Array
(
    [0] => Array
        (
            [post_author] => 4
            [post_date] => 2020-12-22 21:56:20
            [post_date_gmt] => 2020-12-22 21:56:20
            [post_content] => [vc_row][vc_column el_class="blogbodycol" custom_css="border-bottom:7px solid #f8f5f2;border-left: 7px solid #f8f5f2;border-right: 7px solid #f8f5f2; border-top: 7px solid #f8f5f2;padding-bottom:30px;" width="1/1"][prkwp_spacer][prkwp_spacer size="9"][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_custom_heading source="post_title" font_container="tag:h2|font_size:30|text_align:left|color:%234e463e" use_theme_fonts="yes" el_class="header_font" el_id="rechead"][vc_column_text el_class="blate"]DECEMBER 22CND 2020[/vc_column_text][prkwp_spacer size="9"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]One for Rudolph, two for me. This is one of my most whimsical recipes and one that is perfect to make with your kids the day before Christmas eve.  Basically, the kids make herbal sugar cubes for Rudolph and you get amazing sugar cubes for an old-Fashioned cocktail.  It’s a rather fun project for all and one that the adults can enjoy long after Santa is gone. The recipe is super easy. It assumes you have some general herbs around the holidays for cooking.  Herbs, sugar and ice cube trays are really all that’s needed outside a few drops of water.[/vc_column_text][vc_single_image image="18606" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]

Herbal Sugar Cubes

This recipe is versatile  and fun, as the  herbs and spices can be altered to taste. I chose these because they work really well in an old fashioned cocktail, but I make these cubes generally with various herbs and spices per my whimsy at the time. Let your kids play and even enjoy a kiddy fashioned cocktail. The most important part of the recipe is to make sure you don’t add too much water. Makes several cubes depending on ice cube tray size Ingredients ¼ teaspoon chopped super fine rosemary leaves ¼ teaspoon chopped super fine purple or green sage leaves ¼ teaspoon chopped super fine pineapple sage (optional) ½ teaspoon lemon zest ½ teaspoon orange zest ½ teaspoon finely ground black pepper (I use long pepper) ¾ cup turbinado sugar 2 drops Grapefruit Cardamom Bitters 1 teaspoon ice cold water[/vc_column_text][vc_single_image image="18602" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]Directions Combine the rosemary, sage(s), zests and pepper in a medium bowl with the sugar. Rub the mixture together with your fingers, pulverizing the herbs, zest and pepper into the sugar. The sugar will turn a greenish hue from the herb oils.  Add the bitters and water and stir. The sugar should be slightly moistened and still crumbly, not wet. Using a sugar cube mold or an ice cube tray mold, place 1 heaping teaspoon in each mold and press the mixture down tightly into the mold. If using an ice cube tray, the sugar cubes will be bigger and thinner than the traditional cube. Let the molds air-dry on your kitchen counter overnight, at least 16 hours. Once they have hardened, gently remove them from the molds, using a butter knife to assist.  Store them in an airtight container for months.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_single_image image="18604" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_single_image image="18607" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]

Liberal Old Fashioned with DIY Herbal Sugar Cubes

An Old Fashioned is essentially just whiskey sweetened, seasoned and diluted. Yet everyone has their own firm idea on the details. I have a super liberal take on the topic and mine is herbalized. The act of making your own sugar cubes and paying attention to the details, from start to finish, feels like self-care. It’s not only easy but adds creative flair, and it’s a great conversation piece. Let your party guests make their own Liberal Old Fashioned and find out. Make the sugar cubes a day ahead. If you don’t have big ice cube molds any ice will do. I use Charbay’s Doubled & Twisted Whiskey. The citrus notes in the whiskey persuaded me to use the lemon peel instead of the old-fashioned orange peel. I also like using Sonoma Distilling Co, Cherrywood Rye Whiskey. Ingredients 1-2 Herbal Sugar Cubes 3 drops Grapefruit Cardamom Bitters (Monarch Bitters) Splash of water 2 ounces whiskey Big Cube ice cube Lemon twist or peel Sage leaf Directions For each Old Fashioned Place one or two Herbal Sugar Cubes on the bottom of a rocks glass. Drop a few bitters on top and gently muddle them until the sugars are dissolved. Add a tiny splash of water to help. You want the sugar to be smooth and paste-like, rather than swimming in water. Fill the glass with a few large ice cubes. Add the whiskey and gently stir until well combined. Express the oil of a lemon peel over the glass and gently run it around the rim. Drop the peel and a sage leaf, stem side down, into the glass.[/vc_column_text][vc_single_image image="18605" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_single_image image="18619" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_column][/vc_row] [post_title] => DIY Herbal Sugar Cubes [post_excerpt] => One for Rudolph, two for me. This is one of my most whimsical recipes and one that is perfect to make with your kids the day before Christmas eve. Basically, the kids make herbal sugar cubes for Rudolph and you get amazing sugar cubes for an old-Fashioned cocktail. It’s a rather fun project for all and one that the adults can enjoy long after Santa is gone. The recipe is super easy. Some herbs, sugar and ice cube trays are really all that’s needed outside a few drops of water. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => diy-herbal-sugar-cubes [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2020-12-22 22:02:10 [post_modified_gmt] => 2020-12-22 22:02:10 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.myherbal-roots.com/?p=18601 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw [categories] => Array ( [0] => 111 [1] => 112 [2] => 32 ) [id] => m_hr_18601 [post_id] => 18601 [allcategories] => Array ( [0] => Rosemary [1] => Sage [2] => Winter ) [categories_herbs_slugs] => Array ( [0] => rosemary [1] => sage ) [categories_seasons_slugs] => Array ( [0] => winter ) [categories_details] => Array ( [111] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 111 [name] => Rosemary [slug] => rosemary [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 111 [taxonomy] => category [description] => [parent] => 84 [count] => 7 [filter] => raw [cat_ID] => 111 [category_count] => 7 [category_description] => [cat_name] => Rosemary [category_nicename] => rosemary [category_parent] => 84 ) [112] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 112 [name] => Sage [slug] => sage [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 112 [taxonomy] => category [description] => [parent] => 84 [count] => 4 [filter] => raw [cat_ID] => 112 [category_count] => 4 [category_description] => [cat_name] => Sage [category_nicename] => sage [category_parent] => 84 ) [32] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 32 [name] => Winter [slug] => winter [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 32 [taxonomy] => category [description] => [parent] => 28 [count] => 8 [filter] => raw [cat_ID] => 32 [category_count] => 8 [category_description] => [cat_name] => Winter [category_nicename] => winter [category_parent] => 28 ) ) [image_path] => https://www.myherbal-roots.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/feature.jpg [post_firstImg] => https://www.myherbal-roots.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/main-1-scaled.jpg ) )
Array
(
    [0] => Array
        (
            [post_author] => 4
            [post_date] => 2020-12-22 21:56:20
            [post_date_gmt] => 2020-12-22 21:56:20
            [post_content] => [vc_row][vc_column el_class="blogbodycol" custom_css="border-bottom:7px solid #f8f5f2;border-left: 7px solid #f8f5f2;border-right: 7px solid #f8f5f2; border-top: 7px solid #f8f5f2;padding-bottom:30px;" width="1/1"][prkwp_spacer][prkwp_spacer size="9"][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_custom_heading source="post_title" font_container="tag:h2|font_size:30|text_align:left|color:%234e463e" use_theme_fonts="yes" el_class="header_font" el_id="rechead"][vc_column_text el_class="blate"]DECEMBER 22CND 2020[/vc_column_text][prkwp_spacer size="9"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]One for Rudolph, two for me. This is one of my most whimsical recipes and one that is perfect to make with your kids the day before Christmas eve.  Basically, the kids make herbal sugar cubes for Rudolph and you get amazing sugar cubes for an old-Fashioned cocktail.  It’s a rather fun project for all and one that the adults can enjoy long after Santa is gone. The recipe is super easy. It assumes you have some general herbs around the holidays for cooking.  Herbs, sugar and ice cube trays are really all that’s needed outside a few drops of water.[/vc_column_text][vc_single_image image="18606" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]

Herbal Sugar Cubes

This recipe is versatile  and fun, as the  herbs and spices can be altered to taste. I chose these because they work really well in an old fashioned cocktail, but I make these cubes generally with various herbs and spices per my whimsy at the time. Let your kids play and even enjoy a kiddy fashioned cocktail. The most important part of the recipe is to make sure you don’t add too much water. Makes several cubes depending on ice cube tray size Ingredients ¼ teaspoon chopped super fine rosemary leaves ¼ teaspoon chopped super fine purple or green sage leaves ¼ teaspoon chopped super fine pineapple sage (optional) ½ teaspoon lemon zest ½ teaspoon orange zest ½ teaspoon finely ground black pepper (I use long pepper) ¾ cup turbinado sugar 2 drops Grapefruit Cardamom Bitters 1 teaspoon ice cold water[/vc_column_text][vc_single_image image="18602" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]Directions Combine the rosemary, sage(s), zests and pepper in a medium bowl with the sugar. Rub the mixture together with your fingers, pulverizing the herbs, zest and pepper into the sugar. The sugar will turn a greenish hue from the herb oils.  Add the bitters and water and stir. The sugar should be slightly moistened and still crumbly, not wet. Using a sugar cube mold or an ice cube tray mold, place 1 heaping teaspoon in each mold and press the mixture down tightly into the mold. If using an ice cube tray, the sugar cubes will be bigger and thinner than the traditional cube. Let the molds air-dry on your kitchen counter overnight, at least 16 hours. Once they have hardened, gently remove them from the molds, using a butter knife to assist.  Store them in an airtight container for months.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_single_image image="18604" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_single_image image="18607" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]

Liberal Old Fashioned with DIY Herbal Sugar Cubes

An Old Fashioned is essentially just whiskey sweetened, seasoned and diluted. Yet everyone has their own firm idea on the details. I have a super liberal take on the topic and mine is herbalized. The act of making your own sugar cubes and paying attention to the details, from start to finish, feels like self-care. It’s not only easy but adds creative flair, and it’s a great conversation piece. Let your party guests make their own Liberal Old Fashioned and find out. Make the sugar cubes a day ahead. If you don’t have big ice cube molds any ice will do. I use Charbay’s Doubled & Twisted Whiskey. The citrus notes in the whiskey persuaded me to use the lemon peel instead of the old-fashioned orange peel. I also like using Sonoma Distilling Co, Cherrywood Rye Whiskey. Ingredients 1-2 Herbal Sugar Cubes 3 drops Grapefruit Cardamom Bitters (Monarch Bitters) Splash of water 2 ounces whiskey Big Cube ice cube Lemon twist or peel Sage leaf Directions For each Old Fashioned Place one or two Herbal Sugar Cubes on the bottom of a rocks glass. Drop a few bitters on top and gently muddle them until the sugars are dissolved. Add a tiny splash of water to help. You want the sugar to be smooth and paste-like, rather than swimming in water. Fill the glass with a few large ice cubes. Add the whiskey and gently stir until well combined. Express the oil of a lemon peel over the glass and gently run it around the rim. Drop the peel and a sage leaf, stem side down, into the glass.[/vc_column_text][vc_single_image image="18605" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_single_image image="18619" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_column][/vc_row] [post_title] => DIY Herbal Sugar Cubes [post_excerpt] => One for Rudolph, two for me. This is one of my most whimsical recipes and one that is perfect to make with your kids the day before Christmas eve. Basically, the kids make herbal sugar cubes for Rudolph and you get amazing sugar cubes for an old-Fashioned cocktail. It’s a rather fun project for all and one that the adults can enjoy long after Santa is gone. The recipe is super easy. Some herbs, sugar and ice cube trays are really all that’s needed outside a few drops of water. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => diy-herbal-sugar-cubes [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2020-12-22 22:02:10 [post_modified_gmt] => 2020-12-22 22:02:10 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.myherbal-roots.com/?p=18601 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw [categories] => Array ( [0] => 111 [1] => 112 [2] => 32 ) [id] => m_hr_18601 [post_id] => 18601 [allcategories] => Array ( [0] => Rosemary [1] => Sage [2] => Winter ) [categories_herbs_slugs] => Array ( [0] => rosemary [1] => sage ) [categories_seasons_slugs] => Array ( [0] => winter ) [categories_details] => Array ( [111] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 111 [name] => Rosemary [slug] => rosemary [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 111 [taxonomy] => category [description] => [parent] => 84 [count] => 7 [filter] => raw [cat_ID] => 111 [category_count] => 7 [category_description] => [cat_name] => Rosemary [category_nicename] => rosemary [category_parent] => 84 ) [112] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 112 [name] => Sage [slug] => sage [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 112 [taxonomy] => category [description] => [parent] => 84 [count] => 4 [filter] => raw [cat_ID] => 112 [category_count] => 4 [category_description] => [cat_name] => Sage [category_nicename] => sage [category_parent] => 84 ) [32] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 32 [name] => Winter [slug] => winter [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 32 [taxonomy] => category [description] => [parent] => 28 [count] => 8 [filter] => raw [cat_ID] => 32 [category_count] => 8 [category_description] => [cat_name] => Winter [category_nicename] => winter [category_parent] => 28 ) ) [image_path] => https://www.myherbal-roots.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/feature.jpg [post_firstImg] => https://www.myherbal-roots.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/main-1-scaled.jpg ) [1] => Array ( [post_author] => 4 [post_date] => 2020-12-21 22:05:58 [post_date_gmt] => 2020-12-21 22:05:58 [post_content] => [vc_row][vc_column el_class="blogbodycol" custom_css="border-bottom:7px solid #f8f5f2;border-left: 7px solid #f8f5f2;border-right: 7px solid #f8f5f2; border-top: 7px solid #f8f5f2;padding-bottom:30px;" width="1/1"][prkwp_spacer][prkwp_spacer size="9"][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_custom_heading source="post_title" font_container="tag:h2|font_size:30|text_align:left|color:%234e463e" use_theme_fonts="yes" el_class="header_font" el_id="rechead"][vc_column_text el_class="blate"]DECEMBER 21ST 2020[/vc_column_text][prkwp_spacer size="9"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]My ‘moving to Missouri’ story began back in August. I had a few sessions with a renowned astrologer, as part of my crisis response to learning I had to move quickly and, essentially, charter the next course in my life. If I’m being honest, this was one of the hardest times of my life. Normally I make decisions quickly and with ease, but this one I knew would create massive disruptions in all aspects of my life. The first thing the astrologer said to me during session one was, “Ooh, you’re a jovial warrior. Does that sound like you?” I took a moment to mull it over, then giggled and said, “Yes. Yes, that does sound like me.” No one had ever described me like that before, and I think many people would attest that it seems spot on. I have Mars and Jupiter rising in my chart, which is how he came up with this jingly nickname.[/vc_column_text][vc_single_image image="18478" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]My Chinese medicine doctor recommended that I try talking to an astrologer over my difficulty surrounding the impending move and suggested one. I had four sessions with the astrologer. Four sessions seemed good enough to cover some bases about me and my life before even thinking about where to move. The first session covered me, the second my family, the third key romantic relationships and the fourth my move. By the time I got to the fourth session, I had already decided to move to Missouri, rented a house and started the process to buy it. He was a little surprised, but I then referred him to my chart.  I think and move quickly.  So, in my fourth session I mostly wanted to know: what would Missouri be like for this jovial warrior? His first comments back to me were, “Missouri, well, that is not a place I would have picked for you.”[/vc_column_text][vc_single_image image="18479" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]The big question on many people’s minds is the same as his was: ”…Why Missouri?” After the initial excitement over hearing I moved to Missouri’s southern lake region, imagining me in my full glory as a quick-thinking heroine and powerful boss bitch cruising in my speed boat (thanks to Jason Bateman and the Ozarks), they say, “Wait. What? Why?” Yes, I live in Missouri now. And to quote my astrologist, “It’s not on or near any of your powerful energy lines.” But it is close to a big portion of my family that just so happens to kind of need me. I’ve always thought of myself as an instinctual person, so in a way it doesn’t totally surprise me that I picked this new life internally. It was the external part of me that was resisting it all along. I’m not so worried about my powerlines because I discovered, through my sessions with him, that I tend to gravitate to them in my travels; so, I feel content I will go to them and reenergize myself as I need to. I also reminded him of my chart again and that I’m not someone who can be stagnant. So, today I feel comfortable knowing that living in Missouri is not forever for me. Then again, nowhere is.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_single_image image="18470" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]My chart also resonates with family and a strong matriarchal role, so I think it’s also a matter of perspective in terms of the energy lines here. While the lines might not show up here on my chart, there are quite a few special people that make excellent substitutes for those lines. The thing about connection – especially to people – and about love is that it’s really powerful. Thus, I need to be here. I can feel that in the two months I’ve been here. I need them as much as they need me. That’s how love works. It was revealed to me at the end of my last session that Missouri, specifically where I am living, falls on my moon and Pluto line. These lines represent journey, family and traveling. So, it seems the astrologer and I were on the same page. This jovial warrior’s journey to Missouri is all about family…and traveling! (Thank god!) So here I am, jovial and ready to be a warrior, on Table Rock Lake on the Arkansas and Missouri border.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_single_image image="18474" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]Now the question on many people’s minds is, “How is it going so far?” This post is the answer to that question. It’s not coming in the form of a traditional self-reflective answer but, rather, through a hodgepodge of recipes I have conjured up since I moved to the Ozarks. This post is also as close as I can get to a commercial (unpaid and unsolicited) for those brands and products that have sustained me while figuring out where I can find the healthy, organic, fresh, nutritious, seasonal and interesting food I am accustomed to and as my soul needs to survive and more importantly be nourished continuously.[/vc_column_text][vc_single_image image="18480" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]The Backstory Sometime in the middle of August, I was taking a short summer vacation in Ojai after sheltering in place for months. I needed it, and the resort where I stayed was big on safety and space. It had all outdoor dining and several pools where 6-10 feet were easy to maintain. They were also dog friendly, so off Inca and I went. The timing coincided with the northern fires which threated Bolinas and were raging across Sonoma. It was there where my landlord emailed a 60-day notice to move. I had lived in her house for over 5 years, faithfully taking care of her home. This is not easy in Bolinas. I went above and beyond, and I was an excellent tenant. I really want to set up the apocalyptic scene which I can still feel viscerally. The world was in the midst of a gigantic pandemic, I had been sheltered in place in Bolinas for months, and fires were raging across northern California. Residents of the notoriously expensive Bay Area were on an exodus toward the “countryside” which meant my house was prime real estate. Every home and rental (vacation and otherwise) in Marin, Sonoma, Napa, Tahoe and beyond was getting snatched by those with money fleeing the city. Mind you, there are a lot with money in the city. Shortly after that notice, I received another notice, that Bolinas was under recommended fire evacuation and that my house was technically first in line of a new fire  that had broken out. Residents were scrambling, packing up their stuff and heading out. It wasn’t sure that the fire would reach the houses in Bolinas, but weather (winds) is tumultuous out there and fires had been ripping through the dry brush quickly. Since it’s really just a one-way road in (and dangerous with the fire looming), people were following the better safe than sorry route, so I stayed put in Ojai. It was the smart thing to do. I was 7 hours away, and I had some cute clothes, my laptop and my dog Inca with me. It was there I let go of my grip on everything else, including my history in the Bay Area and the reason why I moved there in the first place. That was a big moment in my life, amidst truly apocalyptic conditions something big and internal told me to just let go. So I did, fully.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_single_image image="13643" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]I can’t say it was easy, the moment I moved on, metaphorically and emotionally. In a way, these apocalyptic conditions forced me to move. Even though I didn’t think I was ready, I realized that I was. I think that’s what they call ‘nature provides.’ Eventually I went home, and the fire near Bolinas fizzled. The other fires raged until the day I left. I wasn’t able to say goodbye to basically anyone I had gotten to know there because of the pandemic and the fires. That was hard. As someone who often feels like a loner anyhow, I couldn’t help but feel that my connections were not that potent to begin with. I know that’s silly to think, but don’t we all think silly things when grieving? After Pounding Out Grief throughout September and packing up my life, Inca and I got in a gigantic 26-foot U-Haul filled with dishes (truly, that’s the bulk of what I own) and drove to Missouri, leaving northern California behind. On this drive out of California, I could feel the natural release of quite a bit, including my relationship(s) there, as well as the idea that I didn’t move there for me. It never fully suited me. It felt healthy to realize all this and (physically and metaphorically) move on. I know I was moving toward what I needed next in life, toward who I needed and who needed me. That has always been important to me, being there for those I love. I move toward what I need rather subconsciously/instinctively. Luckily, my strong intuition doesn’t allow for regrets. I feel grateful for that.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_single_image image="18484" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]How’s it going? Inca and I drove 2000 miles together to get here and had one of the happiest times of our life. I felt like my eyes and my heart were wide open. I felt supported by the deep friendships I have and the love and excitement of my family – both the ones I was heading towards and the ones that were rooting me on. I could even feel a few key relationships deepening with new distance. I could almost feel myself growing (wiser, not taller). My new lake house is incredible. I found it online, rented it immediately and started the buying process before I had even left. I chose it for 3 reasons. It was right on the water, with water views from almost every room in the house. There are sunset views (over the water) 365 days of the year. And it was the least “oaky” place I could fine. Most homes were filled with oak, oak cabinets, oak trim, oak and more oak. I hate the oak look. This house has less and, even though I would re-do things, I had to find something I could live in now that wouldn’t make me nuts. Oak would have made me nuts. The oak look for me is a more a metaphor or thinking and what it means toi surround yourself by things you think about and how that thinking is fueled.  When I see overly oaky homes I cant help but thing ot eh following words and phrases: stuck, closed minded, doing things the only way I know how and that’s just the way it is. As you know by now, my being, like my creative outlets, cooking and writing- couldn’t be father from those words. If I was going to live here, in a place those words were potent, I couldn’t be around the oak- not the real thing or the metaphor- my home had to be different so it needed to start differently.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_single_image image="18486" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]When I drove into the driveway of my house I felt very happy. It did not disappoint. Even though I knew Missouri would inevitably disappoint (everything and everyone does after all), I could tell this place would be the haven I needed to be successful and happy here. It has beautiful sweeping views of the lake, trees all over, and a crystal-clear lakefront for Inca to swim. Every single room in the house has views of the water and the sunset. There are two kitchens. The entire downstairs becomes my business headquarters, with lots of space for more staff and its own kitchen, and a gigantic deck, where I envision outdoor working as soon as weather permits. The kitchen remodel is planned and pending the arrival of cabinets in a few weeks. I feel happy that my brother is doing the work. This circular exchange of my money feels important, especially after giving so much of my money to landlords for 29 years of my life. When people ask me how it’s going, the first thing I always say is that I chose an amazing house.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_single_image image="18477" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]The food is a different story. But I knew this would be the case before I made the decision to move here. I had spent many years visiting my brother here, as he married a woman from Missouri and moved here (he is now divorced). He raised three kids here. They are all still here and all often literally here at my house. (Which I love!) When I lived in NYC, I would spend most Thanksgivings here. (I did lots of fresh herb workshops in a tiny town called Fair Grove about an hour north of where I am now.) Back then I was aware that the kind of food shopping I prefer – call it organic, sustainable, healthy, alive, green, unprocessed, etc. – is hard to come by. I wouldn’t call this a food desert exactly because there is a crapload of cheap food here and all the ultra-processed conventional produce, meat and dairy you can dream of. But there is a gigantic shortage of the stuff I like. The stuff I think the world needs more of. The kind that I believe (real science does too) makes for healthier people and planet. It certainly has changed here over some over time, I see more progress than ever and I have even been part of that change, working in the organic produce industry for so long. The internet, traveling and logistics has made good food more accessible than ever before. But it’s still not enough and the quality and overall choices are still lacking and driven by conventional and processed mindsets and corporations and generally speaking its really hard to compete with cheap in these parts of the country. I’m certain you understand my definition of cheap here. Now, if you know me you know I can’t compromise on healthy food. It’s not just a decision about what I am putting in my body but what I choose to support with my dollars. So, I have had to spider web my needs and do a lot of buying online. I drive to Fayetteville, Arkansas, every two weeks, where I shop at the Ozark Natural Food Store and the closest Whole Foods. There is a new natural food store closer to me, about 30 minutes away in Branson, MO, called Nature’s Wonder. It’s a fairly big store with lots of miscellaneous things I like to buy spur of the moment, like Justin’s Dark Peanut Butter Chocolate Cups, but the meat and produce is still a bit lacking. They have fairly decent dairy products, but at Whole Foods I can buy my Point Reyes Blue, which makes and keeps me happy![/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_single_image image="18490" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]I buy some Belcampo meat online and have it shipped to my house, but I don’t do that for all my meats because it’s expensive and includes packaging waste that I don’t love. I plan to get a deep freeze and buy an entire pig and cow and share with my family here. But even that too is weird, most people only sell them to massive meat processors (not the good kind) so finding folks that produce, slaughter, butcher and package meat sustainably hasn’t been easy. This is after all the land of Tyson chicken farms, which are speckled for miles and miles and miles just south of where I live in Arkansas. That’s the kind of cheap meat that is everywhere here. The produce and the fresh herbs are my main problem here. Like everything else, I have had to do weird things to get it, make a lot of compromises and spend some extra money. Since I moved here in late October, a garden was not an option. I am building a garden and a greenhouse, so come spring, I should be 800000x better off and am super excited about it.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_single_image image="18476" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]Luckily my friends at Jacobs Farm Del Cabo have been kind enough to sell me fresh herbs in the meantime, so all my recipe testing and salts are taken care of and my herbal passion does not need to be quelled for even a second. The Arkansas Whole Foods and Ozark Natural Foods both have many of the organic brands I like, so that works for me. And I know come spring, summer and fall, more local options will be predominant in both, as well as some of the farmers markets here locally. Some things I miss, like the massive number of citrus options most California grocers have at this time of year. I miss fresh little gem lettuce incredibly and can’t wait to grow greens again. I miss year round chive blossoms, access to amazing and fresh cherry tomatoes, romanesco and baby artichokes from the Bolinas farm stand. I make due, it reminds me of living in Ecuador, hauling back lemons in my suitcase. Find a few things you need most and do what you have to get them. Booze & Wine is another issue.  Missouri is one of those states where it’s almost impossible for any regular company to ship alcohol to me. There are only a few big companies that do it and they tend to carry only the crappy ultra-processed brands, and, frankly, I’d rather quit drinking. I came fairly stocked with my crafters favorites, since I knew where I was heading, but I miss my small artisanal batch makers and their booze that tastes good and is well crafted. A few of my friends did some digging and found me a place in Arkansas where there is a great wine and booze store that they swear I can find some things I like, so I will venture there soon.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_single_image image="18471" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]I’ve learned to make do, but I also recognize that me making do is still rather extravagant compared to most.  That’s the girl in me that is influenced by all the places she has seen on the world, that’s the girl that can’t living and cook in an oaky kitchen. The good news in all of this, is that I’m fine and definitely not hungry.  It’s all inspired me to work on how to get better organic produce into the area, and I know I’m the perfect person to do that. I tell you now, I will. Of the hodgepodge collection of healthy organic ingredients I have managed to find and bring together. I have also whipped up a few new recipes as well as polished a few old ones. All of this was done in a kitchen that is somewhat weird – too small, unreasonably compacted and with a shower in it and with a crappy electric oven. If there is any lesson that I can leave you with, it’s this. Just because you live in an isolated area or an area that doesn’t seem to have a lot of choices, an area where people say “this is just the way it is” and “people don’t want that kind of food” doesn’t mean that has to be your reality. If you have strong values – healthy food (from soil to mouth) being one of my main core values – do whatever it takes to live by them. You don’t have to have an oak kitchen or processed food. People may make fun of you, as some make fun of me for driving to Arkansas for my “fancy” food, but who cares? The thing about values is that the things that guide us in life run much deeper than they appear. So, while it’s true I like what some call fancy food, the real truth is that I like food that is grown in nutritious soil, supporting the communities that do the work to produce it. I like organic food because the science is clear about pesticides on food. I like unprocessed foods that are not riddled with sugar. In my values, the American “cheap” is way more expensive than my “fancy.” Be a jovial warrior. Fight for healthy food. Fight kindly for what you believe in. Here is some of my “fanciest” Missouri food, so far….[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_single_image image="18475" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]

Rancho Gordo Marcella Beans, Spinach and Fried Eggs with Nissa’s Fresh Mint Harissa

One of the items I buy online (ever since Bolinas) is Rancho Gordo beans. I cannot recommend their beans enough. Their heirloom beans cook much faster than regular grocery store beans and are also more tender, with more nuanced textures and deep flavor. If you are new to their beans, the first thing you’ll recognize is that these beans have a massive amount of flavor. I buy a big box of beans about twice a year and spend about $100 each time. I often give a bag or two away as a gift or when someone gets excited about the beans I cooked for them. My favorite is their white Marcella beans. They have a really thin skin and cook into an ultra-creamy deliciousness. I cook a batch and have them a few different ways, usually stewed with some vegetables. I like to eat the remaining part of the batch for breakfast with a fried egg and some of my fresh mint harissa. It makes for one of my favorite breakfasts and, since many folks have asked about it since I posted it a few weeks back on social media, I thought I’d share it here.

Stewed Marcella Beans with Spinach & a Fried Egg

I found amazing (Arkansas) local (greenhouse grown) spinach in Ozarks Natural Food Store, so it seems to be something I can get year-round. It’s my kind of spinach, too – a thicker, bumpy leaf savoy variety. It’s really lovely with my stewed beans. Rancho Gordo beans don’t need to be soaked because they are fresh dried beans (meaning they are not very old like some on the grocery store shelf). I do usually soak them overnight because I usually forget that I’m planning on cook them, and it gives them a gigantic jump start. I soak rice, too, for the same reasons. Serves 8-10 Ingredients  1 pound bag of Rancho Gordo Marcella beans, presoaked at least 2 hours and up to overnight 1 tablespoon salt 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved 2-3 mini bell peppers, coarsely chopped 2 tablespoons chopped parsley 1 tablespoon chopped chives 2 cups chopped spinach leaves 1 fresh egg per serving Nissa’s Fresh Mint Harissa (Recipe below) ¼ cup finely chopped fresh mint Finishing salt  Directions Rinse the beans well and add them along with the other ingredients to a large pot filled amply with water. The beans should be covered by at least 2-3 inches of water. Bring to a hard boil uncovered without a lid for 20-30 minutes. Add the salt, reduce heat and simmer partially covered for about 1 hour or until the beans are tender. Add the tomatoes, peppers, parsley and chives, increase heat to low and cook for another 20-35 minutes until the vegetables cook down and meld into the beans. Turn the burner off, add the spinach leaves to the top of the beans, cover with the lid and let stand about 30 minutes. Sprinkle the mint on, leaving a tablespoon for fresh garnish, and stir the beans, mint and spinach. In the meantime, fry the egg. Place the beans and spinach mixture down, top it with the fried egg and drizzle a little harissa on top. Garnish with fresh mint.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_single_image image="12708" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]

Nissa’s Fresh Mint Harissa

Makes 2 cups Ingredients 2 dried guajillo chilies, stems removed, broken 2 dried red chilies, stems removed, broken 2 teaspoons cumin seeds, toasted 1 teaspoon coriander seed, toasted 1 teaspoon caraway seed, toasted 2 teaspoons rainbow peppercorns, toasted 3 garlic cloves 1 bell pepper, roasted and peeled 2 red (fresh) jalapeno peppers, roasted and peeled 1 tablespoon lemon zest 3 tablespoons lemon juice 2 teaspoons salt 2 tablespoons olive oil 2-3 tablespoons fresh mint leaves (optional) Directions Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth, spices are broken apart and the sauce is smooth. Can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 1 month.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_single_image image="18491" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]

Beef Mushroom Farro Dill Soup

Dill, like celery, is something I forget that I really enjoy. It’s super useful in many recipes, giving a pop of brightness and sharpness. I recently remembered a beef mushroom barley dill soup recipe from my Ger-Nis Culinary & Herb portfolio. I had been craving a beefy soup, partly to use up the Belcampo beef broth that delivered to my door. I usually make my own beef broth but I thought by having some good stuff on hand I’d be able to make a great soup faster and this recipe was just that. I believe the origins of dill in this soup hail from Eastern European influence and their winter mushroom barley soups and stews made with beef stock. Somewhere along the line for me this soup and this style was born. I love that it is beefy and brothy. The dill cuts through the richness of the beef stock, which can sometimes seem fatty without something to cut it. I cut the meat up in both 1- and 2-inch cubes, to give some diversity in size, leading to more excitement per bite. I chose farro this time around. I have farro on hand typically and truly enjoyed it more than barley. Serves 6-8 Ingredients Olive oil, for sautéing 2 tablespoons butter 2 medium yellow onions, chopped medium 3-4 cloves garlic, chopped fine 1 pound beef stew meat, cut into 2 inch cubes and pre-seasoned with salt & pepper ½ cup fresh thyme, chopped ¼ cup fresh rosemary, chopped ½ cup fresh flat leaf parsley, chopped 1 cup fresh dill, chopped 3 large carrots, cut into 1 inch chunks 4 celery stalks, chopped 1 cup brown mushrooms, chopped 3 fresh bay leaves 1 cup white wine 2 cups beef stock ¾ Farro (aka pearled barley) Salt Pepper Directions In heavy stew pan over medium-high heat, add olive oil and butter. Sauté onions and garlic for about 3-4 minutes or until soft and semi translucent. Add cubed stew meat and sauté until browned. Add ⅓ of each of the herbs and stir. Next, add the carrots and celery; sauté for another few minutes, and then add mushrooms. Sauté a few more minutes while all liquid is absorbed by the mushrooms. Drop in the bay leaves. Add wine and stir well while loosening all the bits that stuck to the bottom of the pan and add another ⅓ of all the herbs. Add the beef stock and simmer on low heat for about 30 minutes, stirring a few times. Add pearled barley and simmer for another 20-30 minutes or until tender and to desired consistency. Season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle in the remaining herbs and take off heat. Let stand for about 10 minutes before serving.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_single_image image="18481" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]

Winter Salts

For Christmas presents this year I chose to give salts to as many as I could, along with a hand written Christmas card. I whipped up some rudimentary packaging and had some labels printed for three different salts. If you didn’t get a salt with your card, you can still make these salts. My method is so simple, and everyone should be able to access these ingredients. I’m also including a simple recipe for each kind of salt, in case you need an idea of how to use them! Also, good news for my salt lovers: I believe I will start to produce and sell the salts on a very small scale commercially starting this spring-- April 2021. Fingers crossed and stay tuned![/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_single_image image="18482" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]

Winter Squash Salt

A recent squash photography project for a client resulted in a kitchen full of winter squash. It just so happened to be a hybrid version of my favorite squash – The Red Kuri. (You might remember my Red Kuri Apple Squash Soup & Mac & Cheese recipe I wrote for Edible Marin a few years back, which can attest to my love of this varietal.) I prefer the savory nutty notes of the Red Kuri over the deeply sweet butterscotch tones of a Butternut. One of my favorite ways to eat it is roasted with a little salt and pepper. This salt was designed just for this and all varietals of squash. It’s packed with all the hearty warm herbs that love winter squash. Sage is the predominant herb, and savory, marjoram and rosemary all lend their essences. It’s also laced with hints of cinnamon, mace and nutmeg, and I added Aleppo pepper and white pepper for a tiny kick. My maple infused Maldon salt gave it a super warming quality. I really love this salt. Not only does it shine on all winter squash dishes, but it’s generally versatile in nature. I can see myself using it on chicken dishes, carrots and anything I want to evoke really warm comforting flavors. Makes 3 cups of salt Ingredients 3 tablespoons super finely chopped sage leaves 2 tablespoons super finely chopped parsley leaves 1 tablespoon super finely chopped winter savory 1 tablespoon super finely chopped marjoram ½ tablespoon super finely chopped rosemary 1 tablespoon lemon zest 1 tablespoon ground white pepper ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon ½ teaspoon ground mace ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg ½ teaspoon ground cayenne pepper 1 teaspoon Aleppo pepper 1 red chili pepper, deseeded and chopped super fine 1 tablespoons maple syrup 2 cups Maldon Salt Directions Pre-heat oven to 225°F. In a medium mixing bowl, mix together all of the fresh herbs, spices and red chili. Drizzle the maple syrup over all of them and mix well until the maple syrup coats everything. Gently fold in the salt and, using your fingers, make sure the herbs and the salt are mixed together well and that the maple syrup is totally incorporated. Place the salt/herb mix on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper so that it’s spread out evenly across the entire sheet and also flat. Place the sheet in the oven and bake for about 25 minutes, or until the herbs seem to have lost all moisture. If the salt feels “caked,” it needs more time, usually about 5 more minutes. Turn off the heat and allow to cool in the oven. Store in a small bowl on your counter for a few weeks. Roasted Red Kuri Squash with Winter Squash Salt This is a simple roasted squash recipe that shows how amazing a little of the salt can make simply roasted squash. Red Kuri squash skin is thin and edible, so no need for peeling in this recipe. Eat this as a side dish. Cool it, cut it and toss it on salads. If you’re like me, you can also eat it as a snack right out of the oven! Serves 4 Ingredients 1 Red Kuri squash, about 2 pounds 2 tablespoons olive oil 2 ½ teaspoons of Winter Squash salt Directions Pre-heat oven to 400°F. Cut the squash in half using a large, thick knife or cleaver. Carefully push down on both ends of the blade slowly to cut the squash in half. Scoop out the seeds and reserve for the spiced seed garnish. Use an ice cream scoop for optimal success. Place the cut side of each squash on a cutting board. Cut each into 1-inch wide wedges. Place the cut squash on a baking dish and drizzle the olive oil over the top. Sprinkle with 2 teaspoons of the salt and mix together. Make sure the oil and salt is coated all over the squash. Arrange flat on the baking sheet and sprinkle with the remaining salt. Place it in the oven and roast for about 50 minutes, or until a slight char appears on the skin of the squash.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_single_image image="18472" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]

Citrus Chili Winter Herb Salt

One of the things I miss most about California winter (besides Bolinas crab season) is the abundance of citrus that comes as naturally as rain. Everything from the normal navel orange and Valencia choices to the weird varietals of tangerines and pomelos. It’s all there, abundant and accessible. Unfortunately for me, most the good stuff never makes it to the Midwest. But I have managed to find some interesting offerings (again, in Arkansas) and, with that, I have created one of my staple salts: a bright citrusy salt that highlights mint, parsley and chives. This time I made it “fresh chili spicy” by adding all kinds of chili peppers from the Cabo Diablo Chili Pepper Mix that my friend Sarah gifted me with (she works for Jacobs Farm / del Cabo). She gave me a case so, to be honest, I have been chili peppered out of my mind. The end result for this salt is sure to please the lucky giftees, and its fresh taste is perfect on winter salads like the Fennel Orange & Parsley Salad I made for my family for an early Christmas celebration. Makes 3 cups of salt Ingredients 3 tablespoons super finely chopped parsley leaves 3 tablespoons super finely chopped mint leaves 3 tablespoons super finely chopped chives 1 tablespoon lemon zest 1 tablespoon pomelo zest 1 tablespoon Melogold grapefruit zest 5 Cabo Diablo chili peppers, deseeded and chopped super fine 2 teaspoons sweet paprika 2 teaspoons cayenne pepper 2 ½ cups Maldon Salt Directions Pre-heat oven to 225°F. In a medium mixing bowl, mix together all of the fresh herbs, chilies and spices. Gently fold in the salt and, using your fingers, make sure the herbs and the salt are mixed together. Place the salt/herb mix on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper so that it’s spread out evenly across the entire sheet and also flat. Place the sheet in the oven and bake for about 25 minutes, or until the herbs seem to have lost all moisture. If the salt feels “caked,” it needs a little more time, usually about 5 more minutes. Turn off the heat and allow to cool in the oven. Store in a small bowl on your counter for a few weeks. Orange, Fennel & Radicchio Salad with Fresh Mint If you have ever been to al di la Trattoria in Brooklyn, chances are you have had Anna Klinger’s orange fennel salad. This is my attempt (over the years) to recreate her masterpiece, which was one of my favorite dishes at her lovely little restaurant. Generally speaking, this salad is easy and hard to mess up. Tasty oranges and fresh fennel are key. My Citrus Chili Winter Herb Salt gives this recipe a final touch of delight. Take advantage of all the winter chicories becoming more widely available everywhere. I have the basic raddichio here in Missouri. I’m not complaining, though I miss the Star Route Farms stuff in Bolinas. The Chiogga Radicchio variety pairs well with all citrus. If you can, use a medley of winter citrus, such as grapefruit, navel oranges and blood oranges. Serves 4-6 Ingredients 4 oranges 1 teaspoon honey 1 tablespoon sherry or champagne vinegar ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes ½ teaspoon salt ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil 1 head Chioggia radicchio, core removed, coarsely chopped to bite size 1 fennel bulb, cut in half and sliced thin, preferably with a mandolin 1 tablespoon fennel fronds, finely chopped ½ medium red onion, sliced thin 2 tablespoons fresh mint leaves, finely chopped ¼ cup Kalamata olives, pitted and coarsely chopped 1-2 pinches of Citrus Chili Winter Herb Salt or finishing salt Directions Peel the oranges with a paring knife, removing all the white pith. Slice the peeled oranges into rounds and remove any seeds. Prepare the citrus over a small bowl to reserve any juice. Whisk in the honey, vinegar, red pepper flakes, salt, pepper, and olive oil. Arrange the radicchio leaves on a large platter. Toss sliced fennel on top. Place the sliced oranges and onions over the radicchio and fennel, layering them a little. Toss the mint leaves and olives over all. Spoon the dressing evenly over the salad. Sprinkle with a few pinches of Maldon salt.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_single_image image="18473" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]

I Shot a Deer; Now What? Herbal Deer & Game Salt

I’ll admit I don’t understand deer hunting (specifically deer), nor do I really believe anything people tell me about why it’s so amazing for the planet or how many families are fed off deer meat. When I look at the photos on facebook with the guys holding the head of the deer with the blood and spit dripping from the dead buck’s mouth, I just can’t help but feel there is more macho to the sport than food on the table. But I am a meat eater and also someone who is open to the idea of me not fully understanding things, so I generally try to be open and accepting. This is how I feel about deer hunting and this is my attempt at being open and supporting the folks all around me – not just in Missouri – who are jazzed to shoot deer. Typically when I start the conversation about deer hunting, I usually land on, “How do you cook it?” I never really get much clarity from the deer shooters, except when it comes to deer sauasage part, but I think we all know that it’s the pig in those deer sausage that makes it taste good. As someone who doesn’t like deer or game meat much, I became very inquisitive about the subject. I tried bear chili once in Wyoming at a bar. It was okay, and I remember in South Africa eating all kinds of wild game that was also okay. I recently tried making bison burritos, but I thought they smelled like sheep fur so I gave them to the contractors working on my siding, they were happy. Surely there has to be something to improve the taste of deer meat? “Maybe an herb salt?” I thought. I knew the salt needed potent, robust herbs, so I paired herbs generously in a manner I would not usually pair as potently, knowing that robust additives would help tame the excessively wild flavor of the venison and wild game meats. That was really my main strategy, also knowing that most people cook venison in more wintery recipes. I used winter savory as my main herb. It’s one of my all-time favorites herbs. It works like salt and taste like salt, without being actually salty, so it helps the flavors pop while adding an appealing but generic herbal flavor that tastes pleasantly herbaceous. Sage and rosemary were next. Their potency pairs well with the strength of the venison; it’s like an arm-wrestling match with two equal wrestlers. Marjoram finishes the herb mix. It’s another of my favorites and it was meant to add a softening quality that I think this man-eating and hunting world could use. It’s slightly sweet and perfumy but still potent. It reminds me that soft doesn’t mean weak. My spices were rather simple and designed to add more depth, that I think the deer meat needs. I added white and black pepper and juniper for complexities and heat. Juniper is potent but brings a bright slightly acidic tone without being lemony, which wouldn’t work with deer. Onion and garlic powder meld with the allium flavor. Fresh bay all dried up and ground offers a strong tinge of Christmas tree taste that plays well with the other herbs while retaining a wild vibe. Makes 2 ½ cups of salt Ingredients 3 tablespoons super finely chopped winter savory 2 tablespoons super finely chopped sage 2 tablespoons super finely chopped rosemary 2 tablespoons super finely chopped marjoram 1 fresh bay leaf, cut into tiny pieces with scissors 2 teaspoons garlic powder 2 teaspoons onion powder 2 teaspoons ground white pepper 2 teaspoons ground black pepper 1 tablespoon juniper berries, finely ground 2 cups Maldon Salt Directions Pre-heat oven to 225°F. In a medium mixing bowl, mix together all of the fresh herbs and spices. Gently fold in the salt and, using your fingers, make sure the herbs and the salt are mixed together. Place the salt/herb mix on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper so that it’s spread out evenly across the entire sheet and also flat. Place the sheet in the oven and bake for about 25 minutes or until the herbs seem to have lost all moisture. If the salt feels “caked,” it needs a little more time, usually 5 more minutes. Turn off the heat and allow to cool in the oven. Store in a small bowl on your counter for a few weeks.

Venison Schnitzel (Jaegerschnitzel) & Creamed Mushrooms

I thought long and hard about what the hell I would make if I got some deer meat. I found a recipe for something called Jaegerschnitzel, which means “hunter’s cut” in German. Seeing as though I loved schnitzel and Texas fried steak, both decedents of this early German recipe, I thought this could be a great idea, so I went with it. You want to use venison medallions for this recipe, which is basically a slice of backstrap. Absolutely make sure your meat it at room temperature before cooking it. For me this is important for all beef, but I’ve been told by many people it’s the same for deer. Serves 4 Ingredients For the venison: 1 tablespoon, plus 1 tablespoon reserved Herbal Deer & Game Salt 1 teaspoon black pepper, coarsely ground 4 venison medallions ¼ cup all-purpose flour 2 tablespoons butter 1 tablespoon olive oil For the mushrooms: 1 tablespoon butter 1 tablespoon oil ¼ cup of chopped pancetta or bacon 1 teaspoon juniper berries, coarsely ground 1 teaspoon black pepper, coarsely ground 1 medium shallot 1 tablespoon finely chopped sage leaves 2 teaspoons Deer Salt 3 cups mixed fresh mushrooms, coarsely chopped ½ cup fresh parsley leaves, coarsely chopped, plus two tablespoons reserved ½ cup of dry white wine 1 cup Beef stock or venison stock ¼ cup heavy cream Black pepper Directions For the venison: Pre-heat the oven to 400°F. Season the venison with 1 tablespoon of the deer salt and let sit until they reach room temperature. They should not be cold at all. Pound the venison medallions thin, in between two sheets of plastic or in a zip lock bag with a meat hammer until about ½ inch thick or less and consistently even. Lightly dust each cutlet on both sides with a little bit of flour, shaking off all excess amounts. Heat up a large cast iron skillet with the butter and oil to medium-high heat. The goal is to get a nice sear and then finish in the oven. Once the pan is hot, place the cutlets in the pan and let them sear for about two to three minutes. You can check them at two minutes. The goal is to get a charred sear. Once they are seared, flip them and cook them on the other side for 1 minute. Place them in the oven and set a timer for 9 minutes (for medium rare). Once the timer goes off, remove them from the oven, cover and let stand for 10-12 minutes so that the juices release slowly. For the mushrooms: Heat the butter and oil to medium-high heat in a large sauté pan. Add the pancetta or bacon and cook a couple of minutes until the bacon starts to crisp. Add the juniper, black pepper, shallot, sage and deer salt and cook another 1-2 minutes. Add the mushrooms and parsley, and mix together with the butter and bacon, allowing the mushrooms to cook a few minutes until they start to get soft. Add the white wine and cook another minute so that some of the wine cooks off. Add the stock and bring to a gentle boil for about 10 minutes until a good portion of the liquid evaporates. Take off the heat. Stir in the heavy cream and the remaining two tablespoons of parsley. Serve ladled over the deer cutlets seasoned with some of the deer salt on top.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_single_image image="18506" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_column][/vc_row] [post_title] => The Jovial Warrior Goes to Missouri [post_excerpt] => My ‘moving to Missouri’ story began back in August. I had a few sessions with a renowned astrologer, as part of my crisis response to learning I had to move quickly and, essentially, charter the next course in my life. If I’m being honest, this was one of the hardest times of my life. Normally I make decisions quickly and with ease, but this one I knew would create massive disruptions in all aspects of my life. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => the-jovial-warrior-goes-to-missouri [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2020-12-21 22:13:12 [post_modified_gmt] => 2020-12-21 22:13:12 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.myherbal-roots.com/?p=18503 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw [categories] => Array ( [0] => 75 [1] => 32 ) [id] => m_hr_18503 [post_id] => 18503 [allcategories] => Array ( [0] => USA [1] => Winter ) [categories_places_slugs] => Array ( [0] => usa ) [categories_seasons_slugs] => Array ( [0] => winter ) [categories_details] => Array ( [75] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 75 [name] => USA [slug] => usa [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 75 [taxonomy] => category [description] => [parent] => 74 [count] => 9 [filter] => raw [cat_ID] => 75 [category_count] => 9 [category_description] => [cat_name] => USA [category_nicename] => usa [category_parent] => 74 ) [32] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 32 [name] => Winter [slug] => winter [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 32 [taxonomy] => category [description] => [parent] => 28 [count] => 8 [filter] => raw [cat_ID] => 32 [category_count] => 8 [category_description] => [cat_name] => Winter [category_nicename] => winter [category_parent] => 28 ) ) [image_path] => https://www.myherbal-roots.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/reel.jpg [post_firstImg] => https://www.myherbal-roots.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/Main-scaled.jpg ) )
Array
(
    [0] => Array
        (
            [post_author] => 4
            [post_date] => 2020-12-22 21:56:20
            [post_date_gmt] => 2020-12-22 21:56:20
            [post_content] => [vc_row][vc_column el_class="blogbodycol" custom_css="border-bottom:7px solid #f8f5f2;border-left: 7px solid #f8f5f2;border-right: 7px solid #f8f5f2; border-top: 7px solid #f8f5f2;padding-bottom:30px;" width="1/1"][prkwp_spacer][prkwp_spacer size="9"][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_custom_heading source="post_title" font_container="tag:h2|font_size:30|text_align:left|color:%234e463e" use_theme_fonts="yes" el_class="header_font" el_id="rechead"][vc_column_text el_class="blate"]DECEMBER 22CND 2020[/vc_column_text][prkwp_spacer size="9"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]One for Rudolph, two for me. This is one of my most whimsical recipes and one that is perfect to make with your kids the day before Christmas eve.  Basically, the kids make herbal sugar cubes for Rudolph and you get amazing sugar cubes for an old-Fashioned cocktail.  It’s a rather fun project for all and one that the adults can enjoy long after Santa is gone. The recipe is super easy. It assumes you have some general herbs around the holidays for cooking.  Herbs, sugar and ice cube trays are really all that’s needed outside a few drops of water.[/vc_column_text][vc_single_image image="18606" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]

Herbal Sugar Cubes

This recipe is versatile  and fun, as the  herbs and spices can be altered to taste. I chose these because they work really well in an old fashioned cocktail, but I make these cubes generally with various herbs and spices per my whimsy at the time. Let your kids play and even enjoy a kiddy fashioned cocktail. The most important part of the recipe is to make sure you don’t add too much water. Makes several cubes depending on ice cube tray size Ingredients ¼ teaspoon chopped super fine rosemary leaves ¼ teaspoon chopped super fine purple or green sage leaves ¼ teaspoon chopped super fine pineapple sage (optional) ½ teaspoon lemon zest ½ teaspoon orange zest ½ teaspoon finely ground black pepper (I use long pepper) ¾ cup turbinado sugar 2 drops Grapefruit Cardamom Bitters 1 teaspoon ice cold water[/vc_column_text][vc_single_image image="18602" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]Directions Combine the rosemary, sage(s), zests and pepper in a medium bowl with the sugar. Rub the mixture together with your fingers, pulverizing the herbs, zest and pepper into the sugar. The sugar will turn a greenish hue from the herb oils.  Add the bitters and water and stir. The sugar should be slightly moistened and still crumbly, not wet. Using a sugar cube mold or an ice cube tray mold, place 1 heaping teaspoon in each mold and press the mixture down tightly into the mold. If using an ice cube tray, the sugar cubes will be bigger and thinner than the traditional cube. Let the molds air-dry on your kitchen counter overnight, at least 16 hours. Once they have hardened, gently remove them from the molds, using a butter knife to assist.  Store them in an airtight container for months.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_single_image image="18604" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_single_image image="18607" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]

Liberal Old Fashioned with DIY Herbal Sugar Cubes

An Old Fashioned is essentially just whiskey sweetened, seasoned and diluted. Yet everyone has their own firm idea on the details. I have a super liberal take on the topic and mine is herbalized. The act of making your own sugar cubes and paying attention to the details, from start to finish, feels like self-care. It’s not only easy but adds creative flair, and it’s a great conversation piece. Let your party guests make their own Liberal Old Fashioned and find out. Make the sugar cubes a day ahead. If you don’t have big ice cube molds any ice will do. I use Charbay’s Doubled & Twisted Whiskey. The citrus notes in the whiskey persuaded me to use the lemon peel instead of the old-fashioned orange peel. I also like using Sonoma Distilling Co, Cherrywood Rye Whiskey. Ingredients 1-2 Herbal Sugar Cubes 3 drops Grapefruit Cardamom Bitters (Monarch Bitters) Splash of water 2 ounces whiskey Big Cube ice cube Lemon twist or peel Sage leaf Directions For each Old Fashioned Place one or two Herbal Sugar Cubes on the bottom of a rocks glass. Drop a few bitters on top and gently muddle them until the sugars are dissolved. Add a tiny splash of water to help. You want the sugar to be smooth and paste-like, rather than swimming in water. Fill the glass with a few large ice cubes. Add the whiskey and gently stir until well combined. Express the oil of a lemon peel over the glass and gently run it around the rim. Drop the peel and a sage leaf, stem side down, into the glass.[/vc_column_text][vc_single_image image="18605" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_single_image image="18619" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_column][/vc_row] [post_title] => DIY Herbal Sugar Cubes [post_excerpt] => One for Rudolph, two for me. This is one of my most whimsical recipes and one that is perfect to make with your kids the day before Christmas eve. Basically, the kids make herbal sugar cubes for Rudolph and you get amazing sugar cubes for an old-Fashioned cocktail. It’s a rather fun project for all and one that the adults can enjoy long after Santa is gone. The recipe is super easy. Some herbs, sugar and ice cube trays are really all that’s needed outside a few drops of water. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => diy-herbal-sugar-cubes [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2020-12-22 22:02:10 [post_modified_gmt] => 2020-12-22 22:02:10 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.myherbal-roots.com/?p=18601 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw [categories] => Array ( [0] => 111 [1] => 112 [2] => 32 ) [id] => m_hr_18601 [post_id] => 18601 [allcategories] => Array ( [0] => Rosemary [1] => Sage [2] => Winter ) [categories_herbs_slugs] => Array ( [0] => rosemary [1] => sage ) [categories_seasons_slugs] => Array ( [0] => winter ) [categories_details] => Array ( [111] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 111 [name] => Rosemary [slug] => rosemary [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 111 [taxonomy] => category [description] => [parent] => 84 [count] => 7 [filter] => raw [cat_ID] => 111 [category_count] => 7 [category_description] => [cat_name] => Rosemary [category_nicename] => rosemary [category_parent] => 84 ) [112] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 112 [name] => Sage [slug] => sage [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 112 [taxonomy] => category [description] => [parent] => 84 [count] => 4 [filter] => raw [cat_ID] => 112 [category_count] => 4 [category_description] => [cat_name] => Sage [category_nicename] => sage [category_parent] => 84 ) [32] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 32 [name] => Winter [slug] => winter [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 32 [taxonomy] => category [description] => [parent] => 28 [count] => 8 [filter] => raw [cat_ID] => 32 [category_count] => 8 [category_description] => [cat_name] => Winter [category_nicename] => winter [category_parent] => 28 ) ) [image_path] => https://www.myherbal-roots.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/feature.jpg [post_firstImg] => https://www.myherbal-roots.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/main-1-scaled.jpg ) [1] => Array ( [post_author] => 4 [post_date] => 2020-12-21 22:05:58 [post_date_gmt] => 2020-12-21 22:05:58 [post_content] => [vc_row][vc_column el_class="blogbodycol" custom_css="border-bottom:7px solid #f8f5f2;border-left: 7px solid #f8f5f2;border-right: 7px solid #f8f5f2; border-top: 7px solid #f8f5f2;padding-bottom:30px;" width="1/1"][prkwp_spacer][prkwp_spacer size="9"][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_custom_heading source="post_title" font_container="tag:h2|font_size:30|text_align:left|color:%234e463e" use_theme_fonts="yes" el_class="header_font" el_id="rechead"][vc_column_text el_class="blate"]DECEMBER 21ST 2020[/vc_column_text][prkwp_spacer size="9"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]My ‘moving to Missouri’ story began back in August. I had a few sessions with a renowned astrologer, as part of my crisis response to learning I had to move quickly and, essentially, charter the next course in my life. If I’m being honest, this was one of the hardest times of my life. Normally I make decisions quickly and with ease, but this one I knew would create massive disruptions in all aspects of my life. The first thing the astrologer said to me during session one was, “Ooh, you’re a jovial warrior. Does that sound like you?” I took a moment to mull it over, then giggled and said, “Yes. Yes, that does sound like me.” No one had ever described me like that before, and I think many people would attest that it seems spot on. I have Mars and Jupiter rising in my chart, which is how he came up with this jingly nickname.[/vc_column_text][vc_single_image image="18478" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]My Chinese medicine doctor recommended that I try talking to an astrologer over my difficulty surrounding the impending move and suggested one. I had four sessions with the astrologer. Four sessions seemed good enough to cover some bases about me and my life before even thinking about where to move. The first session covered me, the second my family, the third key romantic relationships and the fourth my move. By the time I got to the fourth session, I had already decided to move to Missouri, rented a house and started the process to buy it. He was a little surprised, but I then referred him to my chart.  I think and move quickly.  So, in my fourth session I mostly wanted to know: what would Missouri be like for this jovial warrior? His first comments back to me were, “Missouri, well, that is not a place I would have picked for you.”[/vc_column_text][vc_single_image image="18479" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]The big question on many people’s minds is the same as his was: ”…Why Missouri?” After the initial excitement over hearing I moved to Missouri’s southern lake region, imagining me in my full glory as a quick-thinking heroine and powerful boss bitch cruising in my speed boat (thanks to Jason Bateman and the Ozarks), they say, “Wait. What? Why?” Yes, I live in Missouri now. And to quote my astrologist, “It’s not on or near any of your powerful energy lines.” But it is close to a big portion of my family that just so happens to kind of need me. I’ve always thought of myself as an instinctual person, so in a way it doesn’t totally surprise me that I picked this new life internally. It was the external part of me that was resisting it all along. I’m not so worried about my powerlines because I discovered, through my sessions with him, that I tend to gravitate to them in my travels; so, I feel content I will go to them and reenergize myself as I need to. I also reminded him of my chart again and that I’m not someone who can be stagnant. So, today I feel comfortable knowing that living in Missouri is not forever for me. Then again, nowhere is.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_single_image image="18470" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]My chart also resonates with family and a strong matriarchal role, so I think it’s also a matter of perspective in terms of the energy lines here. While the lines might not show up here on my chart, there are quite a few special people that make excellent substitutes for those lines. The thing about connection – especially to people – and about love is that it’s really powerful. Thus, I need to be here. I can feel that in the two months I’ve been here. I need them as much as they need me. That’s how love works. It was revealed to me at the end of my last session that Missouri, specifically where I am living, falls on my moon and Pluto line. These lines represent journey, family and traveling. So, it seems the astrologer and I were on the same page. This jovial warrior’s journey to Missouri is all about family…and traveling! (Thank god!) So here I am, jovial and ready to be a warrior, on Table Rock Lake on the Arkansas and Missouri border.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_single_image image="18474" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]Now the question on many people’s minds is, “How is it going so far?” This post is the answer to that question. It’s not coming in the form of a traditional self-reflective answer but, rather, through a hodgepodge of recipes I have conjured up since I moved to the Ozarks. This post is also as close as I can get to a commercial (unpaid and unsolicited) for those brands and products that have sustained me while figuring out where I can find the healthy, organic, fresh, nutritious, seasonal and interesting food I am accustomed to and as my soul needs to survive and more importantly be nourished continuously.[/vc_column_text][vc_single_image image="18480" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]The Backstory Sometime in the middle of August, I was taking a short summer vacation in Ojai after sheltering in place for months. I needed it, and the resort where I stayed was big on safety and space. It had all outdoor dining and several pools where 6-10 feet were easy to maintain. They were also dog friendly, so off Inca and I went. The timing coincided with the northern fires which threated Bolinas and were raging across Sonoma. It was there where my landlord emailed a 60-day notice to move. I had lived in her house for over 5 years, faithfully taking care of her home. This is not easy in Bolinas. I went above and beyond, and I was an excellent tenant. I really want to set up the apocalyptic scene which I can still feel viscerally. The world was in the midst of a gigantic pandemic, I had been sheltered in place in Bolinas for months, and fires were raging across northern California. Residents of the notoriously expensive Bay Area were on an exodus toward the “countryside” which meant my house was prime real estate. Every home and rental (vacation and otherwise) in Marin, Sonoma, Napa, Tahoe and beyond was getting snatched by those with money fleeing the city. Mind you, there are a lot with money in the city. Shortly after that notice, I received another notice, that Bolinas was under recommended fire evacuation and that my house was technically first in line of a new fire  that had broken out. Residents were scrambling, packing up their stuff and heading out. It wasn’t sure that the fire would reach the houses in Bolinas, but weather (winds) is tumultuous out there and fires had been ripping through the dry brush quickly. Since it’s really just a one-way road in (and dangerous with the fire looming), people were following the better safe than sorry route, so I stayed put in Ojai. It was the smart thing to do. I was 7 hours away, and I had some cute clothes, my laptop and my dog Inca with me. It was there I let go of my grip on everything else, including my history in the Bay Area and the reason why I moved there in the first place. That was a big moment in my life, amidst truly apocalyptic conditions something big and internal told me to just let go. So I did, fully.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_single_image image="13643" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]I can’t say it was easy, the moment I moved on, metaphorically and emotionally. In a way, these apocalyptic conditions forced me to move. Even though I didn’t think I was ready, I realized that I was. I think that’s what they call ‘nature provides.’ Eventually I went home, and the fire near Bolinas fizzled. The other fires raged until the day I left. I wasn’t able to say goodbye to basically anyone I had gotten to know there because of the pandemic and the fires. That was hard. As someone who often feels like a loner anyhow, I couldn’t help but feel that my connections were not that potent to begin with. I know that’s silly to think, but don’t we all think silly things when grieving? After Pounding Out Grief throughout September and packing up my life, Inca and I got in a gigantic 26-foot U-Haul filled with dishes (truly, that’s the bulk of what I own) and drove to Missouri, leaving northern California behind. On this drive out of California, I could feel the natural release of quite a bit, including my relationship(s) there, as well as the idea that I didn’t move there for me. It never fully suited me. It felt healthy to realize all this and (physically and metaphorically) move on. I know I was moving toward what I needed next in life, toward who I needed and who needed me. That has always been important to me, being there for those I love. I move toward what I need rather subconsciously/instinctively. Luckily, my strong intuition doesn’t allow for regrets. I feel grateful for that.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_single_image image="18484" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]How’s it going? Inca and I drove 2000 miles together to get here and had one of the happiest times of our life. I felt like my eyes and my heart were wide open. I felt supported by the deep friendships I have and the love and excitement of my family – both the ones I was heading towards and the ones that were rooting me on. I could even feel a few key relationships deepening with new distance. I could almost feel myself growing (wiser, not taller). My new lake house is incredible. I found it online, rented it immediately and started the buying process before I had even left. I chose it for 3 reasons. It was right on the water, with water views from almost every room in the house. There are sunset views (over the water) 365 days of the year. And it was the least “oaky” place I could fine. Most homes were filled with oak, oak cabinets, oak trim, oak and more oak. I hate the oak look. This house has less and, even though I would re-do things, I had to find something I could live in now that wouldn’t make me nuts. Oak would have made me nuts. The oak look for me is a more a metaphor or thinking and what it means toi surround yourself by things you think about and how that thinking is fueled.  When I see overly oaky homes I cant help but thing ot eh following words and phrases: stuck, closed minded, doing things the only way I know how and that’s just the way it is. As you know by now, my being, like my creative outlets, cooking and writing- couldn’t be father from those words. If I was going to live here, in a place those words were potent, I couldn’t be around the oak- not the real thing or the metaphor- my home had to be different so it needed to start differently.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_single_image image="18486" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]When I drove into the driveway of my house I felt very happy. It did not disappoint. Even though I knew Missouri would inevitably disappoint (everything and everyone does after all), I could tell this place would be the haven I needed to be successful and happy here. It has beautiful sweeping views of the lake, trees all over, and a crystal-clear lakefront for Inca to swim. Every single room in the house has views of the water and the sunset. There are two kitchens. The entire downstairs becomes my business headquarters, with lots of space for more staff and its own kitchen, and a gigantic deck, where I envision outdoor working as soon as weather permits. The kitchen remodel is planned and pending the arrival of cabinets in a few weeks. I feel happy that my brother is doing the work. This circular exchange of my money feels important, especially after giving so much of my money to landlords for 29 years of my life. When people ask me how it’s going, the first thing I always say is that I chose an amazing house.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_single_image image="18477" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]The food is a different story. But I knew this would be the case before I made the decision to move here. I had spent many years visiting my brother here, as he married a woman from Missouri and moved here (he is now divorced). He raised three kids here. They are all still here and all often literally here at my house. (Which I love!) When I lived in NYC, I would spend most Thanksgivings here. (I did lots of fresh herb workshops in a tiny town called Fair Grove about an hour north of where I am now.) Back then I was aware that the kind of food shopping I prefer – call it organic, sustainable, healthy, alive, green, unprocessed, etc. – is hard to come by. I wouldn’t call this a food desert exactly because there is a crapload of cheap food here and all the ultra-processed conventional produce, meat and dairy you can dream of. But there is a gigantic shortage of the stuff I like. The stuff I think the world needs more of. The kind that I believe (real science does too) makes for healthier people and planet. It certainly has changed here over some over time, I see more progress than ever and I have even been part of that change, working in the organic produce industry for so long. The internet, traveling and logistics has made good food more accessible than ever before. But it’s still not enough and the quality and overall choices are still lacking and driven by conventional and processed mindsets and corporations and generally speaking its really hard to compete with cheap in these parts of the country. I’m certain you understand my definition of cheap here. Now, if you know me you know I can’t compromise on healthy food. It’s not just a decision about what I am putting in my body but what I choose to support with my dollars. So, I have had to spider web my needs and do a lot of buying online. I drive to Fayetteville, Arkansas, every two weeks, where I shop at the Ozark Natural Food Store and the closest Whole Foods. There is a new natural food store closer to me, about 30 minutes away in Branson, MO, called Nature’s Wonder. It’s a fairly big store with lots of miscellaneous things I like to buy spur of the moment, like Justin’s Dark Peanut Butter Chocolate Cups, but the meat and produce is still a bit lacking. They have fairly decent dairy products, but at Whole Foods I can buy my Point Reyes Blue, which makes and keeps me happy![/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_single_image image="18490" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]I buy some Belcampo meat online and have it shipped to my house, but I don’t do that for all my meats because it’s expensive and includes packaging waste that I don’t love. I plan to get a deep freeze and buy an entire pig and cow and share with my family here. But even that too is weird, most people only sell them to massive meat processors (not the good kind) so finding folks that produce, slaughter, butcher and package meat sustainably hasn’t been easy. This is after all the land of Tyson chicken farms, which are speckled for miles and miles and miles just south of where I live in Arkansas. That’s the kind of cheap meat that is everywhere here. The produce and the fresh herbs are my main problem here. Like everything else, I have had to do weird things to get it, make a lot of compromises and spend some extra money. Since I moved here in late October, a garden was not an option. I am building a garden and a greenhouse, so come spring, I should be 800000x better off and am super excited about it.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_single_image image="18476" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]Luckily my friends at Jacobs Farm Del Cabo have been kind enough to sell me fresh herbs in the meantime, so all my recipe testing and salts are taken care of and my herbal passion does not need to be quelled for even a second. The Arkansas Whole Foods and Ozark Natural Foods both have many of the organic brands I like, so that works for me. And I know come spring, summer and fall, more local options will be predominant in both, as well as some of the farmers markets here locally. Some things I miss, like the massive number of citrus options most California grocers have at this time of year. I miss fresh little gem lettuce incredibly and can’t wait to grow greens again. I miss year round chive blossoms, access to amazing and fresh cherry tomatoes, romanesco and baby artichokes from the Bolinas farm stand. I make due, it reminds me of living in Ecuador, hauling back lemons in my suitcase. Find a few things you need most and do what you have to get them. Booze & Wine is another issue.  Missouri is one of those states where it’s almost impossible for any regular company to ship alcohol to me. There are only a few big companies that do it and they tend to carry only the crappy ultra-processed brands, and, frankly, I’d rather quit drinking. I came fairly stocked with my crafters favorites, since I knew where I was heading, but I miss my small artisanal batch makers and their booze that tastes good and is well crafted. A few of my friends did some digging and found me a place in Arkansas where there is a great wine and booze store that they swear I can find some things I like, so I will venture there soon.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_single_image image="18471" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]I’ve learned to make do, but I also recognize that me making do is still rather extravagant compared to most.  That’s the girl in me that is influenced by all the places she has seen on the world, that’s the girl that can’t living and cook in an oaky kitchen. The good news in all of this, is that I’m fine and definitely not hungry.  It’s all inspired me to work on how to get better organic produce into the area, and I know I’m the perfect person to do that. I tell you now, I will. Of the hodgepodge collection of healthy organic ingredients I have managed to find and bring together. I have also whipped up a few new recipes as well as polished a few old ones. All of this was done in a kitchen that is somewhat weird – too small, unreasonably compacted and with a shower in it and with a crappy electric oven. If there is any lesson that I can leave you with, it’s this. Just because you live in an isolated area or an area that doesn’t seem to have a lot of choices, an area where people say “this is just the way it is” and “people don’t want that kind of food” doesn’t mean that has to be your reality. If you have strong values – healthy food (from soil to mouth) being one of my main core values – do whatever it takes to live by them. You don’t have to have an oak kitchen or processed food. People may make fun of you, as some make fun of me for driving to Arkansas for my “fancy” food, but who cares? The thing about values is that the things that guide us in life run much deeper than they appear. So, while it’s true I like what some call fancy food, the real truth is that I like food that is grown in nutritious soil, supporting the communities that do the work to produce it. I like organic food because the science is clear about pesticides on food. I like unprocessed foods that are not riddled with sugar. In my values, the American “cheap” is way more expensive than my “fancy.” Be a jovial warrior. Fight for healthy food. Fight kindly for what you believe in. Here is some of my “fanciest” Missouri food, so far….[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_single_image image="18475" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]

Rancho Gordo Marcella Beans, Spinach and Fried Eggs with Nissa’s Fresh Mint Harissa

One of the items I buy online (ever since Bolinas) is Rancho Gordo beans. I cannot recommend their beans enough. Their heirloom beans cook much faster than regular grocery store beans and are also more tender, with more nuanced textures and deep flavor. If you are new to their beans, the first thing you’ll recognize is that these beans have a massive amount of flavor. I buy a big box of beans about twice a year and spend about $100 each time. I often give a bag or two away as a gift or when someone gets excited about the beans I cooked for them. My favorite is their white Marcella beans. They have a really thin skin and cook into an ultra-creamy deliciousness. I cook a batch and have them a few different ways, usually stewed with some vegetables. I like to eat the remaining part of the batch for breakfast with a fried egg and some of my fresh mint harissa. It makes for one of my favorite breakfasts and, since many folks have asked about it since I posted it a few weeks back on social media, I thought I’d share it here.

Stewed Marcella Beans with Spinach & a Fried Egg

I found amazing (Arkansas) local (greenhouse grown) spinach in Ozarks Natural Food Store, so it seems to be something I can get year-round. It’s my kind of spinach, too – a thicker, bumpy leaf savoy variety. It’s really lovely with my stewed beans. Rancho Gordo beans don’t need to be soaked because they are fresh dried beans (meaning they are not very old like some on the grocery store shelf). I do usually soak them overnight because I usually forget that I’m planning on cook them, and it gives them a gigantic jump start. I soak rice, too, for the same reasons. Serves 8-10 Ingredients  1 pound bag of Rancho Gordo Marcella beans, presoaked at least 2 hours and up to overnight 1 tablespoon salt 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved 2-3 mini bell peppers, coarsely chopped 2 tablespoons chopped parsley 1 tablespoon chopped chives 2 cups chopped spinach leaves 1 fresh egg per serving Nissa’s Fresh Mint Harissa (Recipe below) ¼ cup finely chopped fresh mint Finishing salt  Directions Rinse the beans well and add them along with the other ingredients to a large pot filled amply with water. The beans should be covered by at least 2-3 inches of water. Bring to a hard boil uncovered without a lid for 20-30 minutes. Add the salt, reduce heat and simmer partially covered for about 1 hour or until the beans are tender. Add the tomatoes, peppers, parsley and chives, increase heat to low and cook for another 20-35 minutes until the vegetables cook down and meld into the beans. Turn the burner off, add the spinach leaves to the top of the beans, cover with the lid and let stand about 30 minutes. Sprinkle the mint on, leaving a tablespoon for fresh garnish, and stir the beans, mint and spinach. In the meantime, fry the egg. Place the beans and spinach mixture down, top it with the fried egg and drizzle a little harissa on top. Garnish with fresh mint.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_single_image image="12708" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]

Nissa’s Fresh Mint Harissa

Makes 2 cups Ingredients 2 dried guajillo chilies, stems removed, broken 2 dried red chilies, stems removed, broken 2 teaspoons cumin seeds, toasted 1 teaspoon coriander seed, toasted 1 teaspoon caraway seed, toasted 2 teaspoons rainbow peppercorns, toasted 3 garlic cloves 1 bell pepper, roasted and peeled 2 red (fresh) jalapeno peppers, roasted and peeled 1 tablespoon lemon zest 3 tablespoons lemon juice 2 teaspoons salt 2 tablespoons olive oil 2-3 tablespoons fresh mint leaves (optional) Directions Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth, spices are broken apart and the sauce is smooth. Can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 1 month.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_single_image image="18491" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]

Beef Mushroom Farro Dill Soup

Dill, like celery, is something I forget that I really enjoy. It’s super useful in many recipes, giving a pop of brightness and sharpness. I recently remembered a beef mushroom barley dill soup recipe from my Ger-Nis Culinary & Herb portfolio. I had been craving a beefy soup, partly to use up the Belcampo beef broth that delivered to my door. I usually make my own beef broth but I thought by having some good stuff on hand I’d be able to make a great soup faster and this recipe was just that. I believe the origins of dill in this soup hail from Eastern European influence and their winter mushroom barley soups and stews made with beef stock. Somewhere along the line for me this soup and this style was born. I love that it is beefy and brothy. The dill cuts through the richness of the beef stock, which can sometimes seem fatty without something to cut it. I cut the meat up in both 1- and 2-inch cubes, to give some diversity in size, leading to more excitement per bite. I chose farro this time around. I have farro on hand typically and truly enjoyed it more than barley. Serves 6-8 Ingredients Olive oil, for sautéing 2 tablespoons butter 2 medium yellow onions, chopped medium 3-4 cloves garlic, chopped fine 1 pound beef stew meat, cut into 2 inch cubes and pre-seasoned with salt & pepper ½ cup fresh thyme, chopped ¼ cup fresh rosemary, chopped ½ cup fresh flat leaf parsley, chopped 1 cup fresh dill, chopped 3 large carrots, cut into 1 inch chunks 4 celery stalks, chopped 1 cup brown mushrooms, chopped 3 fresh bay leaves 1 cup white wine 2 cups beef stock ¾ Farro (aka pearled barley) Salt Pepper Directions In heavy stew pan over medium-high heat, add olive oil and butter. Sauté onions and garlic for about 3-4 minutes or until soft and semi translucent. Add cubed stew meat and sauté until browned. Add ⅓ of each of the herbs and stir. Next, add the carrots and celery; sauté for another few minutes, and then add mushrooms. Sauté a few more minutes while all liquid is absorbed by the mushrooms. Drop in the bay leaves. Add wine and stir well while loosening all the bits that stuck to the bottom of the pan and add another ⅓ of all the herbs. Add the beef stock and simmer on low heat for about 30 minutes, stirring a few times. Add pearled barley and simmer for another 20-30 minutes or until tender and to desired consistency. Season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle in the remaining herbs and take off heat. Let stand for about 10 minutes before serving.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_single_image image="18481" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]

Winter Salts

For Christmas presents this year I chose to give salts to as many as I could, along with a hand written Christmas card. I whipped up some rudimentary packaging and had some labels printed for three different salts. If you didn’t get a salt with your card, you can still make these salts. My method is so simple, and everyone should be able to access these ingredients. I’m also including a simple recipe for each kind of salt, in case you need an idea of how to use them! Also, good news for my salt lovers: I believe I will start to produce and sell the salts on a very small scale commercially starting this spring-- April 2021. Fingers crossed and stay tuned![/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_single_image image="18482" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]

Winter Squash Salt

A recent squash photography project for a client resulted in a kitchen full of winter squash. It just so happened to be a hybrid version of my favorite squash – The Red Kuri. (You might remember my Red Kuri Apple Squash Soup & Mac & Cheese recipe I wrote for Edible Marin a few years back, which can attest to my love of this varietal.) I prefer the savory nutty notes of the Red Kuri over the deeply sweet butterscotch tones of a Butternut. One of my favorite ways to eat it is roasted with a little salt and pepper. This salt was designed just for this and all varietals of squash. It’s packed with all the hearty warm herbs that love winter squash. Sage is the predominant herb, and savory, marjoram and rosemary all lend their essences. It’s also laced with hints of cinnamon, mace and nutmeg, and I added Aleppo pepper and white pepper for a tiny kick. My maple infused Maldon salt gave it a super warming quality. I really love this salt. Not only does it shine on all winter squash dishes, but it’s generally versatile in nature. I can see myself using it on chicken dishes, carrots and anything I want to evoke really warm comforting flavors. Makes 3 cups of salt Ingredients 3 tablespoons super finely chopped sage leaves 2 tablespoons super finely chopped parsley leaves 1 tablespoon super finely chopped winter savory 1 tablespoon super finely chopped marjoram ½ tablespoon super finely chopped rosemary 1 tablespoon lemon zest 1 tablespoon ground white pepper ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon ½ teaspoon ground mace ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg ½ teaspoon ground cayenne pepper 1 teaspoon Aleppo pepper 1 red chili pepper, deseeded and chopped super fine 1 tablespoons maple syrup 2 cups Maldon Salt Directions Pre-heat oven to 225°F. In a medium mixing bowl, mix together all of the fresh herbs, spices and red chili. Drizzle the maple syrup over all of them and mix well until the maple syrup coats everything. Gently fold in the salt and, using your fingers, make sure the herbs and the salt are mixed together well and that the maple syrup is totally incorporated. Place the salt/herb mix on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper so that it’s spread out evenly across the entire sheet and also flat. Place the sheet in the oven and bake for about 25 minutes, or until the herbs seem to have lost all moisture. If the salt feels “caked,” it needs more time, usually about 5 more minutes. Turn off the heat and allow to cool in the oven. Store in a small bowl on your counter for a few weeks. Roasted Red Kuri Squash with Winter Squash Salt This is a simple roasted squash recipe that shows how amazing a little of the salt can make simply roasted squash. Red Kuri squash skin is thin and edible, so no need for peeling in this recipe. Eat this as a side dish. Cool it, cut it and toss it on salads. If you’re like me, you can also eat it as a snack right out of the oven! Serves 4 Ingredients 1 Red Kuri squash, about 2 pounds 2 tablespoons olive oil 2 ½ teaspoons of Winter Squash salt Directions Pre-heat oven to 400°F. Cut the squash in half using a large, thick knife or cleaver. Carefully push down on both ends of the blade slowly to cut the squash in half. Scoop out the seeds and reserve for the spiced seed garnish. Use an ice cream scoop for optimal success. Place the cut side of each squash on a cutting board. Cut each into 1-inch wide wedges. Place the cut squash on a baking dish and drizzle the olive oil over the top. Sprinkle with 2 teaspoons of the salt and mix together. Make sure the oil and salt is coated all over the squash. Arrange flat on the baking sheet and sprinkle with the remaining salt. Place it in the oven and roast for about 50 minutes, or until a slight char appears on the skin of the squash.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_single_image image="18472" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]

Citrus Chili Winter Herb Salt

One of the things I miss most about California winter (besides Bolinas crab season) is the abundance of citrus that comes as naturally as rain. Everything from the normal navel orange and Valencia choices to the weird varietals of tangerines and pomelos. It’s all there, abundant and accessible. Unfortunately for me, most the good stuff never makes it to the Midwest. But I have managed to find some interesting offerings (again, in Arkansas) and, with that, I have created one of my staple salts: a bright citrusy salt that highlights mint, parsley and chives. This time I made it “fresh chili spicy” by adding all kinds of chili peppers from the Cabo Diablo Chili Pepper Mix that my friend Sarah gifted me with (she works for Jacobs Farm / del Cabo). She gave me a case so, to be honest, I have been chili peppered out of my mind. The end result for this salt is sure to please the lucky giftees, and its fresh taste is perfect on winter salads like the Fennel Orange & Parsley Salad I made for my family for an early Christmas celebration. Makes 3 cups of salt Ingredients 3 tablespoons super finely chopped parsley leaves 3 tablespoons super finely chopped mint leaves 3 tablespoons super finely chopped chives 1 tablespoon lemon zest 1 tablespoon pomelo zest 1 tablespoon Melogold grapefruit zest 5 Cabo Diablo chili peppers, deseeded and chopped super fine 2 teaspoons sweet paprika 2 teaspoons cayenne pepper 2 ½ cups Maldon Salt Directions Pre-heat oven to 225°F. In a medium mixing bowl, mix together all of the fresh herbs, chilies and spices. Gently fold in the salt and, using your fingers, make sure the herbs and the salt are mixed together. Place the salt/herb mix on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper so that it’s spread out evenly across the entire sheet and also flat. Place the sheet in the oven and bake for about 25 minutes, or until the herbs seem to have lost all moisture. If the salt feels “caked,” it needs a little more time, usually about 5 more minutes. Turn off the heat and allow to cool in the oven. Store in a small bowl on your counter for a few weeks. Orange, Fennel & Radicchio Salad with Fresh Mint If you have ever been to al di la Trattoria in Brooklyn, chances are you have had Anna Klinger’s orange fennel salad. This is my attempt (over the years) to recreate her masterpiece, which was one of my favorite dishes at her lovely little restaurant. Generally speaking, this salad is easy and hard to mess up. Tasty oranges and fresh fennel are key. My Citrus Chili Winter Herb Salt gives this recipe a final touch of delight. Take advantage of all the winter chicories becoming more widely available everywhere. I have the basic raddichio here in Missouri. I’m not complaining, though I miss the Star Route Farms stuff in Bolinas. The Chiogga Radicchio variety pairs well with all citrus. If you can, use a medley of winter citrus, such as grapefruit, navel oranges and blood oranges. Serves 4-6 Ingredients 4 oranges 1 teaspoon honey 1 tablespoon sherry or champagne vinegar ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes ½ teaspoon salt ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil 1 head Chioggia radicchio, core removed, coarsely chopped to bite size 1 fennel bulb, cut in half and sliced thin, preferably with a mandolin 1 tablespoon fennel fronds, finely chopped ½ medium red onion, sliced thin 2 tablespoons fresh mint leaves, finely chopped ¼ cup Kalamata olives, pitted and coarsely chopped 1-2 pinches of Citrus Chili Winter Herb Salt or finishing salt Directions Peel the oranges with a paring knife, removing all the white pith. Slice the peeled oranges into rounds and remove any seeds. Prepare the citrus over a small bowl to reserve any juice. Whisk in the honey, vinegar, red pepper flakes, salt, pepper, and olive oil. Arrange the radicchio leaves on a large platter. Toss sliced fennel on top. Place the sliced oranges and onions over the radicchio and fennel, layering them a little. Toss the mint leaves and olives over all. Spoon the dressing evenly over the salad. Sprinkle with a few pinches of Maldon salt.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_single_image image="18473" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]

I Shot a Deer; Now What? Herbal Deer & Game Salt

I’ll admit I don’t understand deer hunting (specifically deer), nor do I really believe anything people tell me about why it’s so amazing for the planet or how many families are fed off deer meat. When I look at the photos on facebook with the guys holding the head of the deer with the blood and spit dripping from the dead buck’s mouth, I just can’t help but feel there is more macho to the sport than food on the table. But I am a meat eater and also someone who is open to the idea of me not fully understanding things, so I generally try to be open and accepting. This is how I feel about deer hunting and this is my attempt at being open and supporting the folks all around me – not just in Missouri – who are jazzed to shoot deer. Typically when I start the conversation about deer hunting, I usually land on, “How do you cook it?” I never really get much clarity from the deer shooters, except when it comes to deer sauasage part, but I think we all know that it’s the pig in those deer sausage that makes it taste good. As someone who doesn’t like deer or game meat much, I became very inquisitive about the subject. I tried bear chili once in Wyoming at a bar. It was okay, and I remember in South Africa eating all kinds of wild game that was also okay. I recently tried making bison burritos, but I thought they smelled like sheep fur so I gave them to the contractors working on my siding, they were happy. Surely there has to be something to improve the taste of deer meat? “Maybe an herb salt?” I thought. I knew the salt needed potent, robust herbs, so I paired herbs generously in a manner I would not usually pair as potently, knowing that robust additives would help tame the excessively wild flavor of the venison and wild game meats. That was really my main strategy, also knowing that most people cook venison in more wintery recipes. I used winter savory as my main herb. It’s one of my all-time favorites herbs. It works like salt and taste like salt, without being actually salty, so it helps the flavors pop while adding an appealing but generic herbal flavor that tastes pleasantly herbaceous. Sage and rosemary were next. Their potency pairs well with the strength of the venison; it’s like an arm-wrestling match with two equal wrestlers. Marjoram finishes the herb mix. It’s another of my favorites and it was meant to add a softening quality that I think this man-eating and hunting world could use. It’s slightly sweet and perfumy but still potent. It reminds me that soft doesn’t mean weak. My spices were rather simple and designed to add more depth, that I think the deer meat needs. I added white and black pepper and juniper for complexities and heat. Juniper is potent but brings a bright slightly acidic tone without being lemony, which wouldn’t work with deer. Onion and garlic powder meld with the allium flavor. Fresh bay all dried up and ground offers a strong tinge of Christmas tree taste that plays well with the other herbs while retaining a wild vibe. Makes 2 ½ cups of salt Ingredients 3 tablespoons super finely chopped winter savory 2 tablespoons super finely chopped sage 2 tablespoons super finely chopped rosemary 2 tablespoons super finely chopped marjoram 1 fresh bay leaf, cut into tiny pieces with scissors 2 teaspoons garlic powder 2 teaspoons onion powder 2 teaspoons ground white pepper 2 teaspoons ground black pepper 1 tablespoon juniper berries, finely ground 2 cups Maldon Salt Directions Pre-heat oven to 225°F. In a medium mixing bowl, mix together all of the fresh herbs and spices. Gently fold in the salt and, using your fingers, make sure the herbs and the salt are mixed together. Place the salt/herb mix on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper so that it’s spread out evenly across the entire sheet and also flat. Place the sheet in the oven and bake for about 25 minutes or until the herbs seem to have lost all moisture. If the salt feels “caked,” it needs a little more time, usually 5 more minutes. Turn off the heat and allow to cool in the oven. Store in a small bowl on your counter for a few weeks.

