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

Follow

 

 

 

 

 

The Dragon's Fire

"Dragons are fire made flesh."

-George R.R. Martin

Has ever a creature ignited so much fear and loathing, through the ages and across the lands, as the dragon?

World leaders aside, mind you.


The ferocious Fafnír has dwelled in the imaginations of children for centuries, depicted as a greedy, ruthless, fire-breathing slayer with nearly impenetrable skin. Quite a feather in the cap of anyone who could rid the land of such a beast.

To me, as a child, they were simply misunderstood.

Of course, there were all those tales, dark and foreboding: the terrifying Hydra who challenged Hercules, the stealth Greek drakones that served as the getaway car for the dark witch Medea, and the great Welsh Red dragon that defeats the White Saxon dragon right in front of the King (and has to have it all explained to him by Merlin...hmm...a ruler who is also an idiot...where have I heard that one recently?)
And then, there was the fierce foe in of the aged and frankly exhausted Beowulf's final battle.
But in amongst those famous stories, lesser-known legends of the beast lurked...

There are those worshipped by the ancient Chinese, who considered themselves descendants of the dragon, who, as the ruler of moving bodies of water and rainfall, had control over the weather. They were also considered the representation of the masculine yang, and held in high regard as a symbol of strength, power, and good luck for those who are worthy. This continues today, as benevolent people of high achievement are said to be "dragons."

Ah! And the lovely dragon sisters, Léana and Léas, of magickal lore. They are personal favorites of mine. Léana, with her sliver-white mane watches over your sleep, keeping nightmares at bay and replacing your fears with peaceful visions. She is never far from her sibling Léas, the Moonbeam Dragon, with her swirling silver sparkles, who can only be summoned during a Full Moon. (So don't bug her during any other phase. It's just bad manners.)

And then, last but not least for today's folkloric wanderings, there is good old Smaug. He's the greediest of all, isn't he? And pretty lazy. But, he is, nonetheless, the creation of our beloved J.R.R. Tolkien, and is therefore a delight to read about.  

I always knew wild creature spirits watched over me as a child. They still do. For it is said that a dragon will perch on your shoulder to protect you...if you are willing.

Loves, with Spring so newly upon us, you may be wondering where, exactly, your own inner dragon fire is lurking.

The Sun goes into Aries, the season shifts, and you figure you're going to be shot out like a cannon into your next creative adventure, yes? 

But these first few weeks of warmer weather and the long-awaited appearance of the elusive sunshine tend to make you feel a bit day-dreamy. "Yeah, I should really get to blah, blah, and blah...but...I think I'll just go sit beneath a tree, and..."  

Time to take long walks and deep breaths.

Read.

Listen.

And get ready.

Because the moment will seize you fast and hard, the momentum gathering you along with it, hair flying and heels dropping below you, as Spring begins to move you forward and upward in its whirlwind of new energies. And it's right around the next corner.

To lend a dainty faerie hand, my Beloveds, is this impossibly pretty elixir I've crafted just for you, to ignite the creative fires stirring deep within, just aching to be released.

But don't be fooled by its beauty, it possesses a the power worthy of its namesake.

The dragonfruit is a gorgeous, tropical little creature that I must introduce you to. I first became acquainted with this one a couple of years ago on a balcony in Los Angeles, on a woozy afternoon that had followed an 18-hour film shoot. I woke up, wandered down to the farmer's market, hungry and feeling more than a bit surreal. I met these strange and fascinating fruits, and was completely bewitched by them. The name, first of all. I knew they would be intense. And whole, they actually look like cute little fishys doing weightless aquatic dances:

You can see why I fell in love. I took two back to where I was staying, opened them, settled into a deck chair, and experienced their magick. I dug in with a spoon to discover a flesh creamy and sweet, a bit like a nearly overripe pear, with an ever-so-slight slight tartness, and dotted with elegant black seeds of pure life force. Sunbathing that afternoon, I felt the fire reawaken. I was tired, yes, but filled with energies beyond the physical world. And I've worshipped these babies since.

