One Last Summer Fling

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

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

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

So I reach for a sacred bowl
of earthly pleasures.

Simple. Sensual. Sublime.

Join me for one last salt water kiss?

 

Summer Lovers Salad

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

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

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

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

Swoon-worthy, indeed...

 

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

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

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

xxx Alise

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How To Choose Purrfect Produce

I know we're well into Summer,

but you've asked me for a "How To" post,

to guide you 

in choosing the sexiest fruits and vegetables out there...

My response?

Anything for you, Lovers...

So, here we are, at the top of August,

Lion(ess) fires ignited,

reveling in the sensuality of the warm, sultry air,

loving this luscious bounty of fruits and vegetables our Earth offers us...

And we know the mantra: Buy fresh, buy organic, buy local. Still, it can be a daunting task to spot the in-season best in the middle of our very busy days, even for the most aware Kitchen Witches.

Let's make it simple, shall we? 

I see it this way: choosing produce is much like choosing a mate.

We want vitality, energy, a high vibration.

I shop like a French housewife. I market nearly every day, nosing around to see what specials are in, what looks good, where the prices are, chatting with the merchants...because the pick of the day is always well priced and at it's peak, making the flavor amazing. Healthy produce is just like a healthy human: the color is good, the flesh is glowing, it's ripe and fragrant, and you smile just to behold it.

Always choose ripe produce, with at most one day of perfecting needed. Never fall for the "pick it hard and it will ripen in five days" bullshit. No way. That's the market's way of saying, 'uh, that came off the tree wayyy too soon...oops." Get it fresh. The less time between picking and popping in your gorgeous mouth, the more life force you ingest. And while, yes, some things we just love rock hard (ahem), fruit isn't one of them. You want the flesh to yield slightly when you squeeze it oh-so-gently...you know what I'm sayin'?

You'll get to know them intuitively. If they look healthy, the most likely are.

Use your senses. 

Now let's look at what our Mama has for us in beautiful Summer:

I've made these easy lists for you!  You can screenshot them, and keep handy in your phone for a quick reference. And for extra good luck, Belilli and Pedro, Guardians Of Tomatoes, will guide you along.

"We know a good-looking tomato when we see one..."

"We know a good-looking tomato when we see one..."

LATE SUMMER VEGGIES:

  • BEETS - Choose firm ones with fresh stems and slender roots. Don't bother with wilted leaved, hairy roots, or scaly tops.
  • BELL PEPPERS - Go for firm, naturally shiny ones that feel heavy for their size. No soft spots or discoloration.
  • CORN - Look for bright green husks and moist (but not slimy) silk. Peel back the husk - make sure the kernels are plump, not dry.
  • CUCUMBERS - Oh, yes...you want them firm, all the way to the tips...uniformly green and no yellow spots.
  • EGGPLANT - Stick with smaller ones that feel heavy for their size for the best flavor, with smooth, shiny skin. 
  • ENDIVE - Choose fresh, crisp leaves. No wilting or wrinkly tips.
  • GARLIC - Firm, plump heads are what you want. Steer clear of weird brown spots.
  • GREEN BEANS - Pick out the slender beans that snap rather than bend, and avoid bulging or dried pods.
  • JALAPENO PEPPERS - As with bell peppers, look for natural shine and firm flesh, without any bruises or spots. Be on the lookout for mold.
  • LETTUCES AND LEAFY GREENS - You want fresh, crisp leaves. No wilting, discoloration, or sliminess.
  • PEAS - Go for crisp, bright green pods. Leave behind any that are bulging, dried, yellow, or white.
  • RADISHES - Keep an eye out for fresh, green tops and firm, unblemished roots. Avoid cracks and soft spots.
  • SUGAR SNAP PEAS  - Look for bright green, flat, tender pods, with no discoloration or drying.
  • SUMMER SQUASH - Select smaller ones with naturally shiny, taught, unblemished skin. Put them back if they have a dull appearance or are enormous.
  • TOMATILLO - Green fruit with green husks? Yesss! Yellow fruit with brown husks? No-no!
  • TOMATOES - You want fragrant fruits, with an earthy scent at the stem, deep color, and a heaviness for their size. Don't bother with pale, waxy, hard fruits, or very soft spots.
  • YUKON GOLD POTATOES - Look for smooth, firm ones, without bruises, green spots, or sprouting.
  • ZUCCHINI - Ah, courgettes! Go for smaller ones with smooth skin with stems intact, that feel heavy for their size. No cuts or soft spots!