Venison Schnitzel (Jaegerschnitzel) & Creamed Mushrooms

I thought long and hard about what the hell I would make if I got some deer meat. I found a recipe for something called Jaegerschnitzel, which means “hunter’s cut” in German. Seeing as though I loved schnitzel and Texas fried steak, both decedents of this early German recipe, I thought this could be a great idea, so I went with it. You want to use venison medallions for this recipe, which is basically a slice of backstrap. Absolutely make sure your meat it at room temperature before cooking it. For me this is important for all beef, but I’ve been told by many people it’s the same for deer. Serves 4 Ingredients For the venison: 1 tablespoon, plus 1 tablespoon reserved Herbal Deer & Game Salt 1 teaspoon black pepper, coarsely ground 4 venison medallions ¼ cup all-purpose flour 2 tablespoons butter 1 tablespoon olive oil For the mushrooms: 1 tablespoon butter 1 tablespoon oil ¼ cup of chopped pancetta or bacon 1 teaspoon juniper berries, coarsely ground 1 teaspoon black pepper, coarsely ground 1 medium shallot 1 tablespoon finely chopped sage leaves 2 teaspoons Deer Salt 3 cups mixed fresh mushrooms, coarsely chopped ½ cup fresh parsley leaves, coarsely chopped, plus two tablespoons reserved ½ cup of dry white wine 1 cup Beef stock or venison stock ¼ cup heavy cream Black pepper Directions For the venison: Pre-heat the oven to 400°F. Season the venison with 1 tablespoon of the deer salt and let sit until they reach room temperature. They should not be cold at all. Pound the venison medallions thin, in between two sheets of plastic or in a zip lock bag with a meat hammer until about ½ inch thick or less and consistently even. Lightly dust each cutlet on both sides with a little bit of flour, shaking off all excess amounts. Heat up a large cast iron skillet with the butter and oil to medium-high heat. The goal is to get a nice sear and then finish in the oven. Once the pan is hot, place the cutlets in the pan and let them sear for about two to three minutes. You can check them at two minutes. The goal is to get a charred sear. Once they are seared, flip them and cook them on the other side for 1 minute. Place them in the oven and set a timer for 9 minutes (for medium rare). Once the timer goes off, remove them from the oven, cover and let stand for 10-12 minutes so that the juices release slowly. For the mushrooms: Heat the butter and oil to medium-high heat in a large sauté pan. Add the pancetta or bacon and cook a couple of minutes until the bacon starts to crisp. Add the juniper, black pepper, shallot, sage and deer salt and cook another 1-2 minutes. Add the mushrooms and parsley, and mix together with the butter and bacon, allowing the mushrooms to cook a few minutes until they start to get soft. Add the white wine and cook another minute so that some of the wine cooks off. Add the stock and bring to a gentle boil for about 10 minutes until a good portion of the liquid evaporates. Take off the heat. Stir in the heavy cream and the remaining two tablespoons of parsley. Serve ladled over the deer cutlets seasoned with some of the deer salt on top.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_single_image image="18506" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_column][/vc_row] [post_title] => The Jovial Warrior Goes to Missouri [post_excerpt] => My ‘moving to Missouri’ story began back in August. I had a few sessions with a renowned astrologer, as part of my crisis response to learning I had to move quickly and, essentially, charter the next course in my life. If I’m being honest, this was one of the hardest times of my life. Normally I make decisions quickly and with ease, but this one I knew would create massive disruptions in all aspects of my life. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => the-jovial-warrior-goes-to-missouri [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2020-12-21 22:13:12 [post_modified_gmt] => 2020-12-21 22:13:12 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.myherbal-roots.com/?p=18503 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw [categories] => Array ( [0] => 75 [1] => 32 ) [id] => m_hr_18503 [post_id] => 18503 [allcategories] => Array ( [0] => USA [1] => Winter ) [categories_places_slugs] => Array ( [0] => usa ) [categories_seasons_slugs] => Array ( [0] => winter ) [categories_details] => Array ( [75] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 75 [name] => USA [slug] => usa [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 75 [taxonomy] => category [description] => [parent] => 74 [count] => 9 [filter] => raw [cat_ID] => 75 [category_count] => 9 [category_description] => [cat_name] => USA [category_nicename] => usa [category_parent] => 74 ) [32] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 32 [name] => Winter [slug] => winter [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 32 [taxonomy] => category [description] => [parent] => 28 [count] => 8 [filter] => raw [cat_ID] => 32 [category_count] => 8 [category_description] => [cat_name] => Winter [category_nicename] => winter [category_parent] => 28 ) ) [image_path] => https://www.myherbal-roots.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/reel.jpg [post_firstImg] => https://www.myherbal-roots.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/Main-scaled.jpg ) [2] => Array ( [post_author] => 4 [post_date] => 2020-09-23 17:52:58 [post_date_gmt] => 2020-09-23 17:52:58 [post_content] => [vc_row][vc_column el_class="blogbodycol" custom_css="border-bottom:7px solid #f8f5f2;border-left: 7px solid #f8f5f2;border-right: 7px solid #f8f5f2; border-top: 7px solid #f8f5f2;padding-bottom:30px;" width="1/1"][prkwp_spacer][prkwp_spacer size="9"][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_custom_heading source="post_title" font_container="tag:h2|font_size:30|text_align:left|color:%234e463e" use_theme_fonts="yes" el_class="header_font" el_id="rechead"][vc_column_text el_class="blate"]SPETEMBER 23rd 2020[/vc_column_text][prkwp_spacer size="9"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]I tend to be an extremist when it comes to emotions. This is why I’ve had to really practice balance. Part of that practice started many years ago, when I had to slow down my crazy capacity for taking on more and more work and make time for empty space in my head and body. Daily yoga, meditation and breathing practices have been pivotal in my ability to understand how to achieve and (mostly) maintain balance as I move through this life thing. A general slowing down long enough to observe myself. Solitude and the ocean have also been vital in helping me reach and maintain more homeostasis. My kryptonite, or the “thing” that most throws me off balance, which I believe is rather normal, is always overwhelm. Too much uncertainty, too many MAJOR things happening at once always rocks my balance. From there I either find equilibrium or fall.[/vc_column_text][vc_single_image image="14541" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]I am currently moving though one of these moments of imbalance, the type where I fall.  Surrounded by a massive amount of change in my personal life happening quickly and all at once, of course amidst all the change and chaos happening worldwide- pandemics, fires, ash etc. All of this has me triggered, and gigantic balloons of emotion are surfacing: anxiety, fear, uncertainty, doubt and an overwhelming sense of feeling unloved. When I hit the I am unloved space, is the point in which I know I am falling deep into what I call the pit of despair. There,  I wallow in all these dramatized emotions and self-doubt. Leaving California and the Bay Area behind and moving to Missouri, letting go of so much that was my life here in the past 8 years, has thrown me off big time. I didn’t expect it to be this way. Surely there is too much to process here in the short time I have left. I know some of my emotions I will probably have to pack up with the rest of my things, only to unpack them and process them when I get to Missouri—but starting the process here is key.[/vc_column_text][vc_single_image image="14544" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]And how do I personally start such an endeavor, not very attractively. I wallow in the shit of it all. I have realized that it is a part of my process—to sit at the bottom of the abyss and flail around in the muck. The pit is not a foreign place to me, in a way I am just becoming more comfortable with it, as I have been in this pit often throughout my life.  There is a new feeling emerging these days that almost feels like I can trust the pit, which is probably more about trusting myself in the pit (in life.) In the past it used to feel like I would never leave the pit. It always felt like I’d be stuck in that realm forever, reminiscent of being on psychedelic mushrooms and truly thinking my weird mind would be frozen as such forever. Eventually the overwhelm, like the drugs, dissipates. My weirdness, I accept lives on no matter what!  The feelings however just move, like waves. It reminds me of that song Emoji of a Wave- and it’s most important message- just hold on…..I think that is is what needs to done while in the pit. Watch, listen, hold on and most importantly- trust. Truly getting to know yourself means you get to learn your process’ of healing as much as you learn your triggers. The pit these days serves me. My balancing practices and a few real live angels are key, especially in the time before the overwhelm begins. Once the fall happens, I have learned not to deny the emotions but, rather, start to watch them, see them unravel and then process them.  This undertaking, for me, is extremely complex and mostly consists of feeling the feelings, labeling them and reflecting on them, if I am able. Getting to know the myriad of emotions possible in a human being and labeling correctly in self and in others is actually really difficult work. But I’m trying. I’m learning. I’m taking the time needed to do it.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_single_image image="14543" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]At a certain point in life I came to recognize that tumbling into the pit was something I needed to do, and I came to recognize and trust in my ability to climb out of it. The stabilization practices have helped me trust in myself. I often wonder about others, though. Is this normal, this pit metaphor, or is this unique to me? Why don’t more people talk about the hard, emotional stuff of life? That’s a question I keep asking over and over.  One of the reasons I really try to show all of myself, as fearful as it can be, is I hope to give others gentle reminder that we are all essentially the same.  We all wallow. I presume that a little wallowing in the pit—deep in darkness—works for me because I don’t get stuck there, even though I still sometimes think I might. It always feels risky, but I have concluded that all emotional growth takes risk. So, there is an acceptance of this fear in losing myself to the abyss, knowing that my courageous heart will always guide me out. I’ve been thinking about what exactly it is that pulls me out, especially as I sit more comfortably at the bottom of my self-pity pit, looking around for what’s going to help me get out. Sometimes, I wish I could just be a rescued damsel in distress, and that it’s a hand of someone who loves me, dramatically pulling me out.  The truth is that has never happened; though, I always wish it would. I can’t lie about that. The pit is one of the most selfish places I know. Like the ego itself, this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It’s come to be important for me to really look around while I am down there, in all the dark caverns of myself. It’s a dark place for a reason. I see a lot of the worst of myself, which is an essential part of the self to know and also to love. My instincts are always to look for how others see those dark spots in me—not about what they mean to me, to my life, and my history. It’s easier to hope that others love the darkness than actually loving our own darkness as a part of who we are.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_single_image image="11380" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]The best way out of the hole is to climb out yourself. This is the only route to deep meaning and purpose… the only way to feel true self-love or love for anyone else for that matter. My life of global travels has shown me that the world is a small place, filled with beautiful and gracious meaning.  While in the pit these days I often remember the meaningful connections I have made in my short little life with others and with that my own life has been meaningful. I sometimes forget how good I am at living with meaning. It’s easy to forget our own goodness as human beings. A good portion of my life flashed before me within this last stint in the pit—of building, directing, creating, motivating, fueling, expanding and teaching others, contributing through my genuine love and openness and utilizing all my immense power, influence, and capability to expand on that over and over and over again.[/vc_column_text][vc_single_image image="14556" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]In those moments when I connect to my authentic self and feel the sense of my life as meaningful to others, I can actually see the value in my own life. I can feel the radiance of those I love all around me. I can see the beauty of the world and how I can, have and will continue to make a difference in it. This part is what stops the wallowing. The selfish love I crave while I am in the pit—the ‘I wants’ and the ‘I needs’ and the ‘why nots’—is ego driven. It’s fight or flight versus nurture and nature. It’s not really who I am. But it takes me being in the pit for a bit to realize that and to begin to climb out of it. My mother is the type that was never able to climb out of the pit. She is still stuck there. She’s the type that gets stuck there repeating over and over the ‘I wants,’ ‘I needs,’ the ‘whys’…Demanding from the world her due.  My mother’s weak essence within me is what pulls me into the pit. My father’s powerful essence within me is what pulls me out. This time in the pit, the appearing balloons were filled with immense grief. These were undoubtedly triggered by having to move my life from California, from the Bay Area. A lot of the surfacing grief was about Patrick (yes, I said his name for the first time in three years). [/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_single_image image="14557" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]To leave this area behind means to leave him behind for good, in a way. It’s been exactly three years since he left and never looked back. I can say with certainty that I am grateful for the path life has given me. My life today is richer because of this experience and because of the work I was forced to do after my heart broke. Today parts of my heart have healed while other parts seem like they will be broken forever. My heart isn’t any bigger. Physically it’s still the same size and still potent like the heart of a lion, but the expansion of my heart has been vast. I have discovered several more intricate and tender parts of my heart, like new colors seen for the first time, new energies are flowing within and out of me, and I have been able to authentically connect with more people and create more meaningful relationships than ever before. My life with Patrick was good, for me, but I am a deeper, richer person in his absence- I have more love to give because he left me.  With his walkout, I was able to see my true being for the first time in full form- the dark and the light sides- and it was only than when the real journey to self-connection was possible.  The pit can teach you a lot about yourself if you learn to sit it it  comfortably.  This time in the pit, I saw and felt all of that. And I felt the grief of that relationship ending, maybe for the first time since he left. I watch it and hold on, surely I will eventually reflect back on this time with some deeper meaning, for now, I just feel better for letting it move through me. Today, climbing out of my pit, I can feel the energy of my loved ones, their presence, their voices calling me, their vitality, and it’s a strong pull. No matter how cozy my psyche can make wallowing feel, their pull is always stronger. My father’s essence in my soul, assures me that I will always climb out. Over the last few days, I’ve been thinking a lot about Ruth Bader Ginsburg, as we all have. There is nothing that can be said that hasn’t already been said. She truly achieved more for women’s rights in America than any other human in my lifetime. I can’t help but to pause and reflect on her words about what makes a life meaningful.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_single_image image="14542" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]She often said, so it was said, that leading a meaningful life means living for one’s family and community and not for oneself. My father lived like that while my mother never did, and still doesn’t. One died contently and well loved by the world on his own terms with all his children by his side; the other most likely will die alone. A morbid thought, yes, but something I need to remember when I sink into the pit of selfishness and of feeling like the world owes me love. Rather, I owe the world love. I think that’s the key to it all. I can feel that I am meaningful in my loved ones’ lives. I felt this last night on the phone with my nephew, who is currently struggling and to whom I will be close to soon with my move to Missouri. Our instincts always bring us to family and community if we are living meaningfully. All of these reflections help me climb my way out of the pit of selfishness. Please, don’t put an image in your head of some powerful wonder woman figure climbing out. I’m more like an amateur rock climber, slipping upward. I am climbing out, stumbling, losing my grip and footing, but I’m slowly finding where the strong and solid aspects are—where the helping hands are, where the teachers are, where the cheerleaders are—as I move up and out, deeper into meaning. This exact spot, the coming out part, in my pit process, is also when I find my creative energy start to build back up. The power of the light through the cracks reignites my passion, and I begin to cook and create again. Despite the unbelievable joy I feel while creating food art, my creativity shuts down fully when I am in major overwhelm, sad or feel unloved. Others cook in this stage, I cannot do anything but wallow- but when I begin the climb, that’s when the passion soars again and I’m at my creative best.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_single_image image="14555" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]Today’s recipes may seem random, and I thought they were at first, too. But, like everything, they are fully interconnected. In this case, it all started with one of my life’s rocks, my friend Danielle, and a simple conversation about what she was making for dinner. Within an hour, my head unraveled a recipe I had created for Ger-Nis Culinary Center in Brooklyn years ago. The Culinary Center was one of my most meaningful projects. It not only served the people immediately around me but also a community of people far and wide throughout Brooklyn and the New York City metro area. One of my most popular classes was Fresh Thai, in which we made hand-pounded Thai-style sauces and dishes. I was taken by the memories of those classes and the extraordinary ordinary people who happily gathered to learn about food and cooking in a setting built for me by my brothers, skills they learned from our father, which made the space and the energy even more meaningful. Making this dish at the same time as climbing out of my selfish hole, I remembered how good I am at making meaning. I was also able to pound out a lot of grief in the process, which was a perk. In sum, the world does not owe me love. I owe the world my love. My love is abundant, creative and for a select few, maybe it can even be overwhelming a times : - )  - It is however PURE. It comes in many forms; right now, here,  it comes in the form of some honest self-reflections, some divulgences of the deepest level and a recipe for  Thai-style fresh curry and  of course a cocktail, because I am Nissa! Herbs abundant, because herbs are my medium of love.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_single_image image="14540" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]

Thai Melon Cooler

Makes 1 drink People don’t drink melons enough. While I was making this cocktail (which began because I had some extra melon to use up), memories of the melon juice I used to drink as a little girl in Nicaragua surged. I had forgotten what a lovely medium melon makes for drinking. Today my cooking skills are added to that memory in this heavenly cocktail. It is vibrant and perfumy, and it doesn’t taste overly boozy. The drink invites us to savor it, much like we should be doing with life. Ingredients ¼ cup green melon, cubed small Zest of 1 lime 2 teaspoons sugar 1 teaspoon lemongrass, bulb, finely chopped 1 teaspoon sliced thin green chili 1 teaspoon grated ginger 3-4 basil leaves, chopped 5-6 cilantro leaves, chopped 2 ounces lime juice 1 ½ ounces gin Sparkling water Bitters (FloraLuna Ginger Cayenne Bitters, preferably) Directions Place the melon, lime zest, sugar, lemongrass, chili, ginger and herbs in the bottom of a cocktail shaker, and muddle until all the melon is mashed up into a thick chunky liquid. Add the lime juice and gin. Fill the shaker with ice and shake vigorously. Double strain into a large Collins glass filled with ice. Fill the glass with a little sparkling water. Drop a few Ginger Cayenne bitters on the top and garnish with a lime wheel and fresh basil leaf.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_single_image image="14545" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]

Massaman Thai Curry Paste/Gaeng Massaman

Makes 3 /4 cup of curry paste Massaman is a Thai curry that has been heavily influenced by Persian and Indian spices like cardamom, cumin, cinnamon, star anise and mace. These eastern influences are combined with traditional fresh Thai ingredients like chili peppers, lemongrass, galangal and cilantro to create a rich and mild curry paste, often combined with coconut milk and stewed with meats. At Ger-Nis Culinary & Herb Center, we specialized in making cooking accessible to all levels of culinary prowess as well as utilizing local, sustainable organic ingredients, all while accenting the herbaceousness of cultural cuisines. This class did just that. I tried to make the recipe easy to recreate, in terms of ingredients, technical skill and equipment. The result was a super fresh Thai curry that everyone could make. This current version of the recipe hasn’t changed much, and it reminded me how therapeutic it is to pound into a mortar and pestle. It felt much like pounding out grief, I have to admit! Traditionally the recipe includes peanuts. I omit the peanuts because it was originally for a class and I wanted to eliminate hazards, but I found I enjoyed the sauce sans the nuts. The recipe can work in a food processor, but I recommend a mortar and pestle. They are not expensive these days and can be super versatile. Ingredients 1 tablespoon white peppercorns 1 tablespoon black peppercorns 1 tablespoon coriander seeds 1 tablespoon cumin seeds 3-4 cardamom pods, cracked 1 star anise, cracked up 3-4 fresh red chilies, fresno, cherry bomb or red jalapeno, seeds removed, all finely chopped 5 cloves garlic, finely chopped 2 teaspoons Maldon salt 1 tablespoon peeled and chopped ginger root 1 tablespoon peeled and chopped galangal root (optional) 1 tablespoon finely chopped lemongrass bulb 1 tablespoon lime zest Juice of 1 lime 1 teaspoon cinnamon ½ teaspoon mace ½ teaspoon nutmeg ½ cup cilantro leaves, chopped [embed]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B9uF4RL_-UY&list=PLkOHFfUWySHaiwB0kYR0APWHd40lrN4sI&index=1&ab_channel=HerbalRoots[/embed] Directions Mortar & Pestle Method: In a small, thin bottomed sauté pan, toast the white and black peppercorns, coriander seeds, cumin seeds, cardamon pods and the star anise for about 30-40 seconds overheat. The spices will start to smoke. Just make sure they don’t burn. Place the toasted spices in the mortar and pestle and grind them up finely. Add the fresh chilies, garlic and salt, and pound and scrape in with the pestle until most of the chilies and garlic are broken into fine pieces. Add the ginger, galangal, lemongrass and zest, and continue to pound and grind until a thick paste forms. Add the lime juice, cinnamon, mace, nutmeg and cilantro leaves and, again, pound and grind until the cilantro leaves are fully dissolved into the paste. The end result should be a thick chunky paste.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_single_image image="14539" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]

Massaman Beef Curry with Summer Tomatoes

Serves 6 Once you have the paste made, there are many things you can do. The most traditional recipe uses it stewed with coconut milk and beef, and this is by far my favorite way of enjoying this curry as well. It’s warming and comforting and yet feels light and summery. In this version, I add summer cherry tomatoes and use a technique for bulgogi that I found works really well in giving the meat a slight sear before it’s stewed in the coconut milk. This comforting dish served me well on my recent pit climbing adventure. Ingredients 1 – 1 ½ pounds hanger or flank steak (thin steak is key), slightly frozen ¾ cup Massaman curry paste ½ cup tamari or soy sauce ¼ cup coconut amino or 2 tablespoons brown sugar 1 ½ tablespoons extra virgin olive oil or other neutral oil 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved 1 teaspoon salt 1 can (15-ounces) coconut milk Directions Slice the steak very thin. This is much easier to do when the steak is partial frozen. In a large bowl, whisk together the curry paste, soy sauce and aminos (or sugar) and place your meat in the bowl covering it all with the sauce, to marinate. Heat up a thick bottomed pan with a little oil spread evenly over it to medium high heat. Place the meat slices down in the pan, shaking off any liquid from them before and pack them tightly in the pan. Let them sear for a few minutes until browned. Turn them over and sear them more on the other side. Add the remainder of the marinade and stir, let some of the juice cook off and then add the tomatoes and salt- stir. Cook for a few minutes until the tomatoes start to melt a little bit in the heat and the coconut milk. Bring to a boil, then reduce to and simmer about 15 -20 minutes or until the tomatoes are all cooked down. Serve over rice.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_column][/vc_row] [post_title] => Purpose, Meaning and a Mortar & Pestle [post_excerpt] => I tend to be an extremist when it comes to emotions. This is why I’ve had to really practice balance. Part of that practice started many years ago, when I had to slow down my crazy capacity for taking on more and more work and make time for empty space in my head and body. Daily yoga, meditation and breathing practices have been pivotal in my ability to understand how to achieve and (mostly) maintain balance as I move through this life thing. A general slowing down long enough to observe myself. Solitude and the ocean have also been vital in helping me reach and maintain more homeostasis. My kryptonite, or the “thing” that most throws me off balance, which I believe is rather normal, is always overwhelm. Too much uncertainty, too many MAJOR things happening at once always rocks my balance. From there I either find equilibrium or fall. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => purpose-meaning-and-a-mortar-pestle [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2020-09-23 18:54:31 [post_modified_gmt] => 2020-09-23 18:54:31 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.myherbal-roots.com/?p=14549 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw [categories] => Array ( [0] => 86 [1] => 71 [2] => 91 [3] => 30 ) [id] => m_hr_14549 [post_id] => 14549 [allcategories] => Array ( [0] => Basil [1] => Blog Posts [2] => Cilantro (Corriander) [3] => Summer ) [categories_herbs_slugs] => Array ( [0] => basil [1] => cilantro ) [categories_seasons_slugs] => Array ( [0] => summer ) [categories_details] => Array ( [86] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 86 [name] => Basil [slug] => basil [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 86 [taxonomy] => category [description] => [parent] => 84 [count] => 3 [filter] => raw [cat_ID] => 86 [category_count] => 3 [category_description] => [cat_name] => Basil [category_nicename] => basil [category_parent] => 84 ) [71] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 71 [name] => Blog Posts [slug] => blog-posts [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 71 [taxonomy] => category [description] => blog [parent] => 145 [count] => 33 [filter] => raw [cat_ID] => 71 [category_count] => 33 [category_description] => blog [cat_name] => Blog Posts [category_nicename] => blog-posts [category_parent] => 145 ) [91] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 91 [name] => Cilantro (Corriander) [slug] => cilantro [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 91 [taxonomy] => category [description] => [parent] => 84 [count] => 2 [filter] => raw [cat_ID] => 91 [category_count] => 2 [category_description] => [cat_name] => Cilantro (Corriander) [category_nicename] => cilantro [category_parent] => 84 ) [30] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 30 [name] => Summer [slug] => summer [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 30 [taxonomy] => category [description] => [parent] => 28 [count] => 5 [filter] => raw [cat_ID] => 30 [category_count] => 5 [category_description] => [cat_name] => Summer [category_nicename] => summer [category_parent] => 28 ) ) [image_path] => https://www.myherbal-roots.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/Reel.jpg [post_firstImg] => https://www.myherbal-roots.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/main.jpg ) )
Array
(
    [0] => Array
        (
            [post_author] => 4
            [post_date] => 2020-12-22 21:56:20
            [post_date_gmt] => 2020-12-22 21:56:20
            [post_content] => [vc_row][vc_column el_class="blogbodycol" custom_css="border-bottom:7px solid #f8f5f2;border-left: 7px solid #f8f5f2;border-right: 7px solid #f8f5f2; border-top: 7px solid #f8f5f2;padding-bottom:30px;" width="1/1"][prkwp_spacer][prkwp_spacer size="9"][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_custom_heading source="post_title" font_container="tag:h2|font_size:30|text_align:left|color:%234e463e" use_theme_fonts="yes" el_class="header_font" el_id="rechead"][vc_column_text el_class="blate"]DECEMBER 22CND 2020[/vc_column_text][prkwp_spacer size="9"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]One for Rudolph, two for me. This is one of my most whimsical recipes and one that is perfect to make with your kids the day before Christmas eve.  Basically, the kids make herbal sugar cubes for Rudolph and you get amazing sugar cubes for an old-Fashioned cocktail.  It’s a rather fun project for all and one that the adults can enjoy long after Santa is gone. The recipe is super easy. It assumes you have some general herbs around the holidays for cooking.  Herbs, sugar and ice cube trays are really all that’s needed outside a few drops of water.[/vc_column_text][vc_single_image image="18606" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]

Herbal Sugar Cubes

This recipe is versatile  and fun, as the  herbs and spices can be altered to taste. I chose these because they work really well in an old fashioned cocktail, but I make these cubes generally with various herbs and spices per my whimsy at the time. Let your kids play and even enjoy a kiddy fashioned cocktail. The most important part of the recipe is to make sure you don’t add too much water. Makes several cubes depending on ice cube tray size Ingredients ¼ teaspoon chopped super fine rosemary leaves ¼ teaspoon chopped super fine purple or green sage leaves ¼ teaspoon chopped super fine pineapple sage (optional) ½ teaspoon lemon zest ½ teaspoon orange zest ½ teaspoon finely ground black pepper (I use long pepper) ¾ cup turbinado sugar 2 drops Grapefruit Cardamom Bitters 1 teaspoon ice cold water[/vc_column_text][vc_single_image image="18602" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]Directions Combine the rosemary, sage(s), zests and pepper in a medium bowl with the sugar. Rub the mixture together with your fingers, pulverizing the herbs, zest and pepper into the sugar. The sugar will turn a greenish hue from the herb oils.  Add the bitters and water and stir. The sugar should be slightly moistened and still crumbly, not wet. Using a sugar cube mold or an ice cube tray mold, place 1 heaping teaspoon in each mold and press the mixture down tightly into the mold. If using an ice cube tray, the sugar cubes will be bigger and thinner than the traditional cube. Let the molds air-dry on your kitchen counter overnight, at least 16 hours. Once they have hardened, gently remove them from the molds, using a butter knife to assist.  Store them in an airtight container for months.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_single_image image="18604" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_single_image image="18607" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]

Liberal Old Fashioned with DIY Herbal Sugar Cubes

An Old Fashioned is essentially just whiskey sweetened, seasoned and diluted. Yet everyone has their own firm idea on the details. I have a super liberal take on the topic and mine is herbalized. The act of making your own sugar cubes and paying attention to the details, from start to finish, feels like self-care. It’s not only easy but adds creative flair, and it’s a great conversation piece. Let your party guests make their own Liberal Old Fashioned and find out. Make the sugar cubes a day ahead. If you don’t have big ice cube molds any ice will do. I use Charbay’s Doubled & Twisted Whiskey. The citrus notes in the whiskey persuaded me to use the lemon peel instead of the old-fashioned orange peel. I also like using Sonoma Distilling Co, Cherrywood Rye Whiskey. Ingredients 1-2 Herbal Sugar Cubes 3 drops Grapefruit Cardamom Bitters (Monarch Bitters) Splash of water 2 ounces whiskey Big Cube ice cube Lemon twist or peel Sage leaf Directions For each Old Fashioned Place one or two Herbal Sugar Cubes on the bottom of a rocks glass. Drop a few bitters on top and gently muddle them until the sugars are dissolved. Add a tiny splash of water to help. You want the sugar to be smooth and paste-like, rather than swimming in water. Fill the glass with a few large ice cubes. Add the whiskey and gently stir until well combined. Express the oil of a lemon peel over the glass and gently run it around the rim. Drop the peel and a sage leaf, stem side down, into the glass.[/vc_column_text][vc_single_image image="18605" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_single_image image="18619" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_column][/vc_row] [post_title] => DIY Herbal Sugar Cubes [post_excerpt] => One for Rudolph, two for me. This is one of my most whimsical recipes and one that is perfect to make with your kids the day before Christmas eve. Basically, the kids make herbal sugar cubes for Rudolph and you get amazing sugar cubes for an old-Fashioned cocktail. It’s a rather fun project for all and one that the adults can enjoy long after Santa is gone. The recipe is super easy. Some herbs, sugar and ice cube trays are really all that’s needed outside a few drops of water. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => diy-herbal-sugar-cubes [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2020-12-22 22:02:10 [post_modified_gmt] => 2020-12-22 22:02:10 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.myherbal-roots.com/?p=18601 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw [categories] => Array ( [0] => 111 [1] => 112 [2] => 32 ) [id] => m_hr_18601 [post_id] => 18601 [allcategories] => Array ( [0] => Rosemary [1] => Sage [2] => Winter ) [categories_herbs_slugs] => Array ( [0] => rosemary [1] => sage ) [categories_seasons_slugs] => Array ( [0] => winter ) [categories_details] => Array ( [111] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 111 [name] => Rosemary [slug] => rosemary [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 111 [taxonomy] => category [description] => [parent] => 84 [count] => 7 [filter] => raw [cat_ID] => 111 [category_count] => 7 [category_description] => [cat_name] => Rosemary [category_nicename] => rosemary [category_parent] => 84 ) [112] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 112 [name] => Sage [slug] => sage [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 112 [taxonomy] => category [description] => [parent] => 84 [count] => 4 [filter] => raw [cat_ID] => 112 [category_count] => 4 [category_description] => [cat_name] => Sage [category_nicename] => sage [category_parent] => 84 ) [32] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 32 [name] => Winter [slug] => winter [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 32 [taxonomy] => category [description] => [parent] => 28 [count] => 8 [filter] => raw [cat_ID] => 32 [category_count] => 8 [category_description] => [cat_name] => Winter [category_nicename] => winter [category_parent] => 28 ) ) [image_path] => https://www.myherbal-roots.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/feature.jpg [post_firstImg] => https://www.myherbal-roots.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/main-1-scaled.jpg ) [1] => Array ( [post_author] => 4 [post_date] => 2020-12-21 22:05:58 [post_date_gmt] => 2020-12-21 22:05:58 [post_content] => [vc_row][vc_column el_class="blogbodycol" custom_css="border-bottom:7px solid #f8f5f2;border-left: 7px solid #f8f5f2;border-right: 7px solid #f8f5f2; border-top: 7px solid #f8f5f2;padding-bottom:30px;" width="1/1"][prkwp_spacer][prkwp_spacer size="9"][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_custom_heading source="post_title" font_container="tag:h2|font_size:30|text_align:left|color:%234e463e" use_theme_fonts="yes" el_class="header_font" el_id="rechead"][vc_column_text el_class="blate"]DECEMBER 21ST 2020[/vc_column_text][prkwp_spacer size="9"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]My ‘moving to Missouri’ story began back in August. I had a few sessions with a renowned astrologer, as part of my crisis response to learning I had to move quickly and, essentially, charter the next course in my life. If I’m being honest, this was one of the hardest times of my life. Normally I make decisions quickly and with ease, but this one I knew would create massive disruptions in all aspects of my life. The first thing the astrologer said to me during session one was, “Ooh, you’re a jovial warrior. Does that sound like you?” I took a moment to mull it over, then giggled and said, “Yes. Yes, that does sound like me.” No one had ever described me like that before, and I think many people would attest that it seems spot on. I have Mars and Jupiter rising in my chart, which is how he came up with this jingly nickname.[/vc_column_text][vc_single_image image="18478" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]My Chinese medicine doctor recommended that I try talking to an astrologer over my difficulty surrounding the impending move and suggested one. I had four sessions with the astrologer. Four sessions seemed good enough to cover some bases about me and my life before even thinking about where to move. The first session covered me, the second my family, the third key romantic relationships and the fourth my move. By the time I got to the fourth session, I had already decided to move to Missouri, rented a house and started the process to buy it. He was a little surprised, but I then referred him to my chart.  I think and move quickly.  So, in my fourth session I mostly wanted to know: what would Missouri be like for this jovial warrior? His first comments back to me were, “Missouri, well, that is not a place I would have picked for you.”[/vc_column_text][vc_single_image image="18479" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]The big question on many people’s minds is the same as his was: ”…Why Missouri?” After the initial excitement over hearing I moved to Missouri’s southern lake region, imagining me in my full glory as a quick-thinking heroine and powerful boss bitch cruising in my speed boat (thanks to Jason Bateman and the Ozarks), they say, “Wait. What? Why?” Yes, I live in Missouri now. And to quote my astrologist, “It’s not on or near any of your powerful energy lines.” But it is close to a big portion of my family that just so happens to kind of need me. I’ve always thought of myself as an instinctual person, so in a way it doesn’t totally surprise me that I picked this new life internally. It was the external part of me that was resisting it all along. I’m not so worried about my powerlines because I discovered, through my sessions with him, that I tend to gravitate to them in my travels; so, I feel content I will go to them and reenergize myself as I need to. I also reminded him of my chart again and that I’m not someone who can be stagnant. So, today I feel comfortable knowing that living in Missouri is not forever for me. Then again, nowhere is.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_single_image image="18470" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]My chart also resonates with family and a strong matriarchal role, so I think it’s also a matter of perspective in terms of the energy lines here. While the lines might not show up here on my chart, there are quite a few special people that make excellent substitutes for those lines. The thing about connection – especially to people – and about love is that it’s really powerful. Thus, I need to be here. I can feel that in the two months I’ve been here. I need them as much as they need me. That’s how love works. It was revealed to me at the end of my last session that Missouri, specifically where I am living, falls on my moon and Pluto line. These lines represent journey, family and traveling. So, it seems the astrologer and I were on the same page. This jovial warrior’s journey to Missouri is all about family…and traveling! (Thank god!) So here I am, jovial and ready to be a warrior, on Table Rock Lake on the Arkansas and Missouri border.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_single_image image="18474" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]Now the question on many people’s minds is, “How is it going so far?” This post is the answer to that question. It’s not coming in the form of a traditional self-reflective answer but, rather, through a hodgepodge of recipes I have conjured up since I moved to the Ozarks. This post is also as close as I can get to a commercial (unpaid and unsolicited) for those brands and products that have sustained me while figuring out where I can find the healthy, organic, fresh, nutritious, seasonal and interesting food I am accustomed to and as my soul needs to survive and more importantly be nourished continuously.[/vc_column_text][vc_single_image image="18480" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]The Backstory Sometime in the middle of August, I was taking a short summer vacation in Ojai after sheltering in place for months. I needed it, and the resort where I stayed was big on safety and space. It had all outdoor dining and several pools where 6-10 feet were easy to maintain. They were also dog friendly, so off Inca and I went. The timing coincided with the northern fires which threated Bolinas and were raging across Sonoma. It was there where my landlord emailed a 60-day notice to move. I had lived in her house for over 5 years, faithfully taking care of her home. This is not easy in Bolinas. I went above and beyond, and I was an excellent tenant. I really want to set up the apocalyptic scene which I can still feel viscerally. The world was in the midst of a gigantic pandemic, I had been sheltered in place in Bolinas for months, and fires were raging across northern California. Residents of the notoriously expensive Bay Area were on an exodus toward the “countryside” which meant my house was prime real estate. Every home and rental (vacation and otherwise) in Marin, Sonoma, Napa, Tahoe and beyond was getting snatched by those with money fleeing the city. Mind you, there are a lot with money in the city. Shortly after that notice, I received another notice, that Bolinas was under recommended fire evacuation and that my house was technically first in line of a new fire  that had broken out. Residents were scrambling, packing up their stuff and heading out. It wasn’t sure that the fire would reach the houses in Bolinas, but weather (winds) is tumultuous out there and fires had been ripping through the dry brush quickly. Since it’s really just a one-way road in (and dangerous with the fire looming), people were following the better safe than sorry route, so I stayed put in Ojai. It was the smart thing to do. I was 7 hours away, and I had some cute clothes, my laptop and my dog Inca with me. It was there I let go of my grip on everything else, including my history in the Bay Area and the reason why I moved there in the first place. That was a big moment in my life, amidst truly apocalyptic conditions something big and internal told me to just let go. So I did, fully.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_single_image image="13643" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]I can’t say it was easy, the moment I moved on, metaphorically and emotionally. In a way, these apocalyptic conditions forced me to move. Even though I didn’t think I was ready, I realized that I was. I think that’s what they call ‘nature provides.’ Eventually I went home, and the fire near Bolinas fizzled. The other fires raged until the day I left. I wasn’t able to say goodbye to basically anyone I had gotten to know there because of the pandemic and the fires. That was hard. As someone who often feels like a loner anyhow, I couldn’t help but feel that my connections were not that potent to begin with. I know that’s silly to think, but don’t we all think silly things when grieving? After Pounding Out Grief throughout September and packing up my life, Inca and I got in a gigantic 26-foot U-Haul filled with dishes (truly, that’s the bulk of what I own) and drove to Missouri, leaving northern California behind. On this drive out of California, I could feel the natural release of quite a bit, including my relationship(s) there, as well as the idea that I didn’t move there for me. It never fully suited me. It felt healthy to realize all this and (physically and metaphorically) move on. I know I was moving toward what I needed next in life, toward who I needed and who needed me. That has always been important to me, being there for those I love. I move toward what I need rather subconsciously/instinctively. Luckily, my strong intuition doesn’t allow for regrets. I feel grateful for that.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_single_image image="18484" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]How’s it going? Inca and I drove 2000 miles together to get here and had one of the happiest times of our life. I felt like my eyes and my heart were wide open. I felt supported by the deep friendships I have and the love and excitement of my family – both the ones I was heading towards and the ones that were rooting me on. I could even feel a few key relationships deepening with new distance. I could almost feel myself growing (wiser, not taller). My new lake house is incredible. I found it online, rented it immediately and started the buying process before I had even left. I chose it for 3 reasons. It was right on the water, with water views from almost every room in the house. There are sunset views (over the water) 365 days of the year. And it was the least “oaky” place I could fine. Most homes were filled with oak, oak cabinets, oak trim, oak and more oak. I hate the oak look. This house has less and, even though I would re-do things, I had to find something I could live in now that wouldn’t make me nuts. Oak would have made me nuts. The oak look for me is a more a metaphor or thinking and what it means toi surround yourself by things you think about and how that thinking is fueled.  When I see overly oaky homes I cant help but thing ot eh following words and phrases: stuck, closed minded, doing things the only way I know how and that’s just the way it is. As you know by now, my being, like my creative outlets, cooking and writing- couldn’t be father from those words. If I was going to live here, in a place those words were potent, I couldn’t be around the oak- not the real thing or the metaphor- my home had to be different so it needed to start differently.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_single_image image="18486" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]When I drove into the driveway of my house I felt very happy. It did not disappoint. Even though I knew Missouri would inevitably disappoint (everything and everyone does after all), I could tell this place would be the haven I needed to be successful and happy here. It has beautiful sweeping views of the lake, trees all over, and a crystal-clear lakefront for Inca to swim. Every single room in the house has views of the water and the sunset. There are two kitchens. The entire downstairs becomes my business headquarters, with lots of space for more staff and its own kitchen, and a gigantic deck, where I envision outdoor working as soon as weather permits. The kitchen remodel is planned and pending the arrival of cabinets in a few weeks. I feel happy that my brother is doing the work. This circular exchange of my money feels important, especially after giving so much of my money to landlords for 29 years of my life. When people ask me how it’s going, the first thing I always say is that I chose an amazing house.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_single_image image="18477" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]The food is a different story. But I knew this would be the case before I made the decision to move here. I had spent many years visiting my brother here, as he married a woman from Missouri and moved here (he is now divorced). He raised three kids here. They are all still here and all often literally here at my house. (Which I love!) When I lived in NYC, I would spend most Thanksgivings here. (I did lots of fresh herb workshops in a tiny town called Fair Grove about an hour north of where I am now.) Back then I was aware that the kind of food shopping I prefer – call it organic, sustainable, healthy, alive, green, unprocessed, etc. – is hard to come by. I wouldn’t call this a food desert exactly because there is a crapload of cheap food here and all the ultra-processed conventional produce, meat and dairy you can dream of. But there is a gigantic shortage of the stuff I like. The stuff I think the world needs more of. The kind that I believe (real science does too) makes for healthier people and planet. It certainly has changed here over some over time, I see more progress than ever and I have even been part of that change, working in the organic produce industry for so long. The internet, traveling and logistics has made good food more accessible than ever before. But it’s still not enough and the quality and overall choices are still lacking and driven by conventional and processed mindsets and corporations and generally speaking its really hard to compete with cheap in these parts of the country. I’m certain you understand my definition of cheap here. Now, if you know me you know I can’t compromise on healthy food. It’s not just a decision about what I am putting in my body but what I choose to support with my dollars. So, I have had to spider web my needs and do a lot of buying online. I drive to Fayetteville, Arkansas, every two weeks, where I shop at the Ozark Natural Food Store and the closest Whole Foods. There is a new natural food store closer to me, about 30 minutes away in Branson, MO, called Nature’s Wonder. It’s a fairly big store with lots of miscellaneous things I like to buy spur of the moment, like Justin’s Dark Peanut Butter Chocolate Cups, but the meat and produce is still a bit lacking. They have fairly decent dairy products, but at Whole Foods I can buy my Point Reyes Blue, which makes and keeps me happy![/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_single_image image="18490" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]I buy some Belcampo meat online and have it shipped to my house, but I don’t do that for all my meats because it’s expensive and includes packaging waste that I don’t love. I plan to get a deep freeze and buy an entire pig and cow and share with my family here. But even that too is weird, most people only sell them to massive meat processors (not the good kind) so finding folks that produce, slaughter, butcher and package meat sustainably hasn’t been easy. This is after all the land of Tyson chicken farms, which are speckled for miles and miles and miles just south of where I live in Arkansas. That’s the kind of cheap meat that is everywhere here. The produce and the fresh herbs are my main problem here. Like everything else, I have had to do weird things to get it, make a lot of compromises and spend some extra money. Since I moved here in late October, a garden was not an option. I am building a garden and a greenhouse, so come spring, I should be 800000x better off and am super excited about it.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_single_image image="18476" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]Luckily my friends at Jacobs Farm Del Cabo have been kind enough to sell me fresh herbs in the meantime, so all my recipe testing and salts are taken care of and my herbal passion does not need to be quelled for even a second. The Arkansas Whole Foods and Ozark Natural Foods both have many of the organic brands I like, so that works for me. And I know come spring, summer and fall, more local options will be predominant in both, as well as some of the farmers markets here locally. Some things I miss, like the massive number of citrus options most California grocers have at this time of year. I miss fresh little gem lettuce incredibly and can’t wait to grow greens again. I miss year round chive blossoms, access to amazing and fresh cherry tomatoes, romanesco and baby artichokes from the Bolinas farm stand. I make due, it reminds me of living in Ecuador, hauling back lemons in my suitcase. Find a few things you need most and do what you have to get them. Booze & Wine is another issue.  Missouri is one of those states where it’s almost impossible for any regular company to ship alcohol to me. There are only a few big companies that do it and they tend to carry only the crappy ultra-processed brands, and, frankly, I’d rather quit drinking. I came fairly stocked with my crafters favorites, since I knew where I was heading, but I miss my small artisanal batch makers and their booze that tastes good and is well crafted. A few of my friends did some digging and found me a place in Arkansas where there is a great wine and booze store that they swear I can find some things I like, so I will venture there soon.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_single_image image="18471" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]I’ve learned to make do, but I also recognize that me making do is still rather extravagant compared to most.  That’s the girl in me that is influenced by all the places she has seen on the world, that’s the girl that can’t living and cook in an oaky kitchen. The good news in all of this, is that I’m fine and definitely not hungry.  It’s all inspired me to work on how to get better organic produce into the area, and I know I’m the perfect person to do that. I tell you now, I will. Of the hodgepodge collection of healthy organic ingredients I have managed to find and bring together. I have also whipped up a few new recipes as well as polished a few old ones. All of this was done in a kitchen that is somewhat weird – too small, unreasonably compacted and with a shower in it and with a crappy electric oven. If there is any lesson that I can leave you with, it’s this. Just because you live in an isolated area or an area that doesn’t seem to have a lot of choices, an area where people say “this is just the way it is” and “people don’t want that kind of food” doesn’t mean that has to be your reality. If you have strong values – healthy food (from soil to mouth) being one of my main core values – do whatever it takes to live by them. You don’t have to have an oak kitchen or processed food. People may make fun of you, as some make fun of me for driving to Arkansas for my “fancy” food, but who cares? The thing about values is that the things that guide us in life run much deeper than they appear. So, while it’s true I like what some call fancy food, the real truth is that I like food that is grown in nutritious soil, supporting the communities that do the work to produce it. I like organic food because the science is clear about pesticides on food. I like unprocessed foods that are not riddled with sugar. In my values, the American “cheap” is way more expensive than my “fancy.” Be a jovial warrior. Fight for healthy food. Fight kindly for what you believe in. Here is some of my “fanciest” Missouri food, so far….[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_single_image image="18475" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]

Rancho Gordo Marcella Beans, Spinach and Fried Eggs with Nissa’s Fresh Mint Harissa

One of the items I buy online (ever since Bolinas) is Rancho Gordo beans. I cannot recommend their beans enough. Their heirloom beans cook much faster than regular grocery store beans and are also more tender, with more nuanced textures and deep flavor. If you are new to their beans, the first thing you’ll recognize is that these beans have a massive amount of flavor. I buy a big box of beans about twice a year and spend about $100 each time. I often give a bag or two away as a gift or when someone gets excited about the beans I cooked for them. My favorite is their white Marcella beans. They have a really thin skin and cook into an ultra-creamy deliciousness. I cook a batch and have them a few different ways, usually stewed with some vegetables. I like to eat the remaining part of the batch for breakfast with a fried egg and some of my fresh mint harissa. It makes for one of my favorite breakfasts and, since many folks have asked about it since I posted it a few weeks back on social media, I thought I’d share it here.

Stewed Marcella Beans with Spinach & a Fried Egg

I found amazing (Arkansas) local (greenhouse grown) spinach in Ozarks Natural Food Store, so it seems to be something I can get year-round. It’s my kind of spinach, too – a thicker, bumpy leaf savoy variety. It’s really lovely with my stewed beans. Rancho Gordo beans don’t need to be soaked because they are fresh dried beans (meaning they are not very old like some on the grocery store shelf). I do usually soak them overnight because I usually forget that I’m planning on cook them, and it gives them a gigantic jump start. I soak rice, too, for the same reasons. Serves 8-10 Ingredients  1 pound bag of Rancho Gordo Marcella beans, presoaked at least 2 hours and up to overnight 1 tablespoon salt 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved 2-3 mini bell peppers, coarsely chopped 2 tablespoons chopped parsley 1 tablespoon chopped chives 2 cups chopped spinach leaves 1 fresh egg per serving Nissa’s Fresh Mint Harissa (Recipe below) ¼ cup finely chopped fresh mint Finishing salt  Directions Rinse the beans well and add them along with the other ingredients to a large pot filled amply with water. The beans should be covered by at least 2-3 inches of water. Bring to a hard boil uncovered without a lid for 20-30 minutes. Add the salt, reduce heat and simmer partially covered for about 1 hour or until the beans are tender. Add the tomatoes, peppers, parsley and chives, increase heat to low and cook for another 20-35 minutes until the vegetables cook down and meld into the beans. Turn the burner off, add the spinach leaves to the top of the beans, cover with the lid and let stand about 30 minutes. Sprinkle the mint on, leaving a tablespoon for fresh garnish, and stir the beans, mint and spinach. In the meantime, fry the egg. Place the beans and spinach mixture down, top it with the fried egg and drizzle a little harissa on top. Garnish with fresh mint.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_single_image image="12708" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]

Nissa’s Fresh Mint Harissa

Makes 2 cups Ingredients 2 dried guajillo chilies, stems removed, broken 2 dried red chilies, stems removed, broken 2 teaspoons cumin seeds, toasted 1 teaspoon coriander seed, toasted 1 teaspoon caraway seed, toasted 2 teaspoons rainbow peppercorns, toasted 3 garlic cloves 1 bell pepper, roasted and peeled 2 red (fresh) jalapeno peppers, roasted and peeled 1 tablespoon lemon zest 3 tablespoons lemon juice 2 teaspoons salt 2 tablespoons olive oil 2-3 tablespoons fresh mint leaves (optional) Directions Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth, spices are broken apart and the sauce is smooth. Can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 1 month.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_single_image image="18491" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]

Beef Mushroom Farro Dill Soup

Dill, like celery, is something I forget that I really enjoy. It’s super useful in many recipes, giving a pop of brightness and sharpness. I recently remembered a beef mushroom barley dill soup recipe from my Ger-Nis Culinary & Herb portfolio. I had been craving a beefy soup, partly to use up the Belcampo beef broth that delivered to my door. I usually make my own beef broth but I thought by having some good stuff on hand I’d be able to make a great soup faster and this recipe was just that. I believe the origins of dill in this soup hail from Eastern European influence and their winter mushroom barley soups and stews made with beef stock. Somewhere along the line for me this soup and this style was born. I love that it is beefy and brothy. The dill cuts through the richness of the beef stock, which can sometimes seem fatty without something to cut it. I cut the meat up in both 1- and 2-inch cubes, to give some diversity in size, leading to more excitement per bite. I chose farro this time around. I have farro on hand typically and truly enjoyed it more than barley. Serves 6-8 Ingredients Olive oil, for sautéing 2 tablespoons butter 2 medium yellow onions, chopped medium 3-4 cloves garlic, chopped fine 1 pound beef stew meat, cut into 2 inch cubes and pre-seasoned with salt & pepper ½ cup fresh thyme, chopped ¼ cup fresh rosemary, chopped ½ cup fresh flat leaf parsley, chopped 1 cup fresh dill, chopped 3 large carrots, cut into 1 inch chunks 4 celery stalks, chopped 1 cup brown mushrooms, chopped 3 fresh bay leaves 1 cup white wine 2 cups beef stock ¾ Farro (aka pearled barley) Salt Pepper Directions In heavy stew pan over medium-high heat, add olive oil and butter. Sauté onions and garlic for about 3-4 minutes or until soft and semi translucent. Add cubed stew meat and sauté until browned. Add ⅓ of each of the herbs and stir. Next, add the carrots and celery; sauté for another few minutes, and then add mushrooms. Sauté a few more minutes while all liquid is absorbed by the mushrooms. Drop in the bay leaves. Add wine and stir well while loosening all the bits that stuck to the bottom of the pan and add another ⅓ of all the herbs. Add the beef stock and simmer on low heat for about 30 minutes, stirring a few times. Add pearled barley and simmer for another 20-30 minutes or until tender and to desired consistency. Season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle in the remaining herbs and take off heat. Let stand for about 10 minutes before serving.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_single_image image="18481" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]

Winter Salts

For Christmas presents this year I chose to give salts to as many as I could, along with a hand written Christmas card. I whipped up some rudimentary packaging and had some labels printed for three different salts. If you didn’t get a salt with your card, you can still make these salts. My method is so simple, and everyone should be able to access these ingredients. I’m also including a simple recipe for each kind of salt, in case you need an idea of how to use them! Also, good news for my salt lovers: I believe I will start to produce and sell the salts on a very small scale commercially starting this spring-- April 2021. Fingers crossed and stay tuned![/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_single_image image="18482" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]

Winter Squash Salt

A recent squash photography project for a client resulted in a kitchen full of winter squash. It just so happened to be a hybrid version of my favorite squash – The Red Kuri. (You might remember my Red Kuri Apple Squash Soup & Mac & Cheese recipe I wrote for Edible Marin a few years back, which can attest to my love of this varietal.) I prefer the savory nutty notes of the Red Kuri over the deeply sweet butterscotch tones of a Butternut. One of my favorite ways to eat it is roasted with a little salt and pepper. This salt was designed just for this and all varietals of squash. It’s packed with all the hearty warm herbs that love winter squash. Sage is the predominant herb, and savory, marjoram and rosemary all lend their essences. It’s also laced with hints of cinnamon, mace and nutmeg, and I added Aleppo pepper and white pepper for a tiny kick. My maple infused Maldon salt gave it a super warming quality. I really love this salt. Not only does it shine on all winter squash dishes, but it’s generally versatile in nature. I can see myself using it on chicken dishes, carrots and anything I want to evoke really warm comforting flavors. Makes 3 cups of salt Ingredients 3 tablespoons super finely chopped sage leaves 2 tablespoons super finely chopped parsley leaves 1 tablespoon super finely chopped winter savory 1 tablespoon super finely chopped marjoram ½ tablespoon super finely chopped rosemary 1 tablespoon lemon zest 1 tablespoon ground white pepper ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon ½ teaspoon ground mace ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg ½ teaspoon ground cayenne pepper 1 teaspoon Aleppo pepper 1 red chili pepper, deseeded and chopped super fine 1 tablespoons maple syrup 2 cups Maldon Salt Directions Pre-heat oven to 225°F. In a medium mixing bowl, mix together all of the fresh herbs, spices and red chili. Drizzle the maple syrup over all of them and mix well until the maple syrup coats everything. Gently fold in the salt and, using your fingers, make sure the herbs and the salt are mixed together well and that the maple syrup is totally incorporated. Place the salt/herb mix on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper so that it’s spread out evenly across the entire sheet and also flat. Place the sheet in the oven and bake for about 25 minutes, or until the herbs seem to have lost all moisture. If the salt feels “caked,” it needs more time, usually about 5 more minutes. Turn off the heat and allow to cool in the oven. Store in a small bowl on your counter for a few weeks. Roasted Red Kuri Squash with Winter Squash Salt This is a simple roasted squash recipe that shows how amazing a little of the salt can make simply roasted squash. Red Kuri squash skin is thin and edible, so no need for peeling in this recipe. Eat this as a side dish. Cool it, cut it and toss it on salads. If you’re like me, you can also eat it as a snack right out of the oven! Serves 4 Ingredients 1 Red Kuri squash, about 2 pounds 2 tablespoons olive oil 2 ½ teaspoons of Winter Squash salt Directions Pre-heat oven to 400°F. Cut the squash in half using a large, thick knife or cleaver. Carefully push down on both ends of the blade slowly to cut the squash in half. Scoop out the seeds and reserve for the spiced seed garnish. Use an ice cream scoop for optimal success. Place the cut side of each squash on a cutting board. Cut each into 1-inch wide wedges. Place the cut squash on a baking dish and drizzle the olive oil over the top. Sprinkle with 2 teaspoons of the salt and mix together. Make sure the oil and salt is coated all over the squash. Arrange flat on the baking sheet and sprinkle with the remaining salt. Place it in the oven and roast for about 50 minutes, or until a slight char appears on the skin of the squash.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_single_image image="18472" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]

Citrus Chili Winter Herb Salt

One of the things I miss most about California winter (besides Bolinas crab season) is the abundance of citrus that comes as naturally as rain. Everything from the normal navel orange and Valencia choices to the weird varietals of tangerines and pomelos. It’s all there, abundant and accessible. Unfortunately for me, most the good stuff never makes it to the Midwest. But I have managed to find some interesting offerings (again, in Arkansas) and, with that, I have created one of my staple salts: a bright citrusy salt that highlights mint, parsley and chives. This time I made it “fresh chili spicy” by adding all kinds of chili peppers from the Cabo Diablo Chili Pepper Mix that my friend Sarah gifted me with (she works for Jacobs Farm / del Cabo). She gave me a case so, to be honest, I have been chili peppered out of my mind. The end result for this salt is sure to please the lucky giftees, and its fresh taste is perfect on winter salads like the Fennel Orange & Parsley Salad I made for my family for an early Christmas celebration. Makes 3 cups of salt Ingredients 3 tablespoons super finely chopped parsley leaves 3 tablespoons super finely chopped mint leaves 3 tablespoons super finely chopped chives 1 tablespoon lemon zest 1 tablespoon pomelo zest 1 tablespoon Melogold grapefruit zest 5 Cabo Diablo chili peppers, deseeded and chopped super fine 2 teaspoons sweet paprika 2 teaspoons cayenne pepper 2 ½ cups Maldon Salt Directions Pre-heat oven to 225°F. In a medium mixing bowl, mix together all of the fresh herbs, chilies and spices. Gently fold in the salt and, using your fingers, make sure the herbs and the salt are mixed together. Place the salt/herb mix on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper so that it’s spread out evenly across the entire sheet and also flat. Place the sheet in the oven and bake for about 25 minutes, or until the herbs seem to have lost all moisture. If the salt feels “caked,” it needs a little more time, usually about 5 more minutes. Turn off the heat and allow to cool in the oven. Store in a small bowl on your counter for a few weeks. Orange, Fennel & Radicchio Salad with Fresh Mint If you have ever been to al di la Trattoria in Brooklyn, chances are you have had Anna Klinger’s orange fennel salad. This is my attempt (over the years) to recreate her masterpiece, which was one of my favorite dishes at her lovely little restaurant. Generally speaking, this salad is easy and hard to mess up. Tasty oranges and fresh fennel are key. My Citrus Chili Winter Herb Salt gives this recipe a final touch of delight. Take advantage of all the winter chicories becoming more widely available everywhere. I have the basic raddichio here in Missouri. I’m not complaining, though I miss the Star Route Farms stuff in Bolinas. The Chiogga Radicchio variety pairs well with all citrus. If you can, use a medley of winter citrus, such as grapefruit, navel oranges and blood oranges. Serves 4-6 Ingredients 4 oranges 1 teaspoon honey 1 tablespoon sherry or champagne vinegar ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes ½ teaspoon salt ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil 1 head Chioggia radicchio, core removed, coarsely chopped to bite size 1 fennel bulb, cut in half and sliced thin, preferably with a mandolin 1 tablespoon fennel fronds, finely chopped ½ medium red onion, sliced thin 2 tablespoons fresh mint leaves, finely chopped ¼ cup Kalamata olives, pitted and coarsely chopped 1-2 pinches of Citrus Chili Winter Herb Salt or finishing salt Directions Peel the oranges with a paring knife, removing all the white pith. Slice the peeled oranges into rounds and remove any seeds. Prepare the citrus over a small bowl to reserve any juice. Whisk in the honey, vinegar, red pepper flakes, salt, pepper, and olive oil. Arrange the radicchio leaves on a large platter. Toss sliced fennel on top. Place the sliced oranges and onions over the radicchio and fennel, layering them a little. Toss the mint leaves and olives over all. Spoon the dressing evenly over the salad. Sprinkle with a few pinches of Maldon salt.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_single_image image="18473" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]

I Shot a Deer; Now What? Herbal Deer & Game Salt

I’ll admit I don’t understand deer hunting (specifically deer), nor do I really believe anything people tell me about why it’s so amazing for the planet or how many families are fed off deer meat. When I look at the photos on facebook with the guys holding the head of the deer with the blood and spit dripping from the dead buck’s mouth, I just can’t help but feel there is more macho to the sport than food on the table. But I am a meat eater and also someone who is open to the idea of me not fully understanding things, so I generally try to be open and accepting. This is how I feel about deer hunting and this is my attempt at being open and supporting the folks all around me – not just in Missouri – who are jazzed to shoot deer. Typically when I start the conversation about deer hunting, I usually land on, “How do you cook it?” I never really get much clarity from the deer shooters, except when it comes to deer sauasage part, but I think we all know that it’s the pig in those deer sausage that makes it taste good. As someone who doesn’t like deer or game meat much, I became very inquisitive about the subject. I tried bear chili once in Wyoming at a bar. It was okay, and I remember in South Africa eating all kinds of wild game that was also okay. I recently tried making bison burritos, but I thought they smelled like sheep fur so I gave them to the contractors working on my siding, they were happy. Surely there has to be something to improve the taste of deer meat? “Maybe an herb salt?” I thought. I knew the salt needed potent, robust herbs, so I paired herbs generously in a manner I would not usually pair as potently, knowing that robust additives would help tame the excessively wild flavor of the venison and wild game meats. That was really my main strategy, also knowing that most people cook venison in more wintery recipes. I used winter savory as my main herb. It’s one of my all-time favorites herbs. It works like salt and taste like salt, without being actually salty, so it helps the flavors pop while adding an appealing but generic herbal flavor that tastes pleasantly herbaceous. Sage and rosemary were next. Their potency pairs well with the strength of the venison; it’s like an arm-wrestling match with two equal wrestlers. Marjoram finishes the herb mix. It’s another of my favorites and it was meant to add a softening quality that I think this man-eating and hunting world could use. It’s slightly sweet and perfumy but still potent. It reminds me that soft doesn’t mean weak. My spices were rather simple and designed to add more depth, that I think the deer meat needs. I added white and black pepper and juniper for complexities and heat. Juniper is potent but brings a bright slightly acidic tone without being lemony, which wouldn’t work with deer. Onion and garlic powder meld with the allium flavor. Fresh bay all dried up and ground offers a strong tinge of Christmas tree taste that plays well with the other herbs while retaining a wild vibe. Makes 2 ½ cups of salt Ingredients 3 tablespoons super finely chopped winter savory 2 tablespoons super finely chopped sage 2 tablespoons super finely chopped rosemary 2 tablespoons super finely chopped marjoram 1 fresh bay leaf, cut into tiny pieces with scissors 2 teaspoons garlic powder 2 teaspoons onion powder 2 teaspoons ground white pepper 2 teaspoons ground black pepper 1 tablespoon juniper berries, finely ground 2 cups Maldon Salt Directions Pre-heat oven to 225°F. In a medium mixing bowl, mix together all of the fresh herbs and spices. Gently fold in the salt and, using your fingers, make sure the herbs and the salt are mixed together. Place the salt/herb mix on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper so that it’s spread out evenly across the entire sheet and also flat. Place the sheet in the oven and bake for about 25 minutes or until the herbs seem to have lost all moisture. If the salt feels “caked,” it needs a little more time, usually 5 more minutes. Turn off the heat and allow to cool in the oven. Store in a small bowl on your counter for a few weeks.

Venison Schnitzel (Jaegerschnitzel) & Creamed Mushrooms

I thought long and hard about what the hell I would make if I got some deer meat. I found a recipe for something called Jaegerschnitzel, which means “hunter’s cut” in German. Seeing as though I loved schnitzel and Texas fried steak, both decedents of this early German recipe, I thought this could be a great idea, so I went with it. You want to use venison medallions for this recipe, which is basically a slice of backstrap. Absolutely make sure your meat it at room temperature before cooking it. For me this is important for all beef, but I’ve been told by many people it’s the same for deer. Serves 4 Ingredients For the venison: 1 tablespoon, plus 1 tablespoon reserved Herbal Deer & Game Salt 1 teaspoon black pepper, coarsely ground 4 venison medallions ¼ cup all-purpose flour 2 tablespoons butter 1 tablespoon olive oil For the mushrooms: 1 tablespoon butter 1 tablespoon oil ¼ cup of chopped pancetta or bacon 1 teaspoon juniper berries, coarsely ground 1 teaspoon black pepper, coarsely ground 1 medium shallot 1 tablespoon finely chopped sage leaves 2 teaspoons Deer Salt 3 cups mixed fresh mushrooms, coarsely chopped ½ cup fresh parsley leaves, coarsely chopped, plus two tablespoons reserved ½ cup of dry white wine 1 cup Beef stock or venison stock ¼ cup heavy cream Black pepper Directions For the venison: Pre-heat the oven to 400°F. Season the venison with 1 tablespoon of the deer salt and let sit until they reach room temperature. They should not be cold at all. Pound the venison medallions thin, in between two sheets of plastic or in a zip lock bag with a meat hammer until about ½ inch thick or less and consistently even. Lightly dust each cutlet on both sides with a little bit of flour, shaking off all excess amounts. Heat up a large cast iron skillet with the butter and oil to medium-high heat. The goal is to get a nice sear and then finish in the oven. Once the pan is hot, place the cutlets in the pan and let them sear for about two to three minutes. You can check them at two minutes. The goal is to get a charred sear. Once they are seared, flip them and cook them on the other side for 1 minute. Place them in the oven and set a timer for 9 minutes (for medium rare). Once the timer goes off, remove them from the oven, cover and let stand for 10-12 minutes so that the juices release slowly. For the mushrooms: Heat the butter and oil to medium-high heat in a large sauté pan. Add the pancetta or bacon and cook a couple of minutes until the bacon starts to crisp. Add the juniper, black pepper, shallot, sage and deer salt and cook another 1-2 minutes. Add the mushrooms and parsley, and mix together with the butter and bacon, allowing the mushrooms to cook a few minutes until they start to get soft. Add the white wine and cook another minute so that some of the wine cooks off. Add the stock and bring to a gentle boil for about 10 minutes until a good portion of the liquid evaporates. Take off the heat. Stir in the heavy cream and the remaining two tablespoons of parsley. Serve ladled over the deer cutlets seasoned with some of the deer salt on top.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_single_image image="18506" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_column][/vc_row] [post_title] => The Jovial Warrior Goes to Missouri [post_excerpt] => My ‘moving to Missouri’ story began back in August. I had a few sessions with a renowned astrologer, as part of my crisis response to learning I had to move quickly and, essentially, charter the next course in my life. If I’m being honest, this was one of the hardest times of my life. Normally I make decisions quickly and with ease, but this one I knew would create massive disruptions in all aspects of my life. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => the-jovial-warrior-goes-to-missouri [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2020-12-21 22:13:12 [post_modified_gmt] => 2020-12-21 22:13:12 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.myherbal-roots.com/?p=18503 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw [categories] => Array ( [0] => 75 [1] => 32 ) [id] => m_hr_18503 [post_id] => 18503 [allcategories] => Array ( [0] => USA [1] => Winter ) [categories_places_slugs] => Array ( [0] => usa ) [categories_seasons_slugs] => Array ( [0] => winter ) [categories_details] => Array ( [75] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 75 [name] => USA [slug] => usa [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 75 [taxonomy] => category [description] => [parent] => 74 [count] => 9 [filter] => raw [cat_ID] => 75 [category_count] => 9 [category_description] => [cat_name] => USA [category_nicename] => usa [category_parent] => 74 ) [32] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 32 [name] => Winter [slug] => winter [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 32 [taxonomy] => category [description] => [parent] => 28 [count] => 8 [filter] => raw [cat_ID] => 32 [category_count] => 8 [category_description] => [cat_name] => Winter [category_nicename] => winter [category_parent] => 28 ) ) [image_path] => https://www.myherbal-roots.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/reel.jpg [post_firstImg] => https://www.myherbal-roots.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/Main-scaled.jpg ) [2] => Array ( [post_author] => 4 [post_date] => 2020-09-23 17:52:58 [post_date_gmt] => 2020-09-23 17:52:58 [post_content] => [vc_row][vc_column el_class="blogbodycol" custom_css="border-bottom:7px solid #f8f5f2;border-left: 7px solid #f8f5f2;border-right: 7px solid #f8f5f2; border-top: 7px solid #f8f5f2;padding-bottom:30px;" width="1/1"][prkwp_spacer][prkwp_spacer size="9"][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_custom_heading source="post_title" font_container="tag:h2|font_size:30|text_align:left|color:%234e463e" use_theme_fonts="yes" el_class="header_font" el_id="rechead"][vc_column_text el_class="blate"]SPETEMBER 23rd 2020[/vc_column_text][prkwp_spacer size="9"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]I tend to be an extremist when it comes to emotions. This is why I’ve had to really practice balance. Part of that practice started many years ago, when I had to slow down my crazy capacity for taking on more and more work and make time for empty space in my head and body. Daily yoga, meditation and breathing practices have been pivotal in my ability to understand how to achieve and (mostly) maintain balance as I move through this life thing. A general slowing down long enough to observe myself. Solitude and the ocean have also been vital in helping me reach and maintain more homeostasis. My kryptonite, or the “thing” that most throws me off balance, which I believe is rather normal, is always overwhelm. Too much uncertainty, too many MAJOR things happening at once always rocks my balance. From there I either find equilibrium or fall.[/vc_column_text][vc_single_image image="14541" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]I am currently moving though one of these moments of imbalance, the type where I fall.  Surrounded by a massive amount of change in my personal life happening quickly and all at once, of course amidst all the change and chaos happening worldwide- pandemics, fires, ash etc. All of this has me triggered, and gigantic balloons of emotion are surfacing: anxiety, fear, uncertainty, doubt and an overwhelming sense of feeling unloved. When I hit the I am unloved space, is the point in which I know I am falling deep into what I call the pit of despair. There,  I wallow in all these dramatized emotions and self-doubt. Leaving California and the Bay Area behind and moving to Missouri, letting go of so much that was my life here in the past 8 years, has thrown me off big time. I didn’t expect it to be this way. Surely there is too much to process here in the short time I have left. I know some of my emotions I will probably have to pack up with the rest of my things, only to unpack them and process them when I get to Missouri—but starting the process here is key.[/vc_column_text][vc_single_image image="14544" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]And how do I personally start such an endeavor, not very attractively. I wallow in the shit of it all. I have realized that it is a part of my process—to sit at the bottom of the abyss and flail around in the muck. The pit is not a foreign place to me, in a way I am just becoming more comfortable with it, as I have been in this pit often throughout my life.  There is a new feeling emerging these days that almost feels like I can trust the pit, which is probably more about trusting myself in the pit (in life.) In the past it used to feel like I would never leave the pit. It always felt like I’d be stuck in that realm forever, reminiscent of being on psychedelic mushrooms and truly thinking my weird mind would be frozen as such forever. Eventually the overwhelm, like the drugs, dissipates. My weirdness, I accept lives on no matter what!  The feelings however just move, like waves. It reminds me of that song Emoji of a Wave- and it’s most important message- just hold on…..I think that is is what needs to done while in the pit. Watch, listen, hold on and most importantly- trust. Truly getting to know yourself means you get to learn your process’ of healing as much as you learn your triggers. The pit these days serves me. My balancing practices and a few real live angels are key, especially in the time before the overwhelm begins. Once the fall happens, I have learned not to deny the emotions but, rather, start to watch them, see them unravel and then process them.  This undertaking, for me, is extremely complex and mostly consists of feeling the feelings, labeling them and reflecting on them, if I am able. Getting to know the myriad of emotions possible in a human being and labeling correctly in self and in others is actually really difficult work. But I’m trying. I’m learning. I’m taking the time needed to do it.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_single_image image="14543" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]At a certain point in life I came to recognize that tumbling into the pit was something I needed to do, and I came to recognize and trust in my ability to climb out of it. The stabilization practices have helped me trust in myself. I often wonder about others, though. Is this normal, this pit metaphor, or is this unique to me? Why don’t more people talk about the hard, emotional stuff of life? That’s a question I keep asking over and over.  One of the reasons I really try to show all of myself, as fearful as it can be, is I hope to give others gentle reminder that we are all essentially the same.  We all wallow. I presume that a little wallowing in the pit—deep in darkness—works for me because I don’t get stuck there, even though I still sometimes think I might. It always feels risky, but I have concluded that all emotional growth takes risk. So, there is an acceptance of this fear in losing myself to the abyss, knowing that my courageous heart will always guide me out. I’ve been thinking about what exactly it is that pulls me out, especially as I sit more comfortably at the bottom of my self-pity pit, looking around for what’s going to help me get out. Sometimes, I wish I could just be a rescued damsel in distress, and that it’s a hand of someone who loves me, dramatically pulling me out.  The truth is that has never happened; though, I always wish it would. I can’t lie about that. The pit is one of the most selfish places I know. Like the ego itself, this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It’s come to be important for me to really look around while I am down there, in all the dark caverns of myself. It’s a dark place for a reason. I see a lot of the worst of myself, which is an essential part of the self to know and also to love. My instincts are always to look for how others see those dark spots in me—not about what they mean to me, to my life, and my history. It’s easier to hope that others love the darkness than actually loving our own darkness as a part of who we are.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_single_image image="11380" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]The best way out of the hole is to climb out yourself. This is the only route to deep meaning and purpose… the only way to feel true self-love or love for anyone else for that matter. My life of global travels has shown me that the world is a small place, filled with beautiful and gracious meaning.  While in the pit these days I often remember the meaningful connections I have made in my short little life with others and with that my own life has been meaningful. I sometimes forget how good I am at living with meaning. It’s easy to forget our own goodness as human beings. A good portion of my life flashed before me within this last stint in the pit—of building, directing, creating, motivating, fueling, expanding and teaching others, contributing through my genuine love and openness and utilizing all my immense power, influence, and capability to expand on that over and over and over again.[/vc_column_text][vc_single_image image="14556" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]In those moments when I connect to my authentic self and feel the sense of my life as meaningful to others, I can actually see the value in my own life. I can feel the radiance of those I love all around me. I can see the beauty of the world and how I can, have and will continue to make a difference in it. This part is what stops the wallowing. The selfish love I crave while I am in the pit—the ‘I wants’ and the ‘I needs’ and the ‘why nots’—is ego driven. It’s fight or flight versus nurture and nature. It’s not really who I am. But it takes me being in the pit for a bit to realize that and to begin to climb out of it. My mother is the type that was never able to climb out of the pit. She is still stuck there. She’s the type that gets stuck there repeating over and over the ‘I wants,’ ‘I needs,’ the ‘whys’…Demanding from the world her due.  My mother’s weak essence within me is what pulls me into the pit. My father’s powerful essence within me is what pulls me out. This time in the pit, the appearing balloons were filled with immense grief. These were undoubtedly triggered by having to move my life from California, from the Bay Area. A lot of the surfacing grief was about Patrick (yes, I said his name for the first time in three years). [/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_single_image image="14557" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]To leave this area behind means to leave him behind for good, in a way. It’s been exactly three years since he left and never looked back. I can say with certainty that I am grateful for the path life has given me. My life today is richer because of this experience and because of the work I was forced to do after my heart broke. Today parts of my heart have healed while other parts seem like they will be broken forever. My heart isn’t any bigger. Physically it’s still the same size and still potent like the heart of a lion, but the expansion of my heart has been vast. I have discovered several more intricate and tender parts of my heart, like new colors seen for the first time, new energies are flowing within and out of me, and I have been able to authentically connect with more people and create more meaningful relationships than ever before. My life with Patrick was good, for me, but I am a deeper, richer person in his absence- I have more love to give because he left me.  With his walkout, I was able to see my true being for the first time in full form- the dark and the light sides- and it was only than when the real journey to self-connection was possible.  The pit can teach you a lot about yourself if you learn to sit it it  comfortably.  This time in the pit, I saw and felt all of that. And I felt the grief of that relationship ending, maybe for the first time since he left. I watch it and hold on, surely I will eventually reflect back on this time with some deeper meaning, for now, I just feel better for letting it move through me. Today, climbing out of my pit, I can feel the energy of my loved ones, their presence, their voices calling me, their vitality, and it’s a strong pull. No matter how cozy my psyche can make wallowing feel, their pull is always stronger. My father’s essence in my soul, assures me that I will always climb out. Over the last few days, I’ve been thinking a lot about Ruth Bader Ginsburg, as we all have. There is nothing that can be said that hasn’t already been said. She truly achieved more for women’s rights in America than any other human in my lifetime. I can’t help but to pause and reflect on her words about what makes a life meaningful.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_single_image image="14542" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]She often said, so it was said, that leading a meaningful life means living for one’s family and community and not for oneself. My father lived like that while my mother never did, and still doesn’t. One died contently and well loved by the world on his own terms with all his children by his side; the other most likely will die alone. A morbid thought, yes, but something I need to remember when I sink into the pit of selfishness and of feeling like the world owes me love. Rather, I owe the world love. I think that’s the key to it all. I can feel that I am meaningful in my loved ones’ lives. I felt this last night on the phone with my nephew, who is currently struggling and to whom I will be close to soon with my move to Missouri. Our instincts always bring us to family and community if we are living meaningfully. All of these reflections help me climb my way out of the pit of selfishness. Please, don’t put an image in your head of some powerful wonder woman figure climbing out. I’m more like an amateur rock climber, slipping upward. I am climbing out, stumbling, losing my grip and footing, but I’m slowly finding where the strong and solid aspects are—where the helping hands are, where the teachers are, where the cheerleaders are—as I move up and out, deeper into meaning. This exact spot, the coming out part, in my pit process, is also when I find my creative energy start to build back up. The power of the light through the cracks reignites my passion, and I begin to cook and create again. Despite the unbelievable joy I feel while creating food art, my creativity shuts down fully when I am in major overwhelm, sad or feel unloved. Others cook in this stage, I cannot do anything but wallow- but when I begin the climb, that’s when the passion soars again and I’m at my creative best.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_single_image image="14555" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]Today’s recipes may seem random, and I thought they were at first, too. But, like everything, they are fully interconnected. In this case, it all started with one of my life’s rocks, my friend Danielle, and a simple conversation about what she was making for dinner. Within an hour, my head unraveled a recipe I had created for Ger-Nis Culinary Center in Brooklyn years ago. The Culinary Center was one of my most meaningful projects. It not only served the people immediately around me but also a community of people far and wide throughout Brooklyn and the New York City metro area. One of my most popular classes was Fresh Thai, in which we made hand-pounded Thai-style sauces and dishes. I was taken by the memories of those classes and the extraordinary ordinary people who happily gathered to learn about food and cooking in a setting built for me by my brothers, skills they learned from our father, which made the space and the energy even more meaningful. Making this dish at the same time as climbing out of my selfish hole, I remembered how good I am at making meaning. I was also able to pound out a lot of grief in the process, which was a perk. In sum, the world does not owe me love. I owe the world my love. My love is abundant, creative and for a select few, maybe it can even be overwhelming a times : - )  - It is however PURE. It comes in many forms; right now, here,  it comes in the form of some honest self-reflections, some divulgences of the deepest level and a recipe for  Thai-style fresh curry and  of course a cocktail, because I am Nissa! Herbs abundant, because herbs are my medium of love.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_single_image image="14540" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]

Thai Melon Cooler

Makes 1 drink People don’t drink melons enough. While I was making this cocktail (which began because I had some extra melon to use up), memories of the melon juice I used to drink as a little girl in Nicaragua surged. I had forgotten what a lovely medium melon makes for drinking. Today my cooking skills are added to that memory in this heavenly cocktail. It is vibrant and perfumy, and it doesn’t taste overly boozy. The drink invites us to savor it, much like we should be doing with life. Ingredients ¼ cup green melon, cubed small Zest of 1 lime 2 teaspoons sugar 1 teaspoon lemongrass, bulb, finely chopped 1 teaspoon sliced thin green chili 1 teaspoon grated ginger 3-4 basil leaves, chopped 5-6 cilantro leaves, chopped 2 ounces lime juice 1 ½ ounces gin Sparkling water Bitters (FloraLuna Ginger Cayenne Bitters, preferably) Directions Place the melon, lime zest, sugar, lemongrass, chili, ginger and herbs in the bottom of a cocktail shaker, and muddle until all the melon is mashed up into a thick chunky liquid. Add the lime juice and gin. Fill the shaker with ice and shake vigorously. Double strain into a large Collins glass filled with ice. Fill the glass with a little sparkling water. Drop a few Ginger Cayenne bitters on the top and garnish with a lime wheel and fresh basil leaf.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_single_image image="14545" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]

Massaman Thai Curry Paste/Gaeng Massaman

Makes 3 /4 cup of curry paste Massaman is a Thai curry that has been heavily influenced by Persian and Indian spices like cardamom, cumin, cinnamon, star anise and mace. These eastern influences are combined with traditional fresh Thai ingredients like chili peppers, lemongrass, galangal and cilantro to create a rich and mild curry paste, often combined with coconut milk and stewed with meats. At Ger-Nis Culinary & Herb Center, we specialized in making cooking accessible to all levels of culinary prowess as well as utilizing local, sustainable organic ingredients, all while accenting the herbaceousness of cultural cuisines. This class did just that. I tried to make the recipe easy to recreate, in terms of ingredients, technical skill and equipment. The result was a super fresh Thai curry that everyone could make. This current version of the recipe hasn’t changed much, and it reminded me how therapeutic it is to pound into a mortar and pestle. It felt much like pounding out grief, I have to admit! Traditionally the recipe includes peanuts. I omit the peanuts because it was originally for a class and I wanted to eliminate hazards, but I found I enjoyed the sauce sans the nuts. The recipe can work in a food processor, but I recommend a mortar and pestle. They are not expensive these days and can be super versatile. Ingredients 1 tablespoon white peppercorns 1 tablespoon black peppercorns 1 tablespoon coriander seeds 1 tablespoon cumin seeds 3-4 cardamom pods, cracked 1 star anise, cracked up 3-4 fresh red chilies, fresno, cherry bomb or red jalapeno, seeds removed, all finely chopped 5 cloves garlic, finely chopped 2 teaspoons Maldon salt 1 tablespoon peeled and chopped ginger root 1 tablespoon peeled and chopped galangal root (optional) 1 tablespoon finely chopped lemongrass bulb 1 tablespoon lime zest Juice of 1 lime 1 teaspoon cinnamon ½ teaspoon mace ½ teaspoon nutmeg ½ cup cilantro leaves, chopped [embed]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B9uF4RL_-UY&list=PLkOHFfUWySHaiwB0kYR0APWHd40lrN4sI&index=1&ab_channel=HerbalRoots[/embed] Directions Mortar & Pestle Method: In a small, thin bottomed sauté pan, toast the white and black peppercorns, coriander seeds, cumin seeds, cardamon pods and the star anise for about 30-40 seconds overheat. The spices will start to smoke. Just make sure they don’t burn. Place the toasted spices in the mortar and pestle and grind them up finely. Add the fresh chilies, garlic and salt, and pound and scrape in with the pestle until most of the chilies and garlic are broken into fine pieces. Add the ginger, galangal, lemongrass and zest, and continue to pound and grind until a thick paste forms. Add the lime juice, cinnamon, mace, nutmeg and cilantro leaves and, again, pound and grind until the cilantro leaves are fully dissolved into the paste. The end result should be a thick chunky paste.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_single_image image="14539" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]

Massaman Beef Curry with Summer Tomatoes

Serves 6 Once you have the paste made, there are many things you can do. The most traditional recipe uses it stewed with coconut milk and beef, and this is by far my favorite way of enjoying this curry as well. It’s warming and comforting and yet feels light and summery. In this version, I add summer cherry tomatoes and use a technique for bulgogi that I found works really well in giving the meat a slight sear before it’s stewed in the coconut milk. This comforting dish served me well on my recent pit climbing adventure. Ingredients 1 – 1 ½ pounds hanger or flank steak (thin steak is key), slightly frozen ¾ cup Massaman curry paste ½ cup tamari or soy sauce ¼ cup coconut amino or 2 tablespoons brown sugar 1 ½ tablespoons extra virgin olive oil or other neutral oil 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved 1 teaspoon salt 1 can (15-ounces) coconut milk Directions Slice the steak very thin. This is much easier to do when the steak is partial frozen. In a large bowl, whisk together the curry paste, soy sauce and aminos (or sugar) and place your meat in the bowl covering it all with the sauce, to marinate. Heat up a thick bottomed pan with a little oil spread evenly over it to medium high heat. Place the meat slices down in the pan, shaking off any liquid from them before and pack them tightly in the pan. Let them sear for a few minutes until browned. Turn them over and sear them more on the other side. Add the remainder of the marinade and stir, let some of the juice cook off and then add the tomatoes and salt- stir. Cook for a few minutes until the tomatoes start to melt a little bit in the heat and the coconut milk. Bring to a boil, then reduce to and simmer about 15 -20 minutes or until the tomatoes are all cooked down. Serve over rice.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_column][/vc_row] [post_title] => Purpose, Meaning and a Mortar & Pestle [post_excerpt] => I tend to be an extremist when it comes to emotions. This is why I’ve had to really practice balance. Part of that practice started many years ago, when I had to slow down my crazy capacity for taking on more and more work and make time for empty space in my head and body. Daily yoga, meditation and breathing practices have been pivotal in my ability to understand how to achieve and (mostly) maintain balance as I move through this life thing. A general slowing down long enough to observe myself. Solitude and the ocean have also been vital in helping me reach and maintain more homeostasis. My kryptonite, or the “thing” that most throws me off balance, which I believe is rather normal, is always overwhelm. Too much uncertainty, too many MAJOR things happening at once always rocks my balance. From there I either find equilibrium or fall. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => purpose-meaning-and-a-mortar-pestle [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2020-09-23 18:54:31 [post_modified_gmt] => 2020-09-23 18:54:31 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.myherbal-roots.com/?p=14549 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw [categories] => Array ( [0] => 86 [1] => 71 [2] => 91 [3] => 30 ) [id] => m_hr_14549 [post_id] => 14549 [allcategories] => Array ( [0] => Basil [1] => Blog Posts [2] => Cilantro (Corriander) [3] => Summer ) [categories_herbs_slugs] => Array ( [0] => basil [1] => cilantro ) [categories_seasons_slugs] => Array ( [0] => summer ) [categories_details] => Array ( [86] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 86 [name] => Basil [slug] => basil [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 86 [taxonomy] => category [description] => [parent] => 84 [count] => 3 [filter] => raw [cat_ID] => 86 [category_count] => 3 [category_description] => [cat_name] => Basil [category_nicename] => basil [category_parent] => 84 ) [71] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 71 [name] => Blog Posts [slug] => blog-posts [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 71 [taxonomy] => category [description] => blog [parent] => 145 [count] => 33 [filter] => raw [cat_ID] => 71 [category_count] => 33 [category_description] => blog [cat_name] => Blog Posts [category_nicename] => blog-posts [category_parent] => 145 ) [91] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 91 [name] => Cilantro (Corriander) [slug] => cilantro [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 91 [taxonomy] => category [description] => [parent] => 84 [count] => 2 [filter] => raw [cat_ID] => 91 [category_count] => 2 [category_description] => [cat_name] => Cilantro (Corriander) [category_nicename] => cilantro [category_parent] => 84 ) [30] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 30 [name] => Summer [slug] => summer [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 30 [taxonomy] => category [description] => [parent] => 28 [count] => 5 [filter] => raw [cat_ID] => 30 [category_count] => 5 [category_description] => [cat_name] => Summer [category_nicename] => summer [category_parent] => 28 ) ) [image_path] => https://www.myherbal-roots.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/Reel.jpg [post_firstImg] => https://www.myherbal-roots.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/main.jpg ) [3] => Array ( [post_author] => 4 [post_date] => 2020-08-15 18:06:51 [post_date_gmt] => 2020-08-15 18:06:51 [post_content] => [vc_row][vc_column el_class="blogbodycol" custom_css="border-bottom:7px solid #f8f5f2;border-left: 7px solid #f8f5f2;border-right: 7px solid #f8f5f2; border-top: 7px solid #f8f5f2;padding-bottom:30px;" width="1/1"][prkwp_spacer][prkwp_spacer size="9"][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_custom_heading source="post_title" font_container="tag:h2|font_size:30|text_align:left|color:%234e463e" use_theme_fonts="yes" el_class="header_font" el_id="rechead"][vc_column_text el_class="blate"]AUGUST 15TH 2020[/vc_column_text][prkwp_spacer size="9"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]My Herby Sundried Tomatoes are one of my staple recipes. I love cherry tomatoes so much that I always have loads of them on hand. Sometimes, I over buy and don’t eat them fast enough, but that is never a problem with this recipe. This is a recipe that was brought into my repertoire so I could live in a perpetual state of cherry tomato gluttony, and I have zero shame in that. I tend to use the fresh and dried ones the same way, tossing them literally into everything (salads, soups, sandwiches, eggs, etc.) and it’s a nice change when the fresh tomatoes I had been enjoying suddenly morph into the dried version – yielding a deeper, richer, smokier version of the fresh. You can further heighten the flavor by adding fresh herbs and other spices.[/vc_column_text][vc_single_image image="13722" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]This is essentially how the idea came to pass – let a little salt melt over the oven dried tomatoes so I could put them on everything. Even though I live by the coast and, thus, not prime tomato growing land, it’s super-hot just a few miles off. So technically I am totally surrounded (on 3 sides) by prime tomato farms, and we are currently just getting into the peak season. Tomatoes like it hot. This is how they develop their flavors, which are a combination of the sugar content, soils, air, environment and the seeds. Generally speaking, the less commercially grown the tomatoes are the better they taste. Around these parts we have loads of small growers (most of us do, you just might have to look harder in other parts of the country or grow them yourself). They offer a gamut of choices when it comes to varietals, flavors and shapes, which means this time of year I am in heaven. Small, local growers tend to choose tomato varietals based on flavor over shelf life and yields. This is good news for me and my summer cherry tomato obsession. [/vc_column_text][vc_single_image image="13721" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]Actually the obsession is year-round, and thanks to (literally) just a handful of large commercial producers (Del Cabo is my favorite), we have those options, too. If you want to read more about breeding cherry tomatoes, here’s an article I wrote about Del Cabo a few years back for a produce industry trade site, Breeding Cherry Tomatoes for Flavor. These guys are my top choice most of the year, and I buy them by the case several times of year to always have them on hand. I posted the recipe for my Herby Oven-dried Tomatoes back in April when I was overindulging in the imported cherry tomatoes from Del Cabo, grown on the southern tip of Baja California in a fair-trade organic farmer cooperative. The basic premise of the recipe is what I use all the time, but I always change it up in terms of herbs, spices, lemon zest and sometimes olive oil. Though, omitting the oil is crucial if you are going to eventually also make the salt included here. There is no way to do the salt recipe without first making a version of oven-dried tomatoes. The store-bought dried ones are too dry, and oil-packed dried tomatoes are too wet.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_single_image image="13723" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]It’s important to note that technically the dried tomato of portion of this recipe isn’t a fully dried shelf stable-version. I store them in my fridge in a jar or in a little bowl on my counter if I’m going to use them up quickly. The nice part about the recipe is that you get to decide how soft and juicy you want them to be. There is a sweet spot where the juice turns to paste. That’s the moment where they are perfect for me and also perfect to make this salt recipe. Eventually with this recipe a new technique in my salt-making adventure was made, involving flavoring and coloring the salt with a paste-like liquid – in this case, the oven-dried tomatoes. I use my favorite hand maceration technique by rubbing a few of the oven-dried tomatoes with the salt, extracting the paste and mashing it all up into the salt, rubbing in the color and the flavor. Once I have the salt flavored and colored, then I move on to make the salt by adding lemon zest and basil and then baking it in the oven to dry off the moisture and the tiny bits of the oven dried tomatoes I used to macerate the salt. The end result is a beautiful smoky-ish tomato salt with bits of the oven-dried tomato and basil with a hint of lemon zest. Oven-dried tomatoes yield a smoky flavor and so the final salt is a bit smoky seeming, making it a very deep and rich salt. This salt is important to cook a little longer than most of my others so that the dried tomato bits get totally dried. This salt (and the dried tomatoes) are great to have handy. I’ve been tossing them into my favorite eggs, a caprese salad, pasta salad and even on a grilled cheese sandwich. But the star recipes born from this first batch – Avgolemono (Egg & Lemon Soup) with Spinach and Smoky Tomato Basil Stuffed Zucchini Boats were the stand outs![/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_single_image image="13725" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]

