Happy Easter And Happy Spring Splendor

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Happy Easter and Happy Spring!

Signs of Spring surround us, from the joyful birds song, to the sight of buds popping on the pear orchards, and fragrance of spring flowers.  The lovely, Forsythia is blooming in front of our house. This is Spring splendor…happy,cheerful, yellow flowers on a beautiful sunny day…aww…makes me smile 🙂

We are initiating  Spring Cleaning around the Lavender farm once again.  There’s tons of work to do, and I  wish you were here to share in the process! 😉  Sadie, our sweet Lab, is ready to help and she brought along her glove!! LOL  She loves her life ‘down on the farm’, as much as I do!! Never a dull moment around here, especially at this time of the year with all the prep around our lavender farm.

Today I’m pruning off spent flower tops, and weeding around the edges of our wildflower garden, before the grass takes over with vengeance. I’m thankful to have one of my awesome helpers giving me a hand! Thank you Shelby!!

As I tend to the gardens, I get all excited inside, anticipating the gorgeous beauty, and aroma of the flowers that are just beginning to burst out of their tranquil sleep!!

 

 I took this photo  last spring, around mid-May, of the wildflowers garden with lovely Lupine, Iceland Poppy’s, and California Poppy’s in bloom. It reminds me of a Monet painting..sigh..cheers to Spring Splendor. I can’t wait to see these lovely flowers again!!

Happy Easter to you and your family! I hope your will find time to take a walk and breathe deeply, enjoying the beauty surrounding you with all your senses! 🙂

Here’s a wonderful recipe for delicious coconut lavender balls that would make a wonderful addition to your Easter celebration!! The toasted flavor of the coconut after baking is simply divine with the delicate floral notes of lavender..to delight your senses!

Coconut Lavender Balls

yields 20-36(depending on size)

Ingredients:
1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks) softened
1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar, plus more for dusting
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups sweetened flaked coconut(I used organic-unsweetened)
1 Tablespoon Culinary English Lavender-finely ground
1 teaspoon vanilla

Preparation:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In the bowl of a large mixer, using the paddle attachment,
cream the butter, 1/4 cup confectioners sugar, ground culinary lavender, and 1 tsp. vanilla on medium
speed, until light and fluffy.

 

Scrap down sides of the mixing bowl. Mix in flour, salt, and coconut
on low speed until they are well combined.


Place a sheet of parchment paper on a baking sheet. Roll dough into 1-2 inch balls, spreading them
about 2-inchs apart. Bake for 20-22 minutes (depending on size)Some of the coconut will turn golden brown.


Roll the warm balls in confectioners’ sugar, let cool.


I left 1/2 of the balls plain, without sugar on outside.
Option: I also placed a walnut in the center of a few balls…hiding it inside like an Easter Egg 🙂
(Pecans or Hazelnuts would be great too) 🙂


I love these Coconut Lavender Balls..so Yummy!!Cheers to Spring, and Happy Easter blessings!
Recipe adapted from Martha Stewart’s Coconut Balls

Lovely Comfort Sweeties Perfect For A Calming Easter

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With Easter right around the corner, a lovely batch of Comfort Bears and Pups just arrived to our website. These cute bears and pups are perfect calming, soothing buddies for your Easter Baskets, gifts for loved ones, or just cuz you need one. 😉

Oh, and we have have a few Pegasus and Unicorns too!

 

I can’t stop hugging these plush sweeties as I’m filling them with our Organic Lavender 🙂 It brings me great pleasure knowing these comfort bears and pups will be going to someone very special!! They have lots of warm hugs, love, and soothing comfort to give 🙂

 

A gentle hug, or squeeze releases the fresh calming aroma…fragrant and so adorable. Sure to become a BFF 🙂

Happy Easter, and Happy Spring to you!

The Lavender Lady

My Favorite Uses For Lavender Essential Oil

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About Lavender.. “A walk through a field of blooming lavender is a stroll that is never forgotten”!

