Have Yourself A Sexy Little Solstice

Oooh, Loves...

Precious days, long nights,

hustle bustle holiday whirl

steal a few moments 

beneath the covers

to be inspired

by this re-post from last year, 

when we barely knew each other,

and yet

were oh-so-willing to explore 

the endless possibilities...

Happy Yule!

xxx Alise

Bringing Back The Light

December 23, 2013

"THE TWO BASIC ITEMS NECESSARY TO SUSTAIN LIFE ARE SUNSHINE AND COCONUT MILK."

-Dustin Hoffman, Midnight Cowboy

I really couldn't agree more.

As we shiver in the wake of the shortest day of the year, those of us in chilly climes struggle to surrender to the limited daylight, and the blues that set in all too easily. You may not know me well enough just yet, but I am a NOTORIOUS grump the moment the mercury plunges below freezing. 

Okay, truth…the moment it falls below 50F I start to get a bit snarly. But that's beside the point.

I am, in fact, a cat. I really just want to lounge around in a patch of sun all day. 

Mmm-hmmm...but for those of us who are able to magically walk around on two legs, life (and finances) tend to dictate otherwise.

*Sighs*

Here's the thing. We need every bit of sunshine we can get in the long winter months, any way we can. Here's how to make it happen:

1. Mainline Vitamin D

I'm not kidding. If it's winter, even if you are the outdoorsy type, you aren't getting enough. 

And that leads directly to depression, anxiety, and lowered immune function.

It's an easy fix. Pills are fine, but for seasonal superpowers, knock this back twice daily:  Source Naturals Vitamin D-3 liquid

2. Get Thee In The Sun

Swathe yourself in soft (animal-friendly!) fabrics, and head outside. Go ahead, brave it. Even for 20 minutes. It will help you sleep better, drastically improve your mood, and boost your immune system.

The outside air will revive you, I promise, but if the idea of venturing out is just too unbearable, wrap yourself in something sensual and curl up in a sunny window. Close your eyes and let the warmth tickle you.

Either way, protect your skin with one of my all-time-favorite beauty potions:Simplers Botanicals Carrot Seed Oil.

Carrot seed oil has amazing anti-aging, wrinkle-fighting, skin-repairing properties, and is a natural sunscreen. 

Three drops in a dollop of your day cream will cover your face, neck, decollate, hands, and forearms.

3. Let The Sunshine In

In the precious hours of daylight, amp up your sun and heat absorption by keeping your windows sparkling clean: white vinegar first, then anoint the corners of each window with a drop of pure lemon, grapefruit, or orange essential oils. I'm in love with these from my dear and delicious friend ContessaCreate. Ask for healing solar power to come into your home and your heart, and give thanks. Then, when the sun goes down, light up your den with creamy candles and fairy lights. (If you opt for the battery-operated candles, go for eco-friendly rechargeables-more of an investment upfront, but worth in in the long-haul, and so much easier on the planet.) 

Take a cue from our pagan ancestors, and prepare meals using lots of yellow and orange foods, harnessing the energy of the sun. Try pumpkin, squash, sweet potatoes, and LOTS of citrus fruits.

Speaking of sunshine and coconut milk...after all that cleaning and frolicking, don't you just need a nibble? 

LUSCIOUS LEMON CAKES

1. Make the lemon curd first:

  • 1 cup fresh lemon juice (about 4 to 5 lemons per cup. Zest first, then juice.)
  • ½ cup water
  • 1½ cups xylitol or coconut sugar 
  • 4 Tbsp. cornstarch
  • ⅛ tsp. Himalayan pink salt
  • Zest of 2 lemons (zest finely, and zest extra!)
  • ⅓ cup plain, full-fat organic coconut milk
  • 2 Tbsp. vegan butter (Olive oil/flaxseed-no soy!) 

Using a food processor/blender, combine lemon juice, water, xylitol, cornstarch, and salt. When the mixture is smooth, pour it into a saucepan and add lemon zest. Turn the heat under the saucepan to medium, and whisk until the mixture comes to a full boil, about 10 to 15 minutes. Allow to boil for one minute undisturbed; the mixture should have noticeably thickened and started to turn clear. Remove from heat.

Add coconut milk and vegan butter. Whisk until everything is fully combined. Allow the lemon curd to thicken and cool in the saucepan until it reaches room temperature. Set aside.

2. Now make the rest. 

Crust:
1 cup all purpose gluten-free flour
1/2 cup xylitol or coconut sugar
pinch of Himalayan pink salt
1/2 cup vegan butter

Filling:
2 cups of lemon curd 
1/4 cup all purpose gluten-free flour

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a medium sized bowl, stir the flour, xylitol, and salt. Then cut in the butter, until you have a fine crumb. Press the crust mixture into a greased, 8×8 inch cake pan. Bake for 15 minutes. While the crust bakes, whisk together 1/2 cup of the lemon curd and the 1/4 cup of flour, until smooth. Add an additional 1/2 of curd, and whisk until smooth. Add the remaining curd and whisk a final time. (Don't dump all the dry mixture into all the curd at once-you'll get lumps.)  When the crust is done baking, pour the filling mixture into the pan and return to the oven. Bake for 30 minutes. The filling may still look a bit jiggly, but fear not-it will solidify when cooled.  Cool at room temperature, before garnishing, if you like, with a sprinkling of xylitol (entirely optional. please note: xylitol is far from a perfect sweetener, but it does work exceptionally well in this recipe. Avoid it if you have even a slight sensitivity-and keep it away from your familiars, as it is toxic to them), cutting, and serving. Store leftovers in the fridge.

Now, get naked beneath a fuzzy throw, and share these with a friend. 

A very close friend.

xxxAlise

 

 

Something's Brewing

Baby, it's cold outside!

If you dwell in a climate of seasons,

you've most likely had a blast of dark, damp, chill shake you right out of a strangely warm Autumn,

propelling you headlong though frigid winds,

and dropping you down into full-on Winter.

Hard.

"What is this? We didn't have this in Babylon."

"What is this? We didn't have this in Babylon."

Snow?

It's beautiful.

But after the first delirious rush of fairytale scenes, it draws our attention inward, to an awareness that we are now susceptible to the lowered resistance that comes with a change in season. It's time to suit up into our armor, mount our steeds, and defend the castle walls which house our souls.

To fortify your gorgeous cells, and strengthen you from the inside out, 

I've concocted an immune-revving potion that will have your cauldron bubbling over with warmth, witchy wellness, and all good things...

The secret ingredient? Mushrooms! The two most powerful medicinal healing mushrooms on Earth, reishi and chaga, join forces here to defeat those horrid, Orc-y germs trying to destroy your good health. Lovely, ancient spices are then added with a touch of creamy sweetness, for a comforting, cold weather delight.

Winter's Brew

For 1-2 servings:

  • 2 C unsweetened organic coconut milk
  • 3 pieces reishi
  • 2 pieces chaga
  • 6 star anise
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 9 cloves
  • 1-inch piece of ginger, peeled and cut into 3 pieces
  • 2 Tbsp coconut nectar
  • pinch of cayenne

***Note: you can purchase the chaga and reishi dried in the herb section (usually) of your local health food store. They can order it if it isn't on the shelves. Or, you can buy it online through Amazon, just check your source. If you can't find them dried, powders or tincture will work well also. Try health rockstar David Wolfe's site, or shop with the undisputed King of Mycellium, Paul Stamets.  

Here we go, Beloved Ones...

Take three deep breaths, light your kitchen altar candle, and whisper your prayers of strength, fortitude, resilience. Pour the coconut milk into a saucepan. With intention, lay the reishi in first, then nestle the chaga in between. Thank them for their superior qualities, and for finding their way to you at exactly the right time. 

Start a very low fire beneath the pan. Begin to expand your wishes with the help of the spices. Remember to visualize and feel each intention, and always thank your plant friends.

Arrange the ginger in amongst the mushrooms, for a little help in communicating with spirit.

Now gently, and with purpose, sprinkle the cinnamon in. That's for love. The kind you give yourself when you take good care of the body, and the kind you radiate outward into the world as a result.

The star anise are next. Set them in the brew like the gorgeous little creatures they are. More love.

Toss in those yummy little cloves next. They're here right now to protect you. 

The brew should be getting warm now.

Remove the mushrooms, as they can be quite bitter if steeped too long, and keep warming the rest gently. How to you feel? Is your spell cast? Wonderful. Remove the pan from the heat. Add a pinch of cayenne for even more protective energy, then swirl in the coconut nectar. The coconut, by the way, is effective for inner purification if visualized well. And it's sweet. 

"Ahh, now,  potions  I understand..."

"Ahh, now, potions I understand..."

Now, my Loves, sip this deeply. Besides the magick within, there's serious plant medicine here. You can certainly prepare a lighter version, sans milk and sweetener, but it won't be as enjoyable. This is meant to fill you, body and spirit, so enjoy it.