Smoky Tomato Basil Salt

Makes 1 ½ cup salt and 2 cups Dried Tomatoes The recipe will give you extra oven-dried cherry tomatoes, but I suspect that won’t be an issue! It’s important to make sure you cook all the tiny tomato bits left in the final salt fully. Feel free to use any herbs while making oven-dried tomatoes, and use any color or shape cherry tomato. Don’t forget to place all the cut cherry tomatoes flesh side up when baking them. Add more chilies to make it spicy! Ingredients For the dried tomatoes: 2 pints cherry tomatoes 1 tablespoon Maldon salt ¼ cup finely chopped fresh parsley, basil and oregano For the salt: 1 ½ cups Maldon salt 6-10 oven dried tomatoes ¾ cup finely chopped basil leaves 2 teaspoons lemon zest 2 teaspoons red chili flakes (optional) Directions For the oven-dried tomatoes: Pre-heat the oven to 250° F. Cut all of the cherry tomatoes in half and place them cut side up on a lined baking sheet. Sprinkle the salt all over the top, followed by the herbs and lemon zest. Place in the oven for 2.5 hours until they are just about fully dried, leaving some soft aspects to them, but most parts of them dry. Turn off the oven and allow to cool completely. (Store extra tomatoes a container with a lid in the refrigerator for 2-3 weeks.) For the salt: Pre-heat the oven to 225° F. Place the salt in a large bowl and using your fingers, pulverize the tomatoes into the salt. Basically, you will be grinding the tomatoes so that they break up into little tiny piece and squirt all their paste out, which you will then mix and rub all into the salt. You will know when you are done because all the tomatoes will be in tiny bits and pieces with no paste left inside and all of the white salt will be reddish color. Add the basil, zest and chili flakes (if you are using them) and mix until well combined. Place on a lined baking sheet (parchment paper) and lay out flat. Bake for about 28 minutes or until all the tomato bits are fully dried. Cool completely and store in a jar or on a bowl on your counter.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_single_image image="13726" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]

Avgolemono (Egg & Lemon Soup) with Spinach

Makes 12 cups For many, soup doesn’t seem summery unless it’s a gazpacho or some sort of chilled soup. For those of us who live in cooler summer climates, like me in Bolinas, soup can be on the menu most days. On the day I made the Smoky Tomato Basil Salt, it was exceptionally foggy, damp and a little cold here in Bolinas. For whatever reason, I began to crave this Greek soup and wanted to use the new salt in it. Avgolemono is technically a Greek sauce made of lemons, eggs and chicken stock that’s become a soup, often made with both chicken and spinach. I had a version once on the island of Zakynthos that utilized the herbs of the island, fennel and fennel fronds in the traditional soup. The version had chicken bits in it and globs of orzo pasta. It was incredibly herbaceous, fresh, lemony, filling and the silky texture felt deeply luscious on my tongue. My version is my best recollection of that, plus I add the Smoky Tomato Salt to the chicken thighs for roasting and as a finishing salt giving it a tough deep smokiness that I really enjoyed. I don’t believe in stock and believe (and have proven) that you can make tasty and rich soups rather quickly. The herbs, vegetables and the roasted chicken easily create enough flavor for this soup. The one difficult part of this recipe is in the tempering of the eggs, but actually tempering eggs is quite easy, especially in soup. The key is not to boil the egg mixture, so for soups I turn off the burner and let the soup thicken in the meandering warmth. Ingredients For the roasted chicken: 2 teaspoons lemon zest 1 tablespoon olive oil 2 tablespoon lemon juice 3 chicken thighs Smoky Tomato Basil Salt For the soup: 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped 2-3 green onions, finely chopped 1 medium head of fennel sliced thin 1 teaspoon Smoky Tomato Basil Salt ¼ cup finely chopped parsley leaves ¼ cup finely chopped fennel fronds 2 tablespoons finely chopped chives 1 medium yellow zucchini, chopped into bite-sized pieces 3 cups finely chopped fresh spinach 6-8 cups water 1 cup orzo pasta 3 eggs Juice of 2 lemons Directions For the roasted chicken: Preheat oven to 380° F. Mix together the lemon zest, olive oil and lemon juice in a bowl. Season the chicken thighs with the salt and then place on a baking sheet. Drizzle the marinade on both sides of the chicken, making sure to use it all up. Bake for 20-25 minutes until the chicken is fully cooked and a bit caramelized around the edges. Cool. Then shred into bite-sized pieces. For the soup: Combine the oil, garlic and green onions in a soup pan and bring to medium heat. Add the fennel and a teaspoon of Smoky Tomato Basil Salt and sauté until the fennel is soft. Add the chicken, parsley, fennel fronds, chives and zucchini and continue to sauté, adding another teaspoon of the salt as you stir and cook. Add the spinach and sauté until the spinach is wilted. Add the water and bring to a boil. Reduce the temperature to low, add the orzo and let cook for about 20 minutes. Bring up to a boil once again  and then turn the burner off. In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs and the lemon juice. Add some of the broth to the egg mixture, ¼ cup at a time and whisking, to temper it, I add a total of about 1 – 1 ½ cups. Once the eggs are tempered, add them to your soup, stirring constantly and letting it thicken. Place a lid over the soup and let it sit for about 10 minutes before serving. This soup is best served warm. Garnish with some of the Smoky Tomato Basil Salt and a few more fennel fronds, a slice of lemon if you want an even fancier look.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_single_image image="13728" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]

Smoky Tomato Basil Stuffed Zucchini Boats

Serves 4 This year I have two zucchini plants, and my zucchini production is somewhat manageable. Last year I had four and was overwhelmed completely while realizing how many zucchini recipes don’t actually use much zucchini, basically rendering them all useless as a means to put the overabundance of zucchini so many of us gardeners face in the summer. I have since been on a quest to make zucchini recipes that actually use a good amount of zucchini while still remaining enjoyable and not zucchini overload. This recipe is that and it’s so good that even if you don’t grow your own zucchini you will want to buy it to make the recipe. It’s super easy to put together, feels kind of special and is technically one of those carb-free recipes people are craving these days! The Smoky Tomato Basil Salt is exceptional in it and on it! I like to have more boat than the average recipes so I cut about ¼ of the top of the zucchini off. This gives more space for stuffing and since I use all the zucchini innards and the top, I feel like it’s the best win-win method. *You can also make wheels with gigantic zucchini you may have missed in the garden!  Ingredients 6-8 medium sized zucchini, yellow or green Smoky Tomato Basil Salt 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil 3-5 cloves garlic 2 teaspoons lemon zest ½ teaspoon red chili flakes ¼ cup chopped red onion 3- 4 cups roughly chopped fresh spinach 1 cup cherry tomatoes, quartered Juice of 1 lemon 3/4 cup feta cheese, crumbled ¾ cup finely chopped basil leaves ¾ cup finely chopped oven dried tomatoes ¾ cup finely grated parmesan cheese 1 tablespoon cold butter, chopped fine Directions Cut the zucchini to make them into boats. Cut off the top ¼ of the top of the zucchini lengthwise. Chop up the tops finely and set them aside to use in the stuffing. Scoop out the center of the zucchinis using a melon baller or a small spoon. It’s basically like cleaning out the seedy insides from a cucumber. Place the zucchini boats in a baking dish and sprinkle a little of the Smoky Tomato Basil Salt over them. Chop up the zucchini insides finely and set aside. Combine the oil, garlic, lemon zest and red chili flakes in a large sauté pan and bring to medium heat. Add the onions and sauté until everything is soft.  Add the spinach and the tomatoes and continue to cook until the spinach is soft and the tomatoes begin to melt and extract liquid. Add about 1 teaspoon of the tomato salt and lemon juice, as well as the chopped zucchini tops and insides. Place a cover on and simmer for about 10 minutes until everything is cooked down. Turn off the heat and let cool a bit. Preheat oven to 375° F. In the meantime, mix together the basil, oven dried tomatoes and parmesan with 1 teaspoon tomato salt. Toss the feta into the stuffing mixture and fill the boats up evenly. Sprinkle the parmesan basil mixture all over the tops, followed by the cold butter pieces. Place in the oven and bake for 45-60 minutes until the zucchini boats are tender and the topping crispy. You may need to cover your dish with foil the last 10 minutes if the tops start to get too brown.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_column][/vc_row] [post_title] => Smoky Tomato Basil Salt [post_excerpt] => My Herby Sundried Tomatoes are one of my staple recipes. I love cherry tomatoes so much that I always have loads of them on hand. Sometimes, I over buy and don’t eat them fast enough, but that is never a problem with this recipe. This is a recipe that was brought into my repertoire so I could live in a perpetual state of cherry tomato gluttony, and I have zero shame in that. I tend to use the fresh and dried ones the same way, tossing them literally into everything (salads, soups, sandwiches, eggs, etc.) and it’s a nice change when the fresh tomatoes I had been enjoying suddenly morph into the dried version – yielding a deeper, richer, smokier version of the fresh. You can further heighten the flavor by adding fresh herbs and other spices. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => smoky-tomato-basil-salt [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2020-08-15 18:06:51 [post_modified_gmt] => 2020-08-15 18:06:51 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.myherbal-roots.com/?p=13729 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw [categories] => Array ( [0] => 86 [1] => 71 [2] => 30 ) [id] => m_hr_13729 [post_id] => 13729 [allcategories] => Array ( [0] => Basil [1] => Blog Posts [2] => Summer ) [categories_herbs_slugs] => Array ( [0] => basil ) [categories_seasons_slugs] => Array ( [0] => summer ) [categories_details] => Array ( [86] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 86 [name] => Basil [slug] => basil [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 86 [taxonomy] => category [description] => [parent] => 84 [count] => 3 [filter] => raw [cat_ID] => 86 [category_count] => 3 [category_description] => [cat_name] => Basil [category_nicename] => basil [category_parent] => 84 ) [71] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 71 [name] => Blog Posts [slug] => blog-posts [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 71 [taxonomy] => category [description] => blog [parent] => 145 [count] => 33 [filter] => raw [cat_ID] => 71 [category_count] => 33 [category_description] => blog [cat_name] => Blog Posts [category_nicename] => blog-posts [category_parent] => 145 ) [30] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 30 [name] => Summer [slug] => summer [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 30 [taxonomy] => category [description] => [parent] => 28 [count] => 5 [filter] => raw [cat_ID] => 30 [category_count] => 5 [category_description] => [cat_name] => Summer [category_nicename] => summer [category_parent] => 28 ) ) [image_path] => https://www.myherbal-roots.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/08/REEL-1.jpg [post_firstImg] => https://www.myherbal-roots.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/08/main-2.jpg ) )
Array
(
    [0] => Array
        (
            [post_author] => 4
            [post_date] => 2020-12-22 21:56:20
            [post_date_gmt] => 2020-12-22 21:56:20
            [post_content] => [vc_row][vc_column el_class="blogbodycol" custom_css="border-bottom:7px solid #f8f5f2;border-left: 7px solid #f8f5f2;border-right: 7px solid #f8f5f2; border-top: 7px solid #f8f5f2;padding-bottom:30px;" width="1/1"][prkwp_spacer][prkwp_spacer size="9"][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_custom_heading source="post_title" font_container="tag:h2|font_size:30|text_align:left|color:%234e463e" use_theme_fonts="yes" el_class="header_font" el_id="rechead"][vc_column_text el_class="blate"]DECEMBER 22CND 2020[/vc_column_text][prkwp_spacer size="9"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]One for Rudolph, two for me. This is one of my most whimsical recipes and one that is perfect to make with your kids the day before Christmas eve.  Basically, the kids make herbal sugar cubes for Rudolph and you get amazing sugar cubes for an old-Fashioned cocktail.  It’s a rather fun project for all and one that the adults can enjoy long after Santa is gone. The recipe is super easy. It assumes you have some general herbs around the holidays for cooking.  Herbs, sugar and ice cube trays are really all that’s needed outside a few drops of water.[/vc_column_text][vc_single_image image="18606" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]

Herbal Sugar Cubes

This recipe is versatile  and fun, as the  herbs and spices can be altered to taste. I chose these because they work really well in an old fashioned cocktail, but I make these cubes generally with various herbs and spices per my whimsy at the time. Let your kids play and even enjoy a kiddy fashioned cocktail. The most important part of the recipe is to make sure you don’t add too much water. Makes several cubes depending on ice cube tray size Ingredients ¼ teaspoon chopped super fine rosemary leaves ¼ teaspoon chopped super fine purple or green sage leaves ¼ teaspoon chopped super fine pineapple sage (optional) ½ teaspoon lemon zest ½ teaspoon orange zest ½ teaspoon finely ground black pepper (I use long pepper) ¾ cup turbinado sugar 2 drops Grapefruit Cardamom Bitters 1 teaspoon ice cold water[/vc_column_text][vc_single_image image="18602" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]Directions Combine the rosemary, sage(s), zests and pepper in a medium bowl with the sugar. Rub the mixture together with your fingers, pulverizing the herbs, zest and pepper into the sugar. The sugar will turn a greenish hue from the herb oils.  Add the bitters and water and stir. The sugar should be slightly moistened and still crumbly, not wet. Using a sugar cube mold or an ice cube tray mold, place 1 heaping teaspoon in each mold and press the mixture down tightly into the mold. If using an ice cube tray, the sugar cubes will be bigger and thinner than the traditional cube. Let the molds air-dry on your kitchen counter overnight, at least 16 hours. Once they have hardened, gently remove them from the molds, using a butter knife to assist.  Store them in an airtight container for months.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_single_image image="18604" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_single_image image="18607" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]

Liberal Old Fashioned with DIY Herbal Sugar Cubes

An Old Fashioned is essentially just whiskey sweetened, seasoned and diluted. Yet everyone has their own firm idea on the details. I have a super liberal take on the topic and mine is herbalized. The act of making your own sugar cubes and paying attention to the details, from start to finish, feels like self-care. It’s not only easy but adds creative flair, and it’s a great conversation piece. Let your party guests make their own Liberal Old Fashioned and find out. Make the sugar cubes a day ahead. If you don’t have big ice cube molds any ice will do. I use Charbay’s Doubled & Twisted Whiskey. The citrus notes in the whiskey persuaded me to use the lemon peel instead of the old-fashioned orange peel. I also like using Sonoma Distilling Co, Cherrywood Rye Whiskey. Ingredients 1-2 Herbal Sugar Cubes 3 drops Grapefruit Cardamom Bitters (Monarch Bitters) Splash of water 2 ounces whiskey Big Cube ice cube Lemon twist or peel Sage leaf Directions For each Old Fashioned Place one or two Herbal Sugar Cubes on the bottom of a rocks glass. Drop a few bitters on top and gently muddle them until the sugars are dissolved. Add a tiny splash of water to help. You want the sugar to be smooth and paste-like, rather than swimming in water. Fill the glass with a few large ice cubes. Add the whiskey and gently stir until well combined. Express the oil of a lemon peel over the glass and gently run it around the rim. Drop the peel and a sage leaf, stem side down, into the glass.[/vc_column_text][vc_single_image image="18605" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_single_image image="18619" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_column][/vc_row] [post_title] => DIY Herbal Sugar Cubes [post_excerpt] => One for Rudolph, two for me. This is one of my most whimsical recipes and one that is perfect to make with your kids the day before Christmas eve. Basically, the kids make herbal sugar cubes for Rudolph and you get amazing sugar cubes for an old-Fashioned cocktail. It’s a rather fun project for all and one that the adults can enjoy long after Santa is gone. The recipe is super easy. Some herbs, sugar and ice cube trays are really all that’s needed outside a few drops of water. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => diy-herbal-sugar-cubes [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2020-12-22 22:02:10 [post_modified_gmt] => 2020-12-22 22:02:10 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.myherbal-roots.com/?p=18601 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw [categories] => Array ( [0] => 111 [1] => 112 [2] => 32 ) [id] => m_hr_18601 [post_id] => 18601 [allcategories] => Array ( [0] => Rosemary [1] => Sage [2] => Winter ) [categories_herbs_slugs] => Array ( [0] => rosemary [1] => sage ) [categories_seasons_slugs] => Array ( [0] => winter ) [categories_details] => Array ( [111] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 111 [name] => Rosemary [slug] => rosemary [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 111 [taxonomy] => category [description] => [parent] => 84 [count] => 7 [filter] => raw [cat_ID] => 111 [category_count] => 7 [category_description] => [cat_name] => Rosemary [category_nicename] => rosemary [category_parent] => 84 ) [112] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 112 [name] => Sage [slug] => sage [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 112 [taxonomy] => category [description] => [parent] => 84 [count] => 4 [filter] => raw [cat_ID] => 112 [category_count] => 4 [category_description] => [cat_name] => Sage [category_nicename] => sage [category_parent] => 84 ) [32] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 32 [name] => Winter [slug] => winter [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 32 [taxonomy] => category [description] => [parent] => 28 [count] => 8 [filter] => raw [cat_ID] => 32 [category_count] => 8 [category_description] => [cat_name] => Winter [category_nicename] => winter [category_parent] => 28 ) ) [image_path] => https://www.myherbal-roots.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/feature.jpg [post_firstImg] => https://www.myherbal-roots.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/main-1-scaled.jpg ) [1] => Array ( [post_author] => 4 [post_date] => 2020-12-21 22:05:58 [post_date_gmt] => 2020-12-21 22:05:58 [post_content] => [vc_row][vc_column el_class="blogbodycol" custom_css="border-bottom:7px solid #f8f5f2;border-left: 7px solid #f8f5f2;border-right: 7px solid #f8f5f2; border-top: 7px solid #f8f5f2;padding-bottom:30px;" width="1/1"][prkwp_spacer][prkwp_spacer size="9"][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_custom_heading source="post_title" font_container="tag:h2|font_size:30|text_align:left|color:%234e463e" use_theme_fonts="yes" el_class="header_font" el_id="rechead"][vc_column_text el_class="blate"]DECEMBER 21ST 2020[/vc_column_text][prkwp_spacer size="9"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]My ‘moving to Missouri’ story began back in August. I had a few sessions with a renowned astrologer, as part of my crisis response to learning I had to move quickly and, essentially, charter the next course in my life. If I’m being honest, this was one of the hardest times of my life. Normally I make decisions quickly and with ease, but this one I knew would create massive disruptions in all aspects of my life. The first thing the astrologer said to me during session one was, “Ooh, you’re a jovial warrior. Does that sound like you?” I took a moment to mull it over, then giggled and said, “Yes. Yes, that does sound like me.” No one had ever described me like that before, and I think many people would attest that it seems spot on. I have Mars and Jupiter rising in my chart, which is how he came up with this jingly nickname.[/vc_column_text][vc_single_image image="18478" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]My Chinese medicine doctor recommended that I try talking to an astrologer over my difficulty surrounding the impending move and suggested one. I had four sessions with the astrologer. Four sessions seemed good enough to cover some bases about me and my life before even thinking about where to move. The first session covered me, the second my family, the third key romantic relationships and the fourth my move. By the time I got to the fourth session, I had already decided to move to Missouri, rented a house and started the process to buy it. He was a little surprised, but I then referred him to my chart.  I think and move quickly.  So, in my fourth session I mostly wanted to know: what would Missouri be like for this jovial warrior? His first comments back to me were, “Missouri, well, that is not a place I would have picked for you.”[/vc_column_text][vc_single_image image="18479" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]The big question on many people’s minds is the same as his was: ”…Why Missouri?” After the initial excitement over hearing I moved to Missouri’s southern lake region, imagining me in my full glory as a quick-thinking heroine and powerful boss bitch cruising in my speed boat (thanks to Jason Bateman and the Ozarks), they say, “Wait. What? Why?” Yes, I live in Missouri now. And to quote my astrologist, “It’s not on or near any of your powerful energy lines.” But it is close to a big portion of my family that just so happens to kind of need me. I’ve always thought of myself as an instinctual person, so in a way it doesn’t totally surprise me that I picked this new life internally. It was the external part of me that was resisting it all along. I’m not so worried about my powerlines because I discovered, through my sessions with him, that I tend to gravitate to them in my travels; so, I feel content I will go to them and reenergize myself as I need to. I also reminded him of my chart again and that I’m not someone who can be stagnant. So, today I feel comfortable knowing that living in Missouri is not forever for me. Then again, nowhere is.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_single_image image="18470" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]My chart also resonates with family and a strong matriarchal role, so I think it’s also a matter of perspective in terms of the energy lines here. While the lines might not show up here on my chart, there are quite a few special people that make excellent substitutes for those lines. The thing about connection – especially to people – and about love is that it’s really powerful. Thus, I need to be here. I can feel that in the two months I’ve been here. I need them as much as they need me. That’s how love works. It was revealed to me at the end of my last session that Missouri, specifically where I am living, falls on my moon and Pluto line. These lines represent journey, family and traveling. So, it seems the astrologer and I were on the same page. This jovial warrior’s journey to Missouri is all about family…and traveling! (Thank god!) So here I am, jovial and ready to be a warrior, on Table Rock Lake on the Arkansas and Missouri border.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_single_image image="18474" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]Now the question on many people’s minds is, “How is it going so far?” This post is the answer to that question. It’s not coming in the form of a traditional self-reflective answer but, rather, through a hodgepodge of recipes I have conjured up since I moved to the Ozarks. This post is also as close as I can get to a commercial (unpaid and unsolicited) for those brands and products that have sustained me while figuring out where I can find the healthy, organic, fresh, nutritious, seasonal and interesting food I am accustomed to and as my soul needs to survive and more importantly be nourished continuously.[/vc_column_text][vc_single_image image="18480" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]The Backstory Sometime in the middle of August, I was taking a short summer vacation in Ojai after sheltering in place for months. I needed it, and the resort where I stayed was big on safety and space. It had all outdoor dining and several pools where 6-10 feet were easy to maintain. They were also dog friendly, so off Inca and I went. The timing coincided with the northern fires which threated Bolinas and were raging across Sonoma. It was there where my landlord emailed a 60-day notice to move. I had lived in her house for over 5 years, faithfully taking care of her home. This is not easy in Bolinas. I went above and beyond, and I was an excellent tenant. I really want to set up the apocalyptic scene which I can still feel viscerally. The world was in the midst of a gigantic pandemic, I had been sheltered in place in Bolinas for months, and fires were raging across northern California. Residents of the notoriously expensive Bay Area were on an exodus toward the “countryside” which meant my house was prime real estate. Every home and rental (vacation and otherwise) in Marin, Sonoma, Napa, Tahoe and beyond was getting snatched by those with money fleeing the city. Mind you, there are a lot with money in the city. Shortly after that notice, I received another notice, that Bolinas was under recommended fire evacuation and that my house was technically first in line of a new fire  that had broken out. Residents were scrambling, packing up their stuff and heading out. It wasn’t sure that the fire would reach the houses in Bolinas, but weather (winds) is tumultuous out there and fires had been ripping through the dry brush quickly. Since it’s really just a one-way road in (and dangerous with the fire looming), people were following the better safe than sorry route, so I stayed put in Ojai. It was the smart thing to do. I was 7 hours away, and I had some cute clothes, my laptop and my dog Inca with me. It was there I let go of my grip on everything else, including my history in the Bay Area and the reason why I moved there in the first place. That was a big moment in my life, amidst truly apocalyptic conditions something big and internal told me to just let go. So I did, fully.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_single_image image="13643" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]I can’t say it was easy, the moment I moved on, metaphorically and emotionally. In a way, these apocalyptic conditions forced me to move. Even though I didn’t think I was ready, I realized that I was. I think that’s what they call ‘nature provides.’ Eventually I went home, and the fire near Bolinas fizzled. The other fires raged until the day I left. I wasn’t able to say goodbye to basically anyone I had gotten to know there because of the pandemic and the fires. That was hard. As someone who often feels like a loner anyhow, I couldn’t help but feel that my connections were not that potent to begin with. I know that’s silly to think, but don’t we all think silly things when grieving? After Pounding Out Grief throughout September and packing up my life, Inca and I got in a gigantic 26-foot U-Haul filled with dishes (truly, that’s the bulk of what I own) and drove to Missouri, leaving northern California behind. On this drive out of California, I could feel the natural release of quite a bit, including my relationship(s) there, as well as the idea that I didn’t move there for me. It never fully suited me. It felt healthy to realize all this and (physically and metaphorically) move on. I know I was moving toward what I needed next in life, toward who I needed and who needed me. That has always been important to me, being there for those I love. I move toward what I need rather subconsciously/instinctively. Luckily, my strong intuition doesn’t allow for regrets. I feel grateful for that.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_single_image image="18484" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]How’s it going? Inca and I drove 2000 miles together to get here and had one of the happiest times of our life. I felt like my eyes and my heart were wide open. I felt supported by the deep friendships I have and the love and excitement of my family – both the ones I was heading towards and the ones that were rooting me on. I could even feel a few key relationships deepening with new distance. I could almost feel myself growing (wiser, not taller). My new lake house is incredible. I found it online, rented it immediately and started the buying process before I had even left. I chose it for 3 reasons. It was right on the water, with water views from almost every room in the house. There are sunset views (over the water) 365 days of the year. And it was the least “oaky” place I could fine. Most homes were filled with oak, oak cabinets, oak trim, oak and more oak. I hate the oak look. This house has less and, even though I would re-do things, I had to find something I could live in now that wouldn’t make me nuts. Oak would have made me nuts. The oak look for me is a more a metaphor or thinking and what it means toi surround yourself by things you think about and how that thinking is fueled.  When I see overly oaky homes I cant help but thing ot eh following words and phrases: stuck, closed minded, doing things the only way I know how and that’s just the way it is. As you know by now, my being, like my creative outlets, cooking and writing- couldn’t be father from those words. If I was going to live here, in a place those words were potent, I couldn’t be around the oak- not the real thing or the metaphor- my home had to be different so it needed to start differently.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_single_image image="18486" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]When I drove into the driveway of my house I felt very happy. It did not disappoint. Even though I knew Missouri would inevitably disappoint (everything and everyone does after all), I could tell this place would be the haven I needed to be successful and happy here. It has beautiful sweeping views of the lake, trees all over, and a crystal-clear lakefront for Inca to swim. Every single room in the house has views of the water and the sunset. There are two kitchens. The entire downstairs becomes my business headquarters, with lots of space for more staff and its own kitchen, and a gigantic deck, where I envision outdoor working as soon as weather permits. The kitchen remodel is planned and pending the arrival of cabinets in a few weeks. I feel happy that my brother is doing the work. This circular exchange of my money feels important, especially after giving so much of my money to landlords for 29 years of my life. When people ask me how it’s going, the first thing I always say is that I chose an amazing house.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_single_image image="18477" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]The food is a different story. But I knew this would be the case before I made the decision to move here. I had spent many years visiting my brother here, as he married a woman from Missouri and moved here (he is now divorced). He raised three kids here. They are all still here and all often literally here at my house. (Which I love!) When I lived in NYC, I would spend most Thanksgivings here. (I did lots of fresh herb workshops in a tiny town called Fair Grove about an hour north of where I am now.) Back then I was aware that the kind of food shopping I prefer – call it organic, sustainable, healthy, alive, green, unprocessed, etc. – is hard to come by. I wouldn’t call this a food desert exactly because there is a crapload of cheap food here and all the ultra-processed conventional produce, meat and dairy you can dream of. But there is a gigantic shortage of the stuff I like. The stuff I think the world needs more of. The kind that I believe (real science does too) makes for healthier people and planet. It certainly has changed here over some over time, I see more progress than ever and I have even been part of that change, working in the organic produce industry for so long. The internet, traveling and logistics has made good food more accessible than ever before. But it’s still not enough and the quality and overall choices are still lacking and driven by conventional and processed mindsets and corporations and generally speaking its really hard to compete with cheap in these parts of the country. I’m certain you understand my definition of cheap here. Now, if you know me you know I can’t compromise on healthy food. It’s not just a decision about what I am putting in my body but what I choose to support with my dollars. So, I have had to spider web my needs and do a lot of buying online. I drive to Fayetteville, Arkansas, every two weeks, where I shop at the Ozark Natural Food Store and the closest Whole Foods. There is a new natural food store closer to me, about 30 minutes away in Branson, MO, called Nature’s Wonder. It’s a fairly big store with lots of miscellaneous things I like to buy spur of the moment, like Justin’s Dark Peanut Butter Chocolate Cups, but the meat and produce is still a bit lacking. They have fairly decent dairy products, but at Whole Foods I can buy my Point Reyes Blue, which makes and keeps me happy![/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_single_image image="18490" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]I buy some Belcampo meat online and have it shipped to my house, but I don’t do that for all my meats because it’s expensive and includes packaging waste that I don’t love. I plan to get a deep freeze and buy an entire pig and cow and share with my family here. But even that too is weird, most people only sell them to massive meat processors (not the good kind) so finding folks that produce, slaughter, butcher and package meat sustainably hasn’t been easy. This is after all the land of Tyson chicken farms, which are speckled for miles and miles and miles just south of where I live in Arkansas. That’s the kind of cheap meat that is everywhere here. The produce and the fresh herbs are my main problem here. Like everything else, I have had to do weird things to get it, make a lot of compromises and spend some extra money. Since I moved here in late October, a garden was not an option. I am building a garden and a greenhouse, so come spring, I should be 800000x better off and am super excited about it.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_single_image image="18476" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]Luckily my friends at Jacobs Farm Del Cabo have been kind enough to sell me fresh herbs in the meantime, so all my recipe testing and salts are taken care of and my herbal passion does not need to be quelled for even a second. The Arkansas Whole Foods and Ozark Natural Foods both have many of the organic brands I like, so that works for me. And I know come spring, summer and fall, more local options will be predominant in both, as well as some of the farmers markets here locally. Some things I miss, like the massive number of citrus options most California grocers have at this time of year. I miss fresh little gem lettuce incredibly and can’t wait to grow greens again. I miss year round chive blossoms, access to amazing and fresh cherry tomatoes, romanesco and baby artichokes from the Bolinas farm stand. I make due, it reminds me of living in Ecuador, hauling back lemons in my suitcase. Find a few things you need most and do what you have to get them. Booze & Wine is another issue.  Missouri is one of those states where it’s almost impossible for any regular company to ship alcohol to me. There are only a few big companies that do it and they tend to carry only the crappy ultra-processed brands, and, frankly, I’d rather quit drinking. I came fairly stocked with my crafters favorites, since I knew where I was heading, but I miss my small artisanal batch makers and their booze that tastes good and is well crafted. A few of my friends did some digging and found me a place in Arkansas where there is a great wine and booze store that they swear I can find some things I like, so I will venture there soon.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_single_image image="18471" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]I’ve learned to make do, but I also recognize that me making do is still rather extravagant compared to most.  That’s the girl in me that is influenced by all the places she has seen on the world, that’s the girl that can’t living and cook in an oaky kitchen. The good news in all of this, is that I’m fine and definitely not hungry.  It’s all inspired me to work on how to get better organic produce into the area, and I know I’m the perfect person to do that. I tell you now, I will. Of the hodgepodge collection of healthy organic ingredients I have managed to find and bring together. I have also whipped up a few new recipes as well as polished a few old ones. All of this was done in a kitchen that is somewhat weird – too small, unreasonably compacted and with a shower in it and with a crappy electric oven. If there is any lesson that I can leave you with, it’s this. Just because you live in an isolated area or an area that doesn’t seem to have a lot of choices, an area where people say “this is just the way it is” and “people don’t want that kind of food” doesn’t mean that has to be your reality. If you have strong values – healthy food (from soil to mouth) being one of my main core values – do whatever it takes to live by them. You don’t have to have an oak kitchen or processed food. People may make fun of you, as some make fun of me for driving to Arkansas for my “fancy” food, but who cares? The thing about values is that the things that guide us in life run much deeper than they appear. So, while it’s true I like what some call fancy food, the real truth is that I like food that is grown in nutritious soil, supporting the communities that do the work to produce it. I like organic food because the science is clear about pesticides on food. I like unprocessed foods that are not riddled with sugar. In my values, the American “cheap” is way more expensive than my “fancy.” Be a jovial warrior. Fight for healthy food. Fight kindly for what you believe in. Here is some of my “fanciest” Missouri food, so far….[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_single_image image="18475" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]

Rancho Gordo Marcella Beans, Spinach and Fried Eggs with Nissa’s Fresh Mint Harissa

One of the items I buy online (ever since Bolinas) is Rancho Gordo beans. I cannot recommend their beans enough. Their heirloom beans cook much faster than regular grocery store beans and are also more tender, with more nuanced textures and deep flavor. If you are new to their beans, the first thing you’ll recognize is that these beans have a massive amount of flavor. I buy a big box of beans about twice a year and spend about $100 each time. I often give a bag or two away as a gift or when someone gets excited about the beans I cooked for them. My favorite is their white Marcella beans. They have a really thin skin and cook into an ultra-creamy deliciousness. I cook a batch and have them a few different ways, usually stewed with some vegetables. I like to eat the remaining part of the batch for breakfast with a fried egg and some of my fresh mint harissa. It makes for one of my favorite breakfasts and, since many folks have asked about it since I posted it a few weeks back on social media, I thought I’d share it here.

Stewed Marcella Beans with Spinach & a Fried Egg

I found amazing (Arkansas) local (greenhouse grown) spinach in Ozarks Natural Food Store, so it seems to be something I can get year-round. It’s my kind of spinach, too – a thicker, bumpy leaf savoy variety. It’s really lovely with my stewed beans. Rancho Gordo beans don’t need to be soaked because they are fresh dried beans (meaning they are not very old like some on the grocery store shelf). I do usually soak them overnight because I usually forget that I’m planning on cook them, and it gives them a gigantic jump start. I soak rice, too, for the same reasons. Serves 8-10 Ingredients  1 pound bag of Rancho Gordo Marcella beans, presoaked at least 2 hours and up to overnight 1 tablespoon salt 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved 2-3 mini bell peppers, coarsely chopped 2 tablespoons chopped parsley 1 tablespoon chopped chives 2 cups chopped spinach leaves 1 fresh egg per serving Nissa’s Fresh Mint Harissa (Recipe below) ¼ cup finely chopped fresh mint Finishing salt  Directions Rinse the beans well and add them along with the other ingredients to a large pot filled amply with water. The beans should be covered by at least 2-3 inches of water. Bring to a hard boil uncovered without a lid for 20-30 minutes. Add the salt, reduce heat and simmer partially covered for about 1 hour or until the beans are tender. Add the tomatoes, peppers, parsley and chives, increase heat to low and cook for another 20-35 minutes until the vegetables cook down and meld into the beans. Turn the burner off, add the spinach leaves to the top of the beans, cover with the lid and let stand about 30 minutes. Sprinkle the mint on, leaving a tablespoon for fresh garnish, and stir the beans, mint and spinach. In the meantime, fry the egg. Place the beans and spinach mixture down, top it with the fried egg and drizzle a little harissa on top. Garnish with fresh mint.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_single_image image="12708" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]

Nissa’s Fresh Mint Harissa

Makes 2 cups Ingredients 2 dried guajillo chilies, stems removed, broken 2 dried red chilies, stems removed, broken 2 teaspoons cumin seeds, toasted 1 teaspoon coriander seed, toasted 1 teaspoon caraway seed, toasted 2 teaspoons rainbow peppercorns, toasted 3 garlic cloves 1 bell pepper, roasted and peeled 2 red (fresh) jalapeno peppers, roasted and peeled 1 tablespoon lemon zest 3 tablespoons lemon juice 2 teaspoons salt 2 tablespoons olive oil 2-3 tablespoons fresh mint leaves (optional) Directions Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth, spices are broken apart and the sauce is smooth. Can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 1 month.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_single_image image="18491" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]

Beef Mushroom Farro Dill Soup

Dill, like celery, is something I forget that I really enjoy. It’s super useful in many recipes, giving a pop of brightness and sharpness. I recently remembered a beef mushroom barley dill soup recipe from my Ger-Nis Culinary & Herb portfolio. I had been craving a beefy soup, partly to use up the Belcampo beef broth that delivered to my door. I usually make my own beef broth but I thought by having some good stuff on hand I’d be able to make a great soup faster and this recipe was just that. I believe the origins of dill in this soup hail from Eastern European influence and their winter mushroom barley soups and stews made with beef stock. Somewhere along the line for me this soup and this style was born. I love that it is beefy and brothy. The dill cuts through the richness of the beef stock, which can sometimes seem fatty without something to cut it. I cut the meat up in both 1- and 2-inch cubes, to give some diversity in size, leading to more excitement per bite. I chose farro this time around. I have farro on hand typically and truly enjoyed it more than barley. Serves 6-8 Ingredients Olive oil, for sautéing 2 tablespoons butter 2 medium yellow onions, chopped medium 3-4 cloves garlic, chopped fine 1 pound beef stew meat, cut into 2 inch cubes and pre-seasoned with salt & pepper ½ cup fresh thyme, chopped ¼ cup fresh rosemary, chopped ½ cup fresh flat leaf parsley, chopped 1 cup fresh dill, chopped 3 large carrots, cut into 1 inch chunks 4 celery stalks, chopped 1 cup brown mushrooms, chopped 3 fresh bay leaves 1 cup white wine 2 cups beef stock ¾ Farro (aka pearled barley) Salt Pepper Directions In heavy stew pan over medium-high heat, add olive oil and butter. Sauté onions and garlic for about 3-4 minutes or until soft and semi translucent. Add cubed stew meat and sauté until browned. Add ⅓ of each of the herbs and stir. Next, add the carrots and celery; sauté for another few minutes, and then add mushrooms. Sauté a few more minutes while all liquid is absorbed by the mushrooms. Drop in the bay leaves. Add wine and stir well while loosening all the bits that stuck to the bottom of the pan and add another ⅓ of all the herbs. Add the beef stock and simmer on low heat for about 30 minutes, stirring a few times. Add pearled barley and simmer for another 20-30 minutes or until tender and to desired consistency. Season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle in the remaining herbs and take off heat. Let stand for about 10 minutes before serving.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_single_image image="18481" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]

Winter Salts

For Christmas presents this year I chose to give salts to as many as I could, along with a hand written Christmas card. I whipped up some rudimentary packaging and had some labels printed for three different salts. If you didn’t get a salt with your card, you can still make these salts. My method is so simple, and everyone should be able to access these ingredients. I’m also including a simple recipe for each kind of salt, in case you need an idea of how to use them! Also, good news for my salt lovers: I believe I will start to produce and sell the salts on a very small scale commercially starting this spring-- April 2021. Fingers crossed and stay tuned![/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_single_image image="18482" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]

Winter Squash Salt

A recent squash photography project for a client resulted in a kitchen full of winter squash. It just so happened to be a hybrid version of my favorite squash – The Red Kuri. (You might remember my Red Kuri Apple Squash Soup & Mac & Cheese recipe I wrote for Edible Marin a few years back, which can attest to my love of this varietal.) I prefer the savory nutty notes of the Red Kuri over the deeply sweet butterscotch tones of a Butternut. One of my favorite ways to eat it is roasted with a little salt and pepper. This salt was designed just for this and all varietals of squash. It’s packed with all the hearty warm herbs that love winter squash. Sage is the predominant herb, and savory, marjoram and rosemary all lend their essences. It’s also laced with hints of cinnamon, mace and nutmeg, and I added Aleppo pepper and white pepper for a tiny kick. My maple infused Maldon salt gave it a super warming quality. I really love this salt. Not only does it shine on all winter squash dishes, but it’s generally versatile in nature. I can see myself using it on chicken dishes, carrots and anything I want to evoke really warm comforting flavors. Makes 3 cups of salt Ingredients 3 tablespoons super finely chopped sage leaves 2 tablespoons super finely chopped parsley leaves 1 tablespoon super finely chopped winter savory 1 tablespoon super finely chopped marjoram ½ tablespoon super finely chopped rosemary 1 tablespoon lemon zest 1 tablespoon ground white pepper ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon ½ teaspoon ground mace ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg ½ teaspoon ground cayenne pepper 1 teaspoon Aleppo pepper 1 red chili pepper, deseeded and chopped super fine 1 tablespoons maple syrup 2 cups Maldon Salt Directions Pre-heat oven to 225°F. In a medium mixing bowl, mix together all of the fresh herbs, spices and red chili. Drizzle the maple syrup over all of them and mix well until the maple syrup coats everything. Gently fold in the salt and, using your fingers, make sure the herbs and the salt are mixed together well and that the maple syrup is totally incorporated. Place the salt/herb mix on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper so that it’s spread out evenly across the entire sheet and also flat. Place the sheet in the oven and bake for about 25 minutes, or until the herbs seem to have lost all moisture. If the salt feels “caked,” it needs more time, usually about 5 more minutes. Turn off the heat and allow to cool in the oven. Store in a small bowl on your counter for a few weeks. Roasted Red Kuri Squash with Winter Squash Salt This is a simple roasted squash recipe that shows how amazing a little of the salt can make simply roasted squash. Red Kuri squash skin is thin and edible, so no need for peeling in this recipe. Eat this as a side dish. Cool it, cut it and toss it on salads. If you’re like me, you can also eat it as a snack right out of the oven! Serves 4 Ingredients 1 Red Kuri squash, about 2 pounds 2 tablespoons olive oil 2 ½ teaspoons of Winter Squash salt Directions Pre-heat oven to 400°F. Cut the squash in half using a large, thick knife or cleaver. Carefully push down on both ends of the blade slowly to cut the squash in half. Scoop out the seeds and reserve for the spiced seed garnish. Use an ice cream scoop for optimal success. Place the cut side of each squash on a cutting board. Cut each into 1-inch wide wedges. Place the cut squash on a baking dish and drizzle the olive oil over the top. Sprinkle with 2 teaspoons of the salt and mix together. Make sure the oil and salt is coated all over the squash. Arrange flat on the baking sheet and sprinkle with the remaining salt. Place it in the oven and roast for about 50 minutes, or until a slight char appears on the skin of the squash.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_single_image image="18472" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]

Citrus Chili Winter Herb Salt

One of the things I miss most about California winter (besides Bolinas crab season) is the abundance of citrus that comes as naturally as rain. Everything from the normal navel orange and Valencia choices to the weird varietals of tangerines and pomelos. It’s all there, abundant and accessible. Unfortunately for me, most the good stuff never makes it to the Midwest. But I have managed to find some interesting offerings (again, in Arkansas) and, with that, I have created one of my staple salts: a bright citrusy salt that highlights mint, parsley and chives. This time I made it “fresh chili spicy” by adding all kinds of chili peppers from the Cabo Diablo Chili Pepper Mix that my friend Sarah gifted me with (she works for Jacobs Farm / del Cabo). She gave me a case so, to be honest, I have been chili peppered out of my mind. The end result for this salt is sure to please the lucky giftees, and its fresh taste is perfect on winter salads like the Fennel Orange & Parsley Salad I made for my family for an early Christmas celebration. Makes 3 cups of salt Ingredients 3 tablespoons super finely chopped parsley leaves 3 tablespoons super finely chopped mint leaves 3 tablespoons super finely chopped chives 1 tablespoon lemon zest 1 tablespoon pomelo zest 1 tablespoon Melogold grapefruit zest 5 Cabo Diablo chili peppers, deseeded and chopped super fine 2 teaspoons sweet paprika 2 teaspoons cayenne pepper 2 ½ cups Maldon Salt Directions Pre-heat oven to 225°F. In a medium mixing bowl, mix together all of the fresh herbs, chilies and spices. Gently fold in the salt and, using your fingers, make sure the herbs and the salt are mixed together. Place the salt/herb mix on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper so that it’s spread out evenly across the entire sheet and also flat. Place the sheet in the oven and bake for about 25 minutes, or until the herbs seem to have lost all moisture. If the salt feels “caked,” it needs a little more time, usually about 5 more minutes. Turn off the heat and allow to cool in the oven. Store in a small bowl on your counter for a few weeks. Orange, Fennel & Radicchio Salad with Fresh Mint If you have ever been to al di la Trattoria in Brooklyn, chances are you have had Anna Klinger’s orange fennel salad. This is my attempt (over the years) to recreate her masterpiece, which was one of my favorite dishes at her lovely little restaurant. Generally speaking, this salad is easy and hard to mess up. Tasty oranges and fresh fennel are key. My Citrus Chili Winter Herb Salt gives this recipe a final touch of delight. Take advantage of all the winter chicories becoming more widely available everywhere. I have the basic raddichio here in Missouri. I’m not complaining, though I miss the Star Route Farms stuff in Bolinas. The Chiogga Radicchio variety pairs well with all citrus. If you can, use a medley of winter citrus, such as grapefruit, navel oranges and blood oranges. Serves 4-6 Ingredients 4 oranges 1 teaspoon honey 1 tablespoon sherry or champagne vinegar ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes ½ teaspoon salt ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil 1 head Chioggia radicchio, core removed, coarsely chopped to bite size 1 fennel bulb, cut in half and sliced thin, preferably with a mandolin 1 tablespoon fennel fronds, finely chopped ½ medium red onion, sliced thin 2 tablespoons fresh mint leaves, finely chopped ¼ cup Kalamata olives, pitted and coarsely chopped 1-2 pinches of Citrus Chili Winter Herb Salt or finishing salt Directions Peel the oranges with a paring knife, removing all the white pith. Slice the peeled oranges into rounds and remove any seeds. Prepare the citrus over a small bowl to reserve any juice. Whisk in the honey, vinegar, red pepper flakes, salt, pepper, and olive oil. Arrange the radicchio leaves on a large platter. Toss sliced fennel on top. Place the sliced oranges and onions over the radicchio and fennel, layering them a little. Toss the mint leaves and olives over all. Spoon the dressing evenly over the salad. Sprinkle with a few pinches of Maldon salt.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_single_image image="18473" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]

I Shot a Deer; Now What? Herbal Deer & Game Salt

I’ll admit I don’t understand deer hunting (specifically deer), nor do I really believe anything people tell me about why it’s so amazing for the planet or how many families are fed off deer meat. When I look at the photos on facebook with the guys holding the head of the deer with the blood and spit dripping from the dead buck’s mouth, I just can’t help but feel there is more macho to the sport than food on the table. But I am a meat eater and also someone who is open to the idea of me not fully understanding things, so I generally try to be open and accepting. This is how I feel about deer hunting and this is my attempt at being open and supporting the folks all around me – not just in Missouri – who are jazzed to shoot deer. Typically when I start the conversation about deer hunting, I usually land on, “How do you cook it?” I never really get much clarity from the deer shooters, except when it comes to deer sauasage part, but I think we all know that it’s the pig in those deer sausage that makes it taste good. As someone who doesn’t like deer or game meat much, I became very inquisitive about the subject. I tried bear chili once in Wyoming at a bar. It was okay, and I remember in South Africa eating all kinds of wild game that was also okay. I recently tried making bison burritos, but I thought they smelled like sheep fur so I gave them to the contractors working on my siding, they were happy. Surely there has to be something to improve the taste of deer meat? “Maybe an herb salt?” I thought. I knew the salt needed potent, robust herbs, so I paired herbs generously in a manner I would not usually pair as potently, knowing that robust additives would help tame the excessively wild flavor of the venison and wild game meats. That was really my main strategy, also knowing that most people cook venison in more wintery recipes. I used winter savory as my main herb. It’s one of my all-time favorites herbs. It works like salt and taste like salt, without being actually salty, so it helps the flavors pop while adding an appealing but generic herbal flavor that tastes pleasantly herbaceous. Sage and rosemary were next. Their potency pairs well with the strength of the venison; it’s like an arm-wrestling match with two equal wrestlers. Marjoram finishes the herb mix. It’s another of my favorites and it was meant to add a softening quality that I think this man-eating and hunting world could use. It’s slightly sweet and perfumy but still potent. It reminds me that soft doesn’t mean weak. My spices were rather simple and designed to add more depth, that I think the deer meat needs. I added white and black pepper and juniper for complexities and heat. Juniper is potent but brings a bright slightly acidic tone without being lemony, which wouldn’t work with deer. Onion and garlic powder meld with the allium flavor. Fresh bay all dried up and ground offers a strong tinge of Christmas tree taste that plays well with the other herbs while retaining a wild vibe. Makes 2 ½ cups of salt Ingredients 3 tablespoons super finely chopped winter savory 2 tablespoons super finely chopped sage 2 tablespoons super finely chopped rosemary 2 tablespoons super finely chopped marjoram 1 fresh bay leaf, cut into tiny pieces with scissors 2 teaspoons garlic powder 2 teaspoons onion powder 2 teaspoons ground white pepper 2 teaspoons ground black pepper 1 tablespoon juniper berries, finely ground 2 cups Maldon Salt Directions Pre-heat oven to 225°F. In a medium mixing bowl, mix together all of the fresh herbs and spices. Gently fold in the salt and, using your fingers, make sure the herbs and the salt are mixed together. Place the salt/herb mix on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper so that it’s spread out evenly across the entire sheet and also flat. Place the sheet in the oven and bake for about 25 minutes or until the herbs seem to have lost all moisture. If the salt feels “caked,” it needs a little more time, usually 5 more minutes. Turn off the heat and allow to cool in the oven. Store in a small bowl on your counter for a few weeks.

Venison Schnitzel (Jaegerschnitzel) & Creamed Mushrooms

I thought long and hard about what the hell I would make if I got some deer meat. I found a recipe for something called Jaegerschnitzel, which means “hunter’s cut” in German. Seeing as though I loved schnitzel and Texas fried steak, both decedents of this early German recipe, I thought this could be a great idea, so I went with it. You want to use venison medallions for this recipe, which is basically a slice of backstrap. Absolutely make sure your meat it at room temperature before cooking it. For me this is important for all beef, but I’ve been told by many people it’s the same for deer. Serves 4 Ingredients For the venison: 1 tablespoon, plus 1 tablespoon reserved Herbal Deer & Game Salt 1 teaspoon black pepper, coarsely ground 4 venison medallions ¼ cup all-purpose flour 2 tablespoons butter 1 tablespoon olive oil For the mushrooms: 1 tablespoon butter 1 tablespoon oil ¼ cup of chopped pancetta or bacon 1 teaspoon juniper berries, coarsely ground 1 teaspoon black pepper, coarsely ground 1 medium shallot 1 tablespoon finely chopped sage leaves 2 teaspoons Deer Salt 3 cups mixed fresh mushrooms, coarsely chopped ½ cup fresh parsley leaves, coarsely chopped, plus two tablespoons reserved ½ cup of dry white wine 1 cup Beef stock or venison stock ¼ cup heavy cream Black pepper Directions For the venison: Pre-heat the oven to 400°F. Season the venison with 1 tablespoon of the deer salt and let sit until they reach room temperature. They should not be cold at all. Pound the venison medallions thin, in between two sheets of plastic or in a zip lock bag with a meat hammer until about ½ inch thick or less and consistently even. Lightly dust each cutlet on both sides with a little bit of flour, shaking off all excess amounts. Heat up a large cast iron skillet with the butter and oil to medium-high heat. The goal is to get a nice sear and then finish in the oven. Once the pan is hot, place the cutlets in the pan and let them sear for about two to three minutes. You can check them at two minutes. The goal is to get a charred sear. Once they are seared, flip them and cook them on the other side for 1 minute. Place them in the oven and set a timer for 9 minutes (for medium rare). Once the timer goes off, remove them from the oven, cover and let stand for 10-12 minutes so that the juices release slowly. For the mushrooms: Heat the butter and oil to medium-high heat in a large sauté pan. Add the pancetta or bacon and cook a couple of minutes until the bacon starts to crisp. Add the juniper, black pepper, shallot, sage and deer salt and cook another 1-2 minutes. Add the mushrooms and parsley, and mix together with the butter and bacon, allowing the mushrooms to cook a few minutes until they start to get soft. Add the white wine and cook another minute so that some of the wine cooks off. Add the stock and bring to a gentle boil for about 10 minutes until a good portion of the liquid evaporates. Take off the heat. Stir in the heavy cream and the remaining two tablespoons of parsley. Serve ladled over the deer cutlets seasoned with some of the deer salt on top.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_single_image image="18506" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_column][/vc_row] [post_title] => The Jovial Warrior Goes to Missouri [post_excerpt] => My ‘moving to Missouri’ story began back in August. I had a few sessions with a renowned astrologer, as part of my crisis response to learning I had to move quickly and, essentially, charter the next course in my life. If I’m being honest, this was one of the hardest times of my life. Normally I make decisions quickly and with ease, but this one I knew would create massive disruptions in all aspects of my life. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => the-jovial-warrior-goes-to-missouri [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2020-12-21 22:13:12 [post_modified_gmt] => 2020-12-21 22:13:12 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.myherbal-roots.com/?p=18503 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw [categories] => Array ( [0] => 75 [1] => 32 ) [id] => m_hr_18503 [post_id] => 18503 [allcategories] => Array ( [0] => USA [1] => Winter ) [categories_places_slugs] => Array ( [0] => usa ) [categories_seasons_slugs] => Array ( [0] => winter ) [categories_details] => Array ( [75] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 75 [name] => USA [slug] => usa [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 75 [taxonomy] => category [description] => [parent] => 74 [count] => 9 [filter] => raw [cat_ID] => 75 [category_count] => 9 [category_description] => [cat_name] => USA [category_nicename] => usa [category_parent] => 74 ) [32] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 32 [name] => Winter [slug] => winter [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 32 [taxonomy] => category [description] => [parent] => 28 [count] => 8 [filter] => raw [cat_ID] => 32 [category_count] => 8 [category_description] => [cat_name] => Winter [category_nicename] => winter [category_parent] => 28 ) ) [image_path] => https://www.myherbal-roots.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/reel.jpg [post_firstImg] => https://www.myherbal-roots.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/Main-scaled.jpg ) [2] => Array ( [post_author] => 4 [post_date] => 2020-09-23 17:52:58 [post_date_gmt] => 2020-09-23 17:52:58 [post_content] => [vc_row][vc_column el_class="blogbodycol" custom_css="border-bottom:7px solid #f8f5f2;border-left: 7px solid #f8f5f2;border-right: 7px solid #f8f5f2; border-top: 7px solid #f8f5f2;padding-bottom:30px;" width="1/1"][prkwp_spacer][prkwp_spacer size="9"][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_custom_heading source="post_title" font_container="tag:h2|font_size:30|text_align:left|color:%234e463e" use_theme_fonts="yes" el_class="header_font" el_id="rechead"][vc_column_text el_class="blate"]SPETEMBER 23rd 2020[/vc_column_text][prkwp_spacer size="9"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]I tend to be an extremist when it comes to emotions. This is why I’ve had to really practice balance. Part of that practice started many years ago, when I had to slow down my crazy capacity for taking on more and more work and make time for empty space in my head and body. Daily yoga, meditation and breathing practices have been pivotal in my ability to understand how to achieve and (mostly) maintain balance as I move through this life thing. A general slowing down long enough to observe myself. Solitude and the ocean have also been vital in helping me reach and maintain more homeostasis. My kryptonite, or the “thing” that most throws me off balance, which I believe is rather normal, is always overwhelm. Too much uncertainty, too many MAJOR things happening at once always rocks my balance. From there I either find equilibrium or fall.[/vc_column_text][vc_single_image image="14541" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]I am currently moving though one of these moments of imbalance, the type where I fall.  Surrounded by a massive amount of change in my personal life happening quickly and all at once, of course amidst all the change and chaos happening worldwide- pandemics, fires, ash etc. All of this has me triggered, and gigantic balloons of emotion are surfacing: anxiety, fear, uncertainty, doubt and an overwhelming sense of feeling unloved. When I hit the I am unloved space, is the point in which I know I am falling deep into what I call the pit of despair. There,  I wallow in all these dramatized emotions and self-doubt. Leaving California and the Bay Area behind and moving to Missouri, letting go of so much that was my life here in the past 8 years, has thrown me off big time. I didn’t expect it to be this way. Surely there is too much to process here in the short time I have left. I know some of my emotions I will probably have to pack up with the rest of my things, only to unpack them and process them when I get to Missouri—but starting the process here is key.[/vc_column_text][vc_single_image image="14544" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]And how do I personally start such an endeavor, not very attractively. I wallow in the shit of it all. I have realized that it is a part of my process—to sit at the bottom of the abyss and flail around in the muck. The pit is not a foreign place to me, in a way I am just becoming more comfortable with it, as I have been in this pit often throughout my life.  There is a new feeling emerging these days that almost feels like I can trust the pit, which is probably more about trusting myself in the pit (in life.) In the past it used to feel like I would never leave the pit. It always felt like I’d be stuck in that realm forever, reminiscent of being on psychedelic mushrooms and truly thinking my weird mind would be frozen as such forever. Eventually the overwhelm, like the drugs, dissipates. My weirdness, I accept lives on no matter what!  The feelings however just move, like waves. It reminds me of that song Emoji of a Wave- and it’s most important message- just hold on…..I think that is is what needs to done while in the pit. Watch, listen, hold on and most importantly- trust. Truly getting to know yourself means you get to learn your process’ of healing as much as you learn your triggers. The pit these days serves me. My balancing practices and a few real live angels are key, especially in the time before the overwhelm begins. Once the fall happens, I have learned not to deny the emotions but, rather, start to watch them, see them unravel and then process them.  This undertaking, for me, is extremely complex and mostly consists of feeling the feelings, labeling them and reflecting on them, if I am able. Getting to know the myriad of emotions possible in a human being and labeling correctly in self and in others is actually really difficult work. But I’m trying. I’m learning. I’m taking the time needed to do it.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_single_image image="14543" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]At a certain point in life I came to recognize that tumbling into the pit was something I needed to do, and I came to recognize and trust in my ability to climb out of it. The stabilization practices have helped me trust in myself. I often wonder about others, though. Is this normal, this pit metaphor, or is this unique to me? Why don’t more people talk about the hard, emotional stuff of life? That’s a question I keep asking over and over.  One of the reasons I really try to show all of myself, as fearful as it can be, is I hope to give others gentle reminder that we are all essentially the same.  We all wallow. I presume that a little wallowing in the pit—deep in darkness—works for me because I don’t get stuck there, even though I still sometimes think I might. It always feels risky, but I have concluded that all emotional growth takes risk. So, there is an acceptance of this fear in losing myself to the abyss, knowing that my courageous heart will always guide me out. I’ve been thinking about what exactly it is that pulls me out, especially as I sit more comfortably at the bottom of my self-pity pit, looking around for what’s going to help me get out. Sometimes, I wish I could just be a rescued damsel in distress, and that it’s a hand of someone who loves me, dramatically pulling me out.  The truth is that has never happened; though, I always wish it would. I can’t lie about that. The pit is one of the most selfish places I know. Like the ego itself, this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It’s come to be important for me to really look around while I am down there, in all the dark caverns of myself. It’s a dark place for a reason. I see a lot of the worst of myself, which is an essential part of the self to know and also to love. My instincts are always to look for how others see those dark spots in me—not about what they mean to me, to my life, and my history. It’s easier to hope that others love the darkness than actually loving our own darkness as a part of who we are.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_single_image image="11380" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]The best way out of the hole is to climb out yourself. This is the only route to deep meaning and purpose… the only way to feel true self-love or love for anyone else for that matter. My life of global travels has shown me that the world is a small place, filled with beautiful and gracious meaning.  While in the pit these days I often remember the meaningful connections I have made in my short little life with others and with that my own life has been meaningful. I sometimes forget how good I am at living with meaning. It’s easy to forget our own goodness as human beings. A good portion of my life flashed before me within this last stint in the pit—of building, directing, creating, motivating, fueling, expanding and teaching others, contributing through my genuine love and openness and utilizing all my immense power, influence, and capability to expand on that over and over and over again.[/vc_column_text][vc_single_image image="14556" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]In those moments when I connect to my authentic self and feel the sense of my life as meaningful to others, I can actually see the value in my own life. I can feel the radiance of those I love all around me. I can see the beauty of the world and how I can, have and will continue to make a difference in it. This part is what stops the wallowing. The selfish love I crave while I am in the pit—the ‘I wants’ and the ‘I needs’ and the ‘why nots’—is ego driven. It’s fight or flight versus nurture and nature. It’s not really who I am. But it takes me being in the pit for a bit to realize that and to begin to climb out of it. My mother is the type that was never able to climb out of the pit. She is still stuck there. She’s the type that gets stuck there repeating over and over the ‘I wants,’ ‘I needs,’ the ‘whys’…Demanding from the world her due.  My mother’s weak essence within me is what pulls me into the pit. My father’s powerful essence within me is what pulls me out. This time in the pit, the appearing balloons were filled with immense grief. These were undoubtedly triggered by having to move my life from California, from the Bay Area. A lot of the surfacing grief was about Patrick (yes, I said his name for the first time in three years). [/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_single_image image="14557" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]To leave this area behind means to leave him behind for good, in a way. It’s been exactly three years since he left and never looked back. I can say with certainty that I am grateful for the path life has given me. My life today is richer because of this experience and because of the work I was forced to do after my heart broke. Today parts of my heart have healed while other parts seem like they will be broken forever. My heart isn’t any bigger. Physically it’s still the same size and still potent like the heart of a lion, but the expansion of my heart has been vast. I have discovered several more intricate and tender parts of my heart, like new colors seen for the first time, new energies are flowing within and out of me, and I have been able to authentically connect with more people and create more meaningful relationships than ever before. My life with Patrick was good, for me, but I am a deeper, richer person in his absence- I have more love to give because he left me.  With his walkout, I was able to see my true being for the first time in full form- the dark and the light sides- and it was only than when the real journey to self-connection was possible.  The pit can teach you a lot about yourself if you learn to sit it it  comfortably.  This time in the pit, I saw and felt all of that. And I felt the grief of that relationship ending, maybe for the first time since he left. I watch it and hold on, surely I will eventually reflect back on this time with some deeper meaning, for now, I just feel better for letting it move through me. Today, climbing out of my pit, I can feel the energy of my loved ones, their presence, their voices calling me, their vitality, and it’s a strong pull. No matter how cozy my psyche can make wallowing feel, their pull is always stronger. My father’s essence in my soul, assures me that I will always climb out. Over the last few days, I’ve been thinking a lot about Ruth Bader Ginsburg, as we all have. There is nothing that can be said that hasn’t already been said. She truly achieved more for women’s rights in America than any other human in my lifetime. I can’t help but to pause and reflect on her words about what makes a life meaningful.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_single_image image="14542" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]She often said, so it was said, that leading a meaningful life means living for one’s family and community and not for oneself. My father lived like that while my mother never did, and still doesn’t. One died contently and well loved by the world on his own terms with all his children by his side; the other most likely will die alone. A morbid thought, yes, but something I need to remember when I sink into the pit of selfishness and of feeling like the world owes me love. Rather, I owe the world love. I think that’s the key to it all. I can feel that I am meaningful in my loved ones’ lives. I felt this last night on the phone with my nephew, who is currently struggling and to whom I will be close to soon with my move to Missouri. Our instincts always bring us to family and community if we are living meaningfully. All of these reflections help me climb my way out of the pit of selfishness. Please, don’t put an image in your head of some powerful wonder woman figure climbing out. I’m more like an amateur rock climber, slipping upward. I am climbing out, stumbling, losing my grip and footing, but I’m slowly finding where the strong and solid aspects are—where the helping hands are, where the teachers are, where the cheerleaders are—as I move up and out, deeper into meaning. This exact spot, the coming out part, in my pit process, is also when I find my creative energy start to build back up. The power of the light through the cracks reignites my passion, and I begin to cook and create again. Despite the unbelievable joy I feel while creating food art, my creativity shuts down fully when I am in major overwhelm, sad or feel unloved. Others cook in this stage, I cannot do anything but wallow- but when I begin the climb, that’s when the passion soars again and I’m at my creative best.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_single_image image="14555" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]Today’s recipes may seem random, and I thought they were at first, too. But, like everything, they are fully interconnected. In this case, it all started with one of my life’s rocks, my friend Danielle, and a simple conversation about what she was making for dinner. Within an hour, my head unraveled a recipe I had created for Ger-Nis Culinary Center in Brooklyn years ago. The Culinary Center was one of my most meaningful projects. It not only served the people immediately around me but also a community of people far and wide throughout Brooklyn and the New York City metro area. One of my most popular classes was Fresh Thai, in which we made hand-pounded Thai-style sauces and dishes. I was taken by the memories of those classes and the extraordinary ordinary people who happily gathered to learn about food and cooking in a setting built for me by my brothers, skills they learned from our father, which made the space and the energy even more meaningful. Making this dish at the same time as climbing out of my selfish hole, I remembered how good I am at making meaning. I was also able to pound out a lot of grief in the process, which was a perk. In sum, the world does not owe me love. I owe the world my love. My love is abundant, creative and for a select few, maybe it can even be overwhelming a times : - )  - It is however PURE. It comes in many forms; right now, here,  it comes in the form of some honest self-reflections, some divulgences of the deepest level and a recipe for  Thai-style fresh curry and  of course a cocktail, because I am Nissa! Herbs abundant, because herbs are my medium of love.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_single_image image="14540" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]

Thai Melon Cooler

Makes 1 drink People don’t drink melons enough. While I was making this cocktail (which began because I had some extra melon to use up), memories of the melon juice I used to drink as a little girl in Nicaragua surged. I had forgotten what a lovely medium melon makes for drinking. Today my cooking skills are added to that memory in this heavenly cocktail. It is vibrant and perfumy, and it doesn’t taste overly boozy. The drink invites us to savor it, much like we should be doing with life. Ingredients ¼ cup green melon, cubed small Zest of 1 lime 2 teaspoons sugar 1 teaspoon lemongrass, bulb, finely chopped 1 teaspoon sliced thin green chili 1 teaspoon grated ginger 3-4 basil leaves, chopped 5-6 cilantro leaves, chopped 2 ounces lime juice 1 ½ ounces gin Sparkling water Bitters (FloraLuna Ginger Cayenne Bitters, preferably) Directions Place the melon, lime zest, sugar, lemongrass, chili, ginger and herbs in the bottom of a cocktail shaker, and muddle until all the melon is mashed up into a thick chunky liquid. Add the lime juice and gin. Fill the shaker with ice and shake vigorously. Double strain into a large Collins glass filled with ice. Fill the glass with a little sparkling water. Drop a few Ginger Cayenne bitters on the top and garnish with a lime wheel and fresh basil leaf.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_single_image image="14545" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]

Massaman Thai Curry Paste/Gaeng Massaman

Makes 3 /4 cup of curry paste Massaman is a Thai curry that has been heavily influenced by Persian and Indian spices like cardamom, cumin, cinnamon, star anise and mace. These eastern influences are combined with traditional fresh Thai ingredients like chili peppers, lemongrass, galangal and cilantro to create a rich and mild curry paste, often combined with coconut milk and stewed with meats. At Ger-Nis Culinary & Herb Center, we specialized in making cooking accessible to all levels of culinary prowess as well as utilizing local, sustainable organic ingredients, all while accenting the herbaceousness of cultural cuisines. This class did just that. I tried to make the recipe easy to recreate, in terms of ingredients, technical skill and equipment. The result was a super fresh Thai curry that everyone could make. This current version of the recipe hasn’t changed much, and it reminded me how therapeutic it is to pound into a mortar and pestle. It felt much like pounding out grief, I have to admit! Traditionally the recipe includes peanuts. I omit the peanuts because it was originally for a class and I wanted to eliminate hazards, but I found I enjoyed the sauce sans the nuts. The recipe can work in a food processor, but I recommend a mortar and pestle. They are not expensive these days and can be super versatile. Ingredients 1 tablespoon white peppercorns 1 tablespoon black peppercorns 1 tablespoon coriander seeds 1 tablespoon cumin seeds 3-4 cardamom pods, cracked 1 star anise, cracked up 3-4 fresh red chilies, fresno, cherry bomb or red jalapeno, seeds removed, all finely chopped 5 cloves garlic, finely chopped 2 teaspoons Maldon salt 1 tablespoon peeled and chopped ginger root 1 tablespoon peeled and chopped galangal root (optional) 1 tablespoon finely chopped lemongrass bulb 1 tablespoon lime zest Juice of 1 lime 1 teaspoon cinnamon ½ teaspoon mace ½ teaspoon nutmeg ½ cup cilantro leaves, chopped [embed]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B9uF4RL_-UY&list=PLkOHFfUWySHaiwB0kYR0APWHd40lrN4sI&index=1&ab_channel=HerbalRoots[/embed] Directions Mortar & Pestle Method: In a small, thin bottomed sauté pan, toast the white and black peppercorns, coriander seeds, cumin seeds, cardamon pods and the star anise for about 30-40 seconds overheat. The spices will start to smoke. Just make sure they don’t burn. Place the toasted spices in the mortar and pestle and grind them up finely. Add the fresh chilies, garlic and salt, and pound and scrape in with the pestle until most of the chilies and garlic are broken into fine pieces. Add the ginger, galangal, lemongrass and zest, and continue to pound and grind until a thick paste forms. Add the lime juice, cinnamon, mace, nutmeg and cilantro leaves and, again, pound and grind until the cilantro leaves are fully dissolved into the paste. The end result should be a thick chunky paste.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_single_image image="14539" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]

Massaman Beef Curry with Summer Tomatoes

Serves 6 Once you have the paste made, there are many things you can do. The most traditional recipe uses it stewed with coconut milk and beef, and this is by far my favorite way of enjoying this curry as well. It’s warming and comforting and yet feels light and summery. In this version, I add summer cherry tomatoes and use a technique for bulgogi that I found works really well in giving the meat a slight sear before it’s stewed in the coconut milk. This comforting dish served me well on my recent pit climbing adventure. Ingredients 1 – 1 ½ pounds hanger or flank steak (thin steak is key), slightly frozen ¾ cup Massaman curry paste ½ cup tamari or soy sauce ¼ cup coconut amino or 2 tablespoons brown sugar 1 ½ tablespoons extra virgin olive oil or other neutral oil 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved 1 teaspoon salt 1 can (15-ounces) coconut milk Directions Slice the steak very thin. This is much easier to do when the steak is partial frozen. In a large bowl, whisk together the curry paste, soy sauce and aminos (or sugar) and place your meat in the bowl covering it all with the sauce, to marinate. Heat up a thick bottomed pan with a little oil spread evenly over it to medium high heat. Place the meat slices down in the pan, shaking off any liquid from them before and pack them tightly in the pan. Let them sear for a few minutes until browned. Turn them over and sear them more on the other side. Add the remainder of the marinade and stir, let some of the juice cook off and then add the tomatoes and salt- stir. Cook for a few minutes until the tomatoes start to melt a little bit in the heat and the coconut milk. Bring to a boil, then reduce to and simmer about 15 -20 minutes or until the tomatoes are all cooked down. Serve over rice.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_column][/vc_row] [post_title] => Purpose, Meaning and a Mortar & Pestle [post_excerpt] => I tend to be an extremist when it comes to emotions. This is why I’ve had to really practice balance. Part of that practice started many years ago, when I had to slow down my crazy capacity for taking on more and more work and make time for empty space in my head and body. Daily yoga, meditation and breathing practices have been pivotal in my ability to understand how to achieve and (mostly) maintain balance as I move through this life thing. A general slowing down long enough to observe myself. Solitude and the ocean have also been vital in helping me reach and maintain more homeostasis. My kryptonite, or the “thing” that most throws me off balance, which I believe is rather normal, is always overwhelm. Too much uncertainty, too many MAJOR things happening at once always rocks my balance. From there I either find equilibrium or fall. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => purpose-meaning-and-a-mortar-pestle [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2020-09-23 18:54:31 [post_modified_gmt] => 2020-09-23 18:54:31 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.myherbal-roots.com/?p=14549 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw [categories] => Array ( [0] => 86 [1] => 71 [2] => 91 [3] => 30 ) [id] => m_hr_14549 [post_id] => 14549 [allcategories] => Array ( [0] => Basil [1] => Blog Posts [2] => Cilantro (Corriander) [3] => Summer ) [categories_herbs_slugs] => Array ( [0] => basil [1] => cilantro ) [categories_seasons_slugs] => Array ( [0] => summer ) [categories_details] => Array ( [86] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 86 [name] => Basil [slug] => basil [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 86 [taxonomy] => category [description] => [parent] => 84 [count] => 3 [filter] => raw [cat_ID] => 86 [category_count] => 3 [category_description] => [cat_name] => Basil [category_nicename] => basil [category_parent] => 84 ) [71] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 71 [name] => Blog Posts [slug] => blog-posts [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 71 [taxonomy] => category [description] => blog [parent] => 145 [count] => 33 [filter] => raw [cat_ID] => 71 [category_count] => 33 [category_description] => blog [cat_name] => Blog Posts [category_nicename] => blog-posts [category_parent] => 145 ) [91] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 91 [name] => Cilantro (Corriander) [slug] => cilantro [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 91 [taxonomy] => category [description] => [parent] => 84 [count] => 2 [filter] => raw [cat_ID] => 91 [category_count] => 2 [category_description] => [cat_name] => Cilantro (Corriander) [category_nicename] => cilantro [category_parent] => 84 ) [30] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 30 [name] => Summer [slug] => summer [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 30 [taxonomy] => category [description] => [parent] => 28 [count] => 5 [filter] => raw [cat_ID] => 30 [category_count] => 5 [category_description] => [cat_name] => Summer [category_nicename] => summer [category_parent] => 28 ) ) [image_path] => https://www.myherbal-roots.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/Reel.jpg [post_firstImg] => https://www.myherbal-roots.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/main.jpg ) [3] => Array ( [post_author] => 4 [post_date] => 2020-08-15 18:06:51 [post_date_gmt] => 2020-08-15 18:06:51 [post_content] => [vc_row][vc_column el_class="blogbodycol" custom_css="border-bottom:7px solid #f8f5f2;border-left: 7px solid #f8f5f2;border-right: 7px solid #f8f5f2; border-top: 7px solid #f8f5f2;padding-bottom:30px;" width="1/1"][prkwp_spacer][prkwp_spacer size="9"][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_custom_heading source="post_title" font_container="tag:h2|font_size:30|text_align:left|color:%234e463e" use_theme_fonts="yes" el_class="header_font" el_id="rechead"][vc_column_text el_class="blate"]AUGUST 15TH 2020[/vc_column_text][prkwp_spacer size="9"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]My Herby Sundried Tomatoes are one of my staple recipes. I love cherry tomatoes so much that I always have loads of them on hand. Sometimes, I over buy and don’t eat them fast enough, but that is never a problem with this recipe. This is a recipe that was brought into my repertoire so I could live in a perpetual state of cherry tomato gluttony, and I have zero shame in that. I tend to use the fresh and dried ones the same way, tossing them literally into everything (salads, soups, sandwiches, eggs, etc.) and it’s a nice change when the fresh tomatoes I had been enjoying suddenly morph into the dried version – yielding a deeper, richer, smokier version of the fresh. You can further heighten the flavor by adding fresh herbs and other spices.[/vc_column_text][vc_single_image image="13722" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]This is essentially how the idea came to pass – let a little salt melt over the oven dried tomatoes so I could put them on everything. Even though I live by the coast and, thus, not prime tomato growing land, it’s super-hot just a few miles off. So technically I am totally surrounded (on 3 sides) by prime tomato farms, and we are currently just getting into the peak season. Tomatoes like it hot. This is how they develop their flavors, which are a combination of the sugar content, soils, air, environment and the seeds. Generally speaking, the less commercially grown the tomatoes are the better they taste. Around these parts we have loads of small growers (most of us do, you just might have to look harder in other parts of the country or grow them yourself). They offer a gamut of choices when it comes to varietals, flavors and shapes, which means this time of year I am in heaven. Small, local growers tend to choose tomato varietals based on flavor over shelf life and yields. This is good news for me and my summer cherry tomato obsession. [/vc_column_text][vc_single_image image="13721" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]Actually the obsession is year-round, and thanks to (literally) just a handful of large commercial producers (Del Cabo is my favorite), we have those options, too. If you want to read more about breeding cherry tomatoes, here’s an article I wrote about Del Cabo a few years back for a produce industry trade site, Breeding Cherry Tomatoes for Flavor. These guys are my top choice most of the year, and I buy them by the case several times of year to always have them on hand. I posted the recipe for my Herby Oven-dried Tomatoes back in April when I was overindulging in the imported cherry tomatoes from Del Cabo, grown on the southern tip of Baja California in a fair-trade organic farmer cooperative. The basic premise of the recipe is what I use all the time, but I always change it up in terms of herbs, spices, lemon zest and sometimes olive oil. Though, omitting the oil is crucial if you are going to eventually also make the salt included here. There is no way to do the salt recipe without first making a version of oven-dried tomatoes. The store-bought dried ones are too dry, and oil-packed dried tomatoes are too wet.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_single_image image="13723" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]It’s important to note that technically the dried tomato of portion of this recipe isn’t a fully dried shelf stable-version. I store them in my fridge in a jar or in a little bowl on my counter if I’m going to use them up quickly. The nice part about the recipe is that you get to decide how soft and juicy you want them to be. There is a sweet spot where the juice turns to paste. That’s the moment where they are perfect for me and also perfect to make this salt recipe. Eventually with this recipe a new technique in my salt-making adventure was made, involving flavoring and coloring the salt with a paste-like liquid – in this case, the oven-dried tomatoes. I use my favorite hand maceration technique by rubbing a few of the oven-dried tomatoes with the salt, extracting the paste and mashing it all up into the salt, rubbing in the color and the flavor. Once I have the salt flavored and colored, then I move on to make the salt by adding lemon zest and basil and then baking it in the oven to dry off the moisture and the tiny bits of the oven dried tomatoes I used to macerate the salt. The end result is a beautiful smoky-ish tomato salt with bits of the oven-dried tomato and basil with a hint of lemon zest. Oven-dried tomatoes yield a smoky flavor and so the final salt is a bit smoky seeming, making it a very deep and rich salt. This salt is important to cook a little longer than most of my others so that the dried tomato bits get totally dried. This salt (and the dried tomatoes) are great to have handy. I’ve been tossing them into my favorite eggs, a caprese salad, pasta salad and even on a grilled cheese sandwich. But the star recipes born from this first batch – Avgolemono (Egg & Lemon Soup) with Spinach and Smoky Tomato Basil Stuffed Zucchini Boats were the stand outs![/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_single_image image="13725" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]

Smoky Tomato Basil Salt

Makes 1 ½ cup salt and 2 cups Dried Tomatoes The recipe will give you extra oven-dried cherry tomatoes, but I suspect that won’t be an issue! It’s important to make sure you cook all the tiny tomato bits left in the final salt fully. Feel free to use any herbs while making oven-dried tomatoes, and use any color or shape cherry tomato. Don’t forget to place all the cut cherry tomatoes flesh side up when baking them. Add more chilies to make it spicy! Ingredients For the dried tomatoes: 2 pints cherry tomatoes 1 tablespoon Maldon salt ¼ cup finely chopped fresh parsley, basil and oregano For the salt: 1 ½ cups Maldon salt 6-10 oven dried tomatoes ¾ cup finely chopped basil leaves 2 teaspoons lemon zest 2 teaspoons red chili flakes (optional) Directions For the oven-dried tomatoes: Pre-heat the oven to 250° F. Cut all of the cherry tomatoes in half and place them cut side up on a lined baking sheet. Sprinkle the salt all over the top, followed by the herbs and lemon zest. Place in the oven for 2.5 hours until they are just about fully dried, leaving some soft aspects to them, but most parts of them dry. Turn off the oven and allow to cool completely. (Store extra tomatoes a container with a lid in the refrigerator for 2-3 weeks.) For the salt: Pre-heat the oven to 225° F. Place the salt in a large bowl and using your fingers, pulverize the tomatoes into the salt. Basically, you will be grinding the tomatoes so that they break up into little tiny piece and squirt all their paste out, which you will then mix and rub all into the salt. You will know when you are done because all the tomatoes will be in tiny bits and pieces with no paste left inside and all of the white salt will be reddish color. Add the basil, zest and chili flakes (if you are using them) and mix until well combined. Place on a lined baking sheet (parchment paper) and lay out flat. Bake for about 28 minutes or until all the tomato bits are fully dried. Cool completely and store in a jar or on a bowl on your counter.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_single_image image="13726" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]

Avgolemono (Egg & Lemon Soup) with Spinach

Makes 12 cups For many, soup doesn’t seem summery unless it’s a gazpacho or some sort of chilled soup. For those of us who live in cooler summer climates, like me in Bolinas, soup can be on the menu most days. On the day I made the Smoky Tomato Basil Salt, it was exceptionally foggy, damp and a little cold here in Bolinas. For whatever reason, I began to crave this Greek soup and wanted to use the new salt in it. Avgolemono is technically a Greek sauce made of lemons, eggs and chicken stock that’s become a soup, often made with both chicken and spinach. I had a version once on the island of Zakynthos that utilized the herbs of the island, fennel and fennel fronds in the traditional soup. The version had chicken bits in it and globs of orzo pasta. It was incredibly herbaceous, fresh, lemony, filling and the silky texture felt deeply luscious on my tongue. My version is my best recollection of that, plus I add the Smoky Tomato Salt to the chicken thighs for roasting and as a finishing salt giving it a tough deep smokiness that I really enjoyed. I don’t believe in stock and believe (and have proven) that you can make tasty and rich soups rather quickly. The herbs, vegetables and the roasted chicken easily create enough flavor for this soup. The one difficult part of this recipe is in the tempering of the eggs, but actually tempering eggs is quite easy, especially in soup. The key is not to boil the egg mixture, so for soups I turn off the burner and let the soup thicken in the meandering warmth. Ingredients For the roasted chicken: 2 teaspoons lemon zest 1 tablespoon olive oil 2 tablespoon lemon juice 3 chicken thighs Smoky Tomato Basil Salt For the soup: 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped 2-3 green onions, finely chopped 1 medium head of fennel sliced thin 1 teaspoon Smoky Tomato Basil Salt ¼ cup finely chopped parsley leaves ¼ cup finely chopped fennel fronds 2 tablespoons finely chopped chives 1 medium yellow zucchini, chopped into bite-sized pieces 3 cups finely chopped fresh spinach 6-8 cups water 1 cup orzo pasta 3 eggs Juice of 2 lemons Directions For the roasted chicken: Preheat oven to 380° F. Mix together the lemon zest, olive oil and lemon juice in a bowl. Season the chicken thighs with the salt and then place on a baking sheet. Drizzle the marinade on both sides of the chicken, making sure to use it all up. Bake for 20-25 minutes until the chicken is fully cooked and a bit caramelized around the edges. Cool. Then shred into bite-sized pieces. For the soup: Combine the oil, garlic and green onions in a soup pan and bring to medium heat. Add the fennel and a teaspoon of Smoky Tomato Basil Salt and sauté until the fennel is soft. Add the chicken, parsley, fennel fronds, chives and zucchini and continue to sauté, adding another teaspoon of the salt as you stir and cook. Add the spinach and sauté until the spinach is wilted. Add the water and bring to a boil. Reduce the temperature to low, add the orzo and let cook for about 20 minutes. Bring up to a boil once again  and then turn the burner off. In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs and the lemon juice. Add some of the broth to the egg mixture, ¼ cup at a time and whisking, to temper it, I add a total of about 1 – 1 ½ cups. Once the eggs are tempered, add them to your soup, stirring constantly and letting it thicken. Place a lid over the soup and let it sit for about 10 minutes before serving. This soup is best served warm. Garnish with some of the Smoky Tomato Basil Salt and a few more fennel fronds, a slice of lemon if you want an even fancier look.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_single_image image="13728" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]

