Fragrant Floral Vinegar

Thanks again to all of you who came to the Fabulous Food Show. It was a lot of fun.  As promised the Fragrant Floral Vinegar I had for sampling is now available. It is an infusion of chive blossoms, purple basil blossoms, lilac, lavender and roses. You can get it at:

Chef’s Ingredient Outlet

4145 Mayfield Rd. South Euclid, OH 216 381 9916

Food Show Recipes

Thanks to all of the wonderful people who attended my talks at the Fabulous Food Show . As promised here are the recipes from Friday and Saturday.

Pesto Sauce

1 c. tightly packed basil leaves

1/4 c. olive oil

3-4 cloves garlic

Salt to taste

1/2 c. pine nuts, sunflower seeds or walnuts

1 c. fresh grated Parmesan cheese

Combine all ingredients, except the cheese, in a blender and mix until smooth. Stir in the cheese and toss over hot, cooked pasta or use as a sauce on meat and poultry. Sauce will keep a few days in the fridge and makes about 1 1/2 cups, enough for 1 lb. of cooked pasta or hot cooked potatoes.

Herb Vinegars

You will need:

A clean jar or bottle with a tight-fitting lid

Fresh or dried herbs

Vinegar, any flavor but must be 5% acidity

Food grade cheesecloth or coffee filters

Decorative jars or bottles

Nice extras: whole garlic cloves, hot peppers, fruit, edible flowers or herb sprigs

For herb vinegar you need 2 cups of vinegar for each cup of fresh herbs or each 1/3 c. of dried herbs. Place herbs in jar and pour over the vinegar. Screw on lid and store in a cool, dry place for 10 days or longer. You can then strain out the herbs and pour the vinegar through a filter- lined strainer. You can use the cheesecloth or coffee filters. Vinegar will be completely clear. Now just bottle your herb vinegar in a pretty bottle and seal. You can make your own decorative labels or even seal with paraffin. You can add garlic (6-8 cloves per quart) to your vinegar, before or after filtering for flavor. You can also add hot peppers to spice it up. An edible flower like chive blossoms can be added for appearance or just a sprig of the fresh herb. Lemon or orange peel in a thin strip adds flavor and looks nice as well as raspberries or blackberries.

Some good herbs for vinegar include: basil, dill, fennel, chives (blossoms), garlic chives (blossoms), marjoram, mint, rosemary, sage, tarragon, thyme and lavender. This, of course, is only a partial list and you can use other herbs that you like.

You can also make herb vinegar by placing herb sprigs and flowers in a pretty bottle then filling with vinegar. Seal and decorate bottle before giving as a gift.

To use paraffin to seal your bottle: Always melt paraffin over hot water, never over direct heat or in a microwave.  Place a ribbon over the top of the corked bottle, hanging down a couple of inches on each side. Tie this piece down with another piece of ribbon around the neck of the bottle. Now dip the bottle top in the melted paraffin and allow to cool. You can trim off some of the ribbon, but leave enough to get hold of. The ribbon becomes a means of easily unsealing the vinegar. Just pull on the ribbon to remove the wax.

Make your own labels and add a recipe or use ideas if you like. For color retention, vinegar should be refrigerated. Use within a year of making.

Judi’s Herb Braids

5 ½ -6 ½ c. flour- white, spelt, whole wheat or a combination

2 packages quick rising yeast

¼ c. dried toasted shallots or onions

2 T. each dried marjoram and parsley

1 T. each dried oregano and minced garlic

1 T. honey

2 t. dried thyme

2 t. salt

¼ c. olive oil

2 ¼ c. hot water

In a mixing bowl combine 2 c. of flour with the rest of the ingredients and mix until smooth. Beat with electric mixer 4 minutes then add 1-cup additional flour and beat 1 minute longer. Stir in flour ½ cup at a time until soft dough forms. Turn onto surface and knead, adding flour gradually until dough is smooth and elastic. Place dough in lightly greased bowl and turn to cover. Cover with a towel and let rise until doubled, about 30 minutes. Turn dough onto surface and cut in half. Cut each half into thirds. Roll each piece of dough into an 18-inch rope. Loosely braid three ropes together and repeat with the remaining dough. Place on greased baking sheet and cover until doubled in size, about 20 minutes.

Bake in a preheated 375-degree oven for 25-30 minutes, or until bread sounds hollow when tapped lightly. Makes 2.

Variation: Whole wheat: Add 2 cups of whole-wheat flour to replace 2 cups of white flour. Also try adding ¼ c. of wheat germ, oat bran or 2 tablespoons of seeds (sesame, pumpkin, sunflower, poppy, etc.)

