With Valentines Day coming up this weekend, Ella and I send you much Love! Live and Love “in the moment”! Oh Yes, we still have a few patches of snow in our yard, but Spring will arrive soon I promise!
For Valentines, I’ve created another recipe using my favorite floral herb, Lavender Blue. When I say, Lavender Blue, I’m talking about our lovely L. Angustifolia, or English Lavender. It has a beautiful blue color after it’s been dried. Our English culinary lavender is called Signature Blend. It’s a blend of several English lavenders, including a gorgeous white variety called Melissa.
So now for the recipe…
This delicious chewy, low-fatBlondie is one of my favorite cookie bars!! It’s so luscious and gooey, sure to drive your Sweethearts wild, begging for more 🙂
This delicious chewy Blondie is one of my favorite cookie bars!! It's so luscious and gooey, sure to drive your Sweethearts wild! These Blondies are also low-fat, so go ahead indulge a little, it's Valentines Day!! Enjoy with a cup of Hot Chocolate or Coffee.
1½ cups all purpose flour (I substituted ½ cup ground oatmeal in this recipe-optional)
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp baking soda
2 tsp culinary English lavender (finely ground in spice/coffee grinder)
1 cup brown sugar
5 Tbsp butter, melted
1 large egg plus 2 large egg whites
4 tsp vanilla extract
1½ tsp cider vinegar (this helps make a moist chewy Blondie w/o all the fat)
½ cup pecans (chopped)
⅔ cups dried organic cranberries
¼ cup semi-sweet mini chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Make a foil sling for your 8 x 8 baking pan with a long piece of foil about 2 inches larger than your pan. Push foil into corners of the pan, smoothing it flush. Lightly spray with vegetable oil. Combine wet ingredients in your mixing bowl, sugar, melted butter, egg and whites, vanilla, and vinegar. Mix until smooth. Stir together dry ingredients in a small bowl, flour, oatmeal, salt, baking soda, and culinary lavender. Add into mixing bowl and blend well. Then stir in nuts, cranberries and chocolate chips. Pour batter into prepared pan and smooth out top. If you like, scatter 2 Tbsp cranberries on top. Bake 20-30 minutes until toothpick inserted into the center comes out with only a few moist crumbs attached, rotating pan halfway through baking. Let Blondies cool completely in pan, about 1 hour. Lift Blondies from the pan using foil overhang, and cut into 16 - 20 squares. Enjoy with hot chocolate or coffee. You are sure to be in Love with these tasty, chewy, gooey bars!! (Adapted from Key Ingredient)
Pour batter into your prepared baking pan, and smooth out top. If you like, scatter a few cranberries on top. Bake 20-30 minutes. (These Blondies have a soft center, so when you test the center with your tooth pick, there will be a tiny bit of sticky crumbs on it) Not to worry…it’s gooey good!Allow the Blondies to cool completely. Then lift out of the pan, and cut into squares.
Enjoy these delicious Blondie treats with your sweethearts! Have a lovely Valentines Day!
When I spend extended days indoors during our cold winter months, I tend to get cabin fever and “moody”, Oh No, not that!! Lavender is one of the most popular plants known for it’s medicinal and therapeutic properties having a beneficial effect on the nervous system, our nervine, soothing the nerves, balancing, and calming our emotional state. So like Mama says, “Get To The Lavender” in any way you can to receive it’s healing, calming, soothing, balancing and relaxing benefits!
Let’s consider the antiseptic/expectorant properties of lavender that assist in “Breathing”, and boosting the immune system. To receive the healing properties of Lavender, clearing the sinus, helping fight off colds, throat infections, coughs and sinusitis, one could used Lavender Essential Oil ‘neat’ on your skin or blended with a carrier oil, as our Massage Oil is. When lavender essential oil is applied on pulse points it’s healing chemistry goes directly into the blood stream. Awe…breathe in that calm!! Another one of my favorite ways to lift my mood and clear any sinus conditions, is brewing a tea using dried culinary lavender, Signature Blend, and Provence. Either of these culinary lavender are delightful in a tea, but Provence is know for it’s high Camphor chemistry, so I’ll often choose it in a cup of hot water and honey, or blended with other herbs and fruit. I drink tea several times a day, so another soothing favorite tea blend is, 1/2 tsp culinary lavender, 1-2 slices of ginger, squeeze of lemon, 1/2 tsp honey or more to taste. In the photo below, I took my soothing lavender ginger, lemon tea with me on a snowy winter walk! It warms me inside and helped bring a Smile, as I enjoyed the winter beauty and fresh air!
At other times I’ll pick one of our blended teas, and here I’m enjoying our Lavender & Mint Tea. I encourage you to get close to this beautiful healing herb Lavender, and enjoy it’s calming, healing benefits.
Winter continues here in Oregon for a couple more months, so I lift my warming soothing cuppa lavender tea, gaze out my kitchen window and see what looks like “sparkling whipped topping” on everything! It’s extremely beautiful!! I love wintertime when everything’s covered in white, such surreal beauty! When I’ve got cabin fever, another one of the best pick me ups, is getting outdoors for an invigorating snow walk. My sweet girls, Sadie (chocolate lab) and Ella (yellow lab-puppy), love to go on Snow Walks with me!
Ella loves doing her Snow Yogo!! LOL She’s a sweet mess, and bundle of energy!!
The fresh air and sunshine on my face always bring a Smile, and so does playing with my sweet girl Ella! Awe….my little Snow Angel 🙂
Today I’m making a decadent gourmet raw Lavender Chocolate Pudding with these staples in my kitchen. This is the Best Ever healthy take on a comfort food favorite that’s light, refreshing, and yes, even good for you! A perfectly luscious Valentines Day treat.
