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.
Our bees have been busy this year and we have once again we have lavender honey!
What’s the buzz? A worker bee gathers in her entire life 0.8 gram (0.0288 ounce) of honey and it requires 556 worker bees and a million flowers to gather a pound of honey. Bees normally fly once around the world to gather enough nectar for that pound of honey but we make it a bit easier for them by placing our hives in our lavender production field. Still, that’s a lot of flowers.
Raw honey has been used as a folk remedy throughout history. But those old wives tales are true and honey has a variety of health benefits and medical uses. It’s chocked full of antioxidants, is heart healthy and tastes delicious too!
The bees arrived back on our property on June 7th and we have 8 hives this year. The bees were very busy with 2 blooms this summer and our first batch of honey was extracted on July 21st.
Sooooo golden in colour and the delicate floral scent of lavender flows through this pleasant, well balanced and rounded honey.
And we just stocked our shelves with some gorgeous honeycomb. Eating honeycomb is one way to enjoy the full fruits of our bees’ labour. To produce one pound of wax the bees consume 6-8 lbs of honey. The wax is edible and honeycomb contains not just honey but also pollen and sometimes royal jelly. It’s the perfect addition to a bowl of oatmeal in the morning and you’ll find it on our charcuterie boards at the Bistro 42.
We’ll be saying goodbye to our bees soon as the evenings cool but we thought we’d share this old family recipe as our bee season winds down and they go into hibernation.
1 c sugar
¼ c water
1 c honey
2 tsp allspice
1 tsp cinnamon
½ tsp cloves
½ tsp nutmeg
4 tsp butter
4 c flour
1 whole egg plus 1 egg yolk
2 tsp baking soda
1/3 cup warm water
1 c confectioner’s sugar
1-2 Tbsp water depending on the thickness of the icing you want (glazed or piped)
½ teaspoon almond or peppermint extract
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a saucepan measure out 2 Tbsp of sugar and ¼ cup of water stir until dissolved and carmelize over gentle heat stirring until it begins to turn a golden brown colour. Add the remaining sugar, honey, spices and butter. Stir continuously until the mixture begins to boil. Remove from the stovetop and set aside to cool.
In a large bowl beat the egg and mix in the flour, baking soda and water. Blend in the sugar add spice mixture . Knead the dough until smooth. Cover the bowl with a towel and let it rest 20 minutes.
On a flour dusted countertop roll out the dough into a rectangle. Cut the dough into shapes using your favourite cookie cutters and place on a parchment lined cookie sheet. Bake 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes. Let cookies cool. Ice the 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?
Music, Art, Food, Wine, and of course, Lavender, all at the 2017 Lavender Festival!
Serenity Lavender Farm will hold its 5th annual Lavender Festival on the grounds of the farm and North 42 Degrees Estate Winery.
Saturday, June 24 and Sunday, June 25
Admission is free.
This weekend celebration offers a wide selection of activities and tours. Plus, the beautiful lavender fields make for inspiring photographs.
Experience Serenity Lavender Farm in bloom!
Serenity Lavender Farm will host artisans, cooking demonstrations, Tai Chi, wine tours, the Stilt Guys, and lavender tours. Featured artisans include:
ª Robert Bishop Art ª Simon Steeps Tea
ª Ring Weaver ª CHC Beeswax Candles
ª Ravyn Ouellette ª Garage Art Glass
ª Transform Treasures ª Silver Such
ª Bent Art ª David’s Woodworking
Food by Bistro 42 Executive Chef Steve Meehan and live music rounds out this not-to-be-missed weekend! Face painting and activities for children round out this family-friendly weekend.
Come help us celebrate Lavender Bloom 2017! A Scentsational Experience!
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.
Come join us for the best and biggest lavender fest in Ontario!
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
Yes, it is that time of year again when we gather round the big screen television to watch the superbowl. Or for those who are not football fans at the least the half time show. This North American tradition has become something more – its a celebration of friendship, family and food. That food is usually pizza, wings and all kinds of snack foods but why not shake it up a bit and try something with a twist of lavender- yes I said lavender. Here’s a recipe that we love with the added zest and herbal flavours of lavender.
1 cup of pecans
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup Sugar
2 dried red chile peppers
2 tsp lavender
Combine the ingredients in a saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat constantly stirring to avoid the sugar from burning. Add the pecans and return to a boil. Reduce heat. Simmer for 10 minutes. Arrange the pecans evenly on a baking sheet. Bake at 250 degrees until the pecans start to lightly brown.
Cool and serve.