What's Cooking in Carolina?

Mainly creative menus and recipes (usually healthy) and always from scratch with tips for party planning, theme parties, weddings and decorating tips so you can give swank parties or dinners to delight your guests from a part time caterer, owner/operator of a coming soon Entree Vous, but mainly a cook and eater who grows much of her own food and loves to laugh.

Friday, September 29, 2006


For the year anniversary of at home at Kalyns Kitchen, the theme is your favorite herb. To be honest, my favorite herb is seasonal. My favorite summer herb is basil, fall is sage, winter is thyme and spring is rosemary. We grow all of these plus parsley, cilantro, tarragon, oregano, lavender, burnet, lemon balm, lemon grass, Wrigley's spearmint, chives, garlic chives, dill and wild peppermint grows wild in my woods. Some years I grow lemon verbena but my main source closed up and I had no easy access this year. One of my cats, Tai-thai has a preference for lemon grass, though you would think she would like the Thai Basil, given her name! Ha!

Anyway, I (probably along with many others) am going to focus on Basil, because it is the time of year when I have to figure out what to do with it all. Hopefully, I can put a twist on it that others have not.

When we make pesto, we make enough to freeze. It isn't as good as fresh, but still wakes up the palate on a winter day, or is great to stir into soups to lift the flavor! One nifty thick is to leave a bit of the pesto in the food processor, then add the flour, eggs, olive oil and water to make pasta. The pasta comes out beautifully flecked with the pesto and is delicately flavored too!

We love to make pizza with roasted eggplant, fresh tomato and fresh mozzarella and put fresh basil on it right out of the oven!

We just made basil, chive, and lime butter to put on fresh grilled corn on the cob.

And we made basil oil. It is great for decorating plates or adding color and flavor to pasta.

We will dry some too. Yes there is an occasional use for dried basil. And this year, for the first time ever, we're going to try to grow it under lights over the winter, now that we have an indoor growing chamber (which is used for grape seedlings, spring vegetables and orchids.)

Looking forward to fall even though I still have a tom of basil to process! And I want you to know how much I enjoy the other Weekend Herb Bloggers! Keep cooking! And if you want the recipe for basil butter, compound butter recipes are our recipe of the week on our website this week so check out Swank Recipes!


  • At 2:14 PM, Blogger Kalyn said…

    I love the idea of the basil butter and basil oil, and of course, pesto is the best!! I am guessing basil will win, but so far I'm surprised how spread across the board the votes are.

  • At 4:10 AM, Blogger Katie said…

    I'm with you - herbs change with the seasons, as does the rest of my cooking.

  • At 12:43 PM, Blogger ejm said…

    Basil butter... mmmmmmm


    P.S. Lemon Verbena is a tender perennial - we have ours in a pot that I bring inside as soon as the night temperatures start dropping below 10C (50F) Maybe you can do the same if you get hold of lemon verbena next year.

  • At 6:54 PM, Anonymous pookah said…

    Thanks for the note. I sent you one. Love the changing of the seasons and the food!

    EJM: I need to find a source, especially since I have an indoor growing chamber (lights). I just have to steal space from the orchids (husband's hobby).

  • At 5:16 PM, Blogger ejm said…

    Yes, you must push aside a few of the orchids to make room for a small pot of lemon verbena. :^) If pushing orchids aside isn't an option, I bet it would even be fine if it were placed closish to the lights. It goes into dormancy over the winter anyway - even losing many of its leaves. It just doesn't like really cold temperatures.


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