Lemon Balm Scones for Strawberry Shortcake

Lemon Balm Scones for Strawberry Shortcake

Right after I picked 22 pounds of strawberries at a local Oregon farm a couple of weeks ago, I knew right there I had to have strawberry shortcake! I remember when I was a little girl- maybe 4-5 years old and my grandparents took me to a strawberry festival. I was so excited! The festival basically involved lots of strawberry shortcake. YUM! There was a building and ladies by a table ladling servings of sweet strawberries over shortcake and then putting ice cream on top. I must have eaten 2-3 servings of it all by myself. I was in heaven! I'm not sure I could eat quite as much today but I enjoy it just as much. I hope that you enjoy this shortcake recipe & remember when you were a kid and relished every bite! 

Lemon Balm Scones + Strawberry Shortcake: 

Makes 6-8 servings

1/2 cup coconut milk

1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar

2 cups gluten free flour mix (without xanthan gum) 

2 tablespoons organic sugar + extra for dusting the tops of the shortcakes

1 tablespoon baking powder

3/4 teaspoon xanthan gum

1/2 teaspoon salt

5 tablespoons vegan margarine or butter

2 eggs

2 tablespoons lemon balm leaves, minced

1. Preheat your oven to 425F. Make sure there is a rack in the center of the oven. Place a sheet of parchment paper on a baking sheet. 

2. Mix together the coconut milk and apple cider vinegar in a glass measuring cup. Let the mixture sit for 10 minutes before proceeding with the recipe. 

3. Mix together the flour mix, sugar, baking powder, xanthan gum and salt in a large bowl. With a pastry cutter, cut the margarine or butter into the flour mixture. Make sure the margarine or butter is well incorporated and it resembles a coarse meal. 

4. Beat the eggs well in an electric mixer with a whisk attachment or until they are frothy. Add the milk mixture and flour mixture. Mix at medium low speed for 1 minute. 

5. Pat the mixture into a large round on a floured board. Make sure it is about 1 inch thick. Cut rounds out of the mixture with a cookie cutter. It will make about 6-8 large rounds that you can split in half and fill with berries for the strawberry shortcake. 

6. Place the dough rounds on the baking sheet. Brush the tops with coconut milk and sprinkle with sugar.  Place the sheet on the center rack of the oven. Lower the oven temperature to 375F. Bake the scones for 20-25 minutes or until golden.  

Strawberry Mixture: 

4 cups sliced strawberries

3 tablespoons maple syrup

Place in a bowl and mix. Let the mixture macerate for about 10-15 minutes to soak up the flavors. 

 

Gluten Free Lemon Balm and Mint Orzo Salad

Gluten Free Lemon Balm and Mint Orzo Salad

Fresh, light and perfectly summery! A great side salad for grilled main dishes this summer, this orzo salad has it all. It has the delicious texture of orzo, the creaminess of Gruyere cheese and the freshness of mint and lemon balm. I had fun coming up with this recipe and I hope that you enjoy it very soon with out cookout in your backyard. 

It all started when my lovely neighbor brought a package of this amazing gluten free orzo made from corn which has such a pretty yellow color to it. I knew I had to create an amazing salad with that ingredient and came up with this one. Enjoy it today! 

I'll be serving it this week for my customers. 

Gluten Free Lemon Balm and Mint Orzo Salad: 

About 6 small servings

1 1/2 cups gluten free orzo (dry) 

2+ tablespoons olive oil

1 lemon (juice and zest of) 

1 cup+ spinach, chopped

1 tablespoon fresh mint, finely chopped

1 tablespoon fresh lemon balm, finely chopped

1/2 cup Gruyere cheese, cut into small cubes

1/3 cup sliced black olives

Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

1. Boil a large pot of salted water. Cook the orzo in the boiling water according to the package directions. Drain the orzo, let cool for 2-3 minutes and toss with the rest of the ingredients. Add salt and pepper to taste. 

2. You may serve this salad at room temperature or chilled. You can make it 1 day in advance and store it in the refrigerator. 

Enjoy! 

