Lavender Shortbread Cookie Recipe

lavender shortbread cookie
lavender shortbread cookie

I am posting this lavender shortbread cookie recipe in hopes that you still have some lavender lingering in your garden. This buttery, crunchy delicately flavored cookie is perfect for brunch, garden parties or with tea. The little flicks of purple lavender and glistening sugar speckles make this a beautiful irresistible treat.They taste amazing, by the way!

lavender shortbread cookie

I recently hosted a garden party where we sat around a table and made lavender wands, ate lunch, laughed and chatted. What a refreshing way to spend a summer day.

These fancy cookies are VERY easy to make. I know they’re not the healthiest dessert, but hey, it’s fun to splurge once in a while and have something totally yummy.

lavender shortbread cookie recipe

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup granulated sugar, extra for sprinkling
  • ¾ lb unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3½ cups flour
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 Tbsp culinary lavender blossoms (dried or fresh)

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. In a cleaned coffee grinder, grind up the culinary lavender. If you don’t have a coffee grinder available you can finely chop it with a kitchen knife.
  3. Use the paddle attachment of a stand up mixer to cream the butter and sugar together until combined. However, if you don’t have a stand up mixer, just use a hand electric mixer or a spoon.
  4. Add vanilla and finely chopped lavender and mix.
  5. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk the salt and flour together and then add it to the stand mixer.
  6. Mix until a dough forms. If using a spoon, this may take a bit. The dough will seem very dry, but just keep mixing until it all sticks together.
  7. Turn dough out on to a floured surface and roll into a log roughly 2 inches in diameter. (If you want square cookies, flatten each side on the counter to form a square log or just roll out to make round cookies).

8. After that, cover in plastic wrap and then refrigerate for at least 1 hour or as long as overnight.

lavender shortbread cookie

9. Using a sharp knife, slice the log of dough into ¼ inch thick slices. Place slices on an ungreased baking sheet or silicone baking mat.

10. Bake for 10-12 minutes.

11. Allow cookies to cool to room temperature and then sprinkle the tops with granulated sugar.

12. Serve and ENJOY!

So set some time aside and have the girls over. Enjoy some laughs, relaxation and of course, some yummy treats!

Cheers,

Lavender Shortbread Cookie Recipe

lavender shortbread cookie

This buttery, crunchy delicately flavored cookie is perfect for brunch, garden parties or with tea. The little flicks of purple lavender and glistening sugar speckles make this a beautiful irresistible treat.

  • Prep Time10 min
  • Cook Time12 min
  • Total Time22 min
  • Ready in72
  • Course
    • Dessert
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Ingredients

    • 1 cup granulated sugar, extra for sprinkling
    • ¾ lb unsalted butter, room temperature
    • 3½ cups flour
    • 1 tsp vanilla extract
    • ¼ tsp salt
    • 1 Tbsp culinary lavender blossoms (dried or fresh)
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INSTUCTIONS

1

Preheat oven to 350.

 
2

In a cleaned coffee grinder, grind up the culinary lavender. If you don’t have a coffee grinder available you can finely chop it with a kitchen knife.

3

Use the paddle attachment of a stand up mixer to cream the butter and sugar together until combined. However, if you don’t have a stand up mixer, just use a hand electric mixer or a spoon.

4

Add vanilla and finely chopped lavender and mix.

5

In a medium mixing bowl, whisk the salt and flour together and then add it to the stand mixer.

6

Mix until a dough forms. If using a spoon, this may take a bit. The dough will seem very dry, but just keep mixing until it all sticks together.

7

Turn dough out on to a floured surface and roll into a log roughly 2 inches in diameter. (If you want square cookies, flatten each side on the counter to form a square log or just roll out to make round cookies).

8

After that, cover in plastic wrap and then refrigerate for at least 1 hour or as long as overnight.

9

Using a sharp knife, slice the log of dough into ¼ inch thick slices. Place slices on an ungreased baking sheet or silicone baking mat.

10

Bake for 10-12 minutes.

11

Allow cookies to cool to room temperature and then sprinkle the tops with granulated sugar.

12

Serve and ENJOY!

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DIY Fabric Window Treatment

Add some pizzazz and color to any room by making your own window treatment. This is a fun and easy project that even a beginner seamstress can handle.

A few years back we remodeled our home and added some space onto the back. One of the things we added was a new laundry room. I am a total light freak and love the lighting in this room, and I love that I don’t have to go into the dreary basement anymore to do laundry.

