Come along with me as I journal about my latest cooking and gardening adventures. Discover what grows in my zone five garden, and see what new recipes I try from my cookbook collection each week.

As I share recipes and information from my kitchen, I invite readers to comment and share ideas along with me in this blog. I am looking to increase followers to my blog, so that I may learn more about cooking and gardening.

Since moving to Midland, Michigan, I have been reading and researching many cooking journals, cookbooks and collected recipes from the past thirty years. Organizing pictures of gardens I enjoy has also been a joy for me, as I continue to learn about garden design and horticulture.

angel food cakes

angel food cakes
this kitchen is seasoned with love

Wednesday, June 2, 2010


my love of peonies began in 1990. in my west virginia garden, i had four large peonies that i had inherited from the previous owner of the home, each of them being a different cultivar.

here in midland, i have eight peonies in different areas of my yard, with five them receiving more sun than the latter three. this tends to allow me to enjoy peonies for a longer season, since their blossoms open in sequence. overnight, my peonies began to bloom and i couldn't wait to enjoy them today. i admired them several times in the afternoon.

since there were predictions for rain the next day, i decided to cut a few blooms to enjoy inside. snipping these beautiful flowers and taking them indoors is such a treat. my plants are so fragrant. today, i am remembering my first peony garden in west virginia.

lemon balm blueberry cake

one of my favorite herbs to grow has always been lemon balm. the scent of the leaves is quite refreshing and the herb can be used in a variety of ways, although until today, i have never actually baked with lemon balm.

for many years, this recipe has been in a folder just waiting to be made. and, today was the perfect day. my lemon balm needed harvesting, since it was already very tall and shadowing my nearby yarrow that was desiring more sunlight.

the lemon balm leaves are chopped and added to 3/4 cup of milk on the stove, heated to infuse the scent of the plant. after the mixture is cooled, traditional cake ingredients are added. eggs, sugar, softened butter, flour, and baking powder. the last couple of ingredients make this cake special. adding grated lemon zest and fresh or frozen blueberries complete the recipe.

after 60 minutes in a 350 degree oven, the cake is ready to serve. after it cooled, i dusted the top with powdered sugar. after the first taste, i regretted not trying this recipe sooner. so delicious.