Growing African Violets With Artificial Lights

African violets are glorious indoor blooming plants. They are not hard to take care of, but they do require bright light and the proper care in order to flourish and bloom all year long. African violets grow very well indoors under artificial light.


African violets require ten to fourteen hours each day of good light. Plants with variegated leaves need more than that, and African violets with yellow flowers need less. Fluorescent lights are appropriate for this task, as are HID lights. HID, or high intensity discharge lights, come in a metal halide and high-pressure sodium versions. They give off a higher quantity of light than either fluorescent or incandescent bulbs, and more closely resemble sunlight. Both HID lamps and fluorescent l...

Did You Eat Your Flowers Today?

Many fine dining restaurants make the use of flowers to enhance the flavors and textures of the food they offer. Flowers can be added to main dishes, desserts or salads for an exciting twist or can be used as a garnish. There are many beverages which infused with flowers. Flowers can also be used for making spreads and preserves, marinades and dressings, to cakes and puddings, appetizers and starters- the options are endless. All you need is some imagination and creativity.


However, it is also important to keep in mind that not all flowers are edible. So make sure that you depend on some reliable source when choosing flowers to consume. If possible, try to grow your own edible flowers. To ensure best flavor, choose fresh flowers and avo...

Too Many Tomatoes? Make Jam!

Tomato Jam, seems to be a far-fetched idea when you think of it. Doesn't it? But that is only because most people either don't know or forget that it is a fruit! A big red succulent fruit. Easy to grow in the summertime and therefore everyone has them in their back yard. You can’t give them away! The jam, however is a gourmet’s delight and a tasty treat on homemade bread.


Ingredients needed are sugar and water, besides the tomatoes and utensils; a half dozen canning jars, food processor maybe, and a heavy duty pot or Dutch oven. Every kitchen has these item right? After you collect the tomatoes from your garden&, wash and remove the eyes. (Small indentation where they were attached to the plant) Sanitize jars and lids in Dutch oven ...

Tomatoes for Healthy Life

Nutritional Benefits of Tomatoes


  • Tomatoes provide a lower amount of calories and fats and at the same time they are rich in fiber, vitamins and minerals. An intake of this fruit is recommended to people who are obese and those suffering from higher levels of cholesterol.


  • It is a rich source of phyto-nutrients named lycopene and beta-carotene. The cell walls of tomato contain Lycopene which acts as an antioxidant protecting the cells and its structures from oxygen free radicals. According to the studies this nutrient lycopene, protects us from many kinds of cancers like the prostate cancer.


Using Rose Petals in Cooking

While many people are not familiar with rose petals as a cooking ingredient, they’re fairly common in Middle Eastern cuisine as well as some Indian dishes. Turkish delight is a familiar example of a rose-flavored food. The North African spice mix ras el hanout incorporates dried rose petals as well as other savory spices like coriander, cumin, turmeric, pepper, clove and cinnamon.


Spice mixes with rose can make an excellent dry rub for poultry, lamb and other meats. In western culture, roses are more often used in desserts and other sweet dishes. Rose pairs well with honey, dried apricots and saffron as well as summer fruits like strawberries and raspberries.


Here are a few examples of cooking with rose petals to inspire your culinary...

Rose petal jam



fresh rose petals, enough to fill a 1.5litre container
675g sugar
2-3tbsp lemon or lime juice
2 generous tbsp rose water
sterilised jam jars




Cut away and discard the white base of the petals. Place the petals in a large bowl, cover with cold water and put in the fridge for about an hour. Drain the water and spread the petals to dry on paper towels. Rinse and dry the bowl, then start layering the petals with 225g sugar, making sure they are all sprinkled with it, cover with cling film and place in the fridge overnight or for up to 8 hours. (more…)


Strawberry Jam with Red Wine

Strawberry jam with red wine is a favorite option for preserving large amounts of strawberries bought or picked in bulk. The jam freezes well and keeps its rich flavor after being thawed. Jars of this strawberry jam also make excellent gifts. This particular recipe yields six jars at half a pint each.


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  • Time needed
  • 2 days’ preparation + 20 min cooking
  • Serving Size / Yield
  • 4 servings
  • Ingredients


3 lbs of strawberries as fresh as possible

2 C. of dry red wine

6 Tbsp. of pectin

3 C. of white granulated sugar



Spicy Red-Pepper Jelly

Yield: Makes 4 to 5 (1/2-pint) jars

Active Time: 30 min

Total Time: 1 day





        1 1/2 lb red bell peppers (about 3), cut into 1-inch pieces (6 cups)

        2 teaspoons dried hot red-pepper flakes

        3 tablespoons Sure-Jell less- or no-sugar-needed pectin (from a 1 3/4-oz box)

        3 1/4 cups sugar

        1 cup white-wine vinegar

        1 tablespoon unsalted butter

        3/4 teaspoon salt

    Special Equipment

        5 (1/2-pint) canning jars with screw bands and lids; an instant-read or candy thermometer; canning tongs


Extra Red Pepper Jam recipe

Before You Begin:

Prepare calcium water. To do this, combine ½ teaspoon calcium powder (in the small packet in your box of Pomona’s pectin) with ½ cup water in a small, clear jar with a lid. Shake well. Extra calcium water should be stored in the refrigerator for future use.



Pepper Jam Ingredients

2½ cups finely chopped green bell pepper

1½ cups finely chopped jalapeno pepper

2 cups vinegar

3 teaspoons calcium water

2 cups sugar

3 teaspoons Pomona’s pectin powder


Fig – Thе Natural Wау tо Good Hеаlth

The fig occupies a high position among fruits. Soft, sweet and pulpy, this delicious fruit promotes health. It is a pear-shaped hollow fruit, with sugary pulp and a large number of small seeds of golden color sticking to the wall of the cavity. It is variable in size and color. The ripe fresh fruit is juicy, wholesome and delicious. However, being highly perishable, it if sold in the world markets in its dry form.


Origin and Distribution

The fig is a native of Asia Minor and spread early to the Mediterranean region. It is a plant of extremely ancient cultivation and was grown in Egypt around 4,000 BC. It has been used as a principal food in the Mediterranean countries for thousands of years. The main areas of fig cultivation in India are...