Author Archives: admin

recipe: cardamom zucchini tea cakes

May 19th, 2015 | Posted by admin in Desserts | RECIPES - (0 Comments)

I love the flavor of Cardamom so when I saw this recipe in “Bountiful”, a beautiful cookbook by Todd Porter and Diane Cu, I had to try it.  Sometimes you want something just a bit sweet, not too sweet, and not a large portion… maybe a little something with your afternoon tea.  This is that something!



• 1 cup flour
• 1 tsp baking powder
• ½ tsp cardamom
• ½ teaspoon of aniseed
• Pinch of kosher salt
• ½ lb of grated zucchini
• 1 egg
• ½ cup sugar
• ½ tsp of grated lime
• ½ cup of unsalted butter, melted
• Confectioner’s sugar for dusting



• Preheat oven to 325° and lightly oil the muffin tins.

• Whisk together the dry ingredients and set a side.

• Squeeze the grated zucchini dry to remove excess moisture.

• In a separate bowl whisk the egg, sugar, and lime zest. Whisk in the butter and stir in the zucchini, then fold in the flour until just combined.

• Divide the batter evenly into the muffin tins (you can also use individual tartlet molds).

• Bake for 20-25 minutes until cakes are light golden.  Allow then to cool and dust with confectioner’s sugar.




recipe: Wilie’s pancakes

May 15th, 2015 | Posted by admin in Breakfast | RECIPES - (1 Comments)


These pancakes were introduced to me by my nephew’s wife Marissa and their adorable toddler Wilie.  This was his favorite breakfast, easy to make, healthy, and best of all no flour!  I make these at least once a week and keep a few in the fridge for a quick snack. Enjoy!


• 2 mashed ripe bananas
• 2 eggs
• 2 tablespoons of almond butter (any nut butter will do)
• 1 tsp good vanilla
• 1 tsp of cinnamon


• Whisk together and pour into a griddle.

There’s really no need for syrup.  Delish!



spring container

May 12th, 2015 | Posted by admin in FLOWERS | Outdoor - (0 Comments)

Left over flowers for a sweet container.  Bright colors of stock, double mini petunias, lobelia, nemesia, osteospermum, and zinnias included in this container.



recipes: blackberry crisps

April 15th, 2015 | Posted by admin in Desserts | RECIPES - (0 Comments)

Spring makes me think of fresh berries, and blackberries were on sale!  So I used the plump sweet and tart blackberries in my crisp recipe.


• 4 cups of washed and drained fresh blackberries
• 2½ tsp of fresh lemon juice
• 1 tsp lemon zest
• ¼ cup of whole wheat flour
• ¼ cup of sugar

• ¾ cup of oats
• ¾ cup of brown sugar
• ¾ cup whole wheat flour
• ⅓ cup butter melted
• ½ tsp baking powder
• ½ tsp baking soda



• Mix “Fruit” ingredients (blackberries, lemon juice, lemon zest, and ¼ cup whole wheat flour, and ¼ cup sugar) together and place in ramekins.

• Mix “Crisp” ingredients together and place over the fruit in the ramekins.

• Bake in 350° oven for about 25 minutes.




spring flowers finally!

April 14th, 2015 | Posted by admin in FLOWERS | Outdoor - (0 Comments)

Bright colors to enjoy!



recipes: choereg – Armenian breakfast bread

February 16th, 2015 | Posted by admin in Breakfast | RECIPES - (1 Comments)

Most of my love for cooking came from my early memories of my paternal grandmother, Marnos Bedrosian. She was an amazing cook and my sister and I have been trying to recreate this recipe for a while. On my last visit to Charlotte we had a day of cooking and I think we finally perfected this special recipe. The most enjoyable part of making this delicious bread besides eating it was cooking with my sister (who did most of the work!) and having my mom around to enjoy the delicacy fresh from the oven!

Please refer to the pictures as they are a big help when rolling out the dough.


• 2½ lbs. of flour (I recommend “King Arthur Flour”)
• 1 stick of butter
• 1 large spoonful of Crisco
• 1½ tablespoons of sugar
• ½ tsp. salt
• 1 yeast cake
• 4 eggs
• Approximately 1 cup of whole milk


• 2 sticks of melted butter to coat layers of dough

• Egg wash… 1 egg whisked with a tsp of water

• Sesame seeds to sprinkle on top after egg wash is applied.

