Cauliflower Like You Want, Like You Really Really Want! Spicy Whole Roasted Cauliflower

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Move over, brocolli.  Cauliflower is having its moment.  Rich in vitamin C, potassium and manganese, cauliflower provides a huge dose of cancer preventing antioxidants, has anti inflammatory properties and is a great source of fiber.  All at a very low calorie count, so what’s not to love?   Continue reading

Frozen Praline Coffee Ice Cream Cake

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When my friend Carol was entertaining her husband’s French relatives last year she knew exactly what dessert she would make for these sophisticated guests:  a praline mocha ice cream cake I had served to her years before.   The cake offers a masterful blending of everybody-loves-ice cream with the we’re all grown up coffee flavor and it is always a crowd pleaser.  Carol asked me, the worst recipe keeper,  for a copy of the recipe she had lost.  So began a frenzied search well into the wee hours of the morning for my copy.  You will want to add this cake to your summer entertaining repertoire.   It’s a chill-in-the-freezer easy peasy recipe that emerges as a sophiticated java-ice cream layered cake.  The best part?  It can be made ONE MONTH AHEAD of time!  That is NOT a typo!  This post is for you Carol! Continue reading

Growing Trees in Pots: The Art of Maintenance-Free Gardening

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One of my best gardening tips is that many trees, shrubs and perennial plants can be grown in pots.  This is a trick I learned as a novice gardener from the great doyenne of gardening, Martha Stewart herself. I love this technique since, come spring, the patio planters do not need to be replanted.  They burst into bloom along with the rest of the garden.  They overwinter in their pots, right on the terrace, if in a weather resistant pot Continue reading

Luscious Lemon-Mascarpone Mini Bundt Cakes

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Lemon desserts are a popular choice in summer and a personal favorite.  When I discovered a recipe for a lemon cake incorporating mascarpone cheese on the lovely Mademoiselle Gourmande blog, I wanted to try this intriguing variation.  I decided to make it in individual Bundt sizes and deliver a couple to a lemon-loving friend celebrating a birthday.  The cake was super moist, and delicious.  If you like lemon, you will love this cake! Continue reading

Spring Training: Folding Screen as a Garden Trellis

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A beautiful antique Spanish wrought iron screen which had once been used as a headboard has found new life in the garden.  The iron work on this screen is gorgeous and it now shines as a garden accent with purpose. Continue reading

Mosaïc Birdbath Project

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In my garden I have several birdbaths to attract feathery friends.  One is a concrete classic pedestal birdbath.  Another is a low-to-the ground copper birdbath I was told robbins would enjoy.  Yet another is a glass vessel intended for small birds.  None, however, attracts birds quite like the mosaïc birdbath I made myself from broken shards of china set onto a terra cotta saucer.

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This birdbath is several years old. The grout has not eroded from being immersed continuously in water. The birdbath is emptied and stored in a garden shed for the winter months to prevent the terra cotta and grout from cracking in freezing temperatures.  Note how I placed the smooth outer edge of the broken plates along the top of the birdbath to avoid sharp edges.  Even filled to the brim with water, the mosaïc pattern is still fully visible.

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Meyer Lemon- Cranberry Orange Marmalade

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I looooove marmalade and I love having breakfast outside all summer long. Until I read the fabulous blog on homemade marmalade by Teresa at Food on Fifth, I had not realized how easy it could be to make marmalade.  Good oranges and Meyer lemons can still be found so  I made a batch and have been enjoying it as my guilty pleasure (I’m the only marmalade lover in this family ) every morning, reading the papers and drinking my tea in the garden.  Marmalade on oatmeal? Yum!  Marmalade on warm-from-the-oven scones? Yes, please.  Marmalade on toast or buttery croissants?  Perfect conveyors for this delectable confection!  Marmalade eaten rigtht off the spoon from the jar…true confession!   This was so good, it’s just about time to make another batch! Continue reading