Category Archives: recipes

The Wheel turns to Mabon 2019…..

Blessed MabonMerry Meet and good afternoon!  I hope this post finds you all well and enjoying a great weekend.  In my time zone, Mabon or the Autumn Equinox is during the night tonight at 3:50am.  It’s officially Autumn, and the time of equal balance of day and night.  My favorite time of year, as those of you who know me or have followed me any length of time, know! I’m normally squealing with glee, but here in Ohio we have had incredibly hot, dry days for way too long, with no real end in sight.  Upper 80’s and even 90’s are in the forecast clear up into October.  This is not normal and I for one feel really disgruntled by it.  I need Summer to be gone!

The dryness especially will effect our Autumn color.  The leaves are seriously just turning brown and crunchy and falling off the trees like crazy.  Garden beds look dismal or empty as people have given up on watering and just yanked everything out.  Including me.  My last herbal harvest will be pretty pitiful.  It’s just been too hard to keep them watered and growing.  People seem to be grumpy and dragging in energy etc….me too. It’s all very sad and disheartening.

However, despite all this, I’ve decided to pretend it’s Fall.  Candles are lit instead of fires.  I’ve Fall cleaned my house.  I’m decorating the house this week, and will go buy my mums, pumpkins and apples and just try to pretend it’s in the 60’s instead of the 80’s.  The flannel sheets will have to wait but otherwise this house is going to be all Autumnal, damn it!  LOL! I also am doing some baking, some crockpot cooking and of course, preparing to celebrate Mabon.  My sweaters are ready to be worn as well!

Some of my discouragement has been that I’ve injured my left knee pretty badly.  It’s been about 8 weeks now and despite resting, elevating, icing, x-rays and cortisone shots there’s no real improvement.  I can hobble around ok but too much of it puts me down for too long!  So now I’m off for an MRI this week…..some talk it may be a torn meniscus, or seriously torn tendons/ligiments that aren’t healing.  But, being laid up in this heat isn’t the worse thing.  I’ve read, crocheted, caught up on shows, organized, purged, worked on my BOS and also just seriously rested….all of that is a good thing.  See…..you can always find the positive in most situations ūüôā

So Mabon is here and it’s pretty shocking in my older age how fast that wheel turns.  Though we’re hot and dry, I can still see all the signs of Fall.  Mostly in the cooler nights, and mornings.  The critters are gathering like crazy.  Birds gather and feed at feeders.  Kids are settled back in school and all the after school and weekend sports are in full swing.  The Sun and Moon and have moved their positions in the sky.  The winds have changed. There’s some color on some trees.  This brings me hope that soon temps will drop and I’ll have those lovely crisp, Fall days and cool, inky dark nights. I can’t wait!

My Mabon Altar 2019

My coven isn’t gathering for this Sabbat but we will meet up soon just to visit with each other.  Too many of us couldn’t make it or had other plans.  So my celebration will be solitary.  I’ll greet the Sun which will start slowly spending less time with me each day.  I’ll greet the lovely Moon Goddess who will spend MORE time with me.  I’ll make an apple dessert and plan on a good healthy meal.  Altar work will recognize that it’s the Witch’s Thanksgiving.  I’ll thank Goddess for the blessings in my life, and despite my complaining about life right now, I am very blessed and know it.  As I come up on the 2nd anniversary of my daughter Sara’s passing, I also send my love to her in my altar work as well. Goddess carries those messages to her often. How do you celebrate this lovely Sabbat?

So I promised you all a recipe.  This is a new recipe to me I tried and it’s yum.  Mabon and September just scream apples and this fits the bill! It’s super moist and the streusel topping is to die for!

ApplePieBread

Apple Pie Streusel Bread

¬Ĺ cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
¬ľ cup buttermilk
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups all-purpose flour
¬Ĺ teaspoon salt
2 cups shredded, peeled apple (about 4 medium)
1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
¬Ĺ cup raisins
1 Recipe Streusel-Nut Topping

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease the bottom and 1/2 inch up the sides of an 9x5x3-inch loaf pan; set aside.

In a large bowl, beat butter with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Beat in sugar until combined. Add buttermilk and baking powder; beat until combined. Add eggs and vanilla; beat until combined. Add flour and salt; beat until combined. Stir in apple, nuts, and raisins.

Spoon batter into prepared pan; spread evenly. Sprinkle Streusel-Nut Topping over batter. Bake for 60 to 65 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean.

Cool in pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Remove from pan. Cool completely on wire rack. Wrap and store overnight before slicing.

*Um…I did not let it cool completely and did not wrap and store overnight before slicing lol.  It just was a bit soft and didn’t do a firm slice….but who cares!

Makes 1 loaf

Streusel-Nut Topping
¬ľ cup packed brown sugar
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons butter
‚Öď cup chopped walnuts or pecan
In a small bowl, combine brown sugar and flour. Using a pastry blender, cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in walnuts or pecans.

I wish for each of you a beautiful, magickal Mabon.  May Autumn be in your heart if it hasn’t yet arrived in temperatures.  Fall WILL come.. even if it’s only a few of those glorious, crisp, blue sky, colorful days.  Relish them when they arrive!  Blessings to you all!

