Tag Archives: Cooking with Lavender

Lavender Blue ~ I Love Cooking With You!

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Ella loves you 2

 

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-fat Blondie is one of my favorite cookie bars!! It’s so luscious and gooey, sure to drive your Sweethearts wild, begging for more 🙂

Enjoy! Happy baking!

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Lavender Blondies
Author: 
Recipe type: Gooey Cookie Bar
 
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.
Ingredients
  • 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
Instructions
  1. 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)

Chewy, gooey, and simply delicious!! Begin with Organic Lavender Blue, English culinary lavender , “Signature Blend“.

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Add all ingredients, and stir gently with love.

Lavender Blondies12Lavender Blondies10Pour 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!Lavender Blondies9Lavender Blondies8Allow the Blondies to cool completely. Then lift out of the pan, and cut into squares.

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Enjoy these delicious Blondie treats with your sweethearts! Have a lovely Valentines Day!

Lots of Hugs,

Lavender Lady

Molasses Herbs de Provence Bread That Will Delight Your Senses!

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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!

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Best Herbs de Provence HRL Spice Blend pic

Molasses Herbs de Provence Bread
Author: 
Recipe type: Bread
Cuisine: American
Serves: 24
 
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!!
Ingredients
  • 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)
Instructions
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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!!

IMG_3634Happy 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!

Lavender Lady

Lavender Brownies For My Shweetheart

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I love these lavender brownies! They’re moist, and chewy,with a delicate floral flavor, that compliments the chocolate perfectly!! Love at first bite!! 🙂 Makes a delicious Valentine’s Day Treat <3

Lavender Brownies

3/4 pounds (3 sticks) unsalted butter
3 cups organic sugar
6 eggs
2 Tablespoons ground culinary English Lavender
3/4 teaspoons salt
3 teaspoons vanilla
2 cups Cocoa (unsweetened Dutch-process)
1 cup Porter Beer
1/2 cup nuts (walnuts or pecans) optional
3 cups flour

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 13 x 9 inch baking dish.
Mix together butter, sugar, and eggs. Blend well.
Then add lavender, vanilla, and beer. Mix slowly.
In another medium bowl add cocoa, flour, nuts, and salt.
Blend into the butter mixture. Mix until just combined.
Pour into the prepared pan and smooth the top.
Bake for 35-45 minutes, until a toothpick inserted
in the center comes out mostly clean.

Enjoy with vanilla Ice Cream on top, or just plain with a glass of cold milk. What could be better? 🙂

Happy Valentine’s Day to you!! Share a little LOVE with someone that you know. It will bring a smile to their face, and warm their heart and yours!!  <3 <3

Love Bluebird Winter Days

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Fresh baked Provence Herb Focaccia Bread for dinner! Ahhh..the released aroma of freshly baked bread fills my house, and warms my senses!  On these slower, cold winter days, I spend most of my day inside and I enjoy quality time on my favorite hobbies like baking rustic breads, reading, watching movies, pinning photos of our Lavender Farm on Pinterest, “eating”, and sipping lavender herbal tea!

I love to get outdoors for a brisk walk with our two dogs, Sadie and Gunther. The day I took this photo, it was such an extremely gorgeous, cold, yet Bluebird day, with few clouds in the sky. Just perfect!  The lavender plants sit dormant in the warm winter sun. Calm and peaceful is the feeling I have as I walk around our lavender farm taking in the beauty. 🙂

Today I received an order for one pound of our bulk loose lavender, for our customer making sachets out of lovely Doilies! Wonderful idea… in fact I’ve made a few similar sachets for a few of my friends. It makes a beautiful gift to give, that is handmade, personal, and given with love 🙂  <3 Maybe a great idea for next month on “Valentine’s Day” <3

Below is my favorite recipe for Focaccia Bread. A wonderful, quick flat bread with herbs, and lots of yummy flavor!

Provence Herb Focaccia

For the dough:

2 teaspoon instant yeast
1 1/2 cup white unbleached flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 cup oatmeal or ground flax seed
1 teaspoon sea salt
3 Tablespoons Rosemary
1 1/2 Tablespoons Provence Culinary Lavender
2 Tablespoons honey
6 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

For the topping:

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon sea salt

Make the dough: Add 1 1/2 cups of warm “to touch” water in mixer bowl. Then add yeast, white flour, honey, and let sit 10 minutes to “proof”.  Then add olive oil, and salt, and mix 5 minutes. Add remaining ingredients, whole wheat flour, oatmeal or ground flax seed, rosemary, Provence culinary lavender, and mix to make a soft dough that does not stick to the sides of the bowl. (Add a few more tablespoons of flour if necessary) Place dough on floured counter top and knead 5-8 times. Place dough in large oiled bowl; cover with towel or plastic wrap, and let rise until doubled, about 1 hour. (Or let it rise in the refrigerator for 24 hours; return to room temperature before proceeding, about 1 1/2 hours)

Cut the dough in half. Place on 2 oiled 11×17 baking sheets. (Apply oil to hands to prevent dough from sticking). Push out dough with your fingers and palm, until it extends almost to the sides of the sheet. (you may need to let the dough rest 8 minutes for it to stretch easily) Then press out toward sides again.

