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.
A terrific way to warm up on such a frosty January day!
4 slices bacon
3 cups leeks, white part only
1 clove garlic, minced
6 cups Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and diced
6 C. vegetable or chicken stock
1/2 C. heavy cream
1 1/2 tsp. Serenity Lavender’s Herbs de Provence
1/2 tsp. Serenity Lavender’s Culinary Lavender, ground
Salt and pepper to taste
Fry the bacon until crisp in soup pot. Remove from pot and drain on paper towels. Reserve approximately 2 tsp of bacon fat. Chop and reserve. Wash the leeks well to remove any sand, chop and add to pot. Gently sauté over medium heat until leeks are very soft (about 7-10 minutes). Add garlic, potatoes and stock to leeks and simmer until potatoes are tender (about 20 minutes). Using a stick blender puree soup until smooth. Add cream, herbes de provence and lavender and whisk thoroughly over low heat until the soup is warm but not boiling. Garnish with bacon.
Season to taste with salt and pepper serve immediately.
Photo from Pxhere
Sweet potatoes are a great source of Vitamin A and this recipe offers a delicious mingling of flavours of lavender and lime for a satisfying side dish .
2 lbs sweet potatoes
¼ cup melted butter
¼ cup. fresh lime juice
½ tsp ground Serenity Culinary Lavender
¼ tsp nutmeg
½ tsp of salt
¼ tsp of pepper
¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Wrap the sweet potatoes in tin foil and bake for approximately 1 hour or until very soft. Set aside until cool then cut the potatoes open and scrape out the flesh into a mixing bowl . Discard the skins. Stir in butter, lime juice, lavender, salt and pepper. Using a stick blender or food processor, blend until smooth. Place on a serving dish top with cilantro and garnish with slices of lime
*Use a spice grinder to ground your lavender.
It’s a cold dreary day and a perfect time for a hot mug of chocolate to warm me up! I found the perfect recipe thanks to A la mode and had to share it with you. It’s sure to put a smile on your face.
For the hot chocolate:
2 cups whole milk
3 oz. dark chocolate (70% cacao)
1 oz. milk chocolate
1/4 tsp. Serenity Lavender’s culinary lavender
For the whipped cream:
1/2 cup cold heavy whipping cream
1/2 tbsp. Serenity Lavender’s Lavender Vanilla sugar
For the whipped cream, place the cold cream, Lavender Vanilla sugar into a cold mixing bowl. Beat the mixture with a whisk or mixer until stiff peaks form. Keep refrigerated until ready for use. For the hot chocolate, beat the milk and lavender over medium heat, whisking occasionally until the milk begins to simmer. Remove from the heat and let the lavender steep for 5 minutes. Strain the lavender and return the milk to the saucepan.
Over medium heat, add the chocolate and mix until the chocolate is melted and incorporated. Whisk the milk mixture for 10 – 20 seconds or until frothy. Pour into a large mug and serve with a dollop of whipped cream.
Enjoy friends and stay warm!
Strawberries with ginger lavender
With Strawberry season in full swing, I’m getting ready to make some strawberry lavender jam. Lavender is a great compliment to any type of berry but those beautiful luscious local red strawberries are accented perfectly with tiny little purple buds of lavender. There are so many lovely ways to serve lavender and strawberries together from soup to sorbet to tarts but today I’ve decided to experiment with a simple lavender syrup recipe with a twist.
1 lb. of Strawberries (quartered)
1/3 cup of sugar
2/3 cup of water
2 Tablespoons of Serenity Culinary Lavender
2 Tablespoons of Limoncello (Lemon Flavoured liqueur)
1 tsp grated fresh ginger
1/2 tsp culinary lavender
Rinse and drain Strawberries. Hull and cut into quarters in a large bowl and set aside.
In a small saucepan over low heat combine water, sugar and lavender and simmer stirring occasionally until the sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat. Place lid over top for about 15 minutes to allow the syrup mixture to steep and the lavender infuse the mixture.
Strain the syrup and discard the blossoms.
Add ginger and lemoncello into the syrup mixture.
Pour the syrup mixture over the straberries. Add 1/2 teaspoon of dried culinary lavender and toss gently. Serve the berries in glass bowls or stemmed glasses. Garnish with Whipped cream and fresh lavender stems.
