The world begins anew! April – May 2014

Herb Blurb April & May 2014

flowerIt’s here. Spring at last! We’re sure to get a few more snowstorms in between gorgeous sunny days, but the first color flashes are beginning to appear. The world begins anew.

I will be on a solo road trip from late April to mid-May so this issue of the Herb Blurb will cover both months.

 

Upcoming Classes

Herb and wild edible walks, private cooking, crafting and garden classes are available for you or your group or organization. Check www.chrysalisherbs.com for topics or call Susan at 303-697-6060.

 

Herb Walk
Friday April 11th, 11am and 1pm, CU Boulder, Museum of Natural History, Free!!
http://cumuseum.colorado.edu, 303-492-6892, cumuseum@colorado.edu
From back alleys to wild areas, nature provides us with a bounty of wild plants for food and healing. Learn identification, ideal locations, and preparation of wild plants for eating and first aid. Step outside and explore the wild edible and medicinal plants you’ve been stepping on all of these years. Class will meet on the south entrance of the museum.

 

Wild Things Workshop

Saturday April 19th, 10am – 2:30pm, Denver Botanic Gardens
$64 member; $69 non-member; Register here, Info: 720-865-3580, registar@botanicgardens.org
Nettle
Explore the fascinating world of wild edibles and medicinals in this plant intensive workshop! We’ll begin with an herb walk, identifying local weeds and discovering uses for food, medicine and tonics. After breaking for a wild foods lunch of Wild Green with Berries and Goat Cheese, Pasta with Nettle Pesto, Sun Dried Tomatoes and Olives, and Lavender Cream and Elderberry syrup, we’ll make a tonic tea, antiviral tincture and soothing salve to take home. We’ll discuss ethical wildcrafting, harvesting, processing and storage. Discover what you’ve been stepping on all these years! Part of the class will be held outdoors, please dress for the weather.


Herbal Home and Garden Workshop
Saturday May 17th, 10am – 2pm, Denver Botanic Gardens, $64 member; $69 non-member Includes all materials. Register here. Info: 720-865-3580. registar@botanicgardens.org
teaA fun and creative class to learn about all the ways you can use these easy to grow, fragrant plants to enrich your home and lifestyle. Plant a garden full of plants that do double duty in the kitchen, medicine cabinet, spa, and cleaning cupboard.

We’ll take a tour of the herb garden and cover the planting, growing, and harvesting of easy to grow herbs. Discover culinary teas and seasoning blends, herbal scrubs and body and bath care, first aid, and green cleaning. We’ll have an herbal cooking class and lunch featuring Roasted Tomato Gazpacho with Parmesan Crisps, Herbed Chicken Salad with Green Goddess Dressing, and Rosemary Rhubarb Cobbler. From an herbal ingredient buffet, make and take home your own herbal seasoning blend, tasty tea blend, infused vinegar, exfoliating body scrub, soothing lip balm, and all-purpose cleaner. Discover the fascinating world of herbs! Lunch, extensive handout with growing instructions, and recipes included.

 

Garden to Glass: Cocktails, Mocktails and Tapas
Saturday May 31st, 3 pm – 7 pm, Denver Botanic Gardens, $68 member; $72 non-member Includes all materials. Register here. Info: 720-865-3580. registar@botanicgardens.org
mococtail
Create a custom happy hour with herbs, fruits and veggies you grow yourself! Learn the secrets to making great cocktails, mocktails and tapas. We’ll take a garden tour of the best plants to use and discuss planting, growing and harvesting. Discover how easy it is to make simple syrups, infused liquors, bitters, mixers, mocktails and garnishes. What are cocktails without a savory bite? We’ll make Stuffed Peppadews Wrapped in Prosciutto with a Port Reduction, Smoked Salmon Mousse with Chive Cream and Capers, Goat Cheese, Pistachio and Apricot Truffles, herbed olives, and Arugula, Sun Dried Tomato Pesto. Garden tour, cooking class, cocktail class, plant list with growing hints, cocktail and tapas tasting and take home limoncello and bitters included. Must be 21 years old to participate.

 

Trips and Travel

Time to start thinking about getting away. I will be taking a small group to one of my favorite places this summer, Crested Butte. So close and yet a world away with its incredible beauty.
Crested Butte: Fields of Color, Farm to Fork, Crested Butte, CO
July 31 – August 3, 2014

creastedbute$752 members, double occupancy. $100 extra fee for nonmembers and $200 single supplement. Pricing includes three nights of deluxe lodging, three breakfasts, two dinners, hikes, tours, and class fees. Check Crested Butte Getaway for full itinerary and registration.

Treat yourself to a fun weekend getaway in the picturesque town of Crested Butte in the heart of the Rocky Mountains. Crested Butte is a charming 1880’s mining town and national historic district with great shops and restaurants in a spectacular mountain setting. It has been designated the “Wildflower Capital of Colorado”. Enjoy upscale mountainside lodging adjacent to the ski lift with a pool and hot tub and great hiking. Included activities feature a savory tapas tasting dinner with wine, ski lift ride to an alpine wildflower hike, guided tour of historic downtown and gardens and a farm to fork cooking class.

 You’ll have free time each day for a swim, massage, hike, shopping or any of the many activities offered in the area. Map and list of possibilities are included. Bring your camera, hiking boots, appetite and adventurous spirit and celebrate summer in the gorgeous Colorado mountains! Pricing includes three nights of lodging, three breakfasts, two dinners, hikes, tours, and class fees. Please register by Monday, June 16. Limited space available.

