lavender

DIY De-stress Shower & Bath Tablets

It's that time of year again when kids go back to school, friends leave for college, and worst of all...summer vacations have ended. With all of these changes comes a little stress. Whether it be making sure your kids get to school on time, starting new college courses, or no vacation days till Thanksgiving, this time of year can stress you anyone out. Take a deep breath and relax...it's all going to be okay!

We started feeling this a few weeks ago when everything, work, events, and even planning blog posts started building up. So we decided to make some de-stress shower & bath tablets do help us decompress after each day. These little (but potent) lavender tablets smell amazing and help us remember to relax while showering or soaking in a nice warm bath. Just plop one or two in the bottom of the shower or tub when you get in and breathe in the calming lavender & chamomile essence. 

xxx Ivy & Eve

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 tbsp dried chamomile flowers & leaves or chamomile tea bags
  • 1 tablespoon dried lavender
  • 1 cup baking soda
  • 1/4 cup water (may use less)
  • 10 or so mini baking tins (ice cube trays work well too)
  • Lavender essential oil (you will only need a few drops to your preference, we use doTerra)

Directions:

  1. Preheat over to 350 F

  2. Take chamomile and lavender and grind together with a mortar and pestle.

  3. Mix the lavender & chamomile with baking soda in a bowl.

  4. Pour in water (add slowly, you want it just slightly moist so it will stick together but the consistency is not runny at all). 

  5. Bake in the oven for 2 minutes, they may be slightly damp still thats ok. (Our tins are tiny so depending on the size of tins you use you may need to bake longer. Don't bake too long or they brown on the tops & bottoms, which is okay just not as pretty).

  6. Let cool they will continue to dry during this step.

  7.  Once cooled, add the essential oil. (We dipped the paint brush into the essential oil and applied to the tablets since doTerra oils are very concentrated & come out quickly).

  8. Let dry again before popping them out of the tins.

Blueberry-Lavender Tart

Between the two of us, Eve has always been the baker. Ivy would always help Eve bake cupcakes and tarts but would never try to make something entirely on her own. However, once Eve was away at college Ivy had no one to bake sweets for her, so she had to take matters into her own hands. Ivy saw a recipe in Martha Stewart Living for mini blueberry-lavender cornmeal tarts. Not only did the photos look delicious, but it combined basically everything she loves...blueberries, lavender, and cream! Ivy decided to try and make the tart in a big tart pan instead of little mini pans to limit her chances of burning them (remember Ivy was not a skilled baker compared to Eve). The tart was pretty simple and it turned out perfect the first time! We recently tried it with gluten free crust to accommodate some of our friends diet restrictions and it tasted great! We have listed both the cornmeal and gluten free crust recipes below. Ever since, this recipe has been one of our go-to tarts to make for summer parties because it is light but still hits the sweet spot. 

xxx Ivy & Eve

Recipe adapted from Martha Stewart Living

Ingredients

Cream:

1 cup heavy whipping cream

1 1/2 to 2 tablespoon culinary lavender (depends on how strong you want the flavor)

1-2 tablespoons of sugar (optional)

Cornmeal Crust:

1 cup all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting

1/4 cup finely ground cornmeal

1 tablespoon plus 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar

1/2 teaspoon coarse salt

1 stick plus 2 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

1 large egg yolk

2 tablespoons ice water

Gluten Free Crust:

1 1/2 cups gluten free flour (we suggest Trader Joe's or Bob's Red Mill)

2 tablespoons sugar

1 pinch salt

7 tablespoons cold butter (sliced into pieces)

1-3 tablespoons cold water to bind

Filling:

2 tablespoons sugar

1/4 vanilla bean, seeds scraped

1 to 2 cups fresh wild or regular blueberries or huckleberries

Directions

  1. Cream: Place the cream and lavender in a sauce pan on the stove. Bring just to a boil (as if you were making tea) and remove from heat and cover. Let the cream and lavender "steep" till cool. Once cooled refrigerate.
  2. Two options Cornmeal or Gluten Free Crust
    1. Cornmeal: Combine sugar, cornmeal, flour, and salt in a food processor. Once mixed evenly add butter and pulse till the texture looks like coarse crumbs. Then add the yolk and ice water, pulse again till mixture is dough like. Knead dough until it is smooth. Then shape into a disk and wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 30 minutes. After 30 minutes or more take dough out and let it warm to room temperature. Roll it out with a little flour to around 1/8 inch thick. Then transfer to tart pan. Pressing dough to the sides and stab the dough with a fork along the bottom. Put back in the refrigerator for another 30 minutes.
    2. Gluten Free: Combine the flour, sugar, salt, and butter in a food processor. Pulse till the texture looks like coarse crumbs. Add a little bit of water while pulsing until the dough combines and looks like pebbles. Then shape into a disk and wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 30 minutes. Roll it out with a little flour to around 1/8 inch thick. Then transfer to tart pan. Pressing dough to the sides and stab the dough with a fork along the bottom. Put back in the refrigerator for another 30 minutes.
  3. Two options Cornmeal or Gluten Free Crust
    1. Cornmeal: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Once you have waited 30 minutes, take the tart pan out of the fridge and place tart pan on baking sheet. Bake till golden brown, make sure to watch the bottom of the tart, sometimes it puffs up (press it down if it puffs up). It should bake around 25 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool.
    2. Gluten Free: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Once you have waited 30 minutes, take the tart pan out of the fridge and place tart pan on baking sheet. Bake for 20-30 minutes until the edges are starting to golden. Remove from oven and let cool. 
  4. Filling: Wait to do this until right before serving. Remove the cream/lavender from the fridge and use a mesh strainer to separate the lavender from the cream into a mixing bowl. Once sifted you should have lavender infused cream. Add sugar, and vanilla bean seeds to cream. Mix on medium till peaks start to appear. Pour onto cool tart crust, spread evenly. Top with berries and sprinkle a pinch or two dried lavender on top and serve.

Variations: If you choose to use small tart tins, decrease the time for baking the tart shells significantly! They should only take about 10-15 minutes max to bake. Keep an eye on them and never leave the kitchen while baking tart shells. 

Enjoy!

Lavender Vanilla Bean Ice Cream

Lavender is one of our favorite flowers. We love the way it looks, we love the way it smells, and we LOVE to eat anything with lavender. As kids, one of our favorite restaurants, Corkscrew Cafe in Carmel Valley, used to serve up the most delicious lavender ice cream for dessert. Eventually, it was taken off the menu (if you hear us, PLEASE bring it back!) but we never forgot the deliciously floral flavor of this dessert. Lavender is in full bloom in Carmel Valley right now, so we were reminded of our long lost favorite dessert and decided to try to make it ourselves! If we do say so, we think this even more delicious than the original. We added vanilla bean to complement the lavender and we think it is just perfect! The ice cream base is adapted from Jeni's Splendid Ice Cream recipe book. Eve went to undergrad in Ohio, where she first tasted flavors like roasted strawberry buttermilk and goat cheese and cherry ice cream. Jeni's ice cream base is unbelievably creamy. You won't be able to eat just one scoop!

xxx Ivy & Eve

We use the Cuisinart Classic Ice Cream Maker for our ice cream adventures. The machine is super easy and there is no need for ice and salt like the old machines!

Ingredients 

Makes about 1 quart

2 cups whole milk

1 tbsp plus 1 tsp cornstarch

3 tbsp cream cheese, softened

1/8 tsp fine sea salt

1 1/4 cups heavy cream

2/3 cup sugar

2 tbsp light corn syrup

1/2 vanilla bean

2  heaping tbsp culinary lavender

 

Directions

  1. Combine 1 3/4 cup milk (minus 2 tbsp), 2/3 cup cream, and 2 tbsp lavender, and 1/2 vanilla bean sliced open, into a sauce pan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. remove from heat and let the mixture steep until desired flavor. (you can steep the lavender in a cheese cloth or strain after this step if you want a smoother texture, we like the lavender left in)
  2. While waiting mix remaining 2 tablespoons milk with the cornstarch in a small bowl to make a smooth slurry.
  3. Then whisk the cream cheese and salt into the slurry until smooth.
  4. Fill a large bowl with ice water.
  5. Combine the lavender vanilla bean milk mixture with sugar, and corn syrup in a 4-quart saucepan, bring to a boil again for 4 minutes. Remove from the heat and gradually whisk in the cornstarch/cream cheese slurry. Bring the mixture back to a boil over medium-high heat and cook, stirring with a heatproof spatula, until slightly thickened, about 1 minute. Remove from the heat. 
  6. Pour the mixture into a 1-gallon resealable plastic freezer bag and submerge the sealed bag in the ice bath. Let stand, adding more ice as necessary, until cold, about 30 minutes.
  7. Pour the ice cream base into the ice cream machine canister and process according to manufacturer’s directions. 
  8. Pack the ice cream into a storage container. Place the ice cream in the freezer until firm, at least 4 hours.

Bon Appétit!