Regular yeast can be used, but rising times will be longer and water should be warm, not hot.



Turkey 101

On Monday, November 14 I’ll be teaching a class on how to cook the perfect turkey. The class is at the Wellness Center on Wooster Road in Rocky River. We’ll also have plenty of sides and desserts. Since the Mentor class is sold out on Tuesday this may be your last chance to get it right in time for Thanksgiving. To register call 440 356 0670. The class is from 7-9 pm. Do come hungry!!!

The Fabulous Food Show

I’ll be speaking at the Fabulous Food Show tomorrow at 4:30 talking about cooking with herbs. There will be some FREE food for tasting, too. Please stop by and say hello. I’ll also be there on Saturday at 12:30 and 4:30. I’ll be in the Farm Market area- to the left as you enter the show. Thanks to all of you who have already responded. 🙂

The Fabulous Food Show

I am pleased to be speaking at the Fabulous Food Show at the I-X Center this weekend. I will be talking on Cooking with Herbs. I am scheduled for Friday at 4:30 and Saturday at 12:30 and 3:30. I hope you will stop by to say hello.

I am going to be in the Farm Market area- turn left as you enter the show. The show is always a fun time for foodies and non-foodies alike.

Liqueur Class

Ask and you shall receive. So  many people in last night’s class asked for certain classes in their evaluation forms that they have been added to the schedule for Spring 2012 in Mentor. Liqueurs will be on May 3 and Cooking with Herbs will be on May 10. These are Thursday nights as the Tuesday docket was full. I just updated the website ( www. ) with all the Mentor classes. Hope to see you there.

Last Blue Pike Farm Market

This Thursday will be the last day of the Blue Pike Farm market. It’s been a great year and a lot of fun. I want to invite all of you to stop in to say hello and see the farm. We’ll have fresh, local produce, lots of baked goods and I’ll have my wine jelly, peach preserves, strawberry preserves and pepper relish. New this week I’ll also have Fragrant Floral Vinegar infused with chives, basil, lilac, lavender and roses. Since it will be cold I will also have hot chocolate to warm you up. Blue Pike Farm is located at 900 E. 72 street- just south of the Shoreway. Market hours are from 4-7. I hope to see you there.

Canning Green Tomatillo Salsa

I had a question this morning about how to save-preserve tomatillos. While Salsa Verde can be frozen it can be canned if you follow a tested and USDA approved recipe. Here is a recipe that can be cannned or frozen so you can enjoy tomatillos throughout the year. 🙂 You can also use green tomatoes instead of tomatillos or a combination.

There will be tomatillos at the market at Blue Pike Farm this afternoon. Hope to see you there.

Tomatillo Green Salsa

5 cups chopped tomatillos

1½ cups seeded, chopped long green chiles

½ cup seeded, finely chopped jalapeño peppers

4 cups chopped onions

1 cup bottled lemon or lime juice

6 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1 tablespoon ground cumin*

3 tablespoons oregano leaves*

1 tablespoon salt

1 teaspoon black pepper

Combine all ingredients in a large saucepan and stir

frequently over high heat until mixture begins to boil,

then reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring

occasionally. Ladle hot into pint jars, leaving ½ inch

headspace. Adjust lids and process in a boiling water

canner: 15 minutes at 0–1,000 feet altitude; 20 minutes at

1,001–6,000 feet; or 25 minutes above 6,000 feet.

Yield: 5 pints


You may use green tomatoes in this recipe instead of


South Euclid Fall Festival-Free Cookies!!!

I will again be participating in the Fall Festival next Saturday, October 15th,  at the South Euclid Library- located on Mayfield Road. What will I be doing you ask? Well, I will have a whole lot of pumpkin-shaped sugar cookies for kids to frost and decorate. It was such a big hit last year they invited me back. It really was a lot of fun. Here’s the deal- it is for kids so if you show up with a kid- any kid really – doesn’t have to be yours- they get a cookie. If you say you read this blog- you get a cookie- even if you aren’t a kid. So spread the word and come and see me next week in beautiful South Euclid, Ohio. It’ll be sweet!

Last Shaker Market

Can’t believe it but tomorrow is the last market at First Baptist Church. If you want to get my preserves, herbs and books please be sure to stop by. Making more wine jelly today as I have pretty much wiped out my supply. There are wonderful produce vendors there and Plum Creek has their amazing poultry. Best ducks in the world- really. Carl, from Blue Pike Farm, will be there and it looks to be a wonderful day.

First Baptist Church is located on the corner of Fairmount and Eaton and the market runs from 4-7 pm. Hope to see you there.

New Release: