Blossom Lady

As days grow brighter,

and gentle rains rouse the verdant spirits

from their dreamtime adventures,

we prepare, Wild Ones, to make those dreams real.

Out we pop from our buds!

stretching in langor toward the Sun,

the sweet scented moss 

tickling our noses,

guided by birdsong...

Doesn't Spring, somehow, always feel like the first time?

Now, of course, an Elven Queen would be fairly famished after a long Winter's rest.

A bright-eyed forage through the untamed forest and her surrounding fields could offer a delightful array of beautiful plant gifts!

But let's get one thing straight: those of you know me are aware of my eye-rolling tendencies towards the "seasonal cleanse."

Is Spring a time of renewal? Of course.  

But the body actually operates on a detox cycle, followed by a nutritive cycle, on a daily basis.

Do you clean your house four times per year? Of course not.

Then why, oh why, would you clean your soul's temple so infrequently?

I've prepared for you, my beautiful hatchlings,

a nibble that not only cleanses, but feeds.

Making your body strong,

your skin and hair vibrant,

your mind clear and ready.

Everything comes alive.

Everything awakens.

For nature is the ultimate Femme Vitale...

Spring Faerie Salad

Serves One
*all ingredients must be organic or wild grown

9 leaves of fresh dandelion
1 C  baby spinach
1/4 C grated carrot
1/2 C sprouts/microgreens (I love a blend: radish, alfalfa, sunflower, etc.)
1/4 C sunflower seeds
1/4 C nettle leaf
Raw unfiltered apple cider vinegar
Cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil
Celtic sea salt/fresh ground black pepper (know in certain circles as The Pinch-n-Grind)

Begin, my Loves, by grating several carrots. The easiest way? Give them a rough chop, then pulse in the food processor. Then you have some for the next few days. (You're welcome.)
Next, pull the dandelion leaves from their stalks, and tear gently with your fingers. Add in the spinach and carrots, and top with sprouts to form a gorgeous nest. Sprinkle with sunflower seeds and nettle leaf. Give it a light drizzle of the oil and cider vinegar, a pinch of Celtic salt, a grind of pepper, and you're there!

Dandelion is a bitter green, designed to detoxify the body by cleansing the liver, kidneys, and the blood. It also encourages fat metabolism and stabilizes blood sugar, while supplying the body with calcium, zinc, potassium, vitamins A, B, C, & D. A total powerhouse! Magickally, as with all greens, it is consumed to attract money, which just might come in handy as you get your dreams off the ground. *wink* 
We''re using eight leaves to symbolize personal power, for this potent dark green goodness also assists in making wishes come true...

Sprouts and microgreens are part of this magickal mélange to symbolize new life force emerging, and for their tremendous nutritional value. Carrots are filled with vitamin A, amongst other major nutrients, which keeps the signs of aging and stress off your face, helping to keep skin preternaturally young. Oh, and they're all about sex. Spring fever, anyone?

Sunflower seeds are amazing little health bites, so full of crucial minerals and vitamin E, to keep you beautiful inside and out...with a magickal boost to ensure success. Whatever you're conjuring, know you've got plant power on your side!

And what might this mysterious little faerie boat be carrying?

NETTLE BOAT-2.jpg

Why, it's nettle! 

Long used as a protective herb, fiery nettle also gives passion a push in the right direction. Love it already? Here's more: nettle is an immune-boosting, anti-inflammatory wonder that supports kidney and bone health. Beauty-wise, our brilliant plant friend promotes hair growth and flawless skin, particularly effective in treating acne, psoriasis, and eczema. It's also a renowned female tonic (just use it with caution, or not at all, if you are pregnant.)

Allright, my succulents,

revel in this Spring energy!

All my love,

xxx Alise

 

 

Love You Live

When the leaves rustle
and the sky turns to orange,
crisp air caressing your face

it’s only natural to crave heat.

Warm foods,
hot brews,
fevered bodies.

Furry throws,
steam rising from moon baths, 
stealing sunshine kisses
wherever possible...

As many of you know, I'm a rabid fan of raw foods.
I feast all day on bright, shiny, radiant offerings from the Earth herself: luscious fruits, crisp greens, juicy veggies, crunchy seeds and nuts...it's an incredibly sensual diet. But, even I must admit the importance of adding cooked foods to your diet as your body needs them. And we do need them, as the wind grows cold, to balance us, to ground us, to nourish in an altogether different way than raw foods do.

Live plant foods, you see, have all their sexy little enzymes intact. Enzymes fight disease. Eating raw ensures that you're getting all the nutrients the plant has to offer (abundant as they are!), and supports your digestive tract. And, as strange as it sounds, that's exactly where good health and radiant beauty begin. 

