Garden 2 Kitchen: Salt &Amp;Amp; Sugar Go Herbal! - The Sensibly Organic Cook Blog at - 290884

The Sensibly Organic Cook

Garden 2 Kitchen: Salt & Sugar Go Herbal! 
Nov. 29, 2012 1:06 pm 
Updated: Dec. 22, 2012 10:49 am
Earlier this year when I had the MO roundup, I wanted to make something really neat for the cooks to take home with them. Gifts from the garden, so to speak, but what to make? The year before the cook's gift was a potted herb in a one of a kind pot. I had envisioned full lush pots of happy herbs just waiting to be used. Not quite an epic fail but not what I expected either so I decided to look at other herbal gift ideas. Flavored sugar and salt seemed doable. Two simple ingredients with some herbs thrown in. What could be easier? I just needed cute jars and a recipe, which I was sure I could find on the Internet. Turns out everyone has their own idea of "how to" and "how much" when flavoring salt or sugar. After much reading, I decided to go with the food processor for incorporation and winging it with the herb amounts. I knew exactly what I wanted my end result to be so how much trouble could it beor sugar. After much reading, I decided to go with the food processor for incorporation and winging it with the herb amounts. I knew exactly what I wanted my end result to be so how much trouble could it be.

With the salt, it was just a matter of adjusting the herb amounts. I wanted a nice strong flavored salt that would add that burst of garlic and oregano to bread sticks or pasta or anything else for that matter.
The sugar I made a small miscalculation in the drying procedure resulting in one large piece of minty rock candy the first time. Well, the salt pretty much dried on its own so why wouldn't the sugar. Alton Brown could tell you the molecular "whys" but I'm going to share with you the "what I did's" so you can make these simple recipes to use for yourself or for gifts. Plus, I have 2 extras to share, both of which I find rather exciting. Ok, so exciting might be a little strong but one I found very useful and the other, well, just plain interesting from an herb grower's point of view.
Let's start with the sugar since I forgot to get pictures of the salt for some reason. It is the same process for both.

Minted Sugar
Wash and dry 4 cups of fresh mint leaves. I left the stems if they weren't too tough. Use your salad spinner to get the mint dry. In a food processor, add all the mint. Add 1 cup of sugar and pulse in the food processor. Add 3 more cups of sugar, one cup at a time pulsing in between each addition
Here is where I went wrong the first time. I put my wet sugar on my solid trays in the dehydrator just as I did the salt expecting the same result. A nice granulated substance that made the garage smell like a pizzeria. Not that I expected the sugar to have the pizzeria smell, just for it to return to its small granulated form. That will only happen if you do this to dry your sugar.

1. Turn your oven on to 200 degrees F.

2. Line cookie sheets with foil for easy of handling when finished drying. I did enough sugar at once that I needed two cookie sheets.

3. Place both trays in oven and watch carefully. Take out one tray after 5 minutes and stir with a fork. Return to oven and immediately repeat with second tray. When the #2 tray goes back in take out #1 and repeat. This takes several minutes but you want that sugar dry. Trust me.
If you are wondering why I used so much mint when other cooks recommend a sprig or two tossed in with several cups of sugar and allowed to dry over a period of time. Because I wanted to make these.
Touch of the Tropics Tea cookie
I wanted to make up a new cookie recipe showcasing the mint sugar to share with my cooks for our dessert. I figured a sprig of mint wouldn't cut it if I wanted any kind of mint flavor in my new cookie recipe. Yes, I know mint extract can be overwhelming when used in excess but the herbed sugar isn't. Besides, I wanted to be able to see the flecks of mint in the cookie and I thought it was cool that the sugar turned such a lovely shade of green naturally!

My DH likes takeout garlic bread sticks. He has never quite come out and said it but the implication has always been there that my homemade bread sticks are a pale comparison. Not anymore! Using a blend of my oreganos (I have 5 varieties), chives, garlic and garlic chives I made a herbed finishing salt that I use for more than garlicky bread sticks.
Garlic Oregano Salt
These measurements are not precise but I think everyone can use their own judgment where their taste buds are concerned.
2 cups rough chopped fresh chives & garlic chives
3 minced cloves of garlic
3 cups rough chopped fresh oregano, your favorite flavor. I just happen to like a blend of mine.

