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Holly Capelle, BloomTV

Published:

 

When I was a little girl, I remember skipping through the brick paths in my grandma’s garden. We’d pick raspberries that she would later turn into the best freezer jam ever in her little beautiful kitchen. Food was her love language. She taught us to cook, bake, grow and create with passion. She lived beautifully yet change to thriftily. She was always put together yet willing to get her hands dirty. She was special. So many times, I’d roam the brick paths through the stately front-yard rose garden my grandparents created together, smelling the colorful blooms and listening to the waterfall and dreaming about what my house and gardens would be like someday when I grew up.

Many years later, I walked down those bricks to marry the man of my dreams in that very rose garden. The big white house I had grown up visiting was the chosen spot for the most important day of my life. It was a magical place that holds so many meanings and memories for me. After my grandparents passed, my husband and I gathered as many of the bricks from the old garden that we could — creating a new path in our garden so they could forever be a part of the space they taught me to love so much. 

 

Photography by Holly Capelle

“Don’t ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive and then go do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”

— Howard Thurman

When my husband and I bought our first home in 2001, it was not exactly the house of my dreams. It was a boring ranch-style house with a good-size yard. It was within our means, near schools and in a good area. Perfect for a young family. So we spent the last two decades slowly turning the house and yard into the place we dreamed of raising our family. 

 

Photography by Holly Capelle

 

What started out as two raised beds in an empty backyard, over the years has turned into over 16 raised beds, multiple gardens, outdoor living spaces and a chicken coop for our flock of five … with new projects my husband and I do together always in the works. We grow all our plants from seed, caring for them from beginning to end. Our garden is an important part of our love story.  

Working from home full-time in radio advertising afforded me the luxury of raising our kids at the same time. I say luxury, but there were plenty of tearful showers while raising six kids and juggling a corporate career. It was not easy. Having a large family also puts a strain on a budget. So, finding ways to save money by upcycling and repurposing things into new creations became a way of life for me. I buy as much as I can secondhand, and we DIY as much as possible. The garden gives me the opportunity to feed my family organic fruits and veggies, both fresh and preserved in various ways. I have collections of dried homegrown herbs, dried edible flowers and cupboards of dehydrated and canned garden foods.

The spirit of creativity has been alive in me for as long as I can remember. I’ve always found joy in making things. I love vibing through a project without a real plan in place. Just ideas and imagination. I think imperfection is perfect, and whimsical is magical. 

One of my favorite things to create is experiences. With so many babies at home, things like going to the movies or out to dinner were just not in the budget. But I never wanted my family to miss out. So, I created experiences for them as often as I could. Family movie night included pretend money to spend at mom’s snack shop, where you could buy popcorn and movie treats. Backyard camping would include tents, outdoor grilling, a campfire, hot chocolate and nighttime adventures. Playing restaurant with a fancy table setting and a homemade menu would make them smile. The Fourth of July was always fun with mom and dad’s backyard carnival, complete with homemade games made out of recycled materials, homemade tickets and prizes to be won. 

Birthdays around here are a good time. We’ve had indoor picnics, tea parties, ice cream shops, garden parties, arts parties and an under-the-sea party, for which I created all the invitations, decorations, games and food myself. All of it homemade. I even turned my living room into a Halloween costume shop once! We didn’t have money that year to buy everyone new costumes, so I pulled out anything and everything I could find that could be costume related, and I opened my shop up for business. The kids had the best time coming up with costumes to wear. No one even asked about new ones that year.  

Finding ways to incorporate nature in almost everything I do has been so fulfilling. I use what we grow in the kitchen for homemade beauty care, craft projects and even as seasonal décor. Much like my grandma, food is also my love language, and I’m passionate about creating garden-to-table dishes. Edible flowers have been a game changer in my kitchen. I use them, along with our homegrown herbs, veggies, fruit and farm-fresh eggs, to create garden-inspired dishes in my little beautiful kitchen. Just like my grandma did. 

What a pleasure it is to grab a beautiful bowl, walk down to the garden, pick just what I need, then come inside the house and make something beautiful and delicious for people I love, in a space I feel comfortable in. It’s a grateful way to live. Garden quiche is a family favorite. Herb biscuits are a staple in our house. My garden compound butter is almost too pretty to eat, and my easy-to-create chocolate bars decorated with pressed flowers and dehydrated fruits are always a crowd-pleaser. I’m so thankful for all that my garden provides. What I create is born out of my love of nature, love of family and a desire to make life feel special using my imagination while spending as little money as possible doing it. I am deeply connected to the earth, dedicated to my garden craft and always learning as I go.

 

Photography by Holly Capelle

 

Holly’s Herb & Cheddar Biscuits 

3 cups all-purpose flour

1 Tbsp baking powder

1 Tbsp sugar

1 tsp salt (use your herb-infused salt!) 

