THIS WEEKEND! Plants, a lovely spot on earth, and Art…how can you say no?

The Show season begins, and we excited to get out in the air and meet new friends. The Botanical Beauties & Beasties will be displaying our ‘wears’ at the Herb and Garden Show in Tiverton RI. If you have never been to this area in RI you are missing a “little piece of heaven” – it’s beautiful and full of wonderful places to visit, shop, browse, stroll…and…we will be there, it’s like icing on the cake. 

We hope you can join in the fun; this should be a lovely day! Plants galore, Herbs (my favorite) and Art! Again I ask, how can you say no? How can you go wrong?

Herb & Garden Show

When: THIS WEEKEND! Saturday, May 26th, 2012 : 10 am-4 pm  (RAIN DATE:  Sunday May 27th 10 am-4 pm, but the weather is looking good right now, hopefully it stays that way!)

Where: On the Lawn of the Soule-Seabury House (which is also the grounds of the Tiverton Four Corners Arts Center)

TheSoule-Seabury House is 3852 Main Rd., Tiverton, RI, 02878Visitors will have an extensive selection of locally grown flowers, herbs and vegetables as well as hand-made jewelry, wood carvings, handbags, wind chimes and other crafts The site includes over an acre of landscaped grounds which are used for exhibits, concerts, outdoor dance, sculpture, theater, and a variety of other special events. See you there!

“Located within a one hour drive of Boston, Providence, Newport, and the towns of Southeastern Massachusetts, Tiverton Four Corners has become an important center for antiques, fine art, decorative crafts, and cozy shops nestled into a quaint New England Village of 18th century buildings. Enjoy the fresh air as you walk the few steps between shops to peek in windows, sample gourmet treats and purchase quality goods of all kinds in an unhurried, friendly and charming atmosphere.” –

DIRECTIONS:: Tiverton Four Corners is located within a one hour drive of Boston, Providence, Newport, Cape Cod, and the communities of southeastern Massachusetts. For door to door driving directions, go to Mapquest. 
FROM BOSTON: Rt. 128 to Rt. 24 South. In Fall River follow the signs for Rt. 195 West to return to Rt. 24 South.
Exit 5 onto Rt. 77 South; 6 miles to Tiverton Four Corners. (approx. 1 hr.)
FROM CAPE COD: Take Rt. 195 West to Rt. 24 South. Exit 5 onto Rt. 77 South; 6 miles to Tiverton Four Corner.
FROM PROVIDENCE: Take Rt. 195 East to Rt. 24 South. Exit 5 onto Rt. 77 South; 6 miles to Tiverton Four Corners.



TFFN =Ta Ta For Now, Thai Food Friday Now or the journal Gordy works on!

Last week was Thai Soup – This week is Thai Rice. As always, if you can, buy local ingredients, or at local sites, or at least at stores that promote local!  I know they are not local but I am seeing a lot of Pineapples in the stores right now?!  Wondering about Gordy and the Journal he works on are?

Gordy_Art 2

An Artist, and an Arts Journalist, he enjoys creating all types of art and places no limits on himself. Naturally, his bend is for ECO art, he loves to recreate and make “Objects D’Art” while keeping all his materials as green as possible. To that end, he now only shoots digital when he has a camera in hand, the chemicals of traditional film and processing is not something he wants to contribute to the world. His sculptures tend to be from “found or recycled materials, and he uses recycled paper for all his 2D work. He has been known to dance when the mood strikes, and “create for fun” when inspiration strikes! He also works as the Arts Journalist for the Local Paper of Botaniumus called Twine, Twigs Figura and News, or commonly called TTFN. (It’s ok to smile if you are a Tigger fan!) –Gordy is created from Gourds, Palm Tree Trunk, mixed floral and even a bit of a live Key West Iguana! (Click image for larger view of Gordy.)

On the the food….

Thai Heavenly Pineapple Fried Rice (Vegetarian)
This recipe is from – Thai Food

This classic Thai pineapple fried rice recipe is real vegetarian Thai food. Make this easy fried rice at home – it’s as good or better than take-out fried rice! Thai jasmine rice is fried up with chunks of pineapple, plus cashews, peas, and currents with a curry-flavored sauce. Includes cooking tips to create perfect fried rice every time. Proof that vegetarian Thai cooking is anything but boring. Mmmm – heavenly!

