Its May, its Tuesday, lets meet at Whole Foods this afternoon (&/or Saturday)!

Botanical Beauties & Beasties Family Resemblance campaign will go LIVE, IN PERSON, TODAY at Whole Foods Market in Cranston RI (Garden City Store.)  We are excited to see people’s reactions when they understand the connections of the family of flowers to The Botanical Beauties!

We have created some special Mothers Days Cards, for this event. If you are still thinking hmmm … what to do for mom, how about a beautiful Whole Foods plant or arrangement of flowers with a beautiful Botanical Beauties Card to top it off! Smiles all around.

Come on by, say Hi and browse all the beauty with us from 2-6 today (Tuesday May 8th) and or Saturday May 12 10-2.  Hope to see you there! Location: 151 Sockanosset Cross Road Cranston, Rhode Island 02920  Learn about Whole Foods Floral: click here.

PS: We are also bringing out graduation cards for those special folks too!

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Can’t make the event don’t forget about our Online Store. 

 

 

Also, want to remind you will have a piece or two up in Princeton MA next weekend at The Princeton Arts Spring Show.  (see our calendar page for more info)

Hear ye Hear ye…Upcoming Events


Twinkles, Hear Ye Hear Ye

Twinkles is Back in town! Even though it’s not really cold it is, after all, December. Twinkles missed her friends and has come on back for the winter! As you may remember she is a true snow goddess check it out on The Individuals Page/Stories continued page of our site. (Note she is towards the bottom of the page, it is in alphabetical order.)

Today not only is Twinkles  announcing her arrival but also some up and coming events, starting this Friday and Saturday!

Friday Dec 16: We are part of the Whole Foods, Garden City Holiday Cheer: 

“The Sounds of Effie Kalas for Buy Local Night!
Friday, December 16th 4:30-6:30 pm

Join us and enjoy the music of Effie Kalas of the Bootsy Brown Singer Songwriter Tour at Whole Foods Market. Shop local this holiday season!  Visit with many of our favorite local vendors, (That’s where we fit in) grab dinner and then head out for the Garden City Center Holiday Stroll! “ ….The Botanical Beauties will be at Whole Foods with a full line of fun gifts ready for you, your friends or perhaps that “hostess with the mostess” gift! Sounds like a grand time, for fun, families, and everyone. Grab some Holiday Spirit and stroll! (Maybe Rock Roll and Stroll?)

• Saturday Dec 17:  3:30 pm. Don’t live in RI? Not to worry, how about coming to Uxbridge MA. This will be an open house afternoon with the full Botanical Beauties Line out for one and all to see and enjoy. Email us for directions and more information. Email: Botanicalbb3@gmail.com

• Sunday Afternoon Feb 5: We are setting up for a Uxbridge Food Pantry Fund Raiser. The Pampered Chef will be doing a food and product demo, The Botanical Beauties and Beasties will be out and about as well. All in time for an easy Valentines Day gift! Share the Food, Share the love. If you are not the email invitation list, not to worry, just email us for directions and more information. You don’t even have to be there to help out the food pantry. We will take straight out donations for them or The Pampered Chef will be sending them a check based on products sold. Email: Botanicalbb3@gmail.com

Exciting….Meet Gordy! A man of the Fall Season….

Meet Gordy!

Gordy says Hello to each and every one of you. (click for larger image)

Gordy is the newest member of the Botaniumus Community. Since he is an Artist, and an Arts Journalist, he is the one that will be conducting our Artist Series Interviews.  We hope to start this very soon and to continue through the winter and beyond. We are still looking for a clever name!  Email Gordy all your cool ideas at  Gordy@gmail.com.
Gordy enjoys creating all types of art and places no limits on himself. Naturally, his bend is for ECO art, he loves to recreate and make “Objects D’Art” while keeping all his materials as green as possible. To that end, he now only shoots digital when he has a camera in hand, the chemicals of traditional film and processing is not something he wants to contribute to the world. His sculptures tend to be from “found or recycled materials, and he uses recycled paper for all his 2D work. He has been known to dance when the mood strikes, and “create for fun” when inspiration strikes! He also works as the Arts Journalist for the Local Paper of Botaniumus called Twine, Twigs Figura and News, or commonly called TTFN. (It’s ok to smile if you are a Tigger fan!)
Gordy is made from Gourds, Palm Tree Trunk, mixed floral and even a bit of a live Key West Iguana!
Since Gordy’s body and head are made of Gourds he has also become our Thanksgiving Card, he is the 7th in the series of our Eco Holiday Cards. (see below)
Holiday card possibilities

Holiday cards available now! - We are at Whole Foods outside, or in the entrance, for the next 2 weeks. Come on by, say Hi and you can buy Gordy, made from Gourds, just in time for Thanksgiving! All are printed on post consumer recycled paper.

