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How to Store Fresh Herbs for Longer

🌿 Here’re my favourite​​ tips for storing fresh herbs like parsley, basil, cilantro and mint. 

1. Trim the bottom of the stems 
2. Fill a jar or glass a quarter of the way up with water and place the cut ends of the herbs into the water and cover loosely with a plastic bag or better yet cover with a wax-covered cloth
3. I like to change the water every day or every other day
4. Store herbs in the refrigerator… or should you? Keep reading! 

Which herbs like the cool temperatures of the fridge? Which ones do better on the counter? 

🌿   Cilantro and Mint love cool temps -> store in the refrigerator
🌿   Parsley can be stored at room temperature or in the refrigerator Basil is best stored at room temperature. Cool temps will slowly turn its leaves black
🌿   Fresh herbs can last up to 2 weeks when stored this way

Keep herbs happy in a jug of fresh water

PS. When I have more fresh herbs than I can handle, I wash and pat them dry. Then I chop them up and sprinkle them with a bit of sea salt and store them in a container in the freezer. When I need some, I just scoop them out with a spoon as needed for my recipe.

** Note. When adding sea salted herbs to your recipe you’ll want to reduce the amount of sea salt so it’s not over-salted.

Let me know if any of these tips help you!  Do you have any tips for keeping herbs fresh?? 

xox
Clara

Recipes

Blueberry Scones

Craving a little something to nibble on while you sip on iced tea or coffee? I got just the thing to satisfy!

Here’s a quick and easy recipe to share with your family, friends, or maybe you’ll just keep them for yourself … no judging.

Blueberry Scones – no eggs, dairy and gluten free

Blueberry Scones

2 3/4 gluten-free flour 

1/2 cup organic sugar

3/4 teaspoon Muskoka Pantry Elsalvador Sea Salt

1 tablespoon baking powder

8 tablespoons vegan butter

1 cup fresh blueberries

2  flax eggs 

up to approximately 2/3 cup oat milk 

2 teaspoons Madagascar vanilla

* Read my tips below

How To

In a large mixing bowl blend flour, sugar, salt and baking powder

Add butter and blend until you have little pieces of chunky butter bits the size of a pea

Using a separate bowl add the flax eggs, milk, vanilla and mix well

Mix together the wet and dry ingredients until it sticks together 

I add the blueberries once the mixture has come together

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and divide dough in half and add these two portions on to the baking sheet. Shape dough into circles that aren’t too high. They should be less than 1 inch in thickness. 

Using a wet knife, slice the dough to form six evenly cut wedges. 

Gently pull the wedges away from each other and allow the dough to sit in the freezer for 30 minutes. This allows for maximum rise & a more tender crumb. 

Before the 30 minutes of freezing time is up, preheat your oven to 410°F 

Bake scones for 20-23 minutes until golden brown. Makes 12 pieces.

Serve warm with jam or butter if you like, otherwise, they are just perfect on their own with a nice cuppa tea or coffee. 

Tips

* use your favourite gluten-free flour blend for this recipe. I used Bob’s All-Purpose 1 to 1

* use your favourite variety of milk 

* you may need a little more or a little less milk depending on the variety of the flour you are using & believe it or not, the weather! 

* i like to top my scones with a sprinkling of organic sugar. 

* you can “wash” your scones with real eggs, or milk to give you a golden colour to your scone

* for fancy scones add chopped chocolate-covered blueberries or cherries

Recipes

Summer cocktails you say?

It’s a hot and sunny summer here in beautiful Ontario, Canada! That said, i’m guessing it’s hot where you are too!

Today I’m sharing a simple + flavourful iced tea recipe that also doubles as a cocktail. I know, you love this idea! You’re welcome.  😉

Bonus Points for you! If you have your little nieces coming over for a visit, you can make this iced tea for them (without alcohol obvi) and they’ll feel all fancy & grown-up. It’ll be so special and you’ll be their hero!

This recipe is for one bevie, but you can easily double it as required to make a pitcher and keep the iced tea in your fridge.

Featured: Hibiscus Lemongrass + Tulsi & Spiced Rooibos Chai over ice

Vanilla Spiced Tea 
6 oz organic rooibos chai tea 
1/2-1 oz coconut milk or cream
1/2 teaspoon Madagascar Vanilla
ice cubes
Ceylon Cinnamon sticks for garnish

Want to make it a cocktail?

It`s ok, I know you do!

