Category Archives: Herbs

How To Dry Herbs: A Step-By-Step Guide

dryingherbs1Summer is speedily drawing to a close and it is getting to be that time of the year when we dry herbs. Normally, fresh herbs are great to keep around for cooking and if you have a sunny window you can always make a nice little herb pot to keep growing indoors. However, fresh herbs don’t last forever and in order to get the most out of our herbs we need to preserve them in some way. Luckily, drying herbs is almost as easy as growing them. After the jump, find out how to dry herbs easily.
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What Do You Do When Your Cilantro Bolts? Get Coriander!

corianderI’m a big fan of making Mexican food, specifically fresh guacamole, so when I was planning out my garden for this year I was sure to make space for cilantro, an herb that is frequently used in Mexican and other Latino dishes. This was my first experience growing cilantro so I was unaware that bolting–when a plant uses all of its energy to make seeds rather than continue growing, this usually happens when the weather is warm–was a common problem with the herb. Apparently, cilantro, like humans, prefers to remain at room temperature (somewhere between 68 degrees and 74 degrees). Once cilantro feels the temperature rising, it bolts, and seeing as how New York has hot, muggy summers, my cilantro was destined to bolt early. Luckily, the seeds/fruit that cilantro produces after it bolts is another common herb: coriander, so all is not lost when your cilantro bolts.

After the jump, find out how to collect coriander seeds and tips on growing cilantro.
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When Aphids Attack

3566108953_a35a945481_o I recently planted a Nasturtium plant in my garden but soon found it covered in tiny black bugs along the underside of the flower and the flower peduncle (the part that connects the flower to the stem). Horrors, I was dealing with aphids. I knew I wanted to keep my aphid-battles organic because I was planning on eating my Nasturtium flowers–they make lovely additions to salads and I also wanted to try making Hwajeon, a Korean sweet pancake that uses edible flowers. I went to my gardening books to try to find a solution. I read in one book that Cilantro is good at deterring aphids when planted next to targeted plants. Hurray! I actually had some Cilantro overflowing in another pot that I could easily move to next to my Nasturtiums. Unfortunately, the Cilantro companion-planning did not go over that well. Within a week there were still aphids on my Nasturtium. I had to find another mode of attack.
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Recipes From The Garden: Fun With Herbs

sagecrackers1 Herbs are probably one of the easiest and most versatile things to grow. Not only can you grow them year-round next to a sunny window, you never have to wait to start using your herbs in your kitchen. Usually, I use my herbs to add some spice to chicken or to add to a specific vegetable dish I am preparing. However, these two recipes are a great way to use your fresh herbs in a different way. Sage crackers (from A Bread A Day) are wonderfully soft on the inside with just the slightest hint of sage and salt. These crackers are also extremely easy to make and don’t require a lot of special ingredients. This mint chocolate chip ice cream (from The Kitchn) is a real crowd pleaser. My friends always ask me to make it for them when they throw summer parties. The only drawback is it takes a long time to make and requires an ice cream machine. After the jump, find the recipes along with some tips from me.
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