Growing My Green Thumb: Learning About Lavender


Along with the usual suspects like pepper, lettuce, basil, and parsley, this summer’s garden featured a new arrival: lavender. Inspired to grow the shrubby perennial after seeing a recipe for lavender-infused cod, I decided that it could be an interesting herb to cook with, bake with, and maybe even use in a homemade soap or perfume. But before I could do anything, I had to learn how to grow it. The plant is flourishing nicely now that the season is winding down, though it doesn’t look quite like the French field below.

Lavender Continue reading

Recipe: Old-Fashioned Raisin Cookies


It seems counterintuitive to bake in the summer heat, but that’s exactly what I’ve been doing the past few weeks—and I love it! I’ve flagged dozens of desserts in the cookbooks I own and have saved even more as webpage bookmarks. (S’mores bars, I’m looking at you.) I plan to have quite a few yummy treats under my baking belt before the season ends.

I most recently tried my hand at cookies: old-fashioned raisin and double-chocolate mocha, some of which contained walnuts. Though both were a hit with my boyfriend, I preferred the warm, comforting flavor of the raisin cookies. To make them, I adapted a recipe from Get Your Bake On by Brian Emmett; most notably, I used coffee extract instead of brewed coffee (it required less cleanup). Continue reading