Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Rosemary, the Herb of Remembrance

As for rosemary, I let it run all over my garden walls, not
only because my bees love it but because it is the herb
sacred to remembrance and to friendship, whence a
sprig of it hath a dumb language.”
–  Sir Thomas Moore

The bees are having a grand time in the rosemary today.  It is one of my favorite herbs, too.
I'll be gathering sprigs of rosemary on Thanksgiving day, both to flavor the turkey and to grace the table.  Rosemary is lovely in a bouquet, and makes a pretty, fragrant napkin ring when tied with a bit of twine or ribbon.  What better time than Thanksgiving to find all sorts of ways to incorporate the 'herb of remembrance'?

How will you use rosemary in your home this season?



Saturday, October 31, 2015

Autumn Apple Crisp

Sharing a simple recipe for cool Autumn days.
This Autumn Apple Crisp is spiced up with some of my favorite autumn herbs: cinnamon, cardamom, and nutmeg.  It makes a nice dessert or snack, or even breakfast when topped with yogurt.

Autumn Apple Crisp

Preheat oven to 375.
Lightly grease a 2 quart baking dish.

Apple mixture:
2 1/2 pounds apples, peeled, cored and thinly sliced

1 tsp. cinnamon
pinch of cardamom
pinch of nutmeg 

1 tbsp. lemon juice
2 tbsp. sugar

Toss apples with lemon juice, sugar and spices to coat.
Place in baking dish.

6 tbsp. butter cut into 1/2 inch pieces
3/4 cup brown sugar
2/3 cup flour
1/2 cup rolled oats (or 1/4 cup oats, 1/4 cup chopped nuts)
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. cardamom

Use pastry cutter or your fingers to mix butter into other ingredients until you have a coarse, crumbly mixture. Sprinkle over the apples.
Bake until bubbly and brown, about 1 hour.
Serve plain or topped with ice cream, whipped cream or yogurt.

What are your favorite things about Autumn?

What herbs do you use most this time of year?

Herbal Blessings,

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Early Bird Specials at HANE

Early Bird Pricing for Herbal Academy

The Herbal Academy of New England has special early bird pricing on all their courses until November 2nd.  Whether you are new to herbalism or wanting to further your education and start your own herbal business, there's something for everyone in their new and expanded course line-up.
I have my eye on one or two options ... maybe an early birthday present for myself?

Herbal Blessings,


*affiliate links in post

Monday, October 19, 2015

Autumn Tea Time

There is no trouble so great or grave that cannot be much diminished by a nice cup of tea. ~Bernard-Paul Heroux

Any season is the season for tea; but autumn breezes, falling leaves, and a steaming pot of tea seem to be made for each other. 
 I have my tea canister filled with an assortment of tea bags- 
Irish Breakfast (my morning wake up brew)
Zen ( a lovely mix of green tea and mint)
Women's Energy 
Chamomile & Lavender (a simple blend of two wonderfully relaxing herbs)
Ceylon (a gift from dear friends in Sri Lanka)
Tulsi (my evening favorite these days)

And in the cabinet, there are quart jars filled with loose leaf teas for brewing with a tea sock, by the cup or by the pot-
Orange Spice (a favorite fall & winter brew)
Fairytale Tea (a sweet blend from Mountain Rose herbs)
Seasons of Discontent (for allergy ridden days)

And of course, the stillroom pantry is stocked with an assortment of herbs for tea-
lemon verbena
rose petals
rose hips
orange peel
cinnamon and other spices ...

A variety of teas, herbs, honey, soy milk, and my favorite cup- autumn tea time bliss!

What is your favorite autumn tea?



Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Last Chance for Fall Herbalist Classes!

Herbal Academy Enrollment Closes October 4

The Herbal Academy of New England will be closing enrollment for the Fall Semester on October 4, 2015.  If' you are interested in either of their courses-
Introductory Herbal Course


Intermediate Herbal Course

Sign up now before it's too late!

Fall is the perfect season for learning about herbs.  It's a great time to learn to create healing herbal tonics, tinctures, and more that can boost your family's immune system or help with those issues related to cold and flu season.  These courses are all online which makes it so very convenient to learn at your own pace in the comfort of your own home.

