Elizabeth and Ashley’s Herb Tips + Tricks

basil-and-lavender-4No matter where in the country you are, the days are getting warmer. Here, in Pasadena we had temperatures in the 90s last week! Naturally, our minds turn toward making fresh and light foods in the springtime, particularly with fresh herbs. Ashley and I have small containers of herbs that we grow year round, so naturally the herbs act as a complement in our cooking. Below, we have listed some of our favorite ways to better feature herbs, elevating their place in our homes.

We wanted to share some of our favorite ways to use herbs!

In foods:

-Add into homemade vinaigrettes for seasoning

-Roughly chop and add to roasting vegetables, into stews, or into marinades

-Infuse into oils for easier cooking later

-Italian style oil: Add thyme, oregano, sage, a basil leaf, and a sprig of rosemary to your olive oil

-Use in marmalade and jam to create interesting combinations

-Toss with salads

-Make an herb and cheese quiche

-Add a few herbs to your favorite dessert. Like rosemary to brownies, we find it is brings out the flavor of the chocolate while giving a refreshing finish.  Kitchen Vignettes recipe for Rosemary Rye Brownies is a great example of this.

basil-and-lavender2In beverages:

-Drop a sprig of mint or rosemary into a pitcher of water for a delicious infusion juice

-Blend with the remaining winter citrus with your favorite herb combo for a twist on traditional juice

-Add tequila or potato vodka to the above juice for a classy herb cocktail

-Add lavender to your latte. Here is a great recipe.

-Add mint to iced tea


Mint Sweet Tea
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
A refreshing and sweet drink.
Recipe type: Beverages
Serves: 5 C
  • 1 C. Organic Cane Sugar
  • 5 Black Tea Bags (you can substitute green tea)
  • 1 Tbsp. Fresh Mint (placed in a tea ball)
  • 2 C. Boiling Water
  • 1 C. Ice
  1. Bring Water to a boil.
  2. Place Tea Bags, Sugar, and Mint (in a tea ball) in a Heat resistant pitcher.
  3. Pour hot water over.
  4. Stir.
  5. Steep for 5 minutes.
  6. Remove tea bags and tea ball
  7. Add Ice
  8. Serve over ice and add a few more mint leaves

Around the home:

-Place dried lavender in a bowl or cloth pouch and place where you would like some light, calming scent

-Use tall herb sprigs as scented fillers for bouquets or in bud jars

-Dry your favorite herbs (E’s favorites:lavender, rosemary,mint) then place in a thin fabric. Tie with a ribbon and use as a sachet in your drawers.


A few things to keep in mind about herbs:

-Mint has a tendency to take over.

-Spearmint is usually what you will grow in your garden

-Basil is a late spring/summer herb that can’t survive outdoors when the temperature drops below 55 degrees fahrenheit.

-Cilantro can get overheated easily and wilt.

-Herbs don’t take a lot of room, so if you have a small apartment and want to grow fresh herbs, you can! We recommend Reclaimed Micro Gardens


About the Author:

At Mary Lee Kitchen, we believe that what we eat matters. Each of us has the right to know what is in our food. Over the years the food industry has negatively impacted our health and well being. This has caused the rise of food allergies, food sensitivities, rise in child obesity- which are just a few of the harmful side effects of the food manufactures created. It is time for us to implement change. I am a food artisan that creates allergy free products that are made in a sustainable way. Through my own experience with rare food allergies, I have learned how to cook in a way that is inclusive for all diets. Through food education, recipes, and products I support the gathering of all people around the kitchen table.

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