Dragonfruit, or pitaya, is indeed a superfood, which always equates with beautyfood. It wields active antioxidants, anti-inflammatory properties, heaps of vitamin C, coveted B vitamins, fiber,  and immune boosters. Topically, a dragonfruit face masque will tighten and revive dull skin, giving you a radiant celestial glow. You can even apply it to your scalp, to keep hair smooth and healthy! 

I've added strawberries to the potion to conjure up a little Venusian love magick, and pomegranate for an extra shot of fire, all to fuel the fertility of your creations! The almonds combined with the liquids make for a fresher, creamier almond milk than the kind you buy...with the added touch of vitamin E for stunning skin and hair. Enjoy, Lovely Ones!

The Dragon's Elixir

1 whole Dragonfruit, flesh only
1/2 C pomegranate juice, unsweetened
1/2 C spring water
1/2 C fresh organic strawberries
1/4 C raw organic almonds
1 packet or dropper organic stevia, or to taste
Garnish with organic goji berries

Blend all these delights together in high-speed device (I always recommend a NutriBullet...it pulverizes everything.) Pour into a sexy cocktail glass and sip, drinking in all the energizing and beautifying energies it offers. 

I would concoct this potion, Beasties, during a Waxing Moon, when you need that push forward, and even nearest a Full Moon for an extra shot of manifesting prowess.

Happy Spring!

xxx Alise

 

 

 

 

 

The Spiral Staircase

When I stepped outside this morning, 

I looked up at the frosted glass sky

and something caught my eye

I thought it was a bird, but

it was a leaf,

A perfect crunchy crisp orange leaf turning to brown.

It was spiraling slowly down, in a graceful dance,

released from a majestic Maple,

and I stood there mesmerized by it.

The spiraling.

The sky was incredible, too.

Veiled with clouds, alive with mist

the air somewhere between mild and chilled

all the shades of grey making the remains of the autumn leaves on the ground,

the colors, 

even what was left of the green grasses all the more vibrant.

Such a strange and beautiful sight dappled among the first January frost.

I didn't even pause to take a picture of it for you,

because sometimes you lose the moment that way...

The imagery of the spiral is everywhere, if you are willing to look.

It carries with it ancient wisdom of the outer conciousness leading to the inner soul: the path leading from the ego into enlightenment. 

Evolution.

Divine union with cosmic energies.

I see taking care of ourselves as a spiral journey. We usually begin from a place of vanity, and gradually find our way inward, to healing and supporting what cannot always be seen, but has a profound effect on the whole, and, yes, the exterior.

You've heard me say many times, "beauty begins on the inside." 

Truth.

It begins with giving, love, and compassion from our hearts, and extends to how we experience nourishment. When we feed ourselves from a place of kindness, both for ourselves and for the planet, baby, it shows.

Which brings me back to my wish for you to indulge in the beauty of living, loving, radiant raw plant foods, even as the sky turns somber, and the air boldly ventures towards glacial. I gave you a few basic tips in my last entry, but you know me...I like to keep things interesting.

And so, I have a very seductive ladyfriend I want to introduce you to:

Who says kitchen appliances aren't sexy?

Who says kitchen appliances aren't sexy?

This alluring hourglass is known by her street name: The Spiralizer. And, Beasties, she packs a wallop. There are enormous, weighty, stupid-expensive versions of her out there that will take up all of your counter space, and theoretically work better, but I prefer the feel of this lightweight, packable vixen right in my hands.

Her magic? She creates noodles out of vegetables!

That's right, my Loves, you can enjoy all your fave sauces with a light and nutritionally dense "pasta", keeping it raw and real. 

I conjured this for you as a gorgeous cold-weather raw dish, satisfying and sensuous, deeply flavored and easy on your beautiful belly.

Try it.

