“Summertime is always the best of what might be.” ~Charles Bowden
Oh sweet summer! Sunshine, outdoors, beaches, barbeques…
What are some of your favorite things about summer?
Share some of your personal favorites.
For me, summer means giving my oven a break; it’s firing up the grill, cold salads, and frozen desserts; sitting around a campfire, roasting marshmallows, and making S’mores and memories with family and friends!
These recipes are perfect for all your summer celebrations - or if you just want to bring some warmth to the winter!
Mediterranean Marinade (The Lavender Life)
- ¾ cup olive oil
- ½ cup soy sauce or coconut aminos
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 drop Oregano Vitality
- 2 drops Lemon Vitality
- 1 drop Black Pepper Vitality
- Combine all ingredients in a small mixing bowl.
- Set meat in a shallow glass bowl or baking pan.
- Pour marinade over meat; cover and refrigerate 1–4 hours before grilling.
- Discard any unused marinade.
Spicy Potato Salad (The Lavender Life)
- 6 medium-sized gold potatoes, peeled
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
- 2 tsp ground turmeric
- 2 drops of Coriander Vitality
- 4 drops Lime Vitality
- 1 drop Black Pepper Vitality
- 1 cup dried Wolfberries
- 1 cup fresh cilantro, chopped & packed
- 1 cup fresh parsley, chopped & packed
- 1 cup fresh dill, chopped & packed
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Place peeled potatoes in a large pot of boiling water and cook until soft (about 10 minutes).
- Drain potatoes; dry and cube.
- Heat 2 tbsp olive oil in a cast-iron skillet on medium heat. Stir in garlic, red pepper flakes, and dried wolfberries. Cook for 2-3 minutes then add turmeric.
- Toss in potatoes; mix well to coat.
- Add cilantro, parsley and dill. Cook 4 additional minutes. Remove from heat.
- Mix 2 tbsp olive oil with Coriander, Lime, and Black Pepper Vitality oils.
- Drizzle over potato salad until fully mixed.
- Add salt and black pepper to taste.
- Top with additional red pepper flakes and remaining fresh herbs.
- Serve warm or at room temperature.
Homemade Blueberry Lavender Ice Cream (The Lavender Life)
- 2 cups frozen blueberries
- 1 cup full-fat coconut cream
- 4 tsp Blue Agave
- 4 drops Lavender Vitality
- Up to ⅓ cup coconut water
- Line small casserole dish with wax or parchment paper.
- Add frozen blueberries, coconut cream, Lavender Vitality, and agave to a high-powered blender or food processor.
- Pulse ingredients together, adding coconut water 1 tablespoon at a time to help ingredients blend together smoothly. Be careful not to add too much liquid or ice cream will become too soft.
- Pour blended ingredients into the prepared dish, cover, and freeze for 4 hours.
- Scoop into bowls, garnish with your favorite toppings & enjoy!
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What’s your favorite way to get a sweet fix without going overboard?
These quick-pickled jalapeno peppers and onions are delicious on top of your favorite Mexican or Tex Mex dishes. They can also be enjoyed on their own, or in wraps, salads, or anywhere you want a little extra spice. For a nice twist, try the pickling liquid in place of plain vinegar in homemade vinaigrettes and marinades.
Prep time: 10 minutes + 1 hour rest time
Cook time: n/a
Safety Tip: Wear gloves when handling jalapeno peppers to prevent burning.
¾ c. white vinegar
2 T. kosher salt
2 T. maple syrup
3-4 cloves fresh garlic, minced
1 medium red onion, sliced thin
5-6 jalapeno peppers, sliced into rounds, seeds removed
- Combine vinegar, water, salt, maple syrup, and minced garlic in a saucepan over medium heat. Whisk to combine and heat until maple syrup is thoroughly dissolved. Remove from heat and set aside.
- Place the sliced onion and peppers in a glass jar with a tight-fitting lid. Pour pickling solution over the contents of the jar to cover completely.
- Let sit, uncovered, for at least one hour at room temperature. Enjoy immediately or cover and store in the refrigerator for up to one week.
