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Make Magic with Mint

Mint is in everything from food to body care to household cleansers.

It grows like crazy in the sunshine, making it perfect for cooling beverages, summer desserts and fruit or vegetable salads. It adds depth to marinades and dressings and is easily slivered and sprinkled over everything from soup to dessert.

For generations the world over, people have celebrated mint in its many forms, enjoying its refreshing taste and pleasing and powerful aroma. Whether fresh or dried, mint is an herb you can keep on hand year round. Dried mint is more concentrated, so use less.

Here’s a general rule: Dried herbs work well with slow simmered foods such as soups, sauces and stews, since their flavors are released slowly through longer cooking, and fresh herbs work best in recipes that are cooked for a shorter period of time or not cooked at all.

I like to substitute two tablespoons of fresh mint for one teaspoon of dried mint in recipes, but this can vary according to taste. Let mint help you make magic with your menus.

Here are some favorite ideas:

On a trip to France, I explored a luscious herb garden surrounding one of the ancient chateaus I visited. The fragrance was indescribable.

I’ll never forget ordering a cup of mint tea early one morning, expecting a tea bag, of course.

Imagine my delight when a gorgeous tea cup filled with fresh mint from the garden arrived along with a carafe of piping hot water!

Got a special way you make magic with mint? I’d love to know.