Sunday, May 1, 2016

Beltane! May Day!

It's also my dad's birthday, yay!

As you may have noticed, I did not put anything about Beltane, and here's why: I had a painful experience at a May Day celebration many years ago, and it has stayed with me. There are a lot of things I could say about Beltane and why it's not one of my favorite sabbats, but I'll save it for those who really want to know. I won't force it upon all of you, ha ha!

I did test some recipes and get some more organizing done for project, but it's still a long, slow process. It'll get there, maybe. We'll see.

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Recipe Testing Extravaganza

I've been working on my book of days for the kitchen witch, and that means lots of brainstorming and cooking/testing recipes. It's great fun when you have the time and the money! I don't always have both of those things together, though, so this weekend has been kind of special.

I made three recipes this weekend. That isn't many, considering how many more I have left to do, but it's progress. 

I even took photos! They're crappy, but I have some. Wanna see? 

The star of the show this weekend was Beet Ravioli. 

Beets are great for you, plus they are beautiful and sweet and earthy and...  I'm drooling on my keyboard thinking about all that tender pasta surrounding creamy golden filling and ohshitthereIgoagain!

Let's just talk about the recipe for now, shall we? We can do all the correspondences later, gators. 

The first thing I did was trim two golden beets, wrap them in foil, and roast them at 425 for an hour. After they were cooled, I peeled and quartered them. 

I also roasted a tiny head of garlic at 375 for about 15 minutes and let that cool. 

The main filling ingredients are the roasted beets, the roasted garlic, some ricotta, and some goat cheese. There are some herbs involved, too, but they were feeling camera shy. 

They look fine in the food processor, though. This is my teensy Ninja chopper. I lurve it. 

Oh, yeah, I'm lazy AF, so I used egg roll wrappers instead of making pasta. I don't exactly have the counter space for it, and my pasta roller has only ever been used for polymer clay. Not too food-friendly. 

So, grab some wonton wrappers or egg roll wrappers and cut them in half like I did. 

The filling blends up nice and creamy: 

Now, I don't know about you, but I have a kitchen elf. His name is Martin and he's from Australia, and I put him to work filling and folding the ravioli. 

He kind of had his own system for folding them, but it mostly worked out: 

This was batch number 2 because the first one mysteriously disappeared last night. Hmm... We ran out of wrappers for this batch, though, and of course the store across the road was out of them. Now I have a bit of extra filling in the fridge, waiting on me to bring home a fresh pack of wrappers from a different store tomorrow. 

There you have it - the reason I don't photograph recipes very often! Oh, and a recipe. 

Beet Ravioli 

2 golden beets, scrubbed and trimmed
1 small, small head of garlic
2 oz. goat cheese
2-3 Tablespoons ricotta
1 teaspoon fresh dill
1 Tablespoon fresh chives
salt and pepper to taste

pack of wonton wrappers

Wrap the beets in foil and roast for an hour at 425 F. Allow to cool, and then peel. Give them a rough chop so they fit in the food processor. 

Take your garlic and cut off the top. Drizzle some olive oil over the exposed cloves, wrap the head in foil, and roast at 375 until cloves are soft. This took me about 15 minutes because my garlic was so tiny, but a bigger head of garlic may take 30-35 minutes. Allow to cool. 

Note: The amount of garlic you will actually use is about 4-6 cloves, depending on size. I'll also say it depends on your love of garlic. I used the entire head, but it was the size of a ping pong ball. 

Put the beets, goat cheese, ricotta, herbs, salt, pepper, and garlic in your food processor and process until smooth. 

Place your wrappers on a lightly floured surface. Lay down one square and put about a teaspoon of filling in the middle. Dip a finger in some water and run it around the edge. Put another wrapper on top and press out all the air bubbles. My kitchen elf folded the edges again and crimped everything with a fork, but do whatever fill-and-fold method works for you. 

Boil a beeeeeg pot of water and cook them 4 at a time for about a minute. 

