Bedtime Lavender, Chamomile, and Vanilla Milk: Ingredients: 1 cup of unsweetened almond milk, 1 teaspoon of dried chamomile flowers, 1 teaspoon of dried lavender buds, a few vanilla seeds from pod or use a bit of pure vanilla extract, and raw honey to taste.


Directions: Simmer almond milk with herbs and vanilla for a few minutes, but don’t boil. Strain herbs and pour milk into mug, then add honey. Enjoy!

Blondies with Bee Balm & Apricots: Makes 32 bars: Ingredients: 1 cup unsalted butter, 1 1/3 cups brown sugar, 2/3 cup granulated sugar,  1 cup dried apricots, 1/2 cup Monarda leaves and/or flowers, loosely packed, 1 1/4 cups unbleached flour, 1 1/4 cups whole-wheat flour, 2 teaspoons baking powder, 1 teaspoon salt, 4 extra-large eggs, and 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract.


Directions: Preheat oven to 350°F.  Butter a 13 x 9 x 2-inch pan. In a heavy-bottomed saucepan, melt the butter over medium-low heat. When melted, add the brown sugar and stir. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring, until the brown sugar is thick and syrupy, for about 4 minutes. Stir in the granulated sugar until it is dissolved and remove the pan from the heat to cool; the fat will separate from the sugar. Thinly slice the apricots crosswise. Wash, dry, and coarsely chop the Monarda leaves and flowers; there should be about 1/4 cup of chopped herb.    Combine the flour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl and stir to blend. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of the flour mixture over the apricots and toss to coat them lightly.  Whisk the eggs, one at a time, into the warm brown sugar and butter mixture to blend thoroughly. Add the vanilla and stir well. Pour the liquid ingredients into the flour and stir until it is just blended. Add the apricots and Monarda and stir until they are just mixed in. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake in a preheated oven for 35 minutes, until the top is a deep golden brown.  Allow to cool completely on a baking rack before cutting into bars.

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