A Lavender Picnic

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I’m joining The Novel Bakers

for Lavender Week!

The skies finally cleared long enough for me

to spread a quilt for a Lavender Picnic. . .

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And enjoy a few lavender treats~

courtesy of The Lavender Cookbook.

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“The appeal of lavender extends beyond its fragrance to the rich yet delicate flavor it adds to a variety of foods. The Lavender Cookbook contains more than 120 delectable recipes infused with the freshness of lavender, offering new options for tasty appetizers, satisfying soups and salads, enticing main courses, and luscious desserts and baked goods. Included are recipes for such dishes as Butternut Squash Bisque with Lavender Cider Cream; Avocados and Pears with Raspberry-Lavender Vinaigrette; Grilled Lavender-Honey Breast of Chicken; Cold Cucumber Soup with Stuffed Zucchini Blossoms; Petite Lavender Scones; Raspberry-Blueberry Bread Pudding; and many more savory combinations using one of the earth’s most delightful flavors. These simple yet elegant recipes can be incorporated easily into the daily menus of any home cook who loves new tastes, fresh ideas, and delicious food.”

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I’d never cooked with lavender before and The Lavender Cookbook is full of tempting sweet and savory recipes! There are also basic recipes to bring lavender to the table by incorporating lavender into your everyday cooking~ adding it to butter, creme fraiche, syrup, and sugar to add to your baking, drinks and desserts.

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So many recipes and so little time. . .

 On my ‘to make’ list:

Lavender Pecan Chicken Skewers, Petite Lavender Scones, Lavender Apple Rhubarb Crisp, Shrimp with Lavender Honey Marinade, Olive Lavender Country Bread, Lavender Honey Custard Ice Cream, Lavender Blueberry Banana Bread, Risotto-Style Yukon Gold Potatoes with Lavender and Rosemary!

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The recipes in The Lavender Cookbook are creative without being overly complex and were developed using dried culinary ‘Provence’ lavender buds, which have a gentle lavender flavor that’s not bitter, medicinal or perfumey.

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 I found culinary French lavender

from Amazon here.

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We indulged in Chocolate Lavender Brownies~ a moist & rich brownie. I used Hershey’s Special Dark Cocoa, a blend of natural and Dutched cocoas.

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 Grind your lavender buds in a spice grinder (or coffee grinder used only for spices), to release more of the essential oil, and to increase the lavender flavor in recipes.

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The small amount of lavender adds a wonderful & subtle flavor to the chocolate that you can’t quite identify. I encourage you to experiment with your favorite brownie recipe and boost the flavor factor by adding 1 teaspoon of dried culinary lavender!

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 Add the lavender buds to a spice grinder with 1 tablespoon of sugar and grind until fine. Add to your other dry ingredients and proceed with your recipe.

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Moist, rich, and chocolaty with

the barest hint of lavender~

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I bought a bottle of Lorina Sparkling French Lemonade to enjoy here to quench my thirst for flowers. I removed the label and saved the bottle to reuse since I am a hoarder and loved the French lettered embossing :)

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It seemed appropriate to refill the bottle with Lavender Lemonade and tote it along for a French lavender picnic!

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Treat yourself to some Lavender Syrup~

A wonderful addition to lemonade, ice tea, or cocktails where simple syrup is called for. The syrup will keep for up to 2 weeks in the refrigerator. For lemonade replace a portion of the sugar with lavender syrup.

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Lavender Syrup

1 cup water

1 cup sugar

2 tablespoons fresh or dried culinary lavender

lemon zest

Boil water & sugar until sugar dissolves. Remove from heat and stir in lavender and lemon zest. Let steep for 20 minutes. Strain into a container with a tight-fitting lid and refrigerate until needed.

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We enjoyed some goat cheese sprinkled

with French lavender and drizzled with honey~

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I’m  joining The Novel Bakers

for Lavender Week, July 22nd – July 28th!

 a quiet life

Rattlebridge Farm 

 Once Upon a Plate

 Visit Jain, Michael Lee and Mari

for more delicious and fragrant fun!

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Stop and Smell the Lavender

all week long!