That said, there are certain instances where the cooked version of a vegetable presents a higher nutritional value. The tomato, for example. This juicy, voluptuous, bright-red sexpot plucked right from the vine is surging with high levels of vitamin A and beta-carotene, but her signature lycopene (which fights cancer and heart disease) shines only when cooked. Odd, but true.

The trick, my Darlings, is to satiate your needs in the chilly seasons, both physical and emotional, while still enjoying as much raw food as possible. Easy? Not so much.  It’s one thing to exist on a mostly or all raw diet when you live in a temperate clime. But so many of us don’t. 

The easiest way to get lots of gorgeous raw food into your life?

1. Green Shakes

Madly simple. Dangerously delish. It's like drinking pure energy.
Start this way: Blend 2 cups of spinach with 1/2 banana, 1 cup of pure water (or coconut water), a generous splash of unsweetened almond milk, 1 teaspoon of cinnamon, a squeeze of lemon, and a few small bits of fresh ginger. Blend it all wildly until it's totally smooth. 
Congratulations, you just concocted a purrfect breakfast elixir!
From here you can add more greens, maybe 1/2 an apple...whatever fruits and veggies you like, but keep the greens ratio much higher than the fruit. You can use a little stevia if you like. And always add that little bit of good fat to the blend, either with a splash of almond milk, a teeny bit of coconut oil, or 1/4 avocado. This allows the body to actually absorb all those important vitamins and minerals in the produce.
Later in the day, feel free to add some soaked chia, hemp seeds, chlorella or spirulina, as the body can fully utilize them toward the afternoon and evening.

2. Green Salads

Yes! The old standby. Let's give them the respect they deserve by keeping greens dark, leafy, and plentiful. Avoid commercial dressing in favor of fresh lemon or apple cider vinegar and cold-pressed olive oil, or try a few of my go-to's here.
Add in plenty of organic cuke (skins on), red cabbage, pumpkin and sunflower seeds, fresh sprouts, and any other bright and beautiful raw veggie you like.
Try to eat two of these each day.
Please, Beasties.
For me?

3. Raw Nibbles

And...easier than even a salad...raw sliced and chopped tidbits to peck on when you need a little bite.
Apples, carrots and bloat-banishing celery are my everyday faves, though I've been known to gnaw away at radishes and cauliflower in public. Maybe it does look a little weird, but who cares? The glow from your mega-watt skin will outshine any sideways glances you might receive, so go for it. 

So it is easy, after all, see?

Now, I’ve compiled some of my Autumn dishes held most dear on my Fall Magic page, but in the coming weeks I want to share some supremely sexy raw numbers that will excite and inspire you.

Like this one:

The other day, as I sometimes do when I'm feeling overloaded, I turned on my Mad Scientist in the kitchen.

(Or maybe I should say a Mad Physicist, random chaos theory being my specialty.)

I wanted something in the ubiquitous pumpkin spice flavor that did NOT come from a donut shop. 
And, while I threw together things that I knew would be at least passibly tasty, I had NO idea what I would experience when I lapped up a finger full of batter...

Pumpkin spice cheesecake?
Whaaaat?!
Oh...yesss...

Pumpkin Pleasure Bites

For the Crust:

  • 1/2 C raw cashews, soaked for at least 2 hours
  • 1/2 C raw pumpkin seeds
  • 6 large pitted dates
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • Pinch of Celtic salt

For the Filling:

  • 1-1/2 C organic pumpkin pureé, (NOT pie filling)
  • 1/3 C raw coconut nectar
  • 1/4 C coconut oil, melted
  • 2 Tbsp tapioca flour
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla
  • 1 Tbsp cinnamon
  • 3/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp cloves
  • 1/4 tsp allspice
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg

First, line a brownie pan with parchment paper. Now combine all your crust ingredients in a food processor, and pulse until everything is crumbly, but sticky. Not sure? Pinch it. If it holds together, purrfect. If not, add a few more dates until it does. Then scoop the whole mixture into your lined pan. Press it into place with your fingers. You want a smooth, even layer.

Pop it in the freezer, and make your filling. Just combine all the ingredients into a large bowl, and whisk it until it's smooth. Taste it. Add more spice or sweetener if you like.

Pour the filling on top of the crust, smooth it, and back in to the freezer it goes!

Let it chill for about 5 hours, or overnight. When you take it out, score it with a knife to make many little cakes, and let it defrost. Slice the pieces all the way through when it's thawed. Place it back the fridge, and keep it there until you want to devour them, as they need to stay chilled in order to hold their shape.

So there you have it: decadent little raw pumpkin cheesecake morsels that are loaded with nutrition, and so scrumptious that even a lover of traditional pumpkin pie will be coming back for more...and more! You can easily omit the cashews in the crust if nuts are an issue, and replace them with steel cut oats, or even additional seeds. Coconut nectar can be cast aside in favor of liquid stevia if you like. Oh, and sometimes in your health food store a bulk, organic pumpkin spice blend can be procured. If so, grab some! You can use it in everything.

