Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Peanut Butter No Bake Cookies

If there is one thing you don't see a lot on the lavender apple farm, its peanut butter. Peggy is just not a huge fan. But when it came to dedicating a week to the simplest recipes we can think of, our week would not be complete without a no bake cookie recipe. I know when I have a cookie craving, it can often come late and night. I don't really feel like turning on the oven and waiting around while I get my butter to room temperature, chill my dough, and bake several batches of cookies. No Bake Cookies are the perfect solution for that. These are a great "one pot" treat and are ready in minutes. This particular recipe has a great depth of flavor from the dark chocolate pieces, and a nice salty bite from the peanut butter. It's also got a great chewy texture from the oats. You will love it. 


Make sure you set out a large sheet of wax paper because you will want that ready once your ingredients are combined. 

1 stick of butter
1/2 cup milk
3 tablespoons dutch processed cocoa powder
1 cup white sugar
3 pieces dark chocolate melting wafers (or you can use any dark chocolate you have on hand)
1 cup peanut butter
1 tsp vanilla 
1/4 tsp salt
4-5 cups of oats depending on your chocolate to oat preference 

Melt your stick of butter. I LOVE the taste of brown butter in this recipe, so if you feel ambitious, you can let your butter heat up until brown pieces begin to form and it turns a deep golden color. If you are in a hurry, you can just melt it quickly. Then add your milk slowly so you don't scald it. Mix in your cocoa powder and sugar. Bring all of this goodness to a boil for about 1 minute, make sure you stir it the entire time so nothing burns. Reduce the heat to low. Then add in your dark chocolate pieces, peanut butter, vanilla, and salt. Stir until everything is combined. Remove from the heat and add your oats. I would start with 4 cups and keep adding until it looks like everything is coated well and there is no extra chocolate on the bottom of the pan. Then drizzle your wax paper with clumps of the oat mixture. Wait until they cool and you (and the cookies) are all set!


Monday, May 25, 2015

French Bread Pizza

This week I want to highlight some of my favorite easy meals. We are a pizza house over here. Peggy makes the most delicious homemade pizza. Pizza is a cheesy, carby delight, what's not to love? It's also relatively inexpensive to make for a crowd, and the Nelson's love to entertain. Well my husband recently introduced me to a super simple cheater way of making last minute pizza. It's super delicious, and takes less than 3 minutes to put together! 


What's the secret? Using a loaf of french bread rather than making homemade dough! In this particular photo I used a delicious seeded honey wheat loaf, but we've had lots of success using everything from plain french bread to asiago cheese loafs! The best part is you can buy a bunch of loafs and simply freeze them. That way they are waiting for you whenever you are having a "I'm feeling lazy and I don't want to cook tonight" moment. It will save you from running to get take out, and its way more delicious! I promise. 

Ingredients:

Any loaf type bread 
Fresh mozzarella cheese
Your favorite jarred pasta sauce
Fresh Basil 
Balsamic Glaze 


Simply slice your loaf in half, cover each side with sauce, top with cheese, basil, and your glaze. Pop it in a 400 degree oven until the cheese is nice and golden and bubbly. Tada! A super simple, super satisfying meal that you can whip up in less than 3 minutes. If you don't have baslamic glaze, you could just do regular balsamic as a drizzle. We also add pepperoni, chicken, olives, whatever pizza toppings you have laying around. This is a super flexible dinner idea. We hope you enjoy!


Friday, May 22, 2015

InstaFriday May Week 4

Happy almost weekend! We made it! Actually, you made it. There is always so much to do on the farm, and our work load is actually higher on the weekend due to all of the Farmers Markets! But we wouldn't have it any other way. Thank you for all of your love and support, we look forward to seeing you this weekend! And if you aren't local, don't forget you can always purchase our lavender products online at www.lavenderapple.com  XOXO!




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







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.


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