Friday, April 15, 2011

For The Garlic Lover - Lavender - The Color Purple

Todays blog posting is for the garlic lover! Not everyone is a fan so I`ll keep this section brief.
I found this recipe for garlic, its not for everyone as I said. But we all need to experiment with something different once in a while. Don`t we? Well, maybe I do, but I`ll share.

Pan Roasted Garlic With Spinach

10 to 15 pan-roasted peeled garlic cloves (see directions below)

• 2 tablespoons walnut pieces

• 1 teaspoon canola or vegetable oil

• 4 cups tightly packed fresh baby spinach, divided 

• 2 tablespoons low-fat blue cheese crumbles, to taste

• Blue cheese crumbles, for garnish

1. Cook pan-roasted garlic cloves and walnuts in hot oil in a large skillet over medium heat for 1 minute.
2. Add half of spinach and cook, stirring constantly, until spinach has wilted. Add blue cheese crumbles and remaining spinach. Cook, stirring constantly, until spinach begins to wilt. Top with additional blue cheese crumbles, if desired. Serve immediately. 

How to Pan-Roast Garlic in Minutes

You may quickly become a fan of this easy cooking technique,  which yields soft, mellow garlic cloves—and enticing aromas in your kitchen.

Directions: Warm about 1⁄2 tablespoon of vegetable or canola oil in a small skillet. Add unpeeled garlic cloves and toss constantly for about 10 to 15 minutes until browned and soft. Remove garlic cloves from heat; cool and peel. Cut away any brown spots. Tip: If cloves are large, cut lengthwise before pan-roasting to reduce cooking time.

Today I`ve been researching lavender. Trying to get a head start on my Spring herb garden. The lavender plants will be one of the last things I put in this spring, only because I live on the east coast and it stays colder longer. Its got to be my favorite herb to grow in my herb garden. But I must confess it doesn`t do all that well most of the summer.
So I snip those beauties off as fast as they grow.

I`ve gathered up some info on lavender that I found helpful.

Planting Lavender
When you knock the lavender plant from its pot, spread the roots and place it in a hole that accommodates the roots. A lavender's root system is a lot bigger than the plant is! Place roots in a mixture of bone meal, chicken manure and soil to help release organics that promote both root and leaf growth.
Lavender plants tolerate many growing conditions, but thrive in warm, well drained soil. The soil should be well worked, well drained and loose enough to dig your bare hands in easily. Some sand and well rotted compost will get the plant off to a good start. A lean soil will encourage a higher concentration of oils. An alkaline and especially a chalky soil will enhance lavender's fragrance.
Lavender does not like wet roots. A gentle slope or raised bed are good choices in soil with less than perfect drainage.
Space your plants so that they will have plenty of air around them when they are grown and flowering; their branches should not touch. Remove a few branches from the interior of the plant to open it up. After winter, remove dead leaves from the base of the plant.
Sand or pea gravel make better mulches than heavier barks. A mulch of sand will moderate the soil temperature and reflect heat and light up to the plant. Some think this helps to prevent fungal diseases. More heat creates more fragrant blooms.
Lavender thrives in full sun. Try to plant it where it will get eight hours of sun a day. If you have your plants in containers, less sun is better if you cannot water them as often as needed.
Lavender is particularly drought resistant after they are mature and well established. However, during the first year, they need to be watered regularly, especially during the hottest summer days. Don't forget to keep watering into the fall if you encounter a dry spell.
An issue in the southeastern and some Midwestern states. Damp, still air can make the plant more susceptible to root rot and other maladies. Good air circulation and proper drainage can increase your chances of success.
Pruning Lavender
Plants that are not well pruned have a tendency to fall open in the middle and sprawl. Although lavender plants get regularly pruned simply by harvesting the flowers, to keep them well shaped and to encourage new growth, a bit of late fall or early spring pruning is in order. Aggressive annual pruning will maintain a beautifully shaped plant and maximize flower production. Leave approximately 1" of green foliage on plant when pruning.
Harvesting Lavender
When your lavender has blossomed, the flowers can be picked for many uses. If you desire a fresh bouquet, pick the blossoms when half of the flowers on the blossom head have opened. If you are picking to dry the bundle for crafting or sachet, pick when three-quarters of of the blossoms are open.

I hope you find this information useful, I know I did. Now I hope I can make it work for me when I go to plant my lavender plants.

I found this recipe for lavender lemonade, great on a hot summer day!

Lavender Lemonade

 Avoid piney-smelling lavenders, such as spike. For that extra touch, garnish lemonade with fresh lavender sprigs. Makes: 6 cups
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup (a generous handful) fresh or 1 tablespoon dried lavender blooms stripped from stems
  • 1 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice, strained
  • Ice cubes
  • Lavender sprigs for garnish
  1. Combine sugar with 2 1/2 cups water in a medium pan. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar.
  2. Add the lavender blooms to the sugar water, cover, and remove from heat. Let stand at least 20 minutes (and up to several hours).
  3. Strain mixture and discard lavender. Pour infusion into a glass pitcher. Add lemon juice and another 2 1/2 cups water. Stir well and watch lemonade change color.
  4. Pour into tall glasses half-filled with ice or refrigerate until ready to use.

I found all these great various purple items at different shops on Etsy. No particular theme except for purple, enjoy!

And as always,  these will definitely go on my wish list.

Last but not least today, I found this great quote that gave me great motivation today.

"Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending."
Maria Robinson

Thats all for today!
As Always
Keep It Clean!


  1. beautiful! I just planted some lavender in the garden. LOVE the aroma, so relaxing! Thank you for featuring the hat by FashionTouch here!!!

  2. Joann, great receipe tips and planting tips! Thanks for sharing AND thanks for including my Wisteria - Trailing Vines note card.


  3. I've been wanting to try lavender lemonade. It sounds so refreshing!