Garden, Plant, Cook!

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Free - Seed - Share!!! This Friday, October 31, 2014 - Mesa Farmers Market - Plus Boyce Thompson Arboretum Events

Dear Folks,

Come on out to the Mesa Farmers Market this Friday to shop from local vendors AND pick up some FREE seed to get your garden growing.

I am hosting this event along with the Market, and I try to do this 3 times a year to time for best seeding in for the season.

If you have any non-gmo seed (preferably food - but can be ornamental) you are welcomed to bring some, however it is not necessary to contribute seed to pick up some seed.

I will have small envelopes for you to choose some (most people do not need a whole package) seed of any kind available.


Mesa Community Farmers Market
Center Street south of University on the east side of the street
(the market runs year-round every Friday morning)
9 a.m. - 1 p.m.

Hope to see you there.

. . .

Last Sunday's Herb Festival at the Boyce Thompson Aboretum was great - the weather could not have been better.  The atmosphere of the setting across from the Wing Memorial Herb Garden was enhanced by the lovely music of The Levno Duo from Chandler (Celinda and John Levno, on flute and guitar).  The lovely creativity of Susan Corl showcased her many gift ideas, the Arizona Herb Association was there to answer questions and with a huge assortment of seed packages for sale, and I provided a couple of dips focusing on some of my favorite herbs for flavor -- basil, Syrian Oregano (Za'atar) and Lemon Verbena, fresh from my garden. (see my prior blog post for the recipes).

Below is contact information for the participants in the Herb Festival

Arizona Herb Association

Susan Corl - textile artists extradinare

Read up on Susan's work at the BTA blog post here

Celinda and John Levno are available for events including weddings

. . .

Mark Your Calendars! -- December 6th - an Author's Day at the Boyce Thompson Arboretum.  Along with other author's I will be talking about and selling my books.  Watch the BTA Event page for updates on times and details.

-- Catherine, The Herb Lady

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Herb Festival Recipes at the Boyce Thompson Arboretum

Dear Folks,

I hope you are able to get out and actually sample these dips today! :-)

Boyce Thompson Aboretum

Herb Festival

October 26, 2014
* end-of-the-plant-sale special event from 11am - 3pm
"Herb is the word" for our Fall Plant Sale; we'll have an expanded variety of herbs throughout the sale - plus a new date for our annual Herb Festival, which moves to late October this year to take advantage of optimal herb planting time. Sunday the 26th brings a chance to meet volunteers from the Arizona Herb Association, tour BTA's Wing Memorial Herb Garden, and enjoy herbal cuisine prepared by Catherine "The Herb Lady" Crowley.
Yogurt Pesto Dip
Fresh basil is the star of this dip.  Who does not love basil?

4    cups plain yogurt
1/2    cup grated parmesan cheese
1/2    teaspoon salt
1/2    cup walnut pieces
1 cup light packed basil shredded or 2-3 tablespoon dried basil (more if you like)
1    clove crushed garlic (1/4 teaspoon of dried)

Combine all - best if chilled for several hours or overnight before serving.

Cauliflower - Tofu Dip

I am on a cauliflower recipe collecting binge and wanted to make something with tofu and cauliflower.  When I think of tofu I think "cheese" and cauliflower goes very well with cheese.  I also wanted to use some lemon and a robust herb so I choose Syrian Oregano (Za'atar) and lemon verbena.

1 head of cauliflower
1 package of extra firm tofu
Leaves from five 5" sprigs of Syrian Oregano (about 3 tablespoon loose pack)
3/4 cup of loose pack lemon verbena leaves
Zest of 1 lemon
1 ½ - 2 tablespoons lemon juice
3/4 teaspoon salt

Drain and press* tofu to remove extra liquid.  Cut into chunks.
Break cauliflower into florets, tosses with a bit of avocado (or olive) oil and roast at 450 for 25-30 minutes until lightly golden (don’t let burn) - cool completely.

Using a food processor, grind cauliflower with herbs and zest.  Transfer to a bowl.
Grind tofu with lemon juice and salt.
Combine all
Adjust salt and lemon juice to taste.

*Slice package top plastic but do not remove. Drain liquid then place a food can (about 14 oz) on top to press the tofu extracting as much liquid as possible - about 10-15 minutes.

Serve either of these dips with veggie sticks, pretzels, chips or crackers.  Either dip can also be a sandwich spread.

I found a new-to-me cracker "CrunchMaster" gluten-free 5 seed version, which I will be using at the festival.

Hope you enjoy both dips.

. . .

You can find more recipes like these in my cookbook “101+ Recipes from The Herb Lady”

-- Catherine, The Herb Lady

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