Wednesday, June 5, 2013

I{HEART}ART: Inspiration: Pets!
"Mr. Fluff" by Tina C. Wells
This little guy belongs to my friend Donna. I'm pretty sure he rules the ranch! Pet portraits are fun and affordable; an especially good gift. To view more pet portraits, visit my website: 

RECIPE: Herbes de Provence

A few weeks ago, I spent a lovely afternoon catching up with my friend Donna. Her beautiful property in Jamul is called Hillside Ranch. I love it there...horses, barns, succulents, gardens, and her charming internationally eclectic hacienda. Her raised, covered, edible garden is wonderful. The photos below show the amazing bounty! I was the lucky recipient of some her fresh-from-the-garden vegetables. 

Bountiful harvest at Hillside Ranch!

Donna shared with me another project she has been working on, her herb garden. Herbs are fairly simple to grow, and nothing compares in your cooking. She has been drying her herbs and making homemade batches of Herbes de Provence. Drying herbs is quite easy. Two simple methods:

  1. Clip herbs, tie stems, hang to dry in warm, dry spot; approximately 2 weeks
  2. Lay herbs on a cookie sheet and place in a warm 150 degree oven 3-4 hours, with the oven door open a little.

Donna used a recipe for Herbes de Provence from Keys Creek Lavender Farm in Valley Center (north east San Diego county). It sounds like a wonderful place to visit, and I am looking forward to taking a trip to there. I did a little research on Herbs de Provence, and one thing is certain, no two recipes are exactly alike. Herbes de Provence are traditionally used to flavor meats and vegetables. Use directly as a spice rub, or create a marinade: 1/2 cup olive oil, juice of one lemon, 2 TBS herbs. Another suggestion, slice french bread, spread with olive oil and goat cheese, sprinkle with herbs, bake.
I will list 2 recipe versions. Because there does not seem to be one standard, I would say that experimentation and personal preference are the rule. 

Herbes de Provence (basic recipe, equal parts)

Lavender Farm Herbes de Provence
1 part Fennel
1 part Mint
2 parts Lavender
2 parts dried orange peel
2 parts Bay leaves
3 parts Rosemary
3 parts Savory
3 parts Marjoram
3 parts Thyme

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