The end of December is a time of joy, laughter and creating beautiful memories with loved ones. The days begin to grow longer again and our nights are filled with holiday festivities.
It’s a time when we really come together, and of course a centerpiece of all our celebrations is the food. So we wanted to bring you a few recipes that will fill your gatherings with a dose of warmth and deliciousness.
Below are a few of our favorite recipes to eat in-season for the winter months, and capitalize on the best locally-grown produce. These are great for sharing at dinner parties, and the Lavender Chocolate Buttersweets are sure to win the office cookie contest this year.
If you’ve got dried sage from the season it will shine in this hearty warming meal. If not, you might still be able to harvest from your sage plant, since it does well even in the freezing weather!
Butternut squash is a winter staple, and the sweet flavors of this lasagna twist are deliciously warming.
Don’t you know we love sage?
Sweet Potatoes are another winter staple, and the hasselback method allows the flavors to really seep throughout these healthy alternatives to a baked potato. The recipe uses dates for fruity winter sweetness as well as a splash of citrus butter.
These are so good they can be a side dish or the main meal.
While winter isn’t known for its leafy greens, there are several varieties that are hardier and grow well into the winter in the US.
Collard greens, swiss chard, and arugula can grow in mild winter temperatures and kale, spinach, and mustard greens are considered “ultra-hardy.”
Kale chips are a wonderful salty snack that’s packed with nutrients that can otherwise be difficult to get in the winter.
Apples grow year-round in a lot of the US but I find the texture and flavors are a bit lacking outside of fall. Baking apples in a sweet dish fills out the flavor and nullifies the need for a crisp texture.
The lavender gives a fresh pop to the rich butter of the shortbread crust in this lovely sweet treat.
I can’t get over these lavender chocolate buttersweets. Our lead florist, Julie Powell, brought them in from an old family recipe and talk about a winter pick-me-up. I of course had to put a Sage Creations twist on them.
These call for a lavender sugar – to make it you just layer lavender with sugar in a clean jar (about 1 tsp per cup of sugar) and let it sit for at least a day and up to six months. Shake it up every now and then so the lavender oils distribute evenly. You can use granulated or powdered sugar, but the recipe above calls for confectionery.
You’ll notice a recurring theme in these recipes: culinary lavender! Lavender is a versatile herb and if you haven’t ever cooked with it much you should definitely give it a try. It brings a fresh flavor to your dish with floral notes that are hard to come by in traditional winter recipes.
You may not think of it but lavender goes great with roasted meats, baked veggies, and is delectable in sweet and creamy desserts like ice cream.
If you’ve never tried it before, check out our Culinary Lavender Sampler Pack to try three different varieties from sweet to spicier.