Sunday, August 30, 2009

August Ending~in the garden the kitchen~

The season of summer is coming to a close, at least if we judge by the months passing.

Fall is in the air around my little piece of earth in Tennessee.

And nowhere does it appear bolder than in the gardens.

Many things have flourished and withered.
Some things are still putting out a hefty crop every day...tomatoes being one, okra, and the eggplant has suddenly taken on new life.

The lavender decided to give me a second production, a very good thing~
Sage is in full growing mode, rosemary and thyme, oregano and I will have a second crop of dill. still cutting this herb.

The fall crops of turnips, collards, and greens of different kinds are already peeking through the soil.

One thing to remember when planting a fall garden is to get the seed in the soil while you still have some hot days, they need the suns warmth to germinate, once established they will then thrive on the cooler temps.

Another great sandwich for the last of the summer foods.

Kids love this sandwich because it can actually be called a pizza sandwich.

Start with a good sturdy bread...we like Sourdough, sliced for sandwiches.
Spread the bread with a small amount of real butter and heat just until hot.

Remove from the toaster oven and add your favorite cheese slices-we like Colby, and Cheddar Jack.

Cut white grapes into halves and position all around the cheese slices.
Sprinkle with chopped purple basil.

Place back in the toaster oven and allow cheese to melt slightly.

Remove and let cool a bit then slice into pizza slices.

Add some extra grapes around the plate.

Serve with a warm cup of your favorite herbal tea.

Yummy and so good for you~

Happy August ending~it's been a beautiful month.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Herb Day-Good Friends-Honey and Herbal Tea~can it get any better~

Using Honey in Place of Sugar is a Healthier Alternative.
While calorie counts are pretty much the same, honey is a natural substance and your body uses it in a different way.
Sugar is a chemical and adds nothing but empty calories to your system and has long term side effects in many ways.
Cooking with honey is fun and beneficial...give it a try.
3/4 cup of honey for one cup of sugar, up to one cup
Reduce all other liquids in the recipe by 1/4 cup per cup of honey
Lower baking temperature by 25 degrees to prevent over browning
Honey French Toast
2 eggs,slightly beaten
1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup honey
1/4 teaspoon salt
8 slices fresh bread
( lemon honey butter )
1 cup honey 2 tablespoons lemon juice ( fresh squeezed)
2 Tbs fresh butter
Combine eggs, 1/4 cup milk, 1/4 cup honey and salt.
Dip bread in mixture and fry in butter until golden brown.

Combine 1 cup honey, lemon juice, and 2 Tbs butter, heat and serve over toast.
In Celebration of Herb Day~
Spicy Hot Tea
8 cups of water
1-1/4 sticks cinnamon
1-1/4 tsp whole cloves
3 TBS Orange Mint leaves ( or your favorite )
1/2 to 3/4 cup honey2-1/2 tbs lemon juice
1 cup orange juice
Bring water, cinnamon and cloves to a boil.
Remove from heat, add herbal leaves, stirring slightly.
Cover and steep 5 minutes.
Strain, and add honey.
Bring juices to a boil and stir into hot tea.
Serve at once-makes about 6 cups.
My Herb Day was filled with a delightful visit from a mentor and talented teacher of all things herbal.
Be blessed~

Bea Kunz
Sage Hill Farms has a wide selection of ready made herbal tea blends and herbal tisanes for you sipping pleasure.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Thought you all might enjoy the article I wrote for National Kitchen Garden Day which was on August we have National Herb Day tomorrow...August 28th...

The International Herb Society chose Sweet Bay laurel ( Laurus nobilis ) as herb of the year.

Bay is a beautiful tree that can grow rather large if grown in the ground.

Most often it will not withstand the winter in most places and will die if left outside...mine is now 2 years old and so far so good...I also have a few in pots just in case. The potted ones I bring into the basement during the winter, place them near a sunny window and they are happy.