Smoky Tomato Basil Stuffed Zucchini Boats

Serves 4 This year I have two zucchini plants, and my zucchini production is somewhat manageable. Last year I had four and was overwhelmed completely while realizing how many zucchini recipes don’t actually use much zucchini, basically rendering them all useless as a means to put the overabundance of zucchini so many of us gardeners face in the summer. I have since been on a quest to make zucchini recipes that actually use a good amount of zucchini while still remaining enjoyable and not zucchini overload. This recipe is that and it’s so good that even if you don’t grow your own zucchini you will want to buy it to make the recipe. It’s super easy to put together, feels kind of special and is technically one of those carb-free recipes people are craving these days! The Smoky Tomato Basil Salt is exceptional in it and on it! I like to have more boat than the average recipes so I cut about ¼ of the top of the zucchini off. This gives more space for stuffing and since I use all the zucchini innards and the top, I feel like it’s the best win-win method. *You can also make wheels with gigantic zucchini you may have missed in the garden!  Ingredients 6-8 medium sized zucchini, yellow or green Smoky Tomato Basil Salt 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil 3-5 cloves garlic 2 teaspoons lemon zest ½ teaspoon red chili flakes ¼ cup chopped red onion 3- 4 cups roughly chopped fresh spinach 1 cup cherry tomatoes, quartered Juice of 1 lemon 3/4 cup feta cheese, crumbled ¾ cup finely chopped basil leaves ¾ cup finely chopped oven dried tomatoes ¾ cup finely grated parmesan cheese 1 tablespoon cold butter, chopped fine Directions Cut the zucchini to make them into boats. Cut off the top ¼ of the top of the zucchini lengthwise. Chop up the tops finely and set them aside to use in the stuffing. Scoop out the center of the zucchinis using a melon baller or a small spoon. It’s basically like cleaning out the seedy insides from a cucumber. Place the zucchini boats in a baking dish and sprinkle a little of the Smoky Tomato Basil Salt over them. Chop up the zucchini insides finely and set aside. Combine the oil, garlic, lemon zest and red chili flakes in a large sauté pan and bring to medium heat. Add the onions and sauté until everything is soft.  Add the spinach and the tomatoes and continue to cook until the spinach is soft and the tomatoes begin to melt and extract liquid. Add about 1 teaspoon of the tomato salt and lemon juice, as well as the chopped zucchini tops and insides. Place a cover on and simmer for about 10 minutes until everything is cooked down. Turn off the heat and let cool a bit. Preheat oven to 375° F. In the meantime, mix together the basil, oven dried tomatoes and parmesan with 1 teaspoon tomato salt. Toss the feta into the stuffing mixture and fill the boats up evenly. Sprinkle the parmesan basil mixture all over the tops, followed by the cold butter pieces. Place in the oven and bake for 45-60 minutes until the zucchini boats are tender and the topping crispy. You may need to cover your dish with foil the last 10 minutes if the tops start to get too brown.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_column][/vc_row] [post_title] => Smoky Tomato Basil Salt [post_excerpt] => My Herby Sundried Tomatoes are one of my staple recipes. I love cherry tomatoes so much that I always have loads of them on hand. Sometimes, I over buy and don’t eat them fast enough, but that is never a problem with this recipe. This is a recipe that was brought into my repertoire so I could live in a perpetual state of cherry tomato gluttony, and I have zero shame in that. I tend to use the fresh and dried ones the same way, tossing them literally into everything (salads, soups, sandwiches, eggs, etc.) and it’s a nice change when the fresh tomatoes I had been enjoying suddenly morph into the dried version – yielding a deeper, richer, smokier version of the fresh. You can further heighten the flavor by adding fresh herbs and other spices. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => smoky-tomato-basil-salt [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2020-08-15 18:06:51 [post_modified_gmt] => 2020-08-15 18:06:51 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.myherbal-roots.com/?p=13729 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw [categories] => Array ( [0] => 86 [1] => 71 [2] => 30 ) [id] => m_hr_13729 [post_id] => 13729 [allcategories] => Array ( [0] => Basil [1] => Blog Posts [2] => Summer ) [categories_herbs_slugs] => Array ( [0] => basil ) [categories_seasons_slugs] => Array ( [0] => summer ) [categories_details] => Array ( [86] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 86 [name] => Basil [slug] => basil [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 86 [taxonomy] => category [description] => [parent] => 84 [count] => 3 [filter] => raw [cat_ID] => 86 [category_count] => 3 [category_description] => [cat_name] => Basil [category_nicename] => basil [category_parent] => 84 ) [71] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 71 [name] => Blog Posts [slug] => blog-posts [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 71 [taxonomy] => category [description] => blog [parent] => 145 [count] => 33 [filter] => raw [cat_ID] => 71 [category_count] => 33 [category_description] => blog [cat_name] => Blog Posts [category_nicename] => blog-posts [category_parent] => 145 ) [30] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 30 [name] => Summer [slug] => summer [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 30 [taxonomy] => category [description] => [parent] => 28 [count] => 5 [filter] => raw [cat_ID] => 30 [category_count] => 5 [category_description] => [cat_name] => Summer [category_nicename] => summer [category_parent] => 28 ) ) [image_path] => https://www.myherbal-roots.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/08/REEL-1.jpg [post_firstImg] => https://www.myherbal-roots.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/08/main-2.jpg ) [4] => Array ( [post_author] => 4 [post_date] => 2020-08-13 22:19:10 [post_date_gmt] => 2020-08-13 22:19:10 [post_content] => [vc_row][vc_column el_class="blogbodycol" custom_css="border-bottom:7px solid #f8f5f2;border-left: 7px solid #f8f5f2;border-right: 7px solid #f8f5f2; border-top: 7px solid #f8f5f2;padding-bottom:30px;" width="1/1"][prkwp_spacer][prkwp_spacer size="9"][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_custom_heading source="post_title" font_container="tag:h2|font_size:30|text_align:left|color:%234e463e" use_theme_fonts="yes" el_class="header_font" el_id="rechead"][vc_column_text el_class="blate"]AUGUST 13th, 2020[/vc_column_text][prkwp_spacer size="9"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]Scented geraniums are one of the most widely collected and celebrated herbal plants on the planet. They come in just about every scent and color imaginable, and their most common trait is their extreme potency of flavor and scent. They are used in teas, tinctures, baking and potpourri type concoctions. Only recently have I begun to enjoy them and use them in my cooking. For years I shunned them as an overly potent potpourri ingredient. Their scent can be overwhelming in gardens, I have never enjoyed how they take over the scent of a garden. In my opinion, the scent and potency of a geranium was always a little too much to make any use of it. But then the masters showed me the way.[/vc_column_text][vc_single_image image="13648" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]By masters I mean Laura and Tara, the most badass women whose herb prowess in the beverage world (and beyond) is unparalleled. This is not a compliment I just throw around. I have spent a lifetime chasing herbs and herb enthusiasts around the globe and feel that I am somewhat of an expert on the subject. These ladies are two of the four founders of Duke’s Spirited Cocktails in Healdsburg, CA. Duke’s also happens to be my favorite watering hole on the entire damn planet! These masterful ladies changed my mind about geranium. I can’t remember exactly what cocktail I had with this scented little flower a few years back when my mind was blown and changed. I believe the cocktail used rose geranium, and the potent floral flavor was incorporated into the drink and the glass, garnished with some creative flare using the flower itself. Neither the potency of the scent or the flavor overwhelmed me for once. Instead I felt a gentleness that I had never before experienced from the plant. A soft and sensual experience from whatever I was drinking was all I remember, and specifically I was left with the geranium essence in me. It felt beautiful.[/vc_column_text][vc_single_image image="13649" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]Immediately I thought, wow, geranium just needs to be handled properly, I should give it a second look. From that point on, my curiosity about the wiles of geranium began to unravel. It was pushed even further when judging the Good Food Awards. I judged jams, and the jam that touched my heart was the Geranium Currant Jam… wow. I bought my first plant shortly after that – just one, though; I didn’t want to ruin my new love and over scent my enchanted garden. I chose a bergamot geranium from my favorite herb start company, Richter’s- because bergamot anything is my favorite. Richter’s specializes in culinary, medicinal and aromatic herbs, and they have one of the most unique selections I have ever seen. I highly recommend them.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_single_image image="13650" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]This summer, that plant’s gentle and sensual scent has been memorizing me as I meander through my garden. It has become one of my favorite scents out there, it hits me like a soft whisper, like the gentle touch of a faraway lover. In a way I’ve come to think of it a little like me – bold, potent, sultry… hard to match and, above all, powerful. All of my culinary ideas which incorporate it strive to subtly fold its essence into something else. Like in my own life, I have to be careful merging my personality with others. I like it best with fruity and peppery accents, but I think it works really well with lemons as well. If I had a dating profile, it would say ‘seeking a gentle  but bold, fruity and pepper man, tart and sultry.’ Big, gigantic disclaimer, I still don’t use the leaves; their flavor far too strong for my taste. Some potent parts of all of us are better left in the wild.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_single_image image="13644" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]Summer Fruit Cobbler with Bergamot Geranium Sugar Makes 1 9X9 inch cobbler Last summer I wrote about anise hyssop, and I used it in a peach and strawberry summer cobbler that riffed off one of Smitten Kitchen’s. This is basically the same but with geraniums and accounting for the massive amount of sweetness in the jungle of berries I used. The end result is a less sweet, more floral version of last summer’s. Cobblers are one of the easiest and quickest summer desserts to prepare. You can eventually do it by memory and improve with ease. Any fruit works. Others add nuts and seeds. I like mine rather simple – fruit, buttery dough, and some herb accents. For this mixed berry cobbler, I chose bergamot geranium, chamomile and verbena for a beautiful, herbaceous summer cobbler! Sugar is usually added to tops of cobblers with a little bit of hot water drizzled over it. This technique helps melt the sugar a bit and those parts get a bit extra caramelized and crunchy while baking in the oven. The herbalized sugar just gives those bits a little extra something. Ingredients 4 cups whole berries (blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, strawberries) Juice and zest of 1 lemon 2/3 cup sugar Small handful of chamomile flowers Small handful of scented germanium flowers Small handful of lemon verbena leaves, chopped fine ½ cup (½ stick) of butter, softened ¾ cup all-purpose flour 1 teaspoon baking powder 1 teaspoon salt ¼ cup milk 2-3 tablespoons really hot water Directions Heat oven to 350° F. Lightly grease a small square baking pan (I used a 9 X 9-inch baking dish). Mix the berries together with lemon juice and zest and place in the greased baking dish. Using your fingers, rub together the herbs and sugar in a mixing bowl, until you mix them into a gritty herb sugar. Remove 2-3 tablespoons of the herb sugar and set aside. Add the softened butter to the sugar remaining sugar in the bowl. Using a wooden spoon and some arm strength, cream together the butter and sugar mixture until its fluffy, about 2-3 minutes. Add the flour, baking powder, and salt and continue to mix until combined and thick. Add the milk a little at a time and mix. Once all the milk is incorporated, mix a little faster for about 30 seconds straight until you get a fluffy but thick batter. Spoon a few blobs all over the fruit, making sure you do not totally cover the fruit. The fruit should peak out over the top in various sections. Using the back of the spoon, level out the blobs a little bit. Sprinkle the remaining tablespoons of sugar that were set aside evenly over the top of the doughy mixture and then gently drizzle the hot water over the sugar. Place the baking dish onto a baking sheet (I cover mine in parchment paper) to avoid the mess that comes with the fruit potentially bubbling over in your oven. Place in the oven and bake for about 50 minutes or until the top is golden brown. Allow to cool about 20 minutes. The original Smitten Kitchen recipe is adamant about 30 or more, but I like it still warm on my first slice so 20 is my go-to number that allows the top to firm up and get a little crispy while the insides are still warm. I like vanilla ice cream with my cobblers, so go for it.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_single_image image="13643" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_single_image image="13651" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]

Bergamot Geranium Szechuan Pepper Plum Sherbet

Makes 1 ½ pints  I have a fantastic ice cream maker, so I make ice cream often and effortlessly. Because of that, I tend to forget about all the amazing no churn styles of creamy desserts there are. Recently a dear friend gave me a pile of plums from her tree. They were beautiful and abundant, and I suddenly panicked about what to do with so many. I had remembered a roasted plum ice cream I made years ago using Szechuan peppercorns. It was fantastic, so I wanted to try and incorporate that idea again. I ran across a plum sherbet on Instagram by who someone also got gifted a bunch of plums, and so my idea coalesced and scented germaniums came along for the ride. This is a winning combo with the Szechuan peppers! Before we get into the recipe, let’s discuss what sherbet is. Originally it was a cold drink made with diluted and sweetened fruit juice. It’s Persian and Turkish in origin and eventually when it made its way to the US, they added milk or cream and froze it into an ice cream like mixture. My recipe roasted the fruit and then blends it with water and heavy cream, but milk can also be used. I like the heavy cream because it yields a richer consistency. By law (yes, there are laws for what you can call sherbet), it can only have so much butter fat. Mine probably crosses that limit but I’m not selling it anyhow! Ingredients Handful of geranium flowers 1 tablespoon Szechuan pepper corns, coarsely ground 1 cup sugar 4-5 cups of plums, pitted and quartered 1 cup water 1 ½ cup heavy cream Pinch of salt ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract Directions Plum preparation: Preheat the oven to 350° F. Mix the sugar with the geranium and Szechuan pepper until pulverized and mixed well. We want the sugar to be infused with the scent and flavor of the herbs and spice. Place the plums on a lined baking sheet. Sprinkle the sugar over the plums and roast in the oven for about 30 minutes or until the plums are soft. Allow the plums to cool. Place the plums in a blender, making sure to scrape all the juices and sugary caramelized bits into the blender, as well. Add the water and heavy cream and blend until super smooth. You will need to blend about 4 minutes total. Pour the liquid into a container with a lid and place in the freezer for about 3-4 hours or until fully frozen. For the ice cream: Add plums to a medium saucepan along with sugar and water. Cook over medium low heat for about 15 minutes, stirring often, until the plums have broken down and become jammy. Allow plum mixture to cool down before adding to a blender. Blend on high until the mixture is nice and smooth. Add in the salt, vanilla extract and sour cream and blend to combine. Pour sherbet mix into a shallow freezer-safe container and freeze for a minimum of 4 hours or until the sherbet is completely set. To serve, let sherbet soften at room temperature for 10 minutes. Scoop and enjoy![/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_single_image image="13646" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]

Geranium (Whole Lemon) Blueberry Lemonade

Makes 2 liters  There is literally no easier lemonade recipe than the recipe that utilizes the whole lemon. I like easy because easy means I have more time to conjure my herbal magic. That’s exactly what I have done here to the whole lemonade recipe. Juicing lemons is easy, but I honestly hate the task. On occasion, I make this recipe and, when I do, I always think I should do it more. I of course use the opportunity to add lots of herbaceousness. I add scented geraniums which give the final cold drink a flowery and perfumy edge, and fresh summer blueberries give it great color and a tart and sweet balance. The final result is a beautiful multidimensional lemonade with a marvelous light and silky texture! Yes, a whole lemon-lemonade is a bit bitter, but more people’s palettes are opening to more bitter as the rest of the world has been sipping and eating forever! So, try it, and if it’s too bitter for you, all you need to do is add booze – WALLA, it becomes one of the most gorgeous summer cocktails! *It’s important to use organic citrus, as conventionally grown citrus has chemicals all over the peel to help with shelf-life. Some growers use wax, but the organic side only uses organic and edible ingredients – mostly beeswax. Ingredients 4 lemons, quartered, seeds removed 1 cup sugar 2 cups water for blending (plus more for the drink) 1 cup blueberries ¼ cup geranium flowers Directions Combine the lemons, sugar and water in a blender and blend until totally smooth and frothy. Add the blueberries and geranium flowers (reserving a few for garnish) and process again until all the blueberries are smooth. Strain into a pitcher using a fine mesh strainer and discard the solids. Fill the pitcher with about 4-6 cups more water (you can also use sparkling). Serve over ice with a geranium flower garnish.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_single_image image="13647" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_single_image image="13652" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]

Geranium Black Pepper Salted Lemon Cucumbers

Makes ¾  cup of salt Ingredients 1 tablespoon super finely chopped parsley leaves 1 tablespoon super finely chopped mint leaves ¼ cup geranium flowers, chopped fine 2 teaspoons super finely chopped serrano chili pepper 1 teaspoon lemon zest 2 teaspoons coarsely ground black pepper ½  cup Maldon flake salt Directions Pre Heat oven to 200 degrees F. In a medium mixing bowl, mix together all of the fresh herbs, flowers, zest and chili pepper. Gently fold in the salt and pepper, using your fingers mix all the ingredients up, making sure there are no clumps of zest in the mix.  Place the salt/herb mix on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper so that its spread out evenly across the entire sheet and flat.   Place in the oven and bake for about 20 minutes or until the herbs have lost their moisture and feel dried. Store in a small bowl on your counter for a few weeks.  Toss some of the salt over lemon cucumbers for a sensual and simple light lunch!  [/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_column][/vc_row] [post_title] => Geranium Flowers [post_excerpt] => Scented geraniums are one of the most widely collected and celebrated herbal plants on the planet. They come in just about every scent and color imaginable, and their most common trait is their extreme potency of flavor and scent. They are used in teas, tinctures, baking and potpourri type concoctions. Only recently have I begun to enjoy them and use them in my cooking. For years I shunned them as an overly potent potpourri ingredient. Their scent can be overwhelming in gardens, I have never enjoyed how they take over the scent of a garden. In my opinion, the scent and potency of a geranium was always a little too much to make any use of it. But then the masters showed me the way. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => geranium-flowers [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2020-08-13 22:20:21 [post_modified_gmt] => 2020-08-13 22:20:21 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.myherbal-roots.com/?p=13645 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw [categories] => Array ( [0] => 71 [1] => 93 [2] => 30 ) [id] => m_hr_13645 [post_id] => 13645 [allcategories] => Array ( [0] => Blog Posts [1] => Edible Flowers [2] => Summer ) [categories_herbs_slugs] => Array ( [0] => edible-flowers ) [categories_seasons_slugs] => Array ( [0] => summer ) [categories_details] => Array ( [71] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 71 [name] => Blog Posts [slug] => blog-posts [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 71 [taxonomy] => category [description] => blog [parent] => 145 [count] => 33 [filter] => raw [cat_ID] => 71 [category_count] => 33 [category_description] => blog [cat_name] => Blog Posts [category_nicename] => blog-posts [category_parent] => 145 ) [93] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 93 [name] => Edible Flowers [slug] => edible-flowers [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 93 [taxonomy] => category [description] => [parent] => 84 [count] => 8 [filter] => raw [cat_ID] => 93 [category_count] => 8 [category_description] => [cat_name] => Edible Flowers [category_nicename] => edible-flowers [category_parent] => 84 ) [30] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 30 [name] => Summer [slug] => summer [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 30 [taxonomy] => category [description] => [parent] => 28 [count] => 5 [filter] => raw [cat_ID] => 30 [category_count] => 5 [category_description] => [cat_name] => Summer [category_nicename] => summer [category_parent] => 28 ) ) [image_path] => https://www.myherbal-roots.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/08/reel.jpg [post_firstImg] => https://www.myherbal-roots.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/08/main.jpg ) )
Array
(
    [0] => Array
        (
            [post_author] => 4
            [post_date] => 2020-12-22 21:56:20
            [post_date_gmt] => 2020-12-22 21:56:20
            [post_content] => [vc_row][vc_column el_class="blogbodycol" custom_css="border-bottom:7px solid #f8f5f2;border-left: 7px solid #f8f5f2;border-right: 7px solid #f8f5f2; border-top: 7px solid #f8f5f2;padding-bottom:30px;" width="1/1"][prkwp_spacer][prkwp_spacer size="9"][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_custom_heading source="post_title" font_container="tag:h2|font_size:30|text_align:left|color:%234e463e" use_theme_fonts="yes" el_class="header_font" el_id="rechead"][vc_column_text el_class="blate"]DECEMBER 22CND 2020[/vc_column_text][prkwp_spacer size="9"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]One for Rudolph, two for me. This is one of my most whimsical recipes and one that is perfect to make with your kids the day before Christmas eve.  Basically, the kids make herbal sugar cubes for Rudolph and you get amazing sugar cubes for an old-Fashioned cocktail.  It’s a rather fun project for all and one that the adults can enjoy long after Santa is gone. The recipe is super easy. It assumes you have some general herbs around the holidays for cooking.  Herbs, sugar and ice cube trays are really all that’s needed outside a few drops of water.[/vc_column_text][vc_single_image image="18606" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]

Herbal Sugar Cubes

This recipe is versatile  and fun, as the  herbs and spices can be altered to taste. I chose these because they work really well in an old fashioned cocktail, but I make these cubes generally with various herbs and spices per my whimsy at the time. Let your kids play and even enjoy a kiddy fashioned cocktail. The most important part of the recipe is to make sure you don’t add too much water. Makes several cubes depending on ice cube tray size Ingredients ¼ teaspoon chopped super fine rosemary leaves ¼ teaspoon chopped super fine purple or green sage leaves ¼ teaspoon chopped super fine pineapple sage (optional) ½ teaspoon lemon zest ½ teaspoon orange zest ½ teaspoon finely ground black pepper (I use long pepper) ¾ cup turbinado sugar 2 drops Grapefruit Cardamom Bitters 1 teaspoon ice cold water[/vc_column_text][vc_single_image image="18602" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]Directions Combine the rosemary, sage(s), zests and pepper in a medium bowl with the sugar. Rub the mixture together with your fingers, pulverizing the herbs, zest and pepper into the sugar. The sugar will turn a greenish hue from the herb oils.  Add the bitters and water and stir. The sugar should be slightly moistened and still crumbly, not wet. Using a sugar cube mold or an ice cube tray mold, place 1 heaping teaspoon in each mold and press the mixture down tightly into the mold. If using an ice cube tray, the sugar cubes will be bigger and thinner than the traditional cube. Let the molds air-dry on your kitchen counter overnight, at least 16 hours. Once they have hardened, gently remove them from the molds, using a butter knife to assist.  Store them in an airtight container for months.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_single_image image="18604" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_single_image image="18607" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]

Liberal Old Fashioned with DIY Herbal Sugar Cubes

An Old Fashioned is essentially just whiskey sweetened, seasoned and diluted. Yet everyone has their own firm idea on the details. I have a super liberal take on the topic and mine is herbalized. The act of making your own sugar cubes and paying attention to the details, from start to finish, feels like self-care. It’s not only easy but adds creative flair, and it’s a great conversation piece. Let your party guests make their own Liberal Old Fashioned and find out. Make the sugar cubes a day ahead. If you don’t have big ice cube molds any ice will do. I use Charbay’s Doubled & Twisted Whiskey. The citrus notes in the whiskey persuaded me to use the lemon peel instead of the old-fashioned orange peel. I also like using Sonoma Distilling Co, Cherrywood Rye Whiskey. Ingredients 1-2 Herbal Sugar Cubes 3 drops Grapefruit Cardamom Bitters (Monarch Bitters) Splash of water 2 ounces whiskey Big Cube ice cube Lemon twist or peel Sage leaf Directions For each Old Fashioned Place one or two Herbal Sugar Cubes on the bottom of a rocks glass. Drop a few bitters on top and gently muddle them until the sugars are dissolved. Add a tiny splash of water to help. You want the sugar to be smooth and paste-like, rather than swimming in water. Fill the glass with a few large ice cubes. Add the whiskey and gently stir until well combined. Express the oil of a lemon peel over the glass and gently run it around the rim. Drop the peel and a sage leaf, stem side down, into the glass.[/vc_column_text][vc_single_image image="18605" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_single_image image="18619" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_column][/vc_row] [post_title] => DIY Herbal Sugar Cubes [post_excerpt] => One for Rudolph, two for me. This is one of my most whimsical recipes and one that is perfect to make with your kids the day before Christmas eve. Basically, the kids make herbal sugar cubes for Rudolph and you get amazing sugar cubes for an old-Fashioned cocktail. It’s a rather fun project for all and one that the adults can enjoy long after Santa is gone. The recipe is super easy. Some herbs, sugar and ice cube trays are really all that’s needed outside a few drops of water. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => diy-herbal-sugar-cubes [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2020-12-22 22:02:10 [post_modified_gmt] => 2020-12-22 22:02:10 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.myherbal-roots.com/?p=18601 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw [categories] => Array ( [0] => 111 [1] => 112 [2] => 32 ) [id] => m_hr_18601 [post_id] => 18601 [allcategories] => Array ( [0] => Rosemary [1] => Sage [2] => Winter ) [categories_herbs_slugs] => Array ( [0] => rosemary [1] => sage ) [categories_seasons_slugs] => Array ( [0] => winter ) [categories_details] => Array ( [111] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 111 [name] => Rosemary [slug] => rosemary [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 111 [taxonomy] => category [description] => [parent] => 84 [count] => 7 [filter] => raw [cat_ID] => 111 [category_count] => 7 [category_description] => [cat_name] => Rosemary [category_nicename] => rosemary [category_parent] => 84 ) [112] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 112 [name] => Sage [slug] => sage [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 112 [taxonomy] => category [description] => [parent] => 84 [count] => 4 [filter] => raw [cat_ID] => 112 [category_count] => 4 [category_description] => [cat_name] => Sage [category_nicename] => sage [category_parent] => 84 ) [32] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 32 [name] => Winter [slug] => winter [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 32 [taxonomy] => category [description] => [parent] => 28 [count] => 8 [filter] => raw [cat_ID] => 32 [category_count] => 8 [category_description] => [cat_name] => Winter [category_nicename] => winter [category_parent] => 28 ) ) [image_path] => https://www.myherbal-roots.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/feature.jpg [post_firstImg] => https://www.myherbal-roots.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/main-1-scaled.jpg ) [1] => Array ( [post_author] => 4 [post_date] => 2020-12-21 22:05:58 [post_date_gmt] => 2020-12-21 22:05:58 [post_content] => [vc_row][vc_column el_class="blogbodycol" custom_css="border-bottom:7px solid #f8f5f2;border-left: 7px solid #f8f5f2;border-right: 7px solid #f8f5f2; border-top: 7px solid #f8f5f2;padding-bottom:30px;" width="1/1"][prkwp_spacer][prkwp_spacer size="9"][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_custom_heading source="post_title" font_container="tag:h2|font_size:30|text_align:left|color:%234e463e" use_theme_fonts="yes" el_class="header_font" el_id="rechead"][vc_column_text el_class="blate"]DECEMBER 21ST 2020[/vc_column_text][prkwp_spacer size="9"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]My ‘moving to Missouri’ story began back in August. I had a few sessions with a renowned astrologer, as part of my crisis response to learning I had to move quickly and, essentially, charter the next course in my life. If I’m being honest, this was one of the hardest times of my life. Normally I make decisions quickly and with ease, but this one I knew would create massive disruptions in all aspects of my life. The first thing the astrologer said to me during session one was, “Ooh, you’re a jovial warrior. Does that sound like you?” I took a moment to mull it over, then giggled and said, “Yes. Yes, that does sound like me.” No one had ever described me like that before, and I think many people would attest that it seems spot on. I have Mars and Jupiter rising in my chart, which is how he came up with this jingly nickname.[/vc_column_text][vc_single_image image="18478" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]My Chinese medicine doctor recommended that I try talking to an astrologer over my difficulty surrounding the impending move and suggested one. I had four sessions with the astrologer. Four sessions seemed good enough to cover some bases about me and my life before even thinking about where to move. The first session covered me, the second my family, the third key romantic relationships and the fourth my move. By the time I got to the fourth session, I had already decided to move to Missouri, rented a house and started the process to buy it. He was a little surprised, but I then referred him to my chart.  I think and move quickly.  So, in my fourth session I mostly wanted to know: what would Missouri be like for this jovial warrior? His first comments back to me were, “Missouri, well, that is not a place I would have picked for you.”[/vc_column_text][vc_single_image image="18479" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]The big question on many people’s minds is the same as his was: ”…Why Missouri?” After the initial excitement over hearing I moved to Missouri’s southern lake region, imagining me in my full glory as a quick-thinking heroine and powerful boss bitch cruising in my speed boat (thanks to Jason Bateman and the Ozarks), they say, “Wait. What? Why?” Yes, I live in Missouri now. And to quote my astrologist, “It’s not on or near any of your powerful energy lines.” But it is close to a big portion of my family that just so happens to kind of need me. I’ve always thought of myself as an instinctual person, so in a way it doesn’t totally surprise me that I picked this new life internally. It was the external part of me that was resisting it all along. I’m not so worried about my powerlines because I discovered, through my sessions with him, that I tend to gravitate to them in my travels; so, I feel content I will go to them and reenergize myself as I need to. I also reminded him of my chart again and that I’m not someone who can be stagnant. So, today I feel comfortable knowing that living in Missouri is not forever for me. Then again, nowhere is.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_single_image image="18470" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]My chart also resonates with family and a strong matriarchal role, so I think it’s also a matter of perspective in terms of the energy lines here. While the lines might not show up here on my chart, there are quite a few special people that make excellent substitutes for those lines. The thing about connection – especially to people – and about love is that it’s really powerful. Thus, I need to be here. I can feel that in the two months I’ve been here. I need them as much as they need me. That’s how love works. It was revealed to me at the end of my last session that Missouri, specifically where I am living, falls on my moon and Pluto line. These lines represent journey, family and traveling. So, it seems the astrologer and I were on the same page. This jovial warrior’s journey to Missouri is all about family…and traveling! (Thank god!) So here I am, jovial and ready to be a warrior, on Table Rock Lake on the Arkansas and Missouri border.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_single_image image="18474" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]Now the question on many people’s minds is, “How is it going so far?” This post is the answer to that question. It’s not coming in the form of a traditional self-reflective answer but, rather, through a hodgepodge of recipes I have conjured up since I moved to the Ozarks. This post is also as close as I can get to a commercial (unpaid and unsolicited) for those brands and products that have sustained me while figuring out where I can find the healthy, organic, fresh, nutritious, seasonal and interesting food I am accustomed to and as my soul needs to survive and more importantly be nourished continuously.[/vc_column_text][vc_single_image image="18480" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]The Backstory Sometime in the middle of August, I was taking a short summer vacation in Ojai after sheltering in place for months. I needed it, and the resort where I stayed was big on safety and space. It had all outdoor dining and several pools where 6-10 feet were easy to maintain. They were also dog friendly, so off Inca and I went. The timing coincided with the northern fires which threated Bolinas and were raging across Sonoma. It was there where my landlord emailed a 60-day notice to move. I had lived in her house for over 5 years, faithfully taking care of her home. This is not easy in Bolinas. I went above and beyond, and I was an excellent tenant. I really want to set up the apocalyptic scene which I can still feel viscerally. The world was in the midst of a gigantic pandemic, I had been sheltered in place in Bolinas for months, and fires were raging across northern California. Residents of the notoriously expensive Bay Area were on an exodus toward the “countryside” which meant my house was prime real estate. Every home and rental (vacation and otherwise) in Marin, Sonoma, Napa, Tahoe and beyond was getting snatched by those with money fleeing the city. Mind you, there are a lot with money in the city. Shortly after that notice, I received another notice, that Bolinas was under recommended fire evacuation and that my house was technically first in line of a new fire  that had broken out. Residents were scrambling, packing up their stuff and heading out. It wasn’t sure that the fire would reach the houses in Bolinas, but weather (winds) is tumultuous out there and fires had been ripping through the dry brush quickly. Since it’s really just a one-way road in (and dangerous with the fire looming), people were following the better safe than sorry route, so I stayed put in Ojai. It was the smart thing to do. I was 7 hours away, and I had some cute clothes, my laptop and my dog Inca with me. It was there I let go of my grip on everything else, including my history in the Bay Area and the reason why I moved there in the first place. That was a big moment in my life, amidst truly apocalyptic conditions something big and internal told me to just let go. So I did, fully.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_single_image image="13643" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]I can’t say it was easy, the moment I moved on, metaphorically and emotionally. In a way, these apocalyptic conditions forced me to move. Even though I didn’t think I was ready, I realized that I was. I think that’s what they call ‘nature provides.’ Eventually I went home, and the fire near Bolinas fizzled. The other fires raged until the day I left. I wasn’t able to say goodbye to basically anyone I had gotten to know there because of the pandemic and the fires. That was hard. As someone who often feels like a loner anyhow, I couldn’t help but feel that my connections were not that potent to begin with. I know that’s silly to think, but don’t we all think silly things when grieving? After Pounding Out Grief throughout September and packing up my life, Inca and I got in a gigantic 26-foot U-Haul filled with dishes (truly, that’s the bulk of what I own) and drove to Missouri, leaving northern California behind. On this drive out of California, I could feel the natural release of quite a bit, including my relationship(s) there, as well as the idea that I didn’t move there for me. It never fully suited me. It felt healthy to realize all this and (physically and metaphorically) move on. I know I was moving toward what I needed next in life, toward who I needed and who needed me. That has always been important to me, being there for those I love. I move toward what I need rather subconsciously/instinctively. Luckily, my strong intuition doesn’t allow for regrets. I feel grateful for that.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_single_image image="18484" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]How’s it going? Inca and I drove 2000 miles together to get here and had one of the happiest times of our life. I felt like my eyes and my heart were wide open. I felt supported by the deep friendships I have and the love and excitement of my family – both the ones I was heading towards and the ones that were rooting me on. I could even feel a few key relationships deepening with new distance. I could almost feel myself growing (wiser, not taller). My new lake house is incredible. I found it online, rented it immediately and started the buying process before I had even left. I chose it for 3 reasons. It was right on the water, with water views from almost every room in the house. There are sunset views (over the water) 365 days of the year. And it was the least “oaky” place I could fine. Most homes were filled with oak, oak cabinets, oak trim, oak and more oak. I hate the oak look. This house has less and, even though I would re-do things, I had to find something I could live in now that wouldn’t make me nuts. Oak would have made me nuts. The oak look for me is a more a metaphor or thinking and what it means toi surround yourself by things you think about and how that thinking is fueled.  When I see overly oaky homes I cant help but thing ot eh following words and phrases: stuck, closed minded, doing things the only way I know how and that’s just the way it is. As you know by now, my being, like my creative outlets, cooking and writing- couldn’t be father from those words. If I was going to live here, in a place those words were potent, I couldn’t be around the oak- not the real thing or the metaphor- my home had to be different so it needed to start differently.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_single_image image="18486" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]When I drove into the driveway of my house I felt very happy. It did not disappoint. Even though I knew Missouri would inevitably disappoint (everything and everyone does after all), I could tell this place would be the haven I needed to be successful and happy here. It has beautiful sweeping views of the lake, trees all over, and a crystal-clear lakefront for Inca to swim. Every single room in the house has views of the water and the sunset. There are two kitchens. The entire downstairs becomes my business headquarters, with lots of space for more staff and its own kitchen, and a gigantic deck, where I envision outdoor working as soon as weather permits. The kitchen remodel is planned and pending the arrival of cabinets in a few weeks. I feel happy that my brother is doing the work. This circular exchange of my money feels important, especially after giving so much of my money to landlords for 29 years of my life. When people ask me how it’s going, the first thing I always say is that I chose an amazing house.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_single_image image="18477" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]The food is a different story. But I knew this would be the case before I made the decision to move here. I had spent many years visiting my brother here, as he married a woman from Missouri and moved here (he is now divorced). He raised three kids here. They are all still here and all often literally here at my house. (Which I love!) When I lived in NYC, I would spend most Thanksgivings here. (I did lots of fresh herb workshops in a tiny town called Fair Grove about an hour north of where I am now.) Back then I was aware that the kind of food shopping I prefer – call it organic, sustainable, healthy, alive, green, unprocessed, etc. – is hard to come by. I wouldn’t call this a food desert exactly because there is a crapload of cheap food here and all the ultra-processed conventional produce, meat and dairy you can dream of. But there is a gigantic shortage of the stuff I like. The stuff I think the world needs more of. The kind that I believe (real science does too) makes for healthier people and planet. It certainly has changed here over some over time, I see more progress than ever and I have even been part of that change, working in the organic produce industry for so long. The internet, traveling and logistics has made good food more accessible than ever before. But it’s still not enough and the quality and overall choices are still lacking and driven by conventional and processed mindsets and corporations and generally speaking its really hard to compete with cheap in these parts of the country. I’m certain you understand my definition of cheap here. Now, if you know me you know I can’t compromise on healthy food. It’s not just a decision about what I am putting in my body but what I choose to support with my dollars. So, I have had to spider web my needs and do a lot of buying online. I drive to Fayetteville, Arkansas, every two weeks, where I shop at the Ozark Natural Food Store and the closest Whole Foods. There is a new natural food store closer to me, about 30 minutes away in Branson, MO, called Nature’s Wonder. It’s a fairly big store with lots of miscellaneous things I like to buy spur of the moment, like Justin’s Dark Peanut Butter Chocolate Cups, but the meat and produce is still a bit lacking. They have fairly decent dairy products, but at Whole Foods I can buy my Point Reyes Blue, which makes and keeps me happy![/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_single_image image="18490" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]I buy some Belcampo meat online and have it shipped to my house, but I don’t do that for all my meats because it’s expensive and includes packaging waste that I don’t love. I plan to get a deep freeze and buy an entire pig and cow and share with my family here. But even that too is weird, most people only sell them to massive meat processors (not the good kind) so finding folks that produce, slaughter, butcher and package meat sustainably hasn’t been easy. This is after all the land of Tyson chicken farms, which are speckled for miles and miles and miles just south of where I live in Arkansas. That’s the kind of cheap meat that is everywhere here. The produce and the fresh herbs are my main problem here. Like everything else, I have had to do weird things to get it, make a lot of compromises and spend some extra money. Since I moved here in late October, a garden was not an option. I am building a garden and a greenhouse, so come spring, I should be 800000x better off and am super excited about it.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_single_image image="18476" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]Luckily my friends at Jacobs Farm Del Cabo have been kind enough to sell me fresh herbs in the meantime, so all my recipe testing and salts are taken care of and my herbal passion does not need to be quelled for even a second. The Arkansas Whole Foods and Ozark Natural Foods both have many of the organic brands I like, so that works for me. And I know come spring, summer and fall, more local options will be predominant in both, as well as some of the farmers markets here locally. Some things I miss, like the massive number of citrus options most California grocers have at this time of year. I miss fresh little gem lettuce incredibly and can’t wait to grow greens again. I miss year round chive blossoms, access to amazing and fresh cherry tomatoes, romanesco and baby artichokes from the Bolinas farm stand. I make due, it reminds me of living in Ecuador, hauling back lemons in my suitcase. Find a few things you need most and do what you have to get them. Booze & Wine is another issue.  Missouri is one of those states where it’s almost impossible for any regular company to ship alcohol to me. There are only a few big companies that do it and they tend to carry only the crappy ultra-processed brands, and, frankly, I’d rather quit drinking. I came fairly stocked with my crafters favorites, since I knew where I was heading, but I miss my small artisanal batch makers and their booze that tastes good and is well crafted. A few of my friends did some digging and found me a place in Arkansas where there is a great wine and booze store that they swear I can find some things I like, so I will venture there soon.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_single_image image="18471" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]I’ve learned to make do, but I also recognize that me making do is still rather extravagant compared to most.  That’s the girl in me that is influenced by all the places she has seen on the world, that’s the girl that can’t living and cook in an oaky kitchen. The good news in all of this, is that I’m fine and definitely not hungry.  It’s all inspired me to work on how to get better organic produce into the area, and I know I’m the perfect person to do that. I tell you now, I will. Of the hodgepodge collection of healthy organic ingredients I have managed to find and bring together. I have also whipped up a few new recipes as well as polished a few old ones. All of this was done in a kitchen that is somewhat weird – too small, unreasonably compacted and with a shower in it and with a crappy electric oven. If there is any lesson that I can leave you with, it’s this. Just because you live in an isolated area or an area that doesn’t seem to have a lot of choices, an area where people say “this is just the way it is” and “people don’t want that kind of food” doesn’t mean that has to be your reality. If you have strong values – healthy food (from soil to mouth) being one of my main core values – do whatever it takes to live by them. You don’t have to have an oak kitchen or processed food. People may make fun of you, as some make fun of me for driving to Arkansas for my “fancy” food, but who cares? The thing about values is that the things that guide us in life run much deeper than they appear. So, while it’s true I like what some call fancy food, the real truth is that I like food that is grown in nutritious soil, supporting the communities that do the work to produce it. I like organic food because the science is clear about pesticides on food. I like unprocessed foods that are not riddled with sugar. In my values, the American “cheap” is way more expensive than my “fancy.” Be a jovial warrior. Fight for healthy food. Fight kindly for what you believe in. Here is some of my “fanciest” Missouri food, so far….[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_single_image image="18475" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]

Rancho Gordo Marcella Beans, Spinach and Fried Eggs with Nissa’s Fresh Mint Harissa

One of the items I buy online (ever since Bolinas) is Rancho Gordo beans. I cannot recommend their beans enough. Their heirloom beans cook much faster than regular grocery store beans and are also more tender, with more nuanced textures and deep flavor. If you are new to their beans, the first thing you’ll recognize is that these beans have a massive amount of flavor. I buy a big box of beans about twice a year and spend about $100 each time. I often give a bag or two away as a gift or when someone gets excited about the beans I cooked for them. My favorite is their white Marcella beans. They have a really thin skin and cook into an ultra-creamy deliciousness. I cook a batch and have them a few different ways, usually stewed with some vegetables. I like to eat the remaining part of the batch for breakfast with a fried egg and some of my fresh mint harissa. It makes for one of my favorite breakfasts and, since many folks have asked about it since I posted it a few weeks back on social media, I thought I’d share it here.

Stewed Marcella Beans with Spinach & a Fried Egg

I found amazing (Arkansas) local (greenhouse grown) spinach in Ozarks Natural Food Store, so it seems to be something I can get year-round. It’s my kind of spinach, too – a thicker, bumpy leaf savoy variety. It’s really lovely with my stewed beans. Rancho Gordo beans don’t need to be soaked because they are fresh dried beans (meaning they are not very old like some on the grocery store shelf). I do usually soak them overnight because I usually forget that I’m planning on cook them, and it gives them a gigantic jump start. I soak rice, too, for the same reasons. Serves 8-10 Ingredients  1 pound bag of Rancho Gordo Marcella beans, presoaked at least 2 hours and up to overnight 1 tablespoon salt 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved 2-3 mini bell peppers, coarsely chopped 2 tablespoons chopped parsley 1 tablespoon chopped chives 2 cups chopped spinach leaves 1 fresh egg per serving Nissa’s Fresh Mint Harissa (Recipe below) ¼ cup finely chopped fresh mint Finishing salt  Directions Rinse the beans well and add them along with the other ingredients to a large pot filled amply with water. The beans should be covered by at least 2-3 inches of water. Bring to a hard boil uncovered without a lid for 20-30 minutes. Add the salt, reduce heat and simmer partially covered for about 1 hour or until the beans are tender. Add the tomatoes, peppers, parsley and chives, increase heat to low and cook for another 20-35 minutes until the vegetables cook down and meld into the beans. Turn the burner off, add the spinach leaves to the top of the beans, cover with the lid and let stand about 30 minutes. Sprinkle the mint on, leaving a tablespoon for fresh garnish, and stir the beans, mint and spinach. In the meantime, fry the egg. Place the beans and spinach mixture down, top it with the fried egg and drizzle a little harissa on top. Garnish with fresh mint.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_single_image image="12708" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]

Nissa’s Fresh Mint Harissa

Makes 2 cups Ingredients 2 dried guajillo chilies, stems removed, broken 2 dried red chilies, stems removed, broken 2 teaspoons cumin seeds, toasted 1 teaspoon coriander seed, toasted 1 teaspoon caraway seed, toasted 2 teaspoons rainbow peppercorns, toasted 3 garlic cloves 1 bell pepper, roasted and peeled 2 red (fresh) jalapeno peppers, roasted and peeled 1 tablespoon lemon zest 3 tablespoons lemon juice 2 teaspoons salt 2 tablespoons olive oil 2-3 tablespoons fresh mint leaves (optional) Directions Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth, spices are broken apart and the sauce is smooth. Can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 1 month.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_single_image image="18491" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]

Beef Mushroom Farro Dill Soup

Dill, like celery, is something I forget that I really enjoy. It’s super useful in many recipes, giving a pop of brightness and sharpness. I recently remembered a beef mushroom barley dill soup recipe from my Ger-Nis Culinary & Herb portfolio. I had been craving a beefy soup, partly to use up the Belcampo beef broth that delivered to my door. I usually make my own beef broth but I thought by having some good stuff on hand I’d be able to make a great soup faster and this recipe was just that. I believe the origins of dill in this soup hail from Eastern European influence and their winter mushroom barley soups and stews made with beef stock. Somewhere along the line for me this soup and this style was born. I love that it is beefy and brothy. The dill cuts through the richness of the beef stock, which can sometimes seem fatty without something to cut it. I cut the meat up in both 1- and 2-inch cubes, to give some diversity in size, leading to more excitement per bite. I chose farro this time around. I have farro on hand typically and truly enjoyed it more than barley. Serves 6-8 Ingredients Olive oil, for sautéing 2 tablespoons butter 2 medium yellow onions, chopped medium 3-4 cloves garlic, chopped fine 1 pound beef stew meat, cut into 2 inch cubes and pre-seasoned with salt & pepper ½ cup fresh thyme, chopped ¼ cup fresh rosemary, chopped ½ cup fresh flat leaf parsley, chopped 1 cup fresh dill, chopped 3 large carrots, cut into 1 inch chunks 4 celery stalks, chopped 1 cup brown mushrooms, chopped 3 fresh bay leaves 1 cup white wine 2 cups beef stock ¾ Farro (aka pearled barley) Salt Pepper Directions In heavy stew pan over medium-high heat, add olive oil and butter. Sauté onions and garlic for about 3-4 minutes or until soft and semi translucent. Add cubed stew meat and sauté until browned. Add ⅓ of each of the herbs and stir. Next, add the carrots and celery; sauté for another few minutes, and then add mushrooms. Sauté a few more minutes while all liquid is absorbed by the mushrooms. Drop in the bay leaves. Add wine and stir well while loosening all the bits that stuck to the bottom of the pan and add another ⅓ of all the herbs. Add the beef stock and simmer on low heat for about 30 minutes, stirring a few times. Add pearled barley and simmer for another 20-30 minutes or until tender and to desired consistency. Season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle in the remaining herbs and take off heat. Let stand for about 10 minutes before serving.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_single_image image="18481" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]

Winter Salts

For Christmas presents this year I chose to give salts to as many as I could, along with a hand written Christmas card. I whipped up some rudimentary packaging and had some labels printed for three different salts. If you didn’t get a salt with your card, you can still make these salts. My method is so simple, and everyone should be able to access these ingredients. I’m also including a simple recipe for each kind of salt, in case you need an idea of how to use them! Also, good news for my salt lovers: I believe I will start to produce and sell the salts on a very small scale commercially starting this spring-- April 2021. Fingers crossed and stay tuned![/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_single_image image="18482" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]

Winter Squash Salt

A recent squash photography project for a client resulted in a kitchen full of winter squash. It just so happened to be a hybrid version of my favorite squash – The Red Kuri. (You might remember my Red Kuri Apple Squash Soup & Mac & Cheese recipe I wrote for Edible Marin a few years back, which can attest to my love of this varietal.) I prefer the savory nutty notes of the Red Kuri over the deeply sweet butterscotch tones of a Butternut. One of my favorite ways to eat it is roasted with a little salt and pepper. This salt was designed just for this and all varietals of squash. It’s packed with all the hearty warm herbs that love winter squash. Sage is the predominant herb, and savory, marjoram and rosemary all lend their essences. It’s also laced with hints of cinnamon, mace and nutmeg, and I added Aleppo pepper and white pepper for a tiny kick. My maple infused Maldon salt gave it a super warming quality. I really love this salt. Not only does it shine on all winter squash dishes, but it’s generally versatile in nature. I can see myself using it on chicken dishes, carrots and anything I want to evoke really warm comforting flavors. Makes 3 cups of salt Ingredients 3 tablespoons super finely chopped sage leaves 2 tablespoons super finely chopped parsley leaves 1 tablespoon super finely chopped winter savory 1 tablespoon super finely chopped marjoram ½ tablespoon super finely chopped rosemary 1 tablespoon lemon zest 1 tablespoon ground white pepper ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon ½ teaspoon ground mace ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg ½ teaspoon ground cayenne pepper 1 teaspoon Aleppo pepper 1 red chili pepper, deseeded and chopped super fine 1 tablespoons maple syrup 2 cups Maldon Salt Directions Pre-heat oven to 225°F. In a medium mixing bowl, mix together all of the fresh herbs, spices and red chili. Drizzle the maple syrup over all of them and mix well until the maple syrup coats everything. Gently fold in the salt and, using your fingers, make sure the herbs and the salt are mixed together well and that the maple syrup is totally incorporated. Place the salt/herb mix on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper so that it’s spread out evenly across the entire sheet and also flat. Place the sheet in the oven and bake for about 25 minutes, or until the herbs seem to have lost all moisture. If the salt feels “caked,” it needs more time, usually about 5 more minutes. Turn off the heat and allow to cool in the oven. Store in a small bowl on your counter for a few weeks. Roasted Red Kuri Squash with Winter Squash Salt This is a simple roasted squash recipe that shows how amazing a little of the salt can make simply roasted squash. Red Kuri squash skin is thin and edible, so no need for peeling in this recipe. Eat this as a side dish. Cool it, cut it and toss it on salads. If you’re like me, you can also eat it as a snack right out of the oven! Serves 4 Ingredients 1 Red Kuri squash, about 2 pounds 2 tablespoons olive oil 2 ½ teaspoons of Winter Squash salt Directions Pre-heat oven to 400°F. Cut the squash in half using a large, thick knife or cleaver. Carefully push down on both ends of the blade slowly to cut the squash in half. Scoop out the seeds and reserve for the spiced seed garnish. Use an ice cream scoop for optimal success. Place the cut side of each squash on a cutting board. Cut each into 1-inch wide wedges. Place the cut squash on a baking dish and drizzle the olive oil over the top. Sprinkle with 2 teaspoons of the salt and mix together. Make sure the oil and salt is coated all over the squash. Arrange flat on the baking sheet and sprinkle with the remaining salt. Place it in the oven and roast for about 50 minutes, or until a slight char appears on the skin of the squash.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_single_image image="18472" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]

Citrus Chili Winter Herb Salt

One of the things I miss most about California winter (besides Bolinas crab season) is the abundance of citrus that comes as naturally as rain. Everything from the normal navel orange and Valencia choices to the weird varietals of tangerines and pomelos. It’s all there, abundant and accessible. Unfortunately for me, most the good stuff never makes it to the Midwest. But I have managed to find some interesting offerings (again, in Arkansas) and, with that, I have created one of my staple salts: a bright citrusy salt that highlights mint, parsley and chives. This time I made it “fresh chili spicy” by adding all kinds of chili peppers from the Cabo Diablo Chili Pepper Mix that my friend Sarah gifted me with (she works for Jacobs Farm / del Cabo). She gave me a case so, to be honest, I have been chili peppered out of my mind. The end result for this salt is sure to please the lucky giftees, and its fresh taste is perfect on winter salads like the Fennel Orange & Parsley Salad I made for my family for an early Christmas celebration. Makes 3 cups of salt Ingredients 3 tablespoons super finely chopped parsley leaves 3 tablespoons super finely chopped mint leaves 3 tablespoons super finely chopped chives 1 tablespoon lemon zest 1 tablespoon pomelo zest 1 tablespoon Melogold grapefruit zest 5 Cabo Diablo chili peppers, deseeded and chopped super fine 2 teaspoons sweet paprika 2 teaspoons cayenne pepper 2 ½ cups Maldon Salt Directions Pre-heat oven to 225°F. In a medium mixing bowl, mix together all of the fresh herbs, chilies and spices. Gently fold in the salt and, using your fingers, make sure the herbs and the salt are mixed together. Place the salt/herb mix on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper so that it’s spread out evenly across the entire sheet and also flat. Place the sheet in the oven and bake for about 25 minutes, or until the herbs seem to have lost all moisture. If the salt feels “caked,” it needs a little more time, usually about 5 more minutes. Turn off the heat and allow to cool in the oven. Store in a small bowl on your counter for a few weeks. Orange, Fennel & Radicchio Salad with Fresh Mint If you have ever been to al di la Trattoria in Brooklyn, chances are you have had Anna Klinger’s orange fennel salad. This is my attempt (over the years) to recreate her masterpiece, which was one of my favorite dishes at her lovely little restaurant. Generally speaking, this salad is easy and hard to mess up. Tasty oranges and fresh fennel are key. My Citrus Chili Winter Herb Salt gives this recipe a final touch of delight. Take advantage of all the winter chicories becoming more widely available everywhere. I have the basic raddichio here in Missouri. I’m not complaining, though I miss the Star Route Farms stuff in Bolinas. The Chiogga Radicchio variety pairs well with all citrus. If you can, use a medley of winter citrus, such as grapefruit, navel oranges and blood oranges. Serves 4-6 Ingredients 4 oranges 1 teaspoon honey 1 tablespoon sherry or champagne vinegar ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes ½ teaspoon salt ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil 1 head Chioggia radicchio, core removed, coarsely chopped to bite size 1 fennel bulb, cut in half and sliced thin, preferably with a mandolin 1 tablespoon fennel fronds, finely chopped ½ medium red onion, sliced thin 2 tablespoons fresh mint leaves, finely chopped ¼ cup Kalamata olives, pitted and coarsely chopped 1-2 pinches of Citrus Chili Winter Herb Salt or finishing salt Directions Peel the oranges with a paring knife, removing all the white pith. Slice the peeled oranges into rounds and remove any seeds. Prepare the citrus over a small bowl to reserve any juice. Whisk in the honey, vinegar, red pepper flakes, salt, pepper, and olive oil. Arrange the radicchio leaves on a large platter. Toss sliced fennel on top. Place the sliced oranges and onions over the radicchio and fennel, layering them a little. Toss the mint leaves and olives over all. Spoon the dressing evenly over the salad. Sprinkle with a few pinches of Maldon salt.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_single_image image="18473" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]

I Shot a Deer; Now What? Herbal Deer & Game Salt

I’ll admit I don’t understand deer hunting (specifically deer), nor do I really believe anything people tell me about why it’s so amazing for the planet or how many families are fed off deer meat. When I look at the photos on facebook with the guys holding the head of the deer with the blood and spit dripping from the dead buck’s mouth, I just can’t help but feel there is more macho to the sport than food on the table. But I am a meat eater and also someone who is open to the idea of me not fully understanding things, so I generally try to be open and accepting. This is how I feel about deer hunting and this is my attempt at being open and supporting the folks all around me – not just in Missouri – who are jazzed to shoot deer. Typically when I start the conversation about deer hunting, I usually land on, “How do you cook it?” I never really get much clarity from the deer shooters, except when it comes to deer sauasage part, but I think we all know that it’s the pig in those deer sausage that makes it taste good. As someone who doesn’t like deer or game meat much, I became very inquisitive about the subject. I tried bear chili once in Wyoming at a bar. It was okay, and I remember in South Africa eating all kinds of wild game that was also okay. I recently tried making bison burritos, but I thought they smelled like sheep fur so I gave them to the contractors working on my siding, they were happy. Surely there has to be something to improve the taste of deer meat? “Maybe an herb salt?” I thought. I knew the salt needed potent, robust herbs, so I paired herbs generously in a manner I would not usually pair as potently, knowing that robust additives would help tame the excessively wild flavor of the venison and wild game meats. That was really my main strategy, also knowing that most people cook venison in more wintery recipes. I used winter savory as my main herb. It’s one of my all-time favorites herbs. It works like salt and taste like salt, without being actually salty, so it helps the flavors pop while adding an appealing but generic herbal flavor that tastes pleasantly herbaceous. Sage and rosemary were next. Their potency pairs well with the strength of the venison; it’s like an arm-wrestling match with two equal wrestlers. Marjoram finishes the herb mix. It’s another of my favorites and it was meant to add a softening quality that I think this man-eating and hunting world could use. It’s slightly sweet and perfumy but still potent. It reminds me that soft doesn’t mean weak. My spices were rather simple and designed to add more depth, that I think the deer meat needs. I added white and black pepper and juniper for complexities and heat. Juniper is potent but brings a bright slightly acidic tone without being lemony, which wouldn’t work with deer. Onion and garlic powder meld with the allium flavor. Fresh bay all dried up and ground offers a strong tinge of Christmas tree taste that plays well with the other herbs while retaining a wild vibe. Makes 2 ½ cups of salt Ingredients 3 tablespoons super finely chopped winter savory 2 tablespoons super finely chopped sage 2 tablespoons super finely chopped rosemary 2 tablespoons super finely chopped marjoram 1 fresh bay leaf, cut into tiny pieces with scissors 2 teaspoons garlic powder 2 teaspoons onion powder 2 teaspoons ground white pepper 2 teaspoons ground black pepper 1 tablespoon juniper berries, finely ground 2 cups Maldon Salt Directions Pre-heat oven to 225°F. In a medium mixing bowl, mix together all of the fresh herbs and spices. Gently fold in the salt and, using your fingers, make sure the herbs and the salt are mixed together. Place the salt/herb mix on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper so that it’s spread out evenly across the entire sheet and also flat. Place the sheet in the oven and bake for about 25 minutes or until the herbs seem to have lost all moisture. If the salt feels “caked,” it needs a little more time, usually 5 more minutes. Turn off the heat and allow to cool in the oven. Store in a small bowl on your counter for a few weeks.

Venison Schnitzel (Jaegerschnitzel) & Creamed Mushrooms

I thought long and hard about what the hell I would make if I got some deer meat. I found a recipe for something called Jaegerschnitzel, which means “hunter’s cut” in German. Seeing as though I loved schnitzel and Texas fried steak, both decedents of this early German recipe, I thought this could be a great idea, so I went with it. You want to use venison medallions for this recipe, which is basically a slice of backstrap. Absolutely make sure your meat it at room temperature before cooking it. For me this is important for all beef, but I’ve been told by many people it’s the same for deer. Serves 4 Ingredients For the venison: 1 tablespoon, plus 1 tablespoon reserved Herbal Deer & Game Salt 1 teaspoon black pepper, coarsely ground 4 venison medallions ¼ cup all-purpose flour 2 tablespoons butter 1 tablespoon olive oil For the mushrooms: 1 tablespoon butter 1 tablespoon oil ¼ cup of chopped pancetta or bacon 1 teaspoon juniper berries, coarsely ground 1 teaspoon black pepper, coarsely ground 1 medium shallot 1 tablespoon finely chopped sage leaves 2 teaspoons Deer Salt 3 cups mixed fresh mushrooms, coarsely chopped ½ cup fresh parsley leaves, coarsely chopped, plus two tablespoons reserved ½ cup of dry white wine 1 cup Beef stock or venison stock ¼ cup heavy cream Black pepper Directions For the venison: Pre-heat the oven to 400°F. Season the venison with 1 tablespoon of the deer salt and let sit until they reach room temperature. They should not be cold at all. Pound the venison medallions thin, in between two sheets of plastic or in a zip lock bag with a meat hammer until about ½ inch thick or less and consistently even. Lightly dust each cutlet on both sides with a little bit of flour, shaking off all excess amounts. Heat up a large cast iron skillet with the butter and oil to medium-high heat. The goal is to get a nice sear and then finish in the oven. Once the pan is hot, place the cutlets in the pan and let them sear for about two to three minutes. You can check them at two minutes. The goal is to get a charred sear. Once they are seared, flip them and cook them on the other side for 1 minute. Place them in the oven and set a timer for 9 minutes (for medium rare). Once the timer goes off, remove them from the oven, cover and let stand for 10-12 minutes so that the juices release slowly. For the mushrooms: Heat the butter and oil to medium-high heat in a large sauté pan. Add the pancetta or bacon and cook a couple of minutes until the bacon starts to crisp. Add the juniper, black pepper, shallot, sage and deer salt and cook another 1-2 minutes. Add the mushrooms and parsley, and mix together with the butter and bacon, allowing the mushrooms to cook a few minutes until they start to get soft. Add the white wine and cook another minute so that some of the wine cooks off. Add the stock and bring to a gentle boil for about 10 minutes until a good portion of the liquid evaporates. Take off the heat. Stir in the heavy cream and the remaining two tablespoons of parsley. Serve ladled over the deer cutlets seasoned with some of the deer salt on top.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_single_image image="18506" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_column][/vc_row] [post_title] => The Jovial Warrior Goes to Missouri [post_excerpt] => My ‘moving to Missouri’ story began back in August. I had a few sessions with a renowned astrologer, as part of my crisis response to learning I had to move quickly and, essentially, charter the next course in my life. If I’m being honest, this was one of the hardest times of my life. Normally I make decisions quickly and with ease, but this one I knew would create massive disruptions in all aspects of my life. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => the-jovial-warrior-goes-to-missouri [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2020-12-21 22:13:12 [post_modified_gmt] => 2020-12-21 22:13:12 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.myherbal-roots.com/?p=18503 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw [categories] => Array ( [0] => 75 [1] => 32 ) [id] => m_hr_18503 [post_id] => 18503 [allcategories] => Array ( [0] => USA [1] => Winter ) [categories_places_slugs] => Array ( [0] => usa ) [categories_seasons_slugs] => Array ( [0] => winter ) [categories_details] => Array ( [75] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 75 [name] => USA [slug] => usa [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 75 [taxonomy] => category [description] => [parent] => 74 [count] => 9 [filter] => raw [cat_ID] => 75 [category_count] => 9 [category_description] => [cat_name] => USA [category_nicename] => usa [category_parent] => 74 ) [32] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 32 [name] => Winter [slug] => winter [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 32 [taxonomy] => category [description] => [parent] => 28 [count] => 8 [filter] => raw [cat_ID] => 32 [category_count] => 8 [category_description] => [cat_name] => Winter [category_nicename] => winter [category_parent] => 28 ) ) [image_path] => https://www.myherbal-roots.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/reel.jpg [post_firstImg] => https://www.myherbal-roots.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/Main-scaled.jpg ) [2] => Array ( [post_author] => 4 [post_date] => 2020-09-23 17:52:58 [post_date_gmt] => 2020-09-23 17:52:58 [post_content] => [vc_row][vc_column el_class="blogbodycol" custom_css="border-bottom:7px solid #f8f5f2;border-left: 7px solid #f8f5f2;border-right: 7px solid #f8f5f2; border-top: 7px solid #f8f5f2;padding-bottom:30px;" width="1/1"][prkwp_spacer][prkwp_spacer size="9"][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_custom_heading source="post_title" font_container="tag:h2|font_size:30|text_align:left|color:%234e463e" use_theme_fonts="yes" el_class="header_font" el_id="rechead"][vc_column_text el_class="blate"]SPETEMBER 23rd 2020[/vc_column_text][prkwp_spacer size="9"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]I tend to be an extremist when it comes to emotions. This is why I’ve had to really practice balance. Part of that practice started many years ago, when I had to slow down my crazy capacity for taking on more and more work and make time for empty space in my head and body. Daily yoga, meditation and breathing practices have been pivotal in my ability to understand how to achieve and (mostly) maintain balance as I move through this life thing. A general slowing down long enough to observe myself. Solitude and the ocean have also been vital in helping me reach and maintain more homeostasis. My kryptonite, or the “thing” that most throws me off balance, which I believe is rather normal, is always overwhelm. Too much uncertainty, too many MAJOR things happening at once always rocks my balance. From there I either find equilibrium or fall.[/vc_column_text][vc_single_image image="14541" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]I am currently moving though one of these moments of imbalance, the type where I fall.  Surrounded by a massive amount of change in my personal life happening quickly and all at once, of course amidst all the change and chaos happening worldwide- pandemics, fires, ash etc. All of this has me triggered, and gigantic balloons of emotion are surfacing: anxiety, fear, uncertainty, doubt and an overwhelming sense of feeling unloved. When I hit the I am unloved space, is the point in which I know I am falling deep into what I call the pit of despair. There,  I wallow in all these dramatized emotions and self-doubt. Leaving California and the Bay Area behind and moving to Missouri, letting go of so much that was my life here in the past 8 years, has thrown me off big time. I didn’t expect it to be this way. Surely there is too much to process here in the short time I have left. I know some of my emotions I will probably have to pack up with the rest of my things, only to unpack them and process them when I get to Missouri—but starting the process here is key.[/vc_column_text][vc_single_image image="14544" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]And how do I personally start such an endeavor, not very attractively. I wallow in the shit of it all. I have realized that it is a part of my process—to sit at the bottom of the abyss and flail around in the muck. The pit is not a foreign place to me, in a way I am just becoming more comfortable with it, as I have been in this pit often throughout my life.  There is a new feeling emerging these days that almost feels like I can trust the pit, which is probably more about trusting myself in the pit (in life.) In the past it used to feel like I would never leave the pit. It always felt like I’d be stuck in that realm forever, reminiscent of being on psychedelic mushrooms and truly thinking my weird mind would be frozen as such forever. Eventually the overwhelm, like the drugs, dissipates. My weirdness, I accept lives on no matter what!  The feelings however just move, like waves. It reminds me of that song Emoji of a Wave- and it’s most important message- just hold on…..I think that is is what needs to done while in the pit. Watch, listen, hold on and most importantly- trust. Truly getting to know yourself means you get to learn your process’ of healing as much as you learn your triggers. The pit these days serves me. My balancing practices and a few real live angels are key, especially in the time before the overwhelm begins. Once the fall happens, I have learned not to deny the emotions but, rather, start to watch them, see them unravel and then process them.  This undertaking, for me, is extremely complex and mostly consists of feeling the feelings, labeling them and reflecting on them, if I am able. Getting to know the myriad of emotions possible in a human being and labeling correctly in self and in others is actually really difficult work. But I’m trying. I’m learning. I’m taking the time needed to do it.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_single_image image="14543" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]At a certain point in life I came to recognize that tumbling into the pit was something I needed to do, and I came to recognize and trust in my ability to climb out of it. The stabilization practices have helped me trust in myself. I often wonder about others, though. Is this normal, this pit metaphor, or is this unique to me? Why don’t more people talk about the hard, emotional stuff of life? That’s a question I keep asking over and over.  One of the reasons I really try to show all of myself, as fearful as it can be, is I hope to give others gentle reminder that we are all essentially the same.  We all wallow. I presume that a little wallowing in the pit—deep in darkness—works for me because I don’t get stuck there, even though I still sometimes think I might. It always feels risky, but I have concluded that all emotional growth takes risk. So, there is an acceptance of this fear in losing myself to the abyss, knowing that my courageous heart will always guide me out. I’ve been thinking about what exactly it is that pulls me out, especially as I sit more comfortably at the bottom of my self-pity pit, looking around for what’s going to help me get out. Sometimes, I wish I could just be a rescued damsel in distress, and that it’s a hand of someone who loves me, dramatically pulling me out.  The truth is that has never happened; though, I always wish it would. I can’t lie about that. The pit is one of the most selfish places I know. Like the ego itself, this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It’s come to be important for me to really look around while I am down there, in all the dark caverns of myself. It’s a dark place for a reason. I see a lot of the worst of myself, which is an essential part of the self to know and also to love. My instincts are always to look for how others see those dark spots in me—not about what they mean to me, to my life, and my history. It’s easier to hope that others love the darkness than actually loving our own darkness as a part of who we are.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_single_image image="11380" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]The best way out of the hole is to climb out yourself. This is the only route to deep meaning and purpose… the only way to feel true self-love or love for anyone else for that matter. My life of global travels has shown me that the world is a small place, filled with beautiful and gracious meaning.  While in the pit these days I often remember the meaningful connections I have made in my short little life with others and with that my own life has been meaningful. I sometimes forget how good I am at living with meaning. It’s easy to forget our own goodness as human beings. A good portion of my life flashed before me within this last stint in the pit—of building, directing, creating, motivating, fueling, expanding and teaching others, contributing through my genuine love and openness and utilizing all my immense power, influence, and capability to expand on that over and over and over again.[/vc_column_text][vc_single_image image="14556" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]In those moments when I connect to my authentic self and feel the sense of my life as meaningful to others, I can actually see the value in my own life. I can feel the radiance of those I love all around me. I can see the beauty of the world and how I can, have and will continue to make a difference in it. This part is what stops the wallowing. The selfish love I crave while I am in the pit—the ‘I wants’ and the ‘I needs’ and the ‘why nots’—is ego driven. It’s fight or flight versus nurture and nature. It’s not really who I am. But it takes me being in the pit for a bit to realize that and to begin to climb out of it. My mother is the type that was never able to climb out of the pit. She is still stuck there. She’s the type that gets stuck there repeating over and over the ‘I wants,’ ‘I needs,’ the ‘whys’…Demanding from the world her due.  My mother’s weak essence within me is what pulls me into the pit. My father’s powerful essence within me is what pulls me out. This time in the pit, the appearing balloons were filled with immense grief. These were undoubtedly triggered by having to move my life from California, from the Bay Area. A lot of the surfacing grief was about Patrick (yes, I said his name for the first time in three years). [/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_single_image image="14557" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]To leave this area behind means to leave him behind for good, in a way. It’s been exactly three years since he left and never looked back. I can say with certainty that I am grateful for the path life has given me. My life today is richer because of this experience and because of the work I was forced to do after my heart broke. Today parts of my heart have healed while other parts seem like they will be broken forever. My heart isn’t any bigger. Physically it’s still the same size and still potent like the heart of a lion, but the expansion of my heart has been vast. I have discovered several more intricate and tender parts of my heart, like new colors seen for the first time, new energies are flowing within and out of me, and I have been able to authentically connect with more people and create more meaningful relationships than ever before. My life with Patrick was good, for me, but I am a deeper, richer person in his absence- I have more love to give because he left me.  With his walkout, I was able to see my true being for the first time in full form- the dark and the light sides- and it was only than when the real journey to self-connection was possible.  The pit can teach you a lot about yourself if you learn to sit it it  comfortably.  This time in the pit, I saw and felt all of that. And I felt the grief of that relationship ending, maybe for the first time since he left. I watch it and hold on, surely I will eventually reflect back on this time with some deeper meaning, for now, I just feel better for letting it move through me. Today, climbing out of my pit, I can feel the energy of my loved ones, their presence, their voices calling me, their vitality, and it’s a strong pull. No matter how cozy my psyche can make wallowing feel, their pull is always stronger. My father’s essence in my soul, assures me that I will always climb out. Over the last few days, I’ve been thinking a lot about Ruth Bader Ginsburg, as we all have. There is nothing that can be said that hasn’t already been said. She truly achieved more for women’s rights in America than any other human in my lifetime. I can’t help but to pause and reflect on her words about what makes a life meaningful.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_single_image image="14542" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]She often said, so it was said, that leading a meaningful life means living for one’s family and community and not for oneself. My father lived like that while my mother never did, and still doesn’t. One died contently and well loved by the world on his own terms with all his children by his side; the other most likely will die alone. A morbid thought, yes, but something I need to remember when I sink into the pit of selfishness and of feeling like the world owes me love. Rather, I owe the world love. I think that’s the key to it all. I can feel that I am meaningful in my loved ones’ lives. I felt this last night on the phone with my nephew, who is currently struggling and to whom I will be close to soon with my move to Missouri. Our instincts always bring us to family and community if we are living meaningfully. All of these reflections help me climb my way out of the pit of selfishness. Please, don’t put an image in your head of some powerful wonder woman figure climbing out. I’m more like an amateur rock climber, slipping upward. I am climbing out, stumbling, losing my grip and footing, but I’m slowly finding where the strong and solid aspects are—where the helping hands are, where the teachers are, where the cheerleaders are—as I move up and out, deeper into meaning. This exact spot, the coming out part, in my pit process, is also when I find my creative energy start to build back up. The power of the light through the cracks reignites my passion, and I begin to cook and create again. Despite the unbelievable joy I feel while creating food art, my creativity shuts down fully when I am in major overwhelm, sad or feel unloved. Others cook in this stage, I cannot do anything but wallow- but when I begin the climb, that’s when the passion soars again and I’m at my creative best.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_single_image image="14555" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]Today’s recipes may seem random, and I thought they were at first, too. But, like everything, they are fully interconnected. In this case, it all started with one of my life’s rocks, my friend Danielle, and a simple conversation about what she was making for dinner. Within an hour, my head unraveled a recipe I had created for Ger-Nis Culinary Center in Brooklyn years ago. The Culinary Center was one of my most meaningful projects. It not only served the people immediately around me but also a community of people far and wide throughout Brooklyn and the New York City metro area. One of my most popular classes was Fresh Thai, in which we made hand-pounded Thai-style sauces and dishes. I was taken by the memories of those classes and the extraordinary ordinary people who happily gathered to learn about food and cooking in a setting built for me by my brothers, skills they learned from our father, which made the space and the energy even more meaningful. Making this dish at the same time as climbing out of my selfish hole, I remembered how good I am at making meaning. I was also able to pound out a lot of grief in the process, which was a perk. In sum, the world does not owe me love. I owe the world my love. My love is abundant, creative and for a select few, maybe it can even be overwhelming a times : - )  - It is however PURE. It comes in many forms; right now, here,  it comes in the form of some honest self-reflections, some divulgences of the deepest level and a recipe for  Thai-style fresh curry and  of course a cocktail, because I am Nissa! Herbs abundant, because herbs are my medium of love.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_single_image image="14540" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]

Thai Melon Cooler

Makes 1 drink People don’t drink melons enough. While I was making this cocktail (which began because I had some extra melon to use up), memories of the melon juice I used to drink as a little girl in Nicaragua surged. I had forgotten what a lovely medium melon makes for drinking. Today my cooking skills are added to that memory in this heavenly cocktail. It is vibrant and perfumy, and it doesn’t taste overly boozy. The drink invites us to savor it, much like we should be doing with life. Ingredients ¼ cup green melon, cubed small Zest of 1 lime 2 teaspoons sugar 1 teaspoon lemongrass, bulb, finely chopped 1 teaspoon sliced thin green chili 1 teaspoon grated ginger 3-4 basil leaves, chopped 5-6 cilantro leaves, chopped 2 ounces lime juice 1 ½ ounces gin Sparkling water Bitters (FloraLuna Ginger Cayenne Bitters, preferably) Directions Place the melon, lime zest, sugar, lemongrass, chili, ginger and herbs in the bottom of a cocktail shaker, and muddle until all the melon is mashed up into a thick chunky liquid. Add the lime juice and gin. Fill the shaker with ice and shake vigorously. Double strain into a large Collins glass filled with ice. Fill the glass with a little sparkling water. Drop a few Ginger Cayenne bitters on the top and garnish with a lime wheel and fresh basil leaf.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_single_image image="14545" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]

Massaman Thai Curry Paste/Gaeng Massaman

Makes 3 /4 cup of curry paste Massaman is a Thai curry that has been heavily influenced by Persian and Indian spices like cardamom, cumin, cinnamon, star anise and mace. These eastern influences are combined with traditional fresh Thai ingredients like chili peppers, lemongrass, galangal and cilantro to create a rich and mild curry paste, often combined with coconut milk and stewed with meats. At Ger-Nis Culinary & Herb Center, we specialized in making cooking accessible to all levels of culinary prowess as well as utilizing local, sustainable organic ingredients, all while accenting the herbaceousness of cultural cuisines. This class did just that. I tried to make the recipe easy to recreate, in terms of ingredients, technical skill and equipment. The result was a super fresh Thai curry that everyone could make. This current version of the recipe hasn’t changed much, and it reminded me how therapeutic it is to pound into a mortar and pestle. It felt much like pounding out grief, I have to admit! Traditionally the recipe includes peanuts. I omit the peanuts because it was originally for a class and I wanted to eliminate hazards, but I found I enjoyed the sauce sans the nuts. The recipe can work in a food processor, but I recommend a mortar and pestle. They are not expensive these days and can be super versatile. Ingredients 1 tablespoon white peppercorns 1 tablespoon black peppercorns 1 tablespoon coriander seeds 1 tablespoon cumin seeds 3-4 cardamom pods, cracked 1 star anise, cracked up 3-4 fresh red chilies, fresno, cherry bomb or red jalapeno, seeds removed, all finely chopped 5 cloves garlic, finely chopped 2 teaspoons Maldon salt 1 tablespoon peeled and chopped ginger root 1 tablespoon peeled and chopped galangal root (optional) 1 tablespoon finely chopped lemongrass bulb 1 tablespoon lime zest Juice of 1 lime 1 teaspoon cinnamon ½ teaspoon mace ½ teaspoon nutmeg ½ cup cilantro leaves, chopped [embed]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B9uF4RL_-UY&list=PLkOHFfUWySHaiwB0kYR0APWHd40lrN4sI&index=1&ab_channel=HerbalRoots[/embed] Directions Mortar & Pestle Method: In a small, thin bottomed sauté pan, toast the white and black peppercorns, coriander seeds, cumin seeds, cardamon pods and the star anise for about 30-40 seconds overheat. The spices will start to smoke. Just make sure they don’t burn. Place the toasted spices in the mortar and pestle and grind them up finely. Add the fresh chilies, garlic and salt, and pound and scrape in with the pestle until most of the chilies and garlic are broken into fine pieces. Add the ginger, galangal, lemongrass and zest, and continue to pound and grind until a thick paste forms. Add the lime juice, cinnamon, mace, nutmeg and cilantro leaves and, again, pound and grind until the cilantro leaves are fully dissolved into the paste. The end result should be a thick chunky paste.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_single_image image="14539" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]

Massaman Beef Curry with Summer Tomatoes

Serves 6 Once you have the paste made, there are many things you can do. The most traditional recipe uses it stewed with coconut milk and beef, and this is by far my favorite way of enjoying this curry as well. It’s warming and comforting and yet feels light and summery. In this version, I add summer cherry tomatoes and use a technique for bulgogi that I found works really well in giving the meat a slight sear before it’s stewed in the coconut milk. This comforting dish served me well on my recent pit climbing adventure. Ingredients 1 – 1 ½ pounds hanger or flank steak (thin steak is key), slightly frozen ¾ cup Massaman curry paste ½ cup tamari or soy sauce ¼ cup coconut amino or 2 tablespoons brown sugar 1 ½ tablespoons extra virgin olive oil or other neutral oil 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved 1 teaspoon salt 1 can (15-ounces) coconut milk Directions Slice the steak very thin. This is much easier to do when the steak is partial frozen. In a large bowl, whisk together the curry paste, soy sauce and aminos (or sugar) and place your meat in the bowl covering it all with the sauce, to marinate. Heat up a thick bottomed pan with a little oil spread evenly over it to medium high heat. Place the meat slices down in the pan, shaking off any liquid from them before and pack them tightly in the pan. Let them sear for a few minutes until browned. Turn them over and sear them more on the other side. Add the remainder of the marinade and stir, let some of the juice cook off and then add the tomatoes and salt- stir. Cook for a few minutes until the tomatoes start to melt a little bit in the heat and the coconut milk. Bring to a boil, then reduce to and simmer about 15 -20 minutes or until the tomatoes are all cooked down. Serve over rice.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_column][/vc_row] [post_title] => Purpose, Meaning and a Mortar & Pestle [post_excerpt] => I tend to be an extremist when it comes to emotions. This is why I’ve had to really practice balance. Part of that practice started many years ago, when I had to slow down my crazy capacity for taking on more and more work and make time for empty space in my head and body. Daily yoga, meditation and breathing practices have been pivotal in my ability to understand how to achieve and (mostly) maintain balance as I move through this life thing. A general slowing down long enough to observe myself. Solitude and the ocean have also been vital in helping me reach and maintain more homeostasis. My kryptonite, or the “thing” that most throws me off balance, which I believe is rather normal, is always overwhelm. Too much uncertainty, too many MAJOR things happening at once always rocks my balance. From there I either find equilibrium or fall. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => purpose-meaning-and-a-mortar-pestle [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2020-09-23 18:54:31 [post_modified_gmt] => 2020-09-23 18:54:31 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.myherbal-roots.com/?p=14549 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw [categories] => Array ( [0] => 86 [1] => 71 [2] => 91 [3] => 30 ) [id] => m_hr_14549 [post_id] => 14549 [allcategories] => Array ( [0] => Basil [1] => Blog Posts [2] => Cilantro (Corriander) [3] => Summer ) [categories_herbs_slugs] => Array ( [0] => basil [1] => cilantro ) [categories_seasons_slugs] => Array ( [0] => summer ) [categories_details] => Array ( [86] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 86 [name] => Basil [slug] => basil [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 86 [taxonomy] => category [description] => [parent] => 84 [count] => 3 [filter] => raw [cat_ID] => 86 [category_count] => 3 [category_description] => [cat_name] => Basil [category_nicename] => basil [category_parent] => 84 ) [71] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 71 [name] => Blog Posts [slug] => blog-posts [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 71 [taxonomy] => category [description] => blog [parent] => 145 [count] => 33 [filter] => raw [cat_ID] => 71 [category_count] => 33 [category_description] => blog [cat_name] => Blog Posts [category_nicename] => blog-posts [category_parent] => 145 ) [91] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 91 [name] => Cilantro (Corriander) [slug] => cilantro [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 91 [taxonomy] => category [description] => [parent] => 84 [count] => 2 [filter] => raw [cat_ID] => 91 [category_count] => 2 [category_description] => [cat_name] => Cilantro (Corriander) [category_nicename] => cilantro [category_parent] => 84 ) [30] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 30 [name] => Summer [slug] => summer [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 30 [taxonomy] => category [description] => [parent] => 28 [count] => 5 [filter] => raw [cat_ID] => 30 [category_count] => 5 [category_description] => [cat_name] => Summer [category_nicename] => summer [category_parent] => 28 ) ) [image_path] => https://www.myherbal-roots.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/Reel.jpg [post_firstImg] => https://www.myherbal-roots.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/main.jpg ) [3] => Array ( [post_author] => 4 [post_date] => 2020-08-15 18:06:51 [post_date_gmt] => 2020-08-15 18:06:51 [post_content] => [vc_row][vc_column el_class="blogbodycol" custom_css="border-bottom:7px solid #f8f5f2;border-left: 7px solid #f8f5f2;border-right: 7px solid #f8f5f2; border-top: 7px solid #f8f5f2;padding-bottom:30px;" width="1/1"][prkwp_spacer][prkwp_spacer size="9"][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_custom_heading source="post_title" font_container="tag:h2|font_size:30|text_align:left|color:%234e463e" use_theme_fonts="yes" el_class="header_font" el_id="rechead"][vc_column_text el_class="blate"]AUGUST 15TH 2020[/vc_column_text][prkwp_spacer size="9"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]My Herby Sundried Tomatoes are one of my staple recipes. I love cherry tomatoes so much that I always have loads of them on hand. Sometimes, I over buy and don’t eat them fast enough, but that is never a problem with this recipe. This is a recipe that was brought into my repertoire so I could live in a perpetual state of cherry tomato gluttony, and I have zero shame in that. I tend to use the fresh and dried ones the same way, tossing them literally into everything (salads, soups, sandwiches, eggs, etc.) and it’s a nice change when the fresh tomatoes I had been enjoying suddenly morph into the dried version – yielding a deeper, richer, smokier version of the fresh. You can further heighten the flavor by adding fresh herbs and other spices.[/vc_column_text][vc_single_image image="13722" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]This is essentially how the idea came to pass – let a little salt melt over the oven dried tomatoes so I could put them on everything. Even though I live by the coast and, thus, not prime tomato growing land, it’s super-hot just a few miles off. So technically I am totally surrounded (on 3 sides) by prime tomato farms, and we are currently just getting into the peak season. Tomatoes like it hot. This is how they develop their flavors, which are a combination of the sugar content, soils, air, environment and the seeds. Generally speaking, the less commercially grown the tomatoes are the better they taste. Around these parts we have loads of small growers (most of us do, you just might have to look harder in other parts of the country or grow them yourself). They offer a gamut of choices when it comes to varietals, flavors and shapes, which means this time of year I am in heaven. Small, local growers tend to choose tomato varietals based on flavor over shelf life and yields. This is good news for me and my summer cherry tomato obsession. [/vc_column_text][vc_single_image image="13721" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]Actually the obsession is year-round, and thanks to (literally) just a handful of large commercial producers (Del Cabo is my favorite), we have those options, too. If you want to read more about breeding cherry tomatoes, here’s an article I wrote about Del Cabo a few years back for a produce industry trade site, Breeding Cherry Tomatoes for Flavor. These guys are my top choice most of the year, and I buy them by the case several times of year to always have them on hand. I posted the recipe for my Herby Oven-dried Tomatoes back in April when I was overindulging in the imported cherry tomatoes from Del Cabo, grown on the southern tip of Baja California in a fair-trade organic farmer cooperative. The basic premise of the recipe is what I use all the time, but I always change it up in terms of herbs, spices, lemon zest and sometimes olive oil. Though, omitting the oil is crucial if you are going to eventually also make the salt included here. There is no way to do the salt recipe without first making a version of oven-dried tomatoes. The store-bought dried ones are too dry, and oil-packed dried tomatoes are too wet.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_single_image image="13723" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]It’s important to note that technically the dried tomato of portion of this recipe isn’t a fully dried shelf stable-version. I store them in my fridge in a jar or in a little bowl on my counter if I’m going to use them up quickly. The nice part about the recipe is that you get to decide how soft and juicy you want them to be. There is a sweet spot where the juice turns to paste. That’s the moment where they are perfect for me and also perfect to make this salt recipe. Eventually with this recipe a new technique in my salt-making adventure was made, involving flavoring and coloring the salt with a paste-like liquid – in this case, the oven-dried tomatoes. I use my favorite hand maceration technique by rubbing a few of the oven-dried tomatoes with the salt, extracting the paste and mashing it all up into the salt, rubbing in the color and the flavor. Once I have the salt flavored and colored, then I move on to make the salt by adding lemon zest and basil and then baking it in the oven to dry off the moisture and the tiny bits of the oven dried tomatoes I used to macerate the salt. The end result is a beautiful smoky-ish tomato salt with bits of the oven-dried tomato and basil with a hint of lemon zest. Oven-dried tomatoes yield a smoky flavor and so the final salt is a bit smoky seeming, making it a very deep and rich salt. This salt is important to cook a little longer than most of my others so that the dried tomato bits get totally dried. This salt (and the dried tomatoes) are great to have handy. I’ve been tossing them into my favorite eggs, a caprese salad, pasta salad and even on a grilled cheese sandwich. But the star recipes born from this first batch – Avgolemono (Egg & Lemon Soup) with Spinach and Smoky Tomato Basil Stuffed Zucchini Boats were the stand outs![/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_single_image image="13725" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]

Smoky Tomato Basil Salt

Makes 1 ½ cup salt and 2 cups Dried Tomatoes The recipe will give you extra oven-dried cherry tomatoes, but I suspect that won’t be an issue! It’s important to make sure you cook all the tiny tomato bits left in the final salt fully. Feel free to use any herbs while making oven-dried tomatoes, and use any color or shape cherry tomato. Don’t forget to place all the cut cherry tomatoes flesh side up when baking them. Add more chilies to make it spicy! Ingredients For the dried tomatoes: 2 pints cherry tomatoes 1 tablespoon Maldon salt ¼ cup finely chopped fresh parsley, basil and oregano For the salt: 1 ½ cups Maldon salt 6-10 oven dried tomatoes ¾ cup finely chopped basil leaves 2 teaspoons lemon zest 2 teaspoons red chili flakes (optional) Directions For the oven-dried tomatoes: Pre-heat the oven to 250° F. Cut all of the cherry tomatoes in half and place them cut side up on a lined baking sheet. Sprinkle the salt all over the top, followed by the herbs and lemon zest. Place in the oven for 2.5 hours until they are just about fully dried, leaving some soft aspects to them, but most parts of them dry. Turn off the oven and allow to cool completely. (Store extra tomatoes a container with a lid in the refrigerator for 2-3 weeks.) For the salt: Pre-heat the oven to 225° F. Place the salt in a large bowl and using your fingers, pulverize the tomatoes into the salt. Basically, you will be grinding the tomatoes so that they break up into little tiny piece and squirt all their paste out, which you will then mix and rub all into the salt. You will know when you are done because all the tomatoes will be in tiny bits and pieces with no paste left inside and all of the white salt will be reddish color. Add the basil, zest and chili flakes (if you are using them) and mix until well combined. Place on a lined baking sheet (parchment paper) and lay out flat. Bake for about 28 minutes or until all the tomato bits are fully dried. Cool completely and store in a jar or on a bowl on your counter.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_single_image image="13726" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]

Avgolemono (Egg & Lemon Soup) with Spinach

Makes 12 cups For many, soup doesn’t seem summery unless it’s a gazpacho or some sort of chilled soup. For those of us who live in cooler summer climates, like me in Bolinas, soup can be on the menu most days. On the day I made the Smoky Tomato Basil Salt, it was exceptionally foggy, damp and a little cold here in Bolinas. For whatever reason, I began to crave this Greek soup and wanted to use the new salt in it. Avgolemono is technically a Greek sauce made of lemons, eggs and chicken stock that’s become a soup, often made with both chicken and spinach. I had a version once on the island of Zakynthos that utilized the herbs of the island, fennel and fennel fronds in the traditional soup. The version had chicken bits in it and globs of orzo pasta. It was incredibly herbaceous, fresh, lemony, filling and the silky texture felt deeply luscious on my tongue. My version is my best recollection of that, plus I add the Smoky Tomato Salt to the chicken thighs for roasting and as a finishing salt giving it a tough deep smokiness that I really enjoyed. I don’t believe in stock and believe (and have proven) that you can make tasty and rich soups rather quickly. The herbs, vegetables and the roasted chicken easily create enough flavor for this soup. The one difficult part of this recipe is in the tempering of the eggs, but actually tempering eggs is quite easy, especially in soup. The key is not to boil the egg mixture, so for soups I turn off the burner and let the soup thicken in the meandering warmth. Ingredients For the roasted chicken: 2 teaspoons lemon zest 1 tablespoon olive oil 2 tablespoon lemon juice 3 chicken thighs Smoky Tomato Basil Salt For the soup: 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped 2-3 green onions, finely chopped 1 medium head of fennel sliced thin 1 teaspoon Smoky Tomato Basil Salt ¼ cup finely chopped parsley leaves ¼ cup finely chopped fennel fronds 2 tablespoons finely chopped chives 1 medium yellow zucchini, chopped into bite-sized pieces 3 cups finely chopped fresh spinach 6-8 cups water 1 cup orzo pasta 3 eggs Juice of 2 lemons Directions For the roasted chicken: Preheat oven to 380° F. Mix together the lemon zest, olive oil and lemon juice in a bowl. Season the chicken thighs with the salt and then place on a baking sheet. Drizzle the marinade on both sides of the chicken, making sure to use it all up. Bake for 20-25 minutes until the chicken is fully cooked and a bit caramelized around the edges. Cool. Then shred into bite-sized pieces. For the soup: Combine the oil, garlic and green onions in a soup pan and bring to medium heat. Add the fennel and a teaspoon of Smoky Tomato Basil Salt and sauté until the fennel is soft. Add the chicken, parsley, fennel fronds, chives and zucchini and continue to sauté, adding another teaspoon of the salt as you stir and cook. Add the spinach and sauté until the spinach is wilted. Add the water and bring to a boil. Reduce the temperature to low, add the orzo and let cook for about 20 minutes. Bring up to a boil once again  and then turn the burner off. In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs and the lemon juice. Add some of the broth to the egg mixture, ¼ cup at a time and whisking, to temper it, I add a total of about 1 – 1 ½ cups. Once the eggs are tempered, add them to your soup, stirring constantly and letting it thicken. Place a lid over the soup and let it sit for about 10 minutes before serving. This soup is best served warm. Garnish with some of the Smoky Tomato Basil Salt and a few more fennel fronds, a slice of lemon if you want an even fancier look.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_single_image image="13728" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]

