Blossom Lady

As days grow brighter,

and gentle rains rouse the verdant spirits

from their dreamtime adventures,

we prepare, Wild Ones, to make those dreams real.

Out we pop from our buds!

stretching in langor toward the Sun,

the sweet scented moss 

tickling our noses,

guided by birdsong...

Doesn't Spring, somehow, always feel like the first time?

Now, of course, an Elven Queen would be fairly famished after a long Winter's rest.

A bright-eyed forage through the untamed forest and her surrounding fields could offer a delightful array of beautiful plant gifts!

But let's get one thing straight: those of you know me are aware of my eye-rolling tendencies towards the "seasonal cleanse."

Is Spring a time of renewal? Of course.  

But the body actually operates on a detox cycle, followed by a nutritive cycle, on a daily basis.

Do you clean your house four times per year? Of course not.

Then why, oh why, would you clean your soul's temple so infrequently?

I've prepared for you, my beautiful hatchlings,

a nibble that not only cleanses, but feeds.

Making your body strong,

your skin and hair vibrant,

your mind clear and ready.

Everything comes alive.

Everything awakens.

For nature is the ultimate Femme Vitale...

Spring Faerie Salad

Serves One
*all ingredients must be organic or wild grown

9 leaves of fresh dandelion
1 C  baby spinach
1/4 C grated carrot
1/2 C sprouts/microgreens (I love a blend: radish, alfalfa, sunflower, etc.)
1/4 C sunflower seeds
1/4 C nettle leaf
Raw unfiltered apple cider vinegar
Cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil
Celtic sea salt/fresh ground black pepper (know in certain circles as The Pinch-n-Grind)

Begin, my Loves, by grating several carrots. The easiest way? Give them a rough chop, then pulse in the food processor. Then you have some for the next few days. (You're welcome.)
Next, pull the dandelion leaves from their stalks, and tear gently with your fingers. Add in the spinach and carrots, and top with sprouts to form a gorgeous nest. Sprinkle with sunflower seeds and nettle leaf. Give it a light drizzle of the oil and cider vinegar, a pinch of Celtic salt, a grind of pepper, and you're there!

Dandelion is a bitter green, designed to detoxify the body by cleansing the liver, kidneys, and the blood. It also encourages fat metabolism and stabilizes blood sugar, while supplying the body with calcium, zinc, potassium, vitamins A, B, C, & D. A total powerhouse! Magickally, as with all greens, it is consumed to attract money, which just might come in handy as you get your dreams off the ground. *wink* 
We''re using eight leaves to symbolize personal power, for this potent dark green goodness also assists in making wishes come true...

Sprouts and microgreens are part of this magickal mélange to symbolize new life force emerging, and for their tremendous nutritional value. Carrots are filled with vitamin A, amongst other major nutrients, which keeps the signs of aging and stress off your face, helping to keep skin preternaturally young.  Oh, and they're all about sex. Spring fever, anyone?

Sunflower seeds are amazing little health bites, so full of crucial minerals and vitamin E, to keep you beautiful inside and out...with a magickal boost to ensure success. Whatever you're conjuring, know you've got plant power on your side!

And what might this mysterious little faerie boat be carrying?

NETTLE BOAT-2.jpg

Why, it's nettle! 

Long used as a protective herb, fiery nettle also gives passion a push in the right direction. Love it already? Here's more: nettle is an immune-boosting, anti-inflammatory wonder that supports kidney and bone health. Beauty-wise, our brilliant plant friend promotes hair growth and flawless skin, particularly effective in treating acne, psoriasis, and eczema. It's also a renowned female tonic (just use it with caution, or not at all, if you are pregnant.)

Allright, my succulents,

revel in this Spring energy!

All my love,

xxx Alise

 

 

The Dragon's Fire

"Dragons are fire made flesh."

-George R.R. Martin

Has ever a creature ignited so much fear and loathing, through the ages and across the lands, as the dragon?

World leaders aside, mind you.


The ferocious Fafnír has dwelled in the imaginations of children for centuries, depicted as a greedy, ruthless, fire-breathing slayer with nearly impenetrable skin. Quite a feather in the cap of anyone who could rid the land of such a beast.

To me, as a child, they were simply misunderstood.

Of course, there were all those tales, dark and foreboding: the terrifying Hydra who challenged Hercules, the stealth Greek drakones that served as the getaway car for the dark witch Medea, and the great Welsh Red dragon that defeats the White Saxon dragon right in front of the King (and has to have it all explained to him by Merlin...hmm...a ruler who is also an idiot...where have I heard that one recently?)
And then, there was the fierce foe in of the aged and frankly exhausted Beowulf's final battle.
But in amongst those famous stories, lesser-known legends of the beast lurked...

There are those worshipped by the ancient Chinese, who considered themselves descendants of the dragon, who, as the ruler of moving bodies of water and rainfall, had control over the weather. They were also considered the representation of the masculine yang, and held in high regard as a symbol of strength, power, and good luck for those who are worthy. This continues today, as benevolent people of high achievement are said to be "dragons."

Ah! And the lovely dragon sisters, Léana and Léas, of magickal lore. They are personal favorites of mine. Léana, with her sliver-white mane watches over your sleep, keeping nightmares at bay and replacing your fears with peaceful visions. She is never far from her sibling Léas, the Moonbeam Dragon, with her swirling silver sparkles, who can only be summoned during a Full Moon. (So don't bug her during any other phase. It's just bad manners.)

And then, last but not least for today's folkloric wanderings, there is good old Smaug. He's the greediest of all, isn't he? And pretty lazy. But, he is, nonetheless, the creation of our beloved J.R.R. Tolkien, and is therefore a delight to read about.  

I always knew wild creature spirits watched over me as a child. They still do. For it is said that a dragon will perch on your shoulder to protect you...if you are willing.

Loves, with Spring so newly upon us, you may be wondering where, exactly, your own inner dragon fire is lurking.

The Sun goes into Aries, the season shifts, and you figure you're going to be shot out like a cannon into your next creative adventure, yes? 

But these first few weeks of warmer weather and the long-awaited appearance of the elusive sunshine tend to make you feel a bit day-dreamy. "Yeah, I should really get to blah, blah, and blah...but...I think I'll just go sit beneath a tree, and..."  

Time to take long walks and deep breaths.

Read.

Listen.

And get ready.

Because the moment will seize you fast and hard, the momentum gathering you along with it, hair flying and heels dropping below you, as Spring begins to move you forward and upward in its whirlwind of new energies. And it's right around the next corner.

To lend a dainty faerie hand, my Beloveds, is this impossibly pretty elixir I've crafted just for you, to ignite the creative fires stirring deep within, just aching to be released.

But don't be fooled by its beauty, it possesses a the power worthy of its namesake.

The dragonfruit is a gorgeous, tropical little creature that I must introduce you to. I first became acquainted with this one a couple of years ago on a balcony in Los Angeles, on a woozy afternoon that had followed an 18-hour film shoot. I woke up, wandered down to the farmer's market, hungry and feeling more than a bit surreal. I met these strange and fascinating fruits, and was completely bewitched by them. The name, first of all. I knew they would be intense. And whole, they actually look like cute little fishys doing weightless aquatic dances:

You can see why I fell in love. I took two back to where I was staying, opened them, settled into a deck chair, and experienced their magick. I dug in with a spoon to discover a flesh creamy and sweet, a bit like a nearly overripe pear, with an ever-so-slight slight tartness, and dotted with elegant black seeds of pure life force. Sunbathing that afternoon, I felt the fire reawaken. I was tired, yes, but filled with energies beyond the physical world. And I've worshipped these babies since.

Dragonfruit, or pitaya, is indeed a superfood, which always equates with beautyfood.  It wields active antioxidants, anti-inflammatory properties, heaps of vitamin C, coveted B vitamins, fiber,  and immune boosters. Topically, a dragonfruit face masque will tighten and revive dull skin, giving you a radiant celestial glow. You can even apply it to your scalp, to keep hair smooth and healthy! 

