LAVENDER

Cooking, Crafts & Cosmetics 

by Brenda Hyde

Lavender Balls or Shapes

You'll need:

Styrofoam balls in any size, or shapes such as hearts

Hot glue gun with glue sticks or craft/tacky glue

Lavender buds

Lavender essential oil (optional)

ribbon

Cover your work area with craft paper or newspaper. Warm the glue gun if you are using one. Place a pile of lavender buds on your paper.

Cover half of your ball or shape with glue and gently roll and press into the buds. When the area is covered, shake off the excess and repeat with the other half. Repeat this with as many balls or shapes as you are using and allow them to dry overnight.

Once you have this part done you can do many things with your lavender shapes. The balls can be placed in a square of lace or tulle, tied at the top with pretty ribbon and placed in bowls or baskets. You can also use a stick pin to attach a piece of ribbon as a hanger and decorate the shapes with dried flowers or a bow.

Dried rosebuds glued to the top with a raffia bow or hanger is also pretty. To make the lavender scent strong you can drop several drop of essential oil on to the shape as well.

Easy Lavender "Sticks"

You'll need:

8-10 stems of lavender with buds still attached

6 piece of purple tulle

About a yard of silk ribbon per "stick"

Lay the tulle down on a work surface that you've covered with paper. Usually the braided lavender sticks must be freshly picked, but this craft can be made with dried flowers and stems that you've picked ahead of time. Lay your bunch of lavender on top of the tulle. Center in the middle with about an inch left at the top of the material. Fold the tulle over the top of the stems that have the buds, so the flowers are covered but not the bottom of the stems. Carefully roll the lavender up in the tulle, so it's sealed in. Use the ribbon to tie the bottom part of the rolled tulle that is open. Tie a knot with the first third of ribbon, then use the rest to wrap around the bottom of the tulle and stems about 2-3 inches down until the ribbon is used and there is enough to tie it off or glue the end if you prefer. These can be given as favors or used as gift toppers.

Lavender Eye Pillow

You'll need:

two pieces of fabric 4.5"x9.5"

3 cups flax seed or uncooked rice (not instant)

2-3 tbsp. lavender flowers

lavender essential oil

thread

In a bowl mix the flax or rice, the lavender and the essential oil. Mix well. Sew two sides and one end of the material for the bag using 1/4 inch seam. Turn the pillow right side out, fill with the mixture. You want the pillow to lay fairly flat so you can place it over your eyes or on the back of your neck. Once filled hand stitch the open side securely. 

You can use plain muslin for the pillow, and then out of a printed cotton material sew a small pillow case to use on it than can be taken out an washed. Flannel is a nice material to use for this. The bag can be heated for about 30 seconds in the microwave. I use mine often on my neck.

Lavender and Rose Potpourri

You'll need:

2 cups dried rose buds/petals

2 cups dried lavender buds

3 tbsp. orris root chips--or powder

10 drops lavender essential oil

Place the lavender and rose buds in a large glass jar. If you use orris root chips add to the flowers, then the drops of essential oil-seal with the lid and shake well. Shake daily for about 2 weeks, leaving the lid on, then you can use as you would other potpourri. If you are using orris root powder first add the essential oil to the powder, mix well, cover, and let it sit for 2-3 days. Then, add the flowers and shake together in the large jar as mentioned above. Follow the remaining instructions. This is a simple but lovely potpourri.

 

Lavender Sugar

1/3 cup fresh lavender flowers
1 cup white granulated sugar

Make layers of the lavender and the sugar into a glass jar. You can double this for a larger jar if you wish. Seal the jar and keep in a dark place for 2-3 weeks. You can combine the lavender and sugars after they are dried and continue to store in the covered jar. Use them in place of a portion of sugar in recipes for sugar cookies, plain scones, tea cakes or muffins.

Lavender Lemonade

Ingredients:
5 cups water
1 1/2 cups sugar
12 stems fresh lavender
2 1/4 cups fresh lemon juice

Mix the 2 1/2 cups of water with the sugar in a sauce pan and bring to a boil. Remove the flowers from the stem (whole is okay) and add to the sugar/water mixture. Remove from the heat. Cover and allow to cool. When cool, add 2 1/2 cups cold water and the lemon juice. Strain out the lavender. Serve over crushed ice and garnish with lavender blossoms. Serves 8.

Lavender Tea Blend

Ingredients:
1 teaspoon fresh lavender flowers
2 tablespoon fresh mint leaves
2 tablespoon fresh lemon balm
2 cups boiling water

In a teapot, combine the herbs. Add boiling water to the pot and steep 5 minutes. Serve with honey. Makes two cups of tea. If you want to add a black tea bag or loose tea of your choice you can add another cup of boiling water and make 3 cups of a stronger tea.