1 tsp fresh thyme

1 tsp fresh rosemary

1/2 tsp garlic powder

3/4 tsp cream of tartar 

1 cup finely grated cheddar cheese 

3/4 cup butter, cut into cubes 

1 cup whole milk

1. Pre-heat oven to 450 F. 

2. In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, sugar, salt, herbs, garlic powder, cream of tartar and cheese. Using a pastry cutter, cut in the cubed butter until mixture is coarse crumbs. Make a well, pour in milk. Use a fork to mix. 

3. Turn dough onto lightly floured surface and knead by folding and pressing about six times. Pat dough until 1/2 inch thick and cut with a 3-inch cutter. Place circles onto ungreased parchment-lined baking sheet and bake 10–12 minutes. 

4. Brush immediately with melted butter and place fresh flowers and herbs on top, then repeat, brushing melted butter to help garnishes stick. Serve warm. Enjoy!!! 

 

 

Garden Compound Butter

Fresh herbs and/or edible flowers (violas, calendula, rose petals, pansies and chive blossoms work well)

2 sticks butter, partially softened

Parchment paper

Cling wrap

Medium-size bowl and mixing spoon

1. Wash and dry fresh herbs and edible flowers.

2. Chop into small pieces, setting aside some whole flowers and herbs.

3. Mix chopped flowers/herbs and 2 sticks softened butter in medium-size mixing bowl using a spoon.

NOTE:  At this point, you can serve in a bowl or put into molds (candy molds work great) for individual pats of butter. Or continue to next steps. 

4. Pile butter mixture onto parchment paper and roll into log. Add whole flowers/herbs to top and sides. Transfer butter onto the edge of a piece of cling wrap, putting decorated top facing down. Add flowers/herbs to bottom side. 

5. Roll butter log, wrapping tightly. Twist ends to seal and store in refrigerator. Allow 1 to 2 hours to set, then slice as needed. Store in fridge for up to 3 months. 

Variations:

For roasting chicken or turkey: Mix in sage, rosemary, oregano, lemon thyme and orange zest.

Spicy butter: Add dried crushed cayenne and peppercorns.

Sweet butter: Mix in edible flowers, chopped berries and 2 Tbsp honey. 

 

Photography by Holly Capelle

Ham & Cheese Garden Quiche

Pastry for single crust — homemade or pre-made (unbaked), plus extra pastry for fancy edges

4 eggs, plus 1 egg white

1 ½ cups half and half or light cream

¼ cup chopped garden greens (kale, chard, spinach and chives work well)

¼ tsp salt

1/8 tsp pepper

Dash nutmeg

¾ cup diced ham 

1 ½ cups finely shredded cheddar cheese

1 Tbsp flour

1. Preheat oven to 450 F.

2. Prepare pastry and set in pie dish. Line with two sheets of foil, place dish on baking sheet and bake for 8 minutes. 

3. Remove foil and bake additional 4 minutes. Remove from oven and lower temp to 325 F. 

4. In medium-size bowl, mix eggs, half and half, greens, ham, salt, pepper and nutmeg. Set aside. 

5. In smaller bowl, combine cheese and flour. Toss to evenly coat, then add to egg mixture and mix well. 

6. Pour mixture into baked pie shell and carefully top with fresh edible flowers, herbs and greens. Get creative and use extra pastry to make fancy crust (use cookie cutters for pretty shapes!).

7. Brush crust with egg whites, cover edges with foil and bake 45–50 minutes.

“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

— Maya Angelou

 

Botanical Candy Bars

Makes 6 mini candy bars

Melt 1¼ cups of white baking chips in microwave at 30-second intervals or in a double boiler.

Then, try one of the following combinations. 

Note: If mixture starts to clump when using extract, add 1 Tbsp vegetable oil to thin for pouring into the molds.

Lemon Balm Bars — Add 1 Tbsp dried ground lemon balm and top with dehydrated oranges and pressed violas.

Strawberry Mint Bars — Mix in 1 Tbsp dried ground mint, a few drops of pink gel food coloring (until desired color is reached), and 1 tsp mint extract. Top with pressed violas, dehydrated strawberries and gold sprinkles. 

Orange Bars — Use orange gel food coloring and 1 tsp orange extract, then top with dehydrated mandarin or blood oranges and pressed mums. 

Lavender Blueberry Bars — Add purple gel food coloring and 1 tsp dried lavender. Top with dehydrated blueberries, pepitas and silver sparkles.

The flavors and toppings are unlimited, so get creative! Enjoy!

“To plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow.”
— Audrey Hepburn

Photography by Holly Capelle

For more on BloomTV, go to: www.BloomTVNetwork.com; BloomTVNetwork on Instagram; and BloomTVNetwork on Facebook.

