Lavender Goodies

Lavender Hot Cocoa

1/4 cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder

3 tablespoons sugar

1/8 teaspoon salt

1 quart milk

1 teaspoon dried culinary grade lavender buds, finely ground in a spice grinder

1 ounce bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, finely chopped

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

In a small bowl, mix the cocoa, sugar and salt.

In a medium saucepan, combine the milk and lavender. Bring just to a simmer. Remove from heat and let steep for about 10 minutes. Strain and return to saucepan. Bring to a simmer again and remove from heat. Whisk in the chocolate until it is melted. Whisk in the vanilla and cocoa mixture. Serve immediately.

It really hits the spot on a cold, windy day!

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Lavender Lemonade

For 2 quarts:

4 sprigs fresh lavender (flowers & stems) or 1 T. Dried lavender

1 1/2 c. Sugar

1 c. Fresh lemon juice (about 6 lemons)

1/4 c. Fresh lime juice (about 2 limes)

2 quarts water

Bring water and sugar to boil in large saucepan. When sugar is dissolved, remove from heat.

Add lavender, lemon juice and lime juice. Cool to room temperature, strain and chill.

Serve over ice, garnished with lemon slices and lavender sprigs.

Perfect for a sweltering day!

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Grilled Pork Chops with Lavender

Prep Time: 15 minutesCook Time: 10 minutesYield: 4 servingsIngredients:4 pork loin or rib chops, about 3/4-inch thick

1 teaspoon coarse salt

1 teaspoon coarsely-ground black pepper

1/2 teaspoon dried culinary lavender*

2 teaspoons minced fresh thyme leaves

1 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary leaves

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil 

Combine all ingredients; rub over pork chops on all sides. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour. Preheat barbecue grill. Place pork chops onto hot grill. Cover barbecue with lid and grill 4 to 5 minutes; turn and grill an additional 3 to 4 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 155°F on a meat thermometer. Remove from barbecue and serve.