Tag Archives: Herbs

Recipe of the Week: Savoury Bacon & Herb Loaf

Savoury Bacon & Herb Loaf

This Dairy Diary recipe is a delicious savoury bread perfect to serve with soup on #homemadesoupday.

Savoury Bacon & Herb Loaf

  • Servings: 4
  • Time: 70 mins
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Calories 327 per portion
Fat 11g (5g sat) per portion
Suitable for freezing

Ingredients

  • Streaky bacon 50g (2oz), chopped
  • Onion 1, peeled and finely chopped
  • Celery 2 sticks, chopped
  • Self-raising flour 225g (8oz)
  • Butter 25g (1oz), softened
  • Milk 150ml (¼ pint)
  • Egg 1, beaten
  • Chopped parsley 1 tbsp
  • Dried mixed herbs ½ tsp

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 180°C/160°fan/Gas 4. Grease a 450g (1lb) loaf tin or 16cm (6in) cake tin.
  2. Dry fry bacon in a frying pan for 2 minutes, then add onion and celery and cook for 5 minutes until soft.
  3. Sift flour and ½ tsp salt into a bowl and rub in butter.
  4. In a jug mix milk with egg and herbs and season. Add to dry ingredients with bacon mixture and mix together. Spoon into tin and bake for 50-60 minutes until risen and golden. Cool on a rack.

#recipeoftheweek

#weekendfood

#savouryloaf

#dairydiaryrecipe

#delicious

4 Steps to a Fabulous Fragrant Pot

4-Steps-to-a-Fabulous-Fragrant-Pot

At the moment, I have a rather sad looking pot of mint by the sink. It needs a proper place to live as it’s bedraggled and neglected. 

I absolutely love the scent of herbs and would love to create somewhere special for them to grow and be nurtured so that we can use them in salads and stews and enjoy the aroma.

After browsing through our Seasonal Garden Ideas book I have decided to do this project (adding in my little pot of mint). It will look fabulous by the front door, will create a wonderful aroma as we pass into the house and give me an easily accessible supply of delicious herbs. I can’t wait to get started!

 

Bay, Thyme & Lavender

Three strongly aromatic plants combine here to make an enticingly scented corner. A  standard bay in a large ceramic pot is circled by a medley of low-growing thymes, with lavender surrounding the base.

Plant in spring.
All of these plants have a year-long presence – bay and thyme are evergreen, while lavender, which flowers in summer, retains its grey leaves throughout winter.

Allow a couple of hours to complete this container and the surrounding bed.


What you need

Plants

  • One bay tree (Laurus nobilis), trained to standard shape and clipped to a ball.
  • Eight thymes (Thymus serpyllum and Thymus citriodorus varieties – here golden leaved, variegated and grey-leaved forms as well as the more usual dark green).
  • Eight lavenders (Lavandula variety, such as ‘Munstead’).

Equipment

  • Large ceramic container (or any other pot large enough to take the bay tree).
  • Soil-based potting compost with added grit or sharp sand for drainage.
  • Broken crocks for drainage.
  • Trowel.

Instructions

  1. Position your pot where it is to stand – it will be too heavy to move once planted. Here the pot is surrounded by a narrow bed of lavender which will need about 45cm (18in) of planting space all around the pot.
  2. Line the container with broken crocks for drainage, then half-fill with compost. Check the level of the bay’s rootball by placing it in its original pot on the compost. Adjust the level as necessary to get the rootball to the same depth it was in before, then plant the bay, placing it centrally in the pot. Firm in.
  3. Top up the container with more compost – the thymes will have much shallower rootballs than the bay. Plant the thymes in a circle around the bay, firm in, then top up again with more compost to within 2.5cm (1in) of the rim. Water thoroughly.
  4. Work some of the compost/grit mix into the soil around the pot, then plant the lavenders all round. Water thoroughly.

Tips
If you wish, choose a dry, sunny day and cut some of the lavender flowers when they are at their peak. Leave them to dry in bunches, then use them in a vase or a potpourri, or make little sachets and stuff them with the lavender flowerheads – place in linen drawers or hang in clothes cupboards to keep the clothes smelling fresh and sweet.

Note
Both the bay and the thymes are culinary herbs, so use them freely in your cooking.