I'll leave you know, Beasties, 

with love and light,

xxx Alise

Luna Cucina: Gemini Full Moon

Gorgeous Gemini, you are a clever one...

A bit flighty at times, yes, but just as patience is being tested,

you come around with your wit,

so immediate

so dead-on

and all is forgiven.

I love your mind.

Gemini.jpg

The question is always:

Which one of the Twins will show up?

Often, Gemini doesn't even know.

So, Lovers,

when the Moon is Full in the sign of the Twins,

expect things to be more changeable than usual.

You're gonna have to surrender and go with the proverbial flow,

as you may indeed be asked to think on your feet, quickly...

Versatility is the key,

and anything practical is hilarious right now.

Don't push the body, either.

Rather, harness the powers of this Moon to pursue intellectual interests...

Read, yes, but get out and meet people, exchange ideas, be curious...

This is a mentally exciting and stimulating Moon!

And, Bunnies, you'll want to pay particular attention to your nervous system and lungs,

so I've conjured a delectable shake elixir to protect and strengthen these areas for you, my sweet Darlings:

Gemini's Gem of A Potion

Serves two. As in Twins.

  • 1/2 organic white grapefruit
  • 1 organic navel orange
  • 2 organic apples
  • 1 C unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 piece of ginger, about an inch thick, chopped
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric
  • 1 C organic baby spinach
  • 1/4-1/2 tsp chlorella or spirulina powder
  • 1 packet or 1 dropperful stevia, or to taste

Blend all the fruits and spinach together with the ginger and almond milk, then add the turmeric and spirulina to your liking. The apples, especially the super flavorful ones (like Pink Lady) will completely mask the taste of the spirulina, but if you are new to it, take it slow. Add more almond milk as you like for a creamy, smooth consistency.

The apple, grapefruit, orange, nuts (in the almond milk), turmeric and  ginger all promote healthy lungs by helping to transfer oxygen, promoting elimination of pollutants, and clearing the lungs. The spinach and sea algae are both high in nutrients and minerals key to a well-functioning nervous system, including oxygen absorption and clear brain functioning.

You can only feel amazing after drinking this, and it's delish! Unexpectedly spicy, tart, with a hint of sweetness, it will get your brainpower going instantly.

Speaking of nervous system, the Gemini Moon also is the purrfect time for things that relax us a bit, practices that can still the precious mind, like yoga or meditation.

Or...massage.

Being a pleasure junkie, I'm going for that one.

Gemini  by  B.K. Lusk Art

Gemini by B.K. Lusk Art

Since Gemini also rules the shoulders, arms, and hands...

I think a massage and manicure are in order, yes?

Book something with a trusted practitioner, holistic if you can. You have to be careful with the transfer of energy. A good therapist will clear themselves of the previous clients mojo, and have bright energy themselves. You can usually tell, but don't be afraid to ask either. 

As for your nails, steer clear of chemicals, Babes, please. They are absorb into the system through the skin and it's a bad scene. I usually do a home manicure, but if I'm going to a salon I always bring my own nail lacquer and top coat, and remove my polish first, then rub some Argan oil into my nail bed and cuticles before I head out the door. Try Acure Organics for top of the line, well priced oils.

Where to find cruelty-free, luscious colors without chemicals? Check out No Miss for a zillion juicy shades at a teeny price, Mineral Fusion for sparkles, and the oh-so-plush Vapour Organics for all out glamour.

So, my Doves, as the Moon peaks on Saturday, delve deep into intellectual forays,

brainstorm, discuss, debate, hobnob,

search for the meaning of it all,

and, as always, take excellent care of your beautiful selves.

I love you.

xxx Alise 




______________________________________________

The Bird and The Bees

Corn gets a bad rap.

And the GMO-ridden variety deserves it, one-millionfold.

The endangered, irreplaceable, precious Bee.

The endangered, irreplaceable, precious Bee.

In fact, I urge you to run from that s**t, protesting it all the way. Loudly.

But in its pure, organic, uncontaminated, bee-loving form, it's actually quite a catch.

Bursting with phytonutrients, corn contains high levels of antioxidants and digestive fiber, plus protein, minerals, and B vitamins. It also is proven to stabilize blood sugar AND it increases the body's ability to absorb nutrients in other foods. How's that for awesome?

 

Fancy a little nibble of corn bread, touched by my magic wand and a few secrets from the mountain villages of faraway lands?

Exotic Corn Bread

  • 2 C organic corn meal
  • 1-1/3 C organic garbanzo flour
  • 2 flax "eggs"
  • 1 C coconut oil
  • 1/2  C unsweetened coconut milk
  • 1 C raw coconut nectar
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 2 Tbsp vanilla
  • 2 Tbsp turmeric
  • 1 Tbsp cumin
  • 1 tsp Celtic salt
  • 6 drops lemon essential oil
  • Raw slivered almonds

Preheat your oven to 350F.

Oil a brownie pan by pouring a teeny bit of olive oil in, then massaging it in with a paper towel. make sure you coat it evenly, all the way up.

Make the flax "eggs" first: Combine 2 tablespoons of flax meal with 6 tablespoons of water in a small bowl or cup. Whisk it all together, and set aside.

Sift together all dry ingredients in a large bowl, then, in a separate bowl, combine all the wet ingredients except the coconut oil. Slowly melt the coconut oil until it turns to liquid, then pour it in. Give it all a good whisk. Now combine the wet and dry mixtures, mix well, then ease the whole thing into your baking pan.

Top with almonds, and bake about 30 minutes, until the cornbread is firm, golden, and springy to the touch. Check the inside by poking a butter knife in the center. If it comes out clean, you're good to go! It's a subtly spiced, softly sweet take on traditional cornbread, purrfect to bring for the holly-daze, as well as with your mid-morning coffee or as a tea cake. The coconut oil gives it a smooth, buttery texture on your lips. Mmmmm-mmm!

For the indigenous people of the Americas, corn was one of the Three Sisters, along with beans and squash, so necessary as food sources, and often planted together. The Corn Mother Goddess nourished life. She loved and respected all creatures, so much so that she gave herself, her own body, as sustenance to feed her people, and in some legends, to save the lives of animals from hunters.

Hi, Beautiful friend!

Hi, Beautiful friend!

With the American Thanksgiving around the corner, let's send some extra love out there, and try a few of my Vixen-ized holiday dishes, sure to turn a few carnivorous heads, like my Monster Mash,  Curried Pumpkin Soup with Pistachio Croutons, Harvest Cider Pilaf, and Sultry Autumn Green Beans!

And, no, I don't have a decent faux-turkey kind of thing to share with you (puhh-lease stay away from soy-based fake meats, I beg of you), but you might want to give this one a try from the fabulous Mimi Kirk.

Remember, my Loves: Tempting as it is to judge others, and tough and upsetting as it is to sit at a table with a carcass on it...set a silent example. So much more effective than being than being a pious bore. They won't hear you anyway. But...when they SEE how healthy, radiant, and happy you are, they'll get curious. Not all at once, but the point is made. Trust me. I've been around this block a few times.

Don't preach... 

Seduce.

I love you,

and I'm wildly,

madly, 

heart-burstingly

thankful for you.

xxx Alise

Savory Sweet Seduction

Many moons ago,

a Persian maiden had to think quickly.

Arabian Nights  by René Milot

Arabian Nights by René Milot

Versed in literature and poetry, she wove enchanting tales all night long,

her husband held blissfully captive,

entranced,

begging her for more.

But always, at dawn,

she left him.

This spared her life for another night.

Her king, you see, so wounded by love

sought revenge 

in the form of taking a new wife each day,

and sending her to her death.

But this smart kitten beguiled with her tales,

for many nights.

1001 to be exact.

In which time he fell hopelessly, 

deeply in love,

evermore,

saving not only her life,

but the lives of countless other women.

I imagine her seducing him with her mesmerizing words,

her glance,

her fire,

and perhaps offering a late supper

of sensual jewels...

This exotic and gorgeously scented Armenian dish was originally from Persia, where savories combined with fruit were adored. Made with bulgur, this was undoubtedly quite hearty. I decided to Vixen-ize it by making it vegan, swapping the bulgur for cauliflower, and adding vegetables.

My Doves, this is soooo good.

I'm serious. 

Never have I tasted anything quite this delicious. The layers of flavors, the depth of fragrance, the textures...pure bliss. I made a test recipe-plenty for two-and devoured the whole thing. I just couldn't stay away.

Try this.