And, really, why couldn't you do the whole thing as a pie?
I'm getting visions of holiday dinners...

But for now,
I'll leave you to your own devices,
for I have leaves in my hair
twigs everywhere
and a heart full of joy,
that sends it back to you.

xxx Alise

 

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One Last Summer Fling

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

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

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

So I reach for a sacred bowl
of earthly pleasures.

Simple. Sensual. Sublime.

Join me for one last salt water kiss?

 

Summer Lovers Salad

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

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

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

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

Swoon-worthy, indeed...

 

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

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

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

xxx Alise

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Rockstar Ingredients: Watermelon

Watermelon gets dismissed so easily as sugary kid stuff.

But it’s not. 

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

“Nice melons, Mamacita!”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Dive in, Sweet ones...”

You can actually see the energetic vibration!

You can actually see the energetic vibration!

Magical Melon Elixir

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

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

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

The finely-honed skill of doing nothing at all.

Isn't it delicious?

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

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

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

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

To your health, Darlings,
xxx Alise

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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

A Temple Dancer's Feast

Tracing cosmic patterns with our bodies,

bringing energy forth form the center of Earth herself,

and releasing it into the stars...

Mmmmm, yeah...

Undulate on over here,

and taste the delights of Inanna's table.

Divine Falafel

For the Falafel:

  • 1 C fava (broad) beans, soaked overnight, rinsed and drained
  • 1 C garbanzo beans (chick peas), soaked overnight, rinsed and drained
  • 3 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 red chili, seeded and chopped (you can substitute green if you can't find red)
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1/2 C fresh cilantro, finely chopped
  • 1 C fresh flat leaf parsley, finely chopped 
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • Olive oil (first cold press preferred)

For the Sauce (not pictured-oops!):

  • 1/4-1/2 C tahini
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • Pinch of ground cayenne or hot paprika
  • Spring water as needed
  • Celtic salt and fresh ground pepper

First, blast the soaked beans in a food processor or high speed blender until they are finely ground. I couldn't find dried favas, so I used canned. (Rinse them well!)

Now add in the dried spices, and give it another blast.

Add in the chili, garlic, and fresh herbs. Whizz it all until it forms a smooth, almost paste-like texture. Add a "bump-n-grind" (pinch of salt and grind of pepper), and place it all in a large bowl. Sprinkle in the baking soda, mix it all through with your hands (wheee!) and let it rest for 15 minutes.

(Go have a stretch and a little shimmy. When you're done, they will be ready.)

Wet your naughty little fingers, then begin shaping the mixture into small spheres. 

Here, you can either bake them, or sauté  in a large pan. I prefer them in the pan. Why? They're juicier. And, yes, a bit higher in fat BUT it's a healthy fat, so, who cares? If you're more comfortable baking them, simply heat your oven to 350F, lay them out on baking sheets, cover with foil, and bake for 15 minutes. Take them out, and allow them to brown, turning once, for about 15-20 minutes or until golden.

If you're using the pan, spiral some olive oil in, then heat it on a medium flame. I usually heat oil very slowly, but in this case I would raise it a little, so they cook quickly and stay crispy. Toss in as many falafel as you can fit, then give them a nice sauté, rolling them around so they brown on all sides. I flattened them out with a spatula so they would cook faster (I was starving), but keeping them in spheres will keep the insides moister.

While they dance for you, make the sauce. Just whisk all the ingredients together, adding water as needed to thin the mixture to your liking. 

When they are done (of course, you must taste one, or four, to see if they are ready), transfer them to a plate and eat them immediately! Yes, they will keep, but honestly straight from the pan they are outrageously good!

And that succulent little salad gently illuminated in the back, there?

Souk Salad

  • 1/2 head organic red cabbage, sliced then chopped
  • 1 organic carrot, shredded
  • 1/4 C tahini
  • 1 C flat leaf parsley, chopped
  • 1/2 C fresh mint, chopped
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • Seeds of 1/2 pomegranate
  • sprinkle of Celtic salt
  • A few grinds of fresh pepper

Just mix it all together in a large bowl, Loves! That's really it! An incredibly crisp, fresh-tasting, delicious salad that can easily include some cooked quinoa if you want to make it a meal unto itself. I wanted to add some black sesame seeds...but couldn't find any...(sniff)...

So, though falafel is traditionally eaten with pickles, or nestled into pita, sometimes with yogurt, I have made this offering light and super clean, nibbling on the figs and grapes to start, then after a spell the salad for optimum digestion, and last the gorgeous falafel with tahini sauce.  I wish you could jump through the screen and share this with me!

The fragrance, the textures, the flavors...total foodgasm.

Have a beautiful day, Beasties.

Undulate with me, yes?

xxx Alise