5 Homemade Gourmet Vinegar Flavors to Make Easily at Home

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #SKSHarvest #SeasonalSolutions #CollectiveBias

These 5 Homemade Gourmet Vinegar Flavors to make easily at home are a great way to use up the fresh herb bounty you may have growing in your garden. Not only are they delicious and beautiful, but they’re also super easy to make and are great gifts as well! Get a jump start on the gift giving season with this easy DIY!

Look at these beautiful gourmet vinegar flavors you can make easily at home! I have seen them for sale in so many gourmet stores for outrageous price tags, but you don’t need to spend the money! Made with just about any type of vinegar you can buy at the store and fresh herbs from your garden, they’re SO easy to make! They keep for 4- 6 months on your counter top or in your fridge – but they won’t last long because they are delicious!

Be sure to click the image above to shop the jars that I used for my delicious homemade gourmet vinegar!

Gourmet Vinegars to Make Easily at Home

The flavor varieties for homemade gourmet vinegar are endless. Use whatever herbs and edible flowers you have growing in your garden and a high quality vinegar. Think apple cider vinegar, white wine vinegar, red wine vinegar (although it’s hard to see the herbs in the dark vinegar), and champagne vinegar. Then head out to your garden if you have one, or the store if not, and grab some fresh herbs and spices. I combined everything in SKS Clear Glass Beverage Bottles and closed them up with the included White Metal Plastisol Lined Lug Caps.  ingredients for homemade gourmet vinegar

5 Homemade Gourmet Vinegar Flavors to Make Easily at Home

Homemade gourmet vinegar can be used to liven up so many dishes. Use them in homemade salad dressings, to marinate meat, in fruit salads and other desserts, and in veggie dishes too. The options are endless. Here are the five different vinegar varieties I made to get your creative juices flowing!!

1. Gourmet Greek Garlic Herb Vinegar – 

Fabulous for meat marinades and homemade salad dressings (like this creamy roasted garlic salad dressing) and delicious on roasted veggies too!. Combine two sprigs fresh oregano, one sprig fresh basil and one garlic bulb (separated into cloves and peeled) in two cups red wine vinegar.

Gourmet Apple Cinnamon Vinegar

2. Gourmet Apple Cinnamon Vinegar – 

Great for fruit salad and salad dressings. Combine 1 chopped apple with a handful of cloves and two cinnamon sticks in two cups apple cider vinegar.

3. Gourmet Marigold Vinegar – 

Did you know marigolds are edible flowers? They are! Marigolds have a spicy, citrusy flavor and a marigold vinegar is nice addition to meat marinades and homemade salad dressings. Combine one cup marigold flowers with two cups champagne vinegar.

homemade Gourmet Hot Pepper Vinegar

4. Gourmet Hot Pepper Vinegar – 

Great for dipping sauce, homemade salad dressings, and meat marinades too! Combine one tablespoon peppercorns with five or six jalapeno peppers. Make sure to slit the peppers before adding them to the jar to really release their juices. Combine with two cups white wine vinegar for a delicious combination.

Gourmet Citrus Mint Vinegar

5. Gourmet Citrus Mint Vinegar – 

Another great vinegar for fruit salads or as a meat marinade (especially for lamb). Combine two springs fresh mint with zest of one lemon (spirals if you can! And hats off to you!) plus several lemon slices in two cups apple cider vinegar.
how to make herbed vinegar easily at home

In addition to vinegar and herbs, you’ll also need these supplies for your homemade gourmet vinegar:

I mentioned already that I used SKS Clear Glass Beverage Bottles. SKS Bottle and Packaging was founded in 1986 and sells over 6,000 different types of containers and closures online in fun colors like blue, amber and clear. Most SKS glass jars are made in the USA and are 100% recyclable. You can find the SKS clear glass beverage bottles that I used here. These bottles are great for my gourmet vinegars, homemade sauces, dressings, drinks, and more.

SKS Bottle shopping cart

You’ll also need a funnel to assist in getting the vinegar in the jars. Because of the acidity of the vinegar, you will need to put a layer of wax paper between the vinegar and the lid if you use a  metal lid.

Printable instructions for the gourmet vinegars to make easily at home

5 Gourmet Vinegars to Make Easily at Home

Easy to make herbed gourmet vinegars make great homemade gifts and are a wonderful way to use up your garden bounty of fresh herbs!

