Category Archives: Lavender Recipes

Lavender Harvest Celebration

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This weekend is Harvest Festival weekend in our beautiful Hood River Valley!! We will be serving samples of my famous hot fall drink, “Lavender Ginger Cider” at our lavender farm! Our retail cottage is stocked with tons of luxurious lavender products for the weekend, including our culinary lavender, “Signature Blend” & “Provence“. Joe lavender just brought several dozen “Grosso” lavender plants out of the greenhouse. It’s not too late to get these starter plants in the Dirt 🙂 We’ve had the most awesome warm sunny fall this year, and it’s encouraged our English Lavender to explode with a lovely 2nd bloom! 🙂 Many folks have cut their own beautiful fragrant lavender posies to take home and enjoy!! What a delight for young and old, making memories on the farm!! 

Here is a wonderful, irresistible Lavender Cinnamon Pear Skillet Cake for you to enjoy with your family. Perfect with a hot cup of lavender ginger cider on a cool fall evening! Enjoy!!

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Lavender Cinnamon Pear Skillet Cake
Author: 
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 8-12
 
This cake is irresistible and delicious with it's delightful delicate flavor of cinnamon, lavender and fresh local Bartlett or Anjou Pears!!
Ingredients
  • 4 Pears, peeled & cored
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour (I used ½ cup whole wheat flour & ½ cup all-purpose flour)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons organic English culinary lavender "Signature Blend" (finely ground)
  • ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temp.
  • 1 cup sugar (I used ½ cup honey)
  • 1 egg, room temp.
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven at 350 degrees. Butter inside of 8-9" cast-iron skillet. You can scale the recipe up or down if your skillet is a different size. I doubled the recipe since I used a 12" cast-iron skillet. Chop 2 pears, and slice the remaining 2 for top of cake. Sift flour, baking powder, cinnamon, culinary lavender & salt in small mixing bowl. In stand mixer, mix the butter and sugar (I used honey) together on medium speed for about three minutes, then add egg and vanilla and blend on medium speed approx. three minutes, scraping sides of bowl if needed. Reduce speed to low, and add flour mixture mixing until blended. Use a rubber spatula to fold pears into the batter. Pour the batter into your skillet & spread out evenly. Fan the pear slices out on top of the batter. Place skillet on middle rack of oven & bake 35-45 minutes until golden brown and toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. I increased cooking time for several to minute intervals, checking with toothpick until center of cake was done. (You might need to bake longer if you're using large pears & doubling the recipe) Enjoy with fresh whipping cream or ice cream! This cake has a delightful delicate flavor of cinnamon, lavender and fresh pears making it irresistible and delicious!!! (adapted from vintage cakes)

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These Beautiful upick lavender bouquets were cut this month…. October 😀  Amazing!! I love it!!!

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We look forward to seeing you this coming weekend. Bring family and friends, and have fun at our celebration of this years bountiful harvest!! 🙂 Ohhh….I Love all the fresh local Pears & Apples from our beautiful Hood River Valley!!!! 🙂  Check out many varieties of locally grown fresh pears & apples and other events going on at different farms on the Fruit Loop! We have several picnic tables for you to enjoy a picnic, if you like, at our lavender farm.

We are truly thankful for all our customers that visited us during this past season and also online! You bring joy and delight into our lavender world! Cheers to Fall and the bounty of the season!!

Fall Cheers! Lavender Lady 🙂

It’s Green All Around Our Lavender Farm

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Happy Mother’s Day to all our wonderful Mother’s out there!! <3  And Happy May!
I love seeing all the green around our farm!! The spring rain that we had yesterday and today will definitely encourage lots of new growth of flowers and weeds alike….Time to get into the “rhythm of the season”…the natural process of things in the garden, and farming. It starts with a Dream, lots of intention, action, patience, more action, more patience, Faith, a Vision, more Action with garden gloves, trowel, hoe & shovel 🙂  Oh the joy, and reward farming brings!! I love spending time on my farm, breathing the fresh country air, and the wonderful smell after the cool spring rain!! There’s so much energy that flows into my bones & muscles when I’m outside on the farm working, or when I just relax on a bench! 🙂
 As I gaze across our fields of lavender plants, I anticipate this summers blooming beauties, their heavenly fragrance and all the wonderful folks that will visit our farm! 🙂 My heart jumps at the thought of it happening again little by little…day by day our farm will transform, and 1000’s of lovely bees and birds will enjoy our organic space with us.. Serene, quiet, and peaceful  <3
These two ladies visited yesterday, shopped in my retail cottage, then enjoyed a few moments relaxing, blowing bubbles together! Yes, blowing bubbles in the rain!!…it’s exhilarating & joyful, you should try it 🙂
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This is our “10th” year at our Upick farm!!We are Super excited about the season ahead!! We are open for the season now, seven days a week, 10:00-5:00 Monday through Saturday, and 11:00-5:00, Sunday. Yeah!! 🙂
Below is a photo I took last year in July with 1000’s of gorgeous lavender in bloom, and beautiful Mt. Hood! When our farm  transforms the fragrant beauty is amazing, magical, and breath-taking.. delightful eye candy!!
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My first lovely Lupine, “Blue Bonnet”, bursting out of winter sleep with her loveliness for us to enjoy! There will soon be 100’s more to follow, and Iris also 🙂 Be sure to visit this month to see the wildflower garden at the center of our farm! It will unfold with showy beautiful colors & fragrant aromas. (I will be posting photos daily on Instagram, my handle is: “lavenderlady”, for you to experience each moment with me)  Awe…what joy! 🙂

