Tagged: In the Kitchen

Lavender Shortbread Wreath Cookies

With a long weekend on the horizon, we're planning to head into the kitchen and bake these gorgeous shortbread cookies, courtesy of a recipe from our Styer's Pastry Chef, Kara W. Starting with a lavender-flavored shortbread base, these lovely sweets are topped with a simple glaze and your choice of jewel-toned dried fruits or bright, edible blooms. Kara says, "When making these cookies, I'm inspired by the natural color schemes I see around me. Not every cookie is perfect, which is a reflection of my urban baking style. I love to just go with the flow, do a little here and there, and figure out what works." She adds, "Before you make the icing, dice all your toppings. Once it's ready, dip the cookies and decorate them right away so the icing won't dry out and the toppings will stay in place." Read on for her recipe to bake your own batch!

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Fresh Fruit Ice Cubes

With Memorial Day picnics just around the corner, we're dressing up our favorite warm-weather drinks with fresh fruit ice cubes. Adding a pop of color and a hint of sweetness, these effortless garnishes make cocktails and spritzers especially festive for summer parties and evenings on the patio. Simply fill an ice cube tray as usual, then drop in a few berries or slices of fruit-- we picked kiwi, strawberries, and blueberries-- before freezing. We're also keeping a tray of these jewel-like cubes on hand to brighten up a glass of water, lemonade, or sun tea after working in the garden. 

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A weekend dining tradition that dates back to 19th-century England, brunch might just be our favorite meal at the Garden Café. In fact, we love brunch so much that our cafés will now be serving it every day from 10A-3P. This week, we stopped by Styer's to see what's on the menu for daily brunch this spring, and to celebrate a recent accolade--  our cafés were awarded the distinction of being among OpenTable’s Top 100 Best Brunch Restaurants in America!

What makes brunch at terrain so special? Many diners love our airy and buttery French toast, especially when accompanied by a refreshing blackberry spritzer like the one above. Succulent farm-to-table dishes pair up with the historic atmosphere of our greenhouse dining room for a relaxing meal that's rooted in garden tradition. As one café regular put it, “Dining at the Garden Café is like a watching a symphony of charming details. It’s lush, romantic, comfortable, and consistently innovative.”

Join us for brunch 7 days a week in the Garden Café from 10A-3P. Visit OpenTable to make a reservation in Westport or Glen Mills.

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Images courtesy of Michael Spain-Smith (1, 2L, 3) & Chloe Burke (2R). 

Our Dig into Spring festival is just two weeks away, and we can't wait to celebrate the arrival of garden season. To close the day's festivities in Glen Mills, we'll be hosting a dinner with Richard Landau and Kate Jacoby, the talented duo behind Vedge and V Street. Since opening in 2011, Vedge has become one of Philadelphia's most acclaimed restaurants, serving up an all-vegetable menu that also inspired an epnoymous cookbook. Recently, we chatted with the veggie experts about spring in their kitchen and got the recipe for one of the dinner's featured dishes-- Roasted Asparagus with Hazelnut Picada.

terrain: What are you most excited about cooking right now?  

Richard: Spring vegetables, of course! This is the most electric time of year for a vegetable restaurant. No more squash, potatoes and onions. Green things are arriving everyday now-- ramps, spring onions, peas, arugula, fennel, leeks, Swiss chard.  It's vegetable spring fever! Flavor-wise, we just returned from a mind blowing food trip to Morocco. It was eye-opening to experience the truly great cuisine and how they use their spices. 

terrain: What do you enjoy most about cooking with vegetables?  

Richard: Well, you don't squirm when you think about "where vegetables come from..."  But from a culinary standpoint, there are limitless flavors, textures, colors, etc. You never get bored. I also really enjoy the challenge of changing peoples' minds about vegetables. Some people think they hate a certain vegetable, but the truth is, they just hate the way that vegetable was prepared for them once (usually when they were 9!).

terrain: What tips do you have for cooks who want to create a veg-centered, meal but are used to meat-centric meals?  

Richard: Don't feel like you have to create a whole new cuisine. Sometimes, you just need to substitute meat with a vegetable or plant-based protein. You also have to want to change your diet and embrace the fact that your meals should be heavy on vegetables. If you set yourself up to miss meat, then it's too much of a fight. There a million cooking tips for vegetables, but the mentality must come first.  

terrain: Kate, what are some of your favorite drink pairings for the spring dishes you all are serving right now?  

Kate: This time of year, the beers go lighter, the wine goes greener, and the cocktails are super crisp. I'm really excited about a riff on a classic martini we're serving at Vedge (with a touch of white port - it's a perfect aperitif) and a Middle Eastern-inspired drink we're running at V Street which pairs Lebanese spirits with green herbs and "Greek yogurt."

terrain: What was your inspiration when creating the dinner menu for Dig into Spring?  

Richard: When we're guest chefs, we like to let the host kitchen plan the base of the menu. So we asked terrain chef Jared Frazer to pick out what he'd like to make from the cookbook. From there, we'll collaborate and add all sorts of special touches to make the meal unique.

Ready to Dig into Spring? See a complete list of the day's festivities, or RSVP for dinner with Vedge. Read on for the recipe for Roasted Asparagus with Hazelnut Picada. 

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Always the star of the table at our Garden Cafe, fresh-baked bread pots make a big impression at the beginning of any meal. To celebrate St. Patrick's Day, we're filling classic, terracotta flower pots with traditional soda bread courtesy of Styer's Pastry Chef Kara Wisely. Kara shared her family recipe for a delicious bread dotted with currants that we're feeling lucky to enjoy from breakfast to dinner. 

Irish Soda Bread
(makes 1 bread pot)

7 oz. all-purpose flour
2.5 oz. oats
1 oz. whole wheat flour
1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon milk powder
1/2 teaspoon sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup currrants
9.25 oz. buttermilk 
Food safe terracotta pot (approx. 4"H, 4" diameter)

Heat the oven to 475°F. Throughout preparation, mix by hand for best results. Place all the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl and whisk until combined. Add currants and mix until combined. Slowly add buttermilk and stir until incorporated; dough will be moist. Sprinkle some flour onto the dough, then turn onto a floured surface and work with hands until the dough is no longer sticky. Spray a food safe terracotta pot heavily with baking spray. Roll the dough into a circle, then fit gently into the pot. Place the pot on a baking tray and bake at 475°F for 15 minutes. Lower the oven temperature to 450°F, then bake for an additional 15 minutes. Enjoy with fresh butter!

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While we love bunnies and blooms, undoubtedly the best part of Easter is a basket overflowing with candy. This year, we're welcoming a bigger confection collection than ever, filled with elegant eggs, playful critters, and delicate spring pastels. Some of our most exciting arrivals are from a local maker-- Delaware's Lock and Key Confectionery; we're beautifying our baskets with their indulgent, gold-topped chocolates and a cheerful crop of veggies. Recently, Lock and Key's Samantha Betley stopped by our office to make a batch of her spectacular sweets and chat about all things candy. 

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Bringing a hint of spring to the table as we await its arrival outdoors, our botanical napkin rings are a simple and impactful accent for seasonal gatherings. We started with linens in pale pastels and crisp neutrals, then plucked a few of our favorite sprigs-- dried cotton, roses, eucalyptus, and margarita flowers are pictured above. If it's warm where you are, garden fresh cuts would also make for lovely toppers. Simply tie your specimen atop the napkin with a length of delicate ribbon, then finish the look with a sweet Easter embellishment like a tiny, speckled egg.

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