Alcohol add-ins for adults;

RumChata
Vanilla Vodka

Instructions:

Brew 1- 1.5 teaspoons of Rooibos Chai as per instructions and allow to cool in the refrigerator.

Once cooled, add tea, coconut milk, and vanilla into a shaker and shake, shake, shake to blend the ingredients and create a wonderful froth. The heavier the cream content of the milk you choose will also determine the amount of froth. Less fat, less froth. 

If you’re making this as a cocktail, add your rum and vodka to the shaker along with the tea, and milk. You don’t need to add the vanilla. Shake until frothy and serve over a tall glass filled with lots of ice. Garnish with a cinnamon stick.

Here’s the shop link if you’d like your own organic Rooibos Chai: The Muskoka Pantry

PS. Birthday Reminder: Know someone born July 23-August 22. They’re a LEO and Rooibos Chai is the perfect gift for the LEO on your list. 

PS.I’d love to connect with you on Instagram. Come over and say hi @themuskokapantry  

xox
Clara

Recipes

Dip into this Vegan Artichoke Dip

Well, if you can’t take a dip in a pool or the lake, you can always take a dip into this delish artichoke dip!

Easy to make Vegan Artichoke Dip with Gluten Free Bread

Forget store bought dip. This tastes fresh!

Here’s what I used to make this quick dip at home.

Artichoke Dip Ingredients

Cream cheese, 227 grams + 2 tablespoons
Mayonnaise, 1/2 cup
Plain Yogurt, 1 tablespoon
Artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
2 garlic cloves pressed or finely chopped
1/2 lemon, juiced
jalapeños, 1-2 finely chopped –
Black pepper, freshly cracked as desired
Sriracha Sea Salt, as desired
Parmesan cheese, grated, as desired

Mix cream cheese, mayonnaise and yogurt with hand blender until smooth.

Add garlic, artichokes, lemon juice and seasonings until blended.

Transfer dip it to a small oven proof casserole dish.

Top with grated parmesan cheese.

Warm at 350 in the oven for about 20 minutes or until bubbly.

Notes:

Place casserole dish on a baking pan to save you from cleaning the oven should your sauce spill over. 😂

For a thicker dip. I make this recipe using non-dairy ingredients. You can use dairy and real egg mayo and the dip will be thicker. In this case, you can adjust the thickness with some milk. You’ll have to judge how much milk to add. I’d start with a 1/4 cup.

I find when I use vegan ingredients this results in a thinner dip but still it disappears super fast!! 😋

Want to add more flavor?
Try adding dry vegetable soup mix, a sprinkling of Italian herbs blend or a tablespoon of Italian salad dressing to your dip. Remember- season to taste!

Yes, I made my own bread but, you don’t have too!!

Serve hot with tortilla chips, crusty bread or crackers and your favorite freshly sliced vegetables.

Enjoy! 😘

Announcements, Events & Happenings

Here’s how to have fun this Canada Day!

To commemorate Canada‘s 150th birthday, I’m sharing a few links so that you can celebrate from home!

Canada Day is tomorrow! Are you ready to celebrate? Wow, is it ever different this year still, we can enjoy it!!

Starting tomorrow evening at 8 PM- 10 PM EST on CBC you’ll be able to watch Musical performances from previous years and a virtual fireworks display! Seriously, it’s virtual!!

Want to see and do more from home?

1) Here’s the virtual Celebration Kit. BTW. You should really share this with your friends!!

2) Check out the Culinary Pack for Canadian inspired fun food ideas.

3) Get outside, stay socially responsible and listen to Canada Day music on the Stingray platform at Canada: Together in Music on your TV or you can sign up on their website. 

Stay healthy & Happy Canada Day!!

xo Clara

Recipes

Cool down with a cold-brew

Cold-Brew Iced Tea:  The cold brew method takes longer but yields a lighter and crisper flavour than the traditional boiling water method. Give this method a try if you’re not in a rush.

Use 1 headed teaspoon of tea leaves per 8 ounces of cold water.
🥶

Infuse the leaves for about 1 to 3 hours in the refrigerator, depending on the blend.

It’s best if you can taste the tea every 15 mins or so to make sure the tea infusion doesn’t become bitter. If you’ve steeped too long, strain leaves immediately and you can add some sugar.

You’ll want to experiment with different tea varieties and with each variety the steeping time will also vary according to your taste.

What kind of tea is good for cold-brew?

🌱

 Herbal

🍃

Oolong

🌼

Chamomile

🍃

Green Tea

Let me know what’s your favorite tea hot or cold! 

