Tag: culinary herbs

Easy Steps to Grow Your Vegetable Garden – FREE Webinar

 

Hi Garden Friends!

Have you always wanted to grow a vegetable garden, but don’t know where to start? How cool would it be to step outside and gather home grown produce to use in youe next home cooked meal!-

I am super excited to announce that I am holding a FREE webinar to help you get started on your vegetable garden this year. I hope you can join me live on Thursday, March 24th at 11:00am Pac. You’ll learn easy actionable steps on what you need how to get your edible garden in the ground.

 

Join me live, and you’ll also be eligible for some great garden bonuses (cause I like to give fun stuff to my friends)!

 

It’s easy to enroll. Just click the link here: http://app.webinarjam.net/register/25280/b79195e60b

 

I look forward to seeing you next week (oh, and feel free to share the link with your friends)!

 

Xo,

Angela

Posted in food, garden, garden help, garden lifestyle, Garden Tools, raised bed garden, spring, vegetable garden Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , ,

Bursting with Flavor! 6 Tips for Growing Your Own Herbs

I remember the first time I ate a salad with herbs in it. Amidst all of the typical lettucey (not really a word, but I am going for it anyway) flavors was something deeper yet familiar. Dill! And Italian parsley! OMG – There are herbs in this salad!! I would never look at a salad the same way again. Fresh mint and oregano and basil were itching to get into my salad bowl, so I went to the market and bought a bunch of those little plastic boxes of fresh herbs. Some TV chef said, snip the ends and put them in a glass of water in the refrigerator, so I did what I was told. I snipped off some mint and sprinkled on some watermelon, and then promptly forgot about the herbs.

A couple of days later, I wanted to use my fresh herb bundle in some chicken salad. I opened the fridge only to be disappointed. The herbs were now droopy and well, icky looking, and not so fresh. What a waste of $10! That’s when I decided to invest a bit of time into growing my own. Fresh herbs are one of the easiest edibles for the

Posted in drip irrigation, farm, garden help, garden lifestyle, herbal history, herbs, Ikea, Uncategorized, vegetable garden Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , ,

Long Live Sage!

“How can a man grow old who has sage in his garden?” ~Chinese Proverb Tweet: “How can a man grow old who has sage in his garden?” ~Chinese Proverb

 

Common Sage (Salvia officinalis) is considered by many cultures to be a sacred herb. In fact, Salvia means ‘savior’ or ‘sacred’. It has been used since ancient times as a medicinal herb to cure everything from sore throats to rheumatism, as a sacred ceremonial herb to cleanse spaces of evil spirits or negative energy or to impart wisdom and immortality, and more recently as a culinary herb.

As a garden designer, I like to use culinary sage planted among ornamental plants. Its many varieties show off soft grey green, purple, and even variegated leaves. The plants grow in low, mounded clumps, and in the summer they bloom with purple flowers. Sage reminds me of fall: fireplaces, roast turkey, and pumpkin ravioli. As I write this, however, it is 106 degrees Fahrenheit in Los Angeles, and, frankly, roasting a turkey is about the last thing I want to do. But I have sage in the garden, and as long as I keep watering it, it

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Lovely Lavender – Herb of the Week

If you had to think of one herb that has been used since ancient times and is probably the most popular scent in a dizzying array of bath and body products from shampoo to soap to lotion, it would be lavender. If you had to come up with a flower that epitomized the Provence region of France, the cottage gardens of England, and even the drought tolerant native gardens of California, it would be lavender. However, name a culinary herb off the top of your head, and lavender probably won’t make the list, which is too bad because lavender can bring a lovely floral herbaceous flavor to so many dishes (and cocktails, of course).

