In the Kitchen | Indoor Gardening + a Giveaway!

IMG_4584One of the things that I miss most about living in a warmer climate is the ability to have plants growing outside throughout nearly every season.Not only do we have some seriously brutal winters here in the Northeast, but for most people in the NYC-area, outdoor space (or even a window box!) can be extremely hard to come by.  In the Summer, I LOVE to stock up on fresh herbs and vegetables from our local farmer's market, but what's a gal to do when the temperatures drop and fresh produce is much harder to come by?Dried herbs and spices are certainly an acceptable stand-in (I always keep our pantry stocked with these tasty blends), but nearly nothing can beat the fresh version that gets cut straight from the plant, amiright!  Based on how jazzed I get about my ingredients, it will not surprise you that I jumped for joy when I heard that I could have my beloved basil (& more!) growing in my kitchen, year round...Keep reading to find out how your green thumb can stay unhindered by those gloves this winter, check out the latest cocktail recipe inspired by 7 different herbs, AND get a chance to win an indoor garden of your very own!IMG_4651MiracleGro is a brand that I've used for soil and plant food ever since helping my Mom in her own garden as a tiny little sprout-of-a-gal, and when I learned about their latest technology around indoor gardening - I was super-excited to give it a try.IMG_4516 The AeroGarden Extra has been right at home in Casa de Pepper over the last several weeks, and watching the little seedlings turn into big beautiful plants has been SUCH a bright spot amidst the quickly dropping temps.(SO nice to have lots of green around as the days get shorter and colder!)We finally got a chance to use the leafy goodness in our kitchen, and Mr. Pepper helped me whip up one of my favorite cocktails for a few friends over this past weekend.  I'm happy to share the recipe with you here, and be sure to enter the giveaway in the comments below - You could win an AeroGarden extra for your very own home!IMG_4557BASIL GIN SMASH1.5 oz of your favorite gin5 fresh basil leaves (4 to muddle, 1 for garnish)Club soda2 lime wheels







The best part about using such a simple recipe for this tasty drink is that you could easily substitute any of the other types of herbs to make a drink that is just as delicious!  The gourmet herb seed pod kit has two types of basil, parsley, mint, dill, chives and cilantro and they all pair so well with just a mild, clear spirit and a fresh squeeze of your favorite citrus.

GIVEAWAYEnter to win a special prize pack from the AeroGarden team by leaving a comment on this S&P facebook post with your favorite way to cook with fresh herbs at home.  The contest will be open until Friday, December 19th at midnight, and I'll draw a lucky winner this coming weekend!I honestly can't say enough good things about this little gadget, and after chatting about it on Instagram last night, it sounds like there are several of you out there that are already fans... WHY DIDN'T YOU TELL ME?! ;)Can't wait to try growing some of the other varieties using the snazzy little seed packs (tea leaves next, flowers in the Spring and then veggies for Summer) and it's hard to believe that I can have my own little garden even needing real sunlight or soil!IMG_4524Ps. - I'm ALWAYS daydreaming about turning our apartment into houseplant heaven, and if you're in the NYC-area, here is another great resource for snazzing up your very own sill! 

This post was generously brought to you by the Miracle-Gro AeroGarden.Thanks so much for supporting the brands that help make S&P run!