From the monthly archives:

May 2010

Ungraded

by Julie Kohl on May 30, 2010

When I sell eggs at the farmers market I have to label them as ‘Ungraded’.  The size of my eggs can and does vary, although usually it is not a really significant difference…usually.

About a week ago I found what was probably the largest egg I have found to date.  Not surprisingly, it was a double yolker.  I also found what was probably the smallest egg I have found to date.  It was tiny enough that when I held it in my palm I could close my fist around it.  It was smaller than a quail egg!  When I cracked it, the yolk was so tiny I almost couldn’t tell it was there!

Here is the largest egg and the smallest egg side by side.  I kept these two for myself. I can only imagine what one of my customers would have thought if they opened their box of eggs to find these two.  Definitely ungraded!

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Herb of the Week – Basil

by Julie Kohl on May 27, 2010

Basil is one of my most favorite herbs.  I love it and surprisingly it has many more uses that in spaghetti sauce and tomato based dishes.  There are a number of different basils available. I prefer the Genovese variety and that is what I grow on my farm.

Basil is often used fresh and like many herbs should be added near the end of cooking or the flavor is diminished.  Dried basil is popular but the flavor is so much less than that of fresh basil.  I prefer to freeze my leftover basil and add directly to cooked dished rather than use dried.

Since recipes for pesto and pasta sauce are readily available in many cookbooks and online I will provide you with some alternate, yet delicious ways to use basil.  I hope you enjoy! And remember, you can click on any of the recipe titles below for a free printable recipe card!

Basil – Lime Sorbet

1 C. Water
1 C. Sugar
¾ C. Lime juice
15-20 Basil leaves, minced

Combine water and sugar in a saucepan and bring to a boil.  Boil one minute then remove from the heat and allow to cool. Add minced basil, lime juice and cooled simple syrup to a blender and puree.  Pour into a container and cover.  Place in the freezer for two hours.  Remove from the freezer and break into large pieces.  Return frozen pieces to the blender and blend until smooth.  Quickly return to the freezer and store until ready to eat.  Note: You can substitute mint in place of the basil for another tasty treat.

Basil and Lemon Capellini

Zest and juice of 1 lemon
3 tbsp. butter, softened
3 tbsp. olive oil
10-15 fresh basil leaves, finely sliced
1 tbsp. finely chopped parsley
1 package capellini or thin, angel hair pasta
salt and pepper
freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano

Bring several quarts of water to a boil.  Salt the water and cook pasta to desired tenderness.  Meanwhile, combine lemon juice and zest, butter, olive oil, basil and parsley in a large bowl big enough to hold all of the pasta.  When the pasta is cooked, lift directly from cooking water into the serving bowl with tongs.  Stir to combine.  Add salt and pepper to taste and garnish with fresh parmigiano-reggiano cheese. Add cooked chicken or shrimp to the pasta for an even heartier meal.

Strawberry Balsamic Basil Spritzer

½ cups Sugar
½ cups Water
4 whole Basil Stems
½ cups minced Basil leaves
1 ½ cup Chopped Strawberries
1-½ Tablespoon Balsamic Vinegar
3 cups Prosecco Sparkling Wine (or substitute sparkling water)

Combine the sugar, water and basil stems in a small saucepan. Stirring frequently, bring the mixture to a boil for about a minute, and then remove from heat. Allow to cool for 5 minutes and then remove the stems and add the minced basil. Place in a jar or other airtight container and allow to cool in the fridge for at least 2 hours (overnight is best).

In a food processor, combine the strawberries and balsamic vinegar and blend into a puree. In a pitcher, combine chilled basil syrup and balsamic puree. Add in Prosecco and stir well before pouring into glasses. Serve over crushed ice.

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Through Black Spruce – Joseph Boyden

May 16, 2010

It has been a long time since I have posted any reviews of the books I am reading.  I’ve still been reading, I just got out of the habit of posting about it.  A friend recently requested that I start doing it again because she always found the reviews helpful.  So…I will do my best […]

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Yoplait Greek Yogurt “Nourish Your Inner Goddess” Giveaway

May 9, 2010

Congratulation to Sibohan, the winner of this contest.  She replied “I would love to try the honey vanilla! I love Greek Yogurt, but I usually just get plain.” Sibohan, I hope you enjoy your package. The folks over at MyBlogSparkare really great and they  teamed up with Yoplait and gave me the opportunity to try the […]

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Herb of the Week – Dill

May 4, 2010

Dill was probably the first herb that I got to know as a child.  I LOVE dill on potato salad and I love it in tuna fish but the uses and versatility of dill goes way beyond those two items. Dill grows wild in many Mediterranean areas as well as southern Russia.  The name Dill […]

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Garden Journal and Farm Photos

May 3, 2010

It is funny looking at these pictures.  These pictures were taken about 9 days ago and already the garden is looking SO different.  Everything is finally growing bigger and taller and the empty places between plants is being filled with foliage.  I harvested Lemon Balm, Dill, Oregano, Parsley, Cilantro, Thyme, Basil and Rosemary to take […]

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