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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You Give Me Fever

Driving through the winding roads this morning

I rode a sharp turn

and beheld a most mystical sight:

White, flickering clouds

that danced the mountaintop

breathtaking in their undulations

like fierce flames

yet not foreboding,

not a warning to heed

but rather an invitation

like veils dancing in the wind

a reminder

stirring the awakening fires

"Time for action, " they whispered.

I wish I had captured it,

but like all magic,

it wasn't meant to be held.

Yes, my Beasties,

Spring has sprung.

Have we?

I want to give you a sexy gift.

A rising volcano inside,

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

under Winter's white cloak.

The passion is ignited,

the candle lit.

Feed your fire...

Chai Love You Cakes

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

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

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

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

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

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

Spring has got your back,

and so do I.

xxx Alise

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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



The Moon, The Goat, and The Flowers

Happy Chinese New Year!

The Year of The Goat. 

Fantastic.

My beloved friend, Mario, not really digging the idea of leaving his house this Winter. I hear ya, baby.

My beloved friend, Mario, not really digging the idea of leaving his house this Winter. I hear ya, baby.

The story goes that Buddha invited all animals to join him on the Lunar New Year, but only twelve showed. Can you imagine? I can only guess that they were off doing very amazing things to miss such an auspicious gathering. So he named a year for every animal present, bestowing the characteristics of that animal, with its corresponding element, on each year. 

2015 comes sweeping in as the Year of The Wood Goat (also Sheep and Ram), and with it the promise of positive emotions and steamy erotic encounters. Mmmmm! 

We can also look forward to a peaceful home environment, a more laid-back vibe between people around us, and...are you ready?

Soaring,

Sparkling,

Enchanted

CREATIVITY!

No matter what art form you choose, if it comes from down deep and makes your butterfly heart sing, it's got Lunar-powered success written all over it.

See? It's happening! GO. FOR. IT. RIGHT. NOW. 

Well, ok, so he ventures out to see little ol' me... I LOVE this guy.

Well, ok, so he ventures out to see little ol' me... I LOVE this guy.

As Chinese New Year celebrates wealth, longevity, and happiness, my offering to you, sweet Horned Ones, are delicate, tasty blossoms, filled with love and life, just bursting open with symbolic traditional talismans, and adorned with petals of magical significance...

This vibrant and very pretty dish can be eaten as an appetizer for a party, or as a full meal for two - with a raw salad first, of course, for easy digestion and maximum health and beauty benefits. 

It begins with a dark and delightful black rice. 

Black foods in the ancient Daoist tradition contained the most amount of Jing, or life-force, so whenever possible choose them over their pale counterparts. (It's all about the Jing, Lovers. Trust me on this.) It is said that rice carries the magical gift of wealth, and if, when cooking it, a ring forms around the edge of the pot, the owner will become rich! A purrfectly logical reason to fire that cauldron wayyy up...

Adding fortune's fire to our ritual concocting here are sesame seed, cabbage, ginger, and lettuce. (Lettuce is also always included in Chinese New Year celebrations for prosperity and a fresh start.)

And how about a bit of garlic for good health? Orange and lime for love?

You got it.

Prosperity Flowers

Makes 13 Flowers

  • 4 oz. black or wild rice, organic
  • 1-1/4 C pure water
  • 1 Tbsp raw organic coconut oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1/2 organic red pepper, chopped
  • 1-1/2 C. organic red cabbage, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp organic ground ginger, or 1/4" piece fresh grated
  • 2 Tbsp organic Nama Shoyu (a healthier version of soy sauce, found in health food stores)
  • 1/2 C cilantro, chopped
  • 2 sprigs mint, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp toasted sesame seeds
  • 3 drops Lime essential oil
  • 3 drops Wild Orange essential oil

For the Sauce

  • 3/4 C organic Nama Shoyu
  • 2 Tbsp raw coconut nectar
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 drop Lime essential oil
  • 1 drop Wild Orange essential oil

This dish comes together easily, so light and energizing, but don't mistake that for fluffiness in the power department. That holds true for all plant foods, especially when they're raw. So, light your candle, set your intention, and let the energy build...