Hope to see you at Garden City Whole Foods tomorrow! 

Fun Food Friday: Local, easy and delicious Corn Salad.

As many of you know, we are not only “frequent flyers” but “Weekly Tuesday Flyers” at the Cranston RI, Whole Foods Summer Farmer Market. Whole Foods generously supports us, enabling us to set out our “wares” (in our case artwork, cards, and a small product line from The Botanical Beauties and Beasties.) Thank you so much Whole Foods for supporting the local community of farmers and craftspeople. You guys ROCK!

O.K., on to last Tuesday which will bring us to todays Fun Food Friday. Each week the talented Holly Dion, from Whole Foods, joins in the fun by creating a delectable food tasting! Last week was a GREAT CORN SALAD. I wanted to share it with all you who did not make it down to Cranston RI that day.  There were only good things about this recipe, but to make it even better, it was FAST, EASY, ALL LOCAL INGREDIENTS, and YUMMY. Add that up and it equals Divine.  I am sure that pretty much wherever you may live/shop, you too can make this with all “local” ingredients.

Whole Foods was again very kind and said I could post this today to share. Many thanks to them … I call this- Divine Corn Salad.

  • 2 cups fresh corn kernels (Boil up the corn then de-cob it (yes, I just made that word up!) for the kernels.
  • 1 large local tomato, cut into pieces or wedges
  • 1/2 cup local red onion, sliced
  • 1/2 cup chopped local green pepper
  • 4-6 large Basil leaves cut into thin strips (perhaps you grew your own?)
  • 2 Tablespoons vinaigrette or Italian dressing (Holly used a great tasting dressing from Cindy’s Kitchen, called  Barcelona Vinaigrette – from Brocton MA.)
  • Handful of local mixed greens – baby greens are especially good.
Toss together corn kernels, tomato, onion, bell pepper, basil, and vinaigrette in a medium bowl. Spoon onto a bed of baby greens for serving.
That’s it! Easy Peasy….. ♥
To find this great recipe, and more, as well as cool local discoveries check out  the local Whole Foods Market – FORAGER.FINDS, Summer issue for Rhode Island and all of New England.

See you all on Monday!

When you were born….

Happy Birthday

Yum brings out a Birthday Cake from Julia’s Bakery (Joyful Sparkles)

I knew I wanted to write about Birthdays today. To wish a few folks near and very dear to me a VERY Happy Birthday!!! If your birthday was Sunday August 7 or today, Monday August 8, and … this is the really important part, IF you are a wonderful person, then this blog post can be for you too.

Wondering what to say – or draw, and I sat down at my desk, and began to read my emails. It became clearer as I read a blog I follow called THE INDIGO BUNTING. (http://theindigobunting.blogspot.com) – her post for Aug 6th was actually about a baby shower. Her sister “created the most special baby shower for me the other week. The inspiration for it came from this beautiful, little-known Portuguese children’s book about a boy’s first experiences discovering the world through the senses — his first time visiting the sea, his first time seeing colors and birds, his first time hearing the wind in the trees, smelling his grandmother, and tasting fruit.”

I would like to think that adults can still hear, taste, enjoy and appreciate these things too.   I was intrigued so I read on…

“But the most meaningful gift of all was this framed art my sister made. The tree and leaves were inspired by the end pages of the book. She asked our friends and family to write one thing they could not wait for our little boy to experience in life — his first ride on the D train, his first Mariners game, his first hiking trip, his first McDonald’s french fry. My husband and I pored over this gift, reading and rereading all the things our friends and family wished for our little boy, realizing how much he is loved already.” ( Erin Jang use to live in Seattle and is now living in NYC.)

