Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Lemon Lavender Loaf

I absolutely love all things lavender!  The scent, color, and flavor it adds to tea, baked good and ice cream.  Drying in my kitchen is lavender that I grow in my garden.  Lemon Lavender Loaf was calling to be made.

This loaf cake/bread is light, moist and just perfect with a cup of tea.  Topped with a very light drizzle of lemon/icing sugar glaze, it is sweet and tart at the same time.

Lemon Lavender Loaf Cake


  • 1 1/2 cups All-purpose Flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon Baking Powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon Salt
  • 1/2 cup softened Butter
  • 1 cup Sugar
  • 3 Eggs (I used duck eggs)
  • 3/4 cup Plain Yogurt (I bet that lemon yogurt would be good too)
  • Juice from one Lemon (1 Tablespoon)
  • 1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon Lemon extract
  • Zest from one Lemon (about a heaping teaspoon)
  • 1 Tablespoon dried Lavender (food grade)
For the glaze:
  • 1/4 cup confectioners sugar
  • Juice of half a lemon (or add more to the consistency you wish)
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.  Grease one 9" x 5" loaf pan and set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.  Set aside.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer cream the butter.  Gradually add the sugar and beat until light and fluffy, about 7 minutes.
  4. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing each egg until it is fully incorporated.
  5. To the creamed butter and sugar mixture, slowly add the dry ingredients, alternating with the yogurt and mix it all together just until all ingredients are incorporated
  6. Add the lemon juice, vanilla and lemon extracts and the lemon zest and beat on low just until blended.
  7. Gently fold in the lavender.
  8. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for about 60 minutes or until the edges begin to brown and a toothpick inserted in the center of the loaf comes out clean. ( NOTE:  the original recipe said to bake 45 minutes but I found that that was not nearly long enough.  You will want to watch and judge how your oven bakes.)
  9. Cool in the loaf pan for 15 minutes before transferring to a wire rack.
  10. For the glaze, put the confectioners sugar in a small bowl and add the lemon juice a little at a time until a drizzle/pouring consistence is reached.  Then drizzle over the cooled cake.
Until next time,

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Belgian Waffles with Strawberries and Cream

 My hens are in full on egg production and in trying to decide what to make for dinner tonight that used eggs I just happened to see in the back of my appliance pantry the waffle iron.  I haven't used the waffle iron in years.  I had some strawberries and whipped cream and decided that Belgian Waffles and poached eggs would make a dandy dinner for the Mister.

 I love this recipe!  The waffles are light and fluffy inside and just a wee bit crispy on the outside.  The pinch of cinnamon and nutmeg and vanilla  create a delightful waffle.
Belgian Waffles Recipe
  • 2 cups of flour
  • 4 teaspoons of baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs (separated)
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 cups of milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • tiny pinch of cinnamon
  • tiny pinch of nutmeg
  1. Sift the flour, baking powder, salt sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg together in a large bowl
  2. In a separate bowl, separate the egg whites and beat until stiff peaks form.
  3. In another separate bowl, mix together the egg yolks, milk, oil and vanilla.  Stir to combine.
  4. Add the dry ingredients to the egg yolk/milk mixture and mix well.
  5. Fold in the egg whites
  6. Cook in waffle iron on medium-high heat for 5 or 6 minutes.  Waffle irons may vary so judge your cooking time to your own waffle iron.
Yield:  5 or 6 large waffles.
Note:  I used approximately 3/4 cup of batter for each waffle.

Until next time,

Monday, June 25, 2018

Strawberry Jam with Balsamic Vinegar and Black Pepper

You know summer has arrived when it is time to get out the canning pot and preserve some of those yummy strawberries.  I made some strawberry jam decided this time to try out a new recipe: Strawberry Jam with Balsamic Vinegar and Pepper.  It's really something special!  Imagine the sweetness of Strawberry Jam that has notes of Balsamic Vinegar and the heat of black pepper.  This jam will be wonderful with goat cheese and crackers.  Or poured over a block of cream cheese and served as an appetizer on crackers.  And how about serving it with fish?  I'm also thinking it would make a yummy sweat salsa-like accompaniment to fish tacos.  The possibilities are many!