Makes 4 servings
Come to Serenity Lavender wearing your finest hats and gloves on Saturday, June 23rd from 1-3pm to Serenity Lavender’s Victorian High Tea. Enjoy a delectable array of finger sandwiches, scones, deserts and or course our teas amidst the sereneness of teh lavender blooms. Tickets are $25.00 per person. Seating is limited so call today to reserve your tickets. 519 980-4504 Visa and Mastercard accepted
Goat Cheese and Roasted Red Pepper Pinwheel
Ham and Pickle
Lavender Onion Tartlet
Home Baked English Scones
Served with clotted crème, lavender jelly and raspberry lavender jam
Selection of Petit Fours
Choice of Serenity Lavender Teas
Lavender, Lavender Earl Grey, Lavender Green Tea, Provence Rooibos
Victorian High Tea at Serenity Lavender
Chewy, chocolately with just the right amount of lavender. My family just loves these. When I make a batch they’re gone before the next day. Truly yummyliscious!
1 cup of sugar
1/2 cup of butter
1/2 cup of flour
1/3 cup of unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon dried culinary lavender
1/4 cup chocolate chips
1/4 cup walnuts (optional)
Cream the butter and sugar. Beat in eggs and mix until smooth. In a separate bowl sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder. Add salt and lavender. Blend dry ingredients into the egg mixture. Mix in chocolate chips and walnuts. Pour into a greased 8×8 inch pan. Bake 25-30 minutes at 350 degrees or until a toothpick comes out clean. Top with your favourite chocolate frosting for an even more decadent experience!
Just in time for the Holidays we have signed copies of the award winning Harrow Fair Cookbook available. Quantities are limited so order early to avoid disappointment!
If you love crème brulee you must try this recipe. The delicate floral flavor of lavender is heavenly!
Yields: 6 to 8 servings
Prep time: 20 min
Cook time: 60 min
4 cups heavy cream
1 tablespoon Serenity Lavender’s Culinary lavender
8 egg yolks
3/4 cup granulated sugar, divided
Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
In a large, heavy saucepan over medium heat, add cream and the lavender flowers; heat just to a simmer. Remove from heat and allow lavender flowers to infuse with the cream for 15 minutes. Strain cream mixture through a fine mesh strainer to remove lavender flowers.
In a large bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and 1/2 cup sugar until light and creamy. Slowly add the strained cream to the egg mixture, blending well. Divide custard mixture among the custard cups.
Arrange the custard cups in a oven proof roasting or baking pan. Prepare water for the water bath by bringing enough water to a simmer. Carefully pour the hot water into the baking pan to come half-way up the sides of the custard cups.
Bake 60 minutes or until set around the edges but still loose in the center. The cooking time will depend largely on the size of the custard cups you are using, but begin checking at a half hour and check back regularly. When the center of the custard is just set, it will jiggle a little when shaken, that’s when you can remove it from the oven.
Remove from oven and leave in the water bath until cooled. Remove cups from water bath and refrigerate at least 2 hours or up to 2 days.
When ready to serve, sprinkle approximately 2 teaspoons of remaining sugar over each crème brulee and using a small hand-held torch melt the sugar until a golden brown crust is formed.
Peaches, Lavender and Harrow go hand in hand. Did you know that varieties such as Harrow Beauty, Harrow Fair, Harbright and Harrow Diamond, just to name a few, were developed right in our own backyard at the Agriculture Agri-food Canada Harrow Research Station? While we no longer celebrate these achievements at the Peach Festival, but we still love our peaches which are bursting with sweet rich ripeness right now and available at your local Harrow fruit stands picked just hours before your purchase.
So this season for something try the flavours of lavender and peach
6 -8 peaches
2 cups of water
1 cup of sugar
1 Tablespoon of Serenity’s culinary lavender
1 bay leaf or clove
In a medium saucepan combine the sugar and water and over medium heat stir until the sugar is disolved and the mixture is clear. Remove from heat and add the lavender and bay leaf and steep for 10-15 minutes. Strain the herbs from the liquid and return the liquid to the saucepan and bring to a boil. Add peaches and cook for 2-3 minutes until the peaches are tender. I like mine a bit firmer. Remove peaches from the liquid with a slotted spoon. Let them cool down a bit. Peel the skin, pit and slice in half. Continue to cook until liquid is reduced to 1/2 cup. Place 2 peach halves on a plate and drizzle with syrup. Serve with ice cream or for something more decadent try it with marscapone cheese or devon cream. Garnish with a fresh lavender sprigs, mint or bay leaf.