Attitude Adjustment!

There comes a time when you have to start thinking about yourself instead of worrying about others. Both of us have sadly, reached that point. 2016 started out with high hopes for the farmers market. As always, we had ordered all sorts of goodies to giveaway to the kiddos…young and old.

Then came the kick in our guts! Herb’n Renewal was denied membership in the Bluegrass Farmers’ Market. This is a market that we have worked our butts off trying to help each and every farmer…we promoted the market as a whole! If one of us did good, we all did good. Keep the customers engaged and smiling…make it so they want to return each week. We did our best at no expense to the market…we paid for stuff out of our own pocket.

We searched for a location to set up each week and were very thankful to receive three offers. We choose going back to Pedal the Planet and went one Saturday. It was great to see so many of our return customers! But, the comments we received from them concerning our apparent health issues, got us thinking. We’ve spent so much time worrying about the market and helping the farmers that we forgot about ourselves and what is good for us. Well, we are the most important people right now…we are going to be selfish and worry about each other for a change.

So, we have decided that we are not ready to make a commitment to a weekly market right now. Herb’n Renewal is still going strong and we will deliver orders, mail orders…anything that it takes to keep our customers happy. Just give us a holler at 859 548-3516 or email us at herbnrenewal@aol.com

Both of us have various appointments that we hope will start our journey to a healthier life!  Yes, it is attitude adjustment time for both of us!

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June 14, 2016 at 4:51 pm Leave a comment

Just musing…that’s all!

And, it has nothing to do with food and recipes!!!

I’m musing today about my life and why I am what I am. I was the “product” of two very talented, smart and loving parents. And, I keep coming to the conclusion that I inherited a bit of both of them…thankfully! They were a great pair yet different as day and night. My mom was a superb “wing it” cook, my dad couldn’t boil water. Mom was also an unbelievable artist…she could capture an animals feelings on her canvas. My dad was a master cabinet maker/engineer and a nit picker from the word go…I learned quickly not to ask him for help with my homework. That man always wanted to know why 1 + 1 equaled 2! It just does…not good enough for him! Lol

I was reminded of how wonderful my childhood was today when my dear hubby asked a simple question. He thought we had some leather around the house and asked me if I knew where it might be. Okay, odd question but I fully understood where he was coming from and asked him what he planned on doing with the leather. Mom entering my brain as a new artistic creation…dad entering as something to steady or balance something. See what I mean…they were so different and I guess I can count my blessings because I knew exactly what my hubby wanted…a piece of leather to hang a cherished bear claw given to him by a dear friend, but it had to include a fastener. Yup, both mom and dad filled my brain. Artistic and yet mechanical!!!

I told hubby where I had the leather strips stored in my shop…even gave him explicit directions on where to find the box that they were stored in. Five minutes later, it dawned on me that the poor dear would be searching for hours on end and still never find my “stash” of leather goodies. Lol So, off I go to the shop and he quickly tells me there is no reason for me to be there…he can find it. Yeah right!!! Two minutes later I open a few boxes and ask what he wants out of them. Honestly, he would still have been searching for the boxes, let alone the contents.

That brings me back to musing about my childhood. I grew up knowing that I was always welcome in the kitchen to help mom chop, dice, whip, etc. I also grew up knowing that every night dad would come home, have his usual can of Shaefer beer and head down to his shop and his bellow would be shortly there after…”who’s been in my shop?” lol Yes, dad, it was me who used your screwdriver and I could have sworn I put it back in the exact same space…nope, he knew I had touched them. But, he always smiled because he knew how much I enjoyed using those screwdrivers, pliers, saws, etc. Mom didn’t care where I put the pots and pans after I dried them…she would find them when needed.

The end of my musing…I found exactly what my dear hubby was looking for in minutes and he just grinned knowing that I am the product of Sally and Larry! And, he never had the chance to meet them…he just knows that I come from two wonderful people who loved me very much and taught me about life and how to make the best of it.

Thank you mom and dad…you are always in my thoughts and heart. You both brought organized chaos into my life and I love you for it!

P.S. Bones, Drew has your bear claw around his neck again!

February 27, 2016 at 8:18 pm Leave a comment

Super Bowl at Herb’n Renewal means WINGS!