Strawberry Jam with Balsamic Vinegar and Black Pepper
  • 2 pounds of fresh, cleaned and hulled STRAWBERRIES
  • 4 cups of sugar
  • 1/4  cup of Balsamic Vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons of black pepper
  • The juice of one lemon
  1. Prepare your jelly jars by washing thoroughly and placing the jars and lids in boiling water for 10 minutes.  Keep the jars in the HOT water until you are ready to fill the jars with the jam.
  2. Place the strawberries in a heavy bottomed saucepan and mash the berries with a potato masher to crush.
  3. Add the sugar, balsamic vinegar, black pepper and lemon juice to the pan with the strawberries and stir well to mix them.
  4. Stir over low heat until all if the sugar has dissolved.
  5. Turn the heat to high until the mixture comes to a full boil.  Stir often to prevent scorching.
  6. Once the berry mixture reaches a full boil, turn the heat down but continue to boil the mixture until it reaches 220 degrees Fahrenheit on a candy thermometer.  Watch very closely and stir often!
  7. Remove and drain the jars and lids from the hot water with tongs
  8. Ladle the hot jam into the hot sterile jars, leaving about 1/2 inch headspace, then seal with the lids and process using the water bath canning method.
Yield: approximately 2 cups
Until next time,


Sunday, June 24, 2018

Hulling Strawberries with a drinking straw

I made Strawberry Jam infused with Balsamic Vinegar and Black Pepper this week.  YUM! YUM!  It's sweet and spicy and delicious.  But more later about the jam.
Sometimes when taking the tops, leaves and hulls out of the berries when prepping them for the jam, a lot of the berry gets wasted when you cut it.  Well!  I have an easy way to hull the berries.  It's super simple to do and it gets the hull out of the berry without having to cut the top off.  All you need is a drinking straw.  The Mister acted as my hand model and demonstrated the process of hulling strawberries with a drinking straw in this little video.


Guess who gets to enjoy the strawberry tops and hulls when cleaning and preparing strawberries to make strawberry jam?

Happy ducks! And now on to making my jam.
Until next time,

Thursday, March 15, 2018

My New First Ladies arrived this morning

I don't generally expect telephone calls at 8:00 a.m. but this morning the caller I.D. on my phone showed "Post Office" as the caller and I eagerly answered the phone. 
Post Office:  "Hello?  Is this Jennifer?"
Me: "Yes it is."
Post Office:  "I've got some birds here for you."
Me:  "I'll be right there to pick them up."
Post Office:  "See you soon."

Of course it snowed last night AGAIN and my car wasn't in the garage so after a quick brush off of the snow I set off to the post office.  YIKES!  My gas gauge showed nothing!  I was running on fumes.  So, a quick stop at the gas station and I was back on the road to the post office.
When I opened the post office doors the sound of "peep, peep, peep, chirp, chirp, PEEP!" filled the room.  So many people in my town are getting their new baby ducks and chickens.
I collected my box of ducklings and hurried home to get them under the heat lamp and acquainted with Daisy Mae and Dolly Parton who arrived a week ago.

Yep!  This is how chicks and ducks arrive through the post.  Inside the box are special warmers so that the day old chicks and ducklings stay warm.  My sweet barn cat, Masha, was the postal inspector.  After a quick sniff I took the ducklings inside the house to their brooder.


JUST LOOK at how much bigger a one week old duckling is compared to a day old duckling!  Ducks grow quickly.
I removed the babies leg bands, dipped their beaks in sugar water and introduced them to food.  They went at it ducks to water.  *Smiles*
My new girls are:
Melania Trump and Michelle Obama: they are Welsh Harlequin Ducks
Martha Washington and Mamie Eisenhower: they are Pekin Ducks
Daisy Mae and Dolly Parton:  Silver Appleyard Ducks.
Everyone is doing great and getting along well.  In three weeks I'll be getting my final shipment of ducklings.
Until next time,
Quack!  Quack!

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Daisy Mae and Dolly Parton: One week old

Daisy Mae and Dolly Parton are one week old and today they had their first "swim" in the sink.  Not a whole lot of swimming since my sink is pretty shallow, but they had fun I think.

After the swim they tried out a little bit of chopped parsley.  It was a big hit! 

The girls have really grown quickly in just one week's time.  Tomorrow they will be joined by 4 more day old ducklings.

Until next time,
Quack!  Quack!

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

New Ducklings at Gypsy's Pasture

Like everyone else, here at Gypsy's Pasture we are eagerly awaiting Spring after a very cold, long, snowy and blustery winter.  To me, spring means new life new seedlings sprouting, new baby animals born, new goals and ... well... a whole new attitude. 
Last week the first of my new baby ducklings arrived.  The first two little cuties I'm getting this year are Silver Appleyard ducklings.  Soooooo CUTE!