Bay is used in culinary applications such as stews, soups, dried beans, boiled corn, and adds a bit of difference to a pot of chili.

Dried bay is much more flavorful than fresh, the full flavor potential doesn't come through until it is dried.

Tomorrow I will be making vegetable stew from mostly root crops, flavored with bay and in a thicker sauce than soup.

Just combine some turnips, carrots, onions, garlic, and any other root crop you may have...except...beets...doesn't work in this recipe. Add a couple of bay leaf and simmer in water and chicken broth until veggies are just beginning to soften...depending on taste. I like mine a bit crunchy. Add a small amount of white cornmeal to thicken the base towards the end of cooking time.

Season with a bit of sea salt, fresh ground black peppercorns and serve hot.


Bea Kunz
Sage Hill Farms~EatWell-BeWell~

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Herbs and the Changing Seasons~

We are entering that season of leaving summer behind, and summer foods....but, it's not quite fallish enough for the stout and hearty foods that comes with the fall and winter season. So....what to do ?

Well, this is our "sandwich" season. It's the perfect time of year to make fresh home-made bread, not to humid, not to dry. And if you aren't into the bread making thing, find a good bakery or a local artisan who will bake what you want, from the ingredients that you know to be the healthiest.

Our aim is to stay away from the wheat, corn and soy, these are grains that are more likely to be contaminated with the GM ( genetically modified gene )from Monsanto.

I look for organic oat or rye...maybe rice, all these flours make delicious breads.

Now, what to put between those delicious slices.

Tomatoes are still plentiful, some eggplant, onions are in the drying process and can be used as is.....basil, mints, sage and oregano are still fresh for the picking.


1-2-large tomato
12-basil leaves
2 large ripe avocado
1/2 red onion
1 clove of garlic-peeled and crushed
1 tbsp lime juice
1/4 tsp chili powder
2 tbsp chopped fresh dill or 1 tbsp dried.fresh dill

Chop the avocado, the tomato and onion-set aside

In a food processor add the basil leaves, garlic, lime juice, chili powder, and fresh dill
Mix ingredients together just briefly.

Add the mixture from the food processor to the chopped avocado, tomato and onion-mix and stir lightly to blend

Add lettuce leaves to your bread choice that has been spread with soft real butter

Add amount desired of the mixture and sprinkle with a small amount of sea salt and fresh ground black peppercorns


Real butter for spreading-slightly at room temp
12oz ripe Brie cheese
30-40 large grapes-red or white
16 fresh mint leaves...lemon balm will do

Butter bread of choice
Slice the Brie into thick slices to be divided between sandwiches
Place Brie on bread
Halve and seed the grapes, place on cheese
Chop the mint finely and sprinkle over the grapes

Put sandwich together and serve-can be made ahead, wrapped and refrigerated until needed.
Other Toppings~

Feta cheese, black olives, lettuce, tomato and freshly chopped mint~

Italian salami, cream cheese, tomato and fresh basil~

Use your imagination...lots of great marriages in the sandwich world.


Bea Kunz

Sunday, August 23, 2009

National Kitchen Garden Day~

Today is National Kitchen Garden Day...a day set aside to celebrate kitchen gardens and gardener's.

We at Sage Hill will be toasting the day with a late brunch of fresh garden fare and lots of garden talk...about our own and gardens around the world.

Thought you might enjoy this link.

Have a blessed day and thanks for reading~

Bea Kunz

Friday, August 21, 2009

Cooking Fresh from the Garden~

Matching Method to Ingredient

BLANCH-snow peas, cauliflower, beet greens and dandelion greens.

BRAISE-sweet potatoes, kohlrabi, rutabagas, potatoes, turnips and onions. ( uses a small amount of oil and cooks slowly over time in a tightly covered pan with a small amount of liquid.)

BROIL-yellow bell peppers, portobello mushrooms, leeks, zucchini, eggplant and tomatoes. ( under the broiler range in the oven for a short cooking time.)

