New friends sharing recipes – love it!

I love blogging and love how it connects us. Through some of the wonderful blogs I read I’ve met Lucy at http://lavalily.com, through Lucy’s blog I’ve met Sonia at http://www.soniatasteshawaii.com, through Sonia’s writings I’ve discovered Pua Tokumoto of Waipunalei Lavender & Coffee Farm. http://www.gather.com/viewArticle.action?articleId=281474977046768 I wanted to share some of her wonderful lavender recipes with all of you lavender lovers. I’ve posted these on our discussion page and also on our Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/topic.php?topic=12229&post=53752&uid=277225181840#/pages/Red-Lodge-MT/The-Lavender-Bundle-Store-and-Farms/277225181840?ref=nf

Enjoy!
Pua tells us that the best lavender for cooking is Provence (Lavandula intermedia) or English Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia officinalis) since the taste is milder and has a lower camphor scent. The remarks in quotations are Pua’s.

Lavender Salad Dressing Vinaigrette
“This creamy organic lavender dressing is fabulous on fresh salad greens. Make in small batches to insure freshness. Substitutions are noted”. Mix all ingredients and shake well before using.
1/3 cup olive oil or canola oil
1 teaspoon lemon juice or lime juice
1/3 cup of vinegar or wine rice
3/4 cup of sour cream
1/3 cup of honey
1-1/2 teaspoon dried cooking lavender buds
1 teaspoon finely ground “Herbes de Provence”
Garlic to taste
Optional: Tamari

Grilled Lavender Avocados
“A whole new way of enjoying avocados! Serve with Lavender Margaritas and use a spoon to scoop out the warm velvety flesh. I also grilled the avocados on my stovetop”. Yields 6 servings.

2 Tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature (not margarine)
1 Tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 Tablespoons Tequila
1/4 teaspoon dried finely grounded cooking lavender buds
1/2 teaspoons Hawaiian salt or sea salt
3 ripe but firm avocados

Beat butter well until smooth then add the lime and lemon juice, tequila, salt and lavender until well blended. Refrigerate until ready to use. Cut the avocados in half leaving the skin on but removing the pits. Trim the ends and grill face down for 4 minutes or until the grill marks appear on the fleshy part of the avocado. Turn over each avocado and scoop about 1 tablespoon of the butter mixture into the hollow middle and continue grilling for about 10 minutes or less, until butter melts and the avocado is soft. Scoop butter mixture around the exposed areas of the avocados.

Lavender Iced Tea Sangria
“Serve icy cold at afternoon parties and during cocktail hour. Lavender teabags may be ordered at fine tea and coffeehouses or at Murhie’s”. Source http://www.munchies.com Yields 4 servings.

4 cups water
4 large strawberries, hulled & cut in half
4 lavender black tea bags
1 peach or apple, peeled, pitted and chopped
4-5 Tablespoons sugar or to taste
1 orange, peeled and chopped into 3/4 pieces
1 cup dry red wine

Bring water to boil in a medium saucepan. Remove from heat and add tea bags. Steep for 3 minutes, then remove tea bags. Pour tea into a pitcher and add sugar. Stir until sugar is dissolved. Cool, cover and refrigerate.

In a bowl, mix the peach or apple, strawberries, and orange. Divide among four 16-ounce glasses and add ice. Add the wine to the pitcher and pour into the glasses.

Fresh Lavender Lemonade
“A wonderful and refreshing drink! Mahalo to my Laupahoehoe neighbor, Anna Wilbur who gave me a dozen huge Hawaiian lemons from her orchard.”

1/2 cup lavender infusion (see below)
1 cup water
12 large lemons (or 16 medium ones) to yield 3 cups lemon juice
1-1/2 cups sugar
5 cups cold water
Optional: a few drops of red grenadine

To make lavender infusion, add 1 tablespoon of dried lavender to 1/2 cup of boiling water, steep for 20 minutes. Strain and set aside.

Bring one cup of water and sugar together, stirring occasionally, until the sugar dissolves. Allow syrup to cool.

Microwave 5-6 lemons at a time for about 1-1/2 minutes, until just warm to the touch. You can also set your lemons out in the sun until they soften and warm. Cut the lemons in half and squeeze the juice into a pitcher. Remove the seeds but leave in most of the pulp. Repeat with the remaining lemons. Allow juice to cool, stir in syrup, lavender infusion and rest of water. Add a few drop of grenadine for a pale pink color. Serve over ice. Makes about 2 quarts.

Herbes de Provence Lavender Salmon Filets
“I like to use Dean & DeLuca “Herbes de Provence” for this recipe. This marinade can also be used as a salad dressing by substituting 1/2 cup of lemon juice for orange juice and increasing the olive oil to 1/2 cup.” Yields 6 servings.

