Category Archives: Recipes

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Strawberry Lavender Frozen Yogurt

Strawberry Yogurt Ready to EatAcross the street from us is Bell’s Farm and those in the know around here, understand that means one thing this time of year…. STRAWBERRIES!! Also, we make our own yogurt (at home) and had a huge batch of greek yogurt ready to be used. Here is the result.

Ingredients:

  • 24 oz. Greek Yogurt
  • 1 Cup Heavy Cream
  • 2/3 Cup Sugar
  • 2 teaspoons finely ground lavender
  • 4 Cups Strawberries
  • 1 Tablespoon Water
  • 2 teaspoons Lemon Juice

You will need a decent ice cream maker, so be sure yours is ready to go, cold and clean.

Stirring strawberry yogurt

Wash the strawberries and cut them into quarters. Put them into a saucepan with the sugar, water, and lemon juice, and simmer for about 7 minutes or until the berries are soft and there is a lot of juice. Put in blender and puree. Pour the mixture in a metal bowl and cool the mixture down until at or below room temperature. You can hurry this along by putting ice and water into a bigger bowl and placing the bowl containing the strawberry mixture into that ice water and stirring.

Mix the yogurt, cream, and strawberry mixture together. Have your ice cream maker ready and pour the mixture in.

churning strawberry yogurt

Start it up and let the ice cream maker do its work. If yours is a good one, it will go until the mixture is quite firm with little ice crystals. That is what you want – your mixture converted into lots of tiny ice crystals. Then put into another container for finishing off the freezing in your freezer. .

For some serving ideas, try serving with a fresh strawberry or two on top, or a couple of mint leaves.


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Lavender infused Verjus!

VerjusLaunchJust released – VERJUS made from Spoiled Dog Winery’s estate Pinot Noir grapes (unfermented) infused with Lavender Wind Farm’s lavender.  A culinary delight with many uses, especially in dressings and sauces.  Verjus derives from the French term “vert  jus”, literally “green juice” and is pressed from semi-ripened high-acid low sugar wine grapes winemakers thin from the vines just before picking the grapes for wine.  Because Verjus is made from wine grapes and shares the same acid-base as wine, it is an elegant and delicate alternative to vinegar and lemon.  It is, therefore, “wine-friendly” and the secret of wine country and classically-trained chefs.

The Verjus is infused with lavender from Lavender Wind Farm.  The hint of lavender adds complexity by enhancing the flavors and also contributes to its lovely color.  This Verjus is a joint product made by two Whidbey Island businesses:  Spoiled Dog Winery and Lavender Wind Farm.  Their logos are prominently displayed on the label.  Karen Krug of Spoiled Dog Winery wanted to do something with grapes which weren’t ripe enough to make their premier wines and weren’t wasted.  Verjus was the answer – the French have known about it for years!  Karen previously talked to Sarah at Lavender Wind about infusing her lavender into their wine, however Sarah would not be able to sell the end product unless she had a liquor license.  Now there was an answer – VERJUS, because it is not fermented, a liquor license is not required to sell it, AND it is infused with Sarah’s lavender. A Whidbey Island Grown product  from two Whidbey Island businesses.

Verjus’ natural flavor enhances cooking by adding richness and complexity.  It pairs famously with wines as a salad dressing, by itself or as a simple dressing blended with olive oil.  See some recipe ideas such as Buttermilk-Verjus Salad Dressing; Arugula and Orange Verjus Salad; Roast Pork, Orange, Beet and Verjus Salad, or my favorite: Crabmeat salad with Nectarine, Verjus and Red Onion.

Use its sweet tart flavor to enhance sauces or heighten the flavor of any fish, chicken, game, red meat or vegetable dishes.  Some recipe ideas are Crispy Salmon, Spring Vegetables & Verjus Sauce; Braised Chicken with Grapes, Olives and Verjus; Slow-Cooked Lamb Shanks in Verjus or Salmon Poached in Verjus; Honey-Roasted Pear Salad with Thyme Verjus Dressing.

