Category: Featured

Lavender Honey Gelato

With the hot weather this summer, my garden has been producing tons of fresh lavender, so this weekend, I decided it was time to break out the ice cream maker. Molly and I had a blast making this Lavender Honey Gelato and it was absolutely divine. The recipe was not difficult to make at all and only took one day (with freezing). Try making this with your kids, and wow your friends and family with some homemade gelato!


WHAT YOU WILL NEED

  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 3/4 cup honey
  • 2 tablespoons edible lavender
  • 4 egg yolks

Start by heating the milk, cream, honey and lavender in a saucepan over medium heat. Cook together until the honey has completely incorporated with the milk, about 5 minutes.

Separate out your egg yolks and beat the yolks until they are thick and light yellow (this will take longer than you think, around 5 minutes). Pour 1 cup of your warm milk mixture into the bowl with the yolks and stir well. Once the yolks and milk are well incorporated, pour it all back into the saucepan and cook over very low hit, stirring constantly until the mixture becomes a thick custard and can coat the back of a spoon (about 10 minutes).

Pour the mixture through a strainer into a medium bowl and place the warm custard in the refrigerator, chilling it thoroughly for several hours before pouring it into your ice cream maker. Process the custard with your ice cream maker (follow the manufacturer’s instructions), then pour the whipped custard into a glass jar and freeze overnight. If you don’t want the gelato to form “skin” on the top, place a piece of wax paper on the top of the gelato before covering with a lid.

After the gelato has frozen overnight, serve with your favorite toppings and enjoy!

Rose Jam

I absolutely love the smell of roses and have rose bushes all over my garden. I started thinking about things that I could make with roses and a Rose Jam recipe popped into my head. I thought it would be the perfect compliment to my lavender scones. It was my first time ‘jamming’ and I can say it definitely will not be my last time! It was very easy to do and the end result was so delicious. Hope you enjoy!


WHAT YOU WILL NEED

  • 2 ½ cups water
  • 4 cups unsprayed pink rose petals
  • 3 cups sugar
  • ¼ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 3 ounces liquid pectin
  • ¼ teaspoon of rose extract
  • 2 tablespoon rose water

Pour the water into a saucepan and bring to the boil. When it has just begun to boil, remove from heat, add the rose petals and submerge them so they can steep. Let the roses sit for 3 to 4 hours. Pour the water and the petals through a sieve, discard the petals and pour the rose infused water back into the saucepan. Pour in the sugar, rose extract and the lemon juice, place back on to the heat and bring to the boil. Begin to stir constantly. Allow the water to boil for 5 minutes. Pour in the pectin and continue to boil and stir for a further 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and pour the jam into the sterilized jars. Seal the lids and allow to cool on the side. The jam will store for up to 6 months in a cool dark cabinet. This jam is absolutely wonderful with my lavender scones!

Sugared Rose Petals

If you are looking for a little something extra special to top off deserts, cakes, cupcakes or ice cream, then you need to try to make these Sugared Rose Petals. They’re very easy to make, but look really impressive!


WHAT YOU WILL NEED

  • 3 cups of rose petals
  • 8 egg whites
  • ½ cup of white sugar
  • 1 tablespoon of rose extract

Remove the petals from the bud and dispose of the lighter part of the petal that attaches to the flower. Once all the flowers are cleaned and trimmed, arrange them on a cookie sheet lined with wax paper. Whisk the egg whites and dunk each petal into the egg whites. Toss the rose extract and sugar into a mason jar and shake. Dip the rose petals into the sugar and cover both sides of the petal. Tap off the excess sugar and let them dry on the wax paper. Decorate cupcakes, ice cream or toss into a glass of sparkling cider.

Red Cabbage Soup

So I hate to waste anything. I recently shared a natural robin Easter Egg coloring recipe using red cabbage. Instead of throwing away the cabbage, I decided to make a soup out of it. Red cabbage is rich antioxidants, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin K, vitamin B6, calcium, magnesium and has a ton of anti-inflammatory benefits. It is also amazing for the digestive system and can help detox your body of toxins and impurities. I kind of winged this recipe and just threw in what I had in my pantry. I was pleasantly surprised with how delicious this was. My kids loved it… so I consider this a win/win. I didn’t waste anything and I made a soup that was not only healthy and good for us, but my kids have now requested it again. Hope you enjoy it as much as we do.


HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED:

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 red cabbage steamed or boiled
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 potato, peeled and diced
  • 1 carton of vegetable stock
  • ½ cup half and half or heavy whipping cream
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Heat the olive oil and butter in a large saucepan.

Add the onion and garlic and sauté for about 5 minutes until soft.

Add then the diced potato and 3 tablespoons of the vegetable stock and sauté for another 10 minutes until the potatoes are soft.

Add then the cooked red cabbage and the remaining vegetable stock. Boil over medium heat for about 15 minutes and then remove from heat.

Blend the ingredients in a blender or a hand mixer, so it is smooth.

Last, stir in the half and half or cream.

It’s ready to serve. Season with salt and pepper and enjoy!

Mom’s Favorite Chocolate Chip Cookies

There’s just something I love about the simplicity of a chocolate chip cookie. They’re such a classic treat but it’s always fun to mix it up for different occasions. You can use colored chocolate chips for each holiday, add peanuts or even caramel and pretzel pieces for something unexpected. My mom has been using this chocolate chip cookie recipe for as long as I can remember and it always turns out great. I hope you and your family enjoy.


HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED:

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp water
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups chocolate chips

Lay out your ingredients and preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Cream softened butter and sugars together until smooth.

Beat one egg into the mixture at a time and add vanilla extract.

Mix together the water and baking soda and stir in.

Stir in the flour, salt and chocolate chips.

Roll a spoonful of dough into a ball and place evenly on the cookie sheet.

Bake for 10 minutes or until golden brown.

Serve with a glass of milk and enjoy!

Homemade All Natural Deodorant

For the final piece of my Father’s Day Gift Basket, I wanted to share a surprisingly easy recipe for a Homemade All-Natural Deodorant. This recipe is gentle and will do wonders for keeping your man fresh. The lavender and tea tree essential oils are both deodorizing and antibacterial—perfect for those long summer days!


WHAT YOU WILL NEED

  • 0.1 oz Beeswax
  • 0.5 oz Cocoa butter
  • 0.5 oz Kaolin clay
  • 1 oz Shea butter
  • 10 drops lavender essential oil
  • 5 drops tea tree essential oil

Melt the cocoa butter and beeswax over low heat in a double boiler. Once melted, turn the heat off and melt in the Shea butter by stirring frequently. Add in the Kaolin clay to the melted butters, mixing the clay in thoroughly.

Quickly stir in the essential oils, then pour into your deodorant container. Set aside to cool. Once the deodorant has set, you can use it for up to a month.

Cedar Eucalyptus Shaving Cream

For Father’s Day, I wanted to come up with a handmade grooming kit you could all make for your wonderful dads as a gift. The first recipe in this kit is a silky and luscious Cedar Eucalyptus Shaving Cream that gives a rich lather and is great for sensitive skin. This shaving cream recipe is completely free of preservatives, chemicals and dyes, and is 100% all-natural and beneficial for your skin! And ladies—don’t be shy about stealing some of this from your man for a silky smooth, close shave!


WHAT YOU WILL NEED

  • ½ cup coconut oil
  • ½ cup Shea butter
  • 1 cup almond oil
  • 30 drops Cedarwood Virginia essential oil
  • 15 drops eucalyptus essential oil
  • 20 drops vetiver essential oil
  • 15 drops rose essential oil
  • 2 teaspoons of baking soda

In a double boiler, slowly melt the coconut oil and Shea butter over low heat, stirring occasionally. Remove the melted mixture from the stove and let cool for ten minutes. After the liquid has cooled a bit, mix in your almond oil and essential oils, then put it in the refrigerator to cool. This part is important: you want to make sure the mixture cools to a solid before you take it out of the fridge. Once it’s solid, take it out again (it should have the consistency of a stick of butter) and let it melt a little bit.

Put the mixture into a stand mixer (or whip using a hand mixer), whipping until the cream is nice and fluffy. If you didn’t cool the mixture to a solid first, it won’t whip up to a fluffy consistency!

Transfer into a jar of your choice and store in a cool, dry place. The shaving cream should have a shelf life of up to 3 months as long as water doesn’t contaminate it. Enjoy!

Luscious Bath Melts

Moms love spa days and there’s nothing better than having the luxuries of a spa in the comfort of your home. These luscious bath melts are the final item in my handmade, affordable and indulgent Mother’s Day basket. Not only are they so easy to make, these fragrant bath melts will turn any warm bath into a relaxing, restorative experience. Get ready to luxuriate in some serious ‘Me’ time!


WHAT YOU WILL NEED

  • Dried flowers (I used lavender, rose petals and blue cornflowers)
  • 200 ml Cocoa Butter
  • 4 tbsp Almond Oil
  • 20 drops Essential Oil (in each type, e.g., 20 drops Rose Essential Oil in rose bath melts)
  • Silicone Mold (ones used for chocolates and soaps)

Melt the 200 ml of cocoa butter in a double boiler (the easiest way to do this is to place the cocoa butter in a glass bowl, then set the bowl on a slightly smaller pot half-filled with water at a rolling boil). Keep stirring the cocoa butter as it melts to make sure the butter melts evenly. Once the cocoa butter has become a liquid, remove it from the heat and add in your almond oil, mixing well. Separate your mixture evenly into various batches depending on how many types of bath melts you want to make (e.g., I separated mine into three batches for rose, lavender, and blue cornflower). Add 20 drops of essential oil into each batch and mix it in. Let the mixture cool for approximately 5 minutes.

Sprinkle your dried flowers into the bottom of each mold—be liberal with the amount you put in each mold. Fill each mold with the melted mixture after you sprinkle in the flowers, then place the molds in your refrigerator to cool (it takes about an hour and a half to thoroughly harden). Remove the bath melts from the molds and transfer them into an airtight container. I try to keep mine in the fridge until I use them to keep them from melting. When you’re ready for your indulgent home spa experience, just add a couple melts into your warm bath, luxuriate, and enjoy!

Rose Petal Milk Bath

This Rose Petal Milk Bath is the ultimate luxury spa experience and with this recipe, it’ll cost you less than $10 to include this indulgent gift in your Mother’s Day basket. The lactic acid found in milk acts as a wonderful gentle exfoliant for those of us who don’t want to do anything in the bath other than soak, leaving your skin dewy and soft. Your mom will definitely love this gift and I bet you’ll be saving a second batch for yourself!


WHAT YOU WILL NEED

  • 3 cups dry milk powder
  • 1 cup epsom salt
  • 2 cups dried rose petals
  • 20 drops rose essential oil

Mix the dry materials together until you get an even mixture, then add in the drops of rose essential oil. Bottle up for the gift basket or when you have a self-care day, pour the mixture in the tub and soak!

Robin Easter Eggs

Every year my kids and I try to get creative with how we are going to decorate our Easter Eggs. This year we decided to make robin eggs. We also decided that we wanted to try to do it naturally without food dye. So Molly and I did some research on how to naturally dye eggs blue and were surprised to find out that RED CABBAGE was the answer. Here’s how we did it.


HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED:

  • 1 dozen white hard boiled eggs
  • 1 head of red cabbage
  • 5 tsp of white vinegar
  • Metallic gold paint
  • Paintbrush

Pre-boil your eggs so they are ready to go.

Next, roughly chop the head of red cabbage and place it in a simmer pot with enough water to completely cover the cabbage. Let the cabbage come to a boil and then simmer for 30 minutes. Remove from heat and let the cabbage cool in the water.

Once it is cooled, remove the cabbage and add 5 tbsp of white vinegar.

Place the eggs in a clean bowl and pour the cabbage water over the eggs. This dying process will take some time. Don’t worry that the dye is purple… it will dye the eggs the perfect robin color.

Make sure to stir the eggs every so often so you can get even coverage over the egg. Let the eggs sit in the dye for about 4-5 hours.

Once the eggs have dried, it’s time to speckle the eggs with the gold paint.

While holding an egg, use a paintbrush to speckle the gold all over. I used a hard bristle brush and dabbed it randomly all over the eggs.

Let the paint dry before storing them in the fridge.

I love how these came out and Molly is already thinking about what we are going to do next year.