Tomorrow is the big day! Super Bowl 50 is finally here and everyone is looking forward to the good eats! I know, some of you are looking forward to the game too. lol

Normally, I would say that we would be looking forward to the commercials and the finger food but it seems as though we have managed to catch a bit of a stomach bug so it looks like chicken broth, ginger ale and crackers for us. 😦 Oh well, we can celebrate later on…for now we are just trying to feel normal again.

The fact that we are under the weather does not mean that everyone else can’t enjoy some Super Bowl favorites…chicken wings! And, nobody said they had to be difficult to make or fried in oil! Our baked or grilled wings give you the same great flavor without all of that usual grease!

Our first recipe was a natural seen as how we named this blend Cajun Wing’n Season! Keep in mind that no matter what we named this blend it does so much more than just those delicious wings. This recipe is featured on the back of each package…Baked Wings…Simply coat 4 lbs of chicken wings in 3 tbsp. olive oil, then coat with 3 tbsp. Cajun Wing’n Season…marinate for 1 hour or more. Bake in a 400 degree oven till done…about 45 minutes.

If you’d like to try some different flavors, try our Jamm’n Jerk, Herb’n Cowboy or Chili Season’n! The recipes are about the same for each of them…

Basic Baked Wings

12 chicken drummies or wings

1 tablespoon Jamm’n Jerk, Herb’n Cowboy or Chili Season’n

1 tablespoon olive or vegetable oil

Place chicken in a plastic bag and coat with oil. Throw in the seasoning of your choice and toss. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour…the longer the better! Make sure you give the bag an occasional squish. Bake in a 400 degree oven for about 45 minutes or until cooked through. If you want crispier chicken, drain after 20 minutes. By the way…these are great grilled!

Hope your team wins! 🙂

You can find all of our wonderful, hand blended herb seasonings at http://www.herbnrenewal.com

February 6, 2016 at 3:21 pm Leave a comment

Pondering About Bacon!

Pondering…an interesting word. And, it’s something that I do often. Usually it’s about something inane though…like cooking bacon! But to me cooking bacon, the old fashioned way in a skillet, is a time for me to ponder about many things. Today my pondering was about nothing more than bacon! lol

I wondered why some folks, my hubby included, prefer baking it on a sheet pan in an oven. Sorry, but you miss the excitement of watching those strips sizzle and curl up as they brown. Then you have the people who add water to it to prevent shrinkage…that’s what bacon is supposed to do…shrink!!!

I am sorry but cooking bacon is a magical experience and should be savored. You need to put those raw strips into a cold skillet and then turn the heat to medium. Stand back, with your fork or tongs (if you must) in hand and wait for the magic to happen. Now comes the best part…once you notice the shrinkage and a bit of browning, flip the strip! I don’t care what anyone says…flipping bacon strips is therapeutic! I don’t want to hear anyone tell me to only flip them once…not happening!

bacon pan

That first strip of heaven comes out of the skillet and on to some paper toweling to absorb some of that stuff that they say is bad for you…grease! And you find yourself having to resist eating it immediately…any bacon lover has been there and done that, we have the right to burn our fingers and tongue!

bacon done

Just keep replacing the heavenly strips with more as you remove them…oh my, be still my heart!

Now, about that “bad for you stuff…grease!” I am sorry but no respectable kitchen can survive without a container of bacon drippin’s…that’s the respectable name for that goodness! Have to admit that this is today’s goodness, so it hasn’t quite set up yet.

bacon drippins

So let me ask you folks who do not save the “drippin’s”…how the heck do you make fried taters? How about a big bowl of that good for you stuff called collard greens or kale? And, who can resist a huge bowl of wilted lettuce…notice that there is green stuff in it so it must be good for you! BTW, it’s what’s for lunch today! lol

Okay, I have pondered enough for one day. I have to admit that I always feel better after I cook up a “mess” of bacon! To all of the bacon lovers out there…keep pan frying those strips of heaven!!! 🙂

February 3, 2016 at 7:00 pm Leave a comment

Super Bowl 50 is almost here!

Oh my…only one more week to go and football fans around the world will be gathered around their televisions watching the game of the year…Super Bowl 50! Hope your team wins, be it the Carolina Panthers or the Denver Broncos! Sorry if your team didn’t make, but you can still have a great time…eating!!!

