In the Garden · Lunch · Picnic

Edible Blooms and how to use them. πŸ’›Spring is on the way πŸ’›

I don’t know about you. But I am all set for light nights, longer days and some warmth πŸ’› I feel like Florida really attempted to have a winter this year. May I just say, that is not why I moved here… I did not sign up for this. Sunshine State. Come on. Sort it out. But now that the clocks have changed and it’s not dark by dinner time I feel we are finally getting somewhere. And Spring is on its way πŸ’› my favorite time of year.

To celebrate this beautiful shift of the seasons, I’ve been back in the garden making it beautiful and focusing my attention on edible blooms. Those who know me know I love adding flowers to anything and everything. And have a penchant for drying flowers out too… (I’ve been questioned several times as to why I keep bouquets after they have died). And so edible flowers with flavours and colours are just my idea of heaven. It’s been a little ridiculous to be fair. I’m putting them here there and everywhere and it makes me so happy πŸ’›

The edible blooms I’ve been growing and buying (thank you The Farmacy) are Pansy, Marigold, Lavender, Nasturtium and Society Garlic. They just make everything look so inviting and pretty. And have been so easy to grow and enjoy. I hope you love them as much as I do. Most -bar the garlic have a mild, sometimes a little peppery flavour just like a salad leaf.

Just remember you can’t just start munching any flowers from the garden section, they need to be organic, not sprayed with chemicals and fertilizers. Which is why it’s best to try an grow your own πŸ’›

Recipe above : Spring time salad with edible flowers.

This made two bowls :

1 Large head of Romaine

1 Slice of Watermelon diced

1/2 Bell Pepper sliced

1 Cup Mandarin segments

1 Cup Peas ( I used frozen – defrosted)

A few springs of mint – separated.

Assorted edible flowers


Juice of a lemon

2-3 Tbs Extra Virgin Olive oil

A few sprigs of mint.

Pinch of salt.

Give everything fresh a good wash and pop all ingredients into a bowl.

For the dressing I like to give the mint leaves a good squash with a pestle and mortar just to relased some of the oils, then add lemon juice and oil. Give a good mix together and fish the rather beaten up mint back out. Season to taste and lightly dress the salad.

Another of my favourites lately is to pop the more herb like flowers into flavoured waters or lemonades. Lemon Lavender and mint is a sound favourite currently. πŸ’›

Or you know Cupcakes are never a bad move. So pretty. So natural πŸ’› Recipe coming soon for PB&J Cupcakes.

And finally I made this last weekend it’s an old faithful from the blog. Find the recipe here…

I just think cakes decorated with real beautiful flowers are one of my all time favourite things. Just naturally stunning with no added artificial colours or flavours. I’m just in love with my little Nasturtiums. I urge you to give these little beauties a try, go outside and get growing. I promise you a garden is a gift that just keeps giving πŸ’›.

Dinner · Lunch

Fully loaded Nacho Style Sweetpotato Chips πŸ’›

Some nights just call for relaxed food. You know, those jammies on, hair up, throw yourself on the couch kind of night? That’s what I’m talking about. This is not an elegant dish… But it’s ridiculously moreish, vibrant and delicious. That Texmex mix always seems to hit the spot for me and by now you should know my love of all things Sweetpotato… Well it’s like they met and had this beautiful little love child πŸ’› Sweet. Spicy. Sticky. Delicious…

And yes. A perfect night in was born.

This recipe couldn’t be any easier to put together too. And a total cheat with ready made salsa/pico. Every one always has their own favourite. You can usually pick up some lovely fresh versions in stores or farmers markets these days too!

Recipe: Serves two (happily)

2 Sweet potatoes

1 Tbs oil ( I used Avocado)

1 tsp Paprika

1 tsp Cumin

1/2 Tsp salt.

Fully loaded topping:

1 Cup Black beans (cooked and drained)

1 Cup diced fresh Pepper

1/2 Red Onion sliced thinly

1 Cup sweetcorn kernels

1 Cup Salsa of your choice ( Pico de gallo works great too)

Lime wedges and Cilantro to top.

