Tag Archives: recipe


violet syrup, violet cooler, and violet lemonade

Our violets are still blooming I’m happy to say, so I’m still doing a lot of harvesting.

I’ve been making a lot of violet jelly this Spring but I also have been making violet syrup. YUM! I think the most fun about recipes using violets is the color change you experience when lemon is added to the violet water. It turns such a pretty pinky-purple color.

  Violet Syrup

2 cups fresh violet blossoms
3 cups boiling water
1 3/4 cups sugar
1 lemon, squeezed and strained

-Boil the water, remove from heat and pour over violets, cover and let steep for 2 hours.
-Strain the violets *you will have a vibrant green color,  it will turn purple when the lemon is added
-Put violet water back into pan, add sugar and bring to a boil
-Add lemon juice, watch color change to purple
-Reduce heat, simmer for about 10-20 minutes until the solution thickens

The violet syrup will keep  for a month if kept tightly covered in the refrigerator.

Use for pancakes, angel food cake, between layers of vanilla cake, as the simple sugar for lemonade, and/or violet coolers for a refreshing drink.

Violet Cooler

Violet syrup
seltzer water or carbonated mineral water
violets, mint leaves, or berries for garnish

In a large drinking glass, add the ice, spoon in 5 T syrup, add water and garnish. Use a spoon to stir and disperse the violet syrup throughout the water.

Violet Lemonade

2 cups violet syrup
2 1/2 c cold water
2 1/4 cups lemon juice or 10-14 freshly squeezed lemons
1 lime- juiced

Add the violet syrup to  2 1/2 cups cold water and lemon juice stirring well. Add a couple squeezes of lime juice (to your taste, we added the juice of 1 medium sized lime).
Add ice cubes just before serving. Pour into chilled glasses and garnish with fresh violets.

Try my lavender lemonade recipe here or the dandelion syrup recipe here.

*If you want to continue the Outdoor Challenge by participating on Mondays, details are in the works. Thanks for the well wishes for Araina, she is feeling MUCH better! Have a great weekend.

“That’s all.”


candied lemon peel shortbread- outdoor challenge

Today, we have been nibbling some local bee pollen- (photo taken by Robin)

Making  candied lemon shortbread-

To candy  lemon peels-

4 lemons
2 C water
2 C sugar

-After juicing lemons, scoop out as much of the inner white as possible. Cut lemon peel into long skinny strips.
-Bring the water to a boil, add the lemon peel and cook until the peels are tender, about 5 minutes.
-Remove peels from water, add sugar.
-Return to a boil, then add the peels and cook until peels are transparent.
-Drain and keep the liquid to use as a simple syrup.
-Let dry, then store.
*I keep my candied peels in the refrigerator, my friend kept hers out and ants invaded her stash.


1 C butter
1/2 C powdered sugar
2 C flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
2 tablespoons chopped candied lemon peel

-Cream butter
-Add sugar gradually while beating.
-Mix in remaining ingredients.
-Make the dough into a log and refrigerate for about an hour or until the dough is workable.
-Form the dough into a long rectangle, then slice shortbread into little squares.
-Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes

Admiring the crab apple blossoms-

And spending time with friends (Sybil and Emma)-

Today’s Outdoor Challenge Participant- Jen and her little boy, from Chasing Domestic Bliss, seem to be dandelion lovers too!

 Visit the other Great Outdoor Challenge players- 151 so far! It’s never too late to join; people are still entering daily!

lisasanders, angelina, phyllis, sarah, christie, jennifer, debbie, dong dong, denise,luisa, joy, stephanie, cori, alex, dawn, kristen, catherine, tricia,becky, christy, ruth, kari, courtney,branflakes,jessica, renee, haiku,brynn, amy, clemencia, sherry, leslie, lise, renee, anet, jenn, marina, amy, ella, marcia, karen, beth,julie,kyndale,kelly,lizzie, eileen,ag, mari-ann, cindy, robin, nicole, debbie, julia, renee, anita,lisa, jenn, montessori, marita,jeannie, hallie, mandy, kangaroo, andrea, joey, carmen, teena, stephinie, gidget, elizabeth, emma, rosina, saminda, melissa, katie, becca, atouria, barbara, ariella,missy, elizabeth, sarah, eileen, lisa, stacy, jennifer, tulsileaf, lisa C, morticia, angela, rana,jamie,lisa c, luz, charley, heather, valerie, kirsten, rachel, annie, kendra, beth s, lindseymichelle, megan, jen, jenni, gabbyrenee,korina, linda, adventurekerrs, laura, melissa, eva, jenny, amber, deb, wendy, courtney, shanti, msrev, kellyi, tammy, julia  , maureen,indigomum, andrea, mindy, becky, dawn, sarah,michelle, shelley, amber, nicole, cara, ginny, kris, tawnie, nancy, alex, kathi, ana, sarah m, stephanie, jen, dena, sharon, courtney, colleen, jillian

If you leave a link on the days you participate, I will know I have permission to share, for Outdoor Challenge Participant of the Day.

homemade gifts little ladies recipe

marsupials, hummus, cheese crackers, and friends

Not only was the weather beautiful today, but we had a lovely day with friends (and night because one is staying over). Lots of crafting, cooking, and playing!

