Herbaceous

Before we go any further…

Woot Woot!

Fante’s was included in the 2011 Best of Philly list, compiled by Philadelphia Magazine. This year, we were aptly named the best place to “channel Julia Child.”  Now, on with the show…

We always like to emphasize the importance of fundamental knife skills.  Being comfortable when using your cutlery goes a long way when preparing meals.  However, some days, short cuts are definitely required! This can be especially true when mincing herbs. Rather than manually mincing a handful of herbs, we’ve found a few great alternatives to cut your prep time considerably. Since we haven’t showcased neat-o products in a few weeks, we thought it best to shine the light on these:

for the mill of it all

1. Deluxe Herb Mill #77142 for $5.99

-A nice entry into the mill-market, this plastic-bodied version boasts stainless steel blades, and a handle suitable for lefties and righties. This mill is great for standard garden herbs like cilantro or parsley.

2. Fresh Mill Frozen Herb Mill  #4327 for $19.99

-This French designed mill is made of high-impact-plastic, and disassembles for cleaning. The best part? It can be used for storage…in the freezer! You can keep your fresh herbs labeled (comes with separate labels) and grind them on demand, straight from the freezer. Dishwasher safe. Check out the video, below, for a demo.

3. Multi-Blade Herb and Salad Chopping Scissors #14699 for $9.99

-With this chopper, it’s all about angles. Looking straight ahead, this seems like a standard pair of scissors. However, get a peek from a side angle, and you’ll see 5 stainless steel blades, making herb chopping a quick snip-snap! Works best with herbs that have been washed and patted dry, to discourage sticking.

herb scissors

Photo courtesy of The Bitten Word

Since we’ve been chirping about tasty new drink recipes we keep stumbling on (okay, maybe we’ve had 1-too-many 3-martini lunches, lately), we thought we would share another doozey we found this week.

The Bitten Word showcased an oldie, but a goody: Vodka and Rosemary Lemonade Fizz, a recipe adapted from Gourmet Magazine. It doesn’t even require the mincing or chopping that we wrote about earlier. Just a fine mixin’ and some sippin’.

Vodka and Rosemary Lemonade Fizz

Active time: 10 min
Total time: 1-1/4 hrs

Ingredients

    * 1 cup fresh lemon juice
    * 1 cup sugar
    * 2 (8-inch) rosemary sprigs
    * 1/2 cup vodka
    * Chilled club soda or seltzer
    * 8 (3-inch) rosemary sprigs for garnish

Preparation

Bring lemon juice, sugar, and rosemary to a boil in a small saucepan, stirring until sugar has dissolved, then reduce heat and simmer 2 minutes. Cool completely, about 1 hour. Discard rosemary sprigs.

Fill 8 (8-ounces) glasses halfway with ice. Divide syrup (about 2 tablespoons each) among glasses and add vodka (1 tablespoon each). Top off with club soda.

You should sip this dandy while clicking through the wonderful internets, seeking out your next dinner ideas. If you’re interested in learning more about making homemade liqueurs at home, Fante’s adapted some neat recipes for making your own cordials, and more.



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