This cool and creamy fresh vegetable dip is easy to make. It's a great appetizer or side dish!
Appetizers, Recipes, Sides, Vegetables

Our Favorite Fresh Vegetable Dip

This cool and creamy fresh vegetable dip is easy to make. It’s a great appetizer or side dish!

This cool and creamy fresh vegetable dip is easy to make. It's a great appetizer or side dish!

At my house, the best way to make sure we eat our veggies is to always have some prepped and ready to snack on. I think that’s why those bagged salads, precut baby carrots, and ready-made vegetable trays at the grocery store are so popular. Preparing vegetables can be so time consuming! On the weekends, I like to spend some time cutting bell peppers and cucumbers, then portioning them into little containers to pull out of the fridge for my lunchbox all week long. Wait. I just reread that sentence. I’m not sure I like to do that… but I sure like the results. And you know when I like the results even more? When I’ve thought ahead enough to make some veggie dip like this one!

This cool and creamy fresh vegetable dip is easy to make. It's a great appetizer or side dish!

It’s not that veggies aren’t tasty enough on their own, but sometimes we need some extra motivation, ya know? 🙂 My husband can testify to that, haha! Some people just like dipping their veggies in ranch dressing, but since my husband isn’t a ranch sort of guy, I have to be a little more creative. This fresh veggie dip meets both of our needs: it has a cool and creamy base with tons of flavor, but not that unmistakable ranch flavor. The ingredients are somewhat similar since it uses onion and garlic as the base flavors along with some herbs like dill and parsley, but what makes this vegetable dip stand out from the crowd is the addition of Worcestershire sauce! This adds a complex salty depth to the herby goodness.

This cool and creamy fresh vegetable dip is easy to make. It's a great appetizer or side dish!

Like most dips, this comes together in a flash but I do recommend making it ahead of time so it can chill in the fridge for about an hour before serving. This allows the flavors to marry and taste even better! 🙂 If you want to healthify the dip, you could substitute some plain yogurt for part of the sour cream. I think the recipe is amazing as-is though! Hope you enjoy!

one year ago: Chocolate Covered Strawberry Cake
two years ago: Pumpkin Cranberry Bread
three years ago: Cranberry and Cream Cheese Muffins
four years ago: Pumpkin Graham Muffins
five years ago: Roasted Chicken
six years ago: Homemade Maple & Brown Sugar Almond Butter
seven years ago: Pumpkin Soup and Homemade Croutons

This cool and creamy fresh vegetable dip is easy to make. It's a great appetizer or side dish!

Fresh Vegetable Dip

  • Servings: ~ 2 cups
  • Print

from Taste of Home

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups (12 ounces) sour cream
  • 3/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 2 teaspoons dried dill
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • a few cracks freshly ground black pepper
  • fresh vegetables, for serving

Directions:

In a medium bowl, stir together sour cream and mayonnaise. Add seasonings: onion powder, dill, garlic powder, parsley, and Worcestershire sauce and stir well. Taste and season with black pepper as desired.

Cover and chill for one hour in the refrigerator.

Serve with fresh vegetables!

Notes: You can also substitute some of the sour cream for plain yogurt (Greek or regular).

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Chicken, Main Dishes, Recipes

Healthier Poppy Seed Chicken Casserole

Comforting and homey, poppy seed chicken casserole is a classic--and for good reason! This makeover recipe is a *little* healthier thanks to a (simple) homemade cream of chicken soup and the addition of greek yogurt instead of all that sour cream.

Comforting and homey, poppy seed chicken casserole is a classic–and for good reason! This makeover recipe is a *little* healthier thanks to a (simple) homemade cream of chicken soup and the addition of greek yogurt instead of all that sour cream.

Comforting and homey, poppy seed chicken casserole is a classic--and for good reason! This makeover recipe is a *little* healthier thanks to a (simple) homemade cream of chicken soup and the addition of greek yogurt instead of all that sour cream.

Poppy Seed Chicken Casserole wasn’t something I grew up with. In fact, I had already graduated from college the first time I remember eating it! My husband made it for me when we were dating. 🙂 What a guy, I know. In my recent quest for simplifying the dinner routine, I’ve been putting some easy meals on our menu plan that I can prep on the weekend and stick in the oven after getting home from work. Casseroles are an easy choice for this–but so many have tons of butter, weird gloppy cans of soup, and other things I prefer not to eat (regularly).

