RECIPES - Open House 2018


 Orange Zucchini Bread with Chocolate and Orange Mint

This Orange Zucchini Bread combines two favorites in one delicious loaf of bread! Topped with a sweet orangey glaze, it’s a great way to sneak in extra veggies and the BEST way to wake up!  Servings; 1 loaf

1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
3/4 cup sugar
1 c. finely shredded unpeeled zucchini (do not squeeze or dry shredded zucchini)
1/4 cup cooking oil
1 egg
2 Tbsp orange juice
2 Tbsp orange zest
1 Tbsp chocolate mint
1 Tbsp orange mint
1/3 cup chocolate chips

1/2 cup powdered sugar

1 Tbsp. orange juice
1 tsp. orange zest
*glaze can be doubled if desired

In a medium mixing bowl combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt; set aside.

In a separate mixing bowl combine sugar, zucchini, cooking oil, egg, orange juice, orange zest, orange mint and chocolate mint. Stir to combine. Add dry ingredients to zucchini mixture; stir just until combined.  Fold in the chocolate chips.  Spoon batter into greased bread pan.  Bake at 350 degrees for 50-55 minutes or until golden brown and set.  Cool in pan on a wire rack 15 min, then remove from pan and cool completely.  Once cool, combine ingredients for glaze and drizzle over bread. 

Lemon Balm Shortbread

Serve lemon balm shortbread with some fresh lemon balm tea and you’ve got yourself a decadent little treat for a summertime afternoon.  Yield: Makes about 2 dozen cookies

1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup + 1 Tbsp confectioner’s sugar
1 cup flour
1/8 tsp salt (omit if using salted butter)
3 Tbsp chopped fresh lemon balm (about 2 dozen leaves)
1 tsp fresh lemon zest

Rinse the lemon balm well and shake the excess water off, then allow to air dry completely. (A salad spinner speeds up the task). Fresh herbs should never be chopped when wet, so be sure the leaves are 100% dry after rinsing. Pick off the leaves and discard the stems, then pile the leaves on top of each other, a dozen at a time, and roll into a tight “cigar”. Using a sharp knife, slice very thinly. Pile the shredded herbs into a mound and chop them up a bit more, until quite fine. Use right away.

In a medium bowl, beat together the room temperature butter, chopped herb, fresh lemon zest, salt, and sugar until well mixed. Add the flour and mix well. You may need to use your hands for the final part of mixing. You can also use an electric mixer, just be sure not to overwork the dough after the flour has been added. Once the dough is smooth and coming together, roll it into a ball and flatten it. Wrap tightly in wax paper and chill for 20 minutes.  Roll the flattened disc out on a lightly floured countertop and cut into shapes using a cookie cutter. Quick tip: shortbread dough can be a bit finicky to roll out (it can’t be too warm or too cool because of all that butter). So you can skip the whole rolling out step by shaping the ball of dough into a large cylinder shape, then cooling it in the fridge for 2 hours, and slicing about 1/4 inch thick. Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, about 1 inch apart.  If you rolled the dough, refrigerate the unbaked cookies for 20 minutes before baking. This helps them hold their shape and bake more evenly.  Bake in a preheated 350 oven for 8 to 10 minutes on a rack placed in the top third of your oven. If your oven is on the hot side, check the cookies after 6 minutes to make sure they aren’t burning.

Lemon Verbena Jelly (from a recipe in The Herb Companion)


1 1/2 cups lemon verbena leaves, chopped
2 cups distilled water
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
3 1/2 cups sugar
3 ounces liquid pectin (such as Certo)

Put lemon verbena leaves and water into a pan. Bring it to a boil, then take it off the heat and let it steep, covered, for 15 minutes.  Strain and measure 1 1/2 cups of the infusion into a 3 1/2-quart or larger saucepan. Add the vinegar and sugar. Mix well and bring to a full boil over high heat, stirring constantly. Take off the heat briefly and add the liquid pectin; bring back to a full rolling boil and boil for exactly 1 minute.  Have your jars sterilized either in the dishwasher or by boiling them for 10 minutes in water. Lids and rings can be in hot water until needed. (It is not necessary to boil them.) Skim foam from the Lemon Verbena Jelly with a spoon if necessary, pour into jars and add lids. Process jars in boiling water for 5 minutes. When you take them out of the pot, they should seal. If you press the middle of the lid and it pops back, it has not sealed properly. If they don’t, place any unsealed jars in the refrigerator and use them promptly.