Autumn Fires

by Robert Louis Stevenson

In the other gardens
And all up the vale,
From the autumn bonfires
See the smoke trail!
Pleasant summer over
And all the summer flowers,
The red fire blazes,
The grey smoke towers.
Sing a song of seasons!
Something bright in all!
Flowers in the summer,
Fires in the fall! 

 

autumn fire

 

Blessings and Love,

Autumn ‚̧

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The Wheel Turns to Lughnasadh 2018….

 

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Merry Meet my friends!¬† I hope that this post finds you all well.¬† It’s been a HOT Summer here in Ohio…many days over 90*.¬† We had a good amount of rain for a while, but now we’ve been much more dry.¬† However, the forecast shows both some cooler temps and rain in the next week which is most welcome.¬† As much as I love gardening, the garden beds are looking poor from the heat and lack of rain and watering from a hose just doesn’t do the trick as much as natural water.¬† But tomatoes are ripened and sooo good, my herbs will give me a huge harvest and the bees, birds, and butterflies are happy.

I know I’ve been absent again‚Ķ..losing my daughter has just taken the wind out of my sails. But the writing bug has bitten me a bit so here I am. I’ve focused a lot on my home..doing necessary cleaning as we all do, but also purging every drawer, closet and cupboard, nook and cranny of unwanted, unneeded and unused items.¬† From books, to clothes, to even knick knacks etc.¬† It’s very freeing and I’m feeling my life falling into better organization and less stuff…which is a good thing.¬† I’m also finding comfort in my family and spending time with them as much as possible.¬† We all miss Sara so it helps us.¬† My grandkids are so busy and so fun and they bring me great joy as well. My daughter Kate and her husband include my husband and I on so many events in their life and we’re grateful for our time with them.¬† As they live so close, we see them often and it’s fabulous.

I dream of Autumn…as you all know, my favorite season.¬† But I will have to admit, losing Sara in October..my most favorite time of year…may temper my feelings on the month this year…..but not on the season.¬† I will always love Fall.¬† I’m not a fan of hot weather, and we’ve had a very hot season so far, so of course I’m perusing my Fall recipes, gathering fresh supplies for my pantry like flours and yeast for breads, fresh spices and seasonings, I’m freezing things like tomatoes and peaches, and chopped veggies like peppers. Casseroles will be made as well.¬† I often send food to my elder in-laws and my own parents and of course try to help any friends out from time to time.¬† I have a lovely neighbor who I often talk to over the fence, and we pass yummy things back and forth to each other as well. So having things in the pantry and readily available really makes that easier.¬† And of course, I’ve now discovered ordering groceries for delivery!¬† Or to pick up which makes me very happy!¬† And the farmer’s markets are in full swing which is wonderful.

Last week, my daughter and I were gifted with a big bushel of fresh Georgia peaches right off the truck.¬† We decided to make peach pie filling to freeze so we can make pie or cobbler or ice cream topping to enjoy in the Fall/Winter.¬† We came across a delicious recipe and got busy.¬† I decided to share it here as my most commented on posts are often the ones that contain recipes.¬† I hope you can get your hands on some peaches and give this a try.¬† You don’t have to “can” these….they can be frozen in freezer containers or even freezer bags.

Quick and Yummy Peach Pie Filling

*recipe is enough for one pie.

1 cup water

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

1 cup sugar

1/4 cup cornstarch

1/4 tsp vanilla

1/8 tsp almond extract

1/8 tsp ground cinnamon

4-5 large fresh peaches, peeled, pitted and sliced thin

In a large deep skillet over medium heat, stir together the water, lemon juice, sugar and cornstarch.  Cook until thickened and bubbly about 5 minutes.  The Cook another 3 minutes as it simmers, stirring constantly.

Remove from heat and stir in vanilla and almond extracts and cinnamon.

Add the peaches and mix until peaches are well coated and combined.

Cool filling to room temperature then use right away, store in refrigerator a few days or freeze in containers or bags.

This recipe is seriously yummy.¬† You’ll love it! So much better than the canned stuff!

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I love having prepared foods in the freezer to make my life a little easier, and cooking these foods with someone you love, sharing them, sharing recipes to try etc makes it even more great!

Lughnasadh comes very soon…August 1.¬† I love this Sabbat because it’s heralding the coming of Autumn, the harvest season and cooler weather…eventually.¬† It’s also all about good food, the harvest, grains and breads, herbs and oils…..it’s a fun time when it’s too hot to be outside, you can be cooking yummy things in the kitchen to share or to save for yourself later.¬† In my past blogs I’ve posted many recipes for herbed oils, breads, fresh veggie dishes and fruit desserts.¬† Be sure to check them out.

How has your summer been?¬† I’d love to hear.¬† How do you celebrate Lughnasadh?¬† My coven will be gathering just a couple days ahead.¬† I always look forward to that.¬† We’ve had some amazing Moons this Summer huh?¬† Part of what I DO love about Summer, is basking under the Moon without being cold, or needing shoes and coats etc.¬† lol.¬† Barefoot in the grass in my jammies works great this time of year.¬† New protections and witch jars are always put into place this time of year..between Solstice and Lughnasadh for me and my coven.¬† Again..it’s so easy and nice to do it in the warmth.¬† Often I’m accompanied by the sounds of the crickets, lightning bugs, bees buzzing, and soft winds rustling through the trees.¬† Those are the great things about Summer.

