“Winter is an etching, spring a watercolor, summer an oil painting, and autumn a mosaic of them all.” – by poet Stanley Horowitz.
An art metaphor to describe the seasons, how fitting!! Autumn has finally arrived here in the Bay Area, which means for our gardens it’s time to plant spring-flowering seeds, bulbs, and plants. I’ve written a few articles about the best bulbs and seeds to plant in the fall for amazing out of this world color in the spring. Let me share a few of those along with some photos. Continue reading “Winter is an etching, spring a watercolor, summer an oil painting, …→
Have you ever had marigold petals in foods? The flowers have a spicy almost intoxicating fragrance that reminds me of the temples of India. Their color – wow! Marigolds are such a rich tapestry of warm colors – reminiscent of warm summer days and vibrant evenings sunsets.
The colors of marigolds are positively decadent – they come in glorious shades of golden yellow to vibrant orange, to even dark burnt burgundy.
To show off the beauty of these lush decadent yellow and ochre colored edible marigold petals, I got the idea to make a marigold ice cream with saffron milk and golden honey. Saffron provides a subtle yellow color that is a perfect color companion to these rich gold marigold petals.
There is something about cherries and chocolate that is a marriage made in heaven. Both are deep, dark, beautiful, and delicious, and their flavors blend together perfectly.
I love cherries in their pure cherry form – fresh or dried, with no additives and no enhancements, just pure cherry flavor is what I favor. I’ve tried cherry pies, cherry ice cream, Black Forest Cake with Cherries, cherry flavored drinks, I’ve tried them all – though they all taste wonderful, I always come back to my favored way of eating cherries – pure unadulterated cherries. If I want to eat cherries in some other form than fresh or dried – the only other way is with pure chocolate. Continue reading Sweet and Tart Sun-dried Cherries Dark Chocolate Bites with Fuchsia Blossoms & Rose Petals→
Our friends Veena and Mani have a gorgeous home right here in the South Bay. They moved into their new home a few years ago, and though their home went through a major renovation right before they moved in, the previous owners left the backyard untouched. Their landscape is huge. It has a swimming pool, a tennis court, and a very large circular driveway at the entrance.
However this landscape was lacking in character. It needed a personal touch, a gardener’s personal touch that is. And that is exactly what Veena and Mani did. Give this large expanse of a garden their own unique perspective. This massive re-landscaping of their outdoor space took more than a year to accomplish, and the end result is something spectacular.
I’ve been to Filoli Gardens in Woodside, California so many times that I’ve lost count. But somehow I’ve never visited the gardens in the summer. Hard to believe, even for me. I usually stop by Filoli Gardens in the spring for their Daffodil Daydreams Extravaganza, or in early summer around May for a Mother’s Day girls afternoon out, or to attend one of their classes on watercolor painting.
I’ve never gone to Filoli Gardens in the peek of summer – i.e. July. I’ve assumed all the flowers are frying in the summer-time heat, so why bother going? But this year I had an opportunity to stop by this beautiful garden with my Uncle Chary and his niece Geetha and husband Sampath who were visiting from Mumbai, India.
Harvest. Unexpected Projects Using 47 Extraordinary Garden Plants by Stefani Bittner & Alethea Harampolis is a fun, beautiful, inspiring, and informative gardening cookbook I recently bought.
I pre-ordered this book and I never pre-order a book. I like to read the reviews and have the book be out for a while to see what people think of it before I get it. But the name of this book got me hooked – Harvest! What a lovely name for a gardening book. Harvest speaks volumes just by the meaning of the word – the feel good images it conjures of fields and farms, of flowers and nature.
My sister Banu who lives in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania has a lovely home and a beautiful garden. Banu is an avid gardener just like my Mom and me. But she is crazier than me when it comes to gardening. She enjoys it so much that just like my Mom she will spend hours in her backyard and lose track of time.
I have been wanting to make this cake for a while now as I’ve been thinking lately of a sweet my Mom used to make when I was younger called coconut burfi – which is a cross between a cookie and a brownie like texture – kind of like a blondie bar but without the eggs. I typically make coconut burfi with coconut, ghee, milk, cardamom, and sugar, all condensed down into thick creamy dough. It is poured into a mould and then cut into pieces after it is cooled. It takes a long time to make and is a lot of work. This coconut cardamom cake is my attempt to replicate a coconut burfi flavor but in a cake form.
If you are like me, you may not be familiar with the pineapple guava fruit. To be honest, I only discovered this fruit five years ago after we moved to our new home. In this beautiful landscape we saw these evergreen bushes with the most gorgeous blossoms.
Our friends Swati and Tarak have a beautiful home with an amazing Italian inspired hillside garden right here in the South Bay. This graceful terraced back yard is a wonderful representation of how you can transform a steep hill into a lovely lush green landscape filled with flowers, greenery, trees, and a fruit orchard.
When was the last time you stopped by a plant nursery with soft classical music playing in the background? A nursery where during the holidays there is hot apple cider waiting to be sipped by their customers. A nursery that is more of an experience than a functional errand to purchase some plants. Half Moon Bay Nursery in Half Moon Bay, California is one of those places which is a destination rather than just a plant nursery where one goes to, to just buy a few garden plants.