Cupcakes baked and served in ice cream cones are sure to be crowd pleasers. Gather the following ingredients for this yummy treat: 1 box of cake mix, 1 container of frosting, 24 ice cream cones with flat bottoms and small flowers or other cake garnishes.
Try a "Pick ‘n’ Pluck Salad Bar": Loose leaf cut-and-come-again lettuce varieties can be planted as seeds or seedlings in a container for a quick pick salad. Choose salad ingredients with different leaf textures and colors for a vibrant and healthy salad, says Anne Gibson, who has coined the phrase "The Micro Gardener." Alternate these around the container and when the lettuces have at least eight leaves, you can start harvesting as you rotate around the pot.
Even grains can be gorgeous. Terracotta Design Build designed this modern black and white kitchen, and used glass containers to add texture in an unexpected way. By simply filling this glass jar with rice, they not only display an oft-used ingredient but also inject subtle color and granularity in the sleek, white space.
Don’t toss those apple peels, unless you’re adding them to your compost pile, which is a great idea in fall when dried leaves overwhelm compost with brown matter. Apple peels are versatile in the kitchen, filling roles from salad topper, to pot cleaner (they work wonders on stained aluminum cookware, thanks to the acid they contain), to pancake and waffle ingredient (chop and mix into batter with a little cinnamon—yum!). Or turn apple peels into a can’t-resist snack by tossing with melted butter, cinnamon-sugar mix and a pinch of salt. Spread on a baking sheet and roast at 400°F for 10-12 minutes. Store in an airtight container.
Bruschetta is the ideal potluck dinner hors d’oeuvre because its ingredients can be prepared ahead of time and toted in resealable containers for quick on-site assembly. Start with a fresh baguette and experiment with different toppings: caramelized dates, tomato jam or red pepper jelly over goat cheese; salami or crumbled Italian sausage atop fresh pesto; crispy bacon over Boursin cheese; or finely chopped pistachios over honey-topped cream cheese.
You can buy commercially-prepared echinacea to make tea, but beware. WedMD warns that some echinacea teas are mislabeled and may contain harmful or even toxic ingredients. Some gardeners make their own tea by brewing a teaspoon or two of dried echinacea in boiling water, and adding a little honey for sweetening. These plants are often used to fight flu and other infections. Shown here: ornamental Big Sky™ 'Summer Sky'™ coneflower Echinacea purpurea x paradoxa.