27 March 2012

Indescribably Magical Polenta Lasagna

I made magic in my kitchen last night, but not with a cauldron or a glittery wand. This magic is magic of the tongue and taste buds, and all from my mind (and crisper and pantry). I will get right to it without a lot of fussing in case you want to go and make it right now!!! Which you will. 

Quinoa Polenta Lasagna with Leek and Portobello 

1- 18 oz. chub (this is what the website calls the packaging!) Ancient Harvest quinoa polenta
2 Tbsps olive oil
1 medium red onion, chopped
6 cloves garlic, sliced 
1 large or 2 medium leeks, white portions only, sliced into thin rounds
1 large portobello mushroom cap, diced 
1 cup baby spinach
1/2 cup Marsala cooking wine
1/2 cup tomato sauce
1 4oz. package goat cheese 

Preheat oven to 375. Prepare an 8 x 8 baking dish. 
Slice the polenta into 18 pieces, about 1/4 of an inch wide. Lay 9 of the pieces in the bottom of the dish and set the others aside. 
In a medium pan, heat olive oil to medium-high and saute the onion and garlic for 3 minutes or until soft. Gradually add the leek and continue to cook another 2 minutes. Next, add the mushrooms and stir until coated and mixed well. Saute an additional 2 minutes altogether. 
Add the Marsala wine and tomato sauce and simmer for about 5 minutes or until sauce thickens and leeks fall apart in rings. Toss in the baby spinach at the last moment just to wilt and coat it with sauce. 
Spread half of this on top of the polenta. Crumble half of the goat cheese on top of this, add the second layer of polenta, another layer of sauce, and the remainder of the goat cheese. 
Bake uncovered for 35-45 minutes. After cooling, slice into 9 pieces.
Serves 9, but you will want more than one serving once you've tasted this. Each piece contains approximately 150 calories, is low in cholesterol and high in vitamin C. It is also gluten free!!

23 June 2011

Lentil Daal

One of my favorite things on this Earth is curry. I know 1,001 uses for it and I would put in in everything if only there weren't so many other good flavors out there (like dill- I'll blog about my dill obsession later). I like to make all kinds of dishes with legumes, too, and so this is where the two heavens meet- in my mouth! *and here is where my Coven chimes in with, "That means two things!"*

Tonight I am making a lentil daal, as we embark on another round of "raw til dinner" vegan cleansing. This means we eat fruit for breakfast, take our raw multivitamin, drink lemon water throughout the day, eat a green salad or raw cabbage salad for lunch, and then have a vegan dinner chock full of proteins and greens. We follow that by downing a tincture of dandelion and milk thistle liver balancing thingie, and a cleansing senna tea at bedtime. It's fun except for the no-alcohol part. It usually drops about five pounds of unmentionable matter straight from the bowels in a week, too, and neither of us complain about that.

So here's how I threw together the lentil daal:

1 red onion, chopped
1 bulb garlic, sliced
2 tbsp coconut oil (Living Foods brand is not hydrogenated or refined)
1 lb dry lentils
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp ground mustard
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp ground ginger (I didn't have fresh on hand tonight, but use fresh!)
1 tbsp curry powder
1 tbsp garam masala
1 tbsp cumin
1 tsp celery seed
salt & pepper to taste
2 cups fresh or frozen spinach

15 March 2011

Flu Soup!

     My High Priestess, Courtney, made me this soup when I was living at her apartment in Inwood and got pretty sick. I'd stressed myself out preparing for an important interview for a job which I didn't end up getting, and was missing Sean because he was still working in Florida while I was searching for jobs up here. I was also probably doing too much energy work and prosperity magick without grounding myself properly and recharging, which I have a tendency to do when I'm desperate for something to happen. 
     I highly recommend this soup for any time because it's delicious, but it has a specific set of ingredients which will boost a weak immune system, help sooth  a sore throat, and prevent scurvy, if you happen to be a pirate. It is decidedly not vegetarian, but I'm sure if you're clever with your substitutions, you can make it just as healthy and tasty without the use of chicken and chicken broth. 
     Since my husband and I just had the flu really bad a couple of weeks ago, I decided to make it for us and our roommate Adam, and I changed it just a teeny bit to accommodate our fridge. 
4 cups chicken stock (we boiled the Samhain chicken carcass and used the broth from this. SO YUM!) 
2 chicken breasts, cubed
1 medium onion, chopped
6 garlic cloves, minced or crushed in a press
1 bunch Swiss chard (kale is also good and has lots of vitamin C as well),
2 tomatoes, chopped (or one 16 oz. can)
1 jalapeno, finely diced
3 celery stalks, slice-chopped (or use 1 tbsp celery seeds, this is mainly for the savory flavor)
a handful of baby carrots or 1 large carrot, slice-chopped 
half a box of whole wheat pasta- elbows, penne, fusilli, really whatever shape you like
the juice of one lime
sea salt and lots of pepper, to taste
water to cover

