Thursday, December 22, 2011

Blessed Yule

I would like to wish a very happy holiday to you and yours. May the coming year be full of blessings and love. I'm off to my parents' house tomorrow and won't be online much until around NYE. Be safe!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

I. The Magician

The second card in the Major Arcana is the Magician. Looking at the card, we notice several important symbols. We see the infinity symbol. Around his waist is the uroboros – the serpent swallowing its tail. This is another symbol of infinity and the cycle of birth, death, and rebirth. On the altar before him are represented all four elements.

When I look at this card, I get the image of a mature man who is comfortable with his power. Here is a man in his prime. He is powerful. He is very likely a father, possibly a young-ish grandfather. I associate this card with fire and earth. The season, for me, is summer.

Questions that we can ask about this card are, “Am I secure in my power?” “Am I using it wisely?” I think that grounding is important with this card, so I have put together a recipe that is at once light, because it’s a salad, and ground, because of the meat.

Grilled Steak Salad with Bacon-Blue Cheese Dressing

For the dressing:

• 2 1/2 ounces blue cheese
• 3 tablespoons buttermilk
• 3 tablespoons sour cream
• 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
• 2 teaspoons white wine vinegar
• 1/4 teaspoon sugar
• 1 clove garlic, finely minced
• salt and freshly ground white pepper
• 6 slices crisp bacon, crumbled
• Salt and pepper to taste

For the salad:

8 cups mixed greens – spinach, lettuce, arugula
½ red onion, thinly sliced
16-oz sirloin steak

Lightly oil the rack of your grill and set to high heat. If using a grill pan, allow to heat on high for about 5 minutes. Grill the sirloin until rare or medium-rare (130-135 degrees F), about 3-3 1/2 minutes per side. Allow the steak to rest for about 10 minutes. Slice thinly against the grain and top the greens and red onion.

In a small mixing bowl, mash the blue cheese and buttermilk. Leave some larger chunks of cheese for texture. Gently fold in the rest of the ingredients. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Drizzle dressing over the salad and serve.

Serves 4

Monday, December 5, 2011

What's Cookin' for December

I shall return soon with another card in my Major Arcana series. I'm also working on a sunrise ritual for the solstice. Breakfasty-type recipes will be included.

My boyfriend and I went to Memphis on Friday and hit three international grocery stores. I got quite a bit of good stuff and have been happily experimenting with it. Saturday we had braised octopus with spaghetti, and yesterday we had duck spring rolls with a duck I roasted.

Today I am going to use the leg meat from the duck to make duck-and-sweet-potato hash browns.

Next Sunday I am hosting a cookie swap. I'll probably make my double chocolate-cherry-almond bar cookies. They are usually a crowd pleaser.

That's about it for now. My final exams are Wednesday and my grades are due by Friday. I'm a busy, busy bee right now. I hope all is well with my readers!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

World AIDS Day

Brush off those red ribbons and join me at virtual-candle.org in lighting a candle for those we have lost to this terrible disease, and also for those still living with HIV/AIDS. I remember the children especially.