Turn ordinary deviled eggs into something extraordinary by dressing them up with edible flowers — marigolds, violas or pansies, snapdragons. These little jewels are always the first to disappear at any gathering. If your table has a particular color theme, you can choose your flowers to accentuate it. Always make sure the flowers you select are, indeed, safe for human consumption. If you don’t have a garden where you can go pick herbicide-free floral garnishing items, check your local Farmer’s Market or upscale supermarket. I purchased these. One more thing. There is really no need to use the entire flower. The same effect could easily have been achieved with a few petals.
My biz partner and friend Michele surprised me with this massive and breathtakingly beautiful cake she arranged to have made at a local bakery and delivered to me on my birthday. It is a stunning example of how an otherwise plain-shaped cake with white icing can be transformed into an astonishingly gorgeous masterpiece through the addition of live flowers as garnishes. The cake was the talk of the evening. The cake reigned supreme in the center of the dining room table, and party guests oohed and ahed for hours until they couldn’t wait a moment longer and insisted we slice into it. They were certain that anything that looked that good had to taste fabulous, too. They were right.
What I love about this cake is that it’s living proof of how floral garnishes can transform a dish. Have you ever made a cake and had it turn out uneven or had the frosting simply not look perfect? Now you know what to do. Of course, the variety of colors and flowers on this one — from orchids and roses to mums and stock, from chartreuse to magenta — made it magnificent, but you’ll be amazed what you can do with some well-chosen one-offs from your florist.
Jack and Patty Holzknecht threw a party in Louisville recently for a number of bankers and banking speakers that were in their hometown for a conference. The fall foliage was at its peak and Patty did an incredible job with a fall decorating theme on the tables and throughout the house. Here, she created a beautiful centerpiece by hollowing out a pumpkin, hiding a vase inside, and doing an arrangement with fall-colored hydrangeas, mums, and sunflowers.
Propping the “lid” to the pumpkin next to this arrangement makes it clear this is no ordinary vase — it’s a live piece of produce. The berries and ivy add a great touch, too.
Here’s another view. See the Queen Ann’s Lace sticking out? What I particularly loved about the arrangements Patty made was that they looked wonderful from every angle.
Those hydrangeas are incredible. The vibrant rose mixed with the muted green is a great combination. I can’t decide which side of these pumpkin arrangements I like best!
Under the white pumpkin. Look! It’s a ghostly pumpkin! Adding variety to her tablescapes, Patty hollowed out a white pumpkin and set a dwarf ornamental pepper inside and draped some fall berries and ivy to complete the arrangment. Gorgeous!
ONE FLOWER ONLY Just one gerbera daisy was need on this plate to make a wow presentation with the 2-ingredient meat spread.
HERBS! Herbs are the ultimate garnish. For a few cents, you can purchase seeeds and grow your own, even if all you have is a window sill, rather than a garden plot. It’s not cheating to spend just a few bucks and buy them in small pots, already grown. Check out your local garden center or farmers market.
MICRO-GREENS! These little beauties really pack a nutritional punch, and they can dress up even the most boring looking entree — from steak to fish. You can grow them from seeds and be ready for harvest in 8 to 10 days. It’s not instant gratification, but it’s close. The micro-greens can be arugula, clover, broccoli, radish, cress. Put on your overalls and start your crop growing!