Who doesn't love pudding!! This chocolate pudding is decadent, extremely delicious, rich and creamy, with a light hint of lavender and cinnamon. A combination that's perfectly delightful and heavenly!! And it's also a "Healthy" nutrient rich good-for-you treat that can be eaten anytime of the day. It would be a wonderful Valentines Day dessert to enjoy with your favorite bestie. :-)
2 ripe avocados
1 cup Almonds (finely ground)
¾ cup pure maple syrup
¾ cup raw cacao powder
¼ tsp cinnamon
½ tsp culinary English Lavender (finely ground)
Blend all ingredients in a food processor or blender. Cool in refrigerator for at least one hour. Garnish with any fresh or frozen fruit (I used blackberries, frozen from the summer & fresh strawberries) and whipped cream. You could also add cacao nibs & a pinch of Sel Gris sea salt on top, if you like :-) Enjoy!! Perfect for Valentines Day!!
Children will enjoy this tasty treat on Valentines Day as well!
Enjoy your winter in a happy way with more Lavender!
XOXO Lavender Lady
FYI: Here are a few other therapeutic qualities of lavender: analgesic (relieving pain), anti-depressant, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, anti-spasmodic, cicatrisant (healing of cuts, wounds), deodorant, diuretic, expectorant, hypotensive, nervine (soothing the nerves) and sedative.
In the Winter I spend lots of time indoors because, “baby it’s cold outside”!! Our lavender plants are “sleeping in”, all dormant, happily covered with a blanket of snow! I love the serene beauty and stillness of our wintery lavender farm 🙂
I keep myself busy this time of year packing orders from our website, and taking care of our wholesale accounts. When I’m not doing that, I’m baking yummy breads & tasty treats for Lavender Joe, and my friends. 🙂 Here’s a link on our Pinterest of some of the Tasties that I’ve made through the past years: My Tasty Creations
I love cooking with Lavender!!
Baking has always been one of my favorite creative hobbies, and I grew up with a Mother that loved baking breads, and other pastries. When I’m baking, all my creative energy and thoughts are focused on the process, which helps me de-stress!! Baking is an amazing healing aromatherapy, especially when cooking with lavender!! As the lovely lavender aroma fills my busy kitchen, a calming peace surrounds me… just Breathe! When I’ve completed what I made, the true joy comes as I share my tasty treat with another!
Today I made a delightfully delicious Lavender Cream Cheese and Jam Bread Pudding!! It’s now my favorite bread pudding! I used our Organic Signature Blend, English Lavender. It lends a lovely delicate floral note to sweet desserts, and bread.
I begin with these pantry staples. Homemade Sourdough Bread and Organic English Lavender. Only the best raw and wholesome ingredients! Slice your day old bread to fit into your baking dish, in two layers, then remove it and begin spreading on softened cream cheese. Spread jam on each slice, in two layers. I’ve used a wonderful sweet, tart Jam that my dear husband made me, Plum Black Current Jam. It’s so yummy, sweet & tart!
Whisk together the custard ingredients: I added 1 tsp. English Lavender “whole buds”, into my mixture. If you’d like, you could grind the lavender “finely” with a little sugar in your spice grinder, for a more delicate texture. Then gently pour it over your bread, and allow to sit 30 minutes.
Place your dish of bread pudding into a larger roasting pan, and carefully fill the pan halfway with boiling water. Then it goes into your preheated oven to bake 55 minutes, or more, until custard is set.
While it’s baking, prepare this awesome, lavender bourbon whiskey sauce or whipping topping. I just tossed in 1 tsp. culinary lavender, however you could grind it more finely if you choose. One of my favorite motto’s is: “Keep it Simple and Keep it Tasty”!!
Prepare to indulge on a taste of Heaven!! This Bread Pudding may just be the “quintessential comfort food”!! It’s my favorite, hands down & thumbs up!!
It would be a delightfully delish dessert for Valentines Day with it’s lovely red color from the Jam! BTW, it’s also a Breakfast Food, served with Greek Yogurt! Yummy!
This Bread Pudding may just be the quintessential comfort food! It has a delightful tart flavor from the sourdough bread and Plum Black Currant Jam, and sweet delicate floral note from the culinary lavender. The rich, sweet sauce sets off the tartness of the fruit.. simply a taste of heaven!! Served warm with Lavender Bourbon Whiskey sauce, or whipped topping; or cold for breakfast, with a dollop of plain greek yogurt!
8 slices white bread ¼' thick (left to dry out on a rack 4 hours or overnight)
*I used my homemade Sourdough Bread
1 tsp butter
4 oz. softened cream cheese
⅓ cup good quality raspberry jam (I used Plum Black Current Jam my husband made)
2½ cups milk (I used Almond Milk)
1 tsp. culinary English lavender "Signature Blend"
1 tsp vanilla extract
5 eggs, beaten
½ cup organic sugar
*Lavender Bourbon Whiskey Sauce
¾ cup sugar
1 tsp ground English culinary lavender, (Hood River Lavender, Signature Blend)
⅓ cup butter, room temp.
3 Tablespoons Bourbon Whiskey or to your taste (Yukon Jack works also)
Preheat oven to 325'
Fit the bread into an 8" square pan in two layers, trimming where needed. Remove the bread from the pan, and butter pan bottom and sides. Spread cream cheese, then jam evenly over all the bread slices. (If this seems a little messy, it is)
Put one layer of bread in the bottom of the pan, cream cheese and jam side up. Then put the second layer of bread on top of the first, also with cream cheese and jam up.
