Lemon-Lavender Cream Cheese Frosting
- 8 oz. cream cheese, softened
- 8 T butter, softened (1 stick)
- 1 tsp grated lemon zest
- 2T lemon juice
- 1 ½ tsp dried lavender buds. Ground
- ½ tsp vanilla
- 2 1/3 cup confectioners sugar
- Mix cheese, butter and sugar in a food processor or mixer. Add other ingredients until smooth. Can be spread or piped onto cupcakes or cakes.
Lemon Lavender Greek Yogurt Pound Cake
A recipe for incredibly moist Greek yogurt pound cake with tart lemon and flowery lavender.
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/4 tsp. baking powder
- 1/8 tsp. baking soda
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1/2 cup butter, softened
- 1 cup sugar
- 3 eggs
- 3/4 cup (6 ounces, weight) 2% Greek Yogurt (I used Chobani)
- 1 Tbs. lemon juice
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1 tsp. lemon zest
- 1 Tbs. dried lavender
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease one 9×5 (or two 5.75×3 mini) loaf pan and set aside.
- In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the butter. Gradually add the sugar and cream until light and fluffy, about 7 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing each until fully incorporated.
- Slowly add the dry ingredients, alternating with the Greek yogurt, to the creamed butter and sugar and mix just until incorporated. Add the lemon juice, vanilla extract and lemon zest and beat on low just until blended. Gently stir in the lavender.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pan(s) and bake for 30-35 minutes until the edges begin to brown and a toothpick inserted in the center of the loaf comes out clean. Cool in the loaf pans for 10-15 minutes before transferring to a wire rack.
Lavender Honey Vinaigrette
- 2 tbsp lavender honey
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 1/3 -1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- 1/4 -1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 1 large garlic clove, finely minced
- 1/2 tsp coarse Dijon mustard
Combine all ingredients in a jar. Cap, tighten the lid and shake well. Serve at room temperature.
(This is a repost from December 1st, because I somehow had this scheduled to post without a photo, ingredients, or cooking instructions!)
One of the nice things about having a mircogarden is getting to harvest the produce whenever you need. Snow peas and sugar snap peas are super easy to grow, tolerate frosty temperatures, have very few pests, require little maintenance, and the best part is the tendrils and flowers are edible! BONUS! 🙂
Tendrils are the young shoots, stems, leaves, and flowers/flower buds of the plant; they’re essentially the tips/top part of the pea plants. You can see the difference in the “older” leaves as those have a slightly tougher appearance; young leaves are a brighter green.
You can eat the tendrils fresh in a salad or on sandwiches, toss them into your homemade soups at the last minute, sauté them, or even make a veggie stock with them.
- fresh snow pea tendrils, flowers, and baby snow peas~ tendrils and flowers shrink down considerably, so the more you have, the better
- 3 cloves fresh organic garlic ~ peeled, minced
- organic cooking oil
- splash of white wine
- sea salt ~ to taste
- fresh ground black pepper ~ to taste
- Head out to your garden plot and harvest as many fresh tendrils and baby snow peas as you’d like. If you don’t garden, head over to the Farmer’s Market, Whole Foods, or your local Asian grocer. Ask for “pea shoots.” Aim for at least 2 lbs.
- Heat some cooking oil in a large stainless steel pan or pot. Lightly brown the garlic.
- Toss in the tendrils and baby peas; add a splash of white wine. Be careful not to burn yourself if the wine reacts with the oil and sputters!
- Very quickly sauté the tendrils and peas as they wilt quickly. I find that a pair of stainless steel tongs are the best tool to use.
- Remove the pan from the stove and season with sea salt and black pepper.
- Serve hot. Enjoy!
I like to make my own dressings because that’s what my sweet mama frequently did when I was growing up. I have been guilty of purchasing pre-made dressings, but lately I’ve been rather bored of the pricey bottled stuff. A friend inspired me to make my own dressings because, well, I was reminded how fun and adventurous the simple task really is!
This mustard vinaigrette is an amalgamation of several recipes. They all seemed rather similar, omitting and adding 1-2 ingredients, here and there. I call this the “1-2-3” tablespoons recipe. Quite simple to follow! 🙂
Use whatever seasonal veggies pleases you. This is what I did (I was at Whole Foods and couldn’t stop myself!):
- 3 tablespoons habanero mustard ~ add fresh minced habanero if you just have mustard
- 3 tablespoons sweet white wine ~ I used Chardonnay
- 2 tablespoons white distilled vinegar
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon red onion ~ finely chopped
- 1 small clove garlic ~ minced
- coarsely ground black pepper ~ to taste
- sea salt ~ to taste
- Mix dressing well and store in a sealed mason jar. Let the dressing stand for about 30 minutes-1 hour in the fridge (overnight is better).
- Prepare your colorful salad.
- Serve cold. Drizzle vinaigrette over salad. Top with hemp hearts.