It also makes a refreshing drink with much less sugar than other fruit juices.  Check out recipes for  Verjus Martini; Verjus Cocktail, Verjus Mojitos or experiment with it substituting Verjus for sweet-sour juices (lime juices).  A definite receipt to try is Verjus Mint-Sorbet for those hot summer days!

You can buy this Verjus at Spoiled Dog Winery, 5881 Maxwelton Rd, Langley or Lavender Wind Farm, 15 Coveland Street, Coupeville. Or get it online.


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Watermelon Mint Salad

At the farm we raise more than lavender! This year we have a good sized mint patch and so we’re starting to cook with mint. For a pot luck a couple of weeks ago I made this watermelon mint salad.

Watermelon Mint Salad

Watermelon Mint Salad

  •  7-8 lb. seedless watermelon, chilled
  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup fresh chopped mint leaves
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground lavender
  • 1 cup crumbled feta cheese
 Cut the watermelon off of the peel and chop into bite sized bits. Put into a colander so the watermelon can drain as you are preparing the rest of the items. Chop up the red onion and the mint into small pieces. Crumble up the feta so it will make pea or bean sized pieces. Combine the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, lavender, and salt. Then put them all in a bowl and combine gently. Liquid will form at the bottom of the bowl, so you can serve it with a slotted spoon to avoid puddles on the plate.

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Lavender Chocolate Chip & Sour Cream Cake

Makes one bundt cake

Ingredients

  • 1 stick of butter, at room temperature
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3 eggs, separated
  • 16 ounces sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons lavender extract
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 ½ Tablespoon dried chopped lavender
  • 12 ounces chocolate chips

 

Frosting

  • 4 Tablespoons butter
  • 2 teaspoons lavender extract
  • 1 ½ cups powdered sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons milk (more if needed for consistency)

 

  1. Have ready a greased 9-by-13-inch rectangular baking pan. Set the oven at 350 degrees.
  2. In a large bowl, cream butter and 1 1/2 cups sugar, then mix in the egg yolks, sour cream, and vanilla.
  3. In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. Stir into the butter mixture.
  4. Beat the egg whites until they hold stiff peaks, then fold into the batter. In a small bowl, mix the dried lavender with the remaining 1/2 cup of sugar and the chocolate chips.
  5. Pour half of the cake batter into the pan. Sprinkle the top with half of the cinnamon-sugar mixture. Pour remaining batter on top, then cover that with the remaining cinnamon-sugar mixture.
  6. Bake 40-50 minutes or until a tester comes out clean.
  7. Beat butter and powered sugar together in food processor, add remaining frosting ingredients, adjusting milk to get the consistency you desire.  I find it works best to have it a little soft, so it dribbles down the side of the cake.
  8. Cool on wire rack for at least  20 minutes.  Invert on serving platter.  Put frosting on top and let it dribble down.  Decorate the cake with fresh edible flowers or dried lavender sprigs.

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Biscotti with Lavender and Orange

Ingredients

  • 1/2  cup sugar
  • 3 tbls butter
  • 3 tsp ground lavender
  • 2 teaspoon grated orange rind
  • 1/2  teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 1 1/2  cups all purpose flour
  • 3/4  teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/8  teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 C toasted almonds
  • Optional: 3 oz.  Melted semi-sweet chocolate
  • cooking spray

Preheat oven to 325.

Beat the first 5 ingredients at medium speed of a mixer until well blended. Beat in egg whites. Lightly spoon the flour into dry measuring cups, and level with a k knife. Combine the flour, baking powder, and salt; gradually add flour mixture to sugar mixture, beating until blended. Stir in almonds.

Turn biscotti dough out onto a floured board or other surface to work on. Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray; with lightly floured hands, shape the dough into two 5″ long rolls;  move to the baking sheet and flatten the rolls to a  1″ thickness.

Bake them at 325 for 30 minutes. Remove the rolls from the baking sheet, and cool for 10 minutes on a wire rack.

