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
pepper
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!

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Ham & Dill Pasta Salad

I don't know about you, but come January I can get pretty tired of hearty winter soups and roasts. Sometimes you want something a little lighter. This savory pasta salad has a wonderful bite to it but still tastes fresh and light. It is also a healthy dish to help you stick with your new years resolutions. 

Beautiful, colorful, and healthy. 
2 cups elbow macaroni
2 tablespoons finely diced purple onion
3 celery ribs, leaves included, chopped
3/4 cups peas 
1 cup diced ham 
1 tablespoon dijon mustard
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/3 cup olive oil
1/4 cup sour cream
2 tablespoons cream cheese
1 tablespoon milk
2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

First step is to finely dice your purple onion and soak it in cold water. This will help to mellow out the raw onion flavor. 

Cook your macaroni in heavily salted water, for about 8 minutes, until al dente. Remove and drain your macaroni from the pot and place in fridge to cool. Mix your mustard, vinegar, salt, and pepper together. Then slowly add your olive oil with a whisk. Once combined add sour cream, cream cheese, and milk and whisk together. Then add the fresh dill. 

Combine your ham, peas, celery, and macaroni and combine. As you can see it makes a beautifully colorful pasta salad, and comes together in about 20 minutes. Its a super simple dish.  



This will serve 6-8 people. Bon appetite! 



Monday, January 19, 2015

Chicken Marmalade in Tarragon Sauce

This dish is a wonderful and easy dinner to make when you have company over. It uses many ingredients most of us keep on hand and comes together in a flash. Plus its flavors are wonderful and unique. Its a dish that you will be happy to eat each and every time you taste it. 



3 Whole skinned/boned chicken breasts
Salt, pepper, fresh nutmeg, to taste
2 Tbs. butter
2 Tbs. orange marmalade
1 green onion sliced
1/4 tsp dried tarragon 
1/3 cup white wine
1/4 cup heavy cream 

Pat your chicken dry and sprinkle with salt, pepper, and nutmeg. In large frying pan, melt your butter and saute your chicken breasts until browned on both sides. Add marmalade, tarragon, green onions, and wine. Cover and reduce heat, simmer 15-20 minutes until the chicken is cooked through. Remove  your chicken to a platter. To your frying pan add cream and simmer until sauce is thickened and slightly reduced. Add salt and pepper as needed and pour the sauce over the chicken. Serves 3. 

Friday, January 16, 2015

LAVENDER GRILLED SHRIMP

It's amazing the people I've run into lately who don't like shrimp...what!  Shrimp is food fit for the gods.  It absorbs flavors so well you can marinate them in almost anything.  I found this recipe on the web, and guess what I added to  make it even tastier, yep Lavender.  This recipe can be grilled on a skewer or sautéed in a skillet.  Either way I guarantee you'll love it.  Serve over Some Basmati rice or try the gingered rice featured on this blog previously.    

Bon Appetite,   
Peggy


LAVENDER PINEAPPLE SHRIMP 


Serves 4 as main course, or 6-8 as appetizer


2 lbs. Cleaned Shrimp ( I used the 26-30 )
1/4 cup pineapple juice
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup lime juice
1 Tbs. lavender honey (or plain honey)
4 Tbs. cilantro ( can leave out if not fond of cilantro)
4 Tbs. chopped green onions
3 cloves garlic minced
1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
11/2 tsp. culinary Lavender crushed in mortar and pestle
salt and pepper to taste


Clean shrimp and set aside.  Combine all the rest of the ingredients for marinade.  Marinate shrimp for at least 30 minutes.   If you are sautéing shrimp, heat 1 Tbs  olive oil and 2 Tbs. butter.  Drain shrimp , reserve marinate.  Saute until shrimp is pink and cooked through.  In the meantime heat marinate and reduce by I/2.  if grilling, grill for about 3 minutes per side.  If using bambo skewers soak in a water a couple of hours before use.   



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