Friday, January 30, 2015

Roasted Shrimp Over Creamy Rice

Another easy 20 minute dish for you today! This creamy rice is reminiscent of a risotto, only much easier and much healthier too! 

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 small onion, diced
1 cup arborio rice
1 cup white wine
salt and pepper
1 pound shrimp, peeled
1 pint grape tomatoes
1 clove garlic, minced
8 springs fresh thyme 
1/4 cup fresh parmesan shavings

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Heat 1/2 your oil in a large saucepan over medium heat, cook your onion until translucent (about 5 minutes). Add the wine and rice and cook on medium high heat until the wine is absorbed, this should take about 2 minutes. Add your water and 1/2 tsp of salt and pepper to your pan. Cover and simmer until the liquid is absorbed, should take just under 20 minutes. While your rice is cooking, toss your shrimp with oil, salt, pepper, the tomatoes, thyme, and garlic. Roast them on a baking sheet in the oven until the shrimp are pink and cooked through, about 15 minutes. When your rice is done, mix in a little parm or sprinkle it on top as a garnish, serve your shrimp on top of the rice. 

Lovely, easy, with nice flavor combinations. What more could you want for a great weeknight meal? 

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Lime Chicken with Quinoa

Easy weeknight meals are a must when you make a homemade meal every night. This chicken dish is just that. I love meals that can be made ahead of time and then easily cooked when ready. 

3 chicken breasts 
Juice and zest of 3 limes 
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce 
1 tsp salt 
1 tsp pepper 
2 cloves garlic, minced 
1 tablespoons melted butter 

Place your chicken breasts in a ziplock bag. Add the juice of 3 limes, Worcestershire sauce, salt, pepper, and garlic to the bag. Let marinate for at least an hour or more. Place your chicken and marinade in a greased baking dish. Drizzle with melted butter, and salt and pepper lightly. Cook at 425 for 40 minutes or until chicken is cooked through. When cooked, sprinkle with lime zest and serve over quinoa. 

Fresh, easy, low fat, affordable, what more could you want in a dish? Enjoy! 

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Pistachio Wedding Cookies

Italian wedding cookies, Russian tea cakes, Mexican wedding buttons, whatever you want to call them, wedding cookies are my favorite.  They are salty, butter, and sweet all at the same time. With such a huge flavor profile to live up to, they are not a low fat or healthy cookie by any means. But that's ok, sometimes we deserve to indulge. And if I'm going to indulge, these cookies are my favorite. These are so easy too! 

1 1/2 sticks of room temperature butter
1/4 cup white sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 box pistachio instant pudding mix (3.4 ounces)
1 3/4 cup white flour
1/2 tsp salt 
1/4 cup powdered sugar

Mix your butter and white sugar in a mixer until fluffy. Add vanilla, pudding mix, flour, and salt. My son loved this cookie mix because its eggless, so I actually let him lick the beater! Roll your dough into a ball, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for an hour or longer. 

Preheat oven to 350. Roll your dough into small 1 inch balls. Bake for 8 minutes. Wait for cookies to be warm, but not completely cool, and sprinkle with powdered sugar. If they are too hot when you sprinkle them with sugar the sugar will melt. 

These cookies are beautiful and melt in your mouth perfection. Enjoy!

Monday, January 26, 2015

Apple Walnut Salad with Dried Cranberries

Tonight I made a delicious salad that features two of our favorite Lavender Apple farm products! Lavender Honey and our farm pressed apple juice. It was sweet, savory, and a easy to put together. 

For the salad:
4 ounces fresh spinach
1 red apple, sliced
1 cup walnuts, chopped
1/3 cup crumbled goat cheese
1/3 cup dried cranberries 

For the dressing:
1/2 cup apple juice
1/8 cup vegetable oil 
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon lavender honey (plain honey will also work, but why use that when lavender honey exists!) 
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp fresh ground pepper

Mix the dressing together, combine salad ingredients, pour dressing over salad and serve immediately. Makes enough salad for 4. 

