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Christmas Cookies

I do not apologize for not having updated my website.

I’m a farmer, y’all.

I do not sleep until winter.


But I am taking the time to give you the recipe for these Christmas cookies because you are going to lose your mind.  All of my recipes are copied from someone, and then I modify. Because I love to modify. To plan and change until it all comes out perfectly, and then I never change it again.  These cookies are a mix of two recipes. One recipe is from Sugar Cookie Cutouts, and the icing is from my friend, Susan, who lives in Tennesse, y’all. She’s the bomb.

Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you,  ‘Lavender and Lemon Christmas Cookies’.  I have no idea what else to call them.


                  lavender and lemon bites of deliciousness




-1 cup of butter, softened (I always use salted butter, even though they always say, don’t. What do they know?) Softened butter means you can dent it with your finger.

-1/2 cup of sugar (I like organic, fair-trade, raw sugar)

-1 egg (organic from the farm!)

-1 tbsp vanilla (um…feel free to just splash it in, not measuring it)

-3 cups all-purpose flour (I use hard white organic)

-1/2 tsp baking powder

-1/2 tsp salt (but isn’t there already salt in the butter? Yes. Your point?)


Do not turn on your oven yet. It takes too long to roll them out and if you live where I do, hydro is freaking expensive. And I am not baking cookies after 7pm.

1-In a large bowl, with a mixer (although I have done this by hand) at low speed, beat softened butter and sugar until blended well. Then increase the speed to high, and beat it until light and creamy like a cloud.

2- At a low speed, now, add egg and then vanilla.  Then beat in flour, 1 cup at a time, and then baking soda. I will tell you now, that at some point, the whole thing will gum up in your mixer and you’ll have to mix the rest by  hand. And that’s ok.

3- If the kitchen is hot, wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm. My kitchen was freezing today, so I was fine.  On a lightly floured surface (or on a big chopping block in between parchment paper), roll out 1/4 of the dough to about 1/8″ thick. Or thicker. Depends how you like your cookies.

4- Use your heirloom/brand new cookie cutters and cut them out, putting them on a baking sheet/cooking sheet.

5- Now. IF you are just going to use maraschino cherries or sprinkles, then go ahead and put them on the cookies and then put them in the oven. BUT if you want icing, go ahead and turn on the oven to 350F and wait for the ding to say the oven is ready. Lick bits of cookie off your fingers and eat the fallen crumbs.

6- Bake in oven for 10 minutes. That’s it. Just 10.

7- Try not to eat them all while they cool


Crazy Crack Cake Icing

This icing is from the Crazy Crack Cake recipe that Susan gave me. I like a melted icing. It makes me happy. So I modified it.


-1/2 cup of butter (or one stick for you Americans)

-6 tbsp cream or milk (I use vanilla soymilk)

– 1 tsp vanilla (this is optional. I found it made my icing a strange tan colour, so I don’t use it)

-3 3/4 cup of icing sugar


1- In a small saucepan, combine butter and milk. Heat until it melts and whisk away. Add in one cup of icing sugar and then whisk until smooth. Do this with additional cups until you get the right consistency. Like a good shampoo, not runny.


With a silicone brush (cause that’s what I found in the drawer), stir the icing, take it off the heat. Now this is the fun part. If you want lemon-flavouring, go ahead and add some. If you want mint-flavouring, almond, whatever, go ahead a add a few drops.

But with your brush, pick up remaining cookies that have cooled, and paint the entire cookie top. Put cookies down on a rack and finish painting cookie.

Sprinkle immediately with fresh/dried lavender buds.  And then add a the faintest wisp of lemon zest.

Isn’t it pretty?

Now put the whole tray in the fridge so the icing can harden. But eat one first. Because they are amazing.

In an hour, your cookies should be nice and hard. But you should try one to make sure. No? Ok, back in the fridge and check again in another hour.


You’re welcome.



Plants for Sale

Spring has been peeking around the corner, being the shy, coltish type, giving us glimpses of her sunshine beauty, fresh air and songbirds.  Then she tucks away for a quick nap, letting winter drop a foot of fresh, sticky snow.


But planting waits for no one, and I have been very busy planting seeds.


I went a little too extreme, planting 17 varieties of tomatoes…which means I accidentally planted 932 tomatoes.


I am listing all of the plants you can order, but be aware that although I may have many seedlings, I may not have the kind you want. So please let me know, because I might be sold out.  I am including herbs this year.


