Photography 2015

Field and Flowers

Colorado Springs 2015

It’s been a very busy summer, with family trips to Florida, Aruba and Colorado. Here are a few misc. shots of our travels with grand babies, hospital visits, weddings and scenery.

Amber, Alexis, and Norah

Amber, Alexis, and Norah, Our Grand Girls

Cory and Hunter Evans 2015

Cory and Hunter Evans 2015

Dragon Fly

Colorado Springs 2015

Grape Leaf

Colorado Springs 2015

Lily, Chris and Shannon

Shannon, Lily and Chris

Pikes Peak Sunset

Pikes Peak Sunset Colorado Springs 2015




WORDLESS WEDNESDAY

Camellia




Edible Flower Salad with Basil Balsamic Vinaigrette

Edible flower salad with basil balsamic vinaigrette is a fresh garden salad that is almost too beautiful to eat! This edible flower salad recipe will make a delicious and elegant salad, perfect for brunch, ladies luncheon, or a bridal shower.

Edible Flower Salad with Basil Balsamic Vinaigrette

My mother’s garden was the birthplace for all sorts of fresh vegetables and herbs which she used to create many family recipes. It was also the origin of my love for edible flowers. Using herb flowers and other edible petals in cookery during the 1960’s was a benchmark in gourmet eating, setting my mother light years ahead of her contemporaries. After years of sampling flowery, gastronomic delights such as pansies, squash blossoms, spicy nasturtiums, and sweet borage, my youthful palate was introduced to flavor profiles most adults have yet to experience.

Edible Flower Salad – a delight to the senses and taste buds

The consumption of edible flowers also fostered my imagination as a child. With every flowery recipe mom put on the table, I created a fantastic imaginary story resplendent with visions of fairies floating around the dinner table. The imagery of blue and deep red flowers combined with food stuff at an early age, was the fuel for my current food blogging experience.  

One of my moms favorite edible flower dishes was wilted salad. To make the savory salad, she would toss an assortment of colorful flowers with bibb lettuce, spinach, dandelion greens, and served it all up with steaming hot, bacon dressing. One of my favorite dishes to this day!

I still favor a wilted flower salad with hot bacon dressing, however, due to the recent heat wave in California, I decided to use a lighter touch by pairing this edible flower salad with a fresh italian balsamic vinaigrette (see recipe below). 

When eating and gathering edible flowers some precautions are in order.

First and foremost, I’m not a dietician, herbalist or professional doctor of natural medicine. All content on this blog are the author’s personal views and opinions. The information provided is solely for entertainment and does not constitute any legal, medical, or other professional advice. It is not to be taken as fact nor absolute truth and it is not the author’s intention to do harm or to injure others. The author will not be held responsible for advice, tips, techniques, and recommendations used. Readers of this blog are to use it at their own free will and at their own risk.

That being said, here are a few guideline to follow:

  • Asthmatics, if you’re prone to allergic reaction, introduce edible flowers in small amounts to judge the effects
  • Stay away from flowers that have been treated with pesticides, herbicides and insecticides
  • Collect flowers from known sources and refrain from gathering near roadways where car exhaust is present
  • Consume only edible flowers. Follow this link to the Edible Flower Chart
  • Purchasing edible flowers can be difficult, so growing your own is a very easy alternative.

Todays recipe uses borage and nasturtiums; both flowers have distinct flavor profiles and medicinal attributes.

Nasturtiums, range in color from dark red, orange, to bright yellow. The word nasturtiums  literally translates to “nose-twister” or “nose-tweaker”, due to their sharp peppery taste. When eating a nasturtium for the first time, you may note a flavor finish with hints of sweet honey or nectar. Eating flowers is like sampling fine wine, there are layers and layers of flavor.

Medicinal uses: 

Some people take nasturtium in combination with other herbs for urinary tract infections(UTIs), swollen airways, cough, and bronchitis. Nasturtium is sometimes applied directly to the skin in combination with other herbs for mild muscular pain. Nasturtium contains vitamin C and might help fight bacteria, fungi, viruses, and tumors. Source WEBMD

Nasturtium officinale

Borage flowers, Borage flowers have a delicate cucumber-like flavor and are very tender on the teeth. They are star-shaped with five-pointed purple or pink petals, most commonly used in salads, soups and pastries for their superb color and texture.  

Cautions: Borage has been known to have a laxative or diuretic effect, so it’s important to introduce small amounts into your diet.

Borage can also affect lactation and not recommend for mother’s who are breast-feeding.

The leaves are also edible but are covered with a fine silvery hairs. As the plant matures the hairs become bristly but when cooked they are almost non-existent. The leaf, stem are also covered in these fine hairs which contain small traces of silica that may irritate the skin. Wear gloves when harvesting and use leaves from early growth cycle for salads. Added to soups, steamed or lightly sautéed in evoo, borage leaves have a hint of cucumber-like flavor and are similar in texture to cooked spinach.

Borage Flower

Borage leaves, flowers and seeds have medicinal properties used for a wide range of disorders, for skin disorders including eczema, seborrheic dermatitis, and neurodermatitis. It is also used for rheumatoid arthritis (RA), stress,premenstrual syndrome (PMS), diabetes, attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), alcoholism, pain and swelling (inflammation), and for preventing heart disease and stroke. Borage flower and leaves are used for fever, cough, and depression. Borage is also used for a hormone problem called adrenal insufficiency, for “bloodpurification,” to increase urine flow, to prevent inflammation of the lungs, as a sedative, and to promote sweating. Borage is also used to increase breast milk production and to treat bronchitis and colds. Borage is applied to the skin for infantile seborrheic dermatitis and is also used in a dressing to soften the skin. Source: WEBMD

It is said that borage gladdens the heart. Taken as a tea borage has been known to elevate mood, help those afflicted with anxiety and sleep disorders. To make tea, steep the leaves and blooms in hot water and drink one cup either hot or cold during periods of moodiness or stressful situations.