I’ll be back soon, I’ve been giving thought to recipes I can share here along with other ideas of things to talk about.¬† I want to thank so many of you for your kind words about the loss of my daughter.¬† It’s appreciated more than you know and touched my heart.¬† I do know she’s with me, always in my heart, and she’d be proud of how I’m doing my best to take care of me and my loved ones, remembering her in great love and being comforted by our memories of her.¬† I know I’m not alone in loss and life must move on.¬† Thank you again for the love and support.

Make your remaining Summer days fantastic!¬† And for those like me who love Autumn, it won’t be long!!¬† The old Wheel turns very fast!

“When summer opens, I see how fast it matures,

and fear it will be short; but after the heats of July and August,

I am reconciled, like one who has had his swing, to the cool of autumn.”

– Ralph Waldo Emerson

Love and Blessings,

Autumn

 

 

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Mabon Blessings 2017…and Recipes!

IMG_5679[559]Merry Meet friends and a very Blessed Mabon to you all!¬† I love that Autumn is finally here but….we are in the middle of a huge heatwave!¬† 90* all week….ugh!¬† That is most definitely not normal for Ohio.¬† Oh, we’ve had some hot September days for sure, but a 10 day streak of 80’s and 90’s is not normal..and not fun…and not conducive to Fall activities lol.¬† Oh well, I’m still working on some Fall cleaning so I’m finding ways to celebrate the season anyway.¬† This too shall pass as they say ūüôā

Hubby and I have started cleaning up our garden beds.¬† Cutting back spent flowers, harvesting the last of the tomatoes and herbs, and prepping soil where needed.¬† As I mentioned, I’m still working on organizing and purging drawers and closets.¬† I love getting rid of things no longer used. It just makes my house feel so much cleaner, allows air to move, and less clutter helps my mind as well.¬† I’ve decorated the house for the most part for Fall.¬† Still need mums and pumpkins but that will wait until weather cools down again.¬† And I LOVE going to the apple barn and the garden center for those things on a cool, blue sky day.¬† So I wait!

Today I started my day off with a walk in the grass around my yard, some time at my altar,¬† (which I’m sharing a picture of here)¬† lit candles and incense for healing and to honor the day, I plan on doing some baking later as well.¬† I like also to focus on balance in my Life on this day.¬† Mabon is the Autumn Equinox, when night and day are equal.¬† As I said in my last post, so many of us seem tilted, out of sorts, grumpy.¬† This has been me.¬† So tonight I will go under the Moon…the early crescent, and do a little ritual to help me find balance again in my life. I have found I’m starting to feel better simply by realizing I’m not feeling right and focusing on fixing it by meditating more, finding more quiet time, and practicing my Craft more!¬† It’s helped!

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My altar, since this picture was taken, has apples sliced with honey and bread added, and a few items from nature…acorns, leaves, pods etc.¬† I always try to add bits of nature of from my walks to my altars.¬† Brings gifts from Mother Earth indoors ūüôā

As promised, I’ve found a couple recipes to share with you.¬† One so simple and so good, the other…well it’s the best apple bread I’ve ever had and not overly hard to make either!

 

luxeFood-1

Apple Crostini

3 apples, peeled, cored and chopped  (try Honeycrisp, Fuji or Granny Smith)

3 Tbs unsalted butter

1/4 cup brown sugar

1/2 tsp cinnamon

French bread, sliced and toasted

Brie wedges

fresh chopped rosemary for garnish if you have it.

Preheat oven to 350*  Combine apples, butter, brown sugar and cinnamon in a pot over low heat.  Simmer for 20-30 minutes, until apples are soft and mash easily, but leave some apple chunks.  Remove from heat and allow to cool to room temp.

Place French bread slices on parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Top each piece of bread with a small wedge of Brie cheese. Bake for about 5 mins to soften cheese.  The spoon apple mixture over cheese and sprinkle with rosemary.

Refrigerate any leftovers.

 

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Praline Apple Bread

1 1/2 cups chopped pecans, divided

8 oz sour cream

1 cup sugar

2 large eggs

1 Tb vanilla extract

2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 tsp baking soda

2 tsp baking powder

1 1/2 tsp salt

1/2 cup butter

1/2 cup brown sugar

1 1/2 cups finely chopped, peeled apples

Preheat oven to 350*  Toast 1/2 cup pecans in a single layer in a shallow pan 6-8 minutes, stirring occastionally; set aside.

Beat sour cream and next 3 ingredients at low speed with an electric mixer for 2 mins.  Stir together flour and next 3 ingredients.  Add to sour cream mixture, beating just until blended.  Stir in apples and the toasted pecans.

Spoon batter into a greased and floured 9″x5″ loaf pan.¬† Sprinkle with remaining cup of pecans and press into batter.

Bake at 350* for 1 hour.  Cover with foil the last 10-15 minutes to keep from burning pecans.  Cool in pan on wire rack for 10 minutes.

While cooling, bring butter and brown sugar to a boil in a heavy saucepan, stirring constantly for 1 minute.  Pour over bread and let cool.

*also delicious to eat warm.

Delicious!!

 

I hope that you all give these recipes a try.¬† Oh and the bread, make extra..it goes fast! Also great to treat a neighbor, friend or family member with a loaf.¬† You’ll get rave reviews!