Whisk together the milk, lavender, vanilla, and eggs. Add sugar and salt, whisk to dissolve the sugar. Pour over the bread in the pan and push the slices down into the milk mixture to be sure they are soaked. (cover & allow custard to soak into bread for 30 minutes)
Put this pan into a larger one, and fill the larger pan halfway with hot water. (I suggest that you do this by the stove to avoid spills) Carefully place into the oven, and Bake for about 55 minutes, or until a knife placed in the center comes out clean. Cool on a rack for 1 hour, if you can wait that long! ;-) *Serve with Lavender Bourbon Whiskey Sauce. Taste like heaven on earth, Goodness!
*Instructions for Lavender Bourbon Whiskey Sauce:
Finely grind the culinary lavender, by placing ¼ cup sugar & 1 tsp lavender in a spice grinder or coffee grinder.(I tossed my culinary lavender into the pan whole) In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine sugar, lavender and egg, stir until well blended. Add butter, stir until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and stir in whiskey. Pour it on, freely, and enjoy a taste of heaven! (Cream Cheese Bread Pudding author:unknown, Bourbon Whiskey Sauce: Linda Stradley, I'll Have What They're Having)
We’ve been busy tending our lavender farm, and enjoying warmer days with lots of sunshine! Yay!! It’s just what the lavender doctor ordered, to encourage our gorgeous, fragrant lavender blooms!!! While we eagerly wait on the lavender to Pop…our Wildflower Garden is bursting with extremely gorgeous flowers..sigh 🙂
Strolling along the path of peace and relaxing awhile among the lovely fragrant wildflowers, and enjoying the birdies sweet song, is one of my favorite pass times!! 🙂
Breathe in the calm and slow down. This is one of my awesome gals also relaxing in our wildflower garden….surreal!
With the arrival of June, as school comes to an end and the anticipation of summer activities, our Oregon lavender farm will quickly become a popular stop for locals and tourist alike. Many will drop by to take in the aroma, sunshine, and enjoy a picnic on one of our picnic tables or “tailgate”. Many will be delighted to cut their own lavender bouquet as they stroll among thousands of fragrant flowers…and we will soon have lavender in bloom!!
Come touch nature, and let go of any stress…..Just be, smile and blow bubbles with your friends in our little piece of heaven…my favorite place to be!!
I’d like to share one of my favorite summer salad recipes for you to enjoy at your next picnic or BBQ!!
You're gonna love this tasty, sweet and spicy, crisp coleslaw. It's easy to put together and a perfect side dish at your next BBQ picnic on the lawn or "tailgate"!!
1 16 oz bag coleslaw mix, or 3 cups grated cabbage
1 diced apple
1 carrot, shredded
1 rib celery, diced
1 cup pineapple tidbits, drained. *Reserve the juice
⅓ cup sunflower seeds
⅓ cup Lavender Pepper Jelly (made for us by Apple Valley with our culinary lavender)
3 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 Tablespoons olive oil
½ teaspoon salt
In a large bowl combine coleslaw mix, carrot, celery, pineapple and sunflower seeds. Set aside. In a smaller bowl combine jelly, vinegar, oil, salt and 2 Tablespoons of the reserved pineapple juice. Whisk until smooth. (There will still be some small lumps). Toss. Cover and chill for at least an hour or overnight before serving. Enjoy with your picnic lunch!
Adapted from Apple Valley Country Store.
Our Lavender Pepper Jelly is a flavorful, mildly spicy, sweet Jelly…with just a hit of jalapeno peppers, and savory flavor from our culinary lavender “Provence”. It’s yummy on salads as a vinaigrette, on bread or crackers with Brie Cheese, or as a marinade for grilled meats such as Fish or Lamb. Deliciously unique! 🙂
We have begun our Spring gardening on the Farm, tending our little piece of Heaven…as we call it! And it needs a lot of TLC, preparing for our lovely spring flowers that will bloom very soon! 🙂
I worked several hours today pruning, raking and weeding in the Wildflower Garden. Many of the wildflowers and shrubs that we planted over ten years ago in this Wildflower section, are Native to our area and zone 5. These flowers provide Pollinators a rich, varied diet throughout Spring, Summer and fall, as well as a safe Organic Habitat! Yeah!!
I took this photo after we finished today….the reddish top bushes are wild roses, Rosa woodsii, and surrounding them are hundreds of wildflowers, just beginning to awaken and sprout new growth! We have a path that meanders around the Wildflower Garden, and many of our customers enjoy strolling on the path, pausing to sit on a bench to relax, and breathe a little slower. It’s a favorite sitting spot for me, and many others year after year 🙂 There’s nothing like spending a few calm, quite moments in a serene garden, surrounded by beautiful, fragrant flowers…to soothe the soul, and bring focus back to the moment. <3
During May our wildflower garden will transform into a glorious flower garden filled with brilliant fragrant wildflowers…sigh. I can’t wait! I love to watch the transformation happen each day!! And when it’s in full glory, the lovely melodies from the song birds, along with the delightful fragrance of these flowers, makes me smile deep down to my soul!! I could sit in this garden forever, but for now I’m daydreaming of these beautiful Lupine, and Iceland Poppies, Papavar, showing their brilliance for all of us to enjoy…Spring is here!!! 🙂 Woohoo!!