Wanton Walnut Pesto Noodles

  • 2-3 large organic carrots
  • 2 large organic beets
  • 1 large organic zucchini
  • 2 C fresh organic cilantro leaves
  • 1/2 C walnuts, soaked for 2 hours, drained and rinsed
  • 3 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 2 Tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1/4 C olive oil, extra virgin and cold pressed
  •  A pinch Celtic salt, plus more to taste
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper (optional)

The fist thing you must know is that you can find a spiralizer in in kitchen shop, or online.

The second, that you can use a variety of vegetables here. I've chosen the ones easiest to spiralize, but you can omit anything you don't like, and get playful, won't you? Try different combinations with different sauces, get creative with seasonal veggies...I love the colors here for shaking up a dreary day.

The mistake often made is making the noodles and plopping them right into the sauce, which makes them too crunchy. You won't make that foible, of course. You're going to rinse the veggies first,  and lop off the inedible ends. Then, if needed, cut them down so they are slim enough to put through the spiralizer. The zucchini and carrot will be fine as is, but you may need to trim the beets a little. You just take the vegetable in one hand, the spiralizer in the other, start at the top, and twist. (See how it works? Yes! That's it!) You will have little conical bits left at the end that can be chopped up and added to salads, or into a juice shake.

So now, when you have a bowl full of stunningly pretty noodles, sprinkle them with a pinch of Celtic salt, and let them sit in a colander in the sink for about a half hour. This is the trick to making them soft and pasta-y. 

While they're relaxing, just toss all the remaining ingredients except the additional salt and pepper into a food processor, and pulse until it gets creamy and mostly smooth. Now ease it onto the noodles, a little at a time, tossing with tongs to really get the sauce in there. Don't drown the noodles with the sauce, Lovers. Just use enough to coat them, and save the rest. You can always make another noodle batch in a day or two, or use it as a pesto-ish spread on gluten-free bruchetta. Add a few grinds of fresh pepper, a tiny pinch of salt only if needed (taste it first!), and a dash of cayenne if you desire some heat. 

Now you're ready to plate and...devour!

Vitamins, minerals, macro-nutrients...they're all there, as always, my Darlings, for you, transformed into a luscious and libidinous feast, bringing magick into the body, and radiating outward...

I love you.

xxx Alise

Follow

Rockstar Ingredients: Watermelon

Watermelon gets dismissed so easily as sugary kid stuff.

But it’s not. 

If I were a watermelon, quite frankly, I’d be offended.

“Nice melons, Mamacita!”

Well, yes, thank you...but let’s raise our eyes slightly above the neckline to gaze upon this most magical offering, shall we?

Watermelon is, well, water. It’s actually 92% water. 
Hydration, my Beasties. 
The body craves it. Skin drinks it in.
Beauty from the inside out, no?
Besides that, it’s quite literally drenched in nutrients. Not in the least, blessed antioxidants and amino acids, but also impressive levels of vitamins A, C, and even B6! Bite into that.

Why do we care about antioxidants? Lovers, antioxidants are Goddess-sent warriors.
Listen to me: they keep you well, inside and out. Health-wise, they fight cancer. All kinds. 
Beauty-wise, they conquer the free-radicals that ravage your precious skin. 

Watermelon also rides high on amino acids, which are absolutely essential to beauty and wellness. Think of them as Aphrodite’s pearls dancing inside us, building the immune and central nervous system, and metabolizing fat, all while supplying vital nutrients to nourish skin, hair, and nails from within by strengthening connective tissue.

Toss in lycopene and potassium, and what on earth are you waiting for?

Ahhh...the magical part...yes...

The lunar-ruled watermelon has her origins in Africa. The ancient Egyptians would mix the juice of the watermelon, prized by the god Set, with wine to heal illness, particularly in cases where the sick person was believed to be under the influence of a dark energy. It made it's way across the world to Hawaii, where the watermelon was rolled through the front door to help guide a deceased person with ease into their next life.
Best of all, watermelon is sacred to the sea goddess Yemaya. And she's the cat's meow. 