Comforting and homey, poppy seed chicken casserole is a classic--and for good reason! This makeover recipe is a *little* healthier thanks to a (simple) homemade cream of chicken soup and the addition of greek yogurt instead of all that sour cream.

SO I decided to make-over this lovely little dish, healthify it per se. There are tons of recipes online–I didn’t use one in particular, just my memory and the plethora of versions on Allrecipes. Usually they call for some cooked chicken, sour cream, a can of condensed cream of chicken soup, poppy seeds, Ritz crackers, and butter. Good and all, but lots of sodium, MSG, and fat. Okay once in awhile but not all the time, please. Especially since I’ll be serving this to my cute little boy (and his daddy)! I know this isn’t the healthiest dinner–but it’s better than the original! And still pretty easy: I made a quick homemade condensed cream of chicken soup using simple pantry ingredients: butter, flour, chicken broth, milk, and seasoning… then I subbed some of the sour cream for greek yogurt, added herbs for color and flavor, and a bed of rice to bulk it up. We eat so many dinners with rice that this addition was only natural! I think quinoa, farro, or some other grain would be equally tasty.

Comforting and homey, poppy seed chicken casserole is a classic--and for good reason! This makeover recipe is a *little* healthier thanks to a (simple) homemade cream of chicken soup and the addition of greek yogurt instead of all that sour cream.

Since this casserole doesn’t include any veggies, be sure to add some on the side. I steamed some frozen broccoli in the microwave, tbh. Part of me didn’t want to take pictures of this dish with my frozen broccoli since it’s pretty obvious (and do you see my leftover naan too? Had to fill up the plate somehow, ha!). BUT guys… this is #reallife. And there’s nothing wrong with frozen veggies! 🙂 Better frozen, than none at all, I say. Green beans, broccoli, carrots… all would be great here! Salad–whether fresh or bagged–would be great too. These days, making a salad from scratch is the last thing I want to do after work. I can’t tell you how many heads of lettuce I’ve tossed (and I hate that). I didn’t mean to digress into this–and this is for ME TOO–get your veggies as you can… frozen, fresh, canned. Enjoy! 🙂

Comforting and homey, poppy seed chicken casserole is a classic--and for good reason! This makeover recipe is a *little* healthier thanks to a (simple) homemade cream of chicken soup and the addition of greek yogurt instead of all that sour cream.

one year ago: Kale and Brown Rice Gratin
two years ago: Crockpot Barbacoa 
three years ago: Baked Caramel Apple Mini Doughnuts
four years ago: Baked Strawberry French Toast with Strawberry Maple Syrup
five years ago: Maple Cornmeal Drop Biscuits
six years ago: Pumpkin Spread
seven years ago: Pumpkin Pie Baked Oatmeal

Healthier Poppy Seed Chicken Casserole

  • Servings: 8
  • Print

Ingredients:

for homemade condensed cream of chicken soup from A Pinch of Healthy

  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup milk, slightly warmed or at room temperature if possible (I’ve used anything from whole to skim – it thickens best with whole but anything is fine, really!)
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • dried herbs like oregano, basil, parsley, etc. if desired

for casserole

  • 1 1/2 cups uncooked long grain rice
  • 3 cups liquid – I used half chicken broth and half water
  • 2 cups chopped or shredded chicken – use leftover chicken, rotisserie chicken, or just bake/poach/cook some chicken
  • 10 ounces greek yogurt
  • 6 ounces sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon poppy seeds
  • fresh or dried herbs, like rosemary, oregano, basil, etc. if desired
  • 1 sleeve buttery crackers – like Ritz, approximately 32 crackers
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted

Directions:

Begin by preparing rice according to package directions. I like to make rice with half chicken broth and half water for extra flavor.

Then, start making the homemade condensed cream of chicken soup. Melt butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in flour and cook for one minute, stirring continually. Slowly pour in chicken broth and milk, whisking until smooth. Reduce heat to medium low and simmer, cooking until mixture begins to thicken – about 3-4 minutes. Stir in garlic powder, pepper, and herbs. Remove from heat and set aside.

Grease an 8×8 or 9×9 baking dish, or any similar size casserole dish. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large bowl, combine chicken, sour cream, greek yogurt, and prepared homemade cream of chicken soup. Stir together then mix in poppy seeds and herbs, if desired. I like to use a few sprigs of fresh rosemary and some oregano.

