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Blessed Samhain 2015 and Recipes!…………

Merry Meet my friends!  It’s Thursday morning and Samhain is Saturday. I can’t believe how fast October has flown by! Too fast!  I’m sitting in my family room, listening to a Halloween Radio staA-BLessed-Samhain-To-Yoution on Pandora, watching leaves blowing around my yard, the Sun shining and birds at the feeders and chipmunks and squirrels gathering.  It’s a gorgeous day after two days of much needed rain.  Quite cool, quite autumnal, and I’m feeling happy and blessed.

My gardens are a wild mess. The last of the Autumn flowers are spent.  The tall grasses are brown and dry.  Some herbs have re-bloomed like parsley, thyme and lemon balm.  (I’ll be grabbing those yet)  My rosemary and lavender are still healthy and useful as I trim some rosemary for my ancestor altar and Ancestor Supper table. There are dried leaves gathered in the beds that will remain to keep warm the plants over the long Winter, and fresh, bright colored leaves are still falling, littering the ground and beds with reds, oranges, and golds. I took a walk in my favorite park that has a beautiful pond.  Watching the geese fly over under blue, clear skies,  the leaves floating in the pond, the bright trees and Sun casting mirror images on the water, I’m reminded of how Mother Earth is winding down to the dark, stark season in a blaze of color and beauty. I never have the feeling it’s a death and dying thing..but a show of how beautiful the seasons are.  No matter the season, they each have their own beauty.  While Autumn to me is the most beautiful, Winter too can be stunningly filled with beauty and I am not sad that Winter comes.

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I have enjoyed the energy of the Full Moon these last few nights, even though I couldn’t see Her the night she was at her fullest.  The foggy, rainy days reminded me of the thinning veil. The mystical, quietness of this time of year, if you’re still enough to notice it.  I’ve been having strong, vivid dreams and vacillate between sleeping hard and feeling restless in the night. How are you feeling? Perhaps tired and restless?  Or calm and filled with energy? I find I’m energized most of the time in Autumn, but an evening by the fire can make me feel drowsy and content.  I find my loved ones who have passed on are very much on my mind and I’m trying to be aware of any messages they may be bringing for me, to be aware of their being close to me, and to leave myself open to any other guides/spirits who may be needing my attention as well.  I keep a dream journal and I’m jotting down anything I remember when I awake. My scrying mirror, tarot cards and candle and fire flames are readily available to such purposes of receiving any messages. As I said in my last post, I find being still and meditative, even drowsy, can bring me closer, easier to my loved ones.

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My coven gathers tomorrow night. Always such a high energy, loving, magickal night. We’ll be doing an ancestor ritual, welcoming in the New Year together, with feast and fire. While we enjoy every Sabbat gathering, and every other gathering, Samhain is always just the best one.  The energy of Samhain is very much within us as a Tribe.  I love my sisters!

I have been visiting some books lately for the Season.  Classics like Edgar Allan Poe poems and “The Halloween Tree” and getting ready to read “The Picture of Dorian Gray”.  I also have been enjoying movies like “Hocus Pocus”, “Sleepy Hollow”, and “The Good Witch” movies.  My daughter, our friend and I saw “The Goosebumps” movie last night and enjoyed it very much!  I love both books and movies during this entire holiday season, from Samhain to Yule.  Music too.  They just put me in the mood!  What are your favorite spooky books or movies?

Cooking and Baking also is such a big part of the holidays for me.  Autumn is especially lovely with warm soups and breads, apple and pumpkin desserts, and hot drinks with cinnamon and spice.  If you do a search in the box on the right here —–> you can find previous Samhain recipes for the last 5 years.  I’m going to add a couple more today.  Also, if you saw my last post, you may have been checking out Samhain’s Sirens and The Sunday Stew for other recipes from myself and others for the Season.  For many, All Hallow’s Eve will bring to mind a witch stirring her cauldron 🙂 Well, yes, that’s me!  Conjuring in my kitchen! I may have a soup or hot cider in my cauldron, or I may have herbs and a smoking charcoal just as easily. If you don’t have a nice cauldron to actually use in your kitchen..I highly recommend a Potje pot.  They come in all sizes and are wonderful!

As a reminder of the foods for Samhain, they are :  Apples, pumpkin pie, pomegranate, pumpkin, squash, hazelnuts, corn, bread, ale, apple cider and herbal tea. Here are a couple of new recipes to fit the bill. One is healthy and one is just sweet and yummy!

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Spinach Pomegranate Salad

3/4 cup unsweetened pomegranate juice
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon minced fresh thyme leaves
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
5 ounces spinach leaves (about 2 lightly packed qts.)
3/4 cup finely shredded radicchio (from 1 head)
1/2 cup pomegranate seeds
1/2 cup coarsely chopped toasted hazelnuts
1 large firm-ripe Bartlett pear

In a small saucepan, boil pomegranate juice until reduced to 1/4 cup, 5 to 6 minutes. Let cool. Whisk in lemon juice, oil, salt, thyme, and pepper.
In a salad bowl, gently mix spinach, radicchio, pomegranate seeds, and hazelnuts with dressing. Divide among 6 plates.
Quarter pear and core. Thinly slice crosswise, then stack slices and cut in matchsticks. Arrange pear on salads.

*To make this salad a full meal, add grilled chicken strips onto the salad and a good crusty bread!

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Sour Cream-Apple Pie

a 9″ pie crust…your own homemade or refrigerated store bought

2 cups apples, peeled, cored and chopped (use your favorite baking apple)

1 cup sugar, divided

1/3 cup plus 2 Tbs all-purpose flour, divided

1/4 tsp salt

1 cup sour cream

1 egg, beaten

1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1 Tb ground cinnamon

2 Tb butter

Place pie crust in a 9″ pie plate; arrange apples in bottom of pie crust.