ROAST-carrots, sweet potatoes, brussels sprouts, beets, onions, parsnips and corn.( In the oven on high heat-between 425* to 500* )

SAUTE'-swiss chard, mushrooms, red bell peppers, scallions, bok choy.( On stove top , usually medium heat, slightly stirring to keep ingredients moving and coated in a small amount of oil.)

STEAM-broccoli, mustard greens, spinach, asparagus.
( In a steamer pot on stove top-over boiling water until desired doneness is reached.)

And don't forget to add a dash of dried or fresh herbs to whatever and by whatever method of cooking you are using.

Happy weekend~

Bea Kunz

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

A Dash In Every Dish~

(Cinnamon Basil in the forefront)

Adding herbs to a dish is as natural to me as adding a dash of salt....actually, when you add herbs you may not need or want the salt, at least not as much.

Herbs add such an element of surprise, both in flavor and in the smell of the food before it ever gets to your mouth.

Herbs can add visual appeal to a dish or a drink.

" It's all in the presentation." I know you have heard that one, well, when the presentation is presented with an herbal flair, the acceptance will be heart warming.

Try this recipe at your next social of friends and family.


A 12oz log of fresh goat cheese
1/4 cup whole red peppercorns
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh thyme ( preferably English)
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley
3 sprigs fresh thyme for garnish

An assortment of crackers

Arrange goat cheese in a serving dish larger than the cheese log
( flattening the top slightly )
In a saucepan, combine the peppercorns and olive oil and heat the mixture until warm.
Pour mixture over the goat cheese and sprinkle with the chopped herbs.

Garnish with the thyme sprigs around the cheese log


4 cups cold strong coffee ( brewed with 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon )
ice cubes
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/4 teaspoon of Stevia powder OR 1/2 teaspoon sugar
4 sprigs of Cinnamon or regular basil

Divide the coffee among 4 tall glasses, adding enough ice to fill two thirds full
In a bowl, whisk the cream with the stevia/sugar until peaks are formed
Top each glass with the cream

Garnish with sprigs of cinnamon basil and serve extra cinnamon and sugar alongside.

* note * If using stevia the cream will not peak as firmly as with the sugar...


Bea Kunz..Celebrate National Kitchen Garden Day on August 23rd~

Do share with us.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Spice Up Your Water-with Herbs

As a rule water is thought to be the best choice of staying hydrated and maintaining good health.

But sometimes plain water cab be ..well...boring.

Beverages with a Little zing can encourage us to drink more...and enjoy it.

Some great ways to make your water tempting is: Add citrus slices to your glass, orange or lemon slices, grapes, blueberries, cucumber and strawberries.

A sprig of Lemon-balm or Peppermint is pretty and flavorful.

A sprig of Lavender is beautiful and very aromatic...lovely at any function.

So, drink up and make it fun and tasty at the same time.

These ideas work great with children who sometimes balk at drinking plain water.

Energy drinks are often loaded with too many sugars for our best health and if one is watching the calorie intake.

Happy Summer~

Bea Kunz

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Herbs-and Kitchen Garden Day~

Kitchen Garden Day falls on Sunday this year...August 23rd,
so because that is a Sunday and not the best day for my circle, we at Sage Hill Farms have decided to make this entire week about the day.

I'll keep you apprised of our doings here at The Beatitudes.

Tomorrow is day one and my schedule will include cleaning out some of the summer garden left-overs. Plants and vines that have given their all and gracefully withered and died.
They will take on a new level of life by adding them to the compost pile where they will turn into rich and nutritious soil for the fall gardens.

The fall/winter gardens will consist of greens ( turnip, mustard, kale, and spinach, beets and cauliflower.

The herb beds are being thinned and one last major cutting back before the cooler weather arrives. ( I know it's August and cool weather is hard to believe right now....but, it will happen.) Herbs need enough time to heal from the cutting and get a good layer of new growth before weather changes.