I hope that however you celebrate today, you spend some time focusing on yourself.¬† Try to find balance in your Life, even if just for a day, but you should really try to make it a priority. It’s a crazy, busy world for most of us these days and we need to take care of ourselves.¬† Prepare yourself for the dark days of Fall and Winter that are coming..much as Persephone did as she journeyed to the Underworld.¬† Build yourself a cozy cocoon, find things to do for yourself…learn something new, read those books you’ve not had time for, start a new project, spend more time with loved ones, and definitely find more time to yourself! Pamper yourself with long bathes, good meals, walks in nature and time under Grandmother Moon!¬† You’ll feel soooo much better!¬† This is advice I need myself and intend on taking!

Blessed Mabon dear readers! May Goddess Bless you this beautiful Autumn season!

 

“the air is different today
The wind sings with a new tone
Sighing of changes coming
The harvest is gathered, a flower, a nut
Some mead, and bread
A candle and a prayer
Returning the fruits in thanksgiving
To the grove and receiving it‚Äôs blessing again‚ÄĚ
-Rhawk, Alban Elfed

 

Love and Blessings, Autumn

 

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Blessed Samhain 2016….and recipes!

“I see the turning of a leaf dancing in the autumn sun,

and brilliant shades of crimson glowing when a day is done

-Hazelmarie Mattie Elliott-

A-BLessed-Samhain-To-You

Merry Morning and Blessed Samhain my friends! ¬†The glorious day is finally here! The Witch’s favorite Sabbat! ¬†Our New Year! ¬†Here in Ohio it’s a cool, blue sky, sunny day. ¬†We’ve had some overly warm days here lately…too warm in the upper 70’s for my taste, but today it feels like Fall again. ¬†The skies are inky black as we’re in our New Moon which adds magick to our new year and new beginnings! ¬†Winds are brisk and leaves are falling fast, chipmunks and squirrels gather food for the winter, birds are busy at the feeders, pumpkins are grinning from porches ¬†and children ready their costumes for trick or treat! ¬†The veil thins and there is a mystical feel to the Air! Autumn is in full glory!

My coven gathered Saturday night. ¬†We had soups, breads and desserts. As it was warm, we spent time outside. ¬†A few of our sisters didn’t make it this year and the rest of us were more quiet and subdued. Perhaps the thinning veil making us not feel up to par, tired and moody I think. ¬†Speaking for myself, that was the case. ¬†How does the thinning veil affect you? ¬†I’ve had times of high energy, and times of melancholy and low energy too. ¬†Today, I feel great!

I’m harvesting the last of my herbs today. Then tonight is our Beggar’s Night. ¬†This year we’ll be home passing out candy as we spent time with my grandkids yesterday. ¬†Keeping dinner simple with soup and sandwiches. ¬†I’m also burying new witch’s protection bottles, making an offering to Mother Earth and tonight a fire and spending time with my ancestors. I am a journaler and I’ve been journaling my thoughts and wishes for a wonderful new year to come. ¬†I look back on this last year with fondness and feelings of how blessed I am. and forward with the same. ¬†What will you be pleased about in your past year

and what changes will you make in this next year to improve on it?  These are the things I think about today.

I promised some recipes and better late than never.  So here a few new ones!

cider

Samhain Spiced Cider

1/4 cup packed brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon whole allspice

1 teaspoon whole cloves

1 cinnamon stick

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 pinch ground nutmeg

1 large orange, quartered with peel

2 quarts apple cider

*use a gallon of cider and double the rest!

Place in a dutch oven on the stove on low heat or a slow cooker on low all day! So yummy!  I made this for my coven saturday night and they loved it!

pumpkin soup

Butternut Squash Soup

1 Tb butter

1 Tb olive oil

3/4 cup chopped onion

3/4 cup chopped carrot

2 garlic cloves, minced

4-5 cups cubed, peeled butternut squash

4 1/2 cups chicken stock

1 tsp dried sage

3/4 tsp salt

pepper to taste

a pinch of crushed red pepper flakes (optional)

In a large saucepan, heat butter and oil over medium heat.  Add onion and carrot; cook and stir until tender.  Add garlic and cook one minute longer.

Stir in squash, stock, sage, salt and pepper and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat, simmer, covered 20 minutes or until squash is tender.  Remove from heat; cool slightly.

Process in a blender until smooth.  Serves 6

Apple Caramel Cheesecake Bars

2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 cup packed brown sugar

3/4 cup cold butter, cubed

2 pkgs (8 oz each) cream cheese, softened

1/2 cup plus 2 Tb sugar, divided

1 tsp vanilla extract

2 large eggs, slightly beaten

3 medium tart apples, peeled and finely chopped

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

1/4 tsp ground nutmeg

Streusel topping

3/4 cup all-purpose flour

3/4 cup packed brown sugar

1/2 cup quick cooking oats

1/3 cup cold butter, cubed

1/3 cup hot caramel ice cream topping

Preheat oven to 350*. ¬†In a small bowl, combine the flour and brown sugar; cut in butter until crumbly. ¬†Press into a well-greased 13×9 inch baking pan. ¬†Bake 15-18 minutes or until lightly browned.

In a large bowl, beat cream cheese, 1/2 cup sugar and vanilla until smooth.  Add eggs; beat on low speed just until combined. Spread over baked crust.

