Food, Story, Updates

Honey, I’m back Home.

Happy New Year! Ok, I’m a little late, but for me… I feel like my new year is just beginning. At the start of 2022, I boarded a plane to London to spend three magical weeks with my best friend, her husband, and her pup. Not only did I have the luxury of exploring the land of Harry Potter and the endless history of London and Oxford, but also was able to hop on over to the sensational cities of Madrid and Barcelona.

From eating octopus at the San Miguel Market in Madrid to the gastronomic pilgrimage across the pubs and shops of London, my mind, and waistline, were blown. The architecture, museums, and cathedrals that I was able to explore were just a sliver of what each city had to offer. I took hundreds of pictures, these are only a fraction of what I’ve decided to share.

The trip was nothing short of amazing. I can’t even begin to verbalize it all in a short blog post. The time away gave me a different perspective and a chance to reflect on my life. I was able to really meditate and think about the things I want to pursue and bring to each aspect of my life from my business, music, art, farming, friends, and family. I’m grateful to have had this opportunity and am looking forward to channeling the energy from this trip into this year. 

All this to say, I have some exciting updates for all things made by Laura Lee from music, new items in the store, and canned good happenings! So stay tuned over these next couple of weeks as I am excited to share them with you!

Food, Recipes

Cardamom Pear Tart

The holidays are just around the corner! I’m already dreamily planning Thanksgiving dinner but to hold me over I can’t help but make things that taste like the holidays. One of which is taking advantage of seasonal produce like pears. For this recipe I used these delightful Asian pears, but you can also get away with Bosc pears or Russett apples. For a more savory version of this tart, scroll down to the notes below.

Cardamom Pear Tart

  • 4-6 pears, pealed and sliced
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 teaspoon of ground cardamom
  • butter for greasing pan
  • puff pastry dough
  1.  Remove the pastry puff from freezer to thaw
  2. Preheat oven to 375ºF
  3. Roll out the pastry sheet and curl edges of dough to form 1/2 inch crust
  4. In a saute pan on medium heat, melt butter and honey
  5. Add pears and cardamom to honey butter mixture
  6. Cook pears until they begin to soften, but still keep their structure. Roughly, 5 minutes
  7. Once pears reach desired softness, layer pear slices on puff pastry
  8. Drizzle excess honey butter mixture on top
  9. Bake for 20-23 minutes or until crust begins to turn golden brown.
  10. Let tart cool before cutting
  11. Serve with whipped cream and enjoy!

Note: If you want a more savory tart, I highly recommend adding crumbles of goat cheese under the pear slices and sprinkle with sea salt.

Embroidery, Food, Garden

Ravishing Radishes

You may remember my last veggie embroidery post a while back, New & In Season. Well, keeping with the theme I thought I’d share with you the latest addition to my stitched up produce wall pieces: The Radish.

Back when I first started these little pieces, I certainly didn’t think that they would be as popular as they had. The beet and broccoli pieces have been such a hit. I fully intend to keep on going with this theme and following up with a farm to table recipe to match. Stay tuned for next week’s blog on a roasted radish recipe.

As promised, I’ve got a kale wall hanging coming up next, so don’t worry!

A little bit more about these is that they are three inch hoops, which are smaller sized hoops than I typically do, but I wanted to allow for focus on the intricacy of stitching while keeping the cost down. Visit the shop and fill up your cart with this radish hoop, beets, broccoli, and an “Eat Your Veggies” Towel.

Is there a fruit or veggie that you’d like to have an embroidery hoop of? Let me know and I’ll get stitching!

Food, Recipes

Roasted Fennel & Tomatoes

I always love hearing what kind of produce folks need recipes for. My latest request was for a fennel recipe. Depending on where you’re located, fennel is a completely underutilized winter/spring vegetable. This celery like bulb is crisp, slightly sweet, and tastes of anise. Here is a quick, simple, and light recipe for roasted fennel and tomatoes. It makes a great side dish or you can serve it tossed with a pasta.

Roasted Fennel & Tomatoes

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 bulb fennel & stems, halved & sliced
  • 1/2 an onion, sliced
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • Grated parmesan (optional)
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. In a roasting pan or baking sheet, toss the onion, garlic, fennel, and tomatoes with the olive oil, oregano, salt, and pepper.
  3. Place pan in oven and roast for roughly 45 minutes or until tomato edges start to brown. Make sure to stir every 20 minutes.
  4. Remove from oven. Top with freshly grated parmesan and serve.
  5. Enjoy!

