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

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

Follow

More Come Hither Comfort Foods

Because we can't get enough.

Rich, warm, oohey-gooey madness

served up with a side of sultry...

Could it be?

Macaroni and Cheese??

Hell yes!

But this isn't Kraft, baby.

That's kid stuff.

And we prefer more...adult...activities, don't we?

*ahem*

This classic has been given a magically seductive makeover, of course, 

because you're too hot for that processed crap.

And, for that matter, the home-cooked bloaty dairy version too.

This one is kind to your belly, your skin, and to those sweet cows.

So dig in.

(Sensually, of course.)

You know you want it.

You know you want it.

Remember a few posts back when I asked you to buy white miso to make that delightful vegan yogurt? Well, the remainder is still sitting in your fridge. Go get it. We're gonna concoct something sooo delish, you'll forget that it's actually good for you. 

Hot Mama Mac and Cheese

Serves two.

For the Sauce:

  • 1 3/4 C unsweetened organic almond or cashew milk
  • 5 Tbsp tapioca flour
  • 1/4 C virgin coconut oil. melted
  • 1/3 C nutritional yeast
  • 1 Tbsp white miso
  • 1 Tsp tomato paste
  • 1 tsp raw unfiltered apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp ground mustard
  • A good Pinch-n-Grind (Celtic salt and black pepper)

(And one package of quinoa elbow pasta.)

This is, literally, as easy as opening a box of powdered orange food coloring with some noodles at the bottom. Blend all the sauce ingredients together in a high-speed blender until smooth. Pour them into a saucepan. Heat the mixture on a very low flame, stirring every few minutes, until it begins to bubble. The sauce will thicken as it heats.

While that's shimmying, boil some water in a larger pot. When it's rolling, add in your quinoa pasta and a splash of olive oil to keep the noodles from sticking. (Keep stirring to avoid a giant clump of semi-hard noodle paste.)

When it's done (8-10 min.), drain and add into your now-thickened cheesy sauce. If you need it thicker, add in a tiny bit more tapioca flour and keep heating.

You are gonna love this!

Feast, my Beasties.

Enjoy every slippery bite.

Oh!

Come here.

You've got some sauce on your lip...

xxx Alise

Alise In Wonderland




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

Taste The Sun

There is the tease,

and then

there is the diabolical.

beautiful, but unbearably frigid upstate new york. but see that sky? i've been working on it...

beautiful, but unbearably frigid upstate new york. but see that sky? i've been working on it...

Here in the Northeast, climate change has given an over-the-top performance,

as we cheer wildly for a rare day above freezing.

Of course, early Spring often plays with us,

coyly giving us a warm spell,

only to revert to her old Winter habits.

But this time around, 

it's much more intense.

Cabin fever happened ages ago.

We're way beyond that.

And, with all the respect due to Nature

(as she's been given a lousy script, and a far worse production crew,)

isn't it time we make some heat?

That's more like it!

That's more like it!

Bossa Nova has been filling my rooms.

Island flavors mingling in la cucina.

Bright colors dancing front and center from a forgotten recess of my closet.

You know what I mean?

TIME. FOR. ACTION.

I'm calling in the Sun King, honey.

And I've got one hell of an offering.

Do you know about sun butter? Beasties, you've got to get on this. It tastes like creamy peanut butter, but is made from sunflower seeds. That's right! So it's wicked nutritious, nut-free, and absolutely the tastiest thing ever. Sunflower seeds are the gifts of the deliriously happy-faced sun flowers, and are loaded with beauty nutrients. They have insane amounts of vitamin E, Lovers, which your skin adores, crazy high amounts of B vitamins and beloved minerals, one of whom is magnesium, which has the ability to calm your nerves. 

Stress-busting, beautifying, AND delicious? I'd call that a purrfect food.

Let's make a Vixen-ized version of the classic peanut sesame noodles, with a spicy mango salad as its date.

Sunshine Noodles 

  • 1 9oz. package of pure buckwheat noodles (or quinoa noodles)
  • 3/4 C sun butter (available in your health food store. If they don't carry it, they can order it.)
  • 3/4-1 C pure water
  • 2 Tbsp Nama Shoyu
  • 1/2 inch piece of ginger, grated or chopped finely
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped super fine
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1 Tbsp raw coconut nectar or stevia
  • 1/4-1/2 tsp red pepper flakes, as you like
  • 1/4 raw cashews, chopped
  • Pinch of ground cardamom
  • Celtic salt, to taste

Spicy Mango Salad

  • 2 organic mangoes, peeled and sliced
  • 2 organic carrots, julienned
  • 1 organic cucumber, julienned, skin on 
  • 1/4 raw apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne
  • handful of fresh organic basil, chopped
  • zest of 1 lime
  • Good pinch of Celtic salt

Make the salad first, so the flavors have time to mingle. You want to make the buckwheat noodles at the last possible moment, because they become wallpaper paste if they sit too long.