In a small bowl, toss apples with cinnamon, nutmeg and remaining sugar; spoon over cream cheese layer.  In another bowl, mis streusel topping until crumbly.  Sprinkle over apple layer.

Bake 25-30 minutes or until filling is set.  Drizzle with caramel topping; cool in pan on a wire rack for 1 hour.  Refrigerate for 2 hours at least.  Cut into bars and serve.

Yummy…I love Autumn baking especially. ¬†Don’t you?

I want to wish you all a very Blessed Samhain.  May your ancestors smile upon you and impart words of wisdom, joy and a sense of peacefulness to you in the coming year.  Goddess Bless you all!

“Between the heavens and the earth
The way now opens to bring forth
The Hosts of those who went on before;
Hail! We see them now come through the Open Door.

Now the veils of worlds are thin;
To move out you must move in.
Let the Balefires now be made,
Mine the spark within them laid.

Move beyond the fiery screen,
Between the seen and the unseen;
Shed your anger and your fear,
Live anew in a new year!”
– Lore of the Door

Blessings and Love,

Autumn

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The Wheel Turns to Lughnasadh 2016……

 

IMG_5855Merry Meet my friends. ¬†I know…you are probably thinking..where have you been? ¬†I know I know! ¬†I’ve been very neglectful of my blog and I’m sorry. ¬†I could tell you everything that has been going on in my life…..but frankly, there’s so much going on in the World these days..it would just sound like petty reasons. I have missed writing but at the same time I tossed around the idea of not writing here for a while. ¬†I guess I accomplished that…a needed break. ¬†But I’m back I think and look forward to writing here again. ¬†I thank you for your patience..if you have indeed been wondering ūüôā

I HAVE been busy …as many of you have been, I know. ¬†My gardens are keeping me happily busy….planting, mulching, weeding, watering, thinning, deadheading etc etc. ….but I find that a lovely chore ūüôā ¬†My in-laws have moved from California to be near us, as my FIL is developing dementia and my MIL requires more help. ¬†This has been a challenge I won’t go into, but we are managing to the best of our ability. ¬†I’ve been still recovering from two surgeries in February that rocked my world too. ¬†Suffice to say that I don’t think I’m going to get back all the way to where I was, but I’m doing as good as it gets lol. ¬†Nothing serious, just irritation stuff. ¬†I have a lot of irons in the fire, and that is why, mainly, that I haven’t written. ¬†It was just an iron I let go for a while.

Let’s see, I haven’t written since Ostara. ¬†Wow. ¬†So I missed Beltane and Midsummer postings but to my delight, I see that many have still come to read my posts and snatch up some of my recipes etc. ¬†I’m glad! ¬†There is some great info there in the last 6-7 years. ¬†I plan to continue sharing recipes as those seem to be my most popular posts.

Now, we are moving quickly toward Lughnasadh or Lammas on August 1st. I so love this Sabbat as it’s that first sign that my favorite season, Autumn, is coming fast! ¬†The first Harvest festival! It’s been so hot here lately with way more high temps coming yet, that it especially makes me long for cool, crisp days and knowing they are coming soon makes me happy! ¬†I have already been perusing recipes..mostly recipes for breads, fresh veggies, canning, and uses for my herbs in oils and vinegars.

Many of us are harvesting yummy produce from our own garden beds. ¬†Red tomatoes, green peppers, peas, beans, zucchini, squash, melons etc etc. ¬†Also, I don’t know about you, but I’ve harvested some of my herbs more than once already! ¬†Big bundles of lemon balm, fever few, catnip, oregano, mint, parsley, sage etc are hanging and scenting my kitchen in a lovely way. ¬†My coven sisters have benefitted a bundle or two as well ūüôā ¬†For those who don’t have big gardens of veggies, like me, a farmer’s market is the perfect place to stock up! ¬†They are abundant around your town I’m sure and farm stands dot the corners as well. ¬†Be sure to indulge yourself this time of year.

I have already made a couple of new recipes I’d like to share. ¬†One is for a simple yummy bread that I’m now calling biscuit bread! ¬†The other, a delicious cheese-filled mushroom appetizer, however, it would make a lovely light lunch too. ¬†I think you’ll like them!

 

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Butter Crust Beer Bread

2 cups self-rising flour

3 Tbs sugar

12 oz regular beer (not light)

1/4 cup butter, melted

 

Preheat oven to 350* In a bowl, mix flour, sugar and beer until well blended and a sticky dough forms, about one minute. ¬†Spoon dough into a greased 8″x 5″ loaf pan. Bake at 350* for 30 minutes. ¬†Remove from oven; pour melted butter over the top. Return to oven and bake 30 minutes more, until lightly golden. Cool bread in pan before removing.

 

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Cheesy Mushroom Caps

8 oz pkg cream cheese, softened

1 cup grated Parmesan Cheese (the good stuff, not shaker)

1/4 cup whipping cream

1/2 tsp garlic salt

24 large mushrooms, stems removed and cleaned (I used baby portabello)

1/2 cup butter, melted.

Preheat oven to 350*  In a bowl, combine cheeses, whipping cream and garlic salt; blend well.  Fill mushroom caps with mixture.  Dip bottom of mushrooms in melted butter and place on an ungreased baking sheet.  Bake at 350* for 15 minutes.

*The cheese mixture would fill more than 24 of the baby portabellos.  If you use a larger mushroom, it may fill less than 24.