Scheherazade's Jewels

  • 1 head organic cauliflower, chopped into small pieces
  • 1 organic zucchini (courgette), thinly sliced into half moons
  • 1/4 C raw slivered almonds
  • 1/4 C raw walnuts
  • 1/4 C.dried apricots, unsweetened
  • 1/4 C organic raisins or sultanas
  • 1/4-1/2 C Turkish figs, thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 3 cardamom pods
  • Pomegranate juice, unsweetened
  • Organic ground cinnamon
  • Vegan butter (flax/olive oil, preferably)
  • Olive oil
  • Celtic salt
  • Fresh ground black pepper

In a large pot, melt about 1 tablespoon of the vegan butter on a very soft flame, but only for a few moments...then add in the garlic, and allow it to awaken, until it turns translucent and its perfume begins to fill the air. Place the cardamom pods in...one, two, three...visualize being taken away by tales of adventure, by a lantern's flickering light, nestled down into satin pillows. Let the pods dance for about a minute, then in goes the cauliflower. Give it all a luscious stir, cover, and cook gently on a very low heat. 

In a heated skillet pan, spiral some little olive oil and a little more vegan butter in. Let it heat up, just a bit. Listen.

Now toss in the almonds and walnuts, allowing them to brown. Add the dried fruit, and sauté some more. Sprinkle a little cinnamon on top as they all cook. If it starts to look dry, add a touch more oil. When they've mingled, add in the zucchini. 

Now check your cauliflower. Things should be heating up nicely in la Cucina right about now.

As the zucchini begins to soften and caramelize, add a good splash of the pomegranate juice in -sizzle!-and stir it some more. Cover again and let it go until your cauliflower in the next pot is tender. 

One good Pinch-N-Grind (salt and pepper) just before you plate it, and you're there...

Darlings, this is really the kind of food to be savored, slowly and with full abandon, completely in the moment. If you make it at another time of year, it is even more exquisite with fresh apricots and figs, but for now, I absolutely dare you to find a headier dish.

Nestle in the cushions as the aroma of fills the air.

Let each bite linger on your tongue.

Feed your mind,

your soul,

your senses...

Come.

Tell me a story,

won't you, 

Beasties?

xxx Alise




The Sorceress And The Survival Job

It had been one of those days. Nights, really.

I have a confession.

Your sweet little Vixen has... a Survival Job.

I dislike it intensely, although, it must be noted, that I am, in fact, quite good at it. You see, I have somehow fallen into work as a theatrical wardrobe supervisor, which means I am responsible for running a show from the costume standpoint. It is my lot to ensure that actors, dancers, opera divas, performers of every ilk look and feel amazing when they get onstage. In the process trying to keep myself from not feeling like week old recycling.

And I will admit, my eyes well up when I watch them from the sides of the stage. Not just because I know how it feels, that rush of euphoria, that unabashed love hitting you like a freight train, but also because I know the blood and sweat that goes into it. That perfect moment of being exactly there, giving to your audience, and receiving their energy back, that most beautiful exchange of pure energy, is bliss. And addictive.

So when I'm backstage instead of onstage, I vascillate between morose and supportive, with a hefty dash of jealousy thrown in for good (?) measure. I am alternately proud of them, happy for them, and angry with myself for standing there, in the wings, collecting someone's sweaty shirt from the floor, in the dark.

Since I've been on both sides of the curtain, I know what it's like. And the good part is that I have NEVER been an ass to a crew member. Not even close. I'm gracious, and beyond appreciative.

On a film set last year (Goddess, has it been that long??) I was overwhelmed by the PA's who wrapped a coat around my shoulders between every take, and brought me hot teas during never a ending outdoor scene in the wee hours of an oddly frigid L.A. night. Endless moments for about ten on screen minutes as the lighting needed adjusting. A truck grumbled past the lot. Someone dropped a line. Sure, it was their job, I know...but still...human kindness is beautiful, no matter what the motivation. It always manages to transcend.

I stayed energetic and focused, take after take, as other actors fumbled, because, you know what? One day it will be me fumbling, and that compassion will be received back with open arms.

And I sent a thoughtful email to every single person who joined me in creating something magical in that film. From the angel who brought me tea, to the makeup woman, who, frankly, gave me some seriously overwhelming fuschia lips, not to mention generic "modern Hollywood" hair: the dreaded, ubiquitous flat iron banana curls. (I fought for my brows, hard, but the hair...well...)

But I thanked her anyway. genuinely. Because she did what she knew how to do, on that day.

Only two wrote me back. and that's fine. It's the industry, after all. 

Flash forward to tonight.

It wasn't even one of those notoriously long and banefully stressful nights where you are expected to pull a rabbit out of your hat. it was more the mind numbingly average kind.

I dislike average, intensely.

Nothing really happened, and that was the point.

I was trying not to spiral downward into a black hole of self pity. My book, so alive and revved of late, was now officially on hold until this run was over, and it was tearing me apart. Additionally, a film I was supposed to begin shooting was delayed until Spring, my video work was in need of equipment to move forward, my cat was sick, my man neglected, and my apartment a mess.

I came in, ran a bath.

Poured a splash of gin, 'cause you know, sometimes I'm just a Dame. Sometimes the Lady is a Tramp.

I didn't have one molecule of energy left for concocting, so I filled my bathtub with Aura Cacia's delightful Chamomile Relaxing Bath. It's so much more seductive than it sounds. It's a blend of chamomile, lavender, and patchouli, which sounds like a hippie grandma jumble, but is actually amazing. 

Slathered on Acure's Cell Stimulating Facial Mask. It's green and full of incredible things, and was sure to transform my cranky face.

I set Contessa's Balance Blend out for dabbing post-soak, and submerged.

Breathing it all in, and forcefully exhaling all the yuck, I began to feel intoxicated on so many levels. With every breath, more of the herbs absorbed in, and more negativity left me.

There is always a way, my Loves, to shift the energy.

Sometimes it is Herculean, yes, but it can be done.

But slipping into euphoria, still hanging on to my anxiety, I asked myself why my world wasn't awesome ALL the time. I racked my brain to understand why it has be so awful in between the moments of sheer bliss. I work hard. I set my intentions. And often, it is rock wife backstage champagne and travel, my own turn onstage and in front of the camera, and the exalted Days At Home To Make Things.  As I tried to reason in an increasingly fuzzy state, it suddenly made sense. I began to see how the pendulum actually swings. I saw that much of it really is great, incredible even...but only because I'VE MADE IT SO.

I've created my world. All of it. From the ridiculous to the sublime. We all do.

And here's the thing, my Darlings: the time in between the good stuff is exactly where the actual work occurs. The deep, dark matter. The karmic moving of boulders, or even small rocks. You can't see it, but you're doing it. The hard yards are a necessity. They allow the dharma to happen.

But there is still that funny timing thing.

Patience. Seasons. You gotta respect it, and also see it coming.

This is where I struggle. 

I forget, almost instantly, the highs of working on my own creations, or being invited lovingly into someone else's. The crash into the drudge of "normal" hits so hard that I can't see with any perspective how the balance works. Like most people, I get seasonal affective disorder all year round in the building where I work: cravings for light, fresh air, carbs, sweets, caffeine. I start feeling like shit, my confidence starts to plummet, and I just want to disappear. I don't want to connect with anyone, rather, I want to stay under the radar completely. And I'm not exactly an inconspicuous gal. The point is: how can any of us let a situation which we created, which is meant to serve a purpose, either divine or practical or both, turn us into a complete mess?

I can sing the blues day and night about my job, but I also have to seriously honor what it does give me: the cash to keep going on all my beloved creations, my dreams. Some might say folly, I say gorgeous, honest, joyous NECESSITY.

And never forget that like attracts like. Words, thoughts are extremely powerful. Think of every unkind blurb that goes through your head as a full-on spell. What you intend happens. The negativity you're slinging all over the place is bouncing right back in your face, every time. Turn it around, Kittens.

So when you're ringing up drones at a retail counter, or foaming your finest to serve an aloof coffee fiend, or rotting away in a cubicle, find how to integrate it with your dreams, because it isn't separate. It's all connected. Make the job work FOR you, not against. You will be done with it at some point, but only when you've figured out how to absorb what it has taught.

Align with the stars. make it happen.

 It DOES NOT happen over night.

But it does happen.

Trust.

Create.

Love.

We're all in this crazy life together. 

And I adore you so.

xxx Alise







Rockstar Ingredients: Turmeric

Such a stunningly beautiful spice.

I want to paint my walls to match.

Tantalizing turmeric appears often in these pages,

as you know, Ravishing Ones.

Why?

Because I'm obsessed with the magic of plants. And wellness. And life.

And it is my dearest wish to share it all with you.

As with most rockstar ingredients, turmeric is having her moment in the lights,

center stage and all the rage, but, of course, she has been around for ages, healing and preventing, and generally spicing up people's lives.

Known for centuries as an Ayurvedic healing root, turmeric is valued medicinally for two things: first, the volatile oil, which contains a stunning anti-inflammatory. Second, for the actual pigment, curcumin, which has an even more intense anti-inflammatory: the power of hydrocortizone or Motrin, but without the hideous side effects (such as ulcer formation, intestinal bleeding, and diminished white blood count.)  Curcumin simply has no toxicity.

Among its most astounding properties, is the ability to not only prevent cancer cells, but also inhibit their growth. This is major.