I've added strawberries to the potion to conjure up a little Venusian love magick, and pomegranate for an extra shot of fire, all to fuel the fertility of your creations! The almonds combined with the liquids make for a fresher, creamier almond milk than the kind you buy...with the added touch of vitamin E for stunning skin and hair. Enjoy, Lovely Ones!

The Dragon's Elixir

1 whole Dragonfruit, flesh only
1/2 C pomegranate juice, unsweetened
1/2 C spring water
1/2 C fresh organic strawberries
1/4 C raw organic almonds
1 packet or dropper organic stevia, or to taste
Garnish with organic goji berries

Blend all these delights together in high-speed device (I always recommend a NutriBullet...it pulverizes everything.) Pour into a sexy cocktail glass and sip, drinking in all the energizing and beautifying energies it offers. 

I would concoct this potion, Beasties, during a Waxing Moon, when you need that push forward, and even nearest a Full Moon for an extra shot of manifesting prowess.

Happy Spring!

xxx Alise

 

 

 

 

 

Have Love, Will Travel

As I amp up for a trip across the pond, I can't shake that Sonics classic from my head.

I'm heading over to Brighton to speak at Vegfest UK, a bustling and bountiful gathering that hits several cities each year, filled with glorious vegan everything...a compassion-fest brimming with ideas that have become action, with lovely souls spinning straw dreams into golden reality, and spreading the beauty around like dandelion fuzz. I can-not wait!

And love has indeed been the motivator.

Love for the Earth and all her creatures,
love extended to fellow humans by way of sharing knowledge,
the love of my life who travels with me,
and our loves who guard the Lair while we are away.

So, meantime, back at The Inner Sanctum, I prepare...

Oh, so many vegan-chic getups to choose from! And so little room in my valise...

Whoever said shoes had to be leather to be sexy?

And speaking of sexy...

Sheer and lacy secrets have their own special vintage travel case!

And now, I am on my way.

I'll be home soon, with tales of many adventures, ready to delve horns-first into some very intense book-writing, and figuring out a shoot schedule for a new season of LUNA VITA. You know me, I'd wayyyy rather skip the sitting down in front of the laptop for hours on end in favor of some electrically charged on-camera time, but, sometimes a gal has to hunker down and...*heaving sigh*...get focused.

(And, as you know, the thought of too much seriousness makes me slightly cranky, so I'm going back into my candy-coloured closet to play for a while longer.)

So I bid you adieu, just for now,

with a peachy ripe kiss,

and a few saucy tips

for when your own wild heart takes you places...

xxx Alise

The Howlin' Wolf Moon

"We are all filled with a longing for the wild. We are taught to feel shame for such a desire. No matter where we are, the shadow that trots behind us is definitely four-footed."

-Clarissa Pinkola-Estés, Ph.D., from Women Who Run With The Wolves

Atka, arctic grey ambassador wolf, it has been my pleasure to meet you. All images courtesy of The Wolf Conservation Center.

Atka, arctic grey ambassador wolf, it has been my pleasure to meet you. All images courtesy of The Wolf Conservation Center.

On the Full Moon of January,

deep in the forest, 

the howling of the wolves can be heard,

through the cold

and the stillness.

The Wolf Moon.

Wild and free,

fiercely protective,

guiding us through the darkness.

Though most pagans will agree that the natural cycle of the earth declares October 31st as the end of the harvest, and thus the beginning of the New Year, it's interesting to note that January also has some pagan roots as a marking of a new cycle. The Roman god Janus, for whom the month is named, had two faces: one ruled beginnings and the other endings. Janus ruled both, as well as the past and the future.  Indeed, many pre-Christian lunar festivals were held in January, including the birth of the ever-fabulous Inanna in ancient Sumeria on January 2nd.

Hmmm.

Back to the wolves.

Diego, one of the few remaining  Mexican grey wolves, may have  pups one day soon!

Diego, one of the few remaining  Mexican grey wolves, may have  pups one day soon!

Wildlife and the Wild Self.

Both are on the critically endangered list.

The Feminine and the Wolf share keen senses, deep intuitive prowess, and an intense devotion to their pack, all qualities brightly illuminated by this Full Moon. We are both playful,  possessing great strength, bravery, and adaptability. Healthy wolves exemplify this, as do healthy women, which is where I come in to howl at you: You must keep yourself well and strong in order to create. The magic is only as powerful as the magician. My clients and close humans hear me say this constantly, because it is TRUTH. (My furry, scaled, and winged friends, of course, already know this, and need no reminders.)

We also share a darker reality. You know the one. That which has caused us to be the subject of fear and harassment. Right now the wolf is on the verge of extinction, with only a dangerously small percentage left living in the wild. This is a travesty. One that disrupts the natural order in ways that cannot even be fathomed yet. Here in the States, as their numbers dwindle rapidly towards nothing, hunters are granted the right to destroy them. My Wild Self is haunted by this, though I am deeply grateful for conservation efforts by sanctuaries like The Wolf Conservation Center, whom I had the privilege to visit last year. Take a moment with them at www.nywolf.org. You will fall in love.

Red wolf pups growing up protected, essential to the recovery of their  species.

Red wolf pups growing up protected, essential to the recovery of their  species.

Thursday's Full Wolf Moon in Cancer shines her light on emotions coming to a boil. Beware the cauldron bubbling over, for Cancer rules the silver Lady, at her peak strength now, with expansive Jupiter making everything bigger somehow, and a formidable dash of Plutonian intensity adding to this most powerful brew. Uranus joins the cast as The Disruptor, one who has the power to trigger outbursts.

But fear not, my Loves. As with all planetary storms, there is wisdom in balance, and the strength of preparedness in knowing what the weather forecast holds. 

Use the innate nurturing of Cancer to be loving towards those around you, and to yourself. Be empathetic, be a good listener, give hugs freely...because everyone needs them. And because the maternal beauty of Cancer demands that you step into the light of the night sky.

Be the example. 

Here are the "General Wolf Rules For Life," as written in Women Who Run With the Wolves. Heed them, now and always, my lupine Loves:

1. Eat

2.  Rest

3.  Rove in between

4.  Render loyalty

5.  Love the children

6.  Cavil in the moonlight

7.  Tune your ears

8.  Attend to the bones

9.  Make love

10. Howl often

Beautiful Alawa, a NORTH AMERICAN GREY WOLF, lives protected, along with her brothers, helping to educate the public about the necessity of her race.

Beautiful Alawa, a NORTH AMERICAN GREY WOLF, lives protected, along with her brothers, helping to educate the public about the necessity of her race.

Wolf wisdom. Moon wisdom. Nature's wisdom.

May you never be afraid to bathe in it.

May it enter your bloodstream,

and live inside you,

evermore.

xxx Alise

(P.S. New episode of LUNA VITA! this week reveals more about the Cancer Full Moon...)

 

 

 

 

 

The Girl That Got Away

Hello, Lovers.

It's been awhile. And you're thinking you've been stood up.

By a redhead who loved you and left you, sitting alone in the wee hours, knocking back yet another lonely drink in a smoke-filled room, playing that same sad song over and over...

But I'm back.

You see, I never left you for another.

Honest.

I've been off having wild adventures, true.

But it was all for you, babies.

I was called away on a secret mission.

It's name is LUNA VITA.

It's a show.

Food. Lifestyle. Beauty.

All infused with practical magick.

You can watch the first three episodes  here.

And every week, for 13 weeks, a new show.

(with a few added delights tossed into the brew...)

And, in case you have any lingering doubts as to my affections,

I've got these to back up my story:

Peeking out at you from the shelves of Barnes and Noble.

Peeking out at you from the shelves of Barnes and Noble.

That's right. Your girl is featured in the October, November, and December issues of U.K.-based Vegan Food and Living magazine. And in the December issue of another sexy British publication, Vegan Life magazine. And in the November issue of NYC's Savor Life magazine.