Pulse the herbs and 1 cup of kosher salt in food processor until blended well. In a bowl, add 4 more cups of kosher salt and your herbed salt. Either use your oven at 200 degree F to dry your salt or your dehydrator if you have solid trays. The salt doesn't have to be stirred, as it does not turn into one solid rock hard lump.

I have used this salt in and on everything. I really like the salty burst of herbed flavor it can bring to my plate. Salty foods are one of my favorite things: however, we all know we should watch our salt consumption. Since I try to not use much salt while cooking, I find that at the finish a small pinch of this salt really perks up whatever I'm eating. Be it pasta or a baked potato. And my garlic bread sticks finally have won over the DH.

I'm pretty sure this salt gives my infamous cheese crackers and extra boost too. Just ask the ladies that have tried them. I don't like store bought cheezits now that I have perfected this recipe. And no, I haven't updated the one that is in my recipe box yet. It is on the list of things to do.

Onto the new and exciting stuff I have just learned about. Recently there was a discussion on Facebook about washing your face with olive oil. Hmm, I seemed to remember my cousin saying something about that several years ago. What really caught my attention was a comment in this discussion about using an olive oil sugar scrub and how this friend really liked it. Well, I have seen sugar scrubs before and didn't think much about them but since my friend liked it I thought I should check it out. So I looked at different websites and the links for the olive oil wash. Found a recipe for the scrub and thought, hey, why not? Then I thought why just use plain sugar? Why not use my minted sugar while I was at the experiment. I knew peppermint worked for your stomach and in aromatherapy for headaches so I looked at skin care uses. It's reported that spearmint is healing in the bath and when decocted strongly heals chapped hands. Applemint and lemon balm are soothing and cleansing in a facial steam. All right then, got them all covered my minted sugar has applemint, lemon balm, spearmint and peppermint in it. I used this recipe-
The smell of mint when I mixed this together was nice. Mint being one of the few things my nose will pick up. I was rather afraid of smelling too minty so I used this one day when I wasn't going anywhere, just in case. Yes, it is a little messy to use but in the nice warm bathroom that mint smell was so soothing and I wondered if headache sufferers might not benefit from this scrub. *A word of caution, if you do try this recipe watch it in the shower, the olive oil can make your floor a little slippery!*
I was shocked at the results after using the scrub and showering as usual. My skin has become so dry this winter that I have been using what amounts to axle grease to alleviate itchy and dry as the Sahara skin. Minute I am out of the shower that nasty stuff would have to go on and then the 20 minute wait for it to absorb. Yuck and I would still have dry patches! After using the scrub, I was not itchy and I could use my lightweight summer moisturizer. I have been using this about 3 times a week for 2 weeks now and I am happy to report this is so working for me! I've also been experimenting with washing with olive oil too. Again, a note of caution because not everything you read on the Internet is true, shocking I know. You can always do your own research and I certainly encourage that, but I'm sold on doing this because along the way I read about honey and sugar's benefits to the skin. Both are humectants meaning they bring moisture to the skin. Honey has claims as an anti-oxidant and sugar is said to contain alpha hydroxy acid. Sugar is supposed to be a milder gentler exfoliant too. And just think you can add whatever herb or essential oil to your own homemade scrubs that might benefit your skin to its fullest or your nose.

Now for my 2nd exciting discovery! I know I should maybe get out more. Follow me along on this quest and see if you don't find this just a little interesting.

The dear lady that came and helped in the garden recently (you met her on the WWOOF blog) brought along and herb for my collection. She called it broadleaf spearmint. Ok, it smelled like mint.  BUT it was growing wrong and its taste had bitter after notes unlike any of my mints. I was pretty sure it wasn't a mint. But what was it? I questioned her as to where she got it. She thought maybe a private sale, maybe a nursery. She had the plant a long time. She used it to make tea. There was something about this plant that reminded me of something else. It was irritating that I couldn't think what.

First off, I googled because I wanted an answer. I came up with several different types of mints but this plant didn't match any of these. If you are wondering why I was so sure it wasn't a mint, remember I said it was growing wrong?
This is applemint.
This is peppermint.

You see how both plants have a straight stem with many leaves coming off that stem? That was my first clue. Any of the mints I have here and what I saw on my search grows that way. This plant's leaves grew straight off a woody rootstock on individual stems rather like a violet.