When rice is cooked, spread in the bottom of prepared baking dish. Top with chicken mixture.

In a small bowl, mix together cracker crumbs and melted butter. Sprinkle evenly over casserole.

Bake for about 30 minutes or until bubbly and brown. Enjoy!

Note:

Casserole can be prepared in advance. Just wait until you’re ready to bake to add the cracker topping.

Pizza gets an autumn twist with pumpkin sauce! Mmmm mmm good! #secretrecipeclub
Main Dishes, Pizza, Recipes

SRC: Pumpkin and Sausage Pizza

Pizza gets an autumn twist with pumpkin sauce! Mmmm mmm good!

Pizza gets an autumn twist with pumpkin sauce! Mmmm mmm good! #secretrecipeclub

Welcome to another SRC post! Secret Recipe Club has been my big blog event for most of my blogging career, and it was just announced that the club will be disbanding this fall. But don’t you worry–there are still a few more posts before that happens! Tear! It’s sad, but great to see the club go out on a high note.

This month I was assigned to Natural Noshing. Nora began her blog as a way to share her passion for nutrition and healthy, real food. She has tons of great recipes to share and I love her passion for food! I was drawn to SO many of her healthy recipes–it was hard to pick what to make, but I finally narrowed it down. Breakfast Quesadillas sounded interesting, as did Cappuccino Sour Cream Muffins. But I must have been in a pizza mood when recipe choosing because I loved the sound of anything and everything pizza–Pizza Potatoes! Pizza Quinoa Casserole! And lastly… the winner… Sausage and Pumpkin Pizza!

Pizza gets an autumn twist with pumpkin sauce! Mmmm mmm good! #secretrecipeclub

You guys know I love pumpkin so really, it was a no brainer. I don’t know what took me so long to make this decision. 🙂 Oh wait I do. Ben. He loves pizza, but this qualifies as “weird pizza” in his book so I was a bit skeptical if he would enjoy it. And I do like him to enjoy the food I make. 🙂

Pizza gets an autumn twist with pumpkin sauce! Mmmm mmm good! #secretrecipeclub

Well, I am happy to report that he not only enjoyed it, but he loved it! We both did, actually. It was a wonderful, hearty, fall pizza–the flavorful pumpkin sauce was the perfect base for sausage and kale. Nora’s original recipe used spinach, but she made this recipe as a “clear out the fridge” meal so I decided to do the same here! Why buy something else if you don’t need to? This pizza may just become a surprising fall favorite in our house. Hope you enjoy as much as we did–and thanks, Nora, for the great recipe!

two years ago: Banana Chocolate Chip Mini Muffins
three years ago: Funfetti Cookies
four years ago: Chicken Enchiladas with Green Chili Sour Cream Sauce
five years ago: Roasted Vegetable Soup
six years ago: Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Mini Muffins

Pumpkin and Sausage Pizza

  • Servings: 8
  • Print

from Natural Noshing

Ingredients:

  • 1 pizza crust – I used my favorite recipe but any will do
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried sage
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 8 ounces sausage, thinly sliced – smoked sausage is what I used, but chicken sausage, brats, etc. would all be great
  • 1 1/4 cups tightly packed kale, washed and chopped into small pieces
  • 2 tablespoons fresh herbs, chopped – I used rosemary, basil, and marjoram
  • 8 ounces shredded mozzarella cheese

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F [or follow directions for your specific pizza crust].

In a small saucepan, mix pumpkin puree, water, sage, garlic, and pepper. Heat over low heat until combined, then set aside.

In a medium skillet set over medium-high heat, cook sausage for about 2 minutes per side. I used precooked sausage, so this was just to add color. Top with kale and herbs and stir together for about 30 seconds or until kale just begins to wilt.

Spread pumpkin sauce over uncooked crust [unless you bought a precooked crust]. Top with half of the cheese, then the sausage and kale mixture, and finally the rest of the cheese. Bake for 15-18 minutes, until the crust is golden brown and the cheese is melted. Broil for a minute to make the cheese look extra delicious, then remove from oven. Let rest for 5 minutes before cutting, then serve and enjoy!

Check out the other SRC recipes today at the link below!