Combine 2/3 cup sugar, 2 Tbs flour and salt in a large bowl; stir to mix.  Add sour cream, egg and vanilla.  Beat with an electric mixer at medium speed until smooth.  Pour mixture over apples.

Bake at 425* for 15 minutes; reduce heat to 350* and bake 30 more minutes.

Combine in a small bowl the remaining flour, sugar, cinnamon and butter. Sprinkle over top of pie.  Increase heat back to 400* and bake 10 more minutes.  Remove and cool.  Of course, eating it warm is perfect!

*If you’d rather use thinly sliced apples, that is okay too.

Well there you go for a couple of great new recipes.  Again, you can find so many more of my recipes in previous postings.  Whether you’re looking for a simple soup meal, a big feast or just something sweet, you’ll find it here 🙂 Enjoy!

I want to wish you all a very Blessed Samhain and Happy Witchy New Year.  May your ancestors be blessed by how you live YOUR life, how you honor them and how you loved those you knew who have passed beyond the veil.  And may YOU be blessed with a full new year of wonderful things ahead!  Remember to let go that which no longer suits or has meaning or purpose, and find joy in what is to come.  Make it GREAT!

“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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Filed under All Hallow's Eve, Altars, Autumn, Books I'm reading, Correspondence, coven, Full Moons, Gardens, Halloween, Herbs, Holiday, Mother Earth, Movies, Music, Pagan, Photography, Quote, Recipe from my Kitchen, recipes, Sabbat, Samhain, Seasons, Winter, Witch

The Wheel Turns to Samhain 2015……

“Suddenly the day was gone,
night came out from under each tree and spread.”
― Ray Bradbury  “The Halloween Tree”

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAMerry Meet my friends!  It’s been a bit too long since I’ve posted anything here on my blog.  As you all know, Autumn is my favorite time of year and I’ve been very much enjoying all the pleasures of this beautiful, magickal season!  We’ve had temps anywhere between cold, frosty mornings to unseasonably warm afternoons..like today! We went from 32* a couple mornings ago, to 74* today! It’s typical here for Ohio though lol.  I love it either way.  We are at peak color or close to it and it’s a brilliant year for color.  The skies have been clear, with star-filled, Moonlit nights that I love so much!   Crisp, autumn days with leaves crunching underfoot and falling in colorful waves upon the ground, pumpkins grinning from porches, and you gotta love sweaters and scarfs coming out again! I’m in my element that is for sure!.  I’m energized and content!

I hope that you all are enjoying the lovely season too!  Whether you are coming into spring in the southern hemisphere or the fall here.  I also hope that you have been reading and enjoying Samhain’s Sirens this month!  You will find amazing bloggers, music, information, pictures, recipes, crafts, give-aways and so much more!  My recipes are there on most days, so if you’re looking for wonderful Samhain recipes, you need only look there.  The link is on the right side of my post over there —–>  You’ll love it!

The veil is thinning as all witches and pagans know.  Our ancestors and loved ones wait to connect with us, to share with us, to impart knowledge and love to us.  We have only to listen.  I have many friends who have lost loved ones recently, as I have, and I know they look forward to feeling them close again.  Even our beloved pets.  It’s what Samhain is all about for me.  That connection to our family, friends, ancestors, and guides.  There are many forms of divination of which to use to this gain….but I find a quiet flame and quieting my mind, opening myself to them, is all it takes.  What is your best way?  Scrying? Tarot? Meditation? ….There are many.  I’ll be setting up my altar with many tools for that purpose, but being quiet and listening is the main thing for success, I have found.  I hope that you are so blessed with a visit from those you seek the most….and maybe you’ll discover someone else who is trying to reach you too!  Be open to all possibilities!

Samhain is also the Witch’s New Year!  We wind down a year of Sabbat celebrations, of Moon phases from new to full to dark. We have gone from cold, long nights to hot, long days.  We’ve had meteor showers, eclipses, Blood Moons, Supermoons and all the magick that we bring to our lives each and every day.  The New Year is a time to celebrate our past year, let go of those things unwanted..both physically and mentally, and look forward to planning our next year.  It’s a time for looking back and looking forward.  I find myself getting ready to nest in.  Even with the upcoming holidays, it’s knowing the dark season is upon us. Being by hearth and fire during long, dark, cold nights can be cozy, introspective, productive and filled with comfort and joy.  Even if you don’t have a fireplace, fill your home with the warmth of candlelight, bake and cook things that scent your home with goodness, have warm blankets and cozy jammies you love, a stack of books by your chair, a project or two you’d like to get done, and maybe something new to learn too.  Your winter will be wonderful.  I always look at it as a time to work on myself, my home and a time to increase my knowledge on something I want to learn!

Yesterday, my daughters and grandkids and I did something together that was so simple and so fun. We made homemade applesauce.  A really, yummy, cinnamon-y applesauce.  The kids got involved by learning how to use an apple slicer, stirring in brown sugar, measuring out cinnamon etc. They loved it as did my daughters and I.  It so brought to mind for me doing that very thing with my grandmother when I was a child. And while I don’t remember making applesauce with my girls when they were young, we certainly did a LOT of baking and cooking together.  Seeing my daughter teaching her children what she learned from me…well…it’s a special thing.  I can’t wait to tell my grandma, when I hear from her through the veil on Samhain night, all about it!  ❤

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I thought you might enjoy trying the recipe too since apples are abundant right now…. so here you go!  This is not the canning type of recipe.  This is for immediate use. Jarred up, it should last a while in your fridge.

 Cinnamon Applesauce

6 pounds of apples, peeled, cored and sliced into 8 slices (use your favorite kind..we used cortlands)

1 cup apple juice or apple cider

3 Tbs lemon juice

1/2 cup packed brown sugar. (we added 2 Tbs more)

2 tsp ground cinnamon

Combine all ingredients in a large pot and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, for 25 minutes.