 Spiced Rosemary and Thyme Nuts

Yield: 3 cups.  Cook Time:15 minutes

3 c. large whole nuts – I like to use cashews, pecans, almonds and walnuts.
2 T. olive oil
2 tsp savory cumin mix (recipe follows)
2 T. coarsely chopped fresh rosemary leaves
1 tsp. fresh thyme leaves
1 T. sugar      1 tsp. kosher salt

Savory Cumin Mix:

1/4 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp ground ginger pinch cayenne

1/8 tsp ground cinnamon
3/4 tsp ground coriander

1/2 tsp cumin

Preheat oven to 300°.  Place nuts in a medium heatproof bowl. Pour oil into a small heavy saucepan and place over medium-low heat until warm. Do not let it get too hot – the oil will burn. Add rosemary and thyme and stir until aromatic, about 1 minute. Remove pan from heat and stir in savory cumin mix.  Pour the flavored oil over the nuts and stir to coat evenly. Sprinkle with sugar and salt.  Stir again. Transfer to a jelly roll pan or a baking pan with sides. Bake for about 15 minutes total, stirring after the first 10 minutes. Let cool. Store in an airtight container for up to two weeks. 

Lime Geranium Butter

1 teaspoon parsley, freshly chopped
1 teaspoon lemon savory
1 tablespoon lime-scented geranium leaf, freshly chopped
1 teaspoon lime zest
1 stick butter, slightly softened

Work everything into the butter, mixing until they are evenly distributed.  Chill for a few minutes.

Great on pancakes, French toast, blintzes, etc.

Sage Pesto
This pesto is always a favorite at our open house!

1/2 cup sage leaves
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese

1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup walnuts

1-2 garlic cloves
1 1/2 cup parsley

Combine everything in the food processor except the olive oil. Turn on food processor and slowly add the olive oil.  Makes 1 1/2 cup.

Creamy Spinach and Dill Dip

10 ounces frozen chopped spinach
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons thin-sliced scallions, white parts only, from 3 medium scallions
1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill leaves
1/2 cup packed flat-leaf parsley leaves
1 small clove garlic, minced or pressed through garlic press (about 1 teaspoon)
1/4 teaspoon hot pepper sauce, such as Tabasco
1/2 teaspoon table salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 medium red bell pepper, diced fine (about 1/4 cup)

Thaw the spinach in a microwave for 3 minutes at 40% power.  (The edges should be thawed but not warm; the center should be soft enough to be broken into icy chunks).  Squeeze the partially frozen spinach to remove the excess water).  Quick note:  Partial thawing of the spinach produces a cold dip that can be served without further chilling.  OR, instead of microwaving, the frozen spinach can also be thawed at room temperature for 1 1/2 hours, then squeezed of excess liquid.  Process the spinach, sour cream, mayonnaise, scallions, parsley, dill, pressed or minced garlic, salt, pepper & hot sauce in a food processor until smooth and creamy (about 30 seconds).  Transfer the mixture to a bowl and stir in the bell pepper.  Serve.  Makes about 1 1/2 cups.  The dip can be covered with plastic wrap and refrigerated for up to 2 days.Drunken

Roasted Salsa

1/2 orange bell pepper
1/2 red bell pepper
2 fresh jalapeno peppers
2 serrano peppers
2 tablespoons olive oil
3/4 large white onion, cut into large chunks
1/2 large fresh tomato, chopped
3 cloves garlic
1/4 cup cilantro leaves
1 TBS Mexican oregano
1 TBS fresh parsley
1 (12 ounce) can canned diced tomatoes with their juice

