Lavender Lemonade Recipes

Lavender lemonade recipe for summer picnics and parties.  // www.cupcakesandcutlery.comLavender lemonade!  How refreshing does that sound?!  It has been in my head since before school was out and I finally decided to make some.  I’m not usually a big fan of lemonade.  It can’t be made from a powder and it certainly can’t be too sweet.  I did tons of research on how to make it before I started.  And then had to research a little more when I finally came across food grade dried lavender.  I mentioned I was making this to several people and they all looked at me funny.  I guess lavender lemonade recipes are not something that a lot of people are looking for.  I get that there is a fear that whatever the lavender is in might end up tasting a little soapy since that is how we know lavender.  I love me some lavender soap and lotion.  But I adore the herbal quality to it and thought it would bring a really cool “flava” to lemonade.  And I just tried to turn lavender “street.”

Lavender lemonade for your next picnic!  //  www.cupcakesandcutlery.comLavender lemonade is the perfect thing to bring to a summer picnic.  I also brought it along on our duffy boat trip through Newport Harbor.  I mean, you can’t JUST drink wine.  That would be uncivilized.  And if you actually drank it and didn’t forget that you brought it with you, it would probably prevent you from getting a severe hang over the next day.  Not that I did…

Dried lavender can be found in your local health focused market in the herbs section.  // www.cupcakesandcutlery.comSo, I headed straight towards Mother’s Market (hippie town) looking for a lavender plant.  In most of the lavender lemonade posts, people have these beautiful sprigs of lavender (see above photo.  spoiler alert, I finally found some beautiful sprigs!) that I am guessing they fuss and fiddle with in order to make an infused simple syrup of some kind.  Well, there were no beautiful plants to be found that day.  Wait, I’m a liar.  They had one plant that they brought out for me from the back that they “were trying to save” that they let me buy.  But hold the phone, it didn’t look at all like the sprigs I had seen.  Apparently there are different varieties of lavender plants.  And we weren’t sure that it was food grade.  Luckily they also sold the dried leaves in the spice section.  You guys! 

Lemons and limes.  // www.cupcakesandcutlery.comYou’ll also need a crap load of lemons.  And maybe some limes.  I freaking love limes.  Like, I love limes like I used to love the California raisins (not the fruit just the characters).  I got one of those hand squeezer juicer things and it’s AWESOME!  It makes juicing citrus super easy and you get the more out of the fruit than if you are doing it by hand.  If you don’t have one, and you want to make lemonade, or margaritas, go get one (but not at Target.  Apparently Target thinks these squeezer things are a luxury item and wants to charge you $12 for one.  Uh, no.  My grocery store had it for about $6.  Come on Target, be cool.)

Make lavender "tea" to add to your lavender lemonade. // www.cupcakesandcutlery.comBut these photos are a little misleading.  Because if you are using the dried lavender, you really need to start this process the day before you want to make the lemonade.  I know!  What a pain!  But worth it.  Now, if you ARE making a simple syrup with the pretty sprigs, then you can do that the same day.  I don’t like simple syrup.  I think it makes everything too sweet.  And I like really bold flavors so when you infuse the simple syrup, it is hard to get the flavor I like, without it turning too sweet.  That and the fact that I still hadn’t found those dumb supermodel sprigs yet. 

But I digress.  So lavender “tea”.  I took about 1 cup of water and 1 TBSP of dried lavender and put it in a mason jar.  Then I shook it up a little and left it at room temperature overnight.  In the morning, you’ve got lavender “tea”.

Strain the lavender tea for use in delicious summer beverages.  // www.cupcakesandcutlery.comAll you have to do is strain it through a coffee filter.  And you are left with this fantastic amber-ish water.  Which smells awesome.  

Natural lavender lemonade recipe.  // www.cupcakesandcutlery.comAnd THEN you are ready to make your lavender lemonade.  So you need fresh squeezed citrus, lavender “tea,” raw honey and water.  The sprigs above are purely decorative at this point. BTW I found the pretty sprigs at Trader Joe’s.  But there was no telling if they were food grade or not.  I’m wasn’t going to take any chances.  I didn’t want my tombstone to say “She died, super relaxed, drinking lavender lemonade.”  How much cooler if it said something like “She died valiantly while trying to defend the world from evil clowns.”

A great blend of lavender, citrus and raw honey for the perfect summer treat.  // www.cupcakesandcutlery.comTo a pitcher, add all the things.  

Raw honey is great for mixing in to drinks. Just whisk it until it dissolves.  //  www.cupcakesandcutlery.comI was worried that the raw honey wouldn’t be a great choice for mixing in to liquids.  But it worked great, actually.  I just used a whisk and whisked for a short time and it blended right in.  I also thought it might harden back into a solid when I put it in the fridge, but it didn’t.  I’m a fan. 