Lavender is an herb rich in history and culture. Long prized for its scent and healing properties, it is also one of the most beloved plants in the garden. Ranging in colors from vivid sun-soaked indigo to a subtle violet-white; it evokes within all who encounter this plant a sense of calming and rest through its wonderful heady and unmistakable aroma. Lavender is rich in aromatic molecules called esters, which are antispasmodic, pacifying and tonic, while other molecules give it its antiviral, anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory powers. One of the most consistent of the many therapeutic attributes of Lavender oil is respiratory relief. Hood River Lavender’s Organic Lavender oil is of particular benefit to respiratory relief, sinus congestion and sinus headache.

Lavender Essential is perfect to use on the skin since it’s PH balance is acidic, similar to the skin, hair, and nails. Used as Physical and Emotional support, Lavender is deeply rooted in aromatherapy. Its effect is calming, uplifting, refreshing, soothing and purifying. Here are some of my favorite uses of our Lavender Essential Oil!

Since it’s winter, for a few more days 🙂 I’ll start with relieve for ‘Sinus congestion & Sinus headaches’.

1. Apply a few drops of lavender essential oil to the palm of your hands, rub together, then cup your hands and inhale deeply 10-15x.(Hidcote Giant and Gross0, lavandin E.O. is my favorite  for sinus congestion)

Calming relief for anxiety & stress:

2: Apply a few drops of Angustifolia Lavender E.O. to pulse points, temples, wrists, or on a tissue, and inhale deeply 10-12x.

Soothing Massage for sore muscles:

3. Add 15-20 drops Angustifolia Lavender E.O. into a good quality carrier oil, Sweet Almond, Olive,  Jojoba, Grape-seed, or Sunflower Oil. This is a particularly effective way to apply the lavender oil when you have tight, sore muscles, under stress, or have sustained an injury. Great on tired hands and feet 🙂 The oils will be absorbed quickly into the blood stream, thus assisting the body and mind.

Soothing bath:

3. Add 10-15 drops Angustifolia Lavender E.O. into the bath water, enjoy a soothing, relaxing soak.

For Insomnia, sleep-aid:

4. Apply a few drops of Angustifolia Lavender E.O. to pulse points, and on tissue, or pillow, inhale 10-12x, and have Sweet Dreams!

For a clearer complexion, and soothing relief on Acne, Eczema, Dermatitis, Folliculitis:

5. Lavender is a natural antiseptic and astringent, that helps tone, balance and control surface oils, and has been used to treat acne, and other skin conditions for years. Apply Angustifolia Lavender E.O. onto your acne area, and also in your bath water to soothe your skin. You could also, add 15-20 drops  to a 2 oz  mist spray bottle of distilled water, and sprayed onto the irritated skin area to help soothe and heal.

First aid-Antiseptic-Antibacterial:

6. Apply Angustifolia Lavender E.O. to irritated area for cuts, burns, insect bites or stings, poison oak, ivy, and athlete’s foot. Great for everyday “Farmers” cuts to assist healing & stop infection.

For calming, balancing aroma in your home:

7. Add a 10-12 drops Angustifolia Lavender E.O. into the top dish of an ‘essential oil diffuser‘ or a ‘vaporiser’ with water.

Fresh bathroom:

8. Add a few drops Grosso Lavandin, or Angustifolia Lavender E.O.  on the edge of your toilet paper roll, a few drops around drains, trash bins, or toilet bowl water.