 

When I was a little girl, I remember skipping through the brick paths in my grandma’s garden. We’d pick raspberries that she would later turn into the best freezer jam ever in her little beautiful kitchen. Food was her love language. She taught us to cook, bake, grow and create with passion. She lived beautifully yet change to thriftily. She was always put together yet willing to get her hands dirty. She was special. So many times, I’d roam the brick paths through the stately front-yard rose garden my grandparents created together, smelling the colorful blooms and listening to the waterfall and dreaming about what my house and gardens would be like someday when I grew up.

Many years later, I walked down those bricks to marry the man of my dreams in that very rose garden. The big white house I had grown up visiting was the chosen spot for the most important day of my life. It was a magical place that holds so many meanings and memories for me. After my grandparents passed, my husband and I gathered as many of the bricks from the old garden that we could — creating a new path in our garden so they could forever be a part of the space they taught me to love so much. 

 

Photography by Holly Capelle

“Don’t ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive and then go do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”

— Howard Thurman

When my husband and I bought our first home in 2001, it was not exactly the house of my dreams. It was a boring ranch-style house with a good-size yard. It was within our means, near schools and in a good area. Perfect for a young family. So we spent the last two decades slowly turning the house and yard into the place we dreamed of raising our family. 

 

Photography by Holly Capelle

 

What started out as two raised beds in an empty backyard, over the years has turned into over 16 raised beds, multiple gardens, outdoor living spaces and a chicken coop for our flock of five … with new projects my husband and I do together always in the works. We grow all our plants from seed, caring for them from beginning to end. Our garden is an important part of our love story.  

Working from home full-time in radio advertising afforded me the luxury of raising our kids at the same time. I say luxury, but there were plenty of tearful showers while raising six kids and juggling a corporate career. It was not easy. Having a large family also puts a strain on a budget. So, finding ways to save money by upcycling and repurposing things into new creations became a way of life for me. I buy as much as I can secondhand, and we DIY as much as possible. The garden gives me the opportunity to feed my family organic fruits and veggies, both fresh and preserved in various ways. I have collections of dried homegrown herbs, dried edible flowers and cupboards of dehydrated and canned garden foods.

The spirit of creativity has been alive in me for as long as I can remember. I’ve always found joy in making things. I love vibing through a project without a real plan in place. Just ideas and imagination. I think imperfection is perfect, and whimsical is magical. 

One of my favorite things to create is experiences. With so many babies at home, things like going to the movies or out to dinner were just not in the budget. But I never wanted my family to miss out. So, I created experiences for them as often as I could. Family movie night included pretend money to spend at mom’s snack shop, where you could buy popcorn and movie treats. Backyard camping would include tents, outdoor grilling, a campfire, hot chocolate and nighttime adventures. Playing restaurant with a fancy table setting and a homemade menu would make them smile. The Fourth of July was always fun with mom and dad’s backyard carnival, complete with homemade games made out of recycled materials, homemade tickets and prizes to be won. 

Birthdays around here are a good time. We’ve had indoor picnics, tea parties, ice cream shops, garden parties, arts parties and an under-the-sea party, for which I created all the invitations, decorations, games and food myself. All of it homemade. I even turned my living room into a Halloween costume shop once! We didn’t have money that year to buy everyone new costumes, so I pulled out anything and everything I could find that could be costume related, and I opened my shop up for business. The kids had the best time coming up with costumes to wear. No one even asked about new ones that year.  

Finding ways to incorporate nature in almost everything I do has been so fulfilling. I use what we grow in the kitchen for homemade beauty care, craft projects and even as seasonal décor. Much like my grandma, food is also my love language, and I’m passionate about creating garden-to-table dishes. Edible flowers have been a game changer in my kitchen. I use them, along with our homegrown herbs, veggies, fruit and farm-fresh eggs, to create garden-inspired dishes in my little beautiful kitchen. Just like my grandma did. 

What a pleasure it is to grab a beautiful bowl, walk down to the garden, pick just what I need, then come inside the house and make something beautiful and delicious for people I love, in a space I feel comfortable in. It’s a grateful way to live. Garden quiche is a family favorite. Herb biscuits are a staple in our house. My garden compound butter is almost too pretty to eat, and my easy-to-create chocolate bars decorated with pressed flowers and dehydrated fruits are always a crowd-pleaser. I’m so thankful for all that my garden provides. What I create is born out of my love of nature, love of family and a desire to make life feel special using my imagination while spending as little money as possible doing it. I am deeply connected to the earth, dedicated to my garden craft and always learning as I go.

 

Photography by Holly Capelle

 

Holly’s Herb & Cheddar Biscuits 

3 cups all-purpose flour

1 Tbsp baking powder

1 Tbsp sugar

1 tsp salt (use your herb-infused salt!) 