10 minPrep Time

10 minTotal Time

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Recipe Image

Ingredients

  • 2 cups vinegar of choice: red wine vinegar, white wine vinegar, apple cider vinegar, or champagne vinegar
  • Several springs fresh herbs, fruits, edible flowers, garlic, and or spices

Instructions

  1. Sterilize glass containers by boiling for 10 minutes.
  2. Heat vinegar to just below boiling.
  3. Add herbs, fruits, spices, etc to jar.
  4. Pour heated vinegar into the jar. Shake to combine.
  5. Store jars in cool, dark spot for 3-4 weeks, gently shaking the jar every week to help the flavors meld.
  6. After the desired flavor is reached, strain the vinegar to remove add-ins. Discard the herbs, vegetables or fruit. Pour strained vinegar into clean sterilized jars and cap tightly. A few sprigs of fresh herbs, fruit or spices can be added for a decorative touch.
  7. Store in the fridge for 4-6 months.

Notes

NOTE: If flavored vinegar molds or shows signs of fermentation such as bubbling, cloudiness or sliminess, it should be discarded immediately.

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https://simplifylivelove.com/homemade-gourmet-vinegar/

Now that you see how easy it is to make your own gourmet vinegars at home, what varieties will you make?

These 5 homemade gourmet vinegar flavors make the perfect edible gifts. They are beautiful and easy, perfect for marinades, salad dressings, & more!

5 Delicious Farm-to-Table Restaurants in the Twin Cities

Are you looking for Farm-to-Table Restaurants in the Twin Cities? If so, these five delicious options have you covered for breakfast, lunch, and dinner! With restaurants located in Minneapolis, St. Paul and Bloomington, you’re sure to find something to excite your taste buds wherever you happen to be in the Minneapolis/St.Paul metro area!

Spoonriver bar and restaurant in downtown Minneapolis

*I received a few free meals in exchange for this post. All thoughts and opinions are mine, though. The food was truly amazing!*

5 Delicious Farm-to-Table Restaurants in the Twin Cities

 

Last month I went on a fantastic trip to the Twin Cities area. Nicky – Little Family Adventure, Lisa – Walking Tourist, Natasha – Houseful of Nicholes and I toured Minneapolis, St. Paul, and Bloomington. Afterward, we met up with more bloggers for a FAM trip of Roseville and the Minnesota State Fair. One of the most delicious elements of the trip was eating at all of the fun farm-to-table restaurants in the Twin Cities. I love companies dedicated to sustainability, and these restaurants do amazing things with locally grown food. If you enjoy farm-to-table restaurants too, you won’t want to miss any of the options on this list!

Farm-to-Table Restaurants in the Twin Cities Perfect for Breakfast 

Gardens of Urbana at the Hyatt Regency in Bloomington, MN

Urbana Craeft Kitchen in Bloomington

The Urbana Craeft Kitchen is the hotel restaurant at the Hyatt Regency Bloomington where our group stayed for a couple of nights during our trip to the Twin Cities. We ate the most delicious breakfasts here two days in a row. I wish I had someone to cook like this for me at home!

breakfasts at the Urbana Craeft Kitchen in Bloomington, MN

The Urbana Craeft Kitchen prides itself on sourcing locally grown food. They even grow some of their own in a straw-bale garden located right out the restaurant door. We were really impressed with all of the breakfast food. Three favorite breakfasts were the Minnesota Morning – choice of aebleskiver (Scandinavian ball pancakes) PLUS bacon and eggs, the Avocado & Smoked Salmon plate, and the Potato Crusted Quiche.

Colossal Cafe in St. Paul

Breakfast at the Colossal Cafe in St. Paul, MN

We had a wonderful brunch at the Colossal Cafe on Como Avenue in St. Paul on our last day in the Twin Cities. It was the most delicious send off we could have asked for! The weather was gorgeous, so we ate outside. Of course, the portions were enormous and delicious, the coffee was great, and the atmosphere was a lot of fun. Nicky loved her Apple, Walnut, & Brie Pancakes! Don’t they look divine? And I really enjoyed my omelet with sausage, green onion, tomato, cilantro, and pepper jack cheese. The food was served with thick slices of homemade bread or delicious homemade biscuits. Best of all, the homemade jelly was the icing on the cake.

