Tuesday, April 26

Violet Simple Syrup

I won't pretend to be an expert on which flowers are safe to consume and which are not. I do however know that the wild violets growing in my front yard are 100% safe to consume. I have been eating them and using them in recipes for as long as I can remember.

Before using any flowers as a garnish or in a recipe always be sure to do your homework and be sure that they are safe for consumption. Many varieties are perfectly safe, but there are some flowers growing in the wild or in your gardens that are not safe.

However, if you have a large patch of wild violets like I do, go ahead and pick the blossoms and use them as a pretty addition to your spring recipes.

This simple syrup is one of my favorite to have on hand for cocktails. It's pretty, has some floral and lemon notes that compliment so many types of alcohol or sodas. Sometimes, I mix a tbs with my soda water for a semi homemade soda for the kids, my daughter is especially fond of anything made of the pretty flowers she helped pick.

Violet Simple Syrup:
1 cup of granulated sugar
1 cup of water
The juice of one lemon
3 large handfuls of violet blossoms (just blossoms, no stems or leaves)

*Optional for color, 1 large frozen blueberry/blackberry OR a drop of lavender/violet food coloring (I used a frozen blueberry)


Add all of the ingredients to a sauce pan and simmer for about 20 minutes over medium low heat.

Strain the blossoms from the syrup, pour into a sealed jar.

Syrup lasts for up to 4 weeks if refrigerated and sealed.

Tuesday, April 19

Pineapple Mojito

Can I just start off by telling you all how incredibly over the moon excited I am? We launched "Bundy" (that's my boat) one full month ahead of schedule and have kicked off our 2016 boating season. We celebrated this and my brother's 30th birthday hard this weekend. Let's just say, Sunday night I crashed, and Monday was not a blast.

Last summer, my husband became obsessed with being a mojito making master while on the lake. He played bartender while I kicked back and watched the kids play at the sand bar, cocktail in hand.

Because all good mothers  drink while watching their kids.......

Tuesday, April 12

Ricotta and Beetroot Gnocchi

When I was a little girl, I was not exposed to many vegetables outside of canned corn, canned green beans, mashed potatoes, and frozen broccoli or cauliflower topped with cheddar cheese sauce. I was a horribly picky kid raised by two picky adults. I ate many meals that consisted of canned soup, Top Ramen, Kraft Macaroni and Cheese, grilled cheese sandwiches..... and Kiddie Cuisines. Anyone else remember those atrocious TV dinners marketed towards kids? They always included a microwaved brownie, that had a few stray pieces of corn in the centers. Yeah I loved the heck out of those.

Probably the only unprocessed, healthy food that I LOVED as a kid, was beetroot. My mom always called them "nature's candy" and would boil the crap out of them, and then serve them to me with a bit of salt.... and I loved them.  Today beets are my favorite food,  and I love them prepared any which way. Whether it be a raw beet salad, roasted in olive oil and sea salt, or pureed into a dough, beets are indeed nature's candy.

Friday, April 8

Oven Roasted Onions and Garlic with Rosemary

Grocery shopping for my family has been a real drag lately. In order to eat a balanced diet and keep everyone satisfied, I have to spend an absurd amount of money each week. I typically do one big shopping trip each week, and then 1-2 smaller trips a few days later. 

Four days after spending about $300 at the store, I stared into my refrigerator, freezer and pantry in awe that almost every single thing I had bought had already been eaten. I am not joking when I say the only thing left was about five pounds of raw yellow onions, and some fresh herbs. 

Wednesday, April 6

How to Make Herb Infused Simple Syrup

Herb infused syrups are hugely popular for cocktail making these days. They take the average beverage and bring it up a notch with a little special something. They are incredibly easy to make at home, and can last for a while when stored properly. The flavor combinations are endless, so you can really let your creativity run wild when making simple syrups.

Monday, April 4

Honey Blueberry Smoothie Bowl

Living in New Hampshire, it can be hard to get your hands on quality fresh fruit year round. Which can be tough for a family full of smoothie fans. To my kids smoothies are like getting a milk shake, and is something they look forward to each morning. Because in their minds... ice cream for breakfast, even though they are almost always dairy free, and contain no processed sugar.  So when I start their day off with a smoothie chuckerblock full of vitamins and nutrients, and they leave for school satisfied and happy, I know I have started their day off on the right foot.

Friday, April 1

Buttermilk Lemon Pie with Honey Meringue

Yesterday I talked about all butter pie crust using buttermilk instead of water in the dough. Today for those of you who are terrified of making pie crusts. I'm sharing my favorite press in dough. It's buttery, tender, and tastes every bit of good as a traditional crust. The only thing this crust is missing is the flaky layers. So while this recipe is not my favorite, it's the runner up, and perfect for those people with a irrational fear of making pie crust. (Kidding, it's not irrational, I too was once scared. )