The Cauldron Stirs

Some of us live for this.

Fall.
So easy to breathe its name,
for the very word conjures up leaves of amber and ruby.
Crisp air. 
Fragrant herbs. 
Foxy coats and boots. 
And of course, the national orgasm that is pumpkin spice.

But then,
there are those of us that conjure something else entirely...

Moon Flowers 2.jpg


As the veil between the worlds becomes thinner, spells are cast. Rituals heighten. The Season of the Witch is fleeting, but potent. 

You, my darling Beasties, can join the party with a simple Kitchen Witch concoction that will strengthen you for the coming seasonal shifts, both in body and in spirit.

Let's get the fires burning and the cauldron bubbling, shall we?

Autumn Soup-2.jpg

I've brewed a most bewitching recipe for you: one so simple, you would swear on your Bastet statue that it had appeared out of thin air...

Autumn Spirit Soup

*please use all organic ingredients

  • 3 sweet potatoes
  • 3 carrots
  • 1 small apple (Pink Lady, Honeycrisp, and other cidery apples work best)
  • 1/2 lemon
  • 3 small cloves garlic
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • extra virgin olive oil, first cold pressing if possible
  • pure water
  • Celtic salt
  • fresh ground pepper

First, chop your garlic. Turn your flame on low, and in a large pot swirl a bit of olive oil. Allow it to heat - it's ready when you place your hand above the pot, and can feel the warmth. Now toss in your garlic, and let it cook gently until it just turns translucent, releasing it's sensual aroma. While it gets going, chop your vegetables and apple. When the garlic is ready, toss them in, and give it a good stir to coat everything. Let them all mingle a bit, then pour in just enough water to cover everything.

Bring the cauldron to a boil, then lower the flame and simmer until everything is tender. Put out the fire and allow the soup to cool. Ladle into a high speed blender, and blend until smooth and creamy. Pour the mixture back into the pot, add the lemon, cumin, salt and pepper to taste. You're done!

As you are concocting, visualize you and whomever you are serving the soup to as very strong and healthy, full of vitality and energy to meet the season. Really feel it. Guiding you here are some very powerful friends. Carrots are loaded with intense amounts of vitamin A, which builds cells and strengthens your immune system. They are also full of disease fighting antioxidants, and, magickally speaking, create desire for sexual contact. They are ruled by fire, and thus can ignite your inner fires, particularly in the boudoir.  (I am picturing all my readers frantically going out to buy carrots, crunching them madly on the way home!)

Sweet potato is ruled by Venus, and you know what that means. Yes, my Darlings, more sex. And love!  These frisky tubers also give us plenty more vitamin A, a shot of vitamin C, lots of B vitamins, fiber, and beautifying minerals, for more vibrant health on the inside, and glowing radiance on the outside. 

Our goddess of love also rules the apple, long entwined with divinity throughout the ages. Apples are also very high in antioxidants, vitamin C, B vitamins and minerals, making them nutritional powerhouses as well as beauty food and high-vibration magickal friends. The smell of fresh apples alone was believed to boost low physical strength as well as ensure longevity. 

Lunar lemon provides another burst of vitamin C, as well as lending detoxifying properties to the mix. Lemon is associated with love, happiness, and purification, and was traditionally used to bring light indoors during the darker months. Fiery garlic gives protection and good health, and is loaded with natural immune boosters. Celtic salt not only detoxifies, but also contains all 92 beneficial live elements found in seawater. (Confused about salt? Read more here.) Peaceful cumin was believed to be favored by the Egyptian gods, and was offered in massive quantities to ensure happiness. And last, but never least, lovely black pepper purifies and protects. 

All in all, a most delicious way to fortify your body, ignite your love life, and look gorgeous while doing so!

To your health, Beasties.

As for me,
well,
I've got many more spells to cast...

xxx Alise

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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

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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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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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 posts back when I asked you to buy white miso to make that delightful 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




4am Wisdom

Am I the only One 
who wakes routinely at 4 am
to lie awake and stare
to listen to the wind in the branches,
speaking.

Wandering about
in the stillness
everything breathes...
 

THE MAY MOON, THROUGH MY BEDROOM WINDOW.

