Cooking with Flowers

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Cooking with Flowers is a delicious mix of food and flowers and possibly the most beautiful cookbook I have ever seen!

It makes me want to plant Roses, Tulips, Hollyhocks, Daylilies, Dianthus and it forever changed my opinion on Dandelions~ I’ll never curse one again :)

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When I first saw this cookbook on Jain’s beautiful blog, my pulse quickened and my heart skipped a beat~ you’ll want to take the time to stop and taste the roses in Jain’s garden!

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Feast your eyes

 and your taste buds. . .

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From Cooking with Flowers:

“Here are more than 100 recipes that will bring beautiful flower-filled dishes to your kitchen table! This easy-to-use cookbook is brimming with scrumptious botanical treats, from sweet violet cupcakes, pansy petal pancakes, daylily cheesecake, and rosemary flower margaritas to savory sunflower chickpea salad, chive blossom vinaigrette, herb flower pesto, and mango orchid sticky rice.”

Cooking with Flowers

“Alongside every recipe are tips and tricks for finding, cleaning, and preparing edible blossoms. You’ll also learn how to infuse vinegars, vodkas, sugars, frostings, jellies and jams, ice creams, and more with the color and flavor of your favorite flowers. Fresh from the farmers’ market or plucked from your very own garden, a world of delectable flowers awaits!”

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Since my pansies and violas I planted in the fall will soon be languishing in the heat and will need to be replaced with summer annuals in a couple of weeks, I thought I would try flower syrup. As with any edible flower, only use pansies or violas that are pesticide and chemical free.

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 Pick your flowers in the morning when they are fresh, avoiding older bruised blooms. Rinse gently to “debug” them and pat dry. Remove each pansy or viola from its sepals (green base). If your pansy/viola petals separate, it won’t matter for the syrup.

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For pansy/viola syrup:

 2 – 3 cups fresh or dried flower blossoms (I used 2 cups)

2 cups boiling water

1/2 cup sugar

1/4 to 1 cup fresh or frozen fruit, optional ( I didn’t use but will next time)

Makes 2 cups

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Place blossoms in a medium bowl and pour boiling water over them. Let them stand for at least 2 hours and up to 24 hours (mine steeped for 3 hours). In a saucepan over medium heat, bring flower water, sugar and fruit if using, to a simmer. Cook for 4 minutes, then remove from heat and pour through a fine mesh strainer into a glass container. Discard solids and refrigerate up to a month.

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Infused with the color of the pansies, this finishing syrup is a light lavender color, thinner and easier to pour than a simple syrup, and can also be used over ice cream. The flavor was slightly sweet and herbally, next time I’ll add berries for a little  fruit flavor.

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I was inspired to make some Pansy Petal Pancakes,

or actually crepes!

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There is a crepe recipe included in the cookbook, but I used my go to recipe~ Alton Brown’s, available at Food Network and added a teaspoon of vanilla to the crepe batter.

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Pour 1/4 cup of your crepe batter in the middle of your hot skillet and swirl to distribute the batter quickly and evenly. After about 1 minute, add your violas or pansies to the crepe. I used my finger to press the petals down gently into the crepe until they flattened from heat from the pan. When the petals are flat, flip crepe and cook another 30 seconds or so. 

My first few crepes were a hot mess until I figured out how long to wait to place the flowers and flip the crepes, so experiment and save your prettier violas after you get the hang of your crepes.

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You can make these crepes and stack them after they are cooled between sheets of parchment or wax paper and store in a sealable plastic bag in the fridge for several days. Reheat your crepe in the microwave and add your filling.

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 My filling was a mixture of lemon curd and light cream cheese. You could fill your crepes with your favorite jam, fruit, whipped cream or nutella. The violas don’t add a distinctive flavor to the crepe especially with the filling, but what a pretty crepe to wake up to or enjoy for brunch~ especially for Mother’s Day!

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“Sweet violets, spicy orchids, savory sunflowers- who knew flowers were so delicious?”