And, for those of you with music in your soul, 

you just might hear my breathy little voice purring on these gems...

MERCURY REv's' "THE LIGHT IN YOU," AND THE AVALANCHES "WILDFLOWER." 

MERCURY REv's' "THE LIGHT IN YOU," AND THE AVALANCHES "WILDFLOWER." 

I'm gonna go home now, and kick off my high heels.

Girl's gotta get a little shut-eye once in a while.

If you want me, just whistle.

"You know how to whistle, don't you?"

xxx Alise

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Quench Me.

There they were.

Drought resistant warriors waving hello.

 


My plane had just landed, and once outside,  I was greeted instantly

by beautiful feathered fans and their graceful, timeless embrace.

I had feared I would find my old friends dry, brown, withered. 

But they had survived.

And they would continue to hold space, stand with purpose. 

My man remarked that I hadn’t stopped grinning since we'd touched down. 

I couldn’t.

I was back in the Realm of the Gods once again,

and that can be a tricky place, full of illusion.

'Cause Neptune rules this city, 

and everyone here falls under the influence.

But the sheer power of nature overtakes all that,

if you are connected to her,

 and stay close, tethered to her truth.

Desert climates have birthed the wisest of species, haven't they?

Native to the Americas, the prickly pear cactus lives mostly in the arid West, storing rare rain water from widespread roots, and protecting itself from predators with a sharp external shield. Plants are so smart. 

You can imagine my squeals of delight when I saw a carton of cactus water in my health food store back in New York...can you even imagine the hydration? I didn't even know it existed! The water comes from the fruit, actually, not the leaves, and get this: it's loaded with antioxidants, vitamins A, C, E, iron, calcium, AND has anti-inflammatory properties. The taste? Fabulous! It's fruity and light, and not a trace of sugar to be found. In fact, it actually lowers blood sugar. 

This calls for a cocktail!

Cactus Cordial

  • 6 oz. cactus water
  • 1 Tbsp organic hibiscus flowers
  • 2 drops lime essential oil
  • pure water
  • raspberries, for garnish

Start by making a little hibiscus tea ahead of time. You can either steep the flowers in cool water overnight, or heat the water, drop in the flowers, and let them rest there for 6-8 minutes, or longer. Hibiscus is an ancient remedy for cooling the body and moisturizing the skin (we can thank our Egyptian ancestors for that, Lovers.) 

When the tea is cooled, strain it into a brandy snifter, or some such foxy late-night glass. Add in the cactus water, the lime oil, plop in a few berries...and enjoy! The lime adds a lick of refreshment in the form of an anti-aging tonic, the berries grace us with more antioxidants and beauty boosting vitamin E, so mingled with the flowers and the waters, we have a most exquisite potion!

Alright, Juicy Ones, have a gorgeous evening...

And, as for you, my dear city,

as you fade behind me,

I am missing you already.

'Til next we meet,

xxx Alise

You Give Me Fever

Driving through the winding roads this morning

I rode a sharp turn

and beheld a most mystical sight:

White, flickering clouds

that danced the mountaintop

breathtaking in their undulations

like fierce flames

yet not foreboding,

not a warning to heed

but rather an invitation

like veils dancing in the wind

a reminder

stirring the awakening fires

"Time for action, " they whispered.

I wish I had captured it,

but like all magic,

it wasn't meant to be held.

Yes, my Beasties,

Spring has sprung.

Have we?

I want to give you a sexy gift.

A rising volcano inside,

ready to burst with all the secret plans we've made

under Winter's white cloak.

The passion is ignited,

the candle lit.

Feed your fire...

Chai Love You Cakes

  • 2 C raw cashews, soaked overnight, drained and rinsed
  • 1 C dates
  • 1 large organic apple (Pink Ladies work so well), finely chopped
  • 2 Tbsp garam masala
  • 1 Tbsp flax seeds
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla or 1 vanilla bean
  • 2 Tbsp raw coconut nectar
  • 1 pinch ground chili or cayenne pepper

Darlings, you can usually get the garam masala, which is a divine Indian spice mixture, at your health food store in bulk. If not, McCormack actually makes a version, though I doubt it's organic. If you have an Indian grocery near, you're a lucky soul! And then there are always online exotic spice merchants...

As with so many of these amazing raw food recipes, all you really need to do here is pulse your ingredients (minus the apple) in your food processor until the mixture clings to the center and looks dough-like. Then scoop it into a bowl, and add your apple. Save some for the topping! Press it all into a brownie pan, adding the apple on top and pressing down with your sweet paws so they anchor in there.

Score into 12 cakes, and pop it into the freezer for about an hour. Take the pan out, lift the cakes with a spatula, and nibble away! Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge.

Let the spices rev you! And let all those powerful nutrients and living enzymes give you the momentum you need to make your plans REAL.

Put your pirate ships out into the river, Fierce Ones, and see which return to you bearing jewels...

Spring has got your back,

and so do I.

xxx Alise

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Mojo Rising

 

WANT YOUR MOJO BACK?

I thought you might.

How about radiant skin? Shiny hair? 

Mmm-hmm.

Maybe you're feeling sluggish. 
Maybe you're getting weary from carrying around extra pounds.
Maybe you're bloated most of the time, and your belly hurts.

Oh, Darling. You should never feel anything less than beautiful.
Sexy.
Vibrant.
Alive.

Now, for the first time, my Loves, I'm opening my virtual Lair to you for private counseling sessions. That's right! I'm ecstatic to have these little dates with you...full of girl talk and giggles, getting to know you...understanding what path to glowing beauty and health is best for you, based on what you love, and where you want to be.

(And, fellas, you are more than welcome to come around...)

"Working with Alise is an absolute delight!! She has been an invaluable guide down my path to rediscovering my inner nymph and is an absolute oracle on everything from all natural beauty potions and spiritual wisdom to healthy food with a ton of flavour!! This from a once dedicated ice cream and chicken nugget eater. I couldn't recommend her more highly!!"

- Fiona M., Sydney, AU

"Alise Marie's program engages you both on a physical and personal level. With step-by-step coaching and a personalized life style changing plan, she is able to motivate even the most unmotivated people. If you're worried about not being able to cook for yourself (like I was), Alise has numerous recipes at the ready, all of which are absolutely delicious and fun to make. Alise is also incredibly sweet and caring, she's willing to go the extra mile to help you on your journey."

- Kristi K., Cleveland, OH

Are you ready to find your  most magical and sensual self?

Contact me here for details.

xxx Alise

 


 

 

 

The Spiral Staircase

When I stepped outside this morning, 

I looked up at the frosted glass sky

and something caught my eye

I thought it was a bird, but

it was a leaf,

A perfect crunchy crisp orange leaf turning to brown.

It was spiraling slowly down, in a graceful dance,

released from a majestic Maple,

and I stood there mesmerized by it.

The spiraling.

The sky was incredible, too.

Veiled with clouds, alive with mist

the air somewhere between mild and chilled

all the shades of grey making the remains of the autumn leaves on the ground,

the colors, 

even what was left of the green grasses all the more vibrant.

Such a strange and beautiful sight dappled among the first January frost.

I didn't even pause to take a picture of it for you,

because sometimes you lose the moment that way...

The imagery of the spiral is everywhere, if you are willing to look.

It carries with it ancient wisdom of the outer conciousness leading to the inner soul: the path leading from the ego into enlightenment. 

Evolution.

Divine union with cosmic energies.

I see taking care of ourselves as a spiral journey. We usually begin from a place of vanity, and gradually find our way inward, to healing and supporting what cannot always be seen, but has a profound effect on the whole, and, yes, the exterior.

You've heard me say many times, "beauty begins on the inside." 

Truth.

It begins with giving, love, and compassion from our hearts, and extends to how we experience nourishment. When we feed ourselves from a place of kindness, both for ourselves and for the planet, baby, it shows.