Notes: When chopping the fennel, use some of the feathery fronds, you don’t have to use all of them. You can add a little red pepper flakes if you’d like some kick. I highly recommend adding a little freshly grated parmesan at the end.

If you are interested in putting in a recipe request, let me know! Shoot me a message through the contact form or comment below!

Food, Recipes

Whipped Goat Cheese & Strawberry Balsamic Pastry

With Galentine’s and Valentine’s Day this weekend, I thought I’d pay another tribute to the Hallmark Holiday’s with a recipe in addition to last week’s blog! Nothing says Valentine’s Day like fresh strawberries. While I admit I’m in now way a baker*, I thought an easy and delicious treat was in order. This is great for brunch or dessert!

Whipped Goat Cheese & Strawberry Balsamic Pastry

  • 8 ounce goat cheese, room temperature
  • 3 tablespoons milk
  • 3 tablespoons agave
  • 4 cups sliced strawberry
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • Pinch of salt
  • Pinch of pepper
  • 2-4 Puff Pastry Shells

For ease of following this recipe, please know you’ll be making the strawberry balsamic topping first, then while baking the pastry shells you’ll create the whipped goat cheese.

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Place strawberries in a small sauce pan and bring to a boil. Stirring regularly.
  3. Once bubbling, add honey and balsamic.
  4. Reduce to medium heat and simmer for 15 minutes.
  5. Transfer to cool container.
  6. Place strawberry mix in the fridge to cool while prepping other elements of the dish.
  7. Next place pastry shells on a nonstick pan and put in oven. Bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown. (The package says 18 minutes, but that was too long with my oven.)
  8. While pastry shells are baking, in a bowl vigorously mix goat cheese, agave, and milk. Set aside.
  9. After removing pastry shells from the oven, allow to cool for a moment before plating.
  10. Remove the tops from the center of the shell and add goat cheese mixture.
  11. After top with two to three large spoonfuls of strawberry balsamic topping and serve!
  12. Enjoy!

Notes: You can use the honey and agave interchangeably or just use one for the entire dish. I, myself, prefer agave, but use whatever you have and it will still be delightful. For the whipped goat cheese, you can use any kind of milk. I’ve tested this with both almond and regular milk, neither will disappoint.

Disclaimer: I am not a baker. I have said it before and I’ll say it again, so please do not judge that I use pre-made pastry shells instead of making them from scratch! It won’t change that these are yummy and easy.

Food, Recipes

Tamarind Beets with Lime Crème Fraîche

I’ve been wanting Southeast Asian flavors lately without the heaviness of a curry or saltiness of stir-fry. I cooked up this unique combo of earthy beets, tangy tamarind, spicy chiles, and the sweetness of crème fraîche. You can make this as an appetizer, snack, or on a bed of greens for a decadent salad.

Tamarind Beets with Lime Crème Fraîche

  • 5-6 small beets, boiled, peeled, and diced
  • 1 Tbsp butter or cooking oil
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ginger, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon of cardamom powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon of coriander powder
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons tamarind paste or sauce
  • 1 hot pepper, diced (I used a Serrano)
  • 1/4 cup crème fraîche
  • Chili powder or cayenne (just a pinch)
  • Zest of one lime
  • Juice of half a lime
  • Salt to taste
  • Cilantro and green onion for garnish, optional
  1. In a sauté pan, heat butter.
  2. When melted add ginger, spices, and hot pepper. 
  3. Once ingredients have blended and spices begin to smell aromatic and ginger caramelizes, add beets. 
  4. Add tamarind to beet mixture and coat thoroughly. 
  5. In small bowl, add crème fraîche, chili powder, lime zest, and juice. 
  6. Serve with cilantro and green onion garnish.
  7. Deep beets and enjoy!

Note: I highly recommend boiling the beets the day before, cooling over night for the easiest way to peel them. The skins will pop right off. Also, if you don’t like spicy food, hold back on the pepper. I thoroughly enjoy spicy food. I admit, the last time I tested this recipe the pepper was so hot, I had to add a touch of agave to the crème fraîche.

