Thursday, May 21, 2015

Lavender Apple Chicken Pot Pie

Ok. Last "throw back" recipe of the week! I'm going to use our 2010 photo for this recipe as well. Sorry its so rough, this is before blog food photography was "a thing". But in all honestly, I actually trust a recipe that doesn't have gorgeous photos a little bit more. I know whoever posted the recipe was in it for the food, not the photo. Speaking of great food, this is one of my favorite recipes that Peggy has ever cooked for me. She stocked our freezer with these bad boys when I gave birth to my son and not only were they an easy meal to just re-heat, but they were so so tasty. If you haven't tried this recipe from our blog archives in the past, this would be a stellar place to start. 

I'm 100x's tastier than I look!




This recipe is another Peggy original that she formulated using her lavender. She grows all her own herbs necessay to make "Herb de Provence".  This mixture of , lavender, rosemary, thyme, basil, summer savory and sage is a staple in the cusines of southern fench cooking. Her mother made excellent chicken pot pie, but Peggy thinks this recipe kicks it up a notch. For example she sautés the veggies to bring out more flavor. She also use chicken thighs. They are more flavorful, not mention more affordable. Gotta love that.  

Start with a good pie crust. 

PEGGYS PIE CRUST
2 cups flour
1 tsp. salt
1 Tbs. sugar
2/3 cup shortening + 2 tbs.
8-10 Tbs. Cold water

In a bowl add flour, sugar and salt. Cut in Shortening. To cut in shortening a pastry blender works the best. If you don't have one a few pulses in a food processor will do the trick. Anyway the flour mixture should resemble smallpeas. Add cold water and barley stir. To much working with the dough causes a tough crust. Gather dough into a ball, and refrigerate for 20 minutes or so. Cut the dough in half. If not using the other half for your dough for the top crust. I always roll it out into a pie pan and freeze. Roll out dough on a boardusing a small amount of flour so dough does not stick. Line pie pan with dough leaving enough extra around the edges for a good crusty edge. If you are putting a top crust on make sure you cut some slits for the stream to escape.

LAVENDER APPLE CHICKEN POT PIE
serves 4-6

8 chicken thighs
salt 
pepper
2 1/2 tsp. herb de provence
2 tbs, olive oil
1 cup chopped onions
1 clove garlic crushed
1 bay leaf
1/4 cup flour
1 Tbs. butter
1 Tbs. olive oil
4 cups chicken broth (split)
3 yukon gold potatoes, skins scrubbed, chopped
3 carrots peeled, chopped
2 ribs celery chopped
1 cup peas

method:
preheat oven to 350. butter a med. size casserole , or oven proof dish. I like to use 1 1/2 cup ramekins. In a large skillet heat the olive oil. Salt and pepper chicken thighs, rub on "herb de provence". Saute onions until soft about 4 minutes. Add chicken and brown on all sides. Add 1 cup of chicken broth, lower heat, cover and simmer until thighs are cooked through. Remove chicken from the pan (keeping juices from the pan) and cool. De-bone thighs. In another pot saute veggies in butter and olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and 1/2 tsp. of herbs de provence. Once veggies are slightly browned add the remainder of the chicken broth and bay leaf, cook until veggies are just tender. Remove veggies from broth. Now we are ready to assemble. With whisk in hand add flour to large skillet (pan in which you have cooked chicken) cook until thick, adding broth from veggies. Once you have a nice thick gravy, season to taste. Add in the chicken and veggies, along with the peas. Now fill you dish and cover with a crust. I like to put on as much crust as possible, use your creativity, there is no right or wrong way (just make sure you have a good crust) You can brush on a quick egg wash so the crust browns nicely. This recipe may sound difficult, but it's very easy. I also have doubled this recipe and have frozen the second pie. Let me tell you how much better they are than the Banquet frozen pot pie we ate as kids. They make great gifts too. 
Enjoy, 




Wednesday, May 20, 2015

The "Lavender Apple" Apple Pie

In keeping with this week's theme of "throw back" recipes from 5 years ago when this blog first started, we would be remiss if we didn't highlight one of the recipes that Peggy is most famous for. Her apple pies are legendary. Luckily, the Lavender Apple farm supplies her with more apples than she knows what to do with. So if you are really sweet to her when you see her at the farmers market, you may just be able to convince her to sell you a jar of her apple pie filling. Or, you could just try to make your own by following the recipe below. Either way you will be happier than a fat kid eating cake, or I guess in this case, pie. 


