Spring is on the way – March 2014

Herb Blurb March 2014

tulipsSpring is on the way so get ready! It’s a great time to stroll through your local garden center, take a free class and peruse a seed catalog or two. Check out the spring garden magazines and get a plan together for this years garden. How about including some edible flowers, a cutting garden for indoor blooms or a salad garden?

No time or space for a garden this year? How about joining a CSA? You buy a share of a local farm and receive a weekly harvest of farm fresh, organic produce from late spring to mid fall. Great motivation for eating your veggies. Now is the time to enroll. Check out http://coloradocsas.info/ for a farm near you.


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 or call Susan at 303-697-6060 for more information.

VegetablesDelicious Vegetarian
Tuesday March 4th, 6- 8 pm,   Denver Botanic Gardens, $42 member; $47 non-member,
www.botanicgardens.org, 720-865-3580, [email protected]
Discover the scrumptious side of vegetarian world cuisine! We’ll start with a savory salad and move on to a delicious butternut squash curry, a spicy cashew veggie stir fry, a pesto and roasted veggie pizza and end with a sweet. Eat your veggies and love doing it! Recipes and dinner included.

One Pot Meals
Tuesday March 11, 6 – 8pm, Denver Botanic Gardens,  $42member; $47non-member,
www.botanicgardens.org,  720-865-3580 ,  [email protected].
Come learn how to make easy, delicious, healthy meals with a minimum of fuss! We’ll start with New Orleans Shrimp Jambalaya. Then try exotic Thai Ground Pork with Noodles and Vegetables. Use rotisserie chicken for creamy Taos Chicken Casserole with Cheese, Corn, Zucchini and Spinach. We’ll discuss ideas for other dishes that are easy, delicious, nutritious and quick to prepare. Recipes, pantry list and dinner included.

herbs The Cooks Herb Garden
Thursday,  March 27, 6pm – 8pm, Denver Botanic Gardens, $42member; $47non-member,
www.botanicgardens.org,  720-865-3580 , [email protected]
Discover the numerous health and taste benefits of your own herb garden! We’ll cover growing, harvesting and culinary uses of 7 of the most popular culinary herbs including marjoram, parsley, sage, rosemary, thyme, chives and basil. We’ll make an all-purpose, garden seasoning blend, and have a delicious, gourmet herbal dinner. Take home an herb blend and an extensive handout with recipes and growing instructions.


Things to Do

cloverTake a road trip to Monte Vista to witness the return of the cranes at the annual Crane Festival. Held March 7-9 for all you bird lovers. www.cranefest.com.

Bring out your green for the St. Patrick’s Day Parade downtown on March 15. www.denverstpatricksdayparade.com.

Denver Home Show, National Western Complex, March 14-16. Dreaming of a remodel or need some ideas for that new deck? Here’s the place to find it. www.homeshowdenver.com.

Denver March Powwow, Denver Coliseum, March 21-23, Music, dance, crafts, food. All things Native American. http://www.denvermarchpowwow.org.

Check out www.denver.org for more events around town.


Free Events

Free days this month include;

Colorado Railway Museum – March 1

Denver Art Museum – March 1

Denver Museum of Nature and Science – March 2

Denver Botanic Gardens – March 3, 22

Four Mile Historic Park – March 7

Hudson Gardens – March 12, 24

Molly Brown House – March 21



Shrimp and Grits

shrimp and gritsThis is a fast, easy, delectable dish. I will sometimes puree roasted red or green peppers in the food processor or blender and drizzle over the dish as a finishing touch.

  • 3/4 cup instant grits
  • 1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 4 tbs butter
  • 1lb medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½  tsp cayenne pepper (optional)
  • 1 tsp Cajun seasoning mix
  • 2 tbs chopped fresh parsley
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon, plus wedges for serving
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Bring 3 cups of water to a boil in a medium saucepan over high heat, covered. Uncover and slowly whisk in the grits, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Reduce the heat to medium low and stir, until thickened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the parmesan, Cajun seasoning mix and 2 tablespoons butter. Remove from the heat and season with salt and pepper. Cover to keep warm.

Meanwhile, season the shrimp with salt and pepper. Melt the remaining 2 tablespoons butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the shrimp, garlic and optional cayenne and cook, tossing, until the shrimp are pink, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove from the heat and add 2 tablespoons water, the lemon juice and parsley; stir to coat the shrimp with the sauce. Divide the grits among shallow bowls and top with the shrimp and sauce. Serve with lemon wedges.


Irish Smoked Salmon Grilled Cheese

salmonOkay, it’s a bit decadent, but so delicious!

  • 6 oz smoked salmon, thinly sliced or flaked.  (I love the salmon from the Aurora based Honey Smoked Fish Co, but any brand will do)
  • 6 oz cream cheese, room temp, you could also use gruyere, swiss or gouda
  • 1 tsp chopped capers
  • 2 tsp red onion, chopped small
  • 8 pieces bread of choice (rye, pumpernickel, sourdough, whatever you like)
  • Butter

Mash together the softened cream cheese, capers and onion with a fork. Butter bread slices and top 4 pieces with the cream cheese mixture, evenly divided. Top with smoked salmon and cover with the remaining slices of bread. Melt 1 tbs of butter in a nonstick skillet or sauté pan. Put the sandwiches in, cover and heat over low heat. Turn when brown and golden on the bottom side, about 4 – 5 minutes. Brown on the other side, plate and enjoy with some pickles and chips.

*You could also add some arugula or sliced tomatoes to the sandwich.


Roasted Broccoli with Lemon/Lime Vinaigrette and Pistachios

broccoli-1Easy and very tasty way to serve this superfood.

  • 1 bunch broccoli, lower half of stem cut off, remaining stem and florets cut into bite size pieces.
  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • Juice from ½ lemon
  • Juice from ½ lime
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • ½ cup toasted pistachio nuts
  • Spray oil
  • Lemon and /or lime wedges for garnish

Heat oven to 350. Combine olive oil, citrus juice, salt and pepper in a medium bowl, whisk until blended. Add broccoli and toss lightly. Place broccoli on an oiled sheet pan and roast in the oven for 10-12 minutes. Remove and place in serving bowl or platter, top with pistachios and citrus wedges.


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