They arrived from a hatchery located in California so these wee babies were born on Monday and arrived via USPS on Wednesday.  I had my brooder all set up and ready when I got the call from the post office that my little ones had arrived.

I have a heat lamp over them so that is why the photos glow with a reddish color.  Both ducklings, who I am naming Daisy Mae and Dolly Parton, drank and ate immediately.  They are active and hungry and settled in the spare bathtub just beautifully.

Bert and Ernie, my indoor cats, are very curious about the new residents in the bathroom.  Here is Bert studying them carefully.  Not to worry, though.  Bert and Ernie are highly supervised IF they are even allowed to see the ducklings, so Daisy and Dolly are safe.
There will be more ducklings arriving over the next several weeks as well as baby chicken/chicks. 
Yep!  New life is the signal that Spring has arrived.
Until next time,
Quack!  Quack!

Thursday, February 8, 2018

A card to welcome a baby girl

This past Monday was a very special occasion for my family.  My granddaughter had her Mikvah and then followed by her Bris Bat, at which time she received her Jewish name.  It was a very happy and beautiful day of family, prayer, tradition and celebration.
This is the card I made for my precious granddaughter's Bris Bat.  I computer generated her Hebrew name, which means Sarah, onto pink card stock and then used my stamp positioner to stamp the baby onesie, made by Stampin' Up!,  over her name.  Next I fussy cut the onsie and mounted it on scalloped and straight edged Nestabilities ovals.  I added a some pink liquid pearls to the scallops and mounted it on white and pink cardstock with a little pink polka dot ribbon to match.  Inside I stamped Mazel Tov! (stamp from Stampin' Up!

I wish I could say I made this baby Yarmulke but I cannot crochet this beautifully.  I must give credit where credit is due.  My daughter-in-law, Elena, made this for my Granddaughter (Elena's new niece) as a keepsake for her special day.  It's absolutely lovely.
I hope you are keeping warm.  This winter has been incredibly cold and we are all looking forward to an early spring!
Until next time,

Monday, January 1, 2018

Ringing in the New Year 2018 with Поленница or Polennica

2018!  Happy New Year!
The Mister and I had a special treat to ring in the New Year.  My son and daughter-in-law prepared dinner for us and for dessert made Поленница  Polennica.  My daughter-in-law is from Russia and we've been privileged to have her prepare meals of Russian cuisine. 

Due to the time difference between Russia and the U.S.A., we decided to ring in the New Year on Moscow time, which was about 4:00 p.m. here in Indiana.  Elena told us about their traditional way of celebrating the New Year.  She even had a video greeting from her parents to show us.
But back to the Поленница  (Polennica).  Polennica means logs, or log pile, or log cabin, or stacks of logs.  This FABULOUSLY DELICIOUSLY WONDERFUL cake is built like a log cabin. 

Each layer is rolled out like individual crepes.  Ours were filled with blueberries, but Elena said that typically Поленница is filled with cherries.  We think Raspberries would be wonderful too. The "mortar" is sweetened sour cream.

It makes such a beautiful presentation when sliced and is oh so delicious.

It was a very special New Year's Eve in our home.  I hope yours was too.
Happy New Year, my friends!
Until Next Time,

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Some of my favorite Blog Parties I enjoy attending:
Jay's Smell Good Sunday  The Dedicated House Make It Pretty Monday,  Wonderful Wednesday Blog Hop Pure Grace Farm,   Worthwhile Wednesdays, Wake Up Wednesdays, Clever Chicks Blog Hop, FoodySchmoody Tuesday Tastings,  Delish Dessert Link Party, Share your stuff Tuesdays, Anyonita Nibbles Tasty Tuesday'sShare it One More Time, Much Ado About MondayFeathered Nest Fridays, DIY Vintage Chic FridayThe Style Sisters Centerpiece Wednesday, Sew-Off Saturday Sew Can She , Two Cup Tuesday , Shabby Art Boutique Shabbilicious Friday , Give Me The Goods Monday , Homestead Barn Hop , Whimsy Wednesday , Knick Of Time ,  From the Farm Blog Hop , A Peek Into My Paradise , A Delightsome Life , Share your Cup Thursday Have a Daily Cup, Homework , Green Willow Pond , A Stroll Thru Life , Work It Wednesday , Savvy Southern Style , I Should Be Mopping the Floors , Common Ground Be Inspired , Simple and Sweet Fridays Sweet and Savory Sunday This Gal Cooks Marvelous Mondays , This Silly Girl's Life, Living Better Together TGIF Linkparty , DIY Sunday Showcase , Dear Creatives Inspiration, Super Saturday Link Party