Enjoy!!

I have put together for the most part my Lughnasadh altar. ¬†The harvest altars are always my favorite to do. ¬†I love the warm colors of browns, golds, rusts, reds, and oranges. ¬†This is my altar this year. ūüôā

 

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Lughnasadh or Lammas is all about the last days of Summer, the coming of Autumn, the first harvests, the days shortening, and a reminder for us to appreciate the warmth of the Sun, while it may be too hot some days to be out under that same Sun. ¬†Our ancestors had more to do and worry about…putting “up” food for the winter, praying that Mother Earth, the Goddesses and Gods smiled on their crops and brought abundant enough food for them to survive the long, cold Winter. A good crop and storing said crops was hard work and meant life or death! ¬†For us, putting “up” food perhaps reminds us of our grandmothers or mothers who fantastically canned tomatoes, sauces, veggies, jams/jellies, pickles etc and filled their pantry with colorful jars all in a row. ¬†I sure have memories of my grandmother, in her ever constant apron, doing just that…with grandchildren underfoot trying to help and learn. ¬†To this day, I still like to do some canning…..even if it’s just apple butter or strawberry jam. ¬†It’s lovely sitting on the shelf, to pull out in the middle of a cold Winter day , and slather onto a piece of homemade, hot bread. ¬†Sigh..so good.

Don’t forget to use your fresh herbs to make lovely flavored oils and vinegars. ¬†Baking bread is a big part of Lammas/Lughnasadh as well. ¬†Watch the sunrise or set, sit under a tree and watch the Sun dapple through the trees. ¬†Garden and feel the warmth on your back. ¬†Have a picnic with your family. ¬†Take a walk and enjoy the brilliant flowers in full glory. Heck…even play Pokemon Go if you want…just be sure that you’re walking to catch those little monsters and enjoying being outdoors. ¬†There will come a time when you’ll be indoors watching it snow and you’ll be glad you enjoyed that warm Sun!

Blessed Lughnasadh my friends. ¬†May the Sun warm you. Oh and Blessed Full Moon too! ¬†May She shine on you also. Also, if I may say a word, in this very angry, sad world we seem to be living in right now…..open your heart to others, spread love, be kind…don’t judge. ¬†Be part of the cure, not the problem. ¬†We are all just here to live our lives, in our way, with respect and love for others. ¬†Blessed Be.

“Whilst August yet wears her golden crown,

ripening fields lush-bright with promise;

Summer waxes long, then wanes, quietly passing

Her fading green glory on to riotous Autumn”

¬† ¬† ¬† -Michelle L. Thieme, August’s Crown-

 

Blessings and Love,

Autumn

 

 

 

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The Wheel Turns to Ostara 2016……..

IMG_0857Merry Meet my friends! ¬†I have been terribly re-miss on writing here in my blog and I’ll tell you why shortly. ¬†It’s a cloudy day, and warmish, hitting 60* right now. ¬†Earlier the Sun was out and there was a gorgeous crescent Moon last night to enjoy and draw energy from ūüôā ¬†Rain is coming in later..which we DON’T need! ¬†Our backyard is flooded! ¬†But there are signs of Spring everywhere in our yard. ¬†From the animal and bird activities, to the greening of the grass, and the shoots popping up out of the ground from lots of our flowers and herbs! I love it!

First of all, I want to say thank you so much for being a reader and a friend of this blog. ¬†I just celebrated my 6th year writing here. I started out thinking it would be a way for me to keep a journal of sorts. ¬†But it evolved into something more over time. ¬†I have had over 207,000 views and nearly 780 followers. ¬†It’s amazing to me that anything I have to say is of interest to people. ¬†And yet, it seems some are interested and I really appreciate it ūüôā ¬†I keep it mostly because I enjoy writing, and I enjoy sharing, and I enjoy learning too. ¬†So thank you very much! ¬†I hope my readers continue to enjoy what I write.

Secondly, I have had a rough few weeks. ¬†I had surgery on Feb 1 as I believe I talked about a bit in my previous posts. ¬†That surgery was a nightmare. ¬†It did not go well. ¬†Something I won’t go into was done in a way that a nerve was damaged. ¬†I was in extreme pain..I mean truly excruiciating with no relief except when I laid perfectly still. ¬†Long story short, a week later I was in the OR again having that fixed. ¬†The excruciating pain was relieved mostly, but the pain of two surgeries is just now starting to alleviate. ¬†I’m told to expect another month or so to feel normal again. ¬†I am glad that the original health issue is fixed…but it’s been a heck of a recovery. ¬†Funny..I told myself while I was laid up, I’d be reading, writing, and working on a couple projects. But I found it was hard to focus on all of those things. ¬†Thus, the lack of writing here in my blog. ¬†But I’m reading and journaling and yes, now writing here too now. ¬†Thank you for your patience!

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There is much going on! Ostara is next Sunday! ¬†I’m blessed that a dear Witch sister is coming to stay with me for a few days. ¬†Deb has been a friend for years now but she lives in SC and we have only met face to face once..and that was way to brief of a time and quite some time ago. ¬†We talk on the phone all the time and I look forward to having her within hugging range for a change. ūüôā ¬†My coven will gather for Ostara Sunday morning and she will be here for that as well. Everyone is looking forward to meeting their long- distance sister! We will do a ritual, have brunch and a fire. It will be magickal and filled with love! ¬†Breakfast casserole, muffins and pastries, fruit salad, coffee and juices are on the menu. ¬†Yum!

