Empress of the Garden: 7 Sweet Rose Treats

Roses have been revered through the ages not just for their showy, complex blooms but also their health and nutritional benefits. Today you can find a plethora of rose treats to consume or slather on your gorgeous bod. About 2,000 years ago roses Greek scholar Pliny declared that roses could cure a minimum of 32 afflictions – everything from urinary tract infections, scurvy and scars. In more modern times, roses are said to have seven different skincare benefits according to the folks at Organic Authority.

Personally, I’m admirer of bloom and smell of Damask roses and Nootka roses. Growing up in rural British Columbia, I drank rose hip tea and at rose hip jelly. My grandmother taught us to chew up a rose hip and smear it on a fresh bee or wasp bite to take away the sting as children.** Major rose producing countries that specialize in distilling down 10,000 stems at a time include are Bulgaria, Tunisia, Turkey, Egypt and India.

Today, you can find rose essence in everything from cocktails to facial toners. Last summer I was so inspired by the uber fragrant Nootka roses in my neighbourhood, that I distilled them to make a rose elixir to add to everything from soda water to ice cream. I’ve even bathed with rose petals and replenished my skin with rose essence. Since February is the month of love and roses, I’ve decided to share some of my favourite rose-infused or inspired finds. So instead of buying a bunch of roses for your sweetie this February, grab him or her one of these rose treats.  Read more

For all the Valentine’s Day Lovers + A Cookbook Giveaway

 

Haida Gwaii_Cover_HiResThat dreaded time of year is around the corner. I’m not talking about speedo-swimming-trunks-bikini shopping season. Nope. This is even more difficult: Valentine’s Day. Like eating Brussels Sprouts, there are two camps when it comes to V-day: lovers and haters.  This usually has something to do with whether or not you’re in love or you’re out of love.

My partner and I aren’t a super Valentine’s Day gifty couple, our gift giving tends to focus on experiences more than things. But if we won the Lotto Max tomorrow, besides picking up and buying a cinnamon plantation on Zanzibar, I would love to give or receive any or all of the items on my Valentine’s Day gift list below. I’ve split the Valentine’s goodies into For Real (affordable), Swoon (awesome) and Dream (luxury) categories.

And as a happy Valentine’s Day or Anti-Valentine’s Day to you all dear readers, I’m also offering up a giveaway. Scroll down for details about how you can win a copy of Canadian Poet Susan Musgrave’s A Taste of Haida Gwaii from Whitecap Books.

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Motivation Monday ~ Remember Salmon

Learning to filet salmon during my Hipstamatic photography phase.
Learning to filet salmon during my Hipstamatic phase – excuse the green face.

If you have ever travelled in British Columbia, you’ve likely tried salmon. Salmon candy, smoked salmon, canned salmon, sushi, salmon burgers, crispy salmon skin (mmmm my favourite).  Even salmon oil is sold in capsules. Wild salmon is the focal species of many economies and cultures on the West Coast of Canada and arguably the USA too (hey neighbours – Washington, Alaska, Oregon).

I’ve had the privilege of eating salmon in many places small and large: Vancouver, Portland, Masset, Seattle, Bella Bella, Prince Rupert, Terrace, Merritt, West Kelowna, the list goes on and on. I love my salmon wild, fresh and preferably shared at a family table. In fact, tonight we ate our last jar of canned salmon (made into delicious salmon burgers) gifted to me from my friend Uncle Alvin from Haida Gwaii. Read more