Lavender & Rosemary Shortbread Cookies

















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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Carrot & Kombu Quick Pickles

Carrots and Kombu


















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
















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 Infused Oil

















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

















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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Pear Bourbon Butter


















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
















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 & Coconut Popsicles

















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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Zucchine Sott’olio: Zucchini Preserved in Oil

Zucchini Preserved in Oil
















Preserving food in olive oil is an Italian tradition. If you have had the pleasure of perusing an Italian deli (visit this one if you are ever in Boston!), you probably noticed jars of eggplant, mushrooms, chiles, sweet peppers, artichokes and/or zucchini covered in oil lining the shelves. Since most of us don’t have the pleasure of living close to an authentic deli, we just gotta do it ourselves. I’ll admit, the multiple steps made me leery, but I promise, it is easy and well worth it! And no, you can’t simply pour olive oil over any random piece of produce. Follow the simple steps below to ensure your preserves last.

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