Use a masher to mash down any chunks.  If you like it super thin, run it through a blender or food processor (we liked the texture without doing that)

Store in covered jar or plastic container.

So easy and you will love it!  Would be great in recipes calling for applesauce as well!

I am in the process of working on getting my altar set up.  I got my Mabon altar taken down, cleansed and cleaned my table and it’s ready to set up.  Samhain is my very favorite altar to do..well, I think it is. I love most of them. I’ll post a picture here as soon as it’s done.  I’ll also be back in a few days with more recipes as my recipe posts are my most popular 🙂

My coven of wonderful sisters will be gathering on the 30th.  Samhain night is Beggar’s Night here…so we have chosen the night before so we could be with our families for Trick or Treat with our kids and grandkids.  We will have a feast, a hearth fire, a ritual for our loved ones who have crossed the veil, and we will be in full Witch regalia which is so so fun!  I so love celebrating Samhain with them.  That includes those sisters I hold dear that live in other states….they know who they are ❤

Samhain is a magickal time. To me, the most wonderful time of the year.  (now that song is going through your head right? LOL!)  However you celebrate it, whether quietly or with full All Hallow’s Eve celebrations…enjoy it!!  I’ll be back soon!

Blessings and Love,

Autumn

*All pictures are my own.

 

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Filed under Altars, Autumn, coven, Daughters, Family, Friends, Grandchildren, Holiday, New Year, Pagan, Photography, Quote, Recipe from my Kitchen, Sabbat, Winter, Witch

Blessed Lughnasadh, Recipes and a Blue Moon………

3265027486_3541061edf_oMerry Meet!  What a beautiful day it is!  We have had a couple of gorgeous weather days.  Less humidity, sunshine, and nice breezes.  And the Moon…the bright Blue Moon!  She has been amazing!  I’ll be spending a lot of time under Her tonight..absorbing the energy, collecting and energizing Blue Moon water, charging crystals and tools, and drawing Her down.  All by a fire!  I’ll also be putting up fresh wards and protections too, again, using that energy.  I hope you’re taking advantage of it! After all, there won’t be another for some time!

My plans for Lughnasadh are in place.  Tomorrow, I’ll be baking bread and making herbed oils as I do every year. I’m planning on making rosemary olive oil and lemon balm olive oil.  They are my favorites! I’m also going to make my own perfume oils and charge them up under that Blue Moon.  Wearing them will give me that added boost of energy!  If I have time, I’ll be harvesting herbs again as well.  If not, I’ll do that on Sun day.  My grandkids are coming to spend the night on Lughnasadh night, so I’ll have to see how time goes in the morning 🙂  It’s been a while since they’ve spent the night at Nana’s house and we are planning lots of fun stuff to do.  So love having them over, making memories.

I promised I’d be back with a couple of recipes and I found a couple I’ll be trying as well.  You can find all the correspondence relating to Lughnasadh/Lammas if you use the search box on the right here on my blog.  But as a reminder, the foods for Lughnasadh are wheat, oat and corn breads, barley cakes, corn, potatoes, nuts, squash, berries, apples, pears, crab, grapes, beer and cider.  These recipes fit the bill just great!

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Fresh Apple and Pear Salad

4 medium apples, leave peels on and slice thinly

2 medium pears, leave peels on and slice thinly

1 medium cucumber, seeded and chopped

1 medium red onion, halved and sliced thinly

1/4 cup apple cider or apple juice

1 Tb snipped fresh dill

1 Tb olive oil

1 Tb spicy brown mustard

2 tsp brown sugar

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 tsp pepper

In a large bowl, combine apples, pears, cucumber and onion.

In a small bowl, whisk remaining ingredients until well blended. Pour over apple mixture and toss to coat well

Refrigerate.

*Makes 6-8 servings.

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Hot Baked Crab Dip

1 (8oz) pkg cream cheese, softened

1 cup sour cream

1 Tb lemon juice

1 tsp ground mustard

1 tsp seafood seasoning

1/8 tsp garlic salt

3 (6oz) cans lump crabmeat, drained

1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese

1/8 tsp paprika

assorted crackers

Preheat oven to 325*

In a large bowl, combine the cream cheese, sour cream, lemon juice, mustard, seafood seasoning and garlic salt.  Fold in the crab.

Transfer to a greased 9″ pie baking dish.  Sprinkle with cheese and paprika.

Bake at 325* for 20-25 minutes or until bubbly. Serve warm with crackers. Refrigerate leftovers.

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Honey Whole Wheat Oat Bread

*makes 2 loaves

2 cups whole milk
1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats  plus additional for topping
1/2 cup warm water (105-115°F)
2 tablespoons active dry yeast
1/2 cup honey
1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter, melted and cooled, plus additional for buttering pans
3 cups whole-wheat flour

2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon salt
Vegetable oil for oiling bowl
1 large egg, lightly beaten with 1 tablespoon water
Heat milk in a 1 1/2- to 2-quart saucepan over low heat until hot but not boiling, then remove pan from heat and stir in oats. Let stand, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until cooled to warm.

Stir together water, yeast, and 1 teaspoon honey in a small bowl; let stand until foamy, 5 minutes. (If mixture doesn’t foam, discard and start over with new yeast.) Stir yeast mixture, melted butter, and remaining honey into cooled oatmeal.

Stir together whole-wheat flour, 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, and salt in a large bowl. Add oat mixture, stirring with a wooden spoon until a soft dough forms. Turn out onto a well-floured surface and knead with floured hands, adding just enough of remaining all-purpose flour to keep from sticking, until dough is smooth, soft, and elastic, about 10 minutes (dough will be slightly sticky). Form dough into a ball and transfer to an oiled large bowl, turning to coat. Cover bowl loosely with plastic wrap and a kitchen towel; let rise at warm room temperature until doubled in bulk, 1 to 1 1/2 hours.

