We recently visited The Flower Fields, which are 50 acres of ranunculus flowers that only bloom from late March to early May each year. They are in full bloom right now - and quite the springtime sight to see.
(Me in front of the fields that seem to go on forever)
(An artsy closeup of the ranunculus)
In addition to the ranunculus, they also have a huge greenhouse full of beautiful orchids.
If you are ever in Carlsbad, CA during springtime, the Flower Fields are a must see! It's $10 per person to get in, but you can usually find a 2-for-1 coupon with a little Google magic. It's amazing to walk around the row upon row of flowers, ranging from white to orange to pink to purple to blue. In one section, they even have the flowers planted in a pattern that mimics the American flag. I couldn't get a good shot of it from the angle I was at, but I assure you it was very cool.
Just across the way from the Flower Fields are acres of strawberries, which are also in bloom. Every strawberry I have had so far in California has been incredibly sweet and juicy and perfect. Yes, we grow strawberries back home, too, but even when they're at their best in June, I'm not sure they're quite this good!
Of course, strawberries are good for all kinds of desserts - shortcake, trifle, homemade ice cream, etc. But we also really like them as a side dish in this strawberry spinach salad. It's so simple, I can hardly call it a recipe, but it's so good - it has to be shared!
Strawberry Spinach Salad
5-6 cups baby spinach, rinsed and dried
1 cup sliced strawberries
1/4 cup sliced almonds
1/4 cup sweet poppy seed dressing
Mix spinach, strawberries and almonds together in a large bowl. Pour dressing over top and toss to coat. Serve immediately.