Mint

Mint, Ginger & Lime Green Tea

Mint

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fresh herbs are abundant this time of year (unless you’ve forgotten to water them. Rest in peace Chocolate Mint.). Luckily, you can usually find them at your local farmers markets or grocery stores. But whether you grow your own or purchase a bundle, it always seems like you have more left over than you actually use. Making a homemade syrup is a fast, easy and delicious way to use herbs that would go to waste otherwise.

 

“Simple syrup” is made by dissolving equal parts sugar and water together by volume (e.g. 1 cup sugar to 1 cup water). For extra-sweet syrups, you can actually dissolve up to 2 cups of granulated sugar into 1 cup of water (put on your science nerd hat and read this article to understand why). You can also make a more mild syrup by cutting the sugar back to 1/2 parts to 1 part water. This is just the start; once you decide your preferred level of sweetness, you can add one or more of all sorts of flavorings. A quick browse around the interweb will result in hundreds of ideas, using everything from herbs and spices to hot peppers to flowers. Here, here and here are a couple of references to get you started.

 

Syrups are used to sweeten anything from lemonade to tea to mixed alcoholic drinks. I will even just mix a little syrup with ice water and lime or lemon juice when my sweet tooth is rearing it’s ugly head. Given that I am 6 months pregnant, I couldn’t test this syrup with the hard stuff, but I am sure it would taste great with tequila or vodka. Do me a favor – try this in a mixed drink, report back and then come celebrate with me once I am no longer sharing my body with a tiny human.

 

Cheers!

 

Print Recipe
Mint, Ginger & Lime Green Tea
A refreshing sweet, tart and earthy drink perfect for summer!
Course Drink
Servings
drink
Ingredients
Mint, Ginger & Lime Syrup
Mint, Ginger & Lime Green Tea
Course Drink
Servings
drink
Ingredients
Mint, Ginger & Lime Syrup
Mint, Ginger & Lime Green Tea
Instructions
Mint, Ginger & Lime Syrup
  1. Combine water, sugar, ginger and lime zest in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Stir to ensure all of the sugar has dissolved and remove from heat. Add the mint leaves, cover and steep for 10 minutes. Strain and set aside to cool to room temperature. Transfer to an air-tight container (a pint sized canning jar works great) and store in the refrigerator.
Mint, Ginger & Lime Green Tea
  1. Brew a cup of green tea according to the manufacturers directions and set aside to cool to room temperature. Add a couple of ice cubes to a 12 ounce cup and add the green tea, syrup and lime juice. Stir to combine and enjoy.
Recipe Notes
  1. I have tried this with lemon juice as well, and while I prefer lime juice, lemon was still great.
  2. This recipe was inspired by a restaurant I visited in Nashville over 2 year ago...but I can't for the life of me remember the name of it! So thanks, random Nashville restaurant.
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Shortbread

Lavender & Rosemary Shortbread Cookies

Shortbread

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cookies are my go to sweet indulgence – in large part thanks to my mom. My aunt is quoted as saying to her “you can whip up a batch of cookies from scratch in 10 minutes!”. I haven’t timed her but she probably can. You turn your back, and bam! there is a plate of cookies. There was never a shortage of cookies around our house, my favorite being her oatmeal cookies.

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Carrots and Kombu

Carrot & Kombu Quick Pickles

Carrots and Kombu

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hello!

 

Making quick pickles is one of the fastest and easiest ways to preserve the harvest. The recipe below only takes about a half hour to put together and can last a couple months in the refrigerator. It’s a great way to stretch produce if you don’t have a chance to cook it before it goes bad (or if you find a great sale at the farmers market).

 

*I originally posted some of the information below when I was blogging for Tant Hill Farm but I wanted to share it here as well. I have added some additional details that I think you will find useful. I tried to be as thorough as possible but post any questions in the comment section below and I’ll try my best to answer!

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shiitakes preserved in oil

Shiitakes Preserved in Oil

shiitakes preserved in oil

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is my second attempt at preserving ingredients in oil and it is starting to become a favorite of mine. I made a batch of zucchini preserved in oil back in the summer and I am still enjoying them months later. Here is a summary of the basic steps (my zucchini posts provides more details): 1) use the freshest ingredients, 2) salt, dehydrate and/or pickle the ingredients, 3) cover in oil, and 4) store in the refrigerator. Not only do you get whatever it is that you preserved but you also get the flavor infused oil to make dressings or whatever else you can dream up.

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fennel

Fennel Infused Oil

fennel

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fennel isn’t something I use often but when I do, it is typically just the bulb. However, the stalks and fronds are a huge part of the plant and I hate to just throw them in the compost – there is a lot of flavor in there! Always looking for ways to use every last part of my produce, I decided to chop the stalks and fronds and cook them slowly in olive oil to extract their flavor. I added in orange zest, red pepper flakes and fennel seeds, which is a classic Italian flavor combination.

 

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garam_masala_apple_quick_bread

Garam Masala Apple Quick Bread

garam_masala_apple_quick_bread

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s apple season (and has been for a while) here in southern Tennessee. My son and I went apple picking a couple week ago at Wheeler’s Orchard and came home with at least 20 pounds. We have eaten a lot of them raw but I turned some into an apple crisp, homemade applesauce, fermented apple & fennel relish and now this quick bread.

 

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Pears

Pear Bourbon Butter

Pears

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What is Fruit Butter
Fruit butter is simply pureed fruit that is cooked down to a spreadable consistency. Unlike jams and jelly, it does not contain pectin or other thickeners and relies on a long cooking time for it’s thickness. You are probably most familiar with apple butter, which is delicious, but other fruits, and even vegetables, can be used as well. Pumpkin butter, anyone? I am looking forward to trying that next.

 

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Peach Leaf Ice Cream

Peach Leaf Ice Cream

Peach Leaf Ice Cream

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our local peach season has come and gone already but you can still make use of your (or a local farmers) peach tree. Did you know you can steep the leaves and get a lovely almond extract type flavor? I am continuously surprised by mother nature (you old sneaky beast, you). Simply warm whatever it is you wish to flavor and steep for 5 minutes; any longer and the flavor will be quite bitter. I steeped the leaves in cream and milk for this recipe but have also thought of steeping them in melted butter and using it to make an almond cookie or cake. Look for that recipe soon 🙂

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pawpaw

Pawpaw & Coconut Popsicles

pawpaw

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pawpaws are a finicky fruit.  You have to pick them at peak ripeness (they don’t ripen well afterwards), they bruise easily, don’t store well, and are a pain peel, seed and eat. So why even bother? One bite and you realize the flavor is unlike anything you have had before. It is like a mango and banana had a beautiful love child. The limited season and lack of commercial success mean that you only get to savor them for a few brief weeks a year, making them the epitome of seasonal eating.

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