2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
3 fluid ounces Mexican beer

Preheat oven to broil. Line a baking sheet with foil.  Halve the green bell pepper, red bell pepper, jalapeno peppers, and serrano peppers lengthwise and discard stems and seeds. Place on baking sheet and brush the peppers with olive oil. Roast peppers under the broiler until the skin blackens and blisters, 3 to 5 minutes.  Place peppers in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap; allow the peppers to steam until the skins loosen, about 10 minutes. Peel skin off the peppers and discard.  Combine the green bell pepper, red bell pepper, jalapenos, serrano, onion, tomato, garlic, cilantro, diced tomato with juice, lime juice, salt, black pepper, and beer in a blender. Blend to desired consistency. Transfer to a bowl and allow to cool in the refrigerator for 30 minutes before serving. 

Scented Geranium Lemonade

1/2 cup sugar
6 cups water
8 rose scented geranium leaves
3/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice

Bring the sugar and 2 cups of the water to a boil in a small saucepan.  Add the rose scented geranium, cover and remove from the heat.  Let the syrup steep for at least 30 minutes.  Strain the syrup into a pitcher.  Stir in 1/2 cup lemon juice and the remaining 4 cups water.  Taste and add more lemon juice if necessary.  Refrigerate until thoroughly chilled.  Makes 1 1/2 quarts.

Pumpkin Cheese Beer Soup

2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
2 shallots, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons flour
1 cup whole milk
2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
12 oz. (1 bottle) beer (we used Sam Adams Octoberfest)
1 bay leaf
2 cups pumpkin puree, canned or fresh
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoons fresh thyme, plus more for serving
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Kosher salt, to taste
Black pepper, to taste
3 cups shredded cheddar cheese, plus more for serving

Heat oil & butter in a heavy-bottomed 4-quart saucepan over medium heat. When melted and shimmering, cook shallots & garlic for 2-3 minutes, until browned. Reduce heat to low, sprinkle flour over and stir, cooking for 2 minutes.

Whisk in milk, broth, and beer in a stream. Add bay leaf. Simmer for 5 minutes, whisking occasionally. Stir in pumpkin puree, Worcestershire sauce, thyme, nutmeg, cayenne, salt, and pepper. Simmer for 5 more minutes, then carefully remove and discard the bay leaf.

For smoother soup: remove saucepan from heat. Using an immersion blender (or in batches in a regular blender,) puree contents of the pot until desired consistency is reached. Return to low heat.

Add cheese about 1 cup at a time, stirring constantly, and cook until cheese is melted, 3-4 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning as desired. Portion into bowls and top with a sprinkle of shredded cheddar. Serve with croutons and fresh thyme. 


1/2 cup olive oil
2 cloves garlic, sliced
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 loaf Italian bread, cubed (about 6 cups)
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.

In a small saucepan, simmer the oil, sliced garlic, herbs, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and pepper for 5 minutes. Discard the garlic.  

Rose Infused Honey

Fresh or dried rose petal (enough to fill your jar)
Honey (raw is best)
Small jar

Gather fresh or dried rose petals (if you are harvesting your own, be sure to use only non-sprayed to avoid toxins) or you can order dried rose petals.  If harvested, lay the rose petals on paper to allow any insects to find their way out.  Fill your jar with rose petals.  Fill the jar with honey.  Stir to remove air bubbles.  Add more honey as needed to completely cover the rose petals – stir every few days or turn jar every other day.  Allow the honey to infuse for a few days before using.  At this point, you can either strain the petals from the honey, or serve the honey with the petals.  Add rose honey to teas for an uplifting aroma and for lifting your mood.  Rose honey is a delicious and decorative topping for desserts.  Add to hot cereals like oatmeal – a delightful taste of summer in winter months!  Add to plain yogurt.  Serve on toast.  Enjoy a spoonful when you are feeling anxious or upset.