Oh, yeah, and she also dramatically increases the antioxidant capacity in the body, improves brain function, lowers heart disease, can prevent and treat alzheimer's, helps arthritis, and is proven as effective as Prozac in beating depression. Without putting s**t in your system. 

Here's the (spice) rub: The actual curcumin content in ground or fresh turmeric is not all that high. You'd have to ingest crazy amounts of it daily to combat the really bad stuff. For acute conditions, or heavy duty prevention, you should be taking a turmeric extract. But for general awesome health and feeling good, add the spice everywhere you can: to curries, shake elixirs, veggies, grains...actually pairing turmeric with cruciferous veggies (broccoli, cauliflower, etc.) profoundly increases the ability to fight cancers.

Turmeric also needs a little help to be absorbed onto the body, so it's a good idea to always pair it with black pepper, and, as it is fat soluble, a little oil is a smart addition. Depending on the recipe, you could add some coconut oil for cooking or baking, olive oil on top, or a nut milk in a brew.

Speaking of, try this gorgeous ancient potion, Vixen-style:

Golden Elixir

  • 2 Cups unsweetened almond milk, or coconut milk
  • 1 Tbsp ground organic turmeric
  • 1 tsp organic cinnamon
  • Nutmeg, pinch
  • Cloves, pinch
  • Black pepper, 2-3 grinds
  • 1 tsp coconut oil (optional)
  • Organic stevia or raw coconut nectar

Heat the nut milk on a slow flame, whisking in the spices until they are smooth. When it's hot, add the sweetener to taste.

It's delicious in a weird way. You'll dig how it feels going down. 

(Keep stirring it as you sip. The spices tend to hide on the bottom of the cup.)

Turmeric is also beautifying from the outside. Further solidifying its rockstar status, skin benefits include the treatment of acne blemishes, blackheads, dark spots, hyperpigmentation and other skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis. It also helps heal and prevent dry skin, and to slow the skin aging process, and is used to diminish wrinkles, keep skin supple, and improve skin’s elasticity.

Interestingly, this gorgeous sunny spice is also being used as an ingredient in sunscreens. And our East Indian sisters rely on it as a daily facial cleanser and exfoliant.

Magically-speaking, turmeric has long been burned for purification. In India, it is burned to detect the presence of dark spirits or daemons. (They are said to detest the smell.)

I'm hooked.

Get on this, and try my Pumpkin Peau de Soie Facial Masque...you'll groove on the results!

Sultry Beasties, I'm off to make some Golden Elixir,

and enjoy a little down time.

Sending you cozy nuzzles,

and sweet kisses,

xxx Alise





Dia de Los Mmmmmm!

The achingly beautiful celebration of Dia de Los Muertos, 

bejeweled in marigolds and candlelight,

abundant in its offerings

of love...

image courtesy of  Tom Robinson.

image courtesy of Tom Robinson.

Make this dish in honor of these nights,

and the Incan Goddess of the Moon

to celebrate all of your loves,

who have released into starlight...

Mama Quilla's Quesadillas with Molé Sauce

For the Quesadillas:

  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped finely
  • 6 oz frozen organic corn, or 3 ears fresh
  • 1 C fresh organic spinach, chopped
  • 1 organic red bell pepper
  • 2.5 very ripe avocados
  • 1-10oz. package sprouted organic corn tortillas
  • 1 Tbsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp cayenne
  • Pinch of Celtic salt
  • Grind of black pepper
  • Olive oil

For the Molé Sauce:

  • 2 garlic cloves, cut into smallish pieces
  • 2 organic plum tomatoes, seeded and chopped
  • 2 tsp organic ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 C organic raisins
  • 1 Tbsp organic unsweetened cacao powder
  • 2 Tbsp slivered raw almonds
  • 1 dried or fresh red chile pepper
  • Raw coconut nectar
  • Olive oil
  • Celtic salt

You're gonna love this sauce! It's so easy. Just combine everything but the cacao in a saucepan, and gently cook it on a low heat until the tomatoes are soft, and the perfume is heady. Then put it in a high speed blender, add the cacao and about 1/2 cup of pure water, and blend until it's creamy. You can add a little more water to thin it out. Adjust the spice and salt if you like. You can make it even hotter by adding some red pepper flakes or a pinch of cayenne.

In a sauté pan, spiral the olive oil onto a warmed surface. Toss the garlic in, and let it heat slowly, until it turns translucent. Now add in the corn, red pepper, cumin, cayenne, salt and pepper. When the peppers are cooked lightly, turn off the flame, and let it sit. Mash up the avocado in a large bowl, then add in the corn mixture, and the chopped spinach. Mix it all together.

Now you can either bake them or cook them in a skillet. If baking, set your oven to 350F. Lightly oil the bottom of a baking sheet. Spoon avocado concoction onto half of the tortillas, place them on the baking sheet, then top with another tortilla. Press them down, hard, with a spatula. so the avocado seals them together. Brush a little oil on top of each, and let them bake until brown...10-15 minutes? Keep an eye on them, as some ovens pack more punch than others.

If you're cooking stovetop, it's basically the same thing, you're just flipping them when they brown.

When they're done, cut into triangles with a sharp knife or pizza cutter, and serve them with the molé sauce and a big juicy salad.

Oh, and cocktails.

Revel in your blessings, my Darlings,

those whom you love,

as all things do indeed pass,

and rebirth will come.

I love you, now and always.

xxx Alise

La Petite Morte

The Little Death

when, for just a moment, 

such intense pleasure is experienced, 

that we leave the body,

and we are free...

Like teeth plunging into flesh,

these ominous towers of bloodlust

will fill you with ecstatic moans.

Darkness never tasted so good...

Deeply rich, moist cake, with a wicked dark chocolate ganache, bathed in a light pomegranate syrup, adding a blood red note of wine and fruit to the dish.

Boredom has been sacrificed. Bloodied and drained. Now our souls take flight...

Dracula's Castles

For the Cake

  • 1.5 C unsweetened almond milk
  • 3/4 C pure maple syrup
  • 1/3 C coconut oil
  • 1/4 C raw organic coconut sugar
  • 2 Tbsp organic vanilla extract
  • 1.5 tsp unfiltered apple cider vinegar
  • 1.5 C gluten free baking flour
  • 1/4 C raw unsweetened cacao powder
  • 1.5 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • Big pinch of Celtic salt

For the Ganache

  • 4 C organic organic dark chocolate, broken into pieces (about 1 bar)
  • 1 C unsweetened almond milk
  • 1/2 C pure maple syrup

For The "Blood"

  • 4 C pomegranate juice, unsweetened
  • 1/4 C fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 C coconut nectar

Makes 4 Castles, easily shared. You can double the recipe if needed.

Do the bloodletting first: Pour pomegranate juice into a saucepan, adding the fresh lemon juice and coconut nectar. Bring it to a boil on a medium, flame, then simmer, stirring, for about 40 minutes. Allow it to cool.

Preheat your oven to 325F. Coat 2 muffin tins with olive oil, so you have 12 prepared molds.

Now make the cakes. In a large bowl, whisk together all the dry ingredients, and set aside. In another bowl, whisk all the wet ingredients together, except for the coconut oil. Heat the oil in a saucepan on a very low flame until melted, then quickly whisk it into the wet ingredients. Now pour wet into dry, combine very well-and be quick, so the oil doesn't harden-then ladle into baking cups.

Place pans side by side on the middle rack, and bake about 15 minutes, or until a butterknife comes out clean (who the hell has toothpicks lying around, anyway?)

While they're baking, make the ganache.

Pour almond milk into a saucepan, add the maple syrup, and break in the chocolate pieces. Stir on a medium flame until the chocolate is melted. Let it cool somewhat.

When the cakes are out, and cooled a bit, carefully slice the rounded tops off, so you have a flat surface. (They make outrageously delish tea nibbles, so keep them in a container somewhere).

Now "ice" each flattened cake top with a butter knife, making it as thick or thin as you like. Stack three cakes on top of one another to form a tower. Plate them on something gorgeous.

When you're ready to serve, spoon the Blood over each Castle, and sink your teeth in. The cakes are so incredible...super chocolatey, moist, fluffy...with the bitter ganache and the sweetness of the syrup, each bite is sinfully rich. If you have a sugar issue, you can certainly swap the coconut sugar and maple syrup for stevia, but if you can enjoy just a little, it's so deliriously good just as is. Maple syrup entwined with chocolate somehow just deepens the flavor, adding a richness that can't really be replaced. The cake recipe, of course, can be used again as a cupcake batter, while the pom syrup also drizzles beautifully on savory dishes.

Christopher Lee, the most handsome bloodsucker  ever.

Christopher Lee, the most handsome bloodsucker ever.

Enjoy, my little vampire Darlings,

I'm off.

Got a hot date with a Carpathian fella...

xxx Alise

Monster Mash

It's coming!

Haven't we just waited all year?

Samhain. Halloween. All Hallow's.

The Witches New Year.