Combine all the ingredients in a pretty bowl, toss, and let it do its thing.

Now, in a large bowl, whisk together all of the Sunshine Noodles ingredients except the salt. Keep working the sun butter into the water, adding a little water at a time, until the mixture had a fairly thin, creamy consistency. Add more water if you need to. I like mine drowning in sauce, but you may prefer it a little thicker.

Make the noodles. Drain and set aside. (**You can make this totally raw by using zucchini noodles if you like. Just run them through a spiralizer or use a potato peeler.)

Add the sauce to the noodles. Using tongs, toss the mixture together, making sure to coat all the noodles. Taste it. Mmmm. Add your salt here, and adjust the fire from the pepper flakes if you desire.

Top it with the chopped cashews, and enjoy. Eat the salad first for proper digestion. Always raw before cooked. Remember that. 

It is sooo good, you won't believe it's healthy.

the real-life "girl from impanema," héloise pinheiro.

the real-life "girl from impanema," héloise pinheiro.

Bring on the tropics, Mama.

We're all waiting. 

Impatiently.

xxx Alise

Alise In Wonderland

Savory Sweet Seduction

Many moons ago,

a Persian maiden had to think quickly.

Arabian Nights  by René Milot

Arabian Nights by René Milot

Versed in literature and poetry, she wove enchanting tales all night long,

her husband held blissfully captive,

entranced,

begging her for more.

But always, at dawn,

she left him.

This spared her life for another night.

Her king, you see, so wounded by love

sought revenge 

in the form of taking a new wife each day,

and sending her to her death.

But this smart kitten beguiled with her tales,

for many nights.

1001 to be exact.

In which time he fell hopelessly, 

deeply in love,

evermore,

saving not only her life,

but the lives of countless other women.

I imagine her seducing him with her mesmerizing words,

her glance,

her fire,

and perhaps offering a late supper

of sensual jewels...

This exotic and gorgeously scented Armenian dish was originally from Persia, where savories combined with fruit were adored. Made with bulgur, this was undoubtedly quite hearty. I decided to Vixen-ize it by making it vegan, swapping the bulgur for cauliflower, and adding vegetables.

My Doves, this is soooo good.

I'm serious. 

Never have I tasted anything quite this delicious. The layers of flavors, the depth of fragrance, the textures...pure bliss. I made a test recipe-plenty for two-and devoured the whole thing. I just couldn't stay away.

Try this.

Scheherazade's Jewels

  • 1 head organic cauliflower, chopped into small pieces
  • 1 organic zucchini (courgette), thinly sliced into half moons
  • 1/4 C raw slivered almonds
  • 1/4 C raw walnuts
  • 1/4 C.dried apricots, unsweetened
  • 1/4 C organic raisins or sultanas
  • 1/4-1/2 C Turkish figs, thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 3 cardamom pods
  • Pomegranate juice, unsweetened
  • Organic ground cinnamon
  • Vegan butter (flax/olive oil, preferably)
  • Olive oil
  • Celtic salt
  • Fresh ground black pepper

In a large pot, melt about 1 tablespoon of the vegan butter on a very soft flame, but only for a few moments...then add in the garlic, and allow it to awaken, until it turns translucent and its perfume begins to fill the air. Place the cardamom pods in...one, two, three...visualize being taken away by tales of adventure, by a lantern's flickering light, nestled down into satin pillows. Let the pods dance for about a minute, then in goes the cauliflower. Give it all a luscious stir, cover, and cook gently on a very low heat. 

In a heated skillet pan, spiral some little olive oil and a little more vegan butter in. Let it heat up, just a bit. Listen.

Now toss in the almonds and walnuts, allowing them to brown. Add the dried fruit, and sauté some more. Sprinkle a little cinnamon on top as they all cook. If it starts to look dry, add a touch more oil. When they've mingled, add in the zucchini. 

Now check your cauliflower. Things should be heating up nicely in la Cucina right about now.

As the zucchini begins to soften and caramelize, add a good splash of the pomegranate juice in -sizzle!-and stir it some more. Cover again and let it go until your cauliflower in the next pot is tender. 

One good Pinch-N-Grind (salt and pepper) just before you plate it, and you're there...