 

Fun Things to Do

Summer festivals are starting with lots of art, food, music and culture. Get out there and have some fun!

Winter Park Wipe Out, Winter Park, CO, April 6, fun, games and races, www.winterparkwipeout.com.

Tulip Fairy and Elf Parade, fun for the kids in Boulder. April 27, www.TulipFairyParade.com.

Spring Wine Tasting, Grand Junction, April 27/28, http://www.grandvalleywine.com/events.htm

Cinco de Mayo Festival and Parade, food, fun and culture downtown – May 3-4, http://www.cincodemayodenver.com  

Five Points Jazz Festival, great food and fantastic free music, May 17 http://artsandvenuesdenver.com/events-programs/five-points-jazz-festival

Downtown Denver Arts Festival, Memorial Day Weekend, May 23 – 25. Incredible art and food. http://www.downtowndenverartsfestival.com  

Free Events

Denver Art Museum – April 5 and 27, May 3

Denver Botanic Gardens – April 22

Denver Museum of Nature and Science – April 13, 26

 

Spring Detox

detoxSpring is a good time to give the body a break and do a cleanse. The easiest way to start a cleanse is to eat what you normally eat for 5 days and keep a diet diary during that time. List what foods were eaten, when they were eaten and in what quantity. You can keep a calorie count if you wish. Try fatsecret.com for a free program that tallies exercise, calories etc. This step is important. Most of us believe we are far more active and eat a lot less than we do.

Now that you are shocked and motivated, take a look at what and when you are eating and see what you would like to change. The easiest cleansing diet is to eliminate all wheat, dairy, sugar and processed food for a period of time, usually 5 days to 3 weeks.

Focus on organic protein, eggs, fish, chicken, and veggies and fruits. You can also have whole grains including brown rice, quinoa, barley and more. Or try the the paleo diet, for a mostly carb and sugar free way of eating. Get ready for revealing fashions of spring and summer and a new sense of energy and well being.

 

Spring Clean

Time to open the windows and clean out the carpets and cobwebs. There is something so soothing and restorative about a clean environment.

cleaningSome of the most toxic substances in the house are cleaning supplies. It’s easy to make your own safe, inexpensive and effective products. Try mixing baking soda with vinegar to make a paste for a very effective Comet substitute. Use the multipurpose spray below anywhere you would use 409.

Multipurpose Spray Cleanser

  • 1 cup liquid soap, I like Dr. Bonners peppermint castile soap.
  • ½ tsp. baking soda
  • ¼ tsp. tea tree, eucalyptus or peppermint essential oil
  • 1 cup rubbing alcohol.

Mix together in a spray bottle. Add water if it’s too thick.

 

Recipes of the Month

What’s in season? Strawberries, rhubarb, arugula, greens, kale, artichokes, asparagus, radish, beets, fava beans, scallions, baby carrots and peas. Just the start of the incredible variety of tastes coming our way with the warmer weather.

 

Arugula, Strawberry, Radish and Goat Cheese Salad – serves 2

  • 2 cups arugulaarugula
  • 6-8 fresh strawberries, lightly rinsed right before serving, sliced
  • 2-3 small radishes, cut into strips
  • 2 tbs of crumbled goat cheese, you can also use blue or Roquefort, parmesan or asiago.
  • 2 tbs or pine nuts (optional)
  • Balsamic vinaigrette (recipe follows)

Lightly dress the arugula with the balsamic vinaigrette. Store the remainder for future salads. Evenly divide between 2 plates and top with strawberries, radishes, cheese and pine nuts.

 

Balsamic Vinaigrette

  • little less than ½ cup balsamic vinegar
  • little more than ½ cup olive or canola oil
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard

Combine in small covered glass container and shake well to blend.

 

Strawberry/Rhubarb Crunch – serves 6-8

Filling

  • 2/3 cup sugarstrawberry
  • 3 tbs flour
  • 1 lb strawberries, sliced
  • 3 cups diced rhubarb
  • 1 tsp fresh squeezed lemon juice

Topping

  • ¾ cup flour
  • ½ cup rolled oats
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 1 stick butter
  • 1 tsp cinnamon

Preheat oven to 375. Mix filling ingredients in bowl and place the mixture in a greased 8×8 baking dish. Mix oats, brown sugar and flour together for topping, cut cold butter into chunks and use a pastry cutter or a fork to add to oat mixture and work into a crumbly texture. Disperse evenly on top of the fruit mixture. Bake 45 minutes or until crisp and golden. Top with whip cream or vanilla ice cream. Yum!

 

Snap Peas with Pesto and Pine Nuts –serves 4-6

  • 1 lb prepared snap peas, watch video on preppingpeas
  • 1/3 cup basil or pesto of choice (recipe follows)
  • ¼ cup pine nuts
  • 3-4 strips of cooked bacon (optional)

Cook snap peas in a large pot of boiling, salted water for about 5 minutes. They should still be somewhat crisp and have a bright green color. Drain and toss with the pesto, top with the pine nuts. For extra taste (and decadence) add some crumbled bacon. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

 

Pesto

  • ¼ cup pine nuts or walnuts
  • ¼ cup olive oil, if you need more, use it, you want a thick sauce texture.
  • 1 cup fresh basil
  • 1/3 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic

Process in food processor until smooth. Use on pastas, sandwiches, roasted vegetables, potatoes and more. Pesto is usually made with basil but you can use any fresh herb as a substitute.

 

Wishing You a Glorious Spring!

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