Freshen linens for that “natural lavender garden aroma”:

9. Apply 10-drops Grosso Lavandin E.O. onto wash cloth or towel into the dryer.

Lavender’s lovely aroma is rich, and camphoric sweet, with an herbaceous floral note. It is a truly magical plant and those who have ever been enticed and seduced by its sweet heady aroma become enamored for life!! As I said before, A walk through a field of blooming lavender is a stroll that is never forgotten! It is tranquil, serene and balancing to the body as well as the psyche. Aww..inhale deeply! 🙂

 

 

 

 

Irish Soda Bread With Culinary Lavender

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The addition of English culinary lavender, our “Signature Blend, gives this Irish Soda bread a lovely delicate, floral note! The wonderful flavor combination of  lavender, honey, and raisins delightfully enhances an old favorite comfort food of mine! I love baking, and the amazing delicious released aroma of fresh baked bread that fills my home! It always evokes memories of my childhood at age five, walking into my Grandfather’s bakery in Juneau, Alaska selecting fresh baked breads and pastries! Awww…such heavenly aroma & flavor!! I wonder if my Grandfather ever baked with culinary lavender? Lavender has been used in cooking for centuries.

There are two varieties that we grow and use for culinary, one is English lavender known as, Lavandula angustifolia, also known as the True Lavender, and L. X-intermedia, Provence, a hybrid. In this recipe I’ve used English lavender, our Signature Blend, because it has low camphor content, and lends a more delicate floral note to culinary dishes. Provence has more camphor content, and lends a more bold, savory herb flavor, which I like in Focaccia Breads, herb breads, and meat dishes. Maybe you’ll consider planting a few cultivars of culinary lavender in your herb garden this spring. A delicious edible flower, and a perennial too! (If Provence culinary lavender is all you have, just use 1 Tbsp)

Happy baking!

IRISH SODA BREAD

3 1/2 cups flour (3 white – 1/2 whole wheat)
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 Tablespoons English culinary lavender

2 Tablespoons honey
1  1/4 cup buttermilk
1 egg
1 cup raisins (I added gobs, 1 1/2 cups; in this case, more is better)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Sift all dry ingredients in a large bowl. Beat the egg and honey together in a small bowl or cup.
Make a well in the middle of the dry ingredients, and add buttermilk, egg, honey, and raisins.


Mix together with a fork until flour is combined and the dough is sticky. If the dough looks too dry, add 1-2 Tablespoons more buttermilk until it begins to form a sticky dough. (do not over mix)
Turn out on a well floured surface and knead until soft, about 8 times.(Use extra flour if necessary to prevent the dough from sticking to your fingers. I like to use a spreader-spatula as I knead the dough, pulling more flour around the dough if it begins to stick)Again don’t over mix. Just like making biscuits, if you over mix, the dough becomes tough.

Pat dough into a round loaf, and put into your large cast iron skillet that has

“Cornmeal” sprinkled in the bottom. (you could also bake it on a cookie sheet)

Brush the top of the loaf with remaining small amount of egg/honey/buttermilk.

This helps the loaf have a rustic golden brown color.

Slash a cross like this X or # in the top with a sharp knife about 1/2′”deep,  to bless your loaf  🙂

Bake for 15 minutes at 400 degrees, and then reduce the heat to 375 degrees, and bake another 25-30 minutes.

It should be done when you tap the top of the loaf with your finger, and it sounds hollow, “the thump test”!
This bread should be eaten the same day it is made, with gobs of butter, or my favorite Lavender butter, or molasses/butter blend drizzled on top of each slice. Ahhh…extremely delish!! Enjoy the flavor and the delightful aroma that fills your home & soul! Baking always has extreme therapeutic, healing powers that lifts my spirit, and brings a Smile! 🙂 Enjoy!

Adapted from:mycatholickitchen.com

Lavender Butter

1/4 lb unsalted butter room temp
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon dried culinary “Provence culinary lavender buds, finely
ground in a spice grinder

Place the butter, honey and lavender in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until just combined. Transfer to a sheet of parchment or wax paper. Roll into a 1-inch-wide log. Refrigerate or freeze. This butter makes a great compliment to breads, muffins, scones, and even sweet cornbread!

Recipe adapted from The Lavender Cookbook by Sharon Shipley