I hope you enjoy this edible flower salad recipe!

Edible Flower Salad with Basil Balsamic Vinaigrette
Serves 4
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Prep Time
10 min
Prep Time
10 min
For the Salad
  1. 1 bunch dandelion greens
  2. 1 bunch frisee lettuce
  3. 2 heads bibb lettuce
  4. 1/2 pint raspberries
  5. 1/2 pint blueberries
  6. 10-12 borage flowers
  7. 10 nasturtium flowers
  8. 1/2 cucumber sliced thinly
For the Dressing
  1. 1/2 cup good olive oil
  2. 1/4 cup champagne vinegar
  3. 1/8 cup balsamic vinegar
  4. 4 tablespoons fresh basil leaves
  5. 1 teaspoon fresh thyme
  6. 1 teaspoon fresh rosemary
  7. 1 pinch granulated sugar
For the Dressing
  1. Using a mini food processor, blend all the ingredients until smooth, add pinch sugar, salt and pepper to taste, pulse for a few seconds to combine
  2. Refrigerate until ready to use
For the Salad
  1. Wash and spin dry lettuce, pull into bite size pieces and toss in a large salad bowl
  2. Pinch borage and nasturtium flowers from the plant, shake to dislodge dust, dirt and any little insects that might still be present. Flowers can be rinsed in cold water and drain on paper towels
  3. Add flowers to cleaned greens, toss a handful of raspberries, blueberries and cucumber slices into the bowl right at the last minute, dress the salad and serve
Notes
  1. Grow edible flowers from seed in containers. Start plants in small containers a few weeks before spring, transfer to a large container when the chance of freeze is past. Seeds can also be planted in soil.
At Home with Rebecka http://athomewithrebecka.com/
   Pink Star Flower




WORDLESS WEDNESDAY – 365Project.org Black and White Fortnight

Black and White Garden Fountain

 Black and White 

365 Project

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Wordless Wednesdays – Spring Flowers…My New Addiction

I’m not familiar with names of the vast array of bushes, trees or flowering plants in my new California home, but I’m sure they are all gorgeous! 

This beautiful flower grows on a bush/tree, with large, dark green leaves, it stands about 20 feet high, with the flowers bunched into a tight cluster. Less than fragrant but so lovely; they resemble a professionally crafted arrangement. I love Gods creation!!

I’m continuing to work with my new camera settings so you’ll notice different lightening and focus set in the collection; it will  take me forever to get it  all figured out. Despite my  lack of camera knowledge, I’m not dissuaded  from taking photos.

I hope you enjoy my Spring photography addiction, there will surely be more to share! If you know what variety of plant this is, please feel free to share. 

 

 




Northern California Flora and Fauna

Northern California flora and fauna

Perfect Orange Rose

 

I had to take a quick comparison photo with my new Sony Camera...WOW! I'm in heaven. What do you think?

I had to take a quick comparison photo with my new Sony Camera…WOW! I’m in heaven. What do you think?

The Perfect Orange Rose

I ran out yesterday to snap a few shots of my neighbors rose-bush and Bottlebrush tree. I couldn’t contain myself at their astonishing beauty and the smell of the roses was staggering!

Hundreds of bees joined me, buzzing over my head and resting on my white sleeve. I even caught a glimpse of a green hummingbird as it darted past my head but I wasn’t fast enough to catch a photo of him with my camera. 

Some really cool photography news: My husband was given a work bonus through his company. Instead of choosing a new golf club for himself, he got me a new camera. YIPPEE! I’m anxiously awaiting the arrival of my new Sony Alpha 20.1 MP SLR. Honestly, I’ve never heard of the camera but I know it will be a step up from my little point and shoot Canon!  Wish me luck figuring out all the bells and whistles on my new camera! 

 

pinkrose

Pink Rose 

Another Sony camera shot. She's a beauty!!

Another Sony camera shot. She’s a beauty!!

roses

Mixed Variegated Roses

 

varigated wht red rose

Peony

peony vase

 

Mixed Roses

Mixed roses

Northern California Plants

Bottlebrush Tree

California Plants

Northern California Plants

Northern California Plants

Northern California Plants

Northern California Plants and bushes




WORDLESS WEDNESDAYS

Westeria2

This is not my best work with my tiny camera however, there’s still a lot of nice color and textures in the shots. Enjoy!

redtree

 

PurpleGroundcover

 

ironfence




WORDLESS WEDNESDAY

WORDLESS WEDNESDAY

California Flowers

purpleblooms

 

budsnblooms

PinkBlooms

whiteblooms

WORDLESS WEDNESDAY




Fall Splendor an Ode to Fall 2013

Fall Leaves

 

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Softly rustle the aspen leaves,
Gentle and pure

Carried by the wind
to my senses fill
the smells of fall through the air

Brilliant yellow, gold and green
Sun’s warmth, shadows infused
Stillness resounds deeply to the soul

The crunch of Sedum and pine cone sound
along the mountain floor
The damp dusk fragrance of fall, odor makes

Eyes of aspen watch my way

Pass the wonder of autumn’s change, to a place where only creatures tread

Ending in the beauty of nature’s finest show
And ushers in the days of cold

I love the fall most of all!

FAll3

 

Ode to fall by Rebecka Evans 2012

This, my 2013 photo installment of Fall Splendor! 

 

FAll5




Summer Blooms and Bees

I haven’t had the opportunity to share any wildlife or Flora and Fauna photos with my readers lately so I decided to snap a few shots and share them with you today.  Hope you enjoy!




Wordless Wednesday

Photos taken by a friend living in China.  Stunning!!