Cooking with Fresh Herbs

Selection: Choose herbs that look fresh and clean with no discoloration or damage. The goal is to protect the natural oils that are responsible for giving herbs their flavors and aromas. Anything that prematurely crushes the herb leaves is going to reduce the oils. Storage: Wash the herbs in cool (not cold) water right before … Read more

Basil Basics

If you haven’t started to grow basil in your garden or on your deck, what are you waiting for? Basil is an easy plant to grow, with its only major requirements being full sun and consistent water. Its delicious flavor will make it the most useful herb in your summer kitchen. Some Basics: Plant in … Read more

Whipped Herb Butter

In a medium bowl, combine 1 cup room temperature butter, salted or unsalted, 2 teaspoons lemon juice, and about 1/3 cup finely chopped fresh herbs with a hand held mixer, stopping and scraping the bowl and beaters often, until well blended. Add a twist of freshly ground pepper, too.

Fresh Herb Mayonnaise

To 1 cup of your favorite mayonnaise, add 2 teaspoons lemon juice and about 1/4 to 1/3 cup chopped fresh herbs. Mix well, then cover and refrigerate at least until next day or for up to 1 month. That turkey sandwich or your favorite mayo based potato salad will never be the same! Need a … Read more

Cilantro Pesto

2 garlic cloves, finely minced ¾ cup finely chopped cilantro 2 Tablespoons fresh lime juice ¾ cup toasted pumpkin seeds (pepitas) 1 ¼ teaspoons coarse sea salt ¾ cup avocado or extra virgin olive oil In a food processor combine the garlic and cilantro. Pulse to mince and combine; stop and scrape sides. Add lime … Read more

Cilantro Lime Dressing

2 Tablespoons finely chopped cilantro zest of 1 lime ¼ cup fresh lime juice zest of 1 orange ¼ cup fresh orange juice 2 teaspoons apple cider or white wine vinegar 1 Tablespoon local honey ½ teaspoon fine sea salt ½ cup extra virgin olive oil In a food processor combine the cilantro, zest and … Read more

Spinach-stuffed Tomatoes

¾ lb. spinach 8 medium size tomatoes 1 Tbsp. butter 1 Tbsp. vegetable oil 1 medium onion, finely chopped 1 ¼ cups freshly grated Parmesan cheese, divided use 2 Tbsp. dry breadcrumbs 1/8 tsp. nutmeg Pick through spinach leaves, discarding stems and any yellow or wilted leaves. Plunge spinach into a large quantity of cold … Read more

Fresh Tomato and Basil Sauce

3 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil 3 large cloves garlic, sliced as thinly as possible 2 lb. cherry tomatoes, rinsed and halved 1 teaspoon kosher salt plus more to taste Freshly ground black pepper 1 cup lightly packed fresh basil leaves, very thinly sliced In a large sauté pan, heat the oil and garlic over … Read more

Basil Pesto

4 cups lightly packed fresh basil leaves 1/3 cup toasted pine nuts ¼ cup lightly packed fresh flat-leaf (Italian) parsley leaves 1 small clove garlic Kosher salt Freshly ground black pepper ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil Put the basil, pine nuts, parsley, garlic, ½ teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper in a food processor. … Read more

Tomato Basil Soup

3 Tbsp. butter 1 large onion, thinly sliced 1 large carrot, shredded 4 to 5 large ripe tomatoes, peeled, seeded and coarsely chopped (about 4 cups) ½ cup lightly packed fresh basil leaves ¾ tsp. sugar ¼ tsp. black pepper 2 cups chicken broth Melt butter in a 4-quart saucepan over medium heat. Add the … Read more

Peppered Peppers

2 Tbsp. olive oil or vegetable oil 1 medium onion, finely chopped 2 tsp. coarsely ground black pepper 2 tsp. ground cumin 2 cloves garlic, minced 2 medium red bell peppers, seeded and cut into 1” squares 2 medium green bell peppers, seeded and cut into 1” squares 1/3 cup dry white wine Sea salt … Read more

White Beans with Roasted Peppers

You can eat this bean dish cold, as a salad, or hot with pasta, polenta or rice. Don’t forget to use your fresh basil in this recipe as well. 2 red bell peppers, halved and seeded 1 Tbsp. olive oil 3 cloves garlic, minced 2 cups cooked or canned white beans, drained ½ cup chopped … Read more

Lemon Rosemary Cake with Fresh Lemon Glaze

Reprinted with permission from CAKES To Die For! by Bev Shaffer This cake has such bright flavors, and rosemary helps it cross over from a simply sweet cake to a treat that would go perfectly as a ladies’ luncheon “bread” or with barbecued ribs. Cake: 2 cups unbleached, all purpose flour 1 ½ teaspoons baking … Read more

Cilantro: My Love / Hate Relationship

Well, okay—hate is a very strong word, so maybe love/dislike would be more appropriate. But think about it—most people either love cilantro or they don’t; there’s no grey area with this versatile herb. My mission here is to enlighten you on this wonderful herb—cilantro is the leaf, coriander is the seed. Cilantro does well in … Read more

You Say Tomato…

Here’s some trivia for you: in 1893 the U.S. Supreme Court ruled the tomato a vegetable. (Obviously not a lot on the docket that year.) The question became a matter for the courts because of different trade regulations governing fruits and vegetables. Hopefully your garden is overflowing with a variety of tomatoes. Remember to store … Read more

Oh Peppers: You Sweet, Spicy, and Pungent Things!