After all that fresh air, sunshine, and gardening I’m extremely famished!! I’ll begin by making my favorite “Tahini Dip It” sauce to compliment the Tabbouleh and oven roasted veggies that I made up beforehand. And I’ll also make some oven-baked tortilla chips. Heavenly and Tasty is what I think about this Tahini Dip It sauce, and Tortilla Chips I made with Organic Corn Tortillas. I placed several tortilla shells (whole wheat and corn) on a cookie sheet, drizzle on a little olive oil, and sprinkle on my favorite herbs, spices and cheeses on top. I like to use our Hood River Lavender Spice Blend(herbs de Provence), Cumin, Pico de Gallo powder, and four cheese blend…just sprinkle on the amount you like 🙂 Then oven-bake at 400 degrees for eight to ten minutes until crisp (don’t leave the kitchen, as these chips bake quickly at this high oven heat, and depending on your oven, they might cook quicker than mine) Once removed from the oven, break into pieces and dip into this homemade “Tahini Dip It” Sauce! I also drizzled some of the Tahini Dip It sauce onto my oven roasted veggies! Lunch is On!! Yum! Best loved appetizer everytime!!
Tahini Dip It Sauce is a delightful, delish, and healthy sauce perfect for dipping veggies and homemade oven-baked tortilla chips. It's even delicious on fresh sliced local Fruit!! :-) Best loved party appetizers everytime!!
½ cup Tahini (sesame seed paste)
2 cloves garlic, chopped finely
1½ Tablespoons Nutritional Yeast
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil (make sure it's Extra Virgin Organic)
2 Tablespoons Balsamic Vinegar
½ tsp Turmeric
1 tsp Cayenne Pepper (more for spicy)
2-3 tsp Hood River Lavender Spice Blend (salt free) "Herbs de Provence"
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
Salt to taste
Hot water as needed to thin down the sauce
Whisk all ingredients in a medium size bowl. Add a little hot water to thin as needed, 1 Tbsp at a time. Whisk till smooth. Taste and adjust to balance Nutty and Tart taste. Salt to taste if necessary. I didn't use any salt...not necessary.
Now grab a warm oven-baked chip and "DIP IT"!!! SOOOO GOOD & HEALTHY!
Recipe was adapted from theShiksa.com
I love to make delicious healthy meals…with a Middle Eastern Cuisine twist to it, Hummus, Tabbouleh, oven-roasted veggies, and oven baked tortilla chips…with “Tahini Dip It” sauce! Yummy!
And for Dessert……another culinary delight, “oven baked dessert tortillas”. I thinly sliced fresh, local Bosc Pears and placed them evenly around an organic tortilla shells that have been lightly coated with olive oil and then baked as above. Then I sprinkled with cinnamon, nutmeg, culinary lavender, and feta cheese! OMGossshhh!! Heavenly Delight!! 🙂
Lavender Lady Essentials: I Love cooking with lavender!!( here are some of my favorite recipes) I think Lavender is the most delicious edible flower that lends a delicate floral note when using English Lavender, and a bold floral/savory note with using Provence in your favorite recipes! Be sure to use “Organic” Culinary Lavender.. choosing the best ingredients in your recipe! Lavender is also a beautiful, fragrant perennial flower, perfect for landscaping around your home, as well as a pollinator flower for our wonderful friend, the Bee!!!
We have hundreds of lavender starter plants in our greenhouse that are growing quickly with all these warm sunny Spring days. We’ll be selling these starter plants at our Lavender Farm on our “soft opening” weekend, Blossom Festival Weekend, April 18th-19th. I look forward to seeing you then!!
Spring Cheers!! Here’s to healthy eating and getting outdoors in the garden!!
Who remembers these cute “Love is..” cartoons in the newspaper?
Omgggosh…these are so special to me because they were cut out of the newspaper and given to my dear Grandmother Lucille by Grandpa Carson in 1936–! Love is…..knowing you’ll always be his “pin-up”! Love is….kissing power (and Grandpa wrote in, you make my day)! Love is….tempting! Love is….a tender flower! Gosh these are too sweet, and you could say….a little “Sappy” !
My Grandpa was a Baker in Juneau Alaska, and they lived in a small home above his Bakery. He woke early, and went downstairs to the Bakery to prepare breads and pastries for the day. He sat in his free time reading the morning paper, thinking of his sweetheart, Lucille!
He often wrote her love poems, and these are copies of just a few of them. These are my two Grandparents in the photo below 🙂
I will translate his writing, as these letters are very old and a little faded, written in 1936. My Mother printed copies for me…they are such a Treasure to me! Love is…
Love Poems written by Grandpa Carson Lawrence to his Sweetheart Lucille:
Good morning darling,
here I be writing silly poetry.
Tho I’m sleeping like a rock
Wake me sweetheart at 5 o’clock,
I will wake up with a grin
Scrape the whiskers from my chin,
When I’ve had my coffee with you
Then I’ll have a kiss or two,
And down to the basement I must go,
I’ve lots of work to do you know. 🙂
Blonde haired girl
With a twinkle in her eye,
flirts with the boys
as she passes them by.
She never will tarry
She never will pause.
Shall I tell you the secret?
Should I tell you the cause?
She has a sweetheart
Who loves her so true,
If she really meant it,
T’would make him so blue.
And she’s tender hearted,
She’d not cause him pain,
And she knows that her sweetheart
Is just a bit vain,
And thinks he’s the only one
In the world who
This blonde haired girl will
Give her whole heart too!! Poems by Grandpa Carson Lawrence
My heart is filled with Love for these two very special Grandparents of mine, I could only wish they were still with us……but their memory will live on in me, and I will hold them Forever in my Heart!
I was named after my dear Grandmother Lucille, Diane Lucille, and Grandmother loved flowers, as I do! She was the chairman of the Garden Club for many years in Juneau Alaska. Grandpa was a Baker~pastry Chef, and so my legacy has brought many natural gifts into my characteristics. I find it amazing how similar we are with our past generations. 🙂 I made this Heart Wreath a few years ago at our lavender farm during a DIY wreath class I taught 🙂
Now it’s time to begin my baking in memory of dear Grandpa Carson, with some Edible Lavender!! I wonder if he ever cooked with Lavender? Sigh….. Today I’ve picked this lacy wafer-thin almond cookie, Florentines! They are a mouthwatering flavor burst!! I’m drooling just writing about it!! Florentines for my Valentines!
