Category Archives: In the Kitchen

How to Make Delectable Lemon-Violet Shortbread Cookies

Would you like to come over for tea and lemon-violet shortbread cookies?

Guys, I am not fancy. You can put me in a designer gown and put some foreign-named beverage in my hand, but I will most likely slop it down my front by accident. Likewise, if I try to make my food look sophisticated it usually ends up looking like a group of elementary students made it for a class project.

Close up of lemon violet shortbread cookies on top of a cutting board

That being said, these lemon-violet shortbread cookies look fancy. There’s something about delicate little violets pressed into the cookies that just makes you feel like you want to drink your tea with your pinky up. Either that, or you suddenly feel so wild and free that you’ll want to go live in the fields with the faeries. There’s that too.

Regardless of whether you feel a little more prim or a little more untamed after eating these lemon-violet shortbread cookies, rest assured they are delectable and pretty simple to make.

Purple violet flowers growing in the grass.

How to Forage for Violets

I got my violets from my yard. In the spring in Pennsylvania, these little beauties are everywhere that hasn’t been mowed or sprayed. They are easy to find and identify.

Wild violet in the grass.

Here are the main identifying features of violets:

  • Purple or blue-ish flowers are most common, though they can sometimes be yellow or white.
  • The flowers have curved petals (usually 5 of them), and they come outward from the center stem with a bit of a white “face” in the center.
  • The leaves are heart-shaped and curl up a bit around the edges.

Curled, heart shaped leaves of the wild violet flower. The heart shaped leaves of the violet flower.

Here’s more information on foraging for wild violets.

NOTE: if you are new to foraging for wild edibles, please read this post on three simple foraging rules to make sure that you are harvesting safely and responsibly.

For this recipe, we will only be picking the flowers themselves, not the stems. The leaves are also edible, though I tend to reserve them for more savory dishes.

Not only do violets look beautiful, they also taste yummy and are rich in vitamin A & C!

Purple violet flowers that have been washed and sitting in a colander.

Lemon-Violet Shortbread Cookies

  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 cup cold butter (2 sticks)
  • 3 tbsp milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • Zest of one lemon
  • About 1 cup of wild violet flowers (more or less is fine), rinsed under cold water.
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Mix flour, sugar, and salt in a medium bowl.
  3. Cut butter into flour mixture with two knives, forks, or a pastry cutter until dough looks like coarse sand. If you prefer, you can use a stand mixer with the paddle attachment on medium speed for a couple of minutes to achieve the same result.Small cubes of butter resting in a mixing bowl on top of a mixture of flour, sugar, and salt.
  4. Sprinkle in vanilla and 3 tablespoons of milk and gently press dough together with a spatula.
  5. Continue to press and gently knead the dough in the bowl until it comes together into a slightly sticky ball. Alternatively, use the paddle attachment on your mixer at low speed until dough comes together. If the dough is still slightly dry, add 1 more tablespoon of milk.A slightly sticky ball of cookie dough clumped onto the paddle attachment of a stand mixer.
  6. Split dough in half into two flat rounds. Lightly flour the dough rounds and 2 cookie sheets. Roll out dough into a 1/4″ thickness.
  7. Sprinkle lemon zest evenly over the two rounds of dough.
  8. Sprinkle violets evenly over the two rounds of dough and gently press them with your fingers to help them stick.Violets and lemon zest on top of shortbread cookie dough rolled out to 1/4" thickness.
  9. Bake for 22-25 minutes, or until dough is just starting to brown up around the edges.
  10. Use a pizza cutter to cut the baked cookie dough rounds into squares- or whatever rustic looking shape you like.Lemon violet shorbread cookies, baked and cut into bite sized pieces.


Lemon-Violet shortbread cookies is a non-threatening recipe for the foraging newbie, and a delightful treat for the weed-eating professional. I hope you find them as delectable as we did!

Lemon violet shortbread cookies sitting on top of a cutting board.

If you give this recipe a try, please leave a comment and let me know how it came it out- it helps me to improve the recipe for the future!

You may also enjoy Violet Jam and a Recipe Round Up!

How to Make Lemon Violet Shortbread Cookies.

Sourdough Morning Glory Muffins

I wrote this recipe for sourdough morning glory muffins years ago. While the recipe is old, the taste is balanced and delicious. Let me know how they come out for you!

I was going to make a smoothie, but then my food processor went kaputz. (We think maybe the motor is overheating?) So there I was with 2 cups of almost chopped up carrots. Not being one to waste food, I began rummaging through any recipes that used grated carrots.

