June 14 2017

Lemony Lemon Balm Pudding

What if I couldn’t buy lemons at the store? Where would I get that wonderful lemony flavoring from? The answer is Lemon Balm. It has an amazing citrus-like smell – the trick is to get the same citrus taste to come out in cooking. This Lemon Balm Pudding is flavorful and lemony. There’s only the slightest hint that the source of the flavor isn’t fruit; its an herb.

I had a few unsuccessful attempts last year at cooking with lemon balm. Nothing came out very flavorful. But for this dessert, I wanted lots of lemony flavor. At the same time, I wanted to avoid turning the pudding green. So I simmered the milk separately, and then allowed the lemon balm to steep in the milk for about fourty minutes. That let the milk soak up all the flavor, and then I was able to strain the lemon balm out.

When the pudding was done, the lemon flavor was pronounced. The next day, it was amazing. Success!

Lemony Lemon Balm Pudding
Print Recipe
A very flavorful lemony pudding, without lemons. The secret ingredient? Lemon Balm.
Servings Prep Time
4 people 10 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
15 minutes 40 minutes
Servings Prep Time
4 people 10 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
15 minutes 40 minutes
Lemony Lemon Balm Pudding
Print Recipe
A very flavorful lemony pudding, without lemons. The secret ingredient? Lemon Balm.
Servings Prep Time
4 people 10 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
15 minutes 40 minutes
Servings Prep Time
4 people 10 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
15 minutes 40 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: people
Instructions
  1. Pour milk into a medium sauce pan, and slowly bring to a simmer. Once the milk is just starting to get frothy, take it off the heat. Add the lemon balm, and stir.
  2. Allow the lemon balm to steep in the milk for about 40 minutes.
  3. While the milk mixture is cooling off, combine the sugar and flour.
  4. Strain the lemon balm out of the milk. Whisk together the milk and sugar and flour in a medium saucepan. Cook the milk-flour mixture on low heat.
  5. Add the egg yolks and salt, and allow the pudding to cook. Keep an eye on the pan, stirring occasionally, to keep the pudding from burning. The pudding will start to thicken, stirring more frequently as it gets thicker.
  6. Once the mixture is of about pudding consistency, take it off the heat. Pour it into serving dishes, and let it cool before serving.
  7. Top with fruit (if desired) before serving.
Recipe Notes

Lemony Lemon Balm Pudding is great the first day, but it is even more flavorful after it has had a chance to cool in the refrigerator over night. It also perfectly compliments seasonal fruit, like strawberries and mulberries.

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June 7 2017

Lemon Balm Cake with Candied Flower Syrup

Lemon Balm Cake

This mildly sweet cake tastes of flowers and lemons and sunshine. And when I say it tastes of flowers, I mean that literally. Lemon Balm cake by itself is a light lemony treat, but covering it in syrup made with chamomile flowers really makes it special! This herbal cake is a great way to use the herbs in your garden. Also, Chamomile and Lemon Balm compliment each other beautifully!

I can just imagine eating this cake with tea in a lacey white dress and hat, and feeling very refined.

Lemon Balm Cake
Lemon Balm Cake with Candied Flower Syrup
Print Recipe
A simple cake, flavored with Lemon Balm. What really makes it special is the candied flower syrup which gives it extra sweetness. It also looks pretty!
Servings Prep Time
8 slices 10 minutes
Cook Time
20 minutes
Servings Prep Time
8 slices 10 minutes
Cook Time
20 minutes
Lemon Balm Cake
Lemon Balm Cake with Candied Flower Syrup
Print Recipe
A simple cake, flavored with Lemon Balm. What really makes it special is the candied flower syrup which gives it extra sweetness. It also looks pretty!
Servings Prep Time
8 slices 10 minutes
Cook Time
20 minutes
Servings Prep Time
8 slices 10 minutes
Cook Time
20 minutes
Ingredients
Cake
Candied Flower Syrup
Servings: slices
Instructions
  1. Preheat over to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Butter and flour an 8" round cake pan.
  2. Cream together butter, lemon balm, and sugar.
  3. Separate your eggs. Set aside the whites (preferably in the refrigerator!). Add the egg yokes and vanilla extract to the butter-sugar mixture.
  4. Sift together flour, baking soda, and salt. Add to your butter mixture. Then add the buttermilk. You should have a thick batter.
  5. Beat your egg whites on high until soft peaks form. Fold into your batter until just combined. Do not over-mix!
  6. Bake your cake for approximately 20 minutes. When its done, the top will be a golden brown.
  7. While your cake is baking, put water and sugar in a saucepan. Cook over medium heat, until the sugar is dissolved, and the water has partially evaporated.
  8. Once your water and sugar are slightly thickened (you want a light syrup), add your chamomile flowers. Stir to cover the flowers in syrup, and allow the syrup to cool.
  9. Pour the syrup over the cake once both have cooled. Enjoy!
Recipe Notes

Chamomile flowers give a syrup a lovely flavor, but you can use other edible flowers too! The orange flower in the picture is a Nasturtium. Other edible flowers include violets, and lavender.

