This week I decided to make chocolate chip cookie pie. The herb butter was an afterthought. You see, my Dad came over for lunch yesterday, and I made eggplant parmesan and quinoa salad. My Dad loves my eggplant, but he’d never had quinoa, and I wanted him to try it. He loved both! Also he has never had couscous, another one of our family favorites, so I made that too. Lunch was delicious. I had planned to make the pie for dessert, but like I stated above, the garlic herb butter was unplanned. My Dad brought a really nice loaf of Italian bread, and some dinner rolls to go with lunch. When he went home, I had lots of bread left, so I decided to make the herb butter to enjoy with the yummy bread. I am happy to report that my Dad and Dan and the kids enjoyed everything. The pie was especially delicious. I have made the pie before, but it’s been a few years. It is like a big chocolate chip cookie. YUM! Chocolate chip cookies are my favorite dessert in the whole wide world, so needless to say I love love love this pie. Here is a link to the recipe: http://www.verybestbaking.com/recipes/28218/NESTL%C3%89-TOLL-HOUSE-Chocolate-Chip-Pie/detail.aspx I omitted the nuts, but other than that, I followed the recipe exactly.
I have been thinking about garlic herb butter for a few weeks, so I was excited to try it out. Since I had all the extra bread, and since I’m growing loads of herbs in my garden, the decision was almost made for me. The result is DELICIOUS! In fact it is so delicious, the garlic herb butter is almost gone! I will definitely be making more. Thank goodness I have tons of herbs. Here is the recipe for the garlic herb butter:
- 1 stick of room temperature unsalted butter
- 4 tsp. minced garlic
- 2 TBS. fresh parsley minced
- 2 TBS. fresh basil minced
- salt and pepper to taste
1. Bring the butter to room temperature. 2. Chop the garlic and the herbs. 3. Mix the butter, garlic, and herbs together in a bowl with a fork. 4. Add salt and pepper to taste. 5. Spoon onto plastic wrap and wrap the butter. Once wrapped, shape into a log. Refrigerate any unused portions. Enjoy!
As a side note, you can use whatever herbs you happen to have on hand. Also, you don’t need to use 4 teaspoons of garlic. If that is too much garlic for you, just decrease it to taste. I used unsalted butter so I could control the amount of salt used. If all you have is salted butter, go ahead and use it…you’ll probably just need to add less at the end. I definitely plan on making the garlic herb butter again. Next time I plan to try rosemary, dill, or thyme. I also think garlic, lemon, and basil butter sounds delicious. You could also make a sweet version by using honey and lavender…that sounds great too… minus the honey of course. ☺ I’d probably use agave and lavender. That would be great on biscuits or scones.
As I mentioned above my Dad came over yesterday. He came to have lunch and to visit, but I was really anxious to show him our garden. I call it my “secret garden.” Okay, so it’s not secret yet, but someday it will be. I estimate that we are at phase 3 of about 8 phases or so. Next season, we plan to enter phase 4 which will be pretty labor intensive. I say “we” of course meaning Dan. He will be doing most of the manual labor after all. He actually told me over the weekend that he doesn’t mind building and creating the garden space, but no way will he be “the gardener.” That means it’s up to me to weed, water, and nurture all the plants, veggies, and herbs. It’s also up to me 98% of the time to cook those lovely things that we grow. Well that arrangement suits me just fine so, in the end it is a happy partnership. Anyway, next year, we (Dan) need to dig up and fix the sump pump line and dry well. After that we can add fencing and a gate, and from there it is relatively easy. We plan to add a few new garden boxes every season, and eventually we want to add a water element. I call it “my secret garden” because I have an idea in mind that I hope we can replicate. Once the fencing and gate are installed, I also want to add a small table and some seating. My hope is that, if I am in the garden, and I am seated, you won’t be able to see me from the outside. So in that way, it’ll be “my secret garden” from within which, the rest of the world will melt away. Since I was a child, I’ve had this vision of a secret garden, and for a while, I actually had it. When my Grandparents lived in Capac, they had 10 acres. If I walked to the back of the property, you couldn’t see me from the house. I used to pretend that it was a different world. Along with my sister Amy, and all of my cousins on the Carter side, I spent hours happily playing make-believe in that secret corner of their property. Additionally, my Grandparents had quite an expansive garden. I used to play in the corn, or in the rows of green beans, and pretend it was my house. It was during that time in my life that I vowed to myself that someday I’d live in the country, and I’d have a “secret garden” all of my own. Well the “living in the country” part of the dream already came true. Now Dan and I are working on the “secret garden” part of my childhood wish. Hopefully within the next few years, my vision will be brought to life. I cannot wait to curl up with a book and a glass of lavender lemonade in my “secret garden”, and just be.
While we were (I mean while Dan was) toiling away on this year’s phase of my “secret garden,” I thought to myself that my Mom would have loved this. She too loved the idea of a secret garden. I think that I inherited my love of gardening and planting from her. A lot of my adult hobbies are directly correlated to the hobbies of my parents and grandparents. My Mom and my grandparents (specifically my Grandfathers) used to love to garden. My Grandmothers, my Sito Vicky, and my Dad were/are fabulous cooks. My Mom also loved photography. So, in a nutshell that’s how I grew up. Surrounded by fabulous cooks, who whenever possible, grew their own ingredients, and then shared their culinary creations with their family. All the while, my Mom took pictures, and took care of everyone she ever met. In thinking about my Mom and her love of gardening, I am reminded of a poem titled “A Secret Garden” by Linda Wall Hall. It goes like this:
“If there were a secret garden,
What would it comprise?
Fragrant flowers, a babbling brook, butterflies?
Dragonflies, birds, and bees, there would be all of these.
But most of all, within ‘that place’,
Tranquil peace and serenity await;
Ever there for me and you to relax and renew.
So every morning before you start,
Visit the ‘secret garden’ of your heart.”
That is the type of place I’ve been dreaming about for all these years. A place to relax. A place to find peace. A place to just be.
I hope you enjoy the recipes, we sure did. Thanks for reading the blog. ♥♥