Darlings, this is really the kind of food to be savored, slowly and with full abandon, completely in the moment. If you make it at another time of year, it is even more exquisite with fresh apricots and figs, but for now, I absolutely dare you to find a headier dish.

Nestle in the cushions as the aroma of fills the air.

Let each bite linger on your tongue.

Feed your mind,

your soul,

your senses...

Come.

Tell me a story,

won't you, 

Beasties?

xxx Alise




Rockstar Ingredients: Coconut Oil

I just love oils,

don't you?

They're so wonderfully lubricating...

(Ahem.)

I want to go there with you,

and the most seductively slippery one of all,

the sweetly aromatic

and lustfully lickable

oil of the comely coconut.

Mmmm...

Don't you feel 

tropical sun breezes just thinking of it?

Screen shot 2014-07-26 at 4.57.20 PM.png

Now, everybody knows that coconut oil is good for you,

but,

do we know why?

Here's the dossier on this secret agent of awesomeness:

1. It's a GORGEOUS fat. Coconut oil contains medium chain triglycerides - fatty acids -which are metabolized effectively by the body. Because they go from the liver directly to the digestive tract, they are an immediate energy source that is used, rather than stored, by the body. This means they can up your energy levels and help you burn fat. 

2. Beauty is it's middle name. Those same fabulous fats will make you even more stunning than you already are, my Loves. We need quality fats in our diets for lush hair, juicy skin, and strong nails, and coconut oil is one of the most powerful sources available. So add some to your menu each day and prepare to stop effing traffic with your radiance.

3. Because you like it smooth. Coconut oil makes a deliciously sensual shaving cream, with no need really for moisturizing afterward, so it's kind of the ultimate all-in-one beauty product, no?

4. Run your fingers through my hair. Try this amazing once-per-week hair masque for shiny smooth tresses and a strengthening boost. 

5. Lip lush Get a smouldering smooch with a dollop of coconut oil instead of gloss or balm, and try these tricks. 

6. Deodorant Right?! I know. I didn't believe it either. But it does work. I'm not suggesting you dab a little then run the 15.K, but for languid days, and certainly in a pinch, it will keep you smelling sweet.

7. Kiss the cook. Oh those sexy little medium-chain triglycerides...they make coconut oil the premium fat for sautéing, basting, baking...even a dollop in a late-day shake elixir for an added creamy energy burst.

Not sure where to start? Try these succulent recipes:

Sultry Spiced Scones

Cheeky Ceci Pani

Bursting Berry Tarts

Welsh Moon Cakes

8. Sink your teeth in. I'm not kidding - use it right out of the jar and onto your toothbrush! Top with a few drops of peppermint and clove oils to really cleanse, freshen breath, and heal gums. Leaves your teeth gleaming.

9. Take it off. When you've had your fill of nocturnal prowling, do not fall asleep until you've removed your makeup. (I see you!) Take the three minutes to gently massage your eyes and lashes with coconut oil, softly sweeping it all away...your lashes will thank you by growing long and fluttery.

10. Glow. With your mostly raw, vegan diet (right?) you already glow like starlight, my Moonchildren, but when you like a little extra firefly allure, mix a tiny bit of coconut oil with your foundation, bronzer, or rouge, and tap it lightly onto your cheek and brow bones. You are making me weak...

11. Touch me Oh, yes...the moisturizer to end all. Coat yourself daily and bask in your own silky softness until you realize that your self-caresses are bordering on obscene...Beware, though: mosquitoes find you extra tasty when you slather it, so either swap for another cream when you're outside in Summer or spritz on a little extra homemade insect repellant. 

12. Animal Magnetism When I first began using coconut oil as a body moisturizer, I would emerge from the bath or shower, and the most curious thing would happen. My cat and constant bath time companion, Pedro, would immediately come over and start licking my feet and legs! It was adorable, but got me thinking: cats instinctively go for what they need. This guy was helping himself to digest hairballs. Smart man. Now I offer it to them whenever I see a hairball epidemic coming, and, sure enough, they take it when they need it. I also give them a little in Winter when they are prone to dry skin, and flaky dander. Keeps all our cat coats pretty!

13. Where was I, again? And, of course, I've saved the best for last. Coconut oil as lube. You heard me. It's luscious, and melts upon a touch, so...why not? Gynecologists are actually getting on board with this. Not only is it all natural and chemical-free, but it's also antifungal, decreasing the risk of infections. Just don't road test it with latex condoms, as oils can weaken the latex and cause breakage. Get on it, Lovers!


Well, there we are. The magic 13.

For all these reasons, stock your kitchen and bath immediately with a jar of gorgeous, organic, unrefined coconut oil...and toss one in your valise for travel while you're at it. I can't think of a better thing to find in your luggage. Unless we're talking massive amounts of cash or rubies.

