Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Yule Chant

(posted this because I like it a lot and it's true)

Yule Chant by Patricia Monaghan

"From the beginning, the end comes.
From rest, movement comes.
From life, death comes.
From light, darkness comes.
From darkness comes light.
From death comes life.
From movement comes rest.
From the end comes the beginning."

Season of Quiet Spell

(Scrying or Divining - always searching for answers, this one is good to do when you have extra quiet time for yourself after the mad rush of the holiday season...wind down and sit for a quiet spell)

Season of Quiet Spell

Winter is the season of introspection and wisdom. Its cold, quiet days give us a chance to rest after the spring and summer seasons of growth and expansion. Now we may meditate on chances taken, lessons learned, and other subtle changes. This is a perfect time for scrying. For this spell, you will need three candles—one each of black, white, and blue—a black bowl, and some snow or ice. Fill the bowl with snow or pieces of ice. Light the candles and set the bowl in front of them, saying:

Light and water,
Son and daughter,
Dancing in winter’s glow;
Ice and fire,
Grant desire.
Show me what I would know.

Watch for images in the flicker of candlelight on the melting ice. Pay attention to the symbolism of the shapes you see. When the bowl’s contents have melted completely, blow out the candles and pour the water outside.

Soul Seeing

(A great way to truly get deep with someone special)

Discovering True Selves*
*Soul Seeing*

When we want to see deeply into the heart and mind of another person, soul
seeing, also called soul gazing, allows us to see their soul. The soul is
the purest expression of an individual and is not bound by physical forms or
fleeting emotions. Through a simple art that involves looking deeply into a
partner's eyes, soul seeing can show you a person's inner beauty that you
might otherwise miss. It is possible for someone who appears cold to have a
warm, giving, nurturing soul or someone of average appearance to have a
beautiful soul. Soul seeing is a way of looking past shapes, sizes,
attitudes, and behavior to see the real individual that lies beneath the
surface. It allows you to see the true essence of another person, the
radiance of their being, and their spirit within.

Soul seeing is accomplished by sitting face to face with another person. It
is helpful to first state your intention before you begin. As you stare
softly into each other's eyes without stopping to look away, each of your
souls is revealed to the other. Try not to look for anything in particular
or seek traits you're hoping to find. Simply let the other person's soul
reveal itself to you. After twenty minutes have passed, stay where you are
and share a period of silent reflection with your partner for two minutes.
You may have suddenly seen your partner's inner nature as clearly as a
bright day, or you may need to meditate on your experience before you feel
comfortable with your impressions. Either way, soul seeing can be a
wonderfully intimate and shared experience.

So little of who each of us is can be captured by our appearance or
personality. The thoughts, fears, desires, and longings that are part of
what makes us whole are not always written across our faces. Often, the most
surprising thing you may learn while soul seeing is that while you and the
other person may appear on the surface to be quite different, you actually
share many of the same inner qualities. And then there is the unique beauty
that resides within that is longing to be revealed to another who is willing
to see. Soul seeing can help you experience the people in your life as they
truly are, beyond any mental barriers or physical limitations.

Rosemary Christmas Trees

(What a fab idea - especially if you love herbs like I do)

Rosemary Christmas Trees

by Kim Tilley

I love to grow things, and I especially love to have plants around the house in
the winter. I really love rosemary plants and those cute little "rosemary
Christmas trees," but the problem is that I always manage to kill them! I don't
mind eating dried rosemary (from my
dried-out plant!) , but I really love the look, smell, and taste of live
rosemary. My track record is not too good. The first year I underwatered the
rosemary, and it dried out. The second year I compensated and overwatered the
plant. This year I decided to find out
what I was doing wrong or be doomed to a rosemary-free kitchen! Oh, no!

Cub Foods always has healthy, inexpensive plants, so I asked them how they keep
their rosemary Christmas trees looking so beautiful. The floral manager told me
that rosemary can be tricky, but anyone who learns the trick can take care of
one and they can get quite big. The secret to rosemary is that it likes to be
constantly moist but doesn't like to sit in the water, so it has to be well
drained. Rosemary hates water around its roots, but it will die if the roots dry
out. Just like some people, it likes to shower every day, but not sit in a bath!