Amish paste – giant, blocky, Roma type for paste and canning

Pink Accordion – unique, large, pink fruit is ruffled like an accordion; tomato is semi-hollow, so it is excellent for stuffing; flavour is sweet and mild

Black Krim – rich, sweet; heirloom from Russia; dark red-purple, high in 

Snow Fairy – dwarf tomato from Russia; small globe-shaped fruit very early; tart; excellent for patio pots

Gypsy – (limited quantity) deepest, purplest, maroon; medium-sized fruit; perfect for soups

Yellow Pear – golden pear-shaped with mild flavour; plentiful; perfect for preserves or salads

Chocolate Pear – ‘black’ pear-shaped; high yields; rich flavour

Martino’s Roma – high yields of richly flavourful plum tomatoes; compact; 2-3 oz; few seeds

Black Cherry – large, dusky purple, rich flavour; high yields; delicious

A Grappoli D’Iverno – (limited) winter grape of old Italy; keeps on vine; little ‘Roma’s’; delicious

Bonny Best – (limited) medium-sized fruit; round, red, meaty; not your hybrid garbage; flavour!

Blue Beauty – (limited) modest beefsteak-type; 8 oz; so much flavour; keeps well; gorgeous blue colour

Chile Verde – (limited) pointed pepper shape; mellow green skin; strong earthy flavour; green paste tomato

Minibel – bite-sized fruit; sweet; tiny plants perfect for patio; excellent for container gardening

Pink Ponderosa – can reach 2lbs; pink-red beefsteak; thick and delicious; canning


Canary Yellow – sweet; bright yellow bell-shape

Corbaci – long, 10″ fruit are twisted, slender; heirloom from Turkey; rich flavour for pickling or frying; productive

Lipstick – 4″, tapered, sweet, thick flesh

Thai red – hot heirloom from Thailand; easy to dry; bright red; pungent heat

Purple jalapeno – deep purple turning to deep red; full jalapeno flavour; great for salsa


Walthum butternut – good yields; excellent taste; keep for a long time (mine are still good!)

Blacktail watermelon – early; grows well in heat and drought; 8-12lbs; bright red and sweet

Early Fortune cucumber – slicing-type; 7-8″; 2″ in diameter; crisp white flesh; pre-1907

Boston pickling – heirloom variety pre-1880, not a hybrid type; vigorous vine; large yields; crisp and excellent for pickles

Galeus D’Eysines Squash – flattened heirloom squash; 10-15lbs fruit covered in salmon-peach skin covered with large warts; orange flesh is perfect for soups or baking; gorgeous and crazy

Jack Be Little pumpkin – 8oz; flat and ribbed; good flesh; tiny but usable

Golden Jenny melon – 2lbs; early and productive; sweet

Lemon zucchini – shape, size and colour of a lemon; fits in your palm; excellent yields; firm; pretty and delicious


Purple of Sicily cauliflower – brilliant purple head; 2-3lbs; sweet flavour; cooks to bright green

Catskill brussel sprouts – hardy, dwarf plants; uniform sprouts; 1941

Brunswick cabbage – large, drumhead, cold-hardy; fall/winter types; stores well

Glory of Enkhuizen  – pre-1900; medium-large, hard, round heads; excellent keeper; good for kraut and fresh

Red Express cabbage – open-pollinated; compact, extra-early; 2-3lbs; split-resistant oval heads

Early Purple Sprouting broccoli – purple broccoli sprouts in spring; frost hardy

Rapini broccoli – Italian non-heading grown for flavourful asparagus-like shoots and leaves; cook or in salads

Violet de Gournay radish – 10″, deep violet-purple skin with crisp white flesh; cooking, pickling, grated raw; easy to grow; delicious bite

Lettuces – feel free to inquire about a flat of mixed lettuce seedlings as well

Amsterdam prickly spinach – 1806; hardy; pointed leaves; excellent yield; gorgeous flavour

Arugula – easy to grow; grows well after cutting; good tangy flavour

Red romaine – red and green mottled leaves; easy yields; delicious

microgreens – variety of mustard leaves; red orach; red mizuna; tatsoi; corn salad


thyme, emily basil, lemongrass, blue hyssop, borage, catnip, blue spice basil, cilantro, rue, lemon basil, cinnamon basil, tarragon, marjoram, rosemary, oregano, parsley, sage, chervil


Green tomatillo – gorgeous husk-covered fruit; used in salsa verde and amazing in soup; raw tastes like a cross between a tomato and an apple

Contact me if you have any questions! loveandoregano@gmail.com




Why Are We Doing This?

Hubby asked me why I am pushing so hard to get these vegetables grown and sold.

There isn’t a lot of money in it, and I’m sure considering the time, materials and effort it takes to grow these little darlings, is just not worth what I would make if I sold them all.

Because people matter, I said.