THE MAY MOON, THROUGH MY BEDROOM WINDOW.

I used to refer to my 4am Decisions,
which sometimes were a bit fuzzy
particularly if I was just coming in...

Now I see it as 4am Wisdom.

Often I burst into giggle fits.
It's my comedy hour.

My overnight behavior has earned me the following titles:
The Mistress of Mayhem,
The High Priestess of Highjinks,
The She-Wolf of Shenannigans
(I'm not kidding.)

It's hilarious.

Little Witch, whatever are you up to? (actual middle-of-the night weirdness happening here.)

Little Witch, whatever are you up to? (actual middle-of-the night weirdness happening here.)

I share a household of similar beasts
so if I am restless,
so are the cats.
We are connected, of course.
The Mr. too.
There are esoteric conversations
or giggle fits
and ridiculous made-up songs.

And when it's deep,
I brood
or scribble things
sometimes I lie in bed
sometimes I need to sit in the living room on my cushions and furry nests
among the statues
because we need to talk.

And sometimes I stay awake through until 8am
watching and listening to the birds
then, full of new information
things that must be processed
I fall asleep as the sun begins to warm the room.

My awareness of everything breathing at this hour has a root.

In ancient Eastern traditions, 4am is when the lungs are at their strongest, because the circadian flow of the vital energy, or Chi, is at it's highest in that particular part of the body. Not coincidentally, it is also the hour in which the kidneys are at their lowest, hence those pesky middle-of-the night bathroom jaunts.

In some circles, it is an hour of prayer.

But tell me, 
where do your 4am wanderings take you?
To dark places
to great awareness
to peals of laughter?

Next time you're up, take 13 deep breaths. Whatever is waking you, harness that lung capacity first.

Find your rhythm.
See what comes in.
Then tweet me @veganvixen69

#4amWisdom

Meet me in the sky,
nd we'll share our adventures!

xxx Alise

Alise In Wonderland



Trip The Light Fantastic

It's a beautiful day!

Who has time for complications?

Not us, Babes.

Lets keep it simple.

And sexy.

How about a little mid-day getaway to your fave outdoor spot?

Bring a blanket, a date, and this dish.

A super-fast Vixen twist on a timeless Lebanese delight, bright and gorgeous, full of nutrients (and that ever-elusive vegan protein,) and, of course, lightened for bloat-free, easy digestion, which makes a behind-the-oak-tree tryst sooo much more fun...

Come on!

Tantalizing Tabouleh

Serves two.

  • 1 organic cucumber (skin on!), chopped
  • 1 organic zucchini, peeled and chopped
  • 1 pt organic cherry or grape tomatoes
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 lemon
  • 1/4-1/2 C organic hemp seeds
  • 1/2 C flat parsley, chopped
  • Celtic salt
  • Pepper

Toss your veggies in a large bowl. Juice the lemon into the mix. (I like to squeeze it through my hand, catching the pits, but still feeling the juice run down my fingers...)

Add in the garlic, salt, pepper, and hemp seeds.

Toss. Get dressed. Go.

No, dude, these seeds won't get you stupid high, but the quality of protein will send you flying.

Raw power.

Plant power.

It gets us where we need to be.

Vibrant Lovers, 

let's just spin,

and whirl...

I love you.

xxx Alise

 

C'est Parfait!

Well, hello there!

You caught me in the act.

Not that act, Dirty Things. That was earlier.

*ahem*

I was just in the middle of obsessively checking the L.A. apartment listings, as I do on a daily basis. It has become a favorite pastime.

Only those bedecked with balconies will do. 

And a courtyard.

And a pool.

Mind you, I don’t even swim in pools. I avoid chlorine like the plague.

But I love to lounge beside them.

See the redhead in the Bond-girl bikini, oversized hat, and a pitcher of homemade sangria, blissfully doing nothing? That would be me.

And so, I day dream about my balcony.

(For the record, I’m not delusional.  I’m creating my future space.)

I imagine low benches covered in Turkish cushions and plush pillows. Palm trees in Moroccan pots being delicately tickled by the breeze. Colorful glass lanterns reflecting cosmic light. Homemade incense spiraling upwards to the stars, releasing whispered plans...