Which brings me back to my wish for you to indulge in the beauty of living, loving, radiant raw plant foods, even as the sky turns somber, and the air boldly ventures towards glacial. I gave you a few basic tips in my last entry, but you know me...I like to keep things interesting.

And so,  I have a very seductive ladyfriend I want to introduce you to:

Who says kitchen appliances aren't sexy?

Who says kitchen appliances aren't sexy?

This alluring hourglass is known by her street name: The Spiralizer. And, Beasties, she packs a wallop. There are enormous, weighty, stupid-expensive versions of her out there that will take up all of your counter space, and theoretically work better, but I prefer the feel of this lightweight, packable vixen right in my hands.

Her magic? She creates noodles out of vegetables!

That's right, my Loves, you can enjoy all your fave sauces with a light and nutritionally dense "pasta", keeping it raw and real. 

I conjured this for you as a gorgeous cold-weather raw dish, satisfying and sensuous, deeply flavored and easy on your beautiful belly.

Try it.

Wanton Walnut Pesto Noodles

  • 2-3 large organic carrots
  • 2 large organic beets
  • 1 large organic zucchini
  • 2 C fresh organic cilantro leaves
  • 1/2 C walnuts, soaked for 2 hours, drained and rinsed
  • 3 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 2 Tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1/4 C olive oil, extra virgin and cold pressed
  •  A pinch Celtic salt, plus more to taste
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper (optional)

The fist thing you must know is that you can find a spiralizer in in kitchen shop, or online.

The second,  that you can use a variety of vegetables here. I've chosen the ones easiest to spiralize, but you can omit anything you don't like, and get playful, won't you? Try different combinations with different sauces, get creative with seasonal veggies...I love the colors here for shaking up a dreary day.

The mistake often made is making the noodles and plopping them right into the sauce, which makes them too crunchy. You won't make that foible, of course. You're going to rinse the veggies first,  and lop off the inedible ends. Then, if needed, cut them down so they are slim enough to put through the spiralizer. The zucchini and carrot will be fine as is, but you may need to trim the beets a little. You just take the vegetable in one hand, the spiralizer in the other, start at the top, and twist. (See how it works? Yes! That's it!) You will have little conical bits left at the end that can be chopped up and added to salads, or into a juice shake.

So now, when you have a bowl full of stunningly pretty noodles, sprinkle them with a pinch of Celtic salt, and let them sit in a colander in the sink for about a half hour. This is the trick to making them soft and pasta-y. 

While they're relaxing, just toss all the remaining ingredients except the additional salt and pepper into a food processor, and pulse until it gets creamy and mostly smooth. Now ease it onto the noodles, a little at a time, tossing with tongs to really get the sauce in there. Don't drown the noodles with the sauce, Lovers. Just use enough to coat them, and save the rest. You can always make another noodle batch in a day or two, or use it as a pesto-ish spread on gluten-free bruchetta. Add a few grinds of fresh pepper, a tiny pinch of salt only if needed (taste it first!), and a dash of cayenne if you desire some heat. 

Now you're ready to plate and...devour!

Vitamins, minerals, macro-nutrients...they're all there, as always, my Darlings, for you, transformed into a luscious and libidinous feast, bringing magick into the body, and radiating outward...

I love you.

xxx Alise

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Blessed Solstice

Greetings, Beloved Beasties,

from the Emerald Forest...

Where an Elvish Queen nestles beneath the mossy blankets,

not yet sprinkled with snow,

to nurture ideas,

not yet entirely formed,

and drink in all the knowledge of the Stars,

for she is very thirsty...

They will be yours before long.

She has much to give.

 

All My Heart,

xxxAlise

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Love You Live

When the leaves rustle
and the sky turns to orange,
crisp air caressing your face

it’s only natural to crave heat.

Warm foods,
hot brews,
fevered bodies.

Furry throws,
steam rising from moon baths, 
stealing sunshine kisses
wherever possible...

As many of you know, I'm a rabid fan of raw foods.
I feast all day on bright, shiny, radiant offerings from the Earth herself: luscious fruits, crisp greens, juicy veggies, crunchy seeds and nuts...it's an incredibly sensual diet. But, even I must admit the importance of adding cooked foods to your diet as your body needs them. And we do need them, as the wind grows cold, to balance us, to ground us, to nourish in an altogether different way than raw foods do.

Live plant foods, you see, have all their sexy little enzymes intact. Enzymes fight disease. Eating raw ensures that you're getting all the nutrients the plant has to offer (abundant as they are!), and supports your digestive tract. And, as strange as it sounds, that's exactly where good health and radiant beauty begin. 

That said, there are certain instances where the cooked version of a vegetable presents a higher nutritional value. The tomato, for example. This juicy, voluptuous, bright-red sexpot plucked right from the vine is surging with high levels of vitamin A and beta-carotene, but her signature lycopene (which fights cancer and heart disease) shines only when cooked. Odd, but true.

The trick, my Darlings, is to satiate your needs in the chilly seasons, both physical and emotional, while still enjoying as much raw food as possible. Easy? Not so much.  It’s one thing to exist on a mostly or all raw diet when you live in a temperate clime. But so many of us don’t. 

The easiest way to get lots of gorgeous raw food into your life?

1. Green Shakes

Madly simple. Dangerously delish. It's like drinking pure energy.
Start this way: Blend 2 cups of spinach with 1/2 banana, 1 cup of pure water (or coconut water), a generous splash of unsweetened almond milk, 1 teaspoon of cinnamon, a squeeze of lemon, and a few small bits of fresh ginger. Blend it all wildly until it's totally smooth. 
Congratulations, you just concocted a purrfect breakfast elixir!
From here you can add more greens, maybe 1/2 an apple...whatever fruits and veggies you like, but keep the greens ratio much higher than the fruit. You can use a little stevia if you like. And always add that little bit of good fat to the blend, either with a splash of almond milk, a teeny bit of coconut oil, or 1/4 avocado. This allows the body to actually absorb all those important vitamins and minerals in the produce.
Later in the day, feel free to add some soaked chia, hemp seeds, chlorella or spirulina, as the body can fully utilize them toward the afternoon and evening.

2. Green Salads

Yes! The old standby. Let's give them the respect they deserve by keeping greens dark, leafy, and plentiful. Avoid commercial dressing in favor of fresh lemon or apple cider vinegar and cold-pressed olive oil, or try a few of my go-to's here.
Add in plenty of organic cuke (skins on), red cabbage, pumpkin and sunflower seeds, fresh sprouts, and any other bright and beautiful raw veggie you like.
Try to eat two of these each day.
Please, Beasties.
For me?

3. Raw Nibbles

And...easier than even a salad...raw sliced and chopped tidbits to peck on when you need a little bite.
Apples, carrots and bloat-banishing celery are my everyday faves, though I've been known to gnaw away at radishes and cauliflower in public. Maybe it does look a little weird, but who cares? The glow from your mega-watt skin will outshine any sideways glances you might receive, so go for it. 

So it is easy, after all, see?

Now, I’ve compiled some of my Autumn dishes held most dear on my Fall Magic page, but in the coming weeks I want to share some supremely sexy raw numbers that will excite and inspire you.

Like this one:

The other day, as I sometimes do when I'm feeling overloaded, I turned on my Mad Scientist in the kitchen.

(Or maybe I should say a Mad Physicist, random chaos theory being my specialty.)

I wanted something in the ubiquitous pumpkin spice flavor that did NOT come from a donut shop. 
And, while I threw together things that I knew would be at least passibly tasty, I had NO idea what I would experience when I lapped up a finger full of batter...

Pumpkin spice cheesecake?
Whaaaat?!
Oh...yesss...