The Lemon Balm Cake was inspired by this recipe from Magnolia Days.

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June 4 2017

Lemon Balm Iced Tea

Lemon Balm Iced Tea

There is something so refreshing about cold flavored drinks during the summer. That said, I’ve never been a fan of traditional iced tea. But this summer, I am faced with an abundance of herbs (including Lemon Balm). So I decided to try my hand at herbal teas. Lemon Balm has a light lemony flavor, and makes a great tea, hot or cold. But as it is summer, iced tea sounds better!

Lemon Balm has a relaxing effect. The sweet lemony herb is supposed to help with digestion, sleeplessness, and anxiety. In other words, it is healthy! It also grows like crazy during the summer, and makes a lovely tea. So why not make a large batch?

Lemon Balm Iced Tea
Lemon Balm Iced Tea
Print Recipe
This herbal Iced Tea is made with Lemon Balm for a refreshing summer drink. For extra flavor, add in your favorite summer fruit or a complimentary herb! Strawberries and Mint taste great with Lemon Balm.
Servings
8 glasses
Servings
8 glasses
Lemon Balm Iced Tea
Lemon Balm Iced Tea
Print Recipe
This herbal Iced Tea is made with Lemon Balm for a refreshing summer drink. For extra flavor, add in your favorite summer fruit or a complimentary herb! Strawberries and Mint taste great with Lemon Balm.
Servings
8 glasses
Servings
8 glasses
Ingredients
Servings: glasses
Instructions
  1. Fill a large saucepan with water, and heat on the stove. Once the water is simmering, take it off the heat.
  2. Immediately add the fresh lemon balm, sugar, and lemon juice. Stir to help the sugar dissolve.
  3. Allow the tea to steep as it cools. Once it is cool, you can strain out the lemon balm leaves, and enjoy with ice!
Recipe Notes

Strawberries (and other fruit) taste great with Lemon Balm Iced Tea! Feel free to add 6-8 strawberries during the cooling process, and let them infuse the water.

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Category: Drinks | LEAVE A COMMENT
February 8 2017

Chocolate Molasses Cookies

Chocolate Molasses Cookies

Molasses and dark chocolate mixed together make quite the cookie! A completely black cookie. Yes, you needed this information. Chocolate molasses cookies turn out to be rather yummy.

I started with a standard chocolate chip recipe. Alas, I had no chocolate chips. Such minor inconveniences never keep me from my cookies, however. Some days require cookies (this is a fact).

Instead of chocolate chips, I added dark cocoa, and supplemented the sugar with molasses. The result was a very lovely cookie. Not too sweet, but not un-sweet. I suspect it would be more chocolatey with chocolate chips, or more flavorful if I used more spices. But overall, it is an excellent cookie!

Chocolate Molasses Cookies
Cookies of Blackest Molasses
Print Recipe
Dark chocolate molasses cookies - chocolate chip cookies with dark cocoa and molasses.
Servings Prep Time
15 cookies 10 minutes
Cook Time
10 minutes
Servings Prep Time
15 cookies 10 minutes
Cook Time
10 minutes
Chocolate Molasses Cookies
Cookies of Blackest Molasses
Print Recipe
Dark chocolate molasses cookies - chocolate chip cookies with dark cocoa and molasses.
Servings Prep Time
15 cookies 10 minutes
Cook Time
10 minutes
Servings Prep Time
15 cookies 10 minutes
Cook Time
10 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: cookies
Instructions
  1. Cream together butter and sugar until fluffy (or at least smooth). Add molasses, stir. Add egg and vanilla extract. Mix until well combined.
  2. Add your dry ingredients - flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt - to the wet mixture. With stirring, you should get a nice cookie dough.
  3. Throw in your chocolate chips last, if desired. You want to get them evenly distributed throughout the dough. Mmmm. . . chocolate. . .
  4. Scoop out 2ish tablespoons of dough for each cookie. Bake on an ungreased baking sheet at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for about ten minutes.
  5. Enjoy with milk.
Recipe Notes

Between the dark cocoa and the dark molasses, it will be very difficult to tell when your cookies are done. Make sure to take them out of the oven while they are still soft. Because molasses isn't quite as sweet as pure sugar (especially with dark chocolate thrown in), your chocolate molasses cookies will not stay sweet if they're overcooked. . .

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February 1 2017

Greek Chicken Sandwich

Greek Chicken Sandwich

I love the Mediterranean taste of oregano and garlic (if you haven’t guessed yet!). This chicken sandwich recipe combines both of those flavors with a bit of lemon for delicious zesty chicken.