Was I able to find out what the plant was quickly? Nope, took me two weeks. Had I the patience, I could have looked page by page in my tried and true herb book (The Complete Book of Herbs by Leslie Bremness, I highly recommend this as a good basic herb book) and found it.
I brushed up against this plant in the sun room one day and again was taken by its minty aroma so back to the quest I went instead of on with the chores. That and I had been looking at my Shasta daisies thinking their leaf pattern was oddly similar. I plugged in the correct search phrase, finally, and found a chat forum where someone asked almost the same question. There were several suggestions there and on of them rang a bell. So I looked it up and sure enough, there it was.
Chrysanthemum balsamita (Tanacetum balsamita)

It is called Alecost because it does have bitter notes to it and was used in brewing ale. Cost derives from the Latin costum, meaning spicy oriental herb. Alecost, well, spicy herb for ale. Costmary is Mary's or women's spicy herb. Common names for the herb include balsam herb due to its smell, Bible leaf as it was said to repel bugs from bibles and its smell could keep one alert during long sermons. Mint geranium is a misnomer because costmary is not related to the mint family (Labiatae) or the geranium family (Geraniaceae). Another interesting fact I found was that originally this herb was always classified as Tanacetum balsamita but now is becoming more widely known as Chrysanthemum balsamita. Why? I didn't find the answer to that one. There is so much to learn about the classification of plants.

Plants and herbs can easily be mislabeled when common names are used or they came out of great great grandma's garden and have been handed down. Information can get lost. Luckily, for my friend this wasn't one of the herbs that was used long ago but is now classified as toxic. For me, it was exciting to learn about this herb. Herb lore has interested me as far back as grade school. Too bad I didn't know how fascinating I would find it when I was in college and could have studied it more in depth. However, a dear friend recently told me you can always learn, you don't have to go to college for that. Lady Sparkle you were right because I have been learning. And there is so much to keep learning.