Farm-to-Table Restaurants in the Twin Cities Perfect for Lunch

Spoonriver Restaurant . One of the most delicious Farm-to-Table Restaurants in the Twin Cities!

Spoonriver in Downtown Minneapolis

Located at 750 South 2nd St (at Chicago Ave S) in the downtown Minneapolis Mill District, this chic restaurant and bar serves excellent food and is committed to sourcing as much fresh and locally grown organic food as it can! We really enjoyed sitting outside on the patio on a gorgeous late summer day. Spoonriver is conveniently located in the same building as the Mill City Museum, right across the street from the Guthrie Theater, and just a couple blocks from the US Bank Stadium – home of the Minnesota Vikings. It’s the perfect place to stop after a morning or afternoon of sight-seeing! We ate lunch here, but it would also be a great spot for dinner.the Spoonriver Cookbook - Farm-to-Table Restaurant Minneapolis MNWe loved sitting outside and talking with owner, award winning chef and cookbook author Brenda Langton, about her work establishing the Mill City Farmers’ Market. I commend Brenda for her efforts to promote organic agriculture! Organic food production is near and dear to my heart. <3quesadilla at spoonriver restaurant in minneaplis

But the food is what you want to know about, right? I had the Nicoise Salad which really hit the spot! Nicky had the Herbed Wisconsin Chevre Salad, and Lisa and Natasha both enjoyed the Shrimp Quesadilla with Coconut Lime Salsa. Natasha’s kids enjoyed delicious quesadillas and hummus with veg from the kids’ menu.
The special desserts Brenda served were also out of this world. We all agree! Spoonriver is a must on any Twin Cites Farm-to-Table Restaurants list!

Red River Kitchen at City House in St. Paul, Minnesota

Red River Kitchen at City House in St. Paul

Located on the Mississippi River in St. Paul, the Red River Kitchen is really a portable kitchen (food truck) so it can drive off in case of flooding! The City House is a restored grain elevator and flour mill that sits right on the Mississippi River. It’s a beautiful location to head with your family. Featuring a patio overlooking the river, games, and picnic tables, the venue is really cool! I know my kids would have a great time playing bags here and looking for barges on the river.

Food at Red River Kitchen at City House, St. Paul Minnesota

The food is also quite delicious. We sampled a little bit of everything, from Cubano sandwiches, All-Beef Elote Hot Dogs, Lentil & Broccoli Salad (with almonds, feta, and citrus vinaigrette), and spicy Chicken Tinga Tacos! I enjoyed the tacos the most. But everything was a hit. Red River Kitchen also serves an assortment of Minnesota beers, homemade lemonade, and wine. So it’s a fun place to relax after work too!

Farm-to-Table Restaurants Perfect for Dinner? Here’s a great one!

Fire Lake Restaurant at Mall of America

FireLake Restaurant at Mall of America

FireLake Grill House & Cocktail Bar is an upscale restaurant located inside the Mall of America perfect for an evening out. They were kind enough to host Nicky, Lisa, and I for dinner one evening and we had a great time! Of course, we appreciated their fantastic cocktail and wine list. But the food was also a huge hit. You must know that FireLake sources locally grown Minnesota produce, cheeses, and meats! Delicious food at Fire Lake Restaurant at Mall of America

Make sure you try the Dirty Fries if you go! We also really liked the Half & Half Board (housemade charcuterie, local sausages, local cheese), the Bacon Wrapped Buffalo Ribeye (local bison), and the walleye special which came wrapped in parchment paper! I had the dirty fries and a steak. Delicious!

Do you seek out Farm-to-Table restaurants? And if so, what’s your favorite? Have you eaten at any of these Twin City favorites? Please let me know in the comments!