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I took this photo of our farm early in June facing north toward Mt. Adams in Washington. I love the “splash of color” from the Torch Lilly Red Hot Poker, Kniphofia uvaria, and Shasta Daisies!!
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Bright and cheerful, lovely and fragrant…always sure to bring a Smile!! 😀
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Today I scattered more flower seeds into my Wildflower Garden. These beauties are another lavender-colored flower,  Papaver somniferur. I can hardly wait to see their faces dancing in the breeze. 🙂 Again, I will need patience as I wait on the process, for the seeds to germinate, and the spring rain today will help in that process.
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Oh the Joy of Farming! Happy Spring!
* I want to introduce my newest baby at the farm, Baby Ella 🙂 Here she is with her lavender “green” head wreath, that I made for her, to celebrate May!! And she’s already lovin her green life on a Lavender Farm! 🙂
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Ella is my sweet Joy!!!! 🙂  She is 11 weeks old now, a Lab-Golden Retriever mix. Our 13 yr old Lab, Sadie girl, is a huge help training her. Below, Baby Ella at 8 weeks when I brought her home to our lavender world. 🙂 Precious baby! When I went to pick her out of the large litter of 9 pups…she came up and sat on my foot 🙂 OMGoodness, she was meant for me, she choose me!!  🙂 Sigh….such sweetness!! We <3 her, and Sadie girl is warming up to her silly Puppy energy…the other day Sadie was chewing on Ella’s chew toy, KONG! Good girl Sadie & Ella!
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We are training Ella to be our new Greeter on the Lavender Farm 🙂 The pic above is her first visit to the farm, and she was thrilled to romp around her new lavender world!! And what a fun, fragrant…calm lavender world it is!!
Lavender Lady Essentials
Happy Mother’s Day to all our wonderful, loving, caring, giving Mother’s!! I will be sharing samples of my favorite Lavender Lemonade today and Sunday to celebrate Mother’s that visit 🙂
Our Retail Cottage is bursting with the heavenly, calming aroma of lavender and our soothing, healing, tasty lavender products. When customers visit, I say, “Welcome to our farm & be sure to visit our “aromatherapy cottage”… quaint with a big Aroma”!
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IMG_9996Happy May! Unwind with Lavender!
XX Lavender Lady

 

Lavender Coconut Blueberry Chia Muffins

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We had a fabulous “Soft Opening” weekend! I want to thank all our wonderful visitors that dropped by to enjoy our Spring Celebration with us! This cute couple enjoyed a picnic, others strolled around the garden, many paused to “destress” blowing bubbles with friends & family! Being out in nature is a wonderful tonic to help destress & relax, and that’s just what I experienced this weekend, along with all the visitors. The humming birds were so delightful to watch, fluttering around us, in the warm sunshine & fresh country air 🙂 Heavenly!! I was thrilled that the Pear Orchard adjacent to our lavender farm was at it’s peak beauty for our soft opening weekend!

Spring Cheers!!! 🙂

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IMG_0203Just for laughs 🙂 I took this pic of Cas, on his first visit to our lavender farm! Cool dude!

Here is a recipe of my favorite snack muffin that I carry alone with me when I’m out working “on the farm”! I am baking up 2-3 dozen to freeze, then I’m sure to have a high energy, tasty snack after “digging in the dirt” and tending my Lavender Farm! I hope you will enjoy it as much as I do 🙂

The combined flavors of coconut, culinary lavender, vanilla, and blueberries give this muffin a delicious, tasty, mouth-watering aromatic flavor that you can’t resist!! Coconut flour is an excellent non-grain alternative, with a mild coconut flavor. The coconut flour and chia seeds add a powerhouse of energy, omega 3’s, protein, and fiber, that will keep you powered as you “dig in the dirt” tending your garden. This recipe is GF and Dairy Free!  Good eats <3