Prep Time: 30 minutes   Cook Time: 8 minutes     Total Time: 38 minutes   Yield:
SERVES 5-6 as a side dish


  • 1 small can pineapple chunks, drained, OR 1+1/2 cups fresh pineapple chunks (instructions below)
  • 3-4 cups cooked rice, preferably several days old (Tip: if fresh, leave for an hour or more in the refrigerator uncovered)
  • 1/4 cup vegetable or faux chicken stock (or regular chicken stock if non-vegetarian)
  • 2 shallots, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 red or green chili, thinly sliced, OR 1/4 to 3/4 tsp. dried crushed chili (chili flakes)
  • 1 egg (vegans can omit)*
  • ½ cup frozen peas
  • optional: 1 small carrot, grated (about 1/4 cup)
  • ¼ cup currants OR raisins
  • ½ cup roasted unsalted whole cashews
  • 3 spring onions, finely sliced
  • 1/3 cup fresh coriander
  • 3 Tbps. soy sauce (OR substitute fish sauce if non-vegetarian)
  • 2 tsp. curry powder
  • optional: 1/2 tsp. sugar
  • Preparation:

    For instructions on preparing fresh pineapple, OR to create a “pineapple boat” for your fried rice, see: How to Buy/Prepare Fresh Pineapple.1

    1. Mix 1 Tbsp. oil with the rice, using your fingers to separate any chunks into grains. Set aside.
    2. In a cup, stir the soy sauce/fish sauce together with the curry powder.
    3. Drizzle 1-2 Tbsp. oil in a wok/large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add shallots, garlic, and chili, stir-frying until fragrant (1 minute). Whenever the wok/pan becomes dry, add a little stock (1 Tbsp. at a time to keep ingredients sizzling).
    4. Crack egg (if using) into wok and stir quickly to cook (like making scrambled eggs).
    5. Add the carrot (if using) and peas. Stir-fry 1-2 minutes, adding more stock if needed.
    6. Now add the rice, pineapple chunks, peas, currents and cashews. Drizzle the fish/soy sauce mixed with curry powder over and gently stir-fry to combine over medium-high to high heat until the rice “dances” (makes popping sounds) – about 5 to 8 minutes, or until desired lightness is achieved. Tip: Avoid adding any more stock from here on, or your rice will turn out heavy and/or soggy. If desired, you can push ingredients aside and add a little more oil to the pan/wok (this will give your rice that special ‘shine’ you see in restaurant fried rice)
    7. Remove from heat. Do a taste-test for salt/flavor, adding a few shakes of salt or a little more soy sauce, as needed. If too salty for your taste, add a squeeze or two of lime juice.
    8. To serve, scoop rice onto a serving platter (or in a carved-out pineapple, if serving at a party – see link at beginning of recipe). Top with spring onions and coriander, and ENJOY!

    *Note: Vegans may omit the egg without losing the flavour or nutrients of this great dish (cashews provide the main protein source).For a non-vegetarian version of this recipe, see: Thai Heavenly Pineapple Fried Rice recipe2.


It’s National Soup Month! It’s Friday. It’s Pho-day!

It’s friday and Julia and I love Pho from my head to my toes!

Julia and Pho Soup

So here is a recipe that is fairly easy to make. You can adjust as desired. THis one is veggie only. Traditional Pho has thin sliced beef, that works too! So would Chicken or tofu!

This recipe is from a website called The Kitchn. I like their ideas and philosophies of food and planet.  Here is a little bite (ha ha) about them.

“The Kitchn is a site for people who like to get their hands dirty while they cook.
It is for those who care about the quality of their food, and how it affects the health of themselves and the planet. It is also for those who want to cook more, but are shy in the kitchen. It’s a place to dive in deep, and embrace the joy of one of our basic needs: food.”


Now- on to the Pho! – the rest of this post is from their page. To see some wonderful photos to tempt you even further – go to the page they posted with the directions!

“There are few better comfort foods than Vietnamese phở. When I’m on the verge of a cold or in need of a culinary pick-me-up, I sit down to a restorative bowl of aromatic broth, slippery rice noodles, and fresh, customizable garnishes.

Between the broth, noodles, and assorted garnishes like onions, herbs, chiles, and lime, phở (pronounced “fuh” not “foe”) is a wonderful interplay of textures and flavors. Traditionally, the soup is made with beef or chicken bones. Vegetarian versions, called phở chay, may be found at Buddhist establishments or restaurants catering to contemporary, Western clientele but, sadly, these often leave much to be desired.

In the interest of making vegetarian phở at home, I consulted my mother, who recalled her experience living in a Vietnamese Buddhist community that made meat-free phở broth with a medley of spices, ginger, and lots of carrots. This recipe is my interpretation. While it admittedly lacks the richness of meat-based phở, it’s still quite fragrant and filling without being heavy. There’s also room to make it your own by adding different proteins or vegetables. I continue to work on perfecting the broth, so let me know what you think!