Pumpkin Pleasure Bites

For the Crust:

  • 1/2 C raw cashews, soaked for at least 2 hours
  • 1/2 C raw pumpkin seeds
  • 6 large pitted dates
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • Pinch of Celtic salt

For the Filling:

  • 1-1/2 C organic pumpkin pureé, (NOT pie filling)
  • 1/3 C raw coconut nectar
  • 1/4 C coconut oil, melted
  • 2 Tbsp tapioca flour
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla
  • 1 Tbsp cinnamon
  • 3/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp cloves
  • 1/4 tsp allspice
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg

First, line a brownie pan with parchment paper. Now combine all your crust ingredients in a food processor, and pulse until everything is crumbly, but sticky. Not sure? Pinch it. If it holds together, purrfect. If not, add a few more dates until it does. Then scoop the whole mixture into your lined pan. Press it into place with your fingers. You want a smooth, even layer.

Pop it in the freezer, and make your filling. Just combine all the ingredients into a large bowl, and whisk it until it's smooth. Taste it. Add more spice or sweetener if you like.

Pour the filling on top of the crust, smooth it, and back in to the freezer it goes!

Let it chill for about 5 hours, or overnight. When you take it out, score it with a knife to make many little cakes, and let it defrost. Slice the pieces all the way through when it's thawed. Place it back the fridge, and keep it there until you want to devour them, as they need to stay chilled in order to hold their shape.

So there you have it: decadent little raw pumpkin cheesecake morsels that are loaded with nutrition, and so scrumptious that even a lover of traditional pumpkin pie will be coming back for more...and more! You can easily omit the cashews in the crust if nuts are an issue, and replace them with steel cut oats, or even additional seeds. Coconut nectar can be cast aside in favor of liquid stevia if you like. Oh, and sometimes in your health food store a bulk, organic pumpkin spice blend can be procured. If so, grab some! You can use it in everything.

And, really, why couldn't you do the whole thing as a pie?
I'm getting visions of holiday dinners...

But for now,
I'll leave you to your own devices,
for I have leaves in my hair
twigs everywhere
and a heart full of joy,
that sends it back to you.

xxx Alise

 

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The Cat's Eye Of The Storm

 

Spinning! Spinning! Spinning!

In between a pair of powerful eclipses

our quicksilver friend seems to twirl backwards

and Autumn rushes in to quicken our pulses...

Tell me, my Loves, are you feeling stressed?

the calm eye of the storm, always.

the calm eye of the storm, always.

Does everything feel like Iggy's "Lust For Life" pounding out of an amplifier in your brain
going 45 instead of 33?

For some it's back to school,
or back to work, after a holiday in the sun,
Or maybe it’s just Fall
and her sense of urgency to “do” something,
kicking up ideas like a child playing in piles of amber leaves...

No matter the why.

Your beautiful self needs a lifeline. And one just happens to appear.

A gift from Diana, Ancient Lady of The Beasts.
Mistress of Wild Things.

Her timing, as always, is purrfect.

Wild Things Brew

Per serving.

  • 1 tsp organic licorice root
  • 1 tsp organic cat's claw
  • 1 Tbsp organic Pau d'Arco
  • 1 stick organic cinnamon
  • 1 organic lemon wedge
  • Stevia to taste

Darlings, when your brain is overloaded, cortisol skyrockets, and your body begins to accelerate in its aging process. Are we going to allow that?! 
Hell no!

Your adrenals need support like mad right now. 
And this is almost too simple.
*wink*

Simply gather your herbs from the local health food store bulk dried section. (Unless, of course, you just happen to be a master herbalist with a garden that would make any witch envious.)
If you can't forage nearby, wonderfully wildcrafted herbs can be had online, from places like Mountain Rose Herbs. 

Now make your magical decoction: 
First, connect with the herbs. Touch them, sing softly to them, thank them. Listen to their whisperings.  Visualize yourself navigating the deep waters of stress with grace and ease. Feel strength and resilience within you.
Got it? Good. Keep it going while you brew.

Bring 1 cup of pure water just to a boil. Add in your herbs and roots. Reduce the heat to barely a simmer, and let the mixture gently release for 20 minutes. Make sure you cover the pot, so the essential oils don't escape during the evaporation process.
Now you can turn off the heat and allow the decoction to sit for another couple of hours if you like. The longer it steeps, the more medicinal it actually gets. 
Then a squeeze of lemon to allow absorption, a little bit of stevia to sweeten if you like, and you're ready!
It's actually quite delicious.

By the way....the difference, Beasties, between an infusion and a decoction is really just in the amount of time you let it stew. Infusions are best for leaves and petals, while a decoction gets to the insides of roots and bark. 

Are you wondering about these mysterious little plant beings?
Well, this legendary healing trio is unsurpassed for adrenal support, recovery, and immune function. Seriously. 
A must have for your natural medicine bag of tricks.

Get on it.

While your sipping your potion, consider the myriad things you can do to help manage during stressful times: yoga, getting outdoors, and getting your beauty sleep for starters. Concious breathing also helps immensely. (Can't get into that headspace? Try downloading the Buddhify app.) 


And steer clear of junk food. I mean it-NO CRAP!
Yes, for thirty seconds you might enjoy that sugar-laden brownie. Or at least the cellular memory of it.
But you know what? Feeding your negative emotions is bullshit.
Moments later, you crash. You feel lousy. Your skin looks like hell. Your belly bloats.
And you didn't solve a thing.

Why on earth would you bother?

Step it up. 
Eat some gorgeous fresh fruit when you crave sugar. Gnaw on nuts when you're so irritated you simply have to crunch on something. Wolf down a few kale chips when salt seems to be the answer. Exhausted? Drink water.

But feed yourself.

You are worth taking care of.

I wouldn't hang out with you otherwise, 
now would I?

xxx Alise

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One Last Summer Fling

As a cool breeze stirs the daybreak
and the sun opens up our hearts
to an afternoon of warm bliss
then back again
to nightfall
where we reach for a furry throw
and a heated body...

It is Indian Summer,
and it doesn't come any finer, my Darlings.

But these delectable days, so fleeting,
and so fair
make me want to to take what's left of Summer
and make love to it
endlessly.

So I reach for a sacred bowl
of earthly pleasures.

Simple. Sensual. Sublime.

Join me for one last salt water kiss?

 

Summer Lovers Salad

  • 1 ripe organic cantaloupe
  • 1 qt organic strawberries
  • 1/2 organic cucumber, skin on, finely chopped
  • 2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 5-10 organic mint leaves
  • 5 organic basil leaves
  • Celtic salt

Just dice the cantaloupe and slice the strawberries, toss in the cukes, splash the vinegar, tear the leaves, and pinch the salt, Lusty Ones. It couldn't be more playful!

Strawberries are bursting with vitamin C, antioxidants, and beautifying minerals. An ancient love food, they are ruled by Venus and sacred to the Norse goddess Freya. How's that for divine?
Cantaploupe is also a lunar love food, wildly high in vitamin A and B-6. And cukes, of course, have that wonderful silica and sulfur in the skins that promote radiant hair and skin.

 Saucy fact: Moon-y cucumbers were once placed under the noses of women who felt faint, as the refreshing scent was believed to revive them.

Swoon-worthy, indeed...

 

You now have in your hands a magical, beautifying, libido-revving treasure that's purrfect for any time of day or night. Enjoy it to the fullest!

And savor every sticky sweet salty sassy instant left in this season.
For soon, we pull Autumn in for a wild embrace...

But for today,
I'll meet you under the boardwalk,
sand in my hair,

xxx Alise

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Rockstar Ingredients: Watermelon

Watermelon gets dismissed so easily as sugary kid stuff.

But it’s not. 

If I were a watermelon, quite frankly, I’d be offended.

“Nice melons, Mamacita!”

Well, yes, thank you...but let’s raise our eyes slightly above the neckline to gaze upon this most magical offering, shall we?

Watermelon is, well, water. It’s actually 92% water. 
Hydration, my Beasties. 
The body craves it. Skin drinks it in.
Beauty from the inside out, no?
Besides that, it’s quite literally drenched in nutrients. Not in the least, blessed antioxidants and amino acids, but also impressive levels of vitamins A, C, and even B6! Bite into that.