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Lavender Coconut Blueberry Chia Muffins
Author: 
Recipe type: (GF and Dairy Free) Healthy Muffins
 
Lavender Coconut Blueberry Chia Muffins are delicious, and filling. Perfect for breakfast on the run, or a snack at tea time. Coconut flour is an excellent, healthy non-grain alternative, with a mild coconut flavor that works great combined with culinary lavender, blueberries, and vanilla. Enjoy!
Ingredients
  • 1 cup organic coconut flour
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 Tablespoon ground culinary lavender(I used our Signature Blend-English Lav.)
  • ½ cup + 2 tablespoons raw honey
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 5 eggs (I used 3 whole and 2 whites only)
  • 4 Tablespoons organic coconut oil, melted
  • 4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 4 Tablespoons organic Chia Seeds (I used 2 Tablespoons ground Chia Seeds)
  • 1 cup fresh organic blueberries (I used 1 cup dried blueberries)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place coconut flour, salt and baking soda in mixing bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk honey, coconut milk, eggs, coconut oil and vanilla. Gently stir wet mixture into dry ingredients, and then add ground chia seeds & blueberries. Pour batter into greased or lined muffin tins, filling ¾ full. Bake for 25 minutes until muffins begin to turn golden brown and cooked through. Immediately remove from tins and cool on rack. Enjoy with a cup of your fav beverage 🙂 Recipe adapted from Nutiva.com.

Lavender Coconut Blueberry Chia Muffins

Makes 1 doz. muffins.
Coconut flour is an excellent non-grain
alternative, with a mild coconut flavor. This recipe is GF and Dairy Free!

1 cup organic Coconut Flour
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 Tablespoon ground culinary lavender(I used our Signature Blend-English Lavender)
1/2 cup + 2 Tablespoon raw honey
1 cup coconut milk
5 eggs (I used 3 whole & 2 egg whites only)
4 Tablespoon organic Coconut Oil, melted
4 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 Tablespoon organic Chia Seeds (I used 2 Tbsp ground Chia Seeds)
1 cup fresh organic blueberries (I used 1 cup dried blueberries)

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Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place coconut flour, salt and baking soda
in mixing bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk honey, coconut milk, eggs, coconut oil
and vanilla. Gently stir wet mixture into dry ingredients, and mix in ground
chia seeds & blueberries. Scoop batter into greased or lined muffin tin,
filling 3/4 full. Bake for 25 minutes until muffins begin to turn golden brown
and cooked through. Immediately remove from tins and cool on rack.

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Gently stir wet ingredients into dry ingredients, and then add ground Chia Seeds & blueberries. (It will look really wet at first, then instantly the coconut flour will absorb the liquids as you blend it all together)

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Scoop batter into greased or lined muffin tins, filling 3/4 full. Bake for 25 minutes until muffins begin to turn golden brown. I like to insert a tooth pic to check center of muffins, and if tooth pic comes out clean then muffins are done. Immediately remove from tins and cool on rack.

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Enjoy a warm muffin with a soothing cup of tea or coconut milk..breathe & relax a few moments. I love adding the delicious aromatic flavor of lavender to my culinary delights!! The combined flavors of lavender, blueberries, vanilla, honey and coconut milk lend an amazing delicious flavor to these Lavender Blueberry Chia Muffins.  And the coconut flour and chia seeds adds a powerhouse of energy, omega 3’s, and fiber, that will keep you reaching for another one at snack-time 🙂    (Recipe adapted from Nutiva.com)

What’s you favorite lavender recipe?
XX Lavender Lady

 