- organic frisée ~ roughly torn into pieces
- organic escarole ~ roughly torn into pieces
- organic beets ~ thinly sliced
- organic radishes ~thinly sliced
- early girl tomatoes ~thinly sliced
- organic carrots ~ julienned
- mint & basil from my garden ~ coarsely chopped 🙂
- cucumber from my garden ~thinly sliced 🙂
- hemp hearts ~ I used about 2 tablespoons per serving
I was flipping through some cookbooks and cooking magazines and stumbled upon this recipe: Ceviche with Tuna, Cucumber, and Orange. Unfortunately I did not have oranges, but I did have strawberries, frisée, and some other ingredients so I came up with my own version for dinner. I love the simplicity, color, and combination of flavors and textures. Perfect for a summer meal! Enjoy! 🙂
- 1/4 pound(s) fresh tuna ~ cut in half inch cubes
- sea salt and sugar ~ to taste
- fresh ground black pepper ~ to taste
- 1/4 cup(s) fresh-squeezed lime juice
- 1 English cucumber ~ diced
- 1 head organic frisée (aka curly endive) ~ ends removed, washed thoroughly, spun dry, roughly torn into pieces
- 2 medium organic radishes ~ shaved or sliced very thinly
- 3-5 organic strawberries ~ sliced
- 2 tablespoon(s) red onion ~ finely chopped
- 1 serrano chili (or to taste) ~ finely chopped
- 2 tablespoon(s) olive oil
- 2 tablespoon(s) fresh cilantro ~ chopped
Place the tuna in a glass bowl, sprinkle with salt and cover with lime juice.
Marinate for 3 minutes; marinate 5 minutes if you’d like it more cooked.
Add the red onion, cucumber, and cilantro, season with sea salt, sugar, and black pepper. Mix well.
- Drain the liquid.
- Serve on ceviche bed of frisée. Top with shaved radishes and strawberry slices.
Well? How did everyone do at guessing what the mystery edibles are from the May 17th post? Did you think they were edamame, pea pods, sea veggie, or some alien fruit? These edibles are radish pods, as in the the young, tender seed pods of the plants from those pretty little red-skinned, white-fleshed root veggies. They’re fun to add to any side dish or entrée.
These little fellas taste just like radishes of their variety. For instance, daikon radish pods will taste more piquant like the daikon radish. The ones I have are standard radishes.
Radishes are a cool-weather crop and will bolt (flower and go to seed) when the weather gets warmer. You may have to wait until autumn or early spring to plant your crop of radishes. I usually use an entire pack of seeds in the garden since they’re so easy to grow and mature quickly. I reserve about 12 plants purely for seeds and flowers. Each plant can produce 25-50 pods; I’m able to harvest about a handful each day. By the weekend I have enough to sauté or pickle.
- 2-3 cups fresh organic radish seed pods from your garden ~ washed and drained
- 2-3 medium organic purple shallots ~ washed, peeled, sliced thinly
- 1 large garlic clove ~ washed, peeled, sliced thinly
- 1/2 cup white vinegar
- 1 cup filtered water
- 1 tablespoon sea salt
- 4 teaspoons organic evaporated cane sugar
- whole peppercorns
- Wash and clean your pickling jars and lids in hot (preferably boiling) water. Let them dry.
- In a small pot, bring the filtered water to a quick boil. Remove it from the stove.
- Add the sugar and salt; stir until the sugar and salt have dissolved. Add the vinegar. Let the mixture cool down.
- Evenly divide the radish pods, shallots, garlic, and peppercorns among your jars. Pack them loosely into your jars. Reserve about 1-1.5 inches from the top.
- Pour the liquid into the jars.
- Screw on the lids and refrigerate.
- They should be mildly pickled after about five hours of pickling and refrigeration. Serve cold with salads, spring rolls, or with a cheese platter. VOILA. Enjoy! 🙂
FUN FACT: The leaves, stems, flowers, and seed pods of the radish plant are all edible. Seed pods can be eaten raw, cooked, steamed, or pickled.
One of my favorite edible flowers is the garlic chive blossom and its long blue-green stem. Garlic chives are flowering plants that belong to the onion family (Allium genus) with flowers in a beautiful assortment of colors: purple, white, pink, and even yellow. You can eat them as buds or when they open up to “pin cushions.” The genus also comprise of green onions (aka scallions), garlic, onions (i.e., white, yellow, and red/purple), shallots, and leeks. Alliums typically produce buds and bloom during spring and fall, depending on the region.
With spring right around the corner, you can expect to see these in people’s gardens or growing wild in open fields and even your own backyard. Not only are they beautiful and add a fresh touch to dishes, they taste delicious!