Preheat the oven to 400Β°.

Chop the sweet potatoes into chunky chips. Toss them in oil and the spices and pop on a non stick baking tray and into a hot oven for 30 minutes.

During the last five minutes of the sweet potatoes cooking, gently heat a sautee pan and add the pepper and onions. Cook until a little soft then add the beans and corn. Give everything a gentle stir. Just to warm though. Once the chips are ready, pile onto a serving dish and spoon over your salsa, with your veggie mix on top. Chop up a lime and some cilantro and serve alongside.

Don’t be shy now..

Enjoy πŸ’›

Baking · Dessert

❀Sunday Baking Valentine’s Style ❀ 🌹 Cherry Almond and Rose Sticky Buns πŸŒΉ

Ok. Confession. The amount of times I tried to take photos of this recipe may be a little embarrassing… but nothing I did seemed to show it well. So a few billion shots and a few choice words later I gave up and used the first one I took. What can I say? I chose the blog life. The blog life did not choose me….

Anyway.. back to what I’m supposed to be wittering on talking about.

Valentine’s ❀ or Galentine’s or whatever it is you feel like celebrating… I’m not precious, you do you. But I do advise you do it with sticky buns.. because life’s just a little better when it’s served something sweet and sticky. Or maybe that’s just me ??

Besides, I always love the idea of making something to show you care. A little time and effort can mean the world. Specially on these commercially vamped up holidays. Take some time, make it with love instead. I will admit. These buns take a little love and some patience as it needs to prove twice. Not that it’s hard work, but it’s not a quick snap recipe.. but they seemed worth the wait to me ❀

It’s no secret in my house my love of all things almond. My two childhood favourites (childhood? Who am I kidding) were always Cherry Bakewells and Battenburg Cake. And you’ll find me eating my own bodyweight in Marzipan over the holidays too. I have to admit. This relationship has been going on decades now.. I think… I think it must be love ❀ and so that was very much the flavour I wanted to run with. And so.. my Cherry Almond Sticky buns were born.

These really are one of those special occasion treats. They’re sticky and rich and everything I love about a sweet treat. The cherry jam pairs well with the rose scented frosting and almond dough. I hope you like them as much as I did.

Happy Valentines Day ❀



1 Cup Almond milk

1 tsp Almond extract

1 Packet Dry Active Yeast

1tsp + 2 Tbs Sugar

3 Cups flour

3 Tbs oil

1/4 Cup Diced Cherries


1/4 Cup Cherry Jam


1 1/2 Cups Powedered Sugar

1 Tbs Earth balance (melted)

1tsp Rose Water

Splash Almond Milk, so its liquid enough to spread.

To decorate : edible rose petals

To start gently heat almond milk to luke warm. Sprinkle in yeast and 1tsp sugar. Give a good mix and leave to get activated and frothy for 5-10 minutes.

Meanwhile add flour, and remaining sugar to a stand mixer. If you haven’t got a stand mixer you’ll need to knead the dough for a while until the dough is springy once you’ve made it)

Add milk to flour, and then add in oil an almond extract and mix until a dough is formed. Once ready pop to one side in a warm dry area for an hour or two or until dough has doubled in size.

At this point removed the dough, squish the air out then knead in chopped cherries. Leave the dough to rest and rise a little again for an hour or so.

Once dough is ready, roll out to a large rectangle and spread with cherry jam. Roll up and slice. If you need more instructions on this check out my blueberry lemon rolls recipe.

Pop into a silicone mold or well greased baking tray. Then leave again for a little while till the oven preheats to 375Β°.

Bake for 15-20 minutes or until puffed up and baked through.

Leave to cool slightly before inverting, but do it whilst it’s still warm for best results.

Mix all the frosting ingredients together. If you’re eating this straight away, pour all over and enjoy when cool enough to handle, but still a little warm, if not then leave to cool completely before frosting ❀

I’d love you to believe that was the total amount of frosting used …

Sprinkle with rose petals and enjoy !!