So, then, with ripe organic beauties still out there in droves,
do I have to shout?

(I abhor shouting.
I’d much rather whisper in your ear.)

“Dive in, Sweet ones...”

You can actually see the energetic vibration!

You can actually see the energetic vibration!

Magical Melon Elixir

  • 1 small organic watermelon
  • 1 C organic raspberries
  • 2 organic mint leaves
  • 2 drops lemon essential oil
  • juice of 1 lime

Set a piece of watermelon aside. We're going to have fun with that later. 
Blend the rest together except the lemon oil. Add that in last. Garnish with a few mint leaves, bring a sexy glass out onto the terrace, or under a tree, and sit back to enjoy it while you're flipping through an Italian Vogue, or devouring a juicy read.

The fine art of lounging isn't just for we cats. It's actually a very necessary ritual for all creatures.

The finely-honed skill of doing nothing at all.

Isn't it delicious?

Now, about that bit of watermelon we set aside earlier.
Here's a trick: It becomes a fabulous face mask. 

Just blend it up, and pour it into a bowl. Then, simply dip a fluffy (cruelty-free) foundation brush (or a cotton pad) into the nectar, and swipe it all across a freshly cleansed face. Don't forget to apply it gently around your eyes, both underneath and on the brow bone, and to your neck and décolleté. 
Let it dry for about 20 minutes or so, then rinse with cool water. 

Now a spray of rosewater, a dollop of moisturizer, and you're ready to knock someone's socks off!
(Or pants.)

This little facial leaves you with a toned, hydrated, fresh-looking visage.
Your skin will love it!

To your health, Darlings,
xxx Alise

Follow






Seasonal Produce: Spring

And, it has happened.

Her petals have opened

to the sun, and to the wind

Botanical poetry, alive and well

bringing us back to joy,

with a creamy mocha center

and soft vanilla sage whispers.

And if the impossible beauty of the flowers have arrived,

then it must be time for...

Spring fruits and vegetables!

Oui! After eons of tubers (no offense, little underground starchy Darlings,) the new Spring collections are in!  

The mantra is always this: buy local, by organic. Produce that has to travel a long distance is invariably picked too early in order to look good upon arrival, so we end up with flavorless, nutrient-deprived food. Of course, depending on where you dwell, some things will never be in season, so when you crave, say, a mango in winter, just follow these tips to enjoy the best possible version of your plant loves. Go ahead, enjoy your old favorites, and make a few new friends while you're at it.. And use your senses! Does it smell luscious? Does it look vibrant and alive? Does it feel good in your hand?

Allright, Loves, let's see who's strutting down the primavera runway...

VEGETABLES:

ARTICHOKES - Look for tightly packed, intact leaves. Splayed leaves are a sign of not-so-fresh chokes.

ASPARAGUS - Once harvested, asparagus deteriorate rapidly, so place them in cool storage to retain freshness and nutrition. Look for firm, slim stalks and beautifully formed tips. Thick stalks can taste woody and kill your experience.

BELGIAN ENDIVE - I love Belgians! (wink, VK.) Choose endive with tips that have a pale, yellow-green color, and avoid wilted or browning heads.

BROCCOLI - Broccoli should be heavy for its size. Steer clear of dried or browning stalks and yellowing florets.

BUTTER LETTUCE - Bring home heads that look full of life! No wilting or browning.

CHIVES - You want graceful chives, uniform in size and color. Stay away from any wilting or yellowing.

COLLARD GREENS - Yesss! Collard wraps! Pick dark green leaves, but eat them quickly...once they turn yellow they're done.

CORN - Look for bright green husks, and don't be shy about peeling their clothing off. The corn beneath should be unblemished and juicy looking.

FAVA BEANS - If you are able to snag fresh favas, grab them! Young favas can be shelled, are usually small, and smell like Spring herself!

