Monday, July 22, 2013

the novel bakers present~

lavender week...

as an avid reader i am always looking at books, sometimes i spend more time looking for books then reading my already stocked shelves, but when i saw this book i was intrigued. i was looking for recipes to use for my abundant limes. i ordered this book thru my library, it said i was first in line for it, no waiting... but i waited and waited. my limes were bouncing off the trees and rolling down the hill, i needed recipes NOW, not later... after several weeks i decided to be brave, just order the book... i was nervous, i am not adventurous that way, there are so many recipes to snatch off the internet, why buy an unknown... well, i bought it because i loved the lime and lavender cover, i just took a leap of faith~

let me say i was richly rewarded with this purchase! not a single photo inside, bleech, how could i like a cookbook with no pics? because the recipes could have knocked me over with a feather... i was instantly smitten, its an imaginative book broken down by seasons, each equinox you can look forward to using lavender in perfect harmony with the natural world~

i was so happy with this book that when i was chatting with mary at once upon a plate i told her she would love this book. and she did... and since we both were darlings, she mentioned this book was something worth blogging about, to start fresh again... michael lee west was a darling baker too, and mary, home is where the boat is, was my faithful cohort from day one with food for thought. enter the novel bakers, ready, willing and able to share our books and our kitchens in a tasty visual and tantalizing way~

this week is devoted to the love of lavender, any which way we care to share with you, but to start us all off today we are all sharing recipes from this wonderful cookbook. so pick up a fork, grab a spoon and let the tasting begin...

first course soup~

perfect for a warm summers eve, cold cantaloupe soup with yogurt lime cream and lavender...

so refreshing you can wipe away the heat with every spoonful

even my manly husband had 3 servings~

second course~

shrimp with lavender honey marinade~

made with my lavender infused honey picked from the garden...

perfectly paired with blackberries and avocado for a sweet taste of summer


third course~

cherry lavender pie with lavender whip cream


Cold Cantaloupe Soup
with yogurt lime cream and lavender

1 cantaloupe (about 3 lb)
2 lbs frozen peaches
1 cup orange juice
1/2 cup fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon lavender honey
8 oz plain yogurt
1 cup sweet white wine such as Riesling or Gewurztraminer
2 tablespoons grated lime zest
2 tablespoons fresh lavender flowers

Place the cantaloupe in a blender and blend until fairly smooth. Add the peaches and blend until fairly smooth. Add the orange juice, lime juice, honey and 2 tablespoons of yogurt. Blend until smooth. Pour into a large bowl and stir in the wine. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 3 hours or up to 24 hours.

In a small bowl, mix the lime zest with the remaining yogurt. Cover and refrigerate until needed. Ladle the soup into chilled bowls and garnish with a dollop of the yogurt mixture. Sprinkle with the lavender.


shrimp with lavender honey marinade

For shrimp:
5 cups water
1 1/2 cups dry white wine
1/2 lemon, sliced
1/2 lime, sliced
1/2 tangerine, sliced
1 tablespoon whole black peppercorns
1 tablespoon sea salt
1 bay leaf
1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 onion, quartered
1/4 cup Provence lavender (flowers and leaves)
2 pounds large shrimp (16-20 per pound), shelled with tail intact

For marinade:
1 1/2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon fresh tangerine juice
1/2 cup lavender honey, available at specialty stores
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3 cloves minced garlic
1 teaspoon dried Provence lavender (flowers and leaves)

For marinade, whisk together all ingredients in a bowl until creamy and smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Set aside.

To prepare shrimp, bring all ingredients except shrimp to a boil in large pot. Boil 5 minutes, add shrimp and boil until they are just cooked through, about 2 minutes. Drain shrimp; cool 5 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl and combine with marinade. Cover and chill 8 hours or overnight. To serve, let stand at room temperature 20 minutes.


Old-Fashioned Cherry Pie with Lavender

1 cup plus 2 tbs sugar
1/4 cup quick-cooking tapioca
1 tbs dried lavender, finely ground
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
6 cups frozen or fresh cherries (you’ll need about 2 pounds of fresh)
2 tbs vanilla
1 tbs lavender sugar (recipe follows)

Prepare the pie dough (recipe follows) and refrigerate for one hour. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

In small bowl, stir together the granulated sugar, tapioca, lavender, salt and cinnamon.

Place cherries in large saucepan and stir over med-high heat for 5 minutes, or until slightly softened. Using a slotted spoon, transfer cherries to a large bowl. Add the sugar mixture to the cherry juices in the pan and simmer, stirring, for 3-5 minutes or until thickened. Pour over the cherries. Add the vanilla and stir to mix. Let cool.

On a lightly floured surface, roll one piece of dough into an 11-inch round. Fit the dough into a 9-inch pie plate, leaving a 3/4-inch overhang. Pour in the filling, cover loosely with plastic wrap, and chill.

Roll the remaining dough into an 11-inch round and use a sharp knife or fluted pastry wheel to cut into 1-inch wide strips. Working on a sheet of parchment paper set on a baking sheet, weave the pastry strips in a close lattice pattern. Refrigerate or freeze the lattice for 20 minutes, or until firm.