I hope you enjoyed today's journey through my garden and into my kitchen. Until next time, may your garden whatever size it may be, help set your table. Or supply your cosmetic needs  :)(:
Nov. 29, 2012 1:20 pm
How interesting, Cat! I commend your sleuthing abilities, too. I wish I had a helper in the garden. Work is more like play with good company. Thanks for posting!
Nov. 29, 2012 1:23 pm
Hi Bibi. LOL! My gardening friend said "Way to go Sherlock!" But I just had to find out what her plant was. Now I have a new herb :)
Nov. 29, 2012 1:26 pm
Hi Cat Hill,wonderful read,love the way you use your herbs.i might grow mint in my garden next year,your cookies look great.Thank you for this, it's nice to know the different uses herbs have.Oilve oil also,i've used it on salads and sauces,never thought about using it in a shower.Interesting.
Nov. 29, 2012 1:35 pm
manella, my cousin told me about the olive oil years ago but I thought sure that will work. It does! If you plant mint put it where it is contained! You thought oregano spread. Mint goes like wildfire but I am really excited about finding a new use for it besides tea. Thanks for stopping in!
Nov. 29, 2012 1:41 pm
Hi again,i saved your cookie recipe,and hopefully try it this weekend,they look so good.
Nov. 29, 2012 1:42 pm
Sorry meant to say thanks for the info about growing the mint.
Nov. 29, 2012 2:03 pm
I'm one of those that can attest to those homemade cheese crackers-so much better than the store bought! I'm planning on making scrubs for some gifts this Christmas. Don't have the herbs to do this scrub but have a bunch of essential oils and a variety of oils (olive, grape, jojoba, argon, almond, apricot, coconut). Will have to remember to save some mint next fall to make some. Or come help out in your garden and trade for some!
Nov. 29, 2012 2:06 pm
manella,Candice really liked the cookies at the roundup. She was happy when I finally posted the recipe :) No, problem on the mint. I wish someone had warned me before I planted it in some of my gardens. I RIP it out EVERY year 2 times a year. At least now I have something to do with it!
Nov. 29, 2012 2:10 pm
Oh Heidi, you can HAVE all kinds of mint. My mint cup runneth over! WOW! It sounds like you are set to make some really neat scrubs. I just learned about them so this was my first attempt. Those crackers are good aren't they? Still can't believe the DH would rather buy Cheezits than eat mine. Oh well, more for me :)(:
Nov. 29, 2012 3:31 pm
Crazy man! Those crackers beat Cheezits all to heck! I am lucky enough to have the mint sugar AND some garlic herb salt! I will have to try those cookies! I put it in my bedtime tea. :) and am at the bottom of my garlic herb salt. I like it on buttered toast. Great blog Cat!! :)
Nov. 29, 2012 4:28 pm
Yes, he is crazy! What can I say his mother wasn't the greatest of cooks, she made desserts. I wondered how my friends were using the sugar. As you can see, I found another use :) I have been using the heck out of the garlic herb salt too. I'm glad you liked the blog, Lady S!
Nov. 29, 2012 5:24 pm
Cat Hill, a wonderful enlightening blog. It is fascinating to read about the mint olive oil sugar scrub. I am fascinated with what have discovered! Thanks.
Nov. 30, 2012 6:56 am
Lela, I'm glad you liked it. When I first saw sugar scrubs, I didn't take them seriously. Reading about the benefits made me think I should have been using them for a long time :)
Nov. 30, 2012 7:04 am
Cat, do you think that you could make vanilla sugar using confectioners sugar and a vanilla bean instead of regular white sugar? Also, with enough mint, would sugar pick up the flavor of mint without crushing the mint into the sugar? I want to use mint sugar (again confectioners) to make a minty hot cocoa mix. I don't think bits of mint leaf and stem would go well in the drink! Any help would be... helpful? And also very much appreciated!
Nov. 30, 2012 7:15 am
Hmmm, Doc, let me think about this for a minute and look something up. I understand exactly what you are trying to achieve and I don't have an anwer right now. BRB :)
Nov. 30, 2012 7:26 am
OK without having done this you are getting my "educated" guess :) I would say yes the vanilla bean should work just fine with the confectioner's sugar because it is commonly suggested to do that with granulated sugars. Now for the mint, I dried some earlier this month and just powdered it in my pestle to see what would happen. I think if you take dried mint off the stems and powder it in your food processor or blender, you should get a fine enough powder to mix with your cocoa mix. In theory, it should work but I wouldn't make a big batch. I'd go with a small test batch to check for consistency and flavor. Good luck! I hope I helped.
Nov. 30, 2012 9:22 am
My grandmother never washed her face with anything besides olive oil and she had the most beautiful skin. I love the idea of making my own flavored salts and I think I'll make some right now. You always give me the best ideas, Cat! I'm going for rosemary & garlic first. :o)
Nov. 30, 2012 10:33 am
cheepchick, I was thinking that some of the old ideas might be the best. I mean, like WOW your grandmother knew about this? How cool is that? I love my flavored salt. Just love it! I'm glad you liked the blog :)(:
Nov. 30, 2012 10:34 am
So in other words,the mint is like the oreango?Should be fun,i will for sure now plant it,maybe build a cage or 2?Think that would contain it?Love your blog.
Nov. 30, 2012 11:42 am
LOL, manella I would isolate the mint. The only mints I have had that didn't try and take over are ginger and candy mint. They seem more delicate than peppermint or spearmint. Mint's roots are tenacious at best and they happily spread! You would need a barrier that is planted fairly deep to contain mint. A lady just asked me about container growing as she is having problems so I am going to look up some info for her. I will post when I find it. You might find it useful too :)
Nov. 30, 2012 12:56 pm
Well thank you very much,what kind of mint should i plant?,and can i start it in my house?Nosy aren't i?
Nov. 30, 2012 1:57 pm
Great blog, Cat. Your knowledge and creativity never cease to amaze me! I am so glad you are sharing your gift with us!
Nov. 30, 2012 1:58 pm
Starting mint from seed isn't a good idea. It is better to go to a nursery that has a good selection of herbs and let your nose do the chosing. I so wish I could mail you some :) Mint has a tendency to hybridize so its seed won't have the qualities of the parent plant. Do you have any good nurseries in your area?
Nov. 30, 2012 2:01 pm