I love the idea of the tree and the leaves. How about, as adults, we take the same idea and now those leaves had words about how much the person means to you and shared life experiences.  What would my leaves say to express these feelings? How would I sum up the emotions, experiences, memories, gratitudes, and love? What words would have the gusto I want to express on those tree leaves? One of these birthdays is my Dads, and it is more like paragraphs, not sentences, that come to mind,  In honesty I don’t know the answer, but I think it is a very lovely idea that I just may try to follow-up on! Below are 3 images from The Baby Shower post. One is of the actual end papers of the book, one is of the framed print the lucky mom to be received, and the third is a close up of a few leaves, that The Indigo Bunting shared as well. All 3 images are from her post – which truly touched a chord in me. Thanks to E R I N J A N G  in NYC.  blog http://theindigobunting.blogspot.com/2011/08/baby-shower.html

Naturally, Big Hugs and Birthday Wishes to those special people of Aug 7 and 8! (Especially the 8th!)  Tons of love – wish I could be there and have a birthday coffee, and share a little Birthday sweet with you! ♥♥♥♥♥♥
Happy Birthday Dad!
Happy Birthday Susan!

The endpapers of the book, the inspiration for the framed printThe End Papers of the book.

The framed print from her sister

The framed print from her sister

Close up the words/leaves

Close up the words/leaves.

Minty Monday

It’s August – summertime really does fly by!  The summer is short, and before we turn around up here in New England USA, there will be a nip in the air. Time is of the essence! That means to me GARDENS, and to pay attention NOW to the beautiful flowers, fresh produce, wonderful scents and fresh cooking that is abundant! Therefore, in August, we will go back to our roots (yes the pun is intended!) We will be focusing on flowers, herbs, gardens, art, culture and sustainability in the world. The master plan is words, info and the usual on Mondays,Wednesdays, & Friday. Add an August Bonus of a theme of Beauty, which in this case is going to mean fashion, all done with illustrations on some of the “other days.” Let the fun begin!

Mint and Monday! What? I have a ton of mint growing! More than I can ever use in my tea and I love using fresh herbs in my cooking. Guess what, today is mint and cooking day!  I am growing, peppermint, apple mint, chocolate mint, + orange mint. Orange mint and fish, veggies or chicken always sounds good. However, today is peppermint, and the recipe is  brought to you from wholeliving.com.

The history of mint  http://www.helpwithcooking.com/herb-guide/mint.html.  “Mint is known to have originated in Asia and the Mediterranean region. In many cultures, mint symbolised hospitality and was offered as a sign of welcome and friendship to guests as they arrived. In the Middle East mint tea is still served to guests on their arrival, whilst in ancient Greece, the leaves of mint were rubbed onto the dining table, which was a sign of their warm greeting.  …  Mint was so revered by the ancient Greeks that they named the plant after the mythical character Minthe. According to Greek myth, Minthe or Menthe as she is also known, was a river nymph. Hades, the God of the Underworld, fell in love with Minthe and wanted to make her his lover. However, Persephone, Hades’s wife found out and in a fit of rage turned Minthe into a plant, so that everyone would walk all over her and trample her. Unable to undo the spell, Hades gave Minthe a wonderful aroma so that he could smell her and be near her when people trod on her.”

Mint is good for you as well. It can be used to cure stomach pains, I have read it can stimulate brain activity and alertness, clear nasal passages, relieve congestion, clear out head colds and headaches, it can act as sedative and has calming properties, it can relieve minor aches and pains such as muscle cramps and sprains, and more. Let the cooking with mint begin.

There is no lack of recipes with mint to be found. Since I was thinking about having shrimp and a wonderful summer salad for dinner this evening the recipe I found, and am going to try with some modifications, is Grilled Shrimp, Tofu, and Pineapple Salad. I am going to drop out the tofu, for I don’t think I we need double protein, it seems to be you could also make this with tofu and drop the shrimp.

Martha Stewart Living, June 2008  /  Read more at Wholeliving.com: Grilled Shrimp, Tofu, and Pineapple Salad

Grilled Shrimp, Tofu, and Pineapple Salad   Serves 4.“In this dish, tofu shows its smoky side and grilled shrimp takes on the spicy and sweet flavors of honey, ginger, and chili paste.”