Smoky Tomato Basil Stuffed Zucchini Boats

Serves 4 This year I have two zucchini plants, and my zucchini production is somewhat manageable. Last year I had four and was overwhelmed completely while realizing how many zucchini recipes don’t actually use much zucchini, basically rendering them all useless as a means to put the overabundance of zucchini so many of us gardeners face in the summer. I have since been on a quest to make zucchini recipes that actually use a good amount of zucchini while still remaining enjoyable and not zucchini overload. This recipe is that and it’s so good that even if you don’t grow your own zucchini you will want to buy it to make the recipe. It’s super easy to put together, feels kind of special and is technically one of those carb-free recipes people are craving these days! The Smoky Tomato Basil Salt is exceptional in it and on it! I like to have more boat than the average recipes so I cut about ¼ of the top of the zucchini off. This gives more space for stuffing and since I use all the zucchini innards and the top, I feel like it’s the best win-win method. *You can also make wheels with gigantic zucchini you may have missed in the garden!  Ingredients 6-8 medium sized zucchini, yellow or green Smoky Tomato Basil Salt 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil 3-5 cloves garlic 2 teaspoons lemon zest ½ teaspoon red chili flakes ¼ cup chopped red onion 3- 4 cups roughly chopped fresh spinach 1 cup cherry tomatoes, quartered Juice of 1 lemon 3/4 cup feta cheese, crumbled ¾ cup finely chopped basil leaves ¾ cup finely chopped oven dried tomatoes ¾ cup finely grated parmesan cheese 1 tablespoon cold butter, chopped fine Directions Cut the zucchini to make them into boats. Cut off the top ¼ of the top of the zucchini lengthwise. Chop up the tops finely and set them aside to use in the stuffing. Scoop out the center of the zucchinis using a melon baller or a small spoon. It’s basically like cleaning out the seedy insides from a cucumber. Place the zucchini boats in a baking dish and sprinkle a little of the Smoky Tomato Basil Salt over them. Chop up the zucchini insides finely and set aside. Combine the oil, garlic, lemon zest and red chili flakes in a large sauté pan and bring to medium heat. Add the onions and sauté until everything is soft.  Add the spinach and the tomatoes and continue to cook until the spinach is soft and the tomatoes begin to melt and extract liquid. Add about 1 teaspoon of the tomato salt and lemon juice, as well as the chopped zucchini tops and insides. Place a cover on and simmer for about 10 minutes until everything is cooked down. Turn off the heat and let cool a bit. Preheat oven to 375° F. In the meantime, mix together the basil, oven dried tomatoes and parmesan with 1 teaspoon tomato salt. Toss the feta into the stuffing mixture and fill the boats up evenly. Sprinkle the parmesan basil mixture all over the tops, followed by the cold butter pieces. Place in the oven and bake for 45-60 minutes until the zucchini boats are tender and the topping crispy. You may need to cover your dish with foil the last 10 minutes if the tops start to get too brown.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_column][/vc_row] [post_title] => Smoky Tomato Basil Salt [post_excerpt] => My Herby Sundried Tomatoes are one of my staple recipes. I love cherry tomatoes so much that I always have loads of them on hand. Sometimes, I over buy and don’t eat them fast enough, but that is never a problem with this recipe. This is a recipe that was brought into my repertoire so I could live in a perpetual state of cherry tomato gluttony, and I have zero shame in that. I tend to use the fresh and dried ones the same way, tossing them literally into everything (salads, soups, sandwiches, eggs, etc.) and it’s a nice change when the fresh tomatoes I had been enjoying suddenly morph into the dried version – yielding a deeper, richer, smokier version of the fresh. You can further heighten the flavor by adding fresh herbs and other spices. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => smoky-tomato-basil-salt [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2020-08-15 18:06:51 [post_modified_gmt] => 2020-08-15 18:06:51 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.myherbal-roots.com/?p=13729 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw [categories] => Array ( [0] => 86 [1] => 71 [2] => 30 ) [id] => m_hr_13729 [post_id] => 13729 [allcategories] => Array ( [0] => Basil [1] => Blog Posts [2] => Summer ) [categories_herbs_slugs] => Array ( [0] => basil ) [categories_seasons_slugs] => Array ( [0] => summer ) [categories_details] => Array ( [86] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 86 [name] => Basil [slug] => basil [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 86 [taxonomy] => category [description] => [parent] => 84 [count] => 3 [filter] => raw [cat_ID] => 86 [category_count] => 3 [category_description] => [cat_name] => Basil [category_nicename] => basil [category_parent] => 84 ) [71] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 71 [name] => Blog Posts [slug] => blog-posts [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 71 [taxonomy] => category [description] => blog [parent] => 145 [count] => 33 [filter] => raw [cat_ID] => 71 [category_count] => 33 [category_description] => blog [cat_name] => Blog Posts [category_nicename] => blog-posts [category_parent] => 145 ) [30] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 30 [name] => Summer [slug] => summer [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 30 [taxonomy] => category [description] => [parent] => 28 [count] => 5 [filter] => raw [cat_ID] => 30 [category_count] => 5 [category_description] => [cat_name] => Summer [category_nicename] => summer [category_parent] => 28 ) ) [image_path] => https://www.myherbal-roots.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/08/REEL-1.jpg [post_firstImg] => https://www.myherbal-roots.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/08/main-2.jpg ) [4] => Array ( [post_author] => 4 [post_date] => 2020-08-13 22:19:10 [post_date_gmt] => 2020-08-13 22:19:10 [post_content] => [vc_row][vc_column el_class="blogbodycol" custom_css="border-bottom:7px solid #f8f5f2;border-left: 7px solid #f8f5f2;border-right: 7px solid #f8f5f2; border-top: 7px solid #f8f5f2;padding-bottom:30px;" width="1/1"][prkwp_spacer][prkwp_spacer size="9"][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_custom_heading source="post_title" font_container="tag:h2|font_size:30|text_align:left|color:%234e463e" use_theme_fonts="yes" el_class="header_font" el_id="rechead"][vc_column_text el_class="blate"]AUGUST 13th, 2020[/vc_column_text][prkwp_spacer size="9"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]Scented geraniums are one of the most widely collected and celebrated herbal plants on the planet. They come in just about every scent and color imaginable, and their most common trait is their extreme potency of flavor and scent. They are used in teas, tinctures, baking and potpourri type concoctions. Only recently have I begun to enjoy them and use them in my cooking. For years I shunned them as an overly potent potpourri ingredient. Their scent can be overwhelming in gardens, I have never enjoyed how they take over the scent of a garden. In my opinion, the scent and potency of a geranium was always a little too much to make any use of it. But then the masters showed me the way.[/vc_column_text][vc_single_image image="13648" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]By masters I mean Laura and Tara, the most badass women whose herb prowess in the beverage world (and beyond) is unparalleled. This is not a compliment I just throw around. I have spent a lifetime chasing herbs and herb enthusiasts around the globe and feel that I am somewhat of an expert on the subject. These ladies are two of the four founders of Duke’s Spirited Cocktails in Healdsburg, CA. Duke’s also happens to be my favorite watering hole on the entire damn planet! These masterful ladies changed my mind about geranium. I can’t remember exactly what cocktail I had with this scented little flower a few years back when my mind was blown and changed. I believe the cocktail used rose geranium, and the potent floral flavor was incorporated into the drink and the glass, garnished with some creative flare using the flower itself. Neither the potency of the scent or the flavor overwhelmed me for once. Instead I felt a gentleness that I had never before experienced from the plant. A soft and sensual experience from whatever I was drinking was all I remember, and specifically I was left with the geranium essence in me. It felt beautiful.[/vc_column_text][vc_single_image image="13649" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]Immediately I thought, wow, geranium just needs to be handled properly, I should give it a second look. From that point on, my curiosity about the wiles of geranium began to unravel. It was pushed even further when judging the Good Food Awards. I judged jams, and the jam that touched my heart was the Geranium Currant Jam… wow. I bought my first plant shortly after that – just one, though; I didn’t want to ruin my new love and over scent my enchanted garden. I chose a bergamot geranium from my favorite herb start company, Richter’s- because bergamot anything is my favorite. Richter’s specializes in culinary, medicinal and aromatic herbs, and they have one of the most unique selections I have ever seen. I highly recommend them.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_single_image image="13650" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]This summer, that plant’s gentle and sensual scent has been memorizing me as I meander through my garden. It has become one of my favorite scents out there, it hits me like a soft whisper, like the gentle touch of a faraway lover. In a way I’ve come to think of it a little like me – bold, potent, sultry… hard to match and, above all, powerful. All of my culinary ideas which incorporate it strive to subtly fold its essence into something else. Like in my own life, I have to be careful merging my personality with others. I like it best with fruity and peppery accents, but I think it works really well with lemons as well. If I had a dating profile, it would say ‘seeking a gentle  but bold, fruity and pepper man, tart and sultry.’ Big, gigantic disclaimer, I still don’t use the leaves; their flavor far too strong for my taste. Some potent parts of all of us are better left in the wild.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_single_image image="13644" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]Summer Fruit Cobbler with Bergamot Geranium Sugar Makes 1 9X9 inch cobbler Last summer I wrote about anise hyssop, and I used it in a peach and strawberry summer cobbler that riffed off one of Smitten Kitchen’s. This is basically the same but with geraniums and accounting for the massive amount of sweetness in the jungle of berries I used. The end result is a less sweet, more floral version of last summer’s. Cobblers are one of the easiest and quickest summer desserts to prepare. You can eventually do it by memory and improve with ease. Any fruit works. Others add nuts and seeds. I like mine rather simple – fruit, buttery dough, and some herb accents. For this mixed berry cobbler, I chose bergamot geranium, chamomile and verbena for a beautiful, herbaceous summer cobbler! Sugar is usually added to tops of cobblers with a little bit of hot water drizzled over it. This technique helps melt the sugar a bit and those parts get a bit extra caramelized and crunchy while baking in the oven. The herbalized sugar just gives those bits a little extra something. Ingredients 4 cups whole berries (blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, strawberries) Juice and zest of 1 lemon 2/3 cup sugar Small handful of chamomile flowers Small handful of scented germanium flowers Small handful of lemon verbena leaves, chopped fine ½ cup (½ stick) of butter, softened ¾ cup all-purpose flour 1 teaspoon baking powder 1 teaspoon salt ¼ cup milk 2-3 tablespoons really hot water Directions Heat oven to 350° F. Lightly grease a small square baking pan (I used a 9 X 9-inch baking dish). Mix the berries together with lemon juice and zest and place in the greased baking dish. Using your fingers, rub together the herbs and sugar in a mixing bowl, until you mix them into a gritty herb sugar. Remove 2-3 tablespoons of the herb sugar and set aside. Add the softened butter to the sugar remaining sugar in the bowl. Using a wooden spoon and some arm strength, cream together the butter and sugar mixture until its fluffy, about 2-3 minutes. Add the flour, baking powder, and salt and continue to mix until combined and thick. Add the milk a little at a time and mix. Once all the milk is incorporated, mix a little faster for about 30 seconds straight until you get a fluffy but thick batter. Spoon a few blobs all over the fruit, making sure you do not totally cover the fruit. The fruit should peak out over the top in various sections. Using the back of the spoon, level out the blobs a little bit. Sprinkle the remaining tablespoons of sugar that were set aside evenly over the top of the doughy mixture and then gently drizzle the hot water over the sugar. Place the baking dish onto a baking sheet (I cover mine in parchment paper) to avoid the mess that comes with the fruit potentially bubbling over in your oven. Place in the oven and bake for about 50 minutes or until the top is golden brown. Allow to cool about 20 minutes. The original Smitten Kitchen recipe is adamant about 30 or more, but I like it still warm on my first slice so 20 is my go-to number that allows the top to firm up and get a little crispy while the insides are still warm. I like vanilla ice cream with my cobblers, so go for it.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_single_image image="13643" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_single_image image="13651" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]

Bergamot Geranium Szechuan Pepper Plum Sherbet

Makes 1 ½ pints  I have a fantastic ice cream maker, so I make ice cream often and effortlessly. Because of that, I tend to forget about all the amazing no churn styles of creamy desserts there are. Recently a dear friend gave me a pile of plums from her tree. They were beautiful and abundant, and I suddenly panicked about what to do with so many. I had remembered a roasted plum ice cream I made years ago using Szechuan peppercorns. It was fantastic, so I wanted to try and incorporate that idea again. I ran across a plum sherbet on Instagram by who someone also got gifted a bunch of plums, and so my idea coalesced and scented germaniums came along for the ride. This is a winning combo with the Szechuan peppers! Before we get into the recipe, let’s discuss what sherbet is. Originally it was a cold drink made with diluted and sweetened fruit juice. It’s Persian and Turkish in origin and eventually when it made its way to the US, they added milk or cream and froze it into an ice cream like mixture. My recipe roasted the fruit and then blends it with water and heavy cream, but milk can also be used. I like the heavy cream because it yields a richer consistency. By law (yes, there are laws for what you can call sherbet), it can only have so much butter fat. Mine probably crosses that limit but I’m not selling it anyhow! Ingredients Handful of geranium flowers 1 tablespoon Szechuan pepper corns, coarsely ground 1 cup sugar 4-5 cups of plums, pitted and quartered 1 cup water 1 ½ cup heavy cream Pinch of salt ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract Directions Plum preparation: Preheat the oven to 350° F. Mix the sugar with the geranium and Szechuan pepper until pulverized and mixed well. We want the sugar to be infused with the scent and flavor of the herbs and spice. Place the plums on a lined baking sheet. Sprinkle the sugar over the plums and roast in the oven for about 30 minutes or until the plums are soft. Allow the plums to cool. Place the plums in a blender, making sure to scrape all the juices and sugary caramelized bits into the blender, as well. Add the water and heavy cream and blend until super smooth. You will need to blend about 4 minutes total. Pour the liquid into a container with a lid and place in the freezer for about 3-4 hours or until fully frozen. For the ice cream: Add plums to a medium saucepan along with sugar and water. Cook over medium low heat for about 15 minutes, stirring often, until the plums have broken down and become jammy. Allow plum mixture to cool down before adding to a blender. Blend on high until the mixture is nice and smooth. Add in the salt, vanilla extract and sour cream and blend to combine. Pour sherbet mix into a shallow freezer-safe container and freeze for a minimum of 4 hours or until the sherbet is completely set. To serve, let sherbet soften at room temperature for 10 minutes. Scoop and enjoy![/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_single_image image="13646" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]

Geranium (Whole Lemon) Blueberry Lemonade

Makes 2 liters  There is literally no easier lemonade recipe than the recipe that utilizes the whole lemon. I like easy because easy means I have more time to conjure my herbal magic. That’s exactly what I have done here to the whole lemonade recipe. Juicing lemons is easy, but I honestly hate the task. On occasion, I make this recipe and, when I do, I always think I should do it more. I of course use the opportunity to add lots of herbaceousness. I add scented geraniums which give the final cold drink a flowery and perfumy edge, and fresh summer blueberries give it great color and a tart and sweet balance. The final result is a beautiful multidimensional lemonade with a marvelous light and silky texture! Yes, a whole lemon-lemonade is a bit bitter, but more people’s palettes are opening to more bitter as the rest of the world has been sipping and eating forever! So, try it, and if it’s too bitter for you, all you need to do is add booze – WALLA, it becomes one of the most gorgeous summer cocktails! *It’s important to use organic citrus, as conventionally grown citrus has chemicals all over the peel to help with shelf-life. Some growers use wax, but the organic side only uses organic and edible ingredients – mostly beeswax. Ingredients 4 lemons, quartered, seeds removed 1 cup sugar 2 cups water for blending (plus more for the drink) 1 cup blueberries ¼ cup geranium flowers Directions Combine the lemons, sugar and water in a blender and blend until totally smooth and frothy. Add the blueberries and geranium flowers (reserving a few for garnish) and process again until all the blueberries are smooth. Strain into a pitcher using a fine mesh strainer and discard the solids. Fill the pitcher with about 4-6 cups more water (you can also use sparkling). Serve over ice with a geranium flower garnish.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_single_image image="13647" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_single_image image="13652" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]

Geranium Black Pepper Salted Lemon Cucumbers

Makes ¾  cup of salt Ingredients 1 tablespoon super finely chopped parsley leaves 1 tablespoon super finely chopped mint leaves ¼ cup geranium flowers, chopped fine 2 teaspoons super finely chopped serrano chili pepper 1 teaspoon lemon zest 2 teaspoons coarsely ground black pepper ½  cup Maldon flake salt Directions Pre Heat oven to 200 degrees F. In a medium mixing bowl, mix together all of the fresh herbs, flowers, zest and chili pepper. Gently fold in the salt and pepper, using your fingers mix all the ingredients up, making sure there are no clumps of zest in the mix.  Place the salt/herb mix on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper so that its spread out evenly across the entire sheet and flat.   Place in the oven and bake for about 20 minutes or until the herbs have lost their moisture and feel dried. Store in a small bowl on your counter for a few weeks.  Toss some of the salt over lemon cucumbers for a sensual and simple light lunch!  [/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_column][/vc_row] [post_title] => Geranium Flowers [post_excerpt] => Scented geraniums are one of the most widely collected and celebrated herbal plants on the planet. They come in just about every scent and color imaginable, and their most common trait is their extreme potency of flavor and scent. They are used in teas, tinctures, baking and potpourri type concoctions. Only recently have I begun to enjoy them and use them in my cooking. For years I shunned them as an overly potent potpourri ingredient. Their scent can be overwhelming in gardens, I have never enjoyed how they take over the scent of a garden. In my opinion, the scent and potency of a geranium was always a little too much to make any use of it. But then the masters showed me the way. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => geranium-flowers [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2020-08-13 22:20:21 [post_modified_gmt] => 2020-08-13 22:20:21 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.myherbal-roots.com/?p=13645 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw [categories] => Array ( [0] => 71 [1] => 93 [2] => 30 ) [id] => m_hr_13645 [post_id] => 13645 [allcategories] => Array ( [0] => Blog Posts [1] => Edible Flowers [2] => Summer ) [categories_herbs_slugs] => Array ( [0] => edible-flowers ) [categories_seasons_slugs] => Array ( [0] => summer ) [categories_details] => Array ( [71] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 71 [name] => Blog Posts [slug] => blog-posts [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 71 [taxonomy] => category [description] => blog [parent] => 145 [count] => 33 [filter] => raw [cat_ID] => 71 [category_count] => 33 [category_description] => blog [cat_name] => Blog Posts [category_nicename] => blog-posts [category_parent] => 145 ) [93] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 93 [name] => Edible Flowers [slug] => edible-flowers [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 93 [taxonomy] => category [description] => [parent] => 84 [count] => 8 [filter] => raw [cat_ID] => 93 [category_count] => 8 [category_description] => [cat_name] => Edible Flowers [category_nicename] => edible-flowers [category_parent] => 84 ) [30] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 30 [name] => Summer [slug] => summer [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 30 [taxonomy] => category [description] => [parent] => 28 [count] => 5 [filter] => raw [cat_ID] => 30 [category_count] => 5 [category_description] => [cat_name] => Summer [category_nicename] => summer [category_parent] => 28 ) ) [image_path] => https://www.myherbal-roots.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/08/reel.jpg [post_firstImg] => https://www.myherbal-roots.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/08/main.jpg ) [5] => Array ( [post_author] => 4 [post_date] => 2020-05-27 22:38:52 [post_date_gmt] => 2020-05-27 22:38:52 [post_content] => [vc_row][vc_column el_class="blogbodycol" custom_css="border-bottom:7px solid #f8f5f2;border-left: 7px solid #f8f5f2;border-right: 7px solid #f8f5f2; border-top: 7px solid #f8f5f2;padding-bottom:30px;" width="1/1"][prkwp_spacer][prkwp_spacer size="9"][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_custom_heading source="post_title" font_container="tag:h2|font_size:30|text_align:left|color:%234e463e" use_theme_fonts="yes" el_class="header_font" el_id="rechead"][vc_column_text el_class="blate"]MAY 27TH 2020[/vc_column_text][prkwp_spacer size="9"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]From the moment many of us were sent into our homes to shelter-in-place, the baking rumpus had begun. So much so that most baking supplies became scarce, sending a wave of panic over those looking for something fun and calming to occupy the foreseeable future. Well-known for my laidback attitude about having the right supplies in the kitchen and life, I knew early on something good would come of it. I certainly wasn’t about to panic about baking. People all over the globe can attest to the relaxation brought on by baking. It seems quite obvious that, during this pandemic, baking has become a nurturing way to self-soothe – as the masses can bake breads, cakes, biscuits and cookies with reckless abandon.[/vc_column_text][vc_single_image image="13062" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]I can’t say I am one of those who experiences calm and serenity from baking. For me, baking is mostly a chore. I like the end result but rarely enjoy the act itself. The incessant need to be precise feels like a constraint, since it makes it difficult to change up a recipe on a whim. With baking, I often feel deflated and bored before I even start to pre-heat the oven. I came into the COVID-19 situation well-stocked on baking supplies. It’s no surprise that I am well-stocked in general, with all the cooking projects I am constantly juggling. I also recently had prepared for a pie cooking class that had to be canceled last minute late last fall, due to a California power outage. So, I had 10 bags of flour on hand at the time this quarantine began. I almost left like a toilet paper hoarder. (Which I also had plenty of on hand- I do live in an isolated town so being prepared is a way of live here.) Like the toilet paper situation, I assumed flour would become more readily available by the time I needed some. Under this impression, I readily gave away bags of flour (I felt like Oprah) and baked cookies  and cakes and other stuff regularly (gave those away too). Eventually, though, I started to run low. I had bread flour, which I didn’t want to dip into, because that’s crucial for pizza. Eventually my laidback attitude got ruffled, and, when I noticed empty grocery store shelves time and time again, I began to scour online and found much of the same. And then, like magic, the silver lining appeared – as it often does, if you can stave off the stress and anxiety long enough to allow yourself to see it.[/vc_column_text][vc_single_image image="13066" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]Every day I would spend a few minutes browsing online looking for flour. I hadn’t yet run out but knew I would soon, so I felt like this was a much better use of my time than, let’s say, playing (aka wasting time) on Facebook. I thought it would also prompt me to crawl out of my all-purpose flour hole and have a few different flours on hand at all times: bread flour, cake flour, pastry flour, and all-purpose flour. After all, each serve a different purpose and each make a real difference in the finished product. The better the quality of flour, the better the baked good. It was time for me to change my flour situation and much like a major change in life, the best change is often born from a moment in time of trouble or stress.  This was that. Eventually, in my daily internet browsing for flour, I stumbled upon something interesting (through Amazon, originally). It wasn’t just any flour, but the kind of flour that I never knew I needed. (Silver linings often play out like that.) Granite Mills Farms Stone Ground Sprouted Organic Soft White Wheat Pastry Flour appeared in my search field like a rainbow after a storm. It was priced well, organic, Montana-grown and processed from a small family farm. I felt like I had struck gold, and I hadn’t even used it yet.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_single_image image="13060" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]Granite Mills Farms produces sprouted organic wheat flour in the beautiful plains of Montana. Have you ever seen a wheat field? I lived back up against one for a short stint in North Dakota (that’s a story for another time) it’s like an ocean of gold… an exquisite sight. All of their flours use sprouted grains, making the grain more digestible. It’s all stone ground using a traditional granite stone mill. There are no additives and nothing has been removed. It’s pure and healthy in every way. Organic flours have long been a part of my repertoire, especially considering GMO’s are still banned (fingers crossed that continues) in organic certified products. Sprouted flours have never fully interested me, as most I tried were dense and didn’t really jive with the items I was baking regularly.  Times are changing, do we give kudos to the gluten free folks? Either way the health benefits of sprouted grains have always been available to us. (Check out all the health benefits on Granite Mills website.)[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_single_image image="13061" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]Pastry Flour Technically, it’s got a lower protein content, which is why it’s made with soft wheat. Wheat varieties fall into soft or hard categories. The soft wheat varieties make a more tender baked good. It’s best used whenever you might use baking powder as the leavener or none at all. It is not ideal for breads and pasta or anything that demands a clear shape or structure. All-Purpose Flour Is made with what’s called the endosperm of the grain – the starchy center section which consist mostly of carbohydrates and protein, and a little oil. Since the whole grain is not used and most of the vitamins, minerals, and fiber are found outside the endosperm on the germ, all-purpose flour is technically the least nutritious. This, along with the process is also why it has the longest shelf-life. I tend to fall into the all-purpose flour trap because it’s easy and convenient and it does make things taste more ‘processed’ which, truth be told, sometimes can be exciting. Finding the Granite Mills pastry flour feels like it can really change my baking game, like I’ll no longer need to fall back on all-purpose nor sprouted grains that tasted like boots. Bread Flour If you bake bread, you are certainly familiar with this flour. I don’t bake bread, and I have no interest in it. But I do insist on eating homemade pizza once a week, so I have to have bread flour for my crust. Bread flour is made of the hard wheat varieties which have really high protein content, which makes the goods chewier with much more texture. Never use bread flour on anything that you want to be tender and crumbly. If you interested in becoming an at home pizza (dough) maker, this is the flour for you. Cake Flour Cake flour, like pastry flour, changed my cakes and, therefore, my life. Cake flour is super ultra-finely ground and made of mostly soft wheat. It’s almost always found bleached, which gives way to a better rise. It yields fine, airy, and light results. Birthday cakes with cake flour are necessary for optimal joy. They say you can make your own cake flour by adding two tablespoons of cornstarch for every one cup of all-purpose flour and sifting it together. I agree that it makes a lighter cake, but actual cake flour using the ultra-fine grind yields even fluffier, lighter results. FYI: cake flour does not have baking powder in it.[/vc_column_text][vc_single_image image="13065" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]When the pastry flour came in the mail, my flour collection was complete, and it was time to start baking. Being strawberry and rhubarb season, I felt a pie was in order. The flour made the most incredible tasting crust. I was completely enamored by the pastry flour from the get go. It didn’t taste grainy at all. It had the perfect amount of added texture with a delicate “grainy” flavor. I used it to make chocolate chip cookies and felt that my cookies had more depth than they ever had before. Even the neighbor kids loved them. A recent stone fruit galatte (with crust made of this flour) impressed some food-centric friends I invited into my quarantine circle.  (I am slowly and carefully enlarging my circle.)[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_single_image image="13067" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]The silver lining for me is that I found a small organic flour farmer to support. This aligns with the rest of my values and it took the shortage to remind me that I shouldn’t be filling my cupboard or belly with all-purpose flour. When you have the rest of the flours you need on hand, the possibilities are limitless! I ordered a few more of their flours  including a rye and a soft wheat white, both sprouted grain, and will report back with my endeavors and thoughts![/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_single_image image="13064" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]

Strawberry-Rhubarb Herb Pie

Makes 1 9-inch pie I’m particular with rhubarb so, for this pie, I came up with a simple method to add more rhubarb depth to my pie – rather than just use chunks of raw rhubarb, which I don’t like. First, I macerated the rhubarb with sugar and a vanilla bean, as well as some lavender and jasmine petals for some perfumed tones. Eventually tossing that together with fresh strawberries and then baking it gave me the pie I wanted… a strawberry pie with rhubarb essence. It also reduced the need for sugar, since I was injecting the rhubarb with sugar more than the strawberries. Of course, the crust is herbaceous (as usual for my pies) and tasty, too. I got my art deco on for this one and tried to make it Instagramable. Did I succeed? Ingredients For the macerated rhubarb: 1 ½ cup chopped small rhubarb ½ cup sugar ¼ teaspoon ground cardamom 1 vanilla bean, pod and seeds (scraped) A few jasmine petals (optional) A few lavender petals (optional) For the pie crust: 2 ½ cups pastry flour (Granite Mills Sprouted Wheat Pastry Flour) 1 teaspoon salt 2 teaspoons sugar 2 fresh strawberries, chopped A few spoonsful of lavender petals 2 teaspoons lemon zest 2 sticks (1 cup) salted butter, cold and cut into small cubes ¼ – ½ cup ice water mixed with 1 tablespoon white balsamic vinegar or vodka For the finishing touches of the pie: 3 cups halved strawberries 1 egg, beaten 1 tablespoon cream or half and half Sugar[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_single_image image="13063" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]Directions For the macerated rhubarb: Combine all of the ingredients in a mason jar and shake. Continue to shake for a few hours before making the pie. For the crust: Add the flour, salt, and sugar to the bowl of the food processor, and process until mixed. Add the strawberries, lavender, lemon zest, and butter cubes, and pulse until the butter and flour mixture turns into a coarse, pebble-like consistency. Add ¼ cup of the ice water through the top of the processor while you continue to pulse. You want the dough to “just” come together, so you might need to add 1-3 more tablespoons of the ice water to make this happen. Once the dough comes together, dump it out of the processor onto a lightly floured work surface, and push it together into a ball. It should not be crumbly nor too moist. You can add a little flour or water to your hands to adjust. Once it comes into a ball, divide the dough into two flat discs, one a bit larger than the other. Shape both cut sides into flat discs, making sure not to handle the dough too much once it comes out of the processor. Place the dough discs in a plastic bag. I use compostable ones, and they work great. Refrigerate until use. Take out of refrigerator ten minutes before use. Shape the dough: Grease a 9-inch pie dish with butter. Roll out 1 dough disc on a lightly floured surface into a 12-inch circle. Transfer the pre-greased pie dish. All around the circle, fold the edges under and form a high-standing rim. Crimp the folded rim, by making small folds or indents. This will be the visible edge of your pie. Chill the dough in the refrigerator while you finish the rest of the pie. Poke holes in the bottom with a fork so that a little air can get through the dough. For the finishing touches of the pie: Pre-heat oven to 400° F. Combine the strawberries with the macerated rhubarb mixture (remove the vanilla bean pod), and gently mix together making sure that all the strawberries are coated with the syrupy mixture. Roll out the second dough disc into a 10-inch round. Remove the pie crust from the refrigerator and place the strawberry rhubarb mixture inside. Place the top dough over the strawberries. To seal the edges, trim any long pieces hanging over the edge of the pie, and gently tuck them into the edge. Cut out a few holes in the top so the filling doesn’t bubble over and burst out the sides. Mix the egg and cream together and brush the top of the pie. Sprinkle a little sugar over the top. Place in the refrigerator to chill for about 20-30 minutes before baking. Bake pie 45-60 minutes or until it’s golden brown and the juices are bubbling up through the holes on top. Cool completely before serving.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_single_image image="13068" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_column][/vc_row] [post_title] => Silver Lining Pie [post_excerpt] => From the moment many of us were sent into our homes to shelter-in-place, the baking rumpus had begun. So much so that most baking supplies became scarce, sending a wave of panic over those looking for something fun and calming to occupy the foreseeable future. Well-known for my laidback attitude about having the right supplies in the kitchen and life, I knew early on something good would come of it. I certainly wasn’t about to panic about baking. People all over the globe can attest to the relaxation brought on by baking. It seems quite obvious that, during this pandemic, baking has become a nurturing way to self-soothe – as the masses can bake breads, cakes, biscuits and cookies with reckless abandon. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => silver-lining-pie [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2020-09-23 18:11:23 [post_modified_gmt] => 2020-09-23 18:11:23 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.myherbal-roots.com/?p=13070 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw [categories] => Array ( [0] => 71 [1] => 93 [2] => 97 [3] => 29 ) [id] => m_hr_13070 [post_id] => 13070 [allcategories] => Array ( [0] => Blog Posts [1] => Edible Flowers [2] => Lavender [3] => Spring ) [categories_herbs_slugs] => Array ( [0] => edible-flowers [1] => lavender ) [categories_seasons_slugs] => Array ( [0] => spring ) [categories_details] => Array ( [71] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 71 [name] => Blog Posts [slug] => blog-posts [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 71 [taxonomy] => category [description] => blog [parent] => 145 [count] => 33 [filter] => raw [cat_ID] => 71 [category_count] => 33 [category_description] => blog [cat_name] => Blog Posts [category_nicename] => blog-posts [category_parent] => 145 ) [93] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 93 [name] => Edible Flowers [slug] => edible-flowers [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 93 [taxonomy] => category [description] => [parent] => 84 [count] => 8 [filter] => raw [cat_ID] => 93 [category_count] => 8 [category_description] => [cat_name] => Edible Flowers [category_nicename] => edible-flowers [category_parent] => 84 ) [97] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 97 [name] => Lavender [slug] => lavender [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 97 [taxonomy] => category [description] => [parent] => 84 [count] => 2 [filter] => raw [cat_ID] => 97 [category_count] => 2 [category_description] => [cat_name] => Lavender [category_nicename] => lavender [category_parent] => 84 ) [29] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 29 [name] => Spring [slug] => spring [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 29 [taxonomy] => category [description] => spring [parent] => 28 [count] => 12 [filter] => raw [cat_ID] => 29 [category_count] => 12 [category_description] => spring [cat_name] => Spring [category_nicename] => spring [category_parent] => 28 ) ) [image_path] => https://www.myherbal-roots.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/feature.jpg [post_firstImg] => https://www.myherbal-roots.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/general-1.jpg ) )
Array
(
    [0] => Array
        (
            [post_author] => 4
            [post_date] => 2020-12-22 21:56:20
            [post_date_gmt] => 2020-12-22 21:56:20
            [post_content] => [vc_row][vc_column el_class="blogbodycol" custom_css="border-bottom:7px solid #f8f5f2;border-left: 7px solid #f8f5f2;border-right: 7px solid #f8f5f2; border-top: 7px solid #f8f5f2;padding-bottom:30px;" width="1/1"][prkwp_spacer][prkwp_spacer size="9"][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_custom_heading source="post_title" font_container="tag:h2|font_size:30|text_align:left|color:%234e463e" use_theme_fonts="yes" el_class="header_font" el_id="rechead"][vc_column_text el_class="blate"]DECEMBER 22CND 2020[/vc_column_text][prkwp_spacer size="9"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]One for Rudolph, two for me. This is one of my most whimsical recipes and one that is perfect to make with your kids the day before Christmas eve.  Basically, the kids make herbal sugar cubes for Rudolph and you get amazing sugar cubes for an old-Fashioned cocktail.  It’s a rather fun project for all and one that the adults can enjoy long after Santa is gone. The recipe is super easy. It assumes you have some general herbs around the holidays for cooking.  Herbs, sugar and ice cube trays are really all that’s needed outside a few drops of water.[/vc_column_text][vc_single_image image="18606" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]

Herbal Sugar Cubes

This recipe is versatile  and fun, as the  herbs and spices can be altered to taste. I chose these because they work really well in an old fashioned cocktail, but I make these cubes generally with various herbs and spices per my whimsy at the time. Let your kids play and even enjoy a kiddy fashioned cocktail. The most important part of the recipe is to make sure you don’t add too much water. Makes several cubes depending on ice cube tray size Ingredients ¼ teaspoon chopped super fine rosemary leaves ¼ teaspoon chopped super fine purple or green sage leaves ¼ teaspoon chopped super fine pineapple sage (optional) ½ teaspoon lemon zest ½ teaspoon orange zest ½ teaspoon finely ground black pepper (I use long pepper) ¾ cup turbinado sugar 2 drops Grapefruit Cardamom Bitters 1 teaspoon ice cold water[/vc_column_text][vc_single_image image="18602" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]Directions Combine the rosemary, sage(s), zests and pepper in a medium bowl with the sugar. Rub the mixture together with your fingers, pulverizing the herbs, zest and pepper into the sugar. The sugar will turn a greenish hue from the herb oils.  Add the bitters and water and stir. The sugar should be slightly moistened and still crumbly, not wet. Using a sugar cube mold or an ice cube tray mold, place 1 heaping teaspoon in each mold and press the mixture down tightly into the mold. If using an ice cube tray, the sugar cubes will be bigger and thinner than the traditional cube. Let the molds air-dry on your kitchen counter overnight, at least 16 hours. Once they have hardened, gently remove them from the molds, using a butter knife to assist.  Store them in an airtight container for months.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_single_image image="18604" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_single_image image="18607" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]

Liberal Old Fashioned with DIY Herbal Sugar Cubes

An Old Fashioned is essentially just whiskey sweetened, seasoned and diluted. Yet everyone has their own firm idea on the details. I have a super liberal take on the topic and mine is herbalized. The act of making your own sugar cubes and paying attention to the details, from start to finish, feels like self-care. It’s not only easy but adds creative flair, and it’s a great conversation piece. Let your party guests make their own Liberal Old Fashioned and find out. Make the sugar cubes a day ahead. If you don’t have big ice cube molds any ice will do. I use Charbay’s Doubled & Twisted Whiskey. The citrus notes in the whiskey persuaded me to use the lemon peel instead of the old-fashioned orange peel. I also like using Sonoma Distilling Co, Cherrywood Rye Whiskey. Ingredients 1-2 Herbal Sugar Cubes 3 drops Grapefruit Cardamom Bitters (Monarch Bitters) Splash of water 2 ounces whiskey Big Cube ice cube Lemon twist or peel Sage leaf Directions For each Old Fashioned Place one or two Herbal Sugar Cubes on the bottom of a rocks glass. Drop a few bitters on top and gently muddle them until the sugars are dissolved. Add a tiny splash of water to help. You want the sugar to be smooth and paste-like, rather than swimming in water. Fill the glass with a few large ice cubes. Add the whiskey and gently stir until well combined. Express the oil of a lemon peel over the glass and gently run it around the rim. Drop the peel and a sage leaf, stem side down, into the glass.[/vc_column_text][vc_single_image image="18605" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_single_image image="18619" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_column][/vc_row] [post_title] => DIY Herbal Sugar Cubes [post_excerpt] => One for Rudolph, two for me. This is one of my most whimsical recipes and one that is perfect to make with your kids the day before Christmas eve. Basically, the kids make herbal sugar cubes for Rudolph and you get amazing sugar cubes for an old-Fashioned cocktail. It’s a rather fun project for all and one that the adults can enjoy long after Santa is gone. The recipe is super easy. Some herbs, sugar and ice cube trays are really all that’s needed outside a few drops of water. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => diy-herbal-sugar-cubes [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2020-12-22 22:02:10 [post_modified_gmt] => 2020-12-22 22:02:10 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.myherbal-roots.com/?p=18601 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw [categories] => Array ( [0] => 111 [1] => 112 [2] => 32 ) [id] => m_hr_18601 [post_id] => 18601 [allcategories] => Array ( [0] => Rosemary [1] => Sage [2] => Winter ) [categories_herbs_slugs] => Array ( [0] => rosemary [1] => sage ) [categories_seasons_slugs] => Array ( [0] => winter ) [categories_details] => Array ( [111] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 111 [name] => Rosemary [slug] => rosemary [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 111 [taxonomy] => category [description] => [parent] => 84 [count] => 7 [filter] => raw [cat_ID] => 111 [category_count] => 7 [category_description] => [cat_name] => Rosemary [category_nicename] => rosemary [category_parent] => 84 ) [112] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 112 [name] => Sage [slug] => sage [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 112 [taxonomy] => category [description] => [parent] => 84 [count] => 4 [filter] => raw [cat_ID] => 112 [category_count] => 4 [category_description] => [cat_name] => Sage [category_nicename] => sage [category_parent] => 84 ) [32] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 32 [name] => Winter [slug] => winter [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 32 [taxonomy] => category [description] => [parent] => 28 [count] => 8 [filter] => raw [cat_ID] => 32 [category_count] => 8 [category_description] => [cat_name] => Winter [category_nicename] => winter [category_parent] => 28 ) ) [image_path] => https://www.myherbal-roots.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/feature.jpg [post_firstImg] => https://www.myherbal-roots.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/main-1-scaled.jpg ) [1] => Array ( [post_author] => 4 [post_date] => 2020-12-21 22:05:58 [post_date_gmt] => 2020-12-21 22:05:58 [post_content] => [vc_row][vc_column el_class="blogbodycol" custom_css="border-bottom:7px solid #f8f5f2;border-left: 7px solid #f8f5f2;border-right: 7px solid #f8f5f2; border-top: 7px solid #f8f5f2;padding-bottom:30px;" width="1/1"][prkwp_spacer][prkwp_spacer size="9"][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_custom_heading source="post_title" font_container="tag:h2|font_size:30|text_align:left|color:%234e463e" use_theme_fonts="yes" el_class="header_font" el_id="rechead"][vc_column_text el_class="blate"]DECEMBER 21ST 2020[/vc_column_text][prkwp_spacer size="9"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]My ‘moving to Missouri’ story began back in August. I had a few sessions with a renowned astrologer, as part of my crisis response to learning I had to move quickly and, essentially, charter the next course in my life. If I’m being honest, this was one of the hardest times of my life. Normally I make decisions quickly and with ease, but this one I knew would create massive disruptions in all aspects of my life. The first thing the astrologer said to me during session one was, “Ooh, you’re a jovial warrior. Does that sound like you?” I took a moment to mull it over, then giggled and said, “Yes. Yes, that does sound like me.” No one had ever described me like that before, and I think many people would attest that it seems spot on. I have Mars and Jupiter rising in my chart, which is how he came up with this jingly nickname.[/vc_column_text][vc_single_image image="18478" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]My Chinese medicine doctor recommended that I try talking to an astrologer over my difficulty surrounding the impending move and suggested one. I had four sessions with the astrologer. Four sessions seemed good enough to cover some bases about me and my life before even thinking about where to move. The first session covered me, the second my family, the third key romantic relationships and the fourth my move. By the time I got to the fourth session, I had already decided to move to Missouri, rented a house and started the process to buy it. He was a little surprised, but I then referred him to my chart.  I think and move quickly.  So, in my fourth session I mostly wanted to know: what would Missouri be like for this jovial warrior? His first comments back to me were, “Missouri, well, that is not a place I would have picked for you.”[/vc_column_text][vc_single_image image="18479" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]The big question on many people’s minds is the same as his was: ”…Why Missouri?” After the initial excitement over hearing I moved to Missouri’s southern lake region, imagining me in my full glory as a quick-thinking heroine and powerful boss bitch cruising in my speed boat (thanks to Jason Bateman and the Ozarks), they say, “Wait. What? Why?” Yes, I live in Missouri now. And to quote my astrologist, “It’s not on or near any of your powerful energy lines.” But it is close to a big portion of my family that just so happens to kind of need me. I’ve always thought of myself as an instinctual person, so in a way it doesn’t totally surprise me that I picked this new life internally. It was the external part of me that was resisting it all along. I’m not so worried about my powerlines because I discovered, through my sessions with him, that I tend to gravitate to them in my travels; so, I feel content I will go to them and reenergize myself as I need to. I also reminded him of my chart again and that I’m not someone who can be stagnant. So, today I feel comfortable knowing that living in Missouri is not forever for me. Then again, nowhere is.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_single_image image="18470" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]My chart also resonates with family and a strong matriarchal role, so I think it’s also a matter of perspective in terms of the energy lines here. While the lines might not show up here on my chart, there are quite a few special people that make excellent substitutes for those lines. The thing about connection – especially to people – and about love is that it’s really powerful. Thus, I need to be here. I can feel that in the two months I’ve been here. I need them as much as they need me. That’s how love works. It was revealed to me at the end of my last session that Missouri, specifically where I am living, falls on my moon and Pluto line. These lines represent journey, family and traveling. So, it seems the astrologer and I were on the same page. This jovial warrior’s journey to Missouri is all about family…and traveling! (Thank god!) So here I am, jovial and ready to be a warrior, on Table Rock Lake on the Arkansas and Missouri border.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_single_image image="18474" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]Now the question on many people’s minds is, “How is it going so far?” This post is the answer to that question. It’s not coming in the form of a traditional self-reflective answer but, rather, through a hodgepodge of recipes I have conjured up since I moved to the Ozarks. This post is also as close as I can get to a commercial (unpaid and unsolicited) for those brands and products that have sustained me while figuring out where I can find the healthy, organic, fresh, nutritious, seasonal and interesting food I am accustomed to and as my soul needs to survive and more importantly be nourished continuously.[/vc_column_text][vc_single_image image="18480" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]The Backstory Sometime in the middle of August, I was taking a short summer vacation in Ojai after sheltering in place for months. I needed it, and the resort where I stayed was big on safety and space. It had all outdoor dining and several pools where 6-10 feet were easy to maintain. They were also dog friendly, so off Inca and I went. The timing coincided with the northern fires which threated Bolinas and were raging across Sonoma. It was there where my landlord emailed a 60-day notice to move. I had lived in her house for over 5 years, faithfully taking care of her home. This is not easy in Bolinas. I went above and beyond, and I was an excellent tenant. I really want to set up the apocalyptic scene which I can still feel viscerally. The world was in the midst of a gigantic pandemic, I had been sheltered in place in Bolinas for months, and fires were raging across northern California. Residents of the notoriously expensive Bay Area were on an exodus toward the “countryside” which meant my house was prime real estate. Every home and rental (vacation and otherwise) in Marin, Sonoma, Napa, Tahoe and beyond was getting snatched by those with money fleeing the city. Mind you, there are a lot with money in the city. Shortly after that notice, I received another notice, that Bolinas was under recommended fire evacuation and that my house was technically first in line of a new fire  that had broken out. Residents were scrambling, packing up their stuff and heading out. It wasn’t sure that the fire would reach the houses in Bolinas, but weather (winds) is tumultuous out there and fires had been ripping through the dry brush quickly. Since it’s really just a one-way road in (and dangerous with the fire looming), people were following the better safe than sorry route, so I stayed put in Ojai. It was the smart thing to do. I was 7 hours away, and I had some cute clothes, my laptop and my dog Inca with me. It was there I let go of my grip on everything else, including my history in the Bay Area and the reason why I moved there in the first place. That was a big moment in my life, amidst truly apocalyptic conditions something big and internal told me to just let go. So I did, fully.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_single_image image="13643" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]I can’t say it was easy, the moment I moved on, metaphorically and emotionally. In a way, these apocalyptic conditions forced me to move. Even though I didn’t think I was ready, I realized that I was. I think that’s what they call ‘nature provides.’ Eventually I went home, and the fire near Bolinas fizzled. The other fires raged until the day I left. I wasn’t able to say goodbye to basically anyone I had gotten to know there because of the pandemic and the fires. That was hard. As someone who often feels like a loner anyhow, I couldn’t help but feel that my connections were not that potent to begin with. I know that’s silly to think, but don’t we all think silly things when grieving? After Pounding Out Grief throughout September and packing up my life, Inca and I got in a gigantic 26-foot U-Haul filled with dishes (truly, that’s the bulk of what I own) and drove to Missouri, leaving northern California behind. On this drive out of California, I could feel the natural release of quite a bit, including my relationship(s) there, as well as the idea that I didn’t move there for me. It never fully suited me. It felt healthy to realize all this and (physically and metaphorically) move on. I know I was moving toward what I needed next in life, toward who I needed and who needed me. That has always been important to me, being there for those I love. I move toward what I need rather subconsciously/instinctively. Luckily, my strong intuition doesn’t allow for regrets. I feel grateful for that.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_single_image image="18484" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]How’s it going? Inca and I drove 2000 miles together to get here and had one of the happiest times of our life. I felt like my eyes and my heart were wide open. I felt supported by the deep friendships I have and the love and excitement of my family – both the ones I was heading towards and the ones that were rooting me on. I could even feel a few key relationships deepening with new distance. I could almost feel myself growing (wiser, not taller). My new lake house is incredible. I found it online, rented it immediately and started the buying process before I had even left. I chose it for 3 reasons. It was right on the water, with water views from almost every room in the house. There are sunset views (over the water) 365 days of the year. And it was the least “oaky” place I could fine. Most homes were filled with oak, oak cabinets, oak trim, oak and more oak. I hate the oak look. This house has less and, even though I would re-do things, I had to find something I could live in now that wouldn’t make me nuts. Oak would have made me nuts. The oak look for me is a more a metaphor or thinking and what it means toi surround yourself by things you think about and how that thinking is fueled.  When I see overly oaky homes I cant help but thing ot eh following words and phrases: stuck, closed minded, doing things the only way I know how and that’s just the way it is. As you know by now, my being, like my creative outlets, cooking and writing- couldn’t be father from those words. If I was going to live here, in a place those words were potent, I couldn’t be around the oak- not the real thing or the metaphor- my home had to be different so it needed to start differently.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_single_image image="18486" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]When I drove into the driveway of my house I felt very happy. It did not disappoint. Even though I knew Missouri would inevitably disappoint (everything and everyone does after all), I could tell this place would be the haven I needed to be successful and happy here. It has beautiful sweeping views of the lake, trees all over, and a crystal-clear lakefront for Inca to swim. Every single room in the house has views of the water and the sunset. There are two kitchens. The entire downstairs becomes my business headquarters, with lots of space for more staff and its own kitchen, and a gigantic deck, where I envision outdoor working as soon as weather permits. The kitchen remodel is planned and pending the arrival of cabinets in a few weeks. I feel happy that my brother is doing the work. This circular exchange of my money feels important, especially after giving so much of my money to landlords for 29 years of my life. When people ask me how it’s going, the first thing I always say is that I chose an amazing house.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_single_image image="18477" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]The food is a different story. But I knew this would be the case before I made the decision to move here. I had spent many years visiting my brother here, as he married a woman from Missouri and moved here (he is now divorced). He raised three kids here. They are all still here and all often literally here at my house. (Which I love!) When I lived in NYC, I would spend most Thanksgivings here. (I did lots of fresh herb workshops in a tiny town called Fair Grove about an hour north of where I am now.) Back then I was aware that the kind of food shopping I prefer – call it organic, sustainable, healthy, alive, green, unprocessed, etc. – is hard to come by. I wouldn’t call this a food desert exactly because there is a crapload of cheap food here and all the ultra-processed conventional produce, meat and dairy you can dream of. But there is a gigantic shortage of the stuff I like. The stuff I think the world needs more of. The kind that I believe (real science does too) makes for healthier people and planet. It certainly has changed here over some over time, I see more progress than ever and I have even been part of that change, working in the organic produce industry for so long. The internet, traveling and logistics has made good food more accessible than ever before. But it’s still not enough and the quality and overall choices are still lacking and driven by conventional and processed mindsets and corporations and generally speaking its really hard to compete with cheap in these parts of the country. I’m certain you understand my definition of cheap here. Now, if you know me you know I can’t compromise on healthy food. It’s not just a decision about what I am putting in my body but what I choose to support with my dollars. So, I have had to spider web my needs and do a lot of buying online. I drive to Fayetteville, Arkansas, every two weeks, where I shop at the Ozark Natural Food Store and the closest Whole Foods. There is a new natural food store closer to me, about 30 minutes away in Branson, MO, called Nature’s Wonder. It’s a fairly big store with lots of miscellaneous things I like to buy spur of the moment, like Justin’s Dark Peanut Butter Chocolate Cups, but the meat and produce is still a bit lacking. They have fairly decent dairy products, but at Whole Foods I can buy my Point Reyes Blue, which makes and keeps me happy![/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_single_image image="18490" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]I buy some Belcampo meat online and have it shipped to my house, but I don’t do that for all my meats because it’s expensive and includes packaging waste that I don’t love. I plan to get a deep freeze and buy an entire pig and cow and share with my family here. But even that too is weird, most people only sell them to massive meat processors (not the good kind) so finding folks that produce, slaughter, butcher and package meat sustainably hasn’t been easy. This is after all the land of Tyson chicken farms, which are speckled for miles and miles and miles just south of where I live in Arkansas. That’s the kind of cheap meat that is everywhere here. The produce and the fresh herbs are my main problem here. Like everything else, I have had to do weird things to get it, make a lot of compromises and spend some extra money. Since I moved here in late October, a garden was not an option. I am building a garden and a greenhouse, so come spring, I should be 800000x better off and am super excited about it.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_single_image image="18476" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]Luckily my friends at Jacobs Farm Del Cabo have been kind enough to sell me fresh herbs in the meantime, so all my recipe testing and salts are taken care of and my herbal passion does not need to be quelled for even a second. The Arkansas Whole Foods and Ozark Natural Foods both have many of the organic brands I like, so that works for me. And I know come spring, summer and fall, more local options will be predominant in both, as well as some of the farmers markets here locally. Some things I miss, like the massive number of citrus options most California grocers have at this time of year. I miss fresh little gem lettuce incredibly and can’t wait to grow greens again. I miss year round chive blossoms, access to amazing and fresh cherry tomatoes, romanesco and baby artichokes from the Bolinas farm stand. I make due, it reminds me of living in Ecuador, hauling back lemons in my suitcase. Find a few things you need most and do what you have to get them. Booze & Wine is another issue.  Missouri is one of those states where it’s almost impossible for any regular company to ship alcohol to me. There are only a few big companies that do it and they tend to carry only the crappy ultra-processed brands, and, frankly, I’d rather quit drinking. I came fairly stocked with my crafters favorites, since I knew where I was heading, but I miss my small artisanal batch makers and their booze that tastes good and is well crafted. A few of my friends did some digging and found me a place in Arkansas where there is a great wine and booze store that they swear I can find some things I like, so I will venture there soon.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_single_image image="18471" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]I’ve learned to make do, but I also recognize that me making do is still rather extravagant compared to most.  That’s the girl in me that is influenced by all the places she has seen on the world, that’s the girl that can’t living and cook in an oaky kitchen. The good news in all of this, is that I’m fine and definitely not hungry.  It’s all inspired me to work on how to get better organic produce into the area, and I know I’m the perfect person to do that. I tell you now, I will. Of the hodgepodge collection of healthy organic ingredients I have managed to find and bring together. I have also whipped up a few new recipes as well as polished a few old ones. All of this was done in a kitchen that is somewhat weird – too small, unreasonably compacted and with a shower in it and with a crappy electric oven. If there is any lesson that I can leave you with, it’s this. Just because you live in an isolated area or an area that doesn’t seem to have a lot of choices, an area where people say “this is just the way it is” and “people don’t want that kind of food” doesn’t mean that has to be your reality. If you have strong values – healthy food (from soil to mouth) being one of my main core values – do whatever it takes to live by them. You don’t have to have an oak kitchen or processed food. People may make fun of you, as some make fun of me for driving to Arkansas for my “fancy” food, but who cares? The thing about values is that the things that guide us in life run much deeper than they appear. So, while it’s true I like what some call fancy food, the real truth is that I like food that is grown in nutritious soil, supporting the communities that do the work to produce it. I like organic food because the science is clear about pesticides on food. I like unprocessed foods that are not riddled with sugar. In my values, the American “cheap” is way more expensive than my “fancy.” Be a jovial warrior. Fight for healthy food. Fight kindly for what you believe in. Here is some of my “fanciest” Missouri food, so far….[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_single_image image="18475" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]

Rancho Gordo Marcella Beans, Spinach and Fried Eggs with Nissa’s Fresh Mint Harissa

One of the items I buy online (ever since Bolinas) is Rancho Gordo beans. I cannot recommend their beans enough. Their heirloom beans cook much faster than regular grocery store beans and are also more tender, with more nuanced textures and deep flavor. If you are new to their beans, the first thing you’ll recognize is that these beans have a massive amount of flavor. I buy a big box of beans about twice a year and spend about $100 each time. I often give a bag or two away as a gift or when someone gets excited about the beans I cooked for them. My favorite is their white Marcella beans. They have a really thin skin and cook into an ultra-creamy deliciousness. I cook a batch and have them a few different ways, usually stewed with some vegetables. I like to eat the remaining part of the batch for breakfast with a fried egg and some of my fresh mint harissa. It makes for one of my favorite breakfasts and, since many folks have asked about it since I posted it a few weeks back on social media, I thought I’d share it here.

Stewed Marcella Beans with Spinach & a Fried Egg

I found amazing (Arkansas) local (greenhouse grown) spinach in Ozarks Natural Food Store, so it seems to be something I can get year-round. It’s my kind of spinach, too – a thicker, bumpy leaf savoy variety. It’s really lovely with my stewed beans. Rancho Gordo beans don’t need to be soaked because they are fresh dried beans (meaning they are not very old like some on the grocery store shelf). I do usually soak them overnight because I usually forget that I’m planning on cook them, and it gives them a gigantic jump start. I soak rice, too, for the same reasons. Serves 8-10 Ingredients  1 pound bag of Rancho Gordo Marcella beans, presoaked at least 2 hours and up to overnight 1 tablespoon salt 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved 2-3 mini bell peppers, coarsely chopped 2 tablespoons chopped parsley 1 tablespoon chopped chives 2 cups chopped spinach leaves 1 fresh egg per serving Nissa’s Fresh Mint Harissa (Recipe below) ¼ cup finely chopped fresh mint Finishing salt  Directions Rinse the beans well and add them along with the other ingredients to a large pot filled amply with water. The beans should be covered by at least 2-3 inches of water. Bring to a hard boil uncovered without a lid for 20-30 minutes. Add the salt, reduce heat and simmer partially covered for about 1 hour or until the beans are tender. Add the tomatoes, peppers, parsley and chives, increase heat to low and cook for another 20-35 minutes until the vegetables cook down and meld into the beans. Turn the burner off, add the spinach leaves to the top of the beans, cover with the lid and let stand about 30 minutes. Sprinkle the mint on, leaving a tablespoon for fresh garnish, and stir the beans, mint and spinach. In the meantime, fry the egg. Place the beans and spinach mixture down, top it with the fried egg and drizzle a little harissa on top. Garnish with fresh mint.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_single_image image="12708" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]

Nissa’s Fresh Mint Harissa

Makes 2 cups Ingredients 2 dried guajillo chilies, stems removed, broken 2 dried red chilies, stems removed, broken 2 teaspoons cumin seeds, toasted 1 teaspoon coriander seed, toasted 1 teaspoon caraway seed, toasted 2 teaspoons rainbow peppercorns, toasted 3 garlic cloves 1 bell pepper, roasted and peeled 2 red (fresh) jalapeno peppers, roasted and peeled 1 tablespoon lemon zest 3 tablespoons lemon juice 2 teaspoons salt 2 tablespoons olive oil 2-3 tablespoons fresh mint leaves (optional) Directions Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth, spices are broken apart and the sauce is smooth. Can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 1 month.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_single_image image="18491" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]

Beef Mushroom Farro Dill Soup

Dill, like celery, is something I forget that I really enjoy. It’s super useful in many recipes, giving a pop of brightness and sharpness. I recently remembered a beef mushroom barley dill soup recipe from my Ger-Nis Culinary & Herb portfolio. I had been craving a beefy soup, partly to use up the Belcampo beef broth that delivered to my door. I usually make my own beef broth but I thought by having some good stuff on hand I’d be able to make a great soup faster and this recipe was just that. I believe the origins of dill in this soup hail from Eastern European influence and their winter mushroom barley soups and stews made with beef stock. Somewhere along the line for me this soup and this style was born. I love that it is beefy and brothy. The dill cuts through the richness of the beef stock, which can sometimes seem fatty without something to cut it. I cut the meat up in both 1- and 2-inch cubes, to give some diversity in size, leading to more excitement per bite. I chose farro this time around. I have farro on hand typically and truly enjoyed it more than barley. Serves 6-8 Ingredients Olive oil, for sautéing 2 tablespoons butter 2 medium yellow onions, chopped medium 3-4 cloves garlic, chopped fine 1 pound beef stew meat, cut into 2 inch cubes and pre-seasoned with salt & pepper ½ cup fresh thyme, chopped ¼ cup fresh rosemary, chopped ½ cup fresh flat leaf parsley, chopped 1 cup fresh dill, chopped 3 large carrots, cut into 1 inch chunks 4 celery stalks, chopped 1 cup brown mushrooms, chopped 3 fresh bay leaves 1 cup white wine 2 cups beef stock ¾ Farro (aka pearled barley) Salt Pepper Directions In heavy stew pan over medium-high heat, add olive oil and butter. Sauté onions and garlic for about 3-4 minutes or until soft and semi translucent. Add cubed stew meat and sauté until browned. Add ⅓ of each of the herbs and stir. Next, add the carrots and celery; sauté for another few minutes, and then add mushrooms. Sauté a few more minutes while all liquid is absorbed by the mushrooms. Drop in the bay leaves. Add wine and stir well while loosening all the bits that stuck to the bottom of the pan and add another ⅓ of all the herbs. Add the beef stock and simmer on low heat for about 30 minutes, stirring a few times. Add pearled barley and simmer for another 20-30 minutes or until tender and to desired consistency. Season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle in the remaining herbs and take off heat. Let stand for about 10 minutes before serving.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_single_image image="18481" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]

Winter Salts

For Christmas presents this year I chose to give salts to as many as I could, along with a hand written Christmas card. I whipped up some rudimentary packaging and had some labels printed for three different salts. If you didn’t get a salt with your card, you can still make these salts. My method is so simple, and everyone should be able to access these ingredients. I’m also including a simple recipe for each kind of salt, in case you need an idea of how to use them! Also, good news for my salt lovers: I believe I will start to produce and sell the salts on a very small scale commercially starting this spring-- April 2021. Fingers crossed and stay tuned![/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_single_image image="18482" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]

Winter Squash Salt

A recent squash photography project for a client resulted in a kitchen full of winter squash. It just so happened to be a hybrid version of my favorite squash – The Red Kuri. (You might remember my Red Kuri Apple Squash Soup & Mac & Cheese recipe I wrote for Edible Marin a few years back, which can attest to my love of this varietal.) I prefer the savory nutty notes of the Red Kuri over the deeply sweet butterscotch tones of a Butternut. One of my favorite ways to eat it is roasted with a little salt and pepper. This salt was designed just for this and all varietals of squash. It’s packed with all the hearty warm herbs that love winter squash. Sage is the predominant herb, and savory, marjoram and rosemary all lend their essences. It’s also laced with hints of cinnamon, mace and nutmeg, and I added Aleppo pepper and white pepper for a tiny kick. My maple infused Maldon salt gave it a super warming quality. I really love this salt. Not only does it shine on all winter squash dishes, but it’s generally versatile in nature. I can see myself using it on chicken dishes, carrots and anything I want to evoke really warm comforting flavors. Makes 3 cups of salt Ingredients 3 tablespoons super finely chopped sage leaves 2 tablespoons super finely chopped parsley leaves 1 tablespoon super finely chopped winter savory 1 tablespoon super finely chopped marjoram ½ tablespoon super finely chopped rosemary 1 tablespoon lemon zest 1 tablespoon ground white pepper ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon ½ teaspoon ground mace ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg ½ teaspoon ground cayenne pepper 1 teaspoon Aleppo pepper 1 red chili pepper, deseeded and chopped super fine 1 tablespoons maple syrup 2 cups Maldon Salt Directions Pre-heat oven to 225°F. In a medium mixing bowl, mix together all of the fresh herbs, spices and red chili. Drizzle the maple syrup over all of them and mix well until the maple syrup coats everything. Gently fold in the salt and, using your fingers, make sure the herbs and the salt are mixed together well and that the maple syrup is totally incorporated. Place the salt/herb mix on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper so that it’s spread out evenly across the entire sheet and also flat. Place the sheet in the oven and bake for about 25 minutes, or until the herbs seem to have lost all moisture. If the salt feels “caked,” it needs more time, usually about 5 more minutes. Turn off the heat and allow to cool in the oven. Store in a small bowl on your counter for a few weeks. Roasted Red Kuri Squash with Winter Squash Salt This is a simple roasted squash recipe that shows how amazing a little of the salt can make simply roasted squash. Red Kuri squash skin is thin and edible, so no need for peeling in this recipe. Eat this as a side dish. Cool it, cut it and toss it on salads. If you’re like me, you can also eat it as a snack right out of the oven! Serves 4 Ingredients 1 Red Kuri squash, about 2 pounds 2 tablespoons olive oil 2 ½ teaspoons of Winter Squash salt Directions Pre-heat oven to 400°F. Cut the squash in half using a large, thick knife or cleaver. Carefully push down on both ends of the blade slowly to cut the squash in half. Scoop out the seeds and reserve for the spiced seed garnish. Use an ice cream scoop for optimal success. Place the cut side of each squash on a cutting board. Cut each into 1-inch wide wedges. Place the cut squash on a baking dish and drizzle the olive oil over the top. Sprinkle with 2 teaspoons of the salt and mix together. Make sure the oil and salt is coated all over the squash. Arrange flat on the baking sheet and sprinkle with the remaining salt. Place it in the oven and roast for about 50 minutes, or until a slight char appears on the skin of the squash.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_single_image image="18472" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]

Citrus Chili Winter Herb Salt

One of the things I miss most about California winter (besides Bolinas crab season) is the abundance of citrus that comes as naturally as rain. Everything from the normal navel orange and Valencia choices to the weird varietals of tangerines and pomelos. It’s all there, abundant and accessible. Unfortunately for me, most the good stuff never makes it to the Midwest. But I have managed to find some interesting offerings (again, in Arkansas) and, with that, I have created one of my staple salts: a bright citrusy salt that highlights mint, parsley and chives. This time I made it “fresh chili spicy” by adding all kinds of chili peppers from the Cabo Diablo Chili Pepper Mix that my friend Sarah gifted me with (she works for Jacobs Farm / del Cabo). She gave me a case so, to be honest, I have been chili peppered out of my mind. The end result for this salt is sure to please the lucky giftees, and its fresh taste is perfect on winter salads like the Fennel Orange & Parsley Salad I made for my family for an early Christmas celebration. Makes 3 cups of salt Ingredients 3 tablespoons super finely chopped parsley leaves 3 tablespoons super finely chopped mint leaves 3 tablespoons super finely chopped chives 1 tablespoon lemon zest 1 tablespoon pomelo zest 1 tablespoon Melogold grapefruit zest 5 Cabo Diablo chili peppers, deseeded and chopped super fine 2 teaspoons sweet paprika 2 teaspoons cayenne pepper 2 ½ cups Maldon Salt Directions Pre-heat oven to 225°F. In a medium mixing bowl, mix together all of the fresh herbs, chilies and spices. Gently fold in the salt and, using your fingers, make sure the herbs and the salt are mixed together. Place the salt/herb mix on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper so that it’s spread out evenly across the entire sheet and also flat. Place the sheet in the oven and bake for about 25 minutes, or until the herbs seem to have lost all moisture. If the salt feels “caked,” it needs a little more time, usually about 5 more minutes. Turn off the heat and allow to cool in the oven. Store in a small bowl on your counter for a few weeks. Orange, Fennel & Radicchio Salad with Fresh Mint If you have ever been to al di la Trattoria in Brooklyn, chances are you have had Anna Klinger’s orange fennel salad. This is my attempt (over the years) to recreate her masterpiece, which was one of my favorite dishes at her lovely little restaurant. Generally speaking, this salad is easy and hard to mess up. Tasty oranges and fresh fennel are key. My Citrus Chili Winter Herb Salt gives this recipe a final touch of delight. Take advantage of all the winter chicories becoming more widely available everywhere. I have the basic raddichio here in Missouri. I’m not complaining, though I miss the Star Route Farms stuff in Bolinas. The Chiogga Radicchio variety pairs well with all citrus. If you can, use a medley of winter citrus, such as grapefruit, navel oranges and blood oranges. Serves 4-6 Ingredients 4 oranges 1 teaspoon honey 1 tablespoon sherry or champagne vinegar ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes ½ teaspoon salt ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil 1 head Chioggia radicchio, core removed, coarsely chopped to bite size 1 fennel bulb, cut in half and sliced thin, preferably with a mandolin 1 tablespoon fennel fronds, finely chopped ½ medium red onion, sliced thin 2 tablespoons fresh mint leaves, finely chopped ¼ cup Kalamata olives, pitted and coarsely chopped 1-2 pinches of Citrus Chili Winter Herb Salt or finishing salt Directions Peel the oranges with a paring knife, removing all the white pith. Slice the peeled oranges into rounds and remove any seeds. Prepare the citrus over a small bowl to reserve any juice. Whisk in the honey, vinegar, red pepper flakes, salt, pepper, and olive oil. Arrange the radicchio leaves on a large platter. Toss sliced fennel on top. Place the sliced oranges and onions over the radicchio and fennel, layering them a little. Toss the mint leaves and olives over all. Spoon the dressing evenly over the salad. Sprinkle with a few pinches of Maldon salt.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_single_image image="18473" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]

I Shot a Deer; Now What? Herbal Deer & Game Salt

I’ll admit I don’t understand deer hunting (specifically deer), nor do I really believe anything people tell me about why it’s so amazing for the planet or how many families are fed off deer meat. When I look at the photos on facebook with the guys holding the head of the deer with the blood and spit dripping from the dead buck’s mouth, I just can’t help but feel there is more macho to the sport than food on the table. But I am a meat eater and also someone who is open to the idea of me not fully understanding things, so I generally try to be open and accepting. This is how I feel about deer hunting and this is my attempt at being open and supporting the folks all around me – not just in Missouri – who are jazzed to shoot deer. Typically when I start the conversation about deer hunting, I usually land on, “How do you cook it?” I never really get much clarity from the deer shooters, except when it comes to deer sauasage part, but I think we all know that it’s the pig in those deer sausage that makes it taste good. As someone who doesn’t like deer or game meat much, I became very inquisitive about the subject. I tried bear chili once in Wyoming at a bar. It was okay, and I remember in South Africa eating all kinds of wild game that was also okay. I recently tried making bison burritos, but I thought they smelled like sheep fur so I gave them to the contractors working on my siding, they were happy. Surely there has to be something to improve the taste of deer meat? “Maybe an herb salt?” I thought. I knew the salt needed potent, robust herbs, so I paired herbs generously in a manner I would not usually pair as potently, knowing that robust additives would help tame the excessively wild flavor of the venison and wild game meats. That was really my main strategy, also knowing that most people cook venison in more wintery recipes. I used winter savory as my main herb. It’s one of my all-time favorites herbs. It works like salt and taste like salt, without being actually salty, so it helps the flavors pop while adding an appealing but generic herbal flavor that tastes pleasantly herbaceous. Sage and rosemary were next. Their potency pairs well with the strength of the venison; it’s like an arm-wrestling match with two equal wrestlers. Marjoram finishes the herb mix. It’s another of my favorites and it was meant to add a softening quality that I think this man-eating and hunting world could use. It’s slightly sweet and perfumy but still potent. It reminds me that soft doesn’t mean weak. My spices were rather simple and designed to add more depth, that I think the deer meat needs. I added white and black pepper and juniper for complexities and heat. Juniper is potent but brings a bright slightly acidic tone without being lemony, which wouldn’t work with deer. Onion and garlic powder meld with the allium flavor. Fresh bay all dried up and ground offers a strong tinge of Christmas tree taste that plays well with the other herbs while retaining a wild vibe. Makes 2 ½ cups of salt Ingredients 3 tablespoons super finely chopped winter savory 2 tablespoons super finely chopped sage 2 tablespoons super finely chopped rosemary 2 tablespoons super finely chopped marjoram 1 fresh bay leaf, cut into tiny pieces with scissors 2 teaspoons garlic powder 2 teaspoons onion powder 2 teaspoons ground white pepper 2 teaspoons ground black pepper 1 tablespoon juniper berries, finely ground 2 cups Maldon Salt Directions Pre-heat oven to 225°F. In a medium mixing bowl, mix together all of the fresh herbs and spices. Gently fold in the salt and, using your fingers, make sure the herbs and the salt are mixed together. Place the salt/herb mix on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper so that it’s spread out evenly across the entire sheet and also flat. Place the sheet in the oven and bake for about 25 minutes or until the herbs seem to have lost all moisture. If the salt feels “caked,” it needs a little more time, usually 5 more minutes. Turn off the heat and allow to cool in the oven. Store in a small bowl on your counter for a few weeks.

Venison Schnitzel (Jaegerschnitzel) & Creamed Mushrooms

I thought long and hard about what the hell I would make if I got some deer meat. I found a recipe for something called Jaegerschnitzel, which means “hunter’s cut” in German. Seeing as though I loved schnitzel and Texas fried steak, both decedents of this early German recipe, I thought this could be a great idea, so I went with it. You want to use venison medallions for this recipe, which is basically a slice of backstrap. Absolutely make sure your meat it at room temperature before cooking it. For me this is important for all beef, but I’ve been told by many people it’s the same for deer. Serves 4 Ingredients For the venison: 1 tablespoon, plus 1 tablespoon reserved Herbal Deer & Game Salt 1 teaspoon black pepper, coarsely ground 4 venison medallions ¼ cup all-purpose flour 2 tablespoons butter 1 tablespoon olive oil For the mushrooms: 1 tablespoon butter 1 tablespoon oil ¼ cup of chopped pancetta or bacon 1 teaspoon juniper berries, coarsely ground 1 teaspoon black pepper, coarsely ground 1 medium shallot 1 tablespoon finely chopped sage leaves 2 teaspoons Deer Salt 3 cups mixed fresh mushrooms, coarsely chopped ½ cup fresh parsley leaves, coarsely chopped, plus two tablespoons reserved ½ cup of dry white wine 1 cup Beef stock or venison stock ¼ cup heavy cream Black pepper Directions For the venison: Pre-heat the oven to 400°F. Season the venison with 1 tablespoon of the deer salt and let sit until they reach room temperature. They should not be cold at all. Pound the venison medallions thin, in between two sheets of plastic or in a zip lock bag with a meat hammer until about ½ inch thick or less and consistently even. Lightly dust each cutlet on both sides with a little bit of flour, shaking off all excess amounts. Heat up a large cast iron skillet with the butter and oil to medium-high heat. The goal is to get a nice sear and then finish in the oven. Once the pan is hot, place the cutlets in the pan and let them sear for about two to three minutes. You can check them at two minutes. The goal is to get a charred sear. Once they are seared, flip them and cook them on the other side for 1 minute. Place them in the oven and set a timer for 9 minutes (for medium rare). Once the timer goes off, remove them from the oven, cover and let stand for 10-12 minutes so that the juices release slowly. For the mushrooms: Heat the butter and oil to medium-high heat in a large sauté pan. Add the pancetta or bacon and cook a couple of minutes until the bacon starts to crisp. Add the juniper, black pepper, shallot, sage and deer salt and cook another 1-2 minutes. Add the mushrooms and parsley, and mix together with the butter and bacon, allowing the mushrooms to cook a few minutes until they start to get soft. Add the white wine and cook another minute so that some of the wine cooks off. Add the stock and bring to a gentle boil for about 10 minutes until a good portion of the liquid evaporates. Take off the heat. Stir in the heavy cream and the remaining two tablespoons of parsley. Serve ladled over the deer cutlets seasoned with some of the deer salt on top.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_single_image image="18506" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_column][/vc_row] [post_title] => The Jovial Warrior Goes to Missouri [post_excerpt] => My ‘moving to Missouri’ story began back in August. I had a few sessions with a renowned astrologer, as part of my crisis response to learning I had to move quickly and, essentially, charter the next course in my life. If I’m being honest, this was one of the hardest times of my life. Normally I make decisions quickly and with ease, but this one I knew would create massive disruptions in all aspects of my life. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => the-jovial-warrior-goes-to-missouri [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2020-12-21 22:13:12 [post_modified_gmt] => 2020-12-21 22:13:12 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.myherbal-roots.com/?p=18503 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw [categories] => Array ( [0] => 75 [1] => 32 ) [id] => m_hr_18503 [post_id] => 18503 [allcategories] => Array ( [0] => USA [1] => Winter ) [categories_places_slugs] => Array ( [0] => usa ) [categories_seasons_slugs] => Array ( [0] => winter ) [categories_details] => Array ( [75] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 75 [name] => USA [slug] => usa [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 75 [taxonomy] => category [description] => [parent] => 74 [count] => 9 [filter] => raw [cat_ID] => 75 [category_count] => 9 [category_description] => [cat_name] => USA [category_nicename] => usa [category_parent] => 74 ) [32] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 32 [name] => Winter [slug] => winter [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 32 [taxonomy] => category [description] => [parent] => 28 [count] => 8 [filter] => raw [cat_ID] => 32 [category_count] => 8 [category_description] => [cat_name] => Winter [category_nicename] => winter [category_parent] => 28 ) ) [image_path] => https://www.myherbal-roots.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/reel.jpg [post_firstImg] => https://www.myherbal-roots.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/Main-scaled.jpg ) [2] => Array ( [post_author] => 4 [post_date] => 2020-09-23 17:52:58 [post_date_gmt] => 2020-09-23 17:52:58 [post_content] => [vc_row][vc_column el_class="blogbodycol" custom_css="border-bottom:7px solid #f8f5f2;border-left: 7px solid #f8f5f2;border-right: 7px solid #f8f5f2; border-top: 7px solid #f8f5f2;padding-bottom:30px;" width="1/1"][prkwp_spacer][prkwp_spacer size="9"][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_custom_heading source="post_title" font_container="tag:h2|font_size:30|text_align:left|color:%234e463e" use_theme_fonts="yes" el_class="header_font" el_id="rechead"][vc_column_text el_class="blate"]SPETEMBER 23rd 2020[/vc_column_text][prkwp_spacer size="9"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]I tend to be an extremist when it comes to emotions. This is why I’ve had to really practice balance. Part of that practice started many years ago, when I had to slow down my crazy capacity for taking on more and more work and make time for empty space in my head and body. Daily yoga, meditation and breathing practices have been pivotal in my ability to understand how to achieve and (mostly) maintain balance as I move through this life thing. A general slowing down long enough to observe myself. Solitude and the ocean have also been vital in helping me reach and maintain more homeostasis. My kryptonite, or the “thing” that most throws me off balance, which I believe is rather normal, is always overwhelm. Too much uncertainty, too many MAJOR things happening at once always rocks my balance. From there I either find equilibrium or fall.[/vc_column_text][vc_single_image image="14541" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]I am currently moving though one of these moments of imbalance, the type where I fall.  Surrounded by a massive amount of change in my personal life happening quickly and all at once, of course amidst all the change and chaos happening worldwide- pandemics, fires, ash etc. All of this has me triggered, and gigantic balloons of emotion are surfacing: anxiety, fear, uncertainty, doubt and an overwhelming sense of feeling unloved. When I hit the I am unloved space, is the point in which I know I am falling deep into what I call the pit of despair. There,  I wallow in all these dramatized emotions and self-doubt. Leaving California and the Bay Area behind and moving to Missouri, letting go of so much that was my life here in the past 8 years, has thrown me off big time. I didn’t expect it to be this way. Surely there is too much to process here in the short time I have left. I know some of my emotions I will probably have to pack up with the rest of my things, only to unpack them and process them when I get to Missouri—but starting the process here is key.[/vc_column_text][vc_single_image image="14544" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]And how do I personally start such an endeavor, not very attractively. I wallow in the shit of it all. I have realized that it is a part of my process—to sit at the bottom of the abyss and flail around in the muck. The pit is not a foreign place to me, in a way I am just becoming more comfortable with it, as I have been in this pit often throughout my life.  There is a new feeling emerging these days that almost feels like I can trust the pit, which is probably more about trusting myself in the pit (in life.) In the past it used to feel like I would never leave the pit. It always felt like I’d be stuck in that realm forever, reminiscent of being on psychedelic mushrooms and truly thinking my weird mind would be frozen as such forever. Eventually the overwhelm, like the drugs, dissipates. My weirdness, I accept lives on no matter what!  The feelings however just move, like waves. It reminds me of that song Emoji of a Wave- and it’s most important message- just hold on…..I think that is is what needs to done while in the pit. Watch, listen, hold on and most importantly- trust. Truly getting to know yourself means you get to learn your process’ of healing as much as you learn your triggers. The pit these days serves me. My balancing practices and a few real live angels are key, especially in the time before the overwhelm begins. Once the fall happens, I have learned not to deny the emotions but, rather, start to watch them, see them unravel and then process them.  This undertaking, for me, is extremely complex and mostly consists of feeling the feelings, labeling them and reflecting on them, if I am able. Getting to know the myriad of emotions possible in a human being and labeling correctly in self and in others is actually really difficult work. But I’m trying. I’m learning. I’m taking the time needed to do it.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_single_image image="14543" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]At a certain point in life I came to recognize that tumbling into the pit was something I needed to do, and I came to recognize and trust in my ability to climb out of it. The stabilization practices have helped me trust in myself. I often wonder about others, though. Is this normal, this pit metaphor, or is this unique to me? Why don’t more people talk about the hard, emotional stuff of life? That’s a question I keep asking over and over.  One of the reasons I really try to show all of myself, as fearful as it can be, is I hope to give others gentle reminder that we are all essentially the same.  We all wallow. I presume that a little wallowing in the pit—deep in darkness—works for me because I don’t get stuck there, even though I still sometimes think I might. It always feels risky, but I have concluded that all emotional growth takes risk. So, there is an acceptance of this fear in losing myself to the abyss, knowing that my courageous heart will always guide me out. I’ve been thinking about what exactly it is that pulls me out, especially as I sit more comfortably at the bottom of my self-pity pit, looking around for what’s going to help me get out. Sometimes, I wish I could just be a rescued damsel in distress, and that it’s a hand of someone who loves me, dramatically pulling me out.  The truth is that has never happened; though, I always wish it would. I can’t lie about that. The pit is one of the most selfish places I know. Like the ego itself, this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It’s come to be important for me to really look around while I am down there, in all the dark caverns of myself. It’s a dark place for a reason. I see a lot of the worst of myself, which is an essential part of the self to know and also to love. My instincts are always to look for how others see those dark spots in me—not about what they mean to me, to my life, and my history. It’s easier to hope that others love the darkness than actually loving our own darkness as a part of who we are.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_single_image image="11380" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]The best way out of the hole is to climb out yourself. This is the only route to deep meaning and purpose… the only way to feel true self-love or love for anyone else for that matter. My life of global travels has shown me that the world is a small place, filled with beautiful and gracious meaning.  While in the pit these days I often remember the meaningful connections I have made in my short little life with others and with that my own life has been meaningful. I sometimes forget how good I am at living with meaning. It’s easy to forget our own goodness as human beings. A good portion of my life flashed before me within this last stint in the pit—of building, directing, creating, motivating, fueling, expanding and teaching others, contributing through my genuine love and openness and utilizing all my immense power, influence, and capability to expand on that over and over and over again.[/vc_column_text][vc_single_image image="14556" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]In those moments when I connect to my authentic self and feel the sense of my life as meaningful to others, I can actually see the value in my own life. I can feel the radiance of those I love all around me. I can see the beauty of the world and how I can, have and will continue to make a difference in it. This part is what stops the wallowing. The selfish love I crave while I am in the pit—the ‘I wants’ and the ‘I needs’ and the ‘why nots’—is ego driven. It’s fight or flight versus nurture and nature. It’s not really who I am. But it takes me being in the pit for a bit to realize that and to begin to climb out of it. My mother is the type that was never able to climb out of the pit. She is still stuck there. She’s the type that gets stuck there repeating over and over the ‘I wants,’ ‘I needs,’ the ‘whys’…Demanding from the world her due.  My mother’s weak essence within me is what pulls me into the pit. My father’s powerful essence within me is what pulls me out. This time in the pit, the appearing balloons were filled with immense grief. These were undoubtedly triggered by having to move my life from California, from the Bay Area. A lot of the surfacing grief was about Patrick (yes, I said his name for the first time in three years). [/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_single_image image="14557" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]To leave this area behind means to leave him behind for good, in a way. It’s been exactly three years since he left and never looked back. I can say with certainty that I am grateful for the path life has given me. My life today is richer because of this experience and because of the work I was forced to do after my heart broke. Today parts of my heart have healed while other parts seem like they will be broken forever. My heart isn’t any bigger. Physically it’s still the same size and still potent like the heart of a lion, but the expansion of my heart has been vast. I have discovered several more intricate and tender parts of my heart, like new colors seen for the first time, new energies are flowing within and out of me, and I have been able to authentically connect with more people and create more meaningful relationships than ever before. My life with Patrick was good, for me, but I am a deeper, richer person in his absence- I have more love to give because he left me.  With his walkout, I was able to see my true being for the first time in full form- the dark and the light sides- and it was only than when the real journey to self-connection was possible.  The pit can teach you a lot about yourself if you learn to sit it it  comfortably.  This time in the pit, I saw and felt all of that. And I felt the grief of that relationship ending, maybe for the first time since he left. I watch it and hold on, surely I will eventually reflect back on this time with some deeper meaning, for now, I just feel better for letting it move through me. Today, climbing out of my pit, I can feel the energy of my loved ones, their presence, their voices calling me, their vitality, and it’s a strong pull. No matter how cozy my psyche can make wallowing feel, their pull is always stronger. My father’s essence in my soul, assures me that I will always climb out. Over the last few days, I’ve been thinking a lot about Ruth Bader Ginsburg, as we all have. There is nothing that can be said that hasn’t already been said. She truly achieved more for women’s rights in America than any other human in my lifetime. I can’t help but to pause and reflect on her words about what makes a life meaningful.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_single_image image="14542" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]She often said, so it was said, that leading a meaningful life means living for one’s family and community and not for oneself. My father lived like that while my mother never did, and still doesn’t. One died contently and well loved by the world on his own terms with all his children by his side; the other most likely will die alone. A morbid thought, yes, but something I need to remember when I sink into the pit of selfishness and of feeling like the world owes me love. Rather, I owe the world love. I think that’s the key to it all. I can feel that I am meaningful in my loved ones’ lives. I felt this last night on the phone with my nephew, who is currently struggling and to whom I will be close to soon with my move to Missouri. Our instincts always bring us to family and community if we are living meaningfully. All of these reflections help me climb my way out of the pit of selfishness. Please, don’t put an image in your head of some powerful wonder woman figure climbing out. I’m more like an amateur rock climber, slipping upward. I am climbing out, stumbling, losing my grip and footing, but I’m slowly finding where the strong and solid aspects are—where the helping hands are, where the teachers are, where the cheerleaders are—as I move up and out, deeper into meaning. This exact spot, the coming out part, in my pit process, is also when I find my creative energy start to build back up. The power of the light through the cracks reignites my passion, and I begin to cook and create again. Despite the unbelievable joy I feel while creating food art, my creativity shuts down fully when I am in major overwhelm, sad or feel unloved. Others cook in this stage, I cannot do anything but wallow- but when I begin the climb, that’s when the passion soars again and I’m at my creative best.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_single_image image="14555" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]Today’s recipes may seem random, and I thought they were at first, too. But, like everything, they are fully interconnected. In this case, it all started with one of my life’s rocks, my friend Danielle, and a simple conversation about what she was making for dinner. Within an hour, my head unraveled a recipe I had created for Ger-Nis Culinary Center in Brooklyn years ago. The Culinary Center was one of my most meaningful projects. It not only served the people immediately around me but also a community of people far and wide throughout Brooklyn and the New York City metro area. One of my most popular classes was Fresh Thai, in which we made hand-pounded Thai-style sauces and dishes. I was taken by the memories of those classes and the extraordinary ordinary people who happily gathered to learn about food and cooking in a setting built for me by my brothers, skills they learned from our father, which made the space and the energy even more meaningful. Making this dish at the same time as climbing out of my selfish hole, I remembered how good I am at making meaning. I was also able to pound out a lot of grief in the process, which was a perk. In sum, the world does not owe me love. I owe the world my love. My love is abundant, creative and for a select few, maybe it can even be overwhelming a times : - )  - It is however PURE. It comes in many forms; right now, here,  it comes in the form of some honest self-reflections, some divulgences of the deepest level and a recipe for  Thai-style fresh curry and  of course a cocktail, because I am Nissa! Herbs abundant, because herbs are my medium of love.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_single_image image="14540" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]

Thai Melon Cooler

Makes 1 drink People don’t drink melons enough. While I was making this cocktail (which began because I had some extra melon to use up), memories of the melon juice I used to drink as a little girl in Nicaragua surged. I had forgotten what a lovely medium melon makes for drinking. Today my cooking skills are added to that memory in this heavenly cocktail. It is vibrant and perfumy, and it doesn’t taste overly boozy. The drink invites us to savor it, much like we should be doing with life. Ingredients ¼ cup green melon, cubed small Zest of 1 lime 2 teaspoons sugar 1 teaspoon lemongrass, bulb, finely chopped 1 teaspoon sliced thin green chili 1 teaspoon grated ginger 3-4 basil leaves, chopped 5-6 cilantro leaves, chopped 2 ounces lime juice 1 ½ ounces gin Sparkling water Bitters (FloraLuna Ginger Cayenne Bitters, preferably) Directions Place the melon, lime zest, sugar, lemongrass, chili, ginger and herbs in the bottom of a cocktail shaker, and muddle until all the melon is mashed up into a thick chunky liquid. Add the lime juice and gin. Fill the shaker with ice and shake vigorously. Double strain into a large Collins glass filled with ice. Fill the glass with a little sparkling water. Drop a few Ginger Cayenne bitters on the top and garnish with a lime wheel and fresh basil leaf.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_single_image image="14545" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]

Massaman Thai Curry Paste/Gaeng Massaman

Makes 3 /4 cup of curry paste Massaman is a Thai curry that has been heavily influenced by Persian and Indian spices like cardamom, cumin, cinnamon, star anise and mace. These eastern influences are combined with traditional fresh Thai ingredients like chili peppers, lemongrass, galangal and cilantro to create a rich and mild curry paste, often combined with coconut milk and stewed with meats. At Ger-Nis Culinary & Herb Center, we specialized in making cooking accessible to all levels of culinary prowess as well as utilizing local, sustainable organic ingredients, all while accenting the herbaceousness of cultural cuisines. This class did just that. I tried to make the recipe easy to recreate, in terms of ingredients, technical skill and equipment. The result was a super fresh Thai curry that everyone could make. This current version of the recipe hasn’t changed much, and it reminded me how therapeutic it is to pound into a mortar and pestle. It felt much like pounding out grief, I have to admit! Traditionally the recipe includes peanuts. I omit the peanuts because it was originally for a class and I wanted to eliminate hazards, but I found I enjoyed the sauce sans the nuts. The recipe can work in a food processor, but I recommend a mortar and pestle. They are not expensive these days and can be super versatile. Ingredients 1 tablespoon white peppercorns 1 tablespoon black peppercorns 1 tablespoon coriander seeds 1 tablespoon cumin seeds 3-4 cardamom pods, cracked 1 star anise, cracked up 3-4 fresh red chilies, fresno, cherry bomb or red jalapeno, seeds removed, all finely chopped 5 cloves garlic, finely chopped 2 teaspoons Maldon salt 1 tablespoon peeled and chopped ginger root 1 tablespoon peeled and chopped galangal root (optional) 1 tablespoon finely chopped lemongrass bulb 1 tablespoon lime zest Juice of 1 lime 1 teaspoon cinnamon ½ teaspoon mace ½ teaspoon nutmeg ½ cup cilantro leaves, chopped [embed]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B9uF4RL_-UY&list=PLkOHFfUWySHaiwB0kYR0APWHd40lrN4sI&index=1&ab_channel=HerbalRoots[/embed] Directions Mortar & Pestle Method: In a small, thin bottomed sauté pan, toast the white and black peppercorns, coriander seeds, cumin seeds, cardamon pods and the star anise for about 30-40 seconds overheat. The spices will start to smoke. Just make sure they don’t burn. Place the toasted spices in the mortar and pestle and grind them up finely. Add the fresh chilies, garlic and salt, and pound and scrape in with the pestle until most of the chilies and garlic are broken into fine pieces. Add the ginger, galangal, lemongrass and zest, and continue to pound and grind until a thick paste forms. Add the lime juice, cinnamon, mace, nutmeg and cilantro leaves and, again, pound and grind until the cilantro leaves are fully dissolved into the paste. The end result should be a thick chunky paste.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_single_image image="14539" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]