Also sharing at:

 Metamorphosis MondayThe ScoopInspire Me TuesdayTutorials Tips and TidbitsWow Us WednesdaysTablescape ThursdayBe Inspired FridayFeathered Nest FridayFoodie Friday, Fresh Cut Friday, Seasonal Sundays

  48 comments for “A Lavender Picnic

  1. July 22, 2013 at 5:50 am

    Hi – what a great idea! I am visiting you from Between Naps on the Porch. I love lavender – the color, the plant…the smell of it is wonderful. I have a lot growing in my yard. I could do without the bees that hover nearby it though but I know they are necessary!!

    I was in France about 12 years ago and the lavender fields are everywhere – and so beautiful. The French really celebrate the plant – and with good reason. I have to try out some of the recipes – and that fabulous book.

    Nice meeting you via the blogosphere. My husband and I are sailors – on the South Shore of Long Island.

    Come visit my blog!

    Linda
    http://www.thecolorfulbee.com

  2. Cheryl
    July 22, 2013 at 6:50 am

    Beautiful post today Mary. I love seeing the lake in the photos. Lavender is one of my favorite herbs. I’m going to give that lavender brownie recipe a try.

  3. July 22, 2013 at 6:53 am

    I love this post, Mary! *AND* You even found lavender straws!!! Simply lovely.

  4. July 22, 2013 at 7:18 am

    It is all so lovely, filled with pleasant summertime thoughts! You might have inspired me to plan a picnic for my granddaughters :)

  5. July 22, 2013 at 7:53 am

    Lovely lavender picnic Mary, and the menu sounds just right for relaxing on a soft quilt~I think a chocolate lavender brownie sounds intriguing and mysterious, like something out of an Agatha Christie tale! I’m not so sure about some of the other lavender recipes you mentioned, but I will keep an open mind, as I’m sure they must be quite tasty and different ! I admit I was relieved to know that culinary lavender is available for sale, I was so afraid I was going to have to cultivate it myself! Thanks for a wonderful start to my week~
    Jenna

  6. July 22, 2013 at 7:58 am

    Loved the recipes ! I could almost taste the brownies! The goat cheese sounds good also.
    Love the quilt. I’m a quilter so I noticed it right away.
    Have a lovely Lavender day.

  7. Rattlebridge Farm
    July 22, 2013 at 7:59 am

    Mary, your picnic could be a scene straight out of Provence–gorgeous! I’m admiring your pretty bottles and the lavender quilt and the serene setting. The Queen Anne’s lace is a favorite (the county mowed mine to the nub). I was a lavender virgin, too, and now I’m using it everywhere, even in the dogs’ bedding! Your chocolate brownies are so enticing, I can’t wait to try them. I’m still cooking, thanks to the rain. It’s raining now! Wishing you sunny skies and a very happy Lavender Week! xx

  8. July 22, 2013 at 8:16 am

    What a sweet picnic, it looks yummy enough to get stuffed full of goodies and then grab a pillow and take a quick snooze…

  9. July 22, 2013 at 8:29 am

    You’re enticing me with lavender cookery, Mary! I can almost smell it through your pictures, which are a beautiful culinary trip in themselves. The brownies sound heavenly, as does the goat cheese spread. Thank you for sharing your heavenly picnic with us.

  10. paula
    July 22, 2013 at 8:57 am

    ~Mary~
    Your sweet picnic spread is lovely, how relaxing!! Mary, you sure set the good example of enjoying life in a beautiful way. I hope to find that book !
    Paula
    In.

  11. July 22, 2013 at 9:02 am

    This is soo spectacular…gorgeous pictures!!

  12. July 22, 2013 at 9:18 am

    Another beautiful picnic! A picnic by the lake seems the ultimate in serenity, t me. I have never hd anything with lavender in it! This is making me want to try it soon. The quilt, pillows etc. are perfect. The scenery is TDF! Have a beautiful, and hope, sunny week. The rain is coming here now, they say. XO

  13. July 22, 2013 at 10:01 am

    A lavender picnic! I like starting my week with such joys, Mary. Thank you! I’m craving one of those lavender brownies. Will need to try that. I like to bake with lavender, but am looking forward to this week to see how you girls are cooking other things with this herb. Beautiful setting with all the lavender details, right down to the striped straws! I have a set of those darling wire cloches. ‘-)

  14. July 22, 2013 at 10:11 am

    So beautiful, and I love the little purple & white paper cupcake/candy liners!