INGREDIENTSFOR THE SALAD
▪ 1 package (14 ounces) firm tofu, quartered lengthwise
▪ 1 pound medium shrimp, shells intact, deveined
▪ 1/4 cup unseasoned rice-wine vinegar
▪ 2 tablespoons honey
▪ 2 tablespoons sambal oelek
(Note: this is a chili sauce- Sambal Oelek is made of chilies with no other additives such as garlic or spices for a more simpler taste.
▪ 2 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
▪ 1 tablespoon coarsely chopped fresh ginger
▪ 1 medium pineapple, peeled
▪ 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
▪ 1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
▪ 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
▪ 3 medium carrots, julienned (3 ounces)
▪ 1/2 English cucumber, quartered lengthwise and sliced 1/4 inch thick crosswise
▪ 1 medium jicama, peeled and julienned
(Note: Find in your produce section big round bul looking item, choose a firm one)
▪ 3 tablespoons sliced fresh mint

FOR THE DRESSING
▪ 1/4 cup unseasoned rice-wine vinegar
▪ 2 tablespoons sugar
▪ 1 teaspoon coarse salt
▪ 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

Directions:  Make the salad: Place tofu slices on a rimmed baking sheet between layers of paper towels. Place a baking sheet weighted with heavy cans on top of the tofu. Let stand for 30 minutes. Pat tofu until completely dry.

Place shrimp in a bowl. Puree vinegar, honey, sambal oelek, garlic, and ginger in a food processor until smooth, and pour over shrimp. Turn shrimp until well coated. Cover and refrigerate, turning once, for 1 hour.

Preheat grill to medium. Cut pineapple lengthwise along sides of core into 2 large pieces, then slice each piece lengthwise into thirds. Reserve remaining center piece for another use. Grill pineapple, turning frequently, until brown, 4 to 5 minutes per side. Brush tofu with oil, sprinkle with the salt and pepper, and grill, turning once, until brown, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Grill shrimp, turning once, until opaque, 2 to 3 minutes per side.

Cut pineapple crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick slices. Cut tofu into 1/2-inch cubes. Peel shrimp, and combine with pineapple, tofu, carrots, cucumber, jicama, and mint in a salad bowl.

Make the dressing: Whisk together ingredients in a small bowl. Pour over salad, and toss until well combined.

Helpful Hint: Grill the pineapple, shrimp, and tofu at the same time, removing pieces as they finish cooking.

From Martha Stewart Living, June 2008     Read more at Wholeliving.com: Grilled Shrimp, Tofu, and Pineapple Salad

FYI - whole living has 67 mint recipes for you! Click here.

See you at the Whole Foods Outdoor Market tomorrow?! Hope so – I will have print outs of this recipe if you would like. Plus a “secret” prize if you mention you read this blog.

Edible Flowers – Eat pretty food!

Bloom salad

A Blooming Salad photo by Leigh Beisch; Food styling by Dan Becker - Sunset website (see below)

It’s Fun Food Friday. Fun can mean many things – today it means food to smile at and enjoy.
Thanks to Kathy from Wedge Wood Flowers for the first 1/2 of this post. She is a wealth of information on flowers, herbs and health! Meet her in person at Whole Foods Market/Cranston on Tuesdays afternoons as well as Pawtucket Village on Sat. 9-12, & Whole Foods/University Circle, Mon 3-6.
“As we enter midsummer we are in the best of both worlds.  We have lots of fresh greens for salads from our gardens, or from farmers markets, and we have a great variety of flowers blooming ready to add to our greens/salads that fills our senses. A fresh salad with a variety of greens and a few nasturtiums tossed on top is a true delight. The mix of greens and buttery taste of the greens is brightened with the spicy flowers and it all just looks so good.
Even though edible flowers is not a new idea, day lilies were used in the Orient for centuries, there are a few guide lines to follow when considering flowers in our menu.
First, do not gather flowers along roadsides where pollution abounds,
Second, know which flowers are edible. Start with the best known flowers such as violas, nasturtiums, and day lilies.
Third, use sparingly. A small sprinkling of flowers is better than too much.
 Last, keep in  mind that herb flowers are spicier that the leaves of the herb
The list of edible flowers is extensive but here are a few that are the best know and easiest to find: calendula. Clover,day lily, chives, borage, chamomile, dill, lavender, viola, nasturtiums, pansy, roses, scented geraniums,

As a guide line, use garden flowers to bring a sweet and tangy taste to salads and desserts such as pansy, roses, and lavender.  Herb flowers are flavorful and fragrant on cooked main meal dishes or vegetables such as baked yellow squash with dill. Use your imagination to create a some fun in your meals this summer.