Massaman Beef Curry with Summer Tomatoes

Serves 6 Once you have the paste made, there are many things you can do. The most traditional recipe uses it stewed with coconut milk and beef, and this is by far my favorite way of enjoying this curry as well. It’s warming and comforting and yet feels light and summery. In this version, I add summer cherry tomatoes and use a technique for bulgogi that I found works really well in giving the meat a slight sear before it’s stewed in the coconut milk. This comforting dish served me well on my recent pit climbing adventure. Ingredients 1 – 1 ½ pounds hanger or flank steak (thin steak is key), slightly frozen ¾ cup Massaman curry paste ½ cup tamari or soy sauce ¼ cup coconut amino or 2 tablespoons brown sugar 1 ½ tablespoons extra virgin olive oil or other neutral oil 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved 1 teaspoon salt 1 can (15-ounces) coconut milk Directions Slice the steak very thin. This is much easier to do when the steak is partial frozen. In a large bowl, whisk together the curry paste, soy sauce and aminos (or sugar) and place your meat in the bowl covering it all with the sauce, to marinate. Heat up a thick bottomed pan with a little oil spread evenly over it to medium high heat. Place the meat slices down in the pan, shaking off any liquid from them before and pack them tightly in the pan. Let them sear for a few minutes until browned. Turn them over and sear them more on the other side. Add the remainder of the marinade and stir, let some of the juice cook off and then add the tomatoes and salt- stir. Cook for a few minutes until the tomatoes start to melt a little bit in the heat and the coconut milk. Bring to a boil, then reduce to and simmer about 15 -20 minutes or until the tomatoes are all cooked down. Serve over rice.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_column][/vc_row] [post_title] => Purpose, Meaning and a Mortar & Pestle [post_excerpt] => I tend to be an extremist when it comes to emotions. This is why I’ve had to really practice balance. Part of that practice started many years ago, when I had to slow down my crazy capacity for taking on more and more work and make time for empty space in my head and body. Daily yoga, meditation and breathing practices have been pivotal in my ability to understand how to achieve and (mostly) maintain balance as I move through this life thing. A general slowing down long enough to observe myself. Solitude and the ocean have also been vital in helping me reach and maintain more homeostasis. My kryptonite, or the “thing” that most throws me off balance, which I believe is rather normal, is always overwhelm. Too much uncertainty, too many MAJOR things happening at once always rocks my balance. From there I either find equilibrium or fall. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => purpose-meaning-and-a-mortar-pestle [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2020-09-23 18:54:31 [post_modified_gmt] => 2020-09-23 18:54:31 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.myherbal-roots.com/?p=14549 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw [categories] => Array ( [0] => 86 [1] => 71 [2] => 91 [3] => 30 ) [id] => m_hr_14549 [post_id] => 14549 [allcategories] => Array ( [0] => Basil [1] => Blog Posts [2] => Cilantro (Corriander) [3] => Summer ) [categories_herbs_slugs] => Array ( [0] => basil [1] => cilantro ) [categories_seasons_slugs] => Array ( [0] => summer ) [categories_details] => Array ( [86] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 86 [name] => Basil [slug] => basil [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 86 [taxonomy] => category [description] => [parent] => 84 [count] => 3 [filter] => raw [cat_ID] => 86 [category_count] => 3 [category_description] => [cat_name] => Basil [category_nicename] => basil [category_parent] => 84 ) [71] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 71 [name] => Blog Posts [slug] => blog-posts [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 71 [taxonomy] => category [description] => blog [parent] => 145 [count] => 33 [filter] => raw [cat_ID] => 71 [category_count] => 33 [category_description] => blog [cat_name] => Blog Posts [category_nicename] => blog-posts [category_parent] => 145 ) [91] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 91 [name] => Cilantro (Corriander) [slug] => cilantro [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 91 [taxonomy] => category [description] => [parent] => 84 [count] => 2 [filter] => raw [cat_ID] => 91 [category_count] => 2 [category_description] => [cat_name] => Cilantro (Corriander) [category_nicename] => cilantro [category_parent] => 84 ) [30] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 30 [name] => Summer [slug] => summer [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 30 [taxonomy] => category [description] => [parent] => 28 [count] => 5 [filter] => raw [cat_ID] => 30 [category_count] => 5 [category_description] => [cat_name] => Summer [category_nicename] => summer [category_parent] => 28 ) ) [image_path] => https://www.myherbal-roots.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/Reel.jpg [post_firstImg] => https://www.myherbal-roots.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/main.jpg ) [3] => Array ( [post_author] => 4 [post_date] => 2020-08-15 18:06:51 [post_date_gmt] => 2020-08-15 18:06:51 [post_content] => [vc_row][vc_column el_class="blogbodycol" custom_css="border-bottom:7px solid #f8f5f2;border-left: 7px solid #f8f5f2;border-right: 7px solid #f8f5f2; border-top: 7px solid #f8f5f2;padding-bottom:30px;" width="1/1"][prkwp_spacer][prkwp_spacer size="9"][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_custom_heading source="post_title" font_container="tag:h2|font_size:30|text_align:left|color:%234e463e" use_theme_fonts="yes" el_class="header_font" el_id="rechead"][vc_column_text el_class="blate"]AUGUST 15TH 2020[/vc_column_text][prkwp_spacer size="9"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]My Herby Sundried Tomatoes are one of my staple recipes. I love cherry tomatoes so much that I always have loads of them on hand. Sometimes, I over buy and don’t eat them fast enough, but that is never a problem with this recipe. This is a recipe that was brought into my repertoire so I could live in a perpetual state of cherry tomato gluttony, and I have zero shame in that. I tend to use the fresh and dried ones the same way, tossing them literally into everything (salads, soups, sandwiches, eggs, etc.) and it’s a nice change when the fresh tomatoes I had been enjoying suddenly morph into the dried version – yielding a deeper, richer, smokier version of the fresh. You can further heighten the flavor by adding fresh herbs and other spices.[/vc_column_text][vc_single_image image="13722" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]This is essentially how the idea came to pass – let a little salt melt over the oven dried tomatoes so I could put them on everything. Even though I live by the coast and, thus, not prime tomato growing land, it’s super-hot just a few miles off. So technically I am totally surrounded (on 3 sides) by prime tomato farms, and we are currently just getting into the peak season. Tomatoes like it hot. This is how they develop their flavors, which are a combination of the sugar content, soils, air, environment and the seeds. Generally speaking, the less commercially grown the tomatoes are the better they taste. Around these parts we have loads of small growers (most of us do, you just might have to look harder in other parts of the country or grow them yourself). They offer a gamut of choices when it comes to varietals, flavors and shapes, which means this time of year I am in heaven. Small, local growers tend to choose tomato varietals based on flavor over shelf life and yields. This is good news for me and my summer cherry tomato obsession. [/vc_column_text][vc_single_image image="13721" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]Actually the obsession is year-round, and thanks to (literally) just a handful of large commercial producers (Del Cabo is my favorite), we have those options, too. If you want to read more about breeding cherry tomatoes, here’s an article I wrote about Del Cabo a few years back for a produce industry trade site, Breeding Cherry Tomatoes for Flavor. These guys are my top choice most of the year, and I buy them by the case several times of year to always have them on hand. I posted the recipe for my Herby Oven-dried Tomatoes back in April when I was overindulging in the imported cherry tomatoes from Del Cabo, grown on the southern tip of Baja California in a fair-trade organic farmer cooperative. The basic premise of the recipe is what I use all the time, but I always change it up in terms of herbs, spices, lemon zest and sometimes olive oil. Though, omitting the oil is crucial if you are going to eventually also make the salt included here. There is no way to do the salt recipe without first making a version of oven-dried tomatoes. The store-bought dried ones are too dry, and oil-packed dried tomatoes are too wet.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_single_image image="13723" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]It’s important to note that technically the dried tomato of portion of this recipe isn’t a fully dried shelf stable-version. I store them in my fridge in a jar or in a little bowl on my counter if I’m going to use them up quickly. The nice part about the recipe is that you get to decide how soft and juicy you want them to be. There is a sweet spot where the juice turns to paste. That’s the moment where they are perfect for me and also perfect to make this salt recipe. Eventually with this recipe a new technique in my salt-making adventure was made, involving flavoring and coloring the salt with a paste-like liquid – in this case, the oven-dried tomatoes. I use my favorite hand maceration technique by rubbing a few of the oven-dried tomatoes with the salt, extracting the paste and mashing it all up into the salt, rubbing in the color and the flavor. Once I have the salt flavored and colored, then I move on to make the salt by adding lemon zest and basil and then baking it in the oven to dry off the moisture and the tiny bits of the oven dried tomatoes I used to macerate the salt. The end result is a beautiful smoky-ish tomato salt with bits of the oven-dried tomato and basil with a hint of lemon zest. Oven-dried tomatoes yield a smoky flavor and so the final salt is a bit smoky seeming, making it a very deep and rich salt. This salt is important to cook a little longer than most of my others so that the dried tomato bits get totally dried. This salt (and the dried tomatoes) are great to have handy. I’ve been tossing them into my favorite eggs, a caprese salad, pasta salad and even on a grilled cheese sandwich. But the star recipes born from this first batch – Avgolemono (Egg & Lemon Soup) with Spinach and Smoky Tomato Basil Stuffed Zucchini Boats were the stand outs![/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_single_image image="13725" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]

Smoky Tomato Basil Salt

Makes 1 ½ cup salt and 2 cups Dried Tomatoes The recipe will give you extra oven-dried cherry tomatoes, but I suspect that won’t be an issue! It’s important to make sure you cook all the tiny tomato bits left in the final salt fully. Feel free to use any herbs while making oven-dried tomatoes, and use any color or shape cherry tomato. Don’t forget to place all the cut cherry tomatoes flesh side up when baking them. Add more chilies to make it spicy! Ingredients For the dried tomatoes: 2 pints cherry tomatoes 1 tablespoon Maldon salt ¼ cup finely chopped fresh parsley, basil and oregano For the salt: 1 ½ cups Maldon salt 6-10 oven dried tomatoes ¾ cup finely chopped basil leaves 2 teaspoons lemon zest 2 teaspoons red chili flakes (optional) Directions For the oven-dried tomatoes: Pre-heat the oven to 250° F. Cut all of the cherry tomatoes in half and place them cut side up on a lined baking sheet. Sprinkle the salt all over the top, followed by the herbs and lemon zest. Place in the oven for 2.5 hours until they are just about fully dried, leaving some soft aspects to them, but most parts of them dry. Turn off the oven and allow to cool completely. (Store extra tomatoes a container with a lid in the refrigerator for 2-3 weeks.) For the salt: Pre-heat the oven to 225° F. Place the salt in a large bowl and using your fingers, pulverize the tomatoes into the salt. Basically, you will be grinding the tomatoes so that they break up into little tiny piece and squirt all their paste out, which you will then mix and rub all into the salt. You will know when you are done because all the tomatoes will be in tiny bits and pieces with no paste left inside and all of the white salt will be reddish color. Add the basil, zest and chili flakes (if you are using them) and mix until well combined. Place on a lined baking sheet (parchment paper) and lay out flat. Bake for about 28 minutes or until all the tomato bits are fully dried. Cool completely and store in a jar or on a bowl on your counter.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_single_image image="13726" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]

Avgolemono (Egg & Lemon Soup) with Spinach

Makes 12 cups For many, soup doesn’t seem summery unless it’s a gazpacho or some sort of chilled soup. For those of us who live in cooler summer climates, like me in Bolinas, soup can be on the menu most days. On the day I made the Smoky Tomato Basil Salt, it was exceptionally foggy, damp and a little cold here in Bolinas. For whatever reason, I began to crave this Greek soup and wanted to use the new salt in it. Avgolemono is technically a Greek sauce made of lemons, eggs and chicken stock that’s become a soup, often made with both chicken and spinach. I had a version once on the island of Zakynthos that utilized the herbs of the island, fennel and fennel fronds in the traditional soup. The version had chicken bits in it and globs of orzo pasta. It was incredibly herbaceous, fresh, lemony, filling and the silky texture felt deeply luscious on my tongue. My version is my best recollection of that, plus I add the Smoky Tomato Salt to the chicken thighs for roasting and as a finishing salt giving it a tough deep smokiness that I really enjoyed. I don’t believe in stock and believe (and have proven) that you can make tasty and rich soups rather quickly. The herbs, vegetables and the roasted chicken easily create enough flavor for this soup. The one difficult part of this recipe is in the tempering of the eggs, but actually tempering eggs is quite easy, especially in soup. The key is not to boil the egg mixture, so for soups I turn off the burner and let the soup thicken in the meandering warmth. Ingredients For the roasted chicken: 2 teaspoons lemon zest 1 tablespoon olive oil 2 tablespoon lemon juice 3 chicken thighs Smoky Tomato Basil Salt For the soup: 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped 2-3 green onions, finely chopped 1 medium head of fennel sliced thin 1 teaspoon Smoky Tomato Basil Salt ¼ cup finely chopped parsley leaves ¼ cup finely chopped fennel fronds 2 tablespoons finely chopped chives 1 medium yellow zucchini, chopped into bite-sized pieces 3 cups finely chopped fresh spinach 6-8 cups water 1 cup orzo pasta 3 eggs Juice of 2 lemons Directions For the roasted chicken: Preheat oven to 380° F. Mix together the lemon zest, olive oil and lemon juice in a bowl. Season the chicken thighs with the salt and then place on a baking sheet. Drizzle the marinade on both sides of the chicken, making sure to use it all up. Bake for 20-25 minutes until the chicken is fully cooked and a bit caramelized around the edges. Cool. Then shred into bite-sized pieces. For the soup: Combine the oil, garlic and green onions in a soup pan and bring to medium heat. Add the fennel and a teaspoon of Smoky Tomato Basil Salt and sauté until the fennel is soft. Add the chicken, parsley, fennel fronds, chives and zucchini and continue to sauté, adding another teaspoon of the salt as you stir and cook. Add the spinach and sauté until the spinach is wilted. Add the water and bring to a boil. Reduce the temperature to low, add the orzo and let cook for about 20 minutes. Bring up to a boil once again  and then turn the burner off. In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs and the lemon juice. Add some of the broth to the egg mixture, ¼ cup at a time and whisking, to temper it, I add a total of about 1 – 1 ½ cups. Once the eggs are tempered, add them to your soup, stirring constantly and letting it thicken. Place a lid over the soup and let it sit for about 10 minutes before serving. This soup is best served warm. Garnish with some of the Smoky Tomato Basil Salt and a few more fennel fronds, a slice of lemon if you want an even fancier look.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_single_image image="13728" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]

Smoky Tomato Basil Stuffed Zucchini Boats

Serves 4 This year I have two zucchini plants, and my zucchini production is somewhat manageable. Last year I had four and was overwhelmed completely while realizing how many zucchini recipes don’t actually use much zucchini, basically rendering them all useless as a means to put the overabundance of zucchini so many of us gardeners face in the summer. I have since been on a quest to make zucchini recipes that actually use a good amount of zucchini while still remaining enjoyable and not zucchini overload. This recipe is that and it’s so good that even if you don’t grow your own zucchini you will want to buy it to make the recipe. It’s super easy to put together, feels kind of special and is technically one of those carb-free recipes people are craving these days! The Smoky Tomato Basil Salt is exceptional in it and on it! I like to have more boat than the average recipes so I cut about ¼ of the top of the zucchini off. This gives more space for stuffing and since I use all the zucchini innards and the top, I feel like it’s the best win-win method. *You can also make wheels with gigantic zucchini you may have missed in the garden!  Ingredients 6-8 medium sized zucchini, yellow or green Smoky Tomato Basil Salt 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil 3-5 cloves garlic 2 teaspoons lemon zest ½ teaspoon red chili flakes ¼ cup chopped red onion 3- 4 cups roughly chopped fresh spinach 1 cup cherry tomatoes, quartered Juice of 1 lemon 3/4 cup feta cheese, crumbled ¾ cup finely chopped basil leaves ¾ cup finely chopped oven dried tomatoes ¾ cup finely grated parmesan cheese 1 tablespoon cold butter, chopped fine Directions Cut the zucchini to make them into boats. Cut off the top ¼ of the top of the zucchini lengthwise. Chop up the tops finely and set them aside to use in the stuffing. Scoop out the center of the zucchinis using a melon baller or a small spoon. It’s basically like cleaning out the seedy insides from a cucumber. Place the zucchini boats in a baking dish and sprinkle a little of the Smoky Tomato Basil Salt over them. Chop up the zucchini insides finely and set aside. Combine the oil, garlic, lemon zest and red chili flakes in a large sauté pan and bring to medium heat. Add the onions and sauté until everything is soft.  Add the spinach and the tomatoes and continue to cook until the spinach is soft and the tomatoes begin to melt and extract liquid. Add about 1 teaspoon of the tomato salt and lemon juice, as well as the chopped zucchini tops and insides. Place a cover on and simmer for about 10 minutes until everything is cooked down. Turn off the heat and let cool a bit. Preheat oven to 375° F. In the meantime, mix together the basil, oven dried tomatoes and parmesan with 1 teaspoon tomato salt. Toss the feta into the stuffing mixture and fill the boats up evenly. Sprinkle the parmesan basil mixture all over the tops, followed by the cold butter pieces. Place in the oven and bake for 45-60 minutes until the zucchini boats are tender and the topping crispy. You may need to cover your dish with foil the last 10 minutes if the tops start to get too brown.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_column][/vc_row] [post_title] => Smoky Tomato Basil Salt [post_excerpt] => My Herby Sundried Tomatoes are one of my staple recipes. I love cherry tomatoes so much that I always have loads of them on hand. Sometimes, I over buy and don’t eat them fast enough, but that is never a problem with this recipe. This is a recipe that was brought into my repertoire so I could live in a perpetual state of cherry tomato gluttony, and I have zero shame in that. I tend to use the fresh and dried ones the same way, tossing them literally into everything (salads, soups, sandwiches, eggs, etc.) and it’s a nice change when the fresh tomatoes I had been enjoying suddenly morph into the dried version – yielding a deeper, richer, smokier version of the fresh. You can further heighten the flavor by adding fresh herbs and other spices. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => smoky-tomato-basil-salt [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2020-08-15 18:06:51 [post_modified_gmt] => 2020-08-15 18:06:51 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.myherbal-roots.com/?p=13729 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw [categories] => Array ( [0] => 86 [1] => 71 [2] => 30 ) [id] => m_hr_13729 [post_id] => 13729 [allcategories] => Array ( [0] => Basil [1] => Blog Posts [2] => Summer ) [categories_herbs_slugs] => Array ( [0] => basil ) [categories_seasons_slugs] => Array ( [0] => summer ) [categories_details] => Array ( [86] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 86 [name] => Basil [slug] => basil [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 86 [taxonomy] => category [description] => [parent] => 84 [count] => 3 [filter] => raw [cat_ID] => 86 [category_count] => 3 [category_description] => [cat_name] => Basil [category_nicename] => basil [category_parent] => 84 ) [71] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 71 [name] => Blog Posts [slug] => blog-posts [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 71 [taxonomy] => category [description] => blog [parent] => 145 [count] => 33 [filter] => raw [cat_ID] => 71 [category_count] => 33 [category_description] => blog [cat_name] => Blog Posts [category_nicename] => blog-posts [category_parent] => 145 ) [30] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 30 [name] => Summer [slug] => summer [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 30 [taxonomy] => category [description] => [parent] => 28 [count] => 5 [filter] => raw [cat_ID] => 30 [category_count] => 5 [category_description] => [cat_name] => Summer [category_nicename] => summer [category_parent] => 28 ) ) [image_path] => https://www.myherbal-roots.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/08/REEL-1.jpg [post_firstImg] => https://www.myherbal-roots.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/08/main-2.jpg ) [4] => Array ( [post_author] => 4 [post_date] => 2020-08-13 22:19:10 [post_date_gmt] => 2020-08-13 22:19:10 [post_content] => [vc_row][vc_column el_class="blogbodycol" custom_css="border-bottom:7px solid #f8f5f2;border-left: 7px solid #f8f5f2;border-right: 7px solid #f8f5f2; border-top: 7px solid #f8f5f2;padding-bottom:30px;" width="1/1"][prkwp_spacer][prkwp_spacer size="9"][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_custom_heading source="post_title" font_container="tag:h2|font_size:30|text_align:left|color:%234e463e" use_theme_fonts="yes" el_class="header_font" el_id="rechead"][vc_column_text el_class="blate"]AUGUST 13th, 2020[/vc_column_text][prkwp_spacer size="9"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]Scented geraniums are one of the most widely collected and celebrated herbal plants on the planet. They come in just about every scent and color imaginable, and their most common trait is their extreme potency of flavor and scent. They are used in teas, tinctures, baking and potpourri type concoctions. Only recently have I begun to enjoy them and use them in my cooking. For years I shunned them as an overly potent potpourri ingredient. Their scent can be overwhelming in gardens, I have never enjoyed how they take over the scent of a garden. In my opinion, the scent and potency of a geranium was always a little too much to make any use of it. But then the masters showed me the way.[/vc_column_text][vc_single_image image="13648" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]By masters I mean Laura and Tara, the most badass women whose herb prowess in the beverage world (and beyond) is unparalleled. This is not a compliment I just throw around. I have spent a lifetime chasing herbs and herb enthusiasts around the globe and feel that I am somewhat of an expert on the subject. These ladies are two of the four founders of Duke’s Spirited Cocktails in Healdsburg, CA. Duke’s also happens to be my favorite watering hole on the entire damn planet! These masterful ladies changed my mind about geranium. I can’t remember exactly what cocktail I had with this scented little flower a few years back when my mind was blown and changed. I believe the cocktail used rose geranium, and the potent floral flavor was incorporated into the drink and the glass, garnished with some creative flare using the flower itself. Neither the potency of the scent or the flavor overwhelmed me for once. Instead I felt a gentleness that I had never before experienced from the plant. A soft and sensual experience from whatever I was drinking was all I remember, and specifically I was left with the geranium essence in me. It felt beautiful.[/vc_column_text][vc_single_image image="13649" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]Immediately I thought, wow, geranium just needs to be handled properly, I should give it a second look. From that point on, my curiosity about the wiles of geranium began to unravel. It was pushed even further when judging the Good Food Awards. I judged jams, and the jam that touched my heart was the Geranium Currant Jam… wow. I bought my first plant shortly after that – just one, though; I didn’t want to ruin my new love and over scent my enchanted garden. I chose a bergamot geranium from my favorite herb start company, Richter’s- because bergamot anything is my favorite. Richter’s specializes in culinary, medicinal and aromatic herbs, and they have one of the most unique selections I have ever seen. I highly recommend them.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_single_image image="13650" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]This summer, that plant’s gentle and sensual scent has been memorizing me as I meander through my garden. It has become one of my favorite scents out there, it hits me like a soft whisper, like the gentle touch of a faraway lover. In a way I’ve come to think of it a little like me – bold, potent, sultry… hard to match and, above all, powerful. All of my culinary ideas which incorporate it strive to subtly fold its essence into something else. Like in my own life, I have to be careful merging my personality with others. I like it best with fruity and peppery accents, but I think it works really well with lemons as well. If I had a dating profile, it would say ‘seeking a gentle  but bold, fruity and pepper man, tart and sultry.’ Big, gigantic disclaimer, I still don’t use the leaves; their flavor far too strong for my taste. Some potent parts of all of us are better left in the wild.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_single_image image="13644" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]Summer Fruit Cobbler with Bergamot Geranium Sugar Makes 1 9X9 inch cobbler Last summer I wrote about anise hyssop, and I used it in a peach and strawberry summer cobbler that riffed off one of Smitten Kitchen’s. This is basically the same but with geraniums and accounting for the massive amount of sweetness in the jungle of berries I used. The end result is a less sweet, more floral version of last summer’s. Cobblers are one of the easiest and quickest summer desserts to prepare. You can eventually do it by memory and improve with ease. Any fruit works. Others add nuts and seeds. I like mine rather simple – fruit, buttery dough, and some herb accents. For this mixed berry cobbler, I chose bergamot geranium, chamomile and verbena for a beautiful, herbaceous summer cobbler! Sugar is usually added to tops of cobblers with a little bit of hot water drizzled over it. This technique helps melt the sugar a bit and those parts get a bit extra caramelized and crunchy while baking in the oven. The herbalized sugar just gives those bits a little extra something. Ingredients 4 cups whole berries (blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, strawberries) Juice and zest of 1 lemon 2/3 cup sugar Small handful of chamomile flowers Small handful of scented germanium flowers Small handful of lemon verbena leaves, chopped fine ½ cup (½ stick) of butter, softened ¾ cup all-purpose flour 1 teaspoon baking powder 1 teaspoon salt ¼ cup milk 2-3 tablespoons really hot water Directions Heat oven to 350° F. Lightly grease a small square baking pan (I used a 9 X 9-inch baking dish). Mix the berries together with lemon juice and zest and place in the greased baking dish. Using your fingers, rub together the herbs and sugar in a mixing bowl, until you mix them into a gritty herb sugar. Remove 2-3 tablespoons of the herb sugar and set aside. Add the softened butter to the sugar remaining sugar in the bowl. Using a wooden spoon and some arm strength, cream together the butter and sugar mixture until its fluffy, about 2-3 minutes. Add the flour, baking powder, and salt and continue to mix until combined and thick. Add the milk a little at a time and mix. Once all the milk is incorporated, mix a little faster for about 30 seconds straight until you get a fluffy but thick batter. Spoon a few blobs all over the fruit, making sure you do not totally cover the fruit. The fruit should peak out over the top in various sections. Using the back of the spoon, level out the blobs a little bit. Sprinkle the remaining tablespoons of sugar that were set aside evenly over the top of the doughy mixture and then gently drizzle the hot water over the sugar. Place the baking dish onto a baking sheet (I cover mine in parchment paper) to avoid the mess that comes with the fruit potentially bubbling over in your oven. Place in the oven and bake for about 50 minutes or until the top is golden brown. Allow to cool about 20 minutes. The original Smitten Kitchen recipe is adamant about 30 or more, but I like it still warm on my first slice so 20 is my go-to number that allows the top to firm up and get a little crispy while the insides are still warm. I like vanilla ice cream with my cobblers, so go for it.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_single_image image="13643" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_single_image image="13651" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]

Bergamot Geranium Szechuan Pepper Plum Sherbet

Makes 1 ½ pints  I have a fantastic ice cream maker, so I make ice cream often and effortlessly. Because of that, I tend to forget about all the amazing no churn styles of creamy desserts there are. Recently a dear friend gave me a pile of plums from her tree. They were beautiful and abundant, and I suddenly panicked about what to do with so many. I had remembered a roasted plum ice cream I made years ago using Szechuan peppercorns. It was fantastic, so I wanted to try and incorporate that idea again. I ran across a plum sherbet on Instagram by who someone also got gifted a bunch of plums, and so my idea coalesced and scented germaniums came along for the ride. This is a winning combo with the Szechuan peppers! Before we get into the recipe, let’s discuss what sherbet is. Originally it was a cold drink made with diluted and sweetened fruit juice. It’s Persian and Turkish in origin and eventually when it made its way to the US, they added milk or cream and froze it into an ice cream like mixture. My recipe roasted the fruit and then blends it with water and heavy cream, but milk can also be used. I like the heavy cream because it yields a richer consistency. By law (yes, there are laws for what you can call sherbet), it can only have so much butter fat. Mine probably crosses that limit but I’m not selling it anyhow! Ingredients Handful of geranium flowers 1 tablespoon Szechuan pepper corns, coarsely ground 1 cup sugar 4-5 cups of plums, pitted and quartered 1 cup water 1 ½ cup heavy cream Pinch of salt ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract Directions Plum preparation: Preheat the oven to 350° F. Mix the sugar with the geranium and Szechuan pepper until pulverized and mixed well. We want the sugar to be infused with the scent and flavor of the herbs and spice. Place the plums on a lined baking sheet. Sprinkle the sugar over the plums and roast in the oven for about 30 minutes or until the plums are soft. Allow the plums to cool. Place the plums in a blender, making sure to scrape all the juices and sugary caramelized bits into the blender, as well. Add the water and heavy cream and blend until super smooth. You will need to blend about 4 minutes total. Pour the liquid into a container with a lid and place in the freezer for about 3-4 hours or until fully frozen. For the ice cream: Add plums to a medium saucepan along with sugar and water. Cook over medium low heat for about 15 minutes, stirring often, until the plums have broken down and become jammy. Allow plum mixture to cool down before adding to a blender. Blend on high until the mixture is nice and smooth. Add in the salt, vanilla extract and sour cream and blend to combine. Pour sherbet mix into a shallow freezer-safe container and freeze for a minimum of 4 hours or until the sherbet is completely set. To serve, let sherbet soften at room temperature for 10 minutes. Scoop and enjoy![/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_single_image image="13646" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]

Geranium (Whole Lemon) Blueberry Lemonade

Makes 2 liters  There is literally no easier lemonade recipe than the recipe that utilizes the whole lemon. I like easy because easy means I have more time to conjure my herbal magic. That’s exactly what I have done here to the whole lemonade recipe. Juicing lemons is easy, but I honestly hate the task. On occasion, I make this recipe and, when I do, I always think I should do it more. I of course use the opportunity to add lots of herbaceousness. I add scented geraniums which give the final cold drink a flowery and perfumy edge, and fresh summer blueberries give it great color and a tart and sweet balance. The final result is a beautiful multidimensional lemonade with a marvelous light and silky texture! Yes, a whole lemon-lemonade is a bit bitter, but more people’s palettes are opening to more bitter as the rest of the world has been sipping and eating forever! So, try it, and if it’s too bitter for you, all you need to do is add booze – WALLA, it becomes one of the most gorgeous summer cocktails! *It’s important to use organic citrus, as conventionally grown citrus has chemicals all over the peel to help with shelf-life. Some growers use wax, but the organic side only uses organic and edible ingredients – mostly beeswax. Ingredients 4 lemons, quartered, seeds removed 1 cup sugar 2 cups water for blending (plus more for the drink) 1 cup blueberries ¼ cup geranium flowers Directions Combine the lemons, sugar and water in a blender and blend until totally smooth and frothy. Add the blueberries and geranium flowers (reserving a few for garnish) and process again until all the blueberries are smooth. Strain into a pitcher using a fine mesh strainer and discard the solids. Fill the pitcher with about 4-6 cups more water (you can also use sparkling). Serve over ice with a geranium flower garnish.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_single_image image="13647" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_single_image image="13652" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]

Geranium Black Pepper Salted Lemon Cucumbers

Makes ¾  cup of salt Ingredients 1 tablespoon super finely chopped parsley leaves 1 tablespoon super finely chopped mint leaves ¼ cup geranium flowers, chopped fine 2 teaspoons super finely chopped serrano chili pepper 1 teaspoon lemon zest 2 teaspoons coarsely ground black pepper ½  cup Maldon flake salt Directions Pre Heat oven to 200 degrees F. In a medium mixing bowl, mix together all of the fresh herbs, flowers, zest and chili pepper. Gently fold in the salt and pepper, using your fingers mix all the ingredients up, making sure there are no clumps of zest in the mix.  Place the salt/herb mix on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper so that its spread out evenly across the entire sheet and flat.   Place in the oven and bake for about 20 minutes or until the herbs have lost their moisture and feel dried. Store in a small bowl on your counter for a few weeks.  Toss some of the salt over lemon cucumbers for a sensual and simple light lunch!  [/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_column][/vc_row] [post_title] => Geranium Flowers [post_excerpt] => Scented geraniums are one of the most widely collected and celebrated herbal plants on the planet. They come in just about every scent and color imaginable, and their most common trait is their extreme potency of flavor and scent. They are used in teas, tinctures, baking and potpourri type concoctions. Only recently have I begun to enjoy them and use them in my cooking. For years I shunned them as an overly potent potpourri ingredient. Their scent can be overwhelming in gardens, I have never enjoyed how they take over the scent of a garden. In my opinion, the scent and potency of a geranium was always a little too much to make any use of it. But then the masters showed me the way. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => geranium-flowers [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2020-08-13 22:20:21 [post_modified_gmt] => 2020-08-13 22:20:21 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.myherbal-roots.com/?p=13645 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw [categories] => Array ( [0] => 71 [1] => 93 [2] => 30 ) [id] => m_hr_13645 [post_id] => 13645 [allcategories] => Array ( [0] => Blog Posts [1] => Edible Flowers [2] => Summer ) [categories_herbs_slugs] => Array ( [0] => edible-flowers ) [categories_seasons_slugs] => Array ( [0] => summer ) [categories_details] => Array ( [71] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 71 [name] => Blog Posts [slug] => blog-posts [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 71 [taxonomy] => category [description] => blog [parent] => 145 [count] => 33 [filter] => raw [cat_ID] => 71 [category_count] => 33 [category_description] => blog [cat_name] => Blog Posts [category_nicename] => blog-posts [category_parent] => 145 ) [93] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 93 [name] => Edible Flowers [slug] => edible-flowers [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 93 [taxonomy] => category [description] => [parent] => 84 [count] => 8 [filter] => raw [cat_ID] => 93 [category_count] => 8 [category_description] => [cat_name] => Edible Flowers [category_nicename] => edible-flowers [category_parent] => 84 ) [30] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 30 [name] => Summer [slug] => summer [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 30 [taxonomy] => category [description] => [parent] => 28 [count] => 5 [filter] => raw [cat_ID] => 30 [category_count] => 5 [category_description] => [cat_name] => Summer [category_nicename] => summer [category_parent] => 28 ) ) [image_path] => https://www.myherbal-roots.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/08/reel.jpg [post_firstImg] => https://www.myherbal-roots.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/08/main.jpg ) [5] => Array ( [post_author] => 4 [post_date] => 2020-05-27 22:38:52 [post_date_gmt] => 2020-05-27 22:38:52 [post_content] => [vc_row][vc_column el_class="blogbodycol" custom_css="border-bottom:7px solid #f8f5f2;border-left: 7px solid #f8f5f2;border-right: 7px solid #f8f5f2; border-top: 7px solid #f8f5f2;padding-bottom:30px;" width="1/1"][prkwp_spacer][prkwp_spacer size="9"][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_custom_heading source="post_title" font_container="tag:h2|font_size:30|text_align:left|color:%234e463e" use_theme_fonts="yes" el_class="header_font" el_id="rechead"][vc_column_text el_class="blate"]MAY 27TH 2020[/vc_column_text][prkwp_spacer size="9"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]From the moment many of us were sent into our homes to shelter-in-place, the baking rumpus had begun. So much so that most baking supplies became scarce, sending a wave of panic over those looking for something fun and calming to occupy the foreseeable future. Well-known for my laidback attitude about having the right supplies in the kitchen and life, I knew early on something good would come of it. I certainly wasn’t about to panic about baking. People all over the globe can attest to the relaxation brought on by baking. It seems quite obvious that, during this pandemic, baking has become a nurturing way to self-soothe – as the masses can bake breads, cakes, biscuits and cookies with reckless abandon.[/vc_column_text][vc_single_image image="13062" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]I can’t say I am one of those who experiences calm and serenity from baking. For me, baking is mostly a chore. I like the end result but rarely enjoy the act itself. The incessant need to be precise feels like a constraint, since it makes it difficult to change up a recipe on a whim. With baking, I often feel deflated and bored before I even start to pre-heat the oven. I came into the COVID-19 situation well-stocked on baking supplies. It’s no surprise that I am well-stocked in general, with all the cooking projects I am constantly juggling. I also recently had prepared for a pie cooking class that had to be canceled last minute late last fall, due to a California power outage. So, I had 10 bags of flour on hand at the time this quarantine began. I almost left like a toilet paper hoarder. (Which I also had plenty of on hand- I do live in an isolated town so being prepared is a way of live here.) Like the toilet paper situation, I assumed flour would become more readily available by the time I needed some. Under this impression, I readily gave away bags of flour (I felt like Oprah) and baked cookies  and cakes and other stuff regularly (gave those away too). Eventually, though, I started to run low. I had bread flour, which I didn’t want to dip into, because that’s crucial for pizza. Eventually my laidback attitude got ruffled, and, when I noticed empty grocery store shelves time and time again, I began to scour online and found much of the same. And then, like magic, the silver lining appeared – as it often does, if you can stave off the stress and anxiety long enough to allow yourself to see it.[/vc_column_text][vc_single_image image="13066" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]Every day I would spend a few minutes browsing online looking for flour. I hadn’t yet run out but knew I would soon, so I felt like this was a much better use of my time than, let’s say, playing (aka wasting time) on Facebook. I thought it would also prompt me to crawl out of my all-purpose flour hole and have a few different flours on hand at all times: bread flour, cake flour, pastry flour, and all-purpose flour. After all, each serve a different purpose and each make a real difference in the finished product. The better the quality of flour, the better the baked good. It was time for me to change my flour situation and much like a major change in life, the best change is often born from a moment in time of trouble or stress.  This was that. Eventually, in my daily internet browsing for flour, I stumbled upon something interesting (through Amazon, originally). It wasn’t just any flour, but the kind of flour that I never knew I needed. (Silver linings often play out like that.) Granite Mills Farms Stone Ground Sprouted Organic Soft White Wheat Pastry Flour appeared in my search field like a rainbow after a storm. It was priced well, organic, Montana-grown and processed from a small family farm. I felt like I had struck gold, and I hadn’t even used it yet.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_single_image image="13060" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]Granite Mills Farms produces sprouted organic wheat flour in the beautiful plains of Montana. Have you ever seen a wheat field? I lived back up against one for a short stint in North Dakota (that’s a story for another time) it’s like an ocean of gold… an exquisite sight. All of their flours use sprouted grains, making the grain more digestible. It’s all stone ground using a traditional granite stone mill. There are no additives and nothing has been removed. It’s pure and healthy in every way. Organic flours have long been a part of my repertoire, especially considering GMO’s are still banned (fingers crossed that continues) in organic certified products. Sprouted flours have never fully interested me, as most I tried were dense and didn’t really jive with the items I was baking regularly.  Times are changing, do we give kudos to the gluten free folks? Either way the health benefits of sprouted grains have always been available to us. (Check out all the health benefits on Granite Mills website.)[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_single_image image="13061" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]Pastry Flour Technically, it’s got a lower protein content, which is why it’s made with soft wheat. Wheat varieties fall into soft or hard categories. The soft wheat varieties make a more tender baked good. It’s best used whenever you might use baking powder as the leavener or none at all. It is not ideal for breads and pasta or anything that demands a clear shape or structure. All-Purpose Flour Is made with what’s called the endosperm of the grain – the starchy center section which consist mostly of carbohydrates and protein, and a little oil. Since the whole grain is not used and most of the vitamins, minerals, and fiber are found outside the endosperm on the germ, all-purpose flour is technically the least nutritious. This, along with the process is also why it has the longest shelf-life. I tend to fall into the all-purpose flour trap because it’s easy and convenient and it does make things taste more ‘processed’ which, truth be told, sometimes can be exciting. Finding the Granite Mills pastry flour feels like it can really change my baking game, like I’ll no longer need to fall back on all-purpose nor sprouted grains that tasted like boots. Bread Flour If you bake bread, you are certainly familiar with this flour. I don’t bake bread, and I have no interest in it. But I do insist on eating homemade pizza once a week, so I have to have bread flour for my crust. Bread flour is made of the hard wheat varieties which have really high protein content, which makes the goods chewier with much more texture. Never use bread flour on anything that you want to be tender and crumbly. If you interested in becoming an at home pizza (dough) maker, this is the flour for you. Cake Flour Cake flour, like pastry flour, changed my cakes and, therefore, my life. Cake flour is super ultra-finely ground and made of mostly soft wheat. It’s almost always found bleached, which gives way to a better rise. It yields fine, airy, and light results. Birthday cakes with cake flour are necessary for optimal joy. They say you can make your own cake flour by adding two tablespoons of cornstarch for every one cup of all-purpose flour and sifting it together. I agree that it makes a lighter cake, but actual cake flour using the ultra-fine grind yields even fluffier, lighter results. FYI: cake flour does not have baking powder in it.[/vc_column_text][vc_single_image image="13065" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]When the pastry flour came in the mail, my flour collection was complete, and it was time to start baking. Being strawberry and rhubarb season, I felt a pie was in order. The flour made the most incredible tasting crust. I was completely enamored by the pastry flour from the get go. It didn’t taste grainy at all. It had the perfect amount of added texture with a delicate “grainy” flavor. I used it to make chocolate chip cookies and felt that my cookies had more depth than they ever had before. Even the neighbor kids loved them. A recent stone fruit galatte (with crust made of this flour) impressed some food-centric friends I invited into my quarantine circle.  (I am slowly and carefully enlarging my circle.)[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_single_image image="13067" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]The silver lining for me is that I found a small organic flour farmer to support. This aligns with the rest of my values and it took the shortage to remind me that I shouldn’t be filling my cupboard or belly with all-purpose flour. When you have the rest of the flours you need on hand, the possibilities are limitless! I ordered a few more of their flours  including a rye and a soft wheat white, both sprouted grain, and will report back with my endeavors and thoughts![/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_single_image image="13064" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]

Strawberry-Rhubarb Herb Pie

Makes 1 9-inch pie I’m particular with rhubarb so, for this pie, I came up with a simple method to add more rhubarb depth to my pie – rather than just use chunks of raw rhubarb, which I don’t like. First, I macerated the rhubarb with sugar and a vanilla bean, as well as some lavender and jasmine petals for some perfumed tones. Eventually tossing that together with fresh strawberries and then baking it gave me the pie I wanted… a strawberry pie with rhubarb essence. It also reduced the need for sugar, since I was injecting the rhubarb with sugar more than the strawberries. Of course, the crust is herbaceous (as usual for my pies) and tasty, too. I got my art deco on for this one and tried to make it Instagramable. Did I succeed? Ingredients For the macerated rhubarb: 1 ½ cup chopped small rhubarb ½ cup sugar ¼ teaspoon ground cardamom 1 vanilla bean, pod and seeds (scraped) A few jasmine petals (optional) A few lavender petals (optional) For the pie crust: 2 ½ cups pastry flour (Granite Mills Sprouted Wheat Pastry Flour) 1 teaspoon salt 2 teaspoons sugar 2 fresh strawberries, chopped A few spoonsful of lavender petals 2 teaspoons lemon zest 2 sticks (1 cup) salted butter, cold and cut into small cubes ¼ – ½ cup ice water mixed with 1 tablespoon white balsamic vinegar or vodka For the finishing touches of the pie: 3 cups halved strawberries 1 egg, beaten 1 tablespoon cream or half and half Sugar[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_single_image image="13063" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]Directions For the macerated rhubarb: Combine all of the ingredients in a mason jar and shake. Continue to shake for a few hours before making the pie. For the crust: Add the flour, salt, and sugar to the bowl of the food processor, and process until mixed. Add the strawberries, lavender, lemon zest, and butter cubes, and pulse until the butter and flour mixture turns into a coarse, pebble-like consistency. Add ¼ cup of the ice water through the top of the processor while you continue to pulse. You want the dough to “just” come together, so you might need to add 1-3 more tablespoons of the ice water to make this happen. Once the dough comes together, dump it out of the processor onto a lightly floured work surface, and push it together into a ball. It should not be crumbly nor too moist. You can add a little flour or water to your hands to adjust. Once it comes into a ball, divide the dough into two flat discs, one a bit larger than the other. Shape both cut sides into flat discs, making sure not to handle the dough too much once it comes out of the processor. Place the dough discs in a plastic bag. I use compostable ones, and they work great. Refrigerate until use. Take out of refrigerator ten minutes before use. Shape the dough: Grease a 9-inch pie dish with butter. Roll out 1 dough disc on a lightly floured surface into a 12-inch circle. Transfer the pre-greased pie dish. All around the circle, fold the edges under and form a high-standing rim. Crimp the folded rim, by making small folds or indents. This will be the visible edge of your pie. Chill the dough in the refrigerator while you finish the rest of the pie. Poke holes in the bottom with a fork so that a little air can get through the dough. For the finishing touches of the pie: Pre-heat oven to 400° F. Combine the strawberries with the macerated rhubarb mixture (remove the vanilla bean pod), and gently mix together making sure that all the strawberries are coated with the syrupy mixture. Roll out the second dough disc into a 10-inch round. Remove the pie crust from the refrigerator and place the strawberry rhubarb mixture inside. Place the top dough over the strawberries. To seal the edges, trim any long pieces hanging over the edge of the pie, and gently tuck them into the edge. Cut out a few holes in the top so the filling doesn’t bubble over and burst out the sides. Mix the egg and cream together and brush the top of the pie. Sprinkle a little sugar over the top. Place in the refrigerator to chill for about 20-30 minutes before baking. Bake pie 45-60 minutes or until it’s golden brown and the juices are bubbling up through the holes on top. Cool completely before serving.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_single_image image="13068" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_column][/vc_row] [post_title] => Silver Lining Pie [post_excerpt] => From the moment many of us were sent into our homes to shelter-in-place, the baking rumpus had begun. So much so that most baking supplies became scarce, sending a wave of panic over those looking for something fun and calming to occupy the foreseeable future. Well-known for my laidback attitude about having the right supplies in the kitchen and life, I knew early on something good would come of it. I certainly wasn’t about to panic about baking. People all over the globe can attest to the relaxation brought on by baking. It seems quite obvious that, during this pandemic, baking has become a nurturing way to self-soothe – as the masses can bake breads, cakes, biscuits and cookies with reckless abandon. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => silver-lining-pie [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2020-09-23 18:11:23 [post_modified_gmt] => 2020-09-23 18:11:23 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.myherbal-roots.com/?p=13070 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw [categories] => Array ( [0] => 71 [1] => 93 [2] => 97 [3] => 29 ) [id] => m_hr_13070 [post_id] => 13070 [allcategories] => Array ( [0] => Blog Posts [1] => Edible Flowers [2] => Lavender [3] => Spring ) [categories_herbs_slugs] => Array ( [0] => edible-flowers [1] => lavender ) [categories_seasons_slugs] => Array ( [0] => spring ) [categories_details] => Array ( [71] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 71 [name] => Blog Posts [slug] => blog-posts [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 71 [taxonomy] => category [description] => blog [parent] => 145 [count] => 33 [filter] => raw [cat_ID] => 71 [category_count] => 33 [category_description] => blog [cat_name] => Blog Posts [category_nicename] => blog-posts [category_parent] => 145 ) [93] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 93 [name] => Edible Flowers [slug] => edible-flowers [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 93 [taxonomy] => category [description] => [parent] => 84 [count] => 8 [filter] => raw [cat_ID] => 93 [category_count] => 8 [category_description] => [cat_name] => Edible Flowers [category_nicename] => edible-flowers [category_parent] => 84 ) [97] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 97 [name] => Lavender [slug] => lavender [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 97 [taxonomy] => category [description] => [parent] => 84 [count] => 2 [filter] => raw [cat_ID] => 97 [category_count] => 2 [category_description] => [cat_name] => Lavender [category_nicename] => lavender [category_parent] => 84 ) [29] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 29 [name] => Spring [slug] => spring [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 29 [taxonomy] => category [description] => spring [parent] => 28 [count] => 12 [filter] => raw [cat_ID] => 29 [category_count] => 12 [category_description] => spring [cat_name] => Spring [category_nicename] => spring [category_parent] => 28 ) ) [image_path] => https://www.myherbal-roots.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/feature.jpg [post_firstImg] => https://www.myherbal-roots.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/general-1.jpg ) [6] => Array ( [post_author] => 4 [post_date] => 2020-05-20 16:43:06 [post_date_gmt] => 2020-05-20 16:43:06 [post_content] => [vc_row][vc_column el_class="blogbodycol" custom_css="border-bottom:7px solid #f8f5f2;border-left: 7px solid #f8f5f2;border-right: 7px solid #f8f5f2; border-top: 7px solid #f8f5f2;padding-bottom:30px;" width="1/1"][prkwp_spacer][prkwp_spacer size="9"][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_custom_heading source="post_title" font_container="tag:h2|font_size:30|text_align:left|color:%234e463e" use_theme_fonts="yes" el_class="header_font" el_id="rechead"][vc_column_text el_class="blate"]MAY 20TH 2020[/vc_column_text][prkwp_spacer size="9"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]I make it known often that I do not have a sweet tooth and people usually assume that means I do not like dessert. That’s absolute crap. I love dessert, I just enjoy it more savory than sweet. This is a dessert for those, like me,  who lean on the savory side of sweet.  It also combines my two passions for recipe development- herbs and mangoes. This recipe/story was originally published in my mango blog Under The Mango Tree. What exactly do I mean when I say I prefer a savory dessert? It means I don’t like a lot of sugar in it. I like more earthy elements to shine through and prefer naturally sweet items to take center stage. I like a little salty nature to my dessert and a perfumy aspect really gets me excited. Flavorful and potent fresh herbs in desserts lead to more character and depth – sugar add nothing but sweet and that’s just one dimensional. I also enjoy a tad of acid, balanced by some fat; butter, cheese or cream.[/vc_column_text][vc_single_image image="13048" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]This recipe is all of these things and more. Super sweet strawberries, that I grew myself (bet you didn’t know I was a hobby strawberry farmer) take center stage and are further deepened in flavor by being macerated in a tiny bit of sugar,  some white balsamic vinegar and a few  herbaceous lavender petals. Vanilla infused whipping cream is blanketed over salty, buttery biscuits and some perfumy mangoes and edible herbs and flower petals strewn atop. Did I mention that it’s also quick and easy? You can find flower petals and flowering herbs all over the farmers markets this time of year if you don’t have a garden, but if you need to skip it, don’t worry, it will still be amazing.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_single_image image="13049" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]

Flowery, Salty Mango-Strawberry Shortcake

Serves 6 I never buy buttermilk anymore since long ago discovering how easy it is to make a baking alternative by adding a little lemon juice or vinegar to milk and letting it sit for about 5 minutes. Ingredients For the biscuits: ½ cup milk 1 tablespoon lemon 1 ½ cups all purpose flour 1 tablespoon sugar 2 teaspoons baking powder ½ teaspoon baking soda ½ teaspoon salt 1 stick (8 tablespoons ) cold salted butter, cut into small pieces For the shortcake filling: 2 cups sliced thick, strawberries 2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar 2 ½ tablespoons sugar 2 teaspoons fresh lavender flower petals (optional) 12 -16 ounces heavy whipping cream ½ teaspoon vanilla extract 1 cup chopped small, fresh mango (not super ripe) Flowering herbs or edible flower petals Directions For the biscuits: Preheat oven to 425°F. Combine the milk and lemon juice in a measuring cup and let stand for 4-5 minutes. Mix together flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and baking soda. Add the small cold butter bits to the dry ingredients and using your finger tips rub it all together until the mixture is coarse and crumbly. Add the buttermilk and mix until its fully combined. Drop about 1/4 cup onto a lined baking sheet, making sure there is about 2 inches between each of the 6 biscuits. Bake the biscuits until they are golden brown, around 12-15 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool. For the shortcake filling: Gently mix together the strawberries, vinegar and 2 tablespoons of the sugar and let macerate for at least 30 minutes and up to a few hours at room temperature. In the mean time using an electric mixer, beat the heavy cream, remaining ½ tablespoon of sugar and ½ teaspoon of vanilla, until the cream is whipped and thick. Assembly: Cut the biscuits in half. Spoon a little strawberry juice from the maceration on to each cut side of the biscuit. Place the bottom biscuit cut side up on a plate and dollop some whipped cream over the top. Place a few spoonfuls of the strawberry mixture on top and then a few more dollops of whipped cream. Cover the top whipped cream layer with the top of the biscuit and drizzle a little more strawberry juice over the top. Garnish with a few flower petals or flowering herbs.[/vc_column_text][prkwp_spacer size="12"][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_column][/vc_row] [post_title] => Flowery & Salty Mango Shortcake [post_excerpt] => I make it known often that I do not have a sweet tooth and people usually assume that means I do not like dessert. That’s absolute crap. I love dessert, I just enjoy it more savory than sweet. This is a dessert for those, like me, who lean on the savory side of sweet. It also combines my two passions for recipe development- herbs and mangoes. What exactly do I mean when I say I prefer a savory dessert? It means I don’t like a lot of sugar in it. I like more earthy elements to shine through and prefer naturally sweet items to take center stage. I like a little salty nature to my dessert and a perfumy aspect really gets me excited. Flavorful and potent fresh herbs in desserts lead to more character and depth – sugar add nothing but sweet and that’s just one dimensional. I also enjoy a tad of acid, balanced by some fat; butter, cheese or cream. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => flowery-salty-mango-shortcake [to_ping] => [pinged] => http://www.underthemangotree.crespoorganic.com/2018/07/04/flowery-salty-mango-strawberry-shortcake/ [post_modified] => 2020-05-20 16:44:33 [post_modified_gmt] => 2020-05-20 16:44:33 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.myherbal-roots.com/?p=13052 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw [categories] => Array ( [0] => 71 [1] => 93 [2] => 29 [3] => 75 ) [id] => m_hr_13052 [post_id] => 13052 [allcategories] => Array ( [0] => Blog Posts [1] => Edible Flowers [2] => Spring [3] => USA ) [categories_herbs_slugs] => Array ( [0] => edible-flowers ) [categories_seasons_slugs] => Array ( [0] => spring ) [categories_places_slugs] => Array ( [0] => usa ) [categories_details] => Array ( [71] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 71 [name] => Blog Posts [slug] => blog-posts [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 71 [taxonomy] => category [description] => blog [parent] => 145 [count] => 33 [filter] => raw [cat_ID] => 71 [category_count] => 33 [category_description] => blog [cat_name] => Blog Posts [category_nicename] => blog-posts [category_parent] => 145 ) [93] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 93 [name] => Edible Flowers [slug] => edible-flowers [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 93 [taxonomy] => category [description] => [parent] => 84 [count] => 8 [filter] => raw [cat_ID] => 93 [category_count] => 8 [category_description] => [cat_name] => Edible Flowers [category_nicename] => edible-flowers [category_parent] => 84 ) [29] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 29 [name] => Spring [slug] => spring [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 29 [taxonomy] => category [description] => spring [parent] => 28 [count] => 12 [filter] => raw [cat_ID] => 29 [category_count] => 12 [category_description] => spring [cat_name] => Spring [category_nicename] => spring [category_parent] => 28 ) [75] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 75 [name] => USA [slug] => usa [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 75 [taxonomy] => category [description] => [parent] => 74 [count] => 9 [filter] => raw [cat_ID] => 75 [category_count] => 9 [category_description] => [cat_name] => USA [category_nicename] => usa [category_parent] => 74 ) ) [image_path] => https://www.myherbal-roots.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/feature-reel.jpg [post_firstImg] => https://www.myherbal-roots.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/general.jpg ) )
Array
(
    [0] => Array
        (
            [post_author] => 4
            [post_date] => 2020-12-22 21:56:20
            [post_date_gmt] => 2020-12-22 21:56:20
            [post_content] => [vc_row][vc_column el_class="blogbodycol" custom_css="border-bottom:7px solid #f8f5f2;border-left: 7px solid #f8f5f2;border-right: 7px solid #f8f5f2; border-top: 7px solid #f8f5f2;padding-bottom:30px;" width="1/1"][prkwp_spacer][prkwp_spacer size="9"][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_custom_heading source="post_title" font_container="tag:h2|font_size:30|text_align:left|color:%234e463e" use_theme_fonts="yes" el_class="header_font" el_id="rechead"][vc_column_text el_class="blate"]DECEMBER 22CND 2020[/vc_column_text][prkwp_spacer size="9"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]One for Rudolph, two for me. This is one of my most whimsical recipes and one that is perfect to make with your kids the day before Christmas eve.  Basically, the kids make herbal sugar cubes for Rudolph and you get amazing sugar cubes for an old-Fashioned cocktail.  It’s a rather fun project for all and one that the adults can enjoy long after Santa is gone. The recipe is super easy. It assumes you have some general herbs around the holidays for cooking.  Herbs, sugar and ice cube trays are really all that’s needed outside a few drops of water.[/vc_column_text][vc_single_image image="18606" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]

Herbal Sugar Cubes

This recipe is versatile  and fun, as the  herbs and spices can be altered to taste. I chose these because they work really well in an old fashioned cocktail, but I make these cubes generally with various herbs and spices per my whimsy at the time. Let your kids play and even enjoy a kiddy fashioned cocktail. The most important part of the recipe is to make sure you don’t add too much water. Makes several cubes depending on ice cube tray size Ingredients ¼ teaspoon chopped super fine rosemary leaves ¼ teaspoon chopped super fine purple or green sage leaves ¼ teaspoon chopped super fine pineapple sage (optional) ½ teaspoon lemon zest ½ teaspoon orange zest ½ teaspoon finely ground black pepper (I use long pepper) ¾ cup turbinado sugar 2 drops Grapefruit Cardamom Bitters 1 teaspoon ice cold water[/vc_column_text][vc_single_image image="18602" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]Directions Combine the rosemary, sage(s), zests and pepper in a medium bowl with the sugar. Rub the mixture together with your fingers, pulverizing the herbs, zest and pepper into the sugar. The sugar will turn a greenish hue from the herb oils.  Add the bitters and water and stir. The sugar should be slightly moistened and still crumbly, not wet. Using a sugar cube mold or an ice cube tray mold, place 1 heaping teaspoon in each mold and press the mixture down tightly into the mold. If using an ice cube tray, the sugar cubes will be bigger and thinner than the traditional cube. Let the molds air-dry on your kitchen counter overnight, at least 16 hours. Once they have hardened, gently remove them from the molds, using a butter knife to assist.  Store them in an airtight container for months.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_single_image image="18604" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_single_image image="18607" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]

Liberal Old Fashioned with DIY Herbal Sugar Cubes

An Old Fashioned is essentially just whiskey sweetened, seasoned and diluted. Yet everyone has their own firm idea on the details. I have a super liberal take on the topic and mine is herbalized. The act of making your own sugar cubes and paying attention to the details, from start to finish, feels like self-care. It’s not only easy but adds creative flair, and it’s a great conversation piece. Let your party guests make their own Liberal Old Fashioned and find out. Make the sugar cubes a day ahead. If you don’t have big ice cube molds any ice will do. I use Charbay’s Doubled & Twisted Whiskey. The citrus notes in the whiskey persuaded me to use the lemon peel instead of the old-fashioned orange peel. I also like using Sonoma Distilling Co, Cherrywood Rye Whiskey. Ingredients 1-2 Herbal Sugar Cubes 3 drops Grapefruit Cardamom Bitters (Monarch Bitters) Splash of water 2 ounces whiskey Big Cube ice cube Lemon twist or peel Sage leaf Directions For each Old Fashioned Place one or two Herbal Sugar Cubes on the bottom of a rocks glass. Drop a few bitters on top and gently muddle them until the sugars are dissolved. Add a tiny splash of water to help. You want the sugar to be smooth and paste-like, rather than swimming in water. Fill the glass with a few large ice cubes. Add the whiskey and gently stir until well combined. Express the oil of a lemon peel over the glass and gently run it around the rim. Drop the peel and a sage leaf, stem side down, into the glass.[/vc_column_text][vc_single_image image="18605" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_single_image image="18619" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_column][/vc_row] [post_title] => DIY Herbal Sugar Cubes [post_excerpt] => One for Rudolph, two for me. This is one of my most whimsical recipes and one that is perfect to make with your kids the day before Christmas eve. Basically, the kids make herbal sugar cubes for Rudolph and you get amazing sugar cubes for an old-Fashioned cocktail. It’s a rather fun project for all and one that the adults can enjoy long after Santa is gone. The recipe is super easy. Some herbs, sugar and ice cube trays are really all that’s needed outside a few drops of water. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => diy-herbal-sugar-cubes [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2020-12-22 22:02:10 [post_modified_gmt] => 2020-12-22 22:02:10 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.myherbal-roots.com/?p=18601 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw [categories] => Array ( [0] => 111 [1] => 112 [2] => 32 ) [id] => m_hr_18601 [post_id] => 18601 [allcategories] => Array ( [0] => Rosemary [1] => Sage [2] => Winter ) [categories_herbs_slugs] => Array ( [0] => rosemary [1] => sage ) [categories_seasons_slugs] => Array ( [0] => winter ) [categories_details] => Array ( [111] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 111 [name] => Rosemary [slug] => rosemary [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 111 [taxonomy] => category [description] => [parent] => 84 [count] => 7 [filter] => raw [cat_ID] => 111 [category_count] => 7 [category_description] => [cat_name] => Rosemary [category_nicename] => rosemary [category_parent] => 84 ) [112] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 112 [name] => Sage [slug] => sage [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 112 [taxonomy] => category [description] => [parent] => 84 [count] => 4 [filter] => raw [cat_ID] => 112 [category_count] => 4 [category_description] => [cat_name] => Sage [category_nicename] => sage [category_parent] => 84 ) [32] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 32 [name] => Winter [slug] => winter [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 32 [taxonomy] => category [description] => [parent] => 28 [count] => 8 [filter] => raw [cat_ID] => 32 [category_count] => 8 [category_description] => [cat_name] => Winter [category_nicename] => winter [category_parent] => 28 ) ) [image_path] => https://www.myherbal-roots.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/feature.jpg [post_firstImg] => https://www.myherbal-roots.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/main-1-scaled.jpg ) [1] => Array ( [post_author] => 4 [post_date] => 2020-12-21 22:05:58 [post_date_gmt] => 2020-12-21 22:05:58 [post_content] => [vc_row][vc_column el_class="blogbodycol" custom_css="border-bottom:7px solid #f8f5f2;border-left: 7px solid #f8f5f2;border-right: 7px solid #f8f5f2; border-top: 7px solid #f8f5f2;padding-bottom:30px;" width="1/1"][prkwp_spacer][prkwp_spacer size="9"][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_custom_heading source="post_title" font_container="tag:h2|font_size:30|text_align:left|color:%234e463e" use_theme_fonts="yes" el_class="header_font" el_id="rechead"][vc_column_text el_class="blate"]DECEMBER 21ST 2020[/vc_column_text][prkwp_spacer size="9"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]My ‘moving to Missouri’ story began back in August. I had a few sessions with a renowned astrologer, as part of my crisis response to learning I had to move quickly and, essentially, charter the next course in my life. If I’m being honest, this was one of the hardest times of my life. Normally I make decisions quickly and with ease, but this one I knew would create massive disruptions in all aspects of my life. The first thing the astrologer said to me during session one was, “Ooh, you’re a jovial warrior. Does that sound like you?” I took a moment to mull it over, then giggled and said, “Yes. Yes, that does sound like me.” No one had ever described me like that before, and I think many people would attest that it seems spot on. I have Mars and Jupiter rising in my chart, which is how he came up with this jingly nickname.[/vc_column_text][vc_single_image image="18478" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]My Chinese medicine doctor recommended that I try talking to an astrologer over my difficulty surrounding the impending move and suggested one. I had four sessions with the astrologer. Four sessions seemed good enough to cover some bases about me and my life before even thinking about where to move. The first session covered me, the second my family, the third key romantic relationships and the fourth my move. By the time I got to the fourth session, I had already decided to move to Missouri, rented a house and started the process to buy it. He was a little surprised, but I then referred him to my chart.  I think and move quickly.  So, in my fourth session I mostly wanted to know: what would Missouri be like for this jovial warrior? His first comments back to me were, “Missouri, well, that is not a place I would have picked for you.”[/vc_column_text][vc_single_image image="18479" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]The big question on many people’s minds is the same as his was: ”…Why Missouri?” After the initial excitement over hearing I moved to Missouri’s southern lake region, imagining me in my full glory as a quick-thinking heroine and powerful boss bitch cruising in my speed boat (thanks to Jason Bateman and the Ozarks), they say, “Wait. What? Why?” Yes, I live in Missouri now. And to quote my astrologist, “It’s not on or near any of your powerful energy lines.” But it is close to a big portion of my family that just so happens to kind of need me. I’ve always thought of myself as an instinctual person, so in a way it doesn’t totally surprise me that I picked this new life internally. It was the external part of me that was resisting it all along. I’m not so worried about my powerlines because I discovered, through my sessions with him, that I tend to gravitate to them in my travels; so, I feel content I will go to them and reenergize myself as I need to. I also reminded him of my chart again and that I’m not someone who can be stagnant. So, today I feel comfortable knowing that living in Missouri is not forever for me. Then again, nowhere is.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_single_image image="18470" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]My chart also resonates with family and a strong matriarchal role, so I think it’s also a matter of perspective in terms of the energy lines here. While the lines might not show up here on my chart, there are quite a few special people that make excellent substitutes for those lines. The thing about connection – especially to people – and about love is that it’s really powerful. Thus, I need to be here. I can feel that in the two months I’ve been here. I need them as much as they need me. That’s how love works. It was revealed to me at the end of my last session that Missouri, specifically where I am living, falls on my moon and Pluto line. These lines represent journey, family and traveling. So, it seems the astrologer and I were on the same page. This jovial warrior’s journey to Missouri is all about family…and traveling! (Thank god!) So here I am, jovial and ready to be a warrior, on Table Rock Lake on the Arkansas and Missouri border.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_single_image image="18474" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]Now the question on many people’s minds is, “How is it going so far?” This post is the answer to that question. It’s not coming in the form of a traditional self-reflective answer but, rather, through a hodgepodge of recipes I have conjured up since I moved to the Ozarks. This post is also as close as I can get to a commercial (unpaid and unsolicited) for those brands and products that have sustained me while figuring out where I can find the healthy, organic, fresh, nutritious, seasonal and interesting food I am accustomed to and as my soul needs to survive and more importantly be nourished continuously.[/vc_column_text][vc_single_image image="18480" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]The Backstory Sometime in the middle of August, I was taking a short summer vacation in Ojai after sheltering in place for months. I needed it, and the resort where I stayed was big on safety and space. It had all outdoor dining and several pools where 6-10 feet were easy to maintain. They were also dog friendly, so off Inca and I went. The timing coincided with the northern fires which threated Bolinas and were raging across Sonoma. It was there where my landlord emailed a 60-day notice to move. I had lived in her house for over 5 years, faithfully taking care of her home. This is not easy in Bolinas. I went above and beyond, and I was an excellent tenant. I really want to set up the apocalyptic scene which I can still feel viscerally. The world was in the midst of a gigantic pandemic, I had been sheltered in place in Bolinas for months, and fires were raging across northern California. Residents of the notoriously expensive Bay Area were on an exodus toward the “countryside” which meant my house was prime real estate. Every home and rental (vacation and otherwise) in Marin, Sonoma, Napa, Tahoe and beyond was getting snatched by those with money fleeing the city. Mind you, there are a lot with money in the city. Shortly after that notice, I received another notice, that Bolinas was under recommended fire evacuation and that my house was technically first in line of a new fire  that had broken out. Residents were scrambling, packing up their stuff and heading out. It wasn’t sure that the fire would reach the houses in Bolinas, but weather (winds) is tumultuous out there and fires had been ripping through the dry brush quickly. Since it’s really just a one-way road in (and dangerous with the fire looming), people were following the better safe than sorry route, so I stayed put in Ojai. It was the smart thing to do. I was 7 hours away, and I had some cute clothes, my laptop and my dog Inca with me. It was there I let go of my grip on everything else, including my history in the Bay Area and the reason why I moved there in the first place. That was a big moment in my life, amidst truly apocalyptic conditions something big and internal told me to just let go. So I did, fully.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_single_image image="13643" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]I can’t say it was easy, the moment I moved on, metaphorically and emotionally. In a way, these apocalyptic conditions forced me to move. Even though I didn’t think I was ready, I realized that I was. I think that’s what they call ‘nature provides.’ Eventually I went home, and the fire near Bolinas fizzled. The other fires raged until the day I left. I wasn’t able to say goodbye to basically anyone I had gotten to know there because of the pandemic and the fires. That was hard. As someone who often feels like a loner anyhow, I couldn’t help but feel that my connections were not that potent to begin with. I know that’s silly to think, but don’t we all think silly things when grieving? After Pounding Out Grief throughout September and packing up my life, Inca and I got in a gigantic 26-foot U-Haul filled with dishes (truly, that’s the bulk of what I own) and drove to Missouri, leaving northern California behind. On this drive out of California, I could feel the natural release of quite a bit, including my relationship(s) there, as well as the idea that I didn’t move there for me. It never fully suited me. It felt healthy to realize all this and (physically and metaphorically) move on. I know I was moving toward what I needed next in life, toward who I needed and who needed me. That has always been important to me, being there for those I love. I move toward what I need rather subconsciously/instinctively. Luckily, my strong intuition doesn’t allow for regrets. I feel grateful for that.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_single_image image="18484" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]How’s it going? Inca and I drove 2000 miles together to get here and had one of the happiest times of our life. I felt like my eyes and my heart were wide open. I felt supported by the deep friendships I have and the love and excitement of my family – both the ones I was heading towards and the ones that were rooting me on. I could even feel a few key relationships deepening with new distance. I could almost feel myself growing (wiser, not taller). My new lake house is incredible. I found it online, rented it immediately and started the buying process before I had even left. I chose it for 3 reasons. It was right on the water, with water views from almost every room in the house. There are sunset views (over the water) 365 days of the year. And it was the least “oaky” place I could fine. Most homes were filled with oak, oak cabinets, oak trim, oak and more oak. I hate the oak look. This house has less and, even though I would re-do things, I had to find something I could live in now that wouldn’t make me nuts. Oak would have made me nuts. The oak look for me is a more a metaphor or thinking and what it means toi surround yourself by things you think about and how that thinking is fueled.  When I see overly oaky homes I cant help but thing ot eh following words and phrases: stuck, closed minded, doing things the only way I know how and that’s just the way it is. As you know by now, my being, like my creative outlets, cooking and writing- couldn’t be father from those words. If I was going to live here, in a place those words were potent, I couldn’t be around the oak- not the real thing or the metaphor- my home had to be different so it needed to start differently.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_single_image image="18486" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]When I drove into the driveway of my house I felt very happy. It did not disappoint. Even though I knew Missouri would inevitably disappoint (everything and everyone does after all), I could tell this place would be the haven I needed to be successful and happy here. It has beautiful sweeping views of the lake, trees all over, and a crystal-clear lakefront for Inca to swim. Every single room in the house has views of the water and the sunset. There are two kitchens. The entire downstairs becomes my business headquarters, with lots of space for more staff and its own kitchen, and a gigantic deck, where I envision outdoor working as soon as weather permits. The kitchen remodel is planned and pending the arrival of cabinets in a few weeks. I feel happy that my brother is doing the work. This circular exchange of my money feels important, especially after giving so much of my money to landlords for 29 years of my life. When people ask me how it’s going, the first thing I always say is that I chose an amazing house.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_single_image image="18477" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]The food is a different story. But I knew this would be the case before I made the decision to move here. I had spent many years visiting my brother here, as he married a woman from Missouri and moved here (he is now divorced). He raised three kids here. They are all still here and all often literally here at my house. (Which I love!) When I lived in NYC, I would spend most Thanksgivings here. (I did lots of fresh herb workshops in a tiny town called Fair Grove about an hour north of where I am now.) Back then I was aware that the kind of food shopping I prefer – call it organic, sustainable, healthy, alive, green, unprocessed, etc. – is hard to come by. I wouldn’t call this a food desert exactly because there is a crapload of cheap food here and all the ultra-processed conventional produce, meat and dairy you can dream of. But there is a gigantic shortage of the stuff I like. The stuff I think the world needs more of. The kind that I believe (real science does too) makes for healthier people and planet. It certainly has changed here over some over time, I see more progress than ever and I have even been part of that change, working in the organic produce industry for so long. The internet, traveling and logistics has made good food more accessible than ever before. But it’s still not enough and the quality and overall choices are still lacking and driven by conventional and processed mindsets and corporations and generally speaking its really hard to compete with cheap in these parts of the country. I’m certain you understand my definition of cheap here. Now, if you know me you know I can’t compromise on healthy food. It’s not just a decision about what I am putting in my body but what I choose to support with my dollars. So, I have had to spider web my needs and do a lot of buying online. I drive to Fayetteville, Arkansas, every two weeks, where I shop at the Ozark Natural Food Store and the closest Whole Foods. There is a new natural food store closer to me, about 30 minutes away in Branson, MO, called Nature’s Wonder. It’s a fairly big store with lots of miscellaneous things I like to buy spur of the moment, like Justin’s Dark Peanut Butter Chocolate Cups, but the meat and produce is still a bit lacking. They have fairly decent dairy products, but at Whole Foods I can buy my Point Reyes Blue, which makes and keeps me happy![/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_single_image image="18490" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]I buy some Belcampo meat online and have it shipped to my house, but I don’t do that for all my meats because it’s expensive and includes packaging waste that I don’t love. I plan to get a deep freeze and buy an entire pig and cow and share with my family here. But even that too is weird, most people only sell them to massive meat processors (not the good kind) so finding folks that produce, slaughter, butcher and package meat sustainably hasn’t been easy. This is after all the land of Tyson chicken farms, which are speckled for miles and miles and miles just south of where I live in Arkansas. That’s the kind of cheap meat that is everywhere here. The produce and the fresh herbs are my main problem here. Like everything else, I have had to do weird things to get it, make a lot of compromises and spend some extra money. Since I moved here in late October, a garden was not an option. I am building a garden and a greenhouse, so come spring, I should be 800000x better off and am super excited about it.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_single_image image="18476" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]Luckily my friends at Jacobs Farm Del Cabo have been kind enough to sell me fresh herbs in the meantime, so all my recipe testing and salts are taken care of and my herbal passion does not need to be quelled for even a second. The Arkansas Whole Foods and Ozark Natural Foods both have many of the organic brands I like, so that works for me. And I know come spring, summer and fall, more local options will be predominant in both, as well as some of the farmers markets here locally. Some things I miss, like the massive number of citrus options most California grocers have at this time of year. I miss fresh little gem lettuce incredibly and can’t wait to grow greens again. I miss year round chive blossoms, access to amazing and fresh cherry tomatoes, romanesco and baby artichokes from the Bolinas farm stand. I make due, it reminds me of living in Ecuador, hauling back lemons in my suitcase. Find a few things you need most and do what you have to get them. Booze & Wine is another issue.  Missouri is one of those states where it’s almost impossible for any regular company to ship alcohol to me. There are only a few big companies that do it and they tend to carry only the crappy ultra-processed brands, and, frankly, I’d rather quit drinking. I came fairly stocked with my crafters favorites, since I knew where I was heading, but I miss my small artisanal batch makers and their booze that tastes good and is well crafted. A few of my friends did some digging and found me a place in Arkansas where there is a great wine and booze store that they swear I can find some things I like, so I will venture there soon.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_single_image image="18471" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]I’ve learned to make do, but I also recognize that me making do is still rather extravagant compared to most.  That’s the girl in me that is influenced by all the places she has seen on the world, that’s the girl that can’t living and cook in an oaky kitchen. The good news in all of this, is that I’m fine and definitely not hungry.  It’s all inspired me to work on how to get better organic produce into the area, and I know I’m the perfect person to do that. I tell you now, I will. Of the hodgepodge collection of healthy organic ingredients I have managed to find and bring together. I have also whipped up a few new recipes as well as polished a few old ones. All of this was done in a kitchen that is somewhat weird – too small, unreasonably compacted and with a shower in it and with a crappy electric oven. If there is any lesson that I can leave you with, it’s this. Just because you live in an isolated area or an area that doesn’t seem to have a lot of choices, an area where people say “this is just the way it is” and “people don’t want that kind of food” doesn’t mean that has to be your reality. If you have strong values – healthy food (from soil to mouth) being one of my main core values – do whatever it takes to live by them. You don’t have to have an oak kitchen or processed food. People may make fun of you, as some make fun of me for driving to Arkansas for my “fancy” food, but who cares? The thing about values is that the things that guide us in life run much deeper than they appear. So, while it’s true I like what some call fancy food, the real truth is that I like food that is grown in nutritious soil, supporting the communities that do the work to produce it. I like organic food because the science is clear about pesticides on food. I like unprocessed foods that are not riddled with sugar. In my values, the American “cheap” is way more expensive than my “fancy.” Be a jovial warrior. Fight for healthy food. Fight kindly for what you believe in. Here is some of my “fanciest” Missouri food, so far….[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_single_image image="18475" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]

Rancho Gordo Marcella Beans, Spinach and Fried Eggs with Nissa’s Fresh Mint Harissa

One of the items I buy online (ever since Bolinas) is Rancho Gordo beans. I cannot recommend their beans enough. Their heirloom beans cook much faster than regular grocery store beans and are also more tender, with more nuanced textures and deep flavor. If you are new to their beans, the first thing you’ll recognize is that these beans have a massive amount of flavor. I buy a big box of beans about twice a year and spend about $100 each time. I often give a bag or two away as a gift or when someone gets excited about the beans I cooked for them. My favorite is their white Marcella beans. They have a really thin skin and cook into an ultra-creamy deliciousness. I cook a batch and have them a few different ways, usually stewed with some vegetables. I like to eat the remaining part of the batch for breakfast with a fried egg and some of my fresh mint harissa. It makes for one of my favorite breakfasts and, since many folks have asked about it since I posted it a few weeks back on social media, I thought I’d share it here.

Stewed Marcella Beans with Spinach & a Fried Egg

I found amazing (Arkansas) local (greenhouse grown) spinach in Ozarks Natural Food Store, so it seems to be something I can get year-round. It’s my kind of spinach, too – a thicker, bumpy leaf savoy variety. It’s really lovely with my stewed beans. Rancho Gordo beans don’t need to be soaked because they are fresh dried beans (meaning they are not very old like some on the grocery store shelf). I do usually soak them overnight because I usually forget that I’m planning on cook them, and it gives them a gigantic jump start. I soak rice, too, for the same reasons. Serves 8-10 Ingredients  1 pound bag of Rancho Gordo Marcella beans, presoaked at least 2 hours and up to overnight 1 tablespoon salt 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved 2-3 mini bell peppers, coarsely chopped 2 tablespoons chopped parsley 1 tablespoon chopped chives 2 cups chopped spinach leaves 1 fresh egg per serving Nissa’s Fresh Mint Harissa (Recipe below) ¼ cup finely chopped fresh mint Finishing salt  Directions Rinse the beans well and add them along with the other ingredients to a large pot filled amply with water. The beans should be covered by at least 2-3 inches of water. Bring to a hard boil uncovered without a lid for 20-30 minutes. Add the salt, reduce heat and simmer partially covered for about 1 hour or until the beans are tender. Add the tomatoes, peppers, parsley and chives, increase heat to low and cook for another 20-35 minutes until the vegetables cook down and meld into the beans. Turn the burner off, add the spinach leaves to the top of the beans, cover with the lid and let stand about 30 minutes. Sprinkle the mint on, leaving a tablespoon for fresh garnish, and stir the beans, mint and spinach. In the meantime, fry the egg. Place the beans and spinach mixture down, top it with the fried egg and drizzle a little harissa on top. Garnish with fresh mint.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_single_image image="12708" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]

Nissa’s Fresh Mint Harissa

Makes 2 cups Ingredients 2 dried guajillo chilies, stems removed, broken 2 dried red chilies, stems removed, broken 2 teaspoons cumin seeds, toasted 1 teaspoon coriander seed, toasted 1 teaspoon caraway seed, toasted 2 teaspoons rainbow peppercorns, toasted 3 garlic cloves 1 bell pepper, roasted and peeled 2 red (fresh) jalapeno peppers, roasted and peeled 1 tablespoon lemon zest 3 tablespoons lemon juice 2 teaspoons salt 2 tablespoons olive oil 2-3 tablespoons fresh mint leaves (optional) Directions Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth, spices are broken apart and the sauce is smooth. Can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 1 month.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_single_image image="18491" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]

Beef Mushroom Farro Dill Soup

Dill, like celery, is something I forget that I really enjoy. It’s super useful in many recipes, giving a pop of brightness and sharpness. I recently remembered a beef mushroom barley dill soup recipe from my Ger-Nis Culinary & Herb portfolio. I had been craving a beefy soup, partly to use up the Belcampo beef broth that delivered to my door. I usually make my own beef broth but I thought by having some good stuff on hand I’d be able to make a great soup faster and this recipe was just that. I believe the origins of dill in this soup hail from Eastern European influence and their winter mushroom barley soups and stews made with beef stock. Somewhere along the line for me this soup and this style was born. I love that it is beefy and brothy. The dill cuts through the richness of the beef stock, which can sometimes seem fatty without something to cut it. I cut the meat up in both 1- and 2-inch cubes, to give some diversity in size, leading to more excitement per bite. I chose farro this time around. I have farro on hand typically and truly enjoyed it more than barley. Serves 6-8 Ingredients Olive oil, for sautéing 2 tablespoons butter 2 medium yellow onions, chopped medium 3-4 cloves garlic, chopped fine 1 pound beef stew meat, cut into 2 inch cubes and pre-seasoned with salt & pepper ½ cup fresh thyme, chopped ¼ cup fresh rosemary, chopped ½ cup fresh flat leaf parsley, chopped 1 cup fresh dill, chopped 3 large carrots, cut into 1 inch chunks 4 celery stalks, chopped 1 cup brown mushrooms, chopped 3 fresh bay leaves 1 cup white wine 2 cups beef stock ¾ Farro (aka pearled barley) Salt Pepper Directions In heavy stew pan over medium-high heat, add olive oil and butter. Sauté onions and garlic for about 3-4 minutes or until soft and semi translucent. Add cubed stew meat and sauté until browned. Add ⅓ of each of the herbs and stir. Next, add the carrots and celery; sauté for another few minutes, and then add mushrooms. Sauté a few more minutes while all liquid is absorbed by the mushrooms. Drop in the bay leaves. Add wine and stir well while loosening all the bits that stuck to the bottom of the pan and add another ⅓ of all the herbs. Add the beef stock and simmer on low heat for about 30 minutes, stirring a few times. Add pearled barley and simmer for another 20-30 minutes or until tender and to desired consistency. Season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle in the remaining herbs and take off heat. Let stand for about 10 minutes before serving.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_single_image image="18481" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]

Winter Salts

For Christmas presents this year I chose to give salts to as many as I could, along with a hand written Christmas card. I whipped up some rudimentary packaging and had some labels printed for three different salts. If you didn’t get a salt with your card, you can still make these salts. My method is so simple, and everyone should be able to access these ingredients. I’m also including a simple recipe for each kind of salt, in case you need an idea of how to use them! Also, good news for my salt lovers: I believe I will start to produce and sell the salts on a very small scale commercially starting this spring-- April 2021. Fingers crossed and stay tuned![/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_single_image image="18482" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]

Winter Squash Salt

A recent squash photography project for a client resulted in a kitchen full of winter squash. It just so happened to be a hybrid version of my favorite squash – The Red Kuri. (You might remember my Red Kuri Apple Squash Soup & Mac & Cheese recipe I wrote for Edible Marin a few years back, which can attest to my love of this varietal.) I prefer the savory nutty notes of the Red Kuri over the deeply sweet butterscotch tones of a Butternut. One of my favorite ways to eat it is roasted with a little salt and pepper. This salt was designed just for this and all varietals of squash. It’s packed with all the hearty warm herbs that love winter squash. Sage is the predominant herb, and savory, marjoram and rosemary all lend their essences. It’s also laced with hints of cinnamon, mace and nutmeg, and I added Aleppo pepper and white pepper for a tiny kick. My maple infused Maldon salt gave it a super warming quality. I really love this salt. Not only does it shine on all winter squash dishes, but it’s generally versatile in nature. I can see myself using it on chicken dishes, carrots and anything I want to evoke really warm comforting flavors. Makes 3 cups of salt Ingredients 3 tablespoons super finely chopped sage leaves 2 tablespoons super finely chopped parsley leaves 1 tablespoon super finely chopped winter savory 1 tablespoon super finely chopped marjoram ½ tablespoon super finely chopped rosemary 1 tablespoon lemon zest 1 tablespoon ground white pepper ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon ½ teaspoon ground mace ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg ½ teaspoon ground cayenne pepper 1 teaspoon Aleppo pepper 1 red chili pepper, deseeded and chopped super fine 1 tablespoons maple syrup 2 cups Maldon Salt Directions Pre-heat oven to 225°F. In a medium mixing bowl, mix together all of the fresh herbs, spices and red chili. Drizzle the maple syrup over all of them and mix well until the maple syrup coats everything. Gently fold in the salt and, using your fingers, make sure the herbs and the salt are mixed together well and that the maple syrup is totally incorporated. Place the salt/herb mix on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper so that it’s spread out evenly across the entire sheet and also flat. Place the sheet in the oven and bake for about 25 minutes, or until the herbs seem to have lost all moisture. If the salt feels “caked,” it needs more time, usually about 5 more minutes. Turn off the heat and allow to cool in the oven. Store in a small bowl on your counter for a few weeks. Roasted Red Kuri Squash with Winter Squash Salt This is a simple roasted squash recipe that shows how amazing a little of the salt can make simply roasted squash. Red Kuri squash skin is thin and edible, so no need for peeling in this recipe. Eat this as a side dish. Cool it, cut it and toss it on salads. If you’re like me, you can also eat it as a snack right out of the oven! Serves 4 Ingredients 1 Red Kuri squash, about 2 pounds 2 tablespoons olive oil 2 ½ teaspoons of Winter Squash salt Directions Pre-heat oven to 400°F. Cut the squash in half using a large, thick knife or cleaver. Carefully push down on both ends of the blade slowly to cut the squash in half. Scoop out the seeds and reserve for the spiced seed garnish. Use an ice cream scoop for optimal success. Place the cut side of each squash on a cutting board. Cut each into 1-inch wide wedges. Place the cut squash on a baking dish and drizzle the olive oil over the top. Sprinkle with 2 teaspoons of the salt and mix together. Make sure the oil and salt is coated all over the squash. Arrange flat on the baking sheet and sprinkle with the remaining salt. Place it in the oven and roast for about 50 minutes, or until a slight char appears on the skin of the squash.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_single_image image="18472" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]

Citrus Chili Winter Herb Salt

One of the things I miss most about California winter (besides Bolinas crab season) is the abundance of citrus that comes as naturally as rain. Everything from the normal navel orange and Valencia choices to the weird varietals of tangerines and pomelos. It’s all there, abundant and accessible. Unfortunately for me, most the good stuff never makes it to the Midwest. But I have managed to find some interesting offerings (again, in Arkansas) and, with that, I have created one of my staple salts: a bright citrusy salt that highlights mint, parsley and chives. This time I made it “fresh chili spicy” by adding all kinds of chili peppers from the Cabo Diablo Chili Pepper Mix that my friend Sarah gifted me with (she works for Jacobs Farm / del Cabo). She gave me a case so, to be honest, I have been chili peppered out of my mind. The end result for this salt is sure to please the lucky giftees, and its fresh taste is perfect on winter salads like the Fennel Orange & Parsley Salad I made for my family for an early Christmas celebration. Makes 3 cups of salt Ingredients 3 tablespoons super finely chopped parsley leaves 3 tablespoons super finely chopped mint leaves 3 tablespoons super finely chopped chives 1 tablespoon lemon zest 1 tablespoon pomelo zest 1 tablespoon Melogold grapefruit zest 5 Cabo Diablo chili peppers, deseeded and chopped super fine 2 teaspoons sweet paprika 2 teaspoons cayenne pepper 2 ½ cups Maldon Salt Directions Pre-heat oven to 225°F. In a medium mixing bowl, mix together all of the fresh herbs, chilies and spices. Gently fold in the salt and, using your fingers, make sure the herbs and the salt are mixed together. Place the salt/herb mix on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper so that it’s spread out evenly across the entire sheet and also flat. Place the sheet in the oven and bake for about 25 minutes, or until the herbs seem to have lost all moisture. If the salt feels “caked,” it needs a little more time, usually about 5 more minutes. Turn off the heat and allow to cool in the oven. Store in a small bowl on your counter for a few weeks. Orange, Fennel & Radicchio Salad with Fresh Mint If you have ever been to al di la Trattoria in Brooklyn, chances are you have had Anna Klinger’s orange fennel salad. This is my attempt (over the years) to recreate her masterpiece, which was one of my favorite dishes at her lovely little restaurant. Generally speaking, this salad is easy and hard to mess up. Tasty oranges and fresh fennel are key. My Citrus Chili Winter Herb Salt gives this recipe a final touch of delight. Take advantage of all the winter chicories becoming more widely available everywhere. I have the basic raddichio here in Missouri. I’m not complaining, though I miss the Star Route Farms stuff in Bolinas. The Chiogga Radicchio variety pairs well with all citrus. If you can, use a medley of winter citrus, such as grapefruit, navel oranges and blood oranges. Serves 4-6 Ingredients 4 oranges 1 teaspoon honey 1 tablespoon sherry or champagne vinegar ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes ½ teaspoon salt ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil 1 head Chioggia radicchio, core removed, coarsely chopped to bite size 1 fennel bulb, cut in half and sliced thin, preferably with a mandolin 1 tablespoon fennel fronds, finely chopped ½ medium red onion, sliced thin 2 tablespoons fresh mint leaves, finely chopped ¼ cup Kalamata olives, pitted and coarsely chopped 1-2 pinches of Citrus Chili Winter Herb Salt or finishing salt Directions Peel the oranges with a paring knife, removing all the white pith. Slice the peeled oranges into rounds and remove any seeds. Prepare the citrus over a small bowl to reserve any juice. Whisk in the honey, vinegar, red pepper flakes, salt, pepper, and olive oil. Arrange the radicchio leaves on a large platter. Toss sliced fennel on top. Place the sliced oranges and onions over the radicchio and fennel, layering them a little. Toss the mint leaves and olives over all. Spoon the dressing evenly over the salad. Sprinkle with a few pinches of Maldon salt.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_single_image image="18473" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]

I Shot a Deer; Now What? Herbal Deer & Game Salt

I’ll admit I don’t understand deer hunting (specifically deer), nor do I really believe anything people tell me about why it’s so amazing for the planet or how many families are fed off deer meat. When I look at the photos on facebook with the guys holding the head of the deer with the blood and spit dripping from the dead buck’s mouth, I just can’t help but feel there is more macho to the sport than food on the table. But I am a meat eater and also someone who is open to the idea of me not fully understanding things, so I generally try to be open and accepting. This is how I feel about deer hunting and this is my attempt at being open and supporting the folks all around me – not just in Missouri – who are jazzed to shoot deer. Typically when I start the conversation about deer hunting, I usually land on, “How do you cook it?” I never really get much clarity from the deer shooters, except when it comes to deer sauasage part, but I think we all know that it’s the pig in those deer sausage that makes it taste good. As someone who doesn’t like deer or game meat much, I became very inquisitive about the subject. I tried bear chili once in Wyoming at a bar. It was okay, and I remember in South Africa eating all kinds of wild game that was also okay. I recently tried making bison burritos, but I thought they smelled like sheep fur so I gave them to the contractors working on my siding, they were happy. Surely there has to be something to improve the taste of deer meat? “Maybe an herb salt?” I thought. I knew the salt needed potent, robust herbs, so I paired herbs generously in a manner I would not usually pair as potently, knowing that robust additives would help tame the excessively wild flavor of the venison and wild game meats. That was really my main strategy, also knowing that most people cook venison in more wintery recipes. I used winter savory as my main herb. It’s one of my all-time favorites herbs. It works like salt and taste like salt, without being actually salty, so it helps the flavors pop while adding an appealing but generic herbal flavor that tastes pleasantly herbaceous. Sage and rosemary were next. Their potency pairs well with the strength of the venison; it’s like an arm-wrestling match with two equal wrestlers. Marjoram finishes the herb mix. It’s another of my favorites and it was meant to add a softening quality that I think this man-eating and hunting world could use. It’s slightly sweet and perfumy but still potent. It reminds me that soft doesn’t mean weak. My spices were rather simple and designed to add more depth, that I think the deer meat needs. I added white and black pepper and juniper for complexities and heat. Juniper is potent but brings a bright slightly acidic tone without being lemony, which wouldn’t work with deer. Onion and garlic powder meld with the allium flavor. Fresh bay all dried up and ground offers a strong tinge of Christmas tree taste that plays well with the other herbs while retaining a wild vibe. Makes 2 ½ cups of salt Ingredients 3 tablespoons super finely chopped winter savory 2 tablespoons super finely chopped sage 2 tablespoons super finely chopped rosemary 2 tablespoons super finely chopped marjoram 1 fresh bay leaf, cut into tiny pieces with scissors 2 teaspoons garlic powder 2 teaspoons onion powder 2 teaspoons ground white pepper 2 teaspoons ground black pepper 1 tablespoon juniper berries, finely ground 2 cups Maldon Salt Directions Pre-heat oven to 225°F. In a medium mixing bowl, mix together all of the fresh herbs and spices. Gently fold in the salt and, using your fingers, make sure the herbs and the salt are mixed together. Place the salt/herb mix on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper so that it’s spread out evenly across the entire sheet and also flat. Place the sheet in the oven and bake for about 25 minutes or until the herbs seem to have lost all moisture. If the salt feels “caked,” it needs a little more time, usually 5 more minutes. Turn off the heat and allow to cool in the oven. Store in a small bowl on your counter for a few weeks.