These lacy wafer-thin almond cookies is simply delectable! The nutty flavor, with orange zest, combined with edible lavender gives these cookies an amazing flavor burst in your mouth!! I can't stop eating them :-)
1¾ cups sliced, blanched almonds(about 5 ounces)
3 Tbsp all-purpose flour
Finely grated zest of 1 orange(about 2 Tbsp)
3 tsp culinary lavender,finely ground [If you only want a light floral note, use 2 tsp]
¼ tsp fine salt
¾ cup sugar
2 Tbsp heavy cream
2 Tbsp light corn syrup (organic)
5 Tbsp unsalted butter
½ tsp pure vanilla extract
2-4 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
Preheat oven 350 degrees. Line cookie sheet with parchment paper-this is a must, as the cookies will stick really badly if you don't (voice of experience~not funny).
Pulse the almonds in a food processor until finely chopped, but not pasty.
Stir together the nuts, flour, orange zest, culinary lavender, and salt in a large bowl.
Place the sugar, cream, corn syrup and butter in a small saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until mixture comes to a rolling boil and sugar is completely dissolved. Continue to boil for 1 minute. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla, then pour into almond mixture and stir just to combine. Set aside until cool enough to handle, 20-30 minutes.
Scoop rounded teaspoons of batter and press into balls. Place on parchment covered cookie sheet with 3 to 4 inches between each cookie, since cookies will spread.(This is very important)
Bake one cookie sheet at a time, and rotate ½ way through baking time, about 10-11 minutes. Cookies will be thin, golden brown color when done.
Cool on cookie sheet for 5 minutes, then transfer to cooling rack. Repeat with remaining batter.
Optional chocolate topping:
Place chocolate in medium microwave-safe bowl. Melt at 50 percent power for 1 minute. Stir, and continue to heat until completely melted, stir often, about 1 to 2 minutes. Drizzle melted chocolate over your lovely Florentines as desired, this is your creation :-) And then enjoy one of your delightful mouthwatering homemade cookies, and share some with your sweetie & friends :-)
Store your Florentines carefully, separated by waxed paper, in an air-tight container for up to 3 days..if they last that long :-) Recipe adapted from TVFoodNetwork
Adding finely ground culinary lavender into nuts, flour, orange zest and salt.
I also tossed a “pinch”more culinary lavender whole buds into the sugar, cream, corn syrup and butter, because I wanted to… and… I’m the chef today 🙂 These will remain in the cookies for extra flavor and texture 🙂
This is the finished cookie batter cooling enough to handle, then I’ll press into small 3 inch balls and place on a prepared cookie sheet 3-4 inches apart. (these weren’t placed far enough apart, and while cooking they spread into each other, so some of my cookies were odd shaped, but still taste delightful 🙂 Spacing is important, that’s why my photo above of completed cookies, are odd shaped..I learned something new 🙂 Life & cooking is all about learning, improving and having fun with it!
Love is…A flower!!
Love is…to be shared with others!
Love is…memories held close to your heart!
And Love is…a sweet Lavender Chocolate Florentine Cookie 🙂 Enjoy!!
Happy Valentines Day to each of you!! Let your love reach out to another, and shine, like these lovely flowers!!
Valentine’s Day is a favorite time for me, and I think it’s true saying, whether young or old, we all still love to receive Valentines!! My daughter and I have always enjoyed creating special Cards for each other, and for our loves and bff 🙂 Below is a Valentine she made for me several years ago, and I plan to keep it forever! 🙂 It’s simply beautiful with her loving touch, and that makes it Very special to me!!
I think that’s why I enjoy creating personal cards, gifts and yummy culinary treats… because I’m able to add my personal loving touch to each card or gift, with hopes that it will brighten and lift my loved ones spirit, making their day a little sunnier and happier! As I hold this sweet ‘handmade’ Valentine Card from my daughter, it evokes sweet memories from years past and even now fills my heart with more of her love!! Homemade cards can be enjoyed for many, many years, and each time they’re read, that same sweet kind, loving feeling comes across once again! >3
As I consider the design of my DIY Valentines Day Cards for this year…I’m going to enjoy this delicious cup of Hot Cocoa in hopes it will encourage my creativity! 🙂 Mmmm..who doesn’t Love Hot Chocolate~I’ve made these scrumptious Chocolate Lavender Marshmallows for Valentines Day treats:-) They are Simply Amazing!! I’ll save the rest of the Marshmallows for Valentine gifts, if they last that long! 😉
Below is a “valentine picture” that I framed for my husband, with my special touch, a Tatted pink heart and white Tatted chain that I made <3 (My dear Grandmother Mabel taught me to Tat when I was 12 years old~delicate lovely lace)
Here’s a Valentines Day blog note to all my wonder friends that visit & read my blog-posts, “Thanks always for your love and support! I’m sending you some calming Lavender Love from my heart to yours! Breathe in that calming sweet aroma and have an extra lovely Valentine’s Day! You are very Special to me!!” 🙂
Now let’s talk about my creative fun in the kitchen making these cool gooey, sweetly delicious, exquisitely soft, chocolatey floral yum-yummy culinary treats…Chocolate Lavender Marshmallows 🙂 OMGoodness and Wow are all I can say 🙂 This is my first time making these, and I can honestly say, they were very easy and fun! And I’ll NEVER again buy those chemical filled/high fructose yucky ones in the store!!!!! The French made these yummy confections and flavored them with Rose Water. Oh…that would be a delight to the senses, just like Lavender is :-)) You should try to make some for yourself!