Brush the edges of the filled shell with cold water and slide the lattice off the parchment and onto the pie. Let stand for 10 minutes to soften the lattice. Trim the edges flush with the rim of the pie plate and crimp decoratively. Gently brush the lattice top with cold water and sprinkle with lavender sugar.

Bake in the middle of the oven for 50-60 minutes, or until the pastry is golden and the filling bubbles. Transfer to a wire rack to cool slightly. Serve warm.


Lavender Pie Dough

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tbs sugar
1 tbs dried lavender, finely ground
1 tsp salt
1/4 pound cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1/2 cup shortening, chilled and cut into pieces
1/4 cup cold water

In the bowl of a food processor, combine the flour, sugar, lavender, and salt. Pulse to mix. Scatter the butter and shortening over the flour and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Do not over process. Add the water and pulse until the dough starts to clump; if the dough is not clumping, add water 1 tsp at a time. Gather the dough into a ball and divide in half. Flatten each piece into a disk and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for one hour.


Lavender Sugar

1 tbs dried lavender
2 cups sugar

In a spice grinder or with mortar and pestle, grind the lavender with 1 tbs of sugar until finely ground. Transfer to a bowl and add remaining sugar. Transfer to a jar, seal tightly, and let stand for at least three days before using. (Note: lavender sugar is great in making fresh lemonade or to sweeten iced tea. Try it on the rim of cocktails for something extra special.)


lavender whip cream

1/2 c heavy cream
1 T lavender sugar
1 T brandy or rum


needless to say, i was thrilled with countless of recipes from the book, but i was especially charmed with this sketch and the likeness to my own garden bench...

of course, when i took these pictures my lavender and clematis were all bloomed out, but i had fun pretending it was all at its best...


stay tuned for much more from lavender week~


  1. Jain, you have brought the book to life so beautifully, I want to go back to page one and start over because the experience would be tripled. I love the seasonal tour of the recipes and your sweet garden folly, complete with clementis vines. Every photo is mouthwatering. I love the lavender spilling out of the tote bag, and the way it gently caresses the book. Utterly gorgeous. Really, this is like a coffee table book--each image is stunning. You have knocked it out of the ballpark--and we're in Day 1 of the event. And the food...I can imagine the aromas. I just wish you could drop a bit of air from your kitchen into an envelope and mail it. It would smell like heaven.

    I made the shrimp, too, but we ate it before I could take a picture! Wasn't it delicious? I'm so hooked, I'm still cooking with lavender. I'm even cleaning my floors with lavender water. And to think that I had never cooked with lavender until the NB. A whole, purple world has opened up, tastewise. I just pray that I don't kill my lavender bushes before I finish cooking all of the recipes.

    I am eagerly looking forward to Day 2. xx

  2. What a beautiful and delicious start to Lavender Week! My mouth is watering and see recipes that I had not even noticed I need to go back for a taste for! Your Chilled Cantaloupe Soup looks so refreshing, of course I need a wonderful chalkboard pallet tray~ can Scott mass produce and you sell on Etsy please? :)

    The Shrimp with Lavender Honey DID catch my attention, I didn't make it but it's definitely on my 'to make' this now! So colorful with your blackberries and greens! And oh my, your pie! Your blooming lavender crust on your flowering plate...I need a slice or two for breakfast!

    I ADORE your garden bench~ love your flowering embellishments :) What a cozy place to sit and read and enjoy a drink or bite to eat! I want to settle in among the pillows! Thanks so much for a fun & fragrant start to Lavender Week and all your organizing efforts!

  3. That has to be the most beautiful pie I have ever seen!...and it looks delicious! Actually all your photos are so lovely today. Lavender is my favorite herb and I am so excited for this week. Keep up the good work!

  4. Lovely, lovely, lovely! I enjoyed all three courses! Will be making the shrimp this week. Love the pairing with blackberries and avocado.
    Your garden bench could have been the inspiration for the sketch. Amazing likeness! Thanks for sharing all the beauty and yummy recipes.

  5. My goodness Lady, you certainly can throw a great party!
    Outstanding images, I wish I could be right there amongst all the pretties (including the food!) right now.
    The cantaloup soup looks soo refreshing (esp. in this sweltering heat we've been having.) How in the world did I miss that incredible looking shrimp salad in the book? (See, that's why I like cookbooks with pictures ~ I would have been on that in a heartbeat. I must give that a try.

    And that PIE! It's a work of art, almost too pretty to cut into it. But I can just imagine that delightful aroma and flavor combination of cherry with lavender ~ heavenly.

    Omgosh ~ are you sure the artist didn't take inspiration from YOUR garden bench? That is uncanny! (So lovely and inviting!)

    Your book sleuthing certainly paid off with this winner of a book ~ you all have brought it to life with your talent! The author Sharon Shipley would be very happy about this, I'm sure.

  6. beautiful post. I want to make the lavender honey. Where did you get that darling label?

  7. Oh my goodness. This is just day one of lavender week!!! You've done about a week's worth with one post! It all looks good. I'm definitely going to do the lavender sugar!

  8. thanks everyone for your kind comments, nice to hear from you all in this little quiet little corner of lavender~

    janet i made the label, i made several flavors of honey from my garden and the labels were the most fun.

  9. I am utterly charmed and captivated by your words, photos and recipes~thank you for a dream like experience in the land of lavendar~