Our family has made a change in how we eat (blah blah, hasn’t every family?).  I now make my own bread with organic flour (huge change in my rashes), I try to limit processed food as much as possible, and we try to only cheat on Friday and Saturday nights with Cheezies (they should be their own food group).  We can’t really afford to buy organic, but I try to make the exception on lettuces. I’m not sure why. I’m sure apples are the worst culprit, but I do make some kind of effort in washing them hand soap.  I’ve even changed our ice cream treats to Haagen Daaz, simply because they have simple ingredients.  Triscuits are our cracker of choice because they have 4 ingredients.  I’m not psycho about it, because we can’t afford it. I’m not milking my own cow (lactose-intolerant here), I’m not growing my own wheat…yet. And we do love our bacon, although I’ve tried to cut it down to twice a week. Wow, I sound like a nutcase.  Regardless, my family has not been sick since March 2014.  Not one cold, not one flu.  I had spent all of March with pneumonia, and maybe that was the time I changed? I’m not sure. I know when we get a tickle in our throats, we rely on Jim Beam, sipped slowly (not the boy of course, I’m not a monster).  But we haven’t been sick in over a year! That says a lot to me. Especially considering the stress we’ve been under with moving to our dream home. And I know for a fact that God has something to do with this awesomeness.

Organic vegetables are expensive. Crazy expensive. And half the time, they look weird.  Buying organic vegetable plants are expensive too.  Which means that people who don’t have a pile of cash (me) can’t afford to feed their families in the best manner.  So why should these families have to suffer, just because they can’t afford organic?

So. I’m growing these heirloom, organic seeds in a organic manner (Myke’s fertilizer, Jobe’s Organic Fertilizer, Muskie Fish Emulsion organic) so that they will produce healthy plants, which I can sell, which in turn will produce organic fruit for ANYONE to eat, at the same price as regular produce.

Because that is fair.



Homemade Chai Tea

I am an ex-Starbucks lover.  I have spent a fortune on venti, soy, no water, no foam, chai lattes.  And then I downgraded to buying the syrup and making it myself at home. Except the stuff they sell in the box isn’t strong enough, so it never tasted right. Unless it was on ice. Then it was delicious.

And then I switched to David’s tea. Their chai tea took some getting used to, but I’d doctored it with Silk Extra-Vanilla soy milk.  But Silk doesn’t sell that brand near me, and I’d buy it by the case whenever we went to Syracuse, NY (yes, I’m a cross-border shopper).  So then I made myself get used to just the regular soy milk. That took two weeks. And then I noticed that every single time I had David’s tea, I would be sick later. Like…in the washroom way too many times. So I cut it out for a week. And my issues stopped. So I had some the next morning.  Regardless, I am no longer purchasing David’s tea (how could it possibly all of a sudden make me sick?)

So I broke down and found a recipe on the internet for homemade chai tea. I never wanted to try making it before, because it looked like too much work, but I finally did.


I have to share the recipe because it will blow your mind when you taste it. I have changed the amount of ingredients slightly, and then added a bit of my own to perfect it. You be the judge.


4″ piece of peeled fresh ginger

4 cinnamon sticks

4 tsp black peppercorns

20 whole cloves

9 cardamom pods

12 c cold H20

9 bags of Darjeeling tea

lovely ingredients
lovely ingredients

Put your sticks of cinnamon into an unsealed sandwich baggie. Grab your little hammer and cutting board for smashing.

little sandwich baggie, not sealed
little sandwich baggie, not sealed

and smash….Hulk smash. I find if you hold the baggie with one hand, keeping it closed, it’s less messy. And while smashing, don’t smash too hard, or you’ll put a hole in the baggie.




Drop into large pot on stove. Next, your peppercorns go into the same baggie. And smash. If you like it spicy, smash more peppercorns.

don't inhale!
don’t inhale!


Then you are going to gently smash your cardamom and cloves. Cardamom is a funny spice, and once you smell it, you’ll recognize it. From curries and from certain teas.

Cloves left, cardamom pods right
Cloves left, cardamom pods right

Peel your ginger and chop into half-inch pieces. Then smash gently with knife to get the juice oozing out all over.

insanity in pot
insanity in pot

Add your cold H20 (I like to use Brita water because we are on a well) and bring to a rolling boil. Once it is boiling, cover with lid, and reduce heat to a simmer. Let simmer 15 minutes.


Then remove pot from heat and when it stops boiling, drop in your tea bags. The instructions say to brew for 60 minutes, but I love a good strong tea, so I let it brew for like, 4-6 hours. And because the recipe calls for 20 bags and I’m cheap. Then drain it into a large bowl through a pasta strainer to catch your bits of spices. Then pour bowl of contents into a pitcher and refrigerate.  Every morning I heat up half and half (with soy milk) on a pot on the stove, whisking every minute or so until it’s steaming. Then I inhale.

I highly recommend it! I try to use the best ingredients, but I can’t get my hands on organic ginger. Do you best to buy slave-free spices (buy fair trade!) and you’ll feel even better when drinking it.