Category Archives: Thanksgiving Tips

All About Sage

By Angela Keyser, Director of Marketing for High Quality Organics

When I ask you what herb reminds you of Thanksgiving, most of you will probably say sage.  This perennial herb, native to the Mediterranean, is indeed quite popular at Thanksgiving. Often added to a stuffing or roasted turkey recipe, sage has a wonderful, slightly sweet and citrusy smell.  Some say it smells camphorous, cleansing or purifying and it can linger for some time – good if you enjoy the smell, not so good if you don’t!

The botanical name for sage is ‘Salvia’ which, in Lattin, means “to heal” or “to save.” The reason sage was named this way is because it’s essential oils contain antioxidant and antimicrobial properties. (Sage is an excellent source of vitamin A, C, E and K  – important antioxidants for health and wellness.)

Sage has been used for centuries not only in cooking but for medicinal purposes for many things including healing the common cold or flu and soothing insect bites.  The Native Americans believe it wards off evil spirits and the Arabs believe it helps with immortality. At one time, the Chinese regarded sage so highly they would trade up to four pounds or sacks of tea (camelia sinensis) for one pound or sack of sage leaves to make tea. (While sage tea isn’t commonly found in most grocery stores, you can find it online.)

The sage plant is quite easy to grow, will weather over the winter and is fairly drought tolerant. So, it’s a great herb to try if you’re new to (or not so good at) gardening.  It’s leaves are soft and blue-greyish in color and the plant can have delicate purple or blue flowers, depending on the variety.

Sage is an extremely versatile herb to use in the kitchen. Here are just a few delicious ways to play with it in your everyday cooking:

Steep in hot water for tea
Infuse in water with blackberries
– Added to ice cubes (fresh only)
Eggs
Flavoring for white bean dishes
Infuse with salt
Rub on poultry, pork or lamb
– Incorporate into sausage
Savory flavor to bread or rolls
Simple syrup for cocktails
Savory flavor for homemade crackers
– Soups and stews
– Vegetables or potatoes

Chef Dawn’s Super Simple Flavored Whipped Creams

By Chef Dawn Wykoff

The hustle and bustle of the holidays can sometimes make you want to pull out your hair!  Not to worry. There are many simple tricks you can pull out of your sleeve to make your holidays special and less stressful.

These flavored whipped creams are a standard go-to for me. The ingredients are so simple and it takes about 5-10 minutes to “whip” them up.  The result is a super flavorful whipped cream that is sure to impress your guests.

Caramel Flavored Whipped Cream = 1 Cup Cream + 1/2 Jar Caramel Ice Cream Topping

Caramel Flavored Whipped Cream = 1 Cup Cream + 1/2 Jar Caramel Ice Cream Topping

Pineapple Lemon Flavored Whipped Cream = 1 Cup Cream + 1/2 Jar Pineapple Chutney + 1/4 Jar Lemon Curd

Pineapple Lemon Flavored Whipped Cream = 1 Cup Cream + 1/2 Jar Pineapple Ice Cream Topping + 1/4 Jar Lemon Curd

Simply whip cream in a very cold bowl with cold beaters until soft peaks appear.  Gently fold in your flavorings. Serve immediately or refrigerate for up to three days.

Simply whip cream in a very cold bowl with cold beaters until soft peaks appear. Gently fold in your flavorings. Serve immediately or refrigerate for up to three days.

Serving suggestions:

Pumpkin Pie Topping: The caramel flavored whipped cream is OUTSTANDING on anything pumpkin or apple.

Cookie Dunking Dip: Make the kids table extra fun with a little cookie tray of gingersnap, pumpkin or other fall-flavored cookies and let them dunk their cookies into a small bowl of the caramel flavored whipped cream.  According to our “little testers” the results were two thumbs up!

Fruit Salad: Make a double batch of the pineapple lemon whipped cream and throw together a last-minute fruit salad.

Have more serving suggestions or flavor combinations? Tell us about them. We’d love to hear from you!