     First, how to get chicken stock from a chicken. Most of you will know this already, but I didn't until I actually saw it done, and now I'm certain it's the only way to go! 
     Put a fairly stripped whole chicken carcass in a pot and cover it with water. Bring to a boil, then lower the temp to a rolling boil. Check it every hour or so, adding more water as needed, for at least 4 hours, more if you have the time. Strain the stock through a fine mesh strainer or cheesecloth to separate the chicken parts, and throw the rest of the carcass away. When you're done you should have about 4 cups of stock. The stock will be oily and yellow, and it won't smell nearly as good as it tastes. You can freeze it for up to a month in tupperware, or use it immediately. It's not good refrigerated for more than a day or two.     
     In a large stockpot, cook the chopped chicken breasts in a little stock (if you have frozen the chicken stock, the fat will rise to the top and you can skim off a bit of that to cook the chicken breasts with. Class!). I like to season the chicken with pepper at this stage, but not sea salt just yet. Salting at this point will make the chicken dry. Add the garlic and onion to very lightly brown them. Then add the chicken stock, carrots, celery, tomatoes, and jalapeno. Add water to cover and bring to a rolling boil. 
     You want to make sure that the carrots and celery get just cooked enough so that they're not crunchy, yet not soft- but remember that the longer you cook something, the less whole nutrients it retains. Set a timer for about 20 minutes and then check a carrot. If it's close to being done, you're good to finish it off by adding the chard or kale, the juice of the lime, and the pasta. NOW you can add the sea salt, and any other spices you like, to taste. I put a bit of dill in pretty much everything, and if it's not spicy enough, some cayenne pepper will do the trick. Continue boiling until the pasta is just done, and joyfully serve! This soup actually goes really well with tortilla chips- paired with the jalapeno and lime you've got chicken tortilla soup!

22 February 2011

About our move

Sooooo... Sean and I finally moved to New Jersey! It was the most frightening and harrowing experience of our life. We left on a nice January Sunday (nice for Florida!)... We planned the two day drive in between blizzards, or so we thought. The first day was perfect. Ender behaved so well, like he was a veteran of the cross-country move. We stayed in a Travelodge in Santee, South Carolina that night, and had fun watching cable and eating Japanese. We left early the next day, and things were going well. The moment we entered Virgina, however, it started to sleet. It was snowing when we hit DC later that evening, causing us to have to drive really slow, since neither of us have ever driven in the snow. When we got into New Jersey- we were absolutely terrified. I've almost blocked it out- let's just say that we crawled along the frozen highway at 35 mph with white knuckles gripping the door handles and steering wheel and gasping at every icy patch and nearly screaming whenever someone crazy would pass us going faster than 40. Somehow, we arrived at our new apartment at 4 a.m., completely broken and crying with fear. At least, I was. Sean was so brave and drove so well! I'm thankful we made it there completely unharmed and thank the Goddess we didn't hurt the moving van because I didn't purchase insurance!

As part of my votary training to become a Priestess of Brigid, I had to hold a workshop on the Goddess before Imbolc. We set it for two weeks after our arrival, which forced us to unpack, paint, and decorate in a fury instead of being lazy about it all. Afterwards we held a Housewarming/Tea Party for my birthday, which was loads of fun. Living here is loads of fun. We absolutely love it. I want to have more parties but am going to wait until spring because people don't like traveling to Jersey from NYC in the freezing cold. Gee, I wonder why?

Sean Padraic's birthday is in a couple of weeks. We're going to all the various parades, which start in Hoboken on March 5th. We're going to see Crass. Sean has his first performance with the band he is in, Derek Lyn Plastic, at Bowery Electric on March 1st. We're going to start recording more Thorazine Unicorn tracks this month, and are planning an album of dance covers done on acoustic guitar. There's sooooo much to do! It's impossible to be bored here. Just wanted to let everyone know that while we are broke, we are loving life!

23 November 2010

On tonight's menu

Tonight we are celebrating the birthday of one of our coven members. Yes, we are officially a coven (no more "the group" this or "the coven that's not a coven" that). It's exciting! Since I'm currently living with my High Priestess and we both love to cook, we decided to make the birthday girl a lovely dinner with wine. Here's what's on in the witchy kitchen.