Boil the water in a small saucepan, then add in the rice. Return it to a boil (remember that "ring around the pot!") , then reduce the heat to a simmer. Cover it, and let it cook for 20-30 minutes, until all the liquid is absorbed. 

While the rice is coming into it's own, fire up a large pot slowly, adding in the coconut oil when it's hot, and letting it quietly melt. In goes the chopped garlic, sizzling gently until just translucent and madly fragrant.

There's something indescribably rich about the scent of garlic warming in coconut oil. It's absolutely mouth-watering.

Sprinkle the ginger on top of the garlic, give it a stir, and let it mingle a few minutes. Then add in the cabbage and peppers. Move it all around. Splash in some Shoyu sauce, and give it one more good stir.

While the vegetables cook, whip up your sauce. Whisk together the shoyu and coconut nectar until they are blended. Add in the garlic, red pepper flakes, and oils. Whisk it again, then set it aside. (By the time you're ready to plate, the flavors will be mingled.)

Oh, and toast the sesame seeds. Just warm them in a little pan on the stove until they brown and smell outrageously nutty. Try not to burn them.

When the veggies are cooked to your desired tenderness, remove the pot from the flame. Let it cool somewhat. You want the mixture to be warm going into the lettuce flowers, not hot. Toss in the fresh cilantro and mint (more love and money!), and, finally, the oils. 

Spoon it into the lettuce flowers, and arrange them beautifully on a plate with the sauce. Sprinkle the sesame seeds around like little wishes...

These are so flavorful, fresh-tasting, and yummy you'll want to make them all the time!

To you, Beloved Beasties,

I wish a most energizing New Moon, 

and a Lunar year filled with everything your heart desires.

And goats.

Goats are fabulous.

 

All My Love To You,

xxx Alise

 

 

 

Tipping the (Red) Velvet

Perhaps you've heard the expression, "Tipping the velvet..."

Those naughty Victorians.

They came up with it.

Repression being the mother of invention, I suppose.

It really does conjure up an image of something wonderfully sensual.

"What is it?" you ask?

I'll let this vintage illustration provide the answer...

Mmm-hmm.

And this was the least explicit depiction I could find for you,

but certainly not the most beguiling.

She really doesn't look so enthralled,

but I'll say that's quite a way to embrace your...art.

*ahem*

Which brings us 'round to Venus' Day.

I couldn't think of anything possibly cheekier for you, my Dirty Things

than a Red Velvet Tart,

in honor of the day, and night

so full of sexual rapture...

CLOTHING? OPTIONAL. SIREN SHOES? MANDATORY.

CLOTHING? OPTIONAL. SIREN SHOES? MANDATORY.

Isn't it pretty? Wait 'til you taste...

Isn't it pretty? Wait 'til you taste...

Tipping The Red Velvet Tart

Makes two tarts. Feel free to double the recipe.

For the Crust:

  • 1-1/2 C raw almonds, soaked for 2 hours, drained and rinsed
  • 1/4 C coconut or avocado oil
  • 1 Tbsp raw coconut nectar

For the Red Velvet Filling:

  • 1 large super-ripe avocado
  • 1/4 C raw, unsweetened cacao powder
  • 1/4 C full-fat coconut milk
  • 1 tsp Madagascar vanilla powder or extract
  • 4 Tbsp pure maple syrup
  • 1 Tbsp beet powder or crystals
  • 1 tsp organic pure chocolate extract

For the Adornment:

  • 1 pt fresh organic raspberries

Lovers, this is almost too easy. You have to gather a few oddball ingredients, like the beet powder and the chocolate extract, but it is sooo worth it. This tart is seduction in its purest form: lush, rich, decadent and deep chocolate, ripe, lusty raspberries, positively tingling with beauty fats, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. Guilt? Never heard of it. 

Pure pleasure. Our kind of night.