You might choose, like I did, to make a few plan yummy Lavender Vanilla Marshmallows 🙂 Personally, I loved the Chocolate ones best!
These chocolate lavender marshmallows are simply divine..So sweetly delicious, exquisitely soft, chocolaty floral yum-yummy culinary treats!! They are a perfect compliment added on top of your Valentines Day Hot Chocolate drink, or straight into your mouth...or in your Coffee~I'm drooling ;-)
2½ Tbsp unflavored gelatin
⅓ cup Organic Corn Syrup
2 cups organic granulated sugar
¼ tsp salt
½ cup confection sugar
½ cup cornstarch
2 tsp real Vanilla
4 Tbsp unsweetened Cocoa Powder
2 tsp-1 Tbsp Culinary lavender (I would suggest 2 tsp if you want a light floral note of lavender)
Line a 13 x 9-inch pan with foil, overlapping it about 2" over the sides. This will aid in lifting the cooled marshmallows out of the pan. Spray foil with nonstick cooking spray.
I suggest that you begin this step 30 minutes prior to step 4, or do it the night before, because it needs ample time to cool.:-) Place ⅔ cup of water into a small sauce pan on stove, medium heat, add 2 tsp-1 Tbsp of culinary lavender and bring to a boil. Turn down to low and cover for 15 minutes. This will be your lavender infusion. Strain out lavender flowers with a fine strainer (I use a coffee filter) Cool this infusion before using.
Place ½ cup of cooled lavender infusion into a large mixing bowl and sprinkle 2½ Tbsp gelatin gently into the water. Allow to bloom for 15 minutes.Now begin step 4.
In another medium size pan add ½ cup water, ⅓ cup organic corn syrup, 2 cups granulated sugar (pouring carefully not to get any on the edges of the pan) and ¼ tsp salt. Bring to a boil over medium high heat, 3-4 minutes, gently stir. Now only Swirl the pan gently (do not stir anymore) Clip a candy thermometer onto the side of the pan, and continue to boil until mixture reaches 240 degrees, approx. 7-8 minutes. Remove from heat.
Using whisk attachment on large mixer, mix bloomed gelatin on low speed for a few minutes. Then slowly add sugar mixture and gradually increase speed to high for 10-12 minutes. Add the vanilla during the last minute of whipping.
While mixer is whipping marshmallows: in another small bowl combine ½ cup confection sugar, 2 Tbsp cornstarch and 4 Tbsp Cocoa Powder. Save for dusting the top of marshmallows.
When 12 minutes are up.....Quickly pour the mixture into the prepared pan-work quickly-using a "lightly oiled spatula" smooth the top. Dust the top of the marshmallows with the Cocoa mixture to lightly cover. Save the rest for later. Allow the marshmallows to sit uncovered for at least 4 hours or overnight.(I left mine overnight, covered with plastic wrap after 4 hours) If you choose to have plain lavender vanilla sugared marshmallows (mix ½ cup cornstarch and ½ cup confection sugar in a small bowl for dusting)
Lift the marshmallows out of the pan by holding the sides of the foil, using it like a "sling" to aid in lifting it out. Set the foil with marshmallows on counter-top, and peel off foil. Dust with 2 Tbsp again and cut with an oiled knife into 1 inch long strips, then cut these strips into cubes. Working with a few of these marshmallows at a time, toss in bowl of Cocoa mixture. Place in a larger bowl, and place a few in Your Mouth :-) Drooling again thinking about it!!! Your delicious marshmallows can be saved in a zip-lock bag for 2 weeks...if they last that long!! Enjoy a hot cup of cocoa with you homemade chocolate lavender marshmallows! Happy Valentines Day!
Recipe adapted from:American'sTestKitchen
Making my Lavender Infusion. I wanted a bold lavender note, so I used 1 Tbsp culinary lavender, but I would suggest using only 2 tsp is your wanting a delicate floral note.
Whipping is finished, making a spongy marshmallow foam 🙂 My delightful homemade lavender marshmallows, chocolate and vanilla. OMGoodness these are the most delish culinary treats!!
Enjoy a hot cup of cocoa with your own homemade chocolate lavender marshmallows, with your special someone. And share some with your sweet friends!! And maybe design a few personal handmade Valentines for your sweeties, to brighten their day for years to come!! Have a wonderful Valentine’s Day!
Spread a little Love around your part of the world with calming lavender!!
Winter is the time of year when I enjoy baking most of all, because time has slowed down a bit, and I spend much of my time inside out of the cold weather. While I make plans for the season ahead, I enjoy savoring my moments in the kitchen with my hands “in the dough”. Then my husband & I reap the benefits of this heavenly aroma that swirls through my house..awww… the soul of Provence in warm bread, the best Aromatherapy!!!
I have always savored the deliciousness of warm baked breads!! This recipe was given to me by one of our wonderful customers that visited our lavender farm last year. She purchased some of our culinary lavender, Provence, and was excitement about the possibilities of cooking with lavender. A few days later I received this recipe in my email. She told me that she couldn’t wait to try it with the addition of Provence lavender. Wow, was I ever grateful that she would consider sharing her Mother’s recipe with me! 🙂 I have revised it just a tad with the addition of Herbs de Provence, our own Hood River Lavender Spice Blend. The combined flavor of molasses and herbs de provence gives this bread an amazing delightfully sweet herby scent and flavor! And sunflower seeds add a yummy nutty texture! This is one of my favorite breads to serve with soup, beans or grilled cheese sandwiches on a cold winter day. It doesn’t last long around my house 🙂 Enjoy!
