Lavender Collins

There’s no better way to get back in the cocktail game than with a light and refreshing Lavender Collins!

This Lavender Collins is a fun, fresh take on the classic gin cocktail.

It’s been a hot second since I’ve done a cocktail Friday post, and I figured that, this being the first official weekend of spring and all, it’s the perfect time to do so with a drink that just epitomizes the season. And it’s my favorite kind of cocktail – not too boozy, not overly sweet, tons of intriguing flavor…Oh, I do hope you enjoy this Lavender Collins as much as I did.

I’ve been wanting to  whip up a cocktail using lavender and gin for quite some time now – ever since I saw the combo in a cocktail recipe in Food & Wine mag – but then this little thing happened where I got pregnant and, well, I really couldn’t think of any nonalcoholic version that would do the flavors justice. So I shelved the idea and I’m so glad I’m just now circling back to it because it really is the perfect drink for the season!

A Lavender Collins is the perfect cocktail for Easter, Sunday brunch or any spring get-together.

We’ve endured quite the rainstorm over the past couple of days, but today the sun is finally starting to poke back through again. I realize our “storm” is probably quite miniscule compared to what all you out on the East Coast ever experience, but I must say it’s days like the ones we’ve just had that remind me how lucky we are to live in an area that only sees this type of weather a few times a year.

Weather aside, I couldn’t be more excited to step into spring with this Lavender Collins. I mean, not only am I totally jazzed that I can enjoy cocktails again, I’m also pretty stoked about the flavor of this boozy beverage.

Make a delicious Lavender Collins with just gin, lavender simple syrup, fresh lemon juice and club soda!

And it doesn’t take much! We’re talking about a four-ingredient recipe right here (okay, maybe six if you count the simple syrup ingredients separately) and about 15 minutes between you and your new favorite Friday cocktail for the foreseeable future.

The most difficult (and really, not that difficult) part of this whole recipe is making the lavender simple syrup, but as long as you can boil water and get a hold of some fresh (or culinary) lavender you should be a-ok.

Other than that, all you need is your favorite gin, some fresh lemons and club soda. Who knew something so delicious could be so easy?

A Lavender Collins is the perfect cocktail to kick off the first weekend of spring!

If you’re a fan of floral, botanical flavor and a light, refreshing drink to kick off your weekend, then this Lavender Collins is for you.

How will you be spending the first weekend of spring??

Lavender Collins
Prep Time
5 mins
Cook Time
15 mins
Total Time
20 mins
 

A light, refreshing take on the classic gin cocktail with tons of botanical flavor - the perfect drink to enjoy all spring!

Course: Drinks
Servings: 1 cocktail
Author: CaliGirl Cooking
Ingredients
  • 2 ounces gin
  • 3/4 ounce lavender simple syrup (see Notes)
  • 1/2 ounce fresh lemon juice
  • 2 ounces club soda
  • Culinary lavender and lemon wheels, for garnish
Instructions
  1. Combine all ingredients except garnishes in a rocks glass filled with crushed ice. Stir to combine.

  2. Sprinkle on culinary lavender and hang a lemon wheel on the rim for garnish. Enjoy!

Recipe Notes

To make the Lavender Simple Syrup: Combine 1 cup water, 1 cup sugar and 3-5 sprigs of fresh lavender in a small saucepan and bring to a heavy simmer. Turn down to a low simmer and let cook until mixture has reduced by half (about 10-15 minutes.) Pull out lavender sprigs and bring to room temperature before making your cocktail.

Fresh Strawberry Vanilla Bundt Cake with Lemon Glaze

If this doesn’t scream “Mother’s Day,” what does??

Fresh Strawberry Vanilla Bundt Cake with Lemon Glaze | CaliGirlCooking.com
This post is sponsored by Sonoma Syrup Co.

In-season fresh strawberries dot a vanilla- and lemon-laced Bundt cake, topped with the sweetest, tangiest lemon drizzle. This Fresh Strawberry Vanilla Bundt Cake with Lemon Glaze is one for the books and I can guarantee that just about any mom in her right mind will go crazy for this if you make it for her this weekend.