Embroidery, Food, Garden

New & In Season

Are you expecting a farm to table like post listing all the veggies that are in season during the month of January? Well, while this isn’t exactly what this post is, I’m certainly playing off of it though. As you know, I love vegetables. I love growing them, cooking with them, and most definitely, eating them!

As part of my goal for 2021, I wanted to have my embroidery reflect my love of produce and my embroidery skills. With that being said, here are the first of many new mini veggie hoops I will be introducing to the shop. First to be released are beets and broccoli!

And, yes… beets and broccoli are in season this month. I will be releasing new vegetable embroidery as the veggies are in season. Next on the list are radishes and kale. A little bit more about these is that they are three inch hoops, which are on the smaller than I typically do, but I wanted to allow for focus on the intricacy of stitching while keeping the cost down. Visit the shop and fill up your cart with beets, broccoli, and an “Eat Your Veggies” Towel.

Is there a fruit or veggie that you’d like to have an embroidery hoop of? Let me know and I’ll get stitching!

Food, Recipes

Healthy Start with a Fresh Recipe

I think every time a new year begins we reevaluate our habits, particularly when it comes to food. I, of course, am no different. If you’re looking for a quick and healthy addition to your salad repertoire here is a great and easy recipe for you to try.

Creamy Lemon Kale Salad

  • 1 bunch large bunch lacinato kale (chopped)
  • 1 lemon zest and juice
  • 3 tablespoons Vegenaise
  • 1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  1. Combine all ingredients in a large mixing bowl.  Take time to massage, yes, massage, the kale with the dressing ingredients. 

Kale can be tough, which is why I like it.  It doesn’t get soggy like spring mix or baby spinach.  Massaging the kale softens it a bit yet you still get that fabulous crunch.  If you like sardines, you can definitely add them for a little saltiness.  Grilled chicken is great with this too!  Obviously, if the thought of vegan mayonnaise makes you weary, go ahead and use the real stuff! 

Food, Recipes

Rustic Cornmeal Loaf Cake 

I’ve always claimed that I’m not much of a baker. I still stand by this statement, but I admit I’ve been doing far more baking since I moved into this little cabin. I’m not sure if it’s all the hard work that we’re putting into building a homestead or if it’s stress baking from coronavirus. Either way, y’all benefit with some delicious recipes!

I’ve been making variations of this cornmeal loaf for a few weeks now just to have as a snack for my hard-working farming man. The great thing about this loaf is I’ve tried it was several types of fruit, so far my favorite has been the combination of blueberries, blackberries, strawberries, and raspberries, but I’ve got the recipe shown below with rhubarb which makes for a unique and tart treat.

Rustic Cornmeal Loaf CakeIMG_4599

  • 1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup milk (regular or non-dairy)
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 2 cups of fruit
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees
  2. Grease pie pan (or baking pan) with butter
  3. Line fruit at the bottom of the baking dish
  4. In a mixing bowl, combine all ingredients and mix making sure to add fruit last after all other ingredients are mixed well
  5. Add to the baking dish
  6. Bake for one hour or until inserted knife comes out clean. Make sure to rotate halfway through.
  7. Remove, let cool… if you can, slice and enjoy!

 

 

Food, Recipes

Green Gazpacho with Envy

reka-biro-horvath-WRIQE3VHD-c-unsplashThe Texas heat has been creeping higher and higher. The humidity has been no joke either. Sometimes when I come in from working out in the gardens spreading mulch and weeding, I admit, sometimes it’s too hot to cook an extravagant meal over the stovetop. This gazpacho is delicious, refreshing, and easy!

I stumbled across green gazpacho at a local juice bar.  It was most refreshing on a hundred and three-degree day.  While it was like a glorified smoothie and slightly on the sweet side, I went home to try and replicate a slightly more savory version.  Perfect for a summer day!

Green GazpachoIMG_0038

  • 1 pound grapes (removed from stem)
  • 1 English cucumber, peeled and chopped
  • 2 small Avocados, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon of mint, minced
  • 1/2 tablespoon of basil, minced
  • 1/2 tablespoon of cilantro, minced
  • 1 tablespoon of Chardonnay
  • Salt pepper to taste
  1. Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth
  2. Chill before serving
  3. Garnish with olive oil and cracked pepper
  4. Enjoy!

If you like a little more bite you can add jalapeño or a dash of cider vinegar, lemon, or lime.

*This recipe is grom laura lee’s kitchen. You can purchase a digital copy here.