1-1/4 cups orange juice
3 Tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon dried lavender
2 Tablespoons “Herbes de Provence” or 1/2 teaspoon each crushed
savory, rosemary, thyme, basil
1/2 teaspoon dried parsley
Optional: 1/2-teaspoon fennel seeds, 1/2 teaspoon tarragon
Hawaiian salt and ground pepper to taste
1 Tablespoons capers
6 salmon filets about 1/2-inch thick

Preheat oven to 400oF.

Combine and blend ingredients. Refrigerate for at least two hours. Pour over salmon filets and let soak for at least one hour, sprinkle capers over the salmon before cooking. Bake in oven for approximately 11 minutes or until center is done. Do not overcook.

Lavender Almond Cranberry Coconut Coffee Cake
“A taste of the islands meets a taste of lavender. I like to serve this cake with my homemade Lavender Guava syrup”. Yields 10 –12 servings.

1 cup milk
1 large egg
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
1 Tablespoon orange liqueur
2-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup dried cranberries
2 teaspoons baking powder
1-1/2 cups of chopped almonds or macadamia nuts
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 cup heavy cream or half and half
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 large egg yolk
1 Tablespoon dried cooking lavender
1/2 cup grated coconut
1/4 pound (1 stick) unsalted butter
2 Tablespoons granulated sugar
1 cup packed dark brown sugar
2 Tablespoons grated orange zest

Preheat oven to 350oF. Grease and flour a 9″ cake pan. Place milk in small saucepan, warm briefly, add lemon juice and set aside until milk looks curdled.

Sift flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt into a medium bowl. Finely grind the lavender buds and add to mixture.

Place butter in a large bowl and beat with an electric mixer until fluffy. Beat in brown sugar. Add egg, continue beating, occasionally scraping down the sides of the bowl for 5 minutes or until fluffy.
Beginning with dry ingredients, alternately beat in the flour and milk, add liqueur, cranberries and 1/2 cup of the almonds. Pour into the prepared cake pan.

In a cup, mix the cream and egg yolk; pour over the batter. In a small bowl, mix the coconut, granulated sugar, orange zest, and the remaining chopped almonds. Sprinkle over the batter. Bake for 40-50 minutes or until center springs back when touched lightly. Let cool for 30 minutes before cutting.

Recipes by Pua Tokumoto

(c) Sonia Martinez

(*) Originally published on November 30, 2004, under my weekly column “Come Join the Feast” in the Hawaii Tribune-Herald of Hilo, HI

 

 

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Lavender Infused Honey

Lil' busy bees

In my mind lavender and honey are the perfect combination. When in bloom, our lavender plants just crawl with honey bees. I remember a few years ago while harvesting lavender at the Purple Haze Lavender Farm in Sequim, WA I was feeling a little intimidated by the thought of sticking my arms into bushes that seemed to be moving and humming with so MANY bees. The lovely little gal that was working close by called out to me, “They’re just honey bees, they’re friendly.” This made me smile and feel comforted and I went about my cutting and gathering while those friendly little bees went about their business. I did feel a little guilty by cutting their lavender and taking some away from them, but they didn’t seem to notice, they were to busy as bees! Ha!

Lavender infused honey is a frequently requested item in my shop. I’ve made this product many times over, but this year for some reason, I just couldn’t get to it. I was looking into trying to source local honey and had a few leads but it just didn’t pan out. However, I did find a supplier for next year and will hopefully have these little jewels sparkling on my shelves. Until then however, here is a recipe to make your own.

Lavender Infused Honey

Use a mild flavored honey and about 1-2 teas fresh or dried lavender for each 1/4 to 1/3 cup honey

In a saucepan warm the honey to just a simmer. Crush the lavender a bit to release the oils into the buds and add to the warmed honey. Remove from heat and infuse for approx a half an hour or until desired flavor. Then slightly re-warm the honey and strain out the lavender buds. Store in an air tight jar.

Serving suggestions. Great on toast, croissants, scones, and quick fruit and nut breads. Delicious drizzled on ice-cream, or over fresh fruit and berries. Sweeten and flavor your teas and other beverages, both hot and cold. Sweeten and flavor your baking replacing the sugar with the honey. I’ve also found a lot of recipes pairing lavender infused honey with goat cheese, the slight sour bite of goat cheese in contrast to the sweet lavender honey is remarkable.

We sell the culinary lavender in the shop, Lavendula Angustifolia, or commonly known as Royal Velvet, a sweet citrusy flavored lavender perfect for blending with the honey.

Talk about tea

This discussion is from our Lavender Bundle Store and Farms’ facebook page, good information about tea and my future plans surrounding it.

Post #1

Yes, let’s talk about tea. First off, I have to get this off my chest, over the years I have been quite an uninformed tea consumer. I’d go to the store, I’d buy the prepackaged tea conveniently packaged in the tea bags, mostly buying based on brand name and flavor preference. But not no more!!!

I have been learning a lot about tea lately. Without going into a whole dissertation on the subject, I will summarize some of what I’m learning. Camellia sinensis is the plant species that produces tea, if it’s not this plant then it’s not a true tea. Typically in fine teas it is only the top two new leaves and the leaf bud that are harvest, usually by hand, and processed into the tea we are familiar with. These fine teas usually command higher prices. Many of the large companies process by machine, and I’m sure use more of the tea plant than just the tender new leaves and bud.