Appetizer- Herbed goat cheese bruschetta
you need:
a nice fresh baguette
herbed goat cheese
1 tomato (roma or plum)
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
fresh basil, sage, or oregano, depending on taste and availability
pinches of sea salt and fresh ground pepper

Slice the baguette diagonally and toast in the oven for a few minutes.
Finely chop the tomato and fresh herbs. Combine with oil and vinegar, add salt and pepper to taste. Set aside for 15 minutes for the flavors to mingle.
Top each slice of baguette with some goat cheese and then sprinkle with the tomato mixture. Serve while you drink wine with your friends and finish cooking dinner.

The Soup- Butternut Squash Soup
You need:
4 cups vegetable broth
1 1/2 tbsps olive oil
1 butternut squash, peeled and cubed
1 medium onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 medium carrot, chopped
1 small piece of fresh ginger, peeled and minced
1/4 cup heavy cream
salt & pepper

Heat oil in a stock pot. Add onion, garlic, ginger, carrot, and squash and cook until it's all just a little softer, about 4-6 minutes. Add the vegetable broth and bring to a slow boil. Cook until squash is tender, about 20 minutes. Transfer to a blender or processor. Blend until smooth, adding the cream slowly. You can use more cream if you like! Transfer back to the stock pot to reheat and season with nutmeg, sea salt, and fresh ground pepper. This is the best recipe. Trust me.

The Inevitable Potato Dish in Wendi's blog- Colcannon

I promised this one anyway! And I want to make it for everyone! It's very rich and delicious, it's both good and bad for you. I don't recommend substituting fake butter for the real stuff. If flies don't touch it, neither should you. Butter can be fine, if you're not vegan or allergic, in ridiculous portions once a year or so, say, on your birthday. Or a friend's birthday. Or like, when someone dies. But no more than 3 times a year. Anyway don't judge me. Just try this recipe because it's wonderful and Irish.
You need:
5 roasting potatoes (or 8 small red)
1 medium onion
6 cloves garlic
I'm not going to lie, A LOT of butter
a big bunch of kale. I like lacinato 

Cube and rinse potatoes. Boil them until soft, like for mashed potatoes. Leave the skins on for health and texture! Meanwhile, chop onion and garlic and sauté in butter until gooey. Seriously! Slowly add the kale and just barely wilt it in the pan. Turn off the fire and set aside. Drain the potatoes, and mash them halfway with a little salt and pepper. Now start adding the kale and onion mixture to the potatoes, combining and mashing them together until everything is blended together. If it's really sticky, you can mash in a bit of cream leftover from the last recipe to make them smoother. But colcannon should be a bit chunky. 

And since I've given you three recipes in one blog, that's all I've got for now. I mean, I have a lot of stuff to do before dinner tonight!

07 October 2010

Back into the B(l)og

I like titling my blog with obscure late 90's industrial song lyrics. That being said, it's been a while since I've blogged, and I've cooked a lot of dinners and made a lot of charms and magick since March, so I thought it was high time to get back into the swing of things.
We've been home from Ireland for over a month now and we're still reeling from the experience. Janet Farrar and Gavin Bone not only attended our gorgeous Handfasting at St. Kieran's well in Kells, they were also kind enough to make my bouquet, drive us to the site blaring "The Time Warp", and give the blessings of Brigid and Lugh to start off our marriage on a Divine Path! It was a spectacular yet simple ceremony, led by my HPS and fellow blogger Courtney Weber (A Girl Called Woo) and attended by Lisa Vasquez, one of our coven Sisters. We were joined by Irish and American Wiccans and Christians alike- everyone was gracious and loving, and nothing went wrong- even the weather behaved (due to a prayer and offering to Lugh to make it sunny!). Soon, we will have the video of the ceremony edited, complete with pretty music and titles, and will be posting it for all to see, and distributing copies on dvd to those interested.
I don't want to write for too long tonight, for I have a lot of packing, jewelry designing, and other writing to do. So here's the recipe for this edition, another potato-based creation that's just amazing and simple and hearty and magickal!

Potato Leek Soup (serves a 6)
2 1/2 lbs your choice organic potatoes
3 leeks (organic!), chopped
1 or 2 cubes veggie bullion
7 cups water
1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream (organic of course. It's hard to find goat's milk whipping cream, I use cow's milk for this)
3 Bay leaves

Boil the potatoes, leeks, bullion, and bay leaves in the water for 30-40 minutes, until the potatoes almost disintegrate. Remove bay leaves. Blend with whipping cream until velvety smooth.