Peggy learned how to make pie from the best pie maker, her mother. Every year on the farm she would bottle 50 or so quarts of apple pie filling. So If you aren't lucky enough to have some of her pie filling, then go out and buy some apples. Before making the filing Peggy likes to make the crust first and set it aside (recipe below). 


THE PIE FILING:

6-7 large apples
1/2 to 3/4 cup sugar
1/2 of the juice of a lemon
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
2 tbs flour

Peel and cut apples into wedges. About 6-7 large apple. Toss the apples with sugar (depends of the tartness of the apples and how sweet you like things. I would say 1/2 -3/4 cups sugar). Now toss in a squeeze of lemon juice, 1 tsp cinnamon, 1/4 tsp. nutmeg and about 2 Tbs. flour. A little trick I do is sprinkle a little sugar onto the bottom of the pie before adding the apples. This keeps the crust crisp. 

Now that your apples are in the shell. Sprinkle with a little more sugar and dot with butter. This means cutting little pieces of butter and putting them over apples, about 1/4 of a cube. You can either make a crumb topping (recipe below) or use the dough you will have left. (The picture above shows a crumb topping). I add a teaspoon of lavender just to shoot it over the stars. Cook your pie at 350 until nice and brown. If the edges get too brown you can add strips of foil.


PEGGYS PIE CRUST

2 cups flour
1 tsp. salt
1 Tbs. sugar
2/3 cup shortening + 2 tbs.
8-10 Tbs. Cold water

In a bowl add flour, sugar and salt. Cut in Shortening. To cut in shortening a pastry blender works the best. If you don't have one a few pulses in a food processor will do the trick. Anyway the flour mixture should resemble smallpeas. Add cold water and barley stir. To much working with the dough causes a tough crust. Gather dough into a ball, and refrigerate for 20 minutes or so. Cut the dough in half. If not using the other half for your dough for the top crust. I always roll it out into a pie pan and freeze. Roll out dough on a boardusing a small amount of flour so dough does not stick. Line pie pan with dough leaving enough extra around the edges for a good crusty edge. If you are putting a top crust on make sure you cut some slits for the stream to escape. Happy pie Making

If your dough doesn't come out perfect, no big deal. Just patch it with extra dough. Once it's cooked no one will care or know.


CRUMB TOPPING

1 cup flour
1 cup sugar
1 cup cold butter
1 tsp. Lavender buds ( opt)

Mix sugar and flour together. Cut in butter. Sprinkle over pie and bake

Bon Apetite! 

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Caramelized Lavender Cherries

As you can see, I have a great set of cute chubby toddler hands to help me once the spring and summer harvests begin. We always love when the cherries come on. Then we know summer is n full swing, we can't wait. 


One of my favorite and one of the easiest cherry recipes I go to over and over again is Peggy's Caramelized Lavender Cherries. Whenever Peggy teaches her classes about Lavender, she is surprised how many people have never experienced lavender in the culinary sense. If you have never had a dish with a hint of lavender in it. Your missing a great flavor sensation. You should try these caramelized lavender cherries the next time your cherries are ready to be picked! 

Ingredients:
1/4 cup butter
3 Tbs packed brown sugar
1/2 tsp culinary lavender
2 cups pitted cherries
1 squeeze of juice from a fresh lemon 

The directions couldn't be more simple. 
Melt your butter in large frying pan over medium heat. Add your packed brown sugar, culinary lavender (you can buy ours HERE), add your cherries, and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice. Simmer until the cherries are warm. Spoon over anything! We love this served over pound cake or ice cream. So easy and it feels so fancy. 

Bon Appetite! 


