Fascinating Floral Art

Fascinating Floral Art in Liège, Belgium

Artists need outlets and have always found fascinating ways to share their talents with us. Food Art is a fun demonstration of artistic talents with amazing edible and non-edible offerings. “Street Artists” have been sharing temporary exhibitions in public locations for a long time. Most common have been sidewalk art (think Bert in Mary Poppins).

Floral Art delights us in colorful plantings in large scale landscapes, smaller planting areas and planters. Recently we’ve seen delightful floral art on walls, streets and even stairs.

A friend shared her photos with me of this fascinating floral art in Liège, Belgium.  My friend thought this was best yet of the three she has viewed there.

The town of Liège is a lovely city along the Meuse River in Belgium’s French-speaking Wallonia region. It’s old town is filled with landmarks dating to the medieval era.

 The impressive floral art exhibit is presented on the magnificent “Montagne de Bueren” (,) … a 374 step stairway leading from the Hors-Chateau to the Citadel.

 

 

 

 

 

Every 2 years these steps are “painted” with fresh flowers. This colorful floral art exhibit uses about 22,300 plants of about 23 varieties in 7400 pots transforming this ‘mountain’ of steps into a lovely Floral Painting or Mosaic to ‘step’ through. 

 

 The next exhibit is scheduled for June of 2020. Learn more about it here.

 

 

 

 

Shoshone Falls – “Niagara of the West”

Shoshone Falls is a magnificent waterfall spanning the Snake River in southern Idaho

 

Shoshone Falls is often referred to as the “Niagara of the West” with a powerful flow of water spilling over an impressive span of almost 1000 feet (300 M) wide and plunging 212 feet (65 m) into the river below, eventually finding its way to the Columbia River and on out to the Pacific Ocean.

During the summer, the flow over Shoshone Falls diminishes significantly to a “scenic flow” as the water of the Snake River is diverted upstream for irrigation.

 

This year, thanks to abundant rainfall up river in late spring/early summer, water was released from the irrigation reservoirs, providing a spectacular flow over Shoshone Falls. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The City of Twin Falls owns and operates Shoshone Falls  Park overlooking the waterfall. Tall shade trees and large expanses of lush green grass are an invitation to linger for picnics while visiting the waterfalls.

 

 

 

 

 

Fun Finds in Unexpected Places

Fun Finds of Great Food in Unexpected Places!

Gourmet Coffee and Organic home-made Ice Cream found in a small farming community

During a visit home to the ol’ stomping grounds, imagine my surprise and delight to discover Broadway Java – a cute little boutique coffee shop right on the main drag in the still-small farming community of Buhl, Idaho, offering a wonderful selection of gourmet coffees, teas and specialty drinks such as smoothies and protein shakes all supported with a mouthwatering menu of sandwiches, salads, pitas, and baked goods.

The coffee is comparable to what we expect from a ‘gourmet’ coffee shop in the city and so much better than ‘truck stop’ coffee we had been subjected to for hundreds of miles. The food was a delightful bonus.

 

Just a short walk from our motel,  we took advantage of this busy little shop with friendly and efficient servers and delicious food and drinks. We stopped in for a late lunch and enjoyed an amazing large fresh salad with a refreshing iced tea, returning the next two mornings for delicious breakfast of hot croissant sandwiches with our coffees

 

Another fun surprise and delight was finding the local dairy – new owners same location – and now serving delicious organic ice cream along with sales of milk, cheese, and butter. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Cloverleaf Creamery is a local family-owned business located just a block south of town center in the same building that once was Smith’s Dairy in Buhl, Idaho.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Beautiful Summer Solstice

Thank you Frey Organic Wines for this Beautiful Summer Solstice Tribute…

“Mid Summer brings the long drawn day, the dawn dance sends us on our way, sun drenched hours lost in bee-flight, then honey sweet the Solstice Night. Happy Summer Solstice everyone!”

 

Visit Frey Vineyards

 

Sailing Along

Delightful Sail Boat Planters full of flowers appear to be sailing along the pier in Tallinn, Estonia.

 Even in the drizzle, these little boats are bright and cheery!

EGGstatic over Tea Eggs!

Did you know it was National EGG Day?

That is, it WAS National Egg Day — on June 3– and I missed it!

Or at least I missed writing this post and publishing it on National Egg Day. Actually, I was busy making these Tea Eggs and thinking how easy they are and how delicious they are and that I needed to share about this great food!

Say all you want about the unique and …. potentially delicious… eggs cooked over an open fire in a long handled, hand-hammered ‘spoon’  (read more) I admit they are intriguing and I might have to attempt them sometime but for now, these Asian Tea Eggs have my attention. They are quick and easy, have a greater “satisfaction time” (get more servings in one cooking and they ‘hold’ for a longer period of time) and… they are delicious. Not having tasted the eggs cooked over a fire in a big spoon, I can’t say if one is more delicious than the other, but I can say these Tea Eggs are addictive!

The concept and flavors intrigued me but I was hesitant. Just in case I didn’t like them, I prepared only 3 eggs. Most of the recipes are for 6 or 12. The ingredients are easy to adjust. My first batch was devoured – practically inhaled! — and a second batch was started immediately.

Now I am keeping Tea Eggs in the refrigerator for easy snacking and adding to salads etc.

