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Over the past 2 months, every single weekend my husband and I have been building a fence. Since late October, we've been outside in our stark, garden-less backyard tearing up what was just recently a lovely gathering spot, and making mounds of muddy, half frozen dirt piles and littering the yard with wood pieces and saw dust. Being outside, all day, for the past 2 months has really brought to my awareness the coming winter, and every weekend was a little colder and a little colder and a little more uncomfortable. We made provisions, of course. In his wood shop, he has a fire heater that I huddle beside when my hands and feet just can't take the chill, and last weekend we started a roaring fire in the fire pit, put on some Christmas tunes and really made it homey and festive while we put in the FINAL screws and nails to our DIY fence project. We really love working on projects together, and as time consuming and challenging as they may be - I honestly know Greg loves the process of having a woodworking project, figuring out the intricacies of it all and bringing it to life. He's an incredibly talented woodworker, and if he had more time to devote to it (i.e not working 60 hour weeks...) I bet this is where his dormant profession would flourish. Greg revealed to me recently that a client of his told him, just before our wedding, "...Never let your wife know what you're capable of...then she'll expect you to do things all the time!". Seriously - worst advice I've ever heard. I'm in awe of all of the things Greg can do. Impressed doesn't even begin to describe it. Woodworking. Cooking (omg can that man can cook). Gardening. Sewing. Beer brewing. Tree swing rigging. He can fix anything. Ugh. This is a biscuit post. I should get on with it. 



Today, the first day we can rest after our massive project is complete, is a gray, wet, cold and downright gloomy December day. Hence, it's my favorite kind of day for tea and biscuits, curling up on the couch with our pup under our big "teddy bear blanket" and doing not a thing but share massages and foot rubs and gorge on Frasier. Tea sipping on cold days is just what we need to warm up and rejuvenate from 2 days of frigid chill in our bones, and tea biscuits are the perfect compliment to a warming, grounding cup of tea. Whether it's just us on the couch, dropping little biscuit crumbs for the pup to clean up, or to serve at a holiday party or tea date - these biscuits are such a treat and so easy to prepare. They're not sweet like cookies, but flaky and almost cake like with subtle herby spices and lemon to go with almost any tea flavor. If you prefer a more sweet biscuit, use regular granulated sugar in place of the coconut palm sugar, and top with candied pecans in place of raw pecans. 















Play with toppings of your choice. I used raw pecans and coconut flakes, but walnuts, almonds, cashews, chia or hemp seeds or even cinnamon sugar would be delicious! Thrive Market is an excellent, low cost place to source organic ingredients for this recipe!
Served here with my Sweet Roots Tea, a tasty warming chai blend for cold winter days. 

Lemon & Cardamom Holiday Tea Biscuits

1.5 cups spelt flour
1.5 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp celtic sea salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) organic butter at room temp
1/2 cup coconut palm sugar
1 egg
Juice of 1 lemon
1/2 tsp cardamom powder
pecans, turbinado sugar and coconut flakes to top
Makes 10-12 biscuits

In a small bowl, mix the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside. In a large bowl, mix the butter and coconut palm sugar together with a hand mixer. Add in the egg, then the lemon juice, then the cardamom powder and mix well. Slowly blend in the flour mixture with a spoon and mix well (it should be a very thick mixture) Remove from the bowl and wrap the dough in saran wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes to chill. 

Preheat oven to 350F.

Remove the dough from the fridge and dust a clean surface with spelt flour. Roll out the dough into about 1/4inch thickness and press out discs using a cookie cutter (or wine glass rim). Place on parchment on a baking pan and top with pecans, coconut flakes and turbinado sugar (optional). Bake for 12 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool on a cooling rack for 10 minutes. I prefer to refrigerate these biscuits, as the chill gives them a crisper flavor and texture. Serve with a piping hot teapot of your favorite tea. 

 



Taking herbal powders can be kind of challenging sometimes - which is a shame, because they're so awesome and effective. Traditionally. herbal powders would simply be placed on the back of the tongue and washed down with water, or mixed in a little warm water and consumed quickly. However, it's been my personal experience (as well as my experience recommending herbal powders to people) that folks need to have a good first experience taking powders, or they'll be hesitant to try them again. 

Previously, I posted my recipe for nut butter balls that make a fantastic carrier for almost any herbal powder. These lozenges are my second favorite way to take herbal powders - especially for the sore throats that come with fall and winter. These marshmallow root and slippery elm herbal lozenges are so easy to make, and so soothing to chew or dissolve when you have a scratchy or raw throat. Marshmallow and slippery elm are both demulcents, meaning they're extra mucilaginous and coat the tissue / lining of the esophagus to soothe inflamed tissue. I like to add some extra sweetness to the recipe with a little licorice, and also some wild cherry bark for it's anti-tussive and astringent quality (it's really ideal for dry, unproductive coughs). 

