New English Garden Bee Plants – “Essence Purple” and “Silver Mist” English Lavender

"Essence Purple" English Lavender

“Essence Purple” English Lavender

"Silver Mist" English Lavender

“Silver Mist” English Lavender

One of my favorite online plant purveyors, Wayside Gardens, has 61 new perennial cultivars this year, many of them bee favorites.

There are few, if any, flowers bees and other pollinators love better than English Lavender.  Wayside Gardens is offering two new English Lavenders this year, “Essence Purple” and “Silver Mist”.

An English Lavender extraordinaire, ‘Essence Purple’ is the variety for those of us who can never have too much Lavender in garden and home. Bushier, better branched, and perhaps even more fragrant than others, it is simply heavenly in color, form, and scent. Find new places to tuck this magnificent plant in your sunny garden and patio this season!

One of the most beautiful of English Lavenders, ‘Silver Mist’ sets nearly white foliage with a soft, fuzzy aura that looks like clouds in the garden. The flowers are pure sky-blue and continue over an especially long season. Compact, well-branched, and marvelously fragrant in bloom and leaf, it’s a must-have for the sunny garden and fine containers.

Both Lavenders are evergreen in mild areas and deer-resistant.

An herb, Lavender is useful for everything from potpourri to Everlastings to air freshener. Cut branches to tuck into your linen closet, use the flowers to perfume tea and sweets, and admire the pollinators that are drawn to these plants all season long. Every garden needs at least one stand of Lavender!

Fourth of July Parfaits

This is an easy and pretty dessert that everyone loves.  It’s lovely served in a glass bowl or parfait glass. You can change the ice cream/sorbet/garnish flavors for other celebrations!

2 quarts Vanilla Ice Cream, softened

2 quarts Raspberry Sorbet, softened

1/4 cup Honey

3/4 cup Blueberries

In 8 bowls or parfait glasses, layer 1/4 cup ice cream, 1/2 cup sorbet, and another 1/4 cup ice cream. Gently mix blueberries with the honey. Garnish each parfait with honeyed blueberries, and serve.

Fourth Of July – My Version Of Julia Child’s Potato Salad

I like Julia’s version of potato salad better than the American version with mayonnaise, pickles and eggs.  You can really taste the earthy flavor of the potatoes, and that’s what I love about it!!

2 pounds red potatoes or other small waxy potatoes
1 tablespoon honey
1/2 cup or so extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup 1/4-inch slices of scallion, green and white parts
1/2 cup chopped onion
3 cloves garlic, mashed and coarsely chopped (1 1/2 tsp)
1/3 cup white wine
1 1/2 tablespoons Dijon-style mustard
2 to 3 tablespoons chopped chives
2 tablespoons or more coarsely chopped fresh green or purple basil, fresh tarragon, or parsley
1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more, if needed
1/2 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper (coarse), plus more if needed

Scrub the potatoes and put them, whole, in a saucepan with water to cover by 1/2 inch. Bring the water to a boil, reduce the heat, and cook the potatoes gently until they are just tender and can be pierced with a sharp knife. Drain immediately and let cool slightly.

Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a small saute pan. When hot, add the scallions and the onion, toss to coat well, and cook for about a minute over medium-high heat. Add the garlic, toss to mix, and cook for just a few moments, then remove the pan from the heat.

Slice the potatoes while still warm, cutting them into 1/4-inch slices. Put the pieces in a large mixing bowl, pour the wine, honey and 3 or 4 tablespoons of olive oil over them, and toss gently to distribute. Add the warm vegetables from the pan, mustard, chives, chopped herbs, salt, and pepper, and gently fold all together, mixing well but not crushing the potatoes. Taste the salad and add more seasonings as you like.

Serve the potatoes warm (no colder than room temperature).

Drunken Bee Limeade

Make sure there is a designated driver or a taxi at the ready! Refreshing, delicious and brutal…

1 cup lime juice
1/4-1/2 cup honey
2 cups vodka
2 cups ice cubes
1 lime, rinsed
5 cups ice cold water

 
In a pitcher (at least 2-qt. capacity), stir lime juice and 1/4 cup honey until blended. Taste; if mixture is too tart, add up to 1/4 cup more honey. Add 2 cups vodka and 5 cups water. Chill until cold, at least 1 hour, or up to 1 day.

Just before serving, add ice cubes. Thinly slice lime crosswise (discard ends), cut slices in half, and add to pitcher.

Fourth Of July Honey Shrimp On The Barbie


3 1/2 lbs green shrimp, peeled and deveined
bamboo skewers (soaked in cold water to prevent burning)
1/2 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons sweet chili sauce
2 tablespoons chopped italian parsley
2 tablespoons lemons or 2 tablespoons lime juice
1/4 teaspoon five-spice powder

 
Combine all the ingredients except shrimp and bamboo skewers to make a marinade.

Mix shrimp into the marinade and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

Thread 4 shrimp onto each skewer and barbecue over medium heat for 2 to 3 minutes each side.

Serve as an appetizer.

Fourth Of July – Beef Tenderloin Sandwiches With Honey Herb Mayonnaise

This is a traditional recipe at my house for the Fourth! The tenderloin can also be prepared on the grill, if you want a more authentic American barbecue experience!!

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 center-cut beef tenderloin (2 pounds), trimmed of excess fat, tied
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
8 to 10 cloves Roasted Garlic
3/4 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh thyme
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh marjoram
1 baguette, halved horizontally and cut crosswise into 3 pieces
2 cups watercress, preferably baby

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Heat oil in a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Generously season beef with salt and pepper. Add to skillet, and brown on all sides, about 10 minutes total. Transfer skillet to oven.

Roast until beef registers 130 for medium-rare, 20 to 25 minutes. Let beef stand for 20 minutes. Cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices.
Meanwhile, mash garlic with a fork in a small bowl. Stir in mayonnaise, honey, lemon juice, and herbs. Season with salt and pepper. (Garlic-herb mayonnaise can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 1 day.)

Spread 1 tablespoon of the mayonnaise onto each bread slice. Top with beef. Just before serving, add watercress. Season with salt and pepper.

Honey Baked Beans

Baked beans are a traditional Fourth of July side dish, and this recipe is the best!!

It takes a little time, but the taste and texture are worth it!!

4 cups dried navy, great northern, or other white beans, rinsed and soaked in cold water overnight
8 cups water, or part water and chicken or ham broth
about 1/2 pound bacon
2 cups chopped onion
1/2 cup honey
1 cup ketchup, preferrably Heinz
1/4 cup prepared mustard
2 TBLS worcestershire sauce
salt & pepper

 

Cook the beans in the 8 cups of water or water & stock until tender (about 1 hour). Chop the bacon and fry it until it is starting to brown and release fat, then add the chopped onions, and cook until they soften. Remove the pot from the heat and stir in the ketchup, mustard, honey, and worcestershire sauce. Drain the beans and save the cooking water. Put the beans in a big casserole, and pour in the onion mixture, the cooking water, and salt & pepper to taste. Bake in the preheated 325 degree oven for about 2 hours, until there is a nice crust on top, the liquid is absorbed, and the beans are tender. (add more hot water or stock if they dry out too fast)