The history of lavender goes back more than 2500 years. Ancient Egyptians used lavender in their mummification processes. The Roman word lavender most likely comes from the Latin verb lavare, which means ‘to wash’ or  livendulo, which means ‘bluish’. They used lavender for bathing, cooking, healing, and for scenting the air. In Christian history, lavender has been used as a ward against evil. It is mentioned in the Bible as spikenard, with which Mary anoints the feet of the baby Jesus causing the air to be

Posted in cocktails, farm, Flowers, food, garden, herbal cocktail, herbal history, herbs Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Grapefruit Cilantro Margaritas – What I’m Drinking This Week

I will say that folks are pretty passionate about their feelings for cilantro. In my very informal and unscientific pole, the cilantro lovers came out ahead! So, in your honor, here is a cocktail that highlights this aromatic herb:

 

Grapefruit Cilantro Margaritas

Ingredients

Kosher salt for rimming the glass

1 oz simple syrup

2 oz. freshly squeezed grapefruit juice – pink or white

1 oz. silver tequila (I used Patron silver)

1 large cilantro sprig (and more for garnish)

1 lime wedge

Directions

Make a simple syrup by dissolving 1 cup of white sugar into 1 cup of water in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil until all of the sugar is dissolved. Cool to room temperature, and then cover and refrigerate until cold. Simple syrup will keep in a covered jar for 2 weeks in the fridge. In a cocktail shaker, mix 1 oz. simple syrup, grapefruit juice, tequila, cilantro, and a squeeze of lime. Add ice to the shaker and shake until well chilled. Rim a rocks or martini glass with the lime and dip into the salt. Strain the liquid from the shaker into the glass and garnish with a sprig of cilantro. Makes 1

Posted in cocktails, food, garden, herbal cocktail, herbs Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,

Treading Into Cilantro Land – Herb of the Week

When I was in my late teens, I went on a backpacking trip in Northern California. The weather was warm, and I clearly remember being on a hike near a reservoir. At some point in the hike, I slipped down a small slope that was covered with wild cilantro. At that point in my life, I would have rather fallen into a pit of poison oak because I hated the smell of cilantro so much. Flash forward way too many years to count and even more culinary adventures, and I can proudly say that I actually like cilantro!

And so I tread carefully into cilantro land this week as I know there will be many haters. Did you know there is actually an I Hate Cilantro blog as well as a Facebook group with over 3000 members dedicated to haters of cilantro? Even Julia Child hated the herb! Apparently, there is scientific evidence to indicate that cilantro hating may be genetic (oh, good, something else to blame your parents on). I’m not sure what turned the tide for me. All I can say is that I hated the stuff and now I think it is a culinary necessity

Posted in cocktails, farm, food, garden, herbal cocktail, herbs, travel Tagged with: , , , , , , ,

Mint Everywhere!

So you’re a young river nymph, and Hades, the god of the underworld, takes a liking to you. You think he’s kind of hot, so you start a torrid affair with him. The thing is, he’s married to another nymph, Persephone, who’s now the goddess of the underworld and spring growth. She finds out, and decides to turn you into a plant that everyone will walk on. Your boyfriend can’t do anything to fix that, so he tries to make good (yea, right) by making you smell pretty. Every time someone walks all over you, they’ll remember you by your fresh and minty aroma.

Such is the sad story of Menthe, who became known as the herb mint. I love botanical myths, and I love mint. It’s probably one of the best know herbs and is used in a huge variety of products to flavor or scent everything from soap to toothpaste to chewing gum. Our breathe would certainly not smell as nice without mint. Mint has been used as an herbal medicine to calm upset stomachs, relieve headaches, and soothe itchy skin. As a culinary herb. mint has global appeal. It is a common cooking ingredient in the Middle

Posted in farm, featured-home, Flowers, garden, herbs Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , ,

This Year, Next Year, Some Thyme – Herb of the Week

Amongst the plethora of puns, I always have fresh thyme in my garden, and a jar of dried thyme in my spice drawer. I use it the most of any culinary herb I grow because it seems to work with almost everything. There a a ton of varieties too.  Mountain Valley Growers sells 28 (!) varieties including lemon thyme, coconut thyme, lavender thyme, and juniper thyme ( Note to self: need to try the juniper thyme in a gin drink).

History (because I love history)

Thyme has been around for thousands of years. The word thyme comes from the Greek word Thumos, which means smoke, as well as another Greek word thyo, which means sacrifice. Thyme was burned to purify Greek and Roman temples, to ward off disease and evil spirits, and to show respect and bravery. In the Middle Ages, soldiers were given gifts of thyme to wear as a badge of honor. And you thought thyme was just good sprinkled on your roast chicken.

Medicine

Thyme has historically been used as a powerful medicinal herb to treat and cure illnesses from consumption to whooping cough to fatigue. Thyme oil also has antiseptic properties and was used to

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