Beans, Main Dishes, Recipes

Baked Burritos with Pinto Beans + Kale

These fabulous savory bean and rice burritos are made even more delicious by the addition of hearty kale and gooey Monterey Jack cheese. You’ll be sure to love them–a great family meal!

These fabulous savory bean and rice burritos are made even more delicious by the addition of hearty kale and gooey Monterey Jack cheese. You'll be sure to love them--a great family meal!

Are you ready for a knock-your-socks off vegetarian burrito recipe? If so, you’ve come to the right place! And if not–or if vegetarian fare isn’t your thing–please stay, because I know you’ll enjoy it anyway! 🙂 Or you can just add some shredded chicken to the burrito filling. Don’t worry, I’ll be none the wiser. Haha. Now onto the good stuff! These burritos! Mmmm… they are your classic vegetarian burrito–rich and hearty beans and rice… but with a twist! This veggie burrito adds some flavorful and fresh kale to the mix, along with an awesome blend of savory seasonings [garlic, onion, tomato paste, oregano, and cumin] for a fabulous burrito like none other. You will simply be amazed by how good this burrito filling is! Divine! 🙂

These fabulous savory bean and rice burritos are made even more delicious by the addition of hearty kale and gooey Monterey Jack cheese. You'll be sure to love them--a great family meal!

Now, I won’t lie. There are quite a few ingredients and steps below for this recipe, and it takes about an hour from start to finish. Obviously I made this pre-baby. Gah. But, it’s still totally doable for a family meal because this is the sort of meal you can make in steps and keep in the fridge [or freezer] to eat all week long. Basically, you begin by making some rice–with garlic and broth instead of water for added yumminess. Then you saute up some onion, add your seasonings and kale, and let that cook down a bit. Then you mix everything together and add cheese and tortillas… bake, and voila! Dinner is served. Yum.

These fabulous savory bean and rice burritos are made even more delicious by the addition of hearty kale and gooey Monterey Jack cheese. You'll be sure to love them--a great family meal!

I mention this in the recipe notes below, but what I wanna emphasize is that this makes a TON of burrito filling, so YAY! Lots of work=lots of meals. Hooray. When I made this for us, we ate burritos a few times during the week, adding the filling to tortillas as desired. Then we froze the rest for another time. America’s Test Kitchen, the author of this recipe in their amazing vegetarian cookbook [go check it out! I borrowed it from my library but I want a copy for home now.] suggests that this serves six. Well, maybe our tortillas were wayyyy smaller, but we got at least 10 burritos, if not MORE out of the recipe as written below. Your mileage may vary, but that’s how it went for us. I definitely loved this dish and so did Ben. I think I’m going to make a batch before I go back to work after Labor Day [tear] for quick weeknight dinners in my new working mama life. Hope y’all enjoy!

one year ago: Zucchini Apple Walnut Muffins
two years ago: Baked Honey Chicken Nuggets with Homemade Chick-Fil-A Sauce
three years ago: Churro Cheesecake Bars
four years ago: Pesto Potato Salad
five years ago: Salmon with Lemon, Tarragon, and Garlic Sauce
six years ago: Summer Mexican Soup

Baked Burritos with Pinto Beans + Kale

  • Servings: 6+
  • Print

from The Complete Vegetarian Cookbook by America’s Test Kitchen

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/4 cups vegetable or chicken broth, low sodium
  • 3/4 cup long grain white rice
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • salt + freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, minced + more for topping if desired
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely diced
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon minced chipotle chile in adobo sauce
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 bunch kale or swiss chard, stemmed and leaves chopped into thin ribbons
  • 1 – 15 ounce can pinto beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 6 burrito sized flour tortillas
  • 10 ounces grated Monterey Jack cheese
  • sour cream, salsa, etc. – for serving as desired

Directions:

In a medium saucepan set over medium-high heat, combine 1 1/4 cups broth, rice, half of the garlic, and some salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, then cover and reduce heat to low. Cook for about 20 minutes, until rice is tender and broth has been absorbed. Remove from heat and set aside, covered, for 10 minutes. Add cilantro and fluff with a fork.

Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion and cook until softened, about 4-5 minutes. Add in tomato paste, chipotle chile pepper, cumin, oregano, remaining garlic, and salt and pepper. Stir everything together for a minute, then add kale and 1/2 cup broth. Cover and let simmer for 15 minutes, until kale has softened.

