Friday, July 21, 2017

Mint Julep Dip - Weekend Recipe

We have a shady area next to the house which is becoming a struggle.  It is hard to get anything to want to grow there.  I have lost more perennials in that garden in just two seasons, than I lost in the flood catastrophe a few years ago.


So one of my solutions was to plant mint there.  Mint will grow anywhere, dry, wet, shade, sun.  But it will not grow as quickly or as well in conditions that are not ideal.  That has always been my way to control mint - put it in a place where it competes with a tree for water, grow it in the shade, etc. That is working in the side yard, but even stunted I am getting a large harvest of mint.  So I decided to create dip with the many surplus mint sprigs I have collected.


Mint Julep Dip

This will remind you of a summer cocktail and go well with warm sweet pastry or plain donuts or muffins.




6 Tbls. sugar
1 Tbls. packed fresh mint leaves (I used Kentucky Colonel and chocolate mint)
6 ounces of cream cheese, softened (1/4 cup)
1/4 cup milk
2 Tbls. bourbon

In a small bowl, combine sugar and mint leaves.  Using a wooden spoon mash the mint and sugar until fragrant.  Should take about 30 to 60 seconds.  In a blender combine sugar mixture, cream cheese, milk and bourbon.  Cover and process until smooth.  Serve immediately.  Make 1 1/4 cups.

NOTE in photo  I was unable to label the mint plants but peppermint is in the lower right corner, pineapple mint is in the center bottom next to the violet with the heart-shaped leaves.  The Kentucky Colonel is along the fence above the chair and the chocolate mint is against the house.


Friday, July 14, 2017

Strawberry Lavender Spritzer - Weekend Recipe

Before the Strawberries are all gone you just have to try this wine spritzer.  Perfect in a punch bowl at your garden party.  I am making a non-alcoholic version to serve at the Villa Park Gardenwalk next Weekend!


Strawberry - Lavender Wine Spritzer

• 1/4 cup orange juice
• 1 cup fresh strawberries
• 1 tablespoon fresh lavender buds
• 3 cups white wine (or one 750 ml bottle)
• 4 cups club soda or seltzer water
• 4 to 6 fresh lavender sprigs
• 4 to 6 fresh strawberries

In a blender or food processor, blend the orange juice, 1 cup of strawberries, and lavender flowers.

Transfer to a jug or bowl.  Pour wine over the blended mixture and allow to steep for 30 minutes; then strain into a punch bowl, discarding solids. To serve, fill a wineglass half full with flavored wine and top with mineral water. Garnish with a sprig of lavender and a strawberry.

For a non-alcoholic version use white grape juice or apple juice,instead of wine.

Friday, July 7, 2017

Broccoli Sunflower Salad - Weekend Recipe

Sunflower seeds and broccoli go amazingly well together.  So when I saw this recipe on the Taste of Home Website, I realized this particular recipe would be great with Backyard Patch Herb Mixes, so I tied it out.


Broccoli Sunflower Salad

2 quarts water
6 cups fresh broccoli florets
3 tablespoons rice vinegar
3 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
3 tablespoons sesame oil
Sugar substitute equivalent to 1 tablespoon sugar (Like Spenda sugar blend)
1/4 cup unsalted sunflower kernels

Directions
In a large kettle, bring water to a boil. Add broccoli; cover and cook for 3 minutes. Drain and immediately place broccoli in ice water. Drain and pat dry.

In a small bowl, whisk the vinegar, soy sauce, oil and sugar substitute. Pour over broccoli; toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, stirring several times. Just before serving, stir in sunflower kernels. Yield: 6 servings.



Originally published as Sunflower Broccoli Salad in Light & Tasty October/November 2004, p59, found on and adapted from the version on the Taste of Home website.

Nutritional Facts
3/4 cup: 121 calories, 10g fat (1g saturated fat), 0 cholesterol, 322mg sodium, 6g carbohydrate (0 sugars, 3g fiber), 4g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 2 fat, 1 vegetable.


Monday, July 3, 2017

Citrus Body Scrub - Bath Blend of the Month

Dried citrus peel makes a wonderful face and body scrub.  You can make your own easily by saving the peels from citrus as you eat it, then running it through the blender or food processor.  If you want you can also purchase already dried and ground orange and lemon peel.


Citrus Body Scrub

1 Tbls dried citrus peel
2 Tbls plain yogurt or sour cream
1 tsp honey

Mix together all the ingredients and stir until smooth. Makes 1 ounce or about 1/8 cup of scrub.

To Use: Massage into damp skin and rinse well with warm water.  Pat skin dry.

Storage: Store any left over scrub in the refrigerator and use within 3 days.

Friday, June 30, 2017

Fast Recipe for a Busy Weekend - Saucy Chicken


  • 2 pounds bone-in chicken pieces
  • 1 cup prepared BYP Italian Dressing and Marinade
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons brown sugar
In a glass baking dish or zip-type bag, mix the prepared BYP Italian dressing, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, garlic, mustard, ginger and brown sugar. Place chicken in marinade and allow to marinate overnight, or for at least eight hours.

Preheat grill to high heat or prepare charcoal as needed. Discard marinade and place chicken on grill. Grill chicken for about 30 minutes, turning often until juices run clear. Smaller parts may take less time. Serve with rice or noodles.  (This is great over boiled ramen.) Serves 4 

OPTION: You can also roast the  chicken in the oven, just place on a foil lined roasting pan and cut holes to allow juices to drain off.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Cucumber Mint Salad - Weekend recipe

This is an adaptation of a recipe from Turkey.  It goes well with chicken, lamb and salmon.  It is fresh and bright and slightly minty and perfect to brighten up your summer fare.


Cucumber Mint Salad
1 cup plain yogurt
2 Tbls fresh spearmint leaves, minced
1 Tbls lemon juice
1 small clove garlic, minced
dash of salt and pepper to taste
3 medium cucumbers, thinly sliced

Mix all ingredients, except cucumbers in a medium bowl and refrigerate.  Slice cucumber and stir into bowl just before serving and garnish with additional mint.

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Strawberry Basil Dip - Weekend Recipe

The other day I had lunch with and spoke to the Antiquarian Study Group of Naperville.  We had great summer sandwiches and veggies with dip and a wonderful fruit salad with great cream cheese dip.  That got me to thinking about fruit dips and I located this perfect recipe to share.  It takes only 10 minutes and a blender to create this, and you will adore it.



Strawberry Basil Dip
This recipe is perfectly timed for using your current local fresh ingredients!  Basil, which is naturally sweet, combines with strawberry and honey to make a perfect dip that is good on lots of things, not just fruit.

6 ounces fresh strawberries hulled (1 1/4 cups)
4 ounces cream cheese, softened (1/4 cup)
3 Tbls honey (herbal honey, like lavender will add a nice touch)
1 Tbls packed fresh basil leaves, purple or green or even lemon all work well


In the blender container or food processor, combine strawberries, cream cheese and honey.  Cover and blend until smooth.  Stop occasionally to scrape the sides as needed.  Add basil and pulse until just chopped.  Serve immediately.  You can make ahead and chill for up to 8 hours, then serve a room temp.  Makes 1 ½ cups.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...