You will find the beet powder or crystals in your fave health food store. It's pricey, but can be used to your advantage in shake elixirs for a naturally sweet flavor, a gorgeous color, and all the myriad health benefits of beets, such as fighting inflammation (the root of all ills), detoxification (awesome for your belly and skin), and boosting your stamina, to name a few. I especially like them paired with strawberries and a little vanilla.

You can, of course, swap the maple syrup for stevia or raw coconut nectar if you have candida, diabetes, or an intense sugar sensitivity. But if you can, use the maple. Paired with chocolate, it's nothing short of a religious experience.

I don't love a ton of crust, and this recipe makes a good amount of it, so my advice would be to just create a thin layer in each tart pan, which will give you four crusts. Pop two in the freezer for future dessert ecstasy. I promise you I have much in store for you, my Darlings.

But for now, it's time to begin our love ritual...

Start with music. Anything that makes you feel slinky.

Place a red candle inside a beautiful bowl or tray, adding herbs, flowers, stones, lingerie...whatever feels good to you and conjures up visions of sensuality, love, and feverish erotic encounters, should you so desire. Create your altar. Some suggestions? Sprinkle rose petals, jasmine flowers, carefully place a vanilla bean, a rose quartz (to open the heart to receiving love), a rhodocrosite (for loving ourselves), and perhaps a saucy little personal item to add extra sizzle.

Visualize, feel, breathe deeply, lower your shoulders and hold your head high. Invite Aphrodite and Inanna into your sacred space. Keep going. Are you there? Whisper your your prayers, light the candle, and get ready to channel your Kitchen Witch super-powers.

So, first pulse your almonds in a food processor or high-speed blender until it becomes fine and crumbly. Add in the coconut nectar, and the oil, and give it another blast. (Either oil is purrfect, it just depends on your taste preference. If you don't love coconut with your chocolate, then use the avocado oil, it will simply taste buttery.)

Spoon out a heaping tablespoon for each tart pan, and press around with your fingers to get an even layer on the bottom and up the sides. Set them in the fridge while you make the filling.

Ohhh...the filling. Wait for it.

Cream the avocado in a high speed blender until it is very, very smooth. Now add in the rest of the ingredients, blend well, and...you're done. It's that easy. But don't let its simplicity veil you: this is powerful stuff. Avocados are ruled by Venus, and have long been revered for their beauty and love magick. And chocolate, no less. The manifestation of edible elemental fire so key in giving and receiving love.

Go ahead, give it a little lick. *ahem*

Spoon the filling into the tart shells. Arrange the raspberries in a circular pattern, even more of a Venusian love charge for adding the last touch of sparkle, like jewelry, to your spell. And don't forget to give thanks to your cosmic cohorts and fruits of the Earth.

Leave them in the fridge until you're ready to serve and devour. I cannot promise that you won't end up on the floor, writhing in ecstacy...

Oh, you deserve this one...

Savour it.

xxx Alise

 

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

 

 

 

Joyeux Nöel!

The Three of Cups.

Celebration.

Gatherings.

The sheer joy of being amongst your tribe,

the ones you choose.

There is a breathtaking mountain that sits directly on the border of France and Italy, majestic and snow-covered, proudly bearing the the highest peak of the Alps.

Known as The White Lady, it has long been revered, argued over, and scaled, with a traditional holiday dessert bearing its name, Mont-Blanc.

(When in Italy, though, do refer to it as Montebianco, as the Italians actually originated this sumptuous treat.)

My gift to you this season, Beautiful Ones, is a rather lazy Mont-Blanc. For the languid hostess who prefers to wow with a simple, elegant ending to a purrfect evening.

This is incredibly rich and decadent, 

creamy as can be, 

with a depth of flavor that will stay fixed in your memory, 

lingering on your lips,

wanting it again and again...

Merry Mont-Blanc

For the Mountain:

  • 1 can unsweetened organic coconut milk, full fat
  • 1 jar unsweetened chestnut pureé
  • 1/4 C coconut sugar
  • 1 tsp bourbon or Madagascar vanilla powder
  • 1/4 C pure maple syrup, or to taste
  • 2 oz. pure cacao bar, melted
  • Ground organic cinnamon
  • Celtic salt

For the Snow:

  • 1 can organic unsweeened coconut milk, full fat, chilled
  • 1 Tbsp bourbon or madagascar vanilla powder
  • 1 Tbsp stevia powder, or to taste

This is so simple, Loves. You're gonna be amazed.