A favorite summer salad, tear buttercrunch lettuce into bite size piece and arrange on a salad dish. Make a creamy buttermilk dressing with 1 1/2 cup buttermilk, 2/3 cup Mayo, 2T each chopped green onion, chives, dill, and parsley. Drizzle over lettuce and sprinkle just the petals of a marigold flower.” — Thanks Kathy! Wedge Wood Flowers.

Ok- and here are some more ideas! Go out, have fun and eat very pretty food! 
When your garden gives you flowers and vegetables, use them both to make a salad and to make you smile.

From the Sunset website: “Ingredients you can grow in your flower bed:
Pansy petals: The largest of the viola-type flowers, all of which you can eat (the littlest are Johnny-jump-ups). Faint lettucelike taste; velvety texture. Carnation petals: Sweet and spicy. Eat only the petals, and taste each flower before using, as they can sometimes be bitter. Calendula petals: Usually orange or yellow, with a daisylike appearance; mildly tangy. Bachelor’s ButtonsSpiky-looking but soft; can be blue, purple, pink, rose, or white. Cucumberish flavor and a fun, frilly texture. Nasturtium petals: The tastiest flower. Peppery and mustardy, with a touch of honey. Ranges from yellow to reddish orange, with variegations too.

Sunsets favorite salad flowers: 1)  Bachelor’s buttons 2) Borage 3) Calendulas 4) Carnations 5) Herb flowers (basil, chives, rosemary)  6) Nasturtiums 7) Violas, including pansies and Johnny-jump-ups  and 8) Stock.

Nasturtiums and Johnny-jump-ups are often available at upscale grocery stores. The best way to have the others is to grow them. To find out how to grow your own flowers for salads read here.

Recipe (Sunset Magazine/website.)  Eat-Your-Garden Salad
Ingredients:

  • 2 1/2 tablespoons grapeseed, safflower, or canola oil
  • 1 tablespoon unseasoned rice vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon minced tarragon
  • 1 Persian cucumber or 1/3 English cucumber
  • About 50 sugar snap peas
  • 1/4 cup lightly packed chervil sprigs (optional)
  • 3 ounces mâche clusters (about 3 lightly packed cups) (corn salad = mache = lamb’s lettuce = lamb’s tongue = field lettuce = field salad = fetticus Notes: Corn salad has tender leaves and a very mild flavor. Substitutes: butter lettuce OR Bibb lettuce)
  • 4 ounces mesclun (about 6 lightly packed cups)
  • 4 medium radishes, sliced in half lengthwise
  • Your choice of: bachelor’s buttons (whole and petals), calendula and carnation petals, whole Johnny-jump-ups, nasturtium petals, pansy petals, and stock flowerets (15 to 20 whole flowers total)*
  • Preparation
    • 1. In a small bowl, whisk together oil, vinegar, salt, pepper, and tarragon.
    • 2. Thinly slice cucumber. Split 30 of the fatter peapods and remove the peas; set aside. Gently rinse chervil, mâche, and mesclun and gently spin twice in a salad spinner to thoroughly dry the leaves.
    • 3. Put greens in a large bowl and toss gently but thoroughly with 3 tbsp. dressing (leaves should be barely coated), adding more dressing if necessary.
    • 4. Divide greens among plates. To each salad, add a few slices of cucumber, some sugar snap peas (both whole pods and just the peas), and some radishes. Drizzle with any remaining dressing, if you like, and top with whole flowers and flower petals.
    • *Use only unsprayed, organic petals and blooms. If you’re growing your own flowers from seedlings, be sure to buy organic plants—and don’t spray them as they grow. To buy edible flowers, try gourmet grocery stores and farmers’ markets; avoid flowers from florists and nurseries.
    • Note: Nutritional analysis is per serving.
      Nutritional Information

      • Amount per serving
      • Calories: 67
      • Calories from fat: 77%
      • Protein: 1g
      • Fat: 5.7g
      • Saturated fat: 0.5g
      • Carbohydrate: 3.2g
      • Fiber: 0.5g
      • Sodium: 101mg
      • Cholesterol: 0.0mg