• Scald milk and add butter & Crisco melt and let stand.

• Mix yeast in 1/2 cup of warm water, add sugar and let stand.

• Beat eggs and add to cooled milk mixture and combine with yeast mixture.

• Knead dough for 10 minutes then let rise in a warm spot covered for 3-4 hrs. You can make late the night prior, but if so put in fridge.

• Form into 6 balls of dough let rise keep covered.

• When doubled in size dough will be ready to roll out into a very thin sheet. I use a long dowel similar to the handle of a broom. It allows you to roll out dough in a large circle. Approximately 20 inches in diameter you will almost be able to see through the dough. Always use flour on your surface & dowel to avoid dough sticking.

• Now dough is folded & refolded.  Please refer to the pictures for guidance:

• Between each fold brush with butter. When you have folded it into a strip then cut on the diagonal and place on a parchment lined cookie sheet. Cover and let rise.

• When ready brush with butter, egg wash & sprinkle a few sesame seeds on top and put in preheated 350 degree oven.

• Choereg is done when golden brown on top! This is the best time to enjoy a hot fresh piece with a great cup of coffee or tea! The breads can be frozen and warmed up…always best with a dollop of butter! This is the recipe that brings back strong memories of my grandmother Marnos.






places to go: eataly

December 15th, 2014 | Posted by admin in PLACES TO GO - (0 Comments)

I had a “big” birthday this week and because I love to cook and eat, my girlfriends took me to Eataly.  Their manifesto speaks to me… ” In love with food”, ” food unites us all”… so we ventured on to “Eat, Shop, & Learn”.  We were fortunate enough to have an amazing guide take us through all the different departments and restaurants.  It was a farmers market on steroids, all Italian.  From Tomahawk Steaks dry aged beef, to hunks of delicious cheese, pastas, fresh baked bread, a fish counter to die for, and beautiful sweets accompanied by the perfect cup of cappuccino. I will be going back now that I have the lay of the land… maybe even to take a cooking class. If you love food, like to cook, and appreciate fresh wonderful food you should go.  Enjoy!

new winter pots

December 11th, 2014 | Posted by admin in FLOWERS | Outdoor - (1 Comments)



indoor flowers

December 11th, 2014 | Posted by admin in FLOWERS | Indoor - (0 Comments)



thanksgiving table settings & flowers

November 25th, 2014 | Posted by admin in FLOWERS | Indoor | TABLE DRESSING - (0 Comments)

One of my favorite times is Thanksgiving… an easy menu, family, and how I love to set the tables and enjoy the fall flowers.  I am in the thick of planting winter containers and picking up outdoor greens, birch branches, magnolia leaves, and various fun additions to use… but I can never pass all those gorgeous indoor flowers!

Yes, I am in a bit of heaven surrounded by gorgeous colors and a wide variety of blooms in the cold flower case, so I had to purchase a few beautiful stems to play with.

I picked gorgeous Hydrangea, Cherry Brandy Roses, an amazing hot pink Peony (my favorite!), a soft purple Queen Anne’s lace, pink and orange Ranunculus, Allium spray (that is called pink but is more purple in color), and a variety of Berzelia, which I also like to use outdoors.

I opted to use three birch bark covered containers that I also purchased at LD Trading Co, in Northbrook, IL.  I have two tables to dress so I put a rectangular container on the smaller table and the two squares on the larger table of 12 with various votives and candles.

I always like to bring out all my good and also playful dishes, as a crowd of 20 requires me to use most all dishware.  I prefer to use placemats and runners rather than table cloths because I like the look.  I found these fun paper place mats at Gethsemene Garden Center in Andersonville called “kitchen papers”.  This design is “Archival Floral”.

You can have as much fun with the flowers at the grocery store, just make sure to mix them up and choose a color palette that works for your fall thanksgiving table.  You can use ball jars, old various sized vases, pitchers for your containers, get creative and enjoy the process!

Happy Thanksgiving!!