Marinated Tomatoes

Welcome back to “For The Herb Of It” series.  This is a healthy dish, perfect for spring and summer dinning.

Part III: Marinated Tomatoes, featuring fresh Italian flat leaf parsley and sweet basil.


Occasionally stir the marinated tomatoes


Marinated Tomatoes                                                                           Southern Living June, 2016

Makes about 4 cups

Gently stir together 2 lbs. assorted tomatoes, roughly chopped; 1 small minced shallot, 3 crushed garlic cloves; ½ cup red wine vinegar; 1 ½ tsp. kosher salt; and ½ tsp. freshly ground black pepper and set aside for 1 hour and 45 minutes tossing occasionally. Stir in 1 cup loosely packed fresh basil leaves and ¼ cup loosely packed Italian parsley leaves. Serve immediately.

Perfect as a vinaigrette over salad, all by itself or even better served with spaghetti and mozzarella. If serving with spaghetti, wait until the pasta is ready before adding the herbs to the marinated tomatoes..


Marinated Tomatoes with Spaghetti and Mozzarella


Spaghetti with Marinated Tomatoes and Mozzarella                     Southern Living June, 2016

Serves 4-6

Cook 8 ounces thin spaghetti according to package directions; drain and return to pot. (I used a serving bowl instead.) Spoon in Marinated Tomatoes and desired amount of vinaigrette; add ½ cup mozzarella balls. Serve immediately.


Add a little more fresh cracked pepper on top to complete the presentation.

Combine tomatoes, herbs and spaghetti in a large serving bowl


This is a wonderful and easy recipe with the fresh basil and flat leaf parsley. I used red grape tomatoes and yellow cherry tomatoes. The colors create a beautiful and appetizing presentation.


Spaghetti With Marinated Tomatoes And Mozzarella


Fresh Basil and Flat Leaf Parsley


Fresh and yummy spaghetti with marinated tomatoes and mozzarella


Add some crusty bread and a glass of wine. Enjoy and dig in!


Digging into the spaghetti with marinated tomatoes and mozzarella




©2016 Marinated Tomatoes was first published on Thistle Key Lane



Lemon Thyme Cookies

Welcome back to the, “For The Herb Of It” series.

Lemon Thyme Cookies


Lemon Thyme Cookies


My daughter and I are constantly swapping ideas on baking. Knowing that I wanted to create a series on herbs,  she shared the recipe below, insisting I had to try it. Lemon thyme is one of my favorite herbs. I was up at first light this morning anxious to get started.


Sweet and Delicate Lemon Thyme Cookies


Lemon Thyme Cookies


  • 2/3 cup olive oil
  • 1 cup granulated sugar (additional sugar for rolling)
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 ½ tsp vanilla
  • 2 tbsp fresh lemon zest
  • 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 2 tsp slightly minced lemon thyme
  • Powdered sugar for dusting
  1. Preheat  375º F.
  2. Cover baking sheet with parchment paper.
  3. Using an electric mixer with the paddle attachment, combine olive oil, sugar, egg, vanilla and lemon zest in the mixing bowl and beat on low-speed until smooth. Add the flour, baking powder , baking soda and salt. Mix on medium speed.
  4. Add lemon thyme and mix on low-speed just enough to incorporate.
  5. Place the mixing bowl in the fridge for a few minutes to chill the wet dough for easier handling.
  6. Using about a teaspoon amount, roll dough into balls, then roll the balls in a bowl of granulated sugar.
  7. Place balls on the cookie sheet and flatten slightly with the bottom of a glass.
  8. Bake about 8 to 10 minutes.
  9. Cool to room temperature before dusting with powdered sugar. Makes about 4 dozen.


Lemon Thyme Cookies on old cutting board


Lemon Thyme


Lemon Thyme Cookie


I was leery about using olive oil, now I can’t imagine making the recipe any other way. Brilliant daughter! The bright flavors of the lemon thyme and lemon zest with just enough sweetness, creates a very satisfying cookie.


Lemon Thyme Cookies and Coffee


Coffee anyone?


Coffee Break and Lemon Thyme Cookies




© 2016 Lemon Thyme Cookies was first published on Thistle Key Lane

Lavender Shortbread Cookies

Welcome to, “For The Herb Of It” series.

Lavender Shortbread Cookies

For the past few years, I’ve been growing my own herbs. As I watch them thrive and flourish, I feel a real sense of triumph with my gardening talents. Never mind, that they’re probably the easiest plants to grow. To celebrate my imaginary success in herb gardening, I decided some creative baking was in order.


Lavender Shortbread Cookies


Remember the Honey Lavender Cupcakes I mentioned in my Perfect Weekend? I can still taste the delicate lavender flavor of each bite. Ever since then, I’ve been dying to incorporate the taste into a recipe. Earlier this spring I cut lavender from the garden, hung it to dry and now it’s ready to be enjoyed. Perfect timing!


Lavender Shortbread



Lavender Shortbread Cookies


  • ¾ lbs unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 3 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • ¼ tsp lavender salt
  • 2 tsp dried lavender
  • decorating sugar (optional)
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 °F.
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, mix together the butter and 1 cup of sugar until they are just combined. Add the vanilla. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, dried lavender and salt, then add them to the butter-and-sugar mixture. Mix on low-speed until the dough starts to come together.
  3. Remove the dough from the mixing bowl and form into two logs. Roll logs in plastic wrap and refrigerate for about an hour. (I actually refrigerated the dough over night and baked the cookies the next day.)
  4. Slice dough in ¼ inch pieces and place on a parchment lined cookie sheet. Sprinkle with sugar.
  5. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the edges begin to brown. Allow to cool to room temperature.

Makes about 4 dozen

Adapted from Ina Garten’s Shortbread Cookie recipe. I made a few modifications with the addition of dried lavender, substituted lavender salt for regular salt and omitted the dipping chocolate section. (I’m sure Ina wouldn’t mind.)


Decorating Sugar on Lavender Shortbread


Pretty Lavender


I baked one batch with lavender colored sugar. The pop of color is fun but I prefer the elegant look of white decorating sugar.


Lavender Sugar


Delicious Lavender Shortbread Cookies


Dried Lavender Stems


A parting suggestion if you have access to fresh lavender:  Cut a few short lavender stems with leaves and placed them in a bowl of sugar to be used for the recipe. While you are organizing the ingredients, the lavender will infuse the sugar and your kitchen will smell divine.

I hope you will try the Lavender Shortbread recipe, the cookies are fragrant, rich and delicious.



© Lavender Shortbread Cookies was first published on Thistle Key Lane