Did you know when cooking bell peppers you can use any color, but purple bells turn khaki when heated, so cooking them hardly justifies the premium you pay for the color? I made that mistake once. A short pepper crop took me to the Farmer’s Market where the green bells were abundant and so reasonably … Read more

Tasty Idea: Edible Landscaping

Yes, your gardens can be BOTH pretty and productive, and often times the sunniest spots in our yards are the front yards. So why not mix and mingle some plants into your landscape that are functional/edible? Here are some ideas… Herbs plants are not only easy to grow and fragrant, but they blend beautifully into … Read more

An Herb That Needs No Introduction: Rosemary

If you know your way around the kitchen, rosemary needs no introduction. An evergreen shrub native to the Mediterranean, you may already have a “love/hate” relationship with this culinary herb. In my experience, people that dislike (e.g. hate) rosemary have had it in dishes where the cook or chef had a heavy hand and perhaps … Read more

There’s More To Pumpkin Than Meets The Spice!

Yes, fellow fall lovers—there’s much more to pumpkin than those overplayed pumpkin drinks! Try cutting and steaming a fresh pie pumpkin for a change of pace (jack o’ lantern pumpkins are bred to be thinner, so are not used for cooking) … and, if gutting a pumpkin on a fall afternoon is not your thing, … Read more

Smokey Peach Barbecue Pulled Pork Sandwiches

Ingredients Salt and pepper 2-3 pounds trimmed boneless Boston pork butt or blade roast 2 Tablespoons vegetable oil 1 bottle Stonewall Kitchen Smokey Peach Whiskey Sauce 6 sandwich buns Cole slaw, optional Directions Rub salt and pepper over Boston pork butt or blade roast. Heat vegetable oil over medium-high heat in a heavy ovenproof cooking pot … Read more

Strawberry Salsa

TOTAL TIME: 10 MINS PREP TIME: 10 MINS COOK TIME: 0 MINS INGREDIENTS: 1 pint strawberries, hulled and finely diced 1 jalapeno, stem and seeds removed, finely diced half of a small red onion, peeled and finely diced (about 1/2 cup) 2/3 cup finely-chopped fresh cilantro, loosely-packed juice of 1 lime, about 2 tablespoons (pinch of salt and black pepper) … Read more

Vegan Queso

Vegan Queso (makes 3.5 cups) 2 cups soaked cashew (soak cashews over night or at least 6hrs.) 1 1/4 cups almond mylk 3 Tablespoons nutritional yeast 1/4  teaspoon turmeric 1/2 teaspoon salt 2 teaspoons cumin powder 2 teaspoons ancho chili powder 1/4 cup water 1 red pepper, chopped into small pieces Place all ingredients into … Read more

Fresh Vegan Corn Salsa

Corn Salsa with Cilantro 2 cans corn, rinsed 1/2 cup diced red onion 1 pepper, small dice (can be green and red) 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped 2 Tbsp. avocado oil 2 tsp. salt 1 tsp. pepper 1 Tbsp. lime juice 3 tsp. guajillo chili powder 2 tsp. cumin powder Add all ingredients to a medium … Read more

Griff’s Coffee Toffee Tiramisu

INGREDIENTS For the Griff’s Coffee Toffee Cream 10-12 pieces Griff’s Coffee Toffee (use more or less toffee depending on how crunchy you want your dessert to be) 1 1/2 cups heavy cream 1/2 cup dark brown sugar packed Heavy pinch salt 1 1/2 cups mascarpone cheese, room temperature 1/4 cup salted caramel liqueur (such as … Read more

Pesto Cheese Torta

3 (8 oz.) packages cream cheese, softened 2 sticks butter, softened 1 cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese 2-3 cloves garlic, minced 1 cup basil pesto Pita chips or crackers Combine cream cheese and butter in medium bowl. Add Parmesan and garlic; mix well. Lightly butter 9-inch pie dish. Spread 1/3 of cheese mixture in bottom … Read more

Sugared Cranberries

2 cups granulated sugar 2 cups water 2 cups fresh cranberries 1/2 cup superfine sugar Combine granulated sugar and water in small saucepan over low heat, stirring mixture till sugar dissolves. Bring to simmer; immediately remove from heat. (Do not boil as cranberries may pop when added.) Stir in cranberries. Pour mixture into bowl. Cover … Read more

