When cooking Indian food, the inviting aroma of spices fills the air. The pairing of fresh ingredients and traditional flavors creates a meal that excites the senses. Each recipe in this menu uses a delicious blend of spices, including mace—the ground-up covering of the nutmeg seed. (Traditional nutmeg spice is derived from the seed itself.) Mace was once commonly used for dishes such as apple pie, pudding, and custard. It has a bit of a cinnamon and pepper flavor and can be used in sweet or savory recipes. Today, nutmeg is more popular than mace; however, mace is still used in many Indian recipes and can be found in most major markets. If your local market doesn’t carry it, turn to specialty suppliers or online retailers. Some of the following recipes can be made last minute and others are a bit more time-consuming. Regardless, all of these recipes are prepared to please with sweet and spicy fragrances, jewel-tone colors, and delicious flavors.

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Cottage Charm

Practical Romance in a Residential Landscape

The city of Wayzata, Minnesota is an upscale community of less than 5,000 residents, located in the western part of the Minneapolis-St. Paul metro area. Pronounced wise-etta, the name was derived from the Sioux phrase meaning “North Shore” because it borders Lake Minnetonka. Its picturesque location has helped the city become a popular destination for tourists and home to families.

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Puerto Rico

The Island of Enchantment


TOP: Old San Juan’s contrasting colors along the Paseo del Morro (seawall boulevard). BELOW: With nearly 300 beaches, life’s a beach on the Island of Enchantment. RIGHT: Plantains are a staple of Puerto Rican cuisine, especially mofongo. Strolling the colorful streets and plazas of Old San Juan never gets old. Cool off with a piragua—a tropical, shaved ice treat.

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Rooted in Revival

The charming Garden District of New Orleans, Louisiana is located near the core of the celebrated city known for its lovely architecture and lively spirit. The area is filled with stately nineteenth-century homes, including the historic 1848 modified Greek Revival belonging to a friend and client of landscape architect Ben Page. Their shared passion for outdoor social spaces made Page, principal with Nashville, Tennessee–based PAGE | DUKE Landscape Architects, a perfect fit for the job.

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California Dreaming

Anyone who has ever fantasized about moving to California knows part of its charm is indoor-outdoor living—all year round. But for too long, Christina Valencia and Kele Dobrinski, the married couple behind design and branding firm Colossus Mfg., were living in a 750-square-foot San Francisco unit with “zero outdoor living space,” says Christina. Now with three young children, the couple decided to decamp to Kele’s native Sacramento and take on one of the biggest projects of their lives—“a 1930s Spanish Revival home that hadn’t been touched in more than fifty years,” she says. “The exterior was a dingy yellow color and covered in dying trees; you really couldn’t see it from the street.”

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Beat the Buzz

Tackle Allergies with Natural Solutions

It’s a pretty dramatic statistic: more than 50 million Americans suffer from allergies each year according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. What’s more, in the US alone, allergies are the sixth leading cause of chronic illness racking up more than $18 billion every year in medical costs.

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Veg Out

A Hearty Vegetarian and Vegan Menu

I’ve always loved my vegetables. Even as a kid, I’d opt for a large salad with a delicious dressing or a big plate of grilled or roasted vegetables. I never thought of myself as vegetarian or vegan—I just love all things grown in the garden. So, when plant-based recipes gained popularity, I felt right at home. Even if you favor meat dishes, I think these vegetarian and vegan-based recipes will make you feel right at home too. They are chock-full of flavor, fresh ingredients, and hearty textures—anything but rabbit food.

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Grill & Chill

A California Coast Retreat

By all accounts, this Corona Del Mar, California home at the end of a cul-de-sac in a quiet neighborhood with a nice ocean view, had a lot going for it. Unfortunately, the home’s outdoor and garden spaces were uninspired. The home’s new owners, a couple with young children, turned to landscape designer Molly Wood to help them realize their vision.

“They wanted their outdoor garden to feel comforting, nurturing, and private,” says Wood, owner of Costa Mesa–based Molly Wood Garden Design. “It needed to feel special, like a cozy spot made just for their family.”

Wood’s soothing color palette laid the foundation for the calm retreat the family was looking for. The hardscape and plantings of the new landscape center around white and textured shades of green. Tones of pure white to ivory are predominate in the pavers, fire features, and seating spaces, as well as the home’s white-brick exterior.

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Perfect Harmony

Stone and Soil Make This Irish Garden

Carl Wright never set out to be a gardener. In 1996, his love of flowers, limestone landscapes, and caves drew him to The Burren in the northwestern coastal area of County Clare, Ireland. His plan was to live frugally in the run-down cottage he purchased, support himself as a tour guide, and spend his free time exploring the region’s limestone caves. His priorities were—and are—to live in a rural area with plenty of outdoor activities.

“The back door opened onto a dense thicket of blackthorn and hazel, and that was how I intended to keep it,” he remembered; however, after renovating his house, he decided he should clean up the front garden space. “I started low-key,” says Wright, “but as I got more engaged and interested, the momentum built. I started clearing more and more areas to accommodate more plants.” Next, he created a meadow along the River Caher that runs through the side of his property. Then he did clear the thicket by his back door, creating an outdoor living room.

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Zest for Life


Citrus can imbue the winter months with a touch of sunshine. The cheerful colors of these in-season fruits add a much-needed zest to winter meals. This is the perfect winter menu to prepare when you are craving a bit of sunshine.


I love to serve this cocktail as the very first course. I often use fresh orange segments in the prosecco, but you can substitute canned mandarins if needed. Who wouldn’t love the merry color of mandarins mingling cheerfully with prosecco?

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