This is yet another post I’ve created with my friends over at Sonoma Syrup Co., and I must say it was so fun to make and came at just the perfect time. If you’ve been reading this blog for a while now, you’ll know that over the past year or so I’ve partnered with Sonoma Syrup to make some really fun drink recipes, like this Honey Citrus Detox Elixir and this Spiked Lavender Lemonade, but every once in a while I love to flex my creativity and use their amazing syrups (and, in this case, vanilla extract) in a super tasty baked good, like these Vanilla-Ginger Doughnuts with Pomegranate Glaze.

So when they approached me to create a fun Mother’s Day recipe using their Vanilla Bean Extract “Crush,” I jumped at the chance. And of course I couldn’t stop there, I had to add some of their No. 1 Meyer Lemon Simple Syrup as well because who doesn’t love hints of fresh lemon paired with strawberry and vanilla?

Fresh Strawberry Vanilla Bundt Cake with Lemon Glaze | CaliGirlCooking.com

I’m even more excited for this Mother’s Day for a few very important reasons that I have to keep under wraps for now, but I promise to let you know soon! We have both of our parents coming to town, plus some siblings, and a couple of big surprises to unveil that are going to really put the icing on the cake for the weekend (pardon the pun.) All the more reason to have some Fresh Strawberry Vanilla Bundt Cake with Lemon Glaze to celebrate!

And really, this recipe is not at all hard to make. That’s one of the greatest things about Bundt cakes. They look so pretty and elegant with almost no effort at all. Forget the fancy frosting techniques, let the shape of the cake mold do all the work!

Fresh Strawberry Vanilla Bundt Cake with Lemon Glaze | CaliGirlCooking.com - A beautiful and delicious Bundt cake laced with fresh strawberries, vanilla and lemon. The perfect spring dessert!

So, we start with a fairly basic Bundt cake batter, with a hefty dose of Greek yogurt to be sure it turns out nice and moist. We happened to have a huge jar of homemade limoncello in our refrigerator, so I added some of that to the batter to really up the lemon factor, but you could just as easily use fresh lemon juice if you don’t have any limoncello on hand. We’re saving the Meyer Lemon Simple Syrup for the glaze so it can REALLY shine.

Fresh Strawberry Vanilla Bundt Cake with Lemon Glaze | CaliGirlCooking.com - Moist cake batter in Bundt pan laced with fresh strawberries.

I also put in a hefty dose (we’re talking one whole tablespoon) of Sonoma Syrup’s Vanilla Bean Extract “Crush.” Now what, you might be wondering, is the difference between the Vanilla Bean Extract “Crush” and regular vanilla extract? Well, the crush is not only made from some of the finest vanilla beans you can get your hands on, it’s also laced with actual vanilla bean SEEDS, making it especially delicious and intense in flavor. I love the extra-vanilla-y taste it gives all of my baked goods, I’ve even been known to throw some into a smoothie every now and then!

Fresh Strawberry Vanilla Bundt Cake with Lemon Glaze | CaliGirlCooking.com - Baked cake without glaze.

Once our Fresh Strawberry Vanilla Bundt Cake has baked and cooled slightly, it’s time to put together the super-simple Lemon Glaze. This glaze is really similar to the Pomegranate Glaze I made for the Vanilla-Ginger Doughnuts I mentioned above, but using the No. 1 Meyer Lemon Simple Syrup instead of the pomegranate. To really punch up the flavor, I also added lemon zest and even MORE of the Vanilla Bean Extract “Crush.”

I really love that the light glaze is not too overwhelming with the delicate, fresh flavors of the cake, which also makes it just as suitable for brunch as it does for dessert after a heavier lunch or dinner. This means that you have no excuse not to order some of these syrups right this instant and make a Fresh Strawberry Vanilla Bundt Cake with Lemon Glaze for all of your favorite moms this Mother’s Day.