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  48 comments for “Cooking with Flowers

  1. May 4, 2013 at 7:55 am

    You are amazing. What a great post. I used to use flowers in salads or in presentation quite a bit. But never made a syrup.The crepes look delicious.

  2. May 4, 2013 at 8:24 am

    Mary, I will be right over for crepes! So beautiful! I remember when my son was young, he ate all the nasturtiums out of the beautiful salad I made ;o) And left me with a bowl of lettuce ;o)

  3. May 4, 2013 at 8:47 am

    Mary, Your crepes look delicious! I am wondering what kind of pan you use? A non-stick or a special crepe pan? That book is beautiful and now I know why all the critters in my yard eat my flowers. They must be very tasty! Linda

    • May 4, 2013 at 10:20 am

      Hi Linda, I used a regular nonstick skillet and used my fingers to lift and flip the crepe :)

  4. May 4, 2013 at 8:48 am

    I can honestly say the crepes are just too pretty to eat! Oh my Mary! You certainly have outdone yourself! You create beauty and a story with every post!

  5. Cheryl
    May 4, 2013 at 8:49 am

    Just lovely Mary. Now if I could just find someone who would make me that beautiful breakfast for Mother’s Day. :)

  6. May 4, 2013 at 8:56 am

    looks delicious and beautiful!…Christine

  7. May 4, 2013 at 8:58 am

    Just absolutely beautiful & delightful!!

  8. a quiet life
    May 4, 2013 at 9:09 am

    This book was made for us! I knew I could never make the crepes because my climate is too hot to grow them, but I KNEW YOU COULD! And frankly this was the prettiest recipe of all only enhanced by YOU! I so love your photos, a match made in heaven mingling you too… breathtaking as ALWAYS!

  9. May 4, 2013 at 9:25 am

    Learning to love or at accept Dandelions may save my sanity! Thanks I’ll be checking out this book
    kathy

  10. May 4, 2013 at 9:33 am

    Blown away! Almost too pretty to eat. I am going order this book now..thanks for the heads up!

  11. May 4, 2013 at 10:10 am

    Mary, you are unreal!!! I only used flowers as a garnish for cakes, etc. That does look like a gorgeous cook book. xo

  12. Paula
    May 4, 2013 at 10:29 am

    ~Mary~
    The photos are so pretty, the crepes look wonderful!! I would love to get that book!
    I had eaten flowers on cake before and was surprised how good they were, (or maybe it was just the cake, hehee). My grandmother used to make a salad with dandelions greens, I remember it was just yummy!
    Have a blessed day!
    paula~
    In.

  13. May 4, 2013 at 11:17 am

    OMGoodness, we LOOOOVE creoes here and these for Mother’s day would be perfect!!! We usually fill our breakfast crepes with jam and then roll them and sprinkle with powdered sugar. Then slice and eat. I really want this book now. Your presentation is, once again, perfection and BEAUTY!!!! You truly amaze me with every post. XO, Pinky

  14. May 4, 2013 at 11:18 am

    typo!!! CREPES….LOL!

  15. May 4, 2013 at 11:40 am

    so much more fun to see these on the laptop, BIG AND BEAUTIFUL!

  16. May 4, 2013 at 11:53 am

    I am just about speechless those crepes are so incredible! Crepes aren’t the easiest anyway I can’t imagine how tricky it was to add those delicate flowers…simply stunning! I know I don’t have the patience to try any cooking with flowers but I hope you will share all your future experiments with us, I know they will be amazing! I can picture you in your potting shed coming up with all kinds of surprises with your beautiful flowers! A gardener I am not, I have to stick to buying, arranging and painting flowers…:)

  17. May 4, 2013 at 2:04 pm

    oh my goodness, Mary, these are works of art!!

  18. May 4, 2013 at 2:54 pm

    So beautiful! Almost too pretty to eat! I just might have to give up reading your blog, Mary…I ordered the two books from your Villa della Luna post and now you’re making me order this one!…when I had sworn I wasn’t buying one more book!

