Sunday, July 28, 2013

Lavender Week: Day 7

The last seven days of my life have been sweetly colored with lavender.
Thanks to the Novel Bakers,
I've felt brave enough to dip my culinary finger in purple.
When I tested recipes, rain and cloudy skies kept me indoors much of the time,
but I was surrounded by the calming aroma of lavender. However,
I've got to admit: I wasn't sure about eating calmness. My family
was even more dubious.
Look at Will, rushing away from the lavender lady.
As the days sped by, my kitchen sink filled with measuring spoons and
bowls. A delicate aroma spiced the air. Soon, my family came to love this remarkable, versatile herb.
If you are a lavender virgin, or live with one, I've got the perfect "jumping-off"
recipe: Grilled Lavender Honey Breast of Chicken.

What You Need:
3/4 cup white wine (or lavender) vinegar
1/4 cup grated lemon zest
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup lavender honey (or honey)
1 tablespoon dried organic lavender buds, finely ground
1 1/2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 tablespoon cracked black pepper
8 boneless chicken breast halves with skin
To make the marinade, mix all ingredients (except chicken). I added extra honey because my Dear Honey was standing over my shoulder and he said, "The marinade tastes bitter! Do you know what you're doing?"
The answer was, "Dear Honey Cakes, stuff it."
But he wouldn't go away so I added the honey.
Back to the recipe:
Place chicken breasts in a dish and add marinade Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours. Prepare your grill. Remove chicken from the marinade. Place breasts on the rack, skin side down. Naturally I couldn't find skinless and boneless breasts--in my part of the
South, one cannot have both, apparently.
Cook until chicken is done--prick the breasts with the tip of a knife, and if the
juices are clear, your chicken is done. Don't forget to baste.
(I forgot.)
It's wise to NOT talk on the phone while grilling
or your chicken might incinerate.
It goes without saying to discard the leftover marinade.

 By the end of the week, my family was ready for a bit more purple.
They wanted something sweet and cold.
I wanted something easy.
 No-Cook Lavender Vanilla Ice Cream
 1 pint heavy cream
1 pint half-and-half
2 cups sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon ground lavender buds
food coloring, if desired
Whisk ingredients and pour into an electric ice cream maker.
It took forever and ever for the mixture to solidify,
but it was worth it.

Come on, try just one little spoonful.
It's been a delicious week.
I always cook on a wing and a prayer,
but when you add lavender to a recipe,
you are calling down the angels.

Resources for Essential Oils:
You will find a plethora of information and resources
in the index of Sharon Shipley's The Lavender Cookbook.

I've had fun playing with Mary (Home Is Where the Boat Is), Mari (Once Upon a Plate), Jain (A Quiet Life), and special guest baker Pam (Sidewalk Shoes). If you click on the
links (below), you can see all of their posts from Lavender Week.

You can check out the Novel Bakers' earlier culinary visits to Italy, France, and Ireland
HERE. You'll find links to recipes and gorgeousness by Mary, Jain, and Mari.
The Novel Bakers will return in late August
with their 3rd adventure. More food and fun!
A Metamorphosis Monday  contribution.

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  1. Have really enjoyed this week, Michael - thanks so much!

    Haven't tried the lavender lemon chicken but definately a good one to try - or to make then chop it finely for tea party finger sandwiches. Lavender always agreeable to tea ladies.

    Gorgeous photos.

    1. I'm so glad you enjoyed it! Let me know how your tea party sandwiches turn out.Great idea!

  2. Your chicken sounds great Michael! You've all sure come up with some fun ideas for the lavender:@)

    1. It's been fun. There are tons of recipes I haven't even tried. Jain will be continuing lavender posts for several weeks (a quiet life)so you can see more ideas.

  3. This has been such fun. I'm not so sure I could sell lavender food to my family, though. :)

    1. My big, ole tough guys were scared to death of lavender. As long as they can't see it, they're fine. Thank goodness for coffee grinders!

  4. I have enjoyed all of the posts about the use of lavender by The Novel Bakers this week. So much so that I am guilty of placing a huge order through Amazon. I have ordered the cookbook, a crock with herbs d Provence, Lavender honey and a couple of other things that I had needed to order since I couldn't find them here. That chicken recipe looks absolutely DIVINE (is the recipe in the book?) and that ice cream is a must to try as well. You girls have inspired me to use lavender more often.

    Carolyn/A Southerner's Notebook

    1. Yes, the recipe is in the book. So happy to hear that you are diving into lavender!

  5. Hi
    I loved every post you and ladies have written this week. Lavender is a great herb and a beautiful plant to decorate a garden. There is Lavender fever in Blog Land. Thanks for sharing.
    Betty @ My Cozy Corner

  6. Ahhh, I love the "wing and a prayer, but with lavender you have called down the angels"...

  7. The grilled chicken is one I want to try. You girls have shared so many wonderful lavender recipes this week and offered up fantastic inspiration with all the beautiful images everyone shared. This was a terrific idea!
    Mary just informed me this morning that I'm one of the lucky ones to receive one of her Blue Crab gifts, and she is including a bottle of lavender. I've ordered a copy of the cookbook. As Betty said above, there is lavender fever in Blog Land. ~ Sarah

    1. That's the best kind of fever. I'm looking forward to seeing your culinary creations!

  8. Oh I hate for the Lavender Feast to end~ your mosaics are straight from a magazine, so gorgeous and a feast for the eyes and taste buds! My jar of dried lavender is still calling to me and your honey lavender chicken looks oh so good... My hubby was dubious about lavender, certain I was going to ruin our food~ after crab cakes and lavender salt, he's a convert :) Your frosty goblet of lavender ice cream is beautiful~ what a perfect ending for a delicious week!

    I'm looking forward to the mystery ingredient challenge and off to the grocery store this morning. Thank you again for the generous gift and inspiration!

  9. I've enjoyed the lavender creations. I had hoped to participate since lavender is a favorite ingredient here, bu the house is so full of kids and family, I can't even get into the kitchen much less cook!

  10. its with such sadness i watch you one by one pull away from lavender week, its truly been a wonderful purple hazy lazy ride. just like will marching away, i too am crest fallen... but so glad your farewell is with a terrific recipe, isn't that chicken one of the best recipes ever? i made mine as kabobs, all the more flavor filled tiny bites! ok, we have made it 3 times now, its just too good NOT to make it over and over! i will say lavender has given my lemons a good run for the money, both are my standard go to's forever more~

    that ice cream is dreamy, what a gorgeous color! you aren't kidding about plopping a spoonful right in my mouth, its like you can read our minds, OR or you mind controlling us?! its absolutely gorgeous...

    and this my dear is why you are an author we all can sink our teeth into...

    It's been a delicious week.
    I always cook on a wing and a prayer,
    but when you add lavender to a recipe,
    you are calling down the angels.

  11. Yes, all of you have given blogland lavender fever. I bought some lavender soap today. I don't cook like all of you but I do plan to purchase some culinary lavender and give it a try. I also don't move as fast as the novel bakers. I truly have been impressed all week and admire your energy!!!!

    Your photography is beautiful.

    1. So happy that you are going to try lavender!

  12. That ice cream is such a pretty color and just looks so inviting.

  13. I'm playing 'catch up' with all the lavender ladies, now that the 'puter has been cleaned up.
    What beautiful creations you gals came up with! Amazing all the uses you found for that one purple herb. I need to steal/borrow some from my neighbor & try a few of the delicious looking recipes soon.