Posted in Baked goods, Baking, Bread

Rosemary and Basil Herbed Flat Bread



I usually make this bread during the late spring and summer months when fresh herbs are abundant and ready to be trimmed.  There’s no point in making this bread unless you have fresh herbs to incorporate into the batter and snip over the finished product.  As the bread toasts in the oven, the irresistible aroma of freshly cut basil and rosemary, garlic, and olive oil is like no other.  The combination of herbs and spices help to make this summer staple undeniably scrumptious! Often served with pasta and red sauce, cheese and grapes, or a lite summer salad… It’s crazy delicious!



Rosemary and Basil Herbed Flat Bread

1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, minced

1 tablespoon fresh basil, minced

1 teaspoon baking powder

3/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup water

1/2 cup olive oil

Sea salt, garlic powder, Italian seasoning mix, and fresh herbs (to sprinkle over the top of bread after baking)

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.  Lightly spray two baking sheets with cooking spray or line each sheet with parchment paper.  In a large bowl, combine the flour, herbs, baking powder and salt. Stir in water and 1/3 cup oil until mixture forms a soft dough. Turn onto a floured surface; knead for about 1 minute.

Divide dough in half; shape into two balls. Roll each ball into a thin oblong shape to fit on prepared baking sheet. Carefully transfer dough to prepared baking sheets.

Bake for 8-10 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from pan to a wire rack and  lightly brush each with remaining oil; sprinkle with salt and garlic powder, seasoning mix and fresh herbs. Slice for serving. 





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Posted in Crafts, Gifts

DIY – Plant Markers

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Every spring, when I plant seeds in my garden, I buy unique (often expensive) plant markers to identify my herbs and vegetables. It’s not that I can’t identify my plants without the markers…its just that I like the way the markers look in my garden.
Well, it never fails…by late August, the markers have faded, rusted, or have gone missing. I usually end up throwing the silly things out in November and buying a whole new batch for the next growing season. This year, visiting the paint department at our local hardware store, I got the idea of using paint stirring sticks (that are free) to make my own plant markers. While they may only last one or two seasons, at least they are reasonably priced! The girls and I had fun making them together. This is also a great gift idea for Mother’s or Father’s Day.

DIY – Plant Markers

Visit your local hardware store and ask for a few paint stirring sticks. ( We are painting our bathroom and laundry room so they gave us plenty of sticks with our paint purchase).

Supplies

Paint Stirring Sticks
Craft Paint
Permanent Black Sharpie Marker or Paint Markers
Satin Clear Spray Paint or Spray Sealer

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Paint both sides of the sticks with craft paint; letting them dry thoroughly between coats. Use the permanent marker to write various plant names on the paint sticks. Spray several coats of clear spray paint or sealer over entire stick. Let dry completely before putting them outdoors.

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Posted in Crafts, Gifts

Summer Herb Gift Basket

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To forget how to dig the earth and to tend the soil is to forget ourselves. – Mohandas K Gandhi.

A couple of years ago, Jim built several raised beds so that we could grow our own produce to can, freeze, and serve throughout the summer months. Last week, I took a trip to my local garden center to pick out this year’s vegetable plants. I chose Roma tomatoes, cabbage, lettuce, celery, peppers, eggplant, and cauliflower. I also grabbed some of my most often used herbs to plant in colorful patio containers.
Here’s a clever gift idea to give to a friend that appreciates the taste of fresh herbs and loves home cooking. For the past couple of years, I have made this for my mother-in-law so that she can grow fresh herbs on her condominium deck.

Summer Herb Gift Basket

Group a few of your favorite herb plants together, arrange them in an attractive basket, bucket, or patio pot. You can add seed packets and gardening tools if you’d like. Wrap the whole thing with cellophane*, secure with twine or raffia and gift it to a friend or relative. Attach a great recipe and you have a winning gift that is sure to please.

* Stock up on clear or colored gift wrapping cellophane right after the Easter and Christmas holidays when prices are reduced to as much as 75% off. Store and use for basket and food gifts throughout the year.