Why do we care about antioxidants? Lovers, antioxidants are Goddess-sent warriors.
Listen to me: they keep you well, inside and out. Health-wise, they fight cancer. All kinds. 
Beauty-wise, they conquer the free-radicals that ravage your precious skin. 

Watermelon also rides high on amino acids, which are absolutely essential to beauty and wellness. Think of them as Aphrodite’s pearls dancing inside us, building the immune and central nervous system, and metabolizing fat, all while supplying vital nutrients to nourish skin, hair, and nails from within by strengthening connective tissue.

Toss in lycopene and potassium, and what on earth are you waiting for?

Ahhh...the magical part...yes...

The lunar-ruled watermelon has her origins in Africa. The ancient Egyptians would mix the juice of the watermelon, prized by the god Set, with wine to heal illness, particularly in cases where the sick person was believed to be under the influence of a dark energy. It made it's way across the world to Hawaii, where the watermelon was rolled through the front door to help guide a deceased person with ease into their next life.
Best of all, watermelon is sacred to the sea goddess Yemaya. And she's the cat's meow. 

So, then, with ripe organic beauties still out there in droves,
do I have to shout?

(I abhor shouting.
I’d much rather whisper in your ear.)

“Dive in, Sweet ones...”

You can actually see the energetic vibration!

You can actually see the energetic vibration!

Magical Melon Elixir

  • 1 small organic watermelon
  • 1 C organic raspberries
  • 2 organic mint leaves
  • 2 drops lemon essential oil
  • juice of 1 lime

Set a piece of watermelon aside. We're going to have fun with that later. 
Blend the rest together except the lemon oil. Add that in last. Garnish with a few mint leaves, bring a sexy glass out onto the terrace, or under a tree, and sit back to enjoy it while you're flipping through an Italian Vogue, or devouring a juicy read.

The fine art of lounging isn't just for we cats. It's actually a very necessary ritual for all creatures.

The finely-honed skill of doing nothing at all.

Isn't it delicious?

Now, about that bit of watermelon we set aside earlier.
Here's a trick: It becomes a fabulous face mask. 

Just blend it up, and pour it into a bowl. Then, simply dip a fluffy (cruelty-free) foundation brush (or a cotton pad) into the nectar, and swipe it all across a freshly cleansed face. Don't forget to apply it gently around your eyes, both underneath and on the brow bone, and to your neck and décolleté. 
Let it dry for about 20 minutes or so, then rinse with cool water. 

Now a spray of rosewater, a dollop of moisturizer, and you're ready to knock someone's socks off!
(Or pants.)

This little facial leaves you with a toned, hydrated, fresh-looking visage.
Your skin will love it!

To your health, Darlings,
xxx Alise

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Do It Clean

I heave a dramatic sigh as I say this: the New York Summer is an especially mucky one.
This has been the dubious trend of late,
for at least as long as I can recall.

And while there are, admittedly,  a handful of stunning days,
absolutely purrfect for frolic,
most are unbearably humid.
I’m not talking a balmy, sultry, tropical moisture in the air,
one that stirs up a musky Brando sensuality...

A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE KIND OF MOMENT THIS ISN'T.

A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE KIND OF MOMENT THIS ISN'T.

I’m talking gross.

You know the kind. 
In the city, it’s everywhere. The streets literally assault you with it.
In the country, it’s a more organic, moldy kind of thing.
The strange odors that arise from nowhere, from ghosts of tenants past,
no matter how fastidious you are. They even lurk in your car.  

Two Summers ago, I kid you not, I was lounging in my clawfoot bathtub, 
when my eye caught the sight of something strange:
a vision of something white at the base of the pedestal sink.
I half-emerged to lean over for a closer look. I figured something had dropped or spilled there.
It hadn’t.  
It was mushrooms.
Growing in my bathroom.

They had, literally, shot up overnight.
I stared at them, fascinated for a while.
I love mushrooms.
But then it dawned on me that this wasn’t actually a healthy thing, for fungi to be sprouting up out of...tile. 
That’s the kind of humidity I’m talking about.

What’s a girl to do?
Bust out the magic, of course!

Time to reclaim your space as the Den of Sensuality it should be.
Time for natural cleaning with super powers.

Gather a few sparkly glass bottles,
strip down to your delicates,
and get it on, right?

Wait...you mean you never thought of cleaning as a fun experience?
Oh, honey!
It's all in how you approach it.
I call my version "Naked Disco Cleaning," which is exactly what it sounds like.
It starts out innocently enough. You begin by BLASTING 70's disco. Fully clothed, of course. And the beat pounds. And you start dancing. And cleaning.
It gets hot. 
So you take off your blouse. And your hair gets wild. You're singing.
It all just keeps getting hotter. Off comes the skirt. 

You get the picture.

Once, someone I worked with dropped by while I was in mid-cleaning frenzy. I answered the door drenched in sweat, wearing purple cleaning gloves, insane hair, and little else. With a bemused stare and a hearty laugh, she shook her head and said, "Only you...ONLY...YOU...!"

I guess you should always check to see who's at the door before you open it.
 

Desirous Cleaning Mist

  • 12 oz. distilled water
  • 2 Tbsp liquid castille soap
  • 30 drops cinnamon essential oil
  • 20 drops peppermint essential oil
  • 15 drops orange essential oil

Just fill up your pretty 12 oz. spray bottle with the distilled water, add in the castille soap, then add your essential oils, slowly and with purpose. Feel negative energies leaving your precious space, old layers falling away, and fertile new ideas coming in. 

I absolutely love this blend, because it has a wondrously clean and lively scent, while remaining exotic and sensual. I think you'll love it too.

 And now, for my next number...

Lair Freshener

  • 4 oz. distilled water
  • 15 drops cinnamon essential oil
  • 10 drops peppermint essential oil
  • 8 drops orange essential oil

Here again, this gloriously refreshing, sexy mix. Just like before, combine, enchant, and use to your heart's content! Just give them a little shimmy shake before each use to stimulate the oils.

 Of course, you can adjust the oils to your liking. I always like to lay the cinnamon on heavily, for its lusty vibe and for its superior anti-microbial prowess. 

The best part? You can use these everywhere, my Darlings. On countertops, floors, sinks, tile...you name it! You wanna know an amazing little trick? Spray the Lair Freshener directly onto carpets, upholstery and textiles to freshen them. I even put some in my steamer in lieu of plain distilled water to deep clean my carpets and drapes. (This is also a fabulous way to gently clean your clothing.)

In case you are wondering, I haven't included white vinegar here for two reasons: first, it can damage certain natural materials like marble, stone, and wood. Second? Um...the smell. It's pretty bad

While I only use DoTerra essential oils for medicinal needs, including food and elixirs, a health food store grade is fine for cleaning. But Lovers, do not under any circumstances ingest these lesser brands. There is a massive difference in quality.  A certified pure therapeutic grade oil (CPTG) has been throughly tested through a strict protocol, and has been harvested and distilled carefully by highly experienced growers. This all ensures a maximum potency and composition. For this reason they are generally a bit more expensive, so, again, a lower grade is acceptable for household spiffying.

Oh, and don't forget, our animal friends are sensitive, too, so gently introduce oils to them. For instance, one of my cats loathes all citrus aromas if they are too near her, while my other cat enjoys them. Go figure. 
So get a feel for what they can handle before spraying the floors, carpets, and anywhere they like to lounge.

Enough chatting.
Let's do this.
The Moon is waning, and I'm feeling all Donna Summer's "Bad Girls."

Now where are my roller skates?

xxx Alise

 

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The Swinging London

My eyes slowly fluttered closed to the Teutonic rasp of Anita Pallenberg, reminiscing
about that most incredible time, 
when fashion, art, and music made love nightly
and the counter culture ruled the day.

You see, dreary, stodgy old post-war Britain had shape-shifted, seemingly overnight, into a colorful burst of youth and excitement, hell bent on shaking things up...

As Time magazine put it,"Ancient elegance and new opulence are all tangled up in a dazzling blur of op and pop."

