We’ve been longing to travel… but that won’t be happening soon So, if we can’t travel to Provence at least we can bring that idyllic wine and lavender oasis of France to our dinner table. And what is more reminiscent of the beautiful region in France than herbes de Provence.
Obviously travelling vicariously is not quite the real thing but, it’ll have to do and what better way to travel than through food.
This week it’s a simple meal: chicken, dusted in flour and roasted with shallots, lemons, tomatoes, olives and garlic in a douse of dry red wine (I use the Pinot Noir from our sister company North 42 Degrees Estate Winery https://north42degrees.com/product/pinot-noir-2018-vqa/ ) and a sprinkle of our own blend of herbes de Provence. https://serenitylavender.com/product/herbs-de-provence/ The chicken pieces crisp up on top, while the shallots and garlic melt into sweetness below. You could serve with rice, mashed potatoes or a simple green salad and a crispy fresh baguette to mop up the sauce.
- 8 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs and/or drumsticks
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- ½ to ¾ cup all-purpose flour
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons Serenity Lavender herbes de Provence
- 1 lemon, quartered
- 8 cloves garlic, peeled
- 6 medium-size shallots, peeled and halved
- 1 pint/2 cups of cherry tomatoes
- 1/2 cup pitted green olives
- ⅓ cup dry red Wine
- 4 sprigs of thyme, for serving
Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.
Rinse the chicken and pat dry with a paper towel to remove any excess moisture; this will ensure the skin gets nice and crispy
Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Put the flour in a shallow pan or plate, and lightly dredge the chicken in it, shaking the pieces to remove excess flour.
On the stove top in an oven proof skillet heat the olive oil and place the floured dredged chicken skin side down until crispy and golden brown about 6-7 minutes. Turn the chicken over and cook the other side for about 6-7 minutes. Sprinkle the chicken with the herbes de Provence.
Arrange the lemon, garlic cloves, tomatoes and shallots around the chicken, then add the dry red wine to the pan.
Put the pan in the oven, and roast for 10-12 minutes, then baste it with the pan juices (do not skip this step). Continue roasting for another 20minu tes, or until the chicken is very crisp and the meat cooked through.
Serve in the pan or on a warmed platter, garnished with fresh thyme sprigs.
Serve with mashed potatoes, rice or crisp baguette.
This time of year there is a lot of entertaining going on in our neighbourhood with house parties abound. The food is just as diverse are our friends who are hosting these little soirees from wine and cheese minglers to the causal elegance of a sit down dinner.
If you are hosting a party this season we have a perfect recipe that gives a tender juicy lamb loin or rib chop a bit of zing in the flavour department using locally grown lavender. The aromatic rub of lavender and orange zest is an ideal flavour combination to make any cut of lamb a herbal fragrant note that is reminiscent of the southern coast of France.
Served with a lovely fall salad of arugula or other bitter greens and tossed with roasted hazelnuts and pomegranate seeds. The pomegranate seeds are delightfully sweet and crunchy. The bright red colour and burst of flavour is one of our favourite additions to any salad this time of year, not just this one.
2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 Tablespoon minced shallot
1 Tablespoon finely grated orange zest
1 teaspoon Serenity Lavender’s dried culinary lavender buds
Pinch of sea salt
Pinch of freshly ground black peppercorns
8 double cut lamb chops (about 450 grams each)
In a bowl, blend the olive oil with the shallot orange zest, lavender, salt and pepper. Rub the mixture all over the lamb chops ad transfer them onto a broiling pan or metal rack set on a baking sheet. Let the chops rest in the fridge for 2 -3 hours
Preheat the broiler and position a rack 8-10 inches from the heat. Broil the chops for about 20 minutes, turning occasionally until the temperature reads 140 degrees F.
1/8 cup extra virgin olive oil
3 Tablespoons of fresh lemon juice (about 1/2 a large lemon)
1 teaspoon finely grated fresh lemon zest
400 grams of arugula
1/2 cup of roasted hazelnuts, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup of pomegranate seeds
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Place the arugula in a large bowl. Add the remainder of the ingredients into a small round covered plastic container. Shake well until the oil and lemon juice are blended. Pour over the lettuce, toss and serve with the lamb chops.
