We all know the feeling: you and the beautiful fresh herbs in your refrigerator are engaged in a stand-off. You're out of cooking time, they're threatening to wilt. What's a frugal cook to do?
The smart, resourceful crew at The Kitchn thinks you should freeze them in olive oil! The oil protects the herbs from browning and freezer-burn, and when you need olive oil and herbs at the same time, you can just pop one out of the freezer. As an extra bonus, the herbs infuse they oil with their aroma while they freeze, so you get extra bang for your buck. Also, because they're frozen, the herbs won't lose their potency this way.
Check out the full post on The Kitchn for lots of tips, including what kinds of oils work best and how long they'll last.
Want some either ideas for how to use up your almost-past-their-prime herbs and other kitchen scraps? Check out the slideshow below.
With summer corn coming into season, we will all have a ton of corn cobs on our hands. You don't have to throw these away. Use the cobs for a base to make a silky corn soup. The milky "corn juice" comes out of the cobs when you simmer them in a pot and can add a deeper flavor than chicken stock. Try it with this <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/10/27/corn-chowder_n_1056611.html" target="_hplink">corn chowder recipe</a>.
If you make homemade pickles, you should know that you can reuse your brine. Once you've eaten up your batch of pickled vegetables, save the juice to throw in new vegetables. It's double the pickles for the same amount of brine.
Shrimp peels and tails are great to hold on to. Whether you're looking to make a seafood stew or just a simple tomato soup, they make flavorful stocks. Store them in the freezer and you'll always have something on hand to make a good homemade stock.
When your <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/10/27/broccoli-slaw_n_1048994.html" target="_hplink">potato chips</a> lose their crunch, they can still be used to make a great breading for chicken, fish or vegetables. Crumble them up and use them as you would bread crumbs.
Most of us use the broccoli florets and throw out the stems, but these stems can be used to make a <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/10/27/broccoli-slaw_n_1048994.html" target="_hplink">refreshing summer slaw</a>. Ever notice that the grocery store sells bags of slaw? It's often times made with broccoli stems.
More often than not we buy fresh herbs to make a recipe and then leave them to wilt in the fridge. But if you take one additional step you can preserve the fresh flavor of the herbs for later use. Making <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/07/09/how-to-make-compound-butter_n_1654505.html?1341838864" target="_hplink">compound butter</a> with the herbs or freezing them in olive oil to cook with later is a great way to get the most use out of your basil, cilantro or parsley.
Bread is one of those basic ingredients that we almost always have in our kitchens, and we often throw out the last couple of slices that have gone stale. But you don't have to waste them. Use those stale pieces to make croutons or bread crumbs.
If you didn't finish that opened bottle of wine fast enough, you can still use it to cook with. Wine has the ability to enhance dishes with a complexity of flavor. <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/12/08/recipes-with-wine_n_1137289.html" target="_hplink">Check out these recipes </a>for some ideas.
Just like with the broccoli stems, the green tops of carrots, beets and fennel (as well as other veggies) can be used in recipes too. You can use them to flavor soups, garnish dishes or even in salads.
Before you eat your oranges or squeeze you lemons, save the peels. They can be used in so many different ways to enhance your dishes. You can air dry the peels to <a href="http://www.thekitchn.com/what-to-do-with-leftover-citru-73447" target="_hplink">add to meat dishes or make candied peels</a>. You can also pulverize the peels (making sure to remove the white pith) and make orange peel essence -- which you can use to top snacks like popcorn.
Cookies that have seen better days can be crumbled and saved for making pie crusts. It'll get one you step closer to enjoying a homemade dessert.
If you're inclined to peel your potatoes before you cook them, you can use those peels to make a <a href="http://angelfoodskitchen.wordpress.com/2012/02/05/baked-potato-peel-chips/" target="_hplink">quick batch of homemade chips</a>.
Just like fresh herbs, celery is another one of those items that many of us buy to make just one recipe and then forget about it in the fridge. Before that happens, chop up the remaining celery and freeze it. Next time you need just a few stalks, you'll have it on hand. (You can apply this to many other vegetables too.)
WATCH: Shrimp And Scallop Bisque