Crafting- this marsupial monster mama had a baby! The baby loves to be carried in her mama’s pocket and go everywhere with her.
* Marsupial monster was made for Araina and will be put into her Spring basket this weekend.

Now for the cooking- I love cooking for my friends when they visit, here’s what I made to share today-

HUMMUS (recipe from here)
-Sooooo tasty and simple to make!

1 can garbanzo beans (chick peas)
juice of 1 lemon
1 garlic clove
1/3 cup chopped parsley
pinch or two of salt
2-4 tbs. good quality extra virgin olive oil

Put all of the ingredients, except the olive oil,  in a food processor. Pulse and slowly add olive oil until you get the consistency you prefer. I only used about 2 tbs. olive oil, I like it a little on the dryer side.

CHEESE CRACKERS (adapted from here)
If you are a fan of baked cheese……RUN to your kitchen right now and bake these! They are so delicious and I can’t stop making them! These are the reason I could never be vegan!

1 1/2c. sharp cheddar cheese- the sharper the better
4 tbs unsalted butter
3/4 cup flour
1/2 t salt
1 tbs half and half
2-4 pinches of cayenne powder, depending on how spicy you want them

In a food processor, add the cheese, flour, and salt. Cut the butter into 4 pieces and add to ingredients. Pulse ingredients until you get coarse crumbs. Add the half and half and process until the dough forms into a ball. This takes about 10 seconds. I didn’t think a ball was even possible with such a little amount of liquid, but trust me it is. Form the dough into a log, wrap in parchment, and chill in the refrigerator for an hour up to a day (or freezer for 20 minutes).

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Roll out dough into desired thickness. Cut into squares or use small cutters to form fun shapes. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.   Bake for 10-14 minutes until golden.

And of course you get 4 little girls together (and a cutie patootie 2yo brother) and there’s lots of playing going on! Playing in the ditch water was a highlight of the day; don’t let the short sleeves fool you, the water was COLD and the high today was in the upper 50’s! Maili and Fauna didn’t seem to notice though, they were splashing around and loved getting soaked. See the cute hair clips in Fauna’s hair? The  owl was made by Fauna and Veda (Maili’s sister) and a little purple monster was made by Veda. Fauna wears them proudly!

HA! Araina refused to go into that cold water,  she preferred to teeter on the edge!

Another great day planned for tomorrow…..a St. Patrick’s Day party! Toodles!


valentine review

 I’ve been blogging a little over a year now (Jan. 24 was the year date). Some of you have been with me since day 1, but for those of you that haven’t here’s a review of Valentine’s 2009.

Valentine pocket hearts- made from sweaters; made to stuff full of sweet goodies. Cute hanging on the door of your Valentine!

heart pockets from sweaters

Valentine rosewater cookies- a yummy and refreshing cookie made with a splash of rosewater.

valentine cookies

 Valentine mushroom brooch- or make into a hair-clip for the little lady valentines.

  mushroom valentine


 Nature’s valentines- get outside and find the valentines that Mother Nature has left for you to discover.

nature's valentines

activities kitchen chemistry science tutorial

cornstarch dough and watercolors

We had some friends over on Thursday and played with cornstarch clay; since Thursday I have made 3 more batches of this fun clay for the little ladies to create with. Anytime you bring cornstarch and water into play you know you’re going to have a good time!

cornstarch clay

for the clay you need:
2 cups cornstarch
1 cup salt
2 cups baking powder
2 cups water
**this amount was made for 7 children (and three mamas too)

for sculpting and color:

to make:
1. Add dry ingredients to the water and cook on medium to high heat, stirring constantly
2. The mixture will start getting clumpy, turn the down heat; when about 80% of the mixture is dough-like take off the heat and continue to stir until the leftover liquid joins the dough.
3. Let cool for a few minutes then start molding and sculpting.

araina's kitties

The little ladies used toothpicks to make the legs and join pieces and parts. Then covered the toothpicks with the clay. You can dry the clay creations in the oven at 225 degrees for a few hours or let them air dry for a few days.


My favorite part of this clay is how watercolors absorb and spread on it. The best time to paint is after the creations are dry, but if your little ones (or yourself) are impatient you can paint after sculpting; however, it wets the dough quite a bit.  

wc paint

water color

Being the science lover I am, I cannot post this dough recipe without a link to learning about polymers. Cornstarch is one of the most enjoyable ingredients to understanding polymers. If you have ever made Oobleck, you know what I am speaking of! Kendra and Kathleen, I foresee a mad scientist day on Thursday involving lots of cornstarch and water…………



What a great week we have been having! We have been baking gingerbread cookies and cranberry-pecan cookies. Oh, so yummy!!!!

cranberry and pecan cookies

Decorating the Yule tree.

yule tree

  And celebrating Christmas and the Winter Solstice with friends and family. Wishing you and yours happy, safe, and healthy holidays!