5 Ways to Extend The Shelf Life of Herbs

We all know that buying fresh herbs can get expensive and they tend to spoil fairly quickly.  Whomp whomp.  Here are 4 ways to extend the shelf life of your herbs.

1. Turn Fresh Herbs to Dry Herbs by Microwaving

Food & Wine’s Mad Genius video series on YouTube demos how to dry herbs by microwave. Genius indeed!

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Strawberry and Roses Craft Cocktail, oui oui!

Famed French impressionist artist, Henri Matisse, once said:

“There are always flowers for those who want to see them.”

I say, why not drink them too!  What can be better than a bouquet of roses for Valentines Day? How about a floral craft cocktail.  Alcohol, strawberries, and flowers in a drinkable pink concoction, umm, yes please!

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Recommended movie pairing – the 1988 Tom Cruise classic, Cocktails and Dreams.

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I Heart Elephant Garlic

While passing through Gilroy on my move to San Francisco, I stopped by a produce stand and bought a bulb of elephant garlic.  My only regret was not buying more.  Elephant garlic is actually a variant of the leek species.  It’s more mild than regular garlic, thus preferred when used raw.  I love the convenience in size.  I usually only need 1 clove when cooking.  I do a rough chop by knife then I finish dicing in a food processor.

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Elephant garlic can be bought online.  The cheapest option is to purchase seeds or bulbs for planting.  Here is one store in Gilroy that ships harvested elephant garlic  –  http://store.garlicdude.com.

Soft-Boil Eggcellence

Macheesmo.com posted this method for  fail-proof, perfect soft-boiled eggs.  This is truly a game changer.  No more overcooked or undercooked eggs, ever.  The instructions involve boiling eggs in 1/2 inch of water, covered for 6 minutes and 30 seconds.  America’s Test Kitchen also validated this method after experimenting with thousands of eggs.

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Here is the result of my replication:
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Adding a teaspoon of baking soda to the boiling water is supposed to help with separating the egg-shell when peeling.

A Lighter and Crunchier Banana Bread

Banana bread is such a classic dessert.  It’s  great solution for saving over ripened  bananas and pleasing a crowd at the same time!

I’ve revamped the traditional recipe to make a lighter batter and a crunchy top.  I’ve created a lighter batter by using egg whites instead of the whole egg with yolk.  The inspiration came from the Chinese sponge cake, known for its fluffy airy consistency.  Although banana bread baked with egg whites won’t turn out as airy as Chinese  sponge cake, you’ll notice a lighter texture than regular banana bread.

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If the recipe calls for 2 eggs like this  popular recipe on all recipes.com – http://allrecipes.com/recipe/banana-banana-bread/ – egg whites from 4 eggs would be used instead.  Sprinkle on granulated sugar just before baking and the result will be a crispy, sweet crusty top.

The Best Whipped Butter Spread, Ever

In my opinion, whipped butter is the best thing to come along since sliced bread.  I came up with this super simple recipe to serve whipped butter with dinner rolls for Thanksgiving dinner.  Roasted garlic also is amazing when spread on bread, why not have it all?  Add in some chopped fresh herbs and you have a sinfully savory spread.

Roasting garlic in the oven takes about an hour.  You can roast the garlic the day before and finish in about 5 minutes the day you want to serve.

I find that removing the garlic bulb skin before roasting is a lot easier than cutting the bulb in half and wrapping the cloves with the skin in aluminum foil.  It’s a little extra work in the beginning but once the bulbs are roasted, they can just get dumped into a food processor.

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