If jasmine sticky buns or a lilac-infused margarita sound intriguing to you, then you might want to follow @decotartelette, the florally focused Instagram account of Sacramento author Cassie Winslow. Decotartelette is a collection of Winslow’s charming photos (the color pink dominates) and her creative recipes—everything from cocktails and appetizers to breakfasts and desserts—that spotlight edible flowers.
Winslow has published two florally themed cookbooks; her most recent is “Floral Provisions” (Chronicle Books), which includes 45 recipes that use edible blooms, many of which she plucks from her own carefully cultivated garden. Winslow and her family recently returned to the area from Santa Cruz, and they packed up their established plot and moved many of their prized plants—soil and all—with them. “My husband is actually the one with the green thumb. He grows and I harvest,” she says.
Of all of the flowers and herbs that she uses in her two cookbooks, Winslow is partial to the good old-fashioned rose. “I love to use dried rose petals, and one of my favorite recipes is rose salt,” Winslow notes. “It’s so good on everything, from rimming cocktail glasses to adding a unique flavor to meat dishes.” She’s even made a rose-salted citrus cheesecake, a riff on a New York Times recipe, to celebrate Father’s Day.
Winslow buys some of her treasured heirloom roses locally from Menagerieflower.com and gathers other blooms from farmers markets. She is always careful to use only flowers that are grown organically and not sprayed with pesticides, and she encourages others to pay attention when buying flowers for culinary applications. “Please make sure they are not sprayed, since we are eating these flowers,” she says.
Flowers and food are natural partners, and Decotartelette will inspire you to have fun and play around with bits from the botanical world. Perhaps you will clink glasses at parties with Winslow’s kumquat-chamomile whiskey sour, or you might casually sprinkle a few calendula petals on charcuterie or butter boards. Either way, you’ll be harnessing the power of an edible flower.