A nest worthy of a great dragon. One with exotic tastes.

And I must have sunflowers. They remind me of Spain.

(Your ladyfriend here was up at 3am maniacally scanning the internet for "drought resistant sunflower container garden care." After an hour of sleepyhead searching, I'm still not sure it exists. But if it does, I'm gonna find it.)

Sunflowers. 

Giant happy faces I just want to kiss.

I want them surrounding me, in terra cotta pots.

Releasing their darling seeds to the ground in a sweet exhale of abundance.

And what a superfood!

I sang the praises of sunflower seeds recently, and have been playing with them quite a bit as a source of nutrition and a pleasurable nut-free alternative to vegan sauces. I'm so glad you all loved my Sunshine Noodles!

I've conjured up a new delight for you: a creamy vegan yogurt with delicate flavors, layered with a fruit pureé and lightly touched with a sensual surprise...

C'est Parfait

This recipe easily makes 6 servings, and keeps three days in the refrigerator.

For the Yogurt:

  • 1 C raw cashews
  • 1/2 C raw sunflower seeds
  • 2 C coconut water
  • 1 tsp white miso paste
  • 3-6 drops Wild Orange essential oil
  • 1/2 C pitted organic dates
  • 1 Tbsp ground organic cinnamon
  • Stevia, to taste (optional)

For the Fruit Pureé:

  • 1 C frozen or fresh organic mango flesh
  • 1 tsp raw coconut nectar, or stevia to taste
  • 1 Tbsp orange flower water

Begin, my Loves, by creating the yogurt. Grind the cashews and the sunflower seeds into a fine powder, using a coffee grinder, food processor, or NutriBullet blender. The trick is to get it to a powdery texture. (My food processor is on its way out, so mine was kind of on the crumbly side. It still tastes out of this world, but I would have liked an ultra-smooth texture.) Once you have it super fine, transfer it to a high-speed blender, an add in one cup of the coconut water. Blend it until you get a thick mixture. Now add in the remaining cup of coconut water, the dates, miso, and cinnamon. Blend it on high until it looks creamy and well mingled. 

Taste it. The dates should make it sweet enough, but add some stevia if you like. You could start with, say, 1 tsp powdered stevia or 1 dropper of liquid, and go from there. Either way, you're on a low glycemic, healthy sweet, so enjoy it!

Now add the Wild Orange for that extra touch of magic, stir, cover it with a cloth, and let it rest on the counter top for 3 hours. I know you're saying, "Whaaat? Miso! In yogurt? Gross!" but, Beasties, trust me, you don't taste it at all. It's there to allow the yogurt to culture. Just relax and let it do its thing.

I know miso can be pricey, but if you are willing, it actually has many uses, from delicious soups onward, and it keeps quite a while in the fridge, so you don't have to panic about using it all at once. Adding fermented foods to your repertoire is brilliant for your belly, because they provide the body with probiotics aka beneficial bacteria. These bacteria, when ingested, populate the intestinal tract and begin to interact with the body in a good way by training the immune system, manufacturing vitamins and keeping scheming, opportunistic bacteria away from your precious self. So it's not just me telling you to eat bizarre things. There is a point to all this.

Plus, I'll have a wildly sexy recipe for you in the next couple of weeks using that same white miso, so stay close...

On to the Fruit Pureé: Just blend the three ingredients together. That's it! If you're using frozen fruit, let it thaw first, otherwise the icy goodness will get way too melty way too quickly, and your Parfait will be a slurpy mess. 

When the yogurt is finished its divine transformation, check the consistency. It should be thick and creamy, but, if you find it too watery somehow, just cover it in cheesecloth, rubber band the top, turn it upside down into a bowl, and stick it in the refrigerator for about an hour. This will drain any extra liquids.

Find a gorgeous glass and layer the lusciousness. Mmmm!

This is a basic blend that works really well, but don't stop here! Use this recipe as a template for exploring all kinds of flavors: Try a spiced vanilla version, add Lemon or Lime oil in place of the Wild Orange, play with cacao, different fruit blends, anything that excites you!

You have a fabulous treat here. It's both light and filling, easy to digest, energy-boosting, beautifying, and crazy delicious. The orange flower water really puts it over the top, with a depth of sensuality that must be experienced. 

