Homemade Lavender Shortbread Cookies (Plus a Giveaway!)

Check out these homemade lavender shortbread cookies with not a lot of sugar and a hint of lavender flowers!

Most of the time when I think of herbs I think of home remedies, or perhaps sprinkling oregano in my beef stew. But cookies?! What an awesome idea! I love finding new ways to use my stash of herbs and make herbs interesting and fun to my girls! I think herbs can and should be used in daily life and it’s a life skill that’s important to pass on to our children. Using herbs really is a lost art in our society, but it’s certainly something that can be brought back!

Lavender happens to be an herb that I have a lot of on hand most of the time. I order this bag of organic lavender flowers and it lasts me a long time for several different uses, including making my tea for frazzled nerves during times that I’m super stressed or busy.

This was my first attempt at adding herbs to cookie dough and we had a lot of fun doing it! We really enjoyed the taste of the lavender. You can add more or less herb depending on how strong of a flavor you’d like. If you don’t care for the flavor of lavender, you could substitute dried organic rose petals.

When you use herbs, it’s always a good idea to teach/review with your kids how the herbs are good for us! Lavender helps you relax and calms the nervous system. It also has antifungal, antibacterial, and antiviral properties. [1]

Lavender Shortbread Cookies

One thing I like about shortbread cookies is that they are not super sweet!

Ingredients

2 cups flour (use your flour of choice whether it be whole white wheat, all-purpose, or a gluten-free variety)
2 sticks softened butter
2-3 teaspoons of dried lavender (buy here)
1/2 cup cane sugar

Directions

  • Place butter, sugar, and lavender into a food processor and blend until lavender is chopped into tiny pieces. Use a blender or mortar and pestle if you don’t have a food processor.
  • Place butter/sugar mixture into a mixing bowl.
  • Stir in flour until well mixed. You can also mix with a blender on low.
  • Wrap dough in plastic wrap and chill in fridge for 30 minutes.
  • Roll dough on floured surface to 1/4 inch thick.
  • Cut dough out using cookies cutters of any shape or use the top of a glass.
  • Place the cut out cookies on parchment paper or something similar and place on a baking sheet.
  • Place back in fridge for another 30 minutes before baking.
  • Bake at 300 degrees for 10-20 minutes until the edges barely brown. Shortbread cookies are not supposed to be “browned” – they should be taken out while still white. My oven runs super hot so your cookies may take up to 25 minutes!
  • Sprinkle cookies with powdered sugar if desired. You can also mix powdered sugar with a tiny amount of water to make a quick icing to drizzle over. Or eat plain and enjoy that lavender flavor.

*Note: You can substitute the dried lavender with fresh lavender flowers if you grow them. Just double the amount of flowers in the recipe. Check out these homemade lavender shortbread cookies with not a lot of sugar and a hint of lavender flowers!

Lavender Shortbread Cookies
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Ingredients
  1. 2 cups flour (use your flour of choice whether it be whole white wheat, all-purpose, or a gluten-free variety)
  2. 2 sticks softened butter
  3. 2-3 teaspoons of dried lavender
  4. 1/2 cup cane sugar
Instructions
  1. Place butter, sugar, and lavender into a food processor and blend until lavender is chopped into tiny pieces. Use a blender or mortar and pestle if you don't have a food processor.
  2. Place butter/sugar mixture into a mixing bowl.
  3. Stir in flour until well mixed. You can also mix with a blender on low.
  4. Wrap dough in plastic wrap and chill in fridge for 30 minutes.
  5. Roll dough on floured surface to 1/4 inch thick.
  6. Cut dough out using cookies cutters of any shape or the top of a glass.
  7. Place the cut out cookies on parchment paper or something similar and place on a baking sheet.
  8. Place back in fridge for another 30 minutes before baking.
  9. Bake at 300 degrees for 10-20 minutes until the edges barely brown. Shortbread cookies are not supposed to be "browned" - they should be taken out while still white. My oven runs super hot so your cookies may take up to 25 minutes!
  10. Sprinkle cookies with powdered sugar if desired. You can also mix powdered sugar with a tiny amount of water to make a quick icing to drizzle over. Or eat plain and enjoy that lavender flavor.
Notes
  1. You can substitute the dried lavender with fresh lavender flowers if you grow them. Just double the amount of flowers in the recipe.
Adapted from A Garden For The House
Jill's Home Remedies http://jillshomeremedies.com/

Speaking of life skills…

Parents, are your kids equipped with the life skills they need to be capable adults? Not sure?

I’ve recently started using a life skills program called Skill Trek that has me excited! As in excited like when I put herbs in my cookies!

As parents, we want our children to be prepared for the future with confidence, and yet it’s easy to not get around to teaching them those really important things.

For instance, do your kids know how to use wrenches? How about building a raised garden or replacing a wiper blade?

Or what about making an herbal oil?

video

Yes they do have a life skill that includes herbs! In fact, as we are speaking they are putting up a video and lesson on their website of me making an herbal oil! I’m so excited to be a part of Skill Trek! And there will be more herbal videos to come. 

Skill Trek is a brand-new online curriculum that fills in a gap that no other curriculum offers.  

girls

Here’s my two oldest. They are both in the Cragsman level!

Why do I love this program?