Vegetarian Phở (Vietnamese Noodle Soup)
Serves 2

1 large onion, peeled and halved
2-inch piece fresh ginger root, peeled and halved lengthwise
3-inch cinnamon stick, preferably Vietnamese cassia-cinnamon
1 star anise
2 cloves
1 teaspoon coriander seeds
4 cups unsalted vegetable stock
2 teaspoons soy sauce
4 carrots, peeled and coarsely chopped

1/2 pound dried flat rice noodles (known as bánh phở; use 1/16″, 1/8″, or 1/4″ width depending on availability and preference)

Toppings (optional)
Protein such as fried or baked tofu, bean curd skin, or seitan
Vegetables such as bok choy, napa cabbage, or broccoli

1/2 onion, very thinly sliced
2 scallions, thinly sliced
1 chile pepper (Thai bird, serrano, or jalapeño), sliced
1 lime, cut into wedges
1/2 cup bean sprouts
Large handful of herbs: cilantro, Thai basil, culantro/saw-leaf herb
Hoisin sauce, sriracha (optional)

For the broth
Char onion and ginger over an open flame (holding with tongs) or directly under a broiler until slightly blackened, about 5 minutes on each side. Rinse with water.

In a large pot, dry roast cinnamon, star anise, cloves, and coriander over medium-low heat, stirring to prevent burning. When spices are aromatic, add vegetable stock, soy sauce, carrots, and charred onion and ginger.

Bring broth to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer, covered, for 30 minutes. Strain and keep hot until ready to serve.

For the noodles
While broth is simmering, place noodles in a large bowl and cover with hot water. Let stand for 20-30 minutes or until tender but still chewy. Drain. (If soaking does not soften the noodles enough, blanch them in a pot of boiling water for a few seconds.)

For the toppings (optional)
While broth is simmering, prepare toppings as desired – slice and cook tofu, lightly steam or blanch vegetables, etc. Toppings should be unseasoned or only lightly seasoned so as not to interfere with the flavor of the broth.

To serve
Divide noodles between two bowls. Arrange toppings over noodles. Ladle about 2 cups of broth into each bowl. Serve with garnishes on the side, which diners should add to taste.

It's Friday, can you say Green Smoothie?

Fun Food Friday
I don’t know about you all but I am actually tired of eating…all that holiday “Fete” has just done me in. Therefor, the thought of a recipe for any thing other than a “clean healthy” smoothie was more than I could fathom.  By the way, that smoothie you buy on the run may not be nearly as healthy as you think. Many have loads of sugar and calories. Bon Appétit has a nice little write-up.

All the following info is from a website called Growing Raw (

” How to Make Green Smoothies

♦ When you have a decent blender green smoothies are a snap to prepare. Simply wash your greens, chop your fruit, add water and superfoods and blend for 30-60 seconds.
♦ Make enough extra to drink throughout the morning and you won’t have to stop for a snack later, you can just get on with what you want to do while you top up with green smoothie.
♦ To save yourself time in the morning you can wash your greens and chop your fruit the night before and keep it all together in the fridge. Then all you have to do is empty your ingredients into the blender for a convenient and portable nutrition source.

For more detailed instructions and smoothie combinations check out how to make smoothies.

Favourite Green Smoothie Recipe

We are huge fans of bok choy as a smoothie base in our house. Not only is it easy to grow ourselves so that we know our supply is fresh, organic and cheap, but it gives a light fresh flavour that we all love, including the kids. Here are some of our favourite bok choy combinations:
♦ Bok choy and banana
♦ Bok choy, rockmelon and banana (the kids’ favourite)
♦ Bok choy, honeydew and kiwifruit
♦ Bok choy, rockmelon and persimmon*
♦ Bok choy, papaya and banana
♦ Bok choy, persimmon* and banana (my favorite – must grow a persimmon tree!)

For extra calcium, bok choy bases blend well w/chia seeds* soaked overnight into a jelly. Chia seed is a reasonably priced superfood that has 5 times the calcium content of milk.

Combinations that seem to give a huge boost in vitality and endurance tend to be an impressively dark green. They’re the kind of green that people really stare at when they see you drinking them… here’s a sample:

  • Spinach or silverbeet, melon, banana and hempseed oil (a superfood that’s great for immunity)
  • Kale*, kiwi fruit and very ripe bananas
  • Parsley, mint, spirulina*, melon and bananas
  • Spinach or silverbeet, sprouts , persimmon* and banana (this is for the really brave, but trust me you will feel fantastic after one of these…)

Even though you’re sure to find your own favourites, remember it’s a good idea to vary your green smoothie ingredients so that you get a diverse range of nutrients.” –Thanks to:

Note * These foods are listed on many websites as superfoods of 2012.
Was a 2012 plan one of Health? Start the day out with a fresh green smoothie!
Bon Appétit