I haven't toyed will a seed-only version yet, but if you are allergic to nuts, by all means, give it a whirl around the dance floor. Use your creativity, and your inner Kitchen Witch will meet you there. Promise.

Now, won't you join me on my balcony?

It's warm

and fragrant,

and there's a very good chance I'm not wearing anything.

*wink*

Tell me what YOU daydream about.

I can't wait to hear.

xxx Alise

Alise In Wonderland



Rockstar Ingredients: Salt

Salt?!

You heard me.

But none of that iodized, processed, table salt crap.

I'm talking about the real thing.

Rich mineral secrets from deep inside the belly of the mountains

and the precious sea nymph gems that crystalize upon the shores...

clockwise from left: celtic salt, salish, himalayan pink.

clockwise from left: celtic salt, salish, himalayan pink.

We've been conditioned into a strange relationship with salt.

We fear it, and we crave it.

Why? Because we know full well that table salt is a mess. The processing strips it of its inherent nutrients, and puts additives in their place. Toxins like fluoride, anti-caking agents, and potassium iodide creep in, while bleaching ensures a pristine looking product. In some cases, aluminum derivatives are added, which cause a multitude of health issues, including...are you ready for this? Alzheimer's. Whaa? And we're putting this stuff in our precious bodies?! That added to the fact that too much salt causes high blood pressure, inflammation (literally the building block of poor health and disease), water retention or dehydration (depending on other factors present), hypertension, kidney stones, osteoporosis, and even increases risk of stomach cancer. You gotta be effing kidding me.

On the other paw, pure salt earns rockstar status by supplying much needed essential trace minerals to the body, and in doing so alkalizes, boots immunity, fights disease and depression (by preserving hormones which help us to deal with stress), and eases a variety of skin conditions while detoxifying via a salt bath. 

Oh, and it tastes delicious, of course. The trick is using pure salt sparingly, like the priceless jewels of the Earth that they are. You wouldn't just throw zillions of tiny diamonds around carelessly, now would you?

It's still confusing, I know.

So, the question begs, when and how to salt? 

Salt binds to large molecules, like proteins, in food. So it's there, but you don't taste it. That creates hidden salt. We don't want that. And the larger the molecule, the less you will taste it. Now, you do need some salt during the cooking process, because it engages the action, and is necessary for things like browning, carmelization, for interaction in baking, and to generate what are known as Maillard reactions: a chemical reaction between amino acids and reducing sugars which give cooked foods their flavor. The idea then, my savory Darlings,  is to salt minimally during the cooking process, and sprinkle it on just before serving. That way you get the full flavor of these gorgeous crystals without going overboard. 

The sexiest salts around? The Magic Three.

1. Celtic Salt - Hands down my all-time fave. You know how often I specify it in my recipes, and here's why: 

Long used in ritual for purification, protection, and grounding, its flavor is as powerful as its magic. 

Celtic salt is harvested off the coast of France by hand, in the traditional methods of the ancient Celts, by using the sun, the wind and shallow clay ionizing ponds, a method passed down through the ages. That alone connects us to its magic. Because it is unrefined, Celtic salt contains all 92 trace minerals needed for the body to function at its best. 

Naturally moist and lunar pale grey, Celtic salt makes the purrfect body scrub all on its own, but is positively heaven-sent when mixed with coconut or avocado oil, and anointed with your fave essential oils. (Hit the Main Menu button on the link page to shop.)

A must-have beauty and nutritional powerhouse.

Celtic salt ready for harvest.

Celtic salt ready for harvest.

2. Himalayan Pink Salt

Mined 5,000 feet deep below the Himalayan mountain range, Himalayan pink salt was subject to enormous pressure over millions of years and is over 99% pure. The higher the amount of pressure, the more superior or excellent the state of order within the crystalline structure of the salt. 

Many Himalayan salts are sold cheaply but are collected from higher up near the tops of the Himalayan Mountains instead of from the deeper mines. These salts contain more impurities, do not have the same structure and are not as easily assimilated into the body.

Himalayan salt contains 84 minerals and trace elements in ionic state and is a delightful pink color. People often state that they use less of this salt than of other types. 

