Monday, April 27, 2015

Asian Citrus Steak Salad

The steak in this salad is so so good. After eating this for dinner tonight I have all sort of garlicy red meat dreams running through my head. This marinated meat would be good on a bed of rice, inside of an asian stir fry, so many things. I'll have to get back to you with my "to be continued" ideas for this delicious meat. But back to tonights featured attraction, this wonderful asian citrus steak salad. I love that this salad uses skirt steak. Its relatively inexpenisive, but will still fix your "I need red meat" craving. The soy and garlic flavors of the meat are balanced by the sweetness of the oranges and lime juice. Its a real winner. 

Steak Marinade:
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce  
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • Juice of 1 orange 
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger  
  • 1 large garlic clove, minced  

Salad Ingredients: 
  • 1 lb skirt steak
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons of good olive oil  
  • Juice of 2 limes 
  • Salt and Pepper 
  • 1 head green leaf lettuce
  • 1 head broccoli, washed, trimmed
  • 1 orange 
  • Chinese Noodles or Crispy Wontons for garnish
Directions: Place your soy sauce, lime juice, orange juice, ginger, and garlic all in a large zip lock bag. Add your steak to the bag and refrigerate for at least 8 hours. Heat up a grill or cast iron grill pan to medium high heat. Remove your steak from the marinade bag and discard the marinade. Grill the meat for 2 minutes on each side, then let rest on a cutting board for 10 minutes. What a beautiful piece of meat!

While the meat rests, assemble your dressing. Your dressing is simply your olive oil, juice of 2 limes, and a little salt and pepper to taste. Whisk together. Peel and cut up your orange into small slices. Once your meat is done resting, cut it diagonally into small bit sized slices. Place your lettuce, oranges, broccoli on a platter, lay your steak on top of the salad and add your dressing. Add your Chinese noodles for a little crunch. 

This is a nice hearty salad because of the red meat, but it still manages to not feel heavy due to the sweetness of the citrus. Its a lovely easy meal. And the rich flavor the marinade adds to the meat is delish. Enjoy!

Friday, April 24, 2015

Insta Friday April 4

Well it finally feels like spring around here and we couldn't be happier. Some of my favorite times here at the Lavender Apple are during the spring. Here is what we have been up to on instagram lately. What about you? Are you in the full swing of spring yet? 

A photo posted by Lavender Apple ( on

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Best BBQ Ranch Salad

There are so many wonderful things I have to say about this salad, that I barely know where to start. This is the very first recipe I tried ripping off from a restaurant. My husband loved a particular island grill fast casual place and would make me go there constantly. I didn't really love anything on their menu particularly until I found this delicious BBQ Chicken Salad. I craved it constantly and spent a hefty portion of my meal budget on it weekly. I decided I could make it for much less at home, so this recipe was born. It took a little tweaking, but it is amazing. This is the type of salad where I want to lick the bowl when I'm done. Its hearty, tangy, full of goodness. Even my 2 year old gobbles it up, and you will too.

Salad Ingredients:
1 head green leaf lettuce, washed dried and chopped
1 avacado, sliced into cubes
1 chicken breast, grilled and cubed, cooled 
1 can corn, drained and rinsed
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup tortilla chips, crumbled
1/2 cup cheddar cheese, shredded

1/2 packet of hidden valley ranch dressing mix
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup milk
3 tablespoons bbq sauce
2 tablespoons water 

Assemble your salad ingredients (lettuce, cheese, avocado, chicken, corn, beans, chips) in a large bowl. One quick tip is to use your salad spinner that you just cleaned the lettuce with, to also drain and rinse your beans and corn. Its a great way to wash all your ingredients while removing the excess moisture that can make a salad soggy. For your dressing, combine all your dressing ingredients in a mason jar or something similar with a lid. Stir it all together or shake it up until combined. Refrigerate dressing for at least 30 minutes. When you are ready to serve, add your dressing to your salad and mix until incorporated. This will serve approximately 4 people. 

I'm not kidding when I tell you that this is a salad that I crave. It has enough protein to keep you full and satisfied, the chips add a nice carb to keep us carb addicts happy too, and the dressing, well lets just say its a little bit of heaven. You will not regret making this for dinner. Enjoy!

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Caring for apple trees in the spring time

Here at the Lavender Apple Farm, we have a lovely apple orchard. It was actually planted over six generations ago by our family founders here in Cache Valley. Many of the varieties of apples we grow here are actually vintage and have a much greater depth of flavor. We often get asked for tips in how to care for apple trees. Here are a few tips for caring for your apple trees in spring. 

Apple trees needs to be planted in a place where they will receive enough sunlight to grow, make sure they are not being shaded by other trees or buildings throughout the day. These trees will need about 6-8 hours of sunlight minimum per day. The spot should also have adequate drainage so the apple tree will not absorb too much water. In fact, if an apple tree's roots take in more water than it needs there's a chance the tree will not survive. Our orchard actually rests on a slight incline, which has served us well. 