Lightly butter or spray loaf pans. Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead several times to remove air. Divide dough in half and shape each half into a loaf, then place 1 loaf in each prepared pan, seam side down, tucking ends gently to fit. Cover loaf pans loosely with a kitchen towel and let dough rise in a draft-free place at warm room temperature until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.

Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 375°F. Lightly brush tops of loaves with some of egg wash and sprinkle with oats, then bake until bread is golden and loaves sound hollow when tapped on bottom, 35 to 40 minutes. (Remove 1 loaf from pan to test for doneness. Run a knife around edge of pan to loosen.)

Remove bread from pans and transfer to a rack to cool completely, about 1 1/2 hours.

I think you’ll love these recipes!   I can tell you the crab dip is delicious and so is the bread! The apple-pear salad is a new recipe for me but I’ll be trying it and it sounds delicious!

As the grain dies, it transforms to bread,
and brings us life through the winter.
We bless this bread, and it blesses us in return,
and we are thankful for the gift of the harvest.”
– Patti Wigington

I want to wish you all a very Blessed Lughnsadh and may the Blue Moon shine Her very special energy on you and yours  tonight!  I also want to again thank my readers and friends for all the support for my blog over the years.  It continues to amaze me!  It’s so much appreciated.  I love your comments and when you let me know how my blog may have had some impact on your life, whether you’ve tried a recipe etc.  Thank you so much!

Blessings and Love,

Autumn

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October and Samhain’s Sirens……….

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Merry Meet everyone!  I hope that you all had a very Blessed Mabon and that Autumn has finally come to your neck of the woods.  I love October! It’s my very favorite month of the whole year lol..as all of you who know me or have read anything here know.  My name ought to give it away as well.  I come so alive when Autumn comes…my heart is brighter, my steps are lighter, my energy level is high and I relish every moment of this most wonderful time of the year! How does it make you feel?  Are you loving every minute or are you just dreading that Winter is coming?  I sure hope that you are all loving it!! Most of my Witch friends of course, are loving it! 🙂

“Crispy air and azure skies,
High above, a white cloud flies,
Bright as newly fallen snow.
Oh the joy to those who know October!

Scolding sparrows on the lawn,
Rabbits frisking home at dawn,
Pheasants midst the sheaves of grain,
All in harmony acclaim, October!

Brown earth freshly turned by plow,
Apples shine on bended bough,
Bins o’erflowed with oats and wheat,
And satisfaction reigns complete. October!

Radiant joy is everywhere.
Spirits in tune to the spicy air,
Thrill in the glory of each day.
Life’s worth living when we say, October!”
–   Joseph Pullman Porter

Here in Ohio we are finally having Fall weather.  Nice days with cool nights.  We were very dry but finally, yesterday and today, we got some rain.  The leaves are changing color…brilliant reds have started and some trees are losing their leaves like crazy already.  We are having fires in the fireplace (so so cozy!), the crockpot is in action and I’m in the mood for homemade breads, baked goods with apples and pumpkin, and soup!  Today, it didn’t get out of the 40’s and I had to wear a sweater!! Yay!!  I have decorated the house for Fall, my spice scented candles are lit often, and wood is stacked at the back door, ready to give us cozy, warm fires for the next few months.

 

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A beautiful “Autumn Blaze” Maple

 

Our garden beds are cleaned up of all the flowers that are spent or ready to be cut back.  I harvested the last of almost all my herbs.  Fennel seeds are still maturing and I always leave some lavender and rosemary for my Samhain altar and Ancestor supper table. I got more then three harvests from my herbs this year. I so loved it and will miss my herb bed over the long Winter.  But I have lots of dried herbs for cooking, my herbal potions and products and of course, for Magick!

 

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My wonderful last harvest of herbs!

 

I’m late doing this but I wanted to let my readers know that it’s time for Samhain’s Sirens!  An online blog written by many wonderful Witch friends of mine.  It started on October 1 and will continue through Samhain.  You will find lots of wonderful Witchy things…blog posts, crafts, music, drink recipes, Remembrances, altar pictures etc etc…and oh….lots of recipes from ME!  I dug out some of my best and favorite recipes to share with you!  Come follow the fun and try to win a give -away too!  The link is on the right here on this blog…look for the icon that says Samhain’s Sirens. Just click on it and it’ll take you there. Once there, you can sign up to follow it so you see the post each day.  You’ll love it! It’s all about putting us in the mood for this wonderful Sabbat!

Mercury has gone retrograde today (uh oh) and we are waxing to the Full Blood Moon.  The veil is thinning..can you feel it?  The wheel is spinning fast to Samhain.  Too fast!  September flew by and I want time to slow down now so I can savor every moment of this delicious Season.

 

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I’ll be back soon to talk about Samhain, share some recipes and have a visit.  In the meantime, throw on a sweater and go outside. Breathe in the crisp air and scent of woodsmoke,  listen to the wind through the beautiful colored leaves of the trees, look for that waxing Moon, feel the Earth beneath your feet before She’s covered with snow, and have a taste of tart cider or apple.  Be grateful for the beauty of this time of year!  Mother Earth is giving us quite a show before She goes quiet to rest.  Blessed Be!

 

Blessings and Love, Autumn

*All the pictures are my own.

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The Wheel Turns to Samhain 2013……………….