🍵
Gift Guide LOOK Book

Top 10 ways to make Dad’s day special

1) Look through old photos together & reminisce
2) Go for an easy stroll around the neighbourhood
3) Help him in the garden
4) Share a vintage bottle of wine 
5) Host a picnic and make an epic brunch with all his favourite breakfast & lunch foods (my personal favourite) 
6) Organize his workbench (though that gift could be touchy depending on the Dad LOL)
7) Buy take-out and enjoy a simple meal together 
8) Tell him you love him
9) Call him and let him know that you’re thinking of him
10) Send him diner if you can’t be there to bring it to him

PS. If you haven’t signed up for my email list, now is great time! Why? You get an instant 20% off coupon to use whenever you’d like and I’m soon releasing another new collection!

That’s where you’ll find out first about my new releases and get first dibbs on getting your hands on new stuff before everyone else. Also, you’ll have a chance to tell me what you’d like me to make and maybe I’ll be able to do that for you!

Image: Peter James Anthony

Here’s where you subscribe in case you missed it earlier: 20% off HERE

Keep in touch!

xo Clara

Announcements

Get cottage ready, even if it’s in your backyard!

For the first time, I’ve created a mini product collection featuring three of your favorite sea salts and spices for the summer grilling season!

Ready to take on the grill with a little extra help? Feel like a gourmet chef while serving easy meals and enjoying the simple pleasures of summer living.

Each sea salt and spice is available in reusable tins and comes prepackaged in a convenient gift box for easy gift giving. Tins are easily stored in kitchen cupboards and are the perfect size for cottagers, campers, and yachtsmen and women alike.  

The collection includes: easy to follow recipe card, Alderwood smoked sea salt, Merlot sea salt, Garlic infused sea salt, Grill Spice, Coffee Rub and seasoning and a Zesty seafood spice.

I’m excited to welcome you to explore the Cottage Collection that I’ve created with you in mind.

The Cottage Collection is exclusively available in the Muskoka Pantry shop on Etsy.

The collection includes: easy to follow recipe card, Alderwood smoked sea salt, Merlot sea salt, Garlic infused sea salt, Grill Spice, Coffee Rub and seasoning and a Zesty seafood spice.

The collection ranges in price from $7-$45.

Shop the Cottage Collection here: The Cottage Collection

Preview the shop here: The Muskoka Pantry

Announcements

COVID-19 Update

With growing concerns around COVID-19, I  wanted to provide you with an update on the measures I’m taking to keep our team and customers safe and well.

We already follow strict food safety, sanitation and cleaning protocols and are following all advice given by Canada Public Health.

I will continue to fulfill orders as long as I am able to conduct business in line with government recommendations.

My commitment to you is that I will continue to supply you with safe and high-quality products and will keep you updated of any changes in service. I wish you all a safe, healthy and peaceful time as we all work together in flattening the curve. A special thank you to all of our customers who are providing essential services during this trying time.

Wishing you good health now and always.

Recipes

Running out of ideas for dinner tonight?

Here’s an easy recipe for a nourishing and comforting soup.

🍜

 Look no further! 

Comfort in a bowl or a cup.
😃

Now is a good time to use those of veggies sitting in the back of your veggie crisper tray. Turnips, peppers, tomatoes, green onion etc add a lot of flavour to the base of your chicken broth.

Cook vegetables along with onions, garlic, sea salt, black peppercorns & bones for 4-6 hours at a simmer.

Strain the broth. Remove meat from bones, discard bones and any vegetables you won’t add to finished soup.

Sauté 2 chopped carrots until you see a bit of the carrot 🥕 colour seeps into the olive or avocado oil.

Add a chopped parsnip,celery, 🥔 2 chopped potatoes, 1/4 cup rice or barley and any veggies you’d like to enjoy in your soup.

Add strained broth + meat to veggies pot.

Cool until veggies are tender. About 20 minutes.

Finish with chopped parsley, and adjust the seasoning with garlic sea salt, thyme, and a black pepper as desired.

TIP: Are you thinking of adding pasta to your soup? Add cooked noodles to your bowl if desired, not the pot of soup! This prevents soggy noodles. 

🍜
Chicken Soup with Gluten Free shaped pasta

Want a helping hand? Send me a DM and we’ll cook together. It’ll be fun!

PS. Remember to take advantage of that 20% off coupon for those items you’d like to buy in the ETSY shop. As always local pickup is Free. 🙂

Here’s the link: 20% off for MP Bestie Insiders

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