Drew fixed an amazing pulled pork or BBQ pork as my mom would have called it…don’t think the word “pulled” was used back in those days. It would be perfect for serving your Super Bowl party goers! Prepare ahead of time and then just set the crock pot out and let them help themselves.

Drew used some spectacular local pork shoulder steaks from Herman’s Happy Hogs in Lancaster, KY and of course, seasoned with our Herb’n Cowboy ! Just rub a good healthy pinch on each side and let it sit in the fridge for a few hours.

pork seasoned 1

 

Then throw those babies on the grill to get some great grill marks and to sear the outside.

pork grilled 2

After you’ve done this, just throw them into a crock pot with about a cup of water and seen as how we live in Kentucky…at least a quarter cup of Bourbon!

pork cp 4

Set on high for about 6 hours and this is what it should look like.

pork cp 5

Add your favorite BBQ sauce and in our case that would be from Chigger Hill Farm in Nicholasville, KY. We use the mild because Karin is a wimp!

pork cp 6

You might want to turn the temperature down to low for the next hour or so…this is what you’ll end up with…heaven!!!

pork cp 7

Put out a basket of buns and let your guests go wild!!!

We had no guests seen as how Super Bowl Sunday had yet to arrive so it was a normal, well almost normal, dinner for us. We decided that even with snow still on the ground, it was time for a picnic! Pulled pork (sorry mom) with “smashed” Herb’n Dill tater salad, semi baked beans (done on the stove top) using “Fooled Ya” peppers from Tomatoes, Etc. in Lexington, KY! And, yes, with due respect to my mom…no buns…just “pusher” white bread or should I make that perfectly clear and say Wonder White Bread! lol

pork dinner

It was delicious and guaranteed, it will be for another meal! 😀

Remember that you can find our hand blended herb seasoning mixes at http://www.herbnrenewal.com

January 31, 2016 at 3:41 pm 4 comments

Super Bowl Sunday Quesadillas With Herb’n Renewal!

We’re almost there…Super Bowl 50 is fast approaching! Today, next Sunday and then it’s February 7th and may THE game begin!!!

We do not have a team that we are rooting for but we are looking forward to the eats and the commercials! Sorry, football fans…we just aren’t but we will use the day as an excuse to celebrate along with all of you!

We’ve decided to dedicate this blog to folks like us who would just as soon spend Super Bowl Sunday in the kitchen keeping our guests happy. There is nothing better than warm finger food that just keeps on making your tummy smile…a quesadilla!

Normally we would have posted a few pictures of the finished products but it seems like Mother Nature had different ideas about us going to the grocery store to replenish our tortillas! This is our driveway and as you can see, we won’t be going anywhere! But, we thought we would share some of our favorite quesadilla recipes anyway.

snow drive 2016

 

Chili Quesadilla

2 lb. ground beef

1 cup diced onion

1 cup diced green pepper

2 tablespoons Chili Season’n

1 14.5 oz. can petite diced tomatoes

1 12 oz. can of beer

Shredded cheese

Flour tortillas

Olive oil

In a skillet, brown ground beef while breaking it apart as it cooks. Drain and return to the skillet. Add onions and green peppers; saute’ for 2-3 minutes. Stir in the next three ingredients. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer stirring occasionally, until liquid is gone…about 1 hour. Brush one side of tortilla with olive oil. Layer cheese, meat mixture and more cheese on half of the side without oil. Fold in half and place in skillet or on a griddle to slightly brown on each side. Serve warm!

Jamm’n Grilled Chicken Quesadilla

1 lb. boneless chicken breast

1 heaping tablespoon Jamm’n Jerk

2 tablespoons canola oil

2 cups shredded cabbage

1/2 cup diced onion

1/2 cup diced green pepper

1 teaspoon Jamm’n Jerk

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 12 oz. bag broccoli slaw

1 cup crushed pineapple

Flour tortillas

Pat Jamm’n Jerk on each side of the chicken breasts, let sit in the fridge for 3 – 6 hours. Grill or brown chicken in a skillet until cooked through…about 8 minutes on each side. Remove and let cool then slice thin. In a large skillet, saute’ cabbage in oil for 3 minutes on medium/high heat. Add onions and peppers; saute’ an additional 2 minutes. Add remaining Jamm’n Jerk, salt, broccoli slaw and sliced chicken. Saute’ for 3 more minutes. Add pineapple and cook until heated through and slaw is crisp tender. Lightly oil one side of the tortilla and place mixture on half of the unoiled side. Fold in half and pan fry until tortilla is slightly browned.