Prep: 5 mins
Cook: 20 mins
- 2 tsp. olive oil
- 2 shallots, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- ½ tsp. smoked paprika
- ½ tsp. sweet paprika
- ½ tsp. brown sugar
- 1 can (14oz./400g) chopped tomatoes
- 1 can (14oz./400g) chickpeas, drained
- 4 slices bread, toasted
- handful parsley, to garnish
- ⅓ cup (60g) olives, halved, to garnish
Heat the olive oil over medium-high heat on a medium pan. Add shallots and cook for 2-3 minutes, then add garlic and cook for another 1-2 minutes.
Add all the spices to the pan and mix well. Next add in the chopped tomatoes and 2 tbsp. of water. Simmer on low-medium heat until the sauce has reduced, around 10 minutes.
Mix in the drained chickpeas, season with salt, sugar and black pepper and cook for another 5 minutes until warmed through.
Serve on the toasted bread with parsley and black olives.
For best results, prepare the vinaigrette the day before serving to give the flavors time to fully develop.
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: n/a
½ c. extra virgin olive oil
¼ c. champagne vinegar
1 t. Dijon mustard
3 T. honey, preferably local
4-5 large blackberries, rinsed
1 T. fresh basil, roughly chopped
Sea salt and black pepper, to taste
2 c. baby spinach
2 c. baby arugula
2 large ripe peaches, sliced
1 c. blackberries, washed and patted dry
½ c. walnuts, roughly chopped
4 oz. goat cheese, crumbled
Fresh basil sprigs, for garnish
- Add the olive oil, vinegar, Dijon mustard, honey, blackberries, and basil to a food processor container. Season with salt and black pepper, to taste, and process on high until thoroughly emulsified. Taste and add additional honey, salt, and/or black pepper, if desired. Transfer to an airtight container and store in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
- Add the spinach and arugula to a large bowl and toss to combine. Transfer to a serving platter and top with sliced peach, fresh blackberries, walnuts, and goat cheese.
- Garnish with sprigs of fresh basil and drizzle some of the blackberry-basil vinaigrette on top. Serve immediately with remaining vinaigrette on the side. Enjoy!
This hearty meatless dish borrows elements from traditional Cuban black bean recipes, such as the oregano, dried cumin, and bay leaves. However, it isn’t intended as a classic “authentic” interpretation.
Although not featured here, a tablespoon of tomato paste added prior to cooking would be a nice addition to the flavor profile of this recipe, especially if served as leftovers the next day.
Tip: Reserve the red portion of the pepper top for garnish
This recipe was tested at 30 minutes active cook time. Although the recipe works at that time, the beans were a little firm. Add an additional two minutes to the active cook time for less firm results.
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 32 minutes (+ time to come to pressure)
Natural release: 20 minutes natural release
1 c. dried black beans, rinsed and picked over
1 medium red pepper, seeded and cut into large pieces
½ medium white onion, cut into large pieces
½ T. dried oregano
½ T. dried cumin
1 t. garlic powder
Sea salt and black pepper, to taste
2 whole bay leaves
1½ c. chicken or vegetable broth
1 T. red wine vinegar
2 T. red pepper, diced
3 T. avocado, diced
2 T. fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
1 whole lime, cut into wedges (optional)
3 c. cooked white or yellow rice
- Add the beans, red pepper, onion, oregano, dried cumin, garlic powder, salt, black pepper, and bay leaves to Instant Pot®.
- Pour broth on top and add the lid. Set the pressure valve to “sealing” and select the “Manual” cooking option on the “High” setting. Set cook time to 32 minutes.
- When done cooking, allow the pressure to release naturally for 20 minutes, and then do a quick release of any remaining pressure.
- Turn the unit off and carefully remove lid. Transfer red pepper, onion, and ½ cup broth to a blender or food processor. Cover and blend until smooth.
- Pour pureed vegetable mixture back into the Instant Pot® and add red wine vinegar. Season with additional salt and black pepper, as desired, and stir to combine. Serve immediately over a bed of cooked rice, topped with chopped red pepper, avocado, and cilantro. Offer lime wedges, if desired. Enjoy!