Just blend all the mousse ingredients except the chocolate together until smooth. Break up the chocolate into tiny bites over a little saucepan. (Mine is pink.) Let the chocolate melt on a low flame. There's something about the aroma of melting chocolate that just makes you weak with pleasure, no?

When it's liquid, pour it into the chestnut mixture, and blend well. Taste it. Sweet enough? If not, add a little more maple syrup. I usually only use non-glycemic sweeteners, but the cacao/maple synergy is absolutely cosmic, so treat yourself.

Now pour it all into a container, and let it chill overnight. It will thicken beautifully.

When you're nearer to serving, take the can of chilled coconut milk out of the fridge. Carefully skim the top layer of cream, and poke the spoon around deeper into the juice (ahem), as there is often more below the surface. Save the remaining coconut water for later.

With a hand mixer on high, whip the powdered stevia and vanilla into the coconut cream. That's it! Taste it for sweetness, again, and adjust if you like.

Spoon the mouse into cordial glasses, or any tiny, pretty thing you like. Top with the Snow, and serve. This mousse is so rich, you only need a few bites, really, so this recipe will serve four well, and six if you had something with it, like a cookie, or poached fruit. You can easily double or tripe the recipe.

And when you get a shudder of sensual delight,

think of me.

I'll be winking at you...

For now, Beasties,

I leave you with holly and ivy,

mistletoe and blessings,

and so much love.

I'll be raising my glass to you.

xxx Alise

 

 

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

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


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



Summer's Almost Gone

The organ swirled,

haunting,

his voice, 

filled with soft melancholy

lilted...

"Morning found us calmly unaware 

Noon burn gold into our hair 

At night, we swim the laughin' sea 

When summer's gone 

Where will we be..."***

I let go a heaving sigh,

closed my eyes

and let ocean waves

fill my soul,

saddened by the long days ending.

Autumn will come, I whispered aloud,

and it will be Magick.

Let her go. She will return.

Though the promise of Fall always brings excitement, 

a little bit of heartache always floats just beneath the surface,

and I have to remind myself of the wisdom of the Earth.

And once again I make my pact not to fight the seasons,

but to yield...

So, one last luscious Summer delight,

from me

to You,

Once more into the realm

as She of the Tarts

makes a little Queenly magic...

Sublime Lime Tarts

Makes 4 tarts, or one large 9" tart

For the crust:

  • 1 1/4 cup organic walnuts
  • 3/4 cup flax meal
  • 6 large dates, pitted and chopped
  • 1 tbsp avocado oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • pinch of salt

First, break up the walnuts with your fingers, and drop them into a food processor or high-speed blender, and grind them to a coarse meal. Add in the flax, then the remaining ingredients, and pulse until well blended.

Taste it. The flax/avocado oil/date combo gives at a brown sugary flavor and texture that is divine. You can easily substitute coconut oil if you like, but it won't have quite the same vibe. And don't fret buying a whole bottle. Avocado oil is wonderous as a for your body as a moisturizer and base for essential blends.

Place your tart pans onto a baking sheet. Now scoop spoonfuls into the tart pans, and press the crust down into each one evenly.

Pop them into the freezer.

For the filling:

  • 1-1/4 C raw cashews, soaked for at least 6 hours
  • 1 small ripe avocado
  • 1/3 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1/2 C raw coconut nectar
  • 3 packets organic stevia (optional)
  • 15-20 drops lime essential oil
  • pinch of Celtic salt
  • zest of 2 limes, for garnish

Put everything except the lime zest into your food processor or high speed blender. (Wash it out from the crust mixture first!) Pulse it until everything is creamy and kind of thick.

I add in the extra sweetener, and a lot of lime, because I like the taste of this to be really zingy, and you need the sweetness to balance it. 

Now fill the tarts, zest the lime on top, and put the tray into the freezer for at least two hours.

