Making Herb Concentrate

How To Make Herb Concentrates -

Garden herbs were the gateway drug to my current edible gardening obsession.

As I was in culinary school, I started landscaping with herbs rather than ordinary landscape plants so that I could have the freshest ingredients possible in my cooking.

Herbs immediately captured my heart – not only because they had lovely colors & textures in the garden but also because  you only had to touch the leaves as you walked by and the air was filled fragrance.


But despite cooking with and constantly clipping from all those herbs, I quickly learned that I had much more than I needed. So, I dove into the world of preserving herbs.

I chopped, steeped, pureed, dried and froze herbs in every way I could find. And I now have several favorite, go-to preservation options.

But one of my favorites is the one method I started with (oh so many years ago): Herb Concentrates.

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Making Cultured Butter

Making Cultured Butter -

I was thumbing through a cookbook looking for a recipe when something caught my eye and I had to backup to look again…

Cultured Butter.

Now, I have made regular butter a few times in my life. But cultured butter? No.

How did I not know about this?

I make yogurt and I make cheese. But it never occurred to me to make cultured butter.

I set out to research different ways to do this and tried it myself (several times). Let me tell you my preserving friends…cultured butter rocks.

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Simple & Delicious Pickled Onions

Easy Pickled Onion Recipe -

Looking for a simple recipe that will wow your friends? This is it.

Pickled onions are easy, fast and can be your go-to source for a flavor punch. They take ordinary dishes and bump them up a few notches to something more sophisticated.

Use these onions as a side dish or as a condiment on sandwiches, grill-cheese, hamburgers, hot dogs, green salad, egg salad, and more.

With the holidays coming up, serve them with cold cuts at a party, give them as a hostess gift, or keep them on hand for a fast appetizer with cheese, crackers and wine…you get the idea.

Here’s how…

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Making Yogurt – The Easy Way

Easy way to make yogurt -

All homemade yogurt is surprisingly easy to make.

But most people make one of the heated (thermophilic) yogurts. These are what we would normally think of as traditional yogurt (Greek or Bulgarian style yogurts) They are made by heating and cooling the milk, inoculating it with a yogurt culture and then keeping it at 110 degrees for a few hours to ferment.

Although this is fairly simple and makes a delicious yogurt, I sometimes find the heating and temperature requirements to be a pain.

But there is another way!

You can make a delicious yogurt at room temperature.

Yep, room temperature. No heating or maintaining a temperature.


All that is required is an heirloom yogurt culture from the mesophilic class of yogurts. (More on that below).

  • It is cultured at room temperature (70-78 degrees F)
  • There is no need to heat the milk – at ALL!
  • It can be reused to culture the next batch -Indefinitely!
  • It has the same benefits as the heated yogurt
  • It is just as delicious as the heated yogurt (I swear!)

Here’s everything you need to know to make it yourself…

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Dehydrated Tomatoes & Making Tomato Powder

How to make tomato powder -

A few weeks ago, I was dehydrating the end of my delicious summer tomatoes when I discovered I still had some of last year’s dehydrated tomatoes sitting in a jar way toward the back of my pantry.


They were still good, but had started to darken and I was sure they had lost much of their flavor. What was I to do with these little lovelies who were past their prime?

I pulverized them (literally) into powder!

Tomato powder is just a ground up version of dried tomatoes. The result is a super concentrated flavor that can be used in a number of ways.

It’s a powerful spice!

It’s a top-notch flavor enhancer!

It’s amazing…

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8 Delicious Ways To Use Up Leftover Preserves

Using Up Leftover Preserves - LivingHomegrown.comI always seem to have a jar or two of jam or jelly with just a spoonful at the bottom. Never wanting any of that deliciousness to go to waste, I periodically post on a new use for my leftover preserves.

This is a summary of previous ideas with a few new ones thrown in for good measure!

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Homemade Liqueurs and Infused Spirits

Homemade Liqueurs -

I don’t do a lot of giveaways on LivingHomegrown. The only time I offer a giveaway of any kind is when I’m really personally excited about something and I just want to share it.

Such is the case with today’s book review and giveaway.

I did not get this book for free (I bought it with my own hard-earned cash birthday money). And after reading it, I loved it so much that I bought a second copy to give away to one lucky winner here. The publisher doesn’t have anything to do with this and I don’t even know the author. I just think the book is that good.

Sounds good right? It is. Keep reading for more…

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Homemade Maraschino Cherries

How to make Maraschino Cherries -

Homemade Maraschino Cherries:

A few years ago, a TV program showed how they commercially make maraschino cherries and OMG – I never wanted to eat them again!

Why? Because they process those cherries in such a way that they really are no longer cherries.

They first remove any trace of cherry flavor by soaking them in a “brine” of chemicals that bleaches them yellow/white. (This is not a brine as we know it in pickling. It is a chemical cocktail.) Then, they soak them for several days in high fructose corn syrup and red dye so that they look like a cherry again.

I wouldn’t even consider it food anymore. It is more of a cherry-like substance. It was gross.

So I thought…Why not make them myself?

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The Wonders of Wine Salt

How to Make Wine Salt as Seasoning - via

Wine Salt

You may not have heard of it before, but this is a very cool product to have on hand.

Wine Salt is a delicious reduction of wine that is mixed with kosher salt and herbs.

The result is a concentrated seasoning that can add a nice depth of flavor to any meat or vegetable dish. When you add it to meat juices, it blends the dehydrated wine into a variation of a reduction sauce.

Whenever I demo it for people, I get a lot of “oohs” and “ahhs”.

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Flavoring Water Kefir – Part 2 of 2

How To Flavor Water Kefir

How to flavor water kefir - LivingHomegrown

In my last post, I gave you the whole scope on how to make water kefir – a fermented probiotic beverage made with sugar water, yeast and bacteria.

I talked about: what water kefir is, the benefits and how to do the first ferment.

Yes, you can drink water kefir after the first ferment with no flavoring at all, but it doesn’t taste very good at that point. If you want to do that, I suggest you use it in smoothies or add it to other beverages, etc.

Important: Remember to start out with small amounts of kefir until your body gets used to it. I started with just a spoonful each day and slowly increased. It will be populating your intestines and you don’t want an unpleasant experience by doing that suddenly.

The magic happens when you flavor it!

Now, I don’t want to make this more complicated than it needs to be. The truth is that you can throw in some flavorings and drink it.


And there are a gazillion different ways to flavor this beverage. Your only limitation is your imagination.

But I know from teaching this that people have a lot of questions. So, rather than give you one option and answer all the questions in the comments, I wrote a comprehensive post below giving you ALL the details of how to do this a number of different ways.

I hope you refer back to it for inspiration every time you make a new batch.

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