Stuffed Blue Hubbard Squash

Ingredients: One blue hubbard squash, cut in half lengthwise, and seed/pulp removed Two 16 oz. packages pork breakfast sausage, thawed  Two Granny Smith apple, coarsely chopped One Vidalia onion, coarsely chopped 1/2 cup brown sugar 1/2 stick of butter Sea salt and pepper to taste Directions: Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fairenheit. Butter the entire surface of … Read more

Roasted Apple Pork Skewers

Ingredients: 1 bottle Stonewall Kitchen Apple Grill Sauce, available at Uncle Johns Home & Garden 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper 2 teaspoons minced fresh sage 6 (1-inch thick) boneless pork chops 2 large red bell peppers Directions: Combine Roasted Apple Grille Sauce, crushed pepper and sage in food processor; process until pureed. Cut each pork chop … Read more

Cranberry Pumpkin Bread Pudding

Quick and easy to prepare (don’t let all the instructions fool you), this recipe can be prepared up to several days ahead of time and is delicious served with vanilla ice cream or sweetened whipped cream. ¾ cup milk, whole or low fat ½ cup heavy cream 2 large eggs 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract 1 … Read more

Roasted Red Pepper Cheesy Bread

Quick and easy to prepare, this recipe is perfect to substitute for your Friday night pizza and it’s even more enjoyable on a cool fall evening! Wind & Willow Roasted Red Pepper Dip Mix (available at our Home & Garden Store) 1 French baguette 4 Tbsp. butter 2 cups shredded mozzarella Slice baguette lengthwise then … Read more

Caribbean Pumpkin Coconut Soup

Thick creamy and spicy—this soup uses the bounty of fall. 2 lbs. pie pumpkin 2 qts. vegetable broth 2 leeks, cut in half lengthwise, cleaned well and chopped 2 chilies (mild or hot), diced 2 Tablespoons grated fresh ginger 1 teaspoon sea salt 1 bunch (4 to 6 leaves) collard greens, cut into thin strips … Read more

Oven Roasted Veggies

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil 2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced 2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice 1 Tablespoon chopped fresh parsley 1 Tablespoon chopped fresh oregano 3 medium tomatoes, cut into wedges 3 medium zucchini, diced 2 medium orange or yellow bell peppers, diced 1 large red onion, diced 1 teaspoon Hepp’s sea salt … Read more

The Ketchup ‘n’ Fries plant

You say tomato. I say potato. We’re both right. And they’re both a part of the same plant. That’s right—the top portion of the Ketchup ‘n’ Fries plant, at Uncle John’s Plant Farm, was grafted to grow as many as 500 cherry tomatoes over the summer, while, beneath the soil, it can produce more than … Read more

Fresh from the Garden Angel Food Cake

I adore angel food cakes…they’re light and airy and make the perfect canvas for seasonal fruit, fresh herbs and a large (or small) dollop of freshly whipped cream. When it comes to actually making angel food cakes at my home, my husband, John, is the far better baker of these delicacies than I.  His are … Read more

Colorful (and Flavorful) Gazpacho Salad

This bright and flavorful combination of veggies makes for the perfect salad for picnics, potlucks, cookouts and salad buffets!   5 medium tomatoes, cored and chopped 1 cup chopped peeled cucumber 3/4 cup chopped red onion 1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped 1/2 to 3/4 cup frozen corn, thawed 1 Tablespoon fresh lime juice … Read more

Herb, Garlic & Lemon Rub

    Got herbs? They make THE perfect rub for your next outdoor soiree, tantalizing with pork tenderloin, skinless poultry (chicken or turkey) and even fish.   Herb, Garlic and Lemon Rub   This rub makes about 1/2 cup…   1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil 2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced 2 Tablespoons fresh … Read more

Lemony Fresh Herb Coolers

Using these fresh herbs in a variety of ways is a pleasure, and I like to serve this cooler instead of lemonade when people drop by. Try it with your fresh basil and mint and more! Lemony Fresh Herb Coolers Makes about 8 drinks The combination of fresh basil, cilantro, mint and tarragon makes an … Read more

Insalata Mista with Mint

Makes 4 side dish servings 5 cups torn mixed greens ½ cup halved yellow or red cherry tomatoes 3 Tablespoons snipped fresh mint 2 ounces thinly sliced fresh mozzarella ¼ cup Greek olives, pitted (optional) 2 Tablespoons dry white wine 2 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar or red wine vinegar 1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil 1/8 … Read more

Fresh Dill Bread

Dill bread is traditionally a Swedish bread, often served with soups or other hearty dishes. It is not used as a breakfast bread, due to the robust flavor of the dill. A true artisan bread, this is recipe is reminiscent of something you might buy at a farmer’s market and is a delicious variation on … Read more

Minted Fruit

I love to mix and match room temperature, drop-dead-ripe stone fruits and melons with fresh mint. Try this recipe for your next picnic or a too-hot-to-bake-one-of-my-cakes dessert. Minted Fruit 3 ripe peaches, peeled, pitted and sliced 6 small ripe plums, pitted and sliced ½ ripe melon (honeydew, cantaloupe) seeded and cut into ½ inch cubes … Read more