The key to making these little lozenges is to allow them time to dry completely. If there's even a hint of moisture left in them, no matter how you store them they'll mold rather quickly. I let mine sit out on the counter for about 2 days to dry out completely, and I've also used a dehydrator for quick prep and that works beautifully. They should look like unappealing little pieces of dirt by the time you're all done. You can adjust the sweetness by making your licorice decoction stronger or adding a bit more honey. Regardless, you need to keep the moisture level the same (1/4 cup liquid no matter what your desired sweetness) or they will not have the right consistency. Once prepared and dried, I store mine in a little glass mason jar in the medicine cabinet and use as needed. I'll either use them up in one season, or discard the remaining lozenges at the end of each season and prepare a new batch. The shelf life on these little lozenges is not super long - 3 months is often my max. 

Marshmallow Herbal Lozenges

1 tablespoon Licorice root
1 teaspoon Ginger root
10ml wild cherry bark tincture
2 tablespoons raw honey
1/2 cup Marshmallow root powder
Slippery elm powder

Decoct the licorice and ginger root in about 1 cup of water and let simmer for 10 minutes. Measure out the honey in a measuring cup and pour the licorice and ginger decoction plus the wild cherry bark tincture in with the honey until you have 1/4 cup of liquid. Mix together until the honey is melted and incorporated into the decoction. In a separate bowl, add the marshmallow root powder and make a little well in the center. Gently pour the 1/4 cup liquid mixture into the well and mix thoroughly together with you hands until you have a dry dough texture. On a clean surface, dust a small area with slippery elm powder and roll the dry marshmallow dough out to 1/4 inch thickness, coating each side with the slippery elm powder. Punch out small discs using a bottle cap or small cutter (get creative...) and set aside to dry completely for at least 24 hours, or use a food dehydrator. Once completely dried, store in a glass container for up to 3 months. 

 


Peaches are my favorite food. My absolute favorite. I honestly think they taste the best unadulterated, just eaten fresh off the tree, with the juice all over my face in all of their slurpy glory. And happy first day of summer - don't mind if I do. As the summer solstice is already here at our doorstep, this Galette offering is an opportune tribute to the beautiful new season, with bountiful and vibrant vegetable and fruit offerings and hot, sticky firefly filled nights. Even as I write this, I'm sitting in my "summer office", my big southern front porch, rocking in the porch swing my grandfather made many many years ago. I just can't not be outside. I've been dreaming of having a Summer Fairy Garden Party with some of my fairy-esque girlfriends this summer, but alas, how quickly calendars fill up. I'll put that one on the shelf for next year and I'll keep this recipe handy because it's absolutely going to make an appearance on that magical future table. 



When I cook with peaches, I like to keep it basic and simple. Peaches are already so sweet, they barely need any help in that baking department. And coincidentally the little herbal spirits that are lavender buds taste amazingly good combine with the juicy sweetness of peaches. They bake up like a dream, and the flavor carries through robustly. Galettes are (relatively) fail-roof. They're meant to be rustic, kind of haphazard and sloppy, and quick to prepare. I prefer desserts that aren't' terribly sweet, but just offer a hint of natural nectar and ripeness. This Galette does just that. My ideal summer night sweet treat.  







Lavender & Peach Galette

For the Pastry

 1 1/4 cup Spelt flour

 8 tbsp chilled butter

 1 tsp pink salt

 For the Filling

 3 medium sized ripe peaches

 2 tsp lavender flowers

 1 tsp vanilla extract

 2 tbsp raw honey
Serves 4

For the Pastry

Combine flour, butter and salt in a food processor until small chunks form. Add in 3-4 tbsp cold water to make a doughy consistency and pulse just a few times to mix well. Form into a ball and kneed gently, only about 30 seconds. Form into a disc and wrap in saran wrap. Let cool in the fridge for 30 minutes

For the Filling

Slice peaches about 1/2 inch thick and place in a large bowl. Add lavender flowers, vanilla and honey and mix gently and well until combine. Pre-heat the oven to 400F. Roll out the dough into about a 12 inch diameter, making sure not to have any thin areas. Fill the center with the peach filling, leaving about 2 inches all around. Fold over the edges of the dough to cover the edges of the peaches. Optional: Lightly wet the edges of the galette and sprinkle the edges with turbinado sugar. Bake for 40 minutes, until the tops just begins to turn golden brown. Let cool for 10 minutes, then cut into quarters.


 




HELLO, I’M LINDSAY.
Herbal medicine and nutrition is my expertise. Understanding plants, their properties, and their powers is my passion.

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