Lavender Shortbread

Lavendar Shortbread 1Shortbread, what buttery bliss.  I absolutely adore shortbread.  This recipe is one of the best, just soft enough to give a pleasant chew but has a delightful crunch.  I prefer my shortbread a bit on the softer side than most bakery versions.  This recipe is my favorite by far.  I had some lavender from the CSA so I made a lavender version, but these would be equally spectacular with simply butter.

Lavender Shortbread

adapted from Smitten Kitchen and Joy the Baker

Ingredients

  • 12 Tbsp (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted, warm
  • 6 Tbsp granulated sugar, separated
  • 1 Tbsp lavender
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • sugar for sprinkling
  • Turbinado, Demerara or granulated sugar for sprinkling

Directions

  1. Line an 8 ich pan with aluminum foil, leave an overhand on two opposite sides
  2. Using a mortar and pestle, grind the lavender and 1 tablespoon of the granulated sugar until fragrant
  3. In a bowl, combine the melted butter with 5 tablespoon sugar, lavender sugar mixture, vanilla and salt.
  4. Add the flour and mix just until incorporated.
  5. Pat and spread the dough evenly in the pan. Let rest for at least 2 hours, or overnight (no need to refrigerate).
  6. Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat the oven to 300 degrees F.
  7. Bake the shortbread for 45 minutes.
  8. Remove the pan from the oven, leaving the oven on. Lightly sprinkle the surface of the shortbread with sugar. Let the shortbread cool for 10 minutes.Lavendar Shortbread 4
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Homemade Hot Fudge Sauce

Cookies and Cream Ice Cream Cake 1 My roommate when I first moved to Seattle was a bit lactose intolerant.  So she would buy me Tillamook Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough ice cream so that she could eat some spoonfuls.  Then we got started on a hot fudge kick after buying some hot fudge from a local ice cream store.

For her birthday, she asked for an ice cream cake, so I ended up making an ice cream brownie cake.  The brownie recipe is not quite up to snuff to serve frozen for me to add the recipe here, but the hot fudge is fantastic!  It is my favorite fudge recipe I have found to date, smooth, creamy, and perfect over a scoop of vanilla ice cream.  I hope you enjoy!

Hot Fudge

Adapted from Smitten Kitchen

Ingredients

  • 4 ounces unsweetened chocolate
  • 3 tablespoons butter, unsalted
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 6 Tbsp light corn syrup
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla extract

Directions

  1. Melt the chocolate and butter very slowly in a double boiler or in the microwave, stirring frequently until combined
  2. Heat the water to boiling in the small, heavy saucepan
  3. Stir in the melted butter and chocolate into the boiling water
  4. Add the sugar, corn syrup and salt and mix until smooth
  5. Turn the heat up and stir until mixture starts to boil
  6. Adjust the heat so that sauce is just maintained at the boiling point, stirring occasionally
  7. Allow the sauce to boil for nine minutes
  8. Remove from the heat and cool for 15 minutes
  9. Stir in the vanilla extract and serve warm over ice cream (or ice cream cake!)

**you can save leftovers in the fridge, repeat in the microwave in 15 second increments until warm**

Breakfast Black Beans

Breakfast Black Beans 6 - Mark BittmanMark Bittman is a great food writer for the New York Times.  I was perusing the library book shelf in the vegan section and ran across his VB6 cookbook.  I had not heard of this before and read his introduction which essentially is his way to eat healthier and reduce his meat intake…by eating vegan for breakfast and lunch each day (before 6pm)!  I have been trying to decrease my meat intake also so I gave this recipe a try, plus some additions (feta cheese, yum!) which makes it vegetarian.  I am in love with tortilla chips so I tend to enjoy eating with them instead of tacos, but these would also be great with some tortillas.  Have fun eating beans for breakfast!

Breakfast Black Beans

adapted from VB6

Ingredients

  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 small red onion
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 2 cans of black beans, drained
  • 1 bell pepper, chopped ( I prefer red, yellow or orange)
  • 1-2 jalepenos, seeds removed and chopped (keep some seeds if you like spicy food)
  • 1/2 lime, juiced
  • 3/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • 3-5 scallions, chopped
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • tortilla chips (or tortillas if you prefer)

Directions

  1. Place the olive oil in a skillet over medium high heat.  Add the onion, garlic, salt, pepper and stir.  Cook until vegetables soften, about 3-5 minutes.
  2. Add the bell peppers, jalepenos, and chili powder and stir.  Continue to let soften, about 5 minutes.
  3. Add the black beans and lime juice.  Stir for 3 minutes.
  4. Mix in the cilantro, scallions and feta cheese.  Combine until heated through.
  5. Serve with tortilla chips and extra feta cheese if desired.