Monday, May 18, 2015

Lavender Biscotti



We have so many new readers on here each week, that I thought it was high time for us to re-feature one of Peggy's most popular blog posts of all time. She is the lavender magician, so of course all of her recipes will feature the Lavender Apple's wonder lavender products. This one features our fresh lavender buds. Have you ever tried cooking with them? Not only do they add a unique flavor, but they are so beautiful as well! You can get your own here if you are interested in testing them out in your own kitchen. 
Ok, now back to the recipe. This is a great biscotti recipe, not too hard and not too soft.....just right.

Ingredients:
1/4 cup butter
4 eggs
1 cup sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 teaspoons almond extract
2 teaspoons anise (or orange) extract
1 teaspoon dried lavender buds
2 + 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup sliced almonds

Start off by preheating the oven to 350 degrees.

Grind the lavender in a grinder or a mortar. Melt the butter in a medium bowl, add eggs, sugar, extracts and lavender, mix well using a large fork. Then add flour and baking powder, mix, add almonds, mix well. Place the clumpy dough on a buttered cookie sheet, in a form of a flat oblong (I use one of those cooking mats).


Bake 20 minutes or until the edges turn golden. Cool for 10 minutes, then remove from the cookie sheet, slice with a serrated knife into 3/4 inch thick slices. Place the cut side down on the same cookie sheet (no need to butter the cookie sheet again) and bake for 15 minutes longer. Turn over and bake another 5 minutes. Remove from oven, cool and store in an airtight jar. Serve with your favorite beverage.


Friday, May 15, 2015

InstaFriday May Week 3

Welcome to all of our new readers! We love seeing our blog stats increasing each week. Thank you so much for your love and support! If you don't follow us on Instagram, you should! Search for us at the.lavender.apple




A photo posted by Lavender Apple (@the.lavender.apple) on






A photo posted by Lavender Apple (@the.lavender.apple) on

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Eastern Spiced Chicken with Vegetables

Another delicious curry dish for you today. This one comes together in just over 20 minutes. I love a dish that has a mix of protein, vegetables, and rice. Its just so simple and satisfying. And this one is so colorful to boot!



1-2 large chicken breasts, cut in half length wise
1 red bell pepper, chopped into strips
1/2 large onion, diced
1 large garlic clove, minced
3 tablespoons oyster sauce
2 tablespoons green curry paste
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 cup snow peas
3 cups rice, cooked
1 can coconut milk
Salt and pepper
1 tablespoon fresh minced ginger
Handful of basil leaves, chopped
2 tsp fresh lime juice

Cook your rice.
Chop and brown your onion and bell pepper in your oil with salt and pepper until tender. 
Add your chicken to the pan and salt and pepper it as well, brown your chicken on all sides. 
Add your garlic, oyster sauce, and curry paste. Add your coconut milk and bring to boil. Simmer on medium low for 15 minutes. Add your snow peas and cook for another 5 minutes. Then add your basil and lime juice and mix together. Serve over rice. 


You could make this as spicy as you wanted by adding extra spicy curry. But around these parts, we keep things pretty mild since we are sharing our meals with a 2 year old. Luckily the savory robust flavors of this dish make even the vegetables lick your lips delicious. Hope you enjoy it!

Monday, May 11, 2015

Plague Bags

Sachets have been used for centuries upon centuries. Which is why I am always so surprised when people ask what they are when they stop by our booth at the farmers market. Sachets are small cloth bags, often filled with herbs or flowers to help scent a room or drawer. Clear back as far as the Han Dynasty in China, women would wear them to help repell insents and even believed they helped ward off evil spirits. The Kings and Queens of Britain would use them to keep odors at bay, and also to help enduce sleep. In medieval times, sachets were refered to as plague bags and were worn around the neck to keep parasites away. Crazy. 


Luckily for us, todays sachets have much more benign uses. You can place them in your drawers and closets to keep your linens smelling fresh and bright. One thing I love about our “Lavender Apple” sachets particularly is that they are filled with 100% organic lavender. So the scent you get when you place them with your sheets is not only soothing and relaxing, but you can feel good knowing its very safe for you and your family vs using a synthetic perfume. 


One of my favorite customers call our sachets her “sleep pillows” and she places them underneath her pillow each night to help calm her as she drifts into sleep. You can buy your own Lavender Apple Sachets online here: 

How do you use your sachets? We'd love to hear from you!

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