Fuck yeah.

I don't know about you, but I suspect we share it: Is it even possible to feel more connected to the Earth's magick than right now? Can you even imagine feeling more alive as we intertwine with the otherworldly energies, our spirit guides, our ancestors? It's as if we take in the heartiest, fullest breath of ancient energies, filling our lungs to capacity with shivers of awareness. Our very skin tingles with a million whispers. It's up to us to listen.

And we bid adieu to things we no longer need, embracing the next manifestations we see off in the distance, holding our arms open wide to receive... 

It's beautiful. And it's fleeting. So get to it.

Solemn rituals aside, we still need to get out, get down, and get our collective freak on, no?

When that circle is closed, and that energy is grounded, I only want to know one thing:

Where's the f**king party??!!!

Mr. and I get the fun going, every time.

Mr. and I get the fun going, every time.

Is there something fabulous going on? 

Whether you're in a metropolis, and simply cannot choose between all the glam fêtes, or out in the sticks getting creative, a monster needs to eat, no?

I've got something for you.

(Don't I always? 'Cause I love you. And you taste good.)

A most ghoulishly delish dish...

The voluptuous horror of a most fiendish feast.

He died of pleasure.

He died of pleasure.

Monster Mash

  • 3 lbs organic sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 1 Tbsp coconut oil
  • 1/2 C unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 Tbsp ground organic cinnamon
  • 1 Tbsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • Cayenne pepper, ground
  • Celtic Salt

Wicked Apple Chutney

  • 2-3 lbs organic apples (Honeycrisp or Pink Lady work best!), chopped
  • 1 Tbsp raw coconut nectar
  • 2 Tbsp organic raisins
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp whole mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp black cumin seeds
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp ground coriander
  • 2Tbsp unfiltered apple cider vinegar
  • Celtic salt
  • Ground chili pepper, or 1 tsp fresh, finely chopped

Let's concoct this chutney first. It's so delectable, you're gonna want to make an extra batch to slather on everything. Put all the ingredients into a saucepan, adding a good pinch of Celtic salt and the chiles (a good pinch if you are using ground spice), and let it cook on a low flame, stirring now and then, for about 40 minutes, until everything is soft and fragrant. You can let it cool, or keep it warm until you're ready to consume it. I find it particularly succulent when warmed.

Bring your pretty little potatoes to a rolling boil, and keep them going until they're very tender, almost falling apart...maybe 40 minutes? You can always lower the heat to medium-high and cover to make it go faster. Goddess, I am impatient.

When they are finally done, add in all the spices, the coconut oil (in place of butter, fantastic), the almond milk, everything, and get your hand mixer going. Begin by blending on a low speed so it doesn't splatter all over la cucina, and gradually increase the blender speed until you are whipping it into a frenzy. Add in the salt, as you like it, and as much cayenne heat as you want. Try a little first, then build it up as you go.

When you're famished, top the potato mash with a heap of chutney, and moan with delight!

Now you're full of beta carotene, insane amounts of vitamin A, potassium, vitamin C, calcium, and folic acid from the sweet potatoes, which digest slowly, causing a very gradual rise in blood sugar, which keeps you full longer, and on an even keel of high energy. Add that to the benefits of coconut oil, and energy-boosting spices, and you can dance all night long,

with energy to spare, of course, for other nocturnal delights...

Morticia and her hungry plant, Cleopatra.

Morticia and her hungry plant, Cleopatra.

Make your plans, my glamorous ghouls,

this week is going to be devilishly delicious!

xxx Alise

Fall Back Into Bed

Oh, I wanna sleep...

I wanna hibernate inside a cave of furry blankets

and dream away...

Sleeping Panther by NicamShilova

Sleeping Panther by NicamShilova

Endless hours of luscious beauty sleep,

cloaked in darkness,

as fire casts orange wands of light 

here and there

though the veils,

teasing...

I rise only from hunger.

Pure and fierce.

I love the unique warmth the oven and the stove make, the way it can fill la cucina with heated scent. It makes my body feel so liquid...

Pumpkin Spice Pancakes with Salted Caramel Nectar

For the Pancakes

  • 1 1/2 C unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 C organic pumpkin puree (I'll say it again...not pie filling!)
  • 2 flax "eggs"
  • 2 Tbsp coconut oil, melted
  • 2 Tbsp unfiltered apple cider vinegar
  • 1-2 tsp organic vanilla extract
  • 2 cups gluten-free all purpose flour (unsweetened!)
  • 4 tbsp raw coconut sugar OR 2-3 dropperfuls liquid vanilla stevia
  • 1/2 teaspoon Celtic salt
  • 2 tsp gluten-free baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 Tbsp organic cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 generous pinch cloves

For the Nectar

  • 2 C coconut milk (full fat, baby!)
  • 1/3 C raw coconut sugar
  • 1/3 C raw coconut nectar
  • 1 tsp organic vanilla
  • Celtic salt

Concoct the Nectar first.

Combine the coconut milk, nectar, and sugar in a small saucepan. Heat it to a boil, then simmer for about 40 minutes, until it reduces somewhat. Remove it from the flame, and allow it to cool. It will thicken slightly, as it cools, but will remain a thin sauce. Now, for the pancakes:

Make your flax "eggs": combine 2 tablespoons of ground flax meal with 6 tablespoons of pure water, and blend well. Set them aside.

Now, two large bowls, Lovers.

In one, whisk together the dry ingredients (flour through spices). In another, whisk together the wet ones (almond milk through vanilla.)

Let the wet get frisky with the dry. Blend them together until you have a smooth batter.

Set your sexy oven to a warm setting...200F?

Heat a large skillet on a medium flame, and melt some more coconut oil. You can use olive or avocado oil if you like, but the flavor will be slightly different. Ladle lush pools of batter into the heated pan, and cook about three minutes on each side, depending on your stove. Allow them to get beautifully golden...bubbling batter is usually a good sign that they are cooked on one side. Drop more coconut oil in as needed. When each batch cooks, move the finished pancakes to the heated plate in the oven to stay warm.

When they're all finished, serve them with a dazzlingly decadent drizzle of Salted Caramel Nectar.

My Goddess, there are intensely good.

Fluffy, light, ravenously spiced, and kissed by the caramel on top...you are going to crave these again and again...

The caramel, by the way, also makes a divine latte, and I'm told, a sinfully deluxe cocktail: mix it with vodka and pour it over ice. My Mother actually discovered that last bit!

And now, Beasties,

if you'll excuse me

I'm headed back to dreamland,

belly full of stars

off to heaven...

xxx Alise



Strange Days

Climate change and Cosmic hoodoo,

you've got me spinning...

As one gorgeous October afternoon

turns to dusk

keeping us on our lacquered toes...

For one day, it's warm enough to play at the lake

and get caught sleeping in the sun

Do not disturb the dozing Lioness.

Do not disturb the dozing Lioness.

Joyous, yet unsettling moments

of surrealist beauty,

where autumn leaves dance in water warm enough for a Siren

And the very next day,

the air so frigid it requires an absurd amount of layers!

Faux fur and vegan leather

can indeed overpower in large doses...

Tiny me is under there  somewhere.  Caught without makeup, no less...

Tiny me is under there somewhere. Caught without makeup, no less...

And the sky turns toward Winter,

but no one has told the crops,

of this change in plan...

And it begins again.

A purrfect Fall day,

with all its happy vignettes

and colors to make us smile brightly...

Just as we remember it.

But for how long?

In all this strangeness,

what remains

for us to grasp

to hold

to lie to us

for just a little while?

Ahhh...a warm cauldron of exquisitely spiced pumpkin soup, topped with crisp, toasted pistachio croutons.

Mmmmm...oh, yes, lie to me...please...

Curried Pumpkin Soup

  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 Tbsp organic coconut oil
  • 1 Tbsp curry powder
  • 3 large organic carrots, cut into thin rounds
  • 1 large or 2 small organic apples (Pink Lady, Honeycrisp, or MacIntosh work best!), chopped
  • 2 cans organic pumpkin pureé (NOT pie filling)
  • 2.5 C pure water
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • Celtic salt 
  • Ground pepper

First, my Beasties, breathe deep, and light your kitchen candle. Whisper good intentions into the flame, for yourself, your loved ones, humanity, and our beloved Earth. Times are manic. We need to put forth as many positive vibes as possible.

Now heat a sauté pan on a low flame just until the heat rises. Spoon the coconut oil in, then add the garlic. Allow it to cook slowly and gently, until it turns translucent and releases its heady aroma...

Now add the curry on top, and let it mingle with the garlic for a few minutes, as the curry turns deeper in color, and the rooms fills with heavenly scent.

Stir in the carrots and apple, give it a toss, and let it join in the fun for about five minutes, keeping your flame low. You can add in a touch more coconut oil in here if you like.

Next in, the pumpkin pureé and the apple cider vinegar. Stir it all around, to coat the carrot and apple well, and blend the spices even deeper. 

