flower recipe book, cosmos

Cosmos epitomize summer. Here they are combined with dahlias, foxgloves, irises, and nasturtium vines and nestled into a rustic twig basket.

The Flower Recipe Book is so much fun!  This is not cooking with flowers, but rather making beautiful arrangements from a specific list of ingredients. Created by Alethea Harampolis and Jill Rizzo of Studio Choo in San Francisco, this fresh and colorful book simplifies the process of creating lovely arrangements for everyday and special occasions.

flower recipe book, peonies

This low box is an ideal centerpiece container to hold a profusion of peonies, poppies, viburnum berries, and flowering oregano without blocking conversation.

There are some 43 different flowers that are used for the arrangements in this book. For the reader’s ease, the flowers are listed in alphabetical order. Each section focuses on one type of flower and provides three recipes: First, for an arrangement with that variety on its own; next, for an arrangement with that flower accompanied by others; and then for an arrangement using that particular flower, made for a special occasion. For summer, I like their idea of cosmos alone in a flat-sided glass vase. For a cosmos recipe with company, add yarrow, tweedia, and scabiosa. And for a special occasion, combine the cosmos with nasturtium vines, irises, foxglove, dahlias, yarrow, scabiosas, astrantia, and oregano.

The arrangements in this volume are a subtle blend of coloration using flowers in hues that are close on the color wheel. Rather than using fine china or crystal, Harampolis and Rizzo employ an assortment of rustic and found vessels, from wooden boxes and baskets to medicine bottles and vintage-style fruit cans. There is not a piece of floral foam in the entire book. Some of the recipes use floral frogs and tape, but basically they are straightforward with an emphasis on the flowers themselves.

flower recipe book

The book’s authors, best friends Alethea Harampolis and Jill Rizzo, are the floral designers and owners of San Francisco’s Studio Choo.

The abundance of summer makes this the perfect time to peruse this book, pick from your garden or your florist, and make some of these arrangements your own.


By Susan Elliott

flower recipe bookPhotography by Paige Green. Excerpted from The Flower Recipe Book, by Alethea Harampolis and Jill Rizzo and photographed by Paige Green (Artisan Books, ©2013).

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