Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Garden Inspiration: Lavender & Rhubarb

Hello everyone!

Hope you all had a fantastic Memorial Day weekend! I spent mine out in the country with my in-laws while Mr. G was away at a business conference in Canada. We grilled burgers, went shopping, played with my dog, and tried to avoid the humidity. I made chocolate chip cookie dough cupcakes for the occasion (recipe forthcoming!), and considering my father-in-law ate about 6, I think they were a success. I also tried rhubarb for the first time and made a rhubarb crisp with Mr. G's mom, who has a rhubarb plant in her backyard - can't get any fresher than that! The crisp was fantastic, and I chopped up some stems to take home with me. :)

Here is the recipe for the rhubarb crisp:

  • Filling:
    • 8 cups fresh, cut rhubarb
    • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
    • 1/2 cup flour
    • 1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
    • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
    • 1 cup additional fruit (optional - raspberries were delicious!)
  • Topping:
    • 1 1/2 cups flour
    • 1 1/2 cups brown sugar
    • 3/4 cup oatmeal
    • 3/4 cup butter, melted and cooled
    • 1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  • For filling:
    • Mix first 4 ingredients in a large bowl until coated.
    • Spoon into 9x13 pan.
    • Drizzle with vanilla extract.
  • For topping:
    • In another bowl, mix all topping ingredients until crumbly.
    • Sprinkle over filling.
  • Bake 35-45 minutes or until rhubarb is tender and topping is golden-brown.
  • Serve with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream. Enjoy!

Speaking of fabulous plants, I have also developed a fascination with lavender after seeing it on several wedding blogs. It is such a soft, fragrant flower with colorful blooms and an almost ethereal quality to it. 

Source: Style Me Pretty

Source: Style Me Pretty

Source: Style Me Pretty

See what I mean? Lavender is so dreamy... Tiffany blue will always be my favorite color, but lavender is definitely a close second. To me, it is reminiscent of the French countryside, and it evokes a vintage-y feel while still being colorful and pretty. 

On Memorial Day, I decided to turn my fascination into a hobby by buying my very own lavender plant! It will be my first experience gardening, if you can even call it that (baby steps). I bought lavender provence, which is a French lavender that is very fragrant and low-maintenance. I also got talked into buying lime basil, which I can't wait to use in salsa. What's great about it is that you can eat the leaves right off the stem. Also, as a plus, both are organic! Here are my baby plants:

my little herb garden!

And speaking of vintage, I did more thrift shopping with my mother-in-law yesterday and found some great stuff - my favorite is a lime green wooden mail sorter. It doesn't really match anything I have, but I love the bold color so much that I'll figure out a way to incorporate it... Hopefully.

Anyone else have herb gardens? Or any rhubarb recipes to suggest??

I'll post my cupcake recipe soon! The frosting is the best part - I may or may not be eating leftover frosting by itself right now...

<3 Mrs. G

P.S. Happy June!

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