Spring Lovin’ Celebration On The Farm

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I just love this time of year! Many lovely flowers are showing sign of new growth in our Wildflower Garden and around our Lavender Farm. I get excited when I stroll around the path in our wildflowers, and see little green flowers sprouting up everywhere! Then I spot the newly developed foliage of my favorite color splash, Papaver nudicaule (Iceland Poppy)! Oh, such a lovely giant, pink Papaver nudicule, like an umbrella amid many other lovely flowers! I can’t wait to see her again, standing tall with the lovely purple Lupine!!
An amazing transformation will occur in our wildflower garden sometime in May, as 100’s of beautiful, fragrant flowers burst out in their gorgeous Beauty for us to see! 🙂 My heart jumps at the vision in my mind of all these flowers dancing together!  What a beauteous aroma and sight it will be!! I love my job, out in nature, on the lavender farm! The picture with my sweet dog, Sadie, is what our wildflowers look like now!!
Sadie joins us in the fun, digging in the dirt, and sleeping in the warm sunshine! Awe…even our farm dog has a Good Life!! :-
Spring Gardening with one of my wonderful helpers, whooping on those weeds! Teamwork makes gardening fun out in the fresh country air! I hope you have a small garden to enjoy nature, because it’s soothing & refreshing to the soul 🙂
Best blog Sadie
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Our lavender plants are all getting a “trim”, and don’t they look Pretty 🙂 We are preping the farm for our “soft opening, April 19th and 20th, 10:00-5:00! We will be celebrating Spring,”Blossom Festival Weekend”, along with many other farms on our Fruit Loop in our gorgeous Hood River Valley. Here is a link to some of the other events that will be happening that weekend: http://hoodriver.org/
Our lovely lavender blooms in June, but our wildflower garden has many lovely flowers just beginning to poke the heads up, so be sure to bring your camera when you come out to visit us. We will have our Retail Cottage stocked with all our luxurious lavender products. Here is a link to our website:http://hoodriverlavender.com/ We will also have many small lavender starter plants on sale, and samples of Lavender Lemon Cookies, and Lavender Gorge Wind Tea. We hope you will plan to stop by, enjoy a luscious lavender lemon cookie, lavender tea, and celebrate Spring with us.
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I love to incorporate lavender’s aromatic flavor into my recipes, and I’ll be glad to share this recipe for my Lavender Lemon Cookie. It’s light, delicious, and delightful for a Spring Luncheon or Tea Party! I’ve created adorable Bunny’s and Easter Eggs using vintage cookie cutters from my dear Grandfather, who was a Baker in Juneau Alaska. <3

Lavender Lemon Cookie
Author: 
Recipe type: Cookie
Cuisine: American
Serves: 3 dozen
 
Light & delicious cookies, delightful for your Spring Luncheon or Tea Party!
Ingredients
  • 2 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 eggs, well beaten
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 Tablespoons English Lavender (Signature Blend-finely ground)
  • 2½ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
Instructions
  1. In a mixing bowl, cream butter, sugar, salt and ground lavender until fluffy. Add the beaten eggs, vanilla and mix well. Then add lemon juice and mix well. Add in flour and mix on slow speed just until dough comes together. (don't over mix) Divide the dough into two mounds and place each between two pieces of wax paper. Flatten into rounds about ½" thick. Chill in the fridge for at least one hour. (I like to chill the dough for 3-4 days before baking, which allows the wonderful flavor of lavender & lemon to meld together)
  2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Flour your work surface well. Take half of the dough out of the fridge. Roll out the dough with a floured rolling pin, taking care not to overwork the dough. Cut out shapes with you favorite cookie cutters. I'm using two vintage cookie cutters, a bunny & egg, which belonged to my dear Grandfather, who was a Baker in Juneau Alaska. 🙂 Carefully move the cookie shapes to a parchment covered cookie sheet, and place them ½ inch apart. Bake until the cookies are slightly golden, about 6-8 minutes. Use a thin spatula to move the cookies to cooling rack. Ice your cookies with colored icing and sprinkles, if you like. Enjoy a warm one with milk or Tea! Happy Spring & Happy Easter! (Recipe adapted from Celebrate Lavender Festival Cookbook, Sequim)

Bunny and eggEaster Cookieslav Lemon Cookies Time to hop into the oven now 😉

IMG_7732I decided to decorate my cookies with a pale pink cream icing….and add a few sparkles 🙂

IMG_7741Yea, it’s not all natural, but it looks cute 🙂 And I just love sparkles!

IMG_7759Enjoy baking these delicate, luscious Lavender Lemon Cookies! I will look forward to seeing each of you at our Spring Celebration!!

Lovin Spring! Lavender Lady XX

 

 

Spring Into Lavender Green Cleaning!

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I’ve been outside the past few days working in the dirt, weeding, pruning lavender plants, and wildflowers at our farm. It feels so good to be outside at the farm again, and have dirt under my fingernails 🙂  I’ve been dreaming about it!! I love feeling the warm sunshine on my face, and the sweet song of the birds! Spring is Springing up around our lavender farm, and there are a few early Spring flowers blooming, Rock Cress, Snowdrops, Crocus, and Daffodils!Best dirty Work at lavBest Pic Spring

 

Now I need to delve into the dirty work in my house and get some spring cleaning done…however, I’d much rather be outside in the garden 🙂 Sigh…

To start I might grab some of our Lavender Hydrosol from our Lavandin X-Intermedia and spritz it around the house. I could also, just use a bottle of our 100% natural All Purpose Cleaner (which has a base of our lavender hydrosol along with several dirt & grease fighting natural essential oils), and get started on my household dirty work.