 

“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

     

Merry Evening dear readers!   Has Autumn arrived in your neck of the woods?  The Season of Autumn I mean *giggles*  (yes, I LOVE my name this time of year…it’s so much fun!!)   Well, Fall has arrived here big time.  We are near peak in color..though I will say it’s not the most brilliant color I’ve seen.  We have cool, breezy days, and cold nights. We’ve had some rain and some crisp, blue skies…and OH the Nights! Inky black with twinkling stars and  the Blood Moon has been brilliant…big and bright and beautiful!  It’s been cold enough for the heat to go on, the fireplace to have a roaring fire, and sweaters and jackets pulled out of closets.  My crockpot and oven are hot most of the time, and I constantly want to go for a walk, or cook something with apples, or pick up perfect leaves to press and save.  I’ve got a stack of books on one side of me, and a basket of crochet on the other.  I am one happy Witch!  After all, it IS my Season! 🙂

Samhain is coming upon us fast. The Witch’s New Year…the night we all anticipate all year long.  It is the Most magickal, the Most emotional, and the Most busy night of the year for many of us.  There are gatherings to plan, rituals to prepare, feasts to cook, fires to tend, ancestors to await a visit from, and quiet introspection and divination to be done.  For many, there is also trick or treat night, costume parties, houses to decorate to the delight of children and adults alike, and finding the perfect Witch hat or cape to please ourselves!  Whew….no wonder October…the best month of the year..flies by so fast!!   They say Time flies when you’re having fun…and October is proof of that!

Last year, my Samhain was a bit thrown together and scattered…..because I was in the process of selling our home.  This year, I’m working and planning ahead.  I have a Circle of Witches now who will gather here on Nov 3 for our fire gathering and feasting.   I have Beggar’s Night on the 30th which I’ll spend with hubby, daughters, son-in-law and grandkids and whoever else happens along. There will be soups in the crockpot, bread in the oven and a yummy apple dessert to share.  Samhain night is our Ancestor Supper and a solitary ritual for myself. Oh and of course a fire!!  Speaking of desserts..I have to share a new recipe I came across!!  So simple and soooo yummy!!

Picture courtesy of Allrecipes.com

Picture courtesy of Allrecipes.com

Country Apple Dumplings

2 baking apples of your choice, peeled, cored and wedged into 8 wedges per apple ( 16 total)

2 cans of crescent rolls

1 cup butter

1 1/2 cups sugar

1 tsp cinnamon

12 oz can of Mountain Dew or Sprite  (yep..you got it) LOL

Preheat oven to 350*  Grease a 9″ x 13″ baking dish

Cut each apple as above and set aside.  Separate the crescent roll dough into triangles. Roll each apple wedge in the dough starting at the smallest end.  Pinch to seal and place in the baking dish.

Melt butter in a small saucepan and stir in the sugar and cinnamon.   Pour over the dumplings.  The pour the citrus soda over the dumplings.

Bake for 35-45 minutes until golden brown.

*I understand this recipe is All over Pinterest! LOL.

For me, what really represents what Samhain  is all about…. Is the thinning of the veil..the chance to communicate with those who have passed thru the veil….The Ancestor Supper, Soul Supper, Dumb Supper.  Whatever you call it, it represents a meal with your ancestors.  Lighting candles and setting a place at the table, and inviting those who have passed over to come and partake with you,  is a lovely and meaningful ritual.  If you are truly quiet in mouth and mind, you may hear what they have to say to you….they DO want to communicate.  They want to know how we are doing as much as we want to know how they are doing.  It’s our chance to express that they are missed, that they are still loved, that they will never be forgotten.  They may have words of wisdom for us as well.  One of the things I do, is place Rosemary in pots at their place setting.  Rosemary is for remembrance.  Another thing to do for yourself, write them a note or letter and place it at their seat.  Often, one seat at my table, represents All my ancestors..those recently passed and those long gone.  What is your practice? Do you have a Dumb Supper, divinate or scry at your altar, burn letters?  All are wonderful ways to honor our Ancestors on this night.

My Soul Supper Table 2011

My Soul Supper Table 2011

So you busy Witches, smile while you’re busy flying around on your brooms preparing for this most magickal of Nights!  Whether your Night is solitary and quiet, or a huge gathering, or something in between….there is no doubt that you will Feel your most Witchiest, your most magickal, and your most Joyful!  For the muggles, it’s just about costumes and candy…for Us!  It’s sooooo much MORE!!!  Many Blessings for a wonderful Samhain.  May your Path be filled with Mystery and Magick!

*oh…no drinking and flying  LOL!!

Blessings, Autumn

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Filed under Autumn, Family, Full Moons, Holiday, New Year, Poem, Recipe from my Kitchen, Ritual, Samhain, Seasons

Samhain Recipes 2012…….

 

 

Happy Sun day my friends!  My favorite day of the week…especially in the Fall 🙂  It’s been a busy day here. I got dinner in the crock pot..a yummy roast.  Then I spent some time packing up boxes for our move.  Got 10 boxes packed from pantry and kitchen and a few other things that don’t require a box.  They’ll go off to the storage room tomorrow.  After that…I have been reading, watching Miss Marple movies (Sara and I love them!) and crocheting a bit.   I’m about to start a fire as well. 🙂

We had a gorgeous day!  Woke  up to thick fog, the red leaves on the trees had an eerie glow.  Eventually the Sun came up and burned off the fog and we now have beautiful blue skies, an early Moonrise, and a bit of a breeze.  Leaves are lazily blowing here and there, birds bathing in the pond and feeding at the feeders and a deer walked across our yard a bit ago…enjoying the weather too.  A day to remember and enjoy!

Now for those recipes…I have been perusing the Fall magazines and my cookbooks and came up with a few I thought you all would enjoy.  So here we go!

Hot Spiced Cider

*I love the citrus and maple flavors of this cider!