Lavender lemonade recipe for your summer bbq or picnic.  // www.cupcakesandcutlery.comAnd there it is.  A delicious lavender lemonade.  Everyone drinks their lemonade differently so modify any of these recipes to suit your tastes!  I think I may have put a little bit too much lime in mine.  It was quite bitter.  Which I didn’t hate, but it also wasn’t the taste I was going for.

Take a look at these recipes and find one that works for you!

via Home Cooking Adventure
via A House in the Hills
via Amy’s Lavender Lemonade via AllRecipes.com
via Small Footprint Family
via They Call Me Oyster Girl

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Clean Eating Recipes

Roasted veggie farro salad.  So yum!  //  www.cupcakesandcutlery.com I found myself in a really crazy, unhealthy spot a month ago.  I was concurrently taking antibiotics for a sinus infection, along with steroids for said infection, a muscle relaxer for a strained muscle and had a pain shot for the pain from said strained muscle which I was instructed not to take with my headache pill because they would not react well together.  I looked at all of that and just stopped.  I don’t want to be taking all of that.  It just shows how unhealthy my whole life is.  I don’t fault the doctors for just layering all of that on, they can’t be the only director of our health at this point.  Gone are the days where they truly care about our overall health and focus more on the ailment at hand.  Which leaves us to be the controller of our temple.  And my temple was falling apart.  In conjunction with Andrea’s challenge, I decided that I need to make some changes in my life.  And I’m starting with food.  I attribute all my cellulite to processed foods and see that my kids are consuming an awful lot of junk food in our crazy, busy life.  So while I am not going whole hog (I refuse to throw away the food that is in my freezer and cupboard simply to start over – there is far too much money invested in that to throw it away), I am changing our meals a little at a time and taking this time to really learn about clean eating.  My kids don’t love it but they are trying.  My husband is totally on board.  And I have to say, aside from trying to get in enough protein to keep me feeling full, the food has been delicious!  I wanted to share a few of the things I have made recently with you.  So feel free to change these up to suit whatever your diets needs or flavor preferences are.  And not all of these recipes might not be the cleanest as written, I know I can modify them to be.

Fantastic Clean Eating Recipes

This cold, roasted veggie farro salad is AMAZING!  I brought this to a barbecue and everyone loved it.  I was able to make most of it the day ahead so it is a great entertaining recipe.  I left the cheese out of mine but served it for anyone else who wanted it.  And the leftovers were fantastic too!

A strawberry vinaigrette?  Yes!  SO good!  Perfect on baby spinach and chicken and whatever.  I have not made her whole salad recipe as she has it in this post, I just wanted to try out the dressing recipe for my son who doesn’t like salads.  This didn’t make him like salads.  But it made me love this dressing.

I’ve been addicted to popcorn because I get snacky and feel like it is probably a pretty safe, clean bet.  Well, probably better than cheetos.  I have not tried this Sea Salt and Coconut Popcorn recipe yet but it seems like the perfect snack when you need a little treat.

I made this strawberry chia seed jam to replace the hopped up stuff I had been putting on my kid’s sammies.  Chia seeds are amazing.  They sort of congeal making the fresh cooked strawberries not runny but, duh, like jam.  And it tastes amazing!  And it is super easy.  And you can see how you could use all different kinds of berries to make more combos.  Mmmmmmms, maybe a little ginger peach chia jam for my oatmeal?

I have not made this yet but how crazy does this coconut “bacon” sound?  I know it will probably never really take the place of legit bacon but I love coconut and might be another great way to add some texture to salads.  I try not to have too many nuts around the house because of an allergy so sometimes my salads aren’t as well-balanced, texturally speaking.

I’ve started a clean eating board on Pinterest if you want to find more recipes to try out.  And don’t forget to browse Andrea’s site for some REALLY helpful posts on healthy swaps and how to handle the prep involved for making clean eating meals a priority.

 

 

Pepperidge Farm #PuffDay14

#puffday 14 at Pepperidge Farm Innovation Center in CT. // www.cupcakesandcutlery.comI mentioned a few weeks ago that I was in NY for a super quick trip.  But I wasn’t just in NY.  For one whole day I had the chance to go to Connecticut and visit the Pepperidge Farm Innovation Center for their #PuffDay14 event.  It was kind of the coolest thing ever.  For SO many reasons.  So how did I get invited, I bet you are wondering.  I totally won a contest!!! Tori (in the photo all the way to the right) of Thoughtfully Simple was already working with Pepperidge Farm on their Puff Pastry product.  She hosted a contest on her site and I got chosen to accompany her to their headquarters.  Fun, right!?  There were seven other gals invited so it was super intimate and we had a blast!  And it is such a small world.  That is Cheri, of Adventures in the Kitchen, standing next to me.  Turns out she lives 15 minutes from me and used to work with one of my best friends!