Fresh Strawberry Vanilla Bundt Cake with Lemon Glaze | CaliGirlCooking.com - A slice of this cake and a hot cup of coffee is all you need this Mother's Day!

Even better, Sonoma Syrup is offering all of you, my dear readers and biggest fans, 10% off of your next purchase. Simply use the special discount code CALI10 at checkout on their site and you’ll be well on your way to making a delicious dessert that all your guests will love. Now hurry up and order so you can get to baking!

Fresh Strawberry Vanilla Bundt Cake with Lemon Glaze
Prep Time
20 mins
Cook Time
1 hr
Total Time
1 hr 20 mins
 

A moist, delicious cake filled with fresh strawberries and laced with hints of lemon and vanilla, all topped with a tangy lemon glaze.

Course: Dessert
Servings: 10 servings
Author: CaliGirl Cooking
Ingredients
For the cake:
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 8 ounces nonfat plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon Sonoma Syrup Co. Vanilla Bean Extract "Crush"
  • 1 tablespoon limoncello (or fresh lemon juice)
  • 3 cups flour, divided (plus more for pan)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 12 ounces fresh strawberries, hulled and sliced
For the glaze:
  • 1 1/4 cups powdered sugar, sifted
  • 2 tablespoons Sonoma Syrup Co. No. 1 Meyer Lemon Syrup
  • 1 tablespoon melted butter
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest (about 1 medium lemon)
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon Sonoma Syrup Co. Vanilla Bean Extract "Crush"
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease a Bundt cake pan with shortening or melted butter and then coat with flour. Set aside.

  2. First, make the cake. In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the butter and sugar until pale yellow and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, then the vanilla bean extract, limoncello (or lemon juice) and Greek yogurt. Beat until combined.

  3. In a separate, medium mixing bowl, sift together 2 ¾ cups flour, the baking soda and the salt. Add this mixture to the wet mixture and beat until just combined. 

  4. In a separate bowl, toss the strawberries with the remaining ¼ cup flour. Fold the strawberries into the batter. 

  5. Pour the batter into the prepared Bundt pan and bake at 325 degrees for about 60 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove from oven and let cool 10 minutes before turning out of pan onto a wire rack to cool completely.

  6. While the cake is cooling, make the glaze. In a medium mixing bowl, combine all of the glaze ingredients. Drizzle over the cooled cake and let set for at least 15 minutes before serving.

Fresh Strawberry Vanilla Bundt Cake with Lemon Glaze | CaliGirlCooking.com

Homemade Matcha Pasta with Tangy Creme Fraiche and Crispy Prosciutto

What a fun week I have in store for all of you!

Homemade Matcha Pasta with Tangy Creme Fraiche and Crispy Prosciutto | A partnership with JORD Wood Watches on CaliGirlCooking.com

Today I’m excited to share this recipe for Homemade Matcha Pasta with Tangy Crème Fraiche and Crispy Prosciutto that I created in partnership with JORD Wood Watches, and on Wednesday I have all of the details from the fun Spring Fling Brunch I hosted with some of my favorite Santa Barbara lady entrepreneurs. It’s going to be a great one!

Now that we’ve officially stepped into the month of March, it seems that there’s much anticipation of change in the air. The pressure of our New Year’s resolutions has died down a bit, if only for the fact that  “real life” has picked up again after the post-holiday coma we all fall into. I’ve personally felt a new sense of urgency, that I should always be doing more, more, more and that there is so much I should be doing that I should rarely be having any down time.

It’s a dangerous cycle we all fall into, and I try to stay conscious of not going too far down that rabbit hole. I strongly champion balanced living, after all, and how can I do so authentically if I myself am not taking the time to practice it?