Sauce? I boiled my ravioli for a minute and then plopped the dumplings into a skillet of butter with lemon zest in it and fried them for less than a minute on each side, just until they began to color slightly.

There you have it. An actual recipe with actual photos! 

Thursday, March 24, 2016

A Devastating Loss

When I was a newbie Pagan, I met a couple of women who were very welcoming to me and eager to share knowledge and resources. One of them was named Whitedove. I became friends with her, her son, and her granddaughter when I lived in Morgantown, West Virginia.

A couple of days ago, her son messaged some of us on Facebook to let us know he had been informed that she was missing. She'd been missing since March 7. Then came the news that they found her. Not alive and well.

I don't know how to express this shitty sadness and this loss to the community that we had, not to mention her family members. She was loved by many. She helped loads of people. Now she needs to be laid to rest, and her son needs help.

I am posting the link to his GoFundMe page here. You can read more about this wonderful lady here. If you can't donate, I understand, but would you please be so kind as to spread the word?

Friday, March 18, 2016

The Magical Egg and Celebrating Ostara Through Food

The Magical Egg and Celebrating Ostara Through Food  is an article I wrote for The Witches' Voice a while ago, but I thought I would post it as an extra bit of information and an extra recipe for your celebrations. I hope you enjoy it.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Spring into Ostara!

Ostara is nearly here, and with it, the first official day of spring! I'm excited. I have found my mood improving as the weather gets nicer. I thought I'd take a moment to talk about Ostara and some recipe ideas.

First, Ostara is just one name given to the spring equinox. The Celts' celebrations of spring bore no resemblance to a modern neo-pagan observances, but some similarities exist. For instance, it was and still is a time to plant seeds. Some pagan folk start magical herb gardens at this time.

Speaking of sowing seeds and fertility and all that good stuff (which we'll get into more as Beltaine gets closer), now is a good time to start thinking about what talents you want to develop, or what you want to learn or how you want to grow. What do you want to harvest at Samhain? What do you want to take into the new year with you?

Even if you have a black thumb like I do, you can still plant seeds of spirituality, of love, of peace and harmony, etc. How you do this is your choice, but I would recommend symbolically burying something, even if it's egg shells. It increases the visualization, I believe.

Seeds are some of the traditional foods for Ostara, along with leafy greens such as chard and spinach, dairy foods, and egg dishes. I sometimes like to include something spicy as I do at Imbolc, to awaken the senses.

Some suggestions would be a frittata with greens and cheese of your choice, a leafy green salad, or seeded rolls. I would use my Harvest Home Rolls recipe and add poppy seeds to the dough. You could also use sunflower seeds or put pumpkin seeds on top.

I hope those of you who are celebrating have a blessed Ostara, and I hope that whatever you plant flourishes.

Friday, February 26, 2016

Crawling Out...

I'm trying to crawl out from under the rock that is depression, anxiety, stress, etc. It isn't easy, and I feel a bit like a salmon swimming upstream, but I'm working on it. I haven't written or done anything else creative in a while.

Slowly, slowly, bit by by, as spring returns, I find myself awakening once again. I feel inspired to begin creating recipes, oil blends, and other things again.

Shitty things have come to pass. I am not going to be staying at my current job after June, so I am trying to find something else. I've been ill a lot because stress has taken its toll on my body.

Better things have come to pass as well. I think. I can't think of any examples right now, but I'll let you know if I do. Well, the job thing might just be a blessing in disguise, but I am a bit worried about finances come July and beyond. Something will hopefully come along.

I think that I have finally come up with a way of combining all of my half-assed cookery book ideas into one project. I'm currently working on that. We'll see what happens. It is a big task, but it feels more manageable to do it this way. I feel that I might be able to make some real progress if I can afford to buy groceries and test recipes. Ack.

Anyhell, I'm still surviving and existing. I am working on living, truly living, and I hope that some of you will join me on my journey.