Pruning is also an important part of caring for an apple tree, this process takes place in the spring. You need to remove any dead branches you see, and also anything cracked or broken. Also make sure you give each branch enough room that its not crowding out the other branches. You need to picture full grown apples hanging from each branch, would they receive sunlight? Try to make sure your cuts are made cleanly with sharp tools. If your cuts aren't sharp, the water may not drain off of your branch properly. You will also want to prune any branches that are growing in a downward direction. 

Here at the Lavender Apple Farm, we grow red delicious, gala, golden delicious, and many other types of apples. We are really looking forward to mid spring when the trees will begin to blossom with pink and white buds. Check back here on the blog in a few weeks and we will share our tips about tree training and even a few harvest tips. 

Have a great day! And don't forget, an apple a day keeps the doctor away! 

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Mushroom Risotto

I make a mean mushroom risotto. (I don't mean mean as in will punch you in the face and shove you in a locker mean, but this certainly will knock your socks off.)

It's creamy and filling and surprisingly low fat. Its so satisfying, and easy to make, it's one of the recipes I come back to most. If you watch a lot of competitions on the food network, you know risotto is a dish that can intimidate a lot of chefs because timing is important. Its not just something you can neglect. But I've found a fool proof way to cook it. If you have 20 minutes, you can easily have a successful meal with this. 

1 cup arborio rice
1 pkg mushrooms (portobello or porcini mushrooms are nice, but even white mushrooms will do) 
2 cans chicken stock
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese 
1 cup white wine
6-7 sprigs of fresh thyme 
Salt and pepper 
1/2 onion chopped 

Dice 1/2 of an onion. 

Put a large skillet over medium heat and melt 1 tablespoon of butter and 1 tablespoon of olive oil in the pan. 

Add your onion and sauté for a couple of minutes. 

Then add 1 cup arborio rice to the pan and sauté a couple more minutes. As you do this start your timer for 22 minutes. 

Add 1 cup white wine and cook on high until the liquid is absorbed. Stir frequently. 

While this cooks chop up 1 pkg of portobello mushrooms. (Or whatever type of mushroom you like.) In a separate pan cook your mushrooms in some olive oil, salt, and pepper. Cook the mushrooms down until nice and tender. Set aside. 

Back to the rice. You will now add 2 cans of WARM chicken broth in 1/2 cup increments. (I pop mine in the microwave to heat it up.) Keep stirring the risotto frequently and only add the next 1/2 cup when the previous liquid has been absorbed. Your goal is to get all of the stock absorbed by the time the timer says 22 minutes. You may need to turn up or down the heat based on how much time is left. I usually keep mine on high the whole time and just stir it constantly. 

Then stir in 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese. 

Add 6 or 7 sprigs of Tyme. 

Add in your mushrooms and salt and pepper to taste. 

This should give you a very creamy and rich tasting dish! I know you will love it and hopefully come back and remake it as often as I do. 


Monday, April 20, 2015

Greek tzatziki sauce over chicken and rice

My favorite Nelson (my husband) makes an amazing tzatziki sauce. He has made this for me three times already this month and every time we eat it, I can't stop telling him how delicious it is. We simply call it his "white sauce" because we are both notoriously terrible spellers and the word tzatziki is just a cruel spelling joke. Anyway, if your looking for a creamy savory way to elevate almost any protein you cook, this is the recipe for you. 

Tzatziki Ingredients: 
3/4 cup sour cream
1/4 cup mayo or Greek yogurt 
1/3 cup cucumber (peeled and diced) 
2 Tbs tahini sauce
1 Tbs lemon juice 
2 Tbs fresh chopped dill
5 fresh mint leaves chopped (optional)
1 small clove garlic minced 
Salt and pepper to taste 

You simply mix all the ingredients together and then there are a variety of ways you can serve it. It's best if you can make this a few hours in advance and let the flavors marry in the fridge for a bit. I love anything that's make ahead (nap time productivity baby)! 

Tonight we pounded out a few chicken breasts, seasoned them with Salt, Pepper, and our  Lavender Apple Herbs De Provence. See HERE. Simply serve your chicken over rice and the white sauce will do all the heavy lifting for you! It adds such a delicious flavor to any protein you can cook. 

Last week we covered toasted bread in hummus, roasted chicken, and then topped it with the white sauce. The options of how you can use this Tzatziki is pretty limitless. I love to mix leftover Tzatziki into some rice for a lovely Greek tasting pilaf. You could also use your remaining cucumber, add tomatoes, and make a wonderful little salad. You could put this over any type of grilled meat inside of a pita or flatbread, and add tomatoes. So good!

This would be wonderful over falafel, kabobs, fish, couscous, etc. Really any type of neutral food that would marry well with Greek flavors, this should be your go to sauce. So so good. 

Bon appetite! 

Friday, April 17, 2015

Insta Friday April 3

Phew! What a week. What does it take to run a farm? We get up early and feed the chickens. We hand make our products, clean our lavender cottage, fill and label bottles, mail orders, dream up and cook delicious recipes, & pet our adorable albeit huge dogs. Work here is never done, but lots of it is a lot of fun. Here's a few snapshots from our instagram account for your viewing pleasure. Do you follow along with us yet?

A photo posted by Lavender Apple ( on

A photo posted by Lavender Apple ( on


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