Did you know that lavender essential oil and lavender hydrosol (plant water or distillate water) have beautiful antibacterial, antiseptic, and  anti-fungal  properties, which makes them perfect for your natural lavender green cleaning…and they bring that fresh smell of a lavender fields into your home as well 🙂

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Our All Purpose Cleaner is made with 100% Pure Botanicals, and is Organic. Several years back I started making my own cleaner out of our organic lavender hydrosol because of it powerful disinfectant properties. A majority of the ingredients come directly from our lavender plants. The base is our Organic Lavender Hydrosol, and into it I added 7 pure “powerhouse” plant essentials oils, which are also antibacterial, antiseptic, and anti-fungal.

No harsh chemicals in this lovely product, just natural plant cleaning power…Hooray! I get very excited about that, because I have occupational dermatitis in my hands, from being a Cosmetologist/Aesthetician for 26 years. I “never” use cleaning products that contain chemicals now. I just spray on my All Purpose Cleaner and follow up with a hot soapy cloth or mop. This cleaner is safe for the user and the environment! It cuts grease, dirt & buildup on floors, walls, counter-tops, sinks, tubs, toilets, kitchen, diaper pails, doorknobs, and even mirrors, without streaks, while it deodorizes with a naturally pure fresh & clean aroma!

I started a cleaning routine several years ago when my daughter was young. We started a list of different chores that needed to be done, whose job it was, and how often it would be done. Then we set a timer, and worked steady to complete the task in 15 minutes, or as close to that as possible. So, we were essentially just doing 15 minute clean-up’s..not “Household Chores” that drug on all afternoon..heh!  Just changing the name to “15 minute clean-up” made all the difference!! So get your team together, that means everybody that lives in the house, roll up your sleeves, and get lavender-green with your cleaning! You can keep your home clean, and your family healthy, and that includes your pet area, by simply making your own household cleaner or using our organic All Purpose Cleaner.

I’m hooked, and many of our customers are also hooked on our lovely 100% natural cleaner. They tell me, they can’t believe how beautiful and fresh the aroma of their house is after cleaning with it.. like a field of lavender flowers! So get into your Lavender Green “15 minutes clean-up” and clean with enjoyment! Your house will soon begin to sparkle, and the aroma will be sweet & fresh as our  fragrant lavender! Breathe…sigh…SMILE 🙂

How Toxic are Your Household Cleaners?

Lavender Lady Essentials:
Next time you clean your toilet
bowl, try adding 1/2 cup baking
soda for scrubbing out any hard
water stains. First add 1 cup
All Purpose Cleaner into the
toilet bowl, then pour in 1/2 cup
baking soda, and let it set
10 minutes. Swish it around and
scrub until it sparkles 🙂

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Happy Spring! Even our sweet lab, Sadie is happy about warmer days! Cheers to lovely fragrant flowers and warm sunshine! It’s time for a celebration, with a Spring Garden Party! I brought my little lavender doll out to the garden for some fresh air and sunshine. We’re enjoying sunny lavender lemon cookies…num num!

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Awe..this birds nest in my Wild Rose bush captures the season of Spring so well…it displays the beauty of new life! Happy Spring to you all!!!

Lavender Lady XX

 

Slow Down And Get Energy….It’s Tea Time!

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There are few things as satisfying as a warm cup of tea in the afternoon or cool evening.

Many teas contain a number of powerful anti-oxidants, anti-inflammatory, immune boosting compounds. Today I’m enjoying our mushroom tea, “Wunder Shroom Tea“. I feel the need to boost and strengthen my immune system, and energy level. Our Wonder-Shroom Tea contains Shiitake, Reishi, and Maitake Mushrooms. We’ve taken great care combining only superior quality organic mushrooms in this blend, to obtain the highest level of taste and still achieve a high level of healthy polysaccharides. The outcome is a wonderfully delicious golden tea, with the aroma and taste of gourmet mushrooms with a super powerful punch of health benefits. Each mushroom has special health benefits making a wonderful soothing, refreshing and healthy “earthy” tea, designed to promote “health and energy”. It is a powerhouse for the Immune support system that encourages health, reduces Blood Pressure, and lowers Cholesterol.

So, you might be thinking, “why mushroom tea on a Lavender Farm website?“, good question. 🙂 Easy answer… it’s “Good for my health and heart”, and for the rest of you as well! We wanted our favorite customers to know about these amazingly powerful, healthy plant-based Fungi!! We care, and want you to feel invigorated, healthy and have a strong immune system! When my husband & I began drinking this Tea, we began to have more energy, and our bodies felt stronger, with less colds and viruses!! So…now Mushrooms and Lavender walk…. “Hand in Hand”, keeping our hearts and bodies healthier and happy!

