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Archive for March, 2006


This Appetizer Wins a Blue Ribbon

Blue Cheese topped with lavender honey on a cracker makes a delicious appetizer. My favorite blue cheese is an artisan cheese produced by The Rogue River Creamery. The strong and pungent taste of the cheese is enhanced by a dollop of lavender honey. My favorite lavender honey comes from the Olympic Lavender Farm located in Sequim, Washington.

I discovered the recipe for this appetizer in a magazine advertisement for Carr’s crackers. What a great idea!

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PEARS PAIR PERFECTLY WITH LAVENDER

In the mood for a fast and delicious dessert? Looking for something fat-free? Then you must try this one. I made it in less than 15 minutes. My kitchen is filled with the most wonderful fruity, floral fragrance. Trust me whether you are preparing a simple family meal or a feast with company, this dessert will be enjoyed by everyone.

Lavender Poached Pears

Pears partner exquisitely with lavender. These pears remind me of the home-canned pears my mother made in the summer and served us for dessert in the middle of winter. The texture is soft and the flavor is a gentle reminder of summer.

3 fresh Bosc or Bartlett Pears
1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 Tablespoons lavender buds
½ cup sugar
½ cup water
1 tablespoon fresh lemon zest

Wash pears and peel the skin off completely. Cut the pears in half, removing the core.
Sprinkle the pears with lemon juice to prevent them from turning brown.
Put the lavender buds in a small piece of cheesecloth and tie up with kitchen twine.
Place the pears in a micro-wave safe dish; add sugar, water and the bundle of lavender.
Cover the dish and cook in microwave for a total of seven minutes or until the pears are easily probed with a fork. After the first three minutes, rotate the dish and rearrange the pears.

If you prefer to poach the pears in your oven, you can place the pears in an oven-proof dish, cover and bake at 325 degrees for approximately 30 minutes.
Remove the bundle of lavender and add the lemon zest. Spoon the syrup over the pears, cover the dish and let the pears stand at least 30 minutes before serving.

Serving suggestions: This makes a simple fat-free dessert or can be served at breakfast with yogurt. My favorite way to serve this is as dessert sprinkled with a tiny amount of best quality dark chocolate and garnished with a sprig of fresh lavender.

6 Servings

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Strawberries sweetened with lavender sugar and topped with a mixture of Greek yogurt and creme fraiche is a fantastic way to announce that spring is nearby.

Simple, elegant, fresh and delicious, this recipe is one you will use over and over again.

Enjoy!

STRAWBERRIES WITH LAVENDER YOGURT CREAM

1 pound fresh strawberries, rinsed, stemmed and cut lengthwise into 8ths
1 tablespoon lavender sugar
1 tablespoon best quality balsamic vinegar

1 cup Greek Style yogurt
2 tablespoons heavy creme fraiche
1 tablespoon lavender sugar

1. Chill 6 desert goblets by placing in the refrigerator
2. Combine the strawberries, vinegar and 1 tablespoon of sugar. Stir gently. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
3. Just before serving, combine the yogurt and creme fraiche in a bowl and whisk gently adding the 1 tablespoons of lavender sugar to taste; The mixture will remain quite firm.
4. Spoon the strawberries in to the desert goblets and top with the lavender yogurt cream.

Garnish with a sprig of mint or lavender.

6 Servings

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This morning I am grateful for my hands. They are incredibly useful, helpful and busy. Whether they are keying in letters on my computer, digging a small hole with a trowel or scratching an itch, my hands are necessary for all kinds of things.

I am taking excellent care of my hands. Beeswax cream is soothing, luxuriant. My hands love it. The cream adds moisture back that is lost due to hot water, soap and garden dirt. This cream is organic. The ingredients are sesame seed oil, beeswax, distilled water, propolis tincture, lavender essential oil and a little bit of borax. The cream has a subtle clean fragrance. I have been using this cream for about a week, and my hands are beginning to respond to this pampering. They are softer and the dryness around my cuticles is gone!

You can get this cream from kate@healingbees.com.

Hands, bees and lavender — all blessings enriching my life!

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The Lavender Fairy

Lavender has its very own fairy. The charming illustration was created by Cicely Mary Barker in 1923. The little fairy is standing barefoot on a lavender bush. Her arms reach up as she steadies herself by holding on to a spike of purple flowers. Dressed in a purple dress, the fairy has wings. Butterflies seems to dance around the flowers.

Check out this illustration at this website: http://www.insects.org/ced4/lavender.html

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Several days ago, I wrote about the cat at my garden. I don’t think I mentioned that my garden is a community garden, better known here in Seattle, as a P-Patch. This big black cat seems to live in the garden. I am suspecting this is a male cat. He struts and swaggers around the garden like he owns the place. He looks mangy, his fur is thick and uneven. He has a wild look, scruffy and shabby. I do hope he is not reading this blog because I would not want to hurt his feelings. My grandson, Sam, calls him “Scarface Claw.” Scarface Claw fits this guy perfectly.

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