Vanilla Rose Valentine Cake

Vanilla Rose Valentine Cake

Since Valentine’s Day is quickly approaching, I thought I’d share a story of love with you. It is a short story about love and birth, family and new life, and a couple of pounds of confectioner’s sugar. My little sister is nearing the end of her second pregnancy and will soon be bringing a tiny girl child into the world. Beyond ecstatic at the impending arrival and having the tendency to share love for my family through the food that I cook, I decided to bake a “Welcome to the World” cake for my sister and future-niece.

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Hibiscus-Ginger Cocktail Syrup

Hibiscus-Ginger Cocktail Syrup

Editor’s Note: The only reason this recipe is found in the “Survive It” category is because the author attempted to light herself on fire, Michael Jackson style, in the process of making it. Management does not recommend leaning over a simmering pot of ANYTHING sitting on a gas stove if (A) you have long hair (B) its not in a ponytail and (C) you are not a cast member of Jackass I, Jackass 2, or Jackass 3D.

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Lavender Cocktail Syrup

Lavender Cocktail Syrup

My first experience with flowers as food came when I was a child. A local gift shop carried ridiculously overpriced tins of French candy in such flavors as lavender, violet and rose. Fascinated by not only the ornate and gorgeously packaged sweets but the idea of flower-flavored candy as well, I saved up my allowance for weeks to buy one. Each egg-shaped hard candy was perfumed and flowery, not overly sweet, and had one solitary anise seed located in the center. I quickly devoured all the contents. I’m not sure anything even made it home.

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Gardenia Ice Cream

Gardenia Ice Cream

Yes!! Gardenia j. is edible! Used by cooks in ways similar to the addition of edible rose petals. A delightful taste sensation, although a complete surprise, given that this flower does not easily give up her perfumed scent mysteries. The taste is light, sweet, a bit buttery and Gardenia fragrant. The scent of this flower translates accurately to the taste buds, filling your mouth with it’s rich, yet delicate sexy perfume.

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