Thursday, May 17, 2012

Home Sweet Home #67

Hello and welcome to Home Sweet Home!  Today I am going to show you around my little herb garden.  I have always enjoyed cooking with fresh herbs.  I have had a garden right out the back door for a long time; but, four years ago we remodeled and it was destroyed.  Just this year it is finally getting back to having a good variety of herbs in it for cooking.

These are the top 7 herbs I use the most.  You could choose any 7 but, these fit in with the foods I cook most often and I will tell you why.  
Rosemary has needlelike leaves and a piney scent.  Best used with meats and especially when grilled.  May also be used with mushrooms, roasted potatoes, stuffing, olive oil, and on breads.  One of my favorite recipes to use rosemary in is Butternut Bisque.

Thyme has tiny leaves and a minty, tealike flavor.  There are many varieties such as lemon, orange, English, and French thyme.  It is a essential herb of bouquet garni.  It is excellent with fish, shellfish, poultry, mushrooms, potatoes, and summer squash.  My favorite recipe with it is Thyme-Sauteed Pork Chops.

Parsley is crisp and has a faint celery flavor.  The two varieties are Italian flat leaf and curly, pictured here is the Italian flat leaf, it has a stronger flavor.  Curly parsley is most often used for a garnish.  Flat leaf works well in soups, stock, cream and tomato sauces, salads, dressings, in pesto; as well as with poultry, meat, fish, shellfish, dried beans, and vegetables.  My favorite recipe to use Italian parsley in is Lasagne.

Basil has a sweet clovelike taste.  The varieties include sweet basil, small-leaved bush basil, lemon basil, and opal basil, which has a gingerlike taste.  Fresh leaves are best torn and cut then pounded to release the flavor.  The leaves on the top of the plant are the sweetest.  It is an essential herb for Italian cooking, most often used in eggs, tomatoes, pasta, chicken, fish, and shellfish.  This basil just came out of a 4-inch pot and will reach a height of over two feet in my garden this year.  One of my favorite recipes to use basil in is Spaghetti with a tomato and fresh basil sauce.

Mint is refreshing and cool to taste.  The peppermint plant produces the oil they use in candy and gum.  There are more than 30 varieties of mint, best known is the peppermint and spearmint.  Lemon, orange, and apple mint have distinctive fruit tastes.  Used in yogurt, salads, peas, beans, corn, and potatoes; also in jellies, fruit salads, desserts, and in iced tea.  My favorite way to use mint is as a garnish with fruit or tea like I did here

Dill has a delicate caraway taste.  Dill should be fresh and just added before serving.  It is used for pickles, eggs, fresh cheeses, yogurt, seafood, chicken, cucumber, green beans, potatoes, tomatoes, and beets.  Two of my favorite recipes for using dill are Chicken Noodle Soup and  Pecan Chicken Salad.

Sage has a powerful flavor, it is musky and slightly mentholated in flavor.  It aids in digestion when mixed with fatty foods.  Most know for it's use in poultry stuffing at the Thanksgiving table.  It is also good in chicken, duck, goose, pork, sausages, cheese, eggplant, and dried beans, soups, and stews.  I use this in my meatloaf and, I  have used it in Herbs de Provence.

Okay, if you were counting that was seven, but I can't really quit talking about herbs so, I will show you one flower that is considered an herb that you can cook with.  Lavender, can also be used; as I did here, in this recipe for herbs de Provence .  Or, if you grow enough you can fill sachets with them like here.  Herbs cost about $3 per 4-inch pot and many of them are perennial and will come back year after year.  They are also very hardy and easy to grow, that makes having a few fresh herbs around an easy way to cook fresh for summer.

Now I would like to highlight some of the posts that caught my eye last week at Home Sweet Home.
Gayle at Behind the Gate had a fantastic post for Mother's Day called Mothering Love.

Lynn at Shabby Story showed off a lacy potting table!  Do we need to say more!  Gorgeous!

Courtney at French Country Cottage showed off her lilacs in her bicycle basket.  Too beautiful for words!