Venison Schnitzel (Jaegerschnitzel) & Creamed Mushrooms

I thought long and hard about what the hell I would make if I got some deer meat. I found a recipe for something called Jaegerschnitzel, which means “hunter’s cut” in German. Seeing as though I loved schnitzel and Texas fried steak, both decedents of this early German recipe, I thought this could be a great idea, so I went with it. You want to use venison medallions for this recipe, which is basically a slice of backstrap. Absolutely make sure your meat it at room temperature before cooking it. For me this is important for all beef, but I’ve been told by many people it’s the same for deer. Serves 4 Ingredients For the venison: 1 tablespoon, plus 1 tablespoon reserved Herbal Deer & Game Salt 1 teaspoon black pepper, coarsely ground 4 venison medallions ¼ cup all-purpose flour 2 tablespoons butter 1 tablespoon olive oil For the mushrooms: 1 tablespoon butter 1 tablespoon oil ¼ cup of chopped pancetta or bacon 1 teaspoon juniper berries, coarsely ground 1 teaspoon black pepper, coarsely ground 1 medium shallot 1 tablespoon finely chopped sage leaves 2 teaspoons Deer Salt 3 cups mixed fresh mushrooms, coarsely chopped ½ cup fresh parsley leaves, coarsely chopped, plus two tablespoons reserved ½ cup of dry white wine 1 cup Beef stock or venison stock ¼ cup heavy cream Black pepper Directions For the venison: Pre-heat the oven to 400°F. Season the venison with 1 tablespoon of the deer salt and let sit until they reach room temperature. They should not be cold at all. Pound the venison medallions thin, in between two sheets of plastic or in a zip lock bag with a meat hammer until about ½ inch thick or less and consistently even. Lightly dust each cutlet on both sides with a little bit of flour, shaking off all excess amounts. Heat up a large cast iron skillet with the butter and oil to medium-high heat. The goal is to get a nice sear and then finish in the oven. Once the pan is hot, place the cutlets in the pan and let them sear for about two to three minutes. You can check them at two minutes. The goal is to get a charred sear. Once they are seared, flip them and cook them on the other side for 1 minute. Place them in the oven and set a timer for 9 minutes (for medium rare). Once the timer goes off, remove them from the oven, cover and let stand for 10-12 minutes so that the juices release slowly. For the mushrooms: Heat the butter and oil to medium-high heat in a large sauté pan. Add the pancetta or bacon and cook a couple of minutes until the bacon starts to crisp. Add the juniper, black pepper, shallot, sage and deer salt and cook another 1-2 minutes. Add the mushrooms and parsley, and mix together with the butter and bacon, allowing the mushrooms to cook a few minutes until they start to get soft. Add the white wine and cook another minute so that some of the wine cooks off. Add the stock and bring to a gentle boil for about 10 minutes until a good portion of the liquid evaporates. Take off the heat. Stir in the heavy cream and the remaining two tablespoons of parsley. Serve ladled over the deer cutlets seasoned with some of the deer salt on top.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_single_image image="18506" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_column][/vc_row] [post_title] => The Jovial Warrior Goes to Missouri [post_excerpt] => My ‘moving to Missouri’ story began back in August. I had a few sessions with a renowned astrologer, as part of my crisis response to learning I had to move quickly and, essentially, charter the next course in my life. If I’m being honest, this was one of the hardest times of my life. Normally I make decisions quickly and with ease, but this one I knew would create massive disruptions in all aspects of my life. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => the-jovial-warrior-goes-to-missouri [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2020-12-21 22:13:12 [post_modified_gmt] => 2020-12-21 22:13:12 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.myherbal-roots.com/?p=18503 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw [categories] => Array ( [0] => 75 [1] => 32 ) [id] => m_hr_18503 [post_id] => 18503 [allcategories] => Array ( [0] => USA [1] => Winter ) [categories_places_slugs] => Array ( [0] => usa ) [categories_seasons_slugs] => Array ( [0] => winter ) [categories_details] => Array ( [75] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 75 [name] => USA [slug] => usa [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 75 [taxonomy] => category [description] => [parent] => 74 [count] => 9 [filter] => raw [cat_ID] => 75 [category_count] => 9 [category_description] => [cat_name] => USA [category_nicename] => usa [category_parent] => 74 ) [32] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 32 [name] => Winter [slug] => winter [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 32 [taxonomy] => category [description] => [parent] => 28 [count] => 8 [filter] => raw [cat_ID] => 32 [category_count] => 8 [category_description] => [cat_name] => Winter [category_nicename] => winter [category_parent] => 28 ) ) [image_path] => https://www.myherbal-roots.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/reel.jpg [post_firstImg] => https://www.myherbal-roots.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/Main-scaled.jpg ) [2] => Array ( [post_author] => 4 [post_date] => 2020-09-23 17:52:58 [post_date_gmt] => 2020-09-23 17:52:58 [post_content] => [vc_row][vc_column el_class="blogbodycol" custom_css="border-bottom:7px solid #f8f5f2;border-left: 7px solid #f8f5f2;border-right: 7px solid #f8f5f2; border-top: 7px solid #f8f5f2;padding-bottom:30px;" width="1/1"][prkwp_spacer][prkwp_spacer size="9"][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_custom_heading source="post_title" font_container="tag:h2|font_size:30|text_align:left|color:%234e463e" use_theme_fonts="yes" el_class="header_font" el_id="rechead"][vc_column_text el_class="blate"]SPETEMBER 23rd 2020[/vc_column_text][prkwp_spacer size="9"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]I tend to be an extremist when it comes to emotions. This is why I’ve had to really practice balance. Part of that practice started many years ago, when I had to slow down my crazy capacity for taking on more and more work and make time for empty space in my head and body. Daily yoga, meditation and breathing practices have been pivotal in my ability to understand how to achieve and (mostly) maintain balance as I move through this life thing. A general slowing down long enough to observe myself. Solitude and the ocean have also been vital in helping me reach and maintain more homeostasis. My kryptonite, or the “thing” that most throws me off balance, which I believe is rather normal, is always overwhelm. Too much uncertainty, too many MAJOR things happening at once always rocks my balance. From there I either find equilibrium or fall.[/vc_column_text][vc_single_image image="14541" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]I am currently moving though one of these moments of imbalance, the type where I fall.  Surrounded by a massive amount of change in my personal life happening quickly and all at once, of course amidst all the change and chaos happening worldwide- pandemics, fires, ash etc. All of this has me triggered, and gigantic balloons of emotion are surfacing: anxiety, fear, uncertainty, doubt and an overwhelming sense of feeling unloved. When I hit the I am unloved space, is the point in which I know I am falling deep into what I call the pit of despair. There,  I wallow in all these dramatized emotions and self-doubt. Leaving California and the Bay Area behind and moving to Missouri, letting go of so much that was my life here in the past 8 years, has thrown me off big time. I didn’t expect it to be this way. Surely there is too much to process here in the short time I have left. I know some of my emotions I will probably have to pack up with the rest of my things, only to unpack them and process them when I get to Missouri—but starting the process here is key.[/vc_column_text][vc_single_image image="14544" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]And how do I personally start such an endeavor, not very attractively. I wallow in the shit of it all. I have realized that it is a part of my process—to sit at the bottom of the abyss and flail around in the muck. The pit is not a foreign place to me, in a way I am just becoming more comfortable with it, as I have been in this pit often throughout my life.  There is a new feeling emerging these days that almost feels like I can trust the pit, which is probably more about trusting myself in the pit (in life.) In the past it used to feel like I would never leave the pit. It always felt like I’d be stuck in that realm forever, reminiscent of being on psychedelic mushrooms and truly thinking my weird mind would be frozen as such forever. Eventually the overwhelm, like the drugs, dissipates. My weirdness, I accept lives on no matter what!  The feelings however just move, like waves. It reminds me of that song Emoji of a Wave- and it’s most important message- just hold on…..I think that is is what needs to done while in the pit. Watch, listen, hold on and most importantly- trust. Truly getting to know yourself means you get to learn your process’ of healing as much as you learn your triggers. The pit these days serves me. My balancing practices and a few real live angels are key, especially in the time before the overwhelm begins. Once the fall happens, I have learned not to deny the emotions but, rather, start to watch them, see them unravel and then process them.  This undertaking, for me, is extremely complex and mostly consists of feeling the feelings, labeling them and reflecting on them, if I am able. Getting to know the myriad of emotions possible in a human being and labeling correctly in self and in others is actually really difficult work. But I’m trying. I’m learning. I’m taking the time needed to do it.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_single_image image="14543" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]At a certain point in life I came to recognize that tumbling into the pit was something I needed to do, and I came to recognize and trust in my ability to climb out of it. The stabilization practices have helped me trust in myself. I often wonder about others, though. Is this normal, this pit metaphor, or is this unique to me? Why don’t more people talk about the hard, emotional stuff of life? That’s a question I keep asking over and over.  One of the reasons I really try to show all of myself, as fearful as it can be, is I hope to give others gentle reminder that we are all essentially the same.  We all wallow. I presume that a little wallowing in the pit—deep in darkness—works for me because I don’t get stuck there, even though I still sometimes think I might. It always feels risky, but I have concluded that all emotional growth takes risk. So, there is an acceptance of this fear in losing myself to the abyss, knowing that my courageous heart will always guide me out. I’ve been thinking about what exactly it is that pulls me out, especially as I sit more comfortably at the bottom of my self-pity pit, looking around for what’s going to help me get out. Sometimes, I wish I could just be a rescued damsel in distress, and that it’s a hand of someone who loves me, dramatically pulling me out.  The truth is that has never happened; though, I always wish it would. I can’t lie about that. The pit is one of the most selfish places I know. Like the ego itself, this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It’s come to be important for me to really look around while I am down there, in all the dark caverns of myself. It’s a dark place for a reason. I see a lot of the worst of myself, which is an essential part of the self to know and also to love. My instincts are always to look for how others see those dark spots in me—not about what they mean to me, to my life, and my history. It’s easier to hope that others love the darkness than actually loving our own darkness as a part of who we are.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_single_image image="11380" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]The best way out of the hole is to climb out yourself. This is the only route to deep meaning and purpose… the only way to feel true self-love or love for anyone else for that matter. My life of global travels has shown me that the world is a small place, filled with beautiful and gracious meaning.  While in the pit these days I often remember the meaningful connections I have made in my short little life with others and with that my own life has been meaningful. I sometimes forget how good I am at living with meaning. It’s easy to forget our own goodness as human beings. A good portion of my life flashed before me within this last stint in the pit—of building, directing, creating, motivating, fueling, expanding and teaching others, contributing through my genuine love and openness and utilizing all my immense power, influence, and capability to expand on that over and over and over again.[/vc_column_text][vc_single_image image="14556" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]In those moments when I connect to my authentic self and feel the sense of my life as meaningful to others, I can actually see the value in my own life. I can feel the radiance of those I love all around me. I can see the beauty of the world and how I can, have and will continue to make a difference in it. This part is what stops the wallowing. The selfish love I crave while I am in the pit—the ‘I wants’ and the ‘I needs’ and the ‘why nots’—is ego driven. It’s fight or flight versus nurture and nature. It’s not really who I am. But it takes me being in the pit for a bit to realize that and to begin to climb out of it. My mother is the type that was never able to climb out of the pit. She is still stuck there. She’s the type that gets stuck there repeating over and over the ‘I wants,’ ‘I needs,’ the ‘whys’…Demanding from the world her due.  My mother’s weak essence within me is what pulls me into the pit. My father’s powerful essence within me is what pulls me out. This time in the pit, the appearing balloons were filled with immense grief. These were undoubtedly triggered by having to move my life from California, from the Bay Area. A lot of the surfacing grief was about Patrick (yes, I said his name for the first time in three years). [/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_single_image image="14557" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]To leave this area behind means to leave him behind for good, in a way. It’s been exactly three years since he left and never looked back. I can say with certainty that I am grateful for the path life has given me. My life today is richer because of this experience and because of the work I was forced to do after my heart broke. Today parts of my heart have healed while other parts seem like they will be broken forever. My heart isn’t any bigger. Physically it’s still the same size and still potent like the heart of a lion, but the expansion of my heart has been vast. I have discovered several more intricate and tender parts of my heart, like new colors seen for the first time, new energies are flowing within and out of me, and I have been able to authentically connect with more people and create more meaningful relationships than ever before. My life with Patrick was good, for me, but I am a deeper, richer person in his absence- I have more love to give because he left me.  With his walkout, I was able to see my true being for the first time in full form- the dark and the light sides- and it was only than when the real journey to self-connection was possible.  The pit can teach you a lot about yourself if you learn to sit it it  comfortably.  This time in the pit, I saw and felt all of that. And I felt the grief of that relationship ending, maybe for the first time since he left. I watch it and hold on, surely I will eventually reflect back on this time with some deeper meaning, for now, I just feel better for letting it move through me. Today, climbing out of my pit, I can feel the energy of my loved ones, their presence, their voices calling me, their vitality, and it’s a strong pull. No matter how cozy my psyche can make wallowing feel, their pull is always stronger. My father’s essence in my soul, assures me that I will always climb out. Over the last few days, I’ve been thinking a lot about Ruth Bader Ginsburg, as we all have. There is nothing that can be said that hasn’t already been said. She truly achieved more for women’s rights in America than any other human in my lifetime. I can’t help but to pause and reflect on her words about what makes a life meaningful.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_single_image image="14542" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]She often said, so it was said, that leading a meaningful life means living for one’s family and community and not for oneself. My father lived like that while my mother never did, and still doesn’t. One died contently and well loved by the world on his own terms with all his children by his side; the other most likely will die alone. A morbid thought, yes, but something I need to remember when I sink into the pit of selfishness and of feeling like the world owes me love. Rather, I owe the world love. I think that’s the key to it all. I can feel that I am meaningful in my loved ones’ lives. I felt this last night on the phone with my nephew, who is currently struggling and to whom I will be close to soon with my move to Missouri. Our instincts always bring us to family and community if we are living meaningfully. All of these reflections help me climb my way out of the pit of selfishness. Please, don’t put an image in your head of some powerful wonder woman figure climbing out. I’m more like an amateur rock climber, slipping upward. I am climbing out, stumbling, losing my grip and footing, but I’m slowly finding where the strong and solid aspects are—where the helping hands are, where the teachers are, where the cheerleaders are—as I move up and out, deeper into meaning. This exact spot, the coming out part, in my pit process, is also when I find my creative energy start to build back up. The power of the light through the cracks reignites my passion, and I begin to cook and create again. Despite the unbelievable joy I feel while creating food art, my creativity shuts down fully when I am in major overwhelm, sad or feel unloved. Others cook in this stage, I cannot do anything but wallow- but when I begin the climb, that’s when the passion soars again and I’m at my creative best.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_single_image image="14555" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]Today’s recipes may seem random, and I thought they were at first, too. But, like everything, they are fully interconnected. In this case, it all started with one of my life’s rocks, my friend Danielle, and a simple conversation about what she was making for dinner. Within an hour, my head unraveled a recipe I had created for Ger-Nis Culinary Center in Brooklyn years ago. The Culinary Center was one of my most meaningful projects. It not only served the people immediately around me but also a community of people far and wide throughout Brooklyn and the New York City metro area. One of my most popular classes was Fresh Thai, in which we made hand-pounded Thai-style sauces and dishes. I was taken by the memories of those classes and the extraordinary ordinary people who happily gathered to learn about food and cooking in a setting built for me by my brothers, skills they learned from our father, which made the space and the energy even more meaningful. Making this dish at the same time as climbing out of my selfish hole, I remembered how good I am at making meaning. I was also able to pound out a lot of grief in the process, which was a perk. In sum, the world does not owe me love. I owe the world my love. My love is abundant, creative and for a select few, maybe it can even be overwhelming a times : - )  - It is however PURE. It comes in many forms; right now, here,  it comes in the form of some honest self-reflections, some divulgences of the deepest level and a recipe for  Thai-style fresh curry and  of course a cocktail, because I am Nissa! Herbs abundant, because herbs are my medium of love.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_single_image image="14540" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]

Thai Melon Cooler

Makes 1 drink People don’t drink melons enough. While I was making this cocktail (which began because I had some extra melon to use up), memories of the melon juice I used to drink as a little girl in Nicaragua surged. I had forgotten what a lovely medium melon makes for drinking. Today my cooking skills are added to that memory in this heavenly cocktail. It is vibrant and perfumy, and it doesn’t taste overly boozy. The drink invites us to savor it, much like we should be doing with life. Ingredients ¼ cup green melon, cubed small Zest of 1 lime 2 teaspoons sugar 1 teaspoon lemongrass, bulb, finely chopped 1 teaspoon sliced thin green chili 1 teaspoon grated ginger 3-4 basil leaves, chopped 5-6 cilantro leaves, chopped 2 ounces lime juice 1 ½ ounces gin Sparkling water Bitters (FloraLuna Ginger Cayenne Bitters, preferably) Directions Place the melon, lime zest, sugar, lemongrass, chili, ginger and herbs in the bottom of a cocktail shaker, and muddle until all the melon is mashed up into a thick chunky liquid. Add the lime juice and gin. Fill the shaker with ice and shake vigorously. Double strain into a large Collins glass filled with ice. Fill the glass with a little sparkling water. Drop a few Ginger Cayenne bitters on the top and garnish with a lime wheel and fresh basil leaf.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_single_image image="14545" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]

Massaman Thai Curry Paste/Gaeng Massaman

Makes 3 /4 cup of curry paste Massaman is a Thai curry that has been heavily influenced by Persian and Indian spices like cardamom, cumin, cinnamon, star anise and mace. These eastern influences are combined with traditional fresh Thai ingredients like chili peppers, lemongrass, galangal and cilantro to create a rich and mild curry paste, often combined with coconut milk and stewed with meats. At Ger-Nis Culinary & Herb Center, we specialized in making cooking accessible to all levels of culinary prowess as well as utilizing local, sustainable organic ingredients, all while accenting the herbaceousness of cultural cuisines. This class did just that. I tried to make the recipe easy to recreate, in terms of ingredients, technical skill and equipment. The result was a super fresh Thai curry that everyone could make. This current version of the recipe hasn’t changed much, and it reminded me how therapeutic it is to pound into a mortar and pestle. It felt much like pounding out grief, I have to admit! Traditionally the recipe includes peanuts. I omit the peanuts because it was originally for a class and I wanted to eliminate hazards, but I found I enjoyed the sauce sans the nuts. The recipe can work in a food processor, but I recommend a mortar and pestle. They are not expensive these days and can be super versatile. Ingredients 1 tablespoon white peppercorns 1 tablespoon black peppercorns 1 tablespoon coriander seeds 1 tablespoon cumin seeds 3-4 cardamom pods, cracked 1 star anise, cracked up 3-4 fresh red chilies, fresno, cherry bomb or red jalapeno, seeds removed, all finely chopped 5 cloves garlic, finely chopped 2 teaspoons Maldon salt 1 tablespoon peeled and chopped ginger root 1 tablespoon peeled and chopped galangal root (optional) 1 tablespoon finely chopped lemongrass bulb 1 tablespoon lime zest Juice of 1 lime 1 teaspoon cinnamon ½ teaspoon mace ½ teaspoon nutmeg ½ cup cilantro leaves, chopped [embed]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B9uF4RL_-UY&list=PLkOHFfUWySHaiwB0kYR0APWHd40lrN4sI&index=1&ab_channel=HerbalRoots[/embed] Directions Mortar & Pestle Method: In a small, thin bottomed sauté pan, toast the white and black peppercorns, coriander seeds, cumin seeds, cardamon pods and the star anise for about 30-40 seconds overheat. The spices will start to smoke. Just make sure they don’t burn. Place the toasted spices in the mortar and pestle and grind them up finely. Add the fresh chilies, garlic and salt, and pound and scrape in with the pestle until most of the chilies and garlic are broken into fine pieces. Add the ginger, galangal, lemongrass and zest, and continue to pound and grind until a thick paste forms. Add the lime juice, cinnamon, mace, nutmeg and cilantro leaves and, again, pound and grind until the cilantro leaves are fully dissolved into the paste. The end result should be a thick chunky paste.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_single_image image="14539" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]

Massaman Beef Curry with Summer Tomatoes

Serves 6 Once you have the paste made, there are many things you can do. The most traditional recipe uses it stewed with coconut milk and beef, and this is by far my favorite way of enjoying this curry as well. It’s warming and comforting and yet feels light and summery. In this version, I add summer cherry tomatoes and use a technique for bulgogi that I found works really well in giving the meat a slight sear before it’s stewed in the coconut milk. This comforting dish served me well on my recent pit climbing adventure. Ingredients 1 – 1 ½ pounds hanger or flank steak (thin steak is key), slightly frozen ¾ cup Massaman curry paste ½ cup tamari or soy sauce ¼ cup coconut amino or 2 tablespoons brown sugar 1 ½ tablespoons extra virgin olive oil or other neutral oil 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved 1 teaspoon salt 1 can (15-ounces) coconut milk Directions Slice the steak very thin. This is much easier to do when the steak is partial frozen. In a large bowl, whisk together the curry paste, soy sauce and aminos (or sugar) and place your meat in the bowl covering it all with the sauce, to marinate. Heat up a thick bottomed pan with a little oil spread evenly over it to medium high heat. Place the meat slices down in the pan, shaking off any liquid from them before and pack them tightly in the pan. Let them sear for a few minutes until browned. Turn them over and sear them more on the other side. Add the remainder of the marinade and stir, let some of the juice cook off and then add the tomatoes and salt- stir. Cook for a few minutes until the tomatoes start to melt a little bit in the heat and the coconut milk. Bring to a boil, then reduce to and simmer about 15 -20 minutes or until the tomatoes are all cooked down. Serve over rice.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_column][/vc_row] [post_title] => Purpose, Meaning and a Mortar & Pestle [post_excerpt] => I tend to be an extremist when it comes to emotions. This is why I’ve had to really practice balance. Part of that practice started many years ago, when I had to slow down my crazy capacity for taking on more and more work and make time for empty space in my head and body. Daily yoga, meditation and breathing practices have been pivotal in my ability to understand how to achieve and (mostly) maintain balance as I move through this life thing. A general slowing down long enough to observe myself. Solitude and the ocean have also been vital in helping me reach and maintain more homeostasis. My kryptonite, or the “thing” that most throws me off balance, which I believe is rather normal, is always overwhelm. Too much uncertainty, too many MAJOR things happening at once always rocks my balance. From there I either find equilibrium or fall. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => purpose-meaning-and-a-mortar-pestle [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2020-09-23 18:54:31 [post_modified_gmt] => 2020-09-23 18:54:31 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.myherbal-roots.com/?p=14549 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw [categories] => Array ( [0] => 86 [1] => 71 [2] => 91 [3] => 30 ) [id] => m_hr_14549 [post_id] => 14549 [allcategories] => Array ( [0] => Basil [1] => Blog Posts [2] => Cilantro (Corriander) [3] => Summer ) [categories_herbs_slugs] => Array ( [0] => basil [1] => cilantro ) [categories_seasons_slugs] => Array ( [0] => summer ) [categories_details] => Array ( [86] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 86 [name] => Basil [slug] => basil [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 86 [taxonomy] => category [description] => [parent] => 84 [count] => 3 [filter] => raw [cat_ID] => 86 [category_count] => 3 [category_description] => [cat_name] => Basil [category_nicename] => basil [category_parent] => 84 ) [71] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 71 [name] => Blog Posts [slug] => blog-posts [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 71 [taxonomy] => category [description] => blog [parent] => 145 [count] => 33 [filter] => raw [cat_ID] => 71 [category_count] => 33 [category_description] => blog [cat_name] => Blog Posts [category_nicename] => blog-posts [category_parent] => 145 ) [91] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 91 [name] => Cilantro (Corriander) [slug] => cilantro [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 91 [taxonomy] => category [description] => [parent] => 84 [count] => 2 [filter] => raw [cat_ID] => 91 [category_count] => 2 [category_description] => [cat_name] => Cilantro (Corriander) [category_nicename] => cilantro [category_parent] => 84 ) [30] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 30 [name] => Summer [slug] => summer [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 30 [taxonomy] => category [description] => [parent] => 28 [count] => 5 [filter] => raw [cat_ID] => 30 [category_count] => 5 [category_description] => [cat_name] => Summer [category_nicename] => summer [category_parent] => 28 ) ) [image_path] => https://www.myherbal-roots.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/Reel.jpg [post_firstImg] => https://www.myherbal-roots.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/main.jpg ) [3] => Array ( [post_author] => 4 [post_date] => 2020-08-15 18:06:51 [post_date_gmt] => 2020-08-15 18:06:51 [post_content] => [vc_row][vc_column el_class="blogbodycol" custom_css="border-bottom:7px solid #f8f5f2;border-left: 7px solid #f8f5f2;border-right: 7px solid #f8f5f2; border-top: 7px solid #f8f5f2;padding-bottom:30px;" width="1/1"][prkwp_spacer][prkwp_spacer size="9"][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_custom_heading source="post_title" font_container="tag:h2|font_size:30|text_align:left|color:%234e463e" use_theme_fonts="yes" el_class="header_font" el_id="rechead"][vc_column_text el_class="blate"]AUGUST 15TH 2020[/vc_column_text][prkwp_spacer size="9"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]My Herby Sundried Tomatoes are one of my staple recipes. I love cherry tomatoes so much that I always have loads of them on hand. Sometimes, I over buy and don’t eat them fast enough, but that is never a problem with this recipe. This is a recipe that was brought into my repertoire so I could live in a perpetual state of cherry tomato gluttony, and I have zero shame in that. I tend to use the fresh and dried ones the same way, tossing them literally into everything (salads, soups, sandwiches, eggs, etc.) and it’s a nice change when the fresh tomatoes I had been enjoying suddenly morph into the dried version – yielding a deeper, richer, smokier version of the fresh. You can further heighten the flavor by adding fresh herbs and other spices.[/vc_column_text][vc_single_image image="13722" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]This is essentially how the idea came to pass – let a little salt melt over the oven dried tomatoes so I could put them on everything. Even though I live by the coast and, thus, not prime tomato growing land, it’s super-hot just a few miles off. So technically I am totally surrounded (on 3 sides) by prime tomato farms, and we are currently just getting into the peak season. Tomatoes like it hot. This is how they develop their flavors, which are a combination of the sugar content, soils, air, environment and the seeds. Generally speaking, the less commercially grown the tomatoes are the better they taste. Around these parts we have loads of small growers (most of us do, you just might have to look harder in other parts of the country or grow them yourself). They offer a gamut of choices when it comes to varietals, flavors and shapes, which means this time of year I am in heaven. Small, local growers tend to choose tomato varietals based on flavor over shelf life and yields. This is good news for me and my summer cherry tomato obsession. [/vc_column_text][vc_single_image image="13721" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]Actually the obsession is year-round, and thanks to (literally) just a handful of large commercial producers (Del Cabo is my favorite), we have those options, too. If you want to read more about breeding cherry tomatoes, here’s an article I wrote about Del Cabo a few years back for a produce industry trade site, Breeding Cherry Tomatoes for Flavor. These guys are my top choice most of the year, and I buy them by the case several times of year to always have them on hand. I posted the recipe for my Herby Oven-dried Tomatoes back in April when I was overindulging in the imported cherry tomatoes from Del Cabo, grown on the southern tip of Baja California in a fair-trade organic farmer cooperative. The basic premise of the recipe is what I use all the time, but I always change it up in terms of herbs, spices, lemon zest and sometimes olive oil. Though, omitting the oil is crucial if you are going to eventually also make the salt included here. There is no way to do the salt recipe without first making a version of oven-dried tomatoes. The store-bought dried ones are too dry, and oil-packed dried tomatoes are too wet.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_single_image image="13723" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]It’s important to note that technically the dried tomato of portion of this recipe isn’t a fully dried shelf stable-version. I store them in my fridge in a jar or in a little bowl on my counter if I’m going to use them up quickly. The nice part about the recipe is that you get to decide how soft and juicy you want them to be. There is a sweet spot where the juice turns to paste. That’s the moment where they are perfect for me and also perfect to make this salt recipe. Eventually with this recipe a new technique in my salt-making adventure was made, involving flavoring and coloring the salt with a paste-like liquid – in this case, the oven-dried tomatoes. I use my favorite hand maceration technique by rubbing a few of the oven-dried tomatoes with the salt, extracting the paste and mashing it all up into the salt, rubbing in the color and the flavor. Once I have the salt flavored and colored, then I move on to make the salt by adding lemon zest and basil and then baking it in the oven to dry off the moisture and the tiny bits of the oven dried tomatoes I used to macerate the salt. The end result is a beautiful smoky-ish tomato salt with bits of the oven-dried tomato and basil with a hint of lemon zest. Oven-dried tomatoes yield a smoky flavor and so the final salt is a bit smoky seeming, making it a very deep and rich salt. This salt is important to cook a little longer than most of my others so that the dried tomato bits get totally dried. This salt (and the dried tomatoes) are great to have handy. I’ve been tossing them into my favorite eggs, a caprese salad, pasta salad and even on a grilled cheese sandwich. But the star recipes born from this first batch – Avgolemono (Egg & Lemon Soup) with Spinach and Smoky Tomato Basil Stuffed Zucchini Boats were the stand outs![/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_single_image image="13725" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]

Smoky Tomato Basil Salt

Makes 1 ½ cup salt and 2 cups Dried Tomatoes The recipe will give you extra oven-dried cherry tomatoes, but I suspect that won’t be an issue! It’s important to make sure you cook all the tiny tomato bits left in the final salt fully. Feel free to use any herbs while making oven-dried tomatoes, and use any color or shape cherry tomato. Don’t forget to place all the cut cherry tomatoes flesh side up when baking them. Add more chilies to make it spicy! Ingredients For the dried tomatoes: 2 pints cherry tomatoes 1 tablespoon Maldon salt ¼ cup finely chopped fresh parsley, basil and oregano For the salt: 1 ½ cups Maldon salt 6-10 oven dried tomatoes ¾ cup finely chopped basil leaves 2 teaspoons lemon zest 2 teaspoons red chili flakes (optional) Directions For the oven-dried tomatoes: Pre-heat the oven to 250° F. Cut all of the cherry tomatoes in half and place them cut side up on a lined baking sheet. Sprinkle the salt all over the top, followed by the herbs and lemon zest. Place in the oven for 2.5 hours until they are just about fully dried, leaving some soft aspects to them, but most parts of them dry. Turn off the oven and allow to cool completely. (Store extra tomatoes a container with a lid in the refrigerator for 2-3 weeks.) For the salt: Pre-heat the oven to 225° F. Place the salt in a large bowl and using your fingers, pulverize the tomatoes into the salt. Basically, you will be grinding the tomatoes so that they break up into little tiny piece and squirt all their paste out, which you will then mix and rub all into the salt. You will know when you are done because all the tomatoes will be in tiny bits and pieces with no paste left inside and all of the white salt will be reddish color. Add the basil, zest and chili flakes (if you are using them) and mix until well combined. Place on a lined baking sheet (parchment paper) and lay out flat. Bake for about 28 minutes or until all the tomato bits are fully dried. Cool completely and store in a jar or on a bowl on your counter.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_single_image image="13726" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]

Avgolemono (Egg & Lemon Soup) with Spinach

Makes 12 cups For many, soup doesn’t seem summery unless it’s a gazpacho or some sort of chilled soup. For those of us who live in cooler summer climates, like me in Bolinas, soup can be on the menu most days. On the day I made the Smoky Tomato Basil Salt, it was exceptionally foggy, damp and a little cold here in Bolinas. For whatever reason, I began to crave this Greek soup and wanted to use the new salt in it. Avgolemono is technically a Greek sauce made of lemons, eggs and chicken stock that’s become a soup, often made with both chicken and spinach. I had a version once on the island of Zakynthos that utilized the herbs of the island, fennel and fennel fronds in the traditional soup. The version had chicken bits in it and globs of orzo pasta. It was incredibly herbaceous, fresh, lemony, filling and the silky texture felt deeply luscious on my tongue. My version is my best recollection of that, plus I add the Smoky Tomato Salt to the chicken thighs for roasting and as a finishing salt giving it a tough deep smokiness that I really enjoyed. I don’t believe in stock and believe (and have proven) that you can make tasty and rich soups rather quickly. The herbs, vegetables and the roasted chicken easily create enough flavor for this soup. The one difficult part of this recipe is in the tempering of the eggs, but actually tempering eggs is quite easy, especially in soup. The key is not to boil the egg mixture, so for soups I turn off the burner and let the soup thicken in the meandering warmth. Ingredients For the roasted chicken: 2 teaspoons lemon zest 1 tablespoon olive oil 2 tablespoon lemon juice 3 chicken thighs Smoky Tomato Basil Salt For the soup: 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped 2-3 green onions, finely chopped 1 medium head of fennel sliced thin 1 teaspoon Smoky Tomato Basil Salt ¼ cup finely chopped parsley leaves ¼ cup finely chopped fennel fronds 2 tablespoons finely chopped chives 1 medium yellow zucchini, chopped into bite-sized pieces 3 cups finely chopped fresh spinach 6-8 cups water 1 cup orzo pasta 3 eggs Juice of 2 lemons Directions For the roasted chicken: Preheat oven to 380° F. Mix together the lemon zest, olive oil and lemon juice in a bowl. Season the chicken thighs with the salt and then place on a baking sheet. Drizzle the marinade on both sides of the chicken, making sure to use it all up. Bake for 20-25 minutes until the chicken is fully cooked and a bit caramelized around the edges. Cool. Then shred into bite-sized pieces. For the soup: Combine the oil, garlic and green onions in a soup pan and bring to medium heat. Add the fennel and a teaspoon of Smoky Tomato Basil Salt and sauté until the fennel is soft. Add the chicken, parsley, fennel fronds, chives and zucchini and continue to sauté, adding another teaspoon of the salt as you stir and cook. Add the spinach and sauté until the spinach is wilted. Add the water and bring to a boil. Reduce the temperature to low, add the orzo and let cook for about 20 minutes. Bring up to a boil once again  and then turn the burner off. In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs and the lemon juice. Add some of the broth to the egg mixture, ¼ cup at a time and whisking, to temper it, I add a total of about 1 – 1 ½ cups. Once the eggs are tempered, add them to your soup, stirring constantly and letting it thicken. Place a lid over the soup and let it sit for about 10 minutes before serving. This soup is best served warm. Garnish with some of the Smoky Tomato Basil Salt and a few more fennel fronds, a slice of lemon if you want an even fancier look.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_single_image image="13728" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]

Smoky Tomato Basil Stuffed Zucchini Boats

Serves 4 This year I have two zucchini plants, and my zucchini production is somewhat manageable. Last year I had four and was overwhelmed completely while realizing how many zucchini recipes don’t actually use much zucchini, basically rendering them all useless as a means to put the overabundance of zucchini so many of us gardeners face in the summer. I have since been on a quest to make zucchini recipes that actually use a good amount of zucchini while still remaining enjoyable and not zucchini overload. This recipe is that and it’s so good that even if you don’t grow your own zucchini you will want to buy it to make the recipe. It’s super easy to put together, feels kind of special and is technically one of those carb-free recipes people are craving these days! The Smoky Tomato Basil Salt is exceptional in it and on it! I like to have more boat than the average recipes so I cut about ¼ of the top of the zucchini off. This gives more space for stuffing and since I use all the zucchini innards and the top, I feel like it’s the best win-win method. *You can also make wheels with gigantic zucchini you may have missed in the garden!  Ingredients 6-8 medium sized zucchini, yellow or green Smoky Tomato Basil Salt 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil 3-5 cloves garlic 2 teaspoons lemon zest ½ teaspoon red chili flakes ¼ cup chopped red onion 3- 4 cups roughly chopped fresh spinach 1 cup cherry tomatoes, quartered Juice of 1 lemon 3/4 cup feta cheese, crumbled ¾ cup finely chopped basil leaves ¾ cup finely chopped oven dried tomatoes ¾ cup finely grated parmesan cheese 1 tablespoon cold butter, chopped fine Directions Cut the zucchini to make them into boats. Cut off the top ¼ of the top of the zucchini lengthwise. Chop up the tops finely and set them aside to use in the stuffing. Scoop out the center of the zucchinis using a melon baller or a small spoon. It’s basically like cleaning out the seedy insides from a cucumber. Place the zucchini boats in a baking dish and sprinkle a little of the Smoky Tomato Basil Salt over them. Chop up the zucchini insides finely and set aside. Combine the oil, garlic, lemon zest and red chili flakes in a large sauté pan and bring to medium heat. Add the onions and sauté until everything is soft.  Add the spinach and the tomatoes and continue to cook until the spinach is soft and the tomatoes begin to melt and extract liquid. Add about 1 teaspoon of the tomato salt and lemon juice, as well as the chopped zucchini tops and insides. Place a cover on and simmer for about 10 minutes until everything is cooked down. Turn off the heat and let cool a bit. Preheat oven to 375° F. In the meantime, mix together the basil, oven dried tomatoes and parmesan with 1 teaspoon tomato salt. Toss the feta into the stuffing mixture and fill the boats up evenly. Sprinkle the parmesan basil mixture all over the tops, followed by the cold butter pieces. Place in the oven and bake for 45-60 minutes until the zucchini boats are tender and the topping crispy. You may need to cover your dish with foil the last 10 minutes if the tops start to get too brown.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_column][/vc_row] [post_title] => Smoky Tomato Basil Salt [post_excerpt] => My Herby Sundried Tomatoes are one of my staple recipes. I love cherry tomatoes so much that I always have loads of them on hand. Sometimes, I over buy and don’t eat them fast enough, but that is never a problem with this recipe. This is a recipe that was brought into my repertoire so I could live in a perpetual state of cherry tomato gluttony, and I have zero shame in that. I tend to use the fresh and dried ones the same way, tossing them literally into everything (salads, soups, sandwiches, eggs, etc.) and it’s a nice change when the fresh tomatoes I had been enjoying suddenly morph into the dried version – yielding a deeper, richer, smokier version of the fresh. You can further heighten the flavor by adding fresh herbs and other spices. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => smoky-tomato-basil-salt [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2020-08-15 18:06:51 [post_modified_gmt] => 2020-08-15 18:06:51 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.myherbal-roots.com/?p=13729 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw [categories] => Array ( [0] => 86 [1] => 71 [2] => 30 ) [id] => m_hr_13729 [post_id] => 13729 [allcategories] => Array ( [0] => Basil [1] => Blog Posts [2] => Summer ) [categories_herbs_slugs] => Array ( [0] => basil ) [categories_seasons_slugs] => Array ( [0] => summer ) [categories_details] => Array ( [86] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 86 [name] => Basil [slug] => basil [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 86 [taxonomy] => category [description] => [parent] => 84 [count] => 3 [filter] => raw [cat_ID] => 86 [category_count] => 3 [category_description] => [cat_name] => Basil [category_nicename] => basil [category_parent] => 84 ) [71] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 71 [name] => Blog Posts [slug] => blog-posts [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 71 [taxonomy] => category [description] => blog [parent] => 145 [count] => 33 [filter] => raw [cat_ID] => 71 [category_count] => 33 [category_description] => blog [cat_name] => Blog Posts [category_nicename] => blog-posts [category_parent] => 145 ) [30] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 30 [name] => Summer [slug] => summer [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 30 [taxonomy] => category [description] => [parent] => 28 [count] => 5 [filter] => raw [cat_ID] => 30 [category_count] => 5 [category_description] => [cat_name] => Summer [category_nicename] => summer [category_parent] => 28 ) ) [image_path] => https://www.myherbal-roots.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/08/REEL-1.jpg [post_firstImg] => https://www.myherbal-roots.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/08/main-2.jpg ) [4] => Array ( [post_author] => 4 [post_date] => 2020-08-13 22:19:10 [post_date_gmt] => 2020-08-13 22:19:10 [post_content] => [vc_row][vc_column el_class="blogbodycol" custom_css="border-bottom:7px solid #f8f5f2;border-left: 7px solid #f8f5f2;border-right: 7px solid #f8f5f2; border-top: 7px solid #f8f5f2;padding-bottom:30px;" width="1/1"][prkwp_spacer][prkwp_spacer size="9"][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_custom_heading source="post_title" font_container="tag:h2|font_size:30|text_align:left|color:%234e463e" use_theme_fonts="yes" el_class="header_font" el_id="rechead"][vc_column_text el_class="blate"]AUGUST 13th, 2020[/vc_column_text][prkwp_spacer size="9"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]Scented geraniums are one of the most widely collected and celebrated herbal plants on the planet. They come in just about every scent and color imaginable, and their most common trait is their extreme potency of flavor and scent. They are used in teas, tinctures, baking and potpourri type concoctions. Only recently have I begun to enjoy them and use them in my cooking. For years I shunned them as an overly potent potpourri ingredient. Their scent can be overwhelming in gardens, I have never enjoyed how they take over the scent of a garden. In my opinion, the scent and potency of a geranium was always a little too much to make any use of it. But then the masters showed me the way.[/vc_column_text][vc_single_image image="13648" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]By masters I mean Laura and Tara, the most badass women whose herb prowess in the beverage world (and beyond) is unparalleled. This is not a compliment I just throw around. I have spent a lifetime chasing herbs and herb enthusiasts around the globe and feel that I am somewhat of an expert on the subject. These ladies are two of the four founders of Duke’s Spirited Cocktails in Healdsburg, CA. Duke’s also happens to be my favorite watering hole on the entire damn planet! These masterful ladies changed my mind about geranium. I can’t remember exactly what cocktail I had with this scented little flower a few years back when my mind was blown and changed. I believe the cocktail used rose geranium, and the potent floral flavor was incorporated into the drink and the glass, garnished with some creative flare using the flower itself. Neither the potency of the scent or the flavor overwhelmed me for once. Instead I felt a gentleness that I had never before experienced from the plant. A soft and sensual experience from whatever I was drinking was all I remember, and specifically I was left with the geranium essence in me. It felt beautiful.[/vc_column_text][vc_single_image image="13649" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]Immediately I thought, wow, geranium just needs to be handled properly, I should give it a second look. From that point on, my curiosity about the wiles of geranium began to unravel. It was pushed even further when judging the Good Food Awards. I judged jams, and the jam that touched my heart was the Geranium Currant Jam… wow. I bought my first plant shortly after that – just one, though; I didn’t want to ruin my new love and over scent my enchanted garden. I chose a bergamot geranium from my favorite herb start company, Richter’s- because bergamot anything is my favorite. Richter’s specializes in culinary, medicinal and aromatic herbs, and they have one of the most unique selections I have ever seen. I highly recommend them.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_single_image image="13650" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]This summer, that plant’s gentle and sensual scent has been memorizing me as I meander through my garden. It has become one of my favorite scents out there, it hits me like a soft whisper, like the gentle touch of a faraway lover. In a way I’ve come to think of it a little like me – bold, potent, sultry… hard to match and, above all, powerful. All of my culinary ideas which incorporate it strive to subtly fold its essence into something else. Like in my own life, I have to be careful merging my personality with others. I like it best with fruity and peppery accents, but I think it works really well with lemons as well. If I had a dating profile, it would say ‘seeking a gentle  but bold, fruity and pepper man, tart and sultry.’ Big, gigantic disclaimer, I still don’t use the leaves; their flavor far too strong for my taste. Some potent parts of all of us are better left in the wild.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_single_image image="13644" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]Summer Fruit Cobbler with Bergamot Geranium Sugar Makes 1 9X9 inch cobbler Last summer I wrote about anise hyssop, and I used it in a peach and strawberry summer cobbler that riffed off one of Smitten Kitchen’s. This is basically the same but with geraniums and accounting for the massive amount of sweetness in the jungle of berries I used. The end result is a less sweet, more floral version of last summer’s. Cobblers are one of the easiest and quickest summer desserts to prepare. You can eventually do it by memory and improve with ease. Any fruit works. Others add nuts and seeds. I like mine rather simple – fruit, buttery dough, and some herb accents. For this mixed berry cobbler, I chose bergamot geranium, chamomile and verbena for a beautiful, herbaceous summer cobbler! Sugar is usually added to tops of cobblers with a little bit of hot water drizzled over it. This technique helps melt the sugar a bit and those parts get a bit extra caramelized and crunchy while baking in the oven. The herbalized sugar just gives those bits a little extra something. Ingredients 4 cups whole berries (blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, strawberries) Juice and zest of 1 lemon 2/3 cup sugar Small handful of chamomile flowers Small handful of scented germanium flowers Small handful of lemon verbena leaves, chopped fine ½ cup (½ stick) of butter, softened ¾ cup all-purpose flour 1 teaspoon baking powder 1 teaspoon salt ¼ cup milk 2-3 tablespoons really hot water Directions Heat oven to 350° F. Lightly grease a small square baking pan (I used a 9 X 9-inch baking dish). Mix the berries together with lemon juice and zest and place in the greased baking dish. Using your fingers, rub together the herbs and sugar in a mixing bowl, until you mix them into a gritty herb sugar. Remove 2-3 tablespoons of the herb sugar and set aside. Add the softened butter to the sugar remaining sugar in the bowl. Using a wooden spoon and some arm strength, cream together the butter and sugar mixture until its fluffy, about 2-3 minutes. Add the flour, baking powder, and salt and continue to mix until combined and thick. Add the milk a little at a time and mix. Once all the milk is incorporated, mix a little faster for about 30 seconds straight until you get a fluffy but thick batter. Spoon a few blobs all over the fruit, making sure you do not totally cover the fruit. The fruit should peak out over the top in various sections. Using the back of the spoon, level out the blobs a little bit. Sprinkle the remaining tablespoons of sugar that were set aside evenly over the top of the doughy mixture and then gently drizzle the hot water over the sugar. Place the baking dish onto a baking sheet (I cover mine in parchment paper) to avoid the mess that comes with the fruit potentially bubbling over in your oven. Place in the oven and bake for about 50 minutes or until the top is golden brown. Allow to cool about 20 minutes. The original Smitten Kitchen recipe is adamant about 30 or more, but I like it still warm on my first slice so 20 is my go-to number that allows the top to firm up and get a little crispy while the insides are still warm. I like vanilla ice cream with my cobblers, so go for it.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_single_image image="13643" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_single_image image="13651" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]

Bergamot Geranium Szechuan Pepper Plum Sherbet

Makes 1 ½ pints  I have a fantastic ice cream maker, so I make ice cream often and effortlessly. Because of that, I tend to forget about all the amazing no churn styles of creamy desserts there are. Recently a dear friend gave me a pile of plums from her tree. They were beautiful and abundant, and I suddenly panicked about what to do with so many. I had remembered a roasted plum ice cream I made years ago using Szechuan peppercorns. It was fantastic, so I wanted to try and incorporate that idea again. I ran across a plum sherbet on Instagram by who someone also got gifted a bunch of plums, and so my idea coalesced and scented germaniums came along for the ride. This is a winning combo with the Szechuan peppers! Before we get into the recipe, let’s discuss what sherbet is. Originally it was a cold drink made with diluted and sweetened fruit juice. It’s Persian and Turkish in origin and eventually when it made its way to the US, they added milk or cream and froze it into an ice cream like mixture. My recipe roasted the fruit and then blends it with water and heavy cream, but milk can also be used. I like the heavy cream because it yields a richer consistency. By law (yes, there are laws for what you can call sherbet), it can only have so much butter fat. Mine probably crosses that limit but I’m not selling it anyhow! Ingredients Handful of geranium flowers 1 tablespoon Szechuan pepper corns, coarsely ground 1 cup sugar 4-5 cups of plums, pitted and quartered 1 cup water 1 ½ cup heavy cream Pinch of salt ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract Directions Plum preparation: Preheat the oven to 350° F. Mix the sugar with the geranium and Szechuan pepper until pulverized and mixed well. We want the sugar to be infused with the scent and flavor of the herbs and spice. Place the plums on a lined baking sheet. Sprinkle the sugar over the plums and roast in the oven for about 30 minutes or until the plums are soft. Allow the plums to cool. Place the plums in a blender, making sure to scrape all the juices and sugary caramelized bits into the blender, as well. Add the water and heavy cream and blend until super smooth. You will need to blend about 4 minutes total. Pour the liquid into a container with a lid and place in the freezer for about 3-4 hours or until fully frozen. For the ice cream: Add plums to a medium saucepan along with sugar and water. Cook over medium low heat for about 15 minutes, stirring often, until the plums have broken down and become jammy. Allow plum mixture to cool down before adding to a blender. Blend on high until the mixture is nice and smooth. Add in the salt, vanilla extract and sour cream and blend to combine. Pour sherbet mix into a shallow freezer-safe container and freeze for a minimum of 4 hours or until the sherbet is completely set. To serve, let sherbet soften at room temperature for 10 minutes. Scoop and enjoy![/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_single_image image="13646" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]

Geranium (Whole Lemon) Blueberry Lemonade

Makes 2 liters  There is literally no easier lemonade recipe than the recipe that utilizes the whole lemon. I like easy because easy means I have more time to conjure my herbal magic. That’s exactly what I have done here to the whole lemonade recipe. Juicing lemons is easy, but I honestly hate the task. On occasion, I make this recipe and, when I do, I always think I should do it more. I of course use the opportunity to add lots of herbaceousness. I add scented geraniums which give the final cold drink a flowery and perfumy edge, and fresh summer blueberries give it great color and a tart and sweet balance. The final result is a beautiful multidimensional lemonade with a marvelous light and silky texture! Yes, a whole lemon-lemonade is a bit bitter, but more people’s palettes are opening to more bitter as the rest of the world has been sipping and eating forever! So, try it, and if it’s too bitter for you, all you need to do is add booze – WALLA, it becomes one of the most gorgeous summer cocktails! *It’s important to use organic citrus, as conventionally grown citrus has chemicals all over the peel to help with shelf-life. Some growers use wax, but the organic side only uses organic and edible ingredients – mostly beeswax. Ingredients 4 lemons, quartered, seeds removed 1 cup sugar 2 cups water for blending (plus more for the drink) 1 cup blueberries ¼ cup geranium flowers Directions Combine the lemons, sugar and water in a blender and blend until totally smooth and frothy. Add the blueberries and geranium flowers (reserving a few for garnish) and process again until all the blueberries are smooth. Strain into a pitcher using a fine mesh strainer and discard the solids. Fill the pitcher with about 4-6 cups more water (you can also use sparkling). Serve over ice with a geranium flower garnish.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_single_image image="13647" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_single_image image="13652" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]

Geranium Black Pepper Salted Lemon Cucumbers

Makes ¾  cup of salt Ingredients 1 tablespoon super finely chopped parsley leaves 1 tablespoon super finely chopped mint leaves ¼ cup geranium flowers, chopped fine 2 teaspoons super finely chopped serrano chili pepper 1 teaspoon lemon zest 2 teaspoons coarsely ground black pepper ½  cup Maldon flake salt Directions Pre Heat oven to 200 degrees F. In a medium mixing bowl, mix together all of the fresh herbs, flowers, zest and chili pepper. Gently fold in the salt and pepper, using your fingers mix all the ingredients up, making sure there are no clumps of zest in the mix.  Place the salt/herb mix on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper so that its spread out evenly across the entire sheet and flat.   Place in the oven and bake for about 20 minutes or until the herbs have lost their moisture and feel dried. Store in a small bowl on your counter for a few weeks.  Toss some of the salt over lemon cucumbers for a sensual and simple light lunch!  [/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_column][/vc_row] [post_title] => Geranium Flowers [post_excerpt] => Scented geraniums are one of the most widely collected and celebrated herbal plants on the planet. They come in just about every scent and color imaginable, and their most common trait is their extreme potency of flavor and scent. They are used in teas, tinctures, baking and potpourri type concoctions. Only recently have I begun to enjoy them and use them in my cooking. For years I shunned them as an overly potent potpourri ingredient. Their scent can be overwhelming in gardens, I have never enjoyed how they take over the scent of a garden. In my opinion, the scent and potency of a geranium was always a little too much to make any use of it. But then the masters showed me the way. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => geranium-flowers [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2020-08-13 22:20:21 [post_modified_gmt] => 2020-08-13 22:20:21 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.myherbal-roots.com/?p=13645 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw [categories] => Array ( [0] => 71 [1] => 93 [2] => 30 ) [id] => m_hr_13645 [post_id] => 13645 [allcategories] => Array ( [0] => Blog Posts [1] => Edible Flowers [2] => Summer ) [categories_herbs_slugs] => Array ( [0] => edible-flowers ) [categories_seasons_slugs] => Array ( [0] => summer ) [categories_details] => Array ( [71] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 71 [name] => Blog Posts [slug] => blog-posts [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 71 [taxonomy] => category [description] => blog [parent] => 145 [count] => 33 [filter] => raw [cat_ID] => 71 [category_count] => 33 [category_description] => blog [cat_name] => Blog Posts [category_nicename] => blog-posts [category_parent] => 145 ) [93] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 93 [name] => Edible Flowers [slug] => edible-flowers [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 93 [taxonomy] => category [description] => [parent] => 84 [count] => 8 [filter] => raw [cat_ID] => 93 [category_count] => 8 [category_description] => [cat_name] => Edible Flowers [category_nicename] => edible-flowers [category_parent] => 84 ) [30] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 30 [name] => Summer [slug] => summer [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 30 [taxonomy] => category [description] => [parent] => 28 [count] => 5 [filter] => raw [cat_ID] => 30 [category_count] => 5 [category_description] => [cat_name] => Summer [category_nicename] => summer [category_parent] => 28 ) ) [image_path] => https://www.myherbal-roots.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/08/reel.jpg [post_firstImg] => https://www.myherbal-roots.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/08/main.jpg ) [5] => Array ( [post_author] => 4 [post_date] => 2020-05-27 22:38:52 [post_date_gmt] => 2020-05-27 22:38:52 [post_content] => [vc_row][vc_column el_class="blogbodycol" custom_css="border-bottom:7px solid #f8f5f2;border-left: 7px solid #f8f5f2;border-right: 7px solid #f8f5f2; border-top: 7px solid #f8f5f2;padding-bottom:30px;" width="1/1"][prkwp_spacer][prkwp_spacer size="9"][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_custom_heading source="post_title" font_container="tag:h2|font_size:30|text_align:left|color:%234e463e" use_theme_fonts="yes" el_class="header_font" el_id="rechead"][vc_column_text el_class="blate"]MAY 27TH 2020[/vc_column_text][prkwp_spacer size="9"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]From the moment many of us were sent into our homes to shelter-in-place, the baking rumpus had begun. So much so that most baking supplies became scarce, sending a wave of panic over those looking for something fun and calming to occupy the foreseeable future. Well-known for my laidback attitude about having the right supplies in the kitchen and life, I knew early on something good would come of it. I certainly wasn’t about to panic about baking. People all over the globe can attest to the relaxation brought on by baking. It seems quite obvious that, during this pandemic, baking has become a nurturing way to self-soothe – as the masses can bake breads, cakes, biscuits and cookies with reckless abandon.[/vc_column_text][vc_single_image image="13062" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]I can’t say I am one of those who experiences calm and serenity from baking. For me, baking is mostly a chore. I like the end result but rarely enjoy the act itself. The incessant need to be precise feels like a constraint, since it makes it difficult to change up a recipe on a whim. With baking, I often feel deflated and bored before I even start to pre-heat the oven. I came into the COVID-19 situation well-stocked on baking supplies. It’s no surprise that I am well-stocked in general, with all the cooking projects I am constantly juggling. I also recently had prepared for a pie cooking class that had to be canceled last minute late last fall, due to a California power outage. So, I had 10 bags of flour on hand at the time this quarantine began. I almost left like a toilet paper hoarder. (Which I also had plenty of on hand- I do live in an isolated town so being prepared is a way of live here.) Like the toilet paper situation, I assumed flour would become more readily available by the time I needed some. Under this impression, I readily gave away bags of flour (I felt like Oprah) and baked cookies  and cakes and other stuff regularly (gave those away too). Eventually, though, I started to run low. I had bread flour, which I didn’t want to dip into, because that’s crucial for pizza. Eventually my laidback attitude got ruffled, and, when I noticed empty grocery store shelves time and time again, I began to scour online and found much of the same. And then, like magic, the silver lining appeared – as it often does, if you can stave off the stress and anxiety long enough to allow yourself to see it.[/vc_column_text][vc_single_image image="13066" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]Every day I would spend a few minutes browsing online looking for flour. I hadn’t yet run out but knew I would soon, so I felt like this was a much better use of my time than, let’s say, playing (aka wasting time) on Facebook. I thought it would also prompt me to crawl out of my all-purpose flour hole and have a few different flours on hand at all times: bread flour, cake flour, pastry flour, and all-purpose flour. After all, each serve a different purpose and each make a real difference in the finished product. The better the quality of flour, the better the baked good. It was time for me to change my flour situation and much like a major change in life, the best change is often born from a moment in time of trouble or stress.  This was that. Eventually, in my daily internet browsing for flour, I stumbled upon something interesting (through Amazon, originally). It wasn’t just any flour, but the kind of flour that I never knew I needed. (Silver linings often play out like that.) Granite Mills Farms Stone Ground Sprouted Organic Soft White Wheat Pastry Flour appeared in my search field like a rainbow after a storm. It was priced well, organic, Montana-grown and processed from a small family farm. I felt like I had struck gold, and I hadn’t even used it yet.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_single_image image="13060" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]Granite Mills Farms produces sprouted organic wheat flour in the beautiful plains of Montana. Have you ever seen a wheat field? I lived back up against one for a short stint in North Dakota (that’s a story for another time) it’s like an ocean of gold… an exquisite sight. All of their flours use sprouted grains, making the grain more digestible. It’s all stone ground using a traditional granite stone mill. There are no additives and nothing has been removed. It’s pure and healthy in every way. Organic flours have long been a part of my repertoire, especially considering GMO’s are still banned (fingers crossed that continues) in organic certified products. Sprouted flours have never fully interested me, as most I tried were dense and didn’t really jive with the items I was baking regularly.  Times are changing, do we give kudos to the gluten free folks? Either way the health benefits of sprouted grains have always been available to us. (Check out all the health benefits on Granite Mills website.)[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_single_image image="13061" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]Pastry Flour Technically, it’s got a lower protein content, which is why it’s made with soft wheat. Wheat varieties fall into soft or hard categories. The soft wheat varieties make a more tender baked good. It’s best used whenever you might use baking powder as the leavener or none at all. It is not ideal for breads and pasta or anything that demands a clear shape or structure. All-Purpose Flour Is made with what’s called the endosperm of the grain – the starchy center section which consist mostly of carbohydrates and protein, and a little oil. Since the whole grain is not used and most of the vitamins, minerals, and fiber are found outside the endosperm on the germ, all-purpose flour is technically the least nutritious. This, along with the process is also why it has the longest shelf-life. I tend to fall into the all-purpose flour trap because it’s easy and convenient and it does make things taste more ‘processed’ which, truth be told, sometimes can be exciting. Finding the Granite Mills pastry flour feels like it can really change my baking game, like I’ll no longer need to fall back on all-purpose nor sprouted grains that tasted like boots. Bread Flour If you bake bread, you are certainly familiar with this flour. I don’t bake bread, and I have no interest in it. But I do insist on eating homemade pizza once a week, so I have to have bread flour for my crust. Bread flour is made of the hard wheat varieties which have really high protein content, which makes the goods chewier with much more texture. Never use bread flour on anything that you want to be tender and crumbly. If you interested in becoming an at home pizza (dough) maker, this is the flour for you. Cake Flour Cake flour, like pastry flour, changed my cakes and, therefore, my life. Cake flour is super ultra-finely ground and made of mostly soft wheat. It’s almost always found bleached, which gives way to a better rise. It yields fine, airy, and light results. Birthday cakes with cake flour are necessary for optimal joy. They say you can make your own cake flour by adding two tablespoons of cornstarch for every one cup of all-purpose flour and sifting it together. I agree that it makes a lighter cake, but actual cake flour using the ultra-fine grind yields even fluffier, lighter results. FYI: cake flour does not have baking powder in it.[/vc_column_text][vc_single_image image="13065" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]When the pastry flour came in the mail, my flour collection was complete, and it was time to start baking. Being strawberry and rhubarb season, I felt a pie was in order. The flour made the most incredible tasting crust. I was completely enamored by the pastry flour from the get go. It didn’t taste grainy at all. It had the perfect amount of added texture with a delicate “grainy” flavor. I used it to make chocolate chip cookies and felt that my cookies had more depth than they ever had before. Even the neighbor kids loved them. A recent stone fruit galatte (with crust made of this flour) impressed some food-centric friends I invited into my quarantine circle.  (I am slowly and carefully enlarging my circle.)[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_single_image image="13067" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]The silver lining for me is that I found a small organic flour farmer to support. This aligns with the rest of my values and it took the shortage to remind me that I shouldn’t be filling my cupboard or belly with all-purpose flour. When you have the rest of the flours you need on hand, the possibilities are limitless! I ordered a few more of their flours  including a rye and a soft wheat white, both sprouted grain, and will report back with my endeavors and thoughts![/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_single_image image="13064" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]

Strawberry-Rhubarb Herb Pie

Makes 1 9-inch pie I’m particular with rhubarb so, for this pie, I came up with a simple method to add more rhubarb depth to my pie – rather than just use chunks of raw rhubarb, which I don’t like. First, I macerated the rhubarb with sugar and a vanilla bean, as well as some lavender and jasmine petals for some perfumed tones. Eventually tossing that together with fresh strawberries and then baking it gave me the pie I wanted… a strawberry pie with rhubarb essence. It also reduced the need for sugar, since I was injecting the rhubarb with sugar more than the strawberries. Of course, the crust is herbaceous (as usual for my pies) and tasty, too. I got my art deco on for this one and tried to make it Instagramable. Did I succeed? Ingredients For the macerated rhubarb: 1 ½ cup chopped small rhubarb ½ cup sugar ¼ teaspoon ground cardamom 1 vanilla bean, pod and seeds (scraped) A few jasmine petals (optional) A few lavender petals (optional) For the pie crust: 2 ½ cups pastry flour (Granite Mills Sprouted Wheat Pastry Flour) 1 teaspoon salt 2 teaspoons sugar 2 fresh strawberries, chopped A few spoonsful of lavender petals 2 teaspoons lemon zest 2 sticks (1 cup) salted butter, cold and cut into small cubes ¼ – ½ cup ice water mixed with 1 tablespoon white balsamic vinegar or vodka For the finishing touches of the pie: 3 cups halved strawberries 1 egg, beaten 1 tablespoon cream or half and half Sugar[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_single_image image="13063" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]Directions For the macerated rhubarb: Combine all of the ingredients in a mason jar and shake. Continue to shake for a few hours before making the pie. For the crust: Add the flour, salt, and sugar to the bowl of the food processor, and process until mixed. Add the strawberries, lavender, lemon zest, and butter cubes, and pulse until the butter and flour mixture turns into a coarse, pebble-like consistency. Add ¼ cup of the ice water through the top of the processor while you continue to pulse. You want the dough to “just” come together, so you might need to add 1-3 more tablespoons of the ice water to make this happen. Once the dough comes together, dump it out of the processor onto a lightly floured work surface, and push it together into a ball. It should not be crumbly nor too moist. You can add a little flour or water to your hands to adjust. Once it comes into a ball, divide the dough into two flat discs, one a bit larger than the other. Shape both cut sides into flat discs, making sure not to handle the dough too much once it comes out of the processor. Place the dough discs in a plastic bag. I use compostable ones, and they work great. Refrigerate until use. Take out of refrigerator ten minutes before use. Shape the dough: Grease a 9-inch pie dish with butter. Roll out 1 dough disc on a lightly floured surface into a 12-inch circle. Transfer the pre-greased pie dish. All around the circle, fold the edges under and form a high-standing rim. Crimp the folded rim, by making small folds or indents. This will be the visible edge of your pie. Chill the dough in the refrigerator while you finish the rest of the pie. Poke holes in the bottom with a fork so that a little air can get through the dough. For the finishing touches of the pie: Pre-heat oven to 400° F. Combine the strawberries with the macerated rhubarb mixture (remove the vanilla bean pod), and gently mix together making sure that all the strawberries are coated with the syrupy mixture. Roll out the second dough disc into a 10-inch round. Remove the pie crust from the refrigerator and place the strawberry rhubarb mixture inside. Place the top dough over the strawberries. To seal the edges, trim any long pieces hanging over the edge of the pie, and gently tuck them into the edge. Cut out a few holes in the top so the filling doesn’t bubble over and burst out the sides. Mix the egg and cream together and brush the top of the pie. Sprinkle a little sugar over the top. Place in the refrigerator to chill for about 20-30 minutes before baking. Bake pie 45-60 minutes or until it’s golden brown and the juices are bubbling up through the holes on top. Cool completely before serving.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_single_image image="13068" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_column][/vc_row] [post_title] => Silver Lining Pie [post_excerpt] => From the moment many of us were sent into our homes to shelter-in-place, the baking rumpus had begun. So much so that most baking supplies became scarce, sending a wave of panic over those looking for something fun and calming to occupy the foreseeable future. Well-known for my laidback attitude about having the right supplies in the kitchen and life, I knew early on something good would come of it. I certainly wasn’t about to panic about baking. People all over the globe can attest to the relaxation brought on by baking. It seems quite obvious that, during this pandemic, baking has become a nurturing way to self-soothe – as the masses can bake breads, cakes, biscuits and cookies with reckless abandon. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => silver-lining-pie [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2020-09-23 18:11:23 [post_modified_gmt] => 2020-09-23 18:11:23 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.myherbal-roots.com/?p=13070 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw [categories] => Array ( [0] => 71 [1] => 93 [2] => 97 [3] => 29 ) [id] => m_hr_13070 [post_id] => 13070 [allcategories] => Array ( [0] => Blog Posts [1] => Edible Flowers [2] => Lavender [3] => Spring ) [categories_herbs_slugs] => Array ( [0] => edible-flowers [1] => lavender ) [categories_seasons_slugs] => Array ( [0] => spring ) [categories_details] => Array ( [71] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 71 [name] => Blog Posts [slug] => blog-posts [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 71 [taxonomy] => category [description] => blog [parent] => 145 [count] => 33 [filter] => raw [cat_ID] => 71 [category_count] => 33 [category_description] => blog [cat_name] => Blog Posts [category_nicename] => blog-posts [category_parent] => 145 ) [93] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 93 [name] => Edible Flowers [slug] => edible-flowers [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 93 [taxonomy] => category [description] => [parent] => 84 [count] => 8 [filter] => raw [cat_ID] => 93 [category_count] => 8 [category_description] => [cat_name] => Edible Flowers [category_nicename] => edible-flowers [category_parent] => 84 ) [97] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 97 [name] => Lavender [slug] => lavender [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 97 [taxonomy] => category [description] => [parent] => 84 [count] => 2 [filter] => raw [cat_ID] => 97 [category_count] => 2 [category_description] => [cat_name] => Lavender [category_nicename] => lavender [category_parent] => 84 ) [29] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 29 [name] => Spring [slug] => spring [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 29 [taxonomy] => category [description] => spring [parent] => 28 [count] => 12 [filter] => raw [cat_ID] => 29 [category_count] => 12 [category_description] => spring [cat_name] => Spring [category_nicename] => spring [category_parent] => 28 ) ) [image_path] => https://www.myherbal-roots.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/feature.jpg [post_firstImg] => https://www.myherbal-roots.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/general-1.jpg ) [6] => Array ( [post_author] => 4 [post_date] => 2020-05-20 16:43:06 [post_date_gmt] => 2020-05-20 16:43:06 [post_content] => [vc_row][vc_column el_class="blogbodycol" custom_css="border-bottom:7px solid #f8f5f2;border-left: 7px solid #f8f5f2;border-right: 7px solid #f8f5f2; border-top: 7px solid #f8f5f2;padding-bottom:30px;" width="1/1"][prkwp_spacer][prkwp_spacer size="9"][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_custom_heading source="post_title" font_container="tag:h2|font_size:30|text_align:left|color:%234e463e" use_theme_fonts="yes" el_class="header_font" el_id="rechead"][vc_column_text el_class="blate"]MAY 20TH 2020[/vc_column_text][prkwp_spacer size="9"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]I make it known often that I do not have a sweet tooth and people usually assume that means I do not like dessert. That’s absolute crap. I love dessert, I just enjoy it more savory than sweet. This is a dessert for those, like me,  who lean on the savory side of sweet.  It also combines my two passions for recipe development- herbs and mangoes. This recipe/story was originally published in my mango blog Under The Mango Tree. What exactly do I mean when I say I prefer a savory dessert? It means I don’t like a lot of sugar in it. I like more earthy elements to shine through and prefer naturally sweet items to take center stage. I like a little salty nature to my dessert and a perfumy aspect really gets me excited. Flavorful and potent fresh herbs in desserts lead to more character and depth – sugar add nothing but sweet and that’s just one dimensional. I also enjoy a tad of acid, balanced by some fat; butter, cheese or cream.[/vc_column_text][vc_single_image image="13048" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]This recipe is all of these things and more. Super sweet strawberries, that I grew myself (bet you didn’t know I was a hobby strawberry farmer) take center stage and are further deepened in flavor by being macerated in a tiny bit of sugar,  some white balsamic vinegar and a few  herbaceous lavender petals. Vanilla infused whipping cream is blanketed over salty, buttery biscuits and some perfumy mangoes and edible herbs and flower petals strewn atop. Did I mention that it’s also quick and easy? You can find flower petals and flowering herbs all over the farmers markets this time of year if you don’t have a garden, but if you need to skip it, don’t worry, it will still be amazing.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_single_image image="13049" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]

Flowery, Salty Mango-Strawberry Shortcake

Serves 6 I never buy buttermilk anymore since long ago discovering how easy it is to make a baking alternative by adding a little lemon juice or vinegar to milk and letting it sit for about 5 minutes. Ingredients For the biscuits: ½ cup milk 1 tablespoon lemon 1 ½ cups all purpose flour 1 tablespoon sugar 2 teaspoons baking powder ½ teaspoon baking soda ½ teaspoon salt 1 stick (8 tablespoons ) cold salted butter, cut into small pieces For the shortcake filling: 2 cups sliced thick, strawberries 2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar 2 ½ tablespoons sugar 2 teaspoons fresh lavender flower petals (optional) 12 -16 ounces heavy whipping cream ½ teaspoon vanilla extract 1 cup chopped small, fresh mango (not super ripe) Flowering herbs or edible flower petals Directions For the biscuits: Preheat oven to 425°F. Combine the milk and lemon juice in a measuring cup and let stand for 4-5 minutes. Mix together flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and baking soda. Add the small cold butter bits to the dry ingredients and using your finger tips rub it all together until the mixture is coarse and crumbly. Add the buttermilk and mix until its fully combined. Drop about 1/4 cup onto a lined baking sheet, making sure there is about 2 inches between each of the 6 biscuits. Bake the biscuits until they are golden brown, around 12-15 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool. For the shortcake filling: Gently mix together the strawberries, vinegar and 2 tablespoons of the sugar and let macerate for at least 30 minutes and up to a few hours at room temperature. In the mean time using an electric mixer, beat the heavy cream, remaining ½ tablespoon of sugar and ½ teaspoon of vanilla, until the cream is whipped and thick. Assembly: Cut the biscuits in half. Spoon a little strawberry juice from the maceration on to each cut side of the biscuit. Place the bottom biscuit cut side up on a plate and dollop some whipped cream over the top. Place a few spoonfuls of the strawberry mixture on top and then a few more dollops of whipped cream. Cover the top whipped cream layer with the top of the biscuit and drizzle a little more strawberry juice over the top. Garnish with a few flower petals or flowering herbs.[/vc_column_text][prkwp_spacer size="12"][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_column][/vc_row] [post_title] => Flowery & Salty Mango Shortcake [post_excerpt] => I make it known often that I do not have a sweet tooth and people usually assume that means I do not like dessert. That’s absolute crap. I love dessert, I just enjoy it more savory than sweet. This is a dessert for those, like me, who lean on the savory side of sweet. It also combines my two passions for recipe development- herbs and mangoes. What exactly do I mean when I say I prefer a savory dessert? It means I don’t like a lot of sugar in it. I like more earthy elements to shine through and prefer naturally sweet items to take center stage. I like a little salty nature to my dessert and a perfumy aspect really gets me excited. Flavorful and potent fresh herbs in desserts lead to more character and depth – sugar add nothing but sweet and that’s just one dimensional. I also enjoy a tad of acid, balanced by some fat; butter, cheese or cream. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => flowery-salty-mango-shortcake [to_ping] => [pinged] => http://www.underthemangotree.crespoorganic.com/2018/07/04/flowery-salty-mango-strawberry-shortcake/ [post_modified] => 2020-05-20 16:44:33 [post_modified_gmt] => 2020-05-20 16:44:33 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.myherbal-roots.com/?p=13052 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw [categories] => Array ( [0] => 71 [1] => 93 [2] => 29 [3] => 75 ) [id] => m_hr_13052 [post_id] => 13052 [allcategories] => Array ( [0] => Blog Posts [1] => Edible Flowers [2] => Spring [3] => USA ) [categories_herbs_slugs] => Array ( [0] => edible-flowers ) [categories_seasons_slugs] => Array ( [0] => spring ) [categories_places_slugs] => Array ( [0] => usa ) [categories_details] => Array ( [71] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 71 [name] => Blog Posts [slug] => blog-posts [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 71 [taxonomy] => category [description] => blog [parent] => 145 [count] => 33 [filter] => raw [cat_ID] => 71 [category_count] => 33 [category_description] => blog [cat_name] => Blog Posts [category_nicename] => blog-posts [category_parent] => 145 ) [93] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 93 [name] => Edible Flowers [slug] => edible-flowers [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 93 [taxonomy] => category [description] => [parent] => 84 [count] => 8 [filter] => raw [cat_ID] => 93 [category_count] => 8 [category_description] => [cat_name] => Edible Flowers [category_nicename] => edible-flowers [category_parent] => 84 ) [29] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 29 [name] => Spring [slug] => spring [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 29 [taxonomy] => category [description] => spring [parent] => 28 [count] => 12 [filter] => raw [cat_ID] => 29 [category_count] => 12 [category_description] => spring [cat_name] => Spring [category_nicename] => spring [category_parent] => 28 ) [75] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 75 [name] => USA [slug] => usa [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 75 [taxonomy] => category [description] => [parent] => 74 [count] => 9 [filter] => raw [cat_ID] => 75 [category_count] => 9 [category_description] => [cat_name] => USA [category_nicename] => usa [category_parent] => 74 ) ) [image_path] => https://www.myherbal-roots.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/feature-reel.jpg [post_firstImg] => https://www.myherbal-roots.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/general.jpg ) [7] => Array ( [post_author] => 4 [post_date] => 2020-05-11 21:02:20 [post_date_gmt] => 2020-05-11 21:02:20 [post_content] => [vc_row][vc_column el_class="blogbodycol" custom_css="border-bottom:7px solid #f8f5f2;border-left: 7px solid #f8f5f2;border-right: 7px solid #f8f5f2; border-top: 7px solid #f8f5f2;padding-bottom:30px;" width="1/1"][prkwp_spacer][prkwp_spacer size="9"][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_custom_heading source="post_title" font_container="tag:h2|font_size:30|text_align:left|color:%234e463e" use_theme_fonts="yes" el_class="header_font" el_id="rechead"][vc_column_text el_class="blate"]MAY 11TH 2020[/vc_column_text][prkwp_spacer size="9"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]In my ‘circle’ (which isn’t made up of many), I’m known for my creativity in the kitchen. Because I live out in the middle of nowhere, I tend to get excited to have guests, and it often gives my creativity a super boost. The anticipation of all the joy to be had in cooking and sharing with friends and loved ones gets my creative juices flowing; my posse of eaters around the globe are always elated to dine at my house. They know that in addition to delivering a marvelous and meaningful time, I will bring the ultra-weird and unexpected to the table and it will all taste delightful. The truth is, I cook like this all the time – even for myself (just look at my Instagram for proof). I think the main difference between cooking for myself and cooking for others is that I have to plan and, therefore, I have to think it through a bit more. I can’t deny that, because I’m mostly here alone, it feels special to have people over. So, I do like to make sure these occasions feel like a special event, for both me and my guests. I’m not sure if most my guests realize that the most joyful part of me making dinner for them is in the dreaming up of it – the part I do all alone.[/vc_column_text][vc_single_image image="12985" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]I am not one to shy away from trying things for the first time when I have people over. I like to challenge myself and, for me, it says a lot about the love I feel for those I’m cooking for… and that I feel creative and happy enough to be me in the kitchen. I also of course love the idea of introducing new flavors and food ideas, especially the herbaceous ones to the open minded eaters I have over. So much food in the United States is served sans fresh herbs, so I want to show people every chance I get how much flavor and vibrancy herbs can bring to almost any dish or drink. About a week ago I had the pleasure of making a meal for a special friend. Honestly, the meal itself was rather low key. I served one of my famous garden salads with Spring Salad Salt, of course, and some roasted chicken and potatoes with Nissa’s Fresh Mint Harissa, which I had in the fridge and often do. (You can find both these recipes on my birthday blog post.) The meal took about 30 minutes to put together, it was nice to chop garden goods and talk, without the worrying about burning something or stirring and monitoring the stove. The dessert, which I am not known for, was the gem of the meal. My friend has a thing for chocolate chip cookies, and I had been telling him I was going to make him some for a while so I was -sort of- making good on my promise. I don’t have a sweet tooth, and cookies are not generally something I love. A challenge, however, I do love and the idea to make something he would like and I’d be impressed with motivated my creativity. Since I have been in the midst of an ice cream obsession, making a new ice cream every week, I knew cookies and ice cream were in order and at first I hadn’t even thought about putting herbs in any of it.[/vc_column_text][vc_single_image image="12991" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]I didn’t think I could get creative with my ice cream and still pair it with a regular chocolate chip cookie. I had just bought some early season organic cherries, so a cherry ice cream was on my mind. I made a great one last year, but this time I wanted to conjure up a more vanilla-cream centric base with more of a fresh cherry vibe. Then double chocolate chip cookies entered into my mind. Obviously, these would go great with vanilla and cherry ice cream. And at the very last minute, this ice cream and cookies combo turned herbal. The fresh jasmine blooming in my garden overtook me at some point on the day I was to make the ice cream, and out of nowhere I knew I had to infuse the milk with jasmine to make a beautifully perfumed vanilla ice cream and macerate some chopped cherries in brown sugar and cardamom. The juice was drained from the cherries (the juice makes great cocktails by the way) and just the macerated drained cherries added to the jasmine vanilla ice cream at the end. It was the best batch of ice cream I ever made, it was texturally perfect. The double chocolate chip cookie I wanted to be fudgy and soft. The addition of a fresh rosemary salt atop changed the entire dynamic of the cookie.  It was exceptional. I used a combination of a black flake salt from Cyprus that I got at FloraLuna Apothecary in Petaluma as well as some regular Maldon salt. Salt on any chocolate chip cookie is essential and chocolate is one of my favorite pairings for rosemary. Combined with the ice cream, the whole thing was mind-blowing. I felt really good about the sweet ending of my meal with my sweet friend.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_single_image image="12986" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]

Jasmine Vanilla Cherry Ice Cream

Makes 2 pints This ice cream recipe makes use of early season cherries and abundant jasmine blooms to spring-up (and sultry-up) a classic vanilla-based cream. You’ll find it has a cream and fresh-fruit vibe, but with added layers of life and abundance that bring joy and feed the heart and spirit. For a mind-blowing treat, serve with the Double Chocolate Chip Cookies with Rosemary Salt. Ingredients For the macerated cherries: 1 cup fresh cherries, pitted and chopped ¼ cup brown sugar ¼ teaspoon ground cardamom For the ice cream base: 1 cup whole milk Handful of fresh jasmine flowers (½ - ¾ cup) 5 egg yolks ½ cup sugar 2 cups heavy cream 1 vanilla bean split Pinch of salt Directions For the macerated cherries: Combine the cherries, sugar and cardamom in a bowl and let stand at room temperature about an hour or two before making the ice cream. Strain the juice (use it for a cocktail) and place the cherries in the freezer for about 5-10 minutes. For the ice cream base: Combine the milk and the jasmine flower and let stand for 2 hours in the refrigerator. Mix up the egg yolks and sugar until it’s super creamy and well mixed. In a heavy bottom pan, heat the milk, cream, and salt until just about boiling. Whisk in a little of the hot milk mixture to the eggs (to temper) – then a little more, then a little more. Next, add the egg mixture to the warm milk mixture. Turn the burner to medium-low, and allow the mixture to thicken, stirring constantly about 2-3 minutes. It should get thick and coat the spoon (but honestly, I don’t know if that description helps enough… it’s more a feeling that it’s the right consistency than anything). Then strain into a glass bowl (I think the glass cools it more quickly). Put that bowl into an ice bath, stir a lot and let it cool as quickly as possible. Then, put that in the freezer for 20 minutes to get super cold. In the meantime, turn your ice cream maker on freeze so it gets cold. To combine: Put the cold ice cream base in the ice cream maker and turn the churn and freeze on. Let it do its thing for about 30 minutes or until it’s the consistency of soft serve ice cream. Sprinkle the cherries into the ice cream maker and continue to churn for another 10-20 minutes or until the ice cream is a bit harder than soft serve but still moving around the machine. Place that the mixture in a pre-chilled container. At this point, it’s still kind of like soft serve and needs a bit more time in the freezer for optimal texture. It’s best to make the ice cream a day before you’d like to eat it.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_single_image image="12989" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]

Double Chocolate Chip Cookies with Black Rosemary Salt

Makes 9 large cookies This double chocolate chip cookie is fudgy and soft. The fresh rosemary salt on top is a must and takes this cookie to the next level. The salt uses a combination of a black flake salt from as well as some regular Maldon salt, but using only Maldon salt is just as excellent. Flake salt on chocolate chip cookies is a must, in my opinion. If you haven’t tried chocolate and rosemary this is a great gateway to the pairing prowess. Serve the cookie warm with the ice cream! Serve it to super sweet people for optimal joy! Ingredients 1 cup all-purpose flour ¾ cup dark cocoa powder ½ teaspoon baking soda ½ teaspoon baking powder ½ teaspoon salt ½ cup salted butter (1 stick/ 8 tablespoons), room temperature ½ cup sugar ¾ cup brown sugar 1 egg, beaten 2 teaspoons vanilla 1 ½ dark chocolate chips (semisweet/ 50-53%) 2 teaspoons finely chopped rosemary leaves 1 teaspoon Maldon salt 1 teaspoon black flake salt (sub more Maldon salt) Directions Whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and powder, and salt in a medium mixing bowl. In a separate large and deep mixing bowl, beat together the butter and sugars with a hand mixer until light and fluffy, about 3-5 minutes. Add the egg and the vanilla and beat another 2-3 minutes until creamy. Stir in the dry ingredients and either mix together by hand (preferred method at this stage) or use the hand mixer on low speed. Once the wet and dry ingredients are combined and mixed well, gently fold in the chocolate chips. Since these cookies are super chocolaty and fudgy, it’s best to freeze them in “cookie dough balls” before baking. Using an ice cream scoop, scoop up some cookie dough, making round balls a little smaller than golf balls. Place them on a small baking sheet or plate and freeze. Once frozen, you can store them in a zip lock bag in the freezer to have on hand. Pre-heat oven to 375° F. Combine the rosemary and salt and set aside. Place your cookie balls on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake the cookies for about 15-18 minutes. At about the 12-minute mark, sprinkle each cookie with some of the rosemary salt, making sure to get a little on all sections of the cookie. When the cookies are done, they will still seem quite soft when you remove them but they should not be batter-like consistency at all. Slide the parchment paper (and the cookies) onto a wire cooling rack or wooden cutting board, and cool for about 5 minutes. Serve warm with a bowl of Jasmine Vanilla Cherry Ice Cream.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][prkwp_spacer size="12"][/vc_column][/vc_row] [post_title] => Cookies, Ice Cream & Herbs [post_excerpt] => In my ‘circle’ (which isn’t made up of many), I’m known for my creativity in the kitchen. Because I live out in the middle of nowhere, I tend to get excited to have guests, and it often gives my creativity a super boost. The anticipation of all the joy to be had in cooking and sharing with friends and loved ones gets my creative juices flowing; my posse of eaters around the globe are always elated to dine at my house. They know that in addition to delivering a marvelous and meaningful time, I will bring the ultra-weird and unexpected to the table and it will all taste delightful. The truth is, I cook like this all the time – even for myself (just look at my Instagram for proof). I think the main difference between cooking for myself and cooking for others is that I have to plan and, therefore, I have to think it through a bit more. I can’t deny that, because I’m mostly here alone, it feels special to have people over. So, I do like to make sure these occasions feel like a special event, for both me and my guests. I’m not sure if most my guests realize that the most joyful part of me making dinner for them is in the dreaming up of it – the part I do all alone. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => cookies-ice-cream-herbs [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2020-05-11 21:43:10 [post_modified_gmt] => 2020-05-11 21:43:10 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.myherbal-roots.com/?p=12990 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw [categories] => Array ( [0] => 71 [1] => 93 [2] => 111 ) [id] => m_hr_12990 [post_id] => 12990 [allcategories] => Array ( [0] => Blog Posts [1] => Edible Flowers [2] => Rosemary ) [categories_herbs_slugs] => Array ( [0] => edible-flowers [1] => rosemary ) [categories_details] => Array ( [71] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 71 [name] => Blog Posts [slug] => blog-posts [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 71 [taxonomy] => category [description] => blog [parent] => 145 [count] => 33 [filter] => raw [cat_ID] => 71 [category_count] => 33 [category_description] => blog [cat_name] => Blog Posts [category_nicename] => blog-posts [category_parent] => 145 ) [93] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 93 [name] => Edible Flowers [slug] => edible-flowers [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 93 [taxonomy] => category [description] => [parent] => 84 [count] => 8 [filter] => raw [cat_ID] => 93 [category_count] => 8 [category_description] => [cat_name] => Edible Flowers [category_nicename] => edible-flowers [category_parent] => 84 ) [111] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 111 [name] => Rosemary [slug] => rosemary [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 111 [taxonomy] => category [description] => [parent] => 84 [count] => 7 [filter] => raw [cat_ID] => 111 [category_count] => 7 [category_description] => [cat_name] => Rosemary [category_nicename] => rosemary [category_parent] => 84 ) ) [image_path] => https://www.myherbal-roots.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/reel.jpg [post_firstImg] => https://www.myherbal-roots.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/main.jpg ) )
Array
(
    [0] => Array
        (
            [post_author] => 4
            [post_date] => 2020-12-22 21:56:20
            [post_date_gmt] => 2020-12-22 21:56:20
            [post_content] => [vc_row][vc_column el_class="blogbodycol" custom_css="border-bottom:7px solid #f8f5f2;border-left: 7px solid #f8f5f2;border-right: 7px solid #f8f5f2; border-top: 7px solid #f8f5f2;padding-bottom:30px;" width="1/1"][prkwp_spacer][prkwp_spacer size="9"][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_custom_heading source="post_title" font_container="tag:h2|font_size:30|text_align:left|color:%234e463e" use_theme_fonts="yes" el_class="header_font" el_id="rechead"][vc_column_text el_class="blate"]DECEMBER 22CND 2020[/vc_column_text][prkwp_spacer size="9"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]One for Rudolph, two for me. This is one of my most whimsical recipes and one that is perfect to make with your kids the day before Christmas eve.  Basically, the kids make herbal sugar cubes for Rudolph and you get amazing sugar cubes for an old-Fashioned cocktail.  It’s a rather fun project for all and one that the adults can enjoy long after Santa is gone. The recipe is super easy. It assumes you have some general herbs around the holidays for cooking.  Herbs, sugar and ice cube trays are really all that’s needed outside a few drops of water.[/vc_column_text][vc_single_image image="18606" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]

