Grilled Chicken and Zucchini Kebabs

During the hot summer months, we love dining al fresco. Eating outside is so fun, especially when entertaining. We love using our grill to make dinner because we don’t have heat up the house and we get to spend more time outside. The boys can run…

During the hot summer months, we love dining al fresco. Eating outside is so fun, especially when entertaining. We love using our grill to make dinner because we don’t have heat up the house and we get to spend more time outside. The boys can run around and play while we cook dinner. These Grilled…

The post Grilled Chicken and Zucchini Kebabs appeared first on Two Peas & Their Pod.

3 Ways to Use Extra Greens In Fresh Pasta

If you, like me, did some spring produce impulse-buying and now find yourself wondering what to do with your haul (or even just the wilting herbs in your crisper), then it might be time to make fresh pasta. Using herbs, greens, and other wild plants is…

If you, like me, did some spring produce impulse-buying and now find yourself wondering what to do with your haul (or even just the wilting herbs in your crisper), then it might be time to make fresh pasta. Using herbs, greens, and other wild plants is one of the simplest ways to impart color and flavor into pasta dough. In Liguria, at the first sign of spring, you’ll find dishes laden with borage (borragine in Italian), a mild herb that tastes faintly of cucumber. In Emilia-Romagna, ortica, or stinging nettle, is a warm-weather staple, used often in ravioli fillings and to make a tagliatelle-like pasta called strettine.

Even if you haven’t tried your hand at fresh pasta, or you’re in the early stages of your pasta-making journey, here’s the great news: Pasta dough is a simple combination of flour and liquid. And the method for making it—by hand, in a stand mixer, or in a food processor—is the same, no matter the type of pasta you’re making. Which means that once you have some basic measurements and a technique—like my master pasta dough recipe—the color and flavor “pasta-bilities” (I had to!) are endless.

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8 Things to Know Before Growing Your Own Herbs

There are few things more satisfying than picking food that you grew yourself. But nurturing fruits and vegetables can be a tricky business. It takes trial and error (no matter how much you read on the subject), and requires time, energy, and some amou…

There are few things more satisfying than picking food that you grew yourself. But nurturing fruits and vegetables can be a tricky business. It takes trial and error (no matter how much you read on the subject), and requires time, energy, and some amount of space to get a worthwhile harvest. Herbs, comparatively, are quite simple to bring up. No one knows this better than Mark Diacono, who put it most succinctly when he said, “The leaves are the prize and the plant’s job is to grow them to survive.”

Herb: A Cook’s Companion. Photo by Amazon

That sentence comes from the food writer’s new book, Herb: A Cook’s Companion, a glorious encyclopedia of information on how to grow—and then subsequently cook with and preserve—more types of herbs than you have probably ever heard of before. There is a whole section dedicated to the nitty-gritty particulars of each (the varieties of fennel, the ideal conditions for lovage once winter comes, how to space marjoram seeds). But throughout, there are tips that apply more broadly to the vast majority of herbs, because it is Diacono’s belief that they are powerhouses of the garden and kitchen, requiring little work and little space for maximum reward.

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Calling All Plant Parents: 6 Resolutions to Make for 2021

I don’t know about you, but this year, I found had no desire to make my “traditional” New Year’s resolutions—you know the ones I’m talking about: things like eating differently, exercising more, and so on. Instead, I decided it would be more beneficial…

I don’t know about you, but this year, I found had no desire to make my “traditional” New Year’s resolutions—you know the ones I’m talking about: things like eating differently, exercising more, and so on. Instead, I decided it would be more beneficial for my well-being to simply lean into things that make me truly happy, and one of my biggest sources of joy in 2020 was my ever-growing plant collection.

Houseplants and gardening have taken off in a big way in the past few years, and personally, I’ve amassed a small indoor jungle of greenery that always manages to put a smile on my face. To keep growing my hobby, I’ve set a few plant-related goals for the coming year, and I hope by putting them out in the world, I’ll be able to hold myself accountable for sticking with them.

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How to Store Fresh Herbs So They Last And Last

Ideally, you’d “store” fresh herbs in the garden, never snipping more than you needed. The chives on your scrambled eggs, the cilantro on your tacos, and the basil on your pizza would always be bright, fragrant, and bursting with life. Alas, the real w…

Ideally, you'd "store" fresh herbs in the garden, never snipping more than you needed. The chives on your scrambled eggs, the cilantro on your tacos, and the basil on your pizza would always be bright, fragrant, and bursting with life. Alas, the real world doesn't work that way. To avoid wasting nature's herbaceous gifts, we must use our ingenuity.

There are multiple complex factors influencing produce's longevity, and most of us don't have the means, the time, or even the inclination to precisely control for all of them. Conjuring maximum herbal freshness is therefore more art than science. Rather than recommend one approach, let's discuss the basic elements of freshness, then look at how things can go wrong so that you can respond based on what you observe in your kitchen.

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Why I’m Adding Pickled Shiso to—Well, Everything

Living in the pastoral Hudson Valley, I have room to grow things. This year’s garden flourished, and within it, my second season growing red shiso, an herb in the mint family with a floral aroma. In Japanese cooking, red shiso is known best for its ric…

Living in the pastoral Hudson Valley, I have room to grow things. This year’s garden flourished, and within it, my second season growing red shiso, an herb in the mint family with a floral aroma. In Japanese cooking, red shiso is known best for its rich hue that stains umeboshi, or pickled plums.