And then there are the lamps, charged with happy negative ions which purify the air and promote a rested, rejuvenated state of calm. Like being in a sexy salt spa cave.

let's have a date, here.

let's have a date, here.

3. Smoked Salt

Also known as salish, smoked salt makes it into my sacred circle for its amazingly intense charcoaled flavor. This is a secret weapon of an ingredient if ever there were one. Deep and earthy, salish is created by slowly smoking the salt over wood, usually Alder.

And what is Alder? One of the Sacred Celtic Trees, my Beasties. Known as The King of The Waters (the Willow being its Queen,) the Alder grows in the faerie realm, where land and waters meet. 

This sacrosanct tree attracts powers of self protection, divination, healing, and all things connected to the element of Water. 

Keep that in mind as you're lightly sprinkling salish onto your latest culinary creation.

the king of the waters.

the king of the waters.

I'll leave you now with two words:

Salt. lick.

xxx Alise



Badass Babes And What They Wore

It's mid-February in the mountains of upstate New York.

yes, its pretty, but...

yes, its pretty, but...

I don't wanna talk about the weather anymore.

Don't give me snowfall amounts,

or negative zero temperatures,

and don't make me feel gray.

Let's play a game instead.

I daydream,

and I only want to know one thing:

(drumroll please...!)

"WHO ARE YOUR TOP THREE, ALL-TIME FAVORITE STYLE ICONS?"

C'mon, 

before you retreat to yet another Netflix binge

and start feeling pissy,

change up the energy

get into a lighter spirit.

PLAY. WITH. ME.

Now, who are they?

I'll show you mine.

They all have one thing in common.

Pure, unbridled sensuality...

1. Anita Pallenberg

classic anita.

classic anita.

Anita could make a piano shawl into the sexiest thing ever. image by the beautiful michael cooper (rip.)

Anita could make a piano shawl into the sexiest thing ever. image by the beautiful michael cooper (rip.)

Actress, model, and muse, Anita strutted her oft-imitated, but never rivaled sense of style throughout 1960's Europe, inspiring artists, designers and rock stars everywhere she went, setting the standard around the world for Boho chic which still prevails...everywhere.  Though she could rock wide-leg velvet trousers better than anyone on the planet, classic Anita, to me, is all tunic minidress, bare legs, brimmed hats, draped scarves, and furry coats. (I'm sure back in the day they were real, but we'll forgive. It was ages ago.) Add that to her Witchy Woman status, and the fact that to this day people are still trying to imitate her (hellooo Kate Moss, Sienna Miller, Nicole Richie, anyone who ever went to Coachella, etc.,) she's my most beloved. Vixen Fact: I named my first black cat after her.

2. Uschi Obermaier

feral, come-hither  uschi.

feral, come-hither  uschi.

Though not many know of her, the "Bavarian Bombshell" was no slouch in the trend-setting department either. Uschi was a model, political activist, and (somewhat reluctant) actress, turning down a lucrative 10-film contract with Carlo Ponti, which would have secured her place as an international movie star, because...she wanted to travel the world with her boyfriend. Signing on the dotted line simply would have cramped her considerable style, and this one could not be tamed. Uschi favored nomadic tribal jewelry, saris, sexy boots, and plenty of bare flesh. I adore her.

3. Brigitte Bardot

can i please have that dress?

can i please have that dress?

Last, but never, ever least...who doesn't love Bébe? Don't we all just swoon over her early looks: nippped-waist-full-skirted numbers, the gingham, the sleek pencil dresses? And then there are the Paco Rabanne minis, the adorable coats, the Gainsbourg-era thigh-high boots...

Of all her gorgeous looks, the one above defines Brigitte at her core: unabashedly feminine, with a wild side. Eyelet layers and slept-on hair. Artfully smudged eyeliner with a ballerina's easy grace.

I just love these ladies. I really do. I want to, right now, fly to the south of France and fight for animal rights alongside BB, make jewelry in Topanga Canyon with Uschi, and hop across the pond so Anita can show me around her closet, and we can laugh about modern fashion (or lack thereof) together.

Who inspires your style?

Tell me.