Topping: Mix the olive oil with 1/4 cup of room-temperature water and the salt. Pour over the focaccias. Sprinkle 2 teaspoons Hood River Lavender Spice Blend on top. Dimple with your fingers; let rise at room temperature for 35-45 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Bake 12-15 minutes. This recipe also works great for making Mini Pizza Crust. Children will enjoy covering crust with topping, making a personal mini pizza! 🙂 You will need to extend the cooking time if necessary.
**It is also great to add olives, sundried tomatoes, and chopped garlic on top before baking.**

Recipe adapted from Fox 12 Oregon. ENJOY 🙂

Lavender Butter And Citrus Lavender Herb Butter

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I love to add this Lavender Honey Butter to my toasted rustic wholegrain breads, that I make!  The delicate flavor of the lavender honey butter combined with the robust flavor of whole grains is amazing & heavenly! 🙂

Lavender Butter

1/4 lb unsalted butter room temp
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon dried culinary “Provence 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. I’ve made this butter w/o the honey, and it’s wonderful too 🙂

Citrus Lavender Herb Butter

6 oz (1 1/2) unsalted butter
1 tblsp grated lime zest
1 tblsp grated lemon zest
1/4 c fresh lime juice
1/4 c fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 tbls lavender vinegar or raspberry vinegar
1tblsp honey mustard
1/2 tsp wasabi powder
1/4 c fresh celantro leaves chopped
1/4 c minced chives
2 shallots minced
1 tblsp grated fresh ginger
1 tblsp minced garlic
In a food processor, combine the butter, lime zest, lemon zest,juices, vinegar mustard, and wasabi. Blend until smooth. Add the cilantro, chives, shallots, ginger, and garlic. Blend until mixed well.

These recipes adapted from The Lavender Cookbook by Sharon Shipley.

Lavandula angustifolia (common, or true lavender) is often used in the kitchen, an ingredient in blends of Herbes de Provence and our own Hood River Spice Blend.

Whole Grain Bread with Lavender Honey Butter


 

 

Share Some Lovin’…Ma Cherie!

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 With Valentine’s Day around the corner, I think about Love & Chocolate… especially Chocolate Cake! Awww…”Ma Cherie”!! 

It’s time to pull out me favorite “Heart” shaped baking pan, that was handed down from my Grandfather Carson. He was a Pastry Chief, owner of “Carson’s Bakery” in Juneau, Alaska, from 1936-1974. And for two years he was head Baker on the Alaskan Ferry Boat.

I was born in Juneau, and one of my childhood memories was a trip to Grandpa Carson’s Bakery for fresh baked Maple Bars! OMG… The amazing aroma filled his bakery, and such a luscious, melt in my mouth sweet aromatic taste!! I can hardly resist Maple Bars to this day 🙂 That started my love for baking, I’m sure!

Grandpa’s Heart pans are well “loved”, like the velveteen rabbit, with many years of use baking Heart cakes and Pies. I’ve often thought about being a pastry chief, due to growing up with a mother who also baked bread, and pastries often,  just like her father. I especially enjoy baking, experimenting with a variety of herbs and flavors in breads, and pastries for family and friends to enjoy 🙂  I love chocolate and lavender together, so today I’m baking a Chocolate Cake with Lavender Mocha Frosting.

I told my mother that I baked a chocolate cake with Grandpa’s Heart cake pans, a Flourless Chocolate Cake. She said, “why do you want to leave things out when you bake”. I laughed until it hurt. 🙂 I said, “I love experimenting with different recipes,  and now it’s Gluten Free”.  My husband says this cake is, “Sinfully decadent”!! I think it’s lavishly rich, and Heavenly!