Here is what you do:
-When you get your plant home from the store, place it (pot and all) into a
larger pot filled with gravel. Be sure the bigger pot has a hole at the bottom
for drainage. You can place all of this on a plant saucer to catch water.

-Water your rosemary (at the base of the plant) every day or every other day. It
doesn't need much, perhaps half a cup. Let the water run right through the plant
and out into the saucer (be sure to empty the saucer). I just put my plants in
the sink every morning and water them that way, letting all the water go down
the drain. Then I put them back in place with something under them to catch more

-Every once in while, give the rosemary a "bath,"gently rinsing off any dead
leaves and other debris (but not the soil!) that tend to build up around the
base of the plant. You can let it soak for a little while, and then drain very

-Like most plants, rosemary likes humidity, so you can take the plant to the
shower with you. Just don't stick it in there! Once a week or every few weeks,
put it on a bathroom counter, close the door, and take a long, steamy shower.
Your plant will love you and you'll feel pretty good, too!

-If all else fails, start from scratch next spring by purchasing a small
rosemary plant at a nursery, or even at Walmart. Plant it, pot and all in a
sunny, well-drained location and make sure it gets plenty of water. I did this
with one, and my rosemary grew beautifully. Make
sure that there is plenty of room in the pot, and mix the potting soil with sand
or vermiculite- anything to keep it draining well. Before the first frost, bring
in your rosemary. You can then shape it into a tree, and enjoy the "trimmings"
on your Thanksgiving or Christmas turkey.

Decorating a Rosemary Christmas Tree

You can use any mini ornaments and lights, as long as they don't weigh much.
Rosemary branches are pretty tender. I saw a very cute idea done on a mini tree
that would work well for rosemary. You spray-paint pasta bows red, then hot-glue
string or twist ties onto the back and attach to the tree. You could even make a
star out of gold gift wrap and light cardboard (like cereal-box cardboard) to
put at the top.

Now that my rosemary trees are looking so much better, I'm going to deck them
out. Good luck, and enjoy your culinary Christmas tree!

Maple Ham/Holiday Stuffing/Layered Peanut Butter Bars

Mapled Ham

from: A Kitchen Witch's Cookbook by Patricia Telesco

1 boneless ham (3-4 pounds)
1 (8 oz) can pineapple slices, drained (reserve syrup)
10 whole cloves
1 cup real maple syrup
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 tbsp. honey
2 tbsp. butter

Preheat oven to 350. Prick the ham with a fork. Secure the pineapple slices on the ham with wooden toothpicks. Press the whole cloves into the ham. Place the ham in a medium sized baking pan. Add 2 cups of water. Combine the syrup, sugar, honey, butter, and pineapple juice in small saucepan. Stir over a low flame until warm. Pour half the juice over the top of the ham. Roast uncovered 1 1/2 - 2 hours. Baste frequently with the remaining maple mixture. Drain the drippings from the pan. Cook over medium heat until slightly thickened. Serve as sauce


Holiday Stuffing

from: A Kitchen Witch's Cookbook by Patricia Telesco

1 cup diced celery
1 large onion, diced
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup butter
1 tbsp. dried sage
1 tsp. dried rosemary
1 tsp. dried thyme
1 tsp. celery seed
1 lb. herbed croutons
8 oz. Parmesan cheese, grated
1 lb bacon, cooked and crumbled

Lightly saute the celery, onion, and garlic in the butter until tender. Stir in the sage, rosemary, thyme, and celery seed. Simmer for 5 minutes. Combine the croutons, cheese, and bacon in large bowl. Add the butter herb mixture and about 1/2 cup water. Stir until the croutons are lightly moistened. Use to stuff a bird or place in a covered dish and bake at 350 for 20-30 minutes.


Layered Peanut Butter Bars

Layered Peanut Butter Bars Layers of rich peanut butter cookie, peanut butter filling and chocolate frosting beg to be indulged in.