Herbal Sugar Cubes

This recipe is versatile  and fun, as the  herbs and spices can be altered to taste. I chose these because they work really well in an old fashioned cocktail, but I make these cubes generally with various herbs and spices per my whimsy at the time. Let your kids play and even enjoy a kiddy fashioned cocktail. The most important part of the recipe is to make sure you don’t add too much water. Makes several cubes depending on ice cube tray size Ingredients ¼ teaspoon chopped super fine rosemary leaves ¼ teaspoon chopped super fine purple or green sage leaves ¼ teaspoon chopped super fine pineapple sage (optional) ½ teaspoon lemon zest ½ teaspoon orange zest ½ teaspoon finely ground black pepper (I use long pepper) ¾ cup turbinado sugar 2 drops Grapefruit Cardamom Bitters 1 teaspoon ice cold water[/vc_column_text][vc_single_image image="18602" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]Directions Combine the rosemary, sage(s), zests and pepper in a medium bowl with the sugar. Rub the mixture together with your fingers, pulverizing the herbs, zest and pepper into the sugar. The sugar will turn a greenish hue from the herb oils.  Add the bitters and water and stir. The sugar should be slightly moistened and still crumbly, not wet. Using a sugar cube mold or an ice cube tray mold, place 1 heaping teaspoon in each mold and press the mixture down tightly into the mold. If using an ice cube tray, the sugar cubes will be bigger and thinner than the traditional cube. Let the molds air-dry on your kitchen counter overnight, at least 16 hours. Once they have hardened, gently remove them from the molds, using a butter knife to assist.  Store them in an airtight container for months.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_single_image image="18604" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_single_image image="18607" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]

Liberal Old Fashioned with DIY Herbal Sugar Cubes

An Old Fashioned is essentially just whiskey sweetened, seasoned and diluted. Yet everyone has their own firm idea on the details. I have a super liberal take on the topic and mine is herbalized. The act of making your own sugar cubes and paying attention to the details, from start to finish, feels like self-care. It’s not only easy but adds creative flair, and it’s a great conversation piece. Let your party guests make their own Liberal Old Fashioned and find out. Make the sugar cubes a day ahead. If you don’t have big ice cube molds any ice will do. I use Charbay’s Doubled & Twisted Whiskey. The citrus notes in the whiskey persuaded me to use the lemon peel instead of the old-fashioned orange peel. I also like using Sonoma Distilling Co, Cherrywood Rye Whiskey. Ingredients 1-2 Herbal Sugar Cubes 3 drops Grapefruit Cardamom Bitters (Monarch Bitters) Splash of water 2 ounces whiskey Big Cube ice cube Lemon twist or peel Sage leaf Directions For each Old Fashioned Place one or two Herbal Sugar Cubes on the bottom of a rocks glass. Drop a few bitters on top and gently muddle them until the sugars are dissolved. Add a tiny splash of water to help. You want the sugar to be smooth and paste-like, rather than swimming in water. Fill the glass with a few large ice cubes. Add the whiskey and gently stir until well combined. Express the oil of a lemon peel over the glass and gently run it around the rim. Drop the peel and a sage leaf, stem side down, into the glass.[/vc_column_text][vc_single_image image="18605" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_single_image image="18619" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_column][/vc_row] [post_title] => DIY Herbal Sugar Cubes [post_excerpt] => One for Rudolph, two for me. This is one of my most whimsical recipes and one that is perfect to make with your kids the day before Christmas eve. Basically, the kids make herbal sugar cubes for Rudolph and you get amazing sugar cubes for an old-Fashioned cocktail. It’s a rather fun project for all and one that the adults can enjoy long after Santa is gone. The recipe is super easy. Some herbs, sugar and ice cube trays are really all that’s needed outside a few drops of water. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => diy-herbal-sugar-cubes [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2020-12-22 22:02:10 [post_modified_gmt] => 2020-12-22 22:02:10 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.myherbal-roots.com/?p=18601 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw [categories] => Array ( [0] => 111 [1] => 112 [2] => 32 ) [id] => m_hr_18601 [post_id] => 18601 [allcategories] => Array ( [0] => Rosemary [1] => Sage [2] => Winter ) [categories_herbs_slugs] => Array ( [0] => rosemary [1] => sage ) [categories_seasons_slugs] => Array ( [0] => winter ) [categories_details] => Array ( [111] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 111 [name] => Rosemary [slug] => rosemary [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 111 [taxonomy] => category [description] => [parent] => 84 [count] => 7 [filter] => raw [cat_ID] => 111 [category_count] => 7 [category_description] => [cat_name] => Rosemary [category_nicename] => rosemary [category_parent] => 84 ) [112] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 112 [name] => Sage [slug] => sage [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 112 [taxonomy] => category [description] => [parent] => 84 [count] => 4 [filter] => raw [cat_ID] => 112 [category_count] => 4 [category_description] => [cat_name] => Sage [category_nicename] => sage [category_parent] => 84 ) [32] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 32 [name] => Winter [slug] => winter [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 32 [taxonomy] => category [description] => [parent] => 28 [count] => 8 [filter] => raw [cat_ID] => 32 [category_count] => 8 [category_description] => [cat_name] => Winter [category_nicename] => winter [category_parent] => 28 ) ) [image_path] => https://www.myherbal-roots.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/feature.jpg [post_firstImg] => https://www.myherbal-roots.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/main-1-scaled.jpg ) [1] => Array ( [post_author] => 4 [post_date] => 2020-12-21 22:05:58 [post_date_gmt] => 2020-12-21 22:05:58 [post_content] => [vc_row][vc_column el_class="blogbodycol" custom_css="border-bottom:7px solid #f8f5f2;border-left: 7px solid #f8f5f2;border-right: 7px solid #f8f5f2; border-top: 7px solid #f8f5f2;padding-bottom:30px;" width="1/1"][prkwp_spacer][prkwp_spacer size="9"][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_custom_heading source="post_title" font_container="tag:h2|font_size:30|text_align:left|color:%234e463e" use_theme_fonts="yes" el_class="header_font" el_id="rechead"][vc_column_text el_class="blate"]DECEMBER 21ST 2020[/vc_column_text][prkwp_spacer size="9"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]My ‘moving to Missouri’ story began back in August. I had a few sessions with a renowned astrologer, as part of my crisis response to learning I had to move quickly and, essentially, charter the next course in my life. If I’m being honest, this was one of the hardest times of my life. Normally I make decisions quickly and with ease, but this one I knew would create massive disruptions in all aspects of my life. The first thing the astrologer said to me during session one was, “Ooh, you’re a jovial warrior. Does that sound like you?” I took a moment to mull it over, then giggled and said, “Yes. Yes, that does sound like me.” No one had ever described me like that before, and I think many people would attest that it seems spot on. I have Mars and Jupiter rising in my chart, which is how he came up with this jingly nickname.[/vc_column_text][vc_single_image image="18478" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]My Chinese medicine doctor recommended that I try talking to an astrologer over my difficulty surrounding the impending move and suggested one. I had four sessions with the astrologer. Four sessions seemed good enough to cover some bases about me and my life before even thinking about where to move. The first session covered me, the second my family, the third key romantic relationships and the fourth my move. By the time I got to the fourth session, I had already decided to move to Missouri, rented a house and started the process to buy it. He was a little surprised, but I then referred him to my chart.  I think and move quickly.  So, in my fourth session I mostly wanted to know: what would Missouri be like for this jovial warrior? His first comments back to me were, “Missouri, well, that is not a place I would have picked for you.”[/vc_column_text][vc_single_image image="18479" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]The big question on many people’s minds is the same as his was: ”…Why Missouri?” After the initial excitement over hearing I moved to Missouri’s southern lake region, imagining me in my full glory as a quick-thinking heroine and powerful boss bitch cruising in my speed boat (thanks to Jason Bateman and the Ozarks), they say, “Wait. What? Why?” Yes, I live in Missouri now. And to quote my astrologist, “It’s not on or near any of your powerful energy lines.” But it is close to a big portion of my family that just so happens to kind of need me. I’ve always thought of myself as an instinctual person, so in a way it doesn’t totally surprise me that I picked this new life internally. It was the external part of me that was resisting it all along. I’m not so worried about my powerlines because I discovered, through my sessions with him, that I tend to gravitate to them in my travels; so, I feel content I will go to them and reenergize myself as I need to. I also reminded him of my chart again and that I’m not someone who can be stagnant. So, today I feel comfortable knowing that living in Missouri is not forever for me. Then again, nowhere is.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_single_image image="18470" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]My chart also resonates with family and a strong matriarchal role, so I think it’s also a matter of perspective in terms of the energy lines here. While the lines might not show up here on my chart, there are quite a few special people that make excellent substitutes for those lines. The thing about connection – especially to people – and about love is that it’s really powerful. Thus, I need to be here. I can feel that in the two months I’ve been here. I need them as much as they need me. That’s how love works. It was revealed to me at the end of my last session that Missouri, specifically where I am living, falls on my moon and Pluto line. These lines represent journey, family and traveling. So, it seems the astrologer and I were on the same page. This jovial warrior’s journey to Missouri is all about family…and traveling! (Thank god!) So here I am, jovial and ready to be a warrior, on Table Rock Lake on the Arkansas and Missouri border.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_single_image image="18474" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]Now the question on many people’s minds is, “How is it going so far?” This post is the answer to that question. It’s not coming in the form of a traditional self-reflective answer but, rather, through a hodgepodge of recipes I have conjured up since I moved to the Ozarks. This post is also as close as I can get to a commercial (unpaid and unsolicited) for those brands and products that have sustained me while figuring out where I can find the healthy, organic, fresh, nutritious, seasonal and interesting food I am accustomed to and as my soul needs to survive and more importantly be nourished continuously.[/vc_column_text][vc_single_image image="18480" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]The Backstory Sometime in the middle of August, I was taking a short summer vacation in Ojai after sheltering in place for months. I needed it, and the resort where I stayed was big on safety and space. It had all outdoor dining and several pools where 6-10 feet were easy to maintain. They were also dog friendly, so off Inca and I went. The timing coincided with the northern fires which threated Bolinas and were raging across Sonoma. It was there where my landlord emailed a 60-day notice to move. I had lived in her house for over 5 years, faithfully taking care of her home. This is not easy in Bolinas. I went above and beyond, and I was an excellent tenant. I really want to set up the apocalyptic scene which I can still feel viscerally. The world was in the midst of a gigantic pandemic, I had been sheltered in place in Bolinas for months, and fires were raging across northern California. Residents of the notoriously expensive Bay Area were on an exodus toward the “countryside” which meant my house was prime real estate. Every home and rental (vacation and otherwise) in Marin, Sonoma, Napa, Tahoe and beyond was getting snatched by those with money fleeing the city. Mind you, there are a lot with money in the city. Shortly after that notice, I received another notice, that Bolinas was under recommended fire evacuation and that my house was technically first in line of a new fire  that had broken out. Residents were scrambling, packing up their stuff and heading out. It wasn’t sure that the fire would reach the houses in Bolinas, but weather (winds) is tumultuous out there and fires had been ripping through the dry brush quickly. Since it’s really just a one-way road in (and dangerous with the fire looming), people were following the better safe than sorry route, so I stayed put in Ojai. It was the smart thing to do. I was 7 hours away, and I had some cute clothes, my laptop and my dog Inca with me. It was there I let go of my grip on everything else, including my history in the Bay Area and the reason why I moved there in the first place. That was a big moment in my life, amidst truly apocalyptic conditions something big and internal told me to just let go. So I did, fully.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_single_image image="13643" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]I can’t say it was easy, the moment I moved on, metaphorically and emotionally. In a way, these apocalyptic conditions forced me to move. Even though I didn’t think I was ready, I realized that I was. I think that’s what they call ‘nature provides.’ Eventually I went home, and the fire near Bolinas fizzled. The other fires raged until the day I left. I wasn’t able to say goodbye to basically anyone I had gotten to know there because of the pandemic and the fires. That was hard. As someone who often feels like a loner anyhow, I couldn’t help but feel that my connections were not that potent to begin with. I know that’s silly to think, but don’t we all think silly things when grieving? After Pounding Out Grief throughout September and packing up my life, Inca and I got in a gigantic 26-foot U-Haul filled with dishes (truly, that’s the bulk of what I own) and drove to Missouri, leaving northern California behind. On this drive out of California, I could feel the natural release of quite a bit, including my relationship(s) there, as well as the idea that I didn’t move there for me. It never fully suited me. It felt healthy to realize all this and (physically and metaphorically) move on. I know I was moving toward what I needed next in life, toward who I needed and who needed me. That has always been important to me, being there for those I love. I move toward what I need rather subconsciously/instinctively. Luckily, my strong intuition doesn’t allow for regrets. I feel grateful for that.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_single_image image="18484" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]How’s it going? Inca and I drove 2000 miles together to get here and had one of the happiest times of our life. I felt like my eyes and my heart were wide open. I felt supported by the deep friendships I have and the love and excitement of my family – both the ones I was heading towards and the ones that were rooting me on. I could even feel a few key relationships deepening with new distance. I could almost feel myself growing (wiser, not taller). My new lake house is incredible. I found it online, rented it immediately and started the buying process before I had even left. I chose it for 3 reasons. It was right on the water, with water views from almost every room in the house. There are sunset views (over the water) 365 days of the year. And it was the least “oaky” place I could fine. Most homes were filled with oak, oak cabinets, oak trim, oak and more oak. I hate the oak look. This house has less and, even though I would re-do things, I had to find something I could live in now that wouldn’t make me nuts. Oak would have made me nuts. The oak look for me is a more a metaphor or thinking and what it means toi surround yourself by things you think about and how that thinking is fueled.  When I see overly oaky homes I cant help but thing ot eh following words and phrases: stuck, closed minded, doing things the only way I know how and that’s just the way it is. As you know by now, my being, like my creative outlets, cooking and writing- couldn’t be father from those words. If I was going to live here, in a place those words were potent, I couldn’t be around the oak- not the real thing or the metaphor- my home had to be different so it needed to start differently.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_single_image image="18486" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]When I drove into the driveway of my house I felt very happy. It did not disappoint. Even though I knew Missouri would inevitably disappoint (everything and everyone does after all), I could tell this place would be the haven I needed to be successful and happy here. It has beautiful sweeping views of the lake, trees all over, and a crystal-clear lakefront for Inca to swim. Every single room in the house has views of the water and the sunset. There are two kitchens. The entire downstairs becomes my business headquarters, with lots of space for more staff and its own kitchen, and a gigantic deck, where I envision outdoor working as soon as weather permits. The kitchen remodel is planned and pending the arrival of cabinets in a few weeks. I feel happy that my brother is doing the work. This circular exchange of my money feels important, especially after giving so much of my money to landlords for 29 years of my life. When people ask me how it’s going, the first thing I always say is that I chose an amazing house.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_single_image image="18477" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]The food is a different story. But I knew this would be the case before I made the decision to move here. I had spent many years visiting my brother here, as he married a woman from Missouri and moved here (he is now divorced). He raised three kids here. They are all still here and all often literally here at my house. (Which I love!) When I lived in NYC, I would spend most Thanksgivings here. (I did lots of fresh herb workshops in a tiny town called Fair Grove about an hour north of where I am now.) Back then I was aware that the kind of food shopping I prefer – call it organic, sustainable, healthy, alive, green, unprocessed, etc. – is hard to come by. I wouldn’t call this a food desert exactly because there is a crapload of cheap food here and all the ultra-processed conventional produce, meat and dairy you can dream of. But there is a gigantic shortage of the stuff I like. The stuff I think the world needs more of. The kind that I believe (real science does too) makes for healthier people and planet. It certainly has changed here over some over time, I see more progress than ever and I have even been part of that change, working in the organic produce industry for so long. The internet, traveling and logistics has made good food more accessible than ever before. But it’s still not enough and the quality and overall choices are still lacking and driven by conventional and processed mindsets and corporations and generally speaking its really hard to compete with cheap in these parts of the country. I’m certain you understand my definition of cheap here. Now, if you know me you know I can’t compromise on healthy food. It’s not just a decision about what I am putting in my body but what I choose to support with my dollars. So, I have had to spider web my needs and do a lot of buying online. I drive to Fayetteville, Arkansas, every two weeks, where I shop at the Ozark Natural Food Store and the closest Whole Foods. There is a new natural food store closer to me, about 30 minutes away in Branson, MO, called Nature’s Wonder. It’s a fairly big store with lots of miscellaneous things I like to buy spur of the moment, like Justin’s Dark Peanut Butter Chocolate Cups, but the meat and produce is still a bit lacking. They have fairly decent dairy products, but at Whole Foods I can buy my Point Reyes Blue, which makes and keeps me happy![/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_single_image image="18490" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]I buy some Belcampo meat online and have it shipped to my house, but I don’t do that for all my meats because it’s expensive and includes packaging waste that I don’t love. I plan to get a deep freeze and buy an entire pig and cow and share with my family here. But even that too is weird, most people only sell them to massive meat processors (not the good kind) so finding folks that produce, slaughter, butcher and package meat sustainably hasn’t been easy. This is after all the land of Tyson chicken farms, which are speckled for miles and miles and miles just south of where I live in Arkansas. That’s the kind of cheap meat that is everywhere here. The produce and the fresh herbs are my main problem here. Like everything else, I have had to do weird things to get it, make a lot of compromises and spend some extra money. Since I moved here in late October, a garden was not an option. I am building a garden and a greenhouse, so come spring, I should be 800000x better off and am super excited about it.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_single_image image="18476" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]Luckily my friends at Jacobs Farm Del Cabo have been kind enough to sell me fresh herbs in the meantime, so all my recipe testing and salts are taken care of and my herbal passion does not need to be quelled for even a second. The Arkansas Whole Foods and Ozark Natural Foods both have many of the organic brands I like, so that works for me. And I know come spring, summer and fall, more local options will be predominant in both, as well as some of the farmers markets here locally. Some things I miss, like the massive number of citrus options most California grocers have at this time of year. I miss fresh little gem lettuce incredibly and can’t wait to grow greens again. I miss year round chive blossoms, access to amazing and fresh cherry tomatoes, romanesco and baby artichokes from the Bolinas farm stand. I make due, it reminds me of living in Ecuador, hauling back lemons in my suitcase. Find a few things you need most and do what you have to get them. Booze & Wine is another issue.  Missouri is one of those states where it’s almost impossible for any regular company to ship alcohol to me. There are only a few big companies that do it and they tend to carry only the crappy ultra-processed brands, and, frankly, I’d rather quit drinking. I came fairly stocked with my crafters favorites, since I knew where I was heading, but I miss my small artisanal batch makers and their booze that tastes good and is well crafted. A few of my friends did some digging and found me a place in Arkansas where there is a great wine and booze store that they swear I can find some things I like, so I will venture there soon.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_single_image image="18471" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]I’ve learned to make do, but I also recognize that me making do is still rather extravagant compared to most.  That’s the girl in me that is influenced by all the places she has seen on the world, that’s the girl that can’t living and cook in an oaky kitchen. The good news in all of this, is that I’m fine and definitely not hungry.  It’s all inspired me to work on how to get better organic produce into the area, and I know I’m the perfect person to do that. I tell you now, I will. Of the hodgepodge collection of healthy organic ingredients I have managed to find and bring together. I have also whipped up a few new recipes as well as polished a few old ones. All of this was done in a kitchen that is somewhat weird – too small, unreasonably compacted and with a shower in it and with a crappy electric oven. If there is any lesson that I can leave you with, it’s this. Just because you live in an isolated area or an area that doesn’t seem to have a lot of choices, an area where people say “this is just the way it is” and “people don’t want that kind of food” doesn’t mean that has to be your reality. If you have strong values – healthy food (from soil to mouth) being one of my main core values – do whatever it takes to live by them. You don’t have to have an oak kitchen or processed food. People may make fun of you, as some make fun of me for driving to Arkansas for my “fancy” food, but who cares? The thing about values is that the things that guide us in life run much deeper than they appear. So, while it’s true I like what some call fancy food, the real truth is that I like food that is grown in nutritious soil, supporting the communities that do the work to produce it. I like organic food because the science is clear about pesticides on food. I like unprocessed foods that are not riddled with sugar. In my values, the American “cheap” is way more expensive than my “fancy.” Be a jovial warrior. Fight for healthy food. Fight kindly for what you believe in. Here is some of my “fanciest” Missouri food, so far….[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_single_image image="18475" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]

Rancho Gordo Marcella Beans, Spinach and Fried Eggs with Nissa’s Fresh Mint Harissa

One of the items I buy online (ever since Bolinas) is Rancho Gordo beans. I cannot recommend their beans enough. Their heirloom beans cook much faster than regular grocery store beans and are also more tender, with more nuanced textures and deep flavor. If you are new to their beans, the first thing you’ll recognize is that these beans have a massive amount of flavor. I buy a big box of beans about twice a year and spend about $100 each time. I often give a bag or two away as a gift or when someone gets excited about the beans I cooked for them. My favorite is their white Marcella beans. They have a really thin skin and cook into an ultra-creamy deliciousness. I cook a batch and have them a few different ways, usually stewed with some vegetables. I like to eat the remaining part of the batch for breakfast with a fried egg and some of my fresh mint harissa. It makes for one of my favorite breakfasts and, since many folks have asked about it since I posted it a few weeks back on social media, I thought I’d share it here.

Stewed Marcella Beans with Spinach & a Fried Egg

I found amazing (Arkansas) local (greenhouse grown) spinach in Ozarks Natural Food Store, so it seems to be something I can get year-round. It’s my kind of spinach, too – a thicker, bumpy leaf savoy variety. It’s really lovely with my stewed beans. Rancho Gordo beans don’t need to be soaked because they are fresh dried beans (meaning they are not very old like some on the grocery store shelf). I do usually soak them overnight because I usually forget that I’m planning on cook them, and it gives them a gigantic jump start. I soak rice, too, for the same reasons. Serves 8-10 Ingredients  1 pound bag of Rancho Gordo Marcella beans, presoaked at least 2 hours and up to overnight 1 tablespoon salt 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved 2-3 mini bell peppers, coarsely chopped 2 tablespoons chopped parsley 1 tablespoon chopped chives 2 cups chopped spinach leaves 1 fresh egg per serving Nissa’s Fresh Mint Harissa (Recipe below) ¼ cup finely chopped fresh mint Finishing salt  Directions Rinse the beans well and add them along with the other ingredients to a large pot filled amply with water. The beans should be covered by at least 2-3 inches of water. Bring to a hard boil uncovered without a lid for 20-30 minutes. Add the salt, reduce heat and simmer partially covered for about 1 hour or until the beans are tender. Add the tomatoes, peppers, parsley and chives, increase heat to low and cook for another 20-35 minutes until the vegetables cook down and meld into the beans. Turn the burner off, add the spinach leaves to the top of the beans, cover with the lid and let stand about 30 minutes. Sprinkle the mint on, leaving a tablespoon for fresh garnish, and stir the beans, mint and spinach. In the meantime, fry the egg. Place the beans and spinach mixture down, top it with the fried egg and drizzle a little harissa on top. Garnish with fresh mint.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_single_image image="12708" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]

Nissa’s Fresh Mint Harissa

Makes 2 cups Ingredients 2 dried guajillo chilies, stems removed, broken 2 dried red chilies, stems removed, broken 2 teaspoons cumin seeds, toasted 1 teaspoon coriander seed, toasted 1 teaspoon caraway seed, toasted 2 teaspoons rainbow peppercorns, toasted 3 garlic cloves 1 bell pepper, roasted and peeled 2 red (fresh) jalapeno peppers, roasted and peeled 1 tablespoon lemon zest 3 tablespoons lemon juice 2 teaspoons salt 2 tablespoons olive oil 2-3 tablespoons fresh mint leaves (optional) Directions Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth, spices are broken apart and the sauce is smooth. Can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 1 month.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_single_image image="18491" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]

Beef Mushroom Farro Dill Soup

Dill, like celery, is something I forget that I really enjoy. It’s super useful in many recipes, giving a pop of brightness and sharpness. I recently remembered a beef mushroom barley dill soup recipe from my Ger-Nis Culinary & Herb portfolio. I had been craving a beefy soup, partly to use up the Belcampo beef broth that delivered to my door. I usually make my own beef broth but I thought by having some good stuff on hand I’d be able to make a great soup faster and this recipe was just that. I believe the origins of dill in this soup hail from Eastern European influence and their winter mushroom barley soups and stews made with beef stock. Somewhere along the line for me this soup and this style was born. I love that it is beefy and brothy. The dill cuts through the richness of the beef stock, which can sometimes seem fatty without something to cut it. I cut the meat up in both 1- and 2-inch cubes, to give some diversity in size, leading to more excitement per bite. I chose farro this time around. I have farro on hand typically and truly enjoyed it more than barley. Serves 6-8 Ingredients Olive oil, for sautéing 2 tablespoons butter 2 medium yellow onions, chopped medium 3-4 cloves garlic, chopped fine 1 pound beef stew meat, cut into 2 inch cubes and pre-seasoned with salt & pepper ½ cup fresh thyme, chopped ¼ cup fresh rosemary, chopped ½ cup fresh flat leaf parsley, chopped 1 cup fresh dill, chopped 3 large carrots, cut into 1 inch chunks 4 celery stalks, chopped 1 cup brown mushrooms, chopped 3 fresh bay leaves 1 cup white wine 2 cups beef stock ¾ Farro (aka pearled barley) Salt Pepper Directions In heavy stew pan over medium-high heat, add olive oil and butter. Sauté onions and garlic for about 3-4 minutes or until soft and semi translucent. Add cubed stew meat and sauté until browned. Add ⅓ of each of the herbs and stir. Next, add the carrots and celery; sauté for another few minutes, and then add mushrooms. Sauté a few more minutes while all liquid is absorbed by the mushrooms. Drop in the bay leaves. Add wine and stir well while loosening all the bits that stuck to the bottom of the pan and add another ⅓ of all the herbs. Add the beef stock and simmer on low heat for about 30 minutes, stirring a few times. Add pearled barley and simmer for another 20-30 minutes or until tender and to desired consistency. Season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle in the remaining herbs and take off heat. Let stand for about 10 minutes before serving.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_single_image image="18481" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]

Winter Salts

For Christmas presents this year I chose to give salts to as many as I could, along with a hand written Christmas card. I whipped up some rudimentary packaging and had some labels printed for three different salts. If you didn’t get a salt with your card, you can still make these salts. My method is so simple, and everyone should be able to access these ingredients. I’m also including a simple recipe for each kind of salt, in case you need an idea of how to use them! Also, good news for my salt lovers: I believe I will start to produce and sell the salts on a very small scale commercially starting this spring-- April 2021. Fingers crossed and stay tuned![/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_single_image image="18482" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]

Winter Squash Salt

A recent squash photography project for a client resulted in a kitchen full of winter squash. It just so happened to be a hybrid version of my favorite squash – The Red Kuri. (You might remember my Red Kuri Apple Squash Soup & Mac & Cheese recipe I wrote for Edible Marin a few years back, which can attest to my love of this varietal.) I prefer the savory nutty notes of the Red Kuri over the deeply sweet butterscotch tones of a Butternut. One of my favorite ways to eat it is roasted with a little salt and pepper. This salt was designed just for this and all varietals of squash. It’s packed with all the hearty warm herbs that love winter squash. Sage is the predominant herb, and savory, marjoram and rosemary all lend their essences. It’s also laced with hints of cinnamon, mace and nutmeg, and I added Aleppo pepper and white pepper for a tiny kick. My maple infused Maldon salt gave it a super warming quality. I really love this salt. Not only does it shine on all winter squash dishes, but it’s generally versatile in nature. I can see myself using it on chicken dishes, carrots and anything I want to evoke really warm comforting flavors. Makes 3 cups of salt Ingredients 3 tablespoons super finely chopped sage leaves 2 tablespoons super finely chopped parsley leaves 1 tablespoon super finely chopped winter savory 1 tablespoon super finely chopped marjoram ½ tablespoon super finely chopped rosemary 1 tablespoon lemon zest 1 tablespoon ground white pepper ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon ½ teaspoon ground mace ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg ½ teaspoon ground cayenne pepper 1 teaspoon Aleppo pepper 1 red chili pepper, deseeded and chopped super fine 1 tablespoons maple syrup 2 cups Maldon Salt Directions Pre-heat oven to 225°F. In a medium mixing bowl, mix together all of the fresh herbs, spices and red chili. Drizzle the maple syrup over all of them and mix well until the maple syrup coats everything. Gently fold in the salt and, using your fingers, make sure the herbs and the salt are mixed together well and that the maple syrup is totally incorporated. Place the salt/herb mix on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper so that it’s spread out evenly across the entire sheet and also flat. Place the sheet in the oven and bake for about 25 minutes, or until the herbs seem to have lost all moisture. If the salt feels “caked,” it needs more time, usually about 5 more minutes. Turn off the heat and allow to cool in the oven. Store in a small bowl on your counter for a few weeks. Roasted Red Kuri Squash with Winter Squash Salt This is a simple roasted squash recipe that shows how amazing a little of the salt can make simply roasted squash. Red Kuri squash skin is thin and edible, so no need for peeling in this recipe. Eat this as a side dish. Cool it, cut it and toss it on salads. If you’re like me, you can also eat it as a snack right out of the oven! Serves 4 Ingredients 1 Red Kuri squash, about 2 pounds 2 tablespoons olive oil 2 ½ teaspoons of Winter Squash salt Directions Pre-heat oven to 400°F. Cut the squash in half using a large, thick knife or cleaver. Carefully push down on both ends of the blade slowly to cut the squash in half. Scoop out the seeds and reserve for the spiced seed garnish. Use an ice cream scoop for optimal success. Place the cut side of each squash on a cutting board. Cut each into 1-inch wide wedges. Place the cut squash on a baking dish and drizzle the olive oil over the top. Sprinkle with 2 teaspoons of the salt and mix together. Make sure the oil and salt is coated all over the squash. Arrange flat on the baking sheet and sprinkle with the remaining salt. Place it in the oven and roast for about 50 minutes, or until a slight char appears on the skin of the squash.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_single_image image="18472" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]

Citrus Chili Winter Herb Salt

One of the things I miss most about California winter (besides Bolinas crab season) is the abundance of citrus that comes as naturally as rain. Everything from the normal navel orange and Valencia choices to the weird varietals of tangerines and pomelos. It’s all there, abundant and accessible. Unfortunately for me, most the good stuff never makes it to the Midwest. But I have managed to find some interesting offerings (again, in Arkansas) and, with that, I have created one of my staple salts: a bright citrusy salt that highlights mint, parsley and chives. This time I made it “fresh chili spicy” by adding all kinds of chili peppers from the Cabo Diablo Chili Pepper Mix that my friend Sarah gifted me with (she works for Jacobs Farm / del Cabo). She gave me a case so, to be honest, I have been chili peppered out of my mind. The end result for this salt is sure to please the lucky giftees, and its fresh taste is perfect on winter salads like the Fennel Orange & Parsley Salad I made for my family for an early Christmas celebration. Makes 3 cups of salt Ingredients 3 tablespoons super finely chopped parsley leaves 3 tablespoons super finely chopped mint leaves 3 tablespoons super finely chopped chives 1 tablespoon lemon zest 1 tablespoon pomelo zest 1 tablespoon Melogold grapefruit zest 5 Cabo Diablo chili peppers, deseeded and chopped super fine 2 teaspoons sweet paprika 2 teaspoons cayenne pepper 2 ½ cups Maldon Salt Directions Pre-heat oven to 225°F. In a medium mixing bowl, mix together all of the fresh herbs, chilies and spices. Gently fold in the salt and, using your fingers, make sure the herbs and the salt are mixed together. Place the salt/herb mix on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper so that it’s spread out evenly across the entire sheet and also flat. Place the sheet in the oven and bake for about 25 minutes, or until the herbs seem to have lost all moisture. If the salt feels “caked,” it needs a little more time, usually about 5 more minutes. Turn off the heat and allow to cool in the oven. Store in a small bowl on your counter for a few weeks. Orange, Fennel & Radicchio Salad with Fresh Mint If you have ever been to al di la Trattoria in Brooklyn, chances are you have had Anna Klinger’s orange fennel salad. This is my attempt (over the years) to recreate her masterpiece, which was one of my favorite dishes at her lovely little restaurant. Generally speaking, this salad is easy and hard to mess up. Tasty oranges and fresh fennel are key. My Citrus Chili Winter Herb Salt gives this recipe a final touch of delight. Take advantage of all the winter chicories becoming more widely available everywhere. I have the basic raddichio here in Missouri. I’m not complaining, though I miss the Star Route Farms stuff in Bolinas. The Chiogga Radicchio variety pairs well with all citrus. If you can, use a medley of winter citrus, such as grapefruit, navel oranges and blood oranges. Serves 4-6 Ingredients 4 oranges 1 teaspoon honey 1 tablespoon sherry or champagne vinegar ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes ½ teaspoon salt ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil 1 head Chioggia radicchio, core removed, coarsely chopped to bite size 1 fennel bulb, cut in half and sliced thin, preferably with a mandolin 1 tablespoon fennel fronds, finely chopped ½ medium red onion, sliced thin 2 tablespoons fresh mint leaves, finely chopped ¼ cup Kalamata olives, pitted and coarsely chopped 1-2 pinches of Citrus Chili Winter Herb Salt or finishing salt Directions Peel the oranges with a paring knife, removing all the white pith. Slice the peeled oranges into rounds and remove any seeds. Prepare the citrus over a small bowl to reserve any juice. Whisk in the honey, vinegar, red pepper flakes, salt, pepper, and olive oil. Arrange the radicchio leaves on a large platter. Toss sliced fennel on top. Place the sliced oranges and onions over the radicchio and fennel, layering them a little. Toss the mint leaves and olives over all. Spoon the dressing evenly over the salad. Sprinkle with a few pinches of Maldon salt.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_single_image image="18473" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]

I Shot a Deer; Now What? Herbal Deer & Game Salt

I’ll admit I don’t understand deer hunting (specifically deer), nor do I really believe anything people tell me about why it’s so amazing for the planet or how many families are fed off deer meat. When I look at the photos on facebook with the guys holding the head of the deer with the blood and spit dripping from the dead buck’s mouth, I just can’t help but feel there is more macho to the sport than food on the table. But I am a meat eater and also someone who is open to the idea of me not fully understanding things, so I generally try to be open and accepting. This is how I feel about deer hunting and this is my attempt at being open and supporting the folks all around me – not just in Missouri – who are jazzed to shoot deer. Typically when I start the conversation about deer hunting, I usually land on, “How do you cook it?” I never really get much clarity from the deer shooters, except when it comes to deer sauasage part, but I think we all know that it’s the pig in those deer sausage that makes it taste good. As someone who doesn’t like deer or game meat much, I became very inquisitive about the subject. I tried bear chili once in Wyoming at a bar. It was okay, and I remember in South Africa eating all kinds of wild game that was also okay. I recently tried making bison burritos, but I thought they smelled like sheep fur so I gave them to the contractors working on my siding, they were happy. Surely there has to be something to improve the taste of deer meat? “Maybe an herb salt?” I thought. I knew the salt needed potent, robust herbs, so I paired herbs generously in a manner I would not usually pair as potently, knowing that robust additives would help tame the excessively wild flavor of the venison and wild game meats. That was really my main strategy, also knowing that most people cook venison in more wintery recipes. I used winter savory as my main herb. It’s one of my all-time favorites herbs. It works like salt and taste like salt, without being actually salty, so it helps the flavors pop while adding an appealing but generic herbal flavor that tastes pleasantly herbaceous. Sage and rosemary were next. Their potency pairs well with the strength of the venison; it’s like an arm-wrestling match with two equal wrestlers. Marjoram finishes the herb mix. It’s another of my favorites and it was meant to add a softening quality that I think this man-eating and hunting world could use. It’s slightly sweet and perfumy but still potent. It reminds me that soft doesn’t mean weak. My spices were rather simple and designed to add more depth, that I think the deer meat needs. I added white and black pepper and juniper for complexities and heat. Juniper is potent but brings a bright slightly acidic tone without being lemony, which wouldn’t work with deer. Onion and garlic powder meld with the allium flavor. Fresh bay all dried up and ground offers a strong tinge of Christmas tree taste that plays well with the other herbs while retaining a wild vibe. Makes 2 ½ cups of salt Ingredients 3 tablespoons super finely chopped winter savory 2 tablespoons super finely chopped sage 2 tablespoons super finely chopped rosemary 2 tablespoons super finely chopped marjoram 1 fresh bay leaf, cut into tiny pieces with scissors 2 teaspoons garlic powder 2 teaspoons onion powder 2 teaspoons ground white pepper 2 teaspoons ground black pepper 1 tablespoon juniper berries, finely ground 2 cups Maldon Salt Directions Pre-heat oven to 225°F. In a medium mixing bowl, mix together all of the fresh herbs and spices. Gently fold in the salt and, using your fingers, make sure the herbs and the salt are mixed together. Place the salt/herb mix on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper so that it’s spread out evenly across the entire sheet and also flat. Place the sheet in the oven and bake for about 25 minutes or until the herbs seem to have lost all moisture. If the salt feels “caked,” it needs a little more time, usually 5 more minutes. Turn off the heat and allow to cool in the oven. Store in a small bowl on your counter for a few weeks.

Venison Schnitzel (Jaegerschnitzel) & Creamed Mushrooms

I thought long and hard about what the hell I would make if I got some deer meat. I found a recipe for something called Jaegerschnitzel, which means “hunter’s cut” in German. Seeing as though I loved schnitzel and Texas fried steak, both decedents of this early German recipe, I thought this could be a great idea, so I went with it. You want to use venison medallions for this recipe, which is basically a slice of backstrap. Absolutely make sure your meat it at room temperature before cooking it. For me this is important for all beef, but I’ve been told by many people it’s the same for deer. Serves 4 Ingredients For the venison: 1 tablespoon, plus 1 tablespoon reserved Herbal Deer & Game Salt 1 teaspoon black pepper, coarsely ground 4 venison medallions ¼ cup all-purpose flour 2 tablespoons butter 1 tablespoon olive oil For the mushrooms: 1 tablespoon butter 1 tablespoon oil ¼ cup of chopped pancetta or bacon 1 teaspoon juniper berries, coarsely ground 1 teaspoon black pepper, coarsely ground 1 medium shallot 1 tablespoon finely chopped sage leaves 2 teaspoons Deer Salt 3 cups mixed fresh mushrooms, coarsely chopped ½ cup fresh parsley leaves, coarsely chopped, plus two tablespoons reserved ½ cup of dry white wine 1 cup Beef stock or venison stock ¼ cup heavy cream Black pepper Directions For the venison: Pre-heat the oven to 400°F. Season the venison with 1 tablespoon of the deer salt and let sit until they reach room temperature. They should not be cold at all. Pound the venison medallions thin, in between two sheets of plastic or in a zip lock bag with a meat hammer until about ½ inch thick or less and consistently even. Lightly dust each cutlet on both sides with a little bit of flour, shaking off all excess amounts. Heat up a large cast iron skillet with the butter and oil to medium-high heat. The goal is to get a nice sear and then finish in the oven. Once the pan is hot, place the cutlets in the pan and let them sear for about two to three minutes. You can check them at two minutes. The goal is to get a charred sear. Once they are seared, flip them and cook them on the other side for 1 minute. Place them in the oven and set a timer for 9 minutes (for medium rare). Once the timer goes off, remove them from the oven, cover and let stand for 10-12 minutes so that the juices release slowly. For the mushrooms: Heat the butter and oil to medium-high heat in a large sauté pan. Add the pancetta or bacon and cook a couple of minutes until the bacon starts to crisp. Add the juniper, black pepper, shallot, sage and deer salt and cook another 1-2 minutes. Add the mushrooms and parsley, and mix together with the butter and bacon, allowing the mushrooms to cook a few minutes until they start to get soft. Add the white wine and cook another minute so that some of the wine cooks off. Add the stock and bring to a gentle boil for about 10 minutes until a good portion of the liquid evaporates. Take off the heat. Stir in the heavy cream and the remaining two tablespoons of parsley. Serve ladled over the deer cutlets seasoned with some of the deer salt on top.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_single_image image="18506" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_column][/vc_row] [post_title] => The Jovial Warrior Goes to Missouri [post_excerpt] => My ‘moving to Missouri’ story began back in August. I had a few sessions with a renowned astrologer, as part of my crisis response to learning I had to move quickly and, essentially, charter the next course in my life. If I’m being honest, this was one of the hardest times of my life. Normally I make decisions quickly and with ease, but this one I knew would create massive disruptions in all aspects of my life. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => the-jovial-warrior-goes-to-missouri [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2020-12-21 22:13:12 [post_modified_gmt] => 2020-12-21 22:13:12 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.myherbal-roots.com/?p=18503 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw [categories] => Array ( [0] => 75 [1] => 32 ) [id] => m_hr_18503 [post_id] => 18503 [allcategories] => Array ( [0] => USA [1] => Winter ) [categories_places_slugs] => Array ( [0] => usa ) [categories_seasons_slugs] => Array ( [0] => winter ) [categories_details] => Array ( [75] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 75 [name] => USA [slug] => usa [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 75 [taxonomy] => category [description] => [parent] => 74 [count] => 9 [filter] => raw [cat_ID] => 75 [category_count] => 9 [category_description] => [cat_name] => USA [category_nicename] => usa [category_parent] => 74 ) [32] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 32 [name] => Winter [slug] => winter [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 32 [taxonomy] => category [description] => [parent] => 28 [count] => 8 [filter] => raw [cat_ID] => 32 [category_count] => 8 [category_description] => [cat_name] => Winter [category_nicename] => winter [category_parent] => 28 ) ) [image_path] => https://www.myherbal-roots.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/reel.jpg [post_firstImg] => https://www.myherbal-roots.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/Main-scaled.jpg ) [2] => Array ( [post_author] => 4 [post_date] => 2020-09-23 17:52:58 [post_date_gmt] => 2020-09-23 17:52:58 [post_content] => [vc_row][vc_column el_class="blogbodycol" custom_css="border-bottom:7px solid #f8f5f2;border-left: 7px solid #f8f5f2;border-right: 7px solid #f8f5f2; border-top: 7px solid #f8f5f2;padding-bottom:30px;" width="1/1"][prkwp_spacer][prkwp_spacer size="9"][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_custom_heading source="post_title" font_container="tag:h2|font_size:30|text_align:left|color:%234e463e" use_theme_fonts="yes" el_class="header_font" el_id="rechead"][vc_column_text el_class="blate"]SPETEMBER 23rd 2020[/vc_column_text][prkwp_spacer size="9"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]I tend to be an extremist when it comes to emotions. This is why I’ve had to really practice balance. Part of that practice started many years ago, when I had to slow down my crazy capacity for taking on more and more work and make time for empty space in my head and body. Daily yoga, meditation and breathing practices have been pivotal in my ability to understand how to achieve and (mostly) maintain balance as I move through this life thing. A general slowing down long enough to observe myself. Solitude and the ocean have also been vital in helping me reach and maintain more homeostasis. My kryptonite, or the “thing” that most throws me off balance, which I believe is rather normal, is always overwhelm. Too much uncertainty, too many MAJOR things happening at once always rocks my balance. From there I either find equilibrium or fall.[/vc_column_text][vc_single_image image="14541" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]I am currently moving though one of these moments of imbalance, the type where I fall.  Surrounded by a massive amount of change in my personal life happening quickly and all at once, of course amidst all the change and chaos happening worldwide- pandemics, fires, ash etc. All of this has me triggered, and gigantic balloons of emotion are surfacing: anxiety, fear, uncertainty, doubt and an overwhelming sense of feeling unloved. When I hit the I am unloved space, is the point in which I know I am falling deep into what I call the pit of despair. There,  I wallow in all these dramatized emotions and self-doubt. Leaving California and the Bay Area behind and moving to Missouri, letting go of so much that was my life here in the past 8 years, has thrown me off big time. I didn’t expect it to be this way. Surely there is too much to process here in the short time I have left. I know some of my emotions I will probably have to pack up with the rest of my things, only to unpack them and process them when I get to Missouri—but starting the process here is key.[/vc_column_text][vc_single_image image="14544" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]And how do I personally start such an endeavor, not very attractively. I wallow in the shit of it all. I have realized that it is a part of my process—to sit at the bottom of the abyss and flail around in the muck. The pit is not a foreign place to me, in a way I am just becoming more comfortable with it, as I have been in this pit often throughout my life.  There is a new feeling emerging these days that almost feels like I can trust the pit, which is probably more about trusting myself in the pit (in life.) In the past it used to feel like I would never leave the pit. It always felt like I’d be stuck in that realm forever, reminiscent of being on psychedelic mushrooms and truly thinking my weird mind would be frozen as such forever. Eventually the overwhelm, like the drugs, dissipates. My weirdness, I accept lives on no matter what!  The feelings however just move, like waves. It reminds me of that song Emoji of a Wave- and it’s most important message- just hold on…..I think that is is what needs to done while in the pit. Watch, listen, hold on and most importantly- trust. Truly getting to know yourself means you get to learn your process’ of healing as much as you learn your triggers. The pit these days serves me. My balancing practices and a few real live angels are key, especially in the time before the overwhelm begins. Once the fall happens, I have learned not to deny the emotions but, rather, start to watch them, see them unravel and then process them.  This undertaking, for me, is extremely complex and mostly consists of feeling the feelings, labeling them and reflecting on them, if I am able. Getting to know the myriad of emotions possible in a human being and labeling correctly in self and in others is actually really difficult work. But I’m trying. I’m learning. I’m taking the time needed to do it.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_single_image image="14543" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]At a certain point in life I came to recognize that tumbling into the pit was something I needed to do, and I came to recognize and trust in my ability to climb out of it. The stabilization practices have helped me trust in myself. I often wonder about others, though. Is this normal, this pit metaphor, or is this unique to me? Why don’t more people talk about the hard, emotional stuff of life? That’s a question I keep asking over and over.  One of the reasons I really try to show all of myself, as fearful as it can be, is I hope to give others gentle reminder that we are all essentially the same.  We all wallow. I presume that a little wallowing in the pit—deep in darkness—works for me because I don’t get stuck there, even though I still sometimes think I might. It always feels risky, but I have concluded that all emotional growth takes risk. So, there is an acceptance of this fear in losing myself to the abyss, knowing that my courageous heart will always guide me out. I’ve been thinking about what exactly it is that pulls me out, especially as I sit more comfortably at the bottom of my self-pity pit, looking around for what’s going to help me get out. Sometimes, I wish I could just be a rescued damsel in distress, and that it’s a hand of someone who loves me, dramatically pulling me out.  The truth is that has never happened; though, I always wish it would. I can’t lie about that. The pit is one of the most selfish places I know. Like the ego itself, this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It’s come to be important for me to really look around while I am down there, in all the dark caverns of myself. It’s a dark place for a reason. I see a lot of the worst of myself, which is an essential part of the self to know and also to love. My instincts are always to look for how others see those dark spots in me—not about what they mean to me, to my life, and my history. It’s easier to hope that others love the darkness than actually loving our own darkness as a part of who we are.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_single_image image="11380" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]The best way out of the hole is to climb out yourself. This is the only route to deep meaning and purpose… the only way to feel true self-love or love for anyone else for that matter. My life of global travels has shown me that the world is a small place, filled with beautiful and gracious meaning.  While in the pit these days I often remember the meaningful connections I have made in my short little life with others and with that my own life has been meaningful. I sometimes forget how good I am at living with meaning. It’s easy to forget our own goodness as human beings. A good portion of my life flashed before me within this last stint in the pit—of building, directing, creating, motivating, fueling, expanding and teaching others, contributing through my genuine love and openness and utilizing all my immense power, influence, and capability to expand on that over and over and over again.[/vc_column_text][vc_single_image image="14556" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]In those moments when I connect to my authentic self and feel the sense of my life as meaningful to others, I can actually see the value in my own life. I can feel the radiance of those I love all around me. I can see the beauty of the world and how I can, have and will continue to make a difference in it. This part is what stops the wallowing. The selfish love I crave while I am in the pit—the ‘I wants’ and the ‘I needs’ and the ‘why nots’—is ego driven. It’s fight or flight versus nurture and nature. It’s not really who I am. But it takes me being in the pit for a bit to realize that and to begin to climb out of it. My mother is the type that was never able to climb out of the pit. She is still stuck there. She’s the type that gets stuck there repeating over and over the ‘I wants,’ ‘I needs,’ the ‘whys’…Demanding from the world her due.  My mother’s weak essence within me is what pulls me into the pit. My father’s powerful essence within me is what pulls me out. This time in the pit, the appearing balloons were filled with immense grief. These were undoubtedly triggered by having to move my life from California, from the Bay Area. A lot of the surfacing grief was about Patrick (yes, I said his name for the first time in three years). [/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_single_image image="14557" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]To leave this area behind means to leave him behind for good, in a way. It’s been exactly three years since he left and never looked back. I can say with certainty that I am grateful for the path life has given me. My life today is richer because of this experience and because of the work I was forced to do after my heart broke. Today parts of my heart have healed while other parts seem like they will be broken forever. My heart isn’t any bigger. Physically it’s still the same size and still potent like the heart of a lion, but the expansion of my heart has been vast. I have discovered several more intricate and tender parts of my heart, like new colors seen for the first time, new energies are flowing within and out of me, and I have been able to authentically connect with more people and create more meaningful relationships than ever before. My life with Patrick was good, for me, but I am a deeper, richer person in his absence- I have more love to give because he left me.  With his walkout, I was able to see my true being for the first time in full form- the dark and the light sides- and it was only than when the real journey to self-connection was possible.  The pit can teach you a lot about yourself if you learn to sit it it  comfortably.  This time in the pit, I saw and felt all of that. And I felt the grief of that relationship ending, maybe for the first time since he left. I watch it and hold on, surely I will eventually reflect back on this time with some deeper meaning, for now, I just feel better for letting it move through me. Today, climbing out of my pit, I can feel the energy of my loved ones, their presence, their voices calling me, their vitality, and it’s a strong pull. No matter how cozy my psyche can make wallowing feel, their pull is always stronger. My father’s essence in my soul, assures me that I will always climb out. Over the last few days, I’ve been thinking a lot about Ruth Bader Ginsburg, as we all have. There is nothing that can be said that hasn’t already been said. She truly achieved more for women’s rights in America than any other human in my lifetime. I can’t help but to pause and reflect on her words about what makes a life meaningful.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_single_image image="14542" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]She often said, so it was said, that leading a meaningful life means living for one’s family and community and not for oneself. My father lived like that while my mother never did, and still doesn’t. One died contently and well loved by the world on his own terms with all his children by his side; the other most likely will die alone. A morbid thought, yes, but something I need to remember when I sink into the pit of selfishness and of feeling like the world owes me love. Rather, I owe the world love. I think that’s the key to it all. I can feel that I am meaningful in my loved ones’ lives. I felt this last night on the phone with my nephew, who is currently struggling and to whom I will be close to soon with my move to Missouri. Our instincts always bring us to family and community if we are living meaningfully. All of these reflections help me climb my way out of the pit of selfishness. Please, don’t put an image in your head of some powerful wonder woman figure climbing out. I’m more like an amateur rock climber, slipping upward. I am climbing out, stumbling, losing my grip and footing, but I’m slowly finding where the strong and solid aspects are—where the helping hands are, where the teachers are, where the cheerleaders are—as I move up and out, deeper into meaning. This exact spot, the coming out part, in my pit process, is also when I find my creative energy start to build back up. The power of the light through the cracks reignites my passion, and I begin to cook and create again. Despite the unbelievable joy I feel while creating food art, my creativity shuts down fully when I am in major overwhelm, sad or feel unloved. Others cook in this stage, I cannot do anything but wallow- but when I begin the climb, that’s when the passion soars again and I’m at my creative best.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_single_image image="14555" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]Today’s recipes may seem random, and I thought they were at first, too. But, like everything, they are fully interconnected. In this case, it all started with one of my life’s rocks, my friend Danielle, and a simple conversation about what she was making for dinner. Within an hour, my head unraveled a recipe I had created for Ger-Nis Culinary Center in Brooklyn years ago. The Culinary Center was one of my most meaningful projects. It not only served the people immediately around me but also a community of people far and wide throughout Brooklyn and the New York City metro area. One of my most popular classes was Fresh Thai, in which we made hand-pounded Thai-style sauces and dishes. I was taken by the memories of those classes and the extraordinary ordinary people who happily gathered to learn about food and cooking in a setting built for me by my brothers, skills they learned from our father, which made the space and the energy even more meaningful. Making this dish at the same time as climbing out of my selfish hole, I remembered how good I am at making meaning. I was also able to pound out a lot of grief in the process, which was a perk. In sum, the world does not owe me love. I owe the world my love. My love is abundant, creative and for a select few, maybe it can even be overwhelming a times : - )  - It is however PURE. It comes in many forms; right now, here,  it comes in the form of some honest self-reflections, some divulgences of the deepest level and a recipe for  Thai-style fresh curry and  of course a cocktail, because I am Nissa! Herbs abundant, because herbs are my medium of love.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_single_image image="14540" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]

Thai Melon Cooler

Makes 1 drink People don’t drink melons enough. While I was making this cocktail (which began because I had some extra melon to use up), memories of the melon juice I used to drink as a little girl in Nicaragua surged. I had forgotten what a lovely medium melon makes for drinking. Today my cooking skills are added to that memory in this heavenly cocktail. It is vibrant and perfumy, and it doesn’t taste overly boozy. The drink invites us to savor it, much like we should be doing with life. Ingredients ¼ cup green melon, cubed small Zest of 1 lime 2 teaspoons sugar 1 teaspoon lemongrass, bulb, finely chopped 1 teaspoon sliced thin green chili 1 teaspoon grated ginger 3-4 basil leaves, chopped 5-6 cilantro leaves, chopped 2 ounces lime juice 1 ½ ounces gin Sparkling water Bitters (FloraLuna Ginger Cayenne Bitters, preferably) Directions Place the melon, lime zest, sugar, lemongrass, chili, ginger and herbs in the bottom of a cocktail shaker, and muddle until all the melon is mashed up into a thick chunky liquid. Add the lime juice and gin. Fill the shaker with ice and shake vigorously. Double strain into a large Collins glass filled with ice. Fill the glass with a little sparkling water. Drop a few Ginger Cayenne bitters on the top and garnish with a lime wheel and fresh basil leaf.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_single_image image="14545" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]

Massaman Thai Curry Paste/Gaeng Massaman

Makes 3 /4 cup of curry paste Massaman is a Thai curry that has been heavily influenced by Persian and Indian spices like cardamom, cumin, cinnamon, star anise and mace. These eastern influences are combined with traditional fresh Thai ingredients like chili peppers, lemongrass, galangal and cilantro to create a rich and mild curry paste, often combined with coconut milk and stewed with meats. At Ger-Nis Culinary & Herb Center, we specialized in making cooking accessible to all levels of culinary prowess as well as utilizing local, sustainable organic ingredients, all while accenting the herbaceousness of cultural cuisines. This class did just that. I tried to make the recipe easy to recreate, in terms of ingredients, technical skill and equipment. The result was a super fresh Thai curry that everyone could make. This current version of the recipe hasn’t changed much, and it reminded me how therapeutic it is to pound into a mortar and pestle. It felt much like pounding out grief, I have to admit! Traditionally the recipe includes peanuts. I omit the peanuts because it was originally for a class and I wanted to eliminate hazards, but I found I enjoyed the sauce sans the nuts. The recipe can work in a food processor, but I recommend a mortar and pestle. They are not expensive these days and can be super versatile. Ingredients 1 tablespoon white peppercorns 1 tablespoon black peppercorns 1 tablespoon coriander seeds 1 tablespoon cumin seeds 3-4 cardamom pods, cracked 1 star anise, cracked up 3-4 fresh red chilies, fresno, cherry bomb or red jalapeno, seeds removed, all finely chopped 5 cloves garlic, finely chopped 2 teaspoons Maldon salt 1 tablespoon peeled and chopped ginger root 1 tablespoon peeled and chopped galangal root (optional) 1 tablespoon finely chopped lemongrass bulb 1 tablespoon lime zest Juice of 1 lime 1 teaspoon cinnamon ½ teaspoon mace ½ teaspoon nutmeg ½ cup cilantro leaves, chopped [embed]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B9uF4RL_-UY&list=PLkOHFfUWySHaiwB0kYR0APWHd40lrN4sI&index=1&ab_channel=HerbalRoots[/embed] Directions Mortar & Pestle Method: In a small, thin bottomed sauté pan, toast the white and black peppercorns, coriander seeds, cumin seeds, cardamon pods and the star anise for about 30-40 seconds overheat. The spices will start to smoke. Just make sure they don’t burn. Place the toasted spices in the mortar and pestle and grind them up finely. Add the fresh chilies, garlic and salt, and pound and scrape in with the pestle until most of the chilies and garlic are broken into fine pieces. Add the ginger, galangal, lemongrass and zest, and continue to pound and grind until a thick paste forms. Add the lime juice, cinnamon, mace, nutmeg and cilantro leaves and, again, pound and grind until the cilantro leaves are fully dissolved into the paste. The end result should be a thick chunky paste.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_single_image image="14539" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]

Massaman Beef Curry with Summer Tomatoes

Serves 6 Once you have the paste made, there are many things you can do. The most traditional recipe uses it stewed with coconut milk and beef, and this is by far my favorite way of enjoying this curry as well. It’s warming and comforting and yet feels light and summery. In this version, I add summer cherry tomatoes and use a technique for bulgogi that I found works really well in giving the meat a slight sear before it’s stewed in the coconut milk. This comforting dish served me well on my recent pit climbing adventure. Ingredients 1 – 1 ½ pounds hanger or flank steak (thin steak is key), slightly frozen ¾ cup Massaman curry paste ½ cup tamari or soy sauce ¼ cup coconut amino or 2 tablespoons brown sugar 1 ½ tablespoons extra virgin olive oil or other neutral oil 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved 1 teaspoon salt 1 can (15-ounces) coconut milk Directions Slice the steak very thin. This is much easier to do when the steak is partial frozen. In a large bowl, whisk together the curry paste, soy sauce and aminos (or sugar) and place your meat in the bowl covering it all with the sauce, to marinate. Heat up a thick bottomed pan with a little oil spread evenly over it to medium high heat. Place the meat slices down in the pan, shaking off any liquid from them before and pack them tightly in the pan. Let them sear for a few minutes until browned. Turn them over and sear them more on the other side. Add the remainder of the marinade and stir, let some of the juice cook off and then add the tomatoes and salt- stir. Cook for a few minutes until the tomatoes start to melt a little bit in the heat and the coconut milk. Bring to a boil, then reduce to and simmer about 15 -20 minutes or until the tomatoes are all cooked down. Serve over rice.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_column][/vc_row] [post_title] => Purpose, Meaning and a Mortar & Pestle [post_excerpt] => I tend to be an extremist when it comes to emotions. This is why I’ve had to really practice balance. Part of that practice started many years ago, when I had to slow down my crazy capacity for taking on more and more work and make time for empty space in my head and body. Daily yoga, meditation and breathing practices have been pivotal in my ability to understand how to achieve and (mostly) maintain balance as I move through this life thing. A general slowing down long enough to observe myself. Solitude and the ocean have also been vital in helping me reach and maintain more homeostasis. My kryptonite, or the “thing” that most throws me off balance, which I believe is rather normal, is always overwhelm. Too much uncertainty, too many MAJOR things happening at once always rocks my balance. From there I either find equilibrium or fall. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => purpose-meaning-and-a-mortar-pestle [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2020-09-23 18:54:31 [post_modified_gmt] => 2020-09-23 18:54:31 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.myherbal-roots.com/?p=14549 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw [categories] => Array ( [0] => 86 [1] => 71 [2] => 91 [3] => 30 ) [id] => m_hr_14549 [post_id] => 14549 [allcategories] => Array ( [0] => Basil [1] => Blog Posts [2] => Cilantro (Corriander) [3] => Summer ) [categories_herbs_slugs] => Array ( [0] => basil [1] => cilantro ) [categories_seasons_slugs] => Array ( [0] => summer ) [categories_details] => Array ( [86] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 86 [name] => Basil [slug] => basil [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 86 [taxonomy] => category [description] => [parent] => 84 [count] => 3 [filter] => raw [cat_ID] => 86 [category_count] => 3 [category_description] => [cat_name] => Basil [category_nicename] => basil [category_parent] => 84 ) [71] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 71 [name] => Blog Posts [slug] => blog-posts [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 71 [taxonomy] => category [description] => blog [parent] => 145 [count] => 33 [filter] => raw [cat_ID] => 71 [category_count] => 33 [category_description] => blog [cat_name] => Blog Posts [category_nicename] => blog-posts [category_parent] => 145 ) [91] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 91 [name] => Cilantro (Corriander) [slug] => cilantro [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 91 [taxonomy] => category [description] => [parent] => 84 [count] => 2 [filter] => raw [cat_ID] => 91 [category_count] => 2 [category_description] => [cat_name] => Cilantro (Corriander) [category_nicename] => cilantro [category_parent] => 84 ) [30] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 30 [name] => Summer [slug] => summer [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 30 [taxonomy] => category [description] => [parent] => 28 [count] => 5 [filter] => raw [cat_ID] => 30 [category_count] => 5 [category_description] => [cat_name] => Summer [category_nicename] => summer [category_parent] => 28 ) ) [image_path] => https://www.myherbal-roots.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/Reel.jpg [post_firstImg] => https://www.myherbal-roots.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/main.jpg ) [3] => Array ( [post_author] => 4 [post_date] => 2020-08-15 18:06:51 [post_date_gmt] => 2020-08-15 18:06:51 [post_content] => [vc_row][vc_column el_class="blogbodycol" custom_css="border-bottom:7px solid #f8f5f2;border-left: 7px solid #f8f5f2;border-right: 7px solid #f8f5f2; border-top: 7px solid #f8f5f2;padding-bottom:30px;" width="1/1"][prkwp_spacer][prkwp_spacer size="9"][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_custom_heading source="post_title" font_container="tag:h2|font_size:30|text_align:left|color:%234e463e" use_theme_fonts="yes" el_class="header_font" el_id="rechead"][vc_column_text el_class="blate"]AUGUST 15TH 2020[/vc_column_text][prkwp_spacer size="9"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]My Herby Sundried Tomatoes are one of my staple recipes. I love cherry tomatoes so much that I always have loads of them on hand. Sometimes, I over buy and don’t eat them fast enough, but that is never a problem with this recipe. This is a recipe that was brought into my repertoire so I could live in a perpetual state of cherry tomato gluttony, and I have zero shame in that. I tend to use the fresh and dried ones the same way, tossing them literally into everything (salads, soups, sandwiches, eggs, etc.) and it’s a nice change when the fresh tomatoes I had been enjoying suddenly morph into the dried version – yielding a deeper, richer, smokier version of the fresh. You can further heighten the flavor by adding fresh herbs and other spices.[/vc_column_text][vc_single_image image="13722" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]This is essentially how the idea came to pass – let a little salt melt over the oven dried tomatoes so I could put them on everything. Even though I live by the coast and, thus, not prime tomato growing land, it’s super-hot just a few miles off. So technically I am totally surrounded (on 3 sides) by prime tomato farms, and we are currently just getting into the peak season. Tomatoes like it hot. This is how they develop their flavors, which are a combination of the sugar content, soils, air, environment and the seeds. Generally speaking, the less commercially grown the tomatoes are the better they taste. Around these parts we have loads of small growers (most of us do, you just might have to look harder in other parts of the country or grow them yourself). They offer a gamut of choices when it comes to varietals, flavors and shapes, which means this time of year I am in heaven. Small, local growers tend to choose tomato varietals based on flavor over shelf life and yields. This is good news for me and my summer cherry tomato obsession. [/vc_column_text][vc_single_image image="13721" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]Actually the obsession is year-round, and thanks to (literally) just a handful of large commercial producers (Del Cabo is my favorite), we have those options, too. If you want to read more about breeding cherry tomatoes, here’s an article I wrote about Del Cabo a few years back for a produce industry trade site, Breeding Cherry Tomatoes for Flavor. These guys are my top choice most of the year, and I buy them by the case several times of year to always have them on hand. I posted the recipe for my Herby Oven-dried Tomatoes back in April when I was overindulging in the imported cherry tomatoes from Del Cabo, grown on the southern tip of Baja California in a fair-trade organic farmer cooperative. The basic premise of the recipe is what I use all the time, but I always change it up in terms of herbs, spices, lemon zest and sometimes olive oil. Though, omitting the oil is crucial if you are going to eventually also make the salt included here. There is no way to do the salt recipe without first making a version of oven-dried tomatoes. The store-bought dried ones are too dry, and oil-packed dried tomatoes are too wet.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_single_image image="13723" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]It’s important to note that technically the dried tomato of portion of this recipe isn’t a fully dried shelf stable-version. I store them in my fridge in a jar or in a little bowl on my counter if I’m going to use them up quickly. The nice part about the recipe is that you get to decide how soft and juicy you want them to be. There is a sweet spot where the juice turns to paste. That’s the moment where they are perfect for me and also perfect to make this salt recipe. Eventually with this recipe a new technique in my salt-making adventure was made, involving flavoring and coloring the salt with a paste-like liquid – in this case, the oven-dried tomatoes. I use my favorite hand maceration technique by rubbing a few of the oven-dried tomatoes with the salt, extracting the paste and mashing it all up into the salt, rubbing in the color and the flavor. Once I have the salt flavored and colored, then I move on to make the salt by adding lemon zest and basil and then baking it in the oven to dry off the moisture and the tiny bits of the oven dried tomatoes I used to macerate the salt. The end result is a beautiful smoky-ish tomato salt with bits of the oven-dried tomato and basil with a hint of lemon zest. Oven-dried tomatoes yield a smoky flavor and so the final salt is a bit smoky seeming, making it a very deep and rich salt. This salt is important to cook a little longer than most of my others so that the dried tomato bits get totally dried. This salt (and the dried tomatoes) are great to have handy. I’ve been tossing them into my favorite eggs, a caprese salad, pasta salad and even on a grilled cheese sandwich. But the star recipes born from this first batch – Avgolemono (Egg & Lemon Soup) with Spinach and Smoky Tomato Basil Stuffed Zucchini Boats were the stand outs![/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_single_image image="13725" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]

Smoky Tomato Basil Salt

Makes 1 ½ cup salt and 2 cups Dried Tomatoes The recipe will give you extra oven-dried cherry tomatoes, but I suspect that won’t be an issue! It’s important to make sure you cook all the tiny tomato bits left in the final salt fully. Feel free to use any herbs while making oven-dried tomatoes, and use any color or shape cherry tomato. Don’t forget to place all the cut cherry tomatoes flesh side up when baking them. Add more chilies to make it spicy! Ingredients For the dried tomatoes: 2 pints cherry tomatoes 1 tablespoon Maldon salt ¼ cup finely chopped fresh parsley, basil and oregano For the salt: 1 ½ cups Maldon salt 6-10 oven dried tomatoes ¾ cup finely chopped basil leaves 2 teaspoons lemon zest 2 teaspoons red chili flakes (optional) Directions For the oven-dried tomatoes: Pre-heat the oven to 250° F. Cut all of the cherry tomatoes in half and place them cut side up on a lined baking sheet. Sprinkle the salt all over the top, followed by the herbs and lemon zest. Place in the oven for 2.5 hours until they are just about fully dried, leaving some soft aspects to them, but most parts of them dry. Turn off the oven and allow to cool completely. (Store extra tomatoes a container with a lid in the refrigerator for 2-3 weeks.) For the salt: Pre-heat the oven to 225° F. Place the salt in a large bowl and using your fingers, pulverize the tomatoes into the salt. Basically, you will be grinding the tomatoes so that they break up into little tiny piece and squirt all their paste out, which you will then mix and rub all into the salt. You will know when you are done because all the tomatoes will be in tiny bits and pieces with no paste left inside and all of the white salt will be reddish color. Add the basil, zest and chili flakes (if you are using them) and mix until well combined. Place on a lined baking sheet (parchment paper) and lay out flat. Bake for about 28 minutes or until all the tomato bits are fully dried. Cool completely and store in a jar or on a bowl on your counter.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_single_image image="13726" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]

Avgolemono (Egg & Lemon Soup) with Spinach

Makes 12 cups For many, soup doesn’t seem summery unless it’s a gazpacho or some sort of chilled soup. For those of us who live in cooler summer climates, like me in Bolinas, soup can be on the menu most days. On the day I made the Smoky Tomato Basil Salt, it was exceptionally foggy, damp and a little cold here in Bolinas. For whatever reason, I began to crave this Greek soup and wanted to use the new salt in it. Avgolemono is technically a Greek sauce made of lemons, eggs and chicken stock that’s become a soup, often made with both chicken and spinach. I had a version once on the island of Zakynthos that utilized the herbs of the island, fennel and fennel fronds in the traditional soup. The version had chicken bits in it and globs of orzo pasta. It was incredibly herbaceous, fresh, lemony, filling and the silky texture felt deeply luscious on my tongue. My version is my best recollection of that, plus I add the Smoky Tomato Salt to the chicken thighs for roasting and as a finishing salt giving it a tough deep smokiness that I really enjoyed. I don’t believe in stock and believe (and have proven) that you can make tasty and rich soups rather quickly. The herbs, vegetables and the roasted chicken easily create enough flavor for this soup. The one difficult part of this recipe is in the tempering of the eggs, but actually tempering eggs is quite easy, especially in soup. The key is not to boil the egg mixture, so for soups I turn off the burner and let the soup thicken in the meandering warmth. Ingredients For the roasted chicken: 2 teaspoons lemon zest 1 tablespoon olive oil 2 tablespoon lemon juice 3 chicken thighs Smoky Tomato Basil Salt For the soup: 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped 2-3 green onions, finely chopped 1 medium head of fennel sliced thin 1 teaspoon Smoky Tomato Basil Salt ¼ cup finely chopped parsley leaves ¼ cup finely chopped fennel fronds 2 tablespoons finely chopped chives 1 medium yellow zucchini, chopped into bite-sized pieces 3 cups finely chopped fresh spinach 6-8 cups water 1 cup orzo pasta 3 eggs Juice of 2 lemons Directions For the roasted chicken: Preheat oven to 380° F. Mix together the lemon zest, olive oil and lemon juice in a bowl. Season the chicken thighs with the salt and then place on a baking sheet. Drizzle the marinade on both sides of the chicken, making sure to use it all up. Bake for 20-25 minutes until the chicken is fully cooked and a bit caramelized around the edges. Cool. Then shred into bite-sized pieces. For the soup: Combine the oil, garlic and green onions in a soup pan and bring to medium heat. Add the fennel and a teaspoon of Smoky Tomato Basil Salt and sauté until the fennel is soft. Add the chicken, parsley, fennel fronds, chives and zucchini and continue to sauté, adding another teaspoon of the salt as you stir and cook. Add the spinach and sauté until the spinach is wilted. Add the water and bring to a boil. Reduce the temperature to low, add the orzo and let cook for about 20 minutes. Bring up to a boil once again  and then turn the burner off. In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs and the lemon juice. Add some of the broth to the egg mixture, ¼ cup at a time and whisking, to temper it, I add a total of about 1 – 1 ½ cups. Once the eggs are tempered, add them to your soup, stirring constantly and letting it thicken. Place a lid over the soup and let it sit for about 10 minutes before serving. This soup is best served warm. Garnish with some of the Smoky Tomato Basil Salt and a few more fennel fronds, a slice of lemon if you want an even fancier look.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_single_image image="13728" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]

Smoky Tomato Basil Stuffed Zucchini Boats

Serves 4 This year I have two zucchini plants, and my zucchini production is somewhat manageable. Last year I had four and was overwhelmed completely while realizing how many zucchini recipes don’t actually use much zucchini, basically rendering them all useless as a means to put the overabundance of zucchini so many of us gardeners face in the summer. I have since been on a quest to make zucchini recipes that actually use a good amount of zucchini while still remaining enjoyable and not zucchini overload. This recipe is that and it’s so good that even if you don’t grow your own zucchini you will want to buy it to make the recipe. It’s super easy to put together, feels kind of special and is technically one of those carb-free recipes people are craving these days! The Smoky Tomato Basil Salt is exceptional in it and on it! I like to have more boat than the average recipes so I cut about ¼ of the top of the zucchini off. This gives more space for stuffing and since I use all the zucchini innards and the top, I feel like it’s the best win-win method. *You can also make wheels with gigantic zucchini you may have missed in the garden!  Ingredients 6-8 medium sized zucchini, yellow or green Smoky Tomato Basil Salt 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil 3-5 cloves garlic 2 teaspoons lemon zest ½ teaspoon red chili flakes ¼ cup chopped red onion 3- 4 cups roughly chopped fresh spinach 1 cup cherry tomatoes, quartered Juice of 1 lemon 3/4 cup feta cheese, crumbled ¾ cup finely chopped basil leaves ¾ cup finely chopped oven dried tomatoes ¾ cup finely grated parmesan cheese 1 tablespoon cold butter, chopped fine Directions Cut the zucchini to make them into boats. Cut off the top ¼ of the top of the zucchini lengthwise. Chop up the tops finely and set them aside to use in the stuffing. Scoop out the center of the zucchinis using a melon baller or a small spoon. It’s basically like cleaning out the seedy insides from a cucumber. Place the zucchini boats in a baking dish and sprinkle a little of the Smoky Tomato Basil Salt over them. Chop up the zucchini insides finely and set aside. Combine the oil, garlic, lemon zest and red chili flakes in a large sauté pan and bring to medium heat. Add the onions and sauté until everything is soft.  Add the spinach and the tomatoes and continue to cook until the spinach is soft and the tomatoes begin to melt and extract liquid. Add about 1 teaspoon of the tomato salt and lemon juice, as well as the chopped zucchini tops and insides. Place a cover on and simmer for about 10 minutes until everything is cooked down. Turn off the heat and let cool a bit. Preheat oven to 375° F. In the meantime, mix together the basil, oven dried tomatoes and parmesan with 1 teaspoon tomato salt. Toss the feta into the stuffing mixture and fill the boats up evenly. Sprinkle the parmesan basil mixture all over the tops, followed by the cold butter pieces. Place in the oven and bake for 45-60 minutes until the zucchini boats are tender and the topping crispy. You may need to cover your dish with foil the last 10 minutes if the tops start to get too brown.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_column][/vc_row] [post_title] => Smoky Tomato Basil Salt [post_excerpt] => My Herby Sundried Tomatoes are one of my staple recipes. I love cherry tomatoes so much that I always have loads of them on hand. Sometimes, I over buy and don’t eat them fast enough, but that is never a problem with this recipe. This is a recipe that was brought into my repertoire so I could live in a perpetual state of cherry tomato gluttony, and I have zero shame in that. I tend to use the fresh and dried ones the same way, tossing them literally into everything (salads, soups, sandwiches, eggs, etc.) and it’s a nice change when the fresh tomatoes I had been enjoying suddenly morph into the dried version – yielding a deeper, richer, smokier version of the fresh. You can further heighten the flavor by adding fresh herbs and other spices. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => smoky-tomato-basil-salt [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2020-08-15 18:06:51 [post_modified_gmt] => 2020-08-15 18:06:51 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.myherbal-roots.com/?p=13729 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw [categories] => Array ( [0] => 86 [1] => 71 [2] => 30 ) [id] => m_hr_13729 [post_id] => 13729 [allcategories] => Array ( [0] => Basil [1] => Blog Posts [2] => Summer ) [categories_herbs_slugs] => Array ( [0] => basil ) [categories_seasons_slugs] => Array ( [0] => summer ) [categories_details] => Array ( [86] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 86 [name] => Basil [slug] => basil [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 86 [taxonomy] => category [description] => [parent] => 84 [count] => 3 [filter] => raw [cat_ID] => 86 [category_count] => 3 [category_description] => [cat_name] => Basil [category_nicename] => basil [category_parent] => 84 ) [71] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 71 [name] => Blog Posts [slug] => blog-posts [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 71 [taxonomy] => category [description] => blog [parent] => 145 [count] => 33 [filter] => raw [cat_ID] => 71 [category_count] => 33 [category_description] => blog [cat_name] => Blog Posts [category_nicename] => blog-posts [category_parent] => 145 ) [30] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 30 [name] => Summer [slug] => summer [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 30 [taxonomy] => category [description] => [parent] => 28 [count] => 5 [filter] => raw [cat_ID] => 30 [category_count] => 5 [category_description] => [cat_name] => Summer [category_nicename] => summer [category_parent] => 28 ) ) [image_path] => https://www.myherbal-roots.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/08/REEL-1.jpg [post_firstImg] => https://www.myherbal-roots.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/08/main-2.jpg ) [4] => Array ( [post_author] => 4 [post_date] => 2020-08-13 22:19:10 [post_date_gmt] => 2020-08-13 22:19:10 [post_content] => [vc_row][vc_column el_class="blogbodycol" custom_css="border-bottom:7px solid #f8f5f2;border-left: 7px solid #f8f5f2;border-right: 7px solid #f8f5f2; border-top: 7px solid #f8f5f2;padding-bottom:30px;" width="1/1"][prkwp_spacer][prkwp_spacer size="9"][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_custom_heading source="post_title" font_container="tag:h2|font_size:30|text_align:left|color:%234e463e" use_theme_fonts="yes" el_class="header_font" el_id="rechead"][vc_column_text el_class="blate"]AUGUST 13th, 2020[/vc_column_text][prkwp_spacer size="9"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]Scented geraniums are one of the most widely collected and celebrated herbal plants on the planet. They come in just about every scent and color imaginable, and their most common trait is their extreme potency of flavor and scent. They are used in teas, tinctures, baking and potpourri type concoctions. Only recently have I begun to enjoy them and use them in my cooking. For years I shunned them as an overly potent potpourri ingredient. Their scent can be overwhelming in gardens, I have never enjoyed how they take over the scent of a garden. In my opinion, the scent and potency of a geranium was always a little too much to make any use of it. But then the masters showed me the way.[/vc_column_text][vc_single_image image="13648" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]By masters I mean Laura and Tara, the most badass women whose herb prowess in the beverage world (and beyond) is unparalleled. This is not a compliment I just throw around. I have spent a lifetime chasing herbs and herb enthusiasts around the globe and feel that I am somewhat of an expert on the subject. These ladies are two of the four founders of Duke’s Spirited Cocktails in Healdsburg, CA. Duke’s also happens to be my favorite watering hole on the entire damn planet! These masterful ladies changed my mind about geranium. I can’t remember exactly what cocktail I had with this scented little flower a few years back when my mind was blown and changed. I believe the cocktail used rose geranium, and the potent floral flavor was incorporated into the drink and the glass, garnished with some creative flare using the flower itself. Neither the potency of the scent or the flavor overwhelmed me for once. Instead I felt a gentleness that I had never before experienced from the plant. A soft and sensual experience from whatever I was drinking was all I remember, and specifically I was left with the geranium essence in me. It felt beautiful.[/vc_column_text][vc_single_image image="13649" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]Immediately I thought, wow, geranium just needs to be handled properly, I should give it a second look. From that point on, my curiosity about the wiles of geranium began to unravel. It was pushed even further when judging the Good Food Awards. I judged jams, and the jam that touched my heart was the Geranium Currant Jam… wow. I bought my first plant shortly after that – just one, though; I didn’t want to ruin my new love and over scent my enchanted garden. I chose a bergamot geranium from my favorite herb start company, Richter’s- because bergamot anything is my favorite. Richter’s specializes in culinary, medicinal and aromatic herbs, and they have one of the most unique selections I have ever seen. I highly recommend them.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_single_image image="13650" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]This summer, that plant’s gentle and sensual scent has been memorizing me as I meander through my garden. It has become one of my favorite scents out there, it hits me like a soft whisper, like the gentle touch of a faraway lover. In a way I’ve come to think of it a little like me – bold, potent, sultry… hard to match and, above all, powerful. All of my culinary ideas which incorporate it strive to subtly fold its essence into something else. Like in my own life, I have to be careful merging my personality with others. I like it best with fruity and peppery accents, but I think it works really well with lemons as well. If I had a dating profile, it would say ‘seeking a gentle  but bold, fruity and pepper man, tart and sultry.’ Big, gigantic disclaimer, I still don’t use the leaves; their flavor far too strong for my taste. Some potent parts of all of us are better left in the wild.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_single_image image="13644" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]Summer Fruit Cobbler with Bergamot Geranium Sugar Makes 1 9X9 inch cobbler Last summer I wrote about anise hyssop, and I used it in a peach and strawberry summer cobbler that riffed off one of Smitten Kitchen’s. This is basically the same but with geraniums and accounting for the massive amount of sweetness in the jungle of berries I used. The end result is a less sweet, more floral version of last summer’s. Cobblers are one of the easiest and quickest summer desserts to prepare. You can eventually do it by memory and improve with ease. Any fruit works. Others add nuts and seeds. I like mine rather simple – fruit, buttery dough, and some herb accents. For this mixed berry cobbler, I chose bergamot geranium, chamomile and verbena for a beautiful, herbaceous summer cobbler! Sugar is usually added to tops of cobblers with a little bit of hot water drizzled over it. This technique helps melt the sugar a bit and those parts get a bit extra caramelized and crunchy while baking in the oven. The herbalized sugar just gives those bits a little extra something. Ingredients 4 cups whole berries (blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, strawberries) Juice and zest of 1 lemon 2/3 cup sugar Small handful of chamomile flowers Small handful of scented germanium flowers Small handful of lemon verbena leaves, chopped fine ½ cup (½ stick) of butter, softened ¾ cup all-purpose flour 1 teaspoon baking powder 1 teaspoon salt ¼ cup milk 2-3 tablespoons really hot water Directions Heat oven to 350° F. Lightly grease a small square baking pan (I used a 9 X 9-inch baking dish). Mix the berries together with lemon juice and zest and place in the greased baking dish. Using your fingers, rub together the herbs and sugar in a mixing bowl, until you mix them into a gritty herb sugar. Remove 2-3 tablespoons of the herb sugar and set aside. Add the softened butter to the sugar remaining sugar in the bowl. Using a wooden spoon and some arm strength, cream together the butter and sugar mixture until its fluffy, about 2-3 minutes. Add the flour, baking powder, and salt and continue to mix until combined and thick. Add the milk a little at a time and mix. Once all the milk is incorporated, mix a little faster for about 30 seconds straight until you get a fluffy but thick batter. Spoon a few blobs all over the fruit, making sure you do not totally cover the fruit. The fruit should peak out over the top in various sections. Using the back of the spoon, level out the blobs a little bit. Sprinkle the remaining tablespoons of sugar that were set aside evenly over the top of the doughy mixture and then gently drizzle the hot water over the sugar. Place the baking dish onto a baking sheet (I cover mine in parchment paper) to avoid the mess that comes with the fruit potentially bubbling over in your oven. Place in the oven and bake for about 50 minutes or until the top is golden brown. Allow to cool about 20 minutes. The original Smitten Kitchen recipe is adamant about 30 or more, but I like it still warm on my first slice so 20 is my go-to number that allows the top to firm up and get a little crispy while the insides are still warm. I like vanilla ice cream with my cobblers, so go for it.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_single_image image="13643" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_single_image image="13651" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]

Bergamot Geranium Szechuan Pepper Plum Sherbet

Makes 1 ½ pints  I have a fantastic ice cream maker, so I make ice cream often and effortlessly. Because of that, I tend to forget about all the amazing no churn styles of creamy desserts there are. Recently a dear friend gave me a pile of plums from her tree. They were beautiful and abundant, and I suddenly panicked about what to do with so many. I had remembered a roasted plum ice cream I made years ago using Szechuan peppercorns. It was fantastic, so I wanted to try and incorporate that idea again. I ran across a plum sherbet on Instagram by who someone also got gifted a bunch of plums, and so my idea coalesced and scented germaniums came along for the ride. This is a winning combo with the Szechuan peppers! Before we get into the recipe, let’s discuss what sherbet is. Originally it was a cold drink made with diluted and sweetened fruit juice. It’s Persian and Turkish in origin and eventually when it made its way to the US, they added milk or cream and froze it into an ice cream like mixture. My recipe roasted the fruit and then blends it with water and heavy cream, but milk can also be used. I like the heavy cream because it yields a richer consistency. By law (yes, there are laws for what you can call sherbet), it can only have so much butter fat. Mine probably crosses that limit but I’m not selling it anyhow! Ingredients Handful of geranium flowers 1 tablespoon Szechuan pepper corns, coarsely ground 1 cup sugar 4-5 cups of plums, pitted and quartered 1 cup water 1 ½ cup heavy cream Pinch of salt ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract Directions Plum preparation: Preheat the oven to 350° F. Mix the sugar with the geranium and Szechuan pepper until pulverized and mixed well. We want the sugar to be infused with the scent and flavor of the herbs and spice. Place the plums on a lined baking sheet. Sprinkle the sugar over the plums and roast in the oven for about 30 minutes or until the plums are soft. Allow the plums to cool. Place the plums in a blender, making sure to scrape all the juices and sugary caramelized bits into the blender, as well. Add the water and heavy cream and blend until super smooth. You will need to blend about 4 minutes total. Pour the liquid into a container with a lid and place in the freezer for about 3-4 hours or until fully frozen. For the ice cream: Add plums to a medium saucepan along with sugar and water. Cook over medium low heat for about 15 minutes, stirring often, until the plums have broken down and become jammy. Allow plum mixture to cool down before adding to a blender. Blend on high until the mixture is nice and smooth. Add in the salt, vanilla extract and sour cream and blend to combine. Pour sherbet mix into a shallow freezer-safe container and freeze for a minimum of 4 hours or until the sherbet is completely set. To serve, let sherbet soften at room temperature for 10 minutes. Scoop and enjoy![/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_single_image image="13646" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]

Geranium (Whole Lemon) Blueberry Lemonade

Makes 2 liters  There is literally no easier lemonade recipe than the recipe that utilizes the whole lemon. I like easy because easy means I have more time to conjure my herbal magic. That’s exactly what I have done here to the whole lemonade recipe. Juicing lemons is easy, but I honestly hate the task. On occasion, I make this recipe and, when I do, I always think I should do it more. I of course use the opportunity to add lots of herbaceousness. I add scented geraniums which give the final cold drink a flowery and perfumy edge, and fresh summer blueberries give it great color and a tart and sweet balance. The final result is a beautiful multidimensional lemonade with a marvelous light and silky texture! Yes, a whole lemon-lemonade is a bit bitter, but more people’s palettes are opening to more bitter as the rest of the world has been sipping and eating forever! So, try it, and if it’s too bitter for you, all you need to do is add booze – WALLA, it becomes one of the most gorgeous summer cocktails! *It’s important to use organic citrus, as conventionally grown citrus has chemicals all over the peel to help with shelf-life. Some growers use wax, but the organic side only uses organic and edible ingredients – mostly beeswax. Ingredients 4 lemons, quartered, seeds removed 1 cup sugar 2 cups water for blending (plus more for the drink) 1 cup blueberries ¼ cup geranium flowers Directions Combine the lemons, sugar and water in a blender and blend until totally smooth and frothy. Add the blueberries and geranium flowers (reserving a few for garnish) and process again until all the blueberries are smooth. Strain into a pitcher using a fine mesh strainer and discard the solids. Fill the pitcher with about 4-6 cups more water (you can also use sparkling). Serve over ice with a geranium flower garnish.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_single_image image="13647" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][vc_single_image image="13652" img_size="full" add_caption="yes"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][vc_column_text el_class="blogbody"]

Geranium Black Pepper Salted Lemon Cucumbers

Makes ¾  cup of salt Ingredients 1 tablespoon super finely chopped parsley leaves 1 tablespoon super finely chopped mint leaves ¼ cup geranium flowers, chopped fine 2 teaspoons super finely chopped serrano chili pepper 1 teaspoon lemon zest 2 teaspoons coarsely ground black pepper ½  cup Maldon flake salt Directions Pre Heat oven to 200 degrees F. In a medium mixing bowl, mix together all of the fresh herbs, flowers, zest and chili pepper. Gently fold in the salt and pepper, using your fingers mix all the ingredients up, making sure there are no clumps of zest in the mix.  Place the salt/herb mix on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper so that its spread out evenly across the entire sheet and flat.   Place in the oven and bake for about 20 minutes or until the herbs have lost their moisture and feel dried. Store in a small bowl on your counter for a few weeks.  Toss some of the salt over lemon cucumbers for a sensual and simple light lunch!  [/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class="spost-row"][vc_column_inner el_class="abouttext"][prkwp_spacer size="12"][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_column][/vc_row] [post_title] => Geranium Flowers [post_excerpt] => Scented geraniums are one of the most widely collected and celebrated herbal plants on the planet. They come in just about every scent and color imaginable, and their most common trait is their extreme potency of flavor and scent. They are used in teas, tinctures, baking and potpourri type concoctions. Only recently have I begun to enjoy them and use them in my cooking. For years I shunned them as an overly potent potpourri ingredient. Their scent can be overwhelming in gardens, I have never enjoyed how they take over the scent of a garden. In my opinion, the scent and potency of a geranium was always a little too much to make any use of it. But then the masters showed me the way. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => geranium-flowers [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2020-08-13 22:20:21 [post_modified_gmt] => 2020-08-13 22:20:21 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.myherbal-roots.com/?p=13645 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw [categories] => Array ( [0] => 71 [1] => 93 [2] => 30 ) [id] => m_hr_13645 [post_id] => 13645 [allcategories] => Array