Monday, November 26, 2012


"There's rosemary, that's for remembrance. Pray you, love, remember."

           ~ William Shakespeare, Hamlet

Known for centuries as the “herb of remembrance”, rosemary has played its part in human life all the way from weddings (to encourage couples to remember their vows!) to funerals. 

As Christian legend has it, that the rosemary bush sheltered the Holy Family in their escape to Egypt. In gratitude, Mary laid her cloak on the shrub, turning its white flowers blue. 

Rosemary has been credited with enhancing love, warding off plague and typhoid, and growing only in the gardens of the righteous. Aromatherapists prize its essential oil for its strong, fresh, camphor aroma and its clarifying/invigorating benefits. It blends well with citrus, forest, and Oriental notes, and can be found in rinses for dark hair, room deodorants, household sprays, disinfectants, and soaps. 

Present-day research is looking into rosemary oil as beneficial in fighting Alzheimer’s Disease - “herb of remembrance”, indeed! 

In the kitchen, Rosemary lends a savory, pungent note to many dishes. It goes beautifully with pork, beef, and poultry - sparingly with fish - and pairs well with cheese and fruit, especially citrus. Here are just a few of my favorite rosemary recipes, for the holidays and beyond - enjoy!

Rosemary Roasted Cashews
From Ina Garten
1 1/4 pounds cashews (About 4 cups)
2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh rosemary leaves
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 teaspoons dark brown sugar
2 teaspoons kosher salt or sea salt
1 tablespoon melted butter

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Place cashews on an ungreased baking sheet and bake for about 10 minutes until they are warmed through. Meanwhile, combine the remaining ingredients in a large bowl. Toss the warm nuts with the rosemary mixture until completely coated. Serve warm.

Rosemary Cheese Fingers
From The Complete Book of Herbs, Lesley Bremness  ISBN 0-14-023802-6
2 oz butter                                                     
2 cups rolled oats                                           
1 ½ cups sharp cheddar cheese, grated        
1 egg, beaten
1 Tbl chopped rosemary (fresh or dried)
Pinch of cayenne pepper

Preheat oven to 350°.  Melt the butter in a saucepan.  Place remaining ingredients in a bowl and mix in the butter.  Press the mixture into a greased 8” square pan.  Bake for 30 to 40 minutes.  Cut into fingers.

Rosemary Squares
From The Pleasure of Herbs , Phyllis Shaudys ISBN 0-88266-423-9
1 cup flour
½ tsp salt
1 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. dried rosemary (or 1 tsp. fresh)
2 eggs
1 cup brown sugar
2 tsp. vanilla
2/3 cup chopped pecans
1 cup candied fruit & raisins

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour an 8x8” square pan. Sift flour, salt, and baking powder together; add rosemary and set aside. In a large bowl, beat the eggs vigorously, gradually adding brown sugar. Add vanilla and mix well. Add the flour mixture and mix until moistened, the fold in pecans, candied fruit, and raisins. Pour into pan and bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees. Remove from pan while still warm; cool and cut into bars. Yield:  30 squares.

Slow-Cooker Rosemary Roast
From Jules

½ cup good steak sauce
1 (4-5 pound) chuck roast
2 Tbl dried minced onion
1 Tbl fresh or 2 tsp dried rosemary
Whole baby carrots
Red potatoes, peeled and cut up

Pour steak sauce into the slow cooker’s crock.  Place meat in the crock, turn to coat both sides with steak sauce, and remove to a plate.  Place vegetables in the bottom of the crock and sprinkle with half of the rosemary.  Next, sprinkle the dried onion and remaining rosemary on each side of the roast and place it on top of the vegetables.  Cover and cook on Low for 10 hours or High for 5 hours  (times may vary, depending on your slow cooker).  If desired, make gravy from the juices.

Variation: Instead of steak sauce and minced onion, use a can of condensed French onion soup. Pour half over the vegetables, season with rosemary, then use the remaining half on each side of the roast and season roast with rosemary as well. Makes a great beef/onion gravy.

Enjoy your Rosemary, and Happy December!   ~ J.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Craft show season!

 We interrupt these recipes for The Season...

Basic booth setup... all in place and ready to go!
The view from where I sit, before the show opens

Just a sample of needle-felted alpaca earrings. More to come!