Thank you WFDM?! I surprised myself with the costmary that I did recognize that it didn't have the mint family growing habit. What did you use the mint sugar for? I've been curious as to how everyone made use of it.
Nov. 30, 2012 2:11 pm
We have nurserys in the summer,weird isn't it.They do have a all year long farmers market in Halifax.We live about 2 hours from there,we live in the country about 20 min.from the nearest town.Love it cause we can have big gardens and of course a dog.Next time we go to Halifax i will check it out.Thanks so much for all the info. Love your picture.Cute "cat".
Nov. 30, 2012 2:21 pm
That's Pippin the one that got shot by the neighbor and had his leg amputated. I'm lucky he didn't retaliate for that pic. He required many treats to sit still long enough to snap that photo!
Nov. 30, 2012 2:39 pm
That's nasty,poor kitty.He is cute though,we have a cat 14 years old,don't think he would sit still,no matter how many treats we gave him.
Nov. 30, 2012 5:08 pm
Pippin has his own blog :) He hasn't posted in a while but he has a following :)(:
Nov. 30, 2012 6:22 pm
Good for him.Have a great night.
Dec. 1, 2012 4:34 am
What a smart lady you are Cat Hill. I'm definitely going to include the salts in my foodie gifts this year along with the cookie recipe. Thnx!
Dec. 1, 2012 5:10 am
Very cool! I always have a big pot of herbs growing on my deck. Well... not during the winter, but all other times. When my daughter's best friend got married, I went to her bridal shower where she had the coolest "gifts" for everyone - a small pot of herbs and sea salt with rosemary in it. You have taken that a few steps further!
Dec. 1, 2012 6:56 am
lutzflcat, thank you! I'm going to tell my doubting teen that! Smart is not an adjective the child uses for me and all my gardening. That salt was so easy to make and I think it makes a great gift. I hope you enjoy the cookies. Thanks for dropping in!
Dec. 1, 2012 7:00 am
Mother Ann, I thought a pot of herbs would be a great gift idea too but mine had issues that year. The salt and sugar worked so much better this year. I tell you using the minted sugar in the scrub was a real surprise. A nice one! LOL!
Dec. 1, 2012 3:44 pm
Cats, I seriously am wishing I was on your "nice" list for Christmas, wonderful stuff you're cooking up there.
Dec. 1, 2012 5:01 pm
Being a beneficiary of you "Herbed Finishing Salts", I will attest to their great taste on breadsticks! ... I have an old Sage plant that has been in our family for more than a century. It's scrawny looking but has the most flavorful leaves of any sage. ... When I first saw the photo of Alecost, I immediately though "Shasta Daisy", too and wondered how that could be mistaken for mint. Serious research must be something you like to do.
Dec. 1, 2012 7:23 pm
Raedwulf, you PRO you, I would have been more than happy to have had you as my secret Santa this year. I did have a secret Santa from another cooking group and she got my sugar, salt and V-5 oregano blend. She seemed pretty happy with her gift :) I've been missing you in the blogs. Hope all is well in your neck of the woods!
Dec. 1, 2012 7:28 pm
Mike, I swear one of the few smells I can detect is mint and this plant is STRONG smelling. I can see why someone would assume it is mint but it grows wrong. Serious research or dogged determination to answer a question and make sure I have the right information, I suppose it could be the same thing but I really just wanted to know how a plant that smelled like mint could, if it wasn't a mint. Perhaps I am just curious as a cat :)(: LOLOL!
Dec. 1, 2012 7:32 pm
Darn it, I didn't finish. That sage plant, I want to see it when I get up your way. Heirloom plants sometimes have the best qualities that have been bred out over time for this reason or the other. I had starts of my grandmother's rose that had the best smell till someone mowed them. I have one weakly start left which I am trying to nurse back to health because I would really hate to lose this old fashioned rose.
Dec. 1, 2012 8:08 pm
Hello.CH! That mint sugar seems like a fine idea! A bit different and good eats too :) Thanks so much!
Dec. 2, 2012 4:59 am
I have a start of that sage from when a wind storm laid the plant over and a branch set roots when it laid on the ground. I left it attached to the main plant but it can be separated. I am actively looking for someone to continue growing it because nobody is willing to take it- it's just too scrwany (ugly?) looking. Perhaps, I could send you that start?
Dec. 2, 2012 5:08 am
Family legend says that the sage plant was taken from the wild by my grandfather when he traveled the southwest before wedding my grandmother. It was a present she had asked him to find and bring back for her. The sage stuffing recipe that we use today is much like my grandmothers and the sage I add to it comes from that plant.
Dec. 2, 2012 5:17 am
Hi, Patty Cakes. I like the way it looks in the cookies. I thought people could use it to sweeten their tea. I'm gonna have to see about pulverizing it and using it in cocoa. Thanks for stopping by!
Dec. 2, 2012 5:21 am
I would LOVE to have a start! Connecting with our past thru plants is another thing that interests me. If I get a start of the sage can I have the recipe too :) The family legends just make it all the more interesting! I'm sure I could find a nice place for it in one of my gardens. Now how to get it here?
Dec. 2, 2012 10:21 am
You sure can! All it will cost you is a plane ride for you and Jeff to Maui! ;) ... I will UPS it if I cannot make the roundup.
Dec. 2, 2012 11:59 am
Awesome! We will figure something out!
Dec. 2, 2012 12:55 pm
There is a rumor that gammaray and Cathy Meyers are driving to Maui. I'll catch a ride with them :)
Dec. 2, 2012 2:28 pm
The "Touch of The Tropics Tea Cookies" are just plain yummy. And, now that I have the recipe, I can make them too! Thank you Cat for such an informative blog. Herbs are your bag, lady!
Dec. 2, 2012 2:30 pm
Cat, thanks for all the brilliant ideas! My yard could handle a little pot of mint, so I'll have to give this a try. Good info here on herbs. Makes me want to dig out my books! Thanks!
Dec. 2, 2012 5:51 pm
Candice, loved being there vicariously yesterday! Submitted the cookie recipe like you asked me to. I'm glad you liked this blog. I learned quite a bit while trying to ferret out some answers to my herbal questions and I'm glad I could share it.
Dec. 2, 2012 5:58 pm
Marianne, that is kind of you to say. I saw it more as a wonderful experiment that worked! Fun and exciting :) Several people asked about growing mint and I said I would edit the blog and give them some info. The more I have thought about it, the more I think it should be another experiment and deserves its own blog. Mint has a mind of its own but this year I found uses for it I had never thought of. Dig out those books you might uncover something to share with the rest of us :)