There are two windows in the corner of my laundry room and in my door. I wanted to add some color to the crisp white planked walls with some kind of window treatment.

At first, I thought about making roman blinds for these windows. I have made them before and they are kinda fun to make, but I am into EASY these days, and a roman blind looks like this when it is pulled up anyway. Why should I waste the fabric yardage, my time, and any frustration that may come along with a more intense project such as a pleated roman blind?

This window treatment works really well for windows that are inset, meaning they are not flush with the interior walls.

Here is a picture of the laundry room before the window treatment.

After

Look at what a LITTLE fabric and a LITTLE bit of time can do!

While I was sewing I thought I would take some photos and share with you how QUICK and EASY this was to make up.

What you will need for this easy DIY window treatment:

  • FABRIC  (measuring instructions below) I used a duck cloth piece of fabric for this window, which is a little like canvas. Any woven fabric will work. If it is a thinner, lightweight fabric you may want to use a piece of interfacing to give it some structure.
  • SEWING MACHINE
  • a piece of wood trim measuring 3/4 x 1/2 inch x window width. (measuring instructions below)
  • drill
  • 1 5/8 inch screws
  • 7/16 inch dowel the width of your treatment (optional)
  • staple gun or glue adhesive
  • rotary cutter or scissors
  • safety pins (optional)

How to measure fabric:

Measure the INSIDE MOUNT width of the window and ADD 1 INCH for seam allowance.

Then decide how long you want the valance to hang down and double that amount then ADD 1 1/2 inches. Mine hangs down 10 inches. So I cut my fabric 21 1/2 inches.

Cutting Out:

Cut out the fabric using a rotary cutter or scissors.

*TIP: use a safety pin to mark the edges of the fabric that are the WINDOW WIDTH measurements. I suggest this because it can be real easy to get these mixed up especially if you have a square window.

Sewing:

Fold the fabric with Right Sides Together with the WIDTH of the fabric at the top. (safety pins should be at the top)

Sew the side seams using a 1/2 inch seam allowance. Clip the bottom corners.

Turn and Press:

Turn the fabric inside out and press the edges out real smooth.

Hold the fabric up and if you feel it hangs nicely you can move on. If you find it doesn’t hang flat you can either stiffen it up a bit using some iron-on interfacing or use the method below using a small dowel.

*TIP: If you are using a lightweight fabric, you can insert a small dowel (7/16) cut the width minus about a 1/4 inch into the bottom of the valance.  This will give it some weight to hang down straight instead of being limp.

Finish the top edge to prevent fraying with a serger, or on a regular machine just use a zigzag stitch.

Board Preparation:

You will need to drill some holes in the wood strip before applying the fabric. Measure about 3 1/2 -4 inches from the edges and one hole in the center.  If your window is pretty wide, you may need a few more holes to secure the wood strip tightly to the top of the window casing. If you have a countersinking tool, that works great, if not, no biggie.

The holes that you drill should coincide with the screws you are using.

Applying the fabric to the wood strip:

 

Line up the top edge of the fabric with the edge of the wood strip and make sure the fabric is also lined up with the side edge of the wood or else the wood will show.

Hold securely in place while you staple it using a staple gun. If you do not have a staple gun, you can secure in place using a good adhesive and some clamps to hold in place while it dries.

You may need to use a hammer to flatten any stubborn staples that didn’t get stapled flat.

Inserting the window treatment to the window casing:

Get a drill and 1 5/8 inch screws handy.

The wood strip and fabric should fit snug against the edges of your casing. You may want some help doing this part if you have a wide window.

Fold the fabric up while you, or someone else, screws in the screws. (Keep the wood strip flush with the wall edges).

Tadah! Gotta love it, baby.

What a fun way to add some pizzazz to any room.

non-toxic laundry room

Want a tour of my laundry room? Check out this post.

Let me know if you have any questions.

Have fun sewing!

jan3

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Jan Howell

Jan Howell

My intention for this website is to share tips and tutorials that I have found on my journey of life that has brought me joy, improved health, and peace, in hopes that it will do the same for you. I hope you'll join me on this journey!

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Stretches in Bed – Start Your Day the YOGA Way

stretches in bed knees to chest

Getting out of bed some mornings can be a little challenging I know. Perhaps your body is stiff and you just want a few more minutes to rest your aching bones. Well, you go right ahead and stay there for just a few more minutes. Yep, stay there and do some morning stretches right in the comfort of your own bed.

