Drying Your Herbs

Now that your herbs are bigger you may be thinking about how to dry them and use them in the long run. It turns out there are some nifty little things you need to know about this!

When drying your herbs it is best to be a little patient with the growing process. You will want to wait until herbs, such as oregano, are a decent size. Though the herbs should be a little bigger you will want to harvest them before they flower.

When harvesting your herbs make sure to use a very sharp knife to cut the stems. Tearing and ripping can cause moisture loss in the plant. If you plan on hanging the herbs to dry cut towards the base of the plant so that you will have something to work with.

Herbs such as chives do not really dry. A good way to use chives is to place them in a plastic bag and freeze them. You can try to dry them out in the oven over a long period of time, but this process will take at least seven hours. Frozen chives will last 3 to 4 months in the freezer.

Larger herbs, like oregano, can be dried by hanging in a cool, dry and dark place. You can also hang the herbs upside down in a paper bag somewhere out of way. This process takes between 1-3 weeks.  Lastly, leafy herbs can usually be dried in a paper towel that is folded in half. Leave on your counter for 1-3 weeks, until the leaves are dry and crunchy. Place in a plastic bag to store.

Hints: 

If you are hanging herbs make sure to check the rubber band or string every few days. As the herbs dry they will shrink and may fall out of their holder.

Remember to shake off any insects before you start the drying process. You may want to do a quick rinse and pat dry before drying the herbs.

If you are hanging herbs in a paper bag remember to cut holes in it so the herbs have an air flow.

Good luck!

Posted by: Amanda

May 31, 2011. baking, Food Fun, Gardening, In The Kitchen, Make Your Own, Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

Rosemary Chicken Recipe

I finally got to put my herbs to use for last night’s dinner! I just kind of winged it, and it actually turned out pretty well.

Ingredients:

Skinless-boneless chicken breast

Rosemary 

low fat margarine

Garlic salt

Black ground pepper

Heat stove to 425 degrees. place chicken in a glass baking dish. Pick and rinse your rosemary. Sprinkle the amount of rosemary you want on the chicken. It doesn’t take very much to get a lot of flavor.  dust on your garlic salt and pepper. Put a small amount of margarine on each piece of chicken. cover dish with aluminium foil. Bake until chicken is cooked through.

Posted by: Amanda

May 14, 2011. Tags: , . baking, Food Fun, In The Kitchen. Leave a comment.

Make Your Own Magnetic Spice Rack

This is a super spice space saver! Say that 3 times fast.

A while back, I found this sweet set of magnetic spices on Etsy (of course). I just love how the see-through lids show off the different colors and shapes of the spices!

Although I have a perfectly good spice rack that Nicholas bought me for my birthday a couple of years ago, it takes up a ton of space in my ever-so-tiny kitchen. I love the apothecary-looking jars, and I might use them for another crafty project, but for now they must go.

After I saw the brilliant magnetic spices, I thought I had died and gone to space-saving heaven. Since I’m always looking for crafty ways to do things on my own, I thought to myself, “Self, you can totally make this, and it would probably be cheaper.” If I put all of my spices in these cute little see-through containers, and slapped some magnets on the back, I could just stick them to my fridge and free up some space! It doesn’t hurt that they would also double as colorful art for the fridge! Bonus!

Supplies Needed:

round clear-top tins

spices

magnets

tape

permanent marker

I found the tins right here for only $0.63 a piece! After counting all of my spices and considering how much space I had on the fridge, I figured I would need around 30 tins. I bought self adhesive magnet strips from the craft store, and I already had spices and a marker.

I waited not so patiently for 3 weeks for the tins to come in the mail, and when they did, I was super excited!

First, I collected all of my spices and started filling tins.

Next, I stuck two magnets to the bottom of each tin. (The magnets I bought weren’t very strong, so you might only need one per tin.) Then I wrote the names of each spice on the bottom between the magnets. I would suggest putting a piece of tape down first, and writing on the tape. I didn’t do this, and ended up writing the wrong name on one of the tins, and had to cross it out. It was a sad day for my perfectionism.

This is the finished product, and what they look like on the fridge (after quite a bit of arranging).

Now my spices are right next to me while I’m cooking, and I love looking at them every time I walk by.

A couple of things I have learned during and after this project:

1) Use tape to write the names of the spices on the bottom of the tins.

2) I’ve knocked a few tins off the fridge while opening the fridge and freezer doors, so I scooted them a little farther from the handles.

3) Sometimes the tins can be difficult to open, so be careful not to fill them too full. Nicholas was having a hard time with one of them, and accidentally dumped cumin all over the floor.

Now that we constantly look at the spices when we’re in the kitchen, we end up using them a lot more. We often find ourselves experimenting with spice combinations that we would never have tried in the past. Yay for creative cooking!

Happy spice rack making!

posted by: Rhiannon

May 14, 2011. Tags: , , , , . Decor, Food Fun, In The Kitchen, Make Your Own. 2 comments.

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