream flavors. Beer may also be substituted, making variations like black cow different in some region in the US. While root beer float contains only root beer and vanilla ice cream in some places, some areas use chocolate ice cream to make a brown cow or chocolate cow. Some areas also substitute beer with cola and call it a black cow such as Northern Illinois and Northeastern Wisconsin.

Thumbprint Cookies

Thumbprint cookies are a nice and decorative way to add color and flavor to any table.  Not only are they tasty and relatively easy to prepare, but I find them a handy way to use up the mini jam and jelly jars, which tend to arrive in the holiday food gift packages.  Using the mini jars of jams and jellies as filling in these cookies will create a variety of colors in each batch and put the mini jars of jams and jellies to immediate use. 

Of course, if you just want to make a batch of the cookies, there is nothing wrong with just using your favorite jam, which is likely setting in your refrigerator.

Thumbprint CookieIngredients      

Cookie Dough

  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup unshifted powdered sugar
  • 1/3 cup white sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon almond extract

Cookie Filling

  • 1/2 cup fruit jam, divided

Thumbprint CookieDirections

  • Preheat the oven to 325o F (165 o C).
  • Combine butter and powdered sugar together with a spatula until creamy.
  • Add and combine with a spatula, vanilla extract, almond extract, salt, and egg yolk.
  • Add flour and combine with a spatula until just combined.
  • Using a small scoop, portion dough into 1/2-ounce (I-tablespoon size) balls.
  • Roll balls in a plate of white sugar to coat; roll again between your palms.
  • Place cookie dough balls several inches apart on a silicone-lined baking sheet.
  • Flatten balls slightly with a small plate or smooth spatula.

To Make Jam Promament Cookies

  • For more jam-faced cookies, press your thumb into each cookie to make a wider, shallow, indentation in each cookie.
  • Fill the indentation with jam.
  • Gently Tap baking sheet against the counter to settle the let jam.
  • Bake on the center rack of the oven (about 15 minutes ) until the cookie tops are barely blonde and bottoms are slightly golden.
  • Let the cookies rest on pan for 5 minutes, then transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool.

Bread Pudding For Two

Bread pudding has been around a very long time.  I have cooks books going back to 1901 with some variation of the recipe.  And no wonder, this is a really simple and tasty dessert for the cooler months of the year and makes a nice holiday side dish or dessert, as well.

Ingredients

  • 1-1/2 cups day-old or toasted white bread cubes (2 slices)
  • 2 eggs (Large or Jumbo)
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1/4 cup golden raisins (optional)
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon unsalted butter (cut in small cubes)

Directions

  • Divide bread, raisins, and butter between two greased 8 or 10 oz. Ramekins and set aside.
  • In a small mixing bowl, whip together eggs, milk, sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
  • Pour in equal amounts over filling in both ramekins.
  • Bake, uncovered, at 350o F for 40-45 minutes or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.
  • Allow bread puddings to cool and serve warm or room temperature.