Cut each roll diagonally into 7 – 1/2″ slices a good sharp knife. Place the slices on baking sheet. Bake the slices at 325 for 15 minutes (the cookies will be slightly soft in the center, but will harden as they cool.

Remove from baking sheet; cool completely on wire rack.

If you want dip one end of the cooled biscotti into the melted semi-sweet chocolate and place on waxed paper to cool and harden.


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Lavender Vanilla Ice Cream

Ingredients

2 Cups  Heavy cream

1 Cup  Milk

1 teaspoon Vanilla

3/4 Cup sugar

2 teaspoon finely ground lavender

 

Instructions

This is a very pure, lavendery ice cream. It’s important to grind up the lavender as finely as possible – both for better flavor and for better texture and it will give a look similar to vanilla bean ice cream.

Using an automatic ice cream maker’ instructions – pour all the chilled ingredients into the ice cream maker’s bowl and process until it’s as firm as you want it. Transfer the ice cream into containers and put in your freezer for at least two hours to let it get a bit harder.

Source for Lavender:
Lavender Wind Farm,’s Culinary Lavender available online at www.lavenderwind.com or call to order 1-(877) 242-7716


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Les crêpes de lavande

Lavender crêpes for the non-French speakers among you. These are a wonderful treat for a special breakfast or brunch. Perfect on a holiday weekend, or whenever you need a treat.

Recipe enough for one or two people, just expand proportionally to serve more.

1 egg
1 cup milk
1/3 cup all purpose flour
1/4 tsp ground lavender
dash of salt

Two recommendations from friend “El Hefe de Cocina”:

Sift the dry ingredients together to be sure they are well blended and there are no clumps of lavender.

El Jefe says some of you will want to use a non-stick pan. While most cooks use them these, days I prefer the highly polished stainless pans which, once they have been used with oil a few times, are almost as non-stick as the coated ones. in any case, use a pan that doesn’t stick (and use wooden or plastic utensils if you do.)

ingredients

beaten egg and milk with 1/3 C flour on the side

scooping to cook

Ingredients all well mixed, scoop with 1/3 C measure to make first crepe.

Pour into pan

While holding the pan, pour in batter, then swirl by tipping the pan around to let gravity fill around the edges.

turning it over

Carefully slip a narrow spatula under the crepe and then turn it to cook on the other side.

flipped crepe

Cooking briefly on the other side.

on plate with jam

Flip your crepe onto a plate, then put in whatever looks good to you. Here we've put on some of our strawberry lavender jam.

wrapped

We added some homemade yogurt and then folded it and are ready to eat. You can put more yummy sauces on top, too, if you like.


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Lavender Baklava

Lavender Baklava

Lavender Baklava

Lavender Baklava

Toni Grove, our resident herbalist and nursery worker, came to work with her FAMOUS Baklava for a goodbye party for our longtime staff member Nancy. She made it with lavender!! It was fabulous!

Recipe

Filling

4 C Finely Ground Walnuts
1/3 C Sugar
1/4 tsp Cinnamon
1/4 C finely ground lavender
1/2 Lb. melted butter

1 pkg filo dough

Syrup

1 C sugar
1 C water
1/4 C honey
1/4 tsp Cinnamon (optional)

Assembling

Preheat oven to 350º

Lay the filo dough leaves in the bottom of a lasagna pan, buttering (use basting brush dipped in melted butter) every other leaf until you have a layer of about 6 or 8 leaves. Mix together the ground walnuts, 1/3 C sugar and 1/4 tsp cinnamon. Spread 1/3  of the mixture evenly over the filo layer. Lay two more filo leaves over the filling you just put on and butter the top filo layer. Spread 1/3 more of the filling, spread evenly, and another layer of two filo leaves with butter on top. Spread final third of mixture and top with the remaining filo leaves, buttering every other one.

Bake for 45 minutes

Take out of oven, or turn off oven and let it cool in the oven.

When cool, slice in your desired shapes. You’ll now need to make the syrup. Heat in microwave for two minutes on high: one cup sugar, one cup water, and 1/4 honey. Stir well until everything is dissolved. Pour over your nicely cut baklava.