  • It’s completely customizable! They have age appropriate tasks like changing doorknobs and car batteries for the teenagers, and growing seeds in a bag and oiling a squeaky hinge for the younger ones. You can add or remove any tasks as you wish.
  • You can add tasks from other levels if you wish. I love this because there are tasks in the younger levels I want my teenagers to learn (like how to make an omelet) that I can add to their profile. And it works vise versa if I wish my younger ones to do a task assigned for an older age (like how to set a table).
  • Skill Trek offers over 500 skills!!
  • This program motivates me to make sure my kids learn important life skills that I likely wouldn’t get around to on my own. It’s easy to let the learning years slip by and realize you didn’t teach everything you wanted! For instance, we recently showed my girls how to check car engine levels because of Skill Trek, which is so important to know!
  • Being a follower of Jesus Christ, I love the Bible and spiritual options that encourage my kids in this area! If you are not of a religious belief, you can simply delete these tasks. It’s really customizable for each family!
  • The kids earn nuggets for completing each task and in the future can earn items in the Skill Trek store! This is still in the works but I know my kids will LOVE this when it’s available! 
  • They add new skills on a regular basis! They just added my herbal oil lesson, an eclipse lesson, and Survival Spanish for younger ones. So you never run out of skills to teach your kids.
  • The tasks are not super time consuming to teach. It normally only takes a few minutes a week of teaching time and then the child learns the life skill independently to bless the family on and on! 

Enter for your chance to win a year’s family membership to Skill Trek! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I also have more GREAT news! Save 10% off Skill Trek now through August 23, 2017! Enter code JILLSHOMEREMEDIES at checkout! Check it out HERE

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Resources
  1. Lavender Flowers Whole. (n.d.). Retrieved August 17, 2017, from https://www.bulkherbstore.com/lavender-flowers-whole-organic-1-2-lb

Homemade Christmas Simmering Pot Recipe + $500 Cash Giveaway!

{Read to the end of this post to enter a cash giveaway!}

What makes it feel like Christmas time to you?

For me it is falling snow, the crisp cold air, Christmas songs on the radio, cutting down a tree in the woods, reading as a family the account of Christ’s birth in Luke chapter 2, hot chocolate, to name a few.

Depending on where you live in the world and what your family’s traditions are, your answers will vary from mine.

One thing we may all have in common are the scents of Christmas.  I don’t like to fill my home with toxic artificial fragrances, so grabbing some herbs from the cabinet and a few fruits from the counter are more my cup of tea.

The smell of the pine tree sitting in my living room is my all-time favorite Christmas scent, but there are a few other herbs and spices that put me in the Christmas spirit!  This recipe I’m about to share includes cinnamon, cloves, bay leaves, star anise and orange.

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Homemade Christmas Simmering Pot Recipe

Ingredients

  • 2 TBS organic whole cloves (buy here)
  • 2 organic cinnamon sticks (buy here)
  • 2 organic bay leaves (buy here)
  • 2 orange peels or 3 tablespoons organic dried orange peel (buy here)
  • 3 star anise (optional)

Directions 

  1. Add herbs to a pot with 3 cups of water.
  2. Bring to a boil.
  3. Reduce heat and simmer on low as desired.
  4. Keep an eye on the pan to make sure the water does not boil out.
  5. Can also combine water and herbs in a crockpot and cook on low. 

If you don’t like the smell of cloves {like my brother-in-law :) } or one of the other ingredients, just leave it out or substitute it with another scent that you love!

And now on to the giveaway – the super exciting part!

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It’s hard to believe that the Christmas season is here once again! And with it comes the season of giving!
 
It is such a blessing to give to others and I, along with 25 other bloggers, can’t wait to bless one of you with $500 Paypal cash with the Christmas Blessings Giveaway!
 
Whether you decide to use this money for fulfilling your kids’ Christmas lists, paying off a bill, or just saving for a rainy day, we hope to lessen the financial burden and/or brighten the day of one of our readers with $500 Paypal cash to use for whatever their family needs.
 
You can earn a lot of entries on the Rafflecopter form below.
 
I know it can seem tedious and time consuming to go through all the entries, but isn’t a chance at $500 worth it?
 
I think it is!
 
Plus, if all of these generous bloggers didn’t participate, we wouldn’t have been able to have such a big prize!
 
So I hope you will take the time to go through each entry. Who knows, maybe you will find some new blogs to follow. :)
 

a Rafflecopter giveaway  (<—-If you have problems viewing the giveaway form, click this link here to enter to win!)

The giveaway will run from Thursday, December 1st through Saturday, December 10th (ends at 11:59pm EST).
Winner will be notified by email shortly after the giveaway ends and will have 48 hours to respond to claim the prize or another winner will be drawn. You must have a Paypal account to win.

This post is linked to: A Mama’s Story    What Joy Is Mine    The Modest Mom    Raising Homemakers    A Wise Woman Builds Her Home

Naturally Sweetened Dessert Round Up for the Holidays

If you are watching your refined sugar intake this holiday season, you don’t have to miss out on yummy sweet treats.  Add some of these naturally sweetened desserts to your shopping list and indulge away!

Starting off, I’m sharing 3 amazing recipes from the Bulk Herb Store.  I not only love them for their herbs and helpful information; I love them for their delicious healthy recipes too!

Remember that ALL of these recipes are sugar-free!

Naturally Sweetened Dessert Round Up for the Holidays

Chocolate Mocha Cheesecake from the Bulk Herb Store.

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 Oh La La Strawberry Cheesecake by The Bulk Herb Store

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Spicy Chocolate from the Bulk Herb Store

Spicy-Chocolate

Coconut Thumbprint Cookies from How To Just About Anything

thumbprint cookies

Chocolate Almond No Bakes by How To Just About Anything

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Peanut Butter and Jelly Cookies by Know the Cause

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Honey Sweetened Spritz Cookies by My Humble Kitchen

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Healthier Chocolate Bars by Kitchen Stewardship

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Honey Pecan Pie at Jill’s Home Remedies

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Honey Sweetened Pumpkin Pie at Jill’s Home Remedies

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Whole Wheat Oatmeal Raisin Honey Cookies by Jill’s Home Remedies

Whole Wheat Oatmeal Raisin

What naturally sweetened desserts are you making for the holidays?

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