In which case,

I'll meet you on the tarmac, baby.

xxx Alise

Follow on Bloglovin







Roman Holiday

As I walked along,

my heels clicking on the stone

and all the twinkle lights danced

to the sounds of the street musicians,

the balmy breeze on a sultry night,

his hand in mine,

brought me back

to a beautiful city-

Won't you come there with me for a little while?

Close your eyes.

Twirl with me in the piazza,

toss coins into the fountain,

and make a wish.

I'd love a gelato,

wouldn't you?

But they're full of cream, you say.

Yes, that's true.

So come to my place.

I have something wonderful.

And the peaches are in season,

if you catch my drift...

Oh, si bella! Grazie! you say.

The granita was born in Sicily many moons ago, and migrated out of pure fabulousness into other area of Italy. It's an incredibly easy and sexy alternative to other frozen treats, elegant in it's jeweled beauty, and so full of life! 

Try this right now.

But be warned-

you'll fall permanently under the spell

of this notoriously charming Italian...

Peach Prosecco Granita

  • 1.5 lbs. fresh organic peaches, chopped
  • 1/2 C dry prosecco, cava, or champagne
  • 3 Tbsp. raw coconut nectar 

Just put it all in a blender, baby. Pour it into a baking pan, cover, and freeze for at least three hours. When you're ready, take it out and run the tongs of a fork along the surface, so it looks fluffy and icy.

Now spoon it into gorgeous glasses, turn up the Henry Mancini, and saunter onto the terrace...

You can try this with really any fruit and liquid pairing that appeals to you, and you can certainly omit the bubbly in favor of a tea or pure water. I crossed borders here and added a teeny little dash of St. Germain, just because I adore it.

This recipe serves two, so double, or triple, for guests. Just be sure to serve it immediately after you've put it into glasses, as it will melt somewhat quickly, and you want it to look like beautiful little resin crystals when you eat it.

By the way, this particular recipe makes a fantastic spiked smoothie.

Vi auguro una splendida notte, i miei amori!

Ciao,

Alise

Follow me on Bloglovin'

 

 

 

 

Keep It Under Wraps

Naughty things.

I know where your minds are.

And it's true, some things are best left to the imagination.

While others are so juicy, they need to be contained in secret...

until just the right moment,

when all can be revealed.

Corset by  Sparklewren

Corset by Sparklewren

This afternoon I was ravenous, as usual. 

Foraging through the refrigerator like a wildcat, I discovered something:

I had forgotten to shop.

Out belted a wild, starving, moan.

MEYYYOOOOOWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW-WAHH!

There were only a few leftover salad remnants around, hardly enough to satiate this jungle beast, and no malleable humans around to procure. 

So I chopped, sliced, and mashed my way to getting some sa-tis-FAC-TION!

The green wrap.

It really is the most purr-fect alternative to a heavy bread or tortilla wrap.

Any leafy green will do.

My drug of choice is the collard green, though, I will warn you that it can take a little getting used to if your system needs a bit of detoxing. In fact, if I find I have trouble digesting a raw collard leaf, I take that as a sign  to give my liver some lovin'. That can be as direct as not drinking for about a week (if you partake), and helping soothe and detoxify the situation by drinking some juniper tea. I like to also bathe in juniper essential oils. Then go easy on the roughage...just for a little bit.

Awesome alternatives? Any kind of soft, wilty chard. And for juicy crunch? Romaine lettuce.

For this simple nibble, I mashed a ripe avocado, sliced some tomato, a little cuke (skin on!), and embellished with pumpkin seeds and walnuts. A little balsamic drizzle, and a toss of Celtic salt, and we've got the quickest, tastiest lunch or dinner ever.

Some feisty fillings? 

  • Julienned carrots, chopped mushrooms, bell pepper, cliantro, and mung bean sprouts tossed in lime juice and cayenne, sprinkled with chopped peanuts or almonds
  • Mashed sweet potato, peas, and curry spice with chopped cashews
  • My macadamia nut salad. It's SO good.
  • Sliced mango, pineapple, and papaya, with shredded coconut and pureéd berries (any kind), shredded mint leaves
  • Hummus, sundried tomato, and chopped Moroccan or kalamata olives with oregano and red pepper flakes

You get the picture.

Delish goodies, all wrapped up like Cleopatra in her carpet, being presented to you and your guests as the jewels that they are.

Wishing you a gentle eclipse, and a beautiful day, my Sweethearts.

xxx Alise

Follow on Bloglovin