1 gallon apple cider or apple juice

1 cup orange juice

1/4 cup maple syrup

1/2 teaspoon orange extract

1/2 teaspoon lemon extract

4 cinnamon sticks

2 teaspoons whole cloves

1 teaspoon whole allspice

In a Dutch oven, combine the first five ingredients. Place the cinnamon sticks, cloves and allspice on a double thickness of cheesecloth; bring up corners of cloth and tie with string to form a bag. Add to the pan. Cook, uncovered, over medium heat for 10-15 minutes or until flavors are blended (do not boil). Discard spice bag. Yield: 4-1/2 quarts

Harvest Pumpkin Soup

2 TB unsalted butter

1 large potato, peeled and chopped

1 large onion, chopped

4 1/2 cups chicken broth

1 15-oz can pumpkin

salt and freshly ground pepper

1/4 tsp ground nutmeg

1/2 pint heavy cream

In a large pot over medium heat, melt butter.  Add potato and onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is translucent, about 8 mins.  Add chicken broth and bring to a boil.  Cover, reduce heat to low, and cook until potato is tender, 10 to 12 mins.

Stir in pumpkin.  Using an immersion blender, puree mixture until smooth. (You can use a blender too) Stir in 1/2 tsp salt, 1/8 tsp pepper and nutmeg. Increase heat to medium-high and bring mixture to a boil.  cover, reduce heat to low, and cook for 10 mins. Stir in cream and heat thoroughly.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Serve hot.

Makes 8 servings

Harvest Salad

1 large butternut squash

2 TBs olive oil

2 Tbs honey

1 tsp kosher salt

1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper

1 8-oz bottle poppy seed dressing

1/4 cup fresh or frozen cranberries

8 oz mixed greens

4 oz goat cheese, crumbled

3/4 cup pecan halves, toasted

6 bacon slices, cooked and crumbled

Preheat oven to 400* Peel and seed squash, cut into 3/4 inch cubes.  Toss together squash, olive oil, honey, salt and pepper in a large bowl.  Place in a single layer in a lightly greased, foil lined jelly roll pan.  Bake 20-25 mins until squash is tender, stirring once halfway thru.  Remove from oven and cool in pan for 10-15 mins.

Meanwhile, pulse poppy seed dressing and cranberries in a blender 3-4 times or until cranberries are coarsely chopped.  This will be your dressing.

Toss together squash, salad greens, goat cheese, bacon and pecans in a large serving platter.  Serve with dressing.

Makes 6-8 servings.

Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bread

3 cups all-purpose  flour

2 teaspoons ground  cinnamon

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking  soda

4 eggs

2 cups sugar

2 cups canned  pumpkin

1-1/2 cups canola  oil

1-1/2 cups (6 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips

In a large bowl, combine the flour, cinnamon, salt and  baking soda. In another bowl, beat the eggs, sugar, pumpkin and oil. Stir into dry ingredients just until moistened. Fold in chocolate chips.

Pour into two greased 8-in. x 4-in. loaf pans. Bake at 350° for 60-70 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks.    Makes 2 loaves (16 slices each)

Herbed Pork and Apples

1 teaspoon each dried sage, thyme, rosemary and marjoram, crushed

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon pepper

1 bone-in pork loin roast (about 6 pounds)

4 medium tart apples, cut into 1-inch chunks

1 large red onion, cut into 1-inch chunks

3 tablespoons brown sugar

1 cup apple juice

2/3 cup maple syrup

Combine herbs, salt and pepper; rub over roast. Cover and refrigerate for several hours or overnight.

Bake, uncovered, at 325° for 1-1/2 hours. Drain fat. Mix apples and onion with brown sugar; spoon around roast. Continue to roast 1 hour or until meat thermometer      reads 160°-170°. Transfer the roast, apples and onion to a serving platter and keep warm.

Skim excess fat from meat juices; pour into a heavy skillet (or leave in the roasting pan if it can be heated on stove top). Add apple juice and syrup. Cook and stir over      medium-high heat until liquid has been reduced by half, about 1 cup. Slice roast and serve with gravy.

Apple Sweet Potato Side

5 medium sweet potatoes (2-1/2 pounds)

4 cups sliced peeled tart apples (about 4 medium)

3/4 cup thawed apple juice concentrate

1-1/2 cups plus 2 tablespoons cold water, divided

1/4 cup sugar

1/4 cup packed brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

7-1/2 teaspoons cornstarch

1/4 cup butter, cubed

Place sweet potatoes in a large saucepan or Dutch oven and cover with water. Bring to a boil; cover and cook for 30-45 minutes or until tender. Drain. When cool enough to handle, peel and slice potatoes.

•Place apples in a large saucepan and cover with water. Cover and cook over medium heat for 7-8 minutes or until crisp-tender; drain. Place apples and sweet potatoes in a greased 2-1/2-qt. baking dish.

In a small saucepan, combine apple juice concentrate, 1-1/2 cups water, sugars and salt. Combine cornstarch with remaining water until smooth; gradually stir into apple juice concentrate mixture. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened and bubbly.

Remove from the heat; stir in butter until melted. Pour over potato mixture. Bake, uncovered, at 325° for 30-35 minutes or until heated through.

Apple Crumb Bars

3 cups all-purpose flour

1-1/2 cups old-fashioned oats

1-1/2 cups packed brown sugar

3/4 teaspoon baking soda

1-1/4 cups cold butter, divided

5 to 6 cups thinly sliced peeled apples

1 cup sugar

3 tablespoons cornstarch

1 cup cold water

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

In a large bowl, combine the flour, oats, brown sugar and baking soda; cut in 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Set aside 2 cups for topping. Press remaining crumbs into a greased 13-in. x 9-in. baking dish. Arrange apples over top; set aside.

In a saucepan, combine the sugar, cornstarch, water, vanilla and remaining butter. Bring to a boil. Cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thick and bubbly; spread over apples. Sprinkle with reserved crumbs.

Bake at 350° for 35-45 minutes or until top is lightly browned.

Makes3-4 dozen.

I hope you enjoy them, try them.  Let me know if you do! Well, my dinner is ready and I want to start a fire.  The Sun is setting on a beautiful evening.  Nightmare Before Christmas just came on and I want to watch it with my daughter. “This is Halloween This is Halloween!:  :))   I wish you all a Blessed Night!