Add the water, and bring it to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer away...

Meantime, make the croutons.

Pistachio Croutons

  • 8 slices or 1/2 loaf of gluten free vegan bread
  • 22 unsalted pistachios, ground/chopped
  • 1/2 C extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp Celtic salt

Preheat to 400F.

Cut or tear your bread into small pieces. 

Finely chop the pistachios, grinding some with a mortar and pestle, and leaving some pieces intact.

Toss everything in a large bowl, using your hands (mmm!) to coat everything oh-so-well.

Now spread it all on a cookie sheet, single layer, and bake for 10 minutes or until golden and crispy. The soup should be ready now. 

When the carrots and apple are soft, remove the mixture from heat. When it is completely cooled, pureé the soup a little, leaving some of the pieces whole. This gives it a great texture. Add a pinch-n-grind (salt and pepper!) and you are there.

It's divine to make this all ahead, then re-heat when you're ready. It gives the flavors, as always, a chance to mingle more, deepen. It's so worth the wait.

Garnish, of course, with croutons, and a few more chopped pistachios.

Love!

Well, Delicious Ones, though strange days have indeed found us,

we go on playing,

seeking our casual joys

wherever

whenever.

Right now.

My love to You,

xxx Alise


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Unexpected Treasures

Lovers, 

did you enjoy those decadent muffins I made for you last week?

Did you inhale them,

lustily?

And now you find,

that there is much nectar left over...

Such abundance,

and yet, much of it will get tussled to the back of the fridge,

only to be discovered long after it's moment in the Sun.

But no worries!

I've whipped up two gorgeous reasons to use up every last drop of your cider,

in the most delightful ways...

Harvest Cider Pilaf

  • 1/2 C black or red quinoa, rinsed well
  • 1/2 C golden quinoa, rinsed well
  • 2 C pure apple cider
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, chopped finely
  • 9 leaves of fresh sage, chopped
  • 1 Tsp curry 
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 C raw unsalted cashews
  • 1/2 C dried unsweetened cranberries
  • Organic olive oil
  • Celtic salt
  • Ground pepper

Bring the cider and both quinoas to a boil. When they're rolling, reduce the flame to super-low, cover, and cook until all the cider has absorbed into the grain, about 20 minutes. Mmmmm! Delicious already! Are you getting that fabulous aroma?

While it's simmering, spiral the oil into a sauté pan. Let the heat rise until you can feel the warmth above the pan with your hand. It's ready...

Toss the garlic in, and allow it to sizzle ever so gently on a low flame, releasing it's amazing perfume. When it turns translucent, sprinkle the curry and turmeric on top of the garlic, and let the spices mingle for a few minutes. Then add in the cashews and cranberries, and stir to coat them with the oil and spices.

When it looks irresistable, and smells divine, turn off the heat.

The quinoa should be done by now, so add it to the pan, and bring everything together like a symphony...

Add in a dash of Celtic salt, fresh ground pepper (a "pinch-n-grind"), and the fresh sage. Mix it well.

You have now, my Edible Ones, a savory and cidery dish that not only tastes incredible and is full of protein and nutrients, but actually has the consistency of a traditional Thanksgiving stuffing! Yes! It can totally pass for stuffing, on any table! So enjoy it yourself, but bookmark this for the holiday season also. Everyone will dig this.

And, to reward yourself for all your Kitchen Witch genius, and to wow guests with...

Champagne Cider Cocktails

  • 1 pt-1 qt organic apple cider
  • 3 sticks cinnamon
  • 6 star anise
  • 1-inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and cut into three pieces
  • 9 whole cloves
  • Apple slices
  • Dry champagne, prosecco, or cava

First...we're going to mull the cider...yesss....

Pour the cider into a pot with the cinnamon, star anise, ginger, and cloves. Bring it all to a boil, and then simmer for about 20 minutes. Let it cool completely.

When you are ready to serve, pour into glasses halfway, and top with bubbly.

Add apple slices for garnish, and toast to all the zesty, beautiful things in life!

Santé!

xxx Alise


The Autumnal Fairy's Guide To Fall Beauty

The Autumnal Fairy has returned,

just as she always does this time of year,

after flittering about the globe

in a flurry of sparkly lights,

orange and black striped stockings,

with her corset full of leaves,

in search of the most magical finds of the season!

The Autumnal Fairy's Faves:

When you're bathing, quite literally, in a forest stream, you want to cleanse your gorgeous body with something gentle and, of course be very kind to your outdoor home. What to do? Indulge in Acure Organics Pumpkin + Calendula Soap. There's this whole amazing new soap line from them that are cold pressed, argan oil based, certified organic, and absolute silk on your skin! If you've avoided soaps because they are drying, you've gotta check these out: Unlike traditionally milled soaps which are heated then poured into molds to cool quickly, causing them to harden fast which depletes moisture (then salt gets added to further dry them out!), these are cold pressed and dried over a 6-week period to preserve complete and potent lipids, and healthy fatty acids to be retained. Your skin will adore you! They come in six mouth watering scents and last quite a long time...get on this!

With the weather changing and drier air moving in, the mane needs an infusion of lush. Switch from a lighter potion to Acure Organics Moroccan Argan Oil + Argan Stem Cell Conditioner. Hair just drinks this in, from it's heavenly buttered almond scent to its lustrous sheen, leaving tresses glossy, manageable, and seriously prepared for a seasonal shift.

For delicate hands that cast sensuous spells... No Miss One Coat Nail Polish. For the tiny price tag, they are a animal-friendly, free-of-nasty-chemicals steal.  With over 100 delirious colors to choose from, this season's standouts are surely Georgetown Ginger, Punta Gorda Pecan, and Tamarac Tangerine.

Because autumn kisses are sweet and spicy, Vapour Organics Siren Lipstick luscious lipsticks are so necessary. They contain rose buds, camilla oil, myrrh, lemon balm, pomegranate, and jojoba oil, and the colors are drop dead gorgeous. Fall faves? The rich, bitten berry of Knockout, the chocolatey deliciousness of Dare, and, Tempest, a deep burnt Autumn orange described as "feisty!"

Above all, a Faerie loves glitter! It comes naturally, of course, from a clean, plant-based diet and lots of positive vibrations, but even mystical mamas want some extra cosmic sparkle...thank the stars for Orglamix, a vegan mineral makeup line with so many stunning glitters to chose from your wings will be all aflutter trying to decide! They have dazzling shades you can layer on top of their gorgeous shadows, to lips, body...anywhere...

And do pick up their Black Magic Shadow for some serious Samhain smolder...

Once inside your tree-cottage, you'll want to stock up on all your Kitchen Witch essentials, for bountiful harvest goodies, cozy suppers, and bewitching brews. Bookmark it, and the Guide To Choosing Purrfect Produce to have on hand at the market. We have soooo many amazing things to conjure up together!

And...don't even think of heading into a season change before first arming yourself with Contessa's Protective Blend, the best guard against sniffles, viruses, and general ickyness, both internally and as a topical antimicrobial potion.

Be well, my Fireflies...

Get out there and spread that sparkle everywhere,

because you are so very beautiful.

xxx Alise

P.S. Don't forget to stock up on Bitches Brew Tea and Bitches Blend Oil for the season!



Luna Cucina: Mercury Retrograde

My Loves,

before you start to fret,

back up your hard drive,

and take a breath.

Yes, indeed, our lovely Mercury is about to dance backwards,

shuffling our collective deck,

and dropping the cards all over the floor,

but -

we can hold steady.

We are, after all, Wise Ones, no?

Rather than swirling ourselves into a panic,

hiding beneath the covers,

or lurking through our beautiful October 

in a perpetual state of dread,

let's hold our space, all of us, together.

Let's work some Kitchen Magick,

and conjure up positive energy, 

and, with the Sun in Libra, help us balance

in the form of a delectable nibble.

There's plenty to share.

Let's feed each other...

Peaceful Pistachio Noodles

  • 6 oz. pure buckwheat noodles
  • 1 C organic frozen peas
  • 3/4 C unsalted pistachios
  • 1/2 tsp ground cardamom
  • 1/4 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 large clove garlic, finely chopped
  • Olive oil (organic, first cold pressed if possible)
  • Celtic salt
  • 1/2 C organic flat leaf parsley

Light your candle. Take a deep, slow breath.

Put a pot of water on for the noodles.

As it prepares to boil, spiral some olive oil into a sauté pan on a very low flame. While it's heating, chop most of the pistachios, grinding them into as close to a powder as you can get. The remaining ones can be chopped into small pieces, and set aside. When the oil is just hot, toss in the ground pistachios, and mix into the oil to form sort of a paste. Next, add in the oregano and let it mingle a bit. As you are cooking, visualize a smooth month ahead, with clear communication, and an easy, slower pace. Enjoy the sensuality of the languid energy coming to you. Ask to experience only positive effects of the retrograde, and send that wish to loved ones.

