Orange Peel and Fresh Rosemary Cookies . . . and Birds

This is the time of the year when, gardening-wise, things move fast. Daylilies bloom and fade in a day, clusters of lilies appear, sing their song and fade, and, or course, weeds go gangbusters. A monarch butterfly visited today, perching on a swamp milkweed flower. Swamp milkweed  (Asclepias incarnata) is a close relation to butterfly weed (Asclepias tuberosa), having the same bitter sap. It’s a lovely flower.


Daylilies having a party!
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My herbs, including my rosemary bush, are doing great in this warm weather. Rosemary is so versatile, and is good even in cookies! These Orange Peel and Rosemary Cookies are proof! These buttery, wafer-like cookies contain chopped fresh rosemary and are so good. The recipe came from the now-defunct Kitchen Gardener magazine. I wouldn’t use store-bought, dried rosemary for this, as it’s nothing like the fresh, so I hope this will encourage you to buy a rosemary plant.


Orange Peel and Rosemary Butter Cookies

IMG_04611/2 pound butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2/3 cup sugar
2 eggs, beaten
grated zest of one orange
1 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary
1-3/4 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon salt

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Cream the butter and sugar, and add the vanilla. Then add the beaten eggs, orange zest, and rosemary and blend well. Sift the flour and the salt together and add to the creamed ingredients; combine thoroughly. I put the dough into the fridge to firm up a bit while I cleaned up.

Drop by teaspoonfuls onto the lined baking sheet. Bake for 15 to 18 minutes; the cookies should be brown slightly around the edges.

Baking notes: You could definitely used fresh lemon peel for this, as well. And I placed a single rosemary leaf on each cookie, just for pretty.

Meanwhile, we’ve had a lot of rain and warm weather, and the garden is going wild!


I love the sundial–makes my garden seem like a real country garden.

Can’t stop taking pictures of the orange day lilies and black-eyed Susans!



Somewhat to my shock, the robin nestlings have fledged! This is what they looked like this morning (Sunday).


Their mother found choice tidbits for them, such as this mulberry.

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But shortly after, I noticed there was only one chick. And he was practicing flying!


He made a brief foray out of the nest.


The mother robin seemed to be watching him from afar; she had an insect for him.


Last time being fed.


He seemed to regress to being a nestling–can’t say I blame him!


She flew from the nest again, and began scolding a cat skulking through the garden.


. . . the young robin then began trying out all sorts of pre-flight moves . . .


I felt so sympathetic, not being able to imagine flying for the first time–jumping off into space and trusting that you can fly.



I wished I knew how to tell him to go ahead . . .

When I came back a few minutes later, he was gone. I heard his chirp in a nearby maple tree. I felt relieved, but to be honest, a little sniffly–that now he was on his own. Glad he made it. Namaste. Fran




3 thoughts on “Orange Peel and Fresh Rosemary Cookies . . . and Birds

  1. How wonderful! Too bad those Robins don’t like cookies, or you could reward them for trusting their soaring instincts.

  2. Oh, how beautiful to see a bird’s first flight! (Or, attempt.) Love the flowers, too. Fran, I have those downward facing blue flowers, too. I forget what they’re called, but I think they are a type of coral bell. They’re so pretty with the daylillies!

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