Mary Ann at Classic Casual Home showed off her spring to summer look in her living room.  Loved it! 

Thank you to all who join me at Home Sweet Home!   It is wonderful to have you here!  There were a lot of great posts last week, makes it hard to pick a few.
I will join these ladies today:
Vintage Inspiration Friday at Common Ground 
Feathered Nest Friday at French Country Cottage
Show and Tell Friday at My Romantic Home
Home and Garden Thursday  at A Delightsome Life 
Creative Things Thursday  at The Vintage Farmhouse
Cottage Garden Party  at Fishtail Cottage
Say G'day Saturday  at Natasha in Oz

 Guidelines for Home Sweet Home Party:
Attention: To link up with inlinkz you must have a permalink back to this party in your post or they will not allow you to link.  
Link up anything in your home or garden.  I love seeing neat shops too!
My button is on my sidebar for the party, if you want to use it.   If you are new here I hope you will become a follower. Please don't link up more than two posts.  No Etsy link ups or direct advertising, please.  Please visit some of the other blogs and get some great inspiration.  Thanks.:)
Now let's see your beautiful homes!


Debra @ Common Ground said...

Hi Sherry, great post on the herbs, I have to have my mint in tea and lemonade every day! just linked up, thanks so much for the party!

Confessions of a Plate Addict said...

Great features! And I love your herb garden! Thanks for hosting!...hugs...Debbie

Jacqueline~Cabin and Cottage said...

Hi Sherry! You have some healthy looking herb plants. Wonderful for cooking, but so nice to grow! i just love all the scents. I think they're all delicate and pretty too! Thanks for hosting! Have a great weekend!

Kathy A Delightsome Life said...

Hello Sherry, Growing herbs is definitely one of those things we all should do - I just love adding fresh herbs to my dishes. Your features are great - I do appreciate you sharing with Home and Garden Thursday and for being a gracious hostess,

PURA VIDA said...

I love all your herbs...and my new favorite has been tarragon. It is lovely with fish. And I have the best recipe for basil lime tarts. Basil is my 2nd to smell it!

Blooming Rose Musings said...

Hi Sherry, thank you for hosting your lovely party. Your herbs look wonderful. I also love cooking with herbs and having them in my garden. I especially love lavender shortbread cookies and mint tea. Have a wonderful weekend.

SwedishCorner-DownUnder...Pernilla said...

Love fresh herbs! To go out in the garden and get what you need for cooking - wonderful! Lovely features this week :) Thanks for hosting, Sherry!
Greetings from Australia♥

Lady of the Woods said...

I couldn't live without herbs, they are the magical ingredient to the deliciousness of my foods. I've linked up with you again, and thank you for hosting. blessings, Lady

Shannon @ Cozy Home Scenes said...

I love to cook with fresh herbs too, and we just got our herb garden planted this year. Had to start over this year after some of the herbs got a disease last year. However, we have 2 dachshunds who also love our herbs. One in particular will serve herself a meal right from the ground. Needless to say, our herbs are all in raised pots. Thanks for hosting Sherry.

Yvonne @ StoneGable said...

Sherry, I am a girl who loves to use herbs from my garden. You Seven herb primer is so informational! I want to try every recipe. I see you have your mint in a pot. I do too! I don't want to have it go EVERYWHERE!
Thanks for hosting Home Sweet Home!!!!
NOw I am off to visit others who have joined in!

Gretchen said...

Thanks for the how-to on herbs. I haven't always used fresh herbs but I am now a total convert.


Nancy @ Nancy's Daily Dish said...

Hi Sherry, I love using fresh herbs. We grew our own last year for the first time ever. We had such a mild winter that I was able to use my rosemary throughout. I just used a few sprigs last night in our dinner. I love the smell and taste of fresh!

Thanks for hosting,


Ozma of odds said...

...oh yes, herbs for summertime cooking are a joy and a must!!
xo, Rosemary said...