@hostesstori and I at Pepperidge Farm #PuffDay14 event //  www.cupcakesandcutlery.comWe got a tour of their massive facility and got to see their testing rooms, a small-ish factory where they test out new ideas for products, their employee cafe (yes – this is worth mentioning especially because you can order dinner to take home with you on your way out! Genius!) and so much more.  We got to hang out in their test kitchen area and met tons of Pepperidge Farm staff, from the culinary side, marketing, packaging, development, etc.  It was so neat to hear from all the different people and see the crazy amount of teamwork it takes to create and market each individual product.  This is a well oiled machine, folks.   [Read more...]

Great Gift for Men and Foodies : Mantry

*I was sent a Mantry box to review.  Well, I kind of let my husband review this one because he’s a man.  But I am telling you my thoughts on the Mantry box as a gift idea. Themed artisinal food boxes for monthly subscription.  Great way to try out new products.  Makes a great gift! //  www.cupcakesandcutlery.comI am always on the look out for great gift ideas.  I love to give gifts that are unique or super personal to the person I am buying for.  My husband is super hard to shop for.  So when I came across Mantry I was REALLY hoping it would be something I could get for my husband.  And it totally was.  Mantry is the “Modern Man’s Pantry” and is an artisinal, food-focused gift subscription aimed at men.  And I think this idea is amazing.  Each month is themed and the hand picked, American made items go together in some way.  The box we received was Thai themed.  This is totally something my husband would be in to.  He likes spice, he likes snacks and it’s always cool to try new things.  Sometimes it is hard to tell if a gift box subscription is going to be worth it.  I think this one totally is.  The amount and type of products received was great and I would happily gift this to our men friends.   

Mantry Gift Box Subscriptions for Men and Food Lovers  //  www.cupcakesandcutlery.comI was going to hold this for his Father’s Day gift but decided that wasn’t really fair since he saw me shooting these photos.  And was asking a lot of questions.  I couldn’t really hide the part of the box that said “Mantry” so I guess his questioning was justified.  I had to do some traveling a few weeks ago and while away my husband made sure to tell me how delicious this jerky was.  I was hoping there was some left for me when I got home.  There was not.  We have not tried all the products yet but we are super excited to.  There are some really unique things in there.  Things we probably wouldn’t have picked out on a grocery store shelf but since they were sent to us, we are totally excited to try.  

Cool label design on this hot sauce.  //  www.cupcakesandcutlery.comWhat I love about this idea is that it is a great way to feature small companies that people might now know about.  And some of the product design was fantastic like this hot sauce right here.  And the site also features recipes of how to use the products included.  For example, they show you how to use the sauce above for Thai Chili Chicken Wings.  And I think I might like to test out the Thai Basil Margarita this weekend.

Great gift idea for men! //  www.cupcakesandcutlery.comEven better, each box contains a guide that tells you all about the products included and also a map showing where they came from.  This is a really well thought out gift box and I think Mantry is a great gift for men and foodies.

*Thank you for supporting the companies and brands that allow me to do what I do.  While some posts are paid and some are not, I strive to bring you the things that truly stand out to me that I think you will love too.  If there is a product you think I would love, shoot me and email! cupcakesandcutlery at gmail dot com.

 

16 Delicious Recipes for Outdoor Entertaining

*This post is sponsored by Foodie and Mode.  All opinions are mine.  And in my opinion, these recipes look freaking awesome and I can’t wait to make them.

Check out Outdoor Entertaining

by Sharon Garofalow (Cupcakes and Cutlery) at Foodie.com


Ahhhh, Memorial Day.  Does that signal the start of summer for you too?  I mean, we still have about a month left of school (I know, it is SO late!) but that doesn’t stop us for hosting barbecues and kicking off the summer grilling season.  But eating outside sometimes means we either make a signature dish over and over (because we nail it every time) or that we are scared to try something out of the ordinary because eating outside provides a host of challenges (breakable plates, temperature control, grody bugs).  These 16 recipes for outdoor entertaining are just what you need for all your upcoming parties.  I’ve included some drinks, entrees and side dishes for creating a delicious meal for your guests or even just your family.  I’ve included some familiar dishes, like a bbq burger that looks crazy good (and has a little whiskey in it…) but I’ve also included some not so traditional grilled items like Grilled Chipotle Lime Sweet Potato Fries.  How good do those sound?!  Make what you are comfortable with but don’t be afraid to make mistakes.  I speak from experience when I say that even if you make a mistake in front of people that you don’t know very well, it is not the end of the world.  It happens.  More than I care to admit.  I remember this one time in particular when I realized I had used tablespoons instead of teaspoons a little too late.  Oops!  But it wasn’t the end of the world.  And they’ve even come back since.  I am excited to get creative this summer with my recipe repertoire.  And I’m going to start with these Basil Beerades.