This Molasses Herb Bread has a slightly sweet, delicious herby flavor with the combination of molasses and herbs de provence, making it a delightful treat with any meal. There's nothing like the fabulous aroma of fresh baked bread that fills my home & tummy...I'm drooling again!! Enjoy!!
2 cups boiling water
½ cup molasses
2 teaspoons salt
1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
2 teaspoons yeast
2 Tablespoons HRL Spice Blend - Herbs de Provence
½ cup lukewarm water
½ cup Steel Oats
⅔ cups sunflower seeds (more if you like)
2 cups rolled oats
4 cups unbleached white flour (more or less,I used ½ cup buckwheat flour, 2 cups whole wheat)
1 egg (beaten & brushed on top before baking)
2 Tablespoons sesame seeds (sprinkled on top egg)
Place boiling water in a large mixing bowl (I use my KitchenAid bowl) add steel oats, and 2 cup oatmeal and let stand for 30 minutes.
Proof the yeast: Place ½ cup lukewarm "to touch" water into a small bowl and add 1 tablespoons each molasses and whole wheat flour. Allow to sit until liquid is foamy, about 35 minutes.
Add the yeast liquid into large mixing bowl with water & oats, first testing the water with your finger, making sure it's "lukewarm". Pour the yeast liquid in, and add other ingredient: salt, olive oil, HRL Spice Blend (Herbs de Provence), sunflower seeds, and 1 cup whole wheat flour, mix for 5 minutes on medium speed, scraping down sides once.
Add remaining flours,1 cup at a time & continue adding flour until dough pulls away from sides of mixing bowl. Let dough rise inside this same bowl, covered with plastic wrap, in a warm place for 1-3 hours or until dough has doubled in size. Turn dough out onto a floured counter-top, and knead 6-8 times, divide dough in half and place in oiled loaf pans or shape into round loaves and place on cornmeal covered cookie sheet about 2-3" apart. Score the top of loaves with a sharp knife "X", brush tops with beaten egg, and sprinkle sesame seeds or oatmeal on top. Allow loaves to rise again until doubled in size 30 minutes. Preheat oven 425 degrees. I place my loaves on a separate cookie sheet covered with cornmeal, and let them rise 30 minutes. Then I gently slide the loaves onto my Baking Stones that are inside the oven preheated. Bake 35-40 minutes, or until the loaves are well browned and sound hallow when tapped with your finger.
I Love Baking Bread because it's such a creative art with the most delightful aromas and delicious flavors when combining various flours,grains,seeds,or herbs! Have fun experimenting with a variety of your favorite herbs, spices and seeds! Happy baking & healthy eating!!
Happy January!!Keep warm and be well…and enjoy a warm cup of lavender tea with your delicious, healthy warm baked bread!! 🙂
I’m dreaming of the warm sunny days and sweet fragrant lavender flowers surrounding me as I enjoy a spring picnic on the lavender farm!! I look forward to seeing you this coming season!
To ring in the New Year 2015, I want to start by gazing into these cheerful photos, being transported back to warmer summer days at our fragrant calming lavender farm! Awe… Inhale deeply with me, and let the sweet heady aroma surround you, and encourage peace & relaxation……..as I tell you of a very precious, special moment I experienced while running my lavender farm one summer day 🙂
Through A Child’s Eyes & Heart <3 One summer day a couple visited with their young daughter, about 6-7 years old. They spent a few moments strolling around our lavender farm, and then walked into my Retail Cottage to check out our lavender products. Their daughter said, ” Mama, can I go out and walk in the Maze, to relax and meditate”. Her mother said, ” certainly honey” 🙂 At first, I didn’t understand what she was asking, “walk in the Maze”, what Maze is she speaking about. Then I watched her walking toward my Wildflower Garden. I understood it then, she wanted to meander along the little path through our fragrant Wildflowers, and maybe sit on a bench relaxing, and meditate a few quiet moments in nature!! 🙂 I thought, how beautiful is this!! Wow, if only we adults could get back to our youthful days, and live simply, in the moment with a Youthful Heart finding more peace and joy right where we are!!! This is my New Year’s resolution!! 🙂 Finding simple, quiet, peaceful moments right where I am each day, and sharing it with others!! Whether it’s relaxing at a lavender farm, a park bench in the city, or a seat on the bus….there is peace, joy and love to be found, right where you are!!!
Stop and smell the flowers along your path today, and smile at everyone you see!
I wanted to share this Yummy Lavender Lemon Bar recipe with you. It has a delicious light floral, lemony flavor that is sure to be a hit at your New Years’ Party or Tea Time! Enjoy!!
This lavender lemon bar has a delicious light floral, lemony flavor that will delight your senses with a taste of summer! The addition of culinary lavender, and chopped raw cranberries lends to an amazing floral note,a luscious fruit flavor, and texture giving these bars a heavenly flavor burst that makes you drool......wanting more!!
Lavender, Lemon and Cranberry crust:
1 cup (2 sticks) salted butter, softened, plus more for greasing pan
½ cup organic granulated sugar
3 teaspoons ground culinary lavender
2¾ cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
⅔ cup fresh cranberries, coarsely chopped
Zest of 1 lemon
2 cups organic granulated sugar
4 large eggs
7 Tablespoons lemon juice (2-3 lemons)
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
Confectioners' sugar, for garnish
Sprigs of lavender, garnish
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 9-by-13-inch pan with aluminum foil (with a 2 inch overhang on all four sides) and grease the bottom and sides with butter.
In a small bowl, combine the flour and baking powder. Set aside.
In mixing bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter with sugar, culinary lavender, and vanilla on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes.
Add the dry ingredients and mix on medium-low until incorporated.