A wonderful array of fresh herbs in your garden...I love cooking with fresh herbs, nothing is better than a sprinkling of herbs to finish off a dish.Have a wonderful day x

Two Cottages And Tea said...

Thank you for hosting this fun party! Your herbs look so healthy and you have a good variety to use in your cooking. Have a good weekend!

Faye ~ Wild Rose Vintage ~ Cabin Creek said...

There's nothing better than fresh herbs from the garden! Thanks for hosting!

Liz - Imageremix said...

So nice to sit and while away the evening enjoying all the great "home sweet homes" you've allowed everyone to share here. Thank you!


allisamazing said...

Thanks for hosting!

AshTreeCottage said...

Thank you for hosting Sherry!

Susan and Bentley

Anne said...

Oh how I love freshly snipped herbs!! thanks for hosting xox

Marydon said...

Maybe I should start to do herbs also. Great share. Love the featured ladies also.

Have a beautiful eve ~

Jann Olson said...

Hi Sherry, my herb garden just outside my back door is one of my favorite spots in the garden. I don't even mind weeding it. Such wonderful frangrance surrounds me when I do. I have the same herbs as you. Just planted my basil. The features are fabulous! Love that potting bench. Thanks for hosting.

Sarah said...

Sherry, thanks for sharing your herb garden. We have the same plants growing in our herb garden, but lost the lavender this year. I need to get some more planted.
Thanks for hosting. ~ Sarah

Stephanie ~ Angelic Accents said...

Sherry, thanks so much for hosting this party ~ I've just linked up. Your herb garden looks wonderful. Makes me wish I had one!!

Big TX Hugs,

lynn said...

sherry, your little heart sachets are darling! i have a ton of lavender-i'll have to make a couple like yours! thanks for sharing my potting bench--so sweet:)

Shirley@Housepitality Designs said...

Love the features and now you have me wanting to get my herb garden growing!!
Have a great weekend! ... thanks for hosting!

TINA said...

Great features! Thank you for hosting.

sparklegem said...

The herbs look wonderful. I've been thinking about starting an herb garden and you just made up my mind for me!

Diann said...

All of your herbs look beautiful. Thank you for hosting and have a wonderful weekend!

Katie@LeBeauPaonVictorien said...

I love fresh herbs too! You mentioned all of my favorites. I've been wanting to put in an herb garden for the last couple of years, but haven't found the right place for it, although I know many people who just grow them in pots! I may have to try that! Thanks for sharing!

Monique @ Magpie Hollow said...

Wonderful herbs, I can almost smell them ; )
Thank you for the links too. I will have a look, certainly something to do for the weekend !!
Have a great day.

Zinnia said...

I must be living spice. Rosemary, oregano and thyme are musts. And lemon balm, which I decorate cakes and desserts. Parsley and dill are indispensable. Like basil. Mint tea on a hot day! You and I both seem equally enchanted with herbs. I wish you a very nice weekend! Zinnia

Miss Kitty said...

Thanks so much for hosting this party for us, Sherry! I really enjoyed seeing and learning about herbs and look forward to using some of the recipes that you link in.

Natasha in Oz said...

Hi Sherry! This is such a great post! I know it's the wrong time of year Down Under to be planting a herb garden but I think I might start planning one after seeing this. Thank you!

Thanks also for hosting today. It's great to be partying again after my "sick leave"!

Best wishes for a lovely weekend,

Ann from On Sutton Place said...

What a great turn out for your party...I wish I had a post to link up but sadly I don't. Hopefully soon. :o) Your herb lesson was wonderful. I am going tomorrow to get mint and dill. I have already planted rosemary, basil and chives. Thanks and happy weekend!

Claudine from CondensedLoveHome said...

Dear Sherry!
Tomorrow I will have something to join the party with!
Beautiful projects as usual!!!

Claudine from CondensedLoveHome said...

Dear Sherry!!! I finally finish my post and linked up! Please have a look and tell me what you think?
I love your table escapes!!!

Amy said...

Thanks for hosting. This was my first time linking up with you and I'll be back again!

Amy {aprons & ambition}


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