For Ostara, we often meet in the morning as I love greeting the Sun with a toast. ¬†After all, Ostara is the return of Spring, the return of longer days, of warmth, and green and flowers and leafed out trees. ¬†Mother Earth awakens! Now, I live in Ohio….and we’ve been pretty warm and Spring-like lately. But snow could come back anytime yet lol. ¬†Yesterday, I took a stroll around the yard and discovered lots of my plants and herbs blooming green shoots! ¬†It’s early for sure, but wonderful! ¬†One thing I did do while laid up, was flip thru garden catalogs and magazines, and I have lots of plans to add to our flower beds. We’ll be adding new plants, thinning some, moving some etc. ¬†We’ll be planting new trees, flowering bushes and new flowers to fill new beds. ¬†I so can’t wait! ¬†Right now, all I can do is look. ¬†I’m not healed up enough yet to clean up the beds etc….but I got my hands dirty a bit yesterday and it made me smile. ¬†There is nothing more grounding than digging in the dirt ūüôā

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My Spring cleaning was delayed due to the surgeries, but I had worked very hard on serious purging and organizing beforehand. ¬†I’ve started back up again the last day or two. ¬†I’m down to one cupboard, one closet and a couple kitchen cupboards to go thru yet. ¬†It feels so great to do this. ¬†Purging unwanted, unneeded, and unused items is very freeing ūüôā ¬†It won’t be long and my clothesline will be up again, and clothes, linens and so on will be flapping in the sun and wind! I love that!

I’m going to go ahead and post a couple of recipes for Ostara, since it’s here so fast! ¬†I’m going to be very busy this next week getting ready for our gathering and for my dear company coming, so I’m not sure I’ll be back to write until after. ¬†Foods for Ostara are:¬†Leafy green vegetables, ¬†sunflower and pine nuts, dairy, ¬†fish, hot crossed buns, sweet breads, hard boiled eggs or eggs fixed any way, ¬†honey¬†cakes, and seasonal fruits. ¬†Here’s a couple recipes that should fit right in there!

 

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Rich and Moist Honey Cake

 

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 1‚ĀĄ2 teaspoons baking powder
1‚ĀĄ4 teaspoon salt
1‚ĀĄ2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon orange zest
3‚ĀĄ4 cup butter
3‚ĀĄ4 cup white sugar
3 eggs
1‚ĀĄ4 cup milk
1 cup chopped walnuts

Honey Sauce
1 cup white sugar
1 cup honey
3‚ĀĄ4 cup water
1 teaspoon lemon juice

Preheat oven to 350*  Grease and flour a 9 inch square pan. Combine the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and orange zest. Set aside.

In a large bowl, cream together the butter and 3/4 cup sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time. Beat in the flour mixture alternately with the milk, mixing just until incorporated. Stir in the walnuts.
Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake in the preheated oven for 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Allow to cool for 15 minutes.  Cut cake then Pour honey syrup over the cake.
For the Honey Syrup: In a saucepan, combine honey, 1 cup sugar and water. Bring to a simmer and cook 5 minutes. Stir in lemon juice, bring to a boil and cook for 2 minutes.

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Bacon Spinach Quiche

4 eggs
2 cups milk
1-1/4 cups shredded cheddar cheese, divided
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
4 bacon strips, cooked and crumbled
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground mustard
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1 package (10 ounces) frozen chopped spinach, cooked and drained
1 unbaked pastry shell (9 inches)

Preheat oven to 400*

In a large bowl, beat eggs; whisk in milk, 1 cup cheese, onion, bacon, salt, mustard and paprika. Add spinach.

Pour into pie shell.

Sprinkle with the remaining cheese. Bake at 400¬į for 40 minutes

Yield: 6 servings.

 

There you go…something sweet and something savory ūüôā ¬†Enjoy!

 

I want to wish you all a very happy Ostara….happy Spring…..and have a great week! ¬†Oh, Happy Irish Day as well this week! ¬†It’s a fun week for seeing green…whether it be in your garden beds, or your Irish showing! ¬†Slainte!!

 

Oh, Spring is surely coming,
Her couriers fill the air;
Each morn are new arrivals,
Each night her ways prepare;
I scent her fragrant garments,
Her foot is on the stair.
~John Burroughs, “A March Glee”

 

Love and Blessings

Autumn

 

 

 

 

 

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The Wheel Turns to Imbolc 2016……

“Winter is the time of promise because there is so little to do – or because you can now and then permit yourself the luxury of thinking so.”¬†
–¬†¬†Stanley Crawford

 

imagesMerry Meet! ¬†I hope this writing finds you doing well. ¬†There has been some crazy weather everywhere. ¬†Big snowstorms, flooding, earthquakes, tornadoes..you name it..it’s been out there. ¬†We’ve had none of that lol. ¬†As a matter of fact, we’ve had very little snow, still, which is unusual for Ohio and we are warming up into the 50’s for the next few days. ¬†But, still, I know Imbolc comes. ¬†If you truly watch nature..the rising and setting of Moon and Sun, the habits of birds and critters, the trees and plants…you know.