On the market we find and are familiar with white tea, green tea, oolong, and black tea. These different teas are all created from the same plant, the difference however is in the processing, with the white tea being the least processed and the black tea being the most processed using different levels of oxidation.

The hand process goes something like this (keep in mind this is the shortened version written by a newbie to the tea growing and processing world) The tea is harvested by hand only snipping off the top two leaves and middle leaf bud. In certain tea growing regions this harvest takes place approximately every two months. The tea is then laid out to begin to wilt, depending upon conditions, some folks sun wilt, others wilt in an enclosed area with fans and slight heat. Then the tea is brought in to begin hand rolling and encourage the oxidation process.. For white tea it doesn’t go through oxidation, it is quickly pan seared to stop al oxidation and then dried. This is the least processed tea with the least amount of caffeine. Green tea is similar in that it goes through a light oxidation, then seared to stop the process, then dried, it has a little more caffeine than white tea but not much. Both the white and green tea have a more herby vegetative taste. Then comes Oolong and black tea. These teas are hand rolled and rested and dried repeatedly to increase the oxidation process and to increase the caffeine content. With black tea being the strongest and the hand processing can be significant, it can often times command a much higher price.

There are other teas out there made with other parts of the tea plant, such as Kikicha which is also harvested from Camellia Sinesis, but is made from the twigs and stems only.

Other teas such as herbal teas are correctly called tisanes. Tisanes can be made out of many different things, herbs, fruit, flavoring oils, etc. These typically will have no caffeine and are sometimes blended with Camellia Sinesis to add flavors to the caffeinated teas.

Tea blending is an art form in itself. I am meeting a lot of folks that are experimenting with blending their own teas. It’s very exciting to see such an interest. Tea is the second most consumed beverage after water. And research now shows there are many health benefits realized by drinking tea.

Post #2

And now we come to the root of my obsession with tea.

I want to grow and process my own tea. I’ve been researching this quite a bit. There are about twelve commercial tea growers now on the Big Island of Hawaii, an area perfectly suited for growing tea. I’ve been in contact with a few of them and have plans to do a work study with them in the future. On our next visit we plan to tour and talk with them more as each farmer grows in a very different environment from the other. I dream of growing tea there on the island… but that’s pretty far off in the future.

In the less distant future, closer to home and reality, I’m mulling over trying to grow tea on our farm in WA. I have several mature camellia bushes/trees growing there like gang busters, so I know that particular variety of camellia grows well there in the rainy weather and acidic soils of the peninsula, just not sure if camellia sinensis does. Oh, I didn’t mention yet that tea loves a rainy, misty environment and that’s why it grows so well on the rainy side of the Big Island. One of the more prolific areas of tea growing there on the island is up in the cool, rainy area of Volcano around 4000 feet. It is noted that in the lower temperatures the tea grows slower and is reported to be more flavorful.

I’ve been researching the tea growing efforts of the Sakuma Brothers in the Skagit Valley area in WA. Their main crop is fruit and berries, yet they’ve been growing tea for almost ten years now and starting to have quite a bit of success with it. I’ve read that they admit to not giving the tea the effort due for many years as the tea’s harvest time conflicts with the harvest of their major income crops and when you‘re a farmer, well ya gotta do what ya gotta do. More recently they seem to have turned their efforts back toward tea as they are realizing the huge tea market out there and the health benefits

I think it would be great to grow our own tea, blend it with our lavender and other herbs. I’m currently in the process of trying to get a few fellow farmers interested in giving tea a go. We shall see… I will keep all posted.

Buds, Bundles & Plants

 

Fragrant Lavender Buds

We have dried buds and bundles for all your home and crafting needs.
Dried Provence Buds (approx 2 cups) $5.00

Dried Provence Buds (approx 4 cups) $10.00

Dried Field Bundles (currently Royal Velvet & Grosso) $10.00
 
Plants available late Spring 2011
 
We sell 4 inch plants from our nursery usually Grosso.

The Store

 

Welcome! Come on in.

We invite you to visit our new little “lavender nook” located within the Dancing Willow store at 108 South Broadway, Red Lodge, MT. (right next door to our old shop pictured above)
 
Our products are available year-round.. All of our offerings are quality handcrafted products.  

 

Contact Information

We welcome your contact!

If you have any questions, or comments, or want to place an order for our products, please call us at 406-425-3901. This number is our main contact number as well as a cell number, we are almost always available for a phone call.

You can also reach us by using our new email address lavenderbundle@live.com

Our website www.thelavenderbundle.com will remain functioning and you can always visit that site and use the contact form too.

Moving all website info to new blog page

I’ve decided to move our website info to our new blog. Our website has been funky and difficult to navigate and post on from the beginning. I will likely keep the domain address yet this blog will have all the most current happenings and offerings from our little shop and gardens. Welcome!