I've got nowhere to go.

'Cause it's snowing.

Again.

xxx Alise

Alise In Wonderland


Tea For The Temptress

Shall I tease you,

on this freeee-zing Winter day,

with thoughts of a mouthwateringly satisfying repast?

Delicate aromas, piquant flavors mingling

just waiting for you

as you come in from the cold

snow on your boots

your nose red

your pretty face licked by a chill wind...

A Lyonnaise bouchon, soul sister to both  the bistro and the café

A Lyonnaise bouchon, soul sister to both  the bistro and the café

These blustery Winter days always make me think of bustling about 

through the streets, 

busy people making their way indoors

to a hot and succulent supper.

Delightful steam coming from a stew, a tangine, a pottage, a cassoulet.

In the cities. 

and in the countyside

You, my busy Darlings,

popping into a tiny nook

to shake off the cold

warm up your soul

chat with friends 

smile at strangers,

raising your glass to the end of another day,

and the promise of a cozy evening.

My favorite haunts: Figaro BISTROT, Los angeles, and  CAFÉ REGGIO, NYC (below)

My favorite haunts: Figaro BISTROT, Los angeles, and CAFÉ REGGIO, NYC (below)

The bistro was born in the basement kitchens of Parisian boarding houses as a way for the owners to supplement income by opening up their hearth to the public, serving simple, usually slow-cooked dishes with wine and coffee. Over time, these became the classic small restaurants we adore for their modest prices, wonderful food, and enchanting atmosphere. I find the true bistro to be a close cousin to the café, though technically the latter began as more of a coffee house.

And though we associate them with major cities, these tiny gems are of course found in villages everywhere around the globe, serving regional fare and local charm. You can count on it. And that's such a beautiful thing.

Of course, it's difficult to maneuver menus anywhere,

so today, as I make my way home,

I think of how inviting it would be to slide into 

an old oak banquette

and savor a dish like this one

with all the charm of the old world

but none of the unhealthy ingredients.

I've conjured up something very special for you.

The secret here, Loves,

lies in the tea leaves...

Wild Rice Tease

Serves two.

  • 4 oz. organic wild rice
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped finely
  • 8 oz. organic button mushrooms, sliced
  • 3 sprigs thyme
  • 2 sprigs rosemary
  • 3/4 C dry red wine 
  • 1 tsp vegan butter (olive oil/flax)
  • 1 tbsp loose tea
  • Celtic salt
  • Olive oil, organic and first cold pressed if possible

Begin casting your spell by preparing a cup of loose tea. Oui!

I've used a chocolate pu-erh here, for it's rich, earthy flavor and supreme health benefits. Pu-erh has been honored in Chinese medicine for centuries as it is considered to open the meridians, 'warm the middle burner' (the spleen and stomach) and be beneficial to 'blood cleansing' and digestion. For these reasons, it is often consumed after heavy meals or sipped as a hangover cure/preventative.

A good-quality pu-erh will have an earthy, mushroomy flavor, hence my choice here. (You can find them in most tea shops, and in health food stores - Numi makes a nice one.) Of course, you can use any tea you love that compliments the flavor of whatever you're making, so experiment! Earl Grey or jasmine (the flowers, not a green tea blend) would work well here too.

So, 1 Tbsp loose chocolate pu-erh per cup of boiling water. Steep in for three minutes max. You definitely don't want any bitterness in the dish. 

Now pour the prepared tea into a saucepan, and add the wild rice. Bring it to a boil, then cover and simmer for 30-40 minutes when the rice is tender but chewy.

While that little number is bubbling away, spiral a little olive oil into a gently heated sauté pan. When you can feel the heat with your hand just above, add in the garlic, and allow it to sizzle and release its scent for about three minutes, until it turns translucent. With your fingers, loosen the fresh herbs from their stems and into the pan. Give it all a little stir. Let the flavors and scent mingle for a few minutes, then add in a dollop of vegan butter (about 1 Tbsp-ish), allow it to melt in, then add your mushrooms. Here's where it all gets kind of gorgeous: Fold the mushrooms into all of it, coating them and making the whole thing come alive. Splash in the red wine, stir, and let it cook ever so gently for a while. Cover it to keep the jucy-ness inside. 