FENNEL - Another amazing addition to your repertoire! Licorice-y fennel grows wild all over Southern California and the Med-rim countryside...maybe that's why I love it so? (Actually it grows wild all over the globe.) Choose bright green feathery leaves and white, even bulbs. Add it to salads and raw savory dishes for a sexy kick.

GREEN BEANS - These should be crisp, firm, and vibrant. Stay away from dark spots and dried-out ends.

MUSTARD GREENS - Look for pretty, lacy green leaves, sans browning or wilting. And eat them quickly!

PEAS - Fresh English peas just scream Spring! Look for pods that are full, but not bulging. As soon as they mature, they become starchy and way less flavorful. Try to find ones at a farmer's market that have been just harvested.

RADICCHIO - Choose compact heads with tight, fresh-looking leaves. 

RADISHES - Go for bunches that are deep in color with solid roots. You want them firm and blemish-free. Avoid cracks.

RED LEAF LETTUCE - Select the ones that have fresh-looking, tightly packed leaves. Red leaf gets wilty quick, so enjoy it the day you market.

RHUBARB - Rhubarb (only eat the stalks, Loves) are quite tart, but when sweetened actually work as more of a fruit. Select unmarred stalks.

SNOW PEAS - You want the ones that are a bright green with flat, small seeds. They should snap when you pop them. Put them back if they look shriveled, dry, or discolored.

SORREL - If you haven't tried this delicious, citrusy green, do it now! Same rules of thumb as apply to all lettuces and greens. But these, in particular, need to be eaten the day you buy them. Let them sit and they become compost.

SPINACH - The younger the plant, the sweeter the leaves, so go for bright baby spinach. Hint: check the stems. If they are flexible, it's young.

SPRING BABY LETTUCE - So many gorgeous greens! Again, look for vibrant leaves, no wilting or discoloration.

SWISS CHARD - Grab dark green leaves with bright stems. And eat them fast!

VIDALIA ONIONS - The flatter the onion, the sweeter. Try it.

WATERCRESS - Choose bright green watercress that isn't yellowing or slippery. A fantastic addition to your salads or green shakes.

FRUIT:

APRICOTS - Choose ones that are rich in color, firm, and plump looking. These little ones bruise easily, but those can be used in jams, sauces, pureés, etc., so don't dismiss them. Their feelings will be hurt.

CHERRIES - The best ones are large (an inch or more in diameter), plump, firm, and rich in color. The deep, black cherries are always the sweetest! 

CHERIMOYA - You really have to strike while this baby is hot. This absolutely delicious, pineappl-ey/banana-ey/mango-ey fruit shouldn't be missed, but has a short shelf life, so seek it out, in all its dragon-skinned glory!

HONEYDEW MELON - The skin should be a an even cream, yellow, or white color, it should smell fragrant, and a tap should ring a hollow, not dull sound. Also, press into the area where the stem was. If it's mushy, bid it adieu.

JACKFRUIT - Another exotic yum! A ripe one will have a beautiful fragrance and yield to the touch. An unripe one will be hard with no perfume.

LIME - Easy: give them a squeeze. If they yield, they will be juicy.

MANGO - Color doesn't matter here. A ripe mango will give slightly when gently squeezed, and often a lovely sweet aroma. If it's hard as a rock, let it be.

ORANGES - Here's another example of a fruit that doesn't give it away by color. A ripe orange will look and feel juicy, like it's about to burst. Go for the plumpest ones.

PINEAPPLE - Are you ready? Smell the base of the pineapple. If it is ripe, it will grace you with its signature scent. 

STRAWBERRIES - These beauties should be plump, firm, well shaped, and uniformly colored. Avoid white tops, a tell-tale sign of being picked too early.
 

BLOSSOM LOVE. IMAGE BY  VK-RED DUVIVER.

BLOSSOM LOVE. IMAGE BY VK-RED DUVIVER.

Well now,

all that abundance should keep you busy for a while, no?

Let's get outside and have a little picnic together.

Is that a...rhubarb in your pocket...or...?

xxx Alise