Natural Beauty

Natural Beauty

smk plaid

take pic of food

Have you ever stopped before you ate a meal, to take a picture of it? Why do you suppose that is?

Of course, perfect plating deserves to be remembered, but as my mom used to say, “we eat with our eyes first”. She was right! Our eyes are attracted to various colors on the plate.  Think about it.

The natural beauty that’s out there for us to eat is so often passed by: It could be an unfamiliar fruit, a vegetable we don’t know how to prepare, or a piece of produce we thought we really hated as kids (but we secretly don’t know if we ever tried it or not).

I dare you to step out of your comfort zone.

Come on… you can do it.

Here are some of the beauties I’ve personally encountered…


Dragonfruit from SockmonkeysKitchen,com

I peeled the beautiful fuschia skin off and sliced the fruit thin.
This was a surprisingly mellow flavor, that would taste delicious with a mixed citrus fresh salsa.


Cucumber from www.SockmonkeysKitchen,com

To answer your question, yes, this is how it grew. See what happens when you have organic? I grew this one myself =0) I love to slice cukes and give them a little shower of rice vinegar.

Purple Potatoes

Purple Potato from

These cook up like regular potatoes, however, they’re much starchier, so be aware that if you’re sautéeing or frying them in a pan, it will stick unless you keep a close eye on it. If you are adventurous, try mashing them. The mash’s color reminds me of blueberries.

Pomegranate Seeds

Pomegranate Seeds from

How to remove the seeds from the fruit: Fill a very large bowl full of cool water. Put the Pomegeranate under water, and cut it in half. Then cut it in quarters. Keeping the fruit underwater at all times, carefully seperate the seeds from the white membrane. You’ll notice your hands aren’t stained at all (how nice!) and that all the seeds have floated the top (how convenient)!

Coffee Beans

Coffee Beans from

Don’t they look like a berry or grape vine? I found these pretty coffee beans on the grounds of the Kaua’i Coffee Company in Hawai’i. Many of the bushes have brown beans, but those are over-ripe and are thrown away. Instead, they roast the red ones. One of my favorite uses for the roasted bean? It’s a key component in Tiramisu. Mmmmm!

Indian Corn

Indian Corn from

This ear of Indian Corn looks like glass beads, doesn’t it?
Hundreds were growing in Oak Glen, California, when I visited Riley’s Apple Farms this Autumn. I’m amazed at how kernels that are growning right next to each other can be so diverse! Love that!  I used this along with a pretty burgundy variety to decorate my fall dining table.

Naval Orange

Naval Oranges from www,

Who doesn’t love the scent of freshly cut oranges? These are such a versatile treat! These particular halves were eventually juiced and made into the bowls that hold my Thanksgiving Sweet Potatoes.

Blood Orange

blood oranges

I remember reading a copy of Martha Stewart Living about 15 year ago, and there was a photo of beautiful Blood Oranges. I thought it was the prettiest thing ever. To me they glisten like cut gemstones, and each one’s color depth and pattern is unique. Their flavor is so sweet, and goes really well with poultry dishes, as well as being the crown on top of a spinach salad.

Yellow Heirloom Tomato

Yellow Heirloom Tomato from www,

Nothing screams “Summer!” to me, more than a perfect heriloom tomato. This year, the farmers markets were bursting with these dainty beauties. I still remember visiting Thomas Jefferson’s home, Monticello in the 9th grade. The tour guide shared that the “tomata” was not popular until President Jefferson grew them. Thanks, Tom!

Striped Beet

Striped Beets from

Don’t these look like Christmas Peppermints?
These Striped Beets are new to me this year. My favorite seller at my local Farmers Market in Claremont sold me these, and said I wouldn’t be disappointed. She was right! I peeled and roasted them with a bit of olive oil and they were heavenly. Oh! And they don’t stain your skin… or the cutting board… or the vegs next to them….


Grapes from Ah, the noble grape. This delightfully autumny cluster was from a winery in Paso Robles, CA.
I went there recently with friends Donna and Sherry, and we marveled at all of the different types of beautiful grapes. Of course we had to taste them.

Sockmonkey Nigel did too.

Sockmonkey in grapes

Now it’s your turn…

This week, I want you to make an extra effort to search out something beautiful for your plate. You have five senses. Are you using them?
Tell me what you’ve found! =0)


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