Dec. 2, 2012 8:07 pm
Cat, thanks for sharing your knowledge, ideas and recipes. A woman of many talents. I am pleased to know you, even if just a little.
Dec. 2, 2012 8:36 pm
Cat,yes, mint does have a mind of its own---kind of like bamboo. You have to contain it! I'll enjoy any blog you want to share!
Dec. 3, 2012 4:20 am
Finally checking in...whew! Back from the California meet-up, what a great time. LOVED your blog. The mint sugar, herbal salt mix, mint cookies, and especially the cheese crackers are all the best. I don't typically use sugar in my tea, but I have added a bit of the mint sugar to hot tea. How cool is the history of Mike's sage plant? I've got multiple varieties of mint planted in a huge pot. Hopefully it will winter over. No good space in the house for it and the pot's too big. I think you mentioned that I really shouldn't have planted all of them in one pot because they will all start tasting like each other? Thanks for all the info and gardening tips. Keep on blogging!
Dec. 3, 2012 5:35 am
Oh Marianne! That was something I did NOT know about bamboo when I planted it. It took off SO slowly here that I wasn't concerned. Then BOOM almost overnight one year it shot out from its parent plant like the Hydra. I dug some up and it scarcely noticed. I think it encouraged it to grow taller!
Dec. 3, 2012 5:40 am
Indiana Peggy, thanks for stopping in! I'm glad you liked the blog. It has been fun putting these G2K blogs together and inviting everyone into the garden to see what I have been up to. Coming up with new ways to use all these different herbs I have has been a fun learning process for me. Glad I could share it!
Dec. 3, 2012 5:49 am
Good morning Magnolia Blossom! Meeting up with all those wonderful ladies how could you not have a great time! I had fun getting all those texts and I wasn't even there! That settles it! Not this month but I will put together a G2K blog just for mint because what I told you wasn't quite correct. I thought it was and it sort of was. Stronger mints will take over your pot with their roots but the individual mints will retain their characteristics. However, if these mints go to seed and their seed takes hold, that will be a hybrid like neither parent plant. Overwintering that pot could be tricky depending on our year. I suggest burying in the ground up by the house. If we have really low temps and your pot is above ground it can freeze kill the roots of your plants. And keep it watered! I loved the history of Mike's sage and look forward to getting some of it with its history. Glad you had a safe trip back!
Dec. 3, 2012 6:12 am
Good morning.Now I know how to make that wonderful salt and sugar.Can't wait to use my sugar on cookies you sent me.Used the salt on my baked potatoes.Yum!
Dec. 3, 2012 6:41 am
georgi porgi, I am so glad you liked it! I discovered you can pulverize that sugar and add it to cocoa if you like a mint flavor in it. Amazing what herbs can do for our food! I'm wishing I had more of that salsa!
Dec. 3, 2012 7:32 am
I love the flavored sugars and salts! I haven't tried one with oregano and garlic, but I bet that's a good one. I love basil salt. And I drank iced tea all summer sweetened with a touch of lemon verbena/mint sugar. I so miss the growing season. And those crackers...gotta go get the recipe! They look yummy. And the cookies, too. I love using herbs this way. Your garden is one I would love to see! : )
Dec. 3, 2012 9:55 am
wisweetp, I had never made either so this was a new thing to me. I was so impressed by the end result with the salt. It's been great being able to use my herbs in a new way. The cracker recipe is still not updated but that one will work. BigShotsMom, said she had good results with it. There will be another roundup here in June of next year. If you can make it you are more than welcome to come. I'd love to meet you and it is also so much fun meeting a bunch of AR cooks!
Dec. 3, 2012 11:21 am
Hi, friend! A great blog (as usual)! Very interesting and informative. It's all been said above, but I can certainly vouch for those tasty cookies and crackers! Your experiment with the facial scrub sounds very cool!! BRAVO!
Dec. 3, 2012 12:05 pm
I love that! Everyone has been so clever with their names. I believe I fell short. I can not believe how well the olive oil and sugar srub work. I have been wondering how you have been. Glad to see you!
Dec. 3, 2012 5:12 pm there any possible sub for the lemon vodka in the crackers?
Dec. 3, 2012 7:05 pm
Indiana Peggy, that is a good question. I made the lemon vodka myself just to get that sharper flavor. The vodka itself acts as a crisper for the cracker. Alton Brown did a show on this because BigShotsMom looked it up for me when we were discussing cracker making. Because the vodka acts differently than water when mixing with the flour, you can get a crisper end product and no I didn't exactly pay attention to the chemistry part of that, I just know it works. I've been using plain vodka for my pie crusts for the last several years with excellent results. If you don't want to buy lemon flavored vodka, you can make your own. Hope that helped. And sorry if it didn't.
Dec. 4, 2012 7:06 am
Yes, helped much. I need to buy a small bottle of vodka and give this a shot! (Pun intended.)
Dec. 4, 2012 10:20 am
LOL! Peggy if you don't want to purchase a big bottle just get one of the airplane sized ones. I add lemon juice and lemons to my vodka and let it steep much the same as I did the Blackberry Brandy. You know how the cheezits have such flavor to them? I figured not only would the vodka give me the crunch but adding lemon would just put the taste up a notch. Time to go make some myself :)
Dec. 6, 2012 7:03 am
I am the lucky recipient of some of your glorious herbal salt and I use it only for special occasions. Now that you shared the secrets, I will use it with wild abandon and make some more when the salt gets low :) Thanks for sharing. XO
Dec. 6, 2012 1:48 pm
Hi mauigirl! Did you notice others had some other flavoring ideas? The sky or herb is limit for the salt. I'm attempting another recipe with the sugar- wanna be Girl Scout cookies. Just need to coat them in chocolate and see how they are received. I like the cookie part!
Dec. 22, 2012 9:31 am
You never cease to amaze me with your herbs and goodies. XO for sharing
Dec. 22, 2012 10:49 am
:) I'm hot on the heels of making an excellent thin mint cookie (:
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Cat Hill