Homemade Matcha Pasta with Tangy Creme Fraiche and Crispy Prosciutto | A partnership with JORD Wood Watches on CaliGirlCooking.com

Which is why I was so excited when JORD Wood Watches approached me to create a recipe having to do with time and how we should spend it during this turning of the seasons. As adventurous as I am in the kitchen, there are certain projects I’m hesitant to dive into, simply because I have never done them before, have a slight fear of the “unknown,” and just plain not thinking I have the time. Making homemade pasta has been at the back of my mind for quite a while, but I kept pushing it back because I thought it was complicated, required too much equipment, etc. After only a nanosecond of thought, I knew that this partnership with JORD was the perfect opportunity to set aside an afternoon in the kitchen and take the time to master this favorite carb of mine. I’m happy to say that my Homemade Matcha Pasta with Tangy Crème Fraiche was a HUGE success, and I have now made it three times in one week because it is just so good!

Homemade Matcha Pasta with Tangy Creme Fraiche and Crispy Prosciutto | A partnership with JORD Wood Watches on CaliGirlCooking.com

But before I get to the recipe, I want to talk a little bit about my JORD Frankie 35 Series women’s watch. Let’s just say that as soon as I saw the entire line of JORD Wood Watches, I knew this was a company I wanted to work with. All of their products are gorgeous, and the watches can go from casual to elegant, which means I can wear my watch both in the kitchen and out to a fancy dinner with my man. I love the wooden texture and the contrasting colors on the watch faces. I opted for the navy watch face with the zebrawood band, and I love that it goes with most of my wardrobe since I very much tend to lean towards all neutral colors. Even when I’m working in the kitchen all day and most likely wearing yoga pants, I can throw on my Frankie 35 and feel instantly put together.

Wearing my JORD Wood Watch in the kitchen is also a great reminder for me to be mindful and take my time when exploring new recipes and techniques. As a chef, photographer, social media manager and consultant, it’s all too easy for me to rush through my “”To Do” list for the day and, before I know it, it’s dark outside and time to wind down. I continually have to tell myself to take a second (or minute) or two to really enjoy the process and remember why I started my own business in the first place. Every time I look at this unique watch, it reminds me what I’m here to do – share my joy of food with all of you!

Homemade Matcha Pasta with Tangy Creme Fraiche and Crispy Prosciutto | A partnership with JORD Wood Watches on CaliGirlCooking.com

As I mentioned, this Homemade Matcha Pasta with Tangy Crème Fraiche and Crispy Prosciutto ended up being the perfect dish for my first foray into the pasta-making world.  As soon as I finished my first test of the recipe, I texted my husband and said “If you have time, stop by for lunch. I just made homemade pasta and it’s the best thing I’ve made in a long time!” Really, nothing compares to fresh, homemade pasta. Nothing.

In order to make this “matcha” pasta, I simply whisked some culinary grade matcha powder into the flour before kneading the dough. It didn’t turn out quite as vibrantly green as I had hoped, but trust me, the flavor is allll there.

After the dough was made, I divided it into two pieces and used a rolling pin to make each piece of dough thin enough to pass through my Kitchen-Aid pasta roller attachment. You could also use a manual pasta roller, or even just a very long wooden rolling pin to get your pasta down to the proper thickness.

Once the pasta was rolled out thin enough to make fettucine, I cut each piece in half (I don’t know about you, but I hate SUPER long noodles) and then rolled each piece up like those good ol’ fruit rollups you had as a kid. This way, you can slice the dough evenly and the fettucine will turn out much straighter than if you were to just free-cut all the way down the length.

Homemade Matcha Pasta with Tangy Creme Fraiche and Crispy Prosciutto | A partnership with JORD Wood Watches on CaliGirlCooking.com

The next step is to unroll the individual fettucine and let them dry slightly before cooking (about 5 minutes is all you need, although you could let them dry for longer.) You don’t need a fancy pasta dryer to do this, I simply laid mine out along my marble slab.

Even though I went on and on about never wanting to make homemade pasta because I thought it would take too long, I’m very happy to report that my assumptions were wrong and I was able to get this entire dish made in less than an hour. The pasta rolling and cutting take the longest, but once those steps are complete, the rest of the components that make up Homemade Matcha Pasta with Tangy Crème Fraiche and Crispy Prosciutto come together in a flash.