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Shiitake mushrooms, also known as Japanese Forest Mushroom, have exceptional culinary and medicinal qualities. They are known for antiviral and immune-boosting capabilities. Shiitake are 13-18% protein, and high in amino acids: leucine, and lysine, and have high-level of minerals and vitamins. The benefits of eating Shiitake Mushrooms are well-documented. In Japan it is taken to prevent heart disease as it regulates both high and low blood pressure, and anti-inflammatory benefits improve stomach and duodenal ulcers, neuralgia, gout, constipation and hemorrhoids. Shiitake also improve energy, generate stamina, and enhance the complexion.

Reishi mushrooms (Ganoderma Lucidum) have long been used in the Orient, and considered to be the most potent of all fungi. They are known in China as Ling Chi. Reishi are known for their immune-stimulating properties and are traditionally dried, steeped, and then consumed in a tea. The Japanese government has officially recognized Reishi mushroom as a treatment for cancer.

Maitake (Grifola frondosa) known as Hen of the Woods, are highly valued for their medicinal properties as well. Recent in vitro studies at the National Cancer Institute have shown significant activity against the HIV virus when tested through its Anti-HIV Drug Testing System under the Developmental Therapeutics Program. Maitake medicinal properties include reduction of blood pressure, diabetes, cholesterol, chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS).

I usually make a quart of Wunder-Shroom Tea and drink a small 2 oz. “Cocktail” Tea each morning with my coffee. It’s best to drink on an empty stomach. The mushrooms in the tea may be used more than once, making a subsequent “batch” that is a slight bit weaker, but still nutritious and tasty. <3

Now is the time for you to feel Strong! How about a Boost! Drink your mushrooms….It’s Good For Your Health 🙂

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Cheers to Spring & Healthy You!!

XX Lavender Lady

 

Pita Bread For Your Valentine’s Day

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IMG_5199Easy Pita Bread! Fun for the whole family 🙂 

One of my favorite ethnic foods is Middle Eastern Cuisine and I’ve always wanted to make Pita Bread. I was pleasantly pleased with this recipe. I simplified the original recipe, making it easy to understand and follow (I think anyway). It’s fun to make and extremely delicious warm out of the oven or from the grill, with Hummus, Baba Ghanoush and/or Tabouli!!! Perfect healthy Valentine’s Day lunch or dinner!! Get your Pita on… Ha!

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Easy PITA BREAD
Author: 
Recipe type: Bread
Cuisine: Middle Eastern
 
This delicious Pita Bread is wonderful as any meal companion. It's easy and fun for children and adults alike. It takes time to rise, but only 8-10 minutes to bake. High oven heat causes the rounds to steam and puff up, producing a perfect pocket for filling or you can use the dough for flat-bread pizzas. Enjoy!
Ingredients
  • 3 teaspoons yeast
  • 1½ cups lukewarm water
  • 3 cups all purpose flour (I like ½ whole wheat flour & all purpose flour)
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
Instructions
  1. I make this Pita Bread using my large KitchenAid mixer with the dough hook. In a large mixing bowl add 3 teaspoons yeast in 1½ cups lukewarm warm water. Add 1 cup flour, sugar, and stir until dissolved. Let sit for 15-20 minutes until water is foamy. This is called "Proofing" the yeast. Then add salt, olive oil, 1 cup additional flour, and mix for 5 minutes using the dough hook. Then add remaining flour until the dough is no longer sticky and is pulling away from the sides of the bowl. Place dough on floured surface and knead for 8-10 times. Coat large bowl with more olive oil and place the dough in the bowl. Turn dough upside down so all of the dough is coated with oil. Cover with a towel or plastic wrap, allow to rise in a warm place for about 2-3 hours, or until it has doubled in size.
  2. Place dough on a well floured surface and shape into a long rope. Cut dough into small pieces about the size of a golf ball. Dust pieces with flour, cover with a towel, and allow them to rise 10 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 500 degrees, and make sure rack is at the very bottom of oven. Also, preheat your baking sheet. I use baking stones which always stay in my oven. I place my pita rounds on parchment paper to rise, then slid the parchment paper with pita rounds off baking sheet onto the preheated baking stones to bake.
  4. Dust each piece with flour again. Roll each piece on a well floured surface with a rolling pin into 6-8 inch circles, about ¼ inch thick. Place each circle on a baking sheet that has been lightly dusted with flour, and allow to rise another 10 minutes. Bake until they have began to puff up, about 4-5 minutes. Turn over and bake an additional 3-4 minutes. Stack the baked Pita Bread on a cooling rack on top of each other, and press the air out of the pocket. Continue to roll out each piece as before, and allow to rise 10 minutes covered with towel. Bake all the rounds. You might also want to try cooking your pita bread on the grill or stove top in a cast iron pan. Preheat your cast iron pan on medium high, add one flat pita round at a time, and grill 2-3 minutes, then flip over and cook 3 minutes until lightly brown and puffed up. If some don't puff as much as others, don't worry, they will still be delicious "flat bread" 🙂
  5. Pita bread can be stored for up to a week in a cool place, or up to a month in the freezer. Adapted from: mideastfood.about.com.pitabreadrecipe

Pita Bread
This delicious Pita Bread is perfect and wonderful as any meal companion. It’s easy and fun to make for children and adults alike. It takes time to rise, but only 8-10 minutes to bake. High oven heat causes the rounds to steam and puff up, producing a perfect pocket for filling or you can use the dough for flat-bread pizzas…baked in a heart shape <3 Enjoy.

