Valentines Heart Caprese Salad

What says Valentines day better than heart shaped food?

This Valentines day Caprese salad is a simple Italian dish, made of sliced fresh mozzarella, tomatoes, and AeroGarden sweet basil, all with a romantic twist.

 

All you need is:

Fresh Mozzarella

Fresh Basil grown in your AeroGarden

Fresh Heartbreaker tomatoes grown in your AeroGarden (or another variety but these have the natural heart shape.)

Salt & Pepper

Olive Oil

Balsamic Glaze

 

Steps: 

First let’s prep the first 3 main ingredients so they resemble heart shapes.

For the heartbreaker tomatoes all you need to do it cut them in half. If you are using another larger variety try your best to create heart shapes. If you are using cherry tomatoes cut them in half, rotate one half and piece them back together in heart shapes.

Example: 

 

 

 

 

 

For the basil, grab one leaf, fold it in half along the center stem, and cut with scissors like if you were making paper hearts in elementary school.

 

Example:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For the mozzarella, you will get the prettiest heart shapes if you use a cookie cutter, but if you freehand, get a small knife and cut out the shapes.

 

Once you have all three ingredients in the heart shapes, start placing them in order on your platter of choice. Once satisfied with how they look, sprinkle everything with salt and pepper and then drizzle with the balsamic glaze.

Now you have a beautiful, healthy, fresh valentines day caprese salad!

Baked Three-Cheese Onion Dip with Chive and Pepperoncini

When great dips get together, it’s magic. This recipe boasts all the beauty of a creamy onion dip with the irresistible appeal of queso, perfect to bring to Super Bowl Sunday! Bonus you can add in your own AeroGarden herbs to add your own touch of uniqueness.

 

YIELD
Serves 8

INGREDIENTS

    • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
    • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
    • Kosher salt
    • 8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
    • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
    • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
    • 4 ounces sharp white cheddar, coarsely grated (about 1 cup), divided
    • 2 ounces Monterey Jack, coarsely grated (about 1/2 cup), divided
    • Freshly ground black pepper
    • 2 tablespoons finely chopped chives – From your AeroGarden
    • 2 tablespoons finely chopped pepperoncini
    • Crackers and/or tortilla chips (for serving)

PREPARATION

    1. Preheat oven to 375°. Heat oil in a medium skillet over medium. Cook onion, stirring occasionally, until golden brown and softened, 8–10 minutes; season with salt. Let cool.
    2. Pulse cream cheese and mayonnaise in a food processor until smooth.
    3. Toss cornstarch, 3/4 cup cheddar, and 1/4 cup Monterey Jack in a medium bowl to coat cheese. Mix in cream cheese mixture and cooked onion; season with salt and pepper. Scrape into a 1-qt. baking dish and top with remaining cheddar and Monterey Jack. Bake dip until golden and bubbling, 20–25 minutes. Let dip cool 5 minutes, then top with chives and pepperoncini. Serve with crackers.

Image and Recipe from: Epicurious

Shaved Carrot and Radish Salad with Herbs and Pumpkin Seeds

This salad highlights the many green herbs that you can grow in your AeroGarden. This salad is a crunchy, flavor packed salad great for this upcoming Fall.

INGREDIENTS

    • 1/4 cup olive oil, divided
    • 1 cup raw shelled pumpkin seeds
    • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
    • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more
    • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
    • 1 teaspoon honey
    • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
    • 2 pounds carrots, peeled, shaved lengthwise into ribbons with a vegetable peeler
    • 1 bunch radishes (approximately 10 radishes), thinly sliced on a mandoline or with a sharp knife
    • 4 cups (packed) mixed  herbs, such as parsley, cilantro, dill, mint, tarragon, and/or basil
    • 1/2 cup chopped chives

