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Exotic Flowers in Boston

Fast Food Flowers for Cinco de Mayo

Posted by Suzie Canale on Fri, May 04, 2018


Out of three Bostonians enjoys a takeout meal at an average of two to three times a week.  Did you know that? With delicious options ranging from Farm to Table cuisine to scrumptiously fried fragments of French fries, it’s no wonder why we’ve included fast food into our typical weekly diets.  After all, there’s no harm in occasionally succumbing to the enticement of easy ready-to-go pick up especially when life gets crazy busy. If you’re a person who hangs up their apron once Friday night rolls around and prefers to be pampered by someone else’s kitchen efforts, then you’re another demographic who understands that one of the best parts of city living is to sample nearby restaurant food.  


Along with fabulous food, another perk of being situated within Boston is the vast assortment of local flower shops who provide customers with a stunning selection of bountiful blooms.  Similar to take out statistics, city dwellers are also likely to pick up a fresh bouquet of blossoms at least once a week, especially when the weather begins to warm up a bit. This means that on average, people who choose to buy a fast food meal are more than likely to also purchase a bundle of flowers.  For florists-that’s good news! What if designers could actually pre-arrange seasonal flowers to accompany top selling food brands in the area which would be thematic of the tasteful experience? Matching color, texture and smell to a particular recipe can be an overwhelmingly exciting experience for diners as well as a lovely added décor to your home.  If you’re curious about species that might match your favorite fast food menus the best, take a look at this list that tells you how to mix and match!


BURGERS

A meaty patty between a bun can get your mouth watering just by picking up a dose of the aroma.  Rich and juicy, this favorite food of many can be perfectly paired with another bloom possessing a similar appeal in shading and shape.  Try plucking three crimson gerbera daisies into a clear jar that will bring out the color of the beef as well as mimic the rounded appearance.  The trick is to stay away from strong smelling scents that will detract from the intoxicating beefy smell.

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Tacos

Ay Caramba!  The Mexican food lover in me just adores grabbing a pretty bouquet of simple flowers anytime the urge for fajitas or tacos emerges!  My best matches for this type of cuisine are blooms that have the same characteristics such as wild stock, Jasmine or two toned “Double Delight” roses.  Staying in traditional categories, opt for cut hibiscus, bachelor buttons or yellow sunflowers to pick up the amazing colors Tacos usually feature.

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Pizza

Yum!  Who doesn’t like a saucy, cheesy pizza at least once a week?  If this is your sweet spot when it comes to takeout, select fresh stems of garden roses or red geraniums to be really authentic!  If you’re weary of any intruding aromas, calla lilies or poppies will do the trick!

Tags: May, cinco de mayo, Chef, Pizza

Flowers at Breakfast

Posted by Suzie Canale on Fri, Apr 13, 2018

They say breakfast is the most important meal of the day where we gain most of our energy, preparing ourselves for the tasks ahead.  Florists are the first ones to agree with this philosophy although they make their own amendment to the belief by suggesting that breakfast should be served with more than just a side of eggs.  Yes, designers are inclined to advice their clients to accompany the first meal of the day with a fresh bouquet of flowers which can contribute specific essentials to maximize the success of a person’s day.  Just by setting a vase of perky daffodils in the center of your table while you munch on some toast can:


-Incrhospitality-resized-600ease one’s overall mood

-Adjust self-modulation for better interpersonal connections

-Increase serotonin levels

-Apply aromatherapy benefits

-Encourage relaxation and deflect anxiety

-Promote problem-solving skills at work and at home

-Generate an increase of creative thinking in the brain

-Help to facilitate an organic and natural start to your day


Wow!  That’s a lot of persuasive reasoning to include a bunch of your favorite florets into your morning rituals and luckily, I’ve found some perfect examples of blooms which pair perfectly with delicious breakfast menus.  Take a peek and see if these stunning blooming companions are what you’re looking for next time you sit down to eat a bagel. You’ll be amazed what the change can do for your health and happiness!

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Your Basic Eggs and Bacon

If you’re an easy going fellow who likes plain old eggs and bacon then matching this dish with another simple, yet satisfying flower bouquet such as daisies or gerberas is exactly what you need.  The scent will not interfere with the aroma of the food but the color will properly compliment the plate, making it even that more enjoyable to taste.


Waffles Loaded with Butter and Syrup

If this is your idea of the perfect plate to wake up to, then I know you’re into the richer things in life-stuff you can really sink your teeth into…  In this case, adding a bouquet of chocolate cosmos, burgundy scabiosa or plum calla lilies is what will appeal to your appetite! The intoxicating hues will melt right into the cuisine, accentuating the scrumptious texture while not interfering with the enjoyment of the plentiful stacks.


Pastry, Pastry and More Pastry


You’ve got a sweet tooth alright so we want to make sure that the flowers on your table will mirror this personality trait.  Stick with scented garden roses, lily of the valley or peonies to add to the tray or pastel ranunculus that have a delicate appeal similar to the baked goods.  Any spring smell will only make things better so don’t be afraid to venture out into more intoxicating scents. 

Tags: Flowers for Emotional Health, Health, Chef

Pairing Flowers with Red Wine

Posted by Suzie Canale on Wed, Sep 27, 2017

If you read the articleabout how to pair a white wine with a vase of flowers but aren’t really into chardonnay, sauvignon blanc or Riesling than you’re going to like this piece that turns the tables to red.  You and I both know you’re a different species altogether from the white wine drinkers and deserve an opposite approach when selecting your florals.  As white wine drinkers are often more casual in personality as well as easy going and fun loving-the reds tend to fold more seriously towards the intense side where they know what they want, when they want it.  Judging from this broad categorization, you can imagine that the blooms chosen for you will look quite different.  If you’re a merlot, cabernet or pinot noir consumer, check out this list of flowers especially tailored for you!

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Merlot


Merlot is a smooth operator in the wine world and tends to be on the heavier side in terms of its composition.  The color is almost always deep crimson which helps to make a sexy setting.  Due to its low tannins, merlot is quite popular and is often described as either having a cherry, chocolate or herbal flavor.  There’s no if’s, and’s or but’s when talking about merlot so the perfect flower to accompany a glass should be just as dramatic in nature.  Try placing a few stems of brown cymbidiums, black calla lilies or chocolate cosmos in a vase to really set the scene.


        

        Cabernet


Cabernets are a lot of fun to variate within your palette because the taste can be completely dependent on where the grape was grown.  Since they are harvested in a multitude of regions, you are bound to receive an eclectic flavor.  Having more tannins than merlot, this wine can taste dry to sweet, bitter to dry and has been described anywhere from having a pepper taste to sweet wood sensation.  That’s quite an array of flavor, isn’t it?  Since cabs can take on many different forms, that means that pairing flowers can also be a bit easier, giving you a tad more wiggle room for your shopping.  If you want to stick with the red theme of things, how about picking up a bunch of red roses, red dahlias or red James Story orchids to maximize this delicious display of eye candy?



    Pinot Noir

This is a great wine to talk about because it’s really quite interesting…  Most popularly grown in Burgundy, France, this plant is actually a very fussy specimen to harvest.  Apparently, the stems and roots are very susceptible to the outer elements and prefers climates that are cooler with well-drained soil.  The shade of the wine is also interesting as well as opulent in color and resembles the jewel tone of a ruby.  Best matching florals are amaryllis, red poppies or red anthurium.

Tags: Wine, cooking, Lifestyle, Chef, Hostess Flowers

Baking Recipes with Flowers

Posted by Suzie Canale on Mon, Sep 25, 2017

There is a considerable amount of benefits that come from consuming flowers that I bet you didn’t know about…  For starters, they add an interesting taste, texture and decadent quality to recipes that can change the entire “feel” of a meal without becoming overbearing in flavor.  This concept may not be completely foreign to most since many of us already cook with plants such as flowers and veggies which have useful blooms to add to our kitchen.  Violets and squash are examples of this and have several delicious qualities that turn an ordinary dish into magic.  Even if you’re a meat and potato type of a person- I can guarantee there is a recipe here that is perfect for you.  Read up on the qualities of these earthy flowers and see what entices your palate.

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photo credit via thenerdyfarmwife.com

Violets

You wouldn’t think it but these little purple wildflowers are more than a pretty ground cover.  Violets have several purposes due to its rich color, scent and yes- even taste.  There are hundreds of recipes that utilize this bloom’s properties to make delicious dishes, particularly those that lay on the sweeter side.  Desserts are the perfect place to show off this spring blossom’s attributes such as in cakes, pastries and drinks.  One idea that really interested me was a recipe that I came across written by “the nerdy farmwife” which was a violet jelly.  Not only did she market the beauty of this concoction impeccably but it also made my mouth water for some jam and biscuits immediately.  Easy as 1-2-3 instructions as well as sensational photographs taken, jelly fans might want to pop on over to this site to see how you can make your own violet infused jelly!

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photo credit via marthastewart.com

Squash Blossoms

Every year I grow zucchini in my garden and every year I gaze upon their beautiful yellow buds that are pretty enough to cut and place in a vase. Little did I know that they share a dual purpose because after some research, I found that these flowers could also be used in cooking.  From additions to salads to enticing Italian platters, squash blooms have been used forever in cuisine and can easily be adapted into any diet.  There are many different ways to prepare the blossoms such as frying, baking or stuffing, which makes them highly popular when sold at farm stands or on the rare occasion- grocery stores. Often you will see recipes calling for squash blooms when they are stuffed with cheese, the best being ricotta because of the pleasant compliment in taste they give one another.  Another incredible combo is with marinara sauce, making these the ideal ingredients to bake an earthy version of the classic pizza.  The taste is out of this world plus you’ll get the added benefit of dressing your pie with healthy veggies.  Try this version invented by Martha Stewart!

Tags: cooking, Chef, Lifestyle, Health, Violets

Pairing Flowers with White Wine

Posted by Suzie Canale on Mon, Sep 18, 2017

When you’re a wine lover who also adores flowers, it’s pretty safe to say that both are on your shopping list fairly regularly.  Just as with anything else, you develop your own preferences in taste, color and scent, which lead you to a favorite label or perhaps a specific variety of blooms.  Each and every one of us is drawn to certain flavors and appearances, especially when it comes to floral design and bubbly.  Funny enough… there’s even a way to pair the two that will complement each other’s characteristics such the shade of the alcohol and aroma.  While some white wines are sweeter than the next, there is a method used by several restaurateurs to give patrons the utmost experience in fine dining.  Here are some examples of how it is done.


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Chardonnay

If you’re a chardonnay drinker, you usually tend to prefer oaky blends that give off either a honey, nut, butter or spicy after taste.  This type of white wine is fuller bodied compared to some of the other bottles and has the propensity to incur greater taste as the year ages.  When matching with a flower variety, you want to go with a seductive bloom like Annabelle hydrangea, green calla lilies or oncidium orchids.  The chardonnay grape typically has a strong smell so don’t overwhelm nearby vases with stinky florals.    



Sauvignon Blanc


Sauvignon Blanc is a much lighter wine than chardonnay and in turn has a much different taste.  Being the most popular grade to be harvested for wine, instead of a rich taste, this wine is described in fruitier terms.  The difference in varieties depends on the maturity of the grape and can taste similar to a lime or a sweet peach.  You’ll want to remember this when picking out your flowers and opt for airier varieties like cherry blossom, peach peonies and buddleia.  These blossoms may have a scent but will not interfere with the overall aroma.  



Riesling

Since Riesling is originally cultivated in the country of Germany, this wine has a very unique taste which closely identifies with flowers and fruit.  It is said to be the sweetest of all the wines and is often the drink chosen to accompany dessert.  These characteristics make Riesling lovely alongside a vase of pale pink roses (this species will look beautifully against the hue of the liquid), pink ranunculus or my favorite, peach dahlias.

Tags: Wine, Lifestyle, cooking, Chef

Flowers for the Foodies

Posted by Suzie Canale on Wed, Aug 02, 2017

We use flowers to design our homes, landscape our property and even call upon them to provide medicinal benefits both in sickness and in health.  Yes, flowers are a remarkable gift from Mother Nature and we are incredibly blessed to rely on them for a vast provision of attributes, including their taste!  How many foodies out there have tried a meal that has incorporated some part of a bloom and thought it was delicious?  I’m willing to bet there are several of you who have experienced the savory characteristics of flora in cuisine such as the interesting taste, texture and aroma that are capable of enhancing top-notch recipes.  Salads, pastas and even roast beef have been known to be creatively dressed with blossoms, sparking higher appeal from our stomachs and taste buds.  Do you have to be adventurous with food to enjoy these floral dishes and treats?  Heck No!  If you only possess a small bit of curiosity, I’m sure you’ll be pleasantly surprised by these scrumptious recipes, which all include a bit of Mother’s Nature’s glorious gifts from the garden…

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Mushroom Ravioli with Sprinkled Chive and Lavender


Raviolis are yummy just about anyway you prepare them but when I say this mushroom recipe with sprinkled chive and lavender sprigs is to die for?  I mean it…  Don’t be turned off by the rustic atonement of garden spice that seem unusual for ingredients- I promise you won’t be disappointed.  The creamy filling perfectly compliments the earthy taste of these flowering herbs to create and interesting and unique take on this popular Italian dish.  

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photo via Isabella Stewart Gardener Museum       

 Nasturtium Salad


If you’re into salad like I am, you’re going to LOVE this fun take on designing a floral infused plate of greens and nasturtiums!  Not only can you add whatever dressing you want (although Italian and balsamic vinegar pair best with the combination) the color of the plate is perfect for summertime dinner parties where the salad serves also as a festive centerpiece.


Wild Violet Cupcakes


You might be surprised by the fact that wild violets are actually naturally sweet in taste but in all honesty, it’s true.  Farmers everywhere are adding these beautiful flowers to their tarts and cakes, especially to their cupcakes!  Their inherent possession of sweetness enhances already decadent baked goods while also turning up the flair to create a fancy table.  Now what could be better than that?

Tags: Chef, cooking, Nasturtiums, Gardner Museum, Lavender

Fancy Floral Cakes

Posted by Suzie Canale on Fri, Apr 07, 2017

If you have a birthday coming up, you might want to consider having a themed cake made just for you to celebrate your special day.  If you love super heroes, maybe a Batman cake would work or if you enjoy spending your summer’s at the beach, maybe a tiered tropical island shaped cake would be the ideal sweet treat.  Whatever interest or passion you may have, I promise you there’s a bakery willing to whip you up a creative and imaginative sugary sensation that will help you ring in the new year with pizzazz!  Boston’s best bakers make a large percent of their income satisfying customers with goods inspired by their hobbies and personalities.  It doesn’t matter if you’re into skydiving or snorkeling, chances are-they’ll be able to provide you with a delicious model that celebrates the unique you that you are!

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photo via pinterest.com

So what do you ask for if you’re infatuated with flowers?  Perhaps you’re an avid gardener, a local florist or just someone who loves a fresh vase of blossoms in their home and are wishing for a cake that visually commemorates this interest?  I mean, wouldn’t it be fun to dig into a stunning pedaled spoonful of frosting instead of the traditional chocolate square cake you’re used to eating on your birthday?  


Of course it would!  

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photo via pinterest.com

With a little research, I’ve found some of the most outrageously beautiful flower themed birthday cakes created right here in our own city.  Roses, sunflowers, dahlias, daisies and even orchids are possible to design and can be specifically tailored to conform to whatever your favorites might be!  Check out these amazing styles and a few local bakeries that are willing to make your sweetest floral dreams come true!

Tags: cooking, Chef, Wedding Favors

Flowers for Tea

Posted by Suzie Canale on Wed, Feb 15, 2017


The older I get, the more I have adapted to drinking more tea and less coffee.  I have no idea why this is but I’ve got to admit that I feel a lot better.  There’s a big difference between the two beverages even though they both can contain heightened amounts of caffeine (although coffee typically has about 100x’s more depending on the brand).  While coffee is made out of concentrated beans, tea is made from leaves, petals, herbs and other natural environmental elements, which hold properties benefiting digestion and vascular circulation.  Tea also has a longer history of existence since it was first introduced in 2737 BC while coffee came into play only in the 9th century AD.  If you think about it, emotional states connecting to the drinks are also a differentiating factor because while coffee is tied to speed and quickness, tea is linked more often to relaxation and calmness.  

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So what does this have to do with flowers?


Due to this emerging interest of people consuming more tea, manufacturers are looking for ways to expand product lines beyond Breakfast, Green and Earl Tea flavors.  One surge we’re seeing is the addition of flowers into brands that are said to bring about a preferred sweeter tang to the taste.  


What flowers are the most efficient and effective for tea making?


Passionflower Rose Hips Yarrow


Lemon Balm Milk Thistle Lavender


Dandelion Lemon Grass Calendula


If you’re thinking about trying to make your own floral tea, it’s really pretty easy!


For Herbs/Sprigs:

Boil water and insert herbs or sprigs of leaves into a mesh ball or infuser.  Let the contents sit for at least 15 to 20 minutes so that the essence can flavor the water.  It will likely not change to a darker color similar to store bought teas, which is more natural and healthier for the body.


For Hips/Petals/Seeds:

These floral ingredients make wonderfully flavorful accents to teas and you’ll notice a freshness that packaged varieties don’t have.  First you want to crush the ingredients thoroughly and then place the contents into a cup of boiling water.  Let stand for 10 minutes and then strain the remains so that the “earthy” substances are extinguished.  


If you really get into floral teas, there are hundreds of easy ways to create your own indoor “Tea Garden” so that you can enjoy it year round!

Tags: Lavender, Chef, Wellness, cooking, Passion Flower

A Comforting Winter Soup Recipe

Posted by Suzie Canale on Sun, Jan 22, 2017

It’s a well-known fact that most Bostonians pack on a few pounds once the temperature starts to drop.  Reasoning says that we are just putting on a few layers to help protect from the cold, which is a natural biological response to our habitats.  Humans are not alone either since millions of New England wildlife participate in the same ritual including cats, dogs, birds and bears.  So if everyone is doing it, why feel guilty?  For one reason, many of the foods that we are ingesting contain a higher amount of fat and processed sugars.  These unhealthy additives are what make it a bit tricky when we finally decide to shed those pounds in the spring.  If you think about it, you seldom see squirrels stressing about their winter waddle once the warm weather arrives because their calories needed to be burned are mainly nuts not ice cream and cream puffs.  Does that mean forgo the comfort foods altogether in order to spare ourselves the trouble?  Absolutely not!  We can still indulge in this New England tradition of finding solace and warmth in our food; we just have to do it in a slightly different way.  Try this recipe on for size!

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photo credit via countryliving.com

Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup

Chicken noodle soup is made by a variety of companies and there a few like Progresso and Campbell’s that are in all honesty, pretty good.  The soup is for the most part, healthy so why should you make your own?  In many canned brands, the salt and processed ingredients rank high and may even contain “iffy” ingredients that you can’t even pronounce when reading the labels.  Using real poultry and veggies is always a better way to go where you can control the amounts of seasonings and be sure that your meats are fresh for cooking.  You may not be able to can and shelf your finished product but freezing is a definitely possibility allowing you to re-cook and save for a later date!  Wait to make this recipe after you’ve made a chicken roast so that you can use your own stalk, too.


How To:

Add 4 cups of your own chicken stalk to a crock-pot and set to low heat.  If you couldn’t save this much stalk after cooking your roast, just add water slowly as the soup continues to cook-it will make it’s own broth over the course of the preparation.  Add chicken that has been pulled from the leftovers being careful not to add in any bones or cartilage (it won’t taste good to those you serve and be disruptive to their palette.  Chop roughly 2 celery stalks and 1 small onion and add that to the brew.  Wash 4 large carrots and then peel and cut into circular shapes and then throw them in as well.  Add 2 bay leaves, 2 tablespoons of dried rosemary and salt and pepper to taste.  Cook the soup for 4 hours until the chicken naturally pulls apart and vegetables soften.  In a separate pot, boil water to cook 4 cups of “No-Yolk” noodles.  When done, rinse in a colander over cold water, afterwards adding the pasta to the soup.  If you put the noodles in when they are still hot, they’ll dissolve in the soup creating a funky consistency, so make sure you rinse them first in cold water.  Serve in crock bowls with a fresh piece of Italian bread and bon appétit!  

Tags: cooking, Chef, Health, winter

Let’s Talk Turkey this Thanksgiving

Posted by Suzie Canale on Wed, Nov 16, 2016

So this might sound a little strange but there’s a new trend sweeping across New England this Thanksgiving and it’s all about dressing the bird in flowers!  That’s right!  People are actually asking caterers and florists to create small flower displays either around or on top of their turkeys in order to reap a particular benefit!  Sound crazy?  Well, the reason lies in the belief that doing so will bring about some…umm- interesting side effects.  We’re not quite sure where this phenomenon started but we do know that Bostonians are actively placing their orders for the upcoming holiday sending designers into turkey hysteria!  Want to learn more about how and why this fad is circulating?  Read on to learn the secret to this turkey taboo…

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photo credit via http://blovelyevents.com/

According to ancient scripture, the turkey was once thought to be of regal stature in certain cultures and was often given a bed of petals to sleep on during customary celebrations.  Depending on the color of the feathers the bird adorned, people would actually attempt to match the shading to the blossoms presented.  If the turkey had more red feathers, he was thought to be a bringer of love and romance while a turkey having blue feathers was believed to induce sorrow or death.  Nowadays, the Thanksgiving turkey is being wrapped in flowers of a chosen color in the hopes to encourage the desired omen.  (For those who would like to try this, select green flowers to entice a windfall of money, purple for courage and yellow for happiness.)


A second theory for why people are covering their birds with flowers is due to the aroma-therapeutic benefits that can be infused into the skin.  While many of these dressings include herbs such as rosemary, parsley and sage, there are blossoms such as dandelions and nasturtium now being thrown into the mix.  Creative chefs are infusing their meat with an incredible seasoning of sweet to spicy tastes just by covering the top of the turkey’s back and legs with freshly cut florets.  Be careful not to use species like roses that will embellish a musty aftertaste and try choosing varieties that have an earthy consistency such as heather, alliums, chicory, geraniums and borage.

Tags: November, Thanksgiving, Holidays, cooking, Chef

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