Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Kitchie Tip: Chopping Basil & Sage

Hello Friends!  I have been gone too long.  Waaay too long, and I miss you so much!  I have a good excuse, I promise.  I am not quite ready to share this excuse with you, but will soon.  Another promise. Its a fun, good, and really exciting excuse.  Now I am just torturing you and will shut my trap and move on to my next task.  A quick and simple Kitchie Tip.

I hate chopping herbs.  Hate it hate it hate it.  It is an annoying task and one I try to pawn off on others as much as possible.  I still don't have a great solution for the likes of cilantro, parsley and tarragon; but basil and sage?  I've got you covered.  

I learned this from a friend of mine, Taren, who is a Pampered Chef consultant and always has great tips and tricks for cutting down your time in the kitchen.  So here goes...

1. Stack the basil leaves
2. Roll the leaves
3. Slice the leaves crosswise
4. Done!  Ta-da!


Do any of you have any tips for chopping other fresh herbs?  Cilantro especially is my nemesis, which sucks, because I love it so much.  Love/hate relationship big time.


I am loooong overdue for returning some major blog award love from some of my very favorite bloggers.  Please forgive me for my delayed thanks, and know that I am eternally grateful and full of love and pride for these awards.  Its amazing that even though I haven't written a food post in almost a month, the blog community love is still rolling in.  I adore you guys.

I received, not one, three, or five but SIX Versatile Blogger Awards!!  (Fainting... )  These kept rolling in from these lovely ladies, whom I adore for more reasons than giving me awards...so thank you my dear friends....Anna at Crunchy Creamy Sweet, Pennie at Passioneats, Jules at Bananamondaes, Kayle at The Cooking Actress, Jessica at A Kitchen Addiction and Kim at Treats & Trinkets.  Upon acceptance of this award I am supposed to share seven random facts about myself and then pass the award along to 15 of my favorite bloggers.  So, here goes:

1. I never had a huge sweet tooth until I got pregnant with my daughter Anna.  Now my sweet tooth has a tendency to be insatiable.
2. I wear sunscreen every single day of the year...sunny, rainy, cloudy or snowy!
3. French fries are my favorite food in the whole entire world.  And I do not discriminate.  No french fry is bad, there are just some that happen to be phenomenally better than others.  In fact, I usually pick where I want to eat out based on their french fries.  I love them.
4. I have a love/hate relationship with running.  I hate the thought of getting my butt out the door, but when I am done I find that runner's high and fall in love again.
5. I am an accountant, but I want to be a pastry chef. 
6. A good glass of wine and snuggling up with Mace and Anna is the perfect end to any day (and you might as well throw a few cookies in there to really top it off).
7. I am always cold.  When others are sweating, I am usually wearing a sweater.

I am having a hard time finding bloggers I love that haven't already received multiple Versatile Blogger Awards, so this one if up for the taking.  If you haven't received the Versatile Blogger Award yet, you're a blogger, and you're reading this, consider yourself awarded!  Please grab the badge below and continue spreading the love!

Secondly, I was given the Happy Blogger Award by Neshanne at Oishii Treats and Anna at Crunchy Creamy Sweet.  There are no special requirements for this award but to pass it along to 10 other bloggers.  I imagine it should be bloggers that exude happiness and sunshine, like the little award guy below!  :-)

I am passing this award on to ten very happy and sunshiney favorite bloggers of mine.  Thank you my friends for always bringing a ray of sunshine to my day!  Pennie at Passioneats, Kayle at The Cooking Actress, Chocolate Chip Uru at Go Bake Yourself, Leanne at Around the Table: Loving Food in RI & Beyond, Alyssa at Mom de Cuisine, Colleen at The Smart Cookie, Laura at Sprint 2 the Table, Krista at Cucina 49, Erin at Dinners Dishes and Desserts, and Stefanie at Sarcastic Cooking.

And finally...I was given two awards in one pretty little package, The Kreativ Blogger Award and the the Sunshine Award, by the Chocolate Chip Uru herself at Go Bake Yourself

For the Sunshine Award I am supposed to answer the questions below and then pass it along to 10 other bloggers.  For the Kreative Blogger award I am supposed to give randon facts about myself and I will defer to the above so as not to bore you all to death with an enormous amount of facts about me!

  • Favourite Colour – Blue, any shade
  • Favourite Animal – Dog
  • Favourite Number – 8
  • Favourite Non-Alcoholic Drink – Seltzer Water
  • Prefer Facebook or Twitter – Facebook, I still don't totally "get" Twitter.
  • My Passion – Being in the kitchen, especially baking
  • Prefer Getting or Giving Presents – Ah crap, I love em both.
  • Favourite Pattern – I don't get it...Is chocolate chip cookie a pattern?
  • Favourite Day of the Week – Friday, its the beginning of my weekend and I know I have a nice long weekend ahead of me every Friday morning when I wake up.
  • Favourite Flower – It so happens to be gerbera daisies which is the flower pictured in the award badge.  Nice.

