I’ve been running into some serious computer problems lately, but it looks like I’m back for a bit at least!
So I’d like to share with you all a really, really easy recipe. I love fresh herbs in the summer, and buy way more than I could ever possibly consume. I dry a lot of them (upside down in a paper bag) which works like a charm, but I wanted to find another way that I could preserve those yummy summer flavors.
So I settled on infused olive oils! I thought that it would be really difficult, and that it wouldn’t turn out, but they ended up being wonderful. Now the kind of oil you makes really depends on your tastes, but some of the ones I made were: blood orange; citrus (orange, lemon, and lime); herbs du provence (rosemary, thyme, garlic); lemon dill; and green meanie. Green meanie is the most delicious – every fresh herb I could find, including garlic, thyme, dill, rosemary, and basil. All you have to do is pick a flavor combination that you love (I made my mom some straight basil oil) and then find a clean, pretty bottle. Place the herbs in the bottle (the more the better, I say!) and then fill to the top with olive oil. Let it sit at least a week – the flavor will be nice and intense by then. It keeps indefinitely, or at least so it seems. And the best part is, when you use some of it you can just refill the bottle with more oil and that way it lasts forever!
I like to use these oils as an easy salad dressing, as a marinade for chicken or fish, to dip bread it, and pretty much anything else you can think of that needs a bit of light herb flavor. Go crazy! Add peppers or flowers or anything you want. The possibilities are endless (and I use this in a lot of my recipes so it never hurts to have some on hand).
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I love Saturday mornings. For lack of having anything better to do, I love waking up early and heading out around town looking for garage sales. I’ve got my usual route that I folllow, though I will admit that sometimes I’m forced to deviate if I find something particularly spectacular looking. I’ve had really good luck over the years – once, I had the good fortune of stumbling upon the garage sale of a woman who’s father was an art collector and had passed on his collection to her. She, having far too much art on her hands, was giving it away at bargain prices. I bought a few pieces of modern Japanese pottery (obviously of very good quality) for $2 apiece! Those are something that I shall never part with, if only because the story is too good! I didn’t find too much today – a few books, and an old bike I’m going to throw some tires on and use as my bike around town (nice bikes get stolen here, or so it seems). I did get some tomato cages (perfect for the tomato plants I bought later) so that was good too! Most of the fun for me in doing this on Saturday mornings is getting to meet people that I otherwise wouldn’t. Everyone’s really nice and chatty, and it’s nice to have a little positive human interaction sometimes!
However, the best part of the day was definitely the Farmer’s Market. It started out this year a little slow, because it was still so cold out, but everything is starting to be really tasty! I had quite the take today. Homemade whole-wheat and corn tortillas, big beautiful tomatoes, lots of fresh herbs, some tomato plants, and
the best goat cheese in the world (if you’re in the Colorado area, check out Haystack Dairy, they do amazing things with goat’s milk). Needless to say, I’m pretty excited to try to turn this into something resembling an actual meal, so check back later in the week for a delicious recipe! I love the farmer’s market because you get to chat with nice people (seeing a recurring theme here?) and half of them still have dirt under their fingernails from the morning’s harvest. I don’t care what those grocery stores promise, you just can’t get fresher than that. Plus, your hard-earned dollars stay in the local economy, which is just good for everyone!
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