Thursday, May 22, 2008

Dried Herbs

Maybe this deserves to be posted on my garden blog, being as I did grow these myself. But that is the one I'm keeping up with better at the moment, so enjoy a little herb know-how for your kitchen.

Snip a bunch or a couple of bunches of parsley--not too thick, maybe a half an inch each. Rinse well and shake dry. Wrap a thread around them and hang them in a window. They go limp for a few days and then they dry right up. If you are impatient like me, pull them down once they start to get crisp and finish the job up in your toaster oven. Then, strip the leaves off the stems and crush gently with a mortar and pestle (or fingers).

Basil is easier. After washing, lay out the leaves on a cookie sheet. Preheat your oven as low as it will go (200 or less) and then turn it off. Place the cookie sheet inside and wait. Check on them once in a while. Then crush when crisp. There is probably a more perfected way to go about drying your own herbs, but I have not looked into it. This way works well for me and tastes ten times better than store-bought dried herbs, so I don't mind if I did burn or overcrisp them a bit. Also, the little bunches of parsley look so pretty dangling from the ceiling.

Three Ingredient Buttermilk Biscuits

Yep, three. These are the best, too. I would have taken a picture if I hadn't eaten them all before I made it to the camera.

3 c. self-rising flour*
6 Tb. butter
1 c. buttermilk (8 oz. carton)

Cut butter into half the flour, add remaining flour and stir. Add milk, stir and knead until smooth. Roll to 1/2 inch and cut biscuits. Freeze if you like. Bake at 425* 12-15 min.

*can substitute 1 c. all purpose flour, 1 1/4 tsp. baking powder and a pinch of salt per cup of self-rising flour. I make up a container of it.

If you freeze them, thaw under wrap before baking. They don't rise as much if they're still frozen. Also, I stacked two on top of each other, so I'd have those nice biscuits that pull right apart. They didn't turn out that way. They turned out like two biscuits stacked on top of each other and I was sad because I'd missed out on half of the crusty bottoms I could have enjoyed.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Rainbow Bean Soup

This is a gift from my friend Georgia. I thought it was very pretty and very tasty, so it is getting posted because my kitchen has been boring lately. I made it for dinner last night and don't have a picture, because after the soaking everything took on a bit of a purple-gray tint from the black beans. This cleared up after rinsing and adding tomatoes, but's so much nicer looking in the jar. Here is the recipe.