Gardening, Cooking and Decorating on the Prairie of Kansas

Welcome to Linderhof, our 1920's home on the prairie, where there's usually something in the oven, flowers in the garden for tabletops and herbs in the garden for cooking. Where, when company comes, the teapot is always on and there are cookies and cakes to share in the larder.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

What's On the Menu Monday - Herbs!

Herbs have been on the menu a lot lately at Linderhof. The back garden is basically an herb garden and even with the heat, well watered herbs will thrive. And snippets of herbs find their way into the kitchen at Linderhof for almost every meal.

I've had company for lunch last week and the week before and although we had to eat indoors (it's not fun to dine outside in 100 plus heat), the food was full of garden flavors -- not only from the herb garden but from the vegetable patch as well via our Farmer's Market. (For Linderhof's garden is small and I don't want to waste garden space on vegetables when their abundant at the Farmer's Market)

Cooking with herbs is simple -- it's just a matter of adding herbs to your favorite recipe and all of the "herbal delights" were regular recipes to which I added herbs.

First the soups . . .

A creamy (and cold -- remember it is 105 outside) corn soup with basil. Basil is as good with corn as it is with tomatoes!!!!

A creamy (and also cold) potato soup with rosemary. It's my grandmother's recipe -- chicken broth, potatoes and cream with salt and pepper. I added the rosemary. Grandmother never would!

And to go with the hot bread which accompanies the main course . . .

herbal butter. This one is chive. Rosemary butter goes well when you serve lamb! And it's so easy -- a stick of softened unsalted butter (you can go cheap here), a teaspoon of Maldon Sea Salt and about a tablespoon of frehs chopped herbs -- all mixed together. The Maldon gives it a nice salty crunch and the herbs flavor the butter and make any roll special.

And the main course . . .

Corn and Chicken and Basil Quiche -- a basic quiche recipe that I use all the time -- I just added the basil.

A tomato and blue cheese tart -- baked in a rectangular tart pan with alternating rows of yellow and red cherry tomatoes. The recipe calls for green onion, I use garlic chives.

Meatballs and spaghetti -- a bit of oregano and thyme in with the meatball mix makes, in my opinion, better meatballs.

And we can't forget the herbal desserts . . .

A rosemary and caramel layer cake. It's my grandmother's recipe and I just added rosemary to both the cake batter and the frosting. Caramel and rosemary are a perfect marriage.

Rosemary and orange fairy cakes. I love orange and rosemary and these are great cakes either plan or with the addition of herbs (I've made lavender ones, too)

And, of course, the lemon lavender poundcake with blueberry lavender syrup.

I enjoy using my herbs in the kitchen for they do add great flavor to meals. I do use herbs at every meal although I don't always use meals in every dish!!!!

And as herbs can be good for dessert they also can be good for breakfast -- we love chives with our breakfast eggs or rosemary with sauteed breakfast potatoes.

It's Monday and I'm joining Yvonne at Stone Gable for What's On The Menu Monday! Come and see all the yummy dishes for this week!


On Crooked Creek said...

It's getting late and now you've inspired me to go bake something!!! Guess it will have to wait until tomorrow! I haven't used basil in corn, but I'm sure I will in the near future. Even here on our side of the Prairie, with "Mr. Ed's" watering, the herbs are thriving! Thanks for all the new inspirations!

Pondside said...

It all sounds and looks delicious. I wonder if that's your caramel cake that I've made here - we loved it!

Southerncook said...

All your herb dishes look fabulous. I don't use my herbs nearly enough. DH says he doesn't care for rosemary but I sneak it in and he doesn't know the difference???? Myself........well I love rosemary. You are truly an inspiration and I definitely need to use mine more often. Lord knows, I have plenty of them.


Rosemary said...

Oh yummy! The beautiful pictures with all those fresh veggies, herbs, and fruits have my mouth watering. I want to come to your house tonight for dinner!

gluten Free A_Z Blog said...

I love fresh herbs and have mint, thyme, rosemary, sage, and basil growing in my yard. Thanks the great inspiration to start using them more. I'm your newest follower. Hope you'll stop by my recipe blog and follow back.