Edible Flower and Herb Embellished Goat Cheese

For her birthday Rani wanted to hang out with her friends in our garden. The timing was perfect, as I had just attended a book-signing event from authors Stefani Bittner & Alethea Harampolis on their new book Harvest.  I was eager to try something from the book and Rani’s birthday picnic became the perfect opportunity to make a goat cheese recipe with edible flowers and herbs for this soiree.

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What I Want For Mother’s Day

Every year my family asks the same question around Mother’s Day. What do I want for Mother’s Day?  What menu would I like? What do I want to do? Where do I want to go? Which restaurant can they make reservations at for dinner? Every year I tell them the same ten things.  This is what I want for Mother’s Day. Continue reading What I Want For Mother’s Day

For the Love of Greeting Cards

With Mother’s Day in a few days I thought I would republish this article I wrote last year around Mother’s Day about the joy that greeting cards bring to not just Moms but to all of us.

Surreyfarms. A serene haven in the foothills of Northern California

I am a big fan of cards.  Not e-cards. I’m talking about greeting cards – you know, the old fashioned kind made of paper, the kind that Hallmark makes, and those cards you find in bookstores and stationary stores.  I love greeting cards. I think they are the best way to let people know how you feel and what you are thinking. Greeting cards are so personal.  You can keep them in your memory box or shoebox for years to come. Can you do that with an e-card? I bet you can’t even find those e-cards from years ago.

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Berries and Cream

Berries and cream is our family’s all time favorite berry dessert. This sweet treat allows one to enjoy the fresh berry fruit flavor while at the same time elevating it into a dessert worthy of a special dinner.  You only need 3 ingredients – berries, honey, and cream – that’s it. From these three pure all-natural ingredients you get a dessert that looks and tastes amazing.

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Spring Herbs & Goat Cheese Fettuccini with Braised Sugar Snap Peas & Leeks

I asked Anjali to pick a bunch of herbs for a vegetable pot pie I was making and this is the basket she proudly presented to me.  These fresh picked herbs and lemons looked so beautiful that in addition to using them in the potpie I wanted to make another dish that would bring out the freshly picked herb flavors.

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The Joy of Herb Gardening

Growing herbs at home is one of the most satisfying gardening tasks there is, and it’s extremely easy too.  As beneficial as herbs are for all of us, what is many times overlooked is the joy that herb gardening brings even before we harvest these herbs for all their healthful uses. Within the large realm of gardening, herb gardening has its own therapeutic effects.

When you are outdoors working in the dirt taking care of herbs, planting, weeding and watching all the bugs, butterflies, and hummingbirds – any stress you have will seep away, even if it’s just for a few minutes you are one with nature.

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Blackberry Port Lemonade

I posted a recipe a while back for lemonade syrup that used over 80 lemons that my friend Elaine gave me.  Well, a few weeks later she dropped off another 100 lemons through our mutual friend Rose.  Here’s the thing, I already made over 10 bottles of lemonade syrup from my previous batch, and a few more bottles from the new batch, but no matter how much we love lemonade, it was time for me to get creative with these lemons. I thought let me experiment with making a couple of flavored lemonade syrups. Continue reading Blackberry Port Lemonade

Succulents

Aaah succulents…  For years I never gave them a second look. I was too spellbound by flowering plants to bother with succulents. They were just green looking plants, what’s so special about these? I thought.

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And then a serious drought hit California a few years ago. Drought resistant plants and all types of low-water requiring plants were available at the nurseries, and guess what?  I kept seeing more and more succulents as an option for drought tolerant plants for our gardens. Gardening magazines were enticing gardeners with succulent gardens.

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I started seeing succulents in beautiful floral arrangements and in gorgeous potted plant ensembles. Succulents were getting their just dues, they were being spotlighted everywhere. I had to pay attention now. They were looking pretty darn good, now that they were being used in lovely creative ways. I got intrigued. I started giving them a second glance. Continue reading Succulents

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