I’m going to show you eight different exercises and stretches that will help alleviate some of that stiffness and get your blood flowing. You’ll be able to pop out of bed energized and ready for your day.

Feel free to do the exercises in whatever order you choose, however, I do recommend starting with a full-body stretch.

Play Video

Morning stretches in bed

Full body stretch

  • Kick off the covers and stretch your arms overhead. (You may need to scoot down in your bed to give you room). Reach down with your feet at the same time to feel your WHOLE body stretching. Take a few deep breaths

BENEFITS

  • Increases circulation and awareness of your body
  • Stretches your arms, back, neck, legs, and feet.

Knees to chest

This pose is also referred to as a wind-relieving pose or Energy freeing Pose. Yep, wind-relieving.

Believe me, I’m a yoga instructor and it’s not a complete yoga class unless someone “relieves some wind”.  It doesn’t always happen but frequently. No biggie!  We got to let go of that gas somehow. So if you do relieve some WIND, embrace it and count it as a good thing, especially first thing in the morning. Ok. Now on a more serious note.

  • Bring one knee at a time towards your chest. Take your arms around your legs and give yourself a big hug. (This may be your first and only hug, so make it a good one)!
  • Rounding the spine, bring your forehead towards your knees.
  • Rock side to side to massage out the back.

BENEFITS

  • Stretches the body
  • Eases Tension in the lower back
  • Easy to do
  • Massage the abdominal organs
  • Improves blood circulation
  • Reduces bloating
  • Rebalances your energy
  • Reduce the hip fat
  • Relaxes the mind and body
  • The best pose to relieve gas

Spinal Twist

  • With your knees still drawn towards your chest, let both knees drop over to one side.
  • Take the arms straight out to the side, like the letter “T”.
  • Turn your head in the opposite direction of your knees.
  • Stay there for several deep breaths.
  • Repeat on the other side

BENEFITS

  • Stretches the IT band, glutes, lower back, abs, chest, shoulders, and neck
  • Improves spinal mobility
  • Relieves compression at the lower back
  • Relaxes the body and quiets the mind
  • Relieves stress

Feet to the sky, ankle circles

  • Lying on your back, lift your legs up so your feet are directly over your hips. Your knees can be bent.
  • Circle your ankles several times in one direction and then change directions.
  • Point and flex your feet a few times.

BENEFITS

  • Moves any stuck or stagnant fluids that have accumulated in the feet.
  • Regulates blood pressure
  • Increases circulation and flexibility of ankles and feet
  • Soothing to the low back

Hip Circles

  • Lying on your back, bend both knees and place feet on the mattress.
  • Take one knee towards your chest and then pull your knee over to the opposite side. (It won’t go very far). You should feel a stretch in the outer side of the leg (IT band).
  • Now let the knee drop open away from the body. Move the knee back and forth a few times.
  • Starting with the knee towards the chest, allow the knee to drop out to the side and then slide your foot away from you, straightening the leg out.
  • Bring the knee up towards your chest, slightly rolling to that side, making a complete circle.
  • Do two circles on each side.

 

Sit-ups

My dear friend who just turned 100 years old this month, shared with me that she does 10-15 sit-ups every morning before getting out of bed. This amazing woman still lives alone, still cooks her own meals, AND exercises every day. She does “Sit and Be Fit” from the television three times a week and always ends each session with the chair yoga sun salutations.  On the other days, she does chair yoga.

So if June can do a sit-up at 100 years old, I think we can at least try. She said to me one day “if you don’t use it, you’ll lose it”. She is so RIGHT! (More about June coming up).

If you haven’t done a sit-up in a while, most likely it’s going to be a little difficult or maybe even impossible. NO WORRIES! You can work up to it.

  • If it’s been a while, start in a seated position.
  • Hold behind your legs for support and start to roll slowly down to a reclined position.
  • Then roll back up. (Hold behind the legs if you need to. If that is still too challenging, only roll down halfway).
  • If that is too easy, let go of your legs and do full sit-ups.
  • Wanting more of a challenge? Cross your arms over your chest and then do your sit-ups.
  • Do 10-15 reps in thoughts of JUNE. More or less depending on your ability and desire.

BENEFITS

  • Obviously, improves core strength
  • Improve hip flexor strength
  • Increase flexibility
  • Help lose tummy fat
  • Tone the ab area
  • Improve posture

Wrist circles

  • Reach your arms up over your chest and simply make several circles with your wrists.
  • Change directions.
  • Do several reps.
  • Make a tight fist and then spread your fingers out as far as they’ll go. Open and closed several times.

