Monday, December 29, 2008

Daregal Fresh Frozen Herbs

I love cooking with herbs, as you know if you follow this blog regularly. I especially like using fresh herbs, and it is extremely satisfying to pick them right from my own garden. But if you've looked at my other blog, Thyme for Herbs, you can a get a sense of what kind of weather we're having here in Michigan. It's definitely no time for picking herbs. Normally, the next best thing is using herbs that I have dried myself, and then the last choice is dried herbs from a commercial source.

But I've been introduced to something new -- Fresh frozen herbs by Daregal. It's the best thing I've come across in a long time! Easy and fun to use, with no additives.

The herbs are cut at their peak, chopped, and quickly frozen. They arrive packed in dry ice soon after they have been packaged. Then all you do is keep them frozen until you're ready to use a particular herb, give the container a quick shake to loosen, and shake out on your salad, casserole, or any dish you are making. Put the container right back in the freezer as soon as possible so the herbs remain fresh.

Here is a photo of the meatballs mixture I made for my Christmas Eve gathering.

You can see the fresh herbs I have sprinkled in the meat mix.

I made about 3 pounds of meatballs, so I used about 1/8 to 1/4 quarter of this container. There's plenty left to freeze for another time.

And now the meatballs are ready for the broiler before going in the crockpot with the sauce, just enough to warm them through and keep them hot for the party.

I absolutely love these herbs. Daregal has come up with a great idea and it's so easy to order exactly what you want. I have the pack of 6 with 2 free. The best part is that I can choose any combination that I like. I've used them in my Christmas party dips and spreads, also. I can't wait to try some in my favorite vegetable soup and my secret spaghetti sauce recipe. No longer will I have to purchase a bunch of parsley for just two chopped tablespoons, only to throw out the rest because I never got around to using it up.
Daregal, you've got a winner in my book!

If you like this blog, please look for my other blogs:
Thyme for Herbs
Happenstance House
Tickling the Ivories

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Artichoke, Garbanzo, and Red Pepper Salad

This salad has the bright red and green colors of Christmas. It's easy to throw together and one of those great recipes to take away for a holiday dinner party.

1 can (16 oz.) garbanzo beans, drained well
6 oz. roasted red peppers, diced
1 pkg. (6 oz.) frozen artichokes hearts, thawed
2 scallions, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 c. extra virgin olive oil
3 T. red wine vinegar
1 t. minced fresh oregano, or 1/4 t. dried
1/2 t. paprika
1/4 c. fresh flat-parsley
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Mix all ingredients together in a serving dish. Cover and refrigerate until serving time. The recipe can be made several days in advance. Serve chilled or at room temperature.

If you like this blog, please look for my other blogs:
Thyme for Herbs
Happenstance House
Tickling the Ivories

Monday, December 15, 2008

Sesame-Date Muffins

I like making muffins -- I also like eating muffins. But I've always wondered if I'm really just eating cake for breakfast.
This muffin recipe will take away some of the guilt. They're low in fat and healthy, too, with lots of fiber. They are a favorite for Christmas brunch.

1 1/2 c. whole wheat flour
1/2 c. wheat germ
1/4 c. sesame seeds, roasted
2 t. baking soda
1 c. nonfat buttermilk
1 egg, beaten
3 T. margarine, melted
2 T. molasses
1/4 chopped dates
Vegetable cooking spray or baking cup liners

1. Combine first 4 ingredients in a large bowl; make a well in center of mixture.

2. Combine buttermilk, egg, margarine, and molasses; add to dry ingredients, stirring just until moistened.

3. Fold in dates.

4. Spoon batter into muffins pans that have been coated with cooking spray, ( or use paper liners) filling three-fourths full.

5. Bake 400 degrees for 15 minutes or until lightly browned.

YILED: 1 dozen

If you like this blog, please look for my other blogs:
Thyme for Herbs
Happenstance House
Tickling the Ivories

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Vegetable Barley Soup

This is the time of year that I love to make soup. I have a lot of low-fat, low-cal soup recipes so you may be getting a lot of them from me. So warm up with this wholesome and healthy soup. It's easy and the whole family will love it.

4 c. water
1/3 c. uncooked pearl barley
1 T. beef-flavored bouillon granules
2 c. no-salt-added vegetable juice cocktail
1 medium carrot, scraped and coarsely chopped
1/2 c. chopped green pepper
1/3 c. chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 t. pepper
1/2 t. dried whole oregano
1/2 t. dried whole basil
3 medium tomatoes, peeled , seeded, and coarsely chopped
2 c. sliced fresh mushrooms

Combine water, barley, and bouillon granules in a large Dutch oven, bring to a boil.

2. Uncover, reduce heat, and simmer 30 minutes.

3. Stir in vegetable juice cocktail and next 7 ingredients.

4. Cover and simmer 30 minutes more or until barley is tender, stirring occasionally.

5. Stir in tomatoes and mushrooms.

6. Cover and cook an additional 15 minutes or until vegetables are tender.

YIELD: 8 cups (69 calories per 1- cup serving)

If you like this blog, please look for my other blogs:
Thyme for Herbs
Happenstance House
Tickling the Ivories