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Herbs and Spice and Everything Nice

A post on gardening is perfect for Mother’s Day week.  My Mom is a gardening expert. In fact, I have said many times, her garden should grace the covers of magazines like Southern Living or Better Homes and Gardens.

She truly lives for the blooms and she is my gardening muse. I look to her for inspiration and guidance before I plant anything new on our property and she never steers me wrong.

Growing my own herbs brings me so much joy and satisfaction, I am sure I get this trait from my mother.  There is simply nothing that can compare to that fresh herbaceous flavor and color brought to dishes like the sweet and savory Herbed Chevre and Honey Panini, an all-time favorite recipe, shared below.

Creating an herb garden for seasoning your dishes can be as simple as choosing 3-4 varieties for a pot to rest on your kitchen ledge.  If you would like to craft an herb garden with me, YOU CAN!  Join me for my upcoming class, Lunch and Learn HERBS where we will prepare dishes jam packed with fresh from the garden flavor before crafting a charming herb gardens to take home and enjoy.

Let me show you how I get that fresh herb flavor in all my dishes.

When we moved into this home, ten years ago, there was a small patch of earth on a retaining wall that got full sun and a bonus, it was right outside the kitchen door. It’s the perfect local to grow a few herbs.

Each year I remove 3-4 more of the huge shrubs that used to fill this bed entirely and I expand my kitchen garden, planting more and more food to enjoy at our table and in my cooking classes.

To get started on your own kitchen garden…

add good stuff to build the soil like compost and peat moss and till the soil well.  Be sure to remove any roots and stones.

Next, add a good amount of Calloways flower bed mix before planting herbs and vegetables.

Be sure to water everything in well.  Keep the water coming so herbs and vegetables can grow to their peak. Look at these peppers!  Only 1 month in the ground and there is already fruit to harvest!

 Don’t you just love these little flat stones painted as garden markers, they add a bit of charm to my garden!

One last thing!  I am so proud of my bay tree!  It has been working so hard to hang on for the last year and look at it grow now! YAY!

Wishing you all a wonderful Mother’s Day!

Herbed Chevre and Honey Panini

8 slices good quality white or country bread

6 ounces fresh chevre

1 tablespoon fresh chopped parsley

1 tablespoon fresh chopped chives

1 teaspoon dried basil

½ teaspoon dried dill

¼ teaspoon dried thyme

Zest from 1 large lemon

1 cup shredded Gruyere cheese

½ cup creamed honey

Pinch lavender (optional)

1 teaspoon butter

In a medium bowl mix goat cheese with all herbs and lemon zest, let mixture rest 1 hour to overnight to allow flavors to meld.  Add lavender to honey and mix well.  Heat grill pan over medium heat.  Swab pan with a small amount of butter.  Grill bread on one side until golden brown.  Swab pan with remaining butter and turn bread to other side.  Coat half of the bread with the chevre mixture, next a pinch of gruyere cheese followed by a generous amount of honey. Top with second piece of bread to create sandwiches.  Use a press or heavy skillet to press sandwiches into Panini.  Serve warm.

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2 Replies to “Herbs and Spice and Everything Nice”

  1. Peggy Chandler May 10, 2018 at 1:08 PM

    Thanks for the information, Lorie. I have looked everywhere for a bay tree. Where did you find yours?

    1. Hi Peggy!
      I ordered mine on Amazon, can you believe it? They came in sets of two and I bought two sets. I planted each set in one pot and wound the tiny trunks together to form one tree. I lost one of the sets. I recommend you ordering in the early fall when it is not too hot! Maybe I will do a post on that! Have a great day!

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Lorie Fangio | A Taste of Paris

Meet Lorie Fangio

Lorie Fangio is a teaching chef and the founder of A Taste of Paris culinary excursions. She shares her extensive knowledge of French food & culture through cooking classes, regular TV appearances, local publications, and speaking engagements. She is an award-winning food & lifestyle blogger with a zest for gathering people around a table.

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