Monday, June 27, 2016

Tips For Making Restaurant Quality Fried Rice At Home

Have you ever tried to make fried rice at home and come back with results that are no where near as good as what you can get in a restaurant? It seems easy enough, but the flavors and techniques that restaurants use can be trickier than you imagine. Below is our ham fried rice recipe. It has a deep delicious asian flavor that will make you feel like you are eating delicious Chinese take-out. Our most important tip? Use day old rice! Using rice made the same day wont give you the texture or flavor you are looking for. So if you can, make your rice a day ahead and only pop it out of the fridge right before you are ready to serve it. 

1 cup uncooked brown rice, cooked with 1 tablespoon butter, left in fridge overnight
6 slices canadian bacon, chopped
1 head broccoli, chopped
1 small package edamame beans
1 carrot, shredded
2 eggs
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp fish sauce
salt & pepper to taste

Chop and fry up your Canadian bacon in some oil in a hot pan. Add your eggs, some salt, and pepper, and scramble them. Once cooked through, add your vegetables and cook until warmed through and the broccoli is slightly wilted. Add your rice, soy sauce, sesame oil, and fish sauce. Stir everything together and salt and pepper to taste. 

It seems so silly that a little trick like using day old rice could make or break your recipe, but it really does make such a huge difference. Also, using Canadian bacon instead of chicken adds such depth of flavor. Then using the sesame oil and fish sauce will take your home made meal and make it restaurant ready. Enjoy!

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Moroccan Citrus Cous Cous Salad

Here is another EPCOT copy cat recipe. What can I say? We love all of the sophisticated foreign flavors there. The unique twists on everyday recipes are right up our alley. This dish is another great one from the Morocco section of Epcot. It's a wonderful citrus salad. Its delightful warm, but also great served cold as leftovers the next day. 

1 cup uncooked pearled couscous 
1/2 red onion, diced
1/4 cup raisins 
1/2 cup chickpeas 
1 cup orange juice
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
1/4 cup mandarin orange segments 
salt and pepper to taste
nutmeg to taste
cinnamon to taste 
1 tablespoon butter 
1/4 tsp slivered almonds. 

Boil your couscous in 1 1/4 cups water with some olive oil and salt until all liquid is absorbed (about 6-8 minutes). While that is cooking, add some oil to a pan and saute your onions, garlic, and a sprinkle of cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, & pepper. When your onions begin to soften, add your raisins, chickpeas, and orange juice. Simmer and allow to thicken. When your cous cous is ready, mix that with the orange juice liquid. Add your orange segments, parsley, and adjust seasoning as needed. Top with almonds. 

You can eat this warm as is and its delightful. If serving cold the next day, adding a few cucumber pieces adds a nice crunch. These exotic flavors are unique, cheerful, and oh so tasty. We hope you enjoy this salad as much as we do! 

Monday, June 20, 2016

Gyro Burger

Tonight my husband cooked. Yes, I am a lucky girl. Of course it was a manly meal of burgers, but he put a wonderful spin on them. He came up with this idea to make Greek burgers in honor of a trip to Tarpon Springs we took a couple of weekends ago. These Greek flavors come together so beautifully in these burgers that you will forget you are eating a hamburger and feel like you are chowing down on a delicious gyro. The flavors here are so so good. 

1 pound 90% lean ground beef
1/4 red onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 egg
salt & pepper
tatziki sauce

Mix your beed with your onion, garlic, parsley, oregano, and egg. Form into patties, creating a small indent in the middle so when grilling it remains juicy. Cook until brown on the outside and grill marks form. Add to crispy buns, lettuce, and top with tatziki sauce. 

Bon Apetite! 

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Summerfest 2016

Hello to all our Utah locals! 

It's time to come visit us. The Lavender Apple will have a booth at Summerfest all weekend long! For those of you who don't know, Summerfest is an Arts Faire held on the grounds of the Logan Tabernacle. It celebrates the arts in Cache Valley by bringing people together to enjoy a festival of high quality art, music, and food. 

Event Location: Historic Downtown50 North Main StreetLogan, UT 84321
Summerfest is open from 11am-10pm Thursday and Friday and 10am-9pm on Saturday. We will have all of your favorite Lavender Apple products available. Everything from lavender bundles to massage oil. Not only is this free event a wonderful way to celebrate culture here in Cache Valley, its also a lot of fun. Hope to see you soon!

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Harambe Market Black Eyed Pea Corn Salad Recipe

I must be on a copy cat recipe kit recently because this is my second one in just a matter of weeks. I think it has to do with some confidence that I am gaining in the kitchen recently. I love finding new recipes that I love at restaurants and trying to recreate them. This particular recipe hails from Disney's Animal Kingdom. The Harambe Market in the Africa section of this park has started serving a black eyed pea and corn salad that is just to die for. It hits all the right notes. Here is my take and my version that you can now enjoy from the comfort of your home. 

2 cans black eyed peas, rinsed
1 ear corn, cooked 
1/4 cup roma tomato, diced
1/4 cup celery stalk, diced
1/4 cup red onion, diced
2 tablespoons parsley, chopped
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
2 tablespoons safflower oil
1/2 tsp sugar 
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
fresh lemon zest

Directions: mix all ingredients together, chill then serve. 

This can be stored for several days and makes a wonderful make ahead side dish. This salad is refreshing and good for you. It's got a great depth of flavor and a wonderful crunch. 


Monday, June 13, 2016

Lamb Osso Bucco

Sometimes your body craves a dish that is going to stick to your ribs a little bit. I love myself a hearty stew, and this one is free of potatoes, cream, and all the other bad stuff that usually accompanies stew. The fun thing about lamb osso bucco is that it is obviously made with lamb, so the flavors are very unique from what you would expect. This is an Italian dish and is delicious when served over polenta. 

2 pounds lamb shank, cubed
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/2 cup flour
3 garlic cloves, smashed
2 celery stalks, diced
2 carrots, diced
1 onion, diced
1/4 cup tomato paste
1 cup white wine
3 cups chicken broth
1 bay leaf
1 sprig fresh rosemary, chopped
5 sprigs fresh thyme 
2 tablespoons parsley, chopped
zest of 1 lemon
Kosher salt and pepper

Heat oil in large la creuset type pan over high heat. Pat your lamb pieces dry, then sprinkle with salt and pepper. Dredge pieces in flour and add to pan. Sear on all sides until crispy and golden brown (under 10 minutes). Remove meat from pat. Cook your veggies with salt for 2-3 minutes, then add tomato paste and cook for another 2-3 minutes. Deglaze pan with wine, add your broth, thyme, rosemary, and bay leaf. Add your lamb back into the pan, cover and cook on low for 2 hours. Garnish with lemon zest, and parsley. Adjust seasoning as needed. Serve over polenta if desired. 

Bon Apetite! 

Friday, June 10, 2016

It's coming!

The first day of summer is almost officially here. 
We love summer for so many reasons. 
The barbecues, lazy days with friends, swimming, fireworks, etc. 
But the best thing about summer for us? 
That means our lavender is finally in bloom. 
We can't wait. 

Have a wonderful weekend! Check back here Monday for some amazing new recipe ideas featuring these beautiful purple buds. 


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