Can you picture it?

biba boutique, the . mecca of 60's cool

biba boutique, the . mecca of 60's cool

Fading into kaleidoscope visions, 
each bat of my eyelash a click on an old Viewmaster scene,
dazzled by her smile
getting lost in Syd Barrett’s stare
lulled by Mick’s soft lion's purr…

I awoke to a misty rain, and a scented chill in the air.
Without even thinking I slithered into one of my favorite dresses - 
a deep blue curve-hugger, adorned with tiny wildflowers, a short, flirting hem, and a keyhole neckline.
I recalled the day I tried it on in a London boutique a few years ago. Sliding back the dressing room curtain, I saw the irresistible grin of my co-star. He said simply, “Oh yeah.”

Every time I have been to this energetic city, it's been a blast. I’ve scored incredible clothes from Carnaby Street to Camden market, danced in chic nightclubs, lounged in groovy bars, and, despite it’s reputation for horrid fare, always managed to secure London’s one culinary treasure: amazing Indian food. 

So, to celebrate this glorious city, an era like no other, and my darling Mick’s (slightly belated) birthday, I give to you a lively, sexy chilled drink that's purrfect for a wet Summer day.

Or, in Mick's words, let's "drink your health in scented jasmine tea."

Shall we?

The Swinging London

Serves two

  • 1 tsp organic Earl Grey tea
  • 1 Tbsp organic jasmine pearl flowers
  • 2 C pure water
  • A splash of unsweetened almond or cashew milk
  • 2 drops lemon essential oil
  • 1/2 tsp organic vanilla extract
  • Stevia to taste

Loves, we can easily make this into a caffeine-free libation by losing the Earl Grey...but, if you want a little extra charge for a labor-intensive day (of shopping?), leave it as is.

After all, black tea has its benefits. It's full of cancer-fighting antioxidants, and can lower your risk of stroke and heart disease. Way better for you, my sweet Beasties, than coffee. 

Fire up your pure water until its just warm, but not boiling, then submerge your loose teas down deep for about 3 minutes. (If you leave the jasmine in too long it will be bitter.) Allow it to cool. 

When it's ready, add the vanilla, lemon essential oil, and stevia. Pour it into an appealing glass. In goes the ice, and a splash of almond milk to your liking.  Fabulous!

Jasmine not only possesses an incredible scent and taste, but holds the magical prowess of attracting spiritual love. If you burn it in the bedroom, it ignites prophetic dreams. And lemon, of course, invites warm friendships and sensual love, as well as a healthy dose of vitamin C. This is why it's so important not to overheat the water - you get the full wild benefits of leaves and flowers when they remain in a technically "raw" state, nutritionally and otherwise.

But enough talk. Just get loose. Enjoy the seductive aroma, the sensual flavors, and the way it makes you feel.

Beautiful, yes?

Dig it!

xxx Alise

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Mediterranean Nights

There was a large box awaiting me.

Covered in silver foil paper, and bound with a satin bow, it shone like starlight. Too large for a dress or shoes. And it weighed a ton. What on earth could it be? 

Beneath the petals of colored paper lay a most exciting surprise.

Not a tiger print coat.
Not a tiny sailboat.
Not a collection of rare books. 

(But a divine gift for one who cooks.)

An earthen clay cazuela. A beautiful, coveted kitchen accomplice from a faraway land.

As a lover of Spanish everything, 
I must admit that I have a mad little obsession with the traditional clay cookware of the region. And though I’ve dragged countless plates, bowls, lanterns, and cushions across the sea, I’d never once considered a cooking vessel amongst my swag. 

Probably because it would take up valuable shoe room in my valise.

I travel light. Sort of.

I travel light. Sort of.


These sultry Summer nights always make me dream of Spain.

I’ve been craving a classic: the ubiquitous and wildly tasty tortilla de patatas, a tapas staple found absolutely everywhere. Hearty, delicious, and somewhat resembling a potato fritatta, it's come-hither comfort food bar none. The trick? Doing it justice without using eggs. 

But you know how I love a challenge.

So, on a 90 degree day, what does a Lioness do? Fires up the oven, of course.

Tantalizing Tortilla

  • 6 small organic red potatoes, sliced thinly (skins on)
  • 1/2 organic green pepper, chopped
  • 1 C organic chickpea flour (besan)
  • 2-1/4 C pure water
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped finely
  • 3 Tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1 tsp smoked black salt
  • Olive oil 

Now, of course, you can make this without any imported pots and pans, but I do suggest a shallow baking dish once it's ready for the oven, in order to get the purrfect consistency. You could even use a pie dish. And it absolutely must be round. For the Sun. For the Moon. Just because.

Warm up a generous swish of olive oil on a low flame until you can feel the heat just above. Toss in the garlic, and allow it to dance just until it turns translucent and releases its heady aroma. Now place the potatoes in, separating the slices with your fingers. Next sprinkle in the green pepper. Give it a gentle tossing to mingle the flavors and coat the potatoes. Let it gently cook until the potatoes are tender.

In a small saucepan, pour the water, and gradually whisk in the chickpea flour on a low flame, until it becomes frothy. Add in the nutritional yeast and black salt, and keep whisking while the mixture gets hotter. It will thicken as it heats. Be careful not to make lumps! If you do, add a teeny bit more water and whisk like mad until it becomes smooth again. Pour it over the potatoes, and mix it well.

Now, pour it into your baking dish, and pop it into the oven for a good 45-50 minutes.

When you take it out, let it cool, Loves. It needs to rest after such a  passionate romp! If you dig in too soon, it won't have a firm texture, and will be jiggly. Take a nap for an hour, then come back to it. 

Oh, and when you do...

You're not going to believe how tasty this is! I was revved when I first took a bite.  So flavorful, and so close to my memory of it's non-vegan friend I'd known in my travels. For eggs, you see, were the last thing to go on my menu.

It even smelled eggy! Mmmmm! The secret? Black salt. 

Those of you who have followed my adventures for a while know that I consider smoked black salt quite the magical ingredient. (You can read about it here.) Somehow, combined with the nutritional yeast and the chickpea flour, the scent and flavor of a baked egg dish is right on...with MAJOR nutrients to boot! Loaded with quality protein, beauty-boosting minerals, B vitamins, fiber, and iron, its a most purrfectly satisfying dish that's easy to pack for lunch or a picnic, and just as easy on your wallet.

My fave way to enjoy tortilla? On a warm Summer evening beneath the stars.

Try it with a tossed dark green salad and my Amorous Ajo Blanco for a sublime supper on a balmy night. And share it with someone you love.

Estar bien mis amores!

xxx Alise

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The Cosmo Girl

It’s no secret that I love all things glamorous and sensual.

The pure joy of making every small detail special, sexy. 

The art of everyday glamour, if you will. 
It’s the little things. 

The tiny embroidered pouch that holds a jewel-hued vial of magic oil, nestled inside a velvet bag, to arise with langor from your purse, a pleasure to the touch.
The silken robe you wear just to check your emails in. The sparkly treasure boxes displayed regally upon your dressing table, whose only secrets are the mundane necessities they house. The gilded etched plate from which you nibble your gluten-free toast. 

I’ve always admired Dita von Teese for that.
The rituals of a glamorous life.
Once you get a taste, you’ll fall madly in love with it.
And the fact that you don’t need Dita’s bank account or social circle to create such beauty.

Of course, you do need to put some effort in. But it’s worth it.

When I was little, my young mother and her girlfriends all read Cosmopolitan magazine. It was, of course, a very different glossy back then. The cover girls were insanely gorgeous and sparkling, a mix of amplified glam and natural beauty. They weren’t famous, with the rare exception of a high-level bombshell film or tv star. And there were certainly no "famous-for-being-tacky" reality stars or manufactured pop silliness on those covers.
Inside the pages were secrets and stories, cheeky how-to’s, feline fashion spreads, ads to swoon over, and, of course, a very saucy monthly astrology guide, all aimed at a most bedazzling creature: The Cosmo Girl.