    Sunset  http://www.sunset.com/food-wine/healthy/edible-flowers-salad-recipe-00400000041405/    APRIL 2009

    Want more information? Here is very fun list > Edible Petals Glossary. One more fun site.. The cook’s Thesaurus- a list of Edible Flowers, photos, and often what they taste like. Now that qualifies for fun! According to the cooks THESAURUS … To candy flowers, whisk an egg white, then use a brush to paint a fine layer onto clean, dry, pesticide-free flower petals (or whole flowers if they’re very small). Next, gently place the petal into some superfine sugar, and sprinkle some more superfine sugar on top. Shake off the excess and lay it out on waxed paper to dry (this takes as long as eight hours).” Now you can have your cake and eat it too with flowers. 

    So, that’s it for today – see you on Monday! 

     

Behold the beets. A Plate of summer!

BeetsBeets are loaded with nutrients and phytochemicals. Beets are so good for you!  Respect them , enjoy them, eat them!  Beets are a vegetable (same family as spinach.) They were originally a Mediterranean crop that has been used for probably 5 or 6,000 years! Romans used beets as a salad crop. As you move North beets became a root crop.  There are 2 types of beets: Table beets & Sugar beets. Origins of the beet starts with a table beet. In the late 18 Century the Neapolitan Wars cut off parts of Europe from its usual sugar cane sources. A search for an alternative sugar/sweet was begun.
It was discovered that table beets produce sucrose, which is table sugar and is the same as sugar cane.  In the early 19 C. people farmed/grew a large table beet, not to be used as a veggie but grown for sugar! Now that plan, and plant, is grown all over the world. F.Y.I. – Beet leaves are very edible and can use as salad greens! … Table Beet, swiss chard, and sugar beets, are all of the same genius and species but have very different uses! …
Can’t eat a red veggie? Search for Golden Beets! Very similar health benefits to both. Beets are full of vitamins and minerals, especially  Vitamin B/ folic Acid. Beets have very strong anti-oxidants. Lab results are very promising for Beets having some anti-cancer properties. These above facts are from one of the country’s leading experts in beets, Dr. Irwin L. Goldman, professor of horticulture at the University of Wisconsin in Madison and found on the New York Times Well Blog as an audio spot.

More about Beets.

Beet juice is rich in natural sugar, sodium, sulphur, chlorine, iodine, copper and vitamin B1, B2, C and bioflavonoids. Some holistic practitioners believe that beet juice combined with other juices like carrot and cucumber are excellent for cleansing the kidneys and gallbladder and for restoring health to these organs. Additionally, beet, being a fibrous root, is excellent for aiding in and eliminating constipation. The fiber adds bulk to the diet and therefore helps to improve peristalsis activity in the large intestine. So not only is beet nutrition good for you, they are also delicious baked, shredded in salads, or even as their own salad. If we have peaked your interest in beets, give our beet salad recipe a try.

This is a simple, unique and exceptionally nutritious salad. (receipe from ezHealthyDiet.com)

BeetsRecipe for Beet Salad Preparation time: 10 minutesServes 6
3– 4 cups freshly shredded beets  (approximately 2 medium beets)
Vinaigrette Dressing for Beet Salad Recipe
3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
3 tablespoons cold pressed olive oil
1 tablespoon raw honey
Dash herbemare (sea salt and herb concoction found in whole food store)
Dash freshly ground pepper

Peel the fresh beets and cut them into thick slices that will easily fit into the feeding tube of your food processor. After shredding, you should have 3 – 4 cups of shredded beet for your beet salad recipe. Place shredded beets into a large bowl.

Next, whisk the remaining ingredients together in a small bowl. Taste and adjust the flavors to your liking. The beet is quite sweet so keep that in mind when adjusting the flavors of the vinaigrette dressing. Pour the vinaigrette dressing over the beet recipe and toss gently. Put in a covered dish and refrigerate until ready to serve. To your good health!

