Garden-grown basil can pile up fast. Here's a good use for it: basil-flavored oil, delicious on salads or drizzled over baguette slices topped with ricotta cheese. To make it, blanch 1 cup of basil leaves and blend them in a food processor with 1/2 cup olive oil and a pinch of salt. Pour the mixture through a fine-mesh strainer lined with a coffee filter. Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to a week.
Syrups made with fresh blueberries, strawberries, and mint make these pastel icings look as good as they taste. Simply stir confectioners' sugar into syrup to reach the consistency of honey. Then dip cupcake tops into icing, or pipe it onto sugar cookies.
The icing can be prepared up to two days in advance; refrigerate it in an airtight container with a damp towel or plastic wrap on the surface. Cupcakes and cookies can be iced up to a day ahead.