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...

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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?

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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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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