PREPARATION

    1. Heat 1 Tbsp. oil in a medium skillet over medium. Add pumpkin seeds and cumin and cook, stirring, until lightly toasted and fragrant, 4–5 minutes. Transfer to paper towels, season with salt, and let cool.
    2. Whisk lemon juice, honey, pepper, and 3/4 tsp. salt in a medium bowl until honey dissolves. Slowly whisk in remaining 3 Tbsp. oil until emulsified.
    3. Toss carrots and radishes with dressing in a large bowl, then fold in herbs, chives, and half of the pumpkin seeds. Top salad with remaining pumpkin seeds. Taste and season with salt and pepper if necessary.
  1. Do Ahead
    1. Dressing can be made 5 days ahead. Chill in a resealable container.

Recipe from: Epicurious

Salted Roast Turkey with Herbs and Shallot-Dijon Gravy

Looking for a classic turkey with some added depth of flavor? This is the one for you. The meat tastes of sage, rosemary, and thyme, that you can harvest from your AeroGarden!

YIELD
Makes 8 to 12 servings

INGREDIENTS

  1. Herbed Salt:
    • 1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon coarse kosher salt
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried rosemary
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried rubbed sage
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme
    • 1 teaspoon black peppercorns, crushed
    • 3 small bay leaves, coarsely torn
    • 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon peel
  2. Turkey:
    • 1 14- to 16-pound turkey (neck, heart, and gizzard reserved)
    • 1 large onion, chopped
    • 1 large celery stalk, chopped
    • 1 whole lemon, chopped with peel
    • 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
    • 1 teaspoon dried rubbed sage
    • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
    • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
    • 2 cups (or more) Golden Turkey Stock
  3. Gravy:
    • 3 1/2 cups (about) Golden Turkey Stock
    • 2/3 cup chopped shallots
    • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
    • 1/2 cup dry white wine
    • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
    • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary

PREPARATION

  1. For herbed salt:
    1. Rub first 6 ingredients in small bowl to crush herbs finely. DO AHEAD: Can be made 1 week ahead. Cover; store at room temperature. Stir in peel before using.
  2. For turkey:
    1. Rinse turkey inside and out (do not pat dry). Pull any fat pads from main cavity and neck cavity of turkey; wrap, chill, and reserve fat for roasting. Place turkey in roasting bag; sprinkle inside and out with herbed salt. Close bag. Place on baking sheet; refrigerate 18 to 24 hours.
    2. Set rack at lowest position in oven and preheat to 325°F. Rinse turkey inside and out; pat very dry. Stir chopped onion and next 5 ingredients in small bowl. Divide onion mixture between main and neck cavities. Fold neck skin under and secure with skewer. Tuck wing tips under. Tie legs together loosely. Place turkey on rack set in large roasting pan. Spread butter all over turkey. Place reserved fat pads and reserved neck, heart, and gizzard in pan; pour in 2 cups Golden Turkey Stock.
    3. Roast turkey 45 minutes. Baste with pan juices. Continue to roast until thermometer inserted into thickest part of thigh registers 165°F to 170°F, basting every 45 minutes, adding stock or water to pan if dry, and tenting loosely with foil if browning too quickly, 3 to 3 1/2 hours longer. Transfer turkey to platter; tent very loosely with foil and let rest 30 to 45 minutes. Reserve roasting pan with juices for gravy.
  3. For gravy:
    1. Remove turkey neck, heart, and gizzard from roasting pan. Pull meat off neck; chop neck meat, heart, and gizzard and reserve for gravy, if desired. Pour pan juices into 8-cup measuring cup. Spoon off fat from surface, reserving 1/2 cup fat. Add enough turkey stock to degreased pan juices to measure 5 1/2 cups total.
    2. Place roasting pan over 2 burners on medium heat. Add 1/2 cup reserved fat and shallots; sauté 1 minute. Whisk in flour. Cook until roux is light brown, whisking constantly, about 2 minutes. Whisk in wine, stock mixture, mustard, and fresh rosemary. Bring to boil, whisking to blend. Boil until gravy coats spoon, about 3 minutes. Add neck, heart, and gizzard, if desired. Season with salt and pepper.
    3. Serve turkey with gravy.
Recipe from: Epicurious