Its always wonderful to have a hearty goat cheese salad when we are all working so hard on our new years resolutions. The winter cranberries and autumn apples make this a wonderful treat for lunch or a great side at dinner. 

Friday, January 23, 2015

Thai Coconut Curry

This is an easy 20 minute dish. The curry is satisfying without being spicy. Its a great way to get out of a boring old chicken rut. 

2 cups white rice
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 pounds chicken breasts
2 bell peppers, sliced
2 tablespoons yellow curry paste
1/4 cup water
1 can coconut milk (15 ounces)
Salt and Pepper
4 large thai basil leaves chopped
1 lime, sliced into wedges
1/4 cup peanuts, crushed

Cook your rice in a rice cooker. Meanwhile heat your oil in a skillet. Chop and season your chicken with salt and pepper. Brown your chicken in the skillet. Add bell peppers and water to your skillet and cook for 3 minutes until tender. Add your curry, coconut milk, and simmer until the sauce is thickened, about 5 minutes. Add your basil and cook for 1 additional minute. Serve your chicken over rice with your lime wedges and crushed peanuts as garnish. 

Who doesn't love a delicious dinner that comes together in less than 20 minutes prep? 

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Lavender Wands

One item we craft by hand here at the Lavender Apple is our "Lavender Wands". These are also frequently called "Lavender Bottle"Lavender Batons". The term Lavender Wand was coined obviously from the shape these made when the lavender was woven due to its flower spikes. Since the victorian age, lavender has been used for many household purposes. Lavender Wands were invented in the Victorian Era to act as an air freshener. Women would carry these wands and hold them to their noses when the air became too much to bear. Our Lavender Wands are made when the lavender is freshly cut, the blossoms are bent inward and then woven carefully with fine ribbon. These make a beautiful and unique gift. 
 View our wands online here.

Lavender Wands were used to scent drawers similar to Lavender Sachets. They were also hung on cabinets for decoration and as air fresheners. Today many of our customers similarly prefer to hang these lavender wands in their home, or many simply leave them sitting out on a dresser or bedroom table. Not only are they beautiful, but they make your home smell amazing too. 

As mentioned, we hand weave all of our lavender wands here on the farm. At The Lavender Apple we utilize many ribbon types and colors and are happy to accommodate special ribbon requests when possible. Just let us know what size, style, and colors you prefer! So what do you think? Have you seen lavender wands before? 

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Curried Chicken Carrot Soup

I know a lot of my friends are afraid of curry. Don't be. Its a wonderful spice that is easy to control. This curried chicken soup recipe is a very refreshing and light. Its still warm and satisfying due to the rice and curry, but there is no cream and hardly any fat, so its a great healthy meal option during the new year. (Gotta stick to those resolutions, right?) 

4 small chicken breasts
2 carrots chopped into 2 inch pieces
2 bay leaves
kosher salt
6 cups chicken broth
2 tablespoons butter
1 large onion thinly sliced into half moons
1 tsp sugar
1 1/2 tsp curry powder
1/2 cup white rice
3 tablespoons freshly chopped dill
1/2 lemon 

Put your chicken, carrots, bay leaf and 1 tsp salt into a medium saucepan. Put 3 cups of chicken broth in the pan and bring it to a boil. Then reduce the heat to low, cover, and cook until the chicken is cooked through (about 20 minutes). 

In another medium saucepan, melt your butter on medium heat. Add the onion, sugar, and 1 tsp salt and cook until the onion is soft (about 5 minutes). Add the curry and cook for 1 additional minute. Then add the remaining 3 cups of chicken broth. Using an immersion blender, blend the onions and broth until smooth. Then add your rice and simmer over medium heat, covered, until rice is cooked (about 15 minutes).

Shred your chicken pieces and remove your bay leaves. Combine both sauce pans into one and bring to a simmer. Add your chopped dill and the juice of 1/2 of a lemon and pour into 4 serving bowls. 

Bon apetite!


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