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Use flowers in the kitchen

Stuffed Nasturtiums Appetizer
Pick fresh nasturtium flowers sufficient for your guests. Nasturtiums may be picked a few days ahead of the event. Store in a tightly closed container on a damp paper towel in the re-frigerator until needed. Do not wash. Flowers are fragile and will wilt with water spray after they are picked. If needed, Spray water on the plant the day before the flowers are picked.

Herb Cheese Filling for Stuffed Nasturtiums
8 ounces of cream cheese, softened
4 ounces of butter, softened
1 Tablespoon dried dill
2 teaspoons dried basil
2 teaspoons dried marjoram
1/2 teaspoon granulated garlic
Mix all ingredients together until smooth and creamy. Refrigerate overnight to blend flavors.
Allow mixture to come to room temperature before filling nasturtiums. Fill flowers with herb cheese and decorate with borage flowers, violas and tips of dill. Refrigerate if needed, but they taste best at room temperature.

Rose Geranium Chocolate Cake
Prepare boxed cake mix as directed on the package. Substitute 1/4 cup of rose water for part of the water called for in the directions. Grease and lightly flower a Bundt cake pan. Line the bottom of the pan with a single layer of fresh rose scented leaf geranium leaves before filling the pan with cake mix. The flavor of the scented geraniums will be released as the cake bakes and will flavor the cake with a light rose taste. Bake as package directs for a Bundt cake. Remove from pan after cooling for 15 minutes. Place on a cake rack to finish cooling completely. Drizzle with rose water glaze, recipe follows.

Rose Water Glaze
1 cup confectioners sugar
1 Tablespoon of authentic rose water
1 drop red food coloring
Mix ingredients until smooth. Drizzle over cake. Decorate with fresh, organic rose petals.

Using Roses in the Kitchen
To use roses in cooking, you must grow the scented varieties and use strict organic practic-es. Roses from the grocery store or florist are likely to be treated with chemicals. Roses can be used in cakes and confections, beverages, teas, frozen in ice cubes or made into a rose sorbet.

Herbal Cocktails
Mint-Basil-Borage-Lemon Verbena-Rosemary-Cilantro-Dill-Borage-Marigolds-Roses-Sweet Woodruff-Bee Balm. Whether they're muddled, infused, or simply snipped for a pretty and fragrant garnish, fresh herbs make a wonderful addition to summer cocktails.

Strawberry Basil Lemonade 5 strawberries without stems 3 basil leaves 1.5 ounce vodka 1 Teaspoon strawberry jam 1/2 cup lemonade
Muddle strawberries with the three basil leaves and vodka in a 16-ounce glass. Mix in straw-berry jam. Add ice, stir vigorously and pour into glass. Fill with lemonade and stir.
Garnish with extra strawberry, basil leaf and borage flowers