Easy Herbal Eye Pillow

You can make a simple herbal eye pillow for heating or cooling and placing on your eyes by mixing 1/2 cup flax seed and 1/2 cup lavender and placing in a simple sewn muslin square.

Charming Lavender Tea Gift

You will need:
1/3 teaspoon dried lavender flowers
4 teaspoons orange pekoe tea
New or vintage tea cup and saucer
small plastic bag, or plastic wrap
Tea Ball
Ribbon

Mix the herbs and tea then place in a piece of plastic wrap or a small bag and tie tightly with a ribbon. Place in the clean dry tea cup, with the tea ball (they are very inexpensive and can be found in most store kitchen sections) Include a note that this should steep for five minutes in boiled water. Wrap in tissue paper and place in a gift bag for a great gift for teachers and co-workers.

Lavender and Lemon Sugar Cookies

Ingredients:
1/4 tsp. dried Lavender buds
1/4 cup sugar
1 cup soft butter
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1 large egg
2 1/8 cup flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. cream of tartar
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. lemon extract

In a food processor or blender, grind lavender with sugar. Cream sugar with butter and powdered sugar, and add egg. Stir in lemon extract, then flour, soda, tartar and salt; blending well. Place a tablespoon of dough on a greased cookie sheet. Flatten dough with the bottom of a glass that has been dipped in sugar, and sprinkle with additional sugar. Bake in preheated 375 degree oven for 10-15 minutes or until golden.

A Lavender Table Accent

A lovely accent for a luncheon table can be made with lavender braids. Simply braid six lavender branches with the blossoms into a braid. Hold two braids together and loop each one the opposite direction to form two loops. Tie with a raffia or silk bow to hold in place. These can be given as favors, placed at each place setting or used as a package accent instead of a bow.

 

Lavender Cookies

Ingredients:

  • 2 sticks butter or margarine, room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2 eggs, well beaten
  • 2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp. dried lavender buds
  • 2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour

Cream the butter, sugar, and salt until light. Add the beaten eggs and vanilla. Mix well. Add in the flour using low speed just until the dough is starting to form. Sprinkle in the lavender fold in gently. Divide the dough into two rounded sections. Wrap well in plastic wrap and chill for at least one hour. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Placed one of the chilled dough sections on a floured surface. Roll out the dough with a floured rolling pin, taking care not to overwork it. Cut the dough into desired shapes and place them 1/2 inch apart on a ungreased cookie sheet.

Bake for 6-8 minutes until just golden brown. Cool on rack.

Lavender Tea Cake

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 5 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 large egg white
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup plain fat-free or lowfat yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh lavender leaves

Glaze:

  • 1/3 cup sifted powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon water
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Beat granulated sugar, butter, and vanilla at medium speed until well-blended. Add egg and egg white, one at a time, beat well after each addition. Sift flour and carefully measure. Combine the flour with the baking powder, baking soda, and salt, stir well. (I often sift again) Add flour the mixture to sugar mixture alternately with yogurt, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Stir in lavender. Pour the batter into an 8-inch loaf pan coated with cooking spray. 

Bake at 350 degrees for about 1 hour or until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean. 

To prepare glaze, combine powdered sugar and remaining ingredients. Spread on the warm cake. 

Cool in pan 20 minutes on a wire rack before removing from the pan. To serve slice thinly and present on a pretty platter. 

Lavender and Honey Dressing

Ingredients:

  • 6 tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 1 tsp. hearty mustard
  • 2 tbsp. honey
  • 1 tsp. dried lavender buds

Whisk together all ingredients. Allow to stand for 30 minutes. Mix again before serving.

Lavender Herb Bread

Ingredients:

  • 1 package active dry yeast
  • 1/4 cup warm water
  • 1 cup low fat cottage cheese
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 2 tbsp. butter or stick margarine
  • 1 tsp. dried lavender buds
  • 1 tsp. fresh lemon thyme, minced
  • 1/2 tbsp. fresh basil, minced
  • 1/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 1/2 cups flour

In a small bowl, dissolve yeast in the warm water. In a larger bowl, mix together the cottage cheese, honey, butter, herbs, baking soda and eggs.

Stir in the yeast mixture. Gradually add flour to form a stiff dough, beating well after each addition. Cover and let rise about 1 hour, or until doubled in bulk. Stir the dough down with a large wooden spoon. Place in a well greased 1 1/2 or 2 qt. casserole. Allow to rise 30 to 40 minutes, or until doubled in bulk. Bake at 350 F. for one hour. When finished, remove and turn onto a cooling rack,. Brush top with butter while warm.

GROWING TIPS:

Tips on growing lavender plus more recipes:

Garden Treasury Section

From Brenda Hyde, owner of Old Fashioned Living.com. Visit her for more tips, recipes and crafts. Sign up for her free newsletters here: http://www.oldfashionedliving.com/news.html