Monday, June 24, 2013

 
This is about a three little plastic pots, each with a small plant.
 
It was an unique birthday gift and it was the first of it's kind that I was to receive.
 
The plants were "nasturtium".  An edible flowering plant that one can use in baking or in salads.
My friend knew my need to add pizazz to gifts, food, or whatever:)
I had admired these flowers in the past and was so happy to receive this special gift.
I eagerly planted each one.
 
 
 
 Three separate flowering plants, although I had to wait until they bloomed, until the
colors would be revealed.



This weekend I took pictures of my flowering nasturtium, and I think you would agree, the vibrant colors are so pretty!  Oh, and the instruction tag said that they are hardy plants.  Do you think my friend knew how difficult was for me to grow plants?


So here they are, a few weeks after receiving them.




At the grocery store, I purchased three ripe zucchinis.




Since I needed to bake some cupcakes, and I had this recipe in my files and was looking forward to trying it, I thought now was the time.  "Grand Prize Winner" recipes always get my attention.




I washed, partially peeled, and shredded the three zucchinis.

Here is the recipe, just in case your garden produces an abundance of zucchini this summer, or if your neighbor has an abundance to share with you.  This may be a simple, delicious recipe you may want to try;

3 eggs
1 1/3 cups of sugar
1/2 cup of vegetable oil
1/2 cup orange juice
1 teaspoon almond extract(I chose to use vanilla extract)
2 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour
2 t. ground cinnamon
2 t. baking powder
1 t. baking soda
1 t. salt
1/2 t. ground cloves
1 1/2 cups shredded zucchini

CARAMEL FROSTING
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup butter
1/4 cup milk
1 1/2 to 2 cups confectioners' sugar

1. In a mixing bowl, beat eggs, sugar, oil, orange juice, and extract.  Combine dry ingredients;  add to
    the egg mixture and mix well.  Add zucchini and mix well.
2. Fill greased muffin cups two thirds full.(I used the mini tins)
    Bake at 350 degrees for 15- 17 mins. or until fairly firm on top.  Cool for ten minutes before
    removing from pan to wire rack.
3. For frosting, combine brown sugar, butter, and milk in a saucepan.  Bring to a boil over medium
    heat, cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened.  Remove from heat; stir in vanilla.  Cool to
    lukewarm.
4. Gradually beat in confectioners' sugar until frosting reaches spreading consistency.  Frost
    cupcakes. 

Recipe from Taste of Home Magazine.  The Grand Prize Winner's Recipe  was shared by Virginia
Breitmeyer, of Craftsbury, Vermont.





The frosting just before I put it on the small cupcakes.  It smelled so good!



I went out to my flower bed and picked a few nasturtium blooms.  Carefully washed and dried each colorful flowers, and placed them in a bit of water until I was ready to use them.



Then, because I could not help myself,  I dressed up every one of the little guys.



I made a tiny indentation on the top of each cupcake and placed the pretty little flowers unto each and every cupcake.

So there you have it...three small plants and three fresh zucchinis = a happy me.  It is fun to receive a gift that in turn, keeps on giving.  What a fun, simple, and inexpensive way to let someone know that you care.  Right?

It's Monday and it is hot outside.  Happy Summer to each of you!

I do wish I could share one of these mini cupcakes with each one of you...really I do.

7 comments:

Debbie said...

Well I will admit I have never heard of your edible flower, but what a wonderful gift! The cupcake sounds soo good too, and the flower on top is just perfect! Wish we could share one together! Enjoy your day sweet Judy!

Judy ~ My Front Porch said...

It's Monday...and it's grey and damp outside today. But coming here always brightens up the day! Your frosted cup cakes look awesome...especially with bright blooms added.

Thoughts on Life and Millinery. said...

So pretty! I love Nasturtium in salads; so peppery and pretty. One of your plants had the variegated leaves that I think are just as pretty as the flowers!

lindsey said...

Those cup cakes look delicious and I cant believe how wonderful those nasturtium look on top! Well done!

Happy@Home said...

It seems as though your friend selected an ideal gift for you and you did a wonderful job of getting these pretty flowers to grow.
I think this is a very timely recipe with the zucchini season coming up. Your addition of the nasturtium flower made them so pretty and colorful.
I smiled when I saw that this was a recipe from Virginia Breitmeyer. She was a friend of my mom's when I was growing up. A few years ago we had noticed that she was one of the Taste of Home field editors.

Just a little something from Judy said...

Dear Happy@Home, This is so interesting. When I typed out the winner's name for the recipe contest, what are the chances that anyone in blogland would know her. I must tell you, my daughter and husband said these were the best zucchini muffins I ever made. Thanks so much Virginia B. for sharing your recipe.

Anneliese said...

I've been eyeing my pansies (violas) to do the same thing with... so fun to dress up cupcakes or salads!

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