Thursday, April 30, 2015

Hummus

The hummus recipe I took to the picnic was inspired by Jamie Geller's Lemon Lovers Hummus   recipe.

1 15-oz. can garbanzos, drained and rinsed
2 tablespoons tahini (or more if you're like me)
1 large clove garlic
juice and zest of 2 lemons
1 tablespoon ground coriander
2 teaspoons ground cumin
salt and pepper to taste
1/4- 1/3 cup water to make a smooth paste

Combine ingredients in a blender or food processor, adding the water as needed. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. Check for seasoning. Blend until smooth and creamy.

Pour hummus into a shallow dish, creating a well. Drizzle on extra virgin olive oil. Sprinkle on Israeli zaatar and hot smoked paprika   (use this sparingly because it is HOT).

Serve with pita, vegetables, whatever. I gave some to a coworker who used it as salad dressing.

...It's Beltaine. Use your imagination...  :D


Inching Toward Summer - Beltaine!

Beltaine! Already! I don't know where this year has gone. A new semester starts next week. We're all exhausted, but we have to keep plodding through the days, weeks, and months of the semesters. I plan to take a couple of long weekends to use some of my vacation time. Maybe a 4-day weekend if my friend Author T.A. Woods can come for a visit.

I thank the gods several times a week for the glorious spring weather. It's cold and rainy right now, though, but some days were absolutely gorgeous. I am trying to take stock of the things I have to be thankful for and think less about the things I don't have. Being a better daughter, girlfriend, teacher, and all-around person is the goal. We shall see.

It's nice to be able to cook with a wider variety of ingredients again. Winter can be very limited in certain areas, especially if you are on a budget. I'm addicted to roasted asparagus and have to eat as much of it as possible while it's in season.

I attended a faculty picnic last weekend. I took my  Gobi Manchurian and rice, some lemony hummus (recipe on the way), a big salad with homemade creamy Italian dressing, baked beans, Buffalo turkey meatballs, and corn and green chile casserole. I prepared for two days. There was a buttload of food at the picnic, and of course my lap band wouldn't let me eat properly. I honked.

Speaking of that sumbitch, I see a surgeon on Wednesday. I have to go to Ashland, Kentucky. It's not that far from here, but I have never been there. I have to go alone, and I am super anxious about it. I am going to give myself plenty of time. The GPS isn't always clear to me. I don't always know what's going on. Anyway, let's hope the surgeon is willing to discuss solutions to this gastric band problem. I've had it since 2009. I got it put in when I lived in Istanbul, and other doctors here don't really want to touch it. Assholes.

I doubt my insurance will cover it, but maybe I can at least get him to take out any saline that's in there so I can eat normally. I miss fruit. I'm craving fresh fruit like crazy, but it's too acidic for my pouch right now. I want to eat more raw food, but I can't right now. Grrrr. Let's hope something positive comes of this. If you want to throw any positive energy my way, that would be super duper.

That's about it for now.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Blessed Ostara and happy first day of spring! I see some of you poor souls have snow today. Ugh. May it melt quickly.  

If you're in the Southern Hemisphere, a blessed Mabon and welcome, autumn!

The time has come to start thinking about what we want to plant for ourselves for the coming year. What do you want to realize by Samhain? What goals do you want to accomplish? 

For me, I want to plant some self-acceptance. I've struggled with it for years, but it's high time I start liking myself for who I am. I plan to work on the physical body a bit, though. It's time to at least attempt another overhaul. Basically, I want to harvest myself this year. Who I really am, perfectly imperfect, worthy of love and blessings, and a woman of wisdom and talent. 

Leave me a comment and let me know your plans. We'll probably have a spring brunch this weekend, plus I have a cake to assemble. 


Tuesday, March 17, 2015

A blog prompt from Mom's a Witch!

Link to the prompt here:
http://momsawitch.blogspot.com/2015/02/pagan-blog-prompts-february-2015.html

Prompt:  What is something you can do this month to bring you closer to the Goddess?  How can you strengthen your spirituality?