When you're ready to eat them, just let them defrost for about 20 minutes. Add a few lime slices for garnish, and dig in! They are SO delicious! Rocking out with so much flavor and a cool creamy texture, you'll be digging in with both hands, I promise! 

Allergic to nuts? Just substitute the walnuts in the crust for total flaxmeal, and the meat of two young coconuts for the cashews in the filling. C'est manifique!

You can totally pass these off to non-vegans, and they do make a very sexy little treat to share,

should you be so inclined...

Now go out, Lovers, 

and drink up every last bit

of wild Summer!

Dance, swim, whirl...

And next week we will plunge into witchy Autumn

together...

xxx Alise

***"Summer's Almost Gone", The Doors, from Waiting For The Sun










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

 

 

 

Bitches Brew

Announcing the first in a line of magical brews and potions,

from my altar to yours,

and I am so excited to share them with you,

my beautiful friends!

Opening the secret door,

this power couple awaits...

Bitches Brew 4oz loose tea & Bitches Blend oil.

Bitches Brew 4oz loose tea & Bitches Blend oil.

Bitches Brew is a take-no-prisoners loose blend of organic herbs and roots, berries and flowers, formulated specifically for your lunar cycle: overpowering cramps, mood swings, bloating, and general stress with Bad Girl know-how. Combining both ancient Ayuervedic and European folkloric ingredients with a hearty dash of Vixen magic, this tea is gorgeous to smell, to sip, and to be near.

She arrives in a 4oz sexy black tin...can you handle her?


What's in the beguiling bottle, you ask? None other than Bitches Blend, a sensual, soothing oil for both massaging and anoiting. Use it directly on your painful areas when monthly duress arises, in your bath, and as a magic oil for rituals of releasing, letting go, shaking off what needs to be set free...

Receive her in a  1.5oz. Egyptian hand blown colored glass bottle. 

Created by hand in small batches during appropriate lunar cycles, all Alise In Wonderland potions and brews are organic, cruelty-free, vegan, and of the highest quality.

Visit them both in my Etsy shop!

(For more tips on how to navigate your own lunar cycle click here.)

Still reveling in a Solstice whirl...

I love you.

xxx Alise

 

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The May Pole Dance

The glorious blossoming of Spring eroticism...

Could there be a better holiday?

Beltane.

The ancient festival held on May 1st, honoring sensual pleasure and the incredible creative energies of the Earth and all her creatures, is all about pleasing and praising the body.

Isn't that just the best?

With or without a lover, now is the time for honoring our gorgeous selves, and connecting with nature in the most pleasing ways...

Adorning yourself with sweet blossoms is a purrfect way to begin. 

Image by  VK-Red

Image by VK-Red

What makes you feel really sexy and alive?

How about a saucy twist on the traditional Maypole...

A pole dance class may seem intimidating, but let me tell you it is incredibly empowering...when you can flip your legs over your head, the upper body strength alone will make you feel like Catwoman.

Wanna really peel away the old selves? Try a burlesque class. Trust me. I had the time of my life with Michelle L'Amour in San Francisco a few moons ago...everyone in the class did. If you're near a major city, look up performers who teach. You will be SO glad you did. (If you happen to be in NYC this month, check out Veronica Varlow's Spellbinding Burlesque class. It's going to be sublime. I'll be there, so get some friends together and dance with us! )  If you live in a far-off magical land, browse the web for videos and online classes. And definitely  delve into Kitty Cavalier's jewel box of a website...she knows just what you need to get your goddess mojo in gear...

And don't forget your lair. This would be just the time to lust up the den. Again, it's for YOU. With whom you share it, or not, is nobody's business. Candles, flowers, incense, new sheets, a gorgeous picture book to flip through while you daydream...

And, of course, La Cucina.

Your kitchen altar would wildly appreciate some fragrant fresh herbs and flowers...she just wanted you to know...

Which reminds me.

Food is sexy.

How about a voluptuous little cake, in the traditional festival style, but without all the pointless ingredients that sap you? I want you to be glowing and impossibly beautiful, blooming with great energy, when you cast your spell...