If you're heading to Minnesota, here 5 Delicious Farm-to-Table Restaurants you must try in the Twin Cities. USA

Where to Buy Heirloom Seedlings if You Can’t Start Them Yourself

 Welcome back to Tuesdays in the Garden! Today’s topic is spring veggies – growing and eating. Since seedlings are also a big part of spring gardening, I’m sharing a list of where to buy heirloom seedlings if you can’t start them yourself. Finding heirloom seedlings ready to plant can be a challenge, and this list of five places to look might be a big help.Where to buy heirloom seedlings when you can't start them yourself

*This post contains affiliate links which means I earn a bit off your purchases at no cost to you! Thank you for supporting my site.*

I enjoy starting my own seeds have done so for the last 7 years in a row. But truth be told, it’s always stressful! Pulling out the shelf and equipment. Watering every day. Harding them off. What if they don’t grow? Who’s going to babysit them when we go on spring break (we always go on spring break!) In years past, I haven’t let those complications deter me. But this year, we went to Europe right at the time when I should have been starting seeds and lining up seedling babysitters. Instead of stressing about it, I decided to let seed starting go this year.

I’m not starting my own seedlings this year!!- even though I did buy new tomato seeds for varieties I’d really love to grow in my garden. But not starting my own seeds presents a challenge – because I REALLY want to grow heirloom plants. They’re hard to find if you don’t know where to look. So instead of starting my own heirloom seedlings this year, I decided to come up with a list of where I can find heirloom seedlings started by someone else instead. I’ll keep you updated with what I find – but here’s where I’ll be buying heirloom seedlings this year!

Where to Buy Heirloom Seedlings if You Can’t Start Your Own Seeds

Buy Tomato Seedlings

Farmer’s Markets – 

Local farmer’s markets are great places to find heirloom seedlings. I haven’t visited any farmer’s markets yet this year, but I definitely remember seeing seedlings there in years’ past. Do you find heirloom seedlings at farmer’s markets? Locally, I plan to check out Freight House Farmer’s Market in Davenport and the Iowa City Farmer’s Market too.

Azure Standard

I have ordered lovely heirloom seedlings from Azure Standard (called Sarah’s Starts) and have been quite pleased with their quality. Last year, I grew a couple heirloom tomato plants from Azure Standard and also fun broccolis and cabbages. If you haven’t heard of Azure Standard before, they are an organic bulk food coop out of Oregon and deliver organic and non-gmo food and supplies all across the country. I’ve been buying in bulk from them for years and they are one way I keep my grocery budget low. You can read more about why I like them in this post.

Local Nurseries – Lowe’s, Home Depot, Menards, even Walmart

While I haven’t found a huge variety of heirloom seedlings at local nurseries, I do find a few every year. Cherokee Purple tomato seedlings seem to be a popular heirloom for big box stores to sell and I’ve seen a few other varieties too. It does take some searching, but if you look hard enough, you might find a few heirloom seeds at the big box nurseries. And Walmart! I’m not a big Walmart fan, but I really do like their nursery sometimes. They have the biggest selection of seedlings in my rural area. I’ve enjoyed buying chocolate mint starts at Walmart and other fun herb varieties that I don’t see elsewhere.

Ask friends who garden – 

It might seem an imposition to ask friends who garden, but as a person who has had good luck with seedlings in the past, I know that I happily pass my own leftovers to friends who want them! I’ve had to work hard some years to get rid of my extras and I’m always glad to find good homes for them. Facebook is a great place to advertise extra seedlings and Facebook groups are a good place to look. You can always offer your friends a barter or to pay for the seedlings, if you want!

Order direct from seed companies and sometimes even Amazon!

Two of my favorite seed companies ship out plant starts, both Seed Savers in Iowa and Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds in Missouri. I’ve never ordered seedlings from Seed Savers, but if you’re in the market for unique heirloom tomatoes, herbs, and peppers, definitely check out what they have to offer.

Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds sells heirloom sweet potato slips. I ordered a sampler last year and the plants were delightful. Unfortunately, my dogs dug up all but two of of them, and the two that were left, while prolific growers, didn’t produce much of anything. 🙁 Could be grower error, though. I have no idea why I didn’t get any sweet potatoes. The starts themselves were lovely, so it was probably grower error.


And did you know you can buy seedlings on Amazon? I want to say I am surprised to see that they sell them, but honestly, you can find everything on Amazon. I haven’t seen any heirloom seedlings yet, but it’s worth checking back for sure! Eggplant, peppers, tomatoes, and herbs are all on amazon and they ship free with Amazon Prime.

And that’s where I’ve found heirloom seedlings started by someone else! Have you found heirloom seeds to buy somewhere else? Please share in the comments!

Tuesdays in the Garden 2017

Tuesdays in the Garden!