Morning glory muffins came to mind rather quickly- I wanted them, but I didn’t want all the sugar. But you know me, I can’t leave well enough alone. I ended up adapting a regular morning glory muffin recipe to be made with sourdough and no refined sugar.


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Simple Slow Cooker Pork and Cabbage

This simple slow cooker pork and cabbage recipe is quick to throw together and delicious to come back to after a day at work. It’s appealing to a broad range of tastes, and perfectly warming and comfortable on a chilly autumn or fall evening.

This post contains affiliate links.

When I was a kid, I wanted nothing to do with cabbage. Even in my college years, I turned my nose at the stuff. I remember one occasion when a family who didn’t have many worldly possessions invited us over for cabbage soup. They were so excited to share their favorite meal. I am ashamed to say that I gagged down a bowl and didn’t accept a second helping. I just couldn’t bring myself to get over the fact that it was cabbage.

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Healthier Hot Chocolate

Hot chocolate is one of my favorite winter treats after chilly morning chores or an afternoon of snow-day play. However, the sugar-ridden packets of hot cocoa mix probably aren’t an ideal way to enjoy the drink. Hence, the need for a healthier hot chocolate!

Healthier Hot Chocolate

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You’ll find a gamut of hot chocolate mix recipes on the internet, usually full of sugar and powdered milk. It’s nice to have something pre-made on occasion, but to me, it’s not all that much more convenient than making it fresh. (Besides, fresh just tastes better!)

Here’s the guilt-free recipe that I make for our family.

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Apples, Apples Everywhere

It’s officially fall, and apple season is in full swing here in Pennsylvania. Our trees have apples. We bought apples from an orchard. Our neighbors have brought us apples. My mom brought us apples. My friend offered apple picking from her tree. I think I’ve been dreaming apples.

Apples, Apples Everywhere!So what does one do with so many apples?

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How to Make Homemade Chicken or Turkey Stock

For many of us, there’s not much more nostalgic or comforting than a delicious bowl of chicken noodle soup. Condensed soups, and even higher-quality commercial canned soups, can hardly compare to the taste of the homemade chicken or turkey stock. And if you didn’t know it already, there are many health benefits to homemade stock as well. It’s so much better than bullion!

How to Make Homemade Stock

The good news is that making your own stock is simple, delicious, and almost free (once you’ve bought the bird, of course). It takes a few minutes to get it started, and maybe another 15 minutes to strain it and store it at the end- but that’s a small price to pay compared to purchasing stock at the store.

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How to Make Homemade Yogurt

There are a gazillion and one “how to make homemade yogurt” posts out there, so I don’t offer any new knowledge here when I write this. However, I may bring the knowledge to a new audience, and that is what I care about!

How to Make Homemade Yogurt

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Homemade yogurt is really simple to make, at least half the cost of store-bought yogurt, and healthier because you can control what goes in it. In only has 2 ingredients, and takes only a couple minutes at each step. It’s also a perfect way to help me get in some inexpensive, healthy protein and gut functionality when I’m on my $25 grocery challenge to myself.

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Strawberry-Honey Preserves (No Pectin or White Sugar)

Strawberries are one of the few fruits we reserve for an annual U-pick farm trip. Why we haven’t grown them ourselves yet, I’m not sure! However, the trip to our local farms makes for a fun tradition. What’s more, the kids are getting better at actually getting some in the bucket each year.

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The Craft of Herbal Fermentation: A Course Review

Foraging for plants in your neighborhood. Fermentation and bubbling jars. Homemade concoctions and kitchen experiments. Community. Joy! Can the combination get any better?

I received a free copy of the Craft of Herbal Fermentation Course in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own. This post contains affiliate links. 

If you’ve been reading for the past few months, you may know that I was gradually working my way through the Craft of Herbal Fermentation Course from Herbal Academy. Today, I wanted to follow up on my previous posts and sum up my experience with the course.

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Roasted Asparagus & Almonds

Asparagus grows more like a shrub than a quick garden plant. If you plant it from seed, it takes about three years before you can harvest it. But once it’s coming- oh my!- those fresh stalks are so delicious and tender. I hardly get them inside because I’m usually eating them straight from the ground.

If you happen to have some fresh asparagus in your yard, count yourself blessed and go pick some for this recipe. If you don’t, take advantage of seasonal sales to bring some home from the store this spring!

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