Dinner · Lunch

Fourth Additon to the Winter Wamer Series. Sweet Potato “Thanksgiving” Soup.

I loved making this Soup. It was like taking a step back to Thanksgiving πŸ’› Complete accident too. I’d started out just making my favourite Sweet potato Lentil and Harissa soup. But realised I was had no Harissa left. Rookie mistake Robinson. But as my sweet potatoes were already happily bubbling away, desperation seemed to inspire creativity. And off to the garden I went for some new ideas… And voila, this pretty little creation was born.

Pairing Sweetpoatoes with fresh Sage and Parsley reminded me of the ingredients I used on my thanksgiving table, and of course it’s not Thanksgiving without Cranberries.. so that’s what I went with. Trust me guys. Would I lead you astray!?

Yep. Sweetpotato. Lentils. Stock. Parsley. Sage. Cranberries. It’s that simple. πŸ’› All the flavour, non of the fuss.

You all know my affinity with large bowls of food and this recipe was no exception. A large bowl of soup, snuggled up in the warm, favorite book to hand or film on tele. Hygge at it’s finest. (By the way. Does anyone know how to pronounce that?! ).

And by the way, fried Sage leaves? I’m in love. Crispy little bites of deliciousness πŸ’š if you have not tried them I promise they will not disappoint. They really work brilliantly here I hope you love them as much as I do.

So here we are;

Recipe makes 2 big bowls

2 Sweet Poatoes

1/3 Cup Red Lentils

5-6 Cups Vegetable stock

1 tsp Honey

Bunch of Sage

1 Clove Garlic

Bunch of Parsley

1-2 tbs Oil (I used avocado)



Dried Cranberries

Peel and chop the sweetpotato, pop in to a medium saucepan with the lentils and stock.

Take the bunch of sage and separate into two halves. Tie one bunch together with kitchen twine to make a mini bouquet garni. Pop into the pan carefully along with the peeled clove of garlic. Cook 30 minutes or so until everything is tender. Topping up with stock if necessary. Remove the now destroyed bouquet garni and discard.

Puree everything until a nice smooth consistency, at this point add salt and a tsp of honey. Then return to the pan to keep warm while you make the crispy sage leaves. I promise this step is worth it.

Put a small frying pan on to heat and heat up the oil you’re using. Once oil is hot, add the leaves a few at a time until deep green and crisped up. Removed with a slotted spoon too some kitchen roll. You’re effectively shallow frying the leaves.

Pop the soup into two bowls and top happily with Parsely, Cranberries, Seeds and last but not least, the crispy Sage leaves.

Love to know what you think of this one!

Dinner · Lunch

Third Winter Warmer addition. Chunky Mushroom Soup πŸ’š

I don’t know about you. But for me, soup is life. Specially in the winter months. There is something so wholesome, cosy and comforting about a big hot bowl of soup. Specially if there’s some warm crusty bread to give a good dunk with. Ahhh. It’s the simple things isn’t it ? However one thing I often don’t take into account is the amount of time needed to make a really good soup or broth. If I haven’t thought ahead and I come home tired and hungry, I need something a little quicker. And this little gem has become a go to for those days πŸ’š

These flavours are much more earthy than my regular concoctions, but I’ve been obsessed with the mushroom stocks that have been popping up all over the place lately and wanted to expand my repetioir of uses for it. ( By the way this is the same stock I used for my French onion soup recipe in my book and my Pho recipe on here, it’s also what I use as a base for my gravy too).

This recipe made a good 3 servings.

1 Medium Courgette (Zuchini )

1 Tub Baby Portabella mushrooms

2tsp Oil of choice I used Avocado

2 Cloves Garlic

5 Cups Mushroom stock

1 Cup Brown rice Pasta

1/2 Carton of Cannellini Beans

Splash of Shoyu (or salt if you prefer )

Parsley and Lemon Zest to serve

Preheat a large saucepan or Dutch oven on medium, and dice the mushroom and courgette in 1cm ish chunks. Add the oil to the pan and sautee the veggies for just a couple of minutes, then finely dice the garlic and add. Once the veggies are starting to soften, carefully add the stock. Slowly bring to a simmer and pop in the pasta. Cook for 8-10 minutes or until pasta is cooked, then stir through Cannellini and heat them through. Test soup and add shoyu if it needs a little more depth of flavor to the stock.