BENEFITS

  • Improves circulation
  • Increases mobility
  • Reclined Pigeon Pose

Reclined Pigeon Pose

This pose is also referred to as the Eye of the Needle pose. It is a great alternative to an upright pigeon pose, which can be very stressful on the knees and hips.

  • While on your back and with bent knees, take one foot and place it top of the other thigh. (Just above the knee).
  • Flex the foot that is on the leg.
  • That may be enough stretch for some. If not, gently press the knee away from you to increase the hip stretch.
  • If that is still not giving you the stretch you want: reach your hands behind the leg that is underneath, and pull your leg towards you. (This will increase the stretch in your gluteal muscles).
  • Hold for a few breaths and repeat on the other side.

BENEFITS

Releases tension in the muscles of the lower back, hips, and hamstrings.

Opens the hips and reduces the symptoms of sciatica.

Enhances blood flow in the lower back

***CONTRAINDICATIONS***

Those suffering from knee injuries or sacroiliac conditions should avoid practicing this pose. If you experience tingling, numbness, or pain in your hips, legs, or lower back, immediately stop.

I hope you’ll take a few minutes and do a few stretches in bed. Trust me, you’ll feel better if you do!

More resources for yoga and stretching

Office yoga

Exercise That Anyone Can Do

Tension Release For Neck & Shoulders

Chair Yoga DVD

Jan Howell Yoga YouTube Station

Start your day the yoga way!

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Jan Howell

My intention for this website is to share tips and tutorials that I have found on my journey of life that has brought me joy, improved health, and peace, in hopes that it will do the same for you. I hope you'll join me on this journey!

Read More

White Bean Potato Soup with Kale & Rosemary – INSTANT POT

white bean potato soup

Here is another favorite INSTANT POT SOUP RECIPE that we love in our family. I started making this white bean potato soup with rosemary & kale soup last year while on a reset diet. I make it all the time now, even during the summer. Kris Carr is one of my favorite mentors and a version of this recipe was used in her ‘Crazy Sexy You’ program. I have adapted the recipe a bit and made it available to make using my favorite appliance, the INSTANT POT.

This recipe is so easy to make, and so good for you! With a savory flavor, a lightly creamy texture, this soup will not disappoint!

white bean potato soup

Two Instant Pots?

I love this pot so much, that I have two of them. Yep, TWO. There are many situations that I use both of them for the same meal: one for a steamed veggie, and one for the main dish. In this case, I triple the recipe and split it between two pots. This will give me several other ‘on the spot’ dinners, for the nights I don’t want to cook!

If you don’t have an Instant Pot, I do recommend you invest a little money and get one. However, this recipe can easily be made using a regular pot on the stove top.

The hardest part of this white bean potato soup is chopping the vegetables. (That is if you are doing it the HARD WAY). I’m telling ya, CHOP THE VEGETABLES THE EASY WAY using this little gadget.

white bean potato soup

One of my favorite kitchen gadgets is this veggie chopper. I use it all the time for cutting up vegetables when I make soups, and salads. It saves so much time and saves your fingers! I tend to cut my fingers a lot when I am chopping up veggies. Especially when they are small pieces. This little gadget works like a charm! I have gone through several different kinds of choppers like this, but this one seems to be a good one. It has very high ratings on Amazon and I have been very pleased with it.

See how easy it is to use!

Back to the white bean potato soup recipe!

I am going to give you the recipe for a small 4 serving batch, however, I always triple the recipe and freeze for later.

So if you want more than 4 servings, I recommend at least doubling it!

Soup Ingredients

  • 1 TB olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 cup chopped celery (about 2 stalks)
  • 1 cup chopped carrots (about 2 carrots)
  • 1 TB fresh rosemary, chopped
  • 3 white potatoes, peeled and cut into cubes
  • 1 can (15 oz.) white beans , drained and rinsed – or 1 3/4 cup precooked beans
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika (optional)
  • 4 cups vegetable or chicken broth (4 tsp vegetable or chicken bouillon paste can also be used with 4 cups water)
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 4 kale leaves, washed and stems removed. Chop into bite size pieces.
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar

 

Instructions

white bean potato soup

Chop up vegetables

white bean potato soup

Set the Instant Pot to “SAUTE”

white bean potato soup

Store the lids in a zip bag in the clean pot.

I like this 3 ring, multi-color set.