Ingredients:
3 teaspoons yeast
1 1/2 cup lukewarm water
3 cups all purpose flour  Option:1/2 Whole Wheat Flour & 1/2 All Purpose Flour
1 1/4 teaspoon salt
1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
1 teaspoon organic sugar

Dissolve yeast in 1 1/2 cup lukewarm water. Add 1 cup flour, sugar, and stir until dissolved. Let sit for 10-15 minutes until water is foamy. This is Proofing the yeast.

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Add salt, olive oil, and 1 additional cup flour, and mix for 5 minutes. Then add remaining flour until the dough is no longer sticky and is pulling away from the sides of mixing bowl. (Dough hook that I use)

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IMG_5157Place dough on floured surface and knead for 8-10 times. Coat large bowl with more olive oil and place the dough in bowl. Turn dough upside down so all of the dough is coated with oil. Cover with a towel or plastic wrap, allow to rise in a warm place for about 2-3 hours, or until it has doubled in size.

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Place dough on a well floured surface and shape into a long roll. Cut dough into 10-14 small pieces the size of a golf ball. Dust pieces with flour, cover with a towel, and allow them to rise 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, preheat oven to 500 degrees, and make sure rack is at the very bottom of oven. Also preheat your baking sheet. I use baking stones which always stay in my oven. I place my pita rounds on parchment paper to rise, then slid the parchment paper, with pita rounds, off baking sheet onto the preheated baking stones to bake)

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Dust each piece with flour again, then roll flat on a well floured surface with a rolling pin into 6-8 inches circles, about 1/4 inch thick.

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(transferring Pita rounds to parchment covered cookie sheet to rise another 10 minutes)

Place each round on baking sheet that has been covered with parchment paper, allow to rise another 10 minutes. Bake until they begin to puff up, about 4 minutes. Turn over and bake an additional 2-3 minutes. Stack the baked Pita Bread on a cooling rack on top of each other & press the puff down gently with spatula. Continue to roll out each pita as before, and allow to rise 10 minutes covered with towel. Bake all the rounds. (Photo of pita’s baking in the oven. I have parchment paper on top of Baking Stones that I cook the pita’s on)

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You can also cook your pita’s on the grill or stove top in a cast iron pan. Preheat cast iron pan on medium to med-high heat, add pita round, and grill 3-4 minutes, then flip over and cook 3 more minutes until lightly brown and puffed up. Some don’t puff as much as others, don’t worry they will still be delicious flat bread. Photo below is pita cooking in cast iron pan. (I personally love pita’s cooked with this method, because they have a more rustic flavor, close to that of a wood fire oven)

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Pita bread can be stored for up to a week in a cool pantry or bread box, or up to a month in the freezer. Adapted from: mideastfood.about.com.pitabreadrecipe

Enjoy!! <3 Share some Love!

Lavender Lady XOXOX

 

 

Lavender Sunshine Cupcakes for Valentine’s Day

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You may hold my hand for a while, but you hold my heart forever…(unknown author).

It’s that time of year when we can all spread love even if it’s just a simple gesture, touch of your hand or a warm hug. Some of the best ways to show love is spending quality time with someone close to you. I like to make handmade cards and bake a special delightful treat to share with my special sweeties.

Today I’m baking these simple, yet elegant “Lavender Sunshine Cupcakes”! We don’t see the sunshine as much at this time of year, so I’m craving it!! With Valentine’s Day coming up, I wanted to combine the floral aroma of my garden with the yellow of lemons, “sunshine”, making a perfectly delightful flavored cupcake 🙂 IMG_4815IMG_4817IMG_4817IMG_4815IMG_4815IMG_4854

Lavender Sunshine Cupcakes

3 cups pastry flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups sugar
6 ounces (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
4 large eggs
1 teaspoon grated orange zest
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons finely ground culinary lavender
(I used 1 Tblsp English & 1 Tblsp Provence Lavender)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups buttermilk

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line 12 muffin cups with paper liners. This batter makes a lot of cupcakes. Just use your regular muffin pan and bake the cupcakes in batches. Makes 18-20 cupcakes.

Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, & salt into a medium bowl.