  15. July 22, 2013 at 10:13 am

    oh how glad i am the sun was shining in your lavender extravaganza! your setting is so soft and delicate, just like the addition of lavender to any recipe. how could you not relax eating lavender with the lake soflty lapping behind you…

    your brownies look lovely, i tried some at the festival, after seeing yours i must make my own. i think i have had lavender several times a week since i bought this book back in april, i have made some recipes 3 times at least, i just love love love lavender, as i said, lavender is my new s&p!

    wild over your lemonade! i adore bottles and straws and metal carriers, and a adore gorgeous pics filled with them all! i sure hope you loved this picnic as much as i to be peeking in on you all! goat cheese and honey, yum, i made the goat cheese salad, so i can truly taste the delicious creamy flavor lingering on my tongue…

    what a gorgeous and delicious kick off to lavender week every pic is so soothing and inviting, just like lavender! thank you so much for your fabulous start to lavender week, can’t wait for the week to unfold~

  16. July 22, 2013 at 10:19 am

    Mary, you could knock me over with a feather right about now ~ what a GORGEOUS presentation! I love all of the attention to detail that you create (and capture so perfectly in your images.) The brownies look divine ~ and lavender lemonade, yes, please! Such a pretty cheese and fruit tray, too. *sigh* I could be very happy spending an afternoon in your idyllic setting. Very nicely done! Viva Lavender!!

  17. July 22, 2013 at 10:42 am

    I’m enticed by the idea of using lavender in cooking but haven’t tried it yet. Your quilt scape and cheese and crackers look yummy indeed! Nice to know other hoarders keep glass bottles!

  18. Ellen
    July 22, 2013 at 11:10 am

    What a beautiful post!! Everything about it is lovely, and your photography captures the scenes perfectly. I love lavender, but have never used it in cooking. I was recently given a small bottle of lavender infused balsamic vinegar, which is delicious paired with a lemon infused olive oil on salads. Will definitely try the lavender brownies! Thanks for starting my week with such beauty.

  19. July 22, 2013 at 11:20 am

    I love cooking/baking with Lavender, and we’re fortunate to have a spice/herb stand at The West Side Market in Cleveland that sells culinary lavender. Have not seen this book, the recipes look very interesting. Thanks for the beautiful inspiration.

  20. July 22, 2013 at 1:37 pm

    Oh, how lovely, Mary…as usual, everything is so beautifully coordinated…The brownies sound amazing…but try lavender shortcake cookies when you have a chance…absolutely wonderful!

    Queen Anne’s Lace is one of my (if not THE) favorite wild flowers …and I finally found someone who grows it in Hawai’i in her farm from seeds she ordered from a mainland company!

  21. July 22, 2013 at 3:19 pm

    I admit I have not eaten anything with lavender before but now I am intrigued. Your photos are so pretty and the book is enticing. I love learning about cooking with lavender. I must look into where I can buy culinary lavender. I know Williams Sonoma sells Herbs de Provence.

  22. July 22, 2013 at 3:23 pm

    Beautiful lavender picnic, Mary!

  23. July 22, 2013 at 6:44 pm

    Very pretty pics Mary! I’ve really only used lavender in herbs de Provence, did find out it was very good on popcorn though:@)

  24. Marty@A Stroll Thru Life
    July 22, 2013 at 6:54 pm

    Oh wow, this is as perfect as it gets. I would love to be there. It is so hot here and this is so beautiful. Thanks tons for joining Inspire Me. Hugs, Marty

  25. July 22, 2013 at 8:35 pm

    Such a pretty picnic. Glad to know about the Lavender Cookbook!