Aftercare
All these plants do best in full sun and need light, well-drained soil. Keep the bay in shape by trimming any straggly shoots in summer; remove any frost-damaged leaves/shoots in spring. Remove faded lavender flowers in autumn, then prune in April – but do not cut into old wood. Clip the thyme, removing dead flowerheads and straggly shoots in spring.


 

Seasonal Garden Ideas £3.99Seasonal Garden Ideas
is available for just £3.99!

A perfect gift for your
green-fingered friends.

 

#gardening

#easypots

#growourownherbs

How to grow kitchen herbs

How to grow your own kitchen herbs

.

How to grow your own herbs for the kitchen

Whilst doing all the testing for our next cookbook, I have come to realise just how expensive fresh herbs can be. They don’t last long in the fridge either and often go to waste if I forget to freeze any leftovers.

So, this year I am
determined to grow
my own.

It will be wonderful to step out of the kitchen door to the subtle scent of sage, mint and rosemary, and be able to clip a few leaves off to add to salads, soups and stews.

Here are some tips on how to sow your own seeds. Something I haven’t done for a long while!

 

 

Grow kitchen herbs

Grow kitchen herbs

Pot Herbs for the Kitchen

Fresh herbs give a great lift to many foods – so grow your own in pots sited near the kitchen for ease of picking. And why not choose some colourful, fun containers to plant in?

Sow seeds in March, or buy small herb plants in April or May, pot up at once and start picking leaves as soon as the plants have grown slightly. A sunny position is best. The job will take about an hour.

What you need

Plants Seed packets or small plants of parsley, thyme, marjoram (oregano), sage, mint and rosemary.

Equipment Six small plastic pots for potting up seedlings bought at the garden centre. Seed tray, modular cell system or jiffy pots for sowing seeds, if using. Five containers such as the enamel kettles. Soil-based potting compost and proprietary seed compost if using. Broken crocks for drainage. Trowel.

Instructions

1 Fill the seed tray or modular cell system with seed compost and sow your seeds according to the instructions on the packets, or sow in jiffy pots according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Keep on a kitchen windowsill while the seeds germinate, then move them outside when all danger of frost is past.

2 When the seedlings are large enough to handle, pot them on into the plastic pots using potting compost and lining with broken crocks for drainage.

3 Or, line the plastic pots with broken crocks and fill with potting compost, into which you have mixed some sharp sand (if using). Then plant your garden centre seedlings, place into the containers and set out in an attractive arrangement. In general, allow one herb per container, but if the container is big enough, put several in together – here rosemary, parsley and mint have been put in the central container.

4 Place the young herb plants outside only when all danger of frost is past. If you’re uncertain, place them outside on sunny days and bring them in at night until the weather warms up enough for them to be left outside permanently.

5 Pick and use the leaves regularly. All these herbs can grow quite large and, by the end of summer, may well have outgrown their containers unless you keep them under control.

Notes Most herbs do best in full sun. They don’t require rich soil, but they must not be allowed to get waterlogged, so good drainage is essential. Rosemary, sage, thyme and marjoram are tough, shrubby plants and can be kept going for years if put into the ground or grown in large enough pots. Mint and parsley are herbaceous and will die down in winter, but reappear again in spring.

Aftercare Regular picking is needed, and watering with care.

.
Seasonal Garden IdeasThis project is taken from
Seasonal Garden Ideas 

a collection of lovely, easy
projects for any garden.

Now available online
for just £3.99  

PLUS FREE P&P!
(Feb/March 2013 orders).

 

 

I’m going to grow my own!

With the launch of our new gardening book – Seasonal Gardening Ideas – I have been totally inspired to ‘grow my own’ this year.

I am not going to try and be too ambitious, as I have never done it before but I am going to start with these fun and quirky Pot Herbs for the Kitchen. They look great and I will have a constant supply of my favourite herbs right next to the kitchen door.

Seasonal Garden Ideas features many more fabulous mini-projects for the whole year and easy enough for anyone to tackle. It’s on sale now just in time for the start of the gardening season

And when the herbs are established try this delicious recipe for Salmon with Minty Salsa taken from Clever Cooking for One or Two.

Win a copy of Clever Cooking for One or Two

Simply enter here before Tuesday 4 May – we have ten to give away. Good luck.

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