Is everyone staying warm out there? Our low tonight in Atlanta is supposed to be 18°F, and that is only the second-coldest night we've had this week! Cliff jokes that he could never move me north of the Mason-Dixon line, but bless his heart, he might be right. Unless we are going to get a little more snow before spring, the warmer weather can go ahead and make its way here. Ugh!
While cooped up inside, and as my body adjusts to eating habits post-holidays, I still feel like I need to be in a hibernating state. It really is interesting how colder weather can make you feel like packing on the carbs. To take my mind off it (here and there), I'm dreaming of warmer temperatures and what it will be like to entertain with the summer stretched out in front of us and more time to mix and mingle with friends.
As I've mentioned in earlier posts, Cliff and I really enjoyed starting an herb garden this year. Now, I have my sights set on more herbs and veggies. We struggle a little with the reality that we are renters and cannot plant much in the expansive yard, given the fact it won't be terribly feasible to take it with us whenever we move. At the same time, I don't want to limit the possibilities until we are home owners. Live every day to the fullest, right? We will have to stay committed to finding the balance and incorporate more container planting into our spring and summer plans.
Our chives have really hung in there, and are just now starting to die for the winter. I made herb butter several months ago and have it tucked away in the freezer to melt over a steak or two whenever we have a future occasion to celebrate. I wanted to try the butter, but didn't have a need to pull out the entire stick of butter for just the two of us...no particular special occasion justifying steaks quite yet. So, I decided to use some of the remaining chives to create little herb butter discs. I was worried about how this would turn out, but they came out looking delightful! I cannot wait to store these and plate them for guests to see the next time we entertain.
Here's how to make herb butter discs of your own!
1 stick of unsalted butter, let warm to room temperature
1 - 2 T chives, or herbs of your choosing
In a bowl - I used Cliff's new mortar and pestle - and mix the herbs and butter until thoroughly combined. Take small spoonfuls (approx. ½ T each) and mold to the bottom of a mini muffin cup in a nonstick mini muffin tin. Use the back of your spoon to smooth the top of the butter and make sure that the butter completely covers the bottom of the cup. Once you have repeated this in each cup (it should make about 15 discs), place the muffin tin in the freezer and leave for a few hours. Once the butter has completely frozen, pull out and leave sitting on counter for 5 - 10 minutes. Once you can start to manipulate the butter with a knife, without the butter having completely thawed, you can start to "pop" out the discs. Use a butter knife to GENTLY pull the butter away from the side of the cup and it should allow you to use the knife to get under the disc and pop it out...since it hasn't completely thawed. Repeat this until all discs are free. Display however you would like on a serving plate, or put in a freezer container and save for later.
Technically, you could roll the butter into a cylinder and cut mini discs, but I like the smooth "top" these discs have after having been molded to to the tin. Don't forget you can smooth the edges once the discs have popped out of the tin. When using a knife to move them from the sides, the sides will be a bit jagged. Just smooth those out with the knife and you are all set!
Your guests will be impressed, and you can rest easy knowing you used a trick that is affordable and fun.
Do you mold your butter into fun shapes? I would love to hear your favorites!
Until next time, I hope you enjoy your #hearthhealthhappiness!
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