This is a wonderful money-bringing food. Potatoes are a staple of many cultural traditions, including the Andes cultures and in Ireland! (I learned a great money spell from Etain McCoy using a potato, money herbs, and toothpicks. It works every time, even my non-pagan friends and my PARENTS have seen it work! I'll possibly blog about it at a later date.) While you stir and boil the potatoes, visualize all your money troubles being boiled away. Or conversely, think about all the things you need money for, and picture the money coming into your life as you eat the soup. Bay leaves are often used for granting wishes, so adding 3 of them and concentrating on your wish to be free of money worries will help manifest those desires. Leeks are used for protection and warding off evil in Asian traditions, and there's nothing more evil than bill collectors calling every day!
Remember, ANY food can be magickal and filled with happiness if you cook it with Love in your heart and a prayer on your tongue, while stirring clockwise!

23 March 2010

An Introduction, What About, and Such.

I'm eating the most delicious organic fair trade dark chocolate bar with quinoa crunch and it's so decadent... I feel decadent always anymore. We're not rich by any means but we definitely live the life of hedonistic pagans! At any rate, the scrumptious candy has brought me to want to write a lot about food tonight.
So I'm finally starting this blog, for those of you who may have been expecting it.
I have to warn you- this isn't going to be one of those overly verbose and hyper-intelligent sounding blogs. I am and can be that, but I don't want to present these subjects in a stuffy, armchair-expert kind of way. The font may look impressive and serious, but this is simply my life. Every day I live the life of a devoted wife and Witch, and that's what I can share with you, in a very honest and practical way.

In honor of Sean Padraic's birthday which happens to fall upon St Patrick's Day, AND the handing over of our deposit for IRELAND, I've been cooking all manner of things Irish. I'll start with my favorite new recipe, one I tried to make for Yule with Sean's family, yet was too drunk when it was time to blend it all together, so I got bored and wandered away and he had to make it with his sister and mother instead. I can be a handful on ritual days! It's called Rutabaga and Sweet Potato Mash. I made it again tonight and it was spectacular. Here's the recipe:

Rutabaga and Sweet Potato Mash (serves 4)
2 large organic sweet potatoes
1 medium organic rutabaga (1 lb), peeled and cut into 3/4" cubes
1/4 cream, warmed (it's also ok to use evaporated milk, but you need slightly more)
2 tbsp unsalted butter
2 tbsp brown sugar
1/2 cup chopped fresh organic parsley (or more, to taste)
salt & pepper

Preheat to 400. Pierce potatoes and bake 1 hr. At 40 mins, bring a medium pot of water to a boil. Add rutabaga and boil 15-20 mins, until soft. Drain and process in a mixer or blender with the cream, butter, sugar, & parsley until smooth. It will likely be green! Halve the baked potatoes and mash them into the rutabaga puree. Salt & pepper to taste.
Note: I use only organic vegetables & spices, and I try to always use goat milk products in place of cow dairy- not only because they taste better, but because goat's milk is actually far easier for humans to digest and is quite a bit less mucous-forming. Oh, you didn't know this blog would be also be partly lessons in nutrition?

Because Sean and I work totally opposite schedules this week (I had a 7 day stretch, two days off for his birthday, 1 day extra off because I was sick, and now I'm on a 6 day stretch!?), we haven't celebrated Ostara yet!!! Poo to us- we've just had so many problems with the dog, and our shower leaking into our bedroom closet- things not worth complaining about because they're Life Things-- okay maybe we complained about the dog-- too many hindrances and busy-ness... however we will have our Ostara Rites asap, alone. Together... alone... you know what kind of magick we're going to make! Not only will that be fun but it will raise lots of energy so that we, and our wonderful companions on our upcoming Ireland trip, can all make and save PLENTY of money so that we are all free to party as hard, eat as well, and shop as much as we want while we're there! So Lisa, Courtney, Liz, Tommy, everyone else- get ready to receive some sex energy- likely in the form of increased determination and ability to save money, and probably for sure in the form of actually getting lots of axxxtion!!!! I mean, can you go wrong either way?

Speaking of Ireland, it's all we think and talk about anymore (Ireland and Deadwood)! We hope Ireland is ready for our music, as we have 2 nights booked at a Dublin hostel in exchange for lodging, and are attempting to get a gig at the Guinness factory as well. We've learned a 80s U2 song!! And several old Irish American songs- not sure if those transited back across to them in the home land after they made them up in New York. It'll be amusing to find out if the Irish find us amusing. We'll also do a lot of acoustic punk songs, and hopefully Thorazine Unicorn, if we have a laptop by then (it being an electronic music project). We'll at least be bringing one of Sean's guitars andother portable instruments and surprises. SINGALONGS with Janet and Gavin will be hilarious I'm sure! OOOH if you have any requests that you just KNOW you're going to want to hear us play and sing during those long, beer-filled evenings after visiting the sacred sites, let us know now so we can learn them perfectly by August.

In conclusion, I hope you try this recipe and enjoy it. I also hope I'm not too long-winded and kooky. Goodnite!