Strawberry Oat Cakes 

  • 2 C gluten-free organic oat flour 
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp Celtic or Himalayan salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 Tbsp Madagascar or Tahitian vanilla powder
  • 20 drops liquid stevia (vanilla or almond)
  • 1/4 C organic raw coconut oil, melted
  • 1/4 C almond or coconut milk
  • 1 jar sugar free, organic, fruit-only strawberry preserves

Preheat your oven to 350F. Use a little olive oil on a paper towel to lubricate (ahem) two muffin tins.

The real flavor secret here is in the vanilla powder. I use this one:

The warm, earthy-sweet vanilla spell it casts is world's apart from a traditional extract, and so much easier than dissecting a vanilla bean. I use it everything now...shakes, power balls, coffee...mmmmm!

If you can't find the oat flour, you can buy gluten-free oats in bulk, and blast them in your food processor or blender. Just combine all the ingredients except the preserves in a large bowl, and whisk until everything is well acquainted. The mixture will be a little sticky and oaty. 

Get in with your hands, and press spoonfuls of the mixture into the bottoms of the muffin tins. Keep them even. Now top each with a dollop of the preserves. You can give it as much as you like, but try to spread the preserves in the center, as when they bake it will spread to the sides and down, depending on how much you use. I like them gooey, so I use a little extra.

Bake for about 20 minutes. I overdid mine a little, so they were a bit crumbly, but sooo good...

The vanilla cake is heavenly, and the sticky topping just begs to be licked off fingers.

Revel in your beautiful selves, My Pretties. 

Bask in the joy and sensuality of the season...

I adore you.

xxx Alise

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The Big O

An icy wet nose nuzzled my toes awake.

I was aware of 

 a panther’s tail caressing my cheek

the strong muscular arm of my co-star pulling me in close

the ruby light of bright sun through silky drapes

warm bare shoulders

my whole body was liquid with rest

all the birds fluttered, singing

it wasn’t just the crows, who bring wisdom every morning,

but I could hear everyone gathered

the percussive woodpecker rhythms

bluejays, robins, chickadees...

was I dreaming?

was it possible...that Spring was actually here?

She wasn’t just being a tease?

After all, snow was still miles high upon the ground here in the mountains, and the week ahead forecasted more coooolllllld.

And yet...

Ostara.

The ancient pagan tradition of the Vernal Equinox. 

Fertility.  Sowing seeds. Rebirth.

Time to send new creations out into the world.

Awakening after the long Winter's night.

She's stirring, inside me, and everywhere...

Ostara

I sat upright very suddenly.

All I could think was,

“I need a scone.”

Then I sat paralyzed for the next however many minutes fretting.

I didn't have the proper ingredients for a Very Important Ostara Offering. Hmmm...maybe if I race out, I can pick up some calendula flowers...if they have them...oh! maybe I should call..what if my readers are disappointed if I don't have something awesomely, purrfectly Spring-y for them...fret...fret...

Wait. I’m just going to work with what’s here.

I had to set my ritual space before anything could happen.

So I started playing Ella Fitzgerald, setting the stage for an upbeat, swingy Kitchen Witching...

but that wasn’t happening.

I switched to sultry ragas. 

Oh yes...

yesss...that’s it.

undulating all the constellations of bellydance

I began to feel intense heat, wild cosmic pattens

trance, 

sitar and tabla,

And the spices came out.

The kitchen filled with exotic heat. I began to move...I imagined I was dancing in the desert at sunset feelng the warm sand beneath my feet...

And these happened.

Sultry Spiced Scones

  • 1  C organic garbanzo flour 
  • 3/4 C tapioca flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp Baking Soda
  • 1/4 tsp Celtic salt
  • 4 Tbsp coconut oil, chilled
  • 3/4 C unwseetened almond milk
  • 1 Tbsp garam masala
  • 1 Tbsp cinnamon
  • 3-4 droppers liquid stevia
  • pinch of Spanish paprika
  • 1 C chopped apples, fresh or dried
  • 1 C chopped dates
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla

Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees. Sift the dry ingredients (minus spices) together in a large bowl. Add the spices and stir. Now cut in the chilled coconut oil with a pastry cutter or a fork until the mixture is crumbly. 