Add the oil to the pot, then add the chopped onions, carrots, celery and a pinch of salt. Simmer for 3-4 minutes, or until onion is soft, stirring frequently. (Add a little water if the veggies start to stick).

Add the garlic and rosemary. Continue to stir and cook until the garlic is fragrant. Do not overcook.

white bean potato soup

Add the potatoes, beans, salt, pepper, paprika, broth, bay leaves and water to the pot.

white bean potato soup

Turn the Instant Pot off, and set on “SOUP”

Adjust the time down to only 3 minutes. (It will take about 12 minutes to come up to pressure). So the total time is around 15 minutes.

Not bad for a healthy bowl of soup, don’t ya think?

While you are waiting for the soup to cook, cut up the kale.

*****Save your kale stems for juicing, or compost if you are into that kind of thing.

When the timer goes off, flip the pressure valve for a “QUICK RELEASE”

Once the pressure is release, remove the bay leaves.

To create a more creamy texture: use an immersion blender  or blender to puree the soup until it is the texture you like.

Leave some of the potato and carrots chunky.

If you don’t have an immersion blender, carefully transfer half of the soup to a blender. (Only fill half way full). Blend until smooth. Return this mixture to the pot and stir.

Add the kale and vinegar and then place the lid back on and let the kale sit for about 5 minutes until wilted and tender in the soup.

No need to turn it back up to pressure!

white bean potato soup

Taste the soup and add more salt and pepper if needed.

There you have it!

Ladle soup in a bowl and if you do bread, ENJOY with a slice of your favorite baguette!

storage tips

Leftover soup will keep for up to 6 days in the fridge, or frozen for up to 2 months.

Like I mentioned before, I triple the recipe. This is where having TWO INSTANT POTS, comes in real handy!!!!!

White Bean Potato Soup with Kale & Rosemary – INSTANT POT

This recipe is so easy to make, and so good for you! With a savory flavor, a lightly creamy texture, this soup will not disappoint! Recipe adapted so you can make it quickly in the Instant Pot or on the stove top.

  • Prep Time20 min
  • Cook Time15 min
  • Total Time35 min
  • Yield4 Servings
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Ingredients

    • 1 TB olive oil
    • 4 cloves garlic, minced
    • 1 onion, chopped
    • 1 cup chopped celery (about 2 stalks)
    • 1 cup chopped carrots (about 2 carrots)
    • 1 TB fresh rosemary, chopped
    • 3 white potatoes, peeled and cut into cubes
    • 1 can (15 oz.) white beans , drained and rinsed – or 1 3/4 cup precooked beans
    • 2 tsp salt
    • 1/4 tsp black pepper
    • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika (optional)
    • 4 cups vegetable or chicken broth (4 tsp vegetable or chicken bouillon paste can also be used with 4 cups water)
    • 1 cup water
    • 2 bay leaves
    • 4 kale leaves, washed and stems removed. Chop into bite size pieces.
    • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
[MEDIAVINE EXAMPLE AD SPACE 2]

INSTUCTIONS

1

Set the Instant Pot to “SAUTE”

2

Add the oil to the pot, then add the chopped onions, carrots, celery and a pinch of salt. Simmer for 3-4 minutes, or until onion is soft, stirring frequently. (Add a little water if the veggies start to stick).

3

Add the garlic and rosemary. Continue to stir and cook until the garlic is fragrant. Do not overcook.

4

Add the potatoes, beans, salt, pepper, paprika, broth, bay leaves and water to the pot.

5

Turn the Instant Pot off, and set on “SOUP

6

Adjust down to only 3 minutes. (It will take about 12 minutes to come up to pressure). So the total time is around 15 minutes.

7

Not bad for a healthy bowl of soup, don’t ya think?

8

While you are waiting for the soup to cook, cut up the kale.

9

Save your kale stems for juicing, or compost if you are into that kind of thing.

10

When the timer goes off, flip the pressure valve for a “QUICK RELEASE”

11

Once the pressure is release, remove the bay leaves.

12

To create a more creamy texture: using an immersion blender to puree the soup until it is the texture you like. Leave some of the potato and carrot chunky.

13

If you don’t have an immersion blender, carefully transfer half of the soup to a blender. (Only fill half way full). Blend until smooth. Return this mixture to the pot and stir.

14

Add the kale and vinegar and then place the lid back on and let the kale sit for about 5 minutes until wilted and tender in the soup. No need to turn it back up to pressure!

15

Taste the soup and add more salt and pepper if needed.

16

There you have it!

17

Ladle soup in a bowl and ENJOY!

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