Serenity Lavender Farm welcomes you to our 8th Annual Lavender Festival! Come join us as we celebrate Lavender bloomand our 10th store anniversary!
Saturday, June 22 and Sunday, June 23
130 County Road 50 East, Colchester, Ontario
This year’s festival will the the best yet, with over 30 artists and artisans, live music, tai chi demonstaration, yoga class, craft demos, a painting workshop, scavenger hunt, children’s activities, plant sale and lavender garden tours.
Here’s the line up so far and we invite you to come and celebrate our lavender bloom:
Max Marshall – Saturday, June 22, 11am – 2pm
Aaron and Joel Furlotte – Saturday, June 22, 2pm – 5pm
James Staley – Sunday, June 23, 11am – 2pm
Six Degrees – Sunday, June 23, 2pm – 5pm
Local artists, crafters and artisans make up our Artisan Alley, a place to admire and purchase hand-crafted original works and include:
Pawsitively a Dog Thing A Slice of Nature LRRR Designs
G-Pots Cary’s Cutting Boards Glen Eden Salsa
Bishop Artwork EVB Jewelry Stellas Works
Whispers of Wonder Handmade by Deb That’s Sew Sarah
Creations by Ann Mayz Birdhouses Whispering Willow Designs
Jewels by Jasper Transformed Treasures JWaters Design
Couture Art Terra Green Gardens Ayesha Drouillard
R.W Studios Garage Glass Art Dana Laferriere
Twisted to Life KandA Chalk Adventures Then n Now
Kap’s Collection Unconscious Reality Seaside Jewels
Silver by Wendy Jeff Perz Floyjoy Studio
Local artist Rico Dancel is offering two of his well-loved Paint ‘n Wine workshops. His theme, “Lavender Fields Forever.” No experience or materials are necessary! Enjoy a relaxing afternoon with Rico as he leads you and your friends through a guided painting workshop. You’ll take home your own original creation of a lovely lavender field. Tickets must be purchased in advance. $50 + HST. Call Serenity Lavender Farm at 519-984-2684
Every child is an artist and we have lots of children’s activities planned for Lavender Festival 2019! So bring your children and delight in the enchanting world of lavender where they can express their creativity in the chalk walk and colour station, be entertained by the whimsical story telling and readings of local children’s authors including Jane Buttery and Kara Koostra , explore the lavender labyrinth and experience the dance of the butterflies, go on a curiosity invoking adventure with our children’s scavenger hunt or simply write and tie a wish on the magical wishing tree.
Here’s a nice easy recipe for Lavender Lemon tea cookies that we’ve adapted from Dietitians of Canada, COOK! A tea time favourite- oooh so pretty too! They are a perfect pairing with a cup of Serenity Lavender’s Lavender Earl Grey tea on a cold winter’s day or just a nice treat to chase away the winter blues.
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup Serenity Lavender’s lavender sugar
1 tbsp baking powder
1/3 cup non-hydrogenated margarine
1 large egg beaten
1/2 cup 2% milk
2 tsp lemon extract
1 cup icing sugar
2 1/2 – 3 tbsp 2% milk
2 tsp non-hydrogenated margarine
1 tsp lemon extract
Preheat oven to 325°F (160°C)
In a large bowl, combine flour, lavender sugar and baking powder. Using a pastry blender or two knives, cut in margarine until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
In a small bowl, whisk together egg, milk and lemon extract. Pour over flour mixture and stir just until a stiff dough forms (do not over mix).
Drop 1 tablespoonful (15 mL) about 2 inches (5 cm) apart on prepared baking sheets. Bake in preheated oven for 8 to 10 minutes or until bottoms are golden. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely.
In small bowl, combine icing sugar, milk, margarine and lemon extract to form a smooth, thin frosting.
Drizzle frosting over cooled cookies and top with Serenity Lavender’s Culinary lavender buds.
Makes about 30 cookies
A perfect day for a cup of tea…. we’re tasting some new teas and can’t wait to share our new releases with you! Of course they are all blended with our own lavender grown locally at Serenity Lavender Farm. The flavours of our culinary lavender varieties are matched to enhance the flavours of the tea. We grow a number of varietals that are unique to Ontario and Canada. So, coconut ice with it’s spearmint flavours and aromas are a perfect match to our Spearmint tea, which incidently is a great tea to help with digestion. All of teas are fair trade and where possible organically grown. We are always looking for recommendations.
So,what’s your favourite tea?
We’ve started our holiday baking with a few of our favourites from mouth watering shortbread to chocolate fudge. At Serenity Lavender we’re always experimenting and adding lavender to different recipes to see how our favourite herb accents a recipe. Like anything in life, we’ve had some huge successes and then some less than stellar results. Over the next several weeks on Sundays we’ll be sharing some of our recipes that have been great hits and sure fire crowd pleasers. Today we thought we’d start with a classic – Lavender Shortbread! Buttery crisps with a hint of floral and citrus notes that turns this old family recipe into something spectacular!!
Servings: 5 dozen cookies
1 lb unsalted butter, softened
1 cup icing sugar
2 teaspoons Serenity Lavender culinary lavender (ground)
2¼ cups all-purpose flour
½ cup rice flour
½ teaspoon salt
Preheat oven to 325°F.
Cover bottoms of two baking sheets with parchment paper. In a large bowl, cream together the butter, sugar, lavender with an electric mixer. Mix until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add all purpose flour, rice flour and salt and beat until incorporated. Divide dough in half. Flatten into squares and wrap in plastic. Chill until firm. On a floured board, roll each square to a thickness of 3/8 inch. Cut with cookie cutters and place onto baking sheets, spacing cookies about 1 inch apart. Bake 15 to 20 minutes or until pale golden around the edges. Cool then transfer to a rack. Sprinkle with powdered sugar.
Store in an air tight container.
Photo from ilovemilkandcookies.blogspot.ca
It’s time to start the holiday baking around here and one of our family favourites is Lavender Shortbread. These buttery, tender morsels accented with a hint of floral and citrus flavours of Serenity’s culinary lavender are so irresistible, that’s its hard to keep them around until the holidays.
1 pound unsalted butter at room temperature
1 cup of sugar
1 cup rice flour
3 cups of all purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
2 teaspoons ground Serenity Culinary lavender
Preheat oven to 350 F. Cream together butter and icing sugar until light and fluffy. Sift together the dry ingredients. Mix together the dry ingredients into the butter mixture until all the dry ingredients are incorporated.
Spoon dough using a small ice cream scoop onto a parchment lined pan leaving about 2 inches between cookies and press using a fork. Bake for 15-20 minutes until the bottoms are lightly brown. Remove from oven and let cool.
Makes about 40 cookies.
It’s asparagus season in Essex County and how could I resist sharing this delicious recipe. It’s elegant and simple with of course a touch of lavender.
2 pounds of pencil thin asparagus
1/8 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 Teaspoon crushed hot pepper flakes
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 teaspoon, ground Serenity culinary lavender
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup of grated parmesan cheese
1 Tablespoon grated lemon zest
1 Tablespoon fresh squeezed lemon juice
Clean the asparagus and tim off the tough ends. Cook in boiling water for 3 minutes. Drain and cover with cold water to stop the cooking. Drain and pat dry.
Warm the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the pepper flakes and garlic, stir and cook for 1 minute. Add pine nuts and saute until the nuts turn a light golden brown. Add the asparagus and lavender cook for an additional 3 minutes, until just heated through. Season with salt and pepper.
Remove from pan and place onto a serving platter. Top with parmesan allowing the heat to melt the cheese. Sprinkle with lemon zest and drizzle with lemon juice.
A perfect side dish or lunch. Serve with Sauvignon blanc wine.
Photo courtesy of Culinate.com
1 300 ml can of sweetened condensed milk
1 Tbsp ground lavender
3 Tbsp melted butter
Combine all ingredients into a double boiler. Sir constantly until chocolate is melted and smooth. Place in a 8×8 ” lined pan and cool overnight in the refrigerator until firm. Cut into pieces and top with fresh lavender, a sprinkle of lavender salt or cocoa powder
Makes 20 small pieces.