1 tsp fresh thyme

1 tsp fresh rosemary

1/2 tsp garlic powder

3/4 tsp cream of tartar 

1 cup finely grated cheddar cheese 

3/4 cup butter, cut into cubes 

1 cup whole milk

1. Pre-heat oven to 450 F. 

2. In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, sugar, salt, herbs, garlic powder, cream of tartar and cheese. Using a pastry cutter, cut in the cubed butter until mixture is coarse crumbs. Make a well, pour in milk. Use a fork to mix. 

3. Turn dough onto lightly floured surface and knead by folding and pressing about six times. Pat dough until 1/2 inch thick and cut with a 3-inch cutter. Place circles onto ungreased parchment-lined baking sheet and bake 10–12 minutes. 

4. Brush immediately with melted butter and place fresh flowers and herbs on top, then repeat, brushing melted butter to help garnishes stick. Serve warm. Enjoy!!! 

 

 

Garden Compound Butter

Fresh herbs and/or edible flowers (violas, calendula, rose petals, pansies and chive blossoms work well)

2 sticks butter, partially softened

Parchment paper

Cling wrap

Medium-size bowl and mixing spoon

1. Wash and dry fresh herbs and edible flowers.

2. Chop into small pieces, setting aside some whole flowers and herbs.

3. Mix chopped flowers/herbs and 2 sticks softened butter in medium-size mixing bowl using a spoon.

NOTE:  At this point, you can serve in a bowl or put into molds (candy molds work great) for individual pats of butter. Or continue to next steps. 

4. Pile butter mixture onto parchment paper and roll into log. Add whole flowers/herbs to top and sides. Transfer butter onto the edge of a piece of cling wrap, putting decorated top facing down. Add flowers/herbs to bottom side. 

5. Roll butter log, wrapping tightly. Twist ends to seal and store in refrigerator. Allow 1 to 2 hours to set, then slice as needed. Store in fridge for up to 3 months. 

Variations:

For roasting chicken or turkey: Mix in sage, rosemary, oregano, lemon thyme and orange zest.

Spicy butter: Add dried crushed cayenne and peppercorns.

Sweet butter: Mix in edible flowers, chopped berries and 2 Tbsp honey. 

 

Photography by Holly Capelle

Ham & Cheese Garden Quiche

Pastry for single crust — homemade or pre-made (unbaked), plus extra pastry for fancy edges

4 eggs, plus 1 egg white

1 ½ cups half and half or light cream

¼ cup chopped garden greens (kale, chard, spinach and chives work well)

¼ tsp salt

1/8 tsp pepper

Dash nutmeg

¾ cup diced ham 

1 ½ cups finely shredded cheddar cheese

1 Tbsp flour

1. Preheat oven to 450 F.

2. Prepare pastry and set in pie dish. Line with two sheets of foil, place dish on baking sheet and bake for 8 minutes. 

3. Remove foil and bake additional 4 minutes. Remove from oven and lower temp to 325 F. 

4. In medium-size bowl, mix eggs, half and half, greens, ham, salt, pepper and nutmeg. Set aside. 

5. In smaller bowl, combine cheese and flour. Toss to evenly coat, then add to egg mixture and mix well. 

6. Pour mixture into baked pie shell and carefully top with fresh edible flowers, herbs and greens. Get creative and use extra pastry to make fancy crust (use cookie cutters for pretty shapes!).

7. Brush crust with egg whites, cover edges with foil and bake 45–50 minutes.

“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

— Maya Angelou

 

Botanical Candy Bars

Makes 6 mini candy bars

Melt 1¼ cups of white baking chips in microwave at 30-second intervals or in a double boiler.

Then, try one of the following combinations. 

Note: If mixture starts to clump when using extract, add 1 Tbsp vegetable oil to thin for pouring into the molds.

Lemon Balm Bars — Add 1 Tbsp dried ground lemon balm and top with dehydrated oranges and pressed violas.

Strawberry Mint Bars — Mix in 1 Tbsp dried ground mint, a few drops of pink gel food coloring (until desired color is reached), and 1 tsp mint extract. Top with pressed violas, dehydrated strawberries and gold sprinkles. 

Orange Bars — Use orange gel food coloring and 1 tsp orange extract, then top with dehydrated mandarin or blood oranges and pressed mums. 

Lavender Blueberry Bars — Add purple gel food coloring and 1 tsp dried lavender. Top with dehydrated blueberries, pepitas and silver sparkles.

The flavors and toppings are unlimited, so get creative! Enjoy!

“To plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow.”
— Audrey Hepburn

Photography by Holly Capelle

For more on BloomTV, go to: www.BloomTVNetwork.com; BloomTVNetwork on Instagram; and BloomTVNetwork on Facebook.

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