In comparing recipes (there are numerous recipes available —just google them) they all have the same basic ingredients and preparation: Soy Sauce, Tea and Spices (usually Anise and Mandarin Orange peel) flavoring a broth in which hard boiled eggs are further cooked and then ‘steeped’ in this flavorful aromatic liquid. The shells of the cooked eggs are gently smashed all over but not removed before the eggs go into the broth. Later, when the shells are removed prior to eating – they slip off quite easily – the egg whites have an intriguing ‘crackled’ marble appearance.

Mine look just like the pictures on the internet. I use brown eggs to start, so the shell color is darker after steeping.  I have not yet attempted to cook the eggs in a way to keep the yolk bright yellow, but I don’t mind the dark edge. There are some recipes suggesting a ‘clean’ yellow yolk.

A good description of this egg preparation from one recipe says “it’s like giving (plain and dry) hard boiled eggs a makeover”.

Give these great Tea Eggs a try –and let me know what you think of them!

 

Royal Wedding Cakes

The Royal Wedding is still entertaining us.

The royal hoopla of Prince Harry and his bride Meghan is still filling the media. Since we love the Royals, other things British and especially CAKES of all kinds, I am adding this Royal Wedding Cake to our collection of “Let’s Eat Cake”.

The elegant presentation is enough to just sit and dream over.

Knowing the type of cake it is makes it perfect for our collection — a light lemony sponge cake with lemon curd filling, frosted with a Swiss meringue buttercream and topped off with fresh spring flowers. It is right in line with some of our favorites,  just a little more…Royal!

The infusion of elderberry flowers is the magic ingredient making this exquisite creation by Claire Ptak, founder of the Violet Bakery a perfect cake for this royal wedding and elevates this cake to the royal level!

Read about Claire and her cake experience in this entertaining and enlightening article “This is the Story of How Hackney Baker Claire Ptak Made the Royal Wedding Cake”  from the EATER London.

Also fun and fascinating is this article from royal.uk: “The Royal Wedding Cakes of History” describing an amazing history of cakes since Queen Victoria and Prince Albert in 1840 through the ranks to Prince William and Catherine Middleton in 2011,  a delightful collection of photos and descriptions provides us insight to the elegance and exquisite creations of previous Royal wedding cakes.

 

 

Farmers Market in the Desert

Chill out at this Farmers Market in the Desert

Singh Meadows, Tempe, Arizona

Smack in the middle of the desert …this Famers Market is a surprise and a delight!  Located on a 70-acre floodplain and former golf course in Tempe, Arizona, Singh Meadows is an organic farm hosting weekend Farmers Market abundant with fresh organic produce raised right here in the Arizona desert! The Farmers Markets also offer freshly baked artisanal breads, local honey, duck eggs and goat cheese –delicious food grown or cooked within a mile radius of the farmers market.


 

 

 Baskets filled with fresh produce can be ordered ahead and are ready to grab and go.

But why rush?! – After (or before) shopping the Farmers Market you’ll want to linger and enjoy a refreshing drink from the juice bar, a bite to eat at the cafe …

 

 

 

 

 

 

Or just relax and enjoy the meadow.   Singh Meadows provides a safe, toxin-free place where everyone can enjoy walking paths, playing by the pond, or just laying in the grass.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“What I want folks to see is this can be done in the desert, without chemicals,” says owner Ken Singh.

Growing your own gardens? You can purchase organic herbs, bedding plants, compost and mulch– some of the best for a healthy garden!

Giant Inflatable Humanoids Arrive

Six giant inflatable humanoid figures arrived in downtown Mesa, Arizona, for their United States premier of the Fantastic Planet sculpture exhibit by Australian artist Amanda Parer.

Inspired by the 1973 science fiction animated film of the same name, these friendly figures perch on rooftops, stand tall against buildings, and crouch in the plaza, giving an impression of having just landed and “are quietly and gently exploring our ‘fantastic planet’.”

 

 

 

May evenings in Arizona are perfect for strolling the streets of downtown Mesa and viewing this delightful exhibit of these giant inflatable humanoid sculptures.   Opening night festivities along the route included a number of  performers — musicians, dancers, flame throwers — as well as an impressive display of motorcycles lining both sides of Main street.

As the sun set and twilight softly gave into a night sky, the friendly giants glowed quietly, emerging in the dark, their positions becoming more visible.

In celebration of these inflatable humanoid figures and the Fantastic Planet Sculptures exhibit, week-long activities included a showing of the original film, opportunities for drawing or painting in outdoor open-studio formats, and Yoga amid the sculptures.

Watch for the Fantastic Planet Inflatable Humanoid Figures to land in an exhibit near you!

It’s a Blooming’ Spring!

It’s MAY!

Spring Showers Bring May Flowers.

Spring is finally starting to ‘bust out all over’ … from of Palo Verde blossoms in Arizona, Cherry blossoms in Oregon and Maryland, and Apple blossoms in Colorado to Tulips, Bluebells and Snow drops in England and Lily of the Valley in Belgium — even Bougainvillea with a snowy backdrop in Finland! …. carpets of flowers and blossoms are ‘raining’ down  (and in Colorado – literally ‘snowing’ or at least surviving a spring snow shower) ….  Bring it on!

    


    

                   

            

    

What are some of your favorite flowers or Spring?

Happy MAY!