Serve immediately topped with chopped parsley, and a little lemon Zest.


Second Addition to the Winter Warmer Series. Winter Spiced Porridge with Persimmon and Pommegrante.Β 

Everyone knows my love of all things breakfast…. And Sunday mornings… and things that are sweet. And here we have a combination of everything. On top of it being a pretty little dish, (you know part of me is tempted to make this my Christmas breakfast this year) it’s beautifully seasonal … I love all things Christmas especially the scents and flavours, or the spices I associate with this time of year. Cinnamon and Nutmeg are a combination of heaven and I have to admit lately my go to spice for bakes is actually Cardamom. And this lovely little number incorporated everything into one sweet spiced bowl of joy.

The colours here make me smile. I love the Orange and reds of this time of year. The Orange Persimmon spiked with the gentle little jewels of the pommegrante… yes. I’m falling in love with food again… back to my point, a more traditional flavour combination at this time is orange and cranberry, I think they would pair really well with this spiced porridge too. Though I do have a love hate relationship with Cranberries, I might have to test that option out just to satisfy my own curiosity at some point. But for now. This one ticks all the boxes. And I have it on good authority that it tastes better taken back to bed and enjoyed snuggled up… Just an idea.

So pretty. So easy. So delicious.

This recipe serves two but can be halved or multiplied easily. I’ve not really given good measurements for the spices as it’s down to personal preference.. but cinnamon I put in the most of, then just a little of the nutmeg and cardamom as they pack a good punch.

2 Cups Almond milk

1 Cup quick cook Oats

2 Tsp something sweet. And more to drizzle over.

1 good sprinkle cinnamon

1 pinch nutmeg

1 a pinch of cardamom

Couple of drops Vanilla paste or extract

1 Medium Persimmon

1/2 Pommegrante

Pop the milk in a medium sauce pan and heat gently. Once hot stir through the oats, the honey or maple, and the spices and vanilla. Don’t let this mixture boil just let it thicken gently until it’s the consistency you like. Then take it off the heat while you prep the fruit.

Top however you like, make it pretty. You do eat with your eyes after all… And enjoy.

Dinner · Lunch

Welcome to the Winter Warmer Series, with The Little Blue Garden πŸ’™ Sweet Potato and Sweet Pea Soup.Β 

So we are pretending it’s Winter now in Florida. Our reasoning ? Well it’s dark early…. That counts for something, I think?
Well. It’s the time of year where my head thinks being cosy inside is the way forward. And that equates to soup to me. There is jusy something wonderful about a big bowl full  of colour and some crusty bread to dunk away in.   To be honest, I am a major soup lover. Its one of my ultimate comfort foods.  I’m constantly throwing random combinations of different vegetables, grains and different types of stock together to come up with something new.  And this little combination is one I keep coming back to. I hope once you’ve tried it, you will too. Super simple ingredients. Super simple cooking. Super satisfying. It took me literally everything I have not to type “souper” there. I know. I probably need to get out more … 

So here it it is. This serves 2 but can easily be multiplied. 

Recipe :

1 Large Sweet Potato 

1 Large Carrot 

1/3 Cup Barley

5/6 Cups veggie stock. 

1tsp Tomato paste 


1 heaped cup of frozen sweet peas

2 Spring onions /green onions 
Peel and dice the root veggies into appx 1cm cubes. Pop them in a saucepan with the veggie stock, barley and tomato paste. Give everything a good mix and add a pinch of salt. 

Bring this to a boil and then reduce to a simmer for 30 minutes. Keep occasionally giving a stir to make sure nothing is sticking. 

Once the veggies are tender add the frozen peas and cook for a few more minutes until hot through. 

Serve with plenty of chopped spring onions on top.  

Perfect for those cold nights where warmth needs to be on the menu!