Vintage Glamorpusses.

Vintage Glamorpusses.

The Cosmo Girl had it all: a chic apartment, a great career, fab friends, and a sizzling love life. Oh, and the wardrobe for every possible situation. Everywhere she went, she brought style, smarts and sex appeal. I was madly in love with this idea. I didn’t even know what half of it referred to at that tender age, but I knew I wanted to be just like her when I grew up. 

In honor of this iconic gal, I’ll share with you one of my personal favorite Everyday Glamour Rituals:

A beauty potion in an impossibly sexy glass. With garnish. Mmm-hmm.

I’m a heavy drinker, you see: I knock back at least two each day.
And I’m talking the hard stuff.

Vitamins. Antioxidants. Minerals.

Oh, I love a real drink as much as anyone, of course. But skin needs hydration and craves nourishment…so this sexy little indulgence has major benefits.

So for you, my fluttering Butterflies,

I’m bringing back the Cocktail Hour.

Let me intoxicate you.

The Cosmo Girl

  • 8 C pure water
  • 3 Tbsp organic hibiscus flowers
  • 2 Tbsp organic rose hips (both found in natural food stores and online)
  • 3 drops lemon essential oil
  • two slices of fresh organic orange
  • a good splash of unsweetened pomegranate juice
  • 1-2 packets of stevia

Warm up the water in your little cauldron just to the point of heat, Loves, it doesn't need to boil. (Boiling actually can negate some of the beneficial properties naturally present in herbs and flowers.) With love in your heart, and a strong vision of the life you wish to create, sprinkle in the hibiscus and rose hips, and let them float on magic waters for...well, for as long as you like. Maybe overnight under the Full Moon tonight? 

When they're ready, add your lemon oil, oranges, and the pomegranate juice. Mix in the stevia to sweeten, chill, and you're ready to serve. I like to make a large batch, and keep it stored in a glass jar in the fridge. it keeps well for a few days, and over time the oils from the orange rind are released, deepening the flavor. 

In addition to powerful doses of vitamin C from the citrus, the pom provides super antioxidants, more vitamin C, A, E,  and a gorgeous color. It's actually one of the few fruits whose juice is as as beneficial as the actual fruit itself! It's also a rich source of myriad beauty minerals. 

Rose hips are the sacred fruit of this most treasured flower. Isn't that gorgeous? When all the petals have fallen, the rose hip remains, full with more vitamin C than an orange, and swelling with vitamin A, which keeps skin's elasticity, prevents wrinkles, and keeps those already formed from getting deeper. How's that for hot?

Speaking of heat, hibiscus tea ("karkady") was consumed by our wise ancient Egyptian ancestors to cool down on an arid desert day, as it carries the ability to lower body temperature, and is naturally moisturizing.  

So when you come in after a long day, grab a foxy glass and pour yourself a refreshing Beauty Cocktail. Don't have a selection of pretty drinking vessels? You need to get on that. Great ones can be had for pennies at dollar stores, flea markets, and discount housewares shops. See? Easy.

To your health, My Darlings!

Happy Full Blue Moon!

xxx Alise

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Tropical Temptations

I bit into the tender flesh of a nectarine this morning.
The first of the season.
The sweet nectar ran down my lip and I smiled.
Summer is waiting in the wings for her cue.

As I wrapped myself in a furry sweater on this chilly mountain morning, I smiled at the irony. Shaking off a late-Spring shiver while devouring a summer gift.

I am not a patient woman, as we all know. And the recent warm spell has had me in full-on tropical mode. 

So I've been concocting.

Inspired by “A Taste of Puerto Rico”
snagged from my dear friend, and borrowed indefinitely (thanks, Carlito), I've been playing, adapting classic treats from this fascinating food culture traditionally overflowing with dairy, wheat, deep frying and sugar...but nonetheless blossoming with colorful culinary delights.
I actually relish a challenge like this...l love to delve into regional cookbooks and find ways to Vixen-ize beloved, but usually unhealthy dishes.

My first offering to you? An exuberant, luscious cold soup that you can whip up in an instant as it makes your heart sing out like a vibrant bird of paradise...

Sopa Fría Diosa

Serve chilled.

  • 2 organic mangoes, peeled and chopped
  • 1 organic papaya, peeled/seeded and chopped
  • 4 small cloves garlic, chopped, skins on
  • 1 C organic orange juice
  • 1 C unsweetened almond or cashew milk 
  • 1 tsp almond extract
  • A good pinch of ground cloves
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • Celtic salt

Just blend it all until it's smooth as your cocoa-buttered skin, and let it chill for a while. I've been obsessed with my new NutriBullet Rx, if you're looking for an excellent blender that doesn't require the existential (and financial) leap that, say, a Vitamix would. 

And, yes, Lovers, you heard me: leave the skins on the garlic. Not the outer papery layers, but the tight one closest to the clove. Why? Because that's where the volatile oils live, the ones with all the natural antibiotics, the ones with all the flavor. You can get away with it when you're high-speed blending, so try it.

Orange foods boost immunity, so together with the garlic, you have a recipe timely for a change in seasons, and the sniffles that sometimes come with them.

Behold a sweet, refreshing potion with the savory bite from the garlic tickling your taste buds and giving you unbridled pleasure with every spoonful. 
The magic ingredient? The almond extract gives it a hint of rum, my Darlings.

Garnish with fresh mint, and maybe a sprinkling of shredded coconut. Pair it with my Cheeky Ceci Pane for a more curvaceous feast. This is Goddess-worthy, so ladle it with love into a gorgeous bowl honoring the sun and sea, warm Summer breezes whispering, the sultry rhythms of voluptuous lands...

Honor the healing power,

Open up,

It's your time to SHINE!

My heart to you,

xxx Alise

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More Come Hither Comfort Foods

Because we can't get enough.

Rich, warm, oohey-gooey madness

served up with a side of sultry...

Could it be?

Macaroni and Cheese??

Hell yes!

But this isn't Kraft, baby.

That's kid stuff.

And we prefer more...adult...activities, don't we?

*ahem*

This classic has been given a magically seductive makeover, of course, 

because you're too hot for that processed crap.

And, for that matter, the home-cooked bloaty dairy version too.

This one is kind to your belly, your skin, and to those sweet cows.

So dig in.

(Sensually, of course.)

You know you want it.

You know you want it.

Remember a few post back when I asked you to buy white miso to make that awesome vegan yogurt? Well, the remainder is still sitting in your fridge. Go get it. We're gonna concoct something sooo delish, you'll forget that it's actually good for you. 

Hot Mama Mac and Cheese

Serves two.

For the Sauce:

  • 1 3/4 C unsweetened organic almond or cashew milk
  • 5 Tbsp tapioca flour
  • 1/4 C virgin coconut oil. melted
  • 1/3 C nutritional yeast
  • 1 Tbsp white miso
  • 1 Tsp tomato paste
  • 1 tsp raw unfiltered apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp ground mustard
  • A good Pinch-n-Grind (Celtic salt and black pepper)

(And one package of quinoa elbow pasta.)

This is, literally, as easy as opening a box of powdered orange food coloring with some noodles at the bottom. Blend all the sauce ingredients together in a high-speed blender until smooth. Pour them into a saucepan. Heat the mixture on a very low flame, stirring every few minutes, until it begins to bubble. The sauce will thicken as it heats.

While that's shimmying, boil some water in a larger pot. When it's rolling, add in your quinoa pasta and a splash of olive oil to keep the noodles from sticking. (Keep stirring to avoid a giant clump of semi-hard noodle paste.)

When it's done (8-10 min.), drain and add into your now-thickened cheesy sauce. If you need it thicker, add in a tiny bit more tapioca flour and keep heating.

You are gonna love this!

Feast, my Beasties.

Enjoy every slippery bite.

Oh!

Come here.

You've got some sauce on your lip...

xxx Alise

Alise In Wonderland