You’re in for a treat with this week’s Tuesdays in the garden posts! From growing spring crops, to eating them – we’ve got you covered. Check out what my gardening buddies are up to this week by clicking on the photos or the links beneath.

tips for growing kale
From Shelly @FrugalFamilyHome – Tips for Growing Kale

Tips for Growing Peas

From Angie @AngleFreckledRose – Tips for Growing Peas

Tips for growing rhubarb

From Diane @HomemadeFoodJunkie – Tips for Growing Rhubarb

Shrimp & Asparagus over White Bean Puree

From Jami @ An Oregon Cottage – Shrimp & Asparagus over White Bean Puree

Favorite Recipes with Spinach

From Patti @Hearth & Vine – Favorite Spring Recipes with Spinach

5 recipe ingredients to grow in your spring gardenFrom @BrenHass – 5 Recipe Ingredients to Grow in Your Spring Gardens

Where to Buy Heirloom Seedlings if You Can't Start Them Yourself

Top 10 Plants for Early Spring Harvest

If you’re trying to eat local, in-season food, make sure to include these top ten plants for early spring harvest. They will yield the first food in the spring so you can have farm fresh produce as soon as possible.

top 10 plants for early spring harvest

*This post contains affiliate links. Thank you for supporting my blog.*

One of my long term life dreams is to eat only locally grown and produced food, like Barbara Kingsolver did in her book Animal, Vegetable, Miracle {one of my most favorite books of all times}. At first thought, it sounds kind of doable, right? I mean, I have a big garden, and I have egg and meat chickens. I’ve also found a source for local pastured pork and organic, local, grassfed beef. But the logistics are really a lot more complicated than my pea-brain can handle. And it would take a REALLY REALLY REALLY big garden to produce enough food to feed my family of six. Maybe some day.

For now, I will be content to do what I can, and that means maximizing every growing season, and this post starts with spring! Enjoy my list of the top 10 plants to consider if you want to get the earliest possible harvest out of your garden.

Top 10 Plants for Early Spring Harvest

Top 10 Plants for Early Spring Harvest - strawberries and asparagus

Early Spring Perennials

I love perennials because I can plant them once, and reap the rewards for years! It’s also a bonus that a few garden perennials produce some of the earliest food in the spring, so make sure to include them in your garden.

Rhubarb – it seems a lot of people have a love/hate relationship with rhubarb, but I love it. It’s also ready for picking sooner than most other fruits and is delicious in crisps, scones, and made into syrup too!

Strawberries – strawberries are the first berries to ripen, usually late May or early June in my area. Nothing beats a fresh strawberry right out of the garden! And since conventionally grown strawberries are some of the most pesticide laden fruits grown, we prefer to grow our own.

asparagus

Asparagus – asparagus is ready for a full harvest the third year after it’s planted. It’s one of the earliest crops of spring – so delicious!! We look forward to fresh asparagus every year.

Spring Veggies to Plant before the Last Frost

Spring Onions / Potatoes – can be directly sown from seed six weeks before the last frost if the ground is workable. Onions grow quickly and the greens can be cut pretty soon after they start growing. If you leave the bulb in the ground and just cut the greens, they will even grow new greens for you!

Potatoes are generally ready for harvest a little later, but you can carefully collect new potatoes without disturbing the plant ten weeks after the potatoes were planted. We use the no-dig planting method to grow potatoes. Learn more here.

Spinach / Kohlrabi / Kale – can be directly sown from seed five weeks before the last frost date. It’s especially important to plant spinach early as it needs six cool weeks to reach maturity and bolts quickly in hot weather.

Peas / Radish / Carrots – can be directly sown from seed four weeks before last frost date. Peas also don’t do well in hot weather, so make sure to plant them as quickly as possible. Every year I have volunteer radish crops in my garden because I let some go to seed in the summer. They are some of the first fresh veggies we eat!

Forellensuss Lettuce

Lettuce / Swiss Chard – can be directly sown from seed two weeks before last frost date. I also have volunteer lettuce in my garden from time to time and love it! Fresh lettuce is just delicious.

Check your seed packets to see which varieties mature the quickest. Some radishes are ready within 25 days! And lettuce is very quick growing too.

Top 10 Plants for Early Spring Harvest

What plants do you look forward to most in spring?