Cactus Fruit Cocktails

Cactus fruits, also known as “prickly pears,” are any number of fruit nodules that grow wild on the nopales cactus in the deserts of Mexico and the southwestern United States. Although prickly pear juice is sold in bottles, nothing compares to the sweet taste of their fresh flesh and spitting out the numerous seeds. To peel the fruits: Hold them with a pair of thick leather or work gloves, cut off both ends, cut a slit down the length of the fruit, then remove the prickly skins with a pair of tongs. Although they come in a variety of flavors and colors, I find the ones with the bright pink flesh to be the most tasty and the drinks from them come out more festive looking, too.

YIELD
Makes 2 servings

INGREDIENTS

    • 4 prickly pears, peeled
    • Ice
    • 4 ounces tequila
    • 1 1/2 ounces triple sec
    • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice
    • 1 tablespoon sugar
    • Coarse-grained salt for rimming (optional)
    • Lime slices for garnish (optional)

PREPARATION

  • Place the prickly pears in a blender and pulse until liquefied. Strain the juice into a small bowl (you should have about 1 cup of juice).
  • Fill a large cocktail shaker with ice, add the prickly pear juice, tequila, triple sec, lime juice, and sugar and shake vigorously.
  • Pour into glasses filled with ice, rimmed with salt or sugar, if you like. Garnish with lime slices.
Variation:
For a fancy party cocktail, combine some chipotle chile powder with your coarse-grained salt before rimming the glasses. The smoky, spicy salt will make a nice complement to the sweet, fruity drink.
Recipe From: Epicurious

Cayenne Corn Bread

For your next summer BBQ change things up by adding a kick to your favorite corn bread. This simple recipe turns out great every-time and you can add your very own AeroGarden grown Cayenne peppers to make it unique.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 1 cup unbleached all purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 1/4 cup (or more) buttermilk, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted, cooled
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup (about 4 ounces) lightly packed grated cheddar cheese

PREPARATION

    1. Preheat oven to 425°F. Brush cast-iron corn stick molds with vegetable oil and place in oven. Mix yellow cornmeal, unbleached flour, dark brown sugar, baking powder, salt, baking soda and cayenne pepper in large bowl. Whisk 1 1/4 cups buttermilk, butter and egg in small bowl. Mix into dry ingredients. Stir in grated cheddar cheese. Add more buttermilk if necessary to thin to just pourable consistency. Fill corn stick molds with batter. Bake corn sticks until tester inserted into centers comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Cool in pans 10 minutes. Using tip of small sharp knife, gently lift corn sticks from molds. Serve warm.

 Recipe from: Epicurious

Ultimate Caprese Salad

ultimate-caprese-salad

INGREDIENTS

    • 2 cups cherry tomatoes, preferably heirloom, halved
    • 7 tablespoons (or more) extra-virgin olive oil, divided
    • Flaky sea salt
    • 2 mixed medium and large tomatoes, preferably heirloom, cut into thin slices and/or wedges
    • 8 ounces buffalo mozzarella or mozzarella, room temperature, torn into pieces
    • Coarsely ground black pepper
    • Small basil leaves and toasted country bread (for serving)

PREPARATION

    1. Toss cherry tomatoes with 1 Tbsp. oil in a small bowl; season with salt.
    2. Arrange tomato slices on a platter, slightly overlapping; season generously with salt. Arrange mozzarella over tomatoes; lightly season mozzarella with salt. Spoon cherry tomatoes over salad and drizzle with 6 Tbsp. oil; season with pepper. Let stand 30 minutes to let flavors meld and release juices from tomatoes and mozzarella.
    3. Top salad with basil and additional salt and oil, if desired. Serve with bread alongside.

