Tuesday, August 5, 2014


Last week, I had my mom, Mimi, Aunt Lydia, and Aunt Dianne over for an easy lunch. Everyone brought something as a small hosting gift...like wine (gone), panties (my mom- don't ask), and strawberry pie (halfway gone).

 My Aunt Dianne, along with some beautiful handpicked flowers from her garden, also brought a bagful of herbs.

 The herbs were intended for everyone to share, but I somehow ended up with all of them! I didn't want them to go to waste, so I quickly went to cooking...and I think I came up with some pretty yummy concoctions!

Rosemary and Basil Chicken
Handful of basil
Handful of Rosemary
Squirt of mayo
Squirt of Mustard
Juice of a lemon
Couple of gurgles of olive oil
Chicken breasts
 This was literally me just throwing random stuff together. In a food processor, I pureed the herbs, mayo, mustard, lemon juice, and olive oil. I salted the chicken, put the paste on top, and cooked it at 400 for 40 minutes. Easy peasy!

Mint Chocolate Ice Cream- from David Lebovitz 
How I loveeeeee mint chocolate chip ice cream. It is my favorite! And side note- I do like it to be that pretty pastely green color. But, when making homemade mint ice cream with actual mint leaves, it is just an ever so slight green-yellow color. Not so pretty. But really good! 

Holy COW was this stuff worth all of the fuss. First I had to heat up the cream, sugar, and mint. Then I had to let it sit. Then I had to squeeze the mint to get all of the juices out. Then I had to mix it with egg yolks and heat it up. Then I had to refrigerate it. Then I had to churn it. Then I had to melt dark chocolate and scribble it into the ice cream. Whew! 
I opened the lid to take a picture, and my senses were immediately bombarded with minty chocolaty deliciousness. So I had to have a bite. Or seven.
Side note- ice cream made with actual mint leaves does taste different than store bought mint ice cream that is usually flavored with mint extract. It really does have an herbal, almost wood-like after taste. Think of eating an actual mint leaf, vs a peppermint. I loved it, Daniel was weirded out by it though. More for me! 

Basil Watermelon Popsicle 
Few sprigs of Basil
Watermelon (I used probably 1.5 cups)
Optional- Deep Eddy Cranberry Vodka

I impulse bought some popsicle molds the other day at World Market- I blame it on all of these enticing popsicle recipes I keep pinning on Pinterest! I simply pureed the watermelon, basil, and about a cup of vodka. Poured it in the molds and froze for a few hours. This recipe is so versatile....you could omit the basil or substitute mint instead. You could use any fruit you have on hand. Watermelon is so watery, that it doesn't actually need a liquid to be mixed with, but if you were using berries, I think hibiscus tea would be a good base. 

I love my husband. He usually raves about my kitchen creations, but when he doesn't like something, he really let's it be known, often in a hilarious way. After his first try, he told me it tasted like a salad popsicle. He wanted to give it another go, then proceeded to wash out his mouth and declare that it tasted like watermelon pasta. So, yes, this is interesting. I liked it, but it's not for everyone. I think next time I'll use less basil :-P 

All of this herb cooking has really made me want to start growing the herbs that I use nearly daily for my cooking- dill, chives, oregano, parsley. I've heard countless times that it is so easy. I'm starting with cilantro, and if that goes well, I'll buy some more seeds. If you have any pointers, feel free to give me some advice! 

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