Lovely and Simple Lavender Syrup

I know what you’re thinking…why in the world would I need lavender syrup?  Trust me, you do!  A couple of weeks ago we went to the Lavender Festival in Sequim (pronounced “squim” ) on the Olympic Peninsula.  Sequim is in the rain shadow of the Olympics, so they enjoy many more sunny days than we do here on the other side of Puget Sound. That’s why they can grow such wonderful lavender…it’s hot and sunny!

Lavender Farm CHaosServedDailyThe day we were there, that certainly held true…we arrived around 11:00, and by noon were in desperate need of shade and refreshment.  The food booths offered pretty much anything you could name, combined with lavender for the event.  While the rest of my family stuck with boring Italian soda flavors (cherry, root beer, and limeade), I thought the lavender one sounded refreshing…and it was!  They all tried it, and were sorry they hadn’t chosen that instead of their pedestrian flavors. Of course, they kept trying mine, and I really got to do little more than eat the ice, by the time they were done!

I thought it would be a simple enough task to find lavender syrup here in the home of coffee syrups, but it proved impossible.  I did find it available to order online, but at $15 a bottle, decided I could make it myself!  AFter steeping some of the lavender buds I bought at the festival in a simple syrup, I made Italian sodas for the family.  They declared them as tasty if not better than the one we shared in Sequim.  It’s a new family favorite with popcorn for movie night!

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Lavender Syrup

  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons lavender buds (I used dried, but you could also use fresh)

1. Combine all in a medium saucepan over medium high heat; bring to a boil to dissolve sugar.  Reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes.

2. Strain, using a fine mesh strainer, into a jar and refrigerate.  Syrup-Strain-ChaosServedDai

3. To make Italian sodas:  Fill a tall glass with ice, add 2 tablespoon of the syrup, then fill with sparkling water/club soda. Stir well to combine.  If you’d like a cream soda, also add a tablespoon or two of cream. Enjoy!

You can find loads of other recipes using lavender syrup with a simple online search…I’m thinking I need to try out a lavender mojito, or perhaps a lavender, vodka, and lemonade slush!

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Prosciutto, Basil and Balsamic Nectarines

Finally…a new post!  After being cajoled in person at Bunko and my neighborhood 4th of July party, as well as on social media, I found myself newly motivated to post today!  So thanks for the encouragement, y’all!

This is a super quick and easy recipe…Prosciutto, Basil, and Balsamic Nectarines.  I made a big plate of these for lunch yesterday, and, of course, just as I was sitting down to enjoy, the hooligans wandered in and “shared” them….good thing I’d made a lot!Nectarines-ChaosServedDaily

Prosciutto, Basil, and Balsamic Nectarines

· 3 nectarines, sliced into 8 wedges

· 8 wafer-thin slices prosciutto

· 24 small basil leaves, or 24 pieces of large basil leaves

· Balsamic vinegar glaze

Cut the each piece of prosciutto into 3 long “ribbons.”

Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium high heat.

Place a basil leaf on a slice of nectarine and wrap with a ribbon of prosciutto.

Place in preheated skillet, with the side with the end of the prosciutto down, and let nrown. Turn and let other side brown, then remove from skillet.

Drizzle with balsamic glaze (and a little shaved Parmesan, if you’d like) and serve!

I had somehow run out of Parmesan, or I would have shaved a bit over the nectarines just before serving, using a vegetable peeler to make the shavings. Oh, and these are tasty with peaches, as well, if they’re in season where you live. These are really an appetizer, but I love them for a light lunch, too.

So I know you’ve been wondering (just humor me…I know you haven’t wondered!)…what’s up with the long absence from blogging?  Well, life, basically!  Nothing exciting or traumatic…I had a really tough semester, but finished 21 credits and passed (with flying colors…I have to brag a little, I was so stressed about these tests!) all my state- and college-required exams on math content.  I have two more terms of coursework, then a term of student-teaching, and I’ll graduate in December of 2016.  I’m so glad to have a light at the end of the tunnel!

My favorite GI Joe retired from the military last October and started a new job helping veterans transitioning back into the civilian world.  Then, just last week, he switched to a healthcare company, where he’s a strategic planner.  Whatever that means.  What it means to me is that he’s pursuing a new career course that still lets him help others, which makes him happy!

The hooligans are thoroughly enjoying their summer, sleeping late, spending a ton of time at gymnastics practice, swim lessons, and various day camps, and generally being kids.  I crushed their little happiness bubbles a bit yesterday when I told them summer is one-third over this Friday…but they decided they need to squeeze in more fun, if that’s the case!

We had a great Fourth of July…as usual, starting off with funnel cakes and berries for breakfast, a small-town parade, the neighborhood cookout, and fireworks on post.  I hope yours was amazingly fun, too!

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