  • I am passing this cute little award package on to the following bloggers: Neshanne at Oishii Treats, Anna at Crunchy Creamy Sweet, Rachel at My Naturally Frugal Family, Amy at Gastronome Tart, Kim at Treats & Trinkets, Jessica at A Kitchen Addiction, Tammi at Momma's Meals, Kyleen at Sixteen Beans, Aylin at Glow Kitchen, and Stephanie at Eat. Drink. Love.


    1. First of all, welcome back! And second, thank you! I appreciate the award...and of course the tips about chopping herbs--not one of my favorite tasks either. Incidentally, I ditto your comments on French fries and always being cold.

    2. TY so much for the sunshiney award!! :) Congrats on all your awards, and I can't wait to hear that excuse....hmmmm

    3. I am always cold too!!! I wear socks in bed and am stuck like glue to my partner who is always hot. I laughed about your chopping herbs...I hate chopping coriander, it smears itself all over the chopping board and I end up scraping it off the board but leaving most of it on there. Congrats on all your awards - you deserve it!

    4. Welcome back - you have been much missed my friend! :D
      It must have been wonderful coming back to such a large assortment of awards - congrats :)
      And thank you so much for passing on the happy blogger award to me - much appreciated!

      Choc Chip Uru

    5. Welcome back!!!

      I can't wait to hear your news!

    6. Glad to see you back :) congratulations on all the lovely awards. and thanks so much for passing on the sunshine and kreativ award. so surprised when I visited your page I just wanted to say hi and welcome back, had no clue about the awards. :) Can't wait to see what your cooking or baking next.

    7. Well deserved, Maggie, congratulations! Glad to see I'm not your only fan. And thank you for passing on the Happy Blogger Award--I'm honored!! Oh, and can't wait to hear your news...!!

    8. I am so happy to see you blogging again, Maggie! Congratulations on your awards - all well deserved :) I love your herb tip - will remember it next time I am chopping basil. Thank you for the Kreativ Blogger Award! xoxo

    9. Thank you for sharing your fabulous tips and recipes, Maggie! I'm so glad that one of my share-at-shows kitchen tips was useful! The basil chiffonade and method of cutting bell pepper to avoid the seeds seem to be the most popular - yay for edu-tainment! My best tip for parsley and cilantro: kitchen shears. Cut off a 'hunk' of parsley or cilantro and place it an appropriately-sized Prep Bowl (or the 'lid' of your Herb Keeper); I avoid including the more lengthy, bare pieces of stem, but I do NOT take the time to remove all of the leaves from the stems. Now, turn your kitchen shears upside down and got to town 'snipping' the parsley until you have the consistency/quantity you want; do not hold the herbs in your fingers while you're snipping - no need to endanger your finders... hold the bowl in one hand, the shears in the other and SNIP, SNIP, SNIP. You may notice a little bruising on the leaves - more with cilantro than parsley - but to me the time I'm saving is worth it. Good kitchen shears are a MUST in every kitchen. We rarely use a knife to chop parsley/cilantro anymore. Hope that helps! - Taren

    10. I am glad you are back too. I was wondering what was goIng on. I can only guess what is up, but can't wait to know if I am correct or even close!!! Your blogs are so up lifting. It is so great to see how much love you have for your family. Congrats on your awards.

    11. I love the tip how to chop herbs. I heard if you throw a bit of salt on cutting board too it helps keep them in place. I forget where I heard it but it might have been on Giada's show. Congrats on the awards.

    12. Congrats on all the awards and it's fun getting to "know" you a little better. I just pile all my herbs on my cutting board, put a dishtowel under the cutting board to keep it firmly in place then chop by keeping the tip of my chef knife on the cutting board and just rocking back and forth with the back of the knife. Tough to describe I guess but I make quick work of herbs, garlic, etc.

    13. Congrats on all of your awards! I am the same about always being cold. Living in the desert, I know I shouldn't complain, but even when it's 75 degrees and my husband wants to get in the pool, I tell him it's too cold. I love these awards because you always learn cool things about people. I loved all of your facts!

    14. Isn't chiffonade the best?? When I learned it, my basil slicing was changed forever. I am waiting to hear this exciting news of yours..!

      I think basing where you go on the fries is plain genius. Genius!

    15. The fact that your favorite food is french fries makes me love you even more! I can't get enough of those things. I've been addicted for as long as I can remember! I'm not sure why I've never tried chopping herbs like this...I usually just wildly hack at 'em.

    16. Thank you for sharing the tips of chopping fresh herbs.
      Congratulations on your AWARDS!

    17. Mags, your so funny! Thanks for the comment on my "secret" blog, I was actually wondering if you knew or not! And I love these tips, makes chopping so much easier and quicker.

    18. Congratulations on your awards. Looks like I have some new blogs to check out! Thanks for the link.


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