Category: Herbs

All the Things I Love

Yesterday was a day filled with all the things I love: playing in the garden with my daughter, a walk around the neighborhood, cooking, sewing, a glass of wine, and a nice dinner with my family.

On the outside it really doesn’t seem like anything extraordinary, but to me, it’s days like these that make me look down on my life and smile.

Garden eggplant, basil and tomatoes

This was my harvest for the day. Dinner? Eggplant Parmesan!

Overgrown garden

It seems things are growing right before my eyes. Everyday both the garden and my daughter are bigger than the day before.

Child getting into cabinets

Monet loves to "help" in the kitchen. While she occupied herself by playing in the drawers and cabinets, I made homemade tomato sauce.

Homemade Tomato Sauce Recipe:

  • First, remove the skins from a large bowl full of tomatoes. The easiest way to do this is to cook the tomatoes in a pot full of boiling water for 1-2 minute and then immediately submerge them in ice water. The skins should come right off.  Next you need to quarter the tomatoes, remove the seeds, and let them drain in a colander for about 15 minutes, pushing the juices out every few minutes.
  • Start cooking the skinned and pitted tomatoes in a big pot.
  • Meanwhile, in a fry pan, cook up one large onion, four cloves of garlic, olive oil, and 1/2 cup finely chopped sun-dried tomatoes (the kind packed in olive oil). Cook until onions are translucent.
  • Add salt, pepper, a little cayenne, a spoonful of sugar, and 1 TBSP balsamic vinegar to the fry pan. Cook for one more minute.
  • Add the onion mixture to the pot full of tomatoes and stew for 1-3 hours, until the sauce is to your desired thickness.
  • Add freshly chopped basil and Parmesan cheese before you serve over noodles.

Last night I used this sauce, along with the eggplants from my garden, to make  Martha Stewart’s Baked-Eggplant Parmesan. So good!

And then the three of us, my hubby, Monet and I, enjoyed a nice dinner together.

Because people, smiles and laughter, more than anything else, is truly what makes a house a home, I hope you enjoyed this weeks “moment”…

om [one moment] meet upOM is *one moment* and is a meetup designed to notice & relish a moment in everyday life. The meetup idea was created by Linda at her blog, a la mode stuff.  If you’d like to participate in OM, just click the button and you’ll be taken to Linda’s post explaining it all.

Turning Those Herbs Into Summer Drinks

Do you want to know how to make the world’s best margarita?  Have a seat, let me tell you a story.

Last summer… Josh and I helped some friends move.  While the boys moved heavy stuff, in my defense I was 8 months pregnant, Erika and I spent time cleaning out the freezer.  As we cleaned, elbow deep in ice cubes and frozen veggies, Erika came across a big bag of Lemon Verbena Sugar Pesto.  She kindly asked if Josh and I wanted it, a payment for our services.  At the time, I didn’t even know what Lemon Verbena was, regardless though, I smiled and happily took the gift.

Two moths later… this beautiful bag of Lemon Verbena Sugar Pesto continued to take up space in our freezer, untouched and taunting me.  You see I, like my grandmother, hate wasting food.  Just yesterday I was thinning my arugula seedlings and instead of throwing away the handful of arugula seedlings I had plucked, I washed them and threw them on top of my dinner that night.  And the water that I used to wash the handful of plucked arugula seedlings, that water got dumped back in the garden instead of going down the drain.

And so the taunting continued…

Two months + 10 days or so… after a bit of experimenting, this beautfiul bag of pesto tormented me just enough that out of my tormented state, the most delicious margarita recipe was born.  And when I say most delicious, I geneuienly mean most delecious.  That summer, we had friends over multiple times and every dinner guest begged for the recipe.  Soon, this lemon verbena sugar pesto was like gold.  People were frantically asking around at the farmers market, needing to get their fix.

Current day… it’s that time of year again, time to start planting our gardens and so I remind you, please don’t forget to plant all those wonderful herbs.  It’s so easy to make pesto in the summer and then freeze them for winter.  To inspire you, here is that margarita recipe…

Sugar Pesto Recipe:

Take two part sugar to one part herbs and food process.  Remember to wash your herbs, just using the leaves and discarding the stems.  Make sure the washed herbs are dry before processing them.  This sugar pesto works well with mint for mojitos or lemon verbena for margaritas.  Great for drinks, fruit salad, baking, etc.

The World’s Best Margarita Recipe:

In a martini shaker, shake these ingredients well:  1 shot lemon verbena sugar pesto, 1 shot tripple sec, 2 shots good tequila, juice of 2 limes, and ice.  Using two plates, one with water and one with sugar pesto, dip the rim of the margarita glass first in the water first and then in the sugar pesto to cover the rim with sugar pesto instead of salt.  Pour the margarita into the glass and serve immediately with a sprig of fresh lemon verbena and a slice of lime.