  26. July 22, 2013 at 9:44 pm

    Lovely scenes, Mary! Every picture paints a lovely scene. i hdon’t cook with lavender very often but I love the scent and flowers.

  27. July 22, 2013 at 10:10 pm

    Lavender…has to be my most favorite scent…Will have to check out the culinary lavender!…your “lavender picnic” is so inviting by the water..stunning presentation as always Mary!…Wish I could grow lavender..have failed miserably before!

  28. Botanic Bleu
    July 22, 2013 at 11:29 pm

    Thanks for the lavender picnic and for giving a source for culinary lavender. The brownies and lemonade both look delicious. I will be trying those.

    Judith

  29. July 23, 2013 at 10:14 am

    Wow breathtaking! Now this is my kind of picnic! I would love it if you came by and shared it at One More Time Events… http://www.onemoretimeevents.com/2013/07/share-it-one-more-time-features-and_20.html
    New follower

  30. July 23, 2013 at 8:29 pm

    Lovely post on lavender….While in Paris, I enjoyed the lovely lavender fields – so breathtaking…My sister lives in Oregon and while visiting her we went to a lavender farm and picked our own lavender, so much fun! I have used lavender in baking lavender shortbread which is one of my favorites.

  31. July 23, 2013 at 8:37 pm

    I’ve never cooked with lavender, but if I had a beautiful spot like you do for a lavender picnic I’d be tempted to give it a try. Gorgeous setting!!
    Mary Alice

  32. July 24, 2013 at 10:10 pm

    What a gorgeous setting. Very creative.

  33. July 24, 2013 at 11:57 pm

    Wow, I’ve never cooked with Lavender before. What a great idea, and the book looks interesting. Might have to add it to my collection

  34. July 25, 2013 at 1:16 am

    Now this has to be the perfect way to spend a perfect summer afternoon lakeside. Thanks for inviting us for a peak and for the inspiration. Cherry Kay

  35. July 25, 2013 at 9:15 am

    All of your pictures are just beautiful. I love, love the smell of lavender. It is one of my favorite fragrances…and this is so interesting to see all of the creativity with it in recipes..
    Love, Mona

  36. July 25, 2013 at 12:33 pm

    What a lovely setting for your lavender picnic! Maybe one day I will be creative & cook with lavender. Your picnic is so pretty! Thank you for sharing.
    Blessings My Friend,

  37. July 25, 2013 at 1:35 pm

    Your post pics are glorious – so beautifully done!

    I have that exact same cookbook and have used it many times. The first thing I ever made from it was lavender lamb for a spring Easter meal quite a while ago.

    I have been growing/harvesting/using lavender buds for years. I love making lavender syrup – it takes GREAT with a tiny bit in lemonade or in scones or cookies or cakes or breads! A little of it with powdered sugar makes a truly easy and delightful way to make a sugar glaze on almost anything. And makes a great sweetener for iced or hot tea, too.

    Lovely lovely lovely post!

  38. July 25, 2013 at 4:15 pm

    Oh I want to be at that picnic right NOW – how gorgeous!
    I;ve never baked with Lavender and had no idea you could – thanks so
    much for sharing – visiting from French Country Cottage
    XOX

  39. July 28, 2013 at 12:23 am

    This looks like a beautiful cookbook! My favorite honey is lavender honey! I planted lavender in my garden this spring and it has been growing well in our warm dry weather. Now I will start drying some buds and using them as flavoring, Mary :)

  40. July 31, 2013 at 12:03 am

    Oh my! Looking at these pictures is like looking at all my loves in one place! I am obsessed with lavender, I’ve been searching high and low for that bottle carrier (I ask every antique shop I go into), I adore a picnic, I am also planning a post featuring the sparking French lemonade bottles! It’s like you’re my blogging soulmate!! So glad I found you. I will follow you at once!
    -Khammany

  41. Liz
    August 2, 2013 at 4:11 pm

    Can I just say…. SIGH!
    You are sooo talented! I love how you put your themed tablescapes together!! So very pretty! :)
    Thank you for sharing and linking up for Fresh-Cut Friday!
    ~Liz

Thanks for your comments~ they make my day :)

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