Popular Posts

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Flowers in Stanford

I visited the Cantor Center for Visual Arts Museum and got some beautiful shot of some flowers while there.  The day was lovely and sunny!  I enjoyed looking at all the art exhibits and spending a relaxing time with a friend.  Now to figure out and identify the flower types.  Does anyone know what they are off hand?

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Dreaming about: "Italian Gardens"

A new idea for a post each week is called Dreaming about: which will feature a flower garden idea, arrangement, food idea, baking idea, or a great idea!  These posts will be inspiring and inspire you to dream about try new things or remember a trip or time you enjoyed making or doing something relating to food, flowers, gardening and more!

For this post I was thinking back to my time I spent in Italy for a month in June for a summer a few years ago.  Italy has some of the most beautiful gardens and flowers you can think of.  The flowers pop up in unexpected places, and add so much color and warmth to the city. 

One of my favorite placement of flowers and flora was in the window boxes and small streets.  Italy is truly a magical city, so come along and dream with me you are there through these pictures.

Photography: Alexis
{A look up at the beautiful rows of flower and plant boxes}
{The entrance to a restaurant with a out door patio area for serving lunch and dinner}
{The beauty of an older building and greenery growing over it}

{More balcony gardens}

{One of the first tree lined streets I saw when I arrived to my small place to stay for the night in Malpensa, Italy}

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Chocolate dipped sugar cookies

The pictures do not do justice to how delicious these little cookies tasted!  I made these cookie for friends to share.  They were easy to make, and fun to do with someone because you can dip the cookies in together.  I decided not make these cookies from scratch because I wanted them to be fun!  

I trying out the mini fondue maker for the first time, since a friend let me borrow it.  Overall, the chocolate dipped sugar cookies were soft, sweet, and had a surprise of chocolate on one side that complimented the sugar cookie dough side.

-1 rolled package of refrigerated sugar cookie dough (found at the grocery store)
-1 bag of semi sweet chocolate chips

1.  Preheat the oven for 375 degrees C. 

2.  Heat the fondue maker up, or you can also use a pot over the stove and add a few cups of chocolate chips and 1/4 cup of milk (I kinda winged it and add more of one thing or another).  The key to making the chocolate work and become liquid is to constantly stir and keep the heat to low.  This way the chocolate will not burn, and have a smooth consistency to it.  

3.  While the chocolate is melting (possibly another person is checking on it and stirring, or you're multitasking).
Put the cookies on a tray to cook at 375 degrees C for 12-14 minutes.  Make sure to read the instructions for the particular dough you got or if you had made your dough that is great too.  

4.  Take the cookies out of the oven and allow them to cool for 8-10 minutes.

5.  Dip half of a sugar cookie into the chocolate in the fondue pot/ or stove pot full of melted chocolate.  Then place the cookie on a parchment paper or aluminum foil to cool. 

6.  Once the chocolate has cooled for 10 minutes on the sugar cookie, enjoy!
{Sugar cookie dough ready to be baked}

{Mini fondue maker with melting chocolate chips and milk}

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Pink Miniature Roses

Pink Miniature Roses are a great addition to any home.  They are beautiful, simple, and add a country elegance to any home.  This past week I purchased a small plant from Safeway to place on my kitchen window ledge and bring some cheer to the room.  

Here are some photographs of the flowers aging because the edges of the bloom are turning brown.  From what I have been reading (I'll share this soon) it is a good idea for house and patio plants to have the dying buds trimmed off and removed to create room for new growth, and keep the plant healthy.  

I have been trying to keep up on this and the blooms are looking great, which can be seen in the first image.  Have a great week and see you soon!  

Chocolate Chip and Cinnamon Cookies

These cookies are simply delicious! They are warm and soft and have a bit of a crunch once they cool down.  The cinnamon and chocolate chips are the perfect combination together.  I also added a tad bit more of orange extract, which gave the cookies a lovely orange taste, that was not too over powering. 

These cookies would be great with tea, as a gift (which is what I made them for), or to eat yourself with friends (I also did this).  The recipe is found in the book 1 Dough, 100 Cookies by Linda Doeser on pg. 56.

Makes about 30

-1 cup butter, softened
-scant 3/4 cup superfine sugar
-1 egg yolk, lightly beaten
-2 tsp orange extract
-2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
-generous 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
-dash of salt

Cinnamon coating
-1 1/2 tbsp superfine sugar
-1 1/2 tbsp ground cimmamon

1.  Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F/ 190 degrees C.  Line 2 cookie sheets with baking parchment.

2.  Put the butter and sugar into a bowl and mix well with a wooden spoon, then beat in the egg yolk and orange extract.  Sift together the flour and a pinch of salt into the mixture, add the chocolate chips, and stir until thoroughly combined.  

3.  For the coating, mix together the sugar and cinnamon in a shallow dish.  Scoop out the tablespoons of the cookie dough, roll them into balls, then roll them in the cinnamon mixture to coat.  Put them on the prepared cookie sheets spaced well apart.

4.  Bake for 12-15 minutes.  Let cool on the cookie sheets for 5-10 minutes, then using a metal spatula, carefully transfer to wire racks to cool completely (or on the counter). 

{Some of the ingredients}

{Fresh cookie dough and the dough rolled in the cinnamon-sugar mixture in the green bowl}
{Ready to enjoy!}

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Strawberry Spinach Salad

This is one of my favorite salads that is easy to throw together and will be great to make for summer!  I think anyone would be excited to get this brought to a potluck or party.

{Fresh strawberries ready to be chopped into thin slices}

{Completed Strawberry Spinach Salad}

 Items needed:
-medium sized mixing bowl
-plate or lid, for shaking the salad

-spinach leaves
-shredded carrots, or shred your own
-fresh strawberries sliced into small sections
-raspberry balsamic vinaigrette

-Pour a bag of spinach leaves or 3-4 cups of spinach into the large mixing bowl, add the shredded carrots (desired amount), add the sliced strawberries, and then add 3 tbsp of  raspberry balsamic vinaigrette dressing (less or more if preferred).  Put the lid on the mixing bowl or a plate that is large enough to cover the bowl.  Hold both the plate and bowl together, so nothing spills out and shake to mix the ingredients together.  Serves two to four people.  Enjoy! 

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

bright daisies in a tea cup

Welcome to my new blog Food and Floras!  I look forward to sharing some of ideas about various floral arrangements, flowers, and food.

This past week I had some left over daisies from a flower arrangement.  They were so pretty and I could not bare to throw them out with the rest of the arrangement that had started to decay.  An idea pop in my head.  Above, I have combine a over sized bright teal tea cup with the daisies.  The bright teal and soft yellow and purple daisy colors were very eye catching.  This flower arrangement is perfect for a window side display or to give to a friend as a gift. 

To make:
-one tea cup
-8 to 10 daisies

1.) Trim the daisy stems low, and make sure the cut is done with sharp scissors for longevity of the flowers.
2.)  Arrange the daisies in the tea cup, and spread the various colors out to give it a natural garden feeling.
3.)  Add water
4.) Give as a gift or place in a location to bring extra cheer