 


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Candied Ginger with Lavender

Watch us create Candied Ginger with Lavender step by step. We’re starting tonight on Jan 12, 2012. We’ve cut up about three big chunks of fresh ginger, made a sugar syrup of 1 1/2 cups of sugar and 3 cups of water, and added 1/2 lemon sliced up and about 2 tablespoons of our culinary lavender.

Candying Ginger early on

Ingredients starting to cook

We are now boiling it gently and will continue to do that for a long time…  I wish I could pass the smell through the internet, it’s absolutely divine as the pot is simmering the ginger, lemon, and lavender are swirling, and dancing through the room.

It’s been simmering for about an hour and a half now. You can see in the second photo that the color is changing and the ginger is looking softer.

Candying Ginger 1.5hrs along

Candying Ginger 1.5hrs along

It takes 4 to 6 hours to fully cook ginger, the first few hours are pretty easy, you can just cover and let it simmer away (checking once in a while).

Ginger after about 4 hours of cooking

Towards the end of the cooing, though, you’ll need to check more often because the syrup gets thicker and the potential to burn increases. See how the color of the ginger gets a bit more golden brown as the cooking time increases. These pieces of ginger are almost done – the look almost translucent in the pot.

Candied ginger first time on drying rack

At this stage I took it out of the syrup and placed each piece on a drying rack that is part of the home dehydrator. Because I was cooking with lavender I took some time to scrape off the bits of lavender. It’s a bit of a bother, but it’s worth it to avoid biting into a chunk of lavender that distracts from the excellent blend that lavender will give to the candied ginger when finished.

Straining the ginger syrup

Now, you might just throw away the syrup that’s left in the pan after taking out all these beautiful pieces. Don’t do it! Strain out the syrup and save it for drizzling on… well, lots of things. How about on ice cream? Stir it into yogurt. Make a sweet/sour chicken dish. Use it as a sweetener for a great sugar cookie.

Now you are going to let the dehydrator do it’s work for at least 8 to 10 hours. You don’t want to let it go too far, because you’ll want the pieces to still be sticky so the granulated sugar that you’re going to put on will stay on the pieces.

Still sticky ginger pieces in sugar

Still sticky ginger pieces in sugar

I carefully placed each piece on a plate of sugar and then turned it to cover both sides. Then I threw the pieces into a container that had sugar in it, put the cover on, and shook it vigorously.

Ginger in container for sugar shaking

Ginger in container for sugar shaking

If I had put it in the container without covering both sides with sugar first, they would have wadded together and been harder to shake to cover. As it is, they stuck to each other a litte.

 

Sugared ginger pieces

Sugared ginger pieces

Then I pulled them apart and placed them back on the dehydrator tray for another session of drying.

We sampled them after about 5 hours of drying to see how they tasted and what the texture was like. They were still too squishy and needed more time in the dehyrator. But, we still had to taste them and, wow, they were fabulous. The pieces had more “heat” than the store bought variety, and the lavender added a subtle shift in flavor that was truly delicious. There were four tasters and we didn’t all agree on how much of the lavender we could taste, and that’s a good sign that it’s about right. You don’t want too much lavender because the main flavor needs to be the ginger. Lavender is a helper flavor and shouldn’t shout out its presence.

The ginger was dried for another day and was about perfect. I dipped about half of the pieces in couverture dipping chocolate and they were stunning. I’m sorry, we ate them before we could take the final pictures.

 


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Sage, Lemon & Lavender Ice Cream

This makes a divine ice cream that will keep people talking for a long time.

Combine the cream, sage, lemon, and whole lavender into the cream over low heat for about 15 to 20 minutes. Don’t let the cream stick to the bottom or skim on the top – so keep stirring.

When done infusing, strain the herbs and lemon out of the cream.

Add the milk and sugar and chill.

Using an automatic ice cream maker – pour all the chilled ingredients into the ice cream maker’s bowl and process until it’s as firm as you want it.

Transfer the ice cream into containers and put in your freezer for a few hours to get a bit harder.


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