When the rice is finished, introduce it to the mushroom mixture. Give it all a great tumble, and taste. Here is where you'll need a bit of Celtic salt, some pepper, and very likely a bit more wine. Stir, let it simmer a few more minutes, then taste it again. You should be there just about now.

Enjoy this with a few roasted brussels sprouts, and of course a green salad first. I like a mix of mild winter greens with apple cider vinegar, olive oil, and maybe a handful of dried cranberries and slivered almonds...

And, of course, keep that bottle of red going. *wink*

Keep playing with the tea-infused grains, my little Nibbles. I really think you'll have fun with it. Let your instincts guide you. 

Oh, and as for those tea leaves,

yes, I do read them.

And your future looks...

AMAZING.

Stay warm and well, Darlings!

I love you,

xxx Alise

Six Of Wands

This morning felt different.

Last night, you see, I lay down

beneath the stars,

yet under the weather.

The Wolf Moon still caressing me 

in her protective cloak of light

as I fought whatever was coming over me.

I am a fierce warrior against "sick."

I do not tolerate it.

So, I succumbed to early rest

determined.

And, indeed, awoke to sun streaming in

bright and bold

throat sore as velvet worn down to threads,

but refusing to take it lying down,

so to speak.

I pulled a card.

The Six of Wands.

Hell yes.

Victory was at hand.

but not just for my weakened body,

usually so vibrant and strong,

but also for my creative plans.

Public recognition for hard work.

And just then I heard from my favorite co-conspirator, VK-Red, who was feeling it too. Her photos, always beautiful, had seriously been touched by faerie dust lately, and it hadn't gone unnoticed. I was reminded of a dish she told me she had made recently, but wondered about how to make it vegan. And I got to thinking about all of our lives being sprinkled with faerie dust, touched by magic wands, for all the world to see...

And I got to work.

Ta-da! I give you, Shiny Ones, a most delectable and savory nibble, light and crispy, coated in nutrients to carry you on your way...to SUCCESS!!!

And fabulous to serve to guests, by the way.

Magic Wands

  • 4 organic zucchini (courgettes)
  • 1.5 C nutritional yeast
  • 1 Tbsp organic flat parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp organic rosemary, finely chopped
  • 1/2 tsp organic thyme, crumbled
  • Unrefined, organic coconut oil
  • Ground pepper
  • Celtic salt

Dijon Sauce

  • 3 Tbsp dijon mustard
  • 2 Tbsp raw coconut nectar
  • 3 drops lemon essential oil
  • Cayenne pepper, ground

Preheat your oven to 350F.

Lightly drizzle olive oil onto two baking sheets, then set aside. Pour about 1/2 cup of melted coconut oil into a small bowl.

On a flat plate, combine the nutritional yeast and herbs with a good Pinch-n-Grind of Celtic salt and fresh ground pepper. Swirl it all around with your fingers, whispering a few magic words.

Trim the ends from the zucchini, then slice them in half, lengthwise. Take each half, seeded side down, and slice into thin wands. Not too thin - you don't want them to cook too quickly.

Now dip you fingers in the oil and coat the first wand. You can use a pastry brush, but why? It's sooo sensual to use your fingers, and great for your skin besides. Immediately dredge the oiled wand (ok, you know I can't help myself with the double entendres) in the "breading" mixture. Place it on the baking sheet, and keep going. When they are all coated and pretty, pop them into your preheated oven.

Bake until tender, about 20 minutes, or so. Don't let them get too soft. After all, who likes a limp zucchini?

*ahem*

While they're getting golden, whisk together the Dijon Sauce ingredients.

When the wands are done, transfer them to the broiler for about three minutes, to brown them up. Ovens differ, so keep an eye on yours. You don't want to burn these babies.

And there you have it.

Packed with protein, B vitamins, beauty fats, and low in calories, these not only make a fetching party food, but become a warm and wonderful supper on a frigid night, paired with a voluptuous dark green salad, and perhaps a sauvignon blanc?

Ride with me now,

on my white horse,

and be confident,

for the Cosmos are cheering you on,

and so am I.

My Darlings.

You are the very best.

xxx Alise