TIP: You can find these in your local Asian market. Whole Foods may carry them as a specialty item in the produce section. They are sold in bundles, sealed in clear plastic wrap because of the pungent odor they emit. If it’s a little warm where you are, you will want to leave these in a cooler while you run your other errands, otherwise you will come out to a fairly smelly car. 🙂
- Cooking oil
- 5 garlic cloves ~ peeled and smashed
- 1 bunch of garlic chives ~ washed, woody ends discarded, stems cut into 1.5-2 inches
- Snow peas ~ washed, “side strings” removed
- Cremini mushrooms ~ lightly rinsed, sliced
- Soy sauce
- Heat the cooking oil in a wok or stainless steel pan.
- Sauté the garlic until lightly brown and aromatic
- Add chive flowers, sugar snap peas, and cremini. Sauté until they are lightly or half-cooked.
- Add desired amount of soy sauce and toss evenly.
- Serve with coconut brown rice or noodles. ENJOY!
Plantains belong to the banana family and resemble large, sturdy bananas; however, they are quite different than their smaller cousins. You cannot eat plantains without cooking them. They are quite possibly the most versatile produce you may ever come across in terms of using it as a fruit or a vegetable. They also have a very lengthy shelf life, making it convenient to purchase ahead of time to keep until you are ready to cook.
Green plantains are treated much like a vegetable, a potato to be precise, because of its high starch and low sugar content. Plantains are very popular in Latin, Southern Asian, Western African and Caribbean cuisine, usually baked, fried, boiled, or steamed.
When ripened, you can treat the sweet plantains like a hearty dessert. I love pan frying ripe plantains and serving them with sunny-side-up eggs and fresh-squeezed orange juice! It’s the perfect breakfast.
It doesn’t matter what stage you purchase the plantains, but it’s best to have an idea how you want to cook it. If you need the plantains to be sweet, it will take about 3-5 days to turn this color (see image below). The blacker the skin turns, the sweeter the fruit inside, which is how I like my platanos. Perfection.
- 1-2 large plantains ~ let them ripen for about 3-7 days
- cooking oil
- Using a sharp paring knife, cut off both ends. Remove the skin by making a long slit down the side, then peel away the skin.
- Slice the plantains about 1/2″ to 3/4″ thick. You can cut them lengthwise or into medallions like I did.
- Heat some cooking oil in a large pan.
- Lay the plantains flat in the pan, making sure they are not touching.
- Fry them on both sides until they are golden. Some folks prefer them almost charred. Enjoy! 🙂
One of my favorite American side dishes is cole slaw. The name is actually an Anglicisation of an original Dutch term “koolsla,” (short for “Koolsalade”) which means “cabbage salad.” (source: Wikipedia)
It’s healthy, easy to make, and in my humble opinion, compliments many entreés. However, all this is negated if the vegetables are smothered in mayonnaise or a sugar-vinegar coating. That’s why I’m excited to share this new recipe. It’s a twist on the standard American fare, which typically only uses green cabbage and orange carrots. The bright colors are sure to brighten up your next meal and the tangy vinegar is sure to wake up your palate! I call this “Royal Slaw” because of the deep purple, red, and dark green hues.
- 1/2 head organic purple cabbage ~ finely grated or sliced
- 2 stalks organic celery ~ sliced diagonally & thin
- 2-3 organic red carrots ~ leave skin on, julienned or finely grated
- 3-4 sprigs organic Italian flat leaf parsley ~ chopped
- 3 scallions ~ washed, ends removed, chopped; reserve some for garnish
- 1/4 cup distilled vinegar
- 2 tablespoons evaporated cane sugar
- 2 teaspoons sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon celery seeds
- Place all your slaw ingredients in a large mixing bowl.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together all the dressing ingredients. Be sure the sugar and salt have completely dissolved.
- Pour the dressing into the slaw and lightly toss. Drain any excess liquid.
- Serve cold. Garnish with parsley leaves, sprouts, celery seeds, and/or scallions. Voila!
What bunny doesn’t like some delicious carrots and a wee bit of creative spices in her bunny food?
This simple side dish isn’t your average boil-the-vegetable-to-death-’til-its-void-of-all-signs-of-life dish. Though I have to warn you that it’s going to be a bit spicy if your palate is only used to tamed foods. BTW, I apologize that the photo is not my standard “semi-professional” photo, but this Instagram shot works!
- 1 lb. organic carrots ~ washed and cut into med-large chunks
- 1 tablespoon Garam Masala curry spice
- 1 tablespoon paprika
- pinch of sea salt
- 2 tablespoons organic butter
- 1-2 teaspoons local honey
- filtered water
- Place carrots in a stainless steel pot and put just enough filtered water to cover the carrots.
- Bring it to a rolling boil for about 5 minutes, then turn off the stove. Let the carrots cook, covered, for about 10 minutes. (Note: This results in al dente carrots. If you prefer softer carrots, double the cooking time.)
- Lightly drain the carrots and place them in a nice bowl. Some of the remaining liquid adds moisture to the dish.
- Add the remaining ingredients while the carrots are still steaming hot.
- Sprinkle some paprika just before serving. VOILA!