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FYI  (You will see this message for a days now.) The Botanical Beauties and Beasties recognize a couple of things about human nature. First: In the summer folks like to relax a bit and even go on vacation. The Botanicals thought about it and decided that was a great idea! Second: Womes (that’s us -the Woman and the Men of the human race) seem to get ALOT of electronic information and emails. That is not necessary a bad thing but can get over whelming … Third: The Botanical are special creatures and want to stay that way. SO, after putting 1, 2 and 3 together, they have decided that starting next week they will be blogging on Monday, Wednesday and Fridays, and taking a rest on Tuesdays on Thursdays. Your mailbox’s and minds will therefore get a rest as well! They hope that you will love them even more when you hear from then a little less!!! Happy Summer!


Summertime=Delectable Marinades for Grilled Veggies!

Got your grill on? Grilling in the summer means a less hot kitchen, giving your A.C. a break and therefore lowering your cooling bill. More $$ in for you and less pollutants out for the environment. If you grill with local foods you are supporting your local growers and using less fossil fuel to move the food around. So fire up that grill, get your forks and knifes out and get ready to enjoy summertime marinated vegetables on the grill!

6 (5 +1) Amazing Marinades for Grilled Vegetables

Todays post is taken mostly from  Care2.com (http://www.care2.com/greenliving/5-marinades-for-grilled-vegetables.html ) written and originally posted by Melissa Breyer Jun 20, 2011. Read all the way thru for the last recipe from www.edibleparadise.comis not be missed!  (Lemon Herb Marinade)

Grilled Veggies“5 Marinades for Grilled Vegetables: Who says non-meat eaters can’t have any fun with a grill? The culture of barbecue may be obsessively carne-centric, but I’ve known many a vegetarian who can perform magic with hot coals, some sauce and a squash. I’ve thrown together plenty of vegetable marinades in my day, here are a few of my favorites. The chemistry is simple–mix the marinade up and let your vegetables marinate in a shallow dish from between 30 minutes to an hour before grilling. For larger quantities, double the ingredients.

Spicy Orange & Cilantro
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon orange juice
1 tablespoon orange marmalade
1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
Asian
2 tablespoons light soy sauce
2 tablespoons seasoned rice wine vinegar
2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger
1 teaspoon sesame oil
Brown Sugar & Bourbon
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons bourbon
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Lemon & Garlic
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon lemon zest
1 teaspoon minced garlic
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Maple & Wasabi
2 tablespoons maple syrup
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon wasabi”
 (Thanks to Melissa Breyer who  is senior editor of Healthy and Green Living and writes about food. She creates new recipes that are posted daily to Care2.com, a natural lifestyles social network & website with 10 million members.  If you have not discovered Care2.com now is the time!)

I want to continue our HERB conversation and uses:
so… here is a great HERB Marinade – This seems to be a FAB Find of a Website as well! It is called EDIBLE PARADISE – (Monterey Bay Certified Farmers Markets,
Cooking seasonally from the farmers markets.)  http://www.edibleparadise.com/
The website is FULL of great info. and beautiful images. As they say “Edible Paradise celebrates the year-round abundance of the highest quality, freshest food grown on the Central Coast by our family farmers at the Monterey Bay Certified Farmers Markets. If you enjoy preparing and eating locally grown food, this blog is for you!” (Note: I am on the “other coast” and I still think this blog is for me!) The recipe below is from them.

♦Lemon Herb Marinade: Chef Andrew Cohen

INGREDIENTS:
3 cloves garlic, peeled and de-germed
1 shallot, peeled and diced coarsely
2 lemons, juiced
Pinch of salt ~ 1/8 teaspoon
Fresh ground pepper to taste
1/2 bunch flat leaf parsley, most of the stems discarded
2 tablespoons each fresh oregano, marjoram, mint and/or basil, leaves only
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, leaves only
1/2 tablespoon fresh thyme, leaves only
1/4 cup olive oil

METHOD:
Place the garlic, shallot, salt, pepper, and lemon juice into a blender and puree.
Add the herbs and blend just until chopped. Bits of leaves should still be discernible.

With the motor running, drizzle in the oil to mix well. Do not take too much time doing this or your herbs will cook from the friction and your marinade will be dull and tired tasting.

Immerse item to be cooked in marinade and let soak not more than an hour and a half. Fish not more than an hour. The reason behind this is that the citric acid of the lemon juice will “cook” the food before you get it to the grill.

