Flowers: Romania & Colombia

I love flowers- they’re beautiful, they can be delicious and they are always inspiring. When we traveled to Romania I was inspired by sunflowers and then again when we went to Colombia I was inspired by roses. I hope you enjoy exploring this craft and recipe both inspired by flowers 🌻🌹

Romania: Sunflower Craft

Did you know that Romania is one of the largest European producers of Sunflowers? It’s true! Sunflowers are not only beautiful they are very tasty. The seeds can be enjoyed raw, toasted or ground. You can also enjoy the oil the same way that you would olive or almond oil. Sunflower oil is even used in cosmetics, paints, soap and lubricants!

This craft is a great way to add a touch of summer to any room. I joined Martin in making this one, you will need…

  • Coffee filters (2 per flower)
  • Food coloring, Yellow and Orange
  • Spray bottle with vinegar or diluted vinegar

Squirt some food yellow and orange food coloring into separate bowls.

Fold the coffee filters in quarters and cut into a petal shape on the outside edge. When you open the filter it should look like a flower.

Dip one end in yellow dye, turn it around and barely touch the orange. Spray the coffee filter so that the colors mix where they meet.

Allow the flowers to dry (the more vinegar you use the faster it dries but the stinkier this craft is), I dried ours overnight.

Once dry, unfold the coffee filters.

Glue two flowers together off setting them for a layered effect. Cut out a small brown circle for the center of the flower, and glue in place. Let the glue dry and you are all done!

Colombia: Gluten Free Rose Cookies

Roses are not the national flower of Colombia, nor is Colombia home to the most roses in the world. They are however, the main exporter of roses to the USA and the exportation of roses counts for $1.4 billion in Colombia behind oil, coal, coffee, and gold.

My mother has a high sensitivity to gluten and has been gluten free for over a decade. It was really hard in the beginning to find good recipes so I’ve been trained to always be on the look out. Since Martin was diagnosed with an extreme nut allergy it got even harder since we can’t use almond flour or coconut anything.

Then I found this recipe! It uses sweet rice flour or mochi flour. We used the same flour when we made mochi ice cream back when we studied Japan. The original recipe comes from veenaazmanov.com.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup softened butter (1 stick or 100 g)
  • 90 g powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 Tbs cornstarch
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 cups rice flour (240 g)
  • 1 Tbs water or more as needed (I used 5 Tbs)
  • red and pink food coloring

Method

Cream together the flour and butter.

Add the vanilla, salt and cornstarch. Stir to combine.

Finally add the rice flour in two batches, fully combine. If the mixture is too dry add 1 Tbs of water at a time till soft but still holds it shape.

Split the dough into two bowls and add red color to one and pink to the other. Knead to fully incorporate the color.

Shape into disks, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour.

Roll out the dough, dusting the surface with rice flour. Cut out as many 2 1/2 inch circles of each color as you can.

Place 3 pink circles on the work surface overlapping them slightly, followed by 2 red. Roll up a small red sausage shape and place that at the end of the last red circle- this will be the middle of the flour.

Slowly roll up the circles, applying slight pressure to help the layers stick together. Once rolled, cut them in half so that you have two roses.

Place each rose in a mini muffin tin and bake at 350℉/ 170℃ for 30 minutes. They will be crunchy on the outside and chewy in the middle.

Allow them to cool some in the tin before removing them. Let them cool to room temperature on a rack.

Store in an air tight container for up to 2 weeks, if they make it that long 😉

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