Mix in the cranberries and lemon zest.
Press the mixture into the bottom of the prepared pan.(I pricked the bottom of the crust several times with a fork before placing it into the oven)
Bake until slightly brown, about 25 minutes.
For the Filling: Make while the crust is baking.
Whisk together the sugar, eggs, lemon juice, flour, baking powder and salt in medium bowl.
Pour the filling over the baked crust and continue baking until the filling sets and is slightly brown on the edges, about 25 minutes or more. (Continue cooking longer, 2-3 minutes, until filling completely sets up)
Let cool completely in the pan. Use the foil edges to help lift the bars out of the baking pan.
Cut into 24 or more squares and dust with confectioners' sugar and garnish with lavender sprigs! These yummy Lavender Lemon Bars are sure to be a hit at your New Years Party!
(Recipe adapted from Chuck Hughes,Lemon-shortbread-cookies)
Whatever your New Year goals or resolutions are for 2015, we wish you the Best in life, in the Simple Moments each day!!
Happy New Year 2015 from Hood River Lavender!!Relax and Get Close To Lavender..be Calm & be happy!!
Tis the season once again, and I’m not ready. Maybe if I turn on the Christmas music, and fetch a cuppa of hot Lavender Chai Tea, I’ll begin to feel the spirit of Christmas 🙂
Now I’m ready to get my holiday baking on!!! I’ve been making delicious sweet Hawaiian Bread this past month, and I decided to incorporate it into my Holiday baking. I always bake Christmas Stollen for gift giving, and so my head is reeling out of control with the thoughts of making my Stollen following my Hawaiian Bread recipe with just a few modifications…
I know, I can just hear my dear Mother saying, “Why do you have to change things, I like it how you’ve always made it.”
But Momma, I can’t help myself, your father (my Grandfather) was a Baker, and you baked while I was growing up, now it’s my turn to Create, and that’s just what I love to do!
I love my dear Mother, and she taught me so many wonderful things, a love for family, baking, and the simple pleasures of life, gardening and flowers!!
Hawaiian Bread~Christmas Stollen With Lavender Orange Glaze
Author: Lavender Lady
Recipe type: Sweet Bread
Enjoy this delightfully, tasty, and healthy sweet bread with an amazing flavor burst from the pineapple juice, dried fruit and nuts. Perfect for your holiday party, or gift giving. This is the Best Fruit Cake you've ever had!! Very festive when shaped in two braids, and decorated with dried fruit such as cranberries,mango and pineapple on top of the glaze. It's sure to be a favorite "Christmas Stollen" for your family meal and holidays!
6 cups all-purpose flour, plus additional flour for kneading process.
3 eggs - room temperature, plus 1 egg to brush tops of bread before baking
In a small bowl, dissolve yeast in 1 cup warm pineapple (warm to touch) and ½ cup flour. Let stand until creamy and puffy, about 15 minutes. This is called "Proofing" the yeast.
In a large mixing bowl, beat together the yeast mixture, eggs, 1 additional cup pineapple juice, sugar, vanilla, and melted butter.
Add fruit and nuts, add remaining flour, one cup at a time, mixing well until dough becomes stiff. Cover mixing bowl with kitchen towel and set in a warm place to rise for 1-2 hours
Remove dough from the bowl onto a floured counter top, and knead 5-10 times, adding additional flour to prevent it from sticking. Divide dough in 4-6 small portions. Form each portion of dough into four small round loaves or two large loaves. Place round loaves on cookie sheet that has been sprinkled with cornmeal to prevent the loaves from sticking. Score the top of each loaf with the X design, and then brush tops with a beaten egg. Cover and place in warm area to rise for an additional hour, or until the dough doubles in size. Preheat oven at 350 degrees. Place cookie sheet with round loaves into the center of oven and bake for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from oven and allow to cool 5 minutes, then transfer loaves to cooling racks. Add Glaze if you like.
*Lavender Orange Glaze: I like to drizzle this glaze on top to decorate, and add an delightful flavor burst! :-)
Place all ingredients in a small pan over medium low heat and stir until butter is melted, and mixture becomes shiny. Remove from heat. Drizzle on tops of round loaves and decorate with almonds or dried fruit.
This Hawaiian Bread makes a delicious Christmas Stollen with just a few additional ingredients. Follow the recipe for Hawaiian Bread, then add 1 Tsp Anise Extract, additional ½ cup or more each golden raisins, and mixed nuts, and 2 tsp chopped crystalized ginger. Instead of making round loaves you could make two long braids. These braids are very festive when decorated with lavender orange glaze and natural dried fruit, such as cranberries,mango and pineapple. Perfect for your holiday party, or gift giving. The Best Fruit Cake, "Christmas Stollen", you've ever had!! Delightful, healthy and so yummy!!! Enjoy! Happy holidays to you and your family!!
Add the other ingredients with gobs of yummy dried fruits and nuts. And don’t forget the Anise Seed or Extract & Ginger 🙂
Let rise in warm place for 1 hour 🙂
Ready to shape dough into 2-4 round loaves or 2 braids
Christmas Stollen made with Hawaiian Bread recipe is a perfect addition to your holiday parties and gift giving! I like to sprinkle “snow” on top 🙂 with a dusting of powdered sugar after bread has cooled a bit.
Ella, Sadie and I love to play outside in our Snow….Pacific Northwest Wonderland!!!
(Sadie, chocolate lab, is 15 yrs. old now and Ella, is 9 months. They are besties 🙂
Merry Christmas, and may you enjoy wonderful moments with your family and friends this holiday season! Have a peaceful, joyous, and safe holiday!
Best to you always, Lavender Lady
This blog is about my day to day life on a Lavender Farm.