Add in the vanilla and almond milk, and stir. Drop in the dates and apples. Get in there with your hands to really mix everything together well. If it needs it, add a tablespoon or more of almond milk.

Drop rounded tablespoonfuls of dough onto a lightly olive oiled cookie sheet. You can make either six large ones or about ten small. (These are best straight from the oven, so I would go for the larger ones. You can re-heat the next day, but it's not quite as orgasmic.)

I used dried apples here, because I had fed the last of the fresh ones to my goat friend, who lives down the lane.

The scent filling the kitchen was so heady, I couldn't wait for them to cool...

I bit in.

Ohh...

The flavor at first was subtle, warm...a beautiful light, airy treasure cloaked inside a crispy shell of buttery, sensuous coconut oil.

Then the heat and the layers kick in.

And My Darlings, these are seriously heaven.

I ate a second one in sheer delight, this time with a cup of pau d’arco tea, though I wanted something vanilla-y. I haven’t been stocking much tea latley as I am working on my own brews...

(Hint, hint...more to come soon!)

So here they are: mouth-teasing delights that were born of sitar and passion.

Bake them. Devour them. Enjoy every bite.

Then, get over here and nibble on me.

xxx Alise

 

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Belle Of The Balls

Witch Balls. Crystal Balls. These are some serious balls.

But I am not at all serious right now. 

It is SO hard to write a title with the word balls in it without sounding like a giggling 12-year old.  

Forgive me. I’ve had a hell of a week.

And I know many of you have too, because you’ve told me.

I do have a little secret to share with you. It’s an energy shot just when you need it.

Yes! Energy Balls. Bliss Balls. Whatever you want to call them.

They deliver a much needed boost to both mental and physical mojo during that late-afternoon crash when you’re dyyyying for something sweet. Instead of hitting the baked goods, arm yourself with these babies.

Mind you, my darlings, these are not your average ones. Oh, I’ve done the cranberry and raisin thing. And they’re fine. But let’s elevate these to a Goddess-level, shall we?

Time for some Kitchen Witchery.

Let's create our great balls of fire with smoldering, ancient spices. How about cardamom, whose Venusian crushed seeds exude the scent love and sex, and has long been used in magic to promote both. Mmm? Sound delicious already?

Then a little nutmeg, to amp up our psychic awareness, and a dash of cloves for prosperity...and what else...hmmm...

Let's add even more amour to the mix, with beautiful apples...considered naughty way before the bible, baby. Pagan Norse priests were said to have been forbidden to eat them, due to their lustful properties.

And figs! Figs. The most sensual fruit imaginable since the beginning of life on this planet.

Alright, let's do this. 

Cardamom Fig Power Balls

  • 1 C gluten free oats
  • 1 Tbsp organic almond butter
  • 4-5 organic Turkish figs, chopped
  • 1/2 C dried organic apple, chopped
  • 1 tsp cardamom
  • Organic nutmeg, cloves, & cinnamon
  • Pure water

Pulse oats, almond butter, figs, apples, & cardamom in a food processor or high-speed blender. Add a few generous pinches of both nutmeg and cloves, then add tiny amounts of water as you continue to blend until the mixture begins to look like a dough consistency, clumping toward the center. You want it to be sticky. 

Now get in there with your hands and form little balls, all the while sending energy of love, sensuality, power, and awareness into them. 

In a small bowl, pour a bit of cinnamon. Roll the balls in there to coat.

This makes 12 bite sized treats, but you can easily double and triple the recipe, as they keep in the refrigerator for about a week, and will freeze well.

Imagine Inanna in all her sexed-out Sumarian awesomeness nibbling on what we've just created? Place them in a gorgeous bowl or goblet, and offer them to her, and all the Goddesses who guide you every single day. 

Now take your Goddess ass out into the world and show 'em who's Queen...

xxx Alise