Add in the turmeric and cardamom, and a little more oil if needed, and give it all a gentle stir.

When it's whispering to you, and smelling heavenly, toss in the frozen peas. Work them around in the spice mixture until everything is beautifully coated. Keep the flame low.

Your water should be boiling.

Drop in a pinch of salt and a drizzle of oil, as the noodles tend to stick. Drop the noodles in, and keep them moving with a pair of tongs until you're quite sure they aren't going to clump together. (It's cute that they like each other so much, but really...)

When the noodles are soft - about eight minutes - drain them and let them join the party in the sauté pan!

Toss everyone around, getting spicy and fabulous, and let them warm for a few minutes while you chop the garlic and the parsley (if you haven't done so already.) Add a nice pinch of Celtic salt, and give it a taste to adjust your seasonings. Top it all with the garlic, parsley, and the reserved pistachios you chopped earlier.

Now choose a beautiful plate. Plates traditionally symbolize the Sun, so here we are honoring the balance of Libra once again, as with the buckwheat. You can, by the way, use the buckwheat grain instead if you can't find the noodles, but it's worth the hunt to have them in your life, trust.

I chose a peacock plate, for the wise vision and watchfulness that they represent.

And for their breathtaking beauty.

Savor every bite, my sweet Beasties,

it's all in how you see it, no?

And in how you choose to react...or not.

My love and good vibes to you,

always,

xxx Alise


Pomme d' Amour

I left the window open,

so the Spirits of Autumn could find their way in.

They could sing to me as I lay to rest in the early morning hours

between dark and light.

Chill air swirled around the bed licking my face.

Oooh!

Beneath the covers was another poem entirely...

warm bodies of flesh and fur entwined

in a sensual embrace of drowsy half-sleep,

as the ruby light streamed in.

If ever I decided to arise,

I knew exactly what I wanted.

Apples.

The fruit of love,

it's cider the star nectar

during the Season of The Witch.

Get ready.

These are gonna knock your sweet conical hat right off its axis...

Bewitching Cider Muffins

For the Muffins:

  • 1-1/2 C all purpose gluten free baking flour
  • 1/2 C xylitol 
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • Celtic salt
  • 1 Tbsp ground organic cinnamon
  • Ground organic nutmeg
  • 1 flax "egg"
  • 3/4 C apple cider
  • 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 organic apple, chopped (Gala or Pink lady work so well here!)

For the Glaze:

  • 3 Tbsp vegan butter (flax/olive oil)
  • 1 Tbsp ground organic cinnamon
  • 1 Tbsp pure maple syrup

First preheat your oven to 350F.

Make the flax "egg": Take 1 tablespoon of flax meal, and three tablespoons of water, and whisk together in a small bowl. Set it aside.

Now combine all your dry ingredients in a large bowl and whisk together until well blended. No lumps please! *A word about xylitol: it is an excellent plant sugar substitute when you need a dry measure, but, it is highly toxic to animals, so be careful and don't let your fuzzies anywhere near it. Alternatively, you can use powdered stevia, though it won't be an equal measure, so try a few teaspoons or packets and see how the batter tastes to you. You can always adjust it.

Next, slowly add the wet ingredients and keep whisking until you have a smooth texture. If it's too thick, you can add a little splash more of cider. Pour the apples in, and fold in gently. 

Oil your muffin pans with a little olive or avocado oil on a paper towel in each section. This will keep them from burning without adding too much oil. Pour into the pans, and pop them in the oven. Bake for 15-18 minutes, until a toothpick or knife through the center comes out clean.

This batter will make eight muffins if you fill them 3/4 full (as shown), or six if you fill them to the top. Whenever you have empty muffin sections in a pan, fill them with water to the same height as you have the batter in the others...it will help them to cook evenly.

Now you can make the glaze.

Melt the vegan butter in a pan, and whisk in the cinnamon until it's well blended. Then add in the maple syrup. Taste it. If you like it sweeter, add a little more syrup or some stevia. As is, they are purrfect in my book, especially enjoyed with a warm mug of sweet cider. 

When the muffins are done, transfer them to a plate or cooling rack, then drizzle the glaze on top. 

Just what the Sorceress ordered!

Just what the Sorceress ordered!

Luscious Ones, bite into these lustily and enjoy every naughty little crumb. You will love them.

Whatever to do with the rest of that cider, you ask?

Pop it in the freezer, in a larger container as it will expand, then thaw it next week when we'll concoct a few more ways to play with this sexy brew...

Meow!

xxx Alise



How To Choose Purrfect Produce: Fall

Mmmmm!

A new season of Earthy delights is upon us, Delectable Ones.

Follow me as I forage the fields and the trees 

for the most delectable and devilishly Autumnal treats...

FABULOUS FALL VEGGIES:

Much of this edible poetry is available year-round, however, the cooler air produces sweeter, less bitter, tastier versions, so indulge!

  • ARTICHOKES - Fall produces a smaller, second go round on these delicacies. Squeeze the leaves! They will give a little squeak when super-fresh!
  • ARUGULA - Choose firm, bright leaves, no yellowing or spots. The larger leaves are more peppery tasting.
  • BEETS - Look for fresh, firm veggies with bright greens attached. You can cook the greens too!
  • BELGIAN ENDIVE - These are mostly forced to grow in artificial conditions, but fall is their natural harvest time.
  • BROCCOLI - Select one that is dark green with stiff stalks and tight florets. Any signs of yellowing, a rubbery feel, or white stems means you should skip it.
  • BRUSSELS SPROUTS - When you see these on the stalk, grab them! They last much longer than the cut ones do.
  • CABBAGE - Make sure the head is tight and compact, with good color and no wilting.
  • CARROTS - Look for ones that are firm and bright. No wilting or sprouting, please. A dark coloring at the top indicates that they are old.
  • CELERIAC - You want smooth skin and as few ridges as possible.
  • CELERY - Grab those straight, rigid stalks. Ahem. Steer clear of the limp ones.
  • CHARD - Choose dark green leaves with bright stems, avoiding dried or browning ones.
  • CHICORIES - Look for a creamy white color, with pale yellow tips.
  • EGGPLANT (AUBERGINES) - The skin should be smooth and shiny, and they should be a bit heavy for their size, with no tan patches.
  • ESCAROLE - Choose fresh, bright greens with no wilting or browning.
  • FENNEL - Look for a very white bulb. The smaller ones roast best if you are cooking them, and the leaves can be used for flavoring or tea!
  • GARLIC - Grab the ones with clean bulbs in a uniform color. Beware brown areas.
  • GREEN BEANS - You need bright, plump beans that snap. No limp ones.
  • HERBS - Thyme, Rosemary, and Sage are all in peak season right now-grab them!
  • HORSERADISH - Pick firm roots with fresh-looking cut ends. Avoid softness. 
  • JERUSALEM ARTICHOKES - Choose clean looking tubers with minimal bumps, no sprouting or soft spots.
  • KALE - Look for deep green leaves that are springy and don’t show signs of wilting or discoloring, plus a stem that isn’t dry. Remember: The smaller the leaves, the more mild the flavor.
  • LEMONGRASS - Fresh-looking, fragrant stalks with tight bulbs. The tips may be slightly dry, which is ok.
  • LETTUCE - As always, choose healthy, vibrant leaves!
  • MUSHROOMS (WILD) - Look for a smooth texture, dry but not dried out. 
  • OKRA - Pick ones that are firm and smooth...and fuzzy!
  • PARSNIPS - Fresh, firm veggies with bright greens attached, please!
  • PEPPERS - Buy naturally shiny, unwrinkled, firm, and blemish free, regardless of color.
  • POTATOES - Look for smooth ones, with few eyes and no blemishes (they can be toxic.) And no green patches or sprouting.
  • PUMPKINS - Small "pie pumpkins" are most delish when they still have 1-2 inches of healthy stem attached. Avoid blemishes and soft spots, but lopsided is fine!
  • RADICCHIO - Actually a chicory, the leaves should be unblemished, but the cut end can be browning slightly.
  • RADISHES - Take home smooth, bright ones with green tops. Avoid black spots, brown or white scars, and yellow or limp tops.
  • RAPINI (BROCCOLI RAABE) - Pick firm ones with thin stems and small florets, and no visible flowers.
  • RUTABEGAS - Look for firm, smaller ones, with a purple cast to the skin. Scratch the flesh. It should be yellow beneath.
  • SPINACH - Pick deep or bright green, unwilted leaves.
  • SWEET POTATOES - Grab the firm ones with no sign of decay. If baking, a uniform shape will ensure even cooking.
  • TOMATILLOS - The husks should been green! If the husk is papery or dry, the tomatillo is past it's prime.
  • TURNIPS - Select smaller to average sized ones, as the larger are woody. Baby turnips are super sweet, but don't yet have the purple color.
  • WINTER SQUASH/ZUCCHINI - Look for ones that are heavy and solid, without soft spots, have matte skin, and still has a stem.