1.       I can say more prayers of thanks and gratitude.
2.      I can try to like myself more. After all, aren’t I made in Her image?
3.      I can share with others. I intend to:  Donate to food banks and thrift stores. Cook a meal for a friend. Bake a cake to celebrate a friend’s wedding.
4.       Make things for people to use in order to strengthen their own spirituality. I plan to make some goddess prayer beads.
5.      Do more creative things.

6.      Spiritually cleanse my home. Oh, and CLEAN it, too! Ugh! 
7.       Celebrate with others.
8.      Spend more time outdoors.
9.      Try to keep some plants alive for once. 

Even though this prompt was for February, I think it's also a good one for March because it's the start of spring.  
























Sunday, March 15, 2015

SPRING BREAK!


Thank the gods for this glorious weather! Winter did not hit us until February, but it hit with a vengeance! We were buried under many inches of snow and ice, although not as much as other parts of the U.S. I am so incredibly excited to see and feel the sunshine and not to see any snow in sight!  I pray that it stays that way. 

I am on spring break. We had SIX snow days over the last few weeks. This is completely unheard of at a university, but they were necessary. It was simply too cold and treacherous to have classes. I wouldn't have been able to make it to campus from where I live, anyway. I'm glad I didn't have to use any personal days. I'm using them for spring break instead. 

My plans for this break include trying to declutter and straighten up a bit. Right now, I am working on laundry and setting aside a pile of clothes for the thrift store. With Ostara coming, I'd like a tidier home. I'd also like to start some seeds for herbs, but I will most likely end up buying those already started. If I try to start anything in the house, one of the cats will just fuck everything up. That's her job, and I love her for it. 

Speaking of Ostara, I know that a lot of people like to do their various rituals in the evenings, but I actually prefer to welcome the day in the morning. I don't do a formal ritual, but I do like to have a few moments with the Divine, and of course, I like to cook.  My Ostara brunch menu is below: 

Ostara
Smoked salmon spread with Crostini
Savory spinach custard
Ham-Potato Frittata
Strawberry Cheesecake Smoothies

Iced Mint Tea

The strawberry cheesecake smoothies are something I started making last summer. I like to use a mixture of cream cheese and ricotta cheese, and I throw in some graham cracker crumbs for good measure. Delicious! I'll try to get my shit together to post actual recipes soon.  For now, though, it's back to laundry land!

Happy Spring! (Gods, I hope I didn't just jinx us all!)

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Spring is Coming?! Maybe??

It's March!  Ostara is weeks away, for those who observe it.  I've been so busy being mired in the winter doldrums that I've not even thought of spring cleaning.  Boy, does this place need it!  Ermagerd!

Being a kitchen witchy person, I tend to focus on what needs to be done in the kitchen before I think of the rest of the rooms.  In all honesty, though, I'd really rather not think about cleaning anything, simply because it's just that overwhelming.  This place looks like the inside of a goat's stomach.  Ye gods!

Annnnnyyyywaaaaaayyy...I suppose we SHOULD talk about getting the hearth back into a good state, right?

Cleaning, as much as a lazy person like me hates it, is necessary for many reasons. One of those reasons is spirituality.  It's damn hard to get one's mojo working when everything is cluttered and covered in a layer of grime.  Ugh.  Cleaning gets the kitchen and the kitchen witch ready to work up some magic.

What are your plans for celebrating spring?  I plan to scrub everything with soap, water, and rosemary oil to clean and purify the space.  I plan to smudge every corner.  Sorry, spiders, but those cobwebs have to go. Goodwill, here I come!  Notice I said all of those for fall, too.  Guess what?   Heh heh. Oops.

I haven't started thinking about my Ostara menu just yet, but I think I might do a brunch.  If that's what I end up doing, then I do have a menu.  It's part of the brunch book I still haven't finished writing.  Have you noticed a pattern here?   Yeah. If laziness and/or procrastination were Olympic events...I'd still sit on my ass.

Talk to me about spring. Fill us all with hope, joy, sunshine, and the promise of flowers.  I think we all need it, at least in the part of the U.S. that I inhabit!