    I just planted some violas about a week ago, but the plants are still too small to pluck the flowers…although they are blooming…Might have to wait until next year to do this!

  19. May 4, 2013 at 7:03 pm

    Mary, the viola crepes are the sweetest idea. What a special dish for spring. I think this might be the prettiest presentation ever. You make it all look so enticing!

  20. May 4, 2013 at 8:39 pm

    The crepes look too pretty to eat but somehow I could manage that.

  21. May 4, 2013 at 8:57 pm

    Mary, I have not seen prettier crepes in my life! You amaze me with your abilities to be so artistic with food. The cookbook looks like one that I would adore. Thanks for introducing me to it.

  22. May 5, 2013 at 5:51 am

    Your crepes are gorgeous Mary! I love the look of the cake on the book cover too! I saw a yard covered in violets on my walk and almost stopped to ask if I could pick them to make violet jelly-wimped out though… Happy Cinco de Mayo:@)

  23. May 5, 2013 at 11:12 am

    How gorgeous Mary….I must get that book…The crepes and syrup not only look beautiful but I am sure the taste is just amazing!…

  24. May 5, 2013 at 11:30 am

    Wow, Mary! That book is seriously the perfect cookbook for you. The crepes look amazing, and I bet the syrup is delicious, too!!! :D I could see you making several of the recipes in this book and enjoying them in your cute little potting shed.

    This is the first time I’ve heard of this book, and it looks so pretty. I will definitely check it out. (I love anything infused with lavender!) Thanks for linking-up to Literary Friday! This post has made my weekend….

    Shelley’s horse show was rained out yesterday, so they’re going to try again today at 1:00. I hope the rain stays away!

    xo,
    RJ

  25. May 5, 2013 at 5:08 pm

    The fact that you continually experiment with new things is amazing. A coupe of years ago I made ice cream from day lillies. I thought it tasted like a dream siècle, but the rest of the family wasn’t crazy about it.

  26. May 6, 2013 at 7:52 am

    What a gorgeous post. They are almost too pretty to eat.

  27. May 6, 2013 at 10:36 am

    Oh how I wish I had seen this about two weeks ago!!! I planned a May basket themed luncheon, and I had it in my head to serve some edible flowers. After exhausting myself looking for good recipe ideas that were, as they say, not above my pay grade, I finally just gave up.

    This all looks positively fabulous to me.
    Nothing new there. I’m always just a little star struck here.

  28. May 8, 2013 at 9:00 am

    Those are the most gorgeous crepes that I have ever seen! You must “WOW” your guests all the time!! Your potting shed is going to be a busy place with all your floral concoctions!!

  29. May 9, 2013 at 5:55 pm

    Gosh, I’m so far behind here! What seriously beautiful crepes, Mary! What a lovely idea.

  30. May 10, 2013 at 12:52 pm

    SO Gorgeous! We used to have a yard with wild violets growing everywhere in spring…They are among my favorite edible flowers. Now I only wish I was back there to harvest them and make these beautiful crepes!!!

  31. May 10, 2013 at 3:50 pm

    This is an amazing idea! I love this and really want to get my hands on this book now :D

  32. May 13, 2013 at 12:52 am

    What a beautiful post! Those crepes are gorgeous! Glad I found you on Stone Gable.

  33. homeiswheretherootslead.wordpress.com
    May 15, 2013 at 5:41 pm
  34. June 2, 2013 at 5:31 am

    Just purchased this book. I think a glamping (glamor+camping) weekend with my sisters will be a great venue for serving up some of the colorful dishes.

  35. January 12, 2014 at 8:50 am

    What a gorgeous idea – this would be absolutely perfect for my mum’s birthday breakfast!

    Love your blog, I’m looking forward to having a good nose around over a cup of coffee this afternoon :)

  36. March 25, 2014 at 8:33 am

    The whole book is amazing isn’t it?
    I am planning a whole flowers jelly collection to enter into the county fair this year.
    I use flowers A LOT in my cooking already, but this book gave me so many wonderful, NEW ideas to use.
    Now…for the flowers to bloom here…

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