Jamm’n Pork’n Veggie Quesadilla

1 lb. ground pork

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 tablespoon Jamm’n Jerk

1 cup diced onion

4 oz. fresh mushrooms, sliced thin

3 cups cabbage, finely shredded

1/2 cup carrots, finely shredded

Shredded Cheddar cheese

Flour tortillas

In a large skillet over medium heat, brown pork in oil for about 8 minutes. Make sure you break it apart as it browns. Drain if needed and return to skillet. Add Jamm’n Jerk, onions and mushrooms; saute’ for 5 -6 minutes. Add cabbage and carrots; cook until crisp tender. Brush one side of the tortilla with oil. Layer cheese, meat mixture and more cheese on one half. Fold in half and pan fry in skillet until lightly browned on each side.

Tropical Pork Quesadilla

2 lb. ground pork

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons Rub’n Season Pork

1/2 cup diced sweet red peppers

1/2 cup diced green peppers

1 cup diced onion

3 cups finely shredded cabbage

1 teaspoon salt

1 15 oz. can black beans, rinsed and drained

1 cup fresh or frozen (thawed) corn

2 cups crushed pineapple

Shredded cheese

Flour tortillas

In a large skillet over medium heat, brown pork in oil for about 8 minutes. Make sure you break it apart as it cooks! Stir in Rub’n Season Pork and the next five ingredients and saute’ for 5 minutes. Add beans and corn; saute’ for 5 more minutes. Stir in pineapple and turn heat off. Brush one side of tortilla with olive oil. Layer cheese, meat mixture and more cheese on one half of unoiled side. Fold in half and pan fry until both sides are slightly browned. Invite the gang…this recipe makes plenty!

We have no rules to our cooking methods other than making sure it is either heated or cooled to the proper temperature…like we always tell our customers, use your imagination and happy creating! Food is a fun thing to play with…don’t ever forget that!

You can find all of our hand blended herb seasonings at http://www.herbnrenewal.com

January 24, 2016 at 4:19 pm Leave a comment

Perfect Snow Day At Herb’n Renewal!

snow jan 2016

We’re taking a Super Bowl countdown break for a snow day! Yes, it is snowing in our neck of the woods! So far we have about 6” and it is still coming down. We’re not looking forward to the 15” they are predicting. And, by the way…that is our bottle tree and I can guarantee that we will be adding a few more after this is all over! lol

So, what does one do when you are to old to enjoy playing in the snow? You make a hearty chicken soup! 🙂

I have to admit that when I make soup I am what is known as a “dumper!” I do not measure…I just dump whatever I have on hand into my favorite pot…it belonged to my mom and it has seen many years of use. It’s still my go to pot for soups and stews!

Let’s start with the basics…celery, onions and carrots sauteed in a bit of butter. I used one medium onion, two ribs of celery and three good sized carrots.

chicken soup 1

Then I added the chicken breast chunks…we are white meat eaters but admittedly, thighs would probably add more flavor. I used three large chicken breasts…boneless and skinless because it was all that I had on hand…skin would have been better! Give all of this a good stir and let cook for a couple of minutes or until the chicken is no longer raw.

chicken soup 2

Then, I covered it with water seen as how I had used all of my chicken broth a week ago. Water works, especially if you add about a tablespoon of chicken bouillon. Now comes the best part…the Rub’n Season Poultry! I used a heaping tablespoon…just dump it on top of the water and stir it in. Bring it to a boil, lower the temperature to a simmer and cover.

chicken soup 3

I like to smell my soup cooking so I simmered this pot for about three hours and then added some frozen peas…about a cup. This would be the time to add any other frozen veggies that you might want…corn, lima beans, etc. I just wanted the pea and carrot thingie this time. Bring back to a gentle rolling boil and add your noodles. Hint…Fettuccine broken into pieces makes for a great noodle!

chicken soup 4

You’re ready to serve a steaming mug of hearty chicken noodle soup once the noodles are cooked! Enjoy!!!

chicken soup 5

Don’t forget, you can find our Rub’n Season Poultry at http://www.herbnrenewal.com

January 22, 2016 at 5:02 pm 1 comment

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