“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, …→
Our family loves Mexican hot chocolate. That creamy hot chocolate with cinnamon and a hint of cayenne pepper – yummy 😋! So when I came upon a hot chocolate recipe in the May issue of Martha Stewart Living Magazine that took the flavors of Mexican hot chocolate and transformed it into a cookie, I had to try it. An added bonus is that the ingredients for these cookies are ingredients I usually have in my pantry.
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.
I’m a huge fan of edible leaves and flowers from the garden, and when I see edible flowers incorporated into a food recipe I have to give it a try. The inspiration for this recipe came from Sunset Magazine’s Western Edition March issue. I looked through the entire magazine but what caught my eye is guess what? Flowers and herbs! Lovely flowers and herbs so beautifully shown off to perfection, in butter of all things.
This got me thinking, I mean if I am going to all this trouble to make this gorgeous tapestry of edible flowers and herbs, I want to share it with lots of people like at a party, and serving bread and butter even if it is this pretty didn’t sound so appealing. On the other hand, serving herbed cream cheese beautifully decorated with herbs and edible flowers? Now, that I can see serving with crackers for any occasion. That’s how I came up with this Cream Cheese Edible Art – Cream Cheese with Herbs & Edible Flowers. Continue reading Cream Cheese Edible Art with Herbs & Edible Flowers→
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.