Lavender Lemonade

lemonade

DSC_0059

Well, it’s not quite summer, but a girl can dream, right? For those of you reading from cold places, I’m sorry. You should try moving to Atlanta. Winter here is lovely!

However, regardless of whether you are reading from cold weather or hot weather, and regardless of whether what you really need is hot cocoa or lemonade, this drink is delicious, and incredibly refreshing, and you should try it!

Maybe, just maybe, if we start sipping on homemade lemonade, the sun will want to linger a little longer. Fingers crossed!

DSC_0057

Lavender Week

Day One- Lavender Hot Chocolate with Homemade Whipped Cream

Day Two- Roasted Yukon Potatoes with Lavender

Day Three- Lemon Lavender Loaf

Day Four- Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Toasted Hazelnuts and Lavender

 DSC_0045

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups sugar (or less, depending on how tart you like your lemonade!)
  • Juice from 8- 10 lemons
  • 6- 7 cups water
  • 3-4 lavender buds
  • 1 Lemon- sliced
  • Red/blue food coloring (if desired for purple coloring)

Directions:

  1. Bring 2 cups of water and 2 cups of sugar to boil in a small saucepan. Stir until the sugar dissolves, and then add 3-4 organic lavender buds. Remove from the heat and allow to cool for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, juice the lemons.
  2. Strain the lavender from the simple sugar. Combine the lemon juice, simple sugar, and 4-5 cups of cold water into a pitcher. Stir.
  3. Garnish with fresh slices of lemon and a drop of blue and red food coloring if desired.

DSC_0046

Notes and Tips!:

  • Adapted from: Centsational Girl
  • Like this recipe? Try these other refreshing beverages from A Rented Kitchen! (Links found below):

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Toasted Hazelnuts and Lavender

brussles

DSC_0021

In case you missed it, it’s Lavender Week! (YAY!)

Every once in a while I like to host a weeklong series. There was the week of the 5 Summer Treats to Beat the Heat, the week of Hot Chocolate, my Let’s Taco Bout It taco series week, and most recently, Pumpkin Week!

It may seem repetitive, but when you have to use one ingredient or one theme all week long, you get to know that ingredient pretty well! Thus, when I started to realize the possibilities that come with edible flowers, lavender week became a thing.

In the last three days I have brought you one lavender drink, a lavender and chocolate combo, a lavender cake, and now a second lavender vegetable dish! I am excited to say that is still only the beginning though. Get ready for more of these edible flowers hitting your table soon! 🙂

I hope you like these roasted brussles sprouts as much as I did! Make sure you check back tomorrow for another delicious lavender recipe!

DSC_0026

DSC_0017

Lavender Week!

Day One- Lavender Hot Chocolate with Homemade Whipped Cream

Day Two- Roasted Yukon Potatoes with Lavender

Day Three- Lemon Lavender Loaf

DSC_0023

Ingredients:

  • 1 ½ lbs Brussels sprouts
  • 3 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt + ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • ½ teaspoon brown sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon + 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon butter
  • 1 Cup hazelnuts
  • 1 teaspoon dried lavender
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
  • Parchment paper

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400˚ F.
  2. Prepare the brussels sprouts by slicing in half, and then toss with olive oil, 1 teaspoon salt, pepper, and brown sugar.
  3. Arrange the Brussels sprouts evenly on a baking sheet and roast for 35-40 minutes, or until crisp and lightly brown on the outside, and soft on the inside.
  4. Meanwhile, melt the butter and sugar in a medium sized frying pan over medium heat. Stir frequently until the sugar has been fully incorporated. Once melted, add the nuts, and stir until they are evenly coated. Cook for a few minutes longer, and continue stirring to further coat the nuts.
  5. Stir the lavender into the pan and toast for an additional minute. Then remove the pan from the heat and spread the nuts out onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper so that they are in one layer.
  6. Sprinkle the nuts with salt and nutmeg and place in the freezer for ten minutes, or until crisp and crunchy.
  7. Remove the nuts from the freezer and break apart with your hands.
  8. When the Brussels sprouts finish roasting, remove from the oven and toss with the candid hazelnuts. Serve and enjoy!

DSC_0033

DSC_0027

Notes and Tips!:

  • Source: Adventures in Cooking
  • Vegan option: Replace the butter in this recipe with a vegan alternative, such as Earth Balance!
  • Like this recipe? Try these other delicious recipes from A Rented Kitchen! (Recipe links found below!)

Ginger Peach Sweet Tea

DSC_0486

 

DSC_0514

I don’t know what it was that made me get so into making beverages- the mason jar movement, turning 21, a deep hatred for aspartame?

Whatever it was, in the last few years I have absolutely loved concocting my own yummy, fizzy, fruity drinks- of which this recipe is a perfect example.

In my opinion, summer seems to be the perfect time to whip up a new and fresh beverage of choice, because who doesn’t love the idea of sitting on the porch with a nice glass of ice tea? Or, more realistically in our busy world, who doesn’t love the idea of walking in the door after running errands in the heat and having something chilled and refreshing to sip on? You do, you know you do.

Thus, I bring you my new favorite drink- Ginger Peach Sweet Tea. This pitcher contains so many of my favorite flavors, I could literally drink all of it in one sitting if I did not pay attention! It’s that good.

Invite a friend over, get a glass, kick off your shoes, and enjoy the taste of something homemade for a minute. You’ll be glad you did.

