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Entries in lavender (3)

Thursday
Feb282013

Lavender Lemon Shortbread

Lemon Lavender Shortbread

The sun finally feels like it is beginning to come out of hibernation, indulging in a few more precious moments with me each day. After spending a winter in England, I realized just how dependent I am on her warm rays. The cloudy English skies and brilliant fogs, while a novelty at first, grew to become oppressive. I soon felt as withered as the waning plant I kept in my windowsill; the plant turning a shade of brown as it slowly tossed its leaves to the floor. Each day the sun stayed hidden behind the clouds, my energy drained ever so slightly from my limbs, taking a small part of my spirit with it.

The sun, I have discovered, is the cure to the simplest case of winter blues.

Lemon Lavender Shortbread Lemon Lavender Shortbread

As a respite from trudging through foot high snow drifts and scraping the frost off frozen windshields, the sun brought the feeling of spring the last few days. With temperatures above freezing for the first time in months, I shed my winter coat and walked around in a simple sweatshirt. Though it was still far to cold outside for such antics, I wanted to feel the warmth of the sun on my face, to absorb the glow deep into my skin, to replenish the energy a winter of bone chilling temperatures took away.

The sun's rare gift of spring will quickly decline back into winter, but I feel recharged, ready to put back on my mittens and wrap a scarf back around my neck.

Lemon Lavender Shortbread

With a feeling of spring in the air, I was taken back briefly to the flavors of last summer and a resplendent glass of my summer drink of choice—Lavender Lemonade. Even though it is too soon to dream of enjoying a glass while basking in the hot summer sun, I could not resist but bring the flavors together in a new form.

Shortbread is a clean slate in terms of flavor. The buttery, sandy texture of shortbread, while lovely on its own, lends itself well to simple mix-ins. The zest of a couple lemons and the subtle scent of lavender brought a feeling of spring into my kitchen, the aroma hanging in the air long after the cookies emerged from the oven.

Lemon Lavender Shortbread

Lavender Lemon Shortbread brings a bright, refreshing flavor to a winter's afternoon. The classic sandy texture of shortbread meets lemon zest and lavender buds. The lemon is the predominant flavor while the lavender imparts a subtle tone to the overall profile. To add extra sweetness, the cookies are rolled with lemon-scented sugar before heading into the oven. These shortbread cookies are best accompanied with a warm beverage and visions of spring.

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Monday
Jun042012

Lavender Lemonade

Lavender Lemonade

The heat of the summer sun feels like a light kiss in the cool morning air. The bright rays land lightly on my skin, feeling warm and rosy against the crisp breeze fading away from the rising sun. Morning light makes me want to lie in the dew-kissed grass, ignore the damp clothes sticking to my skin, close my eyes, and revel in the warmth of the beginning of a new day. I want to take in these small moments—indulge in their sweetness. Even though I'm given a new opportunity each morning to do so, I don't take it.

Instead I spend my morning on the couch, behind glass, only noting the sun's presence from the glare across the television screen. I greet the sun in late morning as I walk to my car, not out of choice, but out of necessity. It leaves me wondering: where did I go wrong?

Lavender Lemonade

I have dreams about the person I wish to become one day. I want to be the woman who keeps a clean house (and doesn't let the dishes pile up on the countertop). I want to be the woman who keeps wildflowers in a vase by the window. I want to be the woman who listens to jazz music instead of watching reality television. But mostly, I want to be the woman who reads on her porch in the morning sun with her bare toes digging into the cool grass.

Maybe someday I will be all of these things... or maybe I will ever stay the same, not quite finding my way out of this groove. Until then, I may not enjoy the sweetness of the morning sun, but I can get sullied up in the afternoon heat and be glad I already am the woman who can make the perfect summer lemonade.

Lavender Lemonade
Lavender Lemonade

Lavender Lemonade is tart, tingly, and deliciously pink. The flavors of lemon and lavender come together so seamlessly, so effortlessly, that one sip will convince you they were meant to be together. Fragrant and fruity, this lemonade has made a home in my heart. It will be certain to cool you down on any warm summer's day.

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Sunday
Jan082012

Chocolate Lavender Cupcakes

Chocolate Lavender Cupcakes

When I lived in Montreal, my lovely roommate Jessa was the first to introduce me to the concept of baking and cooking with flowers. Until this point in my life, I reveled in the bold colors, soft lines, and sweet scents of buds and blossoms, but it hadn't occurred to me just how delicate they could become in food. The subtle aromas, the muted tones, the calmness they brought to a flavor storm of complexity—it was beautiful.

It opened a new door to how I perceive and interact with food.

Baking with Lavender

It started with a glass of lavender lemonade. Jessa brewed up a fresh batch in our small kitchen while I was away and greeted me with a tall glass when I arrived back home. I was hesitant at first. The scent of lavender reminds me of summer days and peaceful breezes, not sweet refreshments. However, after I took a sip, my opinion changed entirely. The subtle tones of lavender were the perfect match for a lemon's tart disposition.

[To this day, that lavender lemonade is the best lemonade I've ever had. When the weather gets warmer, I'll be certain to share it with you too.]

Chocolate Lavender Cupcakes Chocolate Lavender Cupcakes Chocolate Lavender Cupcakes

Later, Jessa introduced me to the small, quaint café Fuchsia, where I happened upon my first chocolate lavender cupcake. It was, undoubtedly, delicious, but deliciously simple. The cupcake wasn't covered in a sweet, buttercream frosting. It wasn't filled with lavender cream. A few lavender buds settled on top of the cupcake to reveal the secret within.

With a flavor so pure and effortless, it would be such a shame to cover it up.

Chocolate Lavender Cupcakes Chocolate Lavender Cupcakes Chocolate Lavender Cupcakes

These Chocolate Lavender Cupcakes have a delicate lavender tone that is not too perfumed or overwhelming. The chocolate and lavender complement each other well, creating a cupcake with a complex palate. Please be sure to use culinary lavender and not lavender labeled for another purpose, which may be sprayed with pesticides or coated in inedible solutions. Edible lavender can readily be found in most health food stores.

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