Parsley, fresh mint, rosemary, thyme — all these herbs and many others have the power to add a whole new dimension of flavor to any dish. Although dry herbs could work, there’s no denying that fresh always tastes better. Growing a herb garden at home is a simple solution that allows for easy access to fresh spices, and provides a fun and productive hobby. Here are a few useful hints and tips to help any aspiring home gardener with this project…
Indoor Garden Tips
It’s possible to have a beautiful garden of herbs indoors. The first thing to do is find an area that gets plenty of sunlight and get the right equipment including planting pots, a water tray, and a small trowel. Planting seeds are the more economical choice, but it will take more time and a bit more patience. Otherwise, many stores carry potted seedlings ready to be replanted. Some excellent beginner herbs are parsley, thyme, basil, oregano, chives, and many others. Once the planting is completed, the gardener should be mindful of the following:
- Fertilize indoor plants only once every couple of weeks, if at all, to avoid causing their flavor to change.
- Water the soil daily unless the plant requires dryer soil.
- A potting mix works better than regular soil for indoor planting.
Outdoor Herb Gardening Tips
Much like with indoor planting, making an outdoor garden starts with finding a good, sunny spot for the herbs. The plants can be planted directly into the soil with an addition of potting mix and fertilizer, or they can be grown entirely in pots. For beginners, the same advice of starting off with basil, oregano, parsley, sage, and similar spice herbs remains as they’re easy to look after. When planting outside, however, it’s better to make seedlings indoors and transfer the plants outside and into the soil when they sprout. Important factors to think about include:
- Planting each herb during the proper planting season.
- Watering the herbs in the morning and not as often as if they were indoors.
- It’s important not to over-fertilize spice herbs.
If you’re a fan of the classic grilled cheese sandwich staple but would like to try it with a twist, you’re in luck. This layered masterpiece featuring a fantastic glazed pineapple adds such a fantastic sweet-and-salty kick to the crunchy creaminess of the original. You can either use bacon or leftover holiday ham. Here’s how to make it!
- 3 fresh pineapple rings, thinly sliced
- 6 slices of bacon/leftover Thanksgiving ham
- 2 ½ tbsp. butter, divided
- 1 tsp. brown sugar
- 1 tbsp. soy sauce
- 8 slices Havarti
- 2 oz. (4 slices) sliced gruyere
- 4 slices sourdough bread
How to Make a Pineapple Grilled Cheese Sandwich
Step 1: Grab a skillet, spray it with cooking oil, and heat over medium-high flame. Fry the bacon (or ham) for about two minutes per side. When ready, remove them from the pan and set them aside.
Step 2: Lower the heat to medium and add a tablespoon of butter. Add the pineapple rings and sprinkle soy sauce and brown sugar on top. Cook until it’s caramelized, which takes about 4 minutes per side. Clean the pan when it’s done.
Step 3: Take the sourdough and spread the remaining butter on one side of each slice.
Step 4: Place the slices with the butter side down and layer your sandwiches. Start with two slices of Havarti, three slices of bacon/ham, half the gruyere, one and a half slices of pineapple, and then two more slices of Havarti on top.
Step 5: Top off with the remaining two slices of bread, the butter side facing up. Heat the pan to medium and cook your grilled cheese sandwich covered with a lid for about four minutes per side until it’s golden, crispy, and super melty.
Step 6: Feel free to sprinkle some Parmigiano if you’re a fan. Eat your sandwich before someone steals it from you, and while it’s still hot, delicious, and flavorful!