Blessings and Love, Autumn

Sources:  Recipes from my kitchen, Southern Living and Country Living magazines.

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Filed under Autumn, Holiday, Recipe from my Kitchen, Samhain, Seasons

Samhain Recipes……..

Merry Meet my friends!  I’m sitting here with candles lit, listening to a heavy October evening rain and enjoying and Irish Cream!  I am just loving this Autumn!  October has just been beautiful..even a rainy night just soothes my soul.  I have spent the day cooking, spent some time with my daughters and grandkids, and am just relaxed and content tonight 🙂

I have been busy gathering recipes for about a week now to post here on my blog for you all.  I can vouch for several of these recipes as I’ve made them or made them often!  The potato soup picture and the apple pie pictures are from my own kitchen, my own camera and what I spent the day making today! 🙂  You will love both of them..I promise!

Ok…here we go…I always start with the magickal recipes first:

Samhain Oil Blend

*add to 1/8 cup base oil of your choice

3 drops Rosemary

 3 drops Pine

 3 drops Bay

 3 drops Apple

 2 drops Patchouli

Samhain Spirit Incense

2 parts Cinnamon

1 part ground cloves

1 part Dragon’s Blood resin

1 part Hyssop

1 part Patchouli

2 parts Rosemary

1 part Sage

A dash of sea salt

*This is a personal favorite of mine..and I always make a large amount!  If you can’t find Hyssop..just leave it out or substitute for something else….Try allspice or Star anise to keep with the spicy scent..or add pine or cedar!

 

  “We should look for someone to eat and drink WITH

 before looking for something to eat and drink”  

~Epicurus

 

Apricot- Apple Cider

 1 gal apple cider

1 (11.5oz) can apricot nectar

2 cups sugar

2 cups orange juice

¾ cup lemon juice

4 (3in) long cinnamon sticks

2 tsps ground allspice

1 tsp ground cloves

½ tsp ground nutmeg

 Bring all ingredients to a boil in a Dutch oven; reduce heat, and simmer 10 mins.  Remove cinnamon sticks and serve Hot!  (Makes 21 cups)

 

Cranberry- Brie Cheese Spread

 1 (15 oz) round Brie

1 (16 oz) can whole-berry cranberry sauce

¼ cup firmly packed brown sugar

2 Tb. Spiced rum (or orange juice)

½ tsp ground nutmeg

¼ cup chopped pecans, toasted

 Trim the rind from top of Brie, leaving a 1/3 inch border on top.  Place Brie on a baking sheet

Stir together cranberry sauce and next 3 ingredients; spread mixture evenly over top of Brie.  Sprinkle evenly with pecans.

 Bake at 500* for 5 mins.  Serve with assorted crackers, apple and pear slices.

 

Spicy October Morning Pumpkin Bread

3-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon ground allspice
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1-1/3 cups packed brown sugar
3/4 cup  milk
1/3 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 large eggs
1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin
Cooking spray
1/3 cup chopped walnuts

 
Preheat oven to 350º.

 Combine flour and the next 7 ingredients (flour through cloves) in a large bowl; make a well in center of mixture. Combine sugar and the next 5 ingredients (sugar through pumpkin) in a bowl, and stir well with a whisk until smooth. Add to flour mixture, stirring just until moist.

Spoon batter into 2 (8 x 4-inch) loaf pans coated with cooking spray, and sprinkle with walnuts. Bake at 350º for 1 hour or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool loaves in pans 10 minutes on a wire rack; remove from pans. sprinkle a little natural sugar on the top. Cool loaves completely.

 

Sweet Potato Biscuits

 1 large sweet potato

2 cups self rising flour

¼ cup sugar

3 Tbs shortening

2 Tbs butter, cold and cut up

1/3 cup milk

 Bake sweet potato at 350* for 1 hour or until tender; cool slightly.  Peel and mash; and cool.

 Combine flour and sugar in a medium bowl. Cut shortening and butter into flour mixture with a pastry blender until crumbly; add mashed sweet potato and milk, stirring just until dry ingredients are moistened. 

 Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface, and knead 3 to 4 times.  Roll dough to ½ inch thickness; cut with a 2 inch biscuit cutter.  Place on a lightly greased baking sheet.

 Bake at 400* for 15 mins or until golden brown. 

 *These are great with my potato soup!  You can slice them, add country ham and honey and they make delicious sandwiches on their own or with the soup!

 

 

Kate’s Slow Cooker Bacon- Potato Soup

 *Got this from my daughter and it’s probably one of the best and easy soups I’ve had!

 1 (5 lb bag) potatoes..cut into small cubes

1 lb bacon, cooked and crumbled.  ½ goes in the slow cooker, ½ save as a topper

3 (14.5oz) cans chicken broth

1 can cream of chicken soup

8 oz sour cream

 

Put all ingredients in crockpot..cook for 8-10 hours on low.

*Great topped with shredded cheddar cheese, bacon crumbles and crackers!

 

Autumn Cranberry Chicken

*Slow Cooker

4 boneless skinless chicken breast

1 (16oz) can whole-berry cranberry sauce

1 cup Russian salad dressing

1.35oz pkg onion soup mix

Cooked rice

Place chicken in the slow cooker, cutting pieces in half if desired.  Combine remaining ingredients except rice; spoon over chicken.  Cover and cook on low for 6 hours.  Serve over cooked rice.  Serves 4

 

 

Sweet Apple Acorn Squash

2 acorn squash, halved and seeded

2 apples, peeled, cored and chopped

3 Tbs packed brown sugar

3 Tbs chopped pecans

1 tsp all-purpose flour

¼ tsp cinnamon

2 Tbs butter, softened

 Place acorn squash halves cut side down in a greased 13” x 9” baking pan.  Bake at 350* for 30 mins.  Combine remaining ingredients.  Turn squash over and fill with apple mixture.  Bake, uncovered, for another 15-30 mins until squash is soft when pierced with a fork.  Serves 4.