It self-seeds freely in my garden and so as a result, I have a lot of it. Not one to waste, I have used it in all manner of things over the growing season: leaves added to ceviche, chopped into grain dishes, piled generously onto salads, as an aromatic in making pickles; paired with pork, chicken, ribs, and more. Then arrived the end of warm days.

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10 Sage Substitutes That’ll Still Bring That Signature Holiday Flair

When cooking for the holidays, a few signature herbs and spices may come to mind like nutmeg, cinnamon, rosemary, and sage. However, before you fill your home with the distinct warm and woodsy aromas of these must-have cold-weather ingredients, you may…

When cooking for the holidays, a few signature herbs and spices may come to mind like nutmeg, cinnamon, rosemary, and sage. However, before you fill your home with the distinct warm and woodsy aromas of these must-have cold-weather ingredients, you may want to consider a few herb substitutes in case you can’t find exactly what you’re looking for at the store.

As everyone heads into the holiday cooking fury in full gear, it may become increasingly challenging to find prized items like sage available at your local market. We’ve gathered 10 of the best sage alternatives for when you can’t seem to get your hands on this flavorful green herb this season.

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Team Cilantro: These 21 Herby-Green Recipes Are for You

Once upon a time, in 2012, I returned home from my first year of college and got a summer job working at a fast food burrito chain. So began my education in the enormous passions of teams Pro-Cilantro and Anti-Cilantro.
They are equally ardent, an…

Once upon a time, in 2012, I returned home from my first year of college and got a summer job working at a fast food burrito chain. So began my education in the enormous passions of teams Pro-Cilantro and Anti-Cilantro.

They are equally ardent, and the herb is one of extremes: Some customers would ask for extra cilantro to be added to their burritos; some would immediately recoil at the sight of the leaves. It's either the world's best herb or...it tastes like feet.

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What to Plant If You’ve Never Grown Anything

Here’s the short answer: Herbs! Even if you’ve never planted anything, but dream of picking fresh produce from your kitchen window sill, a mini plot of herbs is a very good place to give gardening a whirl. It’s low-cost and low-risk: all you need are a…

Here's the short answer: Herbs! Even if you've never planted anything, but dream of picking fresh produce from your kitchen window sill, a mini plot of herbs is a very good place to give gardening a whirl. It's low-cost and low-risk: all you need are a couple of pots to grow in, a bag of soil, and a sunny window. (You already have the will.) Herbs also tend to be compact, quick-to-grow, and useful—which makes them a very good place to start. Plus, think about it: at the end of this, there could be (homegrown) mint-laced summery mojito with your name on it.

Photo by Ty Mecham

Here's what you'll need:

  • Figure out how many herbs you'd like to grow (our suggestion is to begin with 2-3), and get a pot for each. The thing to remember is size: Your pot should be at least two inches wider than the seedling you place in it. If you're starting with seeds, you'll want the pot to be at least six inches wider.
  • Dishes to sit under those pots—you'll want to avoid water stains running all down your sill.
  • A seed starting tray or old ice cube tray (more on that in a bit).
  • Soil and a small amount of pebbles or gravel.
  • Seeds or seedlings (which are baby plants, just a couple of inches tall).

Seeds vs. seedlings:

Seeds

  • Pros: They're extremely rewarding—you get to see the little guy grow from a tiny seed into something you can actually use for cooking. Starting with seeds also gives you a wider selection of herb varieties to grow, and it's less expensive, especially if you're growing many plants. The most common herbs to grow from seed are annual herbs such as basil and dill, however, you can totally get more adventurous with what you pick.
  • Cons: You'll need to be a little patient: It can take a few weeks for a seed to grow into a seedling and then to grow into a plant large enough to harvest.
  • What to try: Basil, mint, dill, and parsley. They'll all grow fairly quickly and easily from seeds, and need similar things—moist soil and lots of sun.

    Seedlings

  • Pros: You already have a plant to start picking from—and now you just have to keep it alive.
  • Cons: They can be more expensive, and you might have to buy multiples in larger trays to get the amount that you want.
  • What to try: You have a lot of freedom here: Herbs that are harder to start from seed or simply take longer to sprout and grow (like woody ones, such as rosemary and thyme) are especially good to buy as seedlings, because the hard work has already gone into sprouting them.
Photo by James Ransom

How to plant:

Many herbs reach high and wide, and naturally those will do best in the ground, but there are plenty that will do just as well in a pot, given the right conditions. First order of business? Fill the pots with a thin layer of gravel. Then:

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How I Turned My One-Bedroom Apartment into an Indoor Garden

After seeing what magic could sprout from sticking scallions in a cup of water (hint: more scallions), I caught the growing bug. Hard.

This is not particularly new—I do have upwards of 20 houseplants and even had a brief stint as an exotic plant caret…

After seeing what magic could sprout from sticking scallions in a cup of water (hint: more scallions), I caught the growing bug. Hard.

This is not particularly new—I do have upwards of 20 houseplants and even had a brief stint as an exotic plant caretaker where I sung tended to boutique succulents all day. It’s just that, well, I’ve never birthed a plant from seed before.

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