Growing Culinary Herbs

Mint is one of the easiest herbs to grow and there are many varieties. Since it can be invasive you can plant it in pots. Some uses for peppermint are:

  1. Breath freshener: Mix a few drops of peppermint oil and lemon oil in water to make a mouth rinse.

  2. Pick-me-up: Carry a small spray bottle of peppermint oil and water in your car. The scent can perk you up on long drives and freshen the air, too!

  3. Muscle aid: Add a few drops to bath water to relax muscles and clear up congestion

  4. Combat nausea: Rub a few drops of peppermint or spearmint oil on your wrists or neck (like perfume) to ward off nausea

  5. Bug repellent: If you rub a Q-tip soaked in peppermint oil onto a tick’s head, it will let go. Other household bugs don’t like peppermint, either. So, use peppermint oil on a doorway to keep ants from entering.

Recipes Using Herbs

Chocolate Mint Thumbprint Cookies

1/2 cup Unsalted butter

1/2 cup Sugar

1 large Egg

1/2 teaspoon Vanilla extract

3/4 cup All purpose flour

1/4 cup Cocoa powder

3/4 cup Pecans, finely chopped

1/4 cup Mint jelly

1 tablespoon Fresh Mint leaves, finely chopped

Cream together the butter, sugar and egg. Stir in the Vanilla. Sift the flour and cocoa together and stir into the creamed mixture. Stir in the chopped nuts. Chill the dough 30 minutes or overnight. Roll the dough into balls about 3/4 inch in diameter (messy job) and place them on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Make a deep depression in each ball. Bake for 10 minutes in a preheated oven at 350 degrees.

Let cool completely; dust the cookies with powdered sugar. Stir the jelly and chopped mint leaves together. Spoon 1/4 teaspoon into the depression of each cookie. Makes 26 cookies.

Texas Pesto

(So named because Texas Pecans are used)

2 cups Fresh Sweet Basil leaves

1 cup Pecans

4 Garlic cloves

1/2 cup Freshly grated Parmesan cheese

1/2 cup Olive oil

Puree the Basil, Garlic, Pecans and Parmesan cheese in a food processor. Slowly add oil while processor is running, until well mixed. Use or freeze immediately. You can freeze in ice cube trays so that you can have about a tablespoon per cube.