What is your garden agenda for the week ?

Please share.

Bea Kunz

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Basil-the choice herb for summer foods.

Basil and summer go together like peanut-butter and jelly.

Remember to keep the blooms pinched from your basil plants if you wish them keep producing until the last days of the summer months.

Basil needs the heat to produce, so the first cool spell of the fall will be the end of the basil in the garden....enjoy it while it last.

Toss a few leaves into your favorite salad.
Anything with tomatoes will also be perfect with basil.

Summer squash lightly sauteed with basil is just delicious.

Scrambled eggs with basil, basil on a sandwich instead of lettuce is awesome.

Have a special recipe or favorite way of using basil?...please share.

Bea kunz

Friday, August 14, 2009

Farmers for Choice~

I would like to introduce you to Keri Toback and a group called "Farmers for Choice." We are trying to direct public policy to support American farmer's ability to choose their technologies and have access to competitive products.

Specifically, we are looking for consumers, farmers, groups, academics, etc. to write letters to the Tennessee Attorney Generals Office, to sign open/joint letters, to submit letters to the editor of local publications, to write Op-eds, to visit of call the Ag's office or to allow us to attribute a quote to express interest in maintaining seed choices for farmers.

Would you be interested/willing to participate? Keri can send specific information and draft letters on the topic to make this as easy as possible.

In the meantime, below is what we are hoping to accomplish:

We are trying to get farmers, consumers, consumer groups, political leaders, etc to support maintaining seed choice for farmers. In order to accomplish this, we are seeking the following:

1) Many signatures on open letters or attributions of quotes that will find their way to decision makers or newspapers (we have draft open letters and draft quotes);
2) Letters to the AG office to encourage maintenance of anti-monopolistic policies against Monsanto (they just filed another suit against DuPont which could limit competitiveness in the seed market); I can do this.
3) Calls or visits to the AG office about maintaining seed choice; and
4) Letters to the editors of local papers (we have drafts of several letters

This is not just an issue for farmers, we all have a stake in our food supply....No farmers, no seed choice, no food choice.

A rather frightening concept, is it not.

Please contact me if you are willing to help us push this to the attention of the offices that can make a difference.

I will give you Keri's information for contact.

Thank you so much,

Bea Kunz

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Make Mine Herbal~

Tea is in the news on many levels on any given day.

In fact I was not aware that there are so many kinds of tea..thousands upon thousands no doubt...reds, greens, blacks, white and....yellow ?

I actually love tea leaf for special times or just for a change.

Green tea is much tauted for its health benefits....and rightfully so.
White tea is a good choice if you are looking for less caffeine.
Red tea is just plain delicious...and very loaded with good things.
Black tea is my least favorite, but the most used for iced tea.

With so many choices how does one decide ?

Well, I just say...make mine herbal.

Nothing compares to a warm cup of LavenderCap or a piping hot cup of GingerZing.

The Lavender will relax you and promote a good nights sleep.

The GingerZing will jump start your day in a way that will make you happy to be a tea drinker~

These and other choices can be found at Sage Hill Farms website.

Do something good for your body and soul...make yours herbal too~

Thanks and be blessed.

Bea Kunz

Sunday, August 09, 2009

ONQI...what is it ~

ONQI=(Overall Nutritional Quality Index) a formula designed to generate a single score for the cumulative nutritional quality of a food while steering clear of the absolute perception of any food as "good" or "bad."

I first read about this system in November of 2008 and have kept up with the progression of information coming from the team that developed it. It is a wonderful system and I believe it to be fair and without biased opinions for profit.

Headed by David Katz,MD, of Yale-Griffin Prevention Research Center, in Derby, Conn.

You can read all the info by visiting this link and have a clear and precise understanding of the full intention and possibilities.
This has become one of my favorite sites for research, learning and information I know can be embraced as truth.

Let me know what you think.

Happy Summer~

Bea Kunz