FOXY FALL FRUITS:

  • APPLES - Look for one that is not only firm, but has naturally shiny and bright skin. No waxiness!
  • CRANBERRIES - Choose firm, shiny, plump ones...no shriveling!
  • FIGS - They should be soft, not mushy, but never hard. Check for a firm stem, as wigglyness is a sign of mushyness. Steer clear of any white fuzzy mold.
  • GRAPES - Green ones should have a slightly translucent, yellowish tone, and a frosty "bloom." Red and black ones should have a rich tone. All should be plump, with no leaking or wiggly stems.
  • PEARS - Choose fruits with smooth skin, and are free of bruises. I personally prefer ones that give when you squeeze them, otherwise they take forever to ripen.
  • QUINCES - Pick ones that are firm and relatively smooth, free of bruises or blemishes.
  • PERSIMMONS - Take home the glossy, firm, plump ones that still have their leaf attached.
  • POMEGRANATES - Select ones that are round, plump, and heavy for their size.

And don't forget all the sumptuous Autumn flowers! Chrysanthemums, in every stunning shade, are highly protective, magickal blooms. Besides planting them in the ground, I like to wrap small bouquets with twine or ribbon, and hang them in each window. I also love to adorn a chandelier or curvy lamp base with them when they are fresh and bendy...eventually they will dry beautifully, and stay with your for many, many months to come. 

Happy harvesting, Tasty Ones!

Love bites to you,

all through the year...

xxx Alise



Autumnal Arousal

Autumn is upon us, Lovers.

Who doesn't rhapsodize about this time of year?

Crisp air,

leaves alive with ruby and amber,

the faint scent of wood stoves…

Pumpkins!

Apple picking, hayrides, All Hallow's delights. 

Not to mention that it's Foxy-Boots-With-Coats-Season.

The colors and scents of Fall are incredibly sensual.

And yet, so many foods associated with this most delectable time just…aren't.

Comforting, yes.

Familiar, sure.

But sexy? Not so much.

So, decked out in Witchy Autumnal Finery, I set out to the farm market on a mission: Create seasonal dishes worthy of a goddess that wouldn't freak out the family if you brought them to, say, Thanksgiving. 

Organic sweet corn jackpot!

Organic sweet corn jackpot!

Did you think I forgot the Equinox?

Beasties, come on.

The pagan holiday of Mabon occurs at the Autumnal Equinox, pronouncing the middle of harvest season, when light and dark are equal. It's really the pagan Thanksgiving if you will, a time to reap what we've sown, and give massive gratitude for all the blessings in our lives. We pause a bit to reflect on where we've been, and where we'd like to go in the coming seasons. Still-warm days and chilly nights encourage gorgeous moments, as the Sun falls into the arms of the Moon...

It's such a shiver of delight to decorate our kitchen altars with delights of the season, isn't it?

And here is my offering: a heated twist on a holiday standby, green beans, inspired by the bounty I scored in the photo above.

Pert, snappy green beans that usually end up limp and lifeless, drowning in a mushroom soup "casserole" and topped confusingly with crispy onions, or, even less appealing, in something called "succotash." 

Not any more.

This menage a trois stars golden corn, crisp and juicy, with blackened green beans and toasted walnuts, all tangled up in warm Moroccan spices. The aroma alone will get you feeling frisky, and the taste-in all its buttery heat-will send you to heaven. 

Sultry Autumn Green Beans 

  • 1 lb. organic green beans, trimmed
  • 5 ears organic fresh corn (or 8 oz. frozen, if absolutely necessary)
  • 1 C. walnuts 
  • 5 sage leaves
  • 1/2 TBsp mustard seeds
  • 1 TBsp cumin
  • Dash cloves
  • Dash turmeric
  • Dash nutmeg
  • 1/2 Tbsp cinnamon
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp vegan butter (olive oil or flaxseed based)
  • Celtic salt

Spiral the olive oil into a sauté pan, and allow it to build it's heat on a low flame. Place your hand above. Do you feel it? Then it's time. Lay the sage leaves in the oil in a five pointed star pattern. We're gonna make some Kitchen Witch magic here...give deep thanks for all the gifts of the Cosmos, really seeing and feeling each beautiful one. Set your intention for the coming seasons. What is your wish? Now we're gonna cook it up.

Let them undulate in the oil a bit, then toss in the mustard seeds, and let them get to know each other.

Add in the green beans, and sprinkle the cumin, cloves, nutmeg, turmeric, and a pinch of salt. Give them a good, slow toss...

Lid on, and simmer for about 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, toast your walnuts in a little pan until they are browned and smelling heavenly. Husk the corn, and slice off the kernels into a bowl. When the green beans are fairly tender, add in the corn and walnuts. You may need a little  more oil drizzle here if they appear dry. Toss.

Let it cook until the green beans appear to blacken a bit. They aren't charred-it is a combination of the beans picking up the spices in the oil and a slight caramelization of the natural sugars in the corn. The corn and walnuts really pick up the flavors...you are in for a treat! When they're ready, add a pat of vegan butter, and a good pinch of Celtic salt. One last toss, and you're there...

 Oh, and don't forget-if You're bringing them to a relatives house, cook them into oblivion! *wicked laugh*

 

Enjoy them, my loves.

Blessed Mabon to you,

I am indeed so thankful for all of you in my heart,

xxxAlise





A Temple Dancer's Feast

Tracing cosmic patterns with our bodies,

bringing energy forth form the center of Earth herself,

and releasing it into the stars...

Mmmmm, yeah...

Undulate on over here,

and taste the delights of Inanna's table.

Divine Falafel

For the Falafel:

  • 1 C fava (broad) beans, soaked overnight, rinsed and drained
  • 1 C garbanzo beans (chick peas), soaked overnight, rinsed and drained
  • 3 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 red chili, seeded and chopped (you can substitute green if you can't find red)
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1/2 C fresh cilantro, finely chopped
  • 1 C fresh flat leaf parsley, finely chopped 
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • Olive oil (first cold press preferred)

For the Sauce (not pictured-oops!):

  • 1/4-1/2 C tahini
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • Pinch of ground cayenne or hot paprika
  • Spring water as needed
  • Celtic salt and fresh ground pepper

First, blast the soaked beans in a food processor or high speed blender until they are finely ground. I couldn't find dried favas, so I used canned. (Rinse them well!)

Now add in the dried spices, and give it another blast.

Add in the chili, garlic, and fresh herbs. Whizz it all until it forms a smooth, almost paste-like texture. Add a "bump-n-grind" (pinch of salt and grind of pepper), and place it all in a large bowl. Sprinkle in the baking soda, mix it all through with your hands (wheee!) and let it rest for 15 minutes.

(Go have a stretch and a little shimmy. When you're done, they will be ready.)

Wet your naughty little fingers, then begin shaping the mixture into small spheres. 

Here, you can either bake them, or sauté  in a large pan. I prefer them in the pan. Why? They're juicier. And, yes, a bit higher in fat BUT it's a healthy fat, so, who cares? If you're more comfortable baking them, simply heat your oven to 350F, lay them out on baking sheets, cover with foil, and bake for 15 minutes. Take them out, and allow them to brown, turning once, for about 15-20 minutes or until golden.

If you're using the pan, spiral some olive oil in, then heat it on a medium flame. I usually heat oil very slowly, but in this case I would raise it a little, so they cook quickly and stay crispy. Toss in as many falafel as you can fit, then give them a nice sauté, rolling them around so they brown on all sides. I flattened them out with a spatula so they would cook faster (I was starving), but keeping them in spheres will keep the insides moister.

While they dance for you, make the sauce. Just whisk all the ingredients together, adding water as needed to thin the mixture to your liking. 

When they are done (of course, you must taste one, or four, to see if they are ready), transfer them to a plate and eat them immediately! Yes, they will keep, but honestly straight from the pan they are outrageously good!

And that succulent little salad gently illuminated in the back, there?

Souk Salad

  • 1/2 head organic red cabbage, sliced then chopped
  • 1 organic carrot, shredded
  • 1/4 C tahini
  • 1 C flat leaf parsley, chopped
  • 1/2 C fresh mint, chopped
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • Seeds of 1/2 pomegranate
  • sprinkle of Celtic salt
  • A few grinds of fresh pepper

Just mix it all together in a large bowl, Loves! That's really it! An incredibly crisp, fresh-tasting, delicious salad that can easily include some cooked quinoa if you want to make it a meal unto itself. I wanted to add some black sesame seeds...but couldn't find any...(sniff)...

So, though falafel is traditionally eaten with pickles, or nestled into pita, sometimes with yogurt, I have made this offering light and super clean, nibbling on the figs and grapes to start, then after a spell the salad for optimum digestion, and last the gorgeous falafel with tahini sauce.  I wish you could jump through the screen and share this with me!

The fragrance, the textures, the flavors...total foodgasm.

Have a beautiful day, Beasties.

Undulate with me, yes?

xxx Alise