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Combine the sugar and butter in a large mixing bowl. Beat with an electric mixer until smooth. Add 1 egg at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the orange zest, lemon zest, lemon juice, lavender and vanilla.

Beginning with the dry ingredients, alternately beat in the flour and the buttermilk in three additions each.

This is a crucial part of this recipe. I leave the mixer running continually on lowest speed, while I add one third of the dry ingredients, and allow it to mix a short while, then I add one third of the buttermilk, while it’s still running. Continue adding alternately until it’s all incorporated in and mixed well.

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Using an ice cream scoop, scoop out the batter into the muffin cups until three-quarters full. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, or until light golden and springy to the touch. Let cool in the pan on a wire rack for 8-10 minutes, then transfer the cupcakes to the rack to cool completely.

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I filled a few with a little too much, but I just cooked them a bit longer..easy problem to solve. If you want your cupcakes uniform in size, which is a good idea, then just add one scant scoop full. 😉 I think my scoop is larger than the average ice cream scoops, but it’s a “Cool” Scoop!  😉

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Bake more batches to use all the batter. Frost each cupcake when completely cooled with Lavender Cream Cheese Frosting *recipe follows, or any Butter Cream Frosting of your choice. I like piping on the icing in little stars, however you could spread it with a table knife also. And of’course add your choice of color to the icing, I prefer to keep it as natural as possible.

*Lavender Cream Cheese Frosting

1 (8oz) package plus 1(3oz)
package cream cheese, at room temp.
1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
IMG_48542 teaspoons grated lemon zest
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon finely ground English
Culinary Lavender
1 1/4 teaspoons vanilla extract
4 3/4 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted

In a large bowl, combine the cream cheese, butter, lemon zest, lemon juice, lavender, and vanilla. Beat with an electric mixer until smooth. On low speed, gradually beat in the confectioners’ sugar and continue beating until smooth. If you plan to pipe on the icing, you might want to add less lemon juice. I just watched the consistency as I added small amounts of lemon juice at a time, leaving out a few drops. 🙂 Recipe adapted from: The Lavender Cookbook by Sharon Shipley

Enjoy a lovely Valentine’s Day with your special person or persons!!

<3 Love is the enchanted dawn of every heart. <3 Love is the power that heals the soul and mends hearts. Jill Harrison <3

XX Lavender Lady

 

Merry Christmas Eve Eve

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Today I’m baking more yummy goodies for my family and friends! This is my favorite Holiday Cookie, Gingerbread Boys, with the addition of our Culinary Lavender! Turn up the Christmas Music, as I get my Christmas on! 🙂
I will decorate some Gingerbread Boys by piping on eyes, mouth, buttons and clothes, giving these cookies their own Joyous expression 🙂 …just in time for Christmas!

It’s beginning to look and smell all Christmassy around our  house!! Hope you are enjoying your Holiday with family and friends! Be safe during your travels, and have a Merry Christmas Eve Eve!!!

Joyful Christmas Cheers!

Lavender Lady

 

Holiday Spiced Chai Coffee Invigorating And Soothing! Heaven In A Cup!

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As I decorate our home for the holidays, I’m sipping on a cup of my favorite Holiday Spiced Coffee!!

I started grinding our Lavender Chai Mate Tea with my coffee beans, and created a delicious invigorating &  soothing energy Spice Coffee! Aww…so Heavenly!! It’s a perfect compliment to breakfast, mid-day or evening drink for the Holidays. My blend for two cups of coffee is: 4 Tablespoons coffee beans, 1 1/2 teaspoon Lavender Chai Mate Tea placed together in a coffee grinder, grind and brew. Enjoy this luscious aroma and full spiced flavor of “Heaven in a cup”!

I’m feeling a little behind the ball these days, so having a cup of Holiday Spiced Chai Coffee, brings me the energy boost, along with a delightful soothing spiced favored coffee! Perfect to assist me in completing my to-do list for the day.

 

Today my dear Mother and I attended an Advent Concert again, and I watched as a tear came to her eye, and her fingers played the notes along with the Organist. Awww….traditions are the most precious, and this is one of my favorites to enjoy at Christmas! It brings to mind fond memories of my childhood anytime I hear a lovely Pipe Organ playing my favorite Christmas Carols. My sweet Mother loved the Organ, and it was her dream to play one, so as she says, “I walked in the snow or rain in Juneau, Alaska, to my Organ teachers house after school for lessons. She played it in the most beautiful way at all the churches we attended as I grew up. To this day, anytime I hear an Organ playing lovely music, especially Christmas Carols, my heart is joyful!  I hope you plan to enjoy an Advent Concert, or some other reflecting outing together with your family or friends, making memories listening to joyous, happy music!

Happy holidays and Christmas Cheer to you! 🙂