DSC_0482

DSC_0520

Ingredients

  • 3 family-size tea bags
  • 2 cups loosely packed fresh mint leaves
  • 1/2 (12-oz.) can frozen lemonade concentrate, thawed (I accidentally made the lemonade, then added the tea/mint/sugar to it)
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 (1-liter) bottle ginger ale, chilled
  • 1 (1-liter) bottle club soda, chilled
  • Optional: fresh peach wedges for garnish

Directions:

  1. In a medium saucepan, boil four cups of water. Once boiling, add the tea bags and mint leaves, and continue boiling for one minute.
  2. Remove the pot from heat, and stir in ½ cup sugar and ½ cup additional water, stirring until the sugar is melted.
  3. Once the sugar is melted, return the lid to the pot, and allow the tea and mint leaves to steep for 10 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, prepare the lemonade using the lemonade concentrate, as instructed.
  5. Once the tea is done steeping, discard the mint leaves and tea bags, and add the tea to the lemonade pitcher.
  6. Chill until ready to serve, and then stir in the ginger ale, club soda, and peach wedges. Enjoy!

DSC_0516

DSC_0481

Notes and Tips!:

  • Adapted from: Southern Living
  • Like this recipe? Try these other delicious beverage options from ‘A Rented Kitchen’! (Recipe links found below):

Homemade Ginger Ale & Variations

DSC_0133

DSC_0113

DSC_0143

It’s nearing the end of the semester, which means I’m getting really good at productive procrastination. Thus, I bring you another homemade recipe from my little rented kitchen, as opposed to my completed homework assignments. Gooooood.

Anyhow, this recipe has a little story behind it. You’ll be proud to know that I was at a coffee shop, studying like a good little student, when I tried the store’s homemade Ginger Ale. The drink was delicious, but expensive (no surprise there!). After finishing my expensive and petite store bought ginger ale, I became convinced that I could make my own version just as easily, save myself some money, and share this refreshing treat with friends! Win-win-win.

SO, no surprise to you all, but that’s exactly what I did. Story time over. It brewed, we drank, and all were happy.

I bring you my new favorite drink recipe- Homemade Ginger Ale. Sip up! Summer will be here before we know it!

DSC_0139

DSC_0132

Ingredients:

  • 1 ½ cups chopped peeled ginger (7 ounces)
  • 2 cups water
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • About 1 quart chilled seltzer or club soda
  • ~ 3 Tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • Optional variations: lemon juice, lemon slice, strawberry slices, frozen blackberries, peach slices

Directions:

  1. In a small saucepan, bring the water to a boil. Add the chopped ginger and reduce heat to a simmer. Simmer with the pot partially covered for 45 minutes.
  2. Remove the pot from the heat and allow to steep, covered, for 20 minutes.
  3. Once steeped, strain the liquid through a sieve into another bowl, pressing on the ginger the get all the liquid out. Discard the ginger.
  4. Return the liquid to the saucepan and add the sugar and a pinch of salt. Heat the liquid over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the sugar is fully dissolved.
  5. Chill the syrup in a covered jar until cold.
  6. To assemble the drinks: Combine ¼ cup ginger concentrate with ¾ cup seltzer water and 1 ½ teaspoons lime juice. Adjust flavors as desired by adding additional ingredients.

To spice up your drink even more, add one or a combination of the following fruits, starting with a base of ginger concentrate, seltzer water, and either lime or lemon juice.

  • Frozen blackberries
  • Chopped strawberries
  • Lemon/lime slices
  • Peach slices
  • Any combination of the above

DSC_0149

DSC_0146

DSC_0137

Notes and Tips!:

  • Source: Epicurious
  • Have fun adding your favorite alcohol or fruits to this recipe! The variations make this drink extra versatile and crowd-pleasing!
  • Like this recipe? Try these other treats from ‘A Rented Kitchen!’ (Recipe links found below pictures):

Coconut Hot Chocolate

DSC_0016

DSC_0001

Alright, I have to admit, it is very possible that I am having too much fun with this hot chocolate series. The recipes are all so simple, and the result is I am required to drink a cup of hot chocolate every day. What’s not to love?!

As I started researching hot chocolate recipes last night, I was overwhelmed by the immense flavor options possible.  I had a moment of weakness where I thought I may never end this series, but decided that you all may not appreciate the lack of variety.  Thus, I will stop with a total of five hot chocolate posts for this series, but I promise- you’re going to want to see all of them!

I decided to pick this recipe, because I find the combination of coconut and hot chocolate to be extremely refreshing. Hopefully you enjoy it as much as I did, and as always, have fun tweaking it to your preference!

Love, A Rented Kitchen

‘Tis the Season’- Hot Chocolate Series Review:

Day One: Pumpkin Hot Chocolate

Day Two: Ginger Hot Chocolate

DSC_0011

DSC_0017

Ingredients:

  • 2 Tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 15-ounce can coconut milk
  • ¼ cup dark brown sugar
  • Pinch kosher salt
  • 1 ounce bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions:

  1. Bring 1/3 cup of water to a boil (I suggest using a tea pot).
  2. Whisk the cocoa into the water and set aside.
  3. In a medium saucepan, combine the coconut milk, brown sugar and salt. Heat on medium-low, allowing for the milk to simmer, stirring until the sugar is dissolved.
  4. Whisk in the cocoa and vanilla until smooth.
  5. Top with whipped cream, toasted coconut, or marshmallows!

DSC_0006

Notes and Tips!: