Exotic Flowers - We Deliver Flowers in Boston

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.  

FRAGRANCE_Wf_Lavender.jpg

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: Chef, cooking, Wellness, Lavender, Passion Flower

Romantic Valentine’s Dinners at Home

Posted by Suzie Canale on Fri, Jan 27, 2017

Valentine’s Day falls on a Tuesday this year so it may not be convenient for those who have to work early the next day to dine in a restaurant.  For those of you who are night owls, this won’t present a problem but for people like me whose schedules begin at daybreak, I’m planning on celebrating at home.  It doesn’t have to be another boring evening in front of the TV if you’re in a similar situation, heck no!  There are plenty of ways to spice up a Valentine’s Day festivity with your special someone without ever leaving the house!  Believe me, there are some benefits to this strategy such as not having to deal with traffic, saving money and most importantly having the flexibility to be as creative as you want.  There are plenty of ideas you can use to ensure a saucy evening with your honey and guarantee a holiday that neither of you will ever forget.  Try these few tricks of the trade and start preparing a night of unforgettable romance within the comfort of your own abode.

en_vogue_love_songs.jpg

photo credit via En Vogue

Set the Ambiance

Restaurants aren’t the only ones who know how to set the scene for an intimate ambiance!  Break out some votive candles and turn the lights down real low to recreate the stage in your living room, dining room or bedroom (no one’s judging you).  If you have a working fireplace, spark that baby up too because it’s a well-known fact that flames from the hearth inspire flames of the heart.


Cook a Decadent Meal

It’s pretty important that you devise a menu that will leave your lover wanting more.  Successful dishes that have been noted as aphrodisiacs are oysters, mussels, and other varieties of shellfish.  If you aren’t into these ocean treats, try red-hot chili peppers, which are said to trigger erotic hormones when ingested.  Be sure to also include a tray of fruits like bananas, strawberries and watermelon along side a bowl of melted chocolate or honey.  Let your sweetheart dip these delicious goodies in their choice of syrup and watch how quickly things heat up!

lingerie_model_flowers-resized-600-2.jpg

photo credit via Victorias Secret

Get All Dolled Up

Whether you’re a man or a woman reading this, don’t forget that you are the main dish that’s being served up for the evening.  What I mean is, don’t get tempted by a comfortable pair of jeans or god forbid, your favorite sweatpants as the attire for your Valentine’s Day dinner.  You have the opportunity to wear whatever sexy thing you have hanging in the closet (think lingerie, cowboy boots, boas) and you might even be able to use that imagination of yours to come up with something wild.  You’re in the sanctity of your own home so don’t be afraid to get a little crazy!

Tags: cooking, Valentines Day, Romance, Lingerie

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!

soup.jpg

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: Chef, cooking, winter, Health

Great Desserts For Winter Weather in Boston

Posted by Suzie Canale on Fri, Jan 13, 2017

Who says a blizzard makes you want to just eat hot foods?  What about all of the yummy desserts inspired by the New England winter season?  Okay, crock-pots filled with simmering chicken noodle soup might seem nice but we can’t forget to sugar up on all of the delicious sweet treats made perfect for this chill infested weather!  No, I’m not just talking about stopping by the ice cream aisle before the next storm arrives.   I’m talking decadent, sensational blizzard ready concoctions that will be adored by the whole family.  Not only are they tasty, but they can be a fun project to make together when the house bound boredom sets in.  Easy to create and simple instructions, you won’t be disappointed by these festive New England indulgences.

snow ice cream.jpg

photo credit via allrecipes.com

Vanilla Snow Ice cream

This one is so fabulous because the main additive is the stuff piling up outside your door-SNOW!  Have the kids go outside and grab a bucket of snow that is clean and un-dirtied by salt or soot.  In a mixing bowl, combine the fresh snow with 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract, 1 cup of sugar, a half-cup of milk (or added until desired consistency) and a teaspoon of salt.  Stir thoroughly until your batch resonates an ice cream body.  Put in the freezer for 2 hours and serve into white or light blue bowls for an extra creative flair.  You will flip over the reactions to this easy peasy ice cream recipe!


Snow-Capped Winter Cookies

This is a great one to make with your children on a snow day because the very name is thematic after the season and contains a very simple list of ingredients.  Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and take out confectioners sugar, flour, salt, butter and vanilla extract.  Mix together 1 cup of confectioners sugar with 1½ cups of melted butter.  Add a ½ teaspoon of vanilla and 2 ¼ cups of white flour.  Add a pinch of salt for seasoning.  Stir together until a soft consistency gels and put in the refrigerator to chill for about a half hour.  Then roll the dough into small balls placing them on a cookie sheet setting them evenly apart.  Bake for 12 minutes and then sprinkle with more confectioners sugar to get a snowy effect.  Let the cookies cool and store in an airtight container until serving time.


Blizzard S’more Frappes

I love this one because again, its fuss free and tastes of so delicious!  All you need is 2 scoops of really good vanilla ice cream, 1 crumbled graham cracker, 1 cup of chocolate chips, 1 cup of whole milk and ½ cup of mini marshmallows.  Throw everything into a blender and lightly mix until the desert resembles a white mound of blizzard delight!  Serve in high ice cream flasks and sprinkle with white sugar or confectioner’s sugar.  Everyone will love the presentation and you’ll love how little effort this desert was to make!

Tags: Dessert, Snow, cooking, winter

Different Ways to Gift with Flowers

Posted by Suzie Canale on Wed, Jan 04, 2017

When we meet that special person, we often seek ways to impress him or her in order to show them how we feel.  Maybe it’s a dinner to a fancy restaurant or maybe it’s a Hallmark card that’s says just the right sentiment, but whatever we decide, we want it to be a perfect match for that individual.   If you’re a flower lover, you probably choose to send flowers that perhaps might consist of a dozen roses, a bouquet of favorite blossoms or even a single stem of buttercup or daisy.  Yes, flowers have been the most popular way to connect with a person and have continuously been an effective conduit to show them how you feel.  

11802067734_9c8554b92a_m.jpg

photo credit via aboutflowers.com

Here’s an idea… what if you could be a bit clever on how you gifted them? Instead of just wrapping up any old bunch of flowers, how about using your noggin to think of interesting ways to impress their unique sense of self?  What are their likes, dislikes, hobbies or dreams?  As soon as you figure that out, you can implement your creativeness to really give them something special!  No two people are the same and neither are two roses.  Here are a few ideas to get the wheels really turning towards impressing the love of your life!  


For Those Who Love to Bake

A colleague recently told me about this movie she watched where a baker was wooed with a case of “flour”-you know, the cooking kind?  I thought this was so brilliant and really showed his love for her individuality while still sticking to a traditional gesture.  By making a pun based on her occupation, he was able to connect with her in a deeper, more meaningful way as well as show a sense of humor.  Sure, she probably would have kissed the guy anyways if he handed over a pile of orchids, but the effect wouldn’t have been nearly as strong, nor would have been the scene.  If you’re trying to get a special baker’s attention, this might be the “sweetest” way to do it!

BOOK_STACKS.jpg

For the Book Lover

If you’re trying to get the attention of a book lover, you’re going to have to use your head.  Although a vase full of wildflowers will surely be adored, why not pick out a few titles that are written about flowers instead?  You can either grab a few floral designing books, gardening manuals or even a novel such as, “The Language of Flowers” by Vanessa Diffenbaugh or “Flowers in the Attic” by V.C. Andrews if they like a good thriller.  Your courtship will be extra intellectually sentimental as well as useful reading material for the future!


For the Gardener

I personally love this approach because not only will a gardener appreciate the message but they’ll be extra excited to have a head start for planting.  Seeds that are the most thoughtful would either be varieties of their favorites or choosing perennials instead of annuals.  Perennials will come back year after year and will remind them of you each time they bloom.  

Tags: Gardening, cooking, Flowers, Gifts, book

Christmas Flower Sugar Cookies

Posted by Suzie Canale on Fri, Dec 09, 2016

Bakers love the holiday season because there is a vast assortment of ideas to create delicious edibles including cakes, pies and particularly, sugar cookies!  After all, you can’t have Saint Nick make his annual visit without leaving a few morsels of yummy sweets, right?  

Easy-Poinsettia-Platter-5.jpg

photo credit via sweetsugarbelle.com

Christmas cookies are by far the most fun and certainly the most beautiful out of all traditional seasonal desserts.  Creative chefs can let their imaginations fly when coming up with new shapes and images, making their presentations even more impressive.  


Although snowflakes, pine trees, ornaments and stars are among the most popular themes during this month, garden lovers will be overjoyed to see the new trend of “flower sugar cookies” climbing in demand! From happy daisy faces to poinsettia plant designs, horticultural elements are beginning to turn up in several Boston bakeries and floral shop owners couldn’t be more excited!  Not only are upscale supermarkets and restaurants using the new fad to gift patrons with samples but florists are also jumping on the bandwagon and adding satchels of these cookies to holiday orders.  Pretty smart, huh?


For the experts, this is an easy task but for those who neglect culinary brilliance, baking can seem a bit overwhelming.  Honestly, who hasn’t burned a cookie sheet or two in their day?  Thankfully, there are hundreds of recipes that are simple to follow including this one from the Food Network.  Grab your aprons and rolling pins and lets get baking!


Ingredients:  Cookies

1 cup unsalted butter 1 large egg

1/2 cup light brown sugar 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

2 cups flour 1/4 teaspoon salt


Ingredients: Icing

1/4 cup water 2 cups confectioners' sugar

3 tablespoons egg white powder Candy, sprinkles, dots, chocolate chips, ANYTHING SWEET!


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Beat the butter with vanilla extract, egg and brown sugar until blended.  Slowly add the flour and season with salt to make the dough firm.  Freeze the dough for 20 minutes and then begin to carve and shape cookies with cutters or free style.  Place in oven for 20 minutes and watch their edges turn golden brown.   Cool cookies for another 20 minutes before decorating.


Whisk together the water, egg powder and confectioners’ sugar until smooth.  Add desired coloring of food dye to create color and immediately apply to cookies.  Decorate with candies and let them sit for an additional 30 minutes icing to set.  

Tags: Traditions, Christmas, Holidays, cooking

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…

Love-this-Turkey-Platter-decoration.jpg

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: Thanksgiving, Holidays, Chef, cooking, November

Incredibly Delicious and Healthy Blooming Onion Recipe

Posted by Suzie Canale on Fri, Jul 01, 2016

I love flowers and I also love healthy and delicious food so when I tried out this recipe and flipped over how great it was?  I had to share.  This is after all, a floral blog so that not only includes beautiful arrangements but anything else that I can find that’s spectacularly flowery!  Trust me- this recipe makes the cut and it’s super easy so anyone can make it.  There are only a few ingredients and the bet part?  It’s low in calories and fat as well as visually pleasing.


The dish is called “Bloomin’ Onions”, which you may of heard of or ordered before in a restaurant.  The difference between this appetizer and the others is that the frying factor is eliminated making it less greasy and healthier for your body.  Pair this with a chicken or fish entrée and you’ll start to see magic appear on your dinner plates.  This also makes an exquisite presentation because of the rich purple coloring alongside buffet items or as a plate dressing for other main courses.  Give it a try and see what you think!  


Instructions:



red_onion_recipe.jpg




photo credit: epicurious.com



  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

  1. Take a red onion (preferably large) and slice into eighths.  Make sure that the slices are still attached to the root so that are still held together.

  1. Drizzle olive oil over flower and in between the petals.

  1. Insert bay leaves and rosemary sprigs every other petal.

  1. Sprinkle with salt and pepper

  1. Roast for 40 minutes and eat immediately.   

Tags: Chef, cooking, #EXFL

Cool Dishes to Barbecue this Father’s Day

Posted by Suzie Canale on Thu, Jun 02, 2016

Father’s Day is Sunday, June 19th and just as the weather seems to be finally warming up, those grills are being awakened from a long winter’s nap in storage!  One of the biggest traditions associated with this holiday is cooking cheese hamburgers, hotdogs and other choice meats right over an open flame.  Did you know that for the last 50 or so years, aprons, oven mitts and chef hats still remain the number #1 present to gift old dad particularly for this very reason?  Well, it’s time to put them to good use!


This Father’s Day, challenge yourself to try new and exciting recipes that will excite a fresh culinary tradition for your family and friends.  Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with a patty of ground beef but isn’t it time we showed dear old dad that we really care by grilling outside the familiar box?  Contemporary chefs from around the world are shaking their grilling styles up a bit this Father’s Day offering delicious menu items that are both inventive and creative.  From fish to poultry, to top grade “A” meat, by infusing some of these selections into your Father’s Day barbecue, you’ll make this a special holiday that he’ll never forget!   

bbq.jpe

www.dishmaps.com

Meat and Chicken:

Ribs are pretty much a staple so spice things up with marinades like bourbon tequila to make every last bite pack a punch!  For burgers, mix oregano, celery salt and paprika for a nice wave of spice.

BBQ_digestes_saumon_plancha-630x333.jpg

photo credit: blog.danone.ca

Fish:

There’s no better place to cook fish than on a grill so make sure you salt everything before you begin and add playful juices such as lemon and lime.  Salmon, trout and shrimp are my favorites!

 





Tags: Father's Day, Barbecue, Chef, cooking, Outdoor Living

Tightening the Budget in the New Year

Posted by Suzie Canale on Fri, Jan 01, 2016

So now that we’ve blown our brains out on buying gifts for the season, it’s time we tighten up the budget to refill our empty piggy banks.  I know-its like the worst hangover ever when we check our bank statements and see a depleted amount of resources.  Instead of tearing your hair out, cursing that it’s the last time you spend so much money on the holiday season, take a deep breadth, relax and listen to a few tips that are guaranteed to put a spring back in your savings step.  I get the anxiety- I really do because like many people, the January financial reality always makes me a bit panicky, too.  I like to see a nice cushion in my wallet in case disaster strikes where it really is necessary to spend the wad.  I learned long ago that if you can follow a few simple tricks, you’ll soon see those numbers start to climb back up, if not only to be in time for next year’s holiday shopping sprees.  By even taking on one or two of these principles, you’ll begin to see some positive change just by tweaking small areas of your lifestyle.  Good luck and get saving again in the year 2016!

 

Money Jars

Money jars are the best way to start because most people have at least one penny to empty out of their pockets at the end of the day.  Grab a clear vase, cup or Mason jar, and place it in an area of your home where it’s easy to utilize.  If you really want to have fun with it, choose a holder that isn’t opaque and at the end of the year you’ll be shocked at how much doe you’ve accumulated!

coca cola cans and hydrangea

photo credit: Flower Factor

Return Bottles and Cans

This one is a no brainer because not only will it help you regain your losses, it’s a real benefit to our environment!  Get an old trash barrel and toss in those coke and ginger ale empties.  Find a redemption center at a grocery or liquor store and receive your .05 rebate fee!  You might not think it’s much but if you put it aside in a account, the truth will become clear.  I’ve even paid for a significant part of one summer vacation just by using my recycling money.

new_years_roast.jpg

Eat in More (That Includes Your Coffee Order)

 

Do you know that on average, Americans spend almost 35% of their paychecks on take out?  From fast food burgers to fancy sit down dinners, we are literally burning our bread by buying food made in someone else’s kitchen!  I know that we all get tired and need a night out at times but if you shave off half of those occurrences, you’ll see how much money you’ll still have left at the end of the week.  If you’re a coffee fiend, you might want to brew your own since most pre-paid coffees go cold half full (not to mention the triple cost as opposed to an at home coffee maker).  Oh, and did I mention the fact that your waistline will thank you, too?  By cooking on your own, you know exactly what’s going into your food, discarding many of the empty calories and unhealthy additives typically found in restaurants.  




Tags: New Years Resolutions, cooking, January

Subscribe via E-mail

Contact Us for All Your Floral Needs