I'm planning to take the Advanced Herbal Course myself when it becomes available.  With herbs, even after years of study and practice, there's always something new to learn!

Herbal Blessings,


*affiliate links in post

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Anticipating Autumn Giveaway Winners

The winners of the September/October issue of The Essential Herbal are:
Shabby Biker Chic

Please send me your mailing address:

Marie, please send me your mailing address as well.  I have a previous issue of The Essential Herbal that I'd like to gift you with as well.

Thanks for entering the giveaway ladies!

Herbal Blessings,


Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Anticipating Autumn (and a giveaway)

There was just the slightest hint that autumn is indeed coming today; a rain shower cooled things off for a short time and gave a bit of refreshment to the parched and dry gardens and ground.
Late summer is brutal here, so any hint of cooler weather makes me a very happy mama.

Another hint of autumn came in the mail box yesterday- the September/October issue of The Essential Herbal.  I love this magazine and am blessed to be a frequent contributor to its pages.  This gives me the opportunity to share a bit of fall with 3 of you.  I have 3 contributor copies of this issue that I will send to three of you who comment on this post (U.S. addresses only please).

This issue is full of great articles and projects such as:

  • 25 Herb To-Dos for Fall
  • Dream Pillows
  • Harvest Time, Perfect for Tea Time
  • Making Your Own Hard Cider
  • Cosmetics for Sensitive Skin
  • and more!

My article is titled Autumn Projects for the Still Room, in which I share 5 simple herbal projects I plan to make in the coming days.  All are suitable for craft fairs or gift giving if you are planning now for the holiday season.

Leave a comment below if you'd like one of the 3 free copies of The Essential Herbal.  I will choose 3 winners by random number on September 1, and then contact you for your mailing address.

How are you anticipating autumn?
Do you have any projects lined up for the coming months?



Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Cool Herbal Brews for Hot Summer Days

Herbal Academy for herbalists

Herbal Sun "Tea" is a seasonal favorite here.
This is one of those things that I just sort of do without thinking about recipes so much.
I go out early in the day (because honestly, that's the only time I can stand to be outdoors for long) and gather whatever tasty for tea herbs are most abundant.  I give them a quick rinse if I think they need it, toss them into a glass jar or pitcher, bruise them a bit with a wooden spoon to get the process going, and fill the pitcher with cool water.  I cover the container and set it in a sunny location on the back porch to infuse for a few hours.  By the heat of the afternoon when I am ready for an icy, cold drink, my herb 'tea' is ready.  If I am in the mood for a sweet drink, I add stevia or agave nectar.
Pour over ice, add a slice of lemon and a sprig of mint or a Pineapple Sage flower and it is tea time!

Here is a list of herbs that I choose from these days:
Lemon Balm (always a favorite)
Lemon Verbena
Pineapple Sage
Apple mint
Lavender (just a small amount because it can be a bit strong)
Rose geranium
Lemon geranium

Sometimes I toss in sliced fruit or a few berries, dandelion blossoms, or rose petals.  I may even add a tea bag or two- green tea most often.

Here's to cold herbal drinks on hot summer days!


Catherine Ann

Monday, July 20, 2015

Super Simple Summer Salad

My is it hot in my part of the world these days!  Not an unusual for this time of year, but we had a very mild beginning of summer and when those upper 90's to 100's hit, it was brutal.  My husband says I must be getting old, but what does he know?
It's hot, too hot for adding more heat in the house by cooking on some days.

The great thing is that tomatoes and basil don't mind the heat one bit.  The tomatoes are ripening daily and the basil is determined to bloom, which means it needs an almost daily trim as well.
An abundance of those two are the beginnings of a delicious no-cook lunch or side dish for a dinner of pasta or something cooked out on the grill where it's already hot.  This simple summer salad is a favorite of my youngest daughter, and a lovely, delicious thing to put together.

Caprese Salad 
The link above is to the recipe at The Pioneer Woman.  I love her website and this recipe, so I wanted to share it with you.