Prep Time: 20 min
Total Time: 2 hours 20 min
Makes: 36 bars

1 pouch (1 lb 1.5 oz) Betty Crocker® peanut butter cookie mix
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 tablespoon water
1 egg

1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
2 cups powdered sugar
2 teaspoons milk

1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1/4 cup butter

1. Heat oven to 350°F. Spray bottom of 13x9-inch pan with cooking spray.
2. In large bowl, stir all Cookie Base ingredients until soft dough forms. Press dough in bottom of pan using floured fingers. Bake 15 to 18 minutes or until golden brown. Cool completely, about 1 hour.
3. In small bowl, beat all Filling ingredients with electric mixer on medium speed until smooth. Spread mixture evenly over cookie base.
4. In microwavable bowl, microwave all Frosting ingredients on High 30 seconds; stir until smooth. Cool 10 minutes; spread over filling. Refrigerate 30 minutes or until set. For bars, cut into 9 rows by 4 rows.

Monday, December 08, 2008

Extra Easy Pizza\Lasagna pie\ Easy Caesar Salad/Ultimate Chicken Fingers

Extra-Easy Pizza

1 1/2 cups Original Bisquick® mix
1/3 cup very hot water
1 can (8 ounces) pizza sauce
1 package (3 1/2 ounces) sliced pepperoni
1/2 cup sliced fresh mushroom
1/2 cup chopped bell pepper
1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese (6 ounces)
1. Heat oven to 450ºF. Grease 12-inch pizza pan. Stir together Bisquick mix and very hot water; beat 20 strokes until soft dough forms.
2. Press dough in pizza pan. Spread pizza sauce over dough. Top with remaining ingredients.
3. Bake 12 to 15 minutes or until crust is golden brown and cheese is bubbly.
High Altitude (3500-6500 ft) No changes.

For a light, tender crust, use very hot water and stir only 20 times. Stirring the dough too much will make the crust tough.
Make this extra-easy pizza an extra-cheesy pizza. Leave off the pepperoni, mushrooms and bell pepper, and top instead with the mozzarella cheese, 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese and 1/2 cup shredded Cheddar cheese.


Impossibly Easy Lasagna Pie

1/3 cup ricotta cheese or small curd creamed cottage cheese
3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
1 pound lean ground beef
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese (4 ounces)
1/2 cup spaghetti sauce
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup Original Bisquick® mix
1 cup milk
2 eggs
Additional spaghetti sauce, heated, if desired
1. Heat oven to 400ºF. Grease 9-inch pie plate. Spread ricotta cheese in pie plate; sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Cook ground beef until brown; drain. Stir in 1/2 cup of the mozzarella cheese, 1/2 cup spaghetti sauce and the salt; spoon evenly over cheeses.
2. Stir Bisquick mix, milk and eggs until blended. Pour into pie plate.
3. Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until knife inserted in center comes out clean. Sprinkle with remaining cheese. Bake 1 to 2 minutes longer or until melted. Cool 5 minutes. Serve with additional spaghetti sauce.

serve with:

Quick Caesar Salad

1/2 cup Caesar dressing
1 large or 2 small bunches romaine, torn into bite-size pieces (10 cups)
1 cup Caesar or garlic-flavored croutons
1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Freshly ground pepper
1. Pour dressing into large salad bowl. Add romaine; toss until coated with dressing.
2. Sprinkle with croutons, cheese and pepper; toss.

Time Saver
Cut prep time even more by using two 10-ounce packages of a romaine lettuce blend.
Instantly turn this favorite into a main dish by topping salad servings with a grilled boneless chicken breast half, leftover pieces of cooked steak, cooked chicken tenders or cooked and peeled shrimp.


Ultimate Chicken Fingers

2/3 cup Original Bisquick® mix
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 teaspoon salt or Garlic salt
1/2 teaspoon paprika
3 boneless skinless chicken breast halves, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch strips
1 egg, slightly beaten
3 tablespoons butter or margarine, melted

Total Time: 50 min1. Heat oven to 450ºF. Line cookie sheet with foil; spray with cooking spray.
2. Mix Bisquick mix, cheese, salt and paprika in 1-gallon resealable plastic food-storage bag. Dip half the chicken strips into egg; place in bag of Bisquick mixture. Seal bag; shake to coat. Place chicken on cookie sheet. Repeat with remaining chicken. Drizzle butter over chicken.
3. Bake 12 to 14 minutes, turning after 6 minutes with pancake turner, until no longer pink in center.

all recipes: Betty