 

Ok..so Halloween is after all about the “sweet” treats too…so these are some favorite recipes just for the sweet toothed!

 

 

Halloween Poke Cake

 1 package (18-1/4 ounces) fudge marble cake mix

2 packages (3 ounces each) orange gelatin

1 cup boiling water

1/2 cup cold water

1/2 cup butter, softened

3-1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar

1/3 cup baking cocoa

1/4 cup milk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

12 to 15 candy pumpkins

 Prepare and bake cake according to package directions, using a greased 13-in. x 9-in. baking pan. Cool on a wire rack for 1 hour.

In a small bowl, dissolve gelatin in boiling water; stir in cold water. With a meat fork or wooden skewer, poke holes in cake about 2 in. apart. Slowly pour gelatin over cake. Refrigerate for 2-3 hours.

For frosting, in a small bowl, cream butter until fluffy. Beat in the confectioners’ sugar, cocoa, milk and vanilla until smooth. Spread over cake; top with candy pumpkins. Cover and refrigerate until serving. Makes 12-15 servings.

 

 

Spice Cookies with Pumpkin Dip

1-1/2 cups butter, softened

2 cup sugar

2 eggs

1/2 cup molasses

4 cups all-purpose flour

4 teaspoons baking soda

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon each ground ginger and cloves

1 teaspoon salt

 PUMPKIN DIP:

 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened

2 cups pumpkin pie filling

2 cups confectioners’ sugar

1/2 to 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

 For Cookies:

In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs and molasses. Combine the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, cloves and salt; add to creamed mixture and mix well. Chill overnight.

Shape into 1/2-in. balls; roll in sugar. Place 2 in. apart on ungreased baking sheets. Bake at 375° for 6 minutes or until edges begin to brown. Cool for 2 minutes before removing to a wire rack.

For Dip:

 Beat cream cheese in a large bowl until smooth. Beat in pumpkin pie filling. Add the sugar, cinnamon and ginger and mix well. Serve with cookies. Store leftover dip in the refrigerator.

Makes about 20 dozen cookies and  3 cups of dip.

 

Autumn’s Amish Apple Pie

Ok, those of you who are my facebook friends, Know that I think this is the best apple pie I’ve ever had! Try it..let me know what you think!!

 Make Streusel topping:

 1/3 cup sugar

¼ cup brown sugar

½ cup plus 2 Tb all purpose flour

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp nutmeg

Speck of salt

½ cup (1 stick) butter, cold

½ cup coarsely chopped English walnuts

 In a food processor bowl, mix the first 6 ingredients.  Add the butter and process until the mixture is crumbly; it should still have a dry look to it..don’t overprocess.  Stir in nuts and set aside.

 

 Apple filling:

 4 large apples like Granny Smith, McIntosh or Cortlands (which I love!)

1 cup sugar

3 Tbs all purpose flour

½ tsp ground cinnamon

1 egg

1 cup heavy whipping cream

1 tsp vanilla

 Preheat oven to 350*F.  Peel, core and thinly slice the apples;  there should be 4 cups.  Place the apples in the pie shell.  In a small bowl, mix sugar, flour, and cinnamon.  Set aside.  Beat the egg in a medium bowl, and add the cream and vanilla.  Add the sugar mixture to the egg mixture and blend.   Pour over the apples.  Bake for 1 hour in the lower 1/3 of the oven.  After 20 mins of baking, sprinkle the streusel over the top of the apples and continue baking approximately 40 mins longer, or until the top puffs and is golden brown.

 Crust:

 Ok..you can of course just buy a pie crust ready made and there is nothing wrong with that at all.

 However…I have a great recipe for a Pat-in-the-Pan crust that is easy and awesome!  It will fit an 8” or 9” pie pan.   You’ll love it!!  It is flaky and delicious!

(Oh this is can only be used for a single crust pie…you can’t double it and try to roll it out for a top crust…its too soft to do that)

 2 cups all purpose flour

2 tsps sugar

1 tsp salt

2/3 cup vegetable oil

3 Tbs cold milk

 Place the flour, sugar and salt in the pie pan and mix with your fingers until well blended.  In a measuring cup, combine the oil and milk and beat with a fork until creamy.  Pour all at once over the flour mixture is completely moistened.  Pat the dough with your fingers, first up the sides of the plate, then across the bottom.  Flute the edges.  It’s now ready to be filled with the apples!

 

 

 

 

A couple of hints..I make the crust first..then put it in the fridge til I have the apples ready to fill it..keeps it from getting too wet.  I halved the nutmeg for myself..but you can put in up to 1 tsp of nutmeg if you love it!…it’ll be strong but great!  This pie can be known to run over the edges of the pie pan..so I always put them on a cookie sheet with some foil on it ..just in case!  You will love this pie..I promise..actually..I’m having a piece right now!! :))

 

I hope that you all enjoy All the recipes.  For me, Autumn and Winter are the best times of the year for cooking good, warm, comfort foods and to bake to your hearts content!  My family so appreciates my efforts and I put lots of magick into my cooking and baking to bring love, abundance, peace and joy into my home. 

Well, I’m off to finish my piece of pie, to listen to the rain, and read for a bit.  I’ll post a favorite Samhain ritual and my altar pics soon!  Until then, I hope you are enjoying this magickal time of year to the fullest!

 

   “There is no sight on earth more appealing than the sight of a woman

      making dinner for someone she loves.”         

                                                 ~Thomas Wolfe

Blessings and Love, Autumn

Sources:  My recipes or from my cookbooks, pictures are mine or from the internet. 

 

 

 

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Filed under Autumn, Loose incense recipe, Oil Blend Recipe, Photography, Quote, Recipe from my Kitchen, Samhain