Good Tzatziki Sauce is a must with the chicken. The yogurt balances out the spices wonderfully.

Greek Chicken Sandwich
Greek Chicken Sandwich
Print Recipe
Servings
~3 sandwiches
Cook Time Passive Time
10 minutes 1-2 hours
Servings
~3 sandwiches
Cook Time Passive Time
10 minutes 1-2 hours
Greek Chicken Sandwich
Greek Chicken Sandwich
Print Recipe
Servings
~3 sandwiches
Cook Time Passive Time
10 minutes 1-2 hours
Servings
~3 sandwiches
Cook Time Passive Time
10 minutes 1-2 hours
Ingredients
Servings: sandwiches
Instructions
  1. Mix together the olive oil, lemon juice, oregano, garlic, and salt in a plastic bag.
  2. Chop up the chicken into small easily cooked pieces, and let it chicken breast marinate in the oil mixture in the fridge for at least 1-2 hours. Overnight is ideal.
  3. Cook the chicken pieces in a medium sized saucepan on the stove.
  4. Slice the cooked chicken up into nice thin slices suitable for a sandwich. Wrap up your chicken slices and about 2 tablespoons of tzatziki sauce in each piece of pita bread.
  5. It should make about three sandwiches.
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January 29 2017

Tzatziki Sauce

Tzatziki Sauce

A stable of gyros, cucumber sauce is something I find myself almost always keeping in my fridge. It goes wonderfully with pita bread, chicken, beef, and lamb.

More often than not, I make this recipe by taste. I strongly suggest that you do too! Just remember that the flavors get stronger when they’re allowed to sit in the fridge, so make the sauce ahead of time for optimal taste.

Tzatziki Sauce
Tzatziki Sauce
Print Recipe
Greek cucumber sauce
Tzatziki Sauce
Tzatziki Sauce
Print Recipe
Greek cucumber sauce
Ingredients
Servings:
Instructions
  1. You can use greek yogurt, yogurt, or sour cream as the base for your sauce. If you use ordinary yogurt, then you will want to drain it for optimal consistency. If you're using greek yogurt or sour cream, skip ahead to prepping your cucumber.
  2. To drain your yogurt, let it sit in a colander over the sink or a bowl to collect the liquid. If the collander's holes are too big, cover them with a paper towel.
  3. Peal and de-seed your cucumber. If you like chunks of cucumber in your sauce, you can then just chop it finely by hand. If you are like me and don't actually much like cucumber, then you might want to chop it up in a food processor.
  4. Add the cucumber to the yogurt, and then season it with dill, garlic, salt, and pepper to taste.
  5. Make it ahead of time to let the flavors mix in the fridge before serving!
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January 25 2017

Heart of Palm Dip

Hearts of Palm are an interesting vegetable. They are, as the name suggests, the center of certain types of palm trees, and considered a delicacy. Heart of Palm doesn’t have much flavor by itself, but it goes wonderfully with onions. Some people also put them with salads or fruit.

This dip pairs heart of palms with green onions for a really delicious treat. I highly recommend serving with pita chips or bread!

Heart of Palm Dip
Print Recipe
Heart of Palm Dip
Print Recipe
Ingredients
Servings:
Instructions
  1. Chop up your hearts of palm. You want small pieces for optimal dipping!
  2. Mix all your ingredients together in a medium size bowl, and then pour into a pie plate (or equivalent.
  3. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-30 minutes. Serve warm with pita chips!
Recipe Notes

This is the recipe which inspired my Heart of Palm Sandwich.

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Category: Snack | LEAVE A COMMENT
January 22 2017

Farmer’s Cheesecake

I try to keep my fridge stocked with the basics – eggs, milk, and butter. The jar of white flour should be full, and there should be extra whole wheat flour stashed away somewhere. I keep sour cream or yogurt around because I tend to cook with it, but I try not to keep multiple packages of cream cheese around. Its dangerous!

So what to do when I just have to have cheesecake? (these are the important questions)

Yes, cheesecake. Very dangerous. Very rich.

It turns out, you don’t need to use cream cheese. There are recipes for cheesecake which use a variety of other cheeses – like ricotta, or farmer’s cheese. The beauty of using Farmer’s Cheese, of course, is that you can make it yourself, and flavor it however you like while making it.

I tried this recipe using cheese made from apple cider vinegar and sprinkled with cinnamon and topped with applesauce. Awesome.

