Herbs and the Holidays

Herbs and the Holidays

Herbs and the Holidays

From The Herb Lady and The Herb Gazette

These recipes are perfect for the holiday season!

Stuffed Pumpkin

Ingredients:

1 small pumpkin about 6 % 2B pounds (wide rather than tall).

2 cups each diced celery and onion

3 cups dried bread, cubed

2 tablespoons each olive oil and butter, unsalted

1 teaspoon Poultry PlusPB (Herb Lady's Poultry Seasoning)

1/2 - 1 cup warm water

1 cup frozen green soybeans (shucked), thawed to room temperature

1/2 cup fresh cranberries cut in half

1/4 cup dried cranberries

1 small apple diced

Salt to taste (but taste first).

Cut pumpkin top off at angle (so it won't slip in while baking), remove all seeds and strings.

Pre-bake pumpkin for 30-40 minutes at 350ø-it should still be firm, but a knife will pierce easily. Keep hot.

While pumpkin is baking heat oil, butter and add poultry seasoning, add celery and onion, cover and simmer for approximately 25 minutes until onion and celery is cooked, stirring occasionally.

Mix fresh and dried cranberries, apple, soybeans and bread into celery mixture. Add enough warm water to moisten, it should not be soggy.

Remove pumpkin from oven, carefully pack with stuffing, replace top of pumpkin. Raise oven temperature to 375 degrees and bake for additional 30-40 minutes. Pumpkin will be soft, but should not collapse. Remove carefully. Serve making sure to cut some pumpkin into stuffing mixture.

Here is a great recipe for a spinach dip with a twist.

PESTO/SPINACH DIP

Ingredients:

2 cups plain yogurt

10 oz. Frozen Chopped Spinach (thawed and drained well)

1/3 cup Grated Parmesan Cheese

1/4 cup Walnut Pieces, small

1/4 cup Fresh Basil, finely shredded

1/4 tsp. Salt

1 Clove Crushed Garlic

Mix all ingredients well. It takes even better if allowed to sit in the frig for an hour (if you can wait that long!). Options: substitute 1 cup each mayo and sour cream if you prefer for the yogurt; 1-2 tablespoons of dried basil for fresh.

Here is a recipe for herb marinated olives, which I have adapted from one seen on TV. When I go to friends houses they always request that I bring this -- it is really hard to stop eating them.

The kalamata olives which look sort of red/bungundy and the green spanish olives would be a great mix but you can use any that you like.

HERB MARINATED OLIVES IN CUCUMBER BOATS

Ingredients:

Zest and juice of 1/2 an orange

Zest and juice of 1/2 a lemon or lime*

1 tablespoon of grated ginger (unpeeled ginger pieces can sometimes be put through a metal garlic press)

1/2 tsp of salt

1 tsp of ground black pepper

1/2 cup of fresh herbs finely chopped * *see note

Olive oil to cover

4 cups of olives of your choice (pitted for tooth protection)

1-2 Large fat and long cucumbers

1-3 large mason or other clean storage jars.

Optional: 1-2 cloves of garlic minced or pressed.

Directions: Wash and cut cucumber length wise and scoop out the center, leaving about a 1/4 flesh - the cucumber should then be turned upside down to drain excess moisture.

Mix everthing together except olive oil, and lightly pack each jar with the olives, making sure there is a little citrus juice in each jar. Bring olives all the way to the top. Then top each container with olive oil to cover. Place lid on jars tightly and let sit for 1 hour on counter or overnight. Turn the jars over periodically to keep the seasonings mixed. When ready to serve fill cucumber boats with olive mixture, and serve with toothpicks.

BONUS: Don't throw the cucumber boats out--if still fresh, they will have been seasoned with the olive mixture and can be cut up and used in salad the next day.

* (If citrus does not give you a couple of tablespoons each of liquid juice more to get a total of about 1/4 combined juice.)

** (Parsley should constitute a large portion of the herbs, to which you can add rosemary, oregano, thyme, cilantro, basil or any that sound flavorful to you. Substitue 1 tablespoon dry herb for each 3 tablespoon of fresh if fresh not available, EXCEPT never use dried parsley.)

About the Author:

Catherine, The Herb Lady, is the editor of the Herb Gazette, Kitchen Flavor of the Month is a cook's reader service, sending you an herb or blend sample each month with the Herb Gazette with history, uses for low fat, low salt or meatless cooking and a featured recipe. If you enjoyed this recipe and would like to receive this service visit here.


 
 
 

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