I have been a very busy Witch preparing for Imbolc. ¬†It’s been all about a serious purging of un-wanted and un-needed items from this house. ¬†It feels so good to have less things taking up space in drawers, closets and cupboards. Even knick knacks, things hanging on the walls, and old throw rugs and blankets are going. ¬†I can’t recommend this enough. ¬†I’ve talked about it before, and I’ve done it many times. ¬†But this is the MOST I’ve ever done. ¬†I truly believe I could become almost a minimalist lol. ¬†It’s a great way to cleanse and clean to prepare for Imbolc and well…just Spring cleaning if you prefer.

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I’m unfortunately having that surgery Monday, so I’ll be celebrating Imbolc on Sunday. Imbolc by the way is February 2. ¬†There will be a fire, lots of candles, a feast, and offerings. ¬†I do honor Brighid for this, Her Sabbat, and will do both altar work and another ritual I’ve talked about before. ¬†Before midnight I turn off all the lights in the house and have lots of candles going throughout. ¬†At midnight, I throw open the doors, invite Brighid to come in and bring all the good things that She does…protection, craftsmanship, prosperity, inspiration, healing, growth, renewal and light. ¬†She is always welcome on my Path and in my home. ¬†I then use my broom to sweep out all the negative, old, stale energy from my home and turn on lights as I go along to each room. ¬†It’s such a lovely ritual, gives me a sense of peace and joy. I will often read a bit of poetry, be sure to wear my silver jewelry, and send out healing energy to those I love in need. ¬†Brighid is an amazing Goddess. ¬†If you aren’t familiar with Her, you might want to be. ¬†I’m reading the book “Tending Brighid’s Flame” by Lunea Weatherstone and highly recommend it! You’ll learn a LOT!

The foods that represent Imbolc are seeds like pumpkin, sunflower, poppy, flax, sesame. Also¬†raisins, dairy foods, spicy foods, pork, lamb, spiced wines, breads, cakes, muffins, pancakes, scones etc. I would add anything made with milk as Imbolc means “ewe’s milk.” ¬† I’ve posted lots of recipes for all the Sabbats, including Imbolc. ¬†To find them, just use the search box on the right side of this page and type in Imbolc recipes or Imbolc. ¬† I thought I’d share a few more here.

 

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Oatmeal Buttermilk Muffins

1 cup quick-cooking oats
1-1/4 cups buttermilk
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 cup raisins

Preheat oven to 400*. In a small bowl, combine oats and buttermilk. In a small bowl, combine the egg, brown sugar and oil; stir in oat mixture. Combine the dry ingredients; stir into batter just until moistened. Fold in raisins.
Fill greased or paper-lined muffin cups three-fourths full. Bake at 400¬į for 15-18 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes before removing from pan to a wire rack.

Yield: 1 dozen.

 

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Slow Cooked Hot Spiced Wine

2 cinnamon sticks (3 inches)
3 whole cloves
2 bottles (750 milliliters each) dry red wine
3 medium tart apples, peeled and sliced
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon lemon juice

Place cinnamon sticks and cloves on a double thickness of cheesecloth. Gather corners of cloth to enclose seasonings; tie securely with string.

In a 3-qt. slow cooker, combine remaining ingredients. Add spice bag. Cook, covered, on low 4-5 hours or until heated through. Discard spice bag. Serve warm.

Yield: 8 servings

 

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Honey Wheat Sunflower Bread

2 cups warm water (120¬į to 130¬į)
2-3/4 to 3-1/4 cups all-purpose or bread flour
2 packages (1/4 ounce each) active dry yeast
1 tablespoon sugar
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup old-fashioned oats
1/3 cup nonfat dry milk powder
1/4 cup butter, melted and cooled
1/4 cup honey
2 teaspoons salt
1 cup unsalted sunflower kernels

In a bowl, combine the water, 2 cups all-purpose or bread flour, yeast and sugar. Beat on low speed for 3 minutes. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 30 minutes. (Mixture will be spongy.)
Stir in the whole wheat flour, oats, milk powder, butter, honey and salt; mix well. Stir in sunflower kernels and as much of the remaining all-purpose or bread flour as you can with a spoon. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes. Shape into a ball. Place in a greased bowl; turn once. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 30-45 minutes.
Punch down and divide in half. Cover and let rest for 10 minutes. Shape into two loaves; place in two greased 8-in. x 4-in. loaf pan. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 30 minutes. Bake at 375¬į for 20 minutes. Cover with foil; bake 15 minutes longer. Remove from pans and cool on wire racks.

Yield: 2 loaves (16 slices each).

My recommendation…make soup with the breads! ¬†Especially nice on a snowy day, or your Imbolc cleaning day or even just for the day itself. ¬†For some great soup recipes, you’ll find them in that search I talked about for Imbolc ūüôā There is nothing better than the scent of soup and warm baked bread on a Winter day…truly.

I wish you all a very blessed Imbolc for you and your loved ones. ¬†May the rest of Winter be kind to you, may you find peace and joy in the quiet times, and know that Spring isn’t too far away.

 

“I stood beside a hill
Smooth with new-laid snow,
A single star looked out
From the cold evening glow.
There was not other creature
That saw what I could see,
I stood and watched the evening star
As long as it watched me.”
– Sara Teasdale, February Twilight

 

Blessings and Love, Autumn

 

 

 

 

 

 

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