 

Mexican Street Corn Salad with Grilled Lime & Pepper Chicken and Avocado Lime Dressing

Mexican Street Corn Salad with Grilled Lime and Pepper Chicken

Ah! I love how delicious and colorful ideas come together all of the sudden, as if in a dream! The other day I was really thinking about how delicious Mexican Street Corn is and I wondered about making a salad out of it by adding chicken to top it and including a yummy, creamy dressing! 

The best part about this salad is- you can customize it. You could add grape tomato halves instead of peppers and you can omit the cotija cheese for a dairy free entree. You may also choose to top the salad with grilled polenta or grilled tofu for a vegetarian/vegan entree. The sky is the limit with this amazingly healthy and colorful salad! YUM!! 

Get out grilling and enjoy one today! 

Mexican Street Corn Salad with Grilled Lime Pepper Chicken and Avocado Lime Dressing: 

Makes 2 salads (You may double this to make 4) 

Salad: 

2 cups chopped romaine lettuce

2 ears of grilled corn, corn cut off of the cob with a knife and placed into a bowl. 

1/2 of a red or orange bell pepper, diced

1/2 cup of canned black beans

1-2 tablespoons fresh lime juice (add more to taste) 

1-2 teaspoons chili powder

3+ tablespoons crumbled cotija cheese

1. Place the lettuce on each plate. Sprinkle pepper pieces onto each portion. 

2. In a small bowl combine the grilled corn kernels, lime juice, chili powder and cotija cheese. Add salt, pepper and lime juice to taste. 

3. Top the lettuce/peppers with the corn mixture. Top that with the black beans.

4. Then, add a sliced, grilled chicken breast and serve the dressing on the side. 

Grilled Lime Pepper Chicken: 

1 large chicken breast, sliced in half crosswise to create 2 flat fillets (place them on a cutting board, top with plastic wrap and pound with a meat mallet until they are around 1/3-1/4 inch in thickness

1/4 cup fresh lime juice

1 tablespoon pure maple syrup

1/2 tablespoon freshly ground pepper

1/2 tablespoon olive oil

1/2 teaspoon salt

1. Place the chicken in a large bowl with the marinade. Marinate for 30 minutes. 

2. Heat your grill to high & oil the grill.

3. Place the chicken breasts on the heated grill and cook, turning only once until the internal temperature reaches 165F. 

4. Take off the grill to rest 5-10 minutes before slicing into strips to place on top of the salads. 

Avocado Lime Dressing: (makes enough for about 4 servings) 

1 large avocado

1/4 cup olive oil

1 handful fresh parsley or cilantro

1 teaspoon chili powder

2 cloves garlic

1 tablespoon maple syrup

1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

1/8 cup (or more) water

1. Place all of the ingredients in a food processor or blender. Process until smooth. Add salt, pepper, lime juice or more chili powder to taste. Serve on the side of the salads. 

Enjoy! 

 

Strawberry Lime & Rose Mock Tail

Strawberry Lime & Rose Mock Tail

 

Here in the Portland, Oregon area the roses are starting to bloom, so it is Rose Festival Season! I just love this time of year when my rose bushes are at their prime and they have the most lovely, fragrant blooms. Since I grow my roses organically and don't use any chemicals on them, I can use them in drinks and dishes! What a win! 

I hope that you enjoy this fun and quick drink recipe that you can make to celebrate the roses this season! You could also add some rose water to amp-up the rose flavor if you desire. 

Rose, Strawberry Lime & Rose Mock Tail: 

1/2 cup chopped fresh strawberries

1 key lime, quartered

1/4 cup maple syrup with infused rose petals (you'll use 1-3 tablespoons of this for 1 drink, then save the rest) 

1/4 cup water

1/4 cup rose petals

4-5 rose petals (for muddling in drink) 

crushed ice

sparkling water

 

1. Put strawberries & lime pieces & 4-5 torn fresh rose petals into a tall glass. 

2. Make syrup: bring to a simmer the water and maple syrup. Add the 1/4 cup rose petals. Infuse the syrup for 10 minutes while it cools. 

3. Add 1-3 tablespoons of the infused syrup to the glass. Muddle with a wooden spoon or muddle. Then, add crushed ice and sparkling water to taste. Taste your drink for sweetness and add more of the syrup to taste. 

This drink is yummy and refreshing. It won't taste a lot like rose petals but it has a unqiue flavor.