Rosemary and Lavender Infused Oil

Hey there, I was researching ways to make infused oils. There are a few different ways, all of which involve heat. One is in the crockpot which looks pretty cool. Another is stovetop, seems the most convenient. The third is the most time consuming, so naturally that's the route I took. One caution you should read is if you're using garlic there's this bacteria, well, you can just read all about it here

So, the method I used involves sunshine and a little bit of vinegar which is easy to strain out later to help infuse the herbs into the oil. The vinegar is easy to separate out later, because it sinks to the bottom. To infuse the oil I used this homegrown rosemary and some lavender I picked from a neighbor. This jar is from some vanilla beans I used up. It's the perfect size (1 cup) to infuse some oil when you don't need a whole bunch. 

Here's what you'll need:

Directions: 

  • Make sure your herbs are washed, cleaned, and completely dry. Any moisture will contribute to bacterial growth.
  • Put the herbs you chose into the jar and cover with oil.
  • Add in 2 teaspoons of oil.
  • Place in a sunny window to infuse for 2 weeks. 
  • Shake the jar daily. 
  • You can strain the herbs out with a tea strainer. The vinegar settles at the bottom of the jar, so just leave the bit of vinegar in and discard. 
  • Store in the fridge for up to 3 months

Roasted Carrot Hummus

Roasted Carrot Hummus sweetdisasters.com

Hey there, it's super rainy here in Los Angeles. When you live someplace sunny, rain, is just one of the best things. It's the closest thing we get to winter weather. I'll take it, listening to Wilco with my old fashioned gas furnace ablaze (another one of my favorite things). I also got a bunch of pre-spring cleaning done, which always makes me feel extra peaceful. I hope you're enjoying the weather where ever you're at too. :)

Roasted Carrot Hummus sweetdisasters.com

Roasted carrot hummus, huh? Not only is the color awesome, but the carrots add a bit of unexpected hummus sweetness. Plus the fact that they're roasted adds kind of a hearty flavor. Hearty, sweet, wintery hummus. 

Here's what you'll need:

  • 1 can of chickpeas
  • 7-8 roasted carrots - I made mine with thyme, butter, and garlic, here's the recipe, or just keep scrolling down. :)
  • Half a lemon
  • 3 tablespoons of grape seed or olive oil - Plus more for topping
  • Salt and pepper to taste - I'm still using up my Aussie Flake. It's amazing but I'm excited to try other kinds. :)
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • For garnish (optional): Roasted garlic, raw pumpkin seeds, grape seed oil, and parsley
Roasted Carrot Hummus sweetdisasters.com

Directions:

  • In a food processor add in chickpeas, carrots, oil, garlic, and the juice from half a lemon.
  • Mix on low, until all ingredients blend together perfectly.
  • If you're garnishing, take the back of a spoon a make a little dent in the center of the hummus and add in your roasted garlic. I used mine from the oven roasted carrots. Pretty convenient, it's already pre-chopped and roasted. Then sprinkle with pumpkin seed and add a 2 springs of parsley. Finally drizzle with oil, especially in the center. 

Cinnamon Vanilla Almond Butter (no sugar added)

Cinnamon Vanilla Almond Butter (no sugar added) sweetdisasters.com

Who doesn't love almond butter? It's pretty simple to make at home. I'm a fan of simplicity and this is pretty simple. There are a few factors that if I'd know ahead of time would've have helped me. So, I'm going to tell you, beeecause I can. 

Cinnamon Vanilla Almond Butter (no sugar added) sweetdisasters.com

Here's what you should know:

  1. Slow It Down - Your food processor, that is. While the almonds can take the high sleep at first when you're mixing them, they quickly start to separate and get oily. Oily, means stuck to the walls of your food processor and the blade is spinning too quickly to actually be effective. I've read many a' tales about smoking food processors and the like. I can definitely see how this could happen, with that blade whipping around never catching anything. Lower speeds are better. Not patient? Light some candles or something. You'll be fine. 
  2. Stop It - Seriously, stop it. Do I sound like your kid sister? I'm the youngest, so it's kinda my wheelhouse. I'm still talking about food processors though. We'll talk about my sister some other time. You're going to want to stop your food processor as often as needed to scrape down the almond meal, that will soon be butter. This means every 2-3 minutes. I messed up my very first batch of almond butter ever, by thinking I could add just the tiniest bit of water. Wrong, no water, just patience, and lots of scrapping. 
  3. No Soaking Unless You Have Time To Dehydrate - This one is pretty straight forward. Your almonds have to be completely dry before they become butter. So don't do one unless you can do the other. Here's this amazing soaking tutorial
Cinnamon Vanilla Almond Butter (no sugar added) sweetdisasters.com

Here's the almond meal starting to break apart. 

nut butter 8.jpg

You can see how the almond meal is climbing the walls of the food processor, but it's starting to get smooth at the bottom under the blade. Just keep scraping it down. 

Cinnamon Vanilla Almond Butter (no sugar added) sweetdisasters.com

Add your Aussie Flake salt, because everybody's got some of that lying around. I actually got this salt at the farmer's market, that little packet cost me $5. I love fancy salt, so sue me. If you happen to come across any of this, it is really delicious, otherwise normal salt will do. I guess. 

Cinnamon Vanilla Almond Butter (no sugar added) sweetdisasters.com

Here's what you'll need:

  • 2 cups of dry roasted almonds - unsalted
  • 2 tablespoons of coconut oil
  • 2 teaspoons of cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla
  • a pinch of salt
Cinnamon Vanilla Almond Butter (no sugar added) sweetdisasters.com

Directions:

  • Place only your almonds in the food processor. Begin to blend on a low speed. If the almond butter is getting stuck to the walls of your food processor. Stop the machine and clean the walls with a spatula. 
  • Repeat this process until it begins to become buttery. Once it's mostly churned, add in your coconut oil, vanilla, salt, and cinnamon. 
  • Continue blending until the mixture is completely smooth, like the picture above. You'll know when it's done because it will be a lighter shade and the mass in your food processor will suddenly be moving much more slowly. As it gets closer to being done don't be surprised if you have to stop it to scrape the walls more often.