The Life of Flowers

http://player.vimeo.com/video/27920977?title=0&%3bbyline=0&%3bportrait=0href=

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Alternative Edibles

I just want to make clear, that I, in no way, am taking credit for this post. I borrowed this post from ApartmentTherapy.com I hope that you, my readers, enjoy this post. -Ami

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I’m a little late to the game of getting my spring seed orders in (if you hurry there is still time) and as usual I am trying to grow things that I either can’t find in the grocery store or that I think will surprise and excite visitors to my kids’ farmers market stand. James Wong is providing excellent inspiration in my hunt.

James’ first book was provocatively called ‘Grow Your Own Drugs,’ and in it he provides lots of recipes to use plants (that you can grow yourself) to relieve common ailments. His new book, called Homegrown Revolution, isn’t out yet (it it will be out later this fall), but I noticed that his website has been recently updated with all sorts of new treasures —just in time for spring planting. James is a Brit, so there is a little translation that needs to go on, but it is worth the effort to hunt down the plants he suggests. All of his suggestions are lesser known and generally not available in the grocery store, but just as fun and nutritious to grow in our own gardens.

My favorites are the cucamelons or Mexican Sour Gherkins (Melothria scabra). After much searching, I discovered that here in the USA they go by ‘mouse melons’. I ordered seed from Terroir Seeds in the USA. James suggests these cherry tomato sized cucumbers in salads and also pickled, but I am thinking that they will be wonderful as a cocktail garnish too.

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I’m also quite excited about discovering what James calls Inca Berries (Physalis peruviana) — and what are often called ground cherries in the US. I had some of these in Italy a couple of years ago, where they were not only a beautiful garnish but a tasty treat as well. James has a recipe for Buttered Inca Berry and Pineapple Jam on his site that looks extraordinary (if only I could grow pineapple in Massachusetts!). I bought a similar variety (Physalis pruinosa) from Terroir as well (they call them Aunt Molly’s Ground Cherry).

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I am still on the hunt for Chilean Guava berries (known in New Zealand and Australia as ‘Tazziberries’), but near as I can tell these would have to be a greenhouse plant for me (and not having a greenhouse….I have a little problem). But if you are in zone 9 or above you might see if you can find these. They were a favorite of Queen Victoria and are said to taste like a cross between “wild strawberries and pink guavas, with a hint of candy floss” (that’s cotton candy to us Americans).

Easy Steak Dinner {With Mustard-Shallot Sauce}

Serves 4
Hands-On Time: 15m
Total Time: 25m
Ingredients:
1 1/2 pound sirloin steak (1 inch thick)
kosher salt and black pepper 2 teaspoons
olive oil
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 shallot, chopped
1 pound green beans

Directions:
1.  Season the steak with ¾ teaspoon kosher salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Cook in the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat, 3 to 5 minutes per side for medium-rare. Let rest 5 minutes, then slice against the grain.
2. In a small bowl, whisk together the mustard, vinegar, and shallot.
3. Meanwhile, steam the green beans until tender, 4 to 6 minutes.
4. Top the steak with the mustard sauce and serve with the green beans. {GENTLY BORROWED  FROM REALSIMPLE.COM; REPOSTED WITH LOVE}

Coconut Macaroons

Makes 16 cookies
Hands-On Time:10m
Total Time: 35m
Ingredients
3 large egg whites
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 14-ounce package sweetened shredded coconut (about 5 cups)

Directions
1. Heat oven to 325° F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment.
2. Vigorously whisk together the egg whites, sugar, vanilla, and salt in a medium bowl until glossy, foamy, and the sugar is mostly almost dissolved. Fold in the coconut, stirring until evenly combined.
3. Using a small ice cream scoop, drop the batter in mounds (about 2 tablespoons each) 1 inch apart on the prepared baking sheets. Bake, rotating the sheets halfway through, until golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes; let cool completely. The macaroons will keep for up to 5 days at room temperature in an airtight container.  {GENTLY BORROWED  FROM REALSIMPLE.COM; REPOSTED WITH LOVE}

8 Sophisticated Italian Pasta Recipes | RealSimple.com

http://www.realsimple.com/m/food-recipes/recipe-collections-favorites/popular-ingredients/italian-pasta-recipes-00100000097167/index.html?xid=dailyrecnews-03-22-2013

Check out this app – Protein Tracker

I just found a killer app on my Android from Google Play, its called: Protein Tracker. It’s a great app that calculates and counts your protein consumption every day. I just found it this am, and I’m LOVING IT!! I was a bit baffled, at first, because I am horrible with the whole “# of gems in each, fruit, veggie, other type of food” but I searched Ask.com for the conversion, and found another awesome conversion/counter, { http://www.calorieking.com/ } that really helps save my tooshie, in the # of grams of protein per item. I want to her back from my readers on this!! What do you think???  – Ami

This is the link to download the app from Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.proteintracker.two&feature=search_result#?t=W251bGwsMSwyLDEsImNvbS5wcm90ZWludHJhY2tlci50d28iXQ