Be a peach, and make this jam for me, will you? Because it can only be described as delightful.
I’m not usually one for lavender or other floral flavors; they often come across as “perfumy” and I can’t stand that.
But this is subtle. Just enough lavender to give the jam an air of elegance.
Whether you’re one of those lucky ones with a yard full of fresh, fragrant lavender, or maybe you have a jar of dried petals that your lovely mother-in-law gave you way back in December and you have yet to use… either way be sure the lavender is organic and/or culinary grade. All lavender is not created equal; the last thing you want is to end up with a potpourri-infused jam.
I could see this formula of fruit-plus-floral working well with other combinations. Strawberry rose, perhaps? Or blueberry violet? Orange marmalade and orange blossoms? I’m on a roll here. Or what about blackberry and elderflower, if I were ever to find myself in possession of such delicacies.
I do have to mention the one issue I had with this jam (more than likely, though, it was my fault and not the recipe’s)… is that it is quite loose. I reduced the sugar ever so slightly (I know, shame on me), and followed the instructions for cooked jam on my liquid pectin package (which calls for you to boil for 5 minutes, add pectin, and return to a hard boil for exactly 1 minute). Regardless of the reasons for the soft consistency and where I may have gone wrong, the end result is nothing short of ambrosial.
(Psst! Download the printable labels for this jam here!)
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I have a new favorite gadget.
A ravioli maker.
It makes pretty ravioli.
Unitasker shmunitasker. I like it and it was well worth the $14.
Just put one 4×12-inch piece of dough on the base, push down with the press, fill with filling, then lay the second sheet of dough on top. Run a rolling pin over top to seal and separate the raviolis.
Prettiest ravioli you ever did see.
With a gadget like this homemade ravioli might become a more common occurrence.
Our inaugural batch incorporated delicious sweet corn from our CSA, paired with some fresh herbs and ricotta cheese. Very simple, fresh, and satisfying. We topped it with a surprisingly light white wine, cream, and herb sauce.
The recipe made way more than two people could reasonably eat. That’s another great thing about ravioli: for about the same amount of work you get 2 or 3 meals worth. And they freeze fantastically – just arrange them on a baking sheet sprinkled with some cornmeal or semolina flour, freeze them overnight, then transfer them to a dated and labeled zip top back. Pull them out whenever you need a quick meal. Fabulous, I tell you!
As a real shortcut, you could always use wonton wrappers to make super quick ravioli. They come out a little bit slimy, but still pretty darn good.
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This salad kind of looks like fall… but it’s all summer, baby.
It’s not terribly different from our other roasted vegetable salads, if you just replaced the lettuce with hearty grains (we used Trader Joe’s harvest grain mix, which is pretty but not my favorite. I know my mom will disagree, but I feel that the mix of grains cook at different rates, leaving you with overdone cous cous and extra al-dente split peas). But I digress. Any grain or mix of grains, be it quinoa, israeli cous cous, bulgar or barley, would do just fine in this delightful dish.
The peaches were a last minute addition. Taylor gave me one of “those” looks when I started chopping them up, but they proved to be the perfect sweet respite, bringing a bright flavor to the earthyness of the roasted veggies and grains.
Top with feta and thyme, and dinner is served.
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Meanwhile… in cookie dough land (which is somewhere in between la la land and neverland, if you were curious)…
I had my second book signing in my hometown of Aspen, Colorado. Many thanks to John (and Cashmere the cat) at Explore Booksellers for hosting.
I have to say this event was extra special to me, considering there wasn’t an unfamiliar face in the crowd. Long time family friends, old teachers, my childhood best friend (hi Ella!) were all there. Even my elementary school librarian showed up.
It was like a little mini reunion. I loved it.
I’ve also made a few appearances on TV and Radio shows regarding the book. Check out the press page for a full listing and clips (when available). Just promise not to poke fun.
I’m also excited to announce a new book signing in NYC! I’ll be at Posman Books in Chelsea Market on Monday, July 30th at 1:00 pm. You should totally come hang out. Make up an excuse and take a long lunch break.
I’ll be in the city after partaking in the 3rd annual Big Summer Potluck (my excitement can barely be contained). Tell me, what should one do with an afternoon in New York City? Or rather, what should one eat? My time is limited and, unfortunately, so is my stomach space. I want to make the most of it.