I crisped up some prosciutto in a large pan with olive oil, and whisked some lemon juice, olive oil and heavy whipping cream into my crème fraiche to make the sauce. Once added to boiling water, the pasta was done in seconds, and I added it to the pan with the prosciutto along with some minced garlic. The whipped crème fraiche and a couple of hefty handfuls of arugula were the finishing touches to this amazing, intricately-flavored dish.

Homemade Matcha Pasta with Tangy Creme Fraiche and Crispy Prosciutto | A partnership with JORD Wood Watches on CaliGirlCooking.com

To me, making this Homemade Matcha Pasta with Tangy Crème Fraiche and Crispy Prosciutto was the perfect foray into my new world of homemade pasta-making, a fulfilling project that helped me remember why I love my job in the first place – because I can spend as much time in the kitchen as I want!

And now for even better news – you can become part of the wood watch family too! That’s right, I’ve teamed up with JORD to offer one lucky person $100 to use towards any product on the JORD Wood Watches website. But wait, there’s more! Anyone who enters will receive a $25 gift code to use on the site once the contest ends on March 12. So hurry up and enter now!

Click here to enter (and keep scrolling for the delicious pasta recipe!)


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5 from 1 vote
Homemade Matcha Pasta with Tangy Creme Fraiche and Crispy Prosciutto
Prep Time
40 mins
Cook Time
10 mins
Total Time
50 mins
 

A comforting, homemade pasta dish - fresh pasta is laced with matcha and tossed with a lemony creme fraiche, finished with crispy prosciutto and arugula.

Course: Main Course
Author: CaliGirl Cooking
Ingredients
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons culinary grade matcha powder
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 2 ounces prosciutto, chopped
  • 1/3 cup creme fraiche
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon heavy whipping cream
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 cups arugula
Instructions
  1. In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the flour and matcha powder. Pour onto a clean, dry surface and create a small well in the middle. Crack the eggs directly into the well, then whisk gently with a fork, slowly bringing in some flour from the sides. Once eggs are mostly incorporated, begin kneading the dough with your hands. Keep kneading and pressing with the palm of your hand until everything has come together. There will be some extra flour that doesn’t make it into the dough, but that’s okay. About halfway through your kneading, wipe off your workspace so there is no additional flour. The dough will be a bit tough, but that’s how it’s supposed to be!

  2. Cut the dough in half and roll out with a rolling pin until it’s thin enough to pass through the widest setting on your roller. Pass the dough through at this setting a few times, folding in half a couple of times if there are any holes. Once your dough passes easily through the widest setting, go up to the next thinnest setting and pass through a few times again. Continue this process until both of your pieces of dough have gone through setting 4, which is the recommended thickness for fettucine on the KitchenAid pasta roller. 

  3. Once again cut each sheet of dough in half so that you’re not working with super-long pieces of dough. Take each new sheet and roll it up like you would a fruit roll-up or tortilla. Slice each roll in ¼ to ½ inch pieces (the width of fettucine) and then unroll and spread out on a clean, dry surface to dry. 

  4. While your pasta is drying, prepare the sauce and toppings. In a large saute pan (one that will be big enough to hold all of the pasta and the toppings), warm one tablespoon of olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the chopped prosciutto and cook until crispy. Turn off heat. In a small mixing bowl, combine crème fraiche, the other tablespoon of olive oil, lemon juice, heavy cream, salt and pepper using a whisk. Set aside. 

  5. Bring a large saucepan of salted water to a boil. Once boiling, slide in the dried pasta and immediately start stirring with a wooden spoon (this will help prevent it from sticking together.) Bring water back to a boil. The pasta will be done cooking 5-10 seconds after the water starts boiling again. Keep an eye on it, it cooks quickly! Drain pasta and add to pan with crispy prosciutto. 

  6. Add minced garlic to the pan with the pasta, and then add the whipped crème fraiche sauce. Stir to combine. Add a tablespoon of butter to thicken things up a bit. 

  7. Stir arugula into pasta right before serving. Enjoy!

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