On the sweet side...

we'll let Belilli, Protectress of Fruit, take it from here:

SUMMER FRUITS:

  • APRICOTS - Go for bright yellow orange fruit, with no green spots or mushiness.
  • AVOCADOS - Choose deep green, almost black fruit. Stay away from the lighter green, rock hard ones - they will never ripen. Ever.
  • BLACKBERRIES - Take home deeply colored, unblemished jewels...no attached hulls, mold or stickiness, please.
  • BLUEBERRIES - Bright blue color with a frosty hue -called the "bloom" -ensures the freshest berries. Make sure they're plump! No hard, green or blemished ones!
  • CACTUS PEARS - Look for a bright, even color, with no mushy spots or wrinkles.
  • CHERRIES - The best ones are a deep, dark, color with glossy skin and green stems. Steer clear of black stems and a too-bright shade.
  • FIGS - You want soft, unblemished fruits with firm stems. Avoid bruises and wiggly stems.
  • GRAPES - Select intact bunches of rich color, with silvery coating. Leave brown stems, broken or discolored grapes behind.
  • GUAVA - Choose smooth yellow, white, or reddish fruits. Don't bother with green fruit or soft spots.
  • LEMONS - Soft, plump and brightly colored are the way to go...they'll actually feel juicy!
  • MELONS - For all varieties, look for matte skin, heaviness for their size, no soft spots, and no stems attached. Here's a watermelon trick: tap it! If it sounds hollow like a drum, it's a good one! For cantaloupe, seek a white or golden skin beneath the lacy overlay, as opposed to green, to ensure ripeness.
  • NECTARINES - Go for a mostly deep red fruit, with even coloring. Avoid pale fruit, bruises, and soft spots.
  • ORANGES - Look for bright, vibrant color...no pale, sad oranges, please. And no bruising.
  • PEACHES - Go for ones with a golden yellow undercolor, with no soft spots.
  • PEARS - A matte, smooth skin is what you're after, though "freckles" are fine - they're a totally natural thing called "russeting" that you don't have to worry about. Here's a trick: make sure the area near the stem is soft, but not mushy. And leave the rock hard pears in the bin.
  • PLUMS - Again, look for a silvery "bloom" on the skin, avoiding fruit with wrinkles or blemishes.
  • RASPBERRIES - Pick the bright, plump ones, and check the package or crate carefully for any mold, blemished berries or stickiness.
  • RHUBARB - We all love a good, firm stalk, don't we? Grab them, with good color, and leave the limp ones behind...
  • STRAWBERRIES - Choose bright red berries, and avoid any with white near the top.

Now,

are you ready?

Meet me at the farmer's market,

and we'll fondle some produce....

xxx Alise

 

 

 

Forbidden Fruit

When the moon is high,

and the air is hot,

I crave it.

Juicy,

sweet,

wet.

Scraping the mango skin with my teeth after I've gnawed its flesh

giggling when the grapefruit sprays me with sunshine

popping berries in my mouth,

and going back for more

pulling apart a dragon fruit carefully, so as not to mar the beauty of the skin

not having a care on earth that pineapple juices are running down my neck...

(if you caught sight of me,

doing any of these things

it would make you blush.)

Can you ever get enough of gorgeous fruit?

I can't.

I just want it. 

All the time.

I'll share one of my favorite secrets with you, Luscious Ones,

the easiest, most succulent, thirst-quenching summer nibble ever.

A salad ripe with gorgeous-ness inducing antioxidants, hydrating as all hell...

Wet and Wild Watermelon Salad

  • 1/2 organic watermelon 
  • 1 pt. organic blueberries
  • 1 pt. organic grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1 C. Moroccan oil cured black olives, chopped
  • 2 sprigs fresh organic mint
  • 1/4 organic parsley, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp. organic Madagascar or Bourbon vanilla
  • 2 oz. vegan smoked cashew gouda (I like Treeline nut cheeses, though more and more local varieties can be found in your health food stores.)
  • Celtic salt

Chop watermelon into small bites, then toss into a large pretty bowl. Add halved tomatoes, then blueberries. Drizzle the vinegar and vanilla over the fruit. Add in the vegan gouda. Give it a lively toss. Now add in the herbs, olives, and a pinch or two of Celt salt, toss again. Devour!

The vegan cheese is optional, but exquisitely delish. It soaks up the dressing so beautifully, and rounds out the dish to make it more filling. Plus...the smoky flavor...oh, my...yesss...!

Loves, if you can't find things in your local stores, and internet shipping is prohibitive, then bug store managers to carry products! I do it all the time. (Nicely, of course). And then, you turn your friends and family onto them, which makes it totally worthwhile for stores to carry, and everyone is happy. And eating amazing things.

I make this all the time in the summer. Even my fella can't get enough, and he's a (mostly) recovering junk food monster.

Because no one can resist the seductive power of fruit.

Don't even try.

Just succumb,

get sticky,

be juicy with me...

xxx Alise

 

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