In a bowl, combine half of the beans and the remaining 1/2 cup broth. Mash with a potato masher until coarse, then fold into kale mixture along with remaining beans and lime juice. Cook, stirring continually, for a few minutes until liquid is mostly evaporated. Stir in rice.

Turn oven on to broil. Line a baking sheet with foil or parchment paper.

Next, assemble burritos. Warm tortillas in the microwave, then divide mixture between tortillas, adding a little cheese inside of each tortilla before rolling into burritos. Place seam-side down on prepared baking sheet, then sprinkle with a little more cheese. Broil until cheese melts and begins to brown, about 3-5 minutes.

Serve with sour cream, salsa, etc. as desired.

Notes:

The prepared burrito filling also freezes well, on its own or in pre-made burritos ready for the oven. To heat later, microwave defrosted burrito filling until hot then prepare burritos with cheese and broil as directed above. Pre-made and frozen burritos can be heated from frozen in the oven at 375 degrees for 20-30 minutes until hot.

The cookbook suggests this recipe serves 6. However, we got at least 10 burritos out of this amount of filling. Our tortillas may have been smaller and/or filled less, so your mileage may vary.

 

Reviews

#UnearthedParty: Book Review + Cooking with Herbs

Today I have a special book review to share with you: Alexandra Risen’s new release, Unearthed: Love, Acceptance, and Other Lessons from an Abandoned Garden. You might know about my participation over the part year in the Book Club Cookbook cooking project [see all my posts here]. Well, the same lovely group of food and book-loving folks are now launching a new food blog party feature… and I am happy to be part of the fun! So without further ado… my contribution to #UnearthedParty!

#UnearthedParty - a book review & herb cooking ideas on thepajamachef.com

Here is a description of the book from the publisher:

In this moving memoir, a woman digs into a garden and into the past and finds secrets, beauty, and acceptance.

Alex’s father dies just as she and her husband buy a nondescript house set atop an acre of wilderness that extends into a natural gorge in the middle of the city. Choked with weeds and crumbling antique structures, the abandoned garden turned wild jungle stirs cherished memories of Alex’s childhood: when her home life became unbearable, she would escape to the forest. In her new home, Alex can feel the power of the majestic trees that nurtured her in her youth.

She begins to beat back the bushes to unveil the garden’s mysteries. At the same time, her mother has a stroke and develops dementia and Alex discovers an envelope of yellowed documents while sorting through her father’s junk pile. The papers hold clues to her Ukrainian-born parents’ mysterious past. She reluctantly musters the courage to uncover their secrets, while discovering the plants hidden in the garden — from primroses and maple syrup–producing sugar maples to her mother’s favorite, lily of the valley. As every passionate gardener knows, to spend time with the soil is the opposite of escapism — it is to embrace our own circle of life and hold it close.

As usual, my five point review:

  • I loved the theme of restoration and redemption in this book. The author had a hard family life… she never thought she would marry and have a family because of her past, but eventually she did. I loved reading about how she found healing through her garden. As she worked with the soil, clearing the overgrown land, her soul and her spirit were cleared as well. It was like this project was meant just for her… and reading about this was captivating. As the author’s story is told through present-day incidents and flashbacks, the result is a seamless story about triumph over life and the land.
  • The author’s parents survived World War II in the Ukraine, and later immigrated to Canada. I enjoyed learning about that country, and considering the effects of immigration and war on families and the next generation. We live in a privileged time, and sometimes it’s easy to forget that.
  • The book was well written and wove together memoir-type musings, information about gardening, and enthusiasm about foraging and even a little bit about living off the land [in the city]. The author’s passion for gardening is evident. My one complaint about the book is that some of the gardening/foraging information is a little dry and textbook-y. But it IS informative, and made me want to work outside. 🙂
  • Each chapter cleverly was named with a different food/plant that connected with the themes of the chapter. Sour cherries, sumac, mulberries… the plants run the gamut from common to unique, and each chapter includes a recipe using its respective plant. Now, I wouldn’t necessarily make many of these recipes just because I don’t have any idea where to forage these items in Nashville, but the book does provide suggestions on foraging if you are interested and emphasizes–multiple times–how to do so safely.
  • Lastly, this book has inspired me to tackle tough problems, whether the overgrown elements of our yard that we’ve ignored [#truth] or even things with #BabyVolde such as improving his nap habits. I can’t emphasize enough that this isn’t just a book about the restoration of a garden, but about the restoration of a life too.