Farmer's Cheesecake
Print Recipe
Cheesecake made from Farmer's Cheese - delicious, rich, and made from ingredients already in your fridge!
Servings Prep Time
8 people 40 minutes
Servings Prep Time
8 people 40 minutes
Farmer's Cheesecake
Print Recipe
Cheesecake made from Farmer's Cheese - delicious, rich, and made from ingredients already in your fridge!
Servings Prep Time
8 people 40 minutes
Servings Prep Time
8 people 40 minutes
Ingredients
Filling
Crust
Servings: people
Instructions
  1. Pour your milk into a large pot, and gently warm until it is frothy. Use the apple cider vinegar to separate the curds from the whey and drain. Add cinnamon if desired. (this is just the standard Farmer's Cheese recipe adapted; you can find more details here.
  2. Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a medium sized bowl. Cut in butter, as if you were making pie crust dough.
  3. Beat 3 egg yolks and 3 tablespoons of sour cream together, and then add to the flour mixture. Mix until it forms dough (again, resembling pie crust dough). Roll out and place in pie plate.
  4. Beat the 4 eggs and one egg white at high speed until frothy. You will probably want to use an electric beater!
  5. Put farmer's cheese, granulated sugar, 1/2 cup sour cream, and vanilla extract in a blender. Blend well. The Farmer's Cheese will be naturally rather granular when first made; it should be chopped up until very fine and liquid. Add some of the egg mixture if necessary.
  6. Fold together the farmer's cheese mixture and egg mixtures. Pour into the pie plate.
  7. Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for about 40 minutes. The cake will rise in the oven, turn golden, and set.
  8. Cool for a few hours in the refrigerator before serving. Enjoy!
Recipe Notes

One thing I like about this recipe is that it does have instructions on making its own crust. You could definitely still do a typical graham cracker crust with this, but if you don't keep graham crackers around either, this makes it simpler.

As long as you have eggs. Lots of eggs.

Based off of Country Cheesecake.

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January 8 2017

Kolachkies

This is a family recipe. Around Christmas and Easter, I usually think “oh, we should make Kolachkies, or Moctobabucta.”

Kolachkies are a bit more complex to make than, say, coffee cake. But the unique taste of these pastries – which can be filled with absolutely anything – is definitely worth it!

Kolachkies
Print Recipe
A delicious pastry, a lot like a Danish.
Servings
2 dozen
Servings
2 dozen
Kolachkies
Print Recipe
A delicious pastry, a lot like a Danish.
Servings
2 dozen
Servings
2 dozen
Ingredients
Servings: dozen
Instructions
  1. Scald your cup of milk on the stove. You want to get the milk to froth, but not boil. Once the milk is frothy, take it off the heat and let it cool a bit.
  2. Dissolve yeast in lukewarm water. Once the milk has cooled, add the yeast mixture to the scalded milk.
  3. Cream butter, sugar, and salt in a small bowl.
  4. Add 1 1/2 cups flour to the yeast / milk mixture. Mix well.
  5. Add the sugar and butter mixture, plus one egg, to the flour and yeast mixture. Beat well. Gradually add the remaining flour until the dough becomes smooth enough to handle.
  6. Knead your dough until it is smooth and elastic. Place it in a greased bowl, covered, in a warm place. Let it rise until doubled.
  7. Place the dough on a warm floured board and cut into 2 1/2 inch squares, 1/4 inch thick. Put a spoonful of filling in the center of each.
  8. Place your kolachkies 2 inches apart on a cookie sheet. Let them rise until doubled (about 45 minutes).
  9. Bake at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for 25 minutes.
  10. Sprinkle with powdered sugar when cool.
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January 4 2017

Brandy Balls

Brandy Balls

Every Christmas, my family makes Brandy Balls. Ok, this year, it was more like after Christmas before they got made – but it was Christmas time, and there were Brandy Balls.

And they’re a great Christmas Cookie! They’re chocolatey, they’re sweet, and they have liquor. They’re even really easy to make. What’s not to like?

Brandy Balls
Brandy Balls
Print Recipe
Brandy, Vanilla Wafers, and Chocolate in easy little round cookies. Yummy!
Servings Prep Time
24 cookies 15 minutes
Servings Prep Time
24 cookies 15 minutes
Brandy Balls
Brandy Balls
Print Recipe
Brandy, Vanilla Wafers, and Chocolate in easy little round cookies. Yummy!
Servings Prep Time
24 cookies 15 minutes
Servings Prep Time
24 cookies 15 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: cookies
Instructions
  1. Prepare the ingredients - crush the vanilla wafers, and chop up your walnuts.
  2. Combine all your ingredients - vanilla wafers, cocoa, walnuts, corn syrup, brandy, and confectioners sugar - and mix well. I suggest using a blender. It makes it so much faster! The mixture should form a sticky dough.
  3. Divide the dough into small balls (1-2 inches in diameter), and roll them in powdered / confectioners' sugar. Chill, and store with more confectioners' sugar - it keeps them from sticking together.
  4. Enjoy! 🙂
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