Chocolate Cake w/ Lavender Mocha Frosting

(Flourless – Gluten free)

Ingredients:
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, plus more for pan
¼ cup sifted unsweetened Hershey’s Cocoa powder, plus more for pan
6 ounces semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
5 large eggs
½ cup sugar
½ teaspoon salt

1. Preheat the oven to 375’. Butter the bottom and sides of an 8-inch round cake pan (I used an 8 inch heart pan) line bottom with a parchment round. Butter parchment and dust all over with cocoa powder shaking out excess: set aside.
2. In a medium heatproof bowl set over, not in, a pan of simmering water, melt chocolate and butter; cool to room temperature.
3. Using an electric mixer on high, beat eggs, sugar, and salt until light and foamy, about 2 minutes.
4. Gently fold ¼ of egg mixture into cooled chocolate mixture to lighten the chocolate. Then gently fold chocolate mixture into remaining egg mixture until marbled. Fold in cocoa powder. Spoon into prepared pan, smoothing the top. Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until center still feels soft and top has a thin crust.
5. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Run a metal spatula around the sides of pan and invert; remove parchment. Invert again so cake is right side up. When cooled add *Lavender Mocha Frosting. This recipe was altered a tad from Everyday Baking OPB.

*Lavender Mocha Frosting

6 Tbsp Cocoa 6 Tbsp butter, room temperature
8 Tbsp hot coffee 1 tsp vanilla
3 tsp English culinary lavender and 1 tsp Provence culinary lavender(for a more bold, rich flavor)
3 cups powdered sugar

In a small bowl add hot coffee and the culinary lavender, infuse for 15 minutes. Strain lavender out using fine strainer. Combine cocoa and coffee. Add vanilla and butter, beat until smooth. Add powdered sugar and blend well. Frost cooled Chocolate Cake with a generous amount of frosting (You might like a touch of  Whipped Cream on top)  🙂

Enjoy sharing some lovin’, and have a wonderful Valentine’s Day! There’s nothing better than a good friend, except a good friend with chocolate!  Will you Be Mine! Ma Cherie! <3                      

 

 

 

 

Coconut Lavender Balls

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Yummy Holiday cookie!! Makes 20-36

Ingredients:   (*Vegan option)
1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks), softened
1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar, (more for dusting)
2 cups all-purpose flour *2 cups Brown Rice Flour
1/4 teaspoon salt         *2 teaspoons Xanthan Gum
2 cups sweetened flaked coconut
1 Tablespoons culinary lavender (Signature Blend-English)

Preparation:
-Preheat oven to 350′.
-Cream butter, culinary lavender, and 1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar using large mixer on medium speed, until light & fluffy. Mix in the flour and salt on lowest setting until they are well combined. Stir in coconut with large spatula.
-Place parchment paper on a baking sheet. Roll dough into 1-2 inch balls, spreading them 2-inches apart.

-Bake for 17-25 minutes (depending on size)

-Allow the warm balls to cool 3-4 minutes, then roll in confectioners’ sugar, let cool.

Relax & enjoy a few cookies with a friend, and a warm cup of Lavender Chai Mate’ Tea or Soy Nog!

Holiday blessings and cheer to you & yours!

This recipe was altered a tad from Martha Stewart’s recipe

We Love them!!! 🙂

Novice Cooks Take Delight

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I filled an order today for one of our most popular product, Organic Culinary Lavender.  One dozen packages of our Organic Provence Culinary Lavender is going to a Culinary School in Ohio. Cooking with lavender can hold a certain mystique, and some say you need to aquire a taste for it. With my curiosity for cooking with herbs, I love to experiment the variety of different flavors.  Whether it is garnishing a dessert with a lavender sprig, or a lavender-infused beverage, I just love incorporating lavender into my everyday meals for unique new flavors. My all time favorite is Lavender Scones, served with Vanilla Lavender Pear Jelly, and cream. Yummy! One of Joe’s favorites is Lavender Grilled Salmon or Stealhead. Enjoy recipes with the delicate, intriguing, and elusive, floral flavor of lovely lavender. That’s a mouth full:) !!!

We have some of our favorite recipes here: Lavender Recipes

Cooking with Lavender

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Lavender Recipes
Lavender Recipes

Today I made some Lavender Mint Shortbread dough. I wrapped it in saran wrap, and refrigerated it for a few days, so the flavors could meld together. I’ll bake them this weekend for a Breast Cancer fund raiser we’re doing at our lavender farm. This is my favorite cookie recipe. It’s a beautiful unique combination of flavors with Culinary Lavender and mint. I add 2 tablespoons Culinary Lavender “Signature Blend”, and 1 tablespoon mint to a simple basic shortbread recipe. Enjoy something special!!(check-out some recipes here!