Cover photo and recipe credit to: Epicurious

 

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Calendula Bath Bombs

For this Mother’s day we decided to try a fun, unique DIY craft- Bath Bombs. They are a ton of fun to make and satisfying to drop into the bath. These petal-laden bath bombs are exploding with essential oils, and our very own Calendula flowers. So grab your Mom or a friend and get ready to get your hands dirty making these unique, relaxing, and entertaining bathroom essentials.

shutterstock_558480118

 

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 Cup Baking Soda
  • 1/4 Cup Epsom Salts
  • 1/4 Cup Citric Acid
  • 1/2 Tsp Water
  • 1 1/2 Tsp Olive Oil
  • 5-10 Drops Sweet Orange Essential Oil
  • 1/4 Cup Dried Calendula Petals
  • Bath Bomb Molds

*Makes 3-6 Bath Bombs (depending on size of mold)

Instructions:

  1. Gather two bowls. In one bowl combine all the dry ingredients and mix thoroughly. In the other bowl combine all the wet ingredients and mix.
  2. Slowly pour the liquid mix over the dry ingredients and whisk.
  3. Test the texture by grabbing a handful and squeezing. If it holds, then move on. If too wet or dry add additional baking soda or water until desired firm consistency. *Note-do not overdue extra water-it will cause an early fizzy reaction, and the bath bombs will not form to the mold properly.
  4. Add Calendula petals and mix with hands.
  5. Fill each side of the molds, making sure there is no extra space.
  6. Add a little extra to one half of a mold, and then firmly press the two halves together for 10-30 seconds.
  7. Gently pull off the molds, one half at a time, and place on wax paper to dry for 24 hours.
  8. Drop into your warm luxurious bath, and enjoy the fizzle of your hand-made bath bomb.

AG_Sprout_Red_RF_Calendula_800

 

 

Cilantro Jalapeno Margarita!

Many margs are far too sweet with their added artificial lime flavoring or too much fake sugar. A good margarita should be light, refreshing and fresh. This recipe not only gives homage to an authentic margarita but it has the perfect hint of cilantro and jalapeno for a fresh and spicy kick.

INGREDIENTS

    • 1 lime wedge
    • 1 to 3 thin slices jalapeno (stemmed, seeded, sliced lengthwise)
    • 2 cilantro sprigs
    • 1 1/2 oz. blanco tequila
    • 1 oz. fresh lime juice
    • 1 oz. Countreau
    • 1/2 oz. agave syrup or simple syrup
    • 6 to 10 ice cubes

PREPARATION

  1. Muddle jalapeno and one of the cilantro sprigs. Add the tequila, lime juice, Cointreau, agave, and ice. Cover and shake.
  2. Run the lime wedge around the edge of the rim and dip in salt (or spicy salt.)
  3. Pour and enjoy!

Recipe from Epicurious

Strawberry Lemonade

Stawberry_lemonaid_4.19

What’s more refreshing than lemonade? Strawberry lemonade. I’m talking fresh strawberries, none of that powdered pink sugar drink. And what makes it even more refreshing is knowing that the strawberries used are ones from your very own Aerogarden Grow Bowl. So go ahead and pluck those juicy red berries and enjoy them in this delicious drink for that hot summer day.

INGREDIENTS

    • 1/2 lb strawberries (1 1/2 cups), trimmed and halved
    • 1 1/2 cups fresh lemon juice (from about 5 lemons)
    • 1 to 1 1/2 cups sugar
    • 3 cups cold water
    • Ice

PREPARATION

    1. Purée strawberries with 2 tablespoons lemon juice in a blender until smooth, then force through a fine sieve into a bowl to remove seeds. Stir together strawberry purée, remaining lemon juice, 1 cup sugar, and water in a large pitcher until sugar is dissolved. Taste, then add more sugar if desired. Serve over ice.
YIELD: Makes about 1 1/2 quarts
Recipe from: Epicurious