But wait, that’s not all! Normally my book reviews stop here, but since this book is all about food and gardening, I’ve gotta share the food love. 🙂 Instead of making a recipe from the book–they are all SO creative but the ingredients are a little tough for me to source seeing as I have a newborn… I thought I would round up some of tried and true methods of incorporating fresh herbs in my kitchen. I think herbs are a great way to ease into gardening [and maybe the author would agree]. Most are super simple to grow and only need some water and sunlight to thrive. Every year, I always grow a bunch out on my deck and it’s so fun to snip a few while cooking.

Here are some of my favorite ways to use fresh herbs! When I can, I’ve added links to recipes or basic instructions. If you have questions, feel free to ask in the comments. Enjoy!

I like to make herbs the main star in the following dishes:

  • for grilling/baking – marinate chicken, fish, or beef with a herb marinade. Blend together several handfuls of fresh herbs like basil, thyme, rosemary, sage, and parsley with some vinegar, olive oil, and salt and pepper. Let meat marinate in a plastic bag for 8-24 hours, then cook as desired.
  • for pesto sauce to use with pasta, grilled meat, etc. – you don’t have to use basil and pine nuts for a fabulous pesto! I love making mint-pistachio pesto and thai basil-almond pesto. Yum!
  • for salad dressings – I grow thai basil just to make this dressing every year. No joke!
  • for flavored water – I love keeping a pitcher of water in the fridge and adding a handful of mint or rosemary leaves to the water, using a wooden spoon to muddle them. Mmm, so refreshing! Sometimes I add fresh berries too!
  • for making shortbread cookies fancy – these rosemary shortbread stars are my favorite!

Herbs are also great when you want to add extra flavor to your basic favorites.

  • homemade hummus – this cilantro lime version is fabulous! Don’t be limited by the hummus varieties in the store. Fresh mint + pineapple sage is a wonderful combo of herbs that would be great in hummus!
  • roasted chickpeas – basically, drain and rinse a can of chickpeas then toss with 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil, salt, pepper, and 3 tablespoons finely chopped herbs of your choice. I like fresh basil, marjoram, and chives. Bake on a rimmed baking sheet for 25-30 minutes at 400 degrees F, flipping halfway through. Roasted chickpeas are a great snack and are also wonderful on top of a salad.
  • any sort of cheesy or potato-y dish, like Baked Cauli-Tots or Mashed Potato Casserole
  • any type of biscuits or rolls
  • herbs can be mixed in with salad greens for added freshness and flavor
  • herb simple syrups are wonderful for making fresh drinks in the summertime. Your favorite lemonade, iced tea, or iced coffee recipes can be amped up by making a herb-based simple syrup. My ratio for simple syrup is to mix 1 cup each sugar [or honey] and water in a saucepan. Add 1/2 cup herbs, then bring to a boil, stirring until sugar dissolves. Allow to cool and let the herbs infuse for 30-45 minutes. Strain out herbs, and store in a jar in the refrigerator. I like making honey lemon-thyme syrup, ginger-mint syrup, honey-rosemary syrup, and plain ‘ole mint syrup… but I can honestly say that I’ve never made a BAD simple syrup. 🙂 Mix into your favorite drinks as desired.

For more herb inspiration, check out this article from Fine Cooking! Don’t forget to harvest your herbs at the end of the summer. Just wash and dry, then hang up for a few days to dry completely. Store in a jar and use all winter long. You can also preserve herbs by freezing in olive oil using an ice cube tray. I’ve also heard you can just freeze washed and dried herbs in a plastic bag in the freezer. Never tried that but it sounds easy enough!

I know this post may be a little all over the place, but I hope you see how much I liked this book and cooking with herbs. Hope you check out this great book and start cooking with herbs. 🙂 Please share your favorite ways to use herbs in the comments below!

Please visit #UnearthedParty folks on social media to learn more. I also want to give a shoutout to the author for her WONDERFUL maple granola, and to Rolling Rock Farm for sending a gift pack of sea salt & pepper blends. Thank you all for making this party something special!
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, publisher
Alexandra Risen, author
Book Club Cookbook, party organizer
Disclosure: I received a complimentary pre-release copy of this book from the publisher. However, I was not required to write a positive review. The thoughts expressed above are entirely my own. Thanks for the chance to read this great book and join in the party!