Use on chicken, fish, and vegetables. You can even use it on beef. The marinade can be used as a sauce also. Before immersing the item to be marinated, remove a little and set aside until you wish to eat. Then, if you wish, you can add a little extra virgin olive oil to the marinade and use it as a sauce or dip for the finished item.

SOURCE: Chef Andrew Cohen

http://www.edibleparadise.com/marinades-sauces-and-condiments/124-marinades-and-bbq-sauces/470-lemon-herb-marinade.html

Summertime, and the living is easy … as well as scrumptious

Continuing on Summertime theme… this week is summertime FOODS, always a fun topic. Summer seems in part to be in about the food, specifically the fresh produce and veggies. Easy to find everywhere, fun to find at your local outdoor markets! Keep it local folks- support your local farmer (especially the organic ones) and your community will be better off for your actions.

Monday, today, we will start the week off with HERBS – hopefully your herb garden is flourishing by now. My mint is taking over already! (see photo!) MintThese wonderful words are from Kathy WeberWedge Wood Flowers: Herbs for culinary, medicinal and ceremonial use: She is one of the fabulous growers at the Whole Foods Farmers Market in Garden City on Tuesdays! There are 2 recipes (bottom of page.) One is from Kathy and the other is from Linda Nunes- the Healthy Eating specialist at Garden City Center Whole Foods. She made us this luscious salad last week as the taste sampler food for the day. Want to know what is being made this Tuesday? Sorry, it’s a secret you will have to come on down to see/taste for yourselves!

“Now that is it summer in our area, the farmers markets are filling up with fresh greens, strawberries, peas and herbs. All of these wonderful offerings from the fields will give us an early summer salad just right for us.
Snipping herbs regularly helps the herb plants grow bushy and full and provides more for us to use. Pinch the tops of the plants to prevent flowering and going to seed. If that happens, the flavor becomes bitter.  That is another reason why snipping herbs daily is a good idea.  If you have more herbs that you can use, dry the sprigs on a paper towel and store for cooking.
Use herbs in the summer to bring out the flavor in meals. Here are some tips where using herbs.  Use dried herbs when cooking sauces and soups. Dried herbs have more intense flavors.  Use fresh herbs in salads, as a garnish in soups or sauces, and add sprigs of parsley or basil in a sandwich. Then taste how good that is! (Note, from Ronfleur and Liz- put a bit of mint on my turkey wrap { turkey, a touch of low-fat feta dressing, lettuce and a sprinkle of mint} and it was WONDERFUL! ) 
Plan to enjoy the early summer time enjoying all the bounty provided to us and know that more is soon to come to us from the fields.”
Kathy learned to love herbs from her parents.  Her father lovingly tended his herb garden and often brought in lettuce, scallions, and parsley for a salad for supper.  Her mother loved to make herb tea from herbs that she dried for the winter and so she grew up understanding how to grow herbs and health benefits they provide. Currently she is studying to become a herbalist with Susan Clements. Learning to make tinctures, salves, and creams.
She has combined all her knowledge of herbs and turned it into a business,
Wedge Wood Flowers: offering a wide variety of herbs for culinary, medicinal and ceremonial use. “I love to help folks, learn to grow and use herbs. Along with my herbs, I make cold pressed soap using essential oils and clays. I often use herbs in making soap.  This year I can be found at farmers markets, Pawtuxet Village, on Sat., Whole Foods University Heights and Cranston on Mon and Tues. I also will be at Washington Co Fail in Aug, Woodstock Fair, and Hebron Fair in Conn. I can also be found at various festivals and harvest fairs. Information on where I will be can be found on my Facebook page, Wedgewood Flowers.”  Kathy’s email is wdgewood89@aol.comif you have questions for her.
Here is a recipe with snap peas from Kathy
Cook in water a handful of snap peas for 1-2 min. Toast 2T sliced almonds. Combine 2T oil, 2 T fruity vinegar salt pepper. Combine romaine or spring greens with 1/4 cup chives, and tarragon, add peas, and almonds
Here is the recipe from Whole Foods Market Healthy Eating Specialist,
Linda Nunes.
Combine fresh greens using red and green lettuce. Add sliced strawberries and chopped basil. Make a simple dressing by blending, 1 cup strawberries, 1T Dijon mustard, 1/2 cup Balsamic vinegar, and 1 shallot.  Pour over the greens and enjoy the flavors.