The photo below is a version of Caprese Salad that I make.
Same basic ingredients, but I use red and yellow cherry tomatoes cut in half and tiny fresh mozzarella balls rather than slicing tomatoes and mozzarella.  I also chop the basil and then toss it all with olive oil, a drizzle of balsamic vinegar, then season with sea salt and freshly ground pepper.  Add some croutons or a good Italian bread and lunch is served!

Do you have a favorite summer recipe?
I'd love to read it because I'm continually adding to my Recipe Pile!
Leave a link to your recipe post in the comments section below.

Happy Herbal Summer,

Catherine Ann

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Simple Herbal Shampoo

The beginnings of a simple herbal shampoo- dried soapwort, rosemary and sage.  

These are added to a pan of water and simmered for 15-20 minutes.  
Let cool, strain out the herbs, and you have a very simple herbal shampoo.  
No suds, just gentle herbal cleansing.  
I follow this with an apple cider vinegar rinse.
I sometimes add a few drops of lavender essential oil to the shampoo and the ACV rinse.  
Clean, shiny hair without using harsh chemicals.  

Do you use herbs to care for your hair?


Catherine Ann

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

9 Familiar Herbs for Beginners Free Download
Hello Friends,

Just a short note to let you know that the Herbal Academy of New England is offering this free e-book on their website:  9 Familiar Herbs for Beginners

If you are new to herbs, or even not so new, and would like more information on familiar herbs such as lavender, thyme, ginger and such; you can't beat a beautifully designed e-book for FREE!
I downloaded it myself and found some new recipes to add to the Still Room book, Herban Root Coffee is one of those.  I could do with less caffeine and more herbal goodness these days. 
I'm not sure how long this offer will be available, so grab this free herb book while you can!  Just click on the link above or the graphic to go to their website. 



Catherine Ann

Monday, May 18, 2015

Mother Culture ~ 6 Favorite Herb Books for Moms

OK, so I am a book lover as well as an herb lover, which means books about herbs are at the top of my favorites list.  When I first became interested in learning about herbs, the internet was not an option (yes, I'm that old!).  You had to search out those often 'way out of the way' herb shops to find herbs and information about them.  I soon had a collection of herb books on the shelves and I still turn to some of those today.  With the access to the internet, information is easier to acquire these days, but I will always love my herb books. 

Below are the favorites for mothers, both old and new, from my still room bookshelves:

Healing Herbs: A Beginner's Guide to Identifying, Foraging, and Using Medicinal Plants / More than 100 Remedies from 20 of the Most Healing Plants by Tina Sams
 is brand new and is already one of my favorite herbals.  I love Tina's writing style and this book has practical as well as unusual ways to use 20 herbs.  Not just for the beginner, even after over 20 years of using herbs, I've found lots of new to me information and recipes in this book!

Rosemary Gladstar's Herbal Recipes for Vibrant Health: 175 Teas, Tonics, Oils, Salves, Tinctures, and Other Natural Remedies for the Entire Family
 Rosemary Gladstar is a well-known herbalist and writer.  Another of her books, which is listed below, was one of my first acquisitions as a budding herbalist, and is well-worn and well- used.  This newer volume is quickly gaining the same status.  Filled with recipes and valuable herbal information, this is a must for this mother's bookshelf.  

Herbal Healing for Women by Rosemary Gladstar is my favorite herb book for women thus far.  After many years of learning, I still return to this book for dealing with and preventing women's health concerns.  A timeless classic in my opinion, one I return to again and again.

Every Woman's Herbal by Dr. John R. Christopher is another timeless classic in my book, filled with wisdom and herbal help for women of all ages.  Dr. Christopher was the founder of the oldest herbal school in America- The School of Natural Healing where is work lives on today.

Mommy Diagnostics by Shonda Parker is great for when you have children in the home.  Though I don't always follow her suggested treatment, I have found this book very helpful when I need a 'diagnosis' based on symptoms.

Common Herbs for Natural Health by Juliette de Bairacli Levy is another of those timeless books for me.  I enjoy her no nonsense style and simple formulas for health issues.

These 6 books are my favorites for mothers (and women in general).  I will share other herb books with you in another post- favorites for herb gardening, crafting, cooking ... so many options!

Do you have a favorite herbal for mothers?  
Which books do you turn to time and time again?


Catherine Ann

* note Amazon affiliate links in post
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