Home Town
Kansas City, Missouri, USA

Member Since
Aug. 2009

Cooking Level

Cooking Interests
Baking, Grilling & BBQ, Frying, Stir Frying, Asian, Mexican, Italian, Southern, Mediterranean, Healthy, Gourmet

Gardening, Camping, Walking, Reading Books, Wine Tasting

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About Me
I live in the middle of the U.S. in a farming communtiy. Gardening, reading and cooking are the things you'll mostly find me doing. I also enjoy horseback riding & my many pets. A husband & teen, I have 1 of each.
My favorite things to cook
Bread & BBQ are 2 of my favorite things to cook. I do enjoy a food challenge. Last year it was curing my own brisket for Corned beef & pastrami & porkloin for Canadian bacon. This year sausages & scratch cakes.
My favorite family cooking traditions
Bread and brittle. I learned to bake bread with my Mom. It was her favorite thing to make. My Aunt made the best peanut brittle ever. She'd stopped making it in the later years but when I told her how much I enjoyed her brittle, she opened the vault ,gave me the recipe & handed over the brittle torch to me.
My cooking triumphs
